Day by Day

Frank stared down the long barrel of his rifle.  The form scrambling up his path was definitely bipedal.  Its movements were labored, like it was exhausted, or broken.  He aimed at the head and squeezed.  The figure crumpled, and Frank resumed his perimeter patrol. 

He hadn’t seen more than one zombie a day in a few months, but it was better safe than sorry. 

He was getting low on supplies anyway.  He couldn’t afford to share with another survivor.  And it wasn’t like he was lonely.  Whenever he wanted to hear another human voice, he just listened to an audiobook.  He’d always preferred books to people, anyway. 

He wondered if it had been female.  There were things he missed about women.  For a moment, he wished he’d waited, made sure it was actually a zombie.  Then he remembered the feral look in Amanda’s eyes as she’d lunged for him.  He’d caved her head in with a baseball bat.  Her blood had been hot and red, had smelled normal. 

He’d been careful never to let one get that close again. 

He listened to a few chapters of Earth Abides while he heated up canned soup for dinner.  Then he went to bed and dreamed about the past.  Getting out of bed got harder every day. 

He forced himself out of bed and went to patrol the perimeter.  


About Jamie

Jamie Lackey lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and their cats. She has over 160 short fiction credits, and has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Escape Pod. She has a novella and two short story collections available from Air and Nothingness Press. In addition to writing, she spends her time reading, playing tabletop RPGs, baking, and hiking. You can find her online at

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