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.


Something Freaky

July 29, 2009

Old Tree

“Wanna see something freaky?”

“Sure” said Harry, lowering his shotgun.

Arnold twisted the grenade cap and gently threw it to the ground ahead of the oncoming zombie. With a dull thump it detonated in a cloud of smoke and dirt.

Harry tilted his head and leaned back against a nearby tree “I’ve seen crawlers before” he said, as out of the smoke crawled the zombie, minus legs and lower midsection.

“Well watch this” said Arnold as he walked over to the zombie dragging itself toward them. He danced over its outstretched hand, stood behind it and leaned over the creatures back, waving his hand in its face.

With a snarl the creature reared up, gnashing its teeth as it desperately tried to bite down on Arnold’s hand. Arnold in turn raised his hand up while the creature pushed itself upward, until finally it was sitting upright, balancing on its hands, leaving its torso hovering above the ground.

“Huh, would you look at that!” exclaimed Harry “That is kinda freaky”

At the sound of Harry’s voice the creature fixed its eyes on Harry and in a quick smooth movement Arnold pulled his hand back out of the creature’s vision. Fixated on Harry, the creature rocked to the side lifted one hand and swung its weight forward. Harry’s eyes went wide as the creature began to walk on its hands toward him, trailing blood and letting out a low growl.

“Holy cow! That’s freaky!” and with that he leveled his shotgun, pulled the trigger and fired a heavy slug through the creatures head.

“I told ya” said Arnold.

The Final Choice

June 23, 2009

Old Hut

Harold sat with his back wedged against the wooden door, feet pressed into the ground in front of him, pushing his full weight back, holding the door against the constant assault from the other side. He looked around the room to see Macy suddenly knocked back from the window she had been trying to block with a large plank of wood. Hoping she could hear his shout over the near deafening moans and roars of the surrounding horde he pulled his revolver clear and slid it across the ground to her.

Knocking into her hand she scrabbled for the pistol, aimed and pulled the trigger, sending a dark skinned zombie flying back into the night. Almost immediately two more appeared at the window, desperately pulling at the opening, and trying to drag themselves in. Another survivor, David pushed back from the door he was trying to hold shut, swung his shotgun up and fired a heavy slug into the head that had forced its way around the door frame. Lashing out he kicked the now lifeless head back and closed the door, sliding the dead bolt in place.

With a smash of splinters Harold was flung forward as something heavy slammed into the door with a deafening crash. Immediately Harold jumped to his feet and sprang back toward the door, only to meet it nose first as it swung inwards and two heavy set zombies spilled into the room.

Stunned, with blood pouring from his crushed nose Harold crawled toward Macy’s feet as she began to unload the pistol wildly into the doorway, killing the two zombies with two perfectly placed shots along with two more rounds out through into the night air and into the tightly packed throng of zombies surrounding the small hut.

She shouldered the door shut and braced herself against it, turning to look back into the room and hold the door in place. As his vision began to clear, Harold picked himself up, only to be struck again in the face as David’s shotgun was flung across the room with David quickly following locked in a hand to hand struggle with another zombie that had forced its way into the building.

Harold again staggered to his feet, only to find several zombies pushing their way over the now prone, but violently convulsing David as his life blood poured to the ground. Harold looked over at Macy, who wild eyed looked back to him. Tears falling from her eyes she whispered to him, her voice strangely floating clear over the background noise of the walking dead “I’m sorry”. With that she placed the pistol to her temple and pulled the trigger.

Harold watched in shock as blood sprayed back against the door and her lifeless body fell to the floor. Looking up he ducked under the swing of an approaching zombie, dropped to one knee and scooped up the shotgun. Pumping a cartridge into the chamber he leveled the barrel to his attacker’s skull and pulled the trigger. The boom set his ears ringing as blood, bone and hair shot across the room.

More zombies flooded into the room, their arms outstretched and pallid skin hanging loosely from their flesh. Harold pumped the shotgun one final time, reversed the gun to his mouth and pulled the trigger.

The gun clicked.

Wild eyed and desperate Harold again pumped the shotgun, aimed it to his mouth and pulled the trigger, again it clicked.

Harold’s screams echoed through the night air for a few agonizing minutes, until finally, he was silenced. If anyone had been listening, they would have heard a new voice added to the zombie horde as it milled around the deserted building. They stayed there for days, until finally one of the zombies spotted something in the distance and with a lurch, they set off in search of fresh prey.

Desperate Battle

January 6, 2009

Frozen with fear, his hands shaking and his breath coming in short sharp gulps, he listened to her muffled screams coming from the adjacent room. He knew she was dead, its was only a matter of time, still, he looked at the trail of blood where she had fought a retreating battle, while he had been trying to find the shotgun ammo. Now he hesitated trying to not think about the horror around the corner.

Sucking down a shuddering breath he pumped the shotgun and turned the corner. His wife was on the ground feebly hitting a hulking figure that was gouging itself on her pulled free entrails, the other two zombies turned to him as he entered, reaching pale dead fingers toward his face. Raising the barrel he fired the 12 gauge slug through the first’s outstretched hands and into its face. Rapidly he pumped the shotgun, pulling the trigger as the second grabbed his jacket. The slug caught the zombie in the shoulder, spinning it away from him.

He pumped again, trying desperately to aim for the head as the larger zombie stood up and reached out. The shotgun fired, hitting the chest, and knocking the zombie backward. He pumped again, sighted down the barrel at the larger zombie’s mouth as the blood of his wife oozed out and pulled the trigger. His triumphant smile turned to a scream as the second zombie crashed into him, knocking the shotgun away. He struggled to rise against the dead weight above him, and tried to stop the cold hands from tearing at his throat. They fought for what felt like an eternity, but with no regard for its own health and feeling no pain it was a losing battle. With a sickening wrench the zombie tore his throat clear and as his life blood rapidly flowed from him he looked across at the now still body of his wife and tried to tell her he was sorry.