Zombicorn Short Fiction Contest RESULTS (part 3 – FIRST PLACE STORY!)

I know I said I’d wait to post this story til tomorrow, but I’m finding myself caving to the unbelievable pressure I’m receiving on twitter.

YOU GUYS ARE THE WORST!

Okay, that’s a lie.  I’m totally thrilled that there has been SO MUCH interest in this contest, and I got a little weepy the other night when I was looking over all the great stories we received.

For realsies, every single one was a home run, HOWEVER this first place story was a unanimous favourite.  No joke, when Susie, Amy and I pooled our scores from the rubric, this one only beat out second place by HALF A POINT.  AND it had a nearly perfect score (47.5/48).

I think you’ll all love it, too.

Without further ado, your first place zombicorn story was written by…

EMMA WOLF!

She even commented the day before she sent this in that she didn’t think her story was coming together, but we are pleased to inform her that she was SO. VERY. WRONG.

CONGRATULATIONS, EM!

*

Don’t mess with the Zombicorn. You’ll get the Zombihorn.

Janie was playing with her My Little Ponies again. How childish, Billy thought. He didn’t remember playing with baby toys when he was seven. He walked up to his little sister and sneered. “It’s so boring here!” he complained for the one thousandth time this summer. He threw himself down next to her and started tearing up the grass.

Janie frowned condescendingly. “Why don’t you read a book?”

Billy swatted at a mosquito. “I read all mine already.”

“Do you want to borrow one of mine?”

He looked scandalized. What sort of horrible girly books did Janie bring on their vacation?

“Do you want to play ponies with me?”

Billy rolled his eyes but picked up a white horse anyway. Not a horse, he realized as he brushed the long purple mane aside. A unicorn. “Why do you play with these things?”

Janie shrugged. “They’re fun.” She made her pony prance over to his.

Billy threw the unicorn in the dirt disgusted.

“Stop! You’ll hurt her!”

Billy picked the unicorn back up and swung her around by her hair. “Don’t be stupid! She’s not real.”

Janie grabbed the unicorn from her brother’s hands. “Don’t say that!” she hissed frantically. “She told me that every time someone says unicorns aren’t real, a unicorn dies!”

Billy raised one eyebrow at her. It was a skill that he had perfected with hours of practice in front of the mirror. He looked just like their father when he did it, and he knew how mad it made Janie. She still couldn’t do it. “Good thing unicorns aren’t real then. That way I don’t have to worry about killing them when I say they aren’t real.”

“That’s three unicorns you just killed! She’ll be so mad!”

He snatched the unicorn back from his sister. “She’s not real!” he repeated, punctuating each word by banging her horn into the ground. When he was through abusing her, he tossed her back to his sister.

“Not her, dork,” she said, brushing the unicorn’s tortured hair. “The unicorn, I mean. The real one.”

Suddenly, as though she were late for something, Janie shoved her toys away in her backpack. “Do you want to see her?” There was such childlike honesty and excitement in her voice. She showed him the apples and carrots she had in her bag. “I told her I’d bring her these for lunch. Do you want to come?”

Billy rolled his eyes again. His mother told him to be patient with his sister. She had a very active imagination. But what about telling Janie to be patient with him? Billy didn’t want to listen to her nonsense.

“You’re the one who’s bored,” Janie said after Billy didn’t answer.

“Fine. I’ll come see your stupid unicorn. What’d you do? Staple a dildo to one of Uncle Stacey’s horses’ head?”

“What’s a dildo?”

Billy didn’t want to admit that he didn’t know either. He had only heard some of the older boys talking about them down by the lake.

“Well, if you don’t know,” he said superiorly.

Janie led them to the old barn at the edge of their uncle’s property. Blistered red paint covered the rotting walls. Uncle Stacey had told them to keep away, that it was dangerous. Janie marched on, but Billy hesitated.

“What, are you chicken?” Janie taunted her brother.

“No. I just don’t want to risk my neck for whatever prank you’re pulling.”

Janie tucked her thumbs under her armpits and flapped. “Brawwwk!”

“Shut up!” he said and pushed her.

“Then come on!” She grabbed his hand and opened the door to the old barn.

He was hit with the overwhelming smell of bubble gum and cotton candy. A shining white horse with blue and pink spots on her hip and a silver mane and tail lay on the hay. And of course a horn that shone like platinum. Billy was amazed but didn’t want to admit that to his sister. “Did you kill one of Stacey’s horses and paint her?”

“She’s not dead! She’s sleeping!”

“Horses sleep standing up, stupid.”

Janie gasped horrified. She dropped her backpack and ran to the unicorn’s head, putting her face near hers. “She’s not breathing!” She turned to her brother. “You! You said unicorns aren’t real! I told you it kills them, and it did!” Janie started to sob hysterically. “You killed her!”

“How was I to know you were being serious for once? Calm down, Janie!” He hugged her with the awkwardness of a guilty older brother.

But she wouldn’t calm down. She would run home to tell their mother, and Billy would be in trouble again, even though he didn’t do anything. They always blamed him for everything.

A light bulb went off above his head. “I know! Clap your hands!”

Janie wiped her eyes. “That only works with fairies, stupid.”

Billy shrugged but continued to clap his hands. “Maybe it will work on all magical creatures.”

Janie frowned but clapped anyway. She didn’t know what would be worse: having to admit her brother was right or having the unicorn die on her.

The silver tail gave a small shudder. “It’s working!” Billy gasped! He clapped faster and faster.

Janie went back to the unicorn’s head. She had opened her sapphire eyes. They looked milky and sad. “Come on, girl.”

Neither of them noticed as the unicorn turned a dull gray, her blue and pink spots changing to black and purple, her mane and tail a sickly gray blue, and her horn the hue of rusty iron. Not until it was too late. Not until after the unicorn had risen from the dead.

She stood up and shook herself. She stared at Billy with her cloudy eyes. He got the uncomfortable feeling that this undead unicorn, this magical creature twice over, could look into his soul and see that he was the reason why she had died.

“I brought you apples,” Janie stammered.

The unicorn zombie snorted.

“I don’t think that’s what she wants anymore.”

“Ca…carrots?”

Billy shook his head. Couldn’t she hear the voice in her head like he did? It was terrible. Like tinkling silver bells that had once been beautiful but were now busted and broken and rang dead and out of tune. Telling him that he did it. He killed her with his lack of belief. “Easy girl,” Billy tried.

The unicorn zombie stamped her feet and neighed. More of a screech than a whinny.

“Let’s get out of here!” Billy cried as he turned to run.

But he couldn’t out run a horse, dead or alive. He felt the terrible iron horn plunge through his back. He saw it poke out from his stomach. And if that weren’t bad enough, he felt her pull it back with a yank.

Billy collapsed to the ground, soaking the hay with his blood.

Zombicorn Short Fiction Contest RESULTS (part 2)

Sorry for dragging this out (BUT NOT REALLY) – I had planned on writing this big long intro here, to make everyone sweat while they waited (or just scrolled quickly through to see who won second place), but I decided to be kind.

Plus, it’s July 4th, and I know most of you in the US have PLANS and SCHEMES so I wouldn’t want to keep you from them.

I do, however, really want you to read this story we have for you today….written by…

HEATHER D OF BECOMING CLICHE!

Congratulations, Heather.  We really loved your story, and we’re proud of you for stepping so far outside of your comfort zone to write it.

*

God didn’t have anything on him. It may have taken six days for God to create the world, but his masterpiece had only taken three. He gazed with satisfaction at his creation, a smug smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. The door opened behind him despite the blaze of red warning lights, but he did not turn, his attention focused on his magnum opus.

“Dear God, what is that?” breathed Col. Sanchez, eyes riveted on the creature curled on the floor of the mesh and glass containment unit before him.
Johansen smiled, unblinking. “My latest and greatest,” he answered, pride in every syllable.

