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"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.

The Living Word

Andrew Gilstrap's work has appeared in Mythic Delirium, Star*Line, Lakeside Circus, Apex Magazine, and Daily Science Fiction. He's proud of his kids' imaginations, although he wishes they'd snap out of it a little bit when it comes time to cross a parking lot (never mind fighting zombies!).

Mom snatches my notebook from my hands. "What the hell is this?"
"It's a zombie story."
"Jesus, Julie! No one wants to read about zombies!"
"Just because pop culture got saturated...."
She waves me off. "Pop culture, my ass. I'm talking about the fact there's ten of them between us and the car."
I shrug. "A historical document, then?"
"The only historical documents gonna be written here," she sighs, "are our obituaries if you don't start shooting."
It doesn't take long. We're practically sleepwalking; we're such old hands at this by now. We search the bodies. You never know what they might have been carrying when they turned.
"I'd just like a little more focus on surviving, Julie, and lots less writing," she grumbles.
I see a couple of pens in one's shirt pocket. When Mom isn't looking, I stuff them in my backpack.
Now, if I can only talk her into raiding an office supply store for more paper.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Author Comments

This story resulted from an exercise in Carrie Cuinn's Better Writing Through Brevity short fiction workshop. I'm a sucker for zombie stories, even in these zombie-filled times, and it struck me that even in the midst of fighting for survival, people would surely, hopefully, still feel the compulsion to create.

- Andrew Gilstrap
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