“Five decades ago, a deadly virus spread across the earth, causing the dead to rise and attack the living. Humanity fought back and won, but at great cost. Public sentiment called for the eradication of the undead and they were exterminated.
All but one. Scientist secretly called for that last specimen to be protected for research, but one person doesn’t want that specimen around any longer.” (description from Goodreads)
This was a nice short story about a different part of a zombie apocalypse; the aftermath.
As the description mentions, it’s decades after humanity got a hold on the virus and is back on its feet. But the threat is still in the world, hidden away for experimentation. Knowing that we still have deadly viruses locked up for study in the real world, this feels like a “realistic” situation were there to be a zombie virus one day. In a way, this story can be viewed as a commentary on the dangers of not eliminating all deadly diseases no matter how small a stockpile we keep for studying. What would happen if it got loose again? Could it be stopped again? I won’t get into more of the specifics since it’s hard to not spoil such a short story, but I hope I gave something to think about when reading.
Not only did I like the concept behind the story, I also liked the style used in telling it. Spears combined a normal narrative with fragments of various official (in the world of the story) documents of the events that took place. Even though there wasn’t much to this story in length, the author was able to use each word effectively and tell a lot through this combination.
The only issue was a few spots that needed a quick proofread. A word missing here and there. Also the formatting was a little awkward in that the entire story has a wide left margin. Being that I read in a “larger” font, this made the column of words narrow and often only three words to a line. It wasn’t a huge turn off, but it still isn’t something I overlook when reading.
If this little story if any indication of what Spears has to offer in his other work, I have a feeling I’ll be adding some to my reading pile soon.
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About the Author:
R.J. Spears splits his writing time between mystery/crime and horror. His stories have appeared on A Twist of Noir, Shotgun Honey, Flashes in the Dark, and the Horror Zine along with other sites. His zombie books Forget the Alamo, Sanctuary from the Dead, and Forget Texas can be found on Amazon. His first Dan Daulton mystery will be released later this year by J. Ellington Ashton Press.
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