“Is that – - “ Sanchez stood staring in disbelief. “Is that a unicorn? Where did it come from? Did you make it?” His knees buckled feebly, and he sank into the vacant chair leaning against the instrument panel for support.

Johansen smirked. With no imagination and absolutely lacking in nerve, how did this weakling ever work his way through the ranks to become a full colonel?

“It’s a unicorn, certainly,” Johansen said, not troubling to hide his contempt. “I found it, yes, but I’ve enhanced it, shall we say.”

“How did you find it?” Sanchez asked, unable to tear his eyes away from the travesty before him. As he watched, the animal attempted to stand, dainty hooves sliding on the tile floor of its prison.

Johansen gazed at it with affection more appropriate to a newborn kitten than to the pathetic being struggling its feet. Losing its balance, it tumbled into the metal bars, shearing a chunk of flesh from its shoulder, a wound that did not bleed. Sanchez recoiled visibly.

“Finding it was the easy part,” Johansen replied, untroubled by the animal’s apparent injury.  “The toughest bit was finding the virgin to lure it. Kids these days! “ He chuckled to himself.

“What did you do to it?” Sanchez demanded.  “It looks like some kind of zombie!”

Johansen didn’t answer but continued watching the creature’s progress. Finally on its feet, it slowly paced the perimeter of its enclosure, the placement of each pearly hoof deliberate and controlled.

“I knew it would be different,” he whispered. “Our human subjects blunder about so. They never learn. All brawn and very little brain.”

At this, Sanchez pulled his eyes away from the slow pacing of the wretched animal and stared at Johansen.

“You’ve done this to people?” he whispered in disgust. “How could you – ? Who gave you – ?”

“The authority?” Johansen smirked. “Your beloved commander-in-chief. We’ve been working on this for years.  Oh,” he said with a wave of his hand. “Not real people. Criminals. Mostly death-row inmates. They volunteered.  Better undead than dead, right?” Sanchez didn’t laugh at his joke, but Johansen hadn’t expected him to.  He went on. “It works out better that way, really. The virus we use,” he indicated the empty vials on the table beside him. “works by destroying most of the brain. For unknown reasons, the temporal lobes are left relatively intact. Those are the parts of the brain that make you, well, you,” he added, speaking slowly as though explaining his experiment to a very small child. “When the subject is reanimated with atropine, they have retained the essence of who they were.  So inmates are the most effective subjects. “

“But why a unicorn?”

“They’re pure at heart. The very essence of a unicorn is gentleness. I wanted to confirm my theory that the virus simply enhances what is there.  If my theory is correct, a unicorn will be passive and pliable. And look ,” He gestured at the graceful silver animal in the cage. “the difference is tremendous. Human subjects have already tried to rip out my heart by now.”

“Violent criminals make the best zombies…Our president agreed to this?”  Sanchez gasped, two and two colliding in his brain and shattering into four. “An army?”

Johansen smiled benignly. Maybe Sanchez wasn’t as stupid as he looked.

“You can’t do this,” Sanchez continued. He backed slowly toward the door. Johansen sighed. He had suspected from the moment the colonel had entered the room that it would come to this. He pressed a button on the control panel and the bolt on the door snicked into place. He winked at the creature who now stood gazing at him from behind the glass with milk white eyes and turned slowly toward the retreating colonel.

Johansen reached into his belt and pulled out a handgun, wincing a bit at the cliché. Without a word, he pulled the trigger. His target jerked backward and crumpled to the floor.

Johansen laid the gun on the steel table and took one Colonel Sanchez by the foot, dragging him close to the animal’s enclosure. With the flip of a switch, a small panel at the bottom of the cage opened, and he shoved the corpse inside.

The unicorn regarded him calmly for a moment and then began to feed, cracking open Sanchez’s skull with one sharp kick. Johansen’s fascination faltered for a moment, and he put a hand to his mouth, revolted. He flipped the switch to close the panel and took a step back.

