Five zombies. Four bullets. Two zombies.


There are 150 comments in this article:

  1. 8/13/2010Conp says:

    Is the man with two bullets on the tracks?

  2. 8/16/2010Bells says:

    Brilliant. And Because you made it in 6 words, it’s 2 times more brilliant

  3. 8/24/2010Banyah says:

    Once upon a time: the end.

  4. 9/28/2010i know this stuff says:

    he shoots 4 zombies then kills the other with a shovel

    explantion:who in the right mind leaves without a backup weopen? in a zompocolyps?

  5. 10/26/2010Dan says:

    I like this post because it gives the reader room to use his/her imagination as seen from all the different interpretations. it tells us what people might actually do in this situation, fight or flight, would you A) take the easy way out and kill 3 zombies then turn the gun on yourself leaving 2 undead to feast on your lifeless corps. or B) fight till then end, take out 4 zombies then try to fight your way out, possibly being bitten and becoming part of the walking dead. An empty pistol or rifle (either or) are both useful bludgeoned weapons to crack skulls. I for one would try my luck to escape and fight another day.

    “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass…and I’m all out of bubblegum.”

  6. 10/27/2010DOUG says:

    Shopped. I can tell by the pixels. I’ve seen quite a few shops in my time.

  7. 10/28/2010Jordan says:

    Fag. I can tell by the comment.

  8. 10/28/2010Stephanie says:

    no, it means that the guy with the gun killed three zombies and then shot himself.

  9. 10/29/2010ChivKatal says:

    Guys (and girls) seriously why can’t this story have 2 endings?

    #1 – he shot 4 and got zombiefied by the 5th.

    #2 – he shot 3 and commited suicide.

    now whos up for a poll? :D

  10. 10/31/2010ivo says:


  11. 10/31/2010Deb says:

    Why does a gun kill zombies, anyway? I mean, aren’t they already dead?

  12. 10/31/2010Scott says:

    Maybe he just has bad aim?

  13. 10/31/2010Kim says:

    The comments are all way more interesting than the actual story.

  14. 11/4/2010Joe says:

    i interpreted that there were five zombies, he killed 2 of them with one shot and the other one took 2 shots to kill because the zombie was tough or he had bad accuracy. Anyways, he kills three of them and two are still lurching towards him. It lets you interpret an ending to the story which I like.

  15. 3/30/2011Zach says:

    Another scenario, he killed all five zombies, but a sixth one snuck up behind him and zombified him.

  16. 4/18/2011Anthony says:

    Or he himself is a a selfish zombie with a brain to eat, and is not ready to share

  17. 4/30/2011Kitt says:

    duh, he killed 4 of the 5 zombies except the last one coz he ran out of bullets. he struggled with the last zombie which eventually zombie-fied him. so now we got 2 zombies

  18. 5/1/2011Emiliano says:

    he killed 3 and himself, now there are 2

  19. 5/22/2011VIcious says:


  20. 6/2/2011Helename says:

    My god! Are you people totally retarded? I have often wondered how H.B.O. could have been elected. The replies to this really great “Six word stories” has solved the question. Anyway, good job, Brian. Excellent story.

  21. 6/13/2011ZP says:

    The zombies arriving from charlotte will turn the man into a zombie first leaving 4 zombies by the time New Mexico comes thus leaving four zombies and 2 bullets on the train. Eggselent!

  22. 6/19/2011Chase says:

    It’s easy. Four Bullets = Four Kills. The 5th one got to him and now he’s the second.

  23. 6/20/2011Juhan says:

    He kills 3 zombies with the first three bullets, reserving the fourth one for himself.

  24. 6/30/2011Miggy says:

    It’s simple, he liked turtles

  25. 7/11/2011Jake Hurley says:

    Actually, this is an example of the “double tap” rule. If you want to kill a zombie, you must shoot it twice, therefore, if you have four bullets, you have enough to kill two zombies.

  26. 7/30/2011Ot says:

    or he posted and while looking at the cooments he died

  27. 2/17/2012Banyah says:


    There is absolutely zero ambiguity with this story, so stop debating. Zero. No open endings left for subjective interpretation. As repeated by many people now, the story implies that the person used the four bullets to kill four zombies, and that the fifth zombie bit him, turning him into a zombie.

    Why is this the only case? Because the author INTENTIONALLY used ZOMBIES, which have the characteristic of transforming others into zombies. The usage of zombies not a coincidence. The most common alternative suggestion is that the person used the fourth bullet to kill himself. This scenario, however, doesn’t require the use of zombies. It could just as well work with five ninja assassins or five evil robots.

    The bigger intention of the story is to cleverly and humorously overcome the constraint of being limited to six words. It has a beginning, middle and end, despite its length. The genius of this story is that it succeeds in being minimalistic and thorough at the same time.

  28. 3/13/2012ASD says:

    To the last person no it does not end that way because there is no conclusion. The reader is left at a point were 3 of the zombies are dead and must decide what to do with the last bullet. It brings the question what to do when you know you are going to die either way?

