A Good Idea

January 8, 2010

The wind whispered across the rooftop as a lone man stood at the edge looking down at the street ten stories below.

“Dude, you there yet?” he said into the radio duct taped to his head.

Far below him at street level his friend pressed the intercom button and whispered a “yes”. His movements were slow and careful as he moved through the storefront debris toward the broken window and the two shambling figures out on the street.

On the rooftop, the man pulled a small object from his pocket, pointed it downward and flicked a switch. On the street a bright red dot appeared, dancing across cars and around the two zombies until it had their attention. Their eyes fixated on the dot as they lurched toward it, hands grasping at the air and the beam of color as the light hit them. Suddenly and with a flick of his wrist, the light shot away from the two fixated horrors, down the street and began to dance around the large intersection.

“Alright man, we know it works, now let’s see if they stay after the light or if they want your short-straw-pulling ass!”

The man in the shop, pulled himself up and began to walk out into the street, unnoticed, until the light whisked back from the intersection, danced on his shoulders and then flicked back to the intersection to resume its dance.

The two zombies stood transfixed, staring at the man who stood with a worried look on his face in the middle of the street. With a near simultaneous moan the two lurched forward, slack jawed and eyes transfixed as the man turned to run and realized the other end of the street was blocked with several crashed vehicles and a bus.

As the two advanced, the light shone down from the rooftop, its powerful beam hitting them both in quick succession and then began to circle around them. With an odd moan the two came to a stop, looking back and forth between the beam and the near fear-frozen man in front of them. Again the beam moved away from them back to the intersection and slowly the two followed it up the street, the human distraction now forgotten.

“Ha ha! I told you it would work!” the rooftop man yelled down, forgetting the radio taped to his head “It’s going to be plain sailing from here n-“ he paused mid shout as his companion began to sprint down the street toward the barricade of cars “Where you going?” he shouted before looking up the street toward where he still pointed the laser.

“Oh crap” he mumbled, as dozens of figures poured into the intersection, grasping at the red light. He flicked the beam off and stared as the zombies milled around and watched as more walked into view and joined the crowd.

“Hey” he whispered into the radio “You need to get out of there man, this wasn’t supposed to happen”

As he watched his friend climbing onto the first car he saw him reach up and toggle his mic “You think? YOU THINK I DON’T KNOW THIS WASN’T SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN?”

“Don’t shout, don’t shout, shhhhh”

It was too late. The closest zombies had looked down the street at the noise, seen the figure struggling to climb up the side of a twisted SUV and had begun to make their way toward him.

Turning mid climb the man looked back and saw the approaching wall of zombies, reached up in a desperate panic and tried to pull himself onto the top of the vehicle. With a sharp ‘Thunk’ the door came loose in his hands, dropped from his grip and landed on his foot with a bone splintering ‘Thud’.

The man on the roof looked with wide eyes as he watched the figure fall back to the street screaming. He reached up and switched the radio off before pocketing the laser and walking across the rooftop. As he looked down at the river he breathed a small sigh of relief as the screams abruptly ended and left him alone to listen to the whispering wind gliding around him.

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All The Clues Were There

September 11, 2009

Old-Street

“GET TO THE TRUCK!”

Backing down the alleyway the six heavily armed survivors methodically unloaded bullets into the approaching wall of zombies. Accuracy was not a concern, as long as the shot was aimed at head height a zombie almost always dropped to the floor.

Looking back, Abbey, the group’s leader saw a side door to the alley vibrating and splintering as something on the other side tried to get through. Swinging her weapon she fired a full clip into the flimsy wood. As she reloaded she called out “Mark, Anthony, get to the truck and start it up, we need to go!” Firing several last rounds each they turned and sprinted for the vehicles, Mark jumping into the cab and Anthony hopping into the flat bed. As Anthony’s shots began to fly over their heads into the approaching crowd and the roar of the trucks engine coming to life filled the air Abbey gave the order “Alright, one more clip each then run!” and with that the remaining survivors unloaded the rest of their loaded ammunition, turned and fled to the waiting vehicle.

Pulling each other onto the flat bed, they each took up positions and began to fire again, trying to hold their aim steady as Mark rammed the vehicle into gear and began to accelerate. With a sudden crash a nearby door leading to the street shattered outward and a large, dark skinned man emerged, running toward them.

With a startled scream, Abbey, the closest person to the rapidly approaching figure, pulled the trigger and sent a hail of bullets into and through the man, ripping through him, sending him crashing to the floor, clutching at his throat as blood pumped out across his hands and onto the dusty street. As the truck picked up speed Abbey watched as the man, now on his knees, was enveloped in dust from the truck. For a minute there was silence, broken only by the sound of the trucks suspension creaking as they drove.

Finally, Anthony looked up at Abbey “Zombies don’t run Boss” he said.


Self Control

September 4, 2009

Old Clock TowerThe old French town had seen better days, and as Jean picked his way carefully over the rubble he wondered if he would ever see those days return. Dropping to his knees alongside an overturned and burnt out car, he scanned the town square for sign of movement. His gut screamed at him to keep going, but his brain, in calm control, forced the fear down. Hasty action resulted in death these days, he had seen it countless times, had watched the fear overtake people’s minds, driving them to flee, to fight, to make fast, stupid decisions.

He stayed silent and still for several more seconds, before finally, with agonizing deliberation and slowness, set off across the square, staying close to the larger chunks of debris and scanning the dark, empty store fronts and doorways, as he made his way toward the base of the clock tower.

He approached cautiously, reaching out with one hand to test the handle, while pointing his small revolver at head height at the door frame. Twisting the handle he pushed, only to knock the door against the dead bolt in place. “Dammit” he exclaimed as he turned back to look out across the square, trying to locate another suitable location to hide for the night.

As he looked around he heard a loud wooden creak from above, looking up with wide eyes, he watched as the top floor window splintered outwards, showering a cloud of glass and wooden splinters around a dark figure of a man as he stepped out into the void above Jean. Throwing himself into the door, he tried to press himself backward as the figure hurtled toward him. With a sickening crunch the man slammed into the ground, dragging his face down along Jean’s leg, shredding muscle and leaving teeth and fragments of bone imbedded into Jean’s outstretched leg.

Screaming in pain and panic Jean fired wildly as the disfigured man, began to pull himself up with jerky sporadic movements, before slumping back to the ground as the bullets shattered what remained of his skull. “NO!” Jean screamed as he looked at his torn and bleeding leg and at the now still zombie lying in front of him. “NO! NO!” He screamed again, violently kicking the still body in a fit of rage and spraying dark black red blood across the floor. As the rage subsided Jean slid down the door in exhaustion and pain. As he sat there breathing deeply he heard a distant sound. He closed his eyes and swore as the low moans of a dozen zombies reached his ears. He looked up and could make out the first of them emerging from an alleyway, shambling toward him with hungry murder in its eyes. Jean looked at the approaching zombie, looked at his pistol, aimed and pulled the trigger.


Path of Destruction

August 21, 2009

Hillside

Demetri and Rodya crawled along side the low wall, carefully placing their feet so as not to make any noise and keeping a steady hand on the Kalashnikovs slung across their necks. Demetri reached the end of the wall first and looked down the hillside at the large antiquated but still in service flak cannon below. Squinting he tried to make out the distant figures moving around the large multi barreled, vertically pointing cannon. Rodya nudged him and handed him a set of binoculars, which Demetri took with a silent nod.

Through the magnified view he could see three of the men rushing to one side of the gun and pointing out across the adjacent field. Panning across to see what they had spotted Demetri cursed as he watched a group of shambling undead making their way toward the gun post. Zooming out, he watched as two more men joined the three, bringing with them a collection of rifles that they passed out. Each man loaded his rifle, took aim and after a few seconds began firing at the oncoming undead.

The crackle of gunfire drifted up toward them, as Rodya leant back against the wall and lit a cigarette. “The poor bastards don’t know how to kill them” muttered Demetri as the zombies continued moving across the field and reached the low sandbag wall around the gun emplacement. Dragging itself over, the first one reached out and grabbed the closest soldier who, unlike the others, had not had the sense to back away. Ignoring the bullets that shredded its outstretched hand and arm the zombie fell onto the soldier, dragging him to the floor and tearing flesh and limbs apart.

As Demetri watched more of the undead poured over the wall, walking through the hail of bullets unimpeded toward the soldiers. In a desperate act, one of the defenders threw his rifle to the ground and ran to the firing seat of the large gun. With a metallic screech the barrels swung down, and rapidly rotated toward the zombies. Despite several being alongside the barrels and thus out of the firing line the soldier pulled the trigger and started firing. Demetri pulled the binoculars away and watched as the massive gun began to shred the adjacent field, churning turf apart, shredding zombies and splintering whole trees into shattered firewood as the massive explosive ‘Booms’ rolled across the small valley.

Rodya’s cigarette hung loose from his lips as he stared in disbelief at the destruction below him, and then, as something caught his eye, he nudged Demetri and pointed. One of the undead had walked around the gun, ignoring the fierce hand to hand battle of soldiers against zombies and proceeded to stumble up to the gunner. Reaching over the seat the zombie grabbed the soldiers jaw and pulled. Blood sprayed onto the gun and with another vicious pull the zombie dragged the soldier out of the seat, knocking a lever and setting the gun in motion.

Demetri and Rodya sat motionless as the gun began to rotate and lift, sending round after round into tree tops and then along the hillside. The two looked at the path of destruction rapidly making its way toward them and with unspoken panic, launched themselves down the hillside. As they ran Demetri looked to his side at the rapidly approaching destructive line and with a desperate roar, threw himself forward, knocking Rodya to the ground. As the two tumbled down the hillside, Demetri could hear the sound of whistling shells flying over his head and felt the thumping vibrations pounding through his chest. Mud, grass and smoke rolled over them and then, in an instance, it was gone.

Lying on the ground, bruised and battered the two looked up as the giant cannon stopped firing and its slow whirl came to a stop. For a moment nothing moved and then, with agonizing slowness, one of the soldiers, blood pouring from a gaping wound in his side and arm hanging at an impossible angle, stood up, spied the two lying on the hill and let out a low moan that drifted across the hillside toward them. As they watched several more stood up and joining the first, began to lurch toward them.

Demetri swore, tilted his neck until it gave a satisfying crack, picked up his rifle, turned toward Rodya and said “Time to get up comrade, we have work ahead”.


Ill Prepared

August 20, 2009

Rain at Night

Inside the camouflaged tent, four men stood around a large table. The only illumination coming from an overhead lamp shining down on a map covered with red, green and grey blocks of wood. Listening intently to the headsets they each wore they would occasionally reach out with thin poles they each held and move one or more of the green and red blocks, maneuvering them around the larger grey blocks that indicated one of the nearby city’s buildings.

Striding into the tent a young officer glanced over the map, swore and strode back out, barking orders into the heavy downpour to the assembled troops. After a few moments of gentle silence, the officer re-entered the tent, this time with several other officers in tow.

“Status?” asked one of the senior officers.

“Not good Sir” replied the young officer “Incursion team four and seven have been cut off and surrounded. They managed to blockade themselves here and here” he said as he indicated two blocks of green balanced on two separate blocks of grey. “They have one injured, but not infected. The bigger concern is here” he said as he indicated a green block off to the side of the city “Last check in they were under moderate attack, however they lost their radio and we’ve heard nothing since”

“Have we sent anyone to check on them?” asked another officer.

“No Sir, apart from the command guard all units are tied up and with the heavy rain, as you know sir, air support is limited in how much they can see” replied the young officer as he watched more red blocks being pushed toward a line of greens to the north edge of the map.

