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Fresh Faces

Estimated reading time — 5 minutes

Hi, I’m Seth. I’m writing this note, bottling it, and tossing it in the brook by my house. Writing helps me keep my sanity. Hopefully somebody who still reads will pick it up and come help me.

It started a month ago. I was down in my basement office on my computer watching old Mystery Science Theater 3000 reruns. The phone rang next to me, but I didn’t pay any attention to it. It was never for me; on the off occasion it was, it was usually my brother, and half the time we were on the phone my nephew would be trying to grab it and talk to me himself. Mom yelled down the stairs that the phone was for me. Yeah, I lived at home with my folks. Sue me. Anyway, I picked up.

“Hello?” I said, paying more attention to the antics of the robots on the screen.

“It’s begun.” The voice was little more than a whimper, a plea. I didn’t even recognize the voice.

“Excuse me?” I asked, wondering who on earth was calling.

“They’ve come, I don’t have much time, Jeff; you told me to call if what we did caused trouble.”

Now a little worried, I said, “I think you’ve got the wrong number, this is Seth, not Jeff.”

“DON’T GO OUTDOORS!” The person shrieked. Completely freaked out, I disconnected the call. Must’ve been some prank caller, but I wasn’t amused. Rattled, I put the matter behind me.

Much later, I finished watching videos and shut the lights off to head upstairs. It was pitch black, but I knew the way. The dark seemed a little more oppressive this time, though. I shrugged off the feeling and went upstairs. As I passed through the living room, I chanced a look out the window. There were people outside, on a walk or something; I checked my watch and it said 3:00 am. “That’s weird,” I muttered. I stumbled up to my upstairs room and drifted off to sleep.


I was a fool that first night. If I’d recognized what I’d seen, I would have saved myself the terror and just stepped outside.

The next morning, the news was on; odd, since my dad usually turned to the sports channel before we went off to work. I didn’t even glance at it as I threw on a tie and stumbled into the bathroom. An uneasy feeling crept into my gut as I did my morning routine. I usually had to fight for bathroom space, but today there wasn’t a sound. I peeked out of the room and saw that the front door was open, but the glass storm door wasn’t. There wasn’t a sound. Looking outdoors, I saw those same people as I’d seen the night before.

I opened the door.

Immediately their heads snapped towards me. I recoiled and leapt inside as quickly as I could, feeling something catch at my ankle as I did so. Their faces were fixed in expressionless gazes, their mouths slightly agape and dripping blood. I looked down and saw one right next to the porch, withdrawing its arm; it had tried to grab me. With a dizzying feeling of horror, I recognized my little brother. Slamming the door, I locked it tight and stumbled back into the living room. The television was reporting that a disease was spreading south from Canada across the U.S. I shut it off, and pointlessly called out to see if anyone else was in the house.

No answer.


So began my solitary existence. The news ran for a few days, before they were caught. Kept making the stupidest mistake, going home every night. The electricity has stayed running; I guess someone left the switch on at the factory. Or maybe it’s just northern New England that’s been overrun, I dunno. The internet’s been out too, so that’s annoying.

While the news was running, they called them zombies, going back to that old standby. I guess it works. I mean, they don’t do a whole lot, and they’re definitely dead; they walk around until their legs rot out from under them, then they crawl until they literally fall to pieces. While they’ve got legs, though, they’re fast. That’s how they jumped my family, I suppose. And the police car that drove up to the house to see if there were any survivors. That wasn’t fun to look at every morning. They overturned my car while chasing him, so I’m stuck. Cops to the rescue again. They didn’t really need food, so they didn’t finish eating the poor guy. But they dismembered him; that’s why he couldn’t get up and join them. I could see him gnashing his teeth fruitlessly, though.

For about a week, a guy on the radio hopefully pointed out that they were falling to pieces, so all we needed to do was wait them out. Then he got impatient, went outdoors. Nobody’s been on the radio for two weeks.

