George Wilhite is an aficionado of the horror genre.
His fascination began as a child, watching "Creature Features" late at night with his father while enthralled by the fiction of masters like Poe, Lovecraft, King and Straub.
Follow Wilhite and Guests as they preview and discuss their own work and all aspects of horror and other speculative literature.
FLASH FICTION and POETRY by George Wilhite
The wait was excruciating.
Stuck in this cold metallic cylinder for the last three days, James reflected on the dreadful events of the past week.
It only took two days for the plague to evolve from constant news coverage of a tragedy happening “somewhere else”, with picture in picture and streaming ticker below, to a ubiquitous nightmare.
By the fourth day, there were few true humans left.
Pulled out of his basement by a gang of zombies, James wondered why they brought him here. Their instincts seemed pure—attack, kill, feed. When the basement door was breached, he had simply closed his eyes and said a prayer just in case there was a god of the chaos once known as Earth.
Then, the maniacs spared him, stuffed him in here like a piece of canned meat.
James heard the constant screams of those whose trauma was presumably ending in the last moments of horror before death. At least if one died this way, torn to pieces and devoured greedily, that was an ending. There was not enough left of you to become infected and transformed.
Like all the prisoners, James was naked, forced to sleep standing up and live among his own waste. Though food was thrown down occasionally, he chose to starve himself. When making his initial attempts to eat, he heard the screaming of the others outside, and imagined them ripped apart, as broadcast so often in the faithful media coverage he could not stop watching before he was captured. The food was always meat, and he highly suspected the fiends were trying to feed him human flesh.
Mercifully, on the fourth day James’ time in the hole was over.
Two male zombie drones pulled him up and each held an arm with a vice-like grip as he was guided to a large pit dug into the ground.
He assumed this was their place for slaughter and feasting. But looking below, James beheld a new kind of chaos. Transformed brutes feasting on the living was a commonplace spectacle, broadcast on television many times, but the Hell he witnessed in the pit defied all reason.
As was human nature, rumors abounded since this holocaust began. One prominent but unverified report spoke of twisted and profane mutations among the newly created zombies, monsters even more malevolent and powerful than the many transformed ones.
This pit below must have been some kind of crude laboratory where that process was being perfected. There, among the many humans being ripped into pieces, were shapes of things to come, monstrous creations of body parts reassembled hideously by some unknown power.
The notion James had earlier that at least death by dismemberment was an ending to this perverse new destiny for mankind proved naive, for down in the pit the severed body parts slithered around with life all their own.
“My God!” James exclaimed as they threw him into the pit.“What form of death is final after all, when even the leftovers are being used against us?”
This story originally appeared in this great zombie flash fiction fest from Static Movement: