A while back, in celebration of my blog's 1000th post, I decided to have a contest/challenge. The challenge was to write a 500 word or less short story explaining what happened at the end of the 1978 version of 'Dawn of the Dead.'
The initial prize was the Ultimate Version of 'Dawn of the Dead.' Along the way up to the deadline (10/20/12), more prizes were added to the loot pile. Our First Place runner up prize winner is Jamal Luckett aka Morgue. He has his own blog, here. He came thisclose to winning with his short story; however his story, as great as it was, had nothing to do with the end of 'Dawn of the Dead.' BUT, I enjoyed his story SO much, I decided to toss some prizes his way, and to share it with all of you!
Here is his winning selection, "Tough Guy":
“The dead are rising from hospital morgues, funeral homes and even on the streets.” The haggard looking blonde anchorman on the television speaks. The young man seated on the chair in front of the television has a coy smile spreading gradually across his face. From his pocket chirps the “Star Spangled Banner” in metallic whine. He digs the tiny silver flip phone from his pocket. Reading the display he knows the name on the display immediately “Trager” they’d served in Desert Storm together. “Mauser” he yelps flipping the phone open. “Hell yeah I see it bro!” his smile beaming. “I told you Trag …. I told this day would come.” Mauser runs his finger through his dyed jet black hair before standing up. “Dude I know all those idiots talking crap about us and now look!” He giggles “I know we’re the smart ones now.” Silently he listens to the faceless voice on the other end of the line. “Of course I got it bro don’t be stupid.” moving over to a table covered with almost every type of weapon imaginable. Mauser picks up a tattered black journal “Mauser’s Manual” is scribbled in across a piece of white tape on the cover. “Yeah alright I’ll meet you at Rally point Alpha bro be good.” The call is disconnected with a quick motion snapping the phone shut the tall muscular young man shoves the cellular phone back into his pocket. He looks himself up and down admiring his physique. From his highly polished black combat boots to his black pants and shirt. Mauser knows he’s ready for the zombie apocalypse. Taking confident strides across the tiny apartment to the front bay window Mauser recons the area around his apartment. Slowly pulling the corner of the curtain back Mauser gazes down three stories to the street below.
There in the prime spot in the parking lot sits his black Hummer. Focusing more he watches figures moving about up and down the block. “Zombies!” he pumps his fist. Through he curtains he witnesses the shambling zombies at one end of the block attack a screaming woman. They catch her by her shirt dragging her down then mercilessly tear at her flesh with teeth and mangled hands. “I’m coming kiddies and you can bet you won’t get Mouser.” Spinning away from the scene unfolding outside Mauser moves back to the chipped brown table holding his weapons cache. In a smooth well rehearsed pattern he outfits himself. Dual pistols, spare revolvers, a shotgun across the chest, extra ammo for each, a large wicked hunting knife and finally slung over his right shoulder an authentic Katana sword. Mouser trots over to the door grabbing a long black leather coat to complete his ensemble. From the floor he secures a large black backpack laden with food stuffs. One over the shoulder glance back and he leaves the apartment without closing the door. Taking the stairs two at a time he comes to the base of the stairs and the door leading outside. Through the glass Mauser keys the remote starter on the massive yuppie chic SUV. Every zombie on the block turns to the vehicle covered in beaming outdoor running lights. He goes into a ritual of practiced breathing slow and shallow honed during his training sessions at “The Y.” Mauser pulls his Katana free the sharp metal scraping against the sheath. His door knob turns easily enough in his hand and then he’s out among the dead.
A thought crosses his mind he slams the door shut behind himself in an effort to secure the building in case any of his “civilian” neighbors are home. Whirling to face his aggressors who encircle the base of the small porch Mauser wields his Katana at the ready. Mauser is unaware of his stylish coattail stuck in the locked door. He pitches forward thrown off balance by his awkwardly packed sack. Mauser hit’s the first step snapping his neck tumbling down the three stairs into a heap. Mauser lays helpless at the feet of the gathering horde. Moans and wails arise from the jostling zombies. The group drops to their knees one by one. They fight each other as Mauser lays there aware conscious unable to move. A tear streams from his eye as a set of teeth finds its way to his exposed mangled neck. The dead come for the immobile feast from all directions. The sole sounds other than the grunts are the tearing meat and chewing. “The Stars Spangled Banner” pierces the night air but goes unanswered.
For his winning selection, here's what Mr. Luckett is now the proud owner of: Dawn of the Dead Ultimate Edition, Zombie Cell Phone Holder, Awaken the Dead DVD, I Am Omega DVD, Last of the Living DVD, Santa Claus vs the Zombies DVD, Grave Mistake DVD, Pop Punk Zombies DVD, SFX Zombies Magazine, and last but not least, A Zombie Clock!
Congratulations to Our 1st place runner up Prize Winner!!