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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Weekend Fiction Break: Zombies!

This is my entry to the zombie-writing contest I mentioned earlier. Sadly, it didn't make the top 5, but I still think it's pretty good. This is a rewrite of the ending of Around the World in 80 days-the dramatic climax where Phileas Fogg arrives just in time to win his bet:

The immense saloon of the club was quiet with dread. But outside they heard the hubbub of the crowd, above which was sometimes heard loud cries. They all shuddered, knowing the ancient evil of the undead that existed outside of the safety of the saloon. The pendulum of the clock was beating the seconds with mathematical regularity, and every player could count them as they struck his ear.

“Forty-four minutes after eight,” said John Sullivan, in a voice in which was heard an involuntary emotion. His daughter had been taken by zombies only months before.

One more minute and the bet would be won. The evil zombie lord that had they had sent off around the world on a bet would no longer have a stranglehold over London. Their children would be able to safely walk the streets again. Andrew Stuart and his colleagues played no longer. They were counting the seconds! Would freedom await them? Or death, under the hypnotic gaze of the zombie lord?

At the fortieth second, nothing. At the fiftieth, still nothing! The loudest beating was inside each man’s heart; the sound of death.

At the fifty-fifth, there was a roaring like that of thunder outside-shouts, hurrahs, and even curses kept up in one prolonged roll.

The players rose. Could fate cheat them this close to the end of the reign of the zombies?

At the fifty-seventh second, the door of the saloon opened, and the pendulum had not beat the sixtieth second, when Phileas Fogg appeared, followed by an excited crowd, and in his calm voice, he said:

“Gentlemen, here I am!”

Sadly, not a mortal man survived. Alive, anyhow.

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