“Momma, why is the fence so high?” Taryn’s piping voice sounded, interrupting her mother’s thoughts.
“Because it has to be,” Laurel answered patiently as she continued pinning clothes on the line. It was the third time in a week Taryn asked the question.
“But why? You never tell me anything.”
Damn right I never tell you. “It keeps the bad things out.”
Taryn crossed her arms over her tiny chest, pouting. “I don’t believe you. I want to go out.”
Laurel’s heart hammered against her chest. Out? Fear gripped her. “We don’t go out. You know everyone stays behind the fence.”
“That’s a stupid rule.” The girl turned away and stomped to the fence.
The older woman watched her child for a moment. Taryn’s blonde curls, so like her own long ago, had escaped the braids so patiently done that morning.
“Will we ever go out?”
“No Taryn, it’s not safe. Just because you haven’t seen the bad things, doesn’t mean they’re not there.” Laurel heard a strange sound on the other side of the fence. It was almost birdlike, but she knew no bird had ever made that noise.
She grabbed Taryn and ran to the cellar door, throwing it open. She pushed the child in and pulled the door closed. The girl fell down the last few steps but Laurel was too busy with the lock to help her. She struggled with the bolt until it slid into place.
Laurel carefully descended the stairs and stood over the girl. Taryn sat on the floor crying. She was poking at something in front of her. Oh hell.
“Sorry Momma, I lost another finger.”
Laurel sighed. Hopefully they wouldn’t lose any other parts today.
Outside the cellar a tall man with a gun searched the yard. “We shouldn’t have crossed the boundary John. This is dangerous. The fence is there for a reason.”
“I don’t care, I want to take one out. I know they were here Tommy. I heard them growling and carrying on at each other.”
“Are you sure? I’ve never heard of a zombie doing laundry.”
This piece is in response to a prompt to write about fences at Remembering English. It’s probably not what they had in mind. I haven’t been writing any flash fiction lately, as you can probably tell. On this one I gave myself a time limit–10 minutes. Also, I never write about zombies but for some reason all my ideas lately have been either gruesome, disgusting or creepy. I have no idea why, but maybe I should cut down on the caffeine and sugar.