#AtoZChallenge A Drabble for a Tag: Conclusion – X, Y, and Z

X Marks the Spot

Mel

“I think, therefore I am.” Five little words to explain human existence. It’s become my mantra as I meander down the empty road.

I am still flesh, blood, bone; still mind coherent; still…human.

Carol didn’t give me a chance to explain. But she still. I saw a man in the car with her before it sped off, which can only mean Mr. one-night-stand with the Victorian era house is real.

See, I remember. Humanity still exists in me.

When I get there, I’m not alone. Others like me—humans still—surround the house, all interested in the treasure hidden inside.


YOLO

They’re chained to the wall—mere inches from each other—Grace and the woman I thought I saw him murder…

Except, they’re different. Pallid, rotten skin. Moaning incoherently…

“I thought I could use Grace to save the ones that don’t turn back in the day…” he says.

Is that what Mel has become? I wonder.

He points to the woman. “What you saw me stab her with was a serum.”

At the restaurant, she was beautiful—flushed cheeks, hair the color of sand, deep brown eyes—I was envious of her. “So it works!”

He shakes his head. “Only temporarily.”


Zombie Apocalypse

Mel for only half a day? Can our friendship withstand it?

No time to wonder. There’s a clawing and ripping at wood. The drain of color in his face and eyes tells me what we both fear, and when the basement door is ripped open and flung to the bottom of the staircase, he slams the door to our tiny room and locks it.

But are we really safe? Confined in this tight space with two hungry zombies while an army beats tirelessly on the other side.

Hours from morning, and even then, only two of them will become human…

—Nortina


The A to Z Challenge is over, and today is actually reflection day, but I still have to finish my 26 drabbles (100-word stories) using some of my favorite unused or underused tags.

Today’s conclusion was brought to you by the tags, “X marks the spot,” “Yolo,” and the tag that inspired the whole story, “zombie apocalypse.”

I hope you enjoyed! I left the ending open ended intentionally. Do they survive? do they day? Interpret it how you will.

Black Poetry Writing Month: Write a Poem for the Cool Kids

We Real Cool

THE POOL PLAYERS.
SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

—Gwendolyn Brooks, from The Bean Eaters (1960)

Continuing with our Gwendolyn Brooks inspiring weekend, we’re looking at her shortest and most popular poem, “We Real Cool.” With very few words, Brooks illustrates an explicit scene in a pool hall where seven presumed young men hangout, playing hooky and “acting grown.”

pool-hall-1091644_960_720

There are many interpretations for this poem; it could about youth rebellion, the speaker’s condemnation and disapproval of the young men’s actions, etc. However, I’d like to think these “pool players” are establishing their identities in an unfriendly world. The repetition of “We” at the end of each line is a declaration that we are here, and we will not be ignored. I don’t see the statement “We real cool” as sarcastic but as a realization that not conforming to society’s expectation for them is ideal; it makes them authentic, “cool.” Even the last line has a positive tone, similar to the YOLO phrase kids chant today. You only live once, so make the best of it and do what makes you happy with no apologies.

For today’s BlaPoWriMo prompt, write a poem for the cool kids. Why is it important for us to listen to them? Using Brooks’ poem as inspiration, paint a scene in very few words that illustrates an group of kids making their mark on the world and establishing their individuality.

—Nortina