I’m in trouble, though. You see, the house has no food left. I can’t wait for them to all to fall down dead all over again. I’ve made a couple expeditions to the general store. Lucky I had that sword collection upstairs. They’re all too slow to catch me when I run, but there are so many that I sometimes panic. Last time, they nearly got me. I broke the front door getting back in; now the cold seeps in every night, and I can see one standing out on the porch right now, not ten feet from where I’m writing this. You’re safe indoors. Don’t ask me why they abhor coming inside. Whatever the reason, it’s been my lifeline. Unfortunately, they seem to know that there’s someone alive in the house. Don’t ask me how; this fellow on the front step doesn’t even have eyes anymore. Maybe they can hear a heartbeat, or smell sweat. Or blood.

I spent a couple days naming them. Some of the faces I recognized, and gave their old names to them. The same old gang’s been hanging around here for the last few weeks, slowly dropping in number as they fall to pieces. They’ve never wandered off, though. There’re 79 who were once men and 63 who were once women out there. Once, just to see what would happen, I shot one in the head with our shotgun. You know, to see if the old “shoot a zombie in the head and they die for good” adage had any truth. So I’ve actually got 79 who were once men, 62 who were once women and 1 who was once a woman and decided to keep standing even after losing about 80% of its head. And I’m down one shotgun shell.

So they wait. And I’m losing it. I talk to myself constantly, and I ate a stuffed animal last night. The cotton went down hard, but it felt good to have something in my stomach again. There are no fruit trees around, and anyway, it’s November. Water has been getting scarcer. The tap water stopped working eight days ago; lucky I’d filled the bathtub and every bottle I could find before it stopped.


Oh, great. Now the lamp’s getting brighter and I hear a buzzing sound. I wonder if the power’s going ou

Well, that wasn’t fun. Total loss of power for four days. Ever try sleeping in the dark knowing that there are things just outside that’ll kill you and make you one of them the first chance they get? Probably, since these things are everywhere, as far as I can tell. Quick update: I mentioned Herschel, that guy on my porch? One of his legs fell off, so he’s sitting down, sniffing at it. Thank God they lose all higher brain functions. I’m pretty sure the soul isn’t held captive in these things, and that this is all the disease (or whatever) trying to spread itself as far as it can in the population.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, reader, but the animals just don’t seem affected. It’s a small comfort. Of course, they die if they eat the flesh, but they don’t get back up once they die. Weird, huh? I’m getting hungry, and desperate. Maybe, just maybe, I can load the old .22 and bag a squirrel from inside. But how will I go get it?

On one hand, I’m a bit more optimistic that you’re out there now, whoever you are. The power couldn’t have come back if there weren’t people out there working to restore order. I’m feeling lucky; time to grab a sword and go drop this in the brook. Maybe this whole thing is almost over.

Maybe. On the other hand, if it is almost over…

Why are there fresh faces outside today?

Credited to Master Kenobi.

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205 thoughts on “Fresh Faces”

  1. it was good but i wish it would have had a better ending or better story development, i mean i liked it but you could have done something waaay better with it, nonetheless 8/10

  2. Holy mother of god I chickened out halfway through and now ill never pick up the phone again or go outside.


  3. Crazy Drunken Protaganist

    Dead guy walks up.
    “Hey, wann watch MST3K?”
    Dead guy nods and suddenly this becomes a deleted scene from Shaun of the Dead.

  4. I think the last line meant that the people who found the bottles with his notes ib it got attacked and turned into zombies so they were recently turned zombies meaning that theit faces would be fresh.

  5. Hm. The dead are walking and one is named Hershel and he’s missing a let. Where have we heard something vaguely like that? I mean call me crazy, sounds like a tv show.

  6. Those two gave me crotch rot

    NONSENSE!! Canada would never succumb to zombies, let alone be the cause of them!! But in all seriousness, though.. Why is this pasta rated below that travesty titled “The Dark Room”?

