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The Headhunter

44 pages38 minutes


A year has passed since the Zombie Uprising and Headhunter Bill Hawkins won’t rest until he finds the monster responsible for murdering his wife and fulfills her last request to take its head. But the constant danger, the hiding, the brutality of his profession, all wear on him. Soon after joining up with a preacher-turned-hunter who's convinced the Uprising was God’s Rapture, Bill's resolve suffers another major blow. He begins to doubt his purpose. Is he doing the right thing? More importantly, will he be able to act when he finally finds the young, female monster responsible for his wife's death?

Length: approx 10,500 words

Ages: young adults, adults

The Headhunter is a selected title from the short story collection "Shorting the Undead: A Menagerie of Macabre Mini-Fiction" (release date: December 2011).

Keywords: short story, horror, suspense, zombies.

Saul Tanpepper is a writer of short stories and novels of speculative fiction for the undead of all ages. He lives in Northern California. Please visit him at his home on the web: tanpepperwrites(dot)com.

A note from the Author:

Dear Reader,
What is it about the Undead that we love to fear? Other than the visceral terror they can invoke, what makes zombies and their ilk so horrifying? Is it because they are mindless? Is it because they hunt and feed with no rational motivation, driven only by some carnal instinct, uncontrolled by rational thought?

In the course of writing my post-pandemic novel Touch, I began to question the whole idea of the monsters as "mindless" beings. Of course, this is what has made brain-eaters so frightening in classic zombie lit, but what if a story were written from the point of view of the monster? What if the idea of "monsters" was flipped on its proverbial ear? What if we were the monsters? It was with these questions in mind that I wrote The Headhunter.

I hope the story is as thought-provoking and entertaining for you, Dear Reader, to read as it was for me to write.

Respectfully yours,
San Francisco, CA
September 1, 2011

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