Life in Writing
Once each week I browse through the R-writing prompts on Reddit and write a quick flash fiction based off of the most interesting one I see. Then each Friday I post them here for each of you to enjoy. This week's prompt:
[WP] The zombie outbreak occurs, but it is easily quarantined. Now there are Zombie Rights Activists.
“They have goals and desires just like every other human being,” the expert-witness stated calmly to the lawyer performing his cross-examination.
“Very interesting,” the young legal shark continued. “And do you believe that having goals is a quality that would put them into the same category as human beings?”
“Well,” the expert-witness replied, straightening his glasses. “They have the same anatomy and DNA as other humans, combining that with their ability to try to achieve their dreams certainly makes them very similar to humans.”
“There you have it Your Honor,” the lawyer stated, slicking back a portion of his immaculately styled hair. “Zombies are still humans and therefore keeping them locked away from society as they are now is unlawful discrimination.”
Megan sat quietly rubbing her temples as the plaintiff finished questioning. This whole case was giving her a terrible head-ache. This was supposed to be an easy win. After all, her opponent was arguing to release the quarantined zombies back into the public. What rational person would actually want that to happen? And yet, she was losing.
“Permission to question the witness?” Megan asked the judge, rising from her seat.
“I’ll allow it,” the judge replied, his double chins jiggling slightly as he nodded his head.
“You stated before that zombies have goals and desires, is that correct?” Megan asked.
“Yes,” the witness replied, leaning in close to the microphone.
“Would you care to tell the court what some of those goals and desires would be?”
“Well,” the witness began. “Like so many other minorities who suffer from discrimination, the zombies worry frequently about where they’ll be getting their next meal.”
“Yes,” Megan replied. “They do worry about what they’ll eat despite the fact that the undead will continue living almost indefinitely even without nourishment.”
“Objection!” her well dressed opponent bellowed passionately. “My client’s entire family are zombies and he finds the term ‘undead’ to be offensive.”
“Sustained,” the judge said. “Continue your line of questioning counselor, this time without including hate speech.”
“Yes, Your Honor.” Megan nodded, turning back to the witness. “And can you tell me, what is it that zombies eat?”
“Of course,” the witness answered. “Zombies require a specialized diet rich in zinc, phosphorus, potassium, iodine, and several other chemicals.”
“So in less scientific terms,” Megan said. “What you’re saying is that zombies eat human brains?”
“Objection!” her opponent shouted out again. “My client finds the term ‘brain-eater’ and any related insinuation to be highly offensive.”
“Sustained,” the judge said. “Counselor, you’d best check your bigotry or you will be held in contempt.”
Megan looked back and forth between the judge and opposing lawyer, stupefied by their reactions. There was no way she could win.
“No further questions,” she grumbled, returning to her seat.
The jury took almost no time at all to deliberate and rule in favor of the plaintiff.
“Very well then,” The judge said, arm fat wiggling as he tapped his gavel. “The zombies will be released to integrate with the public.”
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Daniel M. Quilter is the author of A Soul Divided. On this blog he'll interview other authors, review books, share nerd wisdom from popular sci-fi and fantasy, and occasionally share his insights on writing. See a list of his works or see what he's working on.
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