Dawn of the Dad

My submission for "The Dead" - an upcoming fiction podcast from the George A. Romero foundation and Bloody Disgusting.

Dawn of the Dad

Many of you sent me this submission page for a new fiction podcast simply called "The Dead," and I couldn't possibly have leapt faster. Not only am I a fan of the original George Romero "Dead" films, I've been involved in audio dramas for years, with Blackwood and Earth Break (did I ever mention it opened at Tribeca?)

The submission asks for a 100-word story submission, so I even got to exercise my micro-fiction skills from The Long Hallway.

On to the story:

Allie tiptoed down the hall, hearing the TV in the living room grow closer. Poking her head around the corner, her father's easy chair crept into view.

Allie's father was older. By no means did she think of him as an old man, but on nights where she snuck through the house after midnight, she always paused to double check if he was breathing.

Tonight, she was surprised to find his chair empty.

There was no breathing. Suddenly, he was beside her.

Allie's father wrapped his arms around his daughter, just before the bite.

The storm was only just beginning.

The site also asks "what does horror mean to you?" Guide to the Unknown listeners might know some of this already:

Horror is, perhaps surprisingly, community and comfort. I've long used the horror genre as a place to tell intensely personal stories, camouflaged as tales of monsters and maniacs.

Horror is part of everyday life!

Who DOESN'T keep themselves awake at night with worry? A good horror story can take that anxiety and represent it as the worst case scenario. And guess what? Real life can never be as horrifying as your imagination!

Cautionary tales teach us how we might pivot and avoid befalling a similar fate. George Romero's amazing stories warned humanity about social divide, the importance of community, and, of course, how to survive longer during the zombie apocalypse.

...Was anyone listening?

THAT'S the REAL concern, at the end of the day!

To that point, horror is endlessly important. We flex our creative muscles and prod the audience into listening.

Horror is a way of life, a joy, and something I will never stop being obsessed with.

Particularly in the middle of the night, when I notice those strange shadows under the bedroom door.

Thanks for reading, everyone! Whether I'm in or not, this was fun to do! I absolutely have a few zombie stories up my sleeve!