The Apocalypse Was a Good Thing

April 17, 2015 at 4:00 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , , )

Dells watched in horror as his deputy’s life bleed out of the bullet wound through his skull. For a long moment he stared at his ally, his friend, but then the shooting drew him out of his daze.

Zombie Horde

Henry and Freddy were taking fire. He could only hope they fared better than he and Cale. Grabbing a rifle he tossed in over his shoulder, while letting a shotgun fill his hands. He was about to leave his ride when he saw the first zombies appearing on the other side of the post office parking lot. “Hell, that’s all I need. Snipers and zombies. Snipers, zombies, and death.”

6d1c0-images

(An Hour Earlier)

Ned Conway sat on a rock situated on the top of a hill overlooking San Miguel. He and his brothers had been hitting isolated desert towns since the beginning of the zombie apocalypse.

Raiding such towns had a lot of upsides. First off, low populations meant less biters to deal with. Also the folks in the boonies tended to stock up on non-perishable food and firearms more than the average person living in the city. Sure they had run into some well armed people holding out, but they usually just let them be and moved on. They weren’t angels by any means and he and his brothers had taken liberties with far more than stores of food.

Mace

Sometimes Ned marveled over how quickly the façade of civilization had slipped away from him and his brothers. Temple in particular had developed a mean streak that would have landed in in jail at best during normal times. Out here, it was a survival mechanism. Jonny, who was often called Man-Mountain, due to his side, had a softer spot for the ladies and would beg his brothers to allow him to take one along with them. Temple would have none of it and after he slit the throat of a woman before his older brother’s eyes, Jonny had stopped asking.

Dark Hair

But they had never found a town where so many people had survived. It had seemed like too many to take on, but then Temple saw some of the women down there and he wanted them. The town also had working vehicles, guns and probably food. It seemed like a place too good to pass up, but the brothers had muddled over how they could take over the town.

When screams and gunfire had broken out, they had almost made their move, but then the sheriff had returned.

They were about to go for it, when they saw a small horde traveling down I-87. Ned and his brothers had made sure they were lured into the town. They didn’t need everyone alive, just a few women would do. Have a little fun, get a little gear, and then move on. Perhaps they might stay this time, but that never seemed to happen.

Ned and Jonny would often want to linger, but Temple could never stay in one place to long. Despite being the oldest brother, Ned had a hard time controlling Temple and he worried over his dark nature on sleepless nights. In the end it proved easier to let his brother have his way.

The brothers readied their rifles. “Once those rotters hit the edge of town, we start shooting at anything with a pulse,” Ned said.

Survivors

“Except for that girl we saw killing some zombies down there. She looks like a fighter and fighters last longer. I want her.”

Neither brother said anything and Jonny looked as the desert rocks beneath his feet. “Fine,” Ned said to fill the vacuum. “It’s those sheriffs that worry me anyway. Once they are down, I think we can handle a few girls.”

Temple laughed. “And handle them is just what I’m going to do.” He laughed again and this time his brothers joined in. In a few hours the town would be theirs to take their time with and do whatever they liked. For them, the apocalypse was a good thing. Overall their lives had never been better and it sure beat working at Jiffy Lobe, like he had for three years.

As the sheriff’s big Suburban sped toward the rotters, Ned took aim and fired.

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Angry Zombie

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Check each next weekend for another episode in Dells fight to save his town from the Eternal Aftermath

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Blood Bath Zombie

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Becca With Gun

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“We need to go, now!”

March 28, 2015 at 10:45 am (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , , )

When you lived in a small isolated town, the zombie apocalypse wasn’t like all those television shows and movies. Sheriff David Dells had never watched those sorts of shows before, but watched every one he could get his hands on before the power died. The Waking Dead was his favorite for obvious reasons. What they got wrong was the ratio of living to dead—at least in his town they did.

Walkers

Walkers

Sure there had been the initial sweep where everyone was caught unprepared and often unwilling to fight back. Once he had known what he faced, Dells and a core group of miners had retaken the small desert town. The people had behaved rationally for the most part, but that once stable block of decent people would be chipped at.

