(I wrote this for a 500 word short story contest for Z.E.R.T. and discovered that it is ridiculously difficult to create an interesting and compelling story in such a small amount of words.)
Edit: I have decided to make this a series with a 500 word format. Stay tuned for the coming “days.”
It started out as a typical day. The air was sticky with the musk of summer, but that did not deter the residents of South Central from having their barbecues. Soto and I were stuck cruising the neighborhoods. There was no barbecue waiting for us. We were hunting.
It was one thing to be a gang officer in the LAPD, but to be a gang officer assigned to Newton Division…well, that was roughly the equivalent of your ego having a raging, uncontrollable erection. It was something for a man to be proud of.
We spotted a young male walking in a baggy sweatshirt. His right hand was at his waistband, and he needed to be stopped. After all, who wears a baggy sweatshirt in ninety degree heat? We knew there was more to his story. Soto pulled our shop next to him and I jumped out. The chase was on. He took off at a furious pace, and I did my best to keep up. Soto paralleled us in the shop, which was a good thing because this was the quickest fucker in history. The suspect removed a .45 from his waistband and tossed it to the side. The fire in my eyes blazed. I needed to catch him.
There was no room for Soto to cut him off, and he was too fast to be caught on foot. He ran into a yard and hopped a fence. When I caught up, I was deafened by the horrific squeals of sudden, devastating pain. I jumped over and found him sprawled face-down on the grass. A twisted creature was on his back. Its half-exposed jaws gnashed sharply as it tore through his flesh. Its skin was grey, and its eyes were lifeless. This creature was one of nightmares, and it was a creature that I had been preparing for. It was a zombie, and it was real.
I unholstered my Glock and sent the abhorrent creature’s brains showering onto the grass. Soto made his way over the fence in a panic.
“Are you okay!?”
“Dude…get people over here.”
Our suspect was no longer screaming. His back had been ripped open and he had become an undead Hometown Buffet. We had a mess on our hands. Soto got on the radio and called for backup. I stared blankly at the body before me. All that “pretend” training had become a reality. What the fuck had happened between yesterday and today?
Our suspect began to twitch. His body arched in an inhuman display and he stood. I could see the emptiness in his eyes as he ascended from the ground and fixed his gaze. He let out a grunt and charged, taking my partner to the ground in an attempt to feast upon his face. I could not risk shooting my partner. I removed my blade and sunk it into that undead bastard’s eye. Soto remained on the ground in shock. That was two dead zombies. I needed to find the rest.