Each week Chuck Wendig does a flash fiction challenge on his website, Terrible Minds. Considering I’ve come off my antidepressants and I can write fiction again, I thought I’d stretch my writing fingers and join in.
This week was a genre mashup. 20 options, use random.org to get your genres. I got Erotic Horror and Zombie Apocalypse. Not the easiest to drag together in 1500 words, but fun all the same.
Zombies were easy. Sex? Not so much. I need to practise more.
Anyway, I give you a genre mashup flash fiction piece. Enjoy.
It was hot as she ran through the tunnels. Left. Right. Left again. She could run through here blindfolded, but that wasn’t the point. The Horde moaned in the distance; controlled chaos and rot. Dammit. This was not the plan.
Sweat dripped towards her eyes and she blinked it away angrily. Stupid. She was stupid for leaving the Hole. Stupid for being talked into this. Her leather clothes clung to her muscled frame, and her gun hung heavy in her hands. She clutched it tighter.
“Zero?” A voice cut through the darkness and she angled towards it, footfalls echoing dully through the passages.
She barely slowed down as she passed through the door. Tad slammed it closed behind her.
“Thank Christ. I thought you’d abandoned me, you fucker.” Zero leaned forwards, hands on knees, panting. She knew she was getting soft, working in the Dispensary, but this was ridiculous. She holstered her gun, before running her hands through her short hair in angry frustration.
From across the small bolthole Tad watched her closely, his eyes amused. Zero stalked towards him.
“You fucking goat fucking mother fucker. You deserve to be horde bait! What was this, your idea of a joke?” She punctuated her words with sharp jabs to his chest.
Tad dropped his gaze, looking at his feet.
“Aw, c’mon. You know you liked it.”
Zero punched him in the jaw. Tad rocked away slightly, before lifting his chin and glaring at her.
“Admit it Zero. You loved it. The adrenaline. The rush. You took them down without even breaking a sweat. Are you happy sitting in the Dispensary, doling out rosemary tea and mint rubs? Does the excitement of a good chest poultice get you hot?”
“You don’t get to make these decisions for me. Not now. Not anymore.”
Zero turned away, walking to the edge of the room. Away from Tad. Away from the reaction he provoked.
Damn it. He knew her so well. It had been fun. She had enjoyed it. But that wasn’t the point. Tad set her up and she was furious.
Zero heard him cross the room to be with her. His hands rested lightly on her hips, before he brought them up to her shoulders and spun her around.
“We need you Zero. We can’t do this without you.”
“Oh, right. Just like you couldn’t do it without Axel, and look where that got him.” Zero spat the words.
“You know it wasn’t meant to be like this.”
Zero’s anger was back, white hot.
“You’re the one who talked him into joining the Squadron. We would have been just fine without him.”
“He made his own decisions.”
“Right.” Zero said bitterly.
Zero slumped to the ground, rage and adrenaline leaving as fast as they arrived. Tad sat down next to her, pulling her gently into his arms. Nuzzling at her hair.
She missed Axel every day, but what was the point? Everyone lost family members. She wasn’t special. The Horde got her brother, same way they got her parents when she was a kid. They sat there for a few moments, before Tad broke the silence.
Zero cocked her head, listening. The tunnels were the only way to reach The Hole and they were a purposeful maze, designed to keep the Horde out and people in. Boltholes lined the sides, scattered seemingly erratically throughout.
“Can you hear that?”
Zero looked at him, cocking her head to the side to listen better. “I can.”
It couldn’t be right. The Horde were mindless in their quest to destroy everything. Zero had been well in front of them, with multiple confusing tunnels. How’d they make it to the exact door she was behind?
Years of training kicked in. It didn’t matter that she’d been out of commission since Axel died, she was here now.
Zero and Tad had worked together for years. He’d been her brother’s best friend, and he’d labelled himself her protector. Fat lot of good that was doing him right now.
Zero checked her ammo. Not as much as she’d like, but enough. Enough, provided they weren’t completely fucking surrounded.
Tad stood at the door, his rifle in his hand. If the Horde were out there, they needed to be quiet. Zero dropped to the floor and carefully slid back the viewing window in the bottom of the door.