Scouting parties that did not return. Chip

Losing power. Chip

The hunger. Chip

The hunger… Chip, Chip, Chip

They grew gardens and went hunting. They survived, but it was nothing like how they had once enjoyed so much, so easily. It was the sick that bothered him more. San Miguel, which was located in the northern Sonoran Desert north of Tucson, had been a mining town, but also had its fair share of folks seeking a quieter place to retire in the sun. The town had already lost three people to illness.

6d1c0-images

His new deputy, Cale, pointed at something with his rifle and his voice drew Dells back to the present. “I’m seeing something this way.” The man’s gaze headed down a cactus studded slope to a dry wash sporting clusters of thick wait-a-minute bushes.

Desert, Tucson

“Well, either it’s those stiffs, Dot saw this morning, or we’ll scare ourselves up some dinner.”

Cale drew his sleeve over his damp brow. “At this point I think I’d prefer the dinner.”

“Well you know it’s just safer to-”

“No, you knobs, it’s some of them, alright. Three of them down by the wash.” Henry’s wild unkempt hair gave him a feral affect. Dust covered his clothes and Dells figured the young man was the closest thing they had to a zombie hound. During the first day of the outbreak, Henry had been bitten by a zombie, but for some still unexplained reason, he hadn’t turned. Instead, he somehow became ignored by the undead. They treated him like one of their own. He’s seen Henry slap them across the face put them in sloppy head locks and they never tried to bite him.

“Lead the way,” Dells said and pointed toward the wash with his rifle.

Henry raced through the stands of prickly-pear, but the riflemen descended in no great hurry.

Looked toward the thick thorn studded trees, Dells said, “I don’t feel like going in there, do you?”

“Can’t say it would improve my day.”

Henry plunged back out of the brush. “Whatyah waiting for?”

“For them to come to us,” Dells answered. “Hey deadheads, you want a fresh meal?” They came crashing out of the thicket toward them. “Hope you like bullets,” Dells said as he sent a shot through one’s head. But Henry count was off, way off. His three turned out to be more like a dozen and Dells and Cale backed up a few yards while they put everything they had into stopping the wave of death headed their way.

Zombie Head Shot

In the middle of the shooting, Henry leaped into the remaining zombies tackling two to the ground.

“That kid’s gonna get himself shot,” Cale shouted, but then cried out when a zombie blindsided him. His foot caught on a loss rock and he fell onto his back. Only one zombie from the wash remained and Dells shot it in the head and threw his rifle aside.

Drawing his pistol, he rushed over, but it was hard to get a shot off without risked hitting Cale.

The zombie was on top of Cale moving in for a bite when Henry leapt onto its back. Cale shouted as he felt the extra weight, but Henry’s laughter echoed louder as he grabbed the undead by the hair and stabbed a dagger into the thing’s temple.

“Son of a bitch,” Cale cursed as decayed filth splattered his face.

“Would you have rather be dead?” Henry asked, as he yanked the corpse off the deputy.

“I…”

Cale was interrupted by the sounds of screaming reaching their ears. A few seconds later three shots were fired in rapid succession.

Dells snatched up his rifle while Henry helped Cale to his feet. “We need to go, now!”

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Tune in next weekend for a new adventure staring Sheriff Dells.

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Insane Haeds

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So Bad, So Quickly

February 27, 2015 at 5:47 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , , , , )

It took a moment to sink in that everything had gone so bad, so quickly. Spencer had gone from the hero who had saved his father to a ‘little boy lost’ locked out of the sniper’s bunker while the evil puke that had killed Jewels was about to molest his sister and do who knew what to Spencer’s unconscious father. Add to this, his ammunition was running low and zombies headed toward him from every direction.

He took a few seconds to try the bunker door, but it resisted his ten-year-old muscles easily. He thought about shooting through the door and trying to hit the lock, but with his low supply of rounds and his family being on the other side, he just couldn’t take the chance.

Spencer

Spencer

Figuring that there had to be another way in, he thought back to the beginning of this mess and remembered that the sniper had first attacked them while they were crossing the park. Looking to the east, he spotted the outskirts of the park and headed that way.

