AtoZ2014: Xenophobia


With the keening in the distance, Doug knew he was going to have to move. He simply couldn’t stay where he was and live to tell the tale…

“What are you doing?”

The voice came from across the street, a cross between a whisper and a yell.

Doug looked toward the voice, the rest of his body staying frozen in place. In his periphery, he saw the worried countenance of a young man.

“Dude, I’m talking to you!” The voice was more insistent, bordering on the incredulous at this point.

The shrieks grew in intensity; they were close.

Suddenly Doug felt a hand on his shoulder, startling him into activity. Doug raised his hand in defense, thinking it was one of the monsters as he released a panicked scream.

“Dude, it’s just me.” The hand belonged to the young man who’d come to help him. “Sheesh, I was just trying to help…”

Doug didn’t know what to say, trying hard to get his heart rate under control.

“We need to get out of the street. Can you move?”

Finding his voice Doug responded, “I think so.” There was a wariness in his words that puzzled the man who stood before him.

“Okay, let’s go then. They’ll be here soon…” He kept glancing over his shoulder, expecting to see the undead rounding the last corner.

“I have a group. I can go find them,” Doug answered, pulling himself away from his saviour.

“You don’t have that kind of time man. We need to go right now. There’s a place just over there – lots of people, but it’s safe.”

The young man barely got the words out before Doug had pulled away from him and bolted in the direction of the church. Doug’s panic had nothing to do with the young man; he suffered from Xenophobia but was able to control it as long as Carmen was around. Without his wife, strangers scared the living shit out of him.

As the zombies rounded the corner, the young man was already inside his building, safe for the moment, and Doug had just disappeared from their line of sight. Catching the whiffs of fresh flesh on the air, the horde tracked the scent, their cries echoing off the buildings as they set off after the fleeing man.

All rights reserved © 2014 Julianne Snow

3 thoughts on “AtoZ2014: Xenophobia

  1. Can’t imagine how the story would’ve turned out if the young man wasn’t there to unfreeze Doug…then again, that young man could be evil…

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