She counted quickly, four pairs of legs. Maybe more around the bend. The lighting wasn’t great in this area and Zero had left her night vision goggles in her quarters. Stupid.
Motioning with her hands, she let Tad know how many were out there.
“We could just wait it out.” He breathed into her ear, making her spine tingle. He ducked his head and looked through the viewing window himself.
Zero wasn’t keen. She wanted to be home, in her own quarters. Not holed up in in the tunnels at the edges of the Plains.
She looked out again, pressing her cheek against Tad’s so that they could both see. The Horde ambled around in front of them. Zero smelled them from here; half rotted flesh and exposed bones making her nauseous.
Suddenly, a face dropped into view from the other side of the window. A rotting gale blew through the opening. The zombie moaned in her face. Tad and Zero scrambled backwards. Zero’s heart kicked it up a notch as a half rotted hand tried to force its way through the small gap.
“Fuck it. Fuck it all to hell and back.”
Tad looked at her. “Well, I guess we can stop sneaking around and whispering. They know we’re here.” He clambered to his feet and walked around the room swearing. “The question is, how? You should have been far enough ahead to be fine.”
The first plan had gone badly and now statistics weren’t in their favour. Once the Horde knew you were there, survival rates dropped. Ambush was always better.
Zero stuck the barrel of her gun through the gap and smoothly pulled the trigger, before sliding the panel shut and standing up.
“Guess we’re waiting for rescue after all.” She said sharply, as the moans outside the door kicked it up a notch.
“Maybe they’ll get bored.” Tad responded, and then laughed without humour. Squadron joke: The Horde never got bored. They just got hungrier and more determined.
Sweat chilled against Zero’s skin and her leather was no match for the icy dampness of the bolthole. It wasn’t the first night she’d spent in one, but she hoped it would be the last as she jammed her gun back into its holster, shivering slightly.
“Any food?” she asked, hopefully.
“Nuh. Mustn’t get a lot of traffic out this way.”
“Ugh. You’d expect that would be more reason to have it stocked.”
Tad grinned, and sat down on a pile of hessian.
“What we do have is this lovely place to sit, a couple of bottles of water and only a few hours until morning when the Squadron will do a sweep.”
“How do you know they’ll even find us?” Mentally Zero was counting her ammo. They could make it out. Maybe.
“I left a note. They’ll know where we are.”
“You planned this, you motherfucker?”
“Not this.” He gestured at the bolthole and the door. “But I like to be prepared.”
Zero nodded, grudgingly. At least there was that.
“Come and sit down. You’ll freeze over there alone.”
She sat, and Tad draped his arm around her shoulder.
“Body warmth Zero. Nothing like it.”
Zero turned to look at him, but his mouth stopped whatever she was going to say. She pressed herself against him and moaned gently as he deepened the kiss. It had been months for her. The hours of loneliness melted away as Tad touched her again. His hands slid under her jacket, skillfully shucking the layers from her body. Their clothes fell to the floor as Tad pulled Zero into his lap, her fingers wound through his hair. Their tongues danced as his fingers reached for her, sliding inside in one swift movement. She gasped, and clenched around him as she came. He chuckled softly into her throat, his other hand encircling her breast.
“Been a while for you, Zero?”
“I told you I would wait.”
She nodded, pressing her lips against his collarbone. “I missed you.”
Talk stopped as Zero ground herself into Tad’s lap, his erection pressed between them. She reached down, stroking him, as he nuzzled at her neck. Zero’s hands moved to Tad’s hips as she pulled him towards her impatiently.
“I can’t wait.”
Tad grinned as Zero lifted herself up and slid him inside her. Rocking gently, she bit his shoulder and he thrust up, making her gasp. Zero fell into the easy rhythm as Tad leaned down and bit her nipple gently. Pressure grew and Zero pulled him deeper inside, their bodies moving together. Zero moaned as the orgasm hit her and Tad pulled her in close as he finished a moment later. Zero collapsed against his chest and he held her close.
“Welcome back love.” Tad said as he wrapped a blanket around them both.
“Thanks.” Zero replied, smiling back at him.