Genre: Zombie Apocalypse/Horror/LGBT/Fluff
Warnings: mild violence, mild gore, mentions of blood
Word Count: 3,568
Summary: Moira’s been in love with Charlotte forever, so when Charlotte asks her to take her dog for a walk in the middle of the zombie apocalypse, she says yes straight away. Only then Steve the pug is kidnapped by zombies. With the help of her best friend Niamh, Moira needs to find and rescue Steve before it’s too late.
Excerpt is from the start of the novel.
“Okay, okay, breathe, kiddo. It’s not the end of the world – okay, I mean, technically it is, but you can handle this.”
“You are really not helping,” Moira huffed, pinching the bridge of her nose. “And don’t call me kiddo; we’re the same age.”
She could feel a headache coming on, creeping up the back of her neck and settling in her skull. She groaned and curled up tighter, rocking slightly, ignoring the dampness seeping through her jeans and how the mud beneath her shifted slightly with her movements.
“I’m three months older than you,” Niamh replied with a dismissive wave of their hand. “Have you tried praying to Saint Anthony?”
“Saint Anthony is for lost objects; a dog is not an object,” Moira replied tiredly.
“Saint Francis then?”
Moira groaned loudly, a drawn-out sound that started as a deep growl and ended as a high-pitched whine, as she buried her face in her knees and pulled futilely at the short strands of her pixie cut. Niamh squatted beside her and rubbed her back soothingly.
“Okay, clearly having a meltdown in the middle of the park is not faring so well,” they said carefully. “So what do we need to do?”
“I don’t know,” Moira whined, slumping sideways against her best friend. “How am I going to explain to Charlotte that I lost her dog? More specifically, how am I going to explain to her that I lost her dog to zombies?! I mean, what the hell was I thinking? What the hell was she thinking? Who hires a dog-walker in the middle of the apocalypse? Why did I agree to do it?”
“Because you think Charlotte Farrell is the hottest person on the face of the planet,” Niamh stated with a wry grin. “And because everyone needs to keep busy to avoid going bat-shit crazy over the fact that there are now zombies living amongst us, so you decided to keep up your weekend job.”
“I should have done something else; I could have taken up knitting, or, or, read all those books of yours,” Moira said angrily.
“You suck at knitting, and you fall asleep every time you try to read.”
Moira sighed. “That is true.”
She uncurled her legs, wincing as blood started circulating through them properly. She stared at the ground, absent-mindedly tracing shapes in the mud, while mulling over her options. Eventually she sighed and squared her shoulders.
“Okay, we need to go looking for Steve. And pray to whatever Saint is responsible for lost animals that he isn’t dead.”
“I’ve never heard of zombies eating dogs; maybe they just wanted to play with him?”
“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” Moira scoffed, eyes narrowing.
Niamh gasped, placing a hand over their chest dramatically as they stood up. “You wound me! Tell you what, if they’re playing with Steve, you owe me dinner and a High School Musical marathon.”
“Fine, but if they’ve eaten him then you owe me dinner and a Studio Ghibli marathon.”
“Deal.” Niamh grinned, their dark eyes twinkling, and held a hand out to Moira. Moira took it and Niamh hauled her up before they shook hands solemnly. “Let’s get some hurls from the flat just in case.”
The two friends set off towards their shared flat, Moira’s face gloomy as she pondered Steve’s fate; Charlotte would never forgive her if he died, or turned into a zombie dog (was that even possible?), and Moira would never have the chance to ask her out. That is, if she ever worked up the gumption to do it.
“You look irritated and melancholic,” Niamh observed. “Normally you’re one or the other, it’s a bit strange seeing both expressions on your face.”
“I really want Steve to be alive, but on the other hand, High School Musical…ugh,” Moira said, wincing at her feeble attempt at a joke.
Niamh simple stared at her calmly as they left the park and walked along the road towards their flat. Moira tried her best to ignore them, she really did, but Niamh had this knack of looking at her that made her want to tell them all her deep dark secrets. Like the time she “accidentally” burned the chǎo má shi, because while Moira loved everything else about her Chinese heritage, she couldn’t stomach the food, much to her parents disappointment. Thinking about that lead to thoughts about all the other things that disappointed her parents… Moira quickly shrugged it off and focused instead on trying, and failing, to avoid Niamh’s gaze.
Her resolve crumbled far too quickly in the face of her friend’s look. “And I was also thinking about how I’ll never get a chance to ask out Charlotte if her dog dies,” she mumbled, feeling her face heat up.
“You’ve had chances to ask her out for ten years now,” Niamh pointed out, rolling their eyes. “When are you actually going to do it?”
“I’m waiting for the right moment,” Moira said defensively.
“There will never be a right moment,” Niamh argued. “First it was because she was new to the school, then it was because you were just getting to know each other and you really wanted to be friends first, then it was because she came out as trans and started transitioning and she needed friendship and support instead of a girlfriend, then it was because you were both going to different universities, then it was because you were getting to know each other all over again and you didn’t want to rush it, then it was because of the apocalypse, and now…well now I have no idea what’s holding you back.”
“Right now, the impending death of her dog is what’s holding me back,” Moira snapped irritably.
Continue reading “Excerpts From Unfinished Novels #1: Even When The World Comes Crashing Down”