Calculated Choices

September 27, 2010

Brushing his hand across the tree trunk, Eric took short, low breaths and marveled at the air. How clear it had become in just a few short months, crisp and clean as billions of motors, power plants and more had shut down. Even away from the city he had never smelled anything like it, it’s pure arom,..

“Break his knee caps”

Eric looked up, startled, as the two men stood over him.

“Look, guys, I know I’m not the fastest one here but, but why?” he asked not quite believing his situation.

The first man looked at him, weighing him in his eyes, a simple calculation that life had become “There’s a group of them coming toward us from the south, and we need to slow them down until we can get to higher ground.” Eric looked at him with wild eyes “It’s nothing personal.”

Backing away Eric held up his bound hands, palms open. “Hey, hey, hey, there’s got to be another way, maybe if we just stay quiet we can avoid th” his words were cut short by a simple, sharp, “No” from the man. “So that’s it then? What? I’m just a decoy? You caught me, bound me and dragged me all this way, as a decoy?”

“Yes”

Eric didn’t see the man behind him, but he felt the searing pain as the club smashed into the side of his leg. Falling to the floor screaming, he tried to raise his arms to stop a second blow, missed the club and felt his other kneecap explode as the weapon was brought down directly on it.

Turning from the screaming, broken figure the man motioned to the others “Let’s go! We need to get up this hill before they get done with him.” With that the group moved away, climbing the steep hillside as the first of their pursuers emerged from the tree line and made its way to Eric’s sobbing figure.

The man, cold from a hundred similar decisions turned at the top of the hill and looked back. After a few moments, he nodded, sure that the pursuers, one more in number, were unable to climb the steep rocky hillside. Making his way after his group he looked over the most recent captives and mentally marked the next one.

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A Night At The Museum

September 20, 2010

Sprinting through the dark, wood clad hallways, the two men barely glanced at the dust draped exhibits either side of them. “Dave” The trailing figure yelled, “Take a right” as he pointed toward a large set of double doors approaching on their right. Bursting through the doorway they stumbled to a halt as a figure in the middle of the room turned toward them. With a guttural scream the leading man swung the small hatchet in a giant arc, burying the blade deep into the creature’s skull, collapsing it to the floor and yanking the wooden handle from his hand as it fell to the floor. Planting his foot on the now still face, he grabbed the protruding handle and pulled upwards. As he strained to free the weapon a loud crash echoed from a side door to the room. Eyes widening, he pulled harder, trying to free the blade locked in place by bone and muscle.

The door smashed inward, followed immediately by several stumbling figures, causing Dave to let go of the axe and turn toward the third entryway to the room.As he ran toward the door he yelled at his companion, who remained motionless watching the ghoulish figures pour into the room with wild eyed fear.

“Mark! Mark! Get over here man, we have to GO!” he screamed, slamming his shoulder into the door and throwing it open. With a start, Mark blinked, swore and sprinted for the door, diving through into the darkness as the door slammed closed behind him. Scrambling to his feet he turned and saw Dave, bracing against the door as the first of the undead slammed into it. As the door shook and the pounding increased, Mark slowly backed away. “Mark, give me a hand, please, help me hold this shut! Get that bookcase, that will slo.. Where are you going, no, NO, COME BACK!”

Dave’s screams echoed down the hallway as Mark sprinted away toward the museum exit. As he reached the exterior doorway the echoing screams abruptly stopped. Without a second look back, Mark pushed through the door and ran out into the early dawn.


The Problem With Things That Go Bump In The Night

September 17, 2010

The problem with things that go ‘bump in the night’ was not the terrifying thing that it is, nor the fact that it could rip you to pieces or even that it could be someone you used to know. The problem was resources.

Suzy reflected on this as she sat with her back to the tree and looked at the three objects in her hands. She closed her eyes and slowed her breathing, straining to hear anything over the sound of the wind rustling through the forest leaves overhead. She knew now that it was a mistake to enter a forest, where distance and light were in short supply, but it all came back to the same problem. Resources.

She had never really thought about the things she owned in detail before. Even from her makeshift tent high up on the hillside, she had stared lazily out at the world, never truly understanding the consequences of staying in one place, constantly scanning the hillside at night with her flashlight, burning away the dark, burning away her fear and burning away her resources.

The realization that her supplies were limited dawned on her with the rising of the sun one early morning. She had grabbed the last snack bar and strolled off down the hillside. Her first thought was to head back into the town, but the pillar of heavy smoke rising from the horizon changed her mind for her. Instead she saw the distant forest and headed out for it. After all she thought, lots of animals lived in the forest, so there must be plenty of food there…

The crack of a branch snapped her eyes open. She stood up holding her breath. Out in the dark she could hear it moving, coming closer toward her, whether through luck or because it knew where she was it advanced. Straining her eyes she saw a figure move through the trees, stumbling on tree roots and knocking into tree trunks. She let the empty snack wrapper fall to the ground and flicked on the flashlight. Its dim bulb did little more than cast an eerie glow a few feet in front of her. It was enough for the figure to see. Head jerking up it locked eyes on the light and started making a direct line toward Suzy.

Stepping backward she raised the pistol and screamed out for the figure to stop. “I swear I’ll shoot you, I swear I will!” she shouted out as the pallid figure reached out toward her. She pulled the trigger, muzzle pressed against the creatures temple.

The loud click rang loudly in her ears before its face slammed into hers, knocking her backward to the floor. As she fell, a vision of her futile, desperate, attempts at hunting rabbits with the handgun raced through her mind before exploding into darkness as her head slammed into the ground.