“Well, we sho..” The officer stopped talking as the sound of machine gun fire, muffled by the rain drifted into the tent “ahh, the nearest combat group is two miles away, what’s going on out there?” As he finished his sentence, one of the radio men reached out and with a slight hand tremble, placed four large red blocks directly on the square of paper marked ‘command’.

Outside they could hear barked orders and more gunfire tearing through the night rain. With trained precision the senior officers headed out of the tent and toward their own individual commands. As they vanished into the night the junior officer looked around nervously at the radio men, who despite the looming danger stayed focused on the task at hand, leaning forward and adjusting troop positions on the map as the radio reports came in.

A blast of gun fire directly outside the tent made the officer jump and as he turned toward the tent flap a bloodied camouflaged soldier was thrown through. As he scrabbled for his pistol several dark shapes stepped over the now motionless marine, lunging forward, the first grabbed the officers shirt and dragged him in, smashing their heads together. Dazed the officer tried to swing at his assailant as a second figure caught his arm and pulled with inhuman strength. With a loud ‘crack’ his arm snapped, protruding bone through his forearm and spraying the room with blood. Reeling away from the two assailants the officer turned to the table only to more figures attacking the radio operators. He tried to call out for help, but with a hard ‘thud’ pain tore through his back as something smashed into him and threw him across the table, scattering blocks and smashing his head into the hard slate of the table top.

Pulling himself up he felt something tear into his back again and again, until finally, the pain stopped and he slumped down across the table, unfeeling, as something pulled at his back, spraying warm blood onto the back of his neck and shoulders. As he lay dying on the table, unable to move, he watched as his blood pooled out from the gaping wounds in his back and arm, onto the map and as he began to lose consciousness he watched as the red blood swept around the few remaining green blocks on the map and the sound of gunfire faded into the distance.


Drive By Savior

August 17, 2009

Deserted Country Road

Stumbling over the road barrier, the zombie held its gaze on the young woman as it crashed down to the hard concrete, pulled itself up to its knees and continued to incessantly move toward her. The woman looked around madly, trying to find a weapon within arm’s reach, but all she could find on her side of the road was tarmac and dirt. As the zombie moved into the median, torn skin hanging from its bare chest she caught glimpses of the shattered and torn leg that was hampering its speed.

Letting out a grunting moan the creature pushed itself to its feet, compacting the shattered bone of its upper calf into the almost severed foot. Somehow the foot stayed in place and the zombie lurched forward, bobbing up and down as it stomped down on the now shortened leg with sickening bone crunching sounds.

The woman pulled herself back, yanking on a tuft of grass, dragging her own bloodied and useless leg behind her in a last desperate attempt to escape the certainty that she knew was coming. She looked up as the creatures shadow fell across her, having crossed the final lane and stepping onto the side of the road where she lay, looming over her and blotting out the sun.

As it reached a hand out toward her face, a loud engine roar shattered the still air and caused the two of them  to look up at the oncoming vehicle that was barreling down the road toward them.

Blinking through tears she saw the vehicle approaching, and watched as the man lean out of the window. With a sudden ‘THUNK’ he screamed in triumph as he connected the baseball bat in his outstretched arms to the zombies head, shattering it and sending everything from the nose up out across the bordering field. With a quiver the zombie fell to the floor, dark blood leaking from its missing skullcap.

The woman lay there shaking, as she watched the vehicle drive into the distance and the man, still leaning out the window shout “WooooooooooooooHHOOOooOoooooooo”.


City Aflame

August 14, 2009

Burning City

The flames were tearing through the city now, entire city blocks aflame, apartment towers and offices alike belching thick black smoke into the night sky. Brad wiped the soot away from his eyes and looked around the street, shotgun in his right hand, and gripping his left was his son.

“OK, follow me, if we can get to the bridge there’s a car rental place there” he said, moving away from the buildings doorway and out into the street. He had learned quickly over the last few hours to stay well away from the edge of the street.

