Cowboys, Dust, and Death

March 4, 2016 at 12:28 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , , )

Brown looked out over the rolling sun baked hills. A slight wind tossed the yellowed grass covered slopes that led uphill toward the Santa Rita Mountains. He could just see the line where the first twisted trees began to appear to the west, but that wasn’t what he watched.

Brown

A cloud of dust had been kicked up to the west of the ranch house he and his friends had called home over the last year. Where some had sought to survive the masses of roving undead by living off the corpse of the old world, he and a handful of others had taken the opposite approach. They had fled the cities and towns, figuring less people meant fewer zombies, which meant less trouble.

 

The growing plume of disturbed sand drew his attention again. There were many things in the region that could cause such a disturbance. Herds of horses, cows, or even deer could create the cloud. Wind could create such things as well, but Brown had to prepare for the worst case scenario, just to be safe.

Santa Ritas

In his case the worst case scenario would be a group of migrating zombies moving in from Mexico. It had happened more than once, but if the cloud was any indication, he’d never encountered one this big before.

 

He heard something move to the east and jerked around thinking that another group must have moved in behind him, but he let out a sigh, when he saw that it was Trevor leading his horse named Smoke. Smoke whinnied at Brown’s mount, which he called Moonshine, since it was mostly black, but had streaks of silver running over its flanks.

Trevor

“I saw it too,” Trevor said, without so much as a hello.

 

Brown looked his way. “I’d like to think it’s some migrating elk, but I doubt we’re gonna be that lucky today.”

 

“Yeah it’s something migrating alright.” Trevor paused to remove his cowboy hat, wipe the sweat off his brow, and then toss it back on. “I suppose you want to go have a look?”

Borwn and trevor

“Yes sir, I suppose we should.” Having said their piece the two men mounted their houses and took them slowly over the fields toward the disturbance.

 

It didn’t take them long to surmount a hill tall enough for the wide expanse of grasslands to open up before them. Looking to the southwest, Brown sighed as a string of curses escaped from Trevor’s lips.

Zombie Dust

Perhaps two miles away from them easily five hundred dust covered undead slowly marched across the plain. Like spirits of death itself, they left a brown stain in their passing as if anything they touched joined them in their foul state of decay and lifelessness.

 

“Maybe they’ll miss the ranch,” his friend suggested.

 

“I don’t think we can count on that.”

 

“Then what should we do, go back and evacuate everyone up into the hills for a few nights?”

 

“And what let them eat all our livestock and trample our crops?” Brown said without taking his eyes off the horde.

 

Trevor’s voice took and edge. “You aren’t thinking about fighting that many. We can gather the horses and probably herd the cattle east before we’re spotted.”

 

“I might like for you to do that and take Laura and Petty with you, but I was thinking about a third option.”

 

He had Trevor’s rapt attention. “And what would that be, boss?”

 

“What if Moonshine and I got in their sights and then lured them away to the west. Once we reached the foothills, I could lead them on a merry little chase and then slip away through the trees and meet you somewhere.”

Brown II

“I like it, but still see one problem with the plan.”

 

“What would that be?” Brown asked.

 

“That I’m not included in the luring,” Trevor said with a smile.

 

“I’d never be able to focus knowing that the rest of us aren’t in good hands.”

 

“I hear you, but hear me. I’m not letting you take all the risk and earn all the glory, I might add, without me. James and Cassey can handle the escape. Besides if this plan works they won’t have to leave the ranch anyway.”

 

“Alright, you’re in partner, but let’s head back and tell the others what’s what. We don’t have much time.”

 

Trevor looked at Brown as the wind drove the first stench of death their way. “You got that right. Let’s get moving.”

 

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Zombie March

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Come back next weekend for the next episode of Brown’s dangerous journey into the second year of the Eternal Aftermath.

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Cowboy Zombies

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Apocalypse Brown

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The Climax of Rock and Rollie

February 26, 2016 at 12:47 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , )

A swarm of zombies filled the narrow canyon on one side of the unlikely pair, but it was the vehicle that roared toward Rollie that had him more concerned. Turning toward the mangy teen he said, “So you’re still going to convince whoever is driving that loud as hell ride that working together to fight these zombies is better than wasting bullets on each other just so the undead can have a warm meal?”

Zombie Yell

“I’ll do my best, but you guys have shot down three of my friends.”

 

“There is that,” Rollie said, while shading his eyes against the glare as the vehicle finally came into view. He drew back in shock at the size of the thing. This was no pickup, a full blow semi-truck whipped down the crumbling road toward them.

 

“Ooo, they’re busting out the big guns for you,” the teen said.

 

Rollie dropped his empty pistol and held up his hands as the truck raced toward him.

New Stalwarts

It skidded to a stop with a wild spray of gravel. A second later the window rolled down. “What the hell you doing? Pick up that gun and let’s get going.”

 

“Jack!”

Jack Primus

“Who else would it be?” He could see the former bartender eying the approaching horde. “Who’s this kid?”

 

“I’m Chris.”

 

“Well Chris, if you feel like living, I suggest you come with us. Now grab those containers of water and get your asses in here.”

 

Rollie lifted two of the containers, which he had luckily already filled, and gave them to Chris. Chris was more than happy to take them and run into the back seat of the rig.

