Rock and Rollie

February 6, 2016 at 11:08 am (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , )

“I just can’t shoot a kid in the back,” Jack said, as he lowered his new rifle.

“I would tend to agree with you,” Rollie started, as he checked his pistol and found it loaded, “But if they come back with a dozen more kids that are less than happy that we have now killed two of their number, I think we might be in some serious trouble.”

ZOmbie Hordes

“That and by the sounds of things zombies have already claimed the other side of this wall.” Stopping only long enough to loot a large hunting knife from the still warm body of the teen he’d just shot down, Jack continued. “We have little choice but to follow this through. We’ll never make it past the zombies without water and hopefully more gear.”

Looking in the direction the two teens had fled, Rollie asked, “But what makes our lives more valuable than theirs? There has been so much death already and all of it useless.” The loss of Will came bubbling up and left him barely able to breath.

Jack regarded him silently for a moment. “Death owns this world now. When the living try to assist death by making me join its ranks, I’m more than happy to return the favor and beat them to that punch. Now we need to quit yapping and get going.”

Then, without another word, Jack led the way around the rock formation and they jogged up the old road to the north. On either side of them pristine desert rose from the steaming sand. The area on this side of the wall appeared to be zombie free. Of the teens there remained no sign.

Rollie feared another sniper and the back of his neck prickled as he imagined a bullet hitting him at any moment. The desert cliffs and cactus offered a hundred hidden areas, but so far they made their way without issue.

New Stalwarts

They pair traveled anther hundred yards and found what they had originally been seeking. It wasn’t large and it appeared murky, but they before them they found more water than Rollie had seen in a year. The pool stretched twenty by thirty feet and may have reached his waist in its center.

Jack dropped his pack to the ground. “First things first, fill the containers we have and then stash the backpacks, but this isn’t going to work unless we find a vehicle and maybe not even then, but a place this organized should have some rides. We’re going to need one.”

“I don’t know, Jack, we could just head into the desert and circle around the horde.”

“And what have to do this again in a week? Screw that, and screw these people that think they have the right to Tucson’s best water supply. I don’t mind them setting up a base, but to shoot us on sight when we’re just trying to survive, fuck that.” Jack’s eyes blazed. “Stay here and fill those in case we have to go with your plan. I’m going to get a ride and I’m going to cut down anyone that tries to stop me.” A mirthless grin crossed his face and he finished with, “And I hope some of them do.”

Jack Primus

Rollie stared at the man who was willing to take on who knew how many men instead of just taking their gallons and run. He took the time to dunk his head into the water and take in a few mouthfuls. It tasted brackish, but most likely it would be fit to drink. Then he focused on the task as hand. He spoke under his breath and he filled to big water bottles at the same time.

“I’m not sure what sort of testosterone overload that guy has, but he’s going to…” his voice traveled off when he heard movement in the hills behind him. Damn, he thought to himself, it would be just my luck to have to be the one to have to fight these delinquents by myself.

He listened and kept filing the containers and then put their lids on. All the while he scanned the cliffs with subtle movements. Play in cool, Rollie. Play it…

“Hold it right there asshole,” a young voice cried out.

Looking up suddenly caused droplets of water to arc out from his hair and splash before him into the pool.

There were two of them, but not the same ones who had fled away from him before. Each held a pistol pointed at him, but they were still on the cliffs on the opposite side of the pool—a good sixty feet away.

“Take that pistol off slowly and tell us where the other asshole is!” the one with darker brown hair yelled.

Pitch“““

Rollie knew he was a bad shoot, but hoped these teens might be just as bad. He’d always heard that in the real world hitting a moving target with a pistol proved difficult, but if they had been practicing on zombies over the last year it could go either way.

He went for it anyway. Drawing his pistol as quickly as his skills allowed, he got the first shots off as he got to his feet and sprinted to the rocks located on the north side of the pool.

They shot back and bullets ripped through the air like angry hornets. One sparked off a rock before him, but he kept running. Somehow he made it to the slabs of orange sandstone and drove behind them.

pistol

He listened.

He heard no sounds of new clips being driven home. Could these people be low on bullets? Perhaps they left in such great haste they forgot to grab them. He figured if that was the case they probably each only had a bullet or two left in their pistols. Still…one bullet is enough.

“Come out, you stupid thieving coward!” The brown haired teen demanded.

“Oh yeah,” Rollie called out. “Sounds like a great idea. You watched too many cops shows kid. And BTW, if you head toward me, you’ll be the one getting shot.”

The teens found cover and he could just hear their murmuring voices. But then he heard something else. A loud tearing sound disturbed the desert birds and two ravens took flight and soared over his head. Seconds later this was followed by an echoing crash.

“What the hell is that?” the teen shouted.

Rollie called back. “My guess is that all this shooting drew in enough zombs to tear through your gate. Now we can either work together or all die. What do you say?”

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Zombie Agro

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Blood, Walls, and Teenagers

January 15, 2016 at 1:09 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , )

Rollie tried to wipe the tears from his eyes as Jack hurried him away from the sounds of the zombies feasting on his former lover. Despite his overwhelming trauma he remembered the sniper, who had so recently caused Will’s demise.