A unicorn. The purest and gentlest of creatures now feeding on a human brain, lapping greedily at the blood dripping from its muzzle. For the first time in perhaps his entire life, Johansen experienced a moment of doubt.

The animal finished its meal and turned its haunted eyes on him, studying him, unnerving him still further. It stepped toward him, its progress impeded by its prison.

“I’m sorry,” he stammered, grateful for the three inch thick plexiglass and steel bars that separated them. He needed to make this right. His hand fumbled for the antidote; a hefty dose of diazepam that would render this error of judgment a simple corpse.

The unicorn’s hind feet shot sideways, lightning quick and thunderous, a storm on the horizon. One of the thick metal bars gave way with a screech of steel. Johansen groped for the dart gun. His trembling hands sent it clattering to the floor. The gun went off, sending a dart deeply and painfully into his ankle. But not deep enough, the dart unloading its contents efficiently into his bloodstream.  He dropped to the floor.

The unicorn patiently sized up the walls of its enclosure. Another kick. Another bar fell. The click of dainty hooves on tile. He felt the creature’s cold breath on his neck and knew his theory was wrong.

Zombicorn Short Fiction Contest RESULTS (partially)

SOOOOOOOO!  I know you’re all just dying of the anticipation, wondering if it will be YOU AND YOUR STORY declared the winner of the FIRST EVER ZOMBICORN FICTION CONTEST (wait, why did I say first ever like this is a thing?  SHOULD WE MAKE IT A THING?!).

Sorry to say that we’ve decided to draw the suspense out just a liiiiiiiiiiitle more.  You’ll be getting the third place story today, second place tomorrow and the GRAND PRIZE WINNER on Friday.

Yes, third place, that means you won’t even know what you’ve won until all the winners have been announced.  

Super huge thanks to everyone that entered:

Corey (the only person to have TWO entries), Jane, David, Leila, Rae, CarolAnne, Kate, Emma, Janna, HD, Juan, Brett, Tony, Heather,  Chelsea and Gilly

All of the stories were FABULOUS, and it was really hard picking winners…which is why I have a surprise for everyone who entered and why you all need to get your mailing addresses to me AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

(and also – mega-thanks to Susie and Amy for both donating prizes and helping me judge.  You’ve both helped make my zombicorn story dreams come true)

I’d considered putting the name of the winner on a Page 2 for this post, but then decided against being completely evil.  You just want the story, right?

Here it is…

KATE SHERROD‘S THIRD PLACE ZOMBICORN STORY!

(everyone give Kate a round of applause, and compliment her on a zombicorn job well-done)

*

AMBUSH OF THE COMBIES

“Really, Adam? Is that really what’s important right now? The word order?” Katrina’s hand itched for something to throw at her cocky on-air talent. Not for the first time.

“Yes. There are dozens of listeners out there depending on us to get it right. Not to mention future historians, if anyone survives this. So which comes first? How are we describing them?”

“We haven’t even seen them.”

“Our callers have. And…” Adam checked a Post-It full of scribbles and tally marks, “Opinions are pretty evenly divided. And this song is almost over.”

“Christ. Call them whatever you want. Combies, for all I care. There. Call them combies.”

“Now that’s just silly.”

“Hold on, another call.”

“Put it on the air?”

“We’ll see.”

Katrina flipped an ill-aimed bird, bared her teeth at Adam, then abruptly put on her phone voice, the one that had gotten her the nickname of Jessica Rabbit. As in “I’m not bad, I just sound that way.”

“KIND radio, please hold,” she said.

“And we’re back, still encouraging all those kiiiiiiiiiind listeners out there to keep calling in your sightings of – of whatever these things are. Sexay Katrina and I have been discussing just that, folks. What do we call these creatures out there chasing the kids, tearing down fences, trampling lawns? We haven’t seen them. You’re our eyes and ears, listeners. Uh, so to speak. Caller, you’re on the air.”

