The Civil Servant – A Zombie Apocalypse Tale (Episode 1)

Dale is twenty five, has short dark hair, a stubble, think body and peaks at five ten. He’s a former Royal Navy recruit come drop out, who determined the best bet for a career lay in the civil service. After background clearances, he made it into the crème da la crème – working as a civil servant in Buckingham Palace.

That was two years ago. Now though the story is very different. He lies in wait for a break in the screaming people outside the palace as they are torn to shred by the undead. A break to run, a break from the barrage of tormented cries. His ears, brain and eyes now beaten by apocalypse. A bloody unwinding, undead that stormed streets, ate people and had revolutionary strength.

He’s in the storage cupboard downstairs in the central hall of the palace; deserted of staff, military or royalty. The royalty replaced with gnawing at the gates, of distant peasants who whimper as they meet their gruesome demise. Dale holds his tongue, his breath and his position, with prayers focused on safe passage for the outsiders. Luckily for him the gates of the Palace are impenetrable, and so are the thick walls and doors of the Palace itself.

He’s burdened with one small grey backpack he carried to work, some days ago before the outbreak began. At first staff seemed unmoved, determined to stand ground with the assurance that the British military could overthrow a new, even more deadly type of threat then before. Behold they left en-mass, shaken and laden with betrayal. Dale thought it akin to treason to abandon London, to leave the pinnacle of British society – the Palace of the King. But they had, and he remained. His heart determined not only to survive, but to attempt to establish some sort of base. Given enough time he was sure he could open the gates to survivors.

Time was short, he had little food; his backpack carried a selection of some crisps, a ham sandwich, a chocolate bar and refillable water bottle, stuff he’d brought to work before being forced to ration it. So far he’d had half a bite of the sandwich but soon it would go stale, molded even. The Palace was well equipped though, and his ability to navigate the place were peak condition. He knew where the pantry was, the storage and the emergency storage – somewhere in the basement. The problem was Dale had spent so long in the room, peddled with thoughts of being eaten that he’d not managed to leave it yet. Tonight, or today, that would change. His silver watch on his left wrist showed around five pm, Tuesday, September. British weather being as it was would leave him cold, without heating he’d need some blankets.

The stuffiness of the dim room congested his nose, snot coalesced within his already irritated sinus passage. The smell that of dust and paper. The metal chair uncomfortable, digging into his lower back. He’d try to get out to look around soon, or so he hoped…

Stay tuned for more episodes. This is a story intended to be short, so it won’t be going all adventurous over London. I’ll write about London another time.

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Lock Noir

Mr. Jules entered through the rear door of the small diner and maneuvered with ease around the lifeless countertops, sliding into a pale blue booth. Morning dew spread like wildfire across the concrete jungle outside and he waited as still as a rock in that café. His eyes set on the clock to his right – eight in the morning. A few more minutes and his target- one Albert Rochell – would come strolling in with a thick eared grin.

That wouldn’t last. Mr. Jules had a job, an assignment to complete. He reached into his long black coat and withdrew the black colt pistol, placing it cautiously on the table as to not make a sound. His figure hidden in the black shadows of the booths corner. His fixated gaze dwindled, and his iron lungs rose slow, like flowers growing in the field. Suddenly, the diner door clinked to life, the bell above rang out and in strolled… one Albert.

Mr. Jules retrieved the pistol from the table as quick as a deadly viper and shot three times at the man. The first bullet pounced across his face, barely scraping his chin and giving Albert enough time to glance his way. The second bullet, seemingly swirling around the man’s ears and the third straight through his chest. He’d never missed a shot in his life. Albert was keen though, agile, and he moved forward to the counter, dropping his jacket and hyperlight lunging across the top and into the kitchen area. Mr. Jules had no choice but to pursue. He jumped up out of the booth, slid across the diner floor and hobbled around the countertops.

Albert, the sorry bastard, was nowhere to be seen. The kitchen cold, lifeless. The drops of blood had even disappeared. Mr. Jules heard a click, span fifty degrees to his right to see Albert wielding a double barrel shotgun. Mr. Jules went to shoot but as he lifted his arm Albert squeezed the trigger and a buckshot rang out splattering through his chest, sending his ragdoll body into the cookers and pantry.

“Good mornin’,” Albert whistled, as he placed the shotgun down and began to prepare for the day ahead.