 

When he noticed they headed straight up the road that had so recently been unsafe, he said, “What happened to that damn gunman?”

Zombie Masses

“Sorry, if you wanted to kill him yourself, I’m afraid I beat you to that punch.”

 

“I just want him dead. I don’t care who did it.” Regaining some composure, he asked, “Did you learn anything?”

 

“I learned that some group has put a lot of effort into making sure the water stays in and the zombies stay out. There is a huge wall around the next bend and they have damned up the water.” He stopped and took a moment to look Rollie in the eye. “We aren’t going to be able to get to the water without climbing over the wall and entering their territory.”

“But there was only one guard?’ Rollie asked as they jogged north. He could still hear the sounds of the undead fighting over their feast, but the pair had at least put some distance between them and the horde.

 

“I only saw one man guarding the wall, but with those shots fired their whole group could be showing up. Who knows how many that might be, but we need to get over the wall before then.”

 

Matching his words, Jack took up his pace leaving Rollie needing to run in order to keep up. Without looking back, Jack rushed the wall. The sight of it caused Rollie to hesitate.

 

From the looks of the ten foot high structure, whole sections of houses had been torn away and brought up the old road through the canyon. These ruined sections were attached together by two-by-fours and any other scraps they had scavenged. No gate graced the road. This structure was a permanent blockade. Some group had worked very hard to shut out the rest of the world and for a year at least, it had worked.

aPOC wall

Shaking his head, Rollie hurried to catch up for with a leap and a grab, Jack had already thrown himself over. Rollie expected to hear shots or yells, but nothing of the kind occurred.

 

Rollie had more difficulty climbing the wall, but Jack’s hand reached down and he helped pull him over. Beneath them a freshly killed body’s blood stained the crumbling pavement.

 

Rollie knelt next to the man that had killed his lover. The first thing he discovered was that it wasn’t a man at all. The boy might have just started high school before the plague began. Rollie doubted he was older than fifteen. Fifteen and he had killed Will. Fifteen, and Jack had cut him down.

 

Rollie flinched when a loud moan let them know that the undead hadn’t given up the chase. The wall looked strong, but Rollie didn’t look forward to having to fight through hundreds of zombies to get back to their safe house. Part of him wondered why he should go back—or bother doing anything at all. Thoughts of a bloody revenge turned to dust in his mouth as he looked down at the kid beneath his feet.

Rollie

Jack was looking through boxes and tables that lined the wall. He would want to go back for Sammy, there was no way Jack would abandon her.

 

A smile crossed Jack’s face and Rollie couldn’t be sure why that would happen, until he saw jack take three huge gulps out of a green canteen. He smiled again and tossed it to Rollie. “The first thing that has gone right today.”

 

Rollie had just finished some gulps of his own when three young teens, each no more than sixteen years old, rushed around a bend in the road on their side of the fence. Unlike the youth on the wall, these three had no rifles. Two carried metal tipped spears, while the tallest of the trio held a pistol.

 

The teenager with the pistol started to raise it until Jack pointed the rifle their way. “I wouldn’t advise trying that. In fact drop it and all the other weapons you have or I’ll blast away your knees and throw you over your damn wall.”

Pistol II

Rollie clenched his bat and took a step forward, but felt like a poor sidekick to the heavily armed former bouncer.

 

The lead youth lowered but didn’t drop the pistol. “Screw you man! What did you do to tuttle?”

 

“Slit his throat when he killed our friend,” Jack replied through clenched teeth. “You killed one of us and we killed one of you. I’d consider us even and-”

 

“Screw you!” the youth yelled and then raised his pistol.

 

A single shot rang out and the boy’s head exploded into gore and splashed the other two teen’s shirts with arcs of crimson.

 

They looked at their dead friend and then Jack. A second later they raced away back toward the bend in the road.

 

Jack raised the rifle, but then said, “Son of a bitch. I can’t shot unarmed kids in the back.”

 

“But who knows who they might be running off to warn?”

 

“Rrrrr, you’re right come on!” Jack set off in a fast sprint.

 

Rollie stopped only long enough to grab the pistol and rushed after him.

 

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Zombie crawl

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I hope you enjoyed this episode of Rollie’s dangerous journey into the second year of the Eternal Aftermath. Come back next weekend for the next part of the tale.

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Troubles and Tragedy

January 8, 2016 at 12:37 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , )

Rollie watched his lover as he lay there unmoving in the center of the old road. From where he hid behind a boulder he couldn’t tell if Will had been shot badly or might just be feigning a worse injury in order to not be shot again. For once no zombie moans were heard and after all the flying bullets and fighting of undead, the desert fell into an eerie silence, which nothing seemed willing to break.

Zombies before the red sky

For a moment Rollie just panted, trying to gather his breath while he watched the unmoving form of his lover. His gut reaction was to run to his aid, but he’d heard stories about snipers just wounding soldiers in order to lure others out to get shot. He figured that could easily be the case here. So, not knowing what to do, he waited.