“Adam? Uh, long time first time, is that… is that what I’m supposed to say?” The voice was small, young, high-pitched, and a little familiar. But didn’t they all sound familiar, in a town this small?

“Only if it’s true.”

“Well, um, anyway, there’s one of them right here.”

“One what?”

“One of those… things?”

“The, ah…” Katrina glared at him. “The creatures. Yes. What’s it doing?”

“Its head. It’s in my lap.”

Adam tried to ignore the sobs. He’d had enough melodrama for one morning.

“Aw, ain’t that nice?”

“No, you don’t… You don’t understand.” A definite throb in the little voice now.

“Sure I do, honey. I bet you’re still a sweet innocent little thing, aren’t you? I hear they like that.”

Still sobbing. “Yes.”

“And so it just loved you and trusted you and then –”

“And then it got up.”

“Just now?”

“No. It put its head in my lap and then it got up.”

“I thought you said –”

“It went away.”

“Aw, that’s too bad.”

“No!” Frustration through tears. “Its head is still in my lap.”

“Oh. So it, uh –”

“Uh huh.” Sniffles.

“…”

“I’m really scared.”

“What’s that noise, honey?”

Wet, meaty sounds mixed with the decaying ion static of the land line connection. Wherever the little one was, she was in a house somewhere. Or an office like theirs.

“Honey?”

Snaps and crackles and tears. Moans and screams. Then, in the background of that distant room, a pained cry of “Nooooo!”

“Honey? What’s going on?”

A new voice broke in.

“Is this the police? Did she call 911?”

“No, uh…”

“Get your asses over here.”

“Son, this –”

“NOW! Oh, fuck. Whatever, it’s too late. She’s dead. My sweet little… she was only eight…” More sobbing. So much sobbing today. And fear. And disbelief.

Adam heard a gunshot over the line. And –

“What. Is. Happening.”

“Adam,” Katrina broke in on the call. “Adam, I’m hearing this in two places.”

“No way,” Adam said, though he was, too, if he could admit it.

“Way. On here,” she pointed to the phone “And out there. In the lobby.”

“Wait…” Adam turned to the mic again. “Chris, is that you, man?” Chris was a local singer who had come in to play a guest spot over the noon hour.

And he’d brought his daughter.

“Yeah.” Shock had flattened out the young man’s voice.

“What happened to –”

“It… Oh, god. Come out and see. I can’t…”

“Sure thing. Uh, we’ll be right back, Kiiiiiiiiind listeners.” Adam hit play on a random track. “My baby’s got… two hands/My baby’s got… two feet…”

Adam and Katrina raced out of the recording studio. They hadn’t far to go.

It was an ambush. On one side of the lounge, a filthy horse’s body – with no head – reared up to attack. With astonishing speed, a thousand pounds of rotting flesh and blood-encrusted hooves came crashing down on Katrina, pinning her to the floor. Had it just now collapsed and finally died on top of her, or were the rumors they’d been hearing all morning true?

They were true.

Adam took the rest of the scene in with a glance. Distraught trapped on the wrong side of the creature and Katrina. Katrina under the unspeakable corpse that was, yes, still animated, actively working to keep her down. And Chris’s daughter, obviously dead as a rotting horse’s head – a horses’s head that, yes, sported a long and twisted horn, a horn it seemed to have recently used as a sort of trephine or bonesaw or something – took a last gnaw at her skull.

Adam lunged to help Katrina, but got a swift and breath-stealing kick from the creature’s hind leg for his pains. He fell to the floor, gasping for air, and watched helplessly as the head – that obscene, ridiculous, impossible head – leaped by its own power over to Katrina, helpless under the reeking, foul body, the body with no head that had kicked the wind from him.

The horn pierced Katrina’s skull before she could even scream, and Adam felt like he was going to retch, hearing the greedy sounds of the impossible feast. He struggled to rise to his feet, but got another kick for his pains, this one leaving him sure he’d suffered some broken ribs.

“Oh, Katrina.”

“I can’t believe it went for her,” Chris said in a quiet voice from across the room, barely audible over the sounds of chewing and tearing.