The moans increased when the zombies saw his dash across the sun baked earth. Dust and pebbles churned under his sneakers as he dodged through the clinging undead. Hands grasped and mouths snarled, but he broke through the ring before it could close around him.

New problems found Spencer, however. More zombies lurked before him while others joined in the chase. Looking back, he saw that he already had thirty zombies spread out behind him. He could stay ahead of them, but they gave him little room for error.

zombie 30

Reaching the park, his frantic eyes searched for anything that could resemble another entrance to the bunker. Remembering where the sniper’s first shots came from, he headed in that direction. Picnic tables and untended cactus gardens flew past his vision. Sweat pooled in his armpits and he realized that he hadn’t stopped to drink any water since the whole situation had started.

Then he spied something that looked out of place. A corrugated steel shack had been set up in the middle of a grassy field and it looked newer than most of the debris covered grounds and buildings. With this discovery also came new problems. A full nine zombies roamed through the field.

After casting a glance over his shoulder, he knew he wouldn’t have much time. He drew both his pistols and hurried forward. With loud groans, the nine undead pivoted toward him. He took a careful aim and dropped the closest two with as many shots.

Zombie Head Shot

He found himself needing to make a choice. If he fired from a distance, he might miss them and waste bullets, but if they got too close he could find himself pinned between them and the zombies moving in from behind. He picked a third option. Instead of rushing them, he ran to the eastern side of the field. The zombies turned to follow him in mass. He shot the most eastern one, but it took two shots. Pausing, he aimed and emptied his first pistol. Two more fell, but the ones from behind him had drawn in dangerously close.

“I’m only going to get one chance at this,” he said aloud as he arced around the remaining zombies toward the shack. As he reached the shack, he said, “If I’ve guessed wrong, this could be all she wrote.”

Zombie Couple

A heavy chain hung loose with a padlock on the end. He took this as a good sign and he took the chain too. Rushing into the shack, he threw the door shut behind him and looked around.

He hadn’t found anything before the first meaty hands started banging on the outside. The door had a bolt lock, which he pushed home even as he began to think that his gamble might have just cost him his life. Alone and almost out of bullets, Spencer began to panic. There would be no way for him to fight his way out of the shack and those zombies would pull it apart before too long.

He moved around the shack. Some hand to hand weapons lined the walls as well as bike pumps, first aid kits, and other valuable items that had been scavenged. It seemed like he was on the right track, but…

Then his toe caught on something.

Gazing down, he spotted a square outline in the sand. The sounds of the moaning grew in volume as the undead attacked the outer walls of the shed. He hurried to clear the sand and found a trap door. “Nice…”

It resisted him at first, but with the help of a crowbar that he found in the shed, he was able to force it open. Darkness greeted him, but again the shed supplied for his needs with a box of flashlights. He spent a nervous minute fumbling through them while the shed started to get torn apart, but he found one still functioning and moved back to the opening. He was about to enter when the sound of his sister screaming reached his ears.

“Son of a bitch,” he cursed as he descended into the darkness.

..

Darkandscary.

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Spencer and Emily’s tale is not over yet, so turn in next weekend for a new chapter in the Eternal Aftermath!

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Zombie Last

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Son of a Shitstorm

February 20, 2015 at 7:26 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , )

Without bothering to remove his face concealing helmet, the sniper’s muffled voice disturbed the tender moment. “We need to get moving. These men call themselves the River Road Rangers and there’s a lot more of them out there and it isn’t like this shooting isn’t drawing attention.”

Masked Sniper II

“Why should we do anything you say,” Emily blurted out. “Jewels is dead and you’re the one that killed her!”

Spencer’s father looked at Emily and said, “Please keep it down Em, these undead will be finished with their feast soon and come looking for more.” Then his eyes softened. He looked Spencer’s way. “Is it true? Did Jewels die?”

Emily Rifle

Emily answered for her younger brother. “Of course it’s true. I had to put a bullet through her head myself.” Her lower lip began to tremble. “and…and…” she couldn’t hold it together any longer and burst into tears.

