Short Story

© 2009 Moronic Ox Literary Journal - Escape Media Publishers / Open Books
Moronic Ox Literary and Cultural Journal - Escape Media Publishers / Open Books                Advertise your book, CD, or cause in the 'Ox'
Novel Excerpts, Short Stories, Poetry, Multimedia, Current Affairs, Book Reviews, Photo Essays, Visual Arts                Submissions
About the Author:
Andrew Barber is a poet and writer of creative fiction. He is the reigning Poetry Rivals Slam Champion and his first anthology of poems, 'Hemp Fandango' will be published by Forward Press in the coming months. He has been writing for over 20 years. Influenced by writers as diverse as Douglas Adams, John Donne, Lewis Carroll, Roger Waters, Bob Dylan and Iain Banks, he tries to take the road less travelled in his writing, shining a light in unexpected places and casting shadows that only make sense when you see them peripherally with one eye closed and 'one hand waving free'. He is also trying to bring poetry to a wider audience by working as a poet in residence for EastEnders, a popular British soap opera, where he writes poems inspired by characters and stories in the show. His blog can be found here:

Other relevant links:
"Zombie Armada"
Andrew Barber

The earthquake was felt before it was heard. Tons of mud, thousands of tons, marched down the hillside like stormtroopers. Although Port-au-Prince was destroyed, nobody realised the real disaster was awaiting on the other side of the island. The Temple of Lumos, sealed off by slavers hundreds of years before, had been exposed to the air, and the indigenous micro-organism used by Haiti's voodoo priests to reanimate corpses as zombies was now carried by the Caribbean trade winds to the piles of the dead, one hundred thousand of them.
Soon, they began to rise, each new recruit adding to the hive mind, adding the memories of the dead and those of their prey to the commonality of knowledge shared among them. Soon there was an army of zombies, each as smart as all of them, each gaining new insights and knowledge with every new brain consumed. And soon, one hundred thousand zombies marched to the docks, took over the US Navy cruisers distributing aid and headed for the high seas.
In the Oval Office, president Valerie Schrodinger sat at Lincoln's desk with her head in her hands. “Run this by me again. Five cruisers with F14s and nuclear missiles have been hijacked by... zombies?”
General Erwin Bracewell hadn't signed up for this, but had been trained to think on his feet. “We are not referring to them as 'zombies', madam president. Our intelligence shows that they are mortally displaced amorphous organisms and...”
Schrodinger raised a hand. “Yes, and I'm sure you call a spade a 'hand-held terrain relocation device' as well, but it doesn't actually get us anywhere, does it? These creatures are intelligent. They must be able to control some very sophisticated equipment just to get the ships out of dock. Have we tried communicating with them?”
The General spoke some commands into his headset and the video screen cut to the bridge of the USS Schwarzenegger. In the captain's chair sat a figure, skin falling from his cheek like a half-peeled orange, eyes the negative of bloodshot, more blood than pupil. And through a machete gash in its shoulder, blood somehow defied gravity and logic to spurt from one side of a severed artery to another.
“Greetings, madam president. I have been awaiting your call”. The voice rasped like a guitar through a broken speaker. “We need to discuss your treatment of my people”
The president fought the urge to gag, and kept her voice level. “Your people?”
The creature on screen spoke again. “The dead. For millennia, you have oppressed us, thrown us away when we were of no use to you, buried and burnt us and let our memory fade. We have the right to live too. We greatly outnumber the living. We have the right to make a stand, we have the motive, and now we have the means as well. You may know that our fleet has twenty nuclear missiles, each with a range of over three thousand miles. But I'm sure we can reach an agreement. Which cities don't you want? LA? Washington? New York? Miami?”
Now You Can
Follow Moronic Ox
everyday on
Andrew Barber
Like the general, the president had learnt to think on her feet. But this time, it didn't really help her. Negotiating with an armada of zombies who have nuclear capabilities was not something anyone should have to deal with. And the presence of nuclear missiles precluded just blowing them out of the water. Radioactive detritus would wash up all over the area, especially Florida. They may have stolen the election for Bush and ushered in his retarded theocracy, but as a punishment, it was probably overkill.
“Madam president? Are you still there?”. Again, the rasping voice, redolent of glue and dust and sandpaper.
And then, miraculously, it stopped, and the speaker slumped in his chair. All around him, the screen showed his shipmates falling over, rotting visibly or walking blindly into the furniture of the bridge. The zombies had planned for everything, except their food supply. The open water did not provide a fresh supply of human brains, and without them, their metabolism started to fail, and with it their slender grasp on life.
The president called for her hairdresser, signalled for the press conference to start, and calmly used the incident to justify an invasion of Iran.
Director & Animator
Aaron Quinn
explores the macabre
in classic literature

Coming in October 2010
in association with
Open Books

Open Book Adventure

Animated interpretations of some of literature's
more gruesome stories:

"The Tell Tail Heart"

The Strange Case of Doctor Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde

A Picture of
Dorian Grey

Release Date:
October 31, 2010