Home > Book, Flash Fiction, Horror, Links, Zombie > Back in the Saddle

Back in the Saddle

I am swamped at work with the installation of my new project. I warned you that I might miss a post or two and last week that is exactly what happened.

But I’m back.

The following story was accepted and published by Hazardous Press in “A Quick Bite of Flesh” an anthology of zombie flash fiction. I really like this story and am proud to be able to offer it to all of you.  If you enjoy it, be sure to check out the anthology.

L. E. White

Like Father Like Son

“Pa, what are they?”

“Don’t ask questions boy. Run!”

Joe turned on his heel and ran for the trail that he and his father had followed to get on top of this hill. It was lucky that the moon was full; the light let him see where they had staked the horses for the night. The problem was that it also let him see the staggering bodies that were attacking his favorite horse.

Joe pulled his pistol while watching Blackie kick one of the attackers in the chest. Savages that looked like men but smelled like a dead dog that had been lying out in the sun. The only thing that got them up and moving was Billy’s screams. Poor old man had walked away from the fire to take a leak when those Injuns had jumped him.

“Don’t shoot and don’t stop,” Joe’s pa said. He grabbed Joe by the collar to drag him towards the path. “We can’t save the horses. Now move!”

The two men, one past his prime and the other almost there, darted through the brambles. Joe felt things grabbing at him but he couldn’t tell if it was the Indians or the brambles. The fear that he was going to get scalped pushed him on. The old men in town told stories about how those red devils would cut the top off your head as a trophy and Joe had often pulled on his own hair while thinking about it. He couldn’t think of anything worse than a scalping and it made him run that much harder.

He heard his pa fall down, and would have sworn he felt the big man’s breath against his back. Joe turned and saw that a crazy Indian had a hold of his Pa’s legs.

The crazy some-bitch shook his head on Pa’s ass before pulling away and tearing a big chunk of meat off. Joe drew and fired, putting hot lead into the man’s chest but it didn’t stop him. The Indian turned to look at Joe, who screamed like his little sister had when he put a dead snake in her doll house. Now that he was close, he could see that the Indian didn’t have eyes, he just had two dark holes in his head where they should have been. Whatever this had been, it wasn’t alive now.

Joe put the next bullet into the damned thing’s head and it fell over on top of his pa. He holstered the Colt and reached down to help his pa up as another one of hell’s heathen rejects came out of the brush towards them.

The big man was afraid. Joe had never seen his father look scared of anything, but tonight his eyes were wide and the moon light reflected off trails of tears that had ran down into his beard. Pa shook his arm free of Joe’s hand and shoved him away.

A couple more monsters, one wearing a Union soldiers uniform and the other a bowler hat, were stumbling down the trail towards them as the closest one dropped down on top of Pa and bit his shoulder. He screamed and tried to fight for a second before Joe shot this one in the head like he had the other. His Pa looked up at him and screamed, “I said run, boy!”

Joe jumped back, surprised by the anger in his Pa’s voice. He had just saved the older man’s life and now Pa was yelling at him to go away, Joe just stood there, looking at his father in shock.

The walking corpses were only a couple of steps away. After darting a look over his shoulder the injured man looked back to his son and said, “Please, Joe. Just run.”

Pa had never said please. He had spent years telling Joe what to do and whipping him if he didn’t do it. He had taught him that you had to be strong and stand up for yourself, but he had also beaten him down any time he talked back. Now, he begged Joe to leave him to die.

Joe squared his shoulders and raised his pistol. The first bullet flipped what had once been a fighting man ass-over-heels to drop the body in a pile on the ground. Joe figured the other would stop or dodge, but it just dove on top of his pa to try and take another bite. Joe kicked it hard enough to roll it off his father before putting his last ready round into the thing’s head.

“You wouldn’t leave me and I ain’t leavin’ you.” Joe stepped closer to the man who had taught him how to shoot as he reloaded his gun. “Now you lie still.”

With his gun in the air and his feet set wide, Joe wiped his face and watched more of the stinking corpses make their way towards them. He pretended not to notice that the biggest, meanest and best man he had ever known was lying on the ground.


  1. April 4, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    I enjoyed this – thank you for sharing. “one past his prime and the other almost there” as a description in the middle of a chase was a particularly crunchy line.

    • April 5, 2013 at 7:45 AM

      Thanks a lot. I appreciate the comment.

      I will be visiting your blog on my lunch today. The title has my attention. 🙂

  2. April 5, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    Enjoyed reading this. Fun!

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