As the first reports of infected had leaked out onto the local news Brad had paid it little attention. The first quarantined building was on the other side of town and nothing for the general population to worry about. Even as the fire had broken out within the building, captured on camera and beamed across the city, Brad had settled down on the couch with a beer and that mornings newspaper. He had only looked up at the TV when the first burning man had walked out of the building and attacked the nearest firefighter. He had sat there fixated as the walking pillar of fire crossed the street toward another firefighter, ignoring the gunshots and bullets thudding into it from the nearby police. He had watched in morbid fascination, as more human torches exited the building, unhurriedly walking toward the police who had begun to flee the scene or crossing the street, following the crowd of onlookers who had fled back into the opposite building.

The flames had quickly spread after that, matched only in speed by the spread of the infected across the city. Within hours the city was aflame, the streets were clogged with stationary cars, many alight and public transport had come to a complete halt. Brad and his son had gathered up a few supplies and headed out into the glowing night as they had watched the neighboring apartment building go up in flames. Brad shut his eyes and forced the memory from his mind, trying not to picture the figures struggling in the windows across the street, trying to fight back against the attackers that had poured through their apartment doors, seemingly unhurt by bullets and fire alike.

He stepped over another prone body, probably the twentieth jumper he had seen within the past hour and strode down the middle of the street toward the bridge. Approaching the giant structure he could see a blockade of police cars and SWAT vans across all six lanes of the bridges mouth. He waved as a bright spotlight was turned toward him and slowed his walk, holding his arms out away from his body and letting the shotgun dangle from his outstretched finger tips. As he slowly stepped forward the light suddenly swung away from him and lit up a number of people to Brads left. Turning to look at them his stomach turned to stone as the first one stumbled toward him, a female, whose left arm was completely missing and whose clothes and skin was charred and torn away in multiple places.

Panicking Brad pushed his son away from him toward the police line and took aim at the nightmarish figure bearing down on him. He leveled the shotgun and pulled the trigger. The gun roared tearing a huge chunk of the attacker’s torso away. Still she kept coming at him. Brad pumped the shotgun and fired another round, this time hitting her squarely in the chest, knocking her back several paces before she began to lumber toward him. He pumped the gun again and fired another round, snapping her left knee in half and sending her spinning to the ground. Brad looked up as she began pulling herself toward him, to see another disfigured man lurching his way. He squealed, pumped the shotgun, aimed higher, pulled the trigger and watched as the top portion of the man’s skull shattered under the impact, sending a plume of blood and hair into the night air.

Brad stepped backward as the lifeless body crashed in a heap at his feet. With a lunge the crawling woman grabbed his leg, pulled in close and bit down hard on Brad’s boot. With a cry of pain Brad slammed the stock into the her head, ramming it into the hard pavement and leaving broken teeth protruding from his now bleeding foot. He reversed the shotgun, pumped it a final time and fired, point blank, at the base of her skull. The blast tore through the bone, mulching the brain and sent shrapnel in every direction as the buckshot hit the pavement. Brad screamed as hot fragments tore through his leg and already hurt foot.

Limping backwards he spotted more figures moving out of the shadows toward him. He turned and began to limp toward the police line and the silhouetted figure of his son, anxiously waiting for him. As he approached a heavily armed officer approached him “Sir, were you bitten?” he asked.

“Uhh, no, no its just shrapnel from the shotgun” Brad replied back, his voice tinged with fear and his mind racing at what would happen if they suspected he had been bitten.

“Alright, good” responded the officer, his attention already shifting to the oncoming group “Get over the bridge and find a paramedic, they should be able to help you out”

Brad nodded, grabbed his sons arm and began to make his way toward the bridge. As they made their way across they could hear the officer barking orders and gunshots ringing out as they opened fire on the onrushing group.

Half way across the bridge he turned to his son and pulled the small one round pistol from his sock “I want you to have this son. Don’t be afraid to use it, no matter what happens or who you need to use it on. No matter who it is, don’t hesitate. Do you understand?”

The young teenager looked up at his father as he took the pistol offered to him “Yes dad” he replied.