Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse by Rae Carson

Welcome to Short Fiction Friday! Every Friday, Black Forest Basilisks will be shining a spotlight on a new short story, novelette, or flash fic in addition to our regular posts. These stories will usually be available for free online, but occasionally stories from published anthologies will also be featured. 

This story is available online for free at: Uncanny Magazine. Click through to read!

Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse is a finalist in the 2021 Nebula Awards. Read more reviews of Nebula Finalists here.

My labor pangs are mild at first. They’re intense, sure, but it’s mostly warmth and pressure like my abdomen is hugging itself. I’ve got time. Hours maybe, before I have to flee the enclave and get myself to the birthing hideout.

In the meantime, I’m in our makeshift infirmary, trying to get water past old Eileen’s tight-pressed lips because we ran out of IV and NG intubation supplies a long time ago. She reluctantly takes one sip, two, and that’s all she can handle before she grunts, whips her grayed head to the side, spraying water all over the chalkboard.

This short story is exactly what it says on the tin: it’s about badass moms who are in the zombie apocalypse, and let me tell you – it’s accurate. These are some women who have been placed into impossible situations and are doing what’s necessary to move through it. 

The story follows an enclave of all-women survivors who are holed up in a school they’ve barricaded against the monstrosities outside. The main character and her partner are having a child. Unfortunately, the zombies are incredibly sensitive and will rampage if they scent a newborn or a woman in labor, so the women in their group are forced to leave the safety of the school and go to a birthing hide-out where they can be safe while giving birth.

The hideout, however, is not exactly relaxing. It’s not some magical bunker they found deep underground or anywhere they lucked into. Instead, it’s a reinforced shipping container that can be fully locked from the inside, impervious to the attempts of the zombies to get in. The story of traveling there, giving birth, and doing what’s necessary to stay alive is one that’s rarely told in post-apocalyptic stories of any sort. Because of that, it has all the more punch to it. 

Past featured short stories can be viewed here.

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