  7. I liked the comments just as much as the story… now I’m sitting outside the restaurant trying to re-post since my comment glitched… it’s dark, and I have to ride my bike home after this… the porch light won’t be on, and there is literally no one around now that the restaurant closed and there’s no other real stores open this late at night… it’s mostly residential.

    AWESOME READ, awesome comments… I like the new zombie rules, since the new rules (no head-death, won’t wander in, etc.) make things interesting, both harder and easier. I like the ‘fresh faces’, as a mockery of ‘healthy survivors’ versus ‘new zombies’ comparison. I mean, if you can’t say there are survivors, you might as well be positive about the new zombies in some way, right? that’s one of the first things people-going-crazy will try to keep their sanity. I like it.


    O____O OMFG BRIX WERE SHAT I’m reading this at home alone and suddenly the fridge stopped humming and the boiler went all quiet and it got all dead silent and I got the feeling I was being watched the silence was crushing oh shit hahaha 8/10 for scarin the fucks out of me mate

  9. I somewhat believe that the last line doesn’t implicate that there are more zombies. I think it’s saying that he’s insane. Think about it. He didn’t say more zombies. He said fresh faces. Fresh faces could imply that they are just regular people that are not dead. The end can also mean that his mind is finally getting some grip on the reality lurking deep within his warped fantasy. Except that it’s too late.

  10. w8 so they dont enter houses so could you make a small house around yourself that you could move around with ? and also would caravans and boat houses apply to this rule

  11. Diego Parada-Lopez

    The lifeline to Eternal Paradise customers are welcome and zombies are to stay there forever YAY!

  12. herschel’s leg fell off, kind of like the walking dead lol. i liked that this one had to do with zombies and was actually decent

  13. Ever comment I say is nice and what do say Your comment is awaiting moderation im getting really pissed off now………………………………………………..,……………………………………………….,……………………………………………,……………………………………………..,………………………………………………………,.

    1. …everyone’s comments are moderated. Otherwise the comment sections would be nothing but spambots and people who think racism is the pinnacle of comedy.

    2. I’M getting really pissed off now that your wild mix of ellipses, single periods, and commas are stretching nearly off my screen.

      No, seriously, I am. If I could punch you through the computer screen without damaging my nice LCD monitor, I would without hesitation.

      ON TOPIC:
      This is a pretty awesome story and so I am going to review it pretty much as I read it! Awesome!

      I clicked with the narrator almost immediately, in the way that you yell at people on the TV not to go into the basement, etc. (In my case, it was “NO! Don’t turn off the news, for god’s sake! There might be something important on there, like removing the head or destroying the brain!”)

      Also, by God, that “crank call” in the beginning freaked me right the Hell out. I often get weird prank calls (…at least I hope they’re prank calls) with cryptic messages, so that one hit a leeeeetle too close to home.

      Also^2, the fact that in the middle of a veritable zombie invasion, the narrator observes that the loss of the internet is “annoying” endeared him/her to me 1000%. FINALLY, A PROTAGONIST WITH THEIR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT.

      Also^3, the image of the zombie cop being so mutilated that all he could do was “[gnash] his teeth fruitlessly” was really striking for some reason. I could picture it perfectly, which is at once a terrible thing (for me) and a wonderful thing for you (as a writer).

      Haha, the old “remove the head or destroy the brain” trick didn’t work after all! A million internets for that one, it was getting to be a really terrible cliche that almost everyone in the universe knows by now.

      The fact that our narrator ate a stuffed animal and it sounded very… visceral isn’t quite the right word, but it will do (that the cotton went down hard) communicated more desperation than three other scenes could have. Show, not tell, etc.

      The ending, though, I feel I’m not getting to its full potential. Is our protagonist insane? Is he not recognizing the people outside his house anymore? He mentions Herschel, so obviously he has some sanity remaining, but this guy (or gal, I suppose; I assumed it was a guy, for whatever reason, despite being a gal myself and thusly should always assume the protagonist is female, blah blah blah) is the epitome of an unreliable narrator.

