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Latest Stories

January 01, 2020
Romance Stories P.D. Ravel

What I Always Dreamed

I can feel you through my skin. You are the one who dictates my feelings, the one who knows all my fears, and the one who makes me recognize that I like this man next to me. But what you don’t quite understand is that in this reality you are not the only one…
January 01, 2020
Fantasy Stories Tom Sheehan

Work of Ages, Work of Comets

The tip of the shovel had talked to him with a dull thud, not just through his ears, but totally. It came into his hands and up the stiffness of his arms, through the quick riot of nerves on red alert, through all passageways of recognition. It was wood! At…
December 29, 2019
Mystery Stories Christian Mc Culloch

The Changing Tide

The bell on the tramp steamer called out into the thick fog. A single bell from the buoy off to starboard replied. Somewhere there were stars beyond the grey blanket. The ship nosed forward. The bells spoke to each other. Mor'thn Weeds pulled the collar of…
December 29, 2019
General Stories Alan Peat

The Belated Present

I know he’s here somewhere on what I call my Restitution List. E, F, ah here we go the G’s. Glockner, Gobomo, Gomez, Greengrass. Gerald Greengrass. Present wrapped all ready for transit. Special delivery. Job almost done. Maybe I should explain what my…
December 29, 2019
Mystery Stories Bruce Stirling

Ashtown

Wyoming, 1905 Sam built up the fire, then hit the blanket. He was drifting off when he heard a low rumbling off in the distance. He grabbed his Winchester and scrambled up to the top of a low ridge. From there, with the sun sinking low, he took in the…
December 29, 2019
General Stories Jason Reed

On Love and Death

Part 1 At ninety-five George's knees supplied defiant resistance whenever he went upstairs. This morning was no different but here he was at the top landing - surveying the hall and doorways for a clue as to why he was up there. "Glasses!" He said with a snap…
December 29, 2019
General Stories W. Giersbach

Working Woman's Wife

I couldn’t get rid of the vendor on line 1, there was a call hanging on line 2, I was ten minutes late for a conference call from Tokyo, and the Senior VP of Finance was tapping his foot in my doorway. Worse, I had just spilled a four dollar latte on my white…
December 29, 2019
Flash Fiction André Goiuyneau

The Sock

Dear Madam, Further to your advertisement, and having myself lost a sock one day, I can reveal all the consequences of this loss to you. I searched for the lost one, its sister in my hand, until weary of the battle I sat down, thoughtful. Why did I not just…
July 10, 2019
Romance Stories John L.Yelavich

Saccharine Smiles and Sandpaper Personalities

What is the most powerful force in the universe? Is it atomic fusion, military might, volcanoes, tsunamis or any other natural disaster? No, they are not. None of them can create havoc and paranoia in man any more than love can. Yes, love is the force that is…
July 10, 2019
Crime Stories J.B.Stevens

A Good Man

Jimmy hated feeling the delicate orbital bones splinter, but he didn’t have a choice. He needed to be free. It was unfortunate. Just the wrong place, wrong time. If he was out he could send money to Sarah. That’s what all this was all about, helping his…
July 10, 2019
Fantasy Stories Roger Ley

Turing Test

Mr Riley liked to start his day in the library. It was a short walk from his house and conveniently situated at the top of the main street in the Suffolk market town that he and his wife had retired to. When they’d first arrived, he’d joined the local writing…
July 10, 2019
Romance Stories Patric Quinn

Where or When

The front doorbell sounded its gentle Westminster Chimes and the thumping on the door started before Hazel even put her pen down on the papers she was working on intently. More curious than annoyed, she stopped writing, shrugged and started for the door.…

 

 

We had always agreed that if anything bad were to happen, we would go to my in-law’s place near Chama. It was a large log cabin located on a ridge overlooking the Brazos River and completely off the grid: solar panels for power, rain catch barrels for water, and cast iron stove for heat. Low population density and the remote location in a densely forested area made the cabin ideal for withstanding any number of natural or man-made disasters.

So when the news began airing information regarding a rabies epidemic and then went on to report about a strange outbreak sweeping across the east coast, we had a plan. The wife and I loaded the kids in the car and headed to Chama.

It took a bit longer than expected. Her parents and grandmother decided they were coming too. We also had to wait for my dad to drive up from Albuquerque. All told, I think it took us about four hours to drive from Bernalillo to Chama. We ended up going the back way through the Llaves Valley. It was probably a smart decision given traffic along Interstate 25, but really I just chose the route because I liked the drive.

We had stocked up on canned goods, camping gear, and warm clothes. These were all things, we typically brought with us when we went to the cabin, but considering we were not sure how long we’d be gone, we took a lot.

We also brought with us an assortment of firearms. My father-in-law taught security and conceal-carry permit courses, so we had an assortment of weapons and then there was the hunting gear. Total, I think we brought with us two dozen firearms: rifles, shot guns, pistols, and even a couple hunting bows.

The canned goods didn’t last long, but that wasn’t a big deal. There was a lot of game in the woods. It wasn’t just the deer and elk. We hunted the cattle and sheep too. You would be amazed at how much livestock was left to graze in the forests. The domesticated animals were the easiest to kill. A lot of the time they sought us out. I think they thought we were ranchers coming to feed them.

It took some getting used to. After a while, we didn’t have grain or fruit, but there was an abandoned raspberry farm a couple miles down the road. We could go there and get berries seasonally. There are always other foods in the forest, if you know where to look. Believe it or not, just about every portion of a prickly pear is edible.

Zombies? Never saw a one. Really, never saw much of anyone. Now don’t get me wrong, we had our moments of danger. There was a blizzard which hit us pretty hard and a couple wildfires that came close to burning down the cabin at one time or another, but we ended up alright. I think like a lot of westerners, we managed.

About the Author:

Matthew J. Barbour is a South(west)ern Gothic Speculative Fiction writer living with his wife and three children in Bernalillo, New Mexico. When he is not writing fiction, Mr. Barbour manages Jemez Historic Site in Jemez Springs, New Mexico and writes for a number of regional newspapers, including the Red Rocks Reporter and the Sandoval Signpost.

About the Story:

Managing the Zombie Apocalypse like most zombie stories is less horror and more magical realism/social commentary. It was inspired by a simple question. What would you do?

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