Short Story #27: The First Day of the Dead

Smart Car Dumb Dude

27 The First Day of The Dead short story horror

Short Story Writer’s Journal: (May Contain Spoilers)

I tell you this up front. I don’t read much horror genre these days. Seen some horror flicks, coz my sig. other is a fan but that’s about it.

So I was more than surprised when this short story took on a dark and sinister tone that I can only place as horror. Yes, various influences and interests are probably at work on me subconsciously and the trick is to tune in and run with then, rather than second guess what the story wants to be.

This time around I suspect that Richard Matheson’s stories are bubbling away in a deep neural net, along with the processing of a recent family bereavement. Strong emotions seem to be a rich seam of creative ideas waiting to be plucked and strummed into dots and squiggles on the screen. At least, I like to think so.

I wrote this short story in a total of six hours across two days and starting with but a single one-word theme. No character. No plot. No bloody clue where it was going until I got around 800 words in and figured out this was death and murder and redemption all wrapped up in a bloody red bow.

It is what it is.

2020 Update: This story now appears in my second short fiction collection, Brain Read, under the title: “Reliving the First Day of the Dead.”


(A summary listing of all short stories in this challenge can be found by clicking 52-in-52.)