Dirk II

He thought he heard a grunt from ahead of him, but couldn’t tell if it came from something living or dead. Moans quickly followed dispelling the brief silence. The pursuing zombies had reached them. He gasped as he saw their bodies fill the horizon to the south.

 

Their darkened forms blocked the road and flowed into the desert on either side. They would reach him soon and, sniper or no, he would have to leave his cover or suffer a far worse fate than being shot.

Zom zom

Figuring if he had to die, being shot near Will beat being torn to pieces alone, so he left his cover and sprinted toward his lover. Every second he expected the impact of lead slamming into him, but no shot came. He reached Will’s side safely, but with the approaching horde, that safety wouldn’t last long.

 

“Will, Will are you alright?”

Will

He groaned. “Can’t say that I am, champ.”

 

Looking down, he saw that Will had taken the bullet in the gut. Two years ago, he might have been saved by a well supplied doctor in an ED, now…such injuries were fatal. Tears welled up blurring his vision. He no longer cared about the sniper or the approaching zombies. His life was over. Having Will around was the only bright light, the only thing that kept him willing to continue through this nightmare the world had become. In the end it wasn’t even a zombie that had killed him. Another human had shot him down for the crime of just wanting a drink of water.

 

“Its okay buddy, but you know what you have to do.”

 

“What? What are you talking about?” He grabbed Will under the shoulders and started to drag him away from the looming horde.

 

Will cried out. “It’s no use. I’m a goner either way. You’re going to have to finish me. I don’t want to die one bite at a time.” He looked up at Rollie. “I’m sorry buddy, but I won’t be here to look after you any more.”

 

“Don’t say that,” Rollie choked through his tears, but he couldn’t move Will fast enough and the forefront of the zombies drew near.

 

“Please do it, Rollie. Please, before it is too late.”

 

“I can’t. I just can’t”

 

Will tried to smile, but Rollie could tell he was in agony. “You always make me take care of the hard jobs don’t you.” He laughed and blood splattered his lips as he did so. His left hand grabbed Rollie’s shirt and pulled him in closer. “Listen. I want you to survive, but you’re going to have to toughen up. Please, fight on. Find good people. Build a new life.”

 

Then he savagely kissed him. Rollie tried to kiss him back, but Will pulled away. Will gave him one last smile before plunging his dagger into his own eye. He fell back with a gasp and Rollie lost it.

Zombie darkness

The first few zombies were about to reach him and Rollie snatched up his bat before yelling, “No! You won’t have him!”

 

He laid into the undead, smashing one after the other in a berserk frenzy. He fought like he never had before. In less than a minute he had laid ten out, but more came. Many more came.

 

He had prepared himself to literally go down swinging, when a hand gasped his shoulder. He turned to smash to owner with his bat, but a hand grasped it before he could swing.

 

“What the hell are you doing? We need to get out of here.” It was Jack and he had a new rifle grasped in his hands.

 

“But Will…”

 

“Do you think he’d want you to die?” Jack asked, as he yanked Rollie away from the questing hands of the undead.

 

Rollie didn’t reply, but allowed Jack to lead him north. Looking back he saw that Will had made a final sacrifice for his body occupied the zombies long enough for them to escape.

 

Wiping away fresh tears, he swore to himself that the people that brought about Will’s death would pay. He didn’t care if it cost him his life. He would make them pay.

 

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ccc

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I hope you enjoyed this episode of Rollie’s dangerous journey into the second year of the Eternal Aftermath. Come back next weekend for the next part of the tale.

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Zombie vs soldier

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Back to a Boulder

December 18, 2015 at 7:53 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, zom, Zombie) (, , , , )

The trio scattered after the first gunshot exploded into the pavement before them. Several rounds followed, but Rollie remained too focused on running to tell if Will or Jack might have gotten hit. He heard no screams and hoped this was a good sign.

Face Biter

He gained the shelter of a series of tan rocks the lined the side of the road. He still hadn’t caught his breath when a loud hiss sounded below him. He jerked back expecting a crippled zombie to be about to assault him, but instead saw a large gila monster racing away from him through the low desert bushes.

“Damn, that would have made a fine meal,” he laughed to himself.

The bullets had stopped and he was about to call out to the others when a new growl sounded and proved to be a far worse problem than a retreating lizard. Three large zombies headed his way. He couldn’t run because the snipper could still be out there, but he noted that the shooter made no effort to drop the zombies.

Rollie’s tight fingers clutched his bat. He readied himself as the first zombie drew into range. A big beer bellied freak dressed only in a ratty pair of boxers. His bat went back and then he cracked it on the head.

Zombie Boxers

Nothing.

Rollie started to panic as the thing’s grubby fingers reached for him, while the other two moved in. He smashed one hand away, breaking two fingers, but knew such tactics wouldn’t save him for long.

Placing his back to the rock wall, he braced himself and raised both legs. With a grunt he placed his feet on both of the big zombie’s thighs and pushed with all his strength. The fat zombie stumbled back and fell. Some luck had found Rollie for beer-belly-boxers took another one down with him.

