SHE’S A BITER • by Stephanie Kincaid

I think Grandma is a zombie. She never talks; she just kind of grunts and moans. She also smells really bad, and she slobbers a lot. It’s not that big of a change, really. But I’m still pretty sure she’s a zombie.

I don’t say anything about it to Mom and Dad, because I don’t think I’m supposed to know. Adults think kids are so dumb. Unobservant, that’s what they think I am. Bet they don’t even know I know that word. I have a lot of time to read, hiding in the basement all day, and I learn all kinds of words.

For instance, I learned that another thing you can call a zombie is a revenant, which means somebody who comes back from the dead.  You’d think that would be a good thing, since you’d get to see family and friends you haven’t seen in a while, with them not being alive and all.  But when the dead people started coming back, they didn’t want friends anymore.  They just wanted dinner.

That’s why we live in the basement. The zombies think the house is empty, because nothing ever moves up there, and they can’t hear us or smell us down here. Mom and Dad bought a lot of canned food when the news stories about the zombies started, so we have plenty, at least for now. Mom makes some kind of smoothie for Grandma in the blender every night. I don’t know what’s in it, but it looks nasty, and it smells worse.

Dad thinks somebody is going to find a cure someday. He says the government knew about the disease before it ever got out, and they might even have an antidote already, just not enough to fix everybody yet. Mom says Dad is full of it. I don’t know what “it” is, but it doesn’t sound good.

I think that’s why he brought Grandma down here. When we started living in the basement, he went to the nursing home and came back with Grandma. That was when I first thought she might be a zombie. He’d never made her ride in the trunk before. I think Dad hopes that if we keep Grandma down here, she won’t get shot for biting people, and the doctors will be able to make her better someday.

Grandma is very cold, and her skin feels icky and fake, but I kiss her goodnight anyway. Even though I’d bet a whole year’s allowance that she’s a zombie, she’s really well behaved. She’s never tried to bite me or Dad, and she’s only tried to bite Mom once or twice. (Mom says “See, I knew she never approved of me.”) She mainly wanders around stumbling into things. She doesn’t even mind if I make her up like a clown with Mom’s makeup. Mom isn’t wild about that, though.

The most interesting thing about Grandma, back when she was alive, was her teeth. The first time she took them out, I was awestruck. Awestruck is what you are when people do amazing things like taking the teeth out of their heads or coming back from the dead… although that one isn’t that impressive anymore. Anyway, that’s why even though I secretly know that Grandma is a zombie, I’m not afraid of her. I don’t know where Dad hid her teeth, and neither does Grandma.

Stephanie Kincaid is a California transplant who now resides in Oklahoma with her calamity-prone but much loved husband. She enjoys everything from great literature to terrible horror movies.

Rate this story:
 average 5 stars • 1 reader(s) rated this

Every Day Fiction

  • Great story. Loved the POV.

  • Good voice.

  • There seems to be a typo in the second line of the second to the last paragraph: “Even thought…” should be “Even though,” shouldn’t it? You can delete this message once it’s corrected (if it is indeed a mistake), if you like.

  • I enjoyed this, especially the end, even though in the beginning it reminded me of that Will Smith Starrer – “legend” I think it was called?

  • Cat

    😀 I *love* this. The bit with the dad thinking about the government put me in mind of World War Z, and the concept of Grandma being a “good” zombie brought to mind the end of Shaun of the Dead. The kid’s voice was fantastic, too. Excellent work, well done.

    PS. Rumjhum, the film is called I Am Legend.

  • Bob

    It’s cute, and it’s well-written. It’s the cleverest zombie story I’ve seen in a long while.

    . . . but it’s still a zombie story.

  • Fabulously clever! I love the way the Stephanie conveyed the chilly relationship between mother- and daughter-in-law without specifically addressing it.

    The best zombie story I’ve read in longer than I can remember!

  • haha – great, consistent, entertaining POV! I loved the punchline.

  • Loved it! You nailed the POV character…drew me in right away. I didn’t want it to end. Great job!

  • J.C. Towler

    Well conceived and a clever plot twist with grandma’s teeth. The influence of the “terrible horror movies” is clear, though without the associated terrible writing.



  • tigerlily

    Great story, a zombie tale with a difference. 5 stars.

  • Cindy Lu

    I never get tired of zombie stories. I did have this big question in my mind about why they let grandma wonder around, then you answered it perfectly: Grandma had no teeth. Brilliant.
    I like the way the POV stays in character. Nice. Writing like a child isn’t easy.
    Only one question: How come the zombies couldn’t hear them or smell them? The story needs one little sentence of explanation there.

  • Douglas Campbell

    This is really funny and cute – nice work!

  • Brilliant! Effing brilliant! Lovely story with a strong POV and great voice. Excellent!

  • Excellent writing in the idiomatic speech of a youngster who, with the overactive imagination of a restricted child, doesn’t yet realize that his swinger grandma, no longer having the energy to get attention her old way, does it another.

  • Margie

    I am sooooooo tired of zombie stories, but, this one actually made me laugh. A zombie with missing dentures! How great is that?!!

  • Goatboy

    hahaahahah Loved it!!! Poor dead nanny gum gums hahah

  • Nicely done. 5 stars

  • Another four stars story. Thanks I can relate except I haven’t lost my teeth yet!

  • I love this story. At last, a zombie story with a difference. I notice the typo that Christopher mentioned hasn’t been fixed yet. It must be “though”, as “thought” doesn’t make sense.
    But apart from that, three thumbs up! (My two and one from the revenant next door.)

  • Patrick D’Orazio

    Cute little story! Can you actually say that about a zombie story? Well, whatever, I just did. 😉

  • Excellent!

  • Typo fixed; thanks to Christopher and Ian for noticing it.

  • Kendra

    I loved this. Thanks for making me laugh, and a bigger thank you for a really great zombie story.

  • Jennifer Griffith

    This was great–engaging, funny, and a ‘must-share’!

  • laura

    fun read. thanks for sharing. i would only suggest some dialog up top and througout to intersperse with the narrative, maybe with grandma? very cool point of view. love the kid’s take on vocab and naivete.

  • Autumn

    Great Story! Loved every bite of it!

  • Jen

    I’m not usually a fan if zombie stories, but I loved this one. It reminded me of my favouite zombie movie “Fido.” The way the author capyured a child’s voice and point of view was great. I think the story would’ve been just as good without the denture pubchline though.

  • john cocktosten

    out fucking standinbd!!!!! their just arnt enough stars to heap upon this little one!

  • john cocktosten

    standing that is sorry stroke victim !

  • John

    Excellent little story! Thanks. It was very entertaining.

  • Marian

    My creative writing students enjoyed your story. They found it a bit confusing at times, but overall — liked the point of view and the zombie concept. :~)

  • Kahleen Cassen Mickelson

    This was a riot! Perfect for a Friday after lunch….

  • Rob

    Gave me a good laugh this morning.

  • Hilarious! I just had my wisdoms out, so I guess I’d be less of a threat, too. 🙂

  • Scott Walker

    Well Done! Nicely woven, whimsical tapestry…an excellent example of the adolescent thought process. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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