Spencer watched as his father took Emily into a huge hug and Spencer’s tears joined his family’s as they lamented the loss of Jewels.

“Look, I’m sorry about what happened,” the helmeted man said. “Shooting an innocent woman would have been the last thing I’d want to do, but this gang has been trying to kill me for months, but right now I think they’re the least of our problems.”

Zombie Sunset

Spencer quickly saw what the guy meant. Although most of the zombies in the area still struggled to get a mouthful of the gang Spencer had just doomed, more undead were still responding to the gunfire from every direction and many had spotted their group and headed toward them.

Without waiting for an answer, the sniper said, “Follow me. I can get us out of this.” As the man moved past his father and Emily, Spencer noted something. The man’s gaze seemed to linger over his sister for a moment too long.

He frowned as he fell in behind the rest, but followed them as the masked sniper led them between houses. Soon they had left the big pack of undead behind and were able to make good progress through the luxury homes that doted northern Tucson.

No one was more surprised than he, when they reached a secret bunker the sniper had without much opposition. They’d had to hack and bash their way through a few small groups of zombies, but they’d managed to do so without firing a shot.

The man opened his bunker with a long drawn out shriek of metal on metal. He held the door open so that Spencer’s family could go in first. Spencer’s father led the way with Emily going in next.

Spencer was just about to head in when the man grabbed him and tossed him onto the sand. Spencer wasn’t sure what was happening, until the dropped bunker door hit his father on the head and he collapsed with a grown.

The black helmet glared his way. “Enjoy playing with your new friends, punk,” he said. “I’m about to teach your sister how to play house.”

Eyes without a Good Side

With a growl, Spencer rushed to his feet, while drawing his pistol, but it was too late. The bunker door slammed shut with his unconscious father, the sniper, and Emily inside.

Before this could even set in, Spencer heard the moans of approaching zombies and they seemed to be coming from every direction. “Son of a shitstorm.”

Blonde Zombie

Blonde Zombie

Spencer and Emily’s tale is not over yet, so turn in next weekend for a new chapter in the Eternal Aftermath!

Zombie Face
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Spencer The Final Death Dispenser

January 9, 2015 at 12:18 pm (Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , , , )

Being a ten year old boy, who weighted less than a hundred pounds, during the eternal aftermath wasn’t east. Add to this, a missing father who was last seen trading bullets with a masked gunman, having to shoot down your adopted mother, and the final slice of heaven was having his older sister lose it after she had done the deed.

Spencer

Spencer

“Em, come on! We need to move it. There must be thirty zombs on our tale.” She moved after him, but barely faster than a zombie herself. With her shuffling feet and emotionless face she almost looked like one herself.

“Ergg,” he mumbled to himself while he adjusted the heavy rifle he had taken from Jewels’ body. He also had two pistols, his and Jewels. He knew his sister’s magazines were empty, but in her current state he couldn’t be counting on her loading them any time soon.

“It’s just so sad,” she breathed from behind him.

He looked back and saw her face crack into a grimace of agony and the tears broke lose. Worse than this, she stopped walking. As if sensing her vulnerably, the undead moaned louder as they stumbled through the cactus toward them.

“Son of a gun barrel,” Spencer half-cursed as he reached Emily. Spencer dropped Jewels’ rifle in front of his sister. She’s better with a rifle anyway, if she can just snap out of this. Rushing past her toward the approaching zombies, he drew his pistol. “If dad was up here, he’d say it was time to start weeding these goons out.”

Zombies after you

His first two shots went wild, so he forced himself to calm down. This wasn’t easy with growling undead crashing toward him with faces studded with cactus thorns and grey gums quivered as their jaws snapped open and closed. He aimed at the center of the closest one’s head, steadied his pistol, and shot. It went down in a splatter of black and grey. Two more dropped before his magazine emptied. He quickly drew Jewels’ pistol and dropped three more before they grew too close.

He started to backpedal, but his ankle hit and rock and he tumbled back onto his butt.