The third one came at Rollie and he gave it a strong whack to the temple. This time it went down, but the other two were lurching back onto their feet. Rollie went for the closer one, which appeared to be a high school aged boy in a tattered basketball jersey. Rollie hit it on the skull and went he didn’t go down he hit it again and again. It took three smacks, but the teen finally dropped and stopped moving.

Zombie Box

That was when boxer shorts crashed into him. A loud growl filled silence of the desert and he grabbed Rollie and slammed him against the rock. Rollie fought back, but the freak might have outweighed him by a hundred pounds. They struggled and Rollie attempted to squirm away. He fell to his knees and made for the road despite the dangers of the shooter.

Stopping just short of where he would be exposed to the gunman, Rollie was about to fight back when the big zombie growled again and grabbed a fistful of his hair. Rollie gave out a yell and the zombie moved forward for a bite. He felt the zombie’s foul breath on his neck and figured he was done and that was when the zombie had his head shot off.

Rollie hurried back behind the boulders, but it was already too late. Will had heard him shout out and had started to run his way. Before Rollie could tell his lover that he was okay, another shot rang out and Will gasped once before he tumbled into the middle of the road.

Devon's Weapon
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I hope you enjoyed this part of Rollie’s dangerous journey into the second year of the Eternal Aftermath. Come back next weekend for the next part of the tale.
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Wake of Following Death

December 11, 2015 at 12:15 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, zom, Zombie) (, , , , )

The sounds of the large horde of decaying undead faded behind them, but Rollie knew they still followed and would never cease unless the trio eluded them, were devoured, or somehow managed to destroy them. They sprinted down the center of the sand covered road. The three of them dodged through rusted cars and dislodged clumps of cactus with Jack staying in the lead.

Zombie White

Random zombies lurched at them as they passed. Jack would literally hammer any that crossed his path with his sledge, while Will and he struggled to hold their own with their matching metal bats.

 

So far they had stayed safe enough, but the lack of water and the pounding heat was taking its toll. Rollie gasped for air and felt like his feet belonged to someone else. They passed in a blur beneath him and he just hoped he could continue to bounce over the uneven road long enough to reach the canyon.

 

“Even if there’s water up there, how’re we going to carry it back through all this hell?” he panted.

Man with axe, equals minus one zombie

Looking over his shoulder, Will said, “At this point finding water will make my day.” He smiled. “I’ll just lounge in the creek until I’m stuck by genius.”

 

“You’ll get struck with something, if you two don’t keep up,” Jack called back.

 

Finally he could see the huge parking lot that used to serve the canyon’s visitors. He was surprised by how many cars remained parked there. The place looked like more of a Grateful Dead concert than an abandoned lot. Any thoughts of survivors remaining there were quickly dispelled by the moans of dozens of zombies passing through the vehicles as they headed toward the breathers.

Zomie Blood girl

“Blow off the parking lot,” Jack said back at them. “Head around it. We just need to hit that road that leads up the canyon.”

 

“Why are so many cars there?” Rollie asked when the group gathered together as they crossed a barb wire fence.

 

Will answered. “With it being one of the only water sources in the area, I’m sure hundreds of people thought to come here.”

 

“Which means the canyon could be covered with creepers,” Jack said. “Let’s just hope the water’s good.”

 

“Or even there,” Will added, which earned him a glare from Jack.

 

The first mile of the old road passed through wild patches of thick cactus. So far Jack had been proved right for dozens of the walking dead barred their way. They had been able to pound their way through, but more and more were collecting in their wake. If those from the parking lot and the horde they had passed before were to catch up they could have nearly a thousand undead on their tail.

Zombie Sunset

At last they made the final turn and were able to see the first twist of the river below.

 

“It’s fucking dry!” Will wailed in a manner that hurt Rollie’s ears.

 

“Never might that,” Jack hissed. “There could still be pools above.” A second later the pavement three inches in from of Jack’s right boot exploded as the sound of a gunshot echoed through the hills.

 

 

 

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Zombie Aceam

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I hope you enjoyed the first part of Rollie’s dangerous journey into the second year of the Eternal Aftermath. Come back next weekend for the next part of the tale.

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Corpse Canyon

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Desert Waling, Horde Stalking

November 13, 2015 at 12:51 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , , )

Rollie wasn’t surprised when Will road shotgun for Jack. Like usual, he took a back seat to the two men when it came to proving their prowess in this dark, zombie infested world his life had been tossed into.

Rollie didn’t enjoy heading out into the aftermath and tried to avoid it whenever he could. He often got teased for preferring to help Samantha with the dinner instead of heading out on the raids. That suited him fine—he was well used to teasing.

Zombie blood weapon

He cried out when the truck bounced over a decaying corpse. Having Will asking him if he was alright only made him more embarrassed. Clenching his fists, he decided then and there that despite his natural inclinations against violence and all things macho, he would do his best to prove himself during this expedition.

He heard Will draw in a breath and quickly realized that his challenge might be coming faster than he expected. Ahead of him was a massive pile up of wrecked vehicles. A sandy drop off on one side of the road and a roughed cliff on the other would make it impossible for them to drive around the obstacle. Undead also covered the area. Like eternal guardians in hell, they marched their listless bodies before the jumbled pile of cars. Bones and skulls protruded from the twisted mess creating a double wall of death.