  29. 3/13/2012Michael says:

    You guys don’t seem to get it. Five zombies. Four bullets. Two zombies. He shot four of them leaving ONE. That one got him and turned him into a zombie. Leaving two zombies.

  30. 3/14/2012alyssa says:

    When I read it I figured it meant he had four bullets, and shot at all of the zombies, but missed one of the shots, leaving two zombies. Considering what his state of mind would be like, being confronted by zombies, one can only assume that is shot to kill ratio wouldn’t be very accurate.

    Although, Michael’s theory makes a lot of sense.

  31. 3/15/2012Charley says:

    I’m just taking a guess. He shot 3 and used the last one to kill himself?

  32. 4/16/2012Iron says:

    Great story, but don’t tell me you couldn’t take at least ONE shambling, falling-apart, loosely connected lump of flesh and bone in a fist fight.

  33. 5/4/2012CP says:


    The horror of turning into a zombie could motivate suicide far more than the fear of mere death at the hands of assassins or robots. So the theory of killing three zombies and then himself is still viable, not to mention interesting.

    Part of the excellence of this story (intended or not) is that it not only has all the merits you describe, but allows for varying interpretation. It forces you to think a little bit.

  34. 6/23/2012adawg says:

    So it took 4 bullets to kill 3 zombies? Not a very good shooter.

  35. 7/9/2012Scyther says:

    Its possible he shot 3 zombies using 3 bullets, realised he had only 1 nullet left & topped himself leaving 2 zombies.

  36. 7/19/2012Becca boo says:

    THIS IS SO OBVIOUS. He uses all four bullets, killing four of the five zombies. One zombie is left and turns the shooter into a zombie as well, leaving a total of two zombies. Duh.

  37. 7/25/2012James says:

    At this point he is still alive, he shoots 4 times and hits 3 of the 5 zombies, leaving 2 left. Now you just use your imagination.

  38. 8/23/2012Bella says:

    But…he forgot to double tap…Which means, in total, there are now 6 zombies.

  39. 8/27/2012Gerty says:

    Mine would be

    Five Zombies, Four bullets, No zombies, one human.

    – competition shooter

  40. 10/15/2012Dave says:

    Occam’s razor: He missed one zombie.

  41. 10/23/2012Michael says:

    I guess this one depends on how it is interpreted, people who think logically assume he shot 4 Zombies then got turned by he last one, whereas people who think about it psychologically, like me, understand it as he takes out 3 then shoots himself with the last one, rather than become a zombie himself.

  42. 11/22/2012Rich says:

    Not sure how Occam’s razor implies he missed one zombie. Complexity and simplicity can be very subjective.

  43. 11/26/2012REASON says:

    @Michael, if he’s just going to kill himself, why would he bother to shoot any zombies at all? This poem is a tragedy, a man fighting till his last breathe and despite is best efforts, falls to the hands of his enemy. I promise that’s what the poet was trying to depict.

  44. 12/8/2012Ms. Right says:

    Okay so this is how it goes, five zombies+four bullets=two zombies because the last zombie turned him therefor two zombies. And yes I get this even though I’m 11

  45. 3/27/2013Brian says:

    Wow, just six words that i wrote while bored. Incredible the kind of impact that has got

  46. 4/4/2013Smitty says:

    With so many interpretations of this story I think the most important thing is that it can be read in different ways. There is no reason to force it to only have one meaning. It has a very cryptic feeling and you have to wonder whether he chose to take his own life or if he was turned into the bloodthirsty undead.

  47. 7/26/2013John Cook says:

    five zombies, four bullets, two zombies…

    Bullshit! Are you nutz? Zombies are a fairy tale–they don’t exist, therefore it’s nonsense. If they did exist, he was guilty of not being careful enough; of poor planning, or not thinking fast enough to grab a big fat stick, a rock, a broken chair, making a seven foot lance, carrying a long sword, learning how to effectively disable zombies with a puff of salt, a quick tap dance, and so on. . .

    It’s a bit like escaping vampires. Piece of cake! It’s spelled D-u-c-a-t-I M-o-n-s-t-e-r. Vampires are fast, but not THAT fast. Also, meh . . . another fooking fairy tale.

  48. 8/21/2013CrazedLeper says:

    Sorry, going to have to shoot down the “fourth-bullet-suicide” theory. Disblief suspended that zombies could exist, it would be pointless to shoot the first 3 zombies if you were planning to shoot yourself with the last bullet. It’s more likely that the 5th zombie was not seen or the number of bullets was unknown…until it was too late. After which time the one zombie would procreate with the now unarmed, would-be survivor in the hypothetical way that zombies replicate.

  49. 8/21/2013CrazedLeper says:

    Sorry, going to have to shoot down the “fourth-bullet-suicide” theory. Disblief suspended that zombies could exist, it would be pointless to shoot the first 3 zombies if you were planning to shoot yourself with the last bullet. It’s more likely that the 5th zombie was not seen or the number of bullets was unknown…until it was too late. After which time the one zombie would procreate–in the hypothetical way that zombies do.

  50. 8/28/2013David says:

    Wow, three years later and people are still discussing this six word story. Impressive!

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