#SwiftFicFriday W79 – Vote!

#SwiftFicFriday W79 – Vote!

Another prompt, another round of great stories to choose from. Check the stories out below and vote for your favorite!

300 words by Bill Engelson, (@billmelaterplea)

Joe Blow

My old man often mentioned Joe. ‘Joe Blow,’ he’d say, ‘who cares what Joe Blow thinks?’

I grew up thinking there was this guy in the neighborhood spying on us, watching our every move.

As I got older, I thought about asking him who this guy was and why he cared what we did. But I never asked, even though Joe Blow continued to be referenced for as long as I lived at home.

Yesterday, Pop’s on his death bed and I finally get up the gumption to put it to him. “Pop, you gotta tell me, who is Joe Blow? I gotta know.” Maybe I was screaming at him. He’s in Lazy Bone Acres these days…one of those homes that aren’t. An orderly drops in, asks if there’s a problem. I say no. Same old, same old.

But my yelling and all was pointless. The dementia has gotten him, and Joe is buried in his petrified noggin.

So here we are the next day, me, alone in the old family house.

Lazy Bone Acres just called.

The old man’s dead.

And they can’t find his body.

Not the first time a body has gone missing, they said.

Suddenly fatherless, I am staring out into the street. Armed to the teeth, I am, a twenty-two and the old Luger he brought back from Germany.

Outside, the worst thing possible, a thousand zombies splattering their brainless violence all over the neighborhood.

They have taken over.

There’s no food in the house and the city cut off the water and power months ago when the old man didn’t pay his bills.

The landline’s still working.

I was such a crappy son.

I know that now.

Should have come sooner.

And I still don’t know who the hell Joe Blow is.

299 words by David A Ludwig (@DavidALudwig)

Another course of action wouldn’t have guaranteed any different outcome. All the same, as Bluebelle staggered back shielding her face and core with her arms, she wished she hadn’t approached the figure on the lakeshore. Battered by barrages of buried rockets, she focused her sixth sense on following the larger situation.

A connoisseur of nuanced nature walks, the druid was not at all impressed only seeing stars, feeling pain, smelling burning, hearing explosions, and tasting bitter smoke. She had been apprehensive about coming to this world, but cut off from her friends and overwhelmed by an oppressive onslaught it now seemed she had not been apprehensive enough. This attack would have killed her several times over if not for her protective powers. The eldest of the sworn sisters barely raised her shillelagh in time to stop a massive crimson blade from cleaving her in two.

“Worthless meat sack.” The figure from the lake’s mechanical voice sounded inches from Bluebelle’s abused eyes. “Die.”

The druid’s shillelagh cracked, even pouring magic into it with no thought for what might come next. Bluebelle sensed an opening and threw herself clear of the melee to call on all the magic she could muster.

“I won’t die easily!”

Her vision cleared enough to appreciate the tree of white lightning she had called down on her opponent from the recently clear sky. The mechanized murderer emerged as undamaged from the lightning as from its own explosions. Bluebelle couldn’t breathe. Her bones felt like jelly. The war machine closed for the kill. She prayed her friends had fared better.

The resounding ring of steel on steel drove out the last echoes of the explosions. Bluebelle blinked to see Emathyst standing over her, the machine’s blade arrested by Emathyst’s executioner’s axe.

“I think I will cut in.”

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