Walkers

A fire roars in the wood stove and the teapot whistles. Outside, twigs snap and dry leaves crumble under their approaching feet. They are close.  My boat waits on the river.

I empty my cup of mint tea.  It was her favorite.

“Goodbye, Hannah.”

Tied at the wrist to the bedpost, she writhes against her restraints and snaps her teeth.  The songs of the dead sound as screeches of an owl.  I am loath to leave, but I must.  She belongs to them now.  I will live on the water.  The dry ground belongs to the Walkers of the night.

~~

This story is my contribution to “Friday Fictioneers,” a weekly challenge hosted by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff Fields.  With the help of a photo prompt to inspire, we are to write a 100-word story.  This week’s photo was contributed by Valerie J. Barrett. If you would like to join in with this encouraging group of writers or read their stories from this week, click HERE.

 

59 Comments Add yours

  1. Considering the circumstances, treating it as tea time is a smidge casual and cold

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My attempt at a zombie story. Hannah had been bitten for some time and he finally resolved to leave her. I blame it on the 100-word limit (okay, and my abilities as well, haha). Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Iain Kelly says:

    All sounds very ominous. Not sure I like the sound of the Walkers, or what awaits poor Hannah! Great atmosphere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, the Walkers are the dominant species. My attempt at a zombie tale. Hannah turned a while back. He just had a hard time leaving. Thanks for commenting, Iain! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. michael1148humphris says:

    Perhaps a story post cataclysm, a story that mades one think,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for commenting, Michael! Yes, the story is post cataclysm and my attempt to write a zombie tale. Some weeks are harder than others in communicating the essence of the story with the word limit (haha).

      Like

  4. Tannille says:

    This is so good. The description is fantastic. I got a “Gerald’s Game” feel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy you liked the description and the story. =) Thanks so much for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. draliman says:

    Maybe it would have been kinder to chop her head off, though I guess that’s not all that easy when it’s someone you love(d).
    Nice one! I’ll read and watch absolutely anything with zombies in.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Like my son and my husband. I like zombie movies if there’s a little humor (like Zombieland or Shaun of the Dead). Well, I also like I am Legend. Yeah, not sure I about removing her head. Don’t think he could do that. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sandra says:

    I’m not a zombie fan, but your link between the homely setting of the photograph and the relentless march of the zombie horrors is masterful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment using “masterful” makes me smile. I’m still smiling! Thanks so much, Sandra.

      Like

  7. Dear Brenda,

    It’s rare that I’d call a zombie tale poignant. I felt his sadness at leaving what used to be a person he cared about chained to the bed. Well penned.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Rochelle. Writing zombie stories is not my thing but I thought I’d give it a try. In all honesty, my husband saw the photo and said, “Why not a zombie story?” So, this is my version. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. neilmacdon says:

    Wonderfully atmospheric. Brenda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Neil. A very encouraging comment! =)

      Like

  9. gahlearner says:

    What a great take on the prompt. I saw you mention I am legend earlier, and I was reminded of Omega Man, which is the earlier version I believe. Maybe there’s hope for the zombies yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much! Omega Man is the earlier version, both based on the book by Richard Matheson. Plus, an even earlier version with Vincent Price. 😀

      Like

    2. msjadeli says:

      There is a brand new zombie movie out, called, “Patient Zero,” where the zombies consider humans the monsters!. Yes, I know, far-fetched. It’s nowhere as good as I am Legend or Omega Man.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmmm, I’ll have to look at that (and especially tell my husband and son). 😀 Thanks for the tip!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. msjadeli says:

        You are welcome 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. pennygadd51 says:

    You communicated the menace of the Walkers clearly. The MC’s feelings for Hannah were poignant, but mixed; I had a feeling that she was now very different from the woman he loved and posed a threat to him.
    The climax of the novel “Their eyes were watching God,” by Zora Neale Hurston has a similar moral dilemma as its climax.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your encouraging comments each week, Penny! He waited as long as he could. It was difficult to give up on her but, yes, she had turned in a completely different person who posed a threat to him.

      I’ll have to check out the book you mentioned. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Nobbinmaug says:

    Ooh, a Walking Dead-esque story. I get the feeling your protagonist has seen far too much of this. So it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for the delay in responding as I’ve been traveling. Yes, he waited as long as he could, even past the point she had turned and presents a danger to himself. Thank you so much for commenting! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  12. plaridel says:

    i’m afraid she’d free herself soon and hunt him wherever he goes.