Jack slowed the truck even as the moaning increased and the zombies headed their way.

Jack

“What now?” Will asked. His voice made it sound like he really hoped someone had an answer.

“We’re close to Sabino Canyon,” Jack said. “We could try to find our way around this, but might just run into more of the same. My worry is that if we find water there, without the truck we couldn’t carry much, but at this point we can’t even be sure if it’s flowing. I say we hide the ride and scout it out. If it does have water, then we can take it from there.”

“So we’re going to walk the rest of the way?” As soon as he heard his own timid voice, Rollie wished he could take his words back.

The two men turned and eyed him. Without another word, he grabbed his weapons and when Jack hid the truck, he was the first to head out of the vehicle.

*         *         *

Zombie blood blood

A half and hour later found the trio heading through the back yards of the luxurious houses that lined the northern foothills of Tucson. The good news was they had remained mostly undetected by the hordes of undead that swarmed the streets. The few that did spot them had been quickly put down by Jack’s sledge hammer and Will’s huge axe.

The bad news was that all the jogging and physical exertion had taken its toll. The blaring unforgiving sun, mixed with their lack of water, soon left even Jack mopping his forehead and struggling for breath.

“There had better be water up there,” Will said as he leaned his back against the side of a house while they waited for a group of three dozen zombies to shamble by on the road below. “With this heat, I don’t think we’d need zombies to keep us from being able to make it back.”

Zombie Blood Dozen

“Could we search some houses for bottled water?” Rollie asked.

Jack answered. “Too risky. The level of danger and time wasted wouldn’t counter balance the potential pay off.” He looked Rollie’s way. “I just want to determine if there is water up in the canyon. If there isn’t, we’ll try that idea, okay.”

Rollie just nodded and they soon set out again.

They hadn’t got too far before a loud moan sounded to their left as they hurried across Sunrise road. Looking back, Rollie gasped as he saw a horde of hundreds of zombies migrating their way. A wall of dirty flesh and snapping mouths stretched across the four lanes of road and spilled into the desert on either side. Glassy eyes stared at them as their moans filled the ears of the breathers. Frantic lurching replaced their mindless stumbles as the endless mass of undead hurried toward them.

Zombie blood horde III

“Fuck, we need to get back to the truck!?” Will said.

“You can if you want,” Jack shot back, “but I’m not heading back until I know if there’s water up in that canyon.”

Will growled, but when Jack started to jog to the north, he turned toward Rollie. “What should we do?”

“Follow him. Without water we’re as good as dead anyway. We need to see this through.”

Will nodded and a slight smile crossed his face.

Rollie wondered if Will might he a little proud of him as the three men began to run toward Sabino Canyon.

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Zombie blood pistol II

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I hope you enjoyed the first part of Rollie’s dangerous journey into the second year of the Eternal Aftermath. Come back next weekend for the next part of the tale.

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Zombie blood horde II

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Dehydration, Doom, and Undead

November 6, 2015 at 1:02 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , , )

The once clean swimming pool had been converted to a rain catchment area. The main problem, it was dry. Like a dirty eye, covered with dirt and filth, it stared up at him as if mocking his dehydrated state. Being without water within the mid-summer Sonoran Desert was a fate even the animals couldn’t survive, but not only did he need water, so did everyone else. Not just some water, a gallon a day would be good, but they had nothing.

Rollie squinted up into the blazing sun and felt like his mouth chewed on sandpaper. A layer of sweat covered him like an extra set of clothes. He was just wondering if they should try to clean the pool on the off chance it might rain one day, but he hadn’t even seen a cloud in weeks. Turning, he reached for his straw hat and then froze in mid-motion.

He heard the scrapping of clumsy feet grinding through the sand, which covered the road. Gliding toward the wall that surrounded the back yard, he saw a dozen zombies shuffling along the road that ran in front of the house.

Lurching Dead

Lurching Dead

He crouched down and remained still. The owner of the house barely tolerated their presence at the best of times and had laid down many rules when they had arrived. First and foremost of these was to never let any of the walking dead discover that living people remained inside of his place. Travis called it his ‘hide first and hide second’ policy. Rollie didn’t knock it, for it had kept them alive through the first year of the zombie apocalypse. But as the undead continued on his way his eyes gazed back to the pool and realized that zombies had lost their status as his group’s chief concern.

His head jerked when he heard the sliding glass door open behind him. His lover Will stepped out into the back yard, but stayed in the shade under the ramada. Rollie moved to join him. He wanted the assurance of physical touch, however the look on Will’s face let him know his boyfriend had other things on his mind.

“Jack’s called for a meeting. He wants us all to be there.”

Rollie didn’t have to ask what the meeting was about. A minute didn’t go by without the torture of not having water plaguing him. “When?”

“Now, I guess.” As Rollie passed him, Will touched his shoulder. “Whatever happens, I want us to be on the same team.” Will had gone through many changes over the last year. The pretty boy Latino had been replaced by a tougher no nonsense warrior. Muscles bulged under his camo pants and shirt, and long gone were his pink shirts and cute hair cuts. Rollie didn’t mind the muscles, but he often missed the easy going nature his lover had once possessed.