“What do you mean? Oh. Oh. So that part’s true, too?”

“You don’t see it attacking us. I mean apart from…”

“Ah. That. Oh…”

And Adam began to laugh, a crazy laugh of despair and disbelief. He laughed and laughed and laughed as the creature finished its meal. He kept on laughing as the creature’s head leaped back onto its body and the whole ridiculous, terrible thing trotted off, leaving a pile of unspeakable dung next to Katrina’s lifeless body.

Katrina had once drunkenly confessed to being horribly, inappropriately attracted to him. But when he offered to take her home with him, she had refused. Most adamantly. She wasn’t that kind of girl.

She really wasn’t that kind of girl.

“Oh, Katrina, you really were saving yourself,” Adam said, gasping again for air.

And he kept on laughing.

Zombicorn Fiction Contest is Closed

zombicorn prizes

  1. WOW, what a response!  Okay, so maybe 17 isn’t huge, but when you’re dealing with a niche-y subject like this – well, to be honest, I didn’t expect more than a handful of entries.  So seventeen is totally a big deal to me.
  2. We’re working on reading and scoring the entries right now.  Most have already been scored, but we had a few VERY last minute entries.  We’ll try to get the winners and their stories announced this week sometime (but prizes may not be sent out til the end of the month – both Susie and Amy have vacation plans in July).
  3. Can those of you who entered PLEASE send an email to me at dodisharkicorn (at) gmail with your addresses?  I may have a small thank you I’d like to send out to everyone who entered.
  4. Srsly, guys.  Thank you.  I’ve been complaining for over a year that I just wanted some zombicorns and you all gave them to me.  You rule.

Who Wants to Win Some Cool Stuff?

That’s right, together with Insatiable Booksluts, we here at Snobbery are having A FOR REALLY REALS OFFICIAL CONTEST!

Look, even Ron Fucking Swanson can’t contain his glee.

Maybe you guys remember, maybe you don’t – but I’ve been continually frustrated for a while now at the lack of zombieunicorn fiction available for me to read.

ZOMBIES AND UNICORNS ARE BOTH AWESOME, I WANT THEM TOGETHER!

This is where you come in, since YOU’RE going to be writing some zombieunicorn short fiction for US.  INORITE?  Isn’t that just the best?

THE RULES

  1. Send us an ORIGINAL work of zombie unicorn fiction using the contact form linked to below by midnight EDT, June 30.
  2. Your entry must be about a zombie that is also a unicorn (or a unicorn that is also a zombie – never say we aren’t flexible).
  3. Your ORIGINAL zombie unicorn piece must be a MAXIMUM of 1200 words.
  4. You may enter up to TWO pieces of ORIGINAL zombie unicorn fiction.  DOUBLE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING!
  5. Winners will be announced BY July 31 and the winning stories will be posted for everyone to read and marvel at how awesome you are.

“Yeah, that all sounds great, but the title of this post promises cool stuff?”

THE PRIZES

  • First Place will have A CHOICE.  They can choose from a Zombie Unicorn magnet (designed by Megiggles) AND a can of delicious unicorn meat OR a special Zombie Unicorn shirt designed by Susie of the Insatiable Booksluts.
  • Second Place will receive whichever prize package not chosen by the first place winner.
  • Third Place will receive ONE Zombie Unicorn magnet AND a ONE OF A KIND Zombie Unicorn created by the ever-so-talented Amy from Lucy’s Football.
  • EDITED TO ADD:  Based on popular request, First Place can choose from any of the three prizes, second can choose from the two that are left, and third gets whatever’s left.  BUT THEY ARE ALL GREAT, SO THIRD PLACE WILL BE AWESOME NO MATTER WHAT!
The Shirt

The Shirt

The Magnet

The Magnet

The Meat

The Meat

The Art

The Art

*Contest is open to everyone, even international users, so spread the word!

Questions?  Let us know in the comments!

~o~

Entries are now CLOSED