      Really fantastic, absolutely great work, Master Kenobi.

      (And seriously, Eric? Lay off the ellipses. I have on good authority that it makes everyone want to kill you.)

  14. Wow, it’s not easy to do a genuinely intereting zombie story, but that was great. I loved the bit where they all turn to look at him, the use of the word “snap” to describe the movement created a very creepy image.

  15. LOVED it! The zombie story has been told over and over in many different ways, but this is the most unique way yet. I love the way that when you shoot them in the head they don’t die and how the zombies just start to crumble on their own. A yummy pasta.

  16. For the people who don’t get the ending:

    Read the 8th block of text up that begins with, “I spent a couple days…”

  17. >manage to go to grocery store on foot
    >manage to get back home on foot
    >Possibly died at end
    >Something not right here

  18. Wow a lot of time between this post and last one.
    I’m glad I kept reading past the corny beginning. This was pretty good beyond that.

  19. you guys dont get it. they are rotting vampires, vampires are some what of gentlemen. they will not and can not under any circumstances enter your home unless they are invited in, just pray that the house dosent fall down

  20. Alright, so they function without heads. Shoot out their damn legs then so they can’t run at you, then take your time with disposal. Not that bloody hard for someone who can pull a bloody HEADSHOT under stress…

  21. Whenever I read these stories that are messages/warnings, I always wonder who picked them up and read them…

  22. Nice, although too casual for my tastes. The sentences were a bit awkward at times, but other than that, it was simply fabulous.

  23. For the effective use of zombies alone this gets 10/10. But my final score has to be reduced because of the occasional awkwardly worded sentence. 9/10.

    Fear the Darkness


  24. Mmmmm… leg a la Herschel.
    Hahaha! This was pretty good pasta! Of course, it would be the nerdy guy who lives with his mom and dad that survives the “zompocalypse”. Probably an otaku to boot. *Sigh*

  25. People like me who are actually equipped and ready to deal with z-day are doing to somehow end up dying without getting to use all of their precious loot.

    I can see it now. “Oh sweet! A fully loaded cache of food, water, munitions and textbooks full of practical knowledge that will be useful in rebuilding society! …..and a horribly mutilated body. Huh, looks like he was cracking the window to smoke a joint and got jumped.”

  26. Mother fucker has a sword collection, the zombies are the slow kind… and he is hassing issues?
    Don’t worry, broseph. Me and my pack of machete wielding fight-club hombres are on the way to get you out. We saw you scaving for supplies while we were out thinning the population.
    “Five zombies can hurt you! One zombie in five pieces cannot!”

  27. Mad props, man. It takes skill to write a good Z-pasta these days.

    Funny thing is, I had a dream like this a few days ago, where my town had been overrun by infected, and all I had was my two katanas to fight them off with.

  28. Heh… the MST3K reference reminded me that I wanted to download the movie.

    Awesome ‘pasta, by the way

  29. Can somebody inform me as to who the guy on the phone was?
    Was he like a creator of this apocalypse?

  30. Funny, I just watched both 28 Days and 28 Weeks before reading this.
    I especially liked the last setence.

  31. So let me get this straight: A bunch of creatures who aren’t as fast as humans, aren’t as tough as humans, aren’t as smart as humans, and aren’t able to use weapons to go indoors somehow managed to kill and or infect the majority of our population. Brilliant.

    1. they oozed all over stuff… unless you obsessively clean every object you come into contact with or wear a full hazmat suit… you’re gonna catch the z-niffles.

  32. Finally:


    BTW he had plenty of shells left, it said “down one shotgun shell” not “down TO one shotgun shell”.

  33. A sword collection? Weeaboo!
    When I had realized that it was zombies, the story lost pretty much all its creepiness, for you see, I have been acclimated to zombies. But this was still pretty well-written.

  34. I can use a sword. Woot for re-enactment weapons training, it means I can survive a zombie apocalypse by lopping the bastards’ legs off so they can’t run after me…

  35. lols@sword collection. luckily i still had my matrix trench coat too. You shouldve just used the Line gun on them.