Emily screamed something that would be forever lost and snatched up Jewels’ fallen rifle. Seconds later, his sister did what she did best and laid into the mob until her magazine went dead.

Emily and Spencer

Emily and Spencer

Spencer shot one in the head that had made it through her onslaught and leapt to his feet. He reached her just in time to see the rifle fall through her fingers and clatter onto the rocks. “Leave it, we still have yours, we’ll come back and get it after we find dad.”

Looking back he saw they had maybe cut down half of the group that followed them, but more moaning could be heard further down the rocky hills. Gunfire drew them every time.

Zombie Night

Somehow, he got his sister moving again and he tried to lead her west and down into a dry wash he saw below them. “Look,” he said more to himself than her. “There is like a ten foot drop of on both sides of the wash. If we can scramble down there some could break their legs trying to follow us and they’ll be even more hard pressed to climb the other side.”

He was just beginning to feel some glimmer of hope when gunfire echoed from the south.

“Oh no, dad!”

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Fighting Zombies

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See Emily Slay Part VII (Year Two)

December 19, 2014 at 12:00 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , , , )

As the undead came at them from both east and south, Emily felt a sick fear bubbling up inside of her. The unliving crashed through the cactus and wait-a-minute brush with fierce disregard for their own bodies. Their moans grew in volume almost as if they had some group think or were members of some malign hive.

Three Red Zombies

Looking down at the still body of Jewels, she said, “Come on, we don’t even have enough bullets to fight all of these freaks off. We gotta grab Jewels and go.”

“But how, Em,” Spencer protested. “You’re thirteen and I’m ten. How are we going to be able to transport a grown woman uphill through the desert?”

“Well we gotta try, don’t we? We can’t just leave her here.”

Spencer didn’t have a comeback for that and went to grab Jewels’ ankles while Emily lifted her up from under her shoulders. They had only moved her thirty feet before Spencer tripped on a rock and all three of them went down.

Emily hoped the impact might somehow jar her Jewels back to consciousness. With Emily’s father fighting the madman that got them all into this mess, she would really have liked having an adult around, even if to only give them advice.

“We have to keep moving,” she said, as the zombies gained ground on them.

“Okay, okay,” Spencer voice had begun to sound frantic as he struggled to lift Jewels up again.

The zombies broke through the brush and grew closer. The siblings could not move as fast as some of them with their burden.

“Em, they’re right behind us.”

Bloody Zombie

“Keep going. If they get too close, we’ll have to stop and waste them. Remember, dad could be showing up to help us at any moment.”

“But where is he? He promised to never leave us and I haven’t even heard any shooting down there for a long time.”

“Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe dad got that shooter.” She said, but then they saved their breath for hiking.

After another three minutes, it became apparent that some of the zombies had broken away from the pack and were getting too close. They had also reached an incline of lava rock that would be putting their strength to new tests.

ZOmbies behind us

“Okay, Spence, put her down and get your pistol ready. Let’s see if I can get my broken mag to work.” She had more bullets and two empty magazines, but doubted she’d have time to load them. Her third magazine hadn’t worked before, but she tried it again. It still wasn’t working.

“Damn it, what’s wrong with this thing?” she cursed as a good six zombies limbered closer. Spencer started shooting, but in his agitated state, he’d only dropped one before he finished the rest of his pistol’s magazine.

“Spencer, remember what dad said. One well aimed bullet is better than a quickly spent clip. Take your time. Put those bastards down right.” Having said her piece, she looked over the magazine. She could have punched herself, when she found a small pebble had somehow become attached to the top of it. She pulled it out and jammed the magazine home with a satisfying click.

“Alright, let’s do this!” she said and she put down the rest of the zombies that had drawn near. Others could be seen and she slowed her breathing, took her time, aimed at each one in turn. “One bullet, one kill,” she said under her breath mimicking what her dad had drilled into her.

Emily's got a gun

More came as soon as she shot the next line down. She stayed where she was. With her dad in trouble and everything else, she figured she should thin their ranks while she had the advantage and could do it safely. With their back cleared, it would give the siblings a chance to make it up the incline behind her.

