By Robert W. Caldwell

Joey woke up, but you could hardly say he had really slept, if there is such a thing as sleep when you are a zombie. Rain had poured down on him during the night because a large part of the roof was missing. He thought, “I aught to fix it.” But Zombies don't fix things.

He rose and looked around for a chicken. They are hard to catch but with practice he had learned to sneak up on them. He grabbed one and ate it. One was enough. He needed to save his appetite for later.

Joey stumbled out of the ruined house into a bleak landscape. Dead trees reached into the sky but signs of new life were already appearing if he had been inclined to notice the green of new growth around the base of the trees, the patches of new grass, and wildflowers.

He hobbled along to Jill's house. A neighbour was out pushing a mower over the weeds. Joey croaked, “Hi,” and the neighbour responded with a feeble wave. 

Joey continued to hobble along to Jill's house passing a neighbour whose house was more complete trying to play basketball with his son, but he could barely hold the ball and toss it. The son picked up the ball and tried to throw it into the net-less ring but it fell far short. “My game is improving,” croaked the boy.

Joey hobbled along to Jill's house. He saw Andy walking into the ruins of an office building  Andy held a brief case that hung open because the lock was broken. Andy sat down on a desk that had a computer with a cracked screen on it and began pounding on the keyboard. 

Joey continued to hobble along to Jill's house. As he approached the standing walls he saw the mouth watering sight of a horse. But eating it was off limits because Jill used to enjoy riding. Upon reaching the house he stood outside. There was no door to knock on and no doorbell to ring. Finally he just walked in.

Jill moaned “Hi,” and stumbled toward Joey. She gave him an awkward embrace. “I can barely feel you,” she moaned.

“We must go through the motions,” Joey moaned.

They walked over to a cow that sat under a dead oak tree. It wasn't as satisfying as a human, but it would have to do, since there were no humans left. Joey had a remembrance of the taste of fresh human meat. “You do the honours,” moaned Joey.

“No. You,” moaned Jill.

Joey tore the head off the cow and handed it to Jill. She slurped up half the brain and handed it back. Joey consumed the other half and then pulled out the eyeballs. Jill didn't like those. Then they both sucked blood out of the carcass and finished off eating some of the meat. Some buzzards gladly finished the rest. 

Joey took Jill's hand and they did a stumbling walk through the field. The couple decided to lay down against a giant dead oak tree. Leaning against each other and holding hands they stared at the beautiful scenery, what little their dead eyes could make of it. 

“I can barely feel you,” groaned Jill.

“I can barely feel you too, but I remember feeling.”

“I remember feeling too. We must not forget.”  

“I once loved you.”

“And I once loved you too.”

Both groaned in unison, “We must not forget love.”

rocket crux 2 75

About the Author

robert caldwell 200Robert grew up in Birmingham Alabama. Diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome as an adult he is a self-advocate who speaks at conferences, serves on the Autism Support Alabama board, and serves on the Alabama Interagency Coordinating Council.

He has two cats, a yin and a yang, Bandit, a large black male, and Trouble a small white female. Unfortunately, they don't get along well.

He is a photographer, collects old photographs, and has a green thumb. He grows carnivorous plants, pitcher plants, sundews, and venus fly traps.

You can find his books on Amazon which include stories previously published on Antipodean.

Issue Contributors

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Meet the Narrators

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    michelle walker32My time at Nambucca Valley Community Radio began back in 2016 after moving into the area from Sydney.

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  • Emma Gill

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  • Juliette Cavendish

    juliette cavendish 200Juliette Cavendish was born in Liverpool UK and is of Welsh and Norwegian heritage. Juliette has an interest in Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Science and writes in both Science Fiction and Contemporary Fiction genres. Juliette was fascinated with space as a

  • Geraldine Borella

    geraldine borella 200Geraldine Borella writes fiction for children, young adults and adults. Her work has been published by Deadset Press, IFWG Publishing, Wombat Books/Rhiza Edge, AHWA/Midnight Echo, Antipodean SF, Shacklebound Books, Black Ink Fiction, Paramour Ink Fiction, House of Loki and Raven & Drake

  • Laurie Bell

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    She is also the author of "White Fire" (Sci-Fi) and "The Good, the Bad and the Undecided" (a

  • Tim Borella

    tim borellaTim Borella is an Australian author, mainly of short speculative fiction published in anthologies, online and in podcasts.

    He’s also a songwriter, and has been fortunate enough to have spent most of his working life doing something else he loves, flying.

    Tim lives with his wife Georgie in beautiful Far

  • Mark English

    mark english 100Mark is an astrophysicist and space scientist who worked on the Cassini/Huygens mission to Saturn. Following this he worked in computer consultancy, engineering, and high energy research (with a stint at the JET Fusion Torus).

    All this science hasn't damped his love of fantasy and science fiction. It has, however, ruined his

  • Ed Errington

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    His efforts at wallaby wrangling are without parallel — at least in this universe.

    He enjoys reading and writing science-fiction stories set within intriguing, yet plausible contexts, and invite readers’ “willing suspension of

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    alistair lloyd 200Alistair Lloyd is a Melbourne based writer and narrator who has been consuming good quality science fiction and fantasy most of his life.

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  • Marg Essex

    marg essex 200Margaret lives the good life on a small piece of rural New South Wales Australia, with an amazing man, a couple of pets, and several rambunctious wombats.

    She feels so lucky to be a part of the AntiSF team.


  • Barry Yedvobnick

    barry yedvobnick 200Barry Yedvobnick is a recently retired Biology Professor. He performed molecular biology and genetic research, and taught, at Emory University in Atlanta for 34 years. He is new to fiction writing, and enjoys taking real science a step or two beyond its known boundaries in his

  • Sarah Pratt

    sarah pratt 200Sarah Pratt is an avid fiction writer and a Marketing Consultant.

    She is currently working on her first novel but loves diving into short stories to bring a little lightness, intrigue or humour to the day.

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  • Sarah Jane Justice

    Sarah Jane Justice 200Sarah Jane Justice is an Adelaide-based fiction writer, poet, musician and spoken word artist.

    Among other achievements, she has performed in the National Finals of the Australian Poetry Slam, released two albums of her original music and seen her poetry