Another unique zombie tale from Lori R. Lopez, the author of Heartbeat and The Lycaning, this time with Fruit Flies and two jaded strangers who learn that they are not as alone as they think.
One of the themes of this novelette is to not wait for the world to be ending to start living. It’s hot, and it’s going to get a lot hotter when humans mutate into cannibalistic corpses. But that’s not all; bugs are everywhere. In fact, bugs could be to blame in this worst-case scenario that may seem a bit close for comfort! Strap on your gas-mask while the pesticide flows. They’re coming. Watch your back . . . and your front. Watch everything!
Look for the author’s horror collection Odds And Ends, containing The Fruit Of Thy Womb!
E-Book: 10,295 Words
Age Range: 12 and up.
Bugs had taken over the city and to counter the infestation, experimental “safe” pesticides were periodically sprayed by teams wearing black hazardous-material suits. The Extermination Squad. If it was so safe, they wouldn’t need the suits.
~ from The Fruit Of Thy Womb
The Blonde impatiently held out a hand. Adele nervously passed hers across the scarred wood surface, and the mystic seized it to pry open and thud palm-up on the tabletop. The puffing lady’s head leaned forward at such an angle, Adele was afraid she meant to burn a hole in the palm rather than read it.
~ from The Fruit Of Thy Womb
Adele hugged herself and rocked, cold, so cold. It eluded her that the world was warming. In her secluded atmosphere, the climate was an ice age, somber as a windswept frost-coated plain where the Sun never shone and the clouds wept splintered shards of glass.
~ from The Fruit Of Thy Womb
The end of the world began with a rotten banana. Ziggy Boyle stood in an alley on a blistering day and nonchalantly peeled the piece of fruit — then noticed to his disgust the white interior had dissolved to a dark slimy pulp. “Gross!” Dropping it, he wiped sticky fingers on the front of a black shirt and ground the heel of a loafer over the squishy mound. He next spent a full minute scraping mashed banana off the bottom of his shoe onto the pavement. The peel had still been yellow. It was the last time he would steal a snack from that supermarket. Imagine if he paid for it! Indignation seethed. Out of habit, he suppressed his annoyance. Couldn’t denounce the corporations, even under one’s breath. It wasn’t wise.
A mass of cockroaches scuttled to mob the smeared fruit, a common sight. You couldn’t go anyplace without seeing them. Must be the heat. Temperatures kept breaking records. It was all people yakked about on the tube. That and storms. There were always bigger storms than the last. Not to mention the massacres. Terrorism was on the rise. It might be a hate group. It might be the meltdown of some suicidal nut-job with a grudge and a bag of bullets and guns or homemade bombs.
He figured they were all just too warm.
“The story is not lovely! but it is wonderful! The world has gone to poop and poor Ziggy has had a tough time, the dejection and gloom in his world so delicately chronicled by LRL. Flies with teeth, aaah [that’s] almost as bad as spiders with wings! As the story flits back and forth in time zones and the stories of the three main characters revolve, it really gives you a sense of what has occurred as the horror unfolds. Its certainly a unique take on the zompoc.”
THE FLUFFY RED FOX REVIEWS; Amazon and Goodreads Review
“Good Zombie Short! The Fruit of Thy Womb is a different type of zombie tale with a lot going on. The description was amazing, and the story flowed in a grotesque way that was satisfying.”
BOOKS AND MORE; Amazon Review
“This was a great read. The characters were wonderfully developed despite the fact that this is a short story. There was heartache, hope, sadness and of course gore. I LOVED IT”
“Lopez has authored a really creepy short story. I believe she should set to work on a screenplay. Her tale would make a really creepy horror. It surprises me that it [isn’t].
Lopez is a great writer.”
Claire R. Gayder
“A Picture of our World in (Literal) Decay . . . Lori R. Lopez ROCKS! Which most of you already know … And so does this tale. An all-too realistic combination of heat and bugs readers can (uncomfortably) feel might make you squirm. But …. There’s more … A good deal more …”
“This was a very odd story. It’s zombie related but not what I would really expect for a zombie type story-line . . .”
“Well, this is different. Sometimes it seems that half of the indie horror releases concern some manner of apocalypse or other and, indeed, ‘The Fruit of Thy Womb’ is one of them. However, if you let that put you off you’ll be doing both the author and yourself a dire misservice, because it’s great.
Sure, it has its share of zombies, but that’s where the familiarity ends. In many ways [it’s] a cautionary tale about the perils of a consumer society, but Lopez’ prose is sufficiently sure-footed that she doesn’t rub that fact in your face. A brief mention at the start, and at the end, to wrap things up, but rest is glorious mix of stomach churning body-horror and a truly heart-breaking depiction of maternal loss.
All in all, ‘The Fruit of Thy Womb’ is not your regular apocalypse tale, and is all the better for it.
Well, this was fun! At first you think it’s just going to be another pseudo-zombie story, but it quickly becomes more than that, as Lopez adds distinct layers to the narrative. As we learn about the main character’s back-story, details of which are interspersed with reflections on the current state of affairs — rising temperatures, water and food shortages, infestations of diseased insects… oh, and cannibalistic corpses, obviously — we learn of the ominous prediction laid out before he was born, his mother’s slide into insanity and depression and more besides. This human misery is worse, by far, than any plague of shuffling dead; his mother’s dead-eyed countenance more chilling than any depiction of suppurating flesh. A compelling tale.”
