Had This Been Fiction
A story by Ana Koulouris
Is true life stranger than fiction?



    If this had been fiction, there would have been somebody to burst around the corner in the nick of time, makeshift weapons flying to slay the reanimated corpse closing in on him.
    The task accomplished, the stranger would glare down at him where he lay on the ground and offer a gruff hand up. This person would then scold him for being out there alone and unarmed, most likely cursing at him and calling him an idiot.
    Not wanting to be alone without protection, he would scramble to follow as the stranger stalks away without another word. He would most likely tell the person they can’t just leave him alone, to which the stranger might snap, “The hell I can’t.”
    Had this been fiction, this exchange would continue for some time until either he or the stranger give in. Ideally, the stranger would be the one to cave, permitting him to tag along on the trek to whatever safe haven the stranger had found.
    Along the way, the stranger might break the silence to learn that his temporary companion’s name is Scott. Scott would take this opportunity to share his story, possibly detailing the circumstances which placed him in a position to be thrown into this new, death-ridden world.
    Preferably, these circumstances would have nothing to do with a traumatic injury followed by a coma, from which Scott miraculously awoke an indeterminate amount of time later, the world shot to hell seemingly overnight.
    When Scott and the stranger arrive at the impromptu refuge, Scott would more than likely encounter objections from the others taking shelter there. “You can’t just bring him here,” they might say. “We don’t know him. He could be dangerous. He needs to go.”
    Assuming he is able to convince the rag-tag yet tightly-knit band of survivors that he is not only harmless but also useful, Scott would join them, eventually being considered a member of their little family.
    Unfortunately for Scott, this is not a work of fiction. The reanimated corpse will reach him before the stranger does. By that time, there will be nothing left but a smeared pile of entrails on the pavement and an unpleasant odor in the air.
    The stranger will use the aforementioned makeshift weapons to deanimate the corpse. Once this is taken care of, the stranger will realize he stepped in the entrails, scrape them from his boot, and begin the walk home.

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Copyright 2016 Ana Koulouris

Ana has been writing since she was old enough to hold a crayon. She never left home without her trusty book, at least one notebook and a wide selection of writing utensils, lest inspiration strike while she wasn’t ready.

These habits apparently paid off, as Ana graduated from Benedictine University in 2012 with a B.A. in Writing and Publishing. She has been published in multiple university publications and featured as an award winner by the College Media Association.

By day, Ana is a professional cat herder for a hospital. By night, she is an editor and contributing author in The Writing Journey and co-hosts a book-related podcast. She also enjoys spending time with her family in their Chicago-adjacent home and singing at the top of her lungs, much to said family’s chagrin.