She had cleared out every zombie within her sights, but then three more rose over the hill below them. She took aim, but the rifle clicked empty. “Oh well, let’s get Jewels up this rocky part and then we’ll reload our clips, okay Sp-”

Her words were interrupted by Spencer crying out as Jewels grabbed him by the back of his hair. Emily looked on in horror as the reanimated body of Jewels moved in to take a bite out of her brother’s face. And the first thought that entered her mind was that neither of their guns were loaded.

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Emily

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See Emily Slay Part VI (Year Two)

December 12, 2014 at 12:01 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , , , )

Spencer bound Jewels wound, but she still showed no signs of regaining consciousness and her breaths came in shallow wheezing gasps. Of their father there remained no sign, other than the sporadic gunfire that sounded from below.

“How could he just leave us up here?” Spencer asked, as he got to his feet.

Emily and Spencer

Emily and Spencer

“He must have some serious problems of his own,” she replied. “We’re going to have to save Jewels ourselves. Now get your pistols out, both of them, because here they come.”

Emily brought her rifle up as at least thirty zombies topped the cactus studded ridge to the west. Closing one eye, she took aim. A crack sounded and the first one fell. Within ten seconds, she had dropped three more.

Spencer tried to help, but the preteen wasted more bullets than undead.

“Spence, stop. Wait until they get closer. Right now just make sure we aren’t getting any surprises from behind.” Yet almost as she uttered those words, the zombies moved closer. She might have dropped ten more, but when she paused to insert a new magazine, they gained ground.

“Okay, Spence. Now, I need some help.” He opened fire and dropped two, but her magazine stuck. It wasn’t going in right. She had to pull it out and try again. Something was wrong. It didn’t click like her dad said it needed to.

The zombies drew in closer.

Zombie March

Zombie March

Spencer panicked and began to miss his shots again. “Emily, come on. Just put in the other one.”
“That will be my last one, though,” she said, but then saw that a dozen zombies were only twenty feet from them. Their thorn covered bodies made them fouler than their normal brethren and they looked like demons from that movie Hellraiser that she and her friends had secretly watched before the world had died.

She raised her rifle again.

Brain Splattered Emily

Emily

One, two, three.

Nine left.

One, two, three.

Six left.

Spence shot down another two.

Emily's got a gun

Four left, but the lead one reached out for her, she shot it through the forehead, but the one to its side grabbed a handful of her hair, which caused her to cry out.

While she struggled she saw Spence shoot down another, but the last one moved past the siblings and headed for Jewels.

“Spence, save Jewels,” she cried.

“But you’re in trouble and I can’t get a bead on the one fighting you.”

“Just do as I say!” She yelled and she tried to push the big zombie away with her rifle.

It leaned in and proved to be much stronger than a thirteen year old girl.

She wanted to bring her rifle up, but if she pulled it away from the zombie it would be able to get her.

She heard a three shots go off and hoped that was a good thing, but as it pulled her hair harder, she whimpered in pain.

She gasped when he face was sprayed with blood and gore.

Spencer’s young face wore a shit-eating-grin. “Quit fooling around.”

Feeling stunned, she wiped the blood from her face as she looked around. They had killed the group, which had come for them, but know they had new problems. More undead approached them. This time they were more spread out and there was a lot more of them.

“Oh no, she whispered.

“Where the hell is dad?” Spencer said. As if in answer, more gunfire and even more moaning sounded from the west.

“Come on,’ Emily said. “We can’t fight off that many even if we had enough rounds.”

“But how are we going to move Jewels?”

“I…I don’t know.”

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Emily and Spencer

Emily and Spencer

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See Emily Slay Part III (Year Two)

November 7, 2014 at 12:08 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , , , )

“What do you mean he might want me?’ Emily asked as they kept moving higher into the foothills of the Catalinas.

Her dad stopped. “Well honey, there were bad man out there long before this mess started. We only have to imagine that the terror and isolation will just make things worse.”

Desert, Tucson

“But I’m only thirteen. Wouldn’t he want Jewels instead?”