Kevin G. Bufton
THE BLOODY BLOODY BOOK REVIEW; Amazon and Goodreads Reviews
“I’m so glad I read this one . . . ‘’The Fruit of Thy Womb’ fulfills the promise I had always expected in Lopez from that first mini-collection of hers that I read a few weeks back. The story itself is good, being a fresh take on the zombie apocalypse, both in terms of causation and delivery. That’s no surprise: I’ve always maintained that Lopez can tell a yarn.
What’s so pleasing about this story is that she’s writing better than she ever has before . . . and I couldn’t be more pleased. This is what makes the Indie horror scene (and I guess all Indie writing scenes) so great. A month ago, I had no idea who this writer was. I was able to get a bunch of her stories for free via Smashwords and consume them at my leisure . . . A great story. Harrowing and heartbreaking at times, but well-told, and well-structured. Well worth your time to track it down.”
“This story takes you through so many emotions, fear, loss, love, hope and then it puts you right where we all end up, death. The suspense and horror leaves you wanting to read more and keeps the pages turning.
All Ziggy ever wanted to was to know the truth. Was he wanted as a child? Did his mother really care? But little did he know that he was going to be the [beginning] of a horde that will chase him to his answers as he is devoured by not only himself but the plague that is nipping at the heels of mankind. Adele never gave up looking once her son disappeared and even after [losing] everything that was precious to her she knows in some why that as long as she has hope everything will fall into place. When her past comes back into her memory and she realizes that maybe hope is foolish the best of the worst happens. I highly recommend this story to all horror, zombie or suspense fans!”
Smashwords; Amazon Reviews
“I read this story today and thoroughly enjoyed it. This is not just a zombie caper, there’s much more to it. The storyline is perfect, I felt for both main characters. Lots of eating and that great Lori humour here. I loved it! ”
Jackie G Williams
“This was a gripping story . . . it kept me reading . . .”
“Sad and lonesome. It was almost too much for my heart to bear. Some comedic relief but overall a dark, dark story. =(”
“I must admit, I only downloaded this because of the brilliant book cover. It reminds me of 80s thrash metal album covers. The Fruit Of Thy Womb is a unique zombie tale told with [nonstop] action and it gets right down to the point to keep you reading. Weaved into the story is commentary about greedy corporations ruining in the world, a topic that always gets me going. Here, have 5 stars.”
“The Fruit of Thy Womb is a different type of zombie tale with a lot going on. The description was amazing, and the story flowed in a grotesque way that was satisfying.”
Smashwords and Goodreads Reviews
“[Enjoyed] reading this short story. Kept me intrigued. Nice story line. A must for zombie fanatics. Taken at a young age but finds his way home …. without giving the story away, I highly recommend this story.”
“Truly enjoyed this short book, [it’s] definitely descriptively gruesome so be prepared! I found it unusual and creative, well written.”
About The Author & Artist
Lori R. Lopez was inspired to write The Fruit Of Thy Womb during a particularly thick infestation of Fruit Flies when she mentally envisioned a swarm of them mutating . . . growing teeth and eating her alive. From that assumption, it didn’t seem too far-fetched that the little dickens (dickenses, dickenzonians) could be the catalyst for a Zombie Apocalypse. However, most of her notions are not spawned from actual events. They simply pop up in her brain like those annoying windows that appear on your screen while you’re attempting to do something on a website. A lot like refrigerator magnets that weren’t there a moment ago. Or were they? Like a flock of birds swooping to peck your noggin because you find yourself in an Alfred Hitchcock Parallel Universe where the birds are not gentle singer-songwriters but closer to packs of flying wolves, and don’t get me started about taking a shower! Not that this is to imply her strokes of imagination are unwelcome. Only that they often arrive when she is struck by Lightning, also Lightning Bugs, and cannot immediately record them in some manner, or they bombard her with too many ideas and details at once. Or both. It’s enough to drive her mad and probably has a few times!
Though Lori prefers to make up her own monsters, when she does write about familiar creatures such as zombies, it is generally in her own fashion, her own style. She likes to be different and will not go down the popular beaten path unless there is a sharp twist or turn ahead she didn’t see coming, or did and forgot because she’s forgetful, so it surprised her anyway. That’s why she keeps a fresh supply of spare erasers and pumpkins and water-pistols in her closet . . . for emergency! (Lori keeps spare clothing on shelves to feed an infestation of hungry man-eating moths — wait, let her jot that down. Where was she?) In short, inspiration is both a blessing and a bane, exactly like a hot-air balloon without a basket. Or a ship without a sail (or motor, or paddle, or life-jacket). She is grateful for each of them, yet they never give her any peace, demanding to be written until she does, and by then there are hundreds more clamoring like noisy mosquitoes. Or a lengthy list of sequels that she really needs to take a year and get started upon, in case there might be a reader or two waiting. It’s rare that there is, but you never know. She could catch on, or at least catch a Cold (probably caused by Butterflies flapping their wings and creating a draft).