“I’d want that too,” Rollie said. He might have said more, but Will headed inside and he followed him.

Jack, Sammy, Travis, and his girlfriend, Barb, already sat at the main table. Inside of the house the heat was stifling and the air smelled ripe and stale.

Jack tilted his head toward them and indicated the free chairs. His sideburns had stayed sharpened to points. At least some things remained consistent, apocalypse or no.

Jack

Jack

Sammy looked tired and concerned, but still beautiful. She had left her blonde hair stay long despite the potential dangers. No one had been surprised when she and Jack had quickly become a couple.

Sammy

Sammy

Travis appeared as grumpy as always. His ratty beard might have made a homeless man wince and his dark eyes darted from one face to the other.

His girlfriend had somehow maintained a plumpness through the horrors they faced, but both she had Travis had been medieval enthusiasts before the outbreak and their stash of weapons had come in quite handy over the last year.

Jack started talking as soon as they sat down. “We obviously all know what this meeting is about. If there was water around here easy to get, we’d already have it. We could get lucky and find some cache somewhere and that would be fine, but the way I see it we have to strike out toward the closest water source we know of and that would be Sabino Canyon.”

“Don’t be so sure,” Travis said. “I’ve seen some summers like this where the river completely dries up.”

“We’ll just have to hope that the rising water tables have kept that from happening,” Jack said. “But I’m not here to talk about where the water is, I’ve gathered us to talk about who’s going to go get it.”

Everyone grew silent, so the former bouncer continued and looked at him as he did so. “I’d rather not bring Sammy and Travis has already assured me that he and Barb will keep her safe while he guards the fort. So I guess that leaves one of you or both.”

Will spoke for them. “I think we’d prefer both.”

“I probably would too. Normally I might just take my Harley out, but with the need for water, I’m going to have to take Travis’s truck.”

“And you had better bring it back in one piece,” Travis grumbled.

Jack eyed him for a moment but then looked back at Rollie and Will. “So if you guys are down, I suggest you gear up and make any preparations you need, because with the lack of water we will only be getting weaker. I’d like to leave in an hour.”

Will and Rollie met each other’s gaze and they stood up to get ready. From the road the sounds of moaning could be heard again.

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Will

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I hope you enjoyed the first part of Rollie’s dangerous journey into the second year of the Eternal Aftermath. Come back next weekend for the next part of the tale.

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Screaming Zombie

Screaming Zombie

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Cliffhammer

October 30, 2015 at 4:55 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , )

Jake withdrew from the crest of the cliff and shook his head to clear the sight of hundreds of zombies surrounding his friends from his head. Droplets of rain fell away from him like wet dog. As he turned, the wind picked up and dashed a gust of water into his eyes. He struggled for a good grip and his foot slipped. Pebbles ground against his chest as his body slid three feet, but at the last moment his fingers found a thin lip of rock and he arrested his fall.

Zombie growl

“Son of a…” he grumbled as he hurried over to his allies.

Flack stood like a wet scarecrow. Only his M4 destroyed the image.

Scent clung to Tops. She might have been crying.

“We’re facing more than before,” he said. He tried to wipe the water from his eyes, but his soaked jacket only made it worse. “Closer to five or six hundred now.”

Zombie march

“Well crap,” Flack said. “We need to head back and get more people.”

“And what, waste hundreds of rounds and probably lose some of us on the way.” He looked from face to face. “Listen we need to cliff hammer them.”

“Cliff what?” Tops asked.

“Like I did before. Try to get their dumb asses to push each other over the cliff.”

“But wasn’t they a ledge the last time you did it?” Flack asked. “There’s nothing like that around here now.”

Jake’s eyes hurried to pierce the fog building around them. A tree rose from the mists. “Maybe that pine can help us.”

“Will they go for you there?” Flack asked. “I thought they wouldn’t kill themselves so easily.”

Jack

“No they won’t, but if we could drop a log from the cliff onto that big branch, we can-”

“Wait, what?” Flack Demanded. “You want us to do something from the top of this cliff that’s swarming with undead?”

“The undead are focused on Tal. Hopefully he will see what we’re doing and assist us by making noise. But if we can get a log stretched from the cliff to that tree they might make a go at trying to crawl across.” He meet Flack’s stare. “I’ll have no problem being bait.”

* * *

It took the three men twenty minutes and all of them carrying it, but they were able to get a fifteen foot log up to the ravine where they entered the canyon. Keeping low and to the edge of the cliff, they headed south with their massive burden. Fingers slipped and grunts were contained as the men dug deep and pressed on.

Tal must have guessed what they were doing, and as Jake had hoped, his trapped friend took a few shots at the zombies thrashing below where he sat in the tall tree. That stirred them up and also kept them focused on the two men trapped in the tree and not the three men carrying the log.

Mace

They reached the cliff face near the other tree growing out from below the edge. Scent was already up in the tree, but above the branch they hoped to drop the log onto. The men nodded and then drew the log up like they were planting a flag pole. Double checking everything, they tried to lower the log onto the branch as slowly as they could. The process started well, but when they reach about a forty-five degree angle, it slipped from their hands and landed on the branch with a loud crash.

