After reading through each and every story repeatedly by both Monochrome LLC and Contagion-Devs.com we've finally decided on the winner but before we get to that I'd like to say you all did an incredible job of taking strict limitations and creating some wonderful stories that honestly left us wanting more. Due to the interest and number of participates as well as how enjoyable it was to read your guy's works we may run a similar competition again in the future! Now on to the winner and some honorable mentions.
The winner of Contagion-Fans.com Zombie Inspired Short Story Competition is - Herr_Alien with his short story:
Herr_Alien wrote: Ding, ding, ding … thud.
The silence that followed the fall of casings and the last zombie’s body was broken by Alex: “Don’t you find it odd that they changed? From fast to slow?”. Derrick shrugged while changing the belt of his SAW: “Nope, and I don’t really give a fuck. Fast or slow, they’re just the same contagious bastards to me”. Alex followed Derrick’s example and switched a fresh magazine to his MP5. He wanted to press on with the subject, opened his mouth to say something, but stopped, remembering that Derrick’s family got infected. The episode in which the two that made the hunter-killer team had to clean up Derrick’s home town caused scars in the ‘killer’ half.
He then decided to switch the subject: “Let’s see if there are any “don’t-die” among them!”. Nobody knew why some of the slow zombies had pieces of cardboard on them with the words “don’t die”. Most thought that some dare-devil had a habit of sneaking behind slow zombies and tagging them. Either way, they were the amusement of the teams tasked with clean-up. Derrick grinned, and pointed to one of the bodies: “Happy? We followed the instructions, we didn’t die”. Alex nodded; the zombie was indeed tagged with the infamous piece of cardboard.
The two pushed on with their mission, to clean up the town. Their next objective was the library. A scout on ATV mentioned a group of slow zombies there; the scout even took a peek inside, and managed to get back to the ATV before being surrounded by the slows.
As ‘hunter’, Alex took point, with Derrick following. As soon as they entered the main lobby, they noticed a group of slows. They both opened fire. Derrick in long, deafening bursts, while Alex fired only occasionally, when one of the slows managed to get too close on Derrick. Moments later, only the team was still standing.
“Would you look at that? Almost all of them are “don’t-die”!”. Alex was shocked, but Derrick was unimpressed: “Don’t care. We live, they die.”. “Still, it’s pretty funny that they’re so many of …”. A moan interrupted Alex.
The sound came from the lecture room on their left. They turned and started to creep towards it. The moan started again, then again, and again. The two entered the room only to notice and be noticed by the only zombie in the room. A slow one. With the “don’t die” sign in his hand, he started to shuffle towards them, moaning louder and louder.
“FUCK. YOU.”. Derrick took aim and tapped the trigger for each word. The first bullet went straight through the groins of the zombie, and the second through its skull.
Alex looked around a bit then motioned to Derrick: “Clear!”. “Got that right”, Derrick mumbled, mostly for himself. Alex switched on his radio: “Cleaned up grid position 1A–23; We’re RTB.”.
The pair turned around and left, their mission completed. They didn’t notice the last page of the diary on the table next to the zombie: “Can’t talk. Hard to write. Must contact healthy. Must not let them die us. Must tell them not to die us. We’re still us. Must use signs to tell not to die us. They must help us.”
Monochrome wrote: We picked this one as it expresses the world they currently live in with a simple conversation saving room to tell the real story that having faced monsters for so long we "survivors" have become the monsters. We also liked the unique point of view like in this case the Zombies who are recovering and/or changing.
Contagion-Fans.com wrote: Herr_Aliens story is a fine example of how to get the reader gripped so quickly. I just wanted to read more and was quite annoyed it had to end so soon! Very good work!
robtheguru - Monochrome-games.com
random wrote: This one I think many could relate to. Remembering the past, facing the present, lost hope for the future and the need to end it but leaving behind a reminder for those that have yet to lose hope and wish to preserve it. I thought this one was well written.
GiantEnemy - Monochrome-games.com
random wrote: I quickly realized where this story was going and rather than be turned off by it I enjoyed the style the author described the change and urges of one of the infected/turning/turned. It ends with the infected giving into the change with enough said about them to reflect a bit on who they once were. I again appreciate a chance to view things through the eyes of the "monster"
SkweeMan - Monochrome-games.com
random wrote: I very much wanted this to be in the top 3 picks as it describes our need to survive and how that basic instinct can turn us against our brethren. A good read imho
Riley - Monochrome-games.com
random wrote: Like the above story. As a dad I was able to put myself in this man's shoes and found it somewhat touching but the events unfold a bit rushed. Good read none the less!
Sclera - Monochrome-games.com
random wrote: Being close to my younger brother I felt what the author was obviously trying to express and with the pain of losing a brother recently to cancer was again touched by this story.
We'd like to thank all of you who participated and must say it was incredibly difficult to choose the winner then limit ourselves to these honorable mentions. It took us forever to debate our top picks and narrow it down so once again thank you.
Herr_Alien - A forum private message was sent to you with instructions on how to collect your copy of Dead Island. Once again congratulations!
We at Monochrome were more than happy to host this competition and would like to thank Contagion-Fans.com for being so generous and setting this all up for everyone including us!