Strange radiation from space brings the newly dead back to life for reasons no one has time to explain. They come out of the ground in suits a year or two out of fashion, stumble from morgues naked except for little white tags, lurch mangled and jerky out of automobile accidents, plane crashes, train wrecks… There’s a lot of panic at first, but it turns out zombies only want one thing, and that’s love. No one’s really happy about it. No one wants to be loved by a zombie, and no one wants to love a zombie, but it could be worse. The zombies are polite, shy and sweet, a little bit romantic. They bring gifts, they sing songs, they write poems that aren’t very good, they avoid eye contact. The zombies have the advantage of numbers and recruitment. If they wanted something they could just take it, but they only seem to want honest love, sincere love, which is harder. Sometimes the zombies cry when they think no one can see them. It’s a horrible thing, dead eyes trying to weep through ducts dry as dust.

Of course there wouldn’t be any problem at all if the zombies would just date each other, but that never seems to occur to them.

Endless Frank

They took his mother one day. It was raining. He came downstairs to find her gone and a puddle of water growing underneath the broken window. He didn’t know why they hadn’t come into the house and gotten the rest of them. Nothing they did made any sense. Randall nailed a piece of plywood over the hole where the window used to be while he sat and thought about things. Randall didn’t say anything but he put his hand on his shoulder when he was done with the window. Randall had square, stubby fingers with wide nails. He liked Randall.

Sometimes he could hear his mother out there with Them, afterwards. She didn’t sound much like his mother but he recognized her voice. Sometimes shouting, sometimes laughing, sometimes crying. It always woke him up, if he was sleeping, and dragged him downstairs. He always opened the front door and stood looking out for as long as he could hear her. Randall got very angry when he found out. He might have had to leave, that was how angry Randall was, but one night he came downstairs and Randall was gone. The front door was open. After that he sometimes heard Randall’s voice, too, laughing, shouting, crying, just like his mother, out in the darkness with Them.