Jake feared the worst, but the branch held. While Scent hurried to secure in it place on the tree end, Tops used rocks to help brace it along the cliff.

“Good work guys,” Jake said. Turning toward Flack, he continued. “Now, my friend, it’s time to open up.”

And that’s what the two men did. Flack’s rifle tore a huge hole in the back of the horde’s ranks, while Jake’s pistol barked out.

Zombie Pistol

It didn’t take the zombies long to start heading their way. “You guys, get out of here!” Jake ordered. “Scent, out of the tree.” After firing off a few more shots, Jake got on the log and started to make for the pine tree.

At once he realized a flaw in his plan, for the log remained slick. He dropped to his hands and knees, but the going was slow. He tired not to look down at the forty foot drop or listen to the approaching zombies as he struggled for every inch.

He had neared his goal, when Scent cried out from below. “Jake look out they have almost reached the log!”

He attempted double time, but then the first zombie stepped on the log behind him. It only lasted a moment before it toppled off to explode like a balloon filled with grey viscera on the rocks below. But even that small moment had almost knocked Jake off the log.

He hurried, but when the next zombie shook the log he almost fell off. Cursing, he hugged the log to his chest and inched forward. The loud moans mixed with his buddies urging him on. More and more zombies reached the log and fell. It was shaking so violently that all he could do was hold on.

Then shooting broke out from below. Flack was wasting the zombies before the log. This gave Jake enough time to reach out and grab a tree branch, seconds later; he was the safest of all of them from his high perch over the canyon.

After getting comfortable, he watched with a sick fasciation as zombies ended their own sad existence by the dozens. It only took thirty minutes for five hundred limping sad forms to perish on the rocks below. He watched their hungry eyes and snapping teeth. Each one sought his death, but only found their own.

Eternal Aftermath

A few dozen had kept their focus on Tal and Mooky, but with the combined effort of both teams, they were shot down.

“I can’t believe you saved us at all and certainly not like that,” Tal said as he gave Jake a giant hug.

“Hardly even used a clip,” Flack said.

Tops grin stretched ear to ear. “We sure as hell cliff hammered them, huh Jake?”

He nodded, just happy there had been no additional casualties. “I supposed we did.”

Flack looked at the rest of the team, but then stayed on Jake. “When we get back to Captain Mitchum, I’m going to tell him what happened and what you did, Jake. This is the second time you have used that trick to save us. I’m also going to suggest that we give our a team a name. From here on out, we’ll be known as the Cliffhammers, if that is okay with you.”

Jake allowed himself one of his rare smiles. “Cliffhammers? Yeah, I think I like it.”

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G
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I hope you enjoyed Jake’s dangerous journey into the second year of the Eternal Aftermath. Come back next weekend for the beginning of a new tale.
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Zombies Two
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Mists, Cliffs, and Snapping Teeth

October 23, 2015 at 12:56 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , )

Jake cast one last glance over this shoulder to where his two friends clung to the branches of a pine tree over the swirling horde of undead, and then took in the new group just forming out of the mists, which cut off their escape route to the north. More moans to the east let him know that more zombies lurked in that direction as well.

Zombie bad ii

“Come on,” Jake hissed through clenched teeth. “To the canyon, it’s our only chance.”

“What about Tal in that damn tree?” Flack whispered back.

Zombie Forest Grey

“We can only help him if we’re alive. Let’s go!”

The zombies had spotted them and their groans increased in volume as they moved faster over the soaked forest. The four of them leapt over fallen logs and rushed through clusters of grey stone. The rain still hammered the wooded fields and hit them harder when they neared the edge of the canyon.

Rough stones rose on either side as they splashed into a ravine that led to the canyon. Two feet of water filled the ravine and disappeared into a waterfall landing a hundred yards below.

Corpse Canyon

“Careful here,” Jake said. “One misstep and zombies won’t be your biggest problem.” They made it to where the cliffs of the canyon met the field. Jake led the way and took them toward the southern side of the ravine.

He turned to the others and watched the rain dripping from the ends of their hair and clothes, as he said, “We’re going to need to cling to this cliff face and we might as well head south so we’re closer to Tal. Once we reach the side of the canyon closest to him we’ll try to figure out a way for us all to survive through this.”

zombie_forest_by_taiki23

“Survive through this…” Tops said, while making wild gestures with his hands, “We’ll be lucky to survive this climb you want us to do?”

Jake moved in closer to the younger man. “Listen up. Our group has only survived because of the cliffs of this canyon. How do you think we have made it through the last year? How did I kill the original horde that followed us here? We’re the masters of this canyon, the Cliffhammers! If we can’t make this happen, we don’t deserve to survive.”

G

The two men eyed each other until Tops girlfriend, Scent, said, “We have to do something, they’re almost here.”

Jake was an accomplished climber, but the journey proved harder than he would have through. The steep cliffs remained covered in water and everything remained slick. They passed under several spots where the rushing water poured off the fields above in frigid waterfalls.

