“American Nightmare” over on Tales of the Zombie War!

Small-town misfit Trisha Bell is awakened from her grave by mysterious forces, and there are only two people in the whole world she needs to see: her also-undead greaser boyfriend Sammy, and her still-alive derbygirl best friend Soraya. Sammy joins Trisha in gleefully turning the tables on the small-minded locals, but Soraya is all alone in a town that took its post-9/11 terrorist hysteria out on her family. With gun-toting bullies aiming for her head, Trisha has to be sure her friend is strong enough to handle the panic – while craving a bite of her brains herself.
Have a slice…


The first thing I saw was pink satin, bunches and bunches of pink satin, and I raised a fist covered in white lace and rotting flesh and, oh, damn you Mom, damn you, you always took advantage of me when I was at my most vulnerable and you knew the only time you could dress me up like a pretty little princess was when I was DEAD, at my FUNERAL, not the fuck-you blaze I wanted to go out in at all but I couldn’t stop you, could I…I’m really hungry.

I pushed against the coffin lid, shit, for a corpse, I’m pretty strong. Dirt tumbled in but I didn’t need to breathe anymore and I swam up through it, burst through cemetery grass. All around me, other heads twisted and turned in a morbid ocean. Some of them had climbed all the way out and were staggering around the graveyard in tuxedos, pissing formaldehyde through satin gowns. A few more pushes, and I was up there with them.

I looked at my tombstone. Trisha Bell, Beloved Daughter. Yeah, right. Whip up the waterworks, Mom, center of attention, oh what a fucking tragedy.

First order of business: Find Sammy, who would be in here. Then Soraya, who would not. Not yet, anyway.

Sammy. My man. Perpetual cigarette in his heart-shaped mouth, slicking back his hair like a direct descendant of the T-Birds, the world’s most beautiful snarl. Mine all mine.

It happened on Soraya’s first night skating with the Rochdale Rollergirls. Our newest recruit, Number 33, ladies and gentlemen, give it up for DURGAAAAA DESTRUCTIOOOOOON! Soraya in the limelight, making fists and gliding around the rink to Slayer. Cheers from the home side, howls from the Danfield DevilDolls. I was three weeks away from turning eighteen and joining her, after a summer scraping our knees in her driveway, laughing and falling down, gradually streamlining our bodies into fierce, clean speed down her street. She was all business that night, gritting her teeth among her fellow blockers, crowding up the other team’s jammer while ours flew ahead, racking up lap after lap of points and delirious applause. Sammy and I were cruising to the victory afterparty in his Mustang. The top was down, the Black Widows were howling from the stereo as we recounted all the brawls. Life was good. Ahead of us, an SUV full of yahooing fratboys lost control and jerked all over the road. Ka-POW! That’s the last thing I remembered.

I looked down at myself. The first thing that had to go were the puffed sleeves at my shoulders, pure Cinderella, barf. Then, let’s shorten up that hem a bit, shall we? Clawed a hand inside a wad of fabric, ripped myself a nice tattered miniskirt, goth chic. Ran a hand through my hair. The clot that came away was dyed brown. So they’d taken away my skunk stripe, too. Damn them all.


Previously only available as a podcast from Well Told Tales, you can now read it all at Tales of the Zombie War.

Leave a Reply