Thanks for reading. If you liked then please like, comment, reblog and follow. I’m trying to mix it up by bringing short stories today. There is a page of them, albeit not many. Have a great day!

Fist Fighting the Undead (Cont.) III

… “Look out!” I cry and the brunette slumps to the side and I dart upwards and out of the tent onto the wet grass. The creature comes snarling at me with blood coated fangs and blood shot eyes, dressed in torn night gown she is lurching for my throat. My hands my only weapon I make the conscious risky choice to jump to my feet and pound away. Punch, wham, smack! My fists beat the undead woman’s face and blood flicks onto my jumper, her skull cracks and her nose snaps off into the bloodied grass.

“Behind you,” she warns and I spin. A group of four are mumbling rotten groans and gargling guts. But my attacker keeps coming and her mashed in face is not stopping her. But the woman comes to my aid to my surprise and grabs the beast by the neck and snaps it in one twist. “Die.” I snake left and struggle to see anything as moonlight is now obscured by clouds. Whatever is coming is hungry and the hissing and growls grow until I smell the rotting meat in my face.

My fists show no sign of slowing, they react instinctively and I punch away… left, right, left, right, left, the skull begins to soften and I go to finish it off with an almighty whack. She jumps in again literally flying past my head and drop kicks the corpse. I hear the bones snapping, and I feel the decomposed flesh around my fists. “Let’s go.”

Thanks for reading. Be sure to check out part 1 on my Medium.

Fist Fighting the Undead (Cont.)

Welcome to this short story post. I decided to start a story on Medium to give me something to write on that platform. It really will be a short story. I don’t usually write in first person but oh well. I am also letting you go to read the first part by clicking the link at the end of this post. Hope you enjoy. This is an ongoing story.

The foul stench of death breezes under my nose and the woman cradles my torso. Lingering fear slips beneath my shallow breath and tickles my throat. “We fight to the death,” I add. She sits up and slumps her head on her hand and gazes into my eyes. I feel the doubt creep into my mind. We should fight, and we must. But the nameless wanderer like me, had that pale look of desperation and weakness.

“I can’t fight, I’m too weak,” she says, her thick European accent is hard to figure out, could be French. I was not in the mood to ponder such thoughts so I just glared back hoping she’d go to sleep. But sleep was not easy, wolves howled, seemingly closer than before, and seemingly in larger numbers.

“Don’t worry, we will be okay.” She lays back down and huffs. I know I can’t keep myself from worrying and have to open the tent netting. The fresh cool air brushes my face and the smell of mildew is already filling the fields. There is nothing to see and nothing to do but wait. Sunrise was many hours away, and they’d have to endure the isolation just a little longer. But no, through the thick black and slivers of moonlight I see not one but several corpses sway toward us. I go to move, and the stench creeps around the tent and claws inside…

Read the first part on Medium now 👇 All feedback is welcomed. Criticism is welcomed. Fist Fighting the Undead (Cont.)

Find the back cover and blurb for the upcoming novella – Beach Town: Survivors – due for release over the summer period (aiming for August latest).

Quiet Forest Drive – Short Story

How the story of a man became the story of his change. Courage and strength in darkness, and light that shines the path to self-discovery. This is extracted from his real experience.

Quiet Forest Drive

A Short Story
by T. Maxwell-Harrison (Copyright 2022)

Peter Godspeed was thinking about Anna Sealake again. Anna was a caring demon with white hair and athletic arms.

Peter walked over to the window and reflected on his secluded surroundings. He had always loved quiet Forest Drive with its high-pitched, hard houses. It was a place that encouraged his tendency to feel disappointment.

Then he saw something in the distance, or rather someone. It was the caring figure of Anna Sealake.

Peter gulped. He glanced at his own reflection. He was an emotional, determined tea drinker with blonde hair and blue eyes. His friends saw him as an adorable, adventurous angel. Once, he had even brought someone back from the brink of death.

But not even an emotional person who had once brought a single person back from the brink of death, was prepared for what Anna had in store today.

The rain hammered, making Peter lost. Peter grabbed a chair that had been strewn nearby; he massaged the wood.

As Peter stepped outside and Anna came closer, he could see the cooperative glint in her eye.

Anna glared with all the wrath of an empathetic rare rabbit. She said, in hushed tones, “I hate you and I want to never see you again.”

Peter looked back, even more lost. “Anna, I have feelings for you,” he replied.