    Like

    1. She might at that but he’s headed for the water and hopefully will be safe. Thanks so much for commenting! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow, that’s creepy, Brenda. I don’t think I’d stop for a cup of tea with a zombie hoard coming. Good tension in the story. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

    1. He’s very sentimental and had one last cup of mint tea in remembrance of the woman he loved (before she turned). 😀 Thanks so much, Suzanne, for commenting. I’m working on the “creating tension” aspect of my writing and what better tension than a zombie tale.

      Like

  14. Dale says:

    Hello, fellow fan of The Walking Dead.
    I would like to think he would at least take her out rather than leave her to bite others…
    Guess he didn’t really love her!

    Like

    1. Sorry for not responding sooner … traveling. Your point is a good one and very true. He wanted to but just didn’t have the stomach for it. Hmm, if he loved her he would have. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dale says:

        No worries. And I get it!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. DB McNicol says:

    Shades of the walking dead…well done!!

    ~Donna
    https://authorshutterbug.wordpress.com/

    Like

    1. Thanks so much, Donna, for your encouraging comment! =)

      Liked by 1 person

  16. An eerie mood to your story, Brenda – especially the calm tea drinking whilst the undead person writhes in rage. Love the way you describe the setting. Nicely done.

    Like

    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement on the writing. Trying something new is always a bit intimidating. =)

      Like

  17. James McEwan says:

    I like the switch from the gentle cup of mint tea, to the sudden horror of Hannah’s predicament. A story of distrust, that i search for explanations. The Walkers surely can not be that bad!

    Like

    1. Thanks so much for your comment on the writing, James. =) The Walkers are pretty terrifying and he waited as long as he could before leaving Hannah.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Abhijit Ray says:

    He could have taken Hannah with him. It seems he dislikes her so much that he is not hesitant to leave her with the attackers. Nice story. A beautiful ambience you created.

    Like

    1. She’s become a Walker and is a danger to him now. He didn’t want to leave her but had to. I’m glad you enjoyed the ambiance, Abhijit. =)

      Like

  19. granonine says:

    Oooh, really creepy! A zombie story? That’s what would explain the situation best, I think.

    Like

    1. Yes, it’s a zombie tale. A new kind of story for me, and a fun one to try. Thanks so much for commenting, Linda. =)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. granonine says:

        It was the clacking teeth and the “she was bitten” that clued me in. Good job, Brenda 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  20. magarisa says:

    Love all the details you’ve included in this piece: the fire roaring and the teapot whistling, twigs snapping and dry leaves crumbling under the zombies’ feet… The protagonist is so accustomed to this living hell that she (he?) seems calm, or maybe just resigned.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much, Magarisa, your comment is very encouraging. =) He is certainly resigned to his new reality as I suppose would happen. He loathes leaving her, but he must.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. magarisa says:

        You’re welcome, Brenda.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. gillyflower says:

    I like your solution to evading the zombies. (But poor Hannah.) A good post-apocalyptic tale!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Take to the water, they can’t swim! 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. You’ve created a great atmosphere here. Zombieland, I presume?

    Like

    1. Love Zombieland and the rules the protagonist established (double tap, beware of bathrooms, stretch, etc.)!! Thank you for comparing my tale that one. Now, I have a hankering for “Twinkies!” 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just watched it again last week. For a zombie film it’s so much fun….poor Bill Murray. 😦 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Indeed, poor Bill Murray. He just wanted to have a bit of fun (haha). 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. lol. Yeah, as I was re-watching, I did think it was a bit of a stupid thing to do…to pretend to be a zombie when people have guns. argh.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Oh this was chilling… it’s a sad parting when you can see she has crossed…

    Like

    1. It is indeed sad. He waited as long as he could and the point of the tea was one last remembrance before he left. Thanks so much for commenting, Bjorn.

      Like

    1. It is quite a bleak story. Thank you for commenting, Dawn.

      Like

  24. So he’s leaving her in her Zombie state which is sad but he’s leaving her to be amongst her own I suppose, rather than putting her totally out of her misery. Intriguing tale, I enjoyed it, a brilliantly evocative scene

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the story. Your comment was extremely encouraging! =)

      Like

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