 

Throwing a look over his shoulder, Rollie saw that the horde was less than a hundred feet away. He bent down to get the last two plastic containers and cried out when a hand grabbed his wrist. He had forgotten about the teen he had shot in the chest and looked on in horror as its form raised itself out of the murky desert pool.

 

Jack might have yelled something, but Rollie couldn’t hear a word over the loud moan of the zombie that had him. His body had been in an awkward position and he wasn’t able to pull away. The brackish water flowed from its mouth as it leaned in toward him.

 

Rollie tried to pull his arm back while he fumbled for his knife. He had to abandon that goal when the thing moved in for a bite. He was forced to use his free hand to keep those teeth away from him by pushing against the dead teen’s forehead.

Zombie Blood Face

“Son of a…” he started, but then grabbed a hand full of the zombie’s hair and pulled it toward him. The undead had been on his knees and fell forward with a large splash. Water stung his eyes, but Rollie kept pulling and finally his wrist came free.

 

With the sounds of the advancing horde burning his ears, he yelled, “Screw you!” and kicked the teen in the head. Drawing his knife, he dashed forward and thrust it deep into its left eye while it attempted to rise. The teen fell back with a groan. Leaving his knife there, he grabbed the last two water containers and run to the truck just as a dozen undead reached out their filthy arms for him.

Zombie darkness

Jack didn’t wait until the door was shut, as soon as Rollie was inside, he floored it into the trashing bodies of the dead. Grim faced and silent, Jack drove over the bodies by the score.

 

Rollie felt like they road over a field of boulders and thought they’d get stuck more than once, but the ride proved to be big enough to take them through the horde and out the smashed gate. By the time they reached the parking lot the horde had thinned enough that the foul sounding meaty whacks dropped down to only one every few seconds.

Zombie Truck

Jack broke the silence. “Looks like we made it.”

 

“But at such a cost, for only twelve gallons of water.”

 

“You got that right and I don’t think we’ll be able to go back there again.”

 

“Nope, no one will.”

 

They road in silence for a while and then Jack turned and favored him with a slight grin. “That’s okay, I always liked Tanque Verde Falls better anyway.”

 

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Breaking their way in

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Come back next weekend when we start a new journey into the second year of the Zombie Apocalypse

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ccc

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Three Red Zombies

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Zombies Through the Gate, F-ing Great

February 19, 2016 at 4:29 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , )

The crash of the gate being torn down still echoed though the canyon as Rollie yelled at the two armed teens. “That’s your gate’s coming down. We’re all in a world of trouble, so we have to decide real quick if we’re going to be working together or just providing the zombs with a warm dinner. You guys killed my…best friend, so after everything I think we’re more than even.”

Zombie Gate

“Even,” one of them yelled. “You just destroyed our home!” The youth ran straight at Rollie firing as he came. Bullets tinged off the boulder Rollie hid behind and kicked up dust when they hit sand.

Rollie had never been much of a shot. He had never learned how to fire a gun before the zombie apocalypse. He couldn’t even be sure how many bullets remained in his pistol, but he was sure that he sent them all at the angry teen.

Pitch

His last shot hit the charging teen in center of his chest. He looked more surprised than hurt, but then tumbled back into the murky pool.

For a long moment, Rollie stood there just trying to catch his breath. He had never killed a man before and felt like he might faint, but the moans of the approaching horde drew him back to the present.

There was still one teen and Rollie was out of bullets.

“Hey, ah what’s your name kid?”

“Billy, I mean Bill.”

“Do you feel like having the day end without you being either shot or eaten?”

“Can’t say it would bother me.” Bill paused as the sounds of the zombies grew in volume. “I’m going to come out. Please hold your fire.”

“You have my word no shots will come from me.”

New Stalwarts

The teen, not much more than a boy really stepped out holding his pistol by putting one finger through the trigger guard.

“So how many of you are there and what’s your story?”

“Are you sure this is the best time?”

Rollie found the dead teen’s pistol. And tucked it into his belt while saying, “Give me the condensed version.”

“We were part of a private school that was camping out in the Catalinas. At first there were about twenty students and four teachers. Mr. Fennel brought us down here straight out of the mountains. We raided the area before it got too bad. He knew we’d need water so he set up this wall so we could keep ourselves mostly safe. Two of our teachers died before we finished and Mr. Fennel went out one morning and never came back. Our last teacher died of a heart attack six months ago and we’ve been on our own ever since.”

“A regular Lord of the Flies, huh?”

“I never read that book.” The teen was skinny with a tangled mess of orange hair. He looked like he was about to say something, when the first zombies came into view. “We had better get going.”

Zombie Mess

“How do I know I won’t be shot on sight?”

“Um, I’ll do my best to stop them, but we can’t stay here.”

“You got that right.” Rollie had just turned to start deeper into the canyon when the sound of a vehicle racing down the old road reached his ears. “Looks like we might be meeting your people faster than we thought.

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Zombie Crawl
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Come back new weekend for the finish episode of Rollie’s journey into the first year of the Eternal Aftermath.
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Zombie bad face
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Zombie Moon Ergg

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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

Enter a caption

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Thanks for reading Rollie’s journey into the second year of the Eternal Aftermath and come back next weekend for a new episode.
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Zombie Blood Face
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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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Apocalypse jACK

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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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jack zom

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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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Zombies grabbing at you
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Zombie, lone

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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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rincon-mountain-scene

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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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zombie 350

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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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Zombies at the window

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