They looked at each other with shame feelings, like two old, old-fashioned owls sitting at a very robust night out, which had piano music playing in the background.

Peter studied Anna’s white hair and athletic arms. Eventually, he took a deep breath. “I’m sorry,” began Peter in apologetic tones, “but I don’t feel the same way, and I never will. I just don’t hate you Anna.”

Anna looked sad, her emotions raw like a tricky, tense table.

Peter could actually hear Anna’s emotions shatter into pieces. Then the caring demon hurried away into the distance.

Not even a cup of tea would calm Peter’s nerves tonight.

If you listen to this song, then you will better connect with Peter, who said he heard something like this song playing as he experienced this event.

Short Story

Don Domino and the Fish People.

It could have been Los Angelos or a terrible nightmare, where only he knew that the nearby accommodation he was staying in was something of a Travel Lodge or Premier Inn style hotel.

It’s not Simon, he says to the ticket checker, confirming everyone in their seats is paid for. No, it’s Peter, he says, laughing, closing his eyes on the border of sleep as the freakshow is in full swing. Whoever his company is that night, she affirms what he says. Nothing more is said. What show has he been watching in the dimly lit auditorium? A big fish tank is on stage full of exotic little swimmers, some big too. He likes to zoom his phone camera in and out on them. The show is about fish. Oh, and supposedly being able to jump high, but we’ll get to that later.

But, alas, some people in the audience wear masks to look human. They have big fish eyes and their heads look like piranhas! People are advised that this may frighten them. What on earth has Don gone and got himself into?

Before anything substantial happens, people start to leave and some stay to ask questions. Leaving the building to head back to the hotel, Peter or Don notices it is colder than usual, but he is wrapped up and able to run. His run bring him to a closed shop, the alley to the left of it is the route he used to get to the show, but it now has a big metal fence blocking it. There is no way back to the hotel.

Fortunately he knows the place, the situation and the whole scenario. He’s been here before, a long time ago, in fact it was so far back that he was surprised that he could remember it. This time he had the advantage, although somethings did throw him off. There’s always a lot of fences in the area, some guarded, as if there is some dark criminal activity going on behind them.

Continuing his jog, he begins to jump over 3 feet barriers, turning left again, to face a long wide, dimly lit road, which snakes entrance to the hotel, the back entrance. Guarded, and the dead of night, he has no choice but to utilise weapon… woman. She lures him in, and he knows what she is. She takes money and then tries to kill men, she’s a dangerous thing. Never give anyone money, he thinks. But, with her as company he reaches the final gate, jumps over the 10 foot high barrier and lands softly. The woman cannot cross and she does not possess the skill or agility.

Alas, the end, he has crossed the final gate alone. No resistance in the shadows for him. Now, time to let the sunrise.

Short Story: Bunker



A post-apocalyptic zombie tale



© Thomas Maxwell-Harrison



The Second Month


And his poem was written on the cracked, white stone wall on the left side of the small bunker sitting room: Hope not, for love is lost, no longer growing from the weeds I have embedded in my soul.

‘That’s how it goes,’ George says, smudging his bloody finger across the slab of concrete before turning to face the iron grey door of the hundred-year-old war bunker. Their gnarly, undead fingers consistently scratch against the metal sending spindles of spikes crawling across his back and throat. A half melted wax candles sloppily slides down the wall and drips into a coagulated puddle on the floor.

He walks, naked, across the dim and dusty room. The ventilation no longer works, and the candles are burning faster than he would like. He has his poetry and it has him. The undead on the outside his much-needed relief, his last embrace. His clothes mashed up in a scruffy pile against the right-hand side wall, next to a messy sprawling poem that spirals along the concrete. The first poem he wrote inside the bunker on that fateful Sunday evening, the day he found safety among a sea of corpses.

‘But for the creatures outside, I’d be free,’ he says aloud approaching the metal bunker door, running his fingers along the wheel locks and eyeing the small peephole. The dead had increased, the unmovable hunger for flesh was still strong in their hearts. But he would not be free. He listened closer to the cold steel, his ear beating with each dull thud. Each undead creature an expression of society.

