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art by Cheryl Owen-Wilson

Just the Facts: A Zombie Story

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld Magazine, and Tor.com. Her short story, “Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain,” from her story collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. For more about her, as well as links to her fiction and information about her popular online writing classes, see kittywumpus.net.
1. There are zombies.
2. Zombies can turn up anywhere. If your mom dies in her sleep, she'll become a zombie that doesn't care whose brain she's (slowly) eating.
3. They are not particularly fast. Some people even poke fun at that. There's a famous web comic called Late Zombies, but has the hero zombie always showing up too late to eat someone.
4. The comic's readership has been declining lately.
5. The web comic creator, seeing the slipping numbers and worrying that her art was becoming stale, has decided to live with zombies for several weeks. She commissioned a plexiglass cage in which to do so, like a shark cage for divers.
6. There's a webcam in the corner of the cubicle, its red eye blinking. Sometimes it seems to blink in time with the zombie footsteps circling, circling, circling the cage.
7. Zombies are boring when they're not chasing you.
8. Zombies can smell blood.
9. The web comic creator has decided to liven things up by letting the zombies around her smell blood. She's cut herself, not too deep, with a pair of scissors she had handy and smeared it on the inside of the plexiglass.
10. Under enough pressure, plexiglass will break.
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

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