Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.
“I think there’s going to be trouble.”
Paul clasped his hands behind his back and stared at his shoes; this was, traditionally, the posture he assumed when expecting someone to yell at him.
“What?” asked Mr. Pearson.
Paul shuffled his sneakers, gently. The waiting game.
“What?” asked a now-irritated Mr. Pearson. The simple process of having to ask a question twice was enough to spike his blood pressure.
“I opened Ron Ziegler’s coffin, and it turns out he was a zombie, so he jumped out and escaped.”
Mr. Pearson’s jaw hung slack for just a split second.
He asked, “Who did this?”
“I did,” answered Paul.
“No! I mean who jumped out of the coffin…”
”Oh, Ron Ziegler.”
Mr. Pearson pointed towards the mausoleum, “Ron Ziegler, the former press secretary for the Nixon White House, is a zombie?”
Paul raised his eyebrows, “I didn’t know he was involved in politics.”
”Of course not,” Mr. Pearson spat! “You studied history at Brown University! Why the fuck would you know anything about the Nixon administration? Bet you can tell me a lot about important women authors of Palestine, though.”
“I don’t think you’re being helpful,” offered Paul over the sound of shoe shuffling.
“Why did you open the coffin in the first place?”
”I heard scratching from inside.”
”You heard scratching from the inside of a coffin, so you opened it to double check that there wasn’t a zombie inside?”
“Maybe he’d been buried alive?”
”He died in 2003. If he’d been buried alive, however fucking unlikely that is, he’d be dead by now. If you had gone to a real school, you’d know that.”
”There are a lot of smart kids at Brown. Brilliant kids,” muttered Paul.
“All of them are in the sciences! The liberal arts program at Brown is absolute shit. You’re living proof – letting Ron Ziegler out of his coffin to maraud in the night.”
A silence fell over the room like a pall. The only sound was former White House press secretary Ron Ziegler’s maniacal cackling, which swirled about in the night air like insects.
Mr. Pearson produced his Zombie Gun.
“I’m going to find Ron Zielger. When I get back, it’s dodgeball for you! See how hip being a dork is then!”
Paul shrieked like Fay Wray, “Not!”