George had stumbled into the bunker two weeks ago, a breezy April day at dusk after a long stroll into the Welsh town of Mumbles. He’d explored the lighthouse, written a poem, drank milky tea as he sat gazing into the sea and talked to four or five different, aspiring poets including a lady called Dian, however the day was cut short as the tourists and residents turned to crazed freaks, conversations to screams and smiles to scorns. He ran with all his mighty sixties strength along the coastline, and met the bunker, open and abandoned, yet moderately furnished with a single bed and cabinet of books and candles, but no pencils.

April turned to May, and the hot weather turned to torture. He resorted to drinking a small sip of water a day and nibbling on a pack of cream crackers that were in the bunker. Food and water would run out tomorrow or the next day. He had read the Oxford Dictionary and skimmed the mammoth book of English Towns and Counties with a full two-hundred-page coloured photo addition.

George sagged over towards the single bed and sat down, the metal frame creaked beneath his frail body, down at least three pounds this week. He had to defecate and urinate in the corner. Basically, he was stuck in a fifteen by fifteen cold, concrete box. The hard mattress pushed against his arthritic hips; this was a deathly existence. He picked at the scab on his elbow, blood trickled down his forearm and he dabbed his thumb in the wound.

George stepped over towards the thudding bunker door and began to inscribe the next poem on the wall, in blood. The blood stained the concrete nicely, it began to take form, the long sentences tilting towards the floor and the words beginning to sink in, there was hope and it was in the form of courage.

He stepped back to admire the poem and a tear ran down his mucky cheek. It read: for the sun fades over the hill, only to return the next morning, for you to will sink into darkness before finding the light.

It was his most powerful set of words, and he listened to the creatures outside and cheered and jumped to the ceiling. This frail old man was not done yet, he had gallons of life to give and he wasn’t going to give up this opportunity life just yet. He scrambled over to his heap of clothes and began to dress. His ragged blue jeans, and grey sweater had collected dust and smelt of cigarettes, even though he didn’t smoke. He checked his pockets, pulled a filthy tissue and wiped the blood from his thumb. The hammering on the door stopped and he heard the birds in the distance and smelt the salty breeze of the sea creeping through the gaps in the stone walls.

‘Nelson Mandela, I learned that courage was not the absence of fear. But the triumph over it.’ George glared at the steel door, and marched over with intention, a fire raging in his empty belly, a scouring trickle of doubt shading over his neck and caressing his mind. Turn back, it says, don’t do it, his conscious yells, or his primal brain of no use now. He turns the locks; they clunk, and rattle and he slide the locks open. The last bolt and then pulls the door open.


The Last Day


It’s a scorching May day and Lenise hikes along the cliffs of Wales, bordering the town of Mumbles. The lighthouse is in the distance. Her feet ache after walking for miles with no safety, no shelter. Her thirty-year-old dreams of trekking the world slashed when her hostel was overrun with raving lunatics, they ate one another, and she darted out and never looked back.

She stops and rests on a rock overlooking the sea, the salty air whipping against her face and the wind blowing her brunette locks over her face. She wipes her hair aside, wondering how much longer she can continue. Her hiking trousers, with a dozen empty pockets, had begun to rub very harshly on her thighs. Her waterproof jacket weighed heavily on her athletic arms and her rucksack pulled down on her now ailing shoulders. She gazed into the sun as it reached mid-day, beating upon the ocean, shimmering in the distance.

Lenise continued, walking over the dry, cracking grassy ground, through oddly shaped rocks and loose stones until she could see the town in its full glory. What she wouldn’t give to be back in Lithuania, or to be in another country. Her father would be sat at home worried, but she was strong and with each step disarmingly paced along the well-beaten weeds towards the outskirts of town, hoping there was some shelter untouched. Crows squawked overhead, their squeals for food alerting her to a crowd of maniacal undead wandering around a rectangular stone structure.

Her eyes could see a man, he was dressed as a teacher, a wizard. His greying hair waving in the wind. Lenise had to get to him, she needed to find someone because her boredom and fear were taking over. She cowards around a boulder, the moss sprouting out of the cracks as she brushes her cheek along the rock to see the man. She is not going yet. She recounts her trip, her destinations and goals. She had yet to see Manchester, Edinburgh and London, France or Madrid and instead was trying to keep her hair out of her eyes as the wind grew stronger, more forceful as if fighting an invisible dragon.

‘You are a brave young girl,’ she said aloud, repeating the words her father had spoken to her before her departure. They were a small family and had come through bad times to arrive at this great separation, this great test of her skills, youth, adventure and ambition. ‘But it feels like the last day,’ she whispers, her voice barely audible among the gushing wind.