  36. uhh sorry some corrections: *…’zombies’ dont come INTO the house…* *…its actually supernatural and the demons or other supernatural beings want to scare the shit out of you and watch you go insane…*

  37. Yeah… there are 2 possible reasons the ‘zombies’ dont come out of the house, either A) Instead of a desease its actually supernatural or B) Even though they are (desease) zombies they still have manners and wont come into your house unless you invite them in? Hey if your going to turn humans into flesh eating monster might as well do 1 good thing and give them manners -_-

  38. I thought the last line meant that Seth had actualy gone insane and the fresh faces meant humans lol but it actually meant new zombies.

    The shooting the zombie in the head and the animal thing made me think of dawn of the dead lol, awesome story.

  39. I LOVE zombie reads, I’d be scared to death if that happened, and the zombies got my family =(

    Buut, all I need are guns and plenty of ammo, then I’m good.

  40. John is the demons

    There is no inconsistency. Those fuckers were falling apart. The guy on the radio was going on about it, too. That’s probably why there are fresh faces, too. They’d fallen into the same trap; getting impatient, thinking things were better than they were.

    I love the story, purely because of how they cannot suffer entering a house. Also, the image of seeing people “walking by”, then waking up with them all dead, waiting outside your house to kill and eat/maim you.

  41. why the fuck is it that when ever I read pastas on this site i feel a touch to my back. just a light touch. but definitely not a comforting touch. the type of touch that makes my entire body shiver. the kind that makes me want to turn around, but makes me too scared to. why is it on such perfectly late times of the night that i get the sensation of being watched with my back turned. why i

  42. eek! my heart’s still pounding…

    i lol’d in the beginning…but by the end i peed a little =\

    and WHO WAS JEFF?! [seriously though]



  44. Nice story, didn’t like how some of it was written though… it got very annoying american-teen girl diary style at a few points.

  45. Nice story. I liked the way that it was written from a casual standpoint, as opposed to being told by a person who constantly had the bejeesus scared out of them. That always kind of ruins it for me.

    On a side note, it’s hilarious when people post comments saying they don’t get it, especially when it’s really easy to get.

  46. My favorite part about comments is there’s always someone who says “I DONT GET IT CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN THIS TO ME!?”

  47. Yeah, you sure are lucky you randomly had that sword collection. I’m glad that comes standard with any house you buy today.

    Also, you’ve never eaten a stuffed animal before? Wuss.

  48. *64: Swords, while not necessarily killing them, could take off limbs and slow them down.

    Loved it. And I have a very simple solution. Teach them all to say Candlejack. I mean c’mo

  49. Oh shi- Great Story! Lol fear the Zombies. X3 Reminded me of the Move “Dawn Of The Dead” and “I Am Legend” Rofl. Ish awesome.

  50. The Person FOrmerly Known as 'Noneya'

    I hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE zombies! During a zombie apocalypse I’d be the one in the rented steamroller trying to kill as many as possible. The buggers freak me out.


    Good pasta, its awakened my hatred of all rotting, brain eating, dead things that cant keep still.

  51. One of his legs fell off, so he’s sitting down, sniffing at it. Thank God they lose all higher brain functions.


    sniffing at it

  52. Ahh a good old fasioned zombie story. I’m pretty sure that a person would feel kinda funny after eating a stuffed animal though.

  53. Foxtrot.. wtf foxtrot?! what kinda lame ass name is that creepypasta site?

    I didn’t like it, it wasn’t written as if the person were actually ‘scared’. More like he was casually talking about what’s going on in the news, yea, y’know the zombies outside stand on my porch, but the don’t come in. I don’t know why.

    Oooo! scary! >_>
    Sorry, just nar, didn’t do anything for me.

  54. The cop was disMEMBERED, not disemboweled. His arms and legs were ripped off. “…That’s why he couldn’t get up and join them.”

