4 of 5 stars.
Appearing in Extreme Zombies edited by Paula Guran, this short story is set roughly one generation into a zombie apocalypse. Many large cities are still inundated with the lumbering dead, while a few have become safe bastions for the living. In Calgary, walls and fences protect the city and vaccines have largely inoculated the local citizens against further development of new zombies. However, not all is well in the eyes of Land, a 7th grade teacher.
The military-run government now requires all citizens of a certain age to enlist in the war against the zombies as there are still many front lines. Political propaganda has popularized gladiatorial battles against the undead in a former Olympic arena. However, attendance at these theatrical events is compulsory for students of a certain age, regardless of the student’s or the student’s parents’ beliefs, concerns or objections.
I really liked the world-building in this short piece and the ending caught me partially by surprise which was an added bonus.
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