Her gaze never leaves the frail old man, whose face is scrunched as he lashes at the creatures, before the pummel him to the floor and begin to pile on him. She can see, and squints, half covering her ivy eyes as he is ripped apart, crying out for help. She hears the end of what he screams, and tears roll down her cheeks, he yells: sink into darkness before finding the light.

He was a brave man, and she takes a few minutes to compose herself and dry her eyes. Her eyeliner has washed down her neck, but she manages to wipe it off. His words were wise, to find the light after sinking into darkness. The wind, birds, sea and earth seemed to stand still as Lenise felt a wave of deadly excitement wash over her. She looked towards the lighthouse. A hope.

‘I must get there,’ she says. It is almost too late, when the creatures sneak up on her, three of them. Each bloodied and gnawing and tearing at her jacket, but she is stronger, faster and tugs away, breaking free and heading valiantly along the meadow grassland towards the lighthouse. The browning sand on her right, she darts towards it, more creatures appear. She cries out, tears blinding her as she runs with all her might, her thighs shaking from the chafing, from the fatigue. With each plodding leap she sinks deeper into the sand, the waterlogged beach.


Chopper News


‘I see them, down there,’ Michael says to himself. He flies the helicopter over the lighthouse, over the small bunker on the outskirts of the welsh town. He looks over the corroded rocks and wet sand. A woman struggles through the tide sneaking up on her. Michael knows she’s going to die, and he is helpless to do anything. What can he do? He can’t land!

The sun blinds his eyes, and he pushes the yoke forward and the chopper flies along the coastline. Michael feels the stomach-churning anxiety riding his chest. He grasps the yoke hard, yet his sticky palms cause him to lose grip. The chopper flies faster and faster, he manoeuvres the helicopter round to get another look at the woman, she was young, with a huge backpack, she should have got rid of it. The wind picked up and Michael fought to keep the helicopter level as he began to descend over the grasslands in front of the lighthouse.

‘She’s alive, my god,’ Michael whispers. His hands shake with the adrenaline pumping through his veins. He’s going to rescue her. The helicopter touches down on the grass and he thumbs a few light switches and slows the throttle some more.

She looks toward him, and Michael removes his headset. She is struggling, limping through the sand, the creatures gaining. Her face an expression of muddled fear. He waves her in, and she sees him, thank god. Her strength is unbelievable, and Michael takes the chance to hop out of the chopper, the rotor blades still spinning. He ducks down and begins to leap across the grass where the sand meets the mud.

‘Come on!’ he shouts. Her legs are shaking, and she heaves her backpack off, but it’s too late and the dead people lunge on her, devouring her neck flesh, blood spurting onto the sand. Michael freezes and then gathers the courage to run back to the helicopter. He’s too late again, a group of two men in leather jackets and a woman wearing a black biker hat are snarling at him, wielding wrenches. Michael tries to run past but as one, they lift their wrenches and bring them down hard on him, his lungs crush and his ribs crunch, he sighs and gasps as they beat his head. Darkness and the scent of burning candles surrounds him.

Michael wakes, his body aches, his face so sore to the touch it feels like he’s had his skin cut from his bone. He wriggles around the damp grass, mud smudging over his orange puffer coat. He sighs and his ribs crackle, each breath bringing up lugs of blood and mucous. Seagulls swoon overhead, whilst grey clouds accumulate and covet the sunlight. There are no dead, for now. His first thought was not the helicopter but getting orientated. The attackers had gone but been stupid enough to drop their jackets here before doing so. They wouldn’t get far on foot in chilly weather without a safe place to go.

Michael turns, of course the chopper is gone. He gazes up into the greying clouded sky and inhales the salty air. The day has been short, disturbed and completely unexpected. Inaudible groans begin to clamber across the wetlands, he shuts his eyes, sinking further into the mud, his coat rustling beneath his limp body.

‘Can’t give up,’ he says. He grabs his thighs and pulls himself up. His sagging eyes see the ghastly wound inflicted on him. He’s missing both feet from the knee down. He is in no pain, but shock. He falls back to the grass, the groans get louder, the dead people are closing in.

Soon enough, Michael inhales his last breath, clasps his palms and prays before five or six beasts pile on him and begin to devour him from stomach to spine.