Saturday, August 22, 2009

Who Am I?

He liked the girls with colored hair, the bad girls who snuck into his house at night while he was sleeping, and sometimes during the day when no one was even there. Girls who got grounded for sneaking out and climbed out the window and down a tree to sneak out again the next night.

After college, he followed one of them to Hollywood, where he spent ten years trying to make it in the industry, which never happened. He got yelled at by a lot of famous people, though.

Who am I? he wondered sometimes. For a long time, he was a guy who liked girls with colored hair. After a while, he was a guy who got yelled at by famous people.

In the end, he went home and enrolled in trade school. Then he was a carpenter.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I never saw it.

The sky turned green and the clouds hung low over campus, but the only noises seemed far away. Distant winds.

Joe herded us all into the basement of the library when the weather radio gave the warning. The power went out and we had only quavering fluorescent emergency lights for the two hours he held us captive down there. Student workers, professors, townies, we were all trapped together, but we could hear Joe running around on the main floor like a pirate captain navigating his ship through a storm.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Nicky's Space

Drew still blamed his mother for his brother’s death.

Every morning, he turned first to Nicky’s graduation photo. Everyone said it would be impossible for someone with Nicky’s developmental disabilities to earn a high school diploma, but Nicky had done it, which was why Drew didn’t believe that Nicky had drowned in the shower, like his mother said. Drew hadn’t been out of the house six weeks when it happened. He would always blame his mother.

One morning, the image of Nicky’s lopsided grin under his mortarboard foremost in his mind, Drew created a MySpace page for his dead brother. He updated it regularly with information about Down’s Syndrome, resources for struggling families, and memorial letters to Nicky, so no one could ever forget. He tried to friend his mom but she wouldn’t add him back. So, he set up a gmail account in Nicky’s name, which he used to send her birthday, Christmas, and mother’s day greetings.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Strength in Numbers

We had to unionize.

After the terror, some had forgotten the old ways, but our family had always been workers, and we knew the power of collective bargaining, knew we had to band together to find our place in the new world. Many things broke down in the days after the comet. The dead rose from the grave, feasted on the flesh of the living, and smashed through the social order. For weeks, there was chaos, fear.

But zombies are simple and mindless. It wasn’t that long before they were controlled, made docile. The process was no different than breaking an animal. And when they were put to work rebuilding, we cheered.

Ten years on, the zombies threaten us in a different way. Who will pay us to toil and carry, when a few undead abominations can do the labor of more men in less time? They work for rotting meat! My brothers and I would starve.

We had to unionize.