The former EMT looked her way and brushed a strand of dark hair behind her ear. “Maybe not hun, because he knows I’d bite his-”

“Jewels!” her father said in a loud voice.

“Will you guys quit arguing,” Spencer said. “I think we got some real problems.”

Emily heard something, once familiar, but almost forgotten…the barking of dogs.

“How many?” he father asked while joining her brother on a rise.

“Looks like three,” Spencer said right before the noise of shooting competed with the barking.

Her father grabbed Spencer and all of them dashed behind an outcropping of stone. “Looks like German Shepherds, which means they might be trained. This guy could even be a former cop.”

“Why would he release his dogs and shoot as us if he wants to capture me?” Emily asked.

“We don’t know that for sure,” he answered. “He might think we’ll be back every other day trying to steal his crops. Hell, he might want to eat us.”

“Gross,” Spencer said, while putting a round in the chamber of his forty-five.

“This whole world is gross,” Jewels mumbled.

Her father grew serious. “One thing we do know is that this guy is an idiot. He heard us shooting, so he knows we’re armed and he’s coming after us anyway. All this shooting will draw in zombies, but we’ll be safe from them up here and we’ll have a better vantage to shot him down.”

“What about the dogs,” Spencer asked as they saw the three canines running up the hill toward them.

“Again, idiot. I’m not sure why he kept three dogs alive through a year of the apocalypse just to have us waste a few bullets on them.”

As if to drive the point home, the dogs drew close.

Her father spoke again. “Okay, everyone but Jewels get on your stomachs and get ready to shoot those mutts. Jewels, draw back, and be ready with your pick, just in case one gets through. Emily, far left dog. Spence, far right.”

dog

Emily took aim at the dog racing toward them. In the past the idea of shooting a dog would have filled her with dread and she probably couldn’t have done it. But after shooting former humans in the head for a year…

The dog gave one yelp and its body bent double right before it crashed into a cactus.

Emily Takes Aim

Her father took the other down with ease, but Spencer appeared to be having trouble and the last dog was only yards from him. Emily took aim and put a bullet through its head.

“Hey, I would have gotten it. You should give me a chance.”

“We did give you a chance.”

“Kids, this in not the time. We-”

A loud voice from below interrupted him. Emily caught a quick glimpse of a man in full riot gear before he ducked behind the side of a building. “You assholes!” he yelled before spraying the mountainside with bullets. Dirt and chips of rocks flew around them. “You’ll all die slow for what you did to my dogs.”

Riot Gear

“What a dumb ass,” Spencer said. “What’d he think would happen?”

But then something attracted their attention. Emily heard a moan from behind them. At first she thought zombie, but it turned out to be much worse. Jewels lay on the ground clutching the right side of her stomach. Pool pooled under her hands. She’d been shot.
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End Game

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See Emily Slay Part II (Year Two)

October 31, 2014 at 12:53 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , , )

“Get down!” he father yelled and all of them dropped to the dirt.

“Can you tell how many there are?” Jewels, whispered.

“It might just be one,” he said back. “But that doesn’t mean there might not be more around, or his shooting isn’t summoning more dead-heads.”

Zombies on the march

A loud rattling was heard next. Emily couldn’t tell what it was. It sounded like rocks banging around in a rolling trash can.

Spencer yelled, “Look out!”

It took her a second to understand why, but then she saw it too. Somehow the shooter had freed the zombies and they began to lurch toward her family.

“Alright no one panic,” Her father said over the growls of the approaching undead. “That’s what he’s going to expect us to do. He also is going to expect us to shoot the zombies, which will help give away our position, so right now no one fire. You got that?”

No one argued with him and the zombies drew in closer.

“Dad, what are we going to do?” Spencer asked.

“Hold tight,” their father said, while looking through the scoop of his rifle. “No one shots at my family,” he said under his breath. When the zombies drew within twenty feet of him, he took out his dagger and rapped it on the barrel of his gun. The metal tings proved enough to draw the attentions of all three undead and they lumbered his way.

Ten feet.

Five Feet.

Emily panicked. “Dad, what are you doing?”

Emily with Bat

“Stay put and aim your rifle to the left side of the baseball dug out other there.”

