's 2013 Horror Write-off:

"The Five"

Submitted by Jonathan Wojcik

It's amazing what you can get used to. It's gotten to the point that I'm actually glad it happened, whatever the hell "it" was.

I guess it's been about a year now, and I'm pretty sure they operate on a roughly five week loop, or what I call "the five." They just thoughtlessly repeat the last 35 days before they...died, I guess. It's hard to tell, since their bodies are as warm and fresh as the day I woke up to this ridiculous new world. They never starve, they never age, they just relive the five over and over for as long as it's physically possible. It took me a while to get over the crazies, of course, and I came close to killing myself countless times. At first, I held out hoping I might find someone else like me, someone else inexplicably spared. By the time I gave up, I realized I was having too much fun to care.

The loop isn't perfect, of course. Things wear down. Accidents happen. A lot of them are sitting in their broken-down cars, still pumping the pedals unless I intervene. There's a pizza guy who comes up to the neighbor's house every night, empty handed, handing over nothing to a door that hasn't opened since I chopped that one up. The clusterfucks at airports are increasingly funny, and you should see the creepy shit that goes on in the hospitals.

For now, at least, select pieces of civilization are still functioning. People, or what used to be people, are still running the grids, still manufacturing and shipping out products, still flipping burgers wherever burgers are still delivered, whatever work was originally accomplished during the five. Now and then I have to do some detective work, figure out which link has broken down somewhere important to me and do whatever I can to set it back on track. Sometimes I just have to aim one back in the right direction. Sometimes I have to replace tires, refill fuel tanks, clear massive rotten piles of groceries, whatever it takes to keep the food and power coming to at least my new estate.

It can't all last forever, of course, but I'm enjoying what I can. When the horror wears off, it's pretty nice to feel like the center of the universe. To know you're now literally the smartest person in the world. To be able to do damn near anything you please. When they're completely removed from their routine, pulled off their imaginary train-tracks, they just sort of give up. They're like semi-responsive dolls. You can dress them and pose them and do all the violent, ugly shit you ever dreamed. I used to tie masks on them, stuffed with clothes, but I've started to prefer them just the way they are, even if, at the end of the day, it still makes me wonder, and it still drives me crazy.

I am the last whole human being on Earth, and I only have one question left...

Where, exactly, did all the heads go?