Once Scent slipped and would have fallen if Flack hadn’t grabbed the back of her jacket, she screamed as her staff when tumbling down the cliff and shattered on the rocks below.

“This is bullshit,” Tops spit past the rain running over his face. “You’re going to get us all killed.”

“What other choice is there?” Jake shouted back.

“We just climb down and head back to camp. Warn them and cut our losses.”

Emily black and white

“And leave Tal there?” Flack demanded.

Jake spied an area that had some shelter from the storm and would provide as least a few feet of safety for them to stand on. “Over here is a ledge. Let’s stop there and figure it out.”

No one complained and they reached the ledge without mishap. Once they had all found safe footing, Jake said, “Stay here, I’m going to scout out what’s above us and see how close we are to Tal.”

Without waiting for an answer, he set off. It was a hard climb, but he’d seen worse. Three minutes later he had reached the upper edge of the cliff. Attempting to stay hidden, he peered over. He didn’t like what he saw.

He could see Tal, and it looked like Mooky clinging, to the wet tree branches, but even more zombies had arrived. Jake felt his pulse quicken as more and more undead poured into the clearing. Some town must have emptied out, he thought to himself. But as more and more walking corpses appeared, he wondered how he’d be able to get any of them out of this alive.

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ZOmbies behind us

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Come back next weekend and continue Jake’s dangerous journey into the second year of the Eternal Aftermath.

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Blood Mouth Zombie

Blood Mouth Zombie

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Tripled Trouble

October 16, 2015 at 12:51 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , , , )

Jake’s sledge hammer swung out and knocked another walking corpse back into the mud streaked gully as the sounds of the gunshots faded into the forested hills.

Zombie Sickhouse

“Three shots means trouble,” Flack said, as he used his rifle to push two zombies back into the gully. The two took three more with them and they all splashed into rain flooded stream below. “Maybe we should use our guns.”

“I’d rather not lose what advantages we have,” Jake called out. “Let’s just try to do this.” He moved into the fray swinging his hammer as quickly as he could. He tried to hold the bank, but noticed that Scent couldn’t guard her section and had to fall back.

Max

When Tops moved back to protect her, he and Flack were forced to retreat or risk be flanked by the undead.

Flack cut through half of one’s neck, but then turned to him and yelled, “I think we have to switch to guns or we’ll be overwhelmed.”

“Son of a bitch,” Jake said, but then drew his pistol and dropped six zombies with well placed shots.

Flack fired his M-4 in small bursts. The drenched zombie’s exploding heads splashed gore over the churning mud. Corpse after corpse fell until the two men had completed their grim task.

Hunting Zombies

Tops and Scent went through the downed undead putting any survivors out of their misery while the two gunman caught their breath. Overhead the raging lead colored clouds showed no signs of breaking up. Jake sighed when the rain grew stronger and walked over to where Flack loaded more bullets into a spent magazine.

“So what now?” the tall road warrior asked him.

“We were tasked with finding Tal and that’s what we’re going to do.” Flack nodded and Jake clasped him on the shoulder. Once the others had collected themselves, the group headed south.

The run in had sobered them and gone were the lighthearted jokes. The good humor was replaced by careful footsteps and nervous glances into the drenched woods. As they traveled the rain picked up and a thin mist rose from the ground. Within minutes the rain muffled all other sounds as the mists brought down their visibility.

Emily black and white

Gritting his teeth Jake led them through the obfuscated forest. Their soaked clothes hung heavy from their arms and back. Each footstep became harder as mud stuck to their soles and created slippery paths through the fields.

They found a thick cluster of trees and Jake had the team stop and get their barring.

“I wish he’s fire three more shots,” Scent whispered.

“Maybe we should fire three of our own,” Flack suggested.

“I’d rather hold off,” Jake started, “because—wait, do you guys hear that?”

“Sounds like a drunk gorilla hitting a drum with a broken stick,” Tops suggested.

“It’s coming from this way,” Jake said. “Let’s go.”

A tree covered hill loomed before them and Jake made for it. To their west he could see they had drawn closer to the canyon. This comforted him, more than a little, for at least he knew nothing could head at them from that direction.

The team made it up to the thick cluster of trees and despite the mists they had no trouble seeing the scene unfolding below them. Scent gasped and Jake felt like joining her when he saw Tal and one other person sitting on the branches of a pine tree ten feet above an undulating mass of easily three hundred undead. The zombies swirled and trashed under his friends like an eternal mosh pit of death.

zombie_apocalypse_silhouette_by_sighchotick-d74a11u

Flack sounded breathless as he said, “We need to go back and get more people.”

But before Jake could replay, he heard Scent cry out. Looking over his shoulder, he saw her backpedaling toward the huge group before them. At first this confused him until he saw the shapes looming up out of the fog.

Zombie Forest Grey

Another group of undead had come up behind them.

“Shit,” Flack hissed. “Now we’re cut off from camp.”

“Worse than that,” Jake started, “We are stuck between two packs with no easy escape.”

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Zombie RIng

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Come back next weekend and continue Jake’s dangerous journey into the second year of the Eternal Aftermath.

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Zombie Night

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