    Oh great, the power’s going out aga

  55. I hope the disease doesn’t start with a headache, because I don’t like losing bodyparts. I wonder what human flesh tastes like tho.

  56. So, the cop that was disemboweled was still gnashing its teeth, but the body didn’t come to life. But the chick who had her head blown off is still standing…

  57. Thank you for a fabulous birthday pasta. This is awesssssome. I love that they don’t die when you shoot them in the head. Like there’s nothing you can do at all. <3

  58. Grab all thingsy ou can use as weapons,buckets of wet cement,any of that,it can all be used for something,if not weaponry,support for a HQ,mabey even bring pronz,i mean,not EVERY girl we save iwll wan sex,and we gotta do something in our free time…..w/e, jsut make sure your weapon holds at least more than one bullet at a time,and has any form of site/scope that can almost ensure you to never miss
    then we arent wasting ammo

  59. I really like the parts about the zombies rotting and falling apart.

    I also like to imagine this is going on at the same time as that other zombie (?) story, with the crazy narrator who thought it was imagining it.

  60. A really good story. I usually don’t go for the zombie stories, but an exception was made today.
    Nicely done Master Kenobi.

  61. It means that our unfortunate narrator has no chance of survival. He thought that the zombie wave had stopped and that if he waited it out he might survive, but apparently they’re growing in number. Shall we kill it with fire?

  62. OH SHI-

    This was awesome. Simply awesome.

    @ 5: It’s a zombie story, and the last line meant that there were more new zombies.

  63. Wow its strange somone got eaten alive in my town last week and now weve been getting power cuts, Stange huh hopefully it is zomb….

  64. The mention of Mystery Science Theater 3000 made me smile 8D

    I’m not usually one for zombie stories, but good God, this was awesome o___o Almost scared to leave my dorm right now.


  65. Cool. nice story :D

    I’d love to see this take on zombies in a longer story, but that’s just my typical zombie related curiosity. Maybe filling it out with reasons behind everything would ruin it.

    Imagine watching your dead family and friends shambling around outside as they slowly decompose o_O

    @4 The narrator was hoping to sit the zombies out until they all die… Again… But whilst most of the original zombies have now rotted away, new zombies are starting to turn up at his house… Probably other survivors who eventually starved to death and joined the ranks of the dead.

  66. It means that whoever the other Zombies were camping out died, and more have come because he’s one of the last remaining.

  67. How could you not get it?

    It was a random disease – like in the movies – and the guy stayed inside, thinking it was cool, and then he ran for food. And in the last line, it turns out that there were still survivors, but they went outside and died. So the saga might not end for a long time.

  68. We can’t go inside your house because your house is so filthy. Haven’t you heard of a mop? It’s so disgusting…I mean BRAAAIIIIIINSSS

  69. @ 4

    The ‘fresh faces’ line means that there are new zombie-things he hasn’t seen outside before, i.e. the disease or whatever is not over at all, but continuing just as it was before, if not progressing faster.

  70. OH, and read the first front paragraphs again after reading it. The guy on the phone mentioned to call Jeff if what he (Jeff) did caused trouble, so I think scientists (or some other people) have created mutant human beings or a uncontrollable disease.

  71. For those people who don’t understand, there’s a disease that is spreading to infect humans, turning them into so-called zombies, and also eat human flesh if possible.
    By the end of the story, Seth thought that the zombies (the disease) was dying out, but there are fresh faces (meaning that there are more zombies and Seth is going out = certain doom)

  72. Very well-written. I enjoyed this pasta. The zombie thing has been done a lot in movies recently, but this was still an interesting read nevertheless.


      1. You_cant_handle_my_name

        Wow think about it for a second. I see a zombie light it on fire… it walks up to me melting and rotting. It smells like sh*t and it trying to eat your face. But if you try to fight it off with your hands you will be burned to…

  74. O_o


    I would hate for the power to go out with zombies. Even if they couldn’t get inside my house.

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