Mr. Elkins and the Zombies of Elbert County by Thom Adorney

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When John Bell tells his family that he saw zombies crossing their farm one October night, he asks them the keep it quiet so as to not cause a panic. But when his first daughter, Cecelia, draws a picture of the zombies in school, the cat’s out of the bag.

Now, some in the conservative little town want the little girl expelled. Some want to exploit the zombies for publicity. The media outlets catch wind of it and are in a feeding frenzy. All John wants is to keep the town from descending into chaos. One thing's for sure - when the townsfolk descend on the Bell household to see the zombies for themselves, they're going to get a lot more than they bargained for.


Unless you’ve been living under a rock someplace, you’ve no doubt seen some pretty curious things on the internet. There are sites for everything imaginable under the sun, and, frankly, some that are unimaginable. Some sites do their utmost to perpetuate urban legends, you know, like the lady who found a human finger in bowl of chili at a fast food restaurant or that Coca-Cola used to contain cocaine. And other sites do their best to beat them down. (The chili-finger one is false but the coke-in-the-Coke one is true.) About a month ago, I ran across one such urban legend that involved zombies running amok through farms in Kansas, and the subsequent government cover-up, complete with videotaped footage being confiscated and destroyed, and reporters being forced to sign affidavits to ensure their silence. Of course, this was proven to be false. But the legend bears such an uncanny resemblance to something that truly did happen here in Colorado that I thought I should set the story straight. You see, it happened on my farm.

It all began one October, several years ago, when we started having trouble with something going through our vegetable garden at night, pulling down the row lines. At first, we thought it was some of our livestock getting loose at night. My wife, Ruth, reminded me to be sure the latches on the pens were secured properly, which I did. But then I started noticing footprints, not real clear ones, mind you, because they were quite messy, but clearly human. And the way they were dragging this way and that looked as if some drunks had stumbled through our yard. Frankly, I suspected some teenagers came though our property as they sometimes do. We raked the tracks and promised ourselves that we’d keep an eye out for further late night revelry. Well, we had to put that notion to rest after we found the same messy tracks across the garden, through our lima beans and broccoli, without hearing a sound. It was most disheartening.

Then I saw one. One Tuesday night, October 6th, I went around securing the latches on the pens and fences on account of gusty winds from an incoming cold front when across our backyard comes a zombie. Now, you might be wondering, how does anyone know at first sight that they’re looking at a zombie? Believe me, there’s something inside of you that just clicks and says, “Zombie.” Not in an irrational, panicked voice, but calm, and matter-of-fact. I’m not one for horror movies, and we try to steer our children away from such things. But my oldest son, Seth, has seen a zombie movie at his friend’s house and, sure enough, when I told my family that I had solved the footsteps-through-the-vegetable-garden-mystery and that I’d seen a zombie, Seth looked at me wide-eyed with his spoon halfway between his corn flakes and his mouth and uttered, “Dad, you saw a zombie?” There was a measure of amazement and disbelief in his voice and of course everyone looked at me with the same shocked expression. All except Ruth, of course, because I had told her as we were climbing into bed the previous evening.

“Hmm. Well that explains a few things,” she said, nodding her head in a knowing way.

  • Published by: Untreed Reads

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