An Empty Lot

“This neighborhood is so quiet; it feels like it’s been abandoned.”

“Yeah this feels like a zombie movie.”

“I wonder how humans would do against zombies.”

“You mean like 28 Days Later zombies or Dawn of the Dead zombies?”

“Well I mean Dawn of the Dead zombies would be easy because you could just walk backwards and shoot.”

“As long as you looked behind you enough; but yeah 28 Days Later zombies would be a lot harder. I wonder how good their stamina is, like if you could just outrun them. I don’t remember in the movie any extended runs.”

“Yeah I don’t know. That’s like my biggest fear though. Being in a huge field with nothing around, being chased by fast zombies with no trees or anything.”

“You feel anything yet?”

A car drove around the corner and Eliot filed behind John as they walked down the side of the road. They came to the section of the fence where it was peeled away, the corner drooping down like a piece of paper. Under a brown shroud of leaves the ground sloped down to a small stream and up again. The cool air smelled faintly of smoke, as if once the heavy blanket of summer heat was removed the hidden truth lingering behind it was revealed.

“What if we come across some restricted government testing building and had all these secret agents tracking us because we found out their secret?”

“I’m starting to feel it. My arms feel like they’re not really mine you know? Like they’re there but not really part of my body.”

“Yeah, me too.”

Several tree trunks lay fallen over the fence. Some lay as angled bridges over sagging woven metal and others left whole sections of fence mangled on the ground.

They followed the fence along until it turned and descended down into the valley again. The two boys stretched out in the leaves each with arms folded behind their head. Masses of branches and leaves reached over and towards them like the skeletons of monsters.

“I feel like I’m on Endor.”

Eliot laughed. “You know Cantrell’s like ten minutes that way right?”

John grinned with dilated eyes and turned from Eliot towards the graying sky.

Eliot gazed into the sky between the trees.

“Is it love, again? Dumbledore’s favorite solution? Love?”

“I’m gonna go see if I can climb that tree trunk over the fence over there so I can see if there’s anything over there.”

“John I just saw Lord Voldemort in the sky. Talking to me. I’m so glad I listened to Jim Dale earlier today.”

John threw his head back in wild laughter. “That’s awesome dude. Wanna come with me?”

“Sure. But I’m not climbing. I bet you break your leg again.”

“It doesn’t look that bad. I just feel like exploring around you know? See the what there is to see.”

“I’m seeing everything in a checkerboard of British flags. Your face is covered in them.”

John giggled as he shuffled along the tree while Eliot watched with arms folded.

“I’m only here so I can get help if you hurt yourself John.”

“I’m fine.”

The tree had bashed the fence down halfway and its end hovered three feet over the ground on the other side. In the distance a few houses sat in silence amongst the trees.

John hopped lightly to the ground.

“See? No problem.”

“Until someone comes and shoots you for trespassing.”


The boys heard the shuffling of leaves and saw a man approaching them. He was wearing a large brown jacket and carried a shotgun at his side.

“Watchoo boys up to out here?”

“Oh nothing, sir, just exploring. We were just leaving though.”

“Exploring? Ain’t nothin’ out here but trees and leaves.”

“Sorry, sir, if we’re bothering you, we certainly don’t mean to harm”

The man raised the gun in the direction of John.

“Sir.” John raised his hands with fingers extended in front of his face and stepped back against the fence.

“Sir if you just let my friend leave then we’ll get off your property.”

“And never come back.”

The man smirked. “Why don’t you hop on over and save ‘im?”

Eliot shook the fence with clawed fingers.

“C’mon man, just let us leave and we won’t bother you anymore. Just let my friend hop back over the fence and we’ll leave.”

“Yeah, we didn’t mean any —”

The man fired into John’s chest. Eliot watched jets of red burst from his back like curses from a wand.

Eliot screamed and sprinted down the valley as the man reloaded the shotgun. The clink of metal on metal accompanied the sound of the second blast and Eliot fell and rolled into a tree. Shrill laughter rang from above. The man approached the fence.

Peering up the hill Eliot saw a grinning Lord Voldemort climb the fence and stroll towards him with wand raised.

The trees swayed in the wind, their whispers joining the whispers of the distant cars, as they laid their leaves onto the ground of the empty lot. An-empty-lot-amanda-heinbockel