She did as he asked.

Then, when the zombies stood over him, her father bolted to his feet. Shoots rang out, but only impacted the zombies, as he father backpedaled a few feet. He brought up his gun and fired. Emily joined in with her rifle.

“Emily keep firing. Jewels, grab Spence and retreat. I’m aborting our mission for today.”

The unknown man fired off a few rounds, but then retreated. Her father grabbed her arm and soon they did the same. For a few tense minutes they retraced their steps while keeping the fleeing forms of Jewels and Spencer in sight.

Desert

Once they reached the desert he took them up to the top of a small rise and stopped. Her father looked back the way they had come.

“What is it?” she asked.

“Whoever that was is following us.”

“But why would he do that?”

“I hate to say this sweetie, but he might want you.”
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Zombies before the red sky

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See Emily Slay, Part I

October 24, 2014 at 12:12 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , , , )

Her dad had stayed an individual. He thought every issue through like he was the first man on earth. The past decisions of others or expected norms meant nothing to him. He made every move his own way, the way he believed to be best. Someone else might call him stubborn or ego driven.

Max

But maybe that was why they were all still alive.

Case in point. Instead of her father and Jewels making a run into northern Tucson and leaving the siblings behind, her father insisted that they always stay together…always. He had told her once that having her and her brother along on all the raids kept him from doing anything too risky and that alone might have helped keep him alive.

Emily had just turned thirteen and her once thin form had begun to show the first signs of womanhood. Spencer teased her about it and she couldn’t wait until he was a teenager so she could return the favor. She sighed as the moved through the giant saguaros. That would take three more years and she wondered if there was any hope that they could somehow live that long.

Emily's got a gun

Her rifle lay heavy over her shoulder and the sun felt like it already roasted her flesh, but she wasn’t about to complain. She left that to Spencer.

“Damn, maybe we should just do this at night. It’s so hot, I feel like I’m walking on lava.”

“Don’t be a moron. The dead are more dangerous at night. We’d have to be-”

Her father made the sign for them to stop and he and Jewels crouched down behind a large prickly pear tree. Her dad whispered something into Jewels ear and the woman dropped back to them.

She said, “Emily, your dad wants you to move up to his position carefully.”

She did as he asked, without question, keeping low. Upon reaching him, she saw that the desert opened up into a sun baked park below them. Maybe a half dozen of the walking dead lingering there.

Zombies

“Em,” he said, looking her way. “We need to cross through this park. It’s safer because we can see them in every direction for hundreds of yards. Yes, the gunfire attracts them, but I think it’s worth the risk to have our path cleared and more importantly give you some more target practice.”

Keeping her thoughts in check, she replied, “Okay dad and leaned the barrel of her rifle against the top of one of the cactus. Taking aim she dropped the first one.

That’s the easy one, she thought to herself. Once they heard the shot, the others began to move her way. Lurching and stumbling through the brown grass. She dropped another one, but it took two shots. The next one took three.

“Dad, I don’t want to waste too much ammo.”

“I’d rather waste every bullet we have than not have you know how to shoot. We can find more ammo. I can’t find another you.”

Biting her lower lip, she took out the next one in one shot. They moved closer.

“You need to shot faster, honey.”

She missed the next shot, but then put a bullet between one’s eyes. Two remained, but they were too close. She went to fire, but her rifle was empty. “Dad?”

“Don’t panic, you know what to do. Draw your pistol.”

She did and killed one with three shots, but the last one was only feet away.

Her father put a bullet through its head. “Come on,” he said and motioned for the others to follow. “That was great shooting, sweetie,” he said as they hurried across the park.

“But you had to kill the last one.”

“Yeah, but you could have done it, if you needed to. I would never take any risk with your life.”

He drew out the last words as he halted. Before then the southern side of the park had been converted into farmland, but had three spaced out walkers chained to the ground.

“Why would someone put walkers in the middle of a place they’re trying to grow food?” Jewels asked.

“I think they’re using them for scarecrows,” his father said, just before gunfire broke out.
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EMily and Zombies

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