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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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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You can explore more of the Eternal Aftermath here!
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Rain, Smokes, and The Walking Dead

October 9, 2015 at 1:10 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , , )

With two teams missing in the forested canyons, the Cliffhammers were spread thin. Also with the sighting of the recent zombie tracks, they couldn’t afford to leave the main camp compromised, so Mitchum had only allowed Jake three people to accompany him on his search for Tal’s missing group.

Jake II

Jake had taken Flack, mostly because he had one of the best weapons around, although firing off his M-4 was about the last thing he’d want to see happen. With them also went Tops. The skinny kid had earned his name by smoking anything he could get his hands on. He’d smoke swamp weed and the bark of trees if he had nothing else to cram into his endless supply of rolling papers. For a weapon he used an axe with a sawed off handle.

His girlfriend, Scent, had also come with them. Jake wasn’t too thrilled to have the young girl along, but figured if she had survived a year of the zombie apocalypse, she should be able to hold her own, even if her choice of weapons appeared to be a sharpened stick.

Scent

The four of them set out south as the storm grew worse. The driving rain hammered at them and soaked them completely before they had moved past the outskirts of the camp. Overhead dark clouds showed no signs of breaking. Every branch he hit send thick drops onto his head and often found their way his back. Gripping his big sledge hammer tighter, he pressed on.

“Hell,” Flack began. “Tal could just be lost due to this crappy weather.” He pushed a strand of his long wet hair behind an ear. “Shit, we might even get lost trying to find our way back.”

Jack Offworld

“Yeah, what the hell?” Tops said, obviously frustrated that he couldn’t get his smoke lit. “This is Arizona, not Oregon. I thought we were supposed to stay high and dry up here.”

Jake kept his voice lower than the others, but said, “Humans have been changing the environment for years. Who knows how them suddenly disappearing will effect the Earth?”

That clammed them up and the moved silently into a place where the trees thinned out into an open field. Jake didn’t like being exposed. There could be things more dangerous than zombies lurking in the mountains. He took the group to an outcropping of rocks and let them catch their breath while he scanned the area before them.

Flack drew up next to him. “Tal might have gotten lost, but he’ll know what direction is north. I’m more worried about his missing the camp to the east or the west. We could be heading further south for no reason.”

“Just consider this a hunt. We’re hunting for Tal’s group, stray zombies, game, whatever we see first.”

“I sure wouldn’t mind some venison,” Scent said as she cupped her hands around Tops’ smoke, which he was finally able to get lit.

Emily Art

“Yeah, but firing shots is always a risky gamble. We wouldn’t want to lure any wandering herd back to camp,” Jake said.

“I’ll risk it,” Tops said. “Besides I could use a little action.

The rain let up some so Jake took the team south again. The area became rockier and they were forced to move into gullies that contained small streams of rushing water. Frogs and insects sung songs of life that pleased him. Then, just as suddenly, he heard nature’s opposite, the foul moans of the undead.

Zombie Forest Grey

Flack stopped as they were about to climb out from the wash. “Looks like a lot of them.” Maybe thirty zombies lumbered their way. Looking back at Tops, he said, “Careful what you wish for, we just got the action you wanted and it’s more than we can handle.”

“I call bullshit on that,” Jake said. “We have to waste these geeks ourselves. We can’t have them showing up in our camp in the middle of the night. Follow me.”

“Them without waiting for them to answer, he climbed up the small incline they had just descended and waved his arms over his head. “Hey losers this way. Fresh food.” The others soon had no choice but to join him.

The undead’s moaning increased as they stumbled through the field heading straight toward them. Empty eyes gazed in blank stares as their wet ragged clothes hung from strings to their bloated bodies. They pushed through the trees oblivious to the damage the sharp branches caused to their weak flesh.

“Alright everyone,” Jake started. “Grab as many fist and head sized boulders that you can. Then, when they’re in range start wailing on them. Hold back on using the gun unless there isn’t any other choice.”

The zombies would have a ten foot gully to cross that would help slow them down, but it would still be almost ten to one against them.

The group didn’t wait until the zombies reached the gully. They threw their stones as soon as the undead have moved into range. The stones did damage, but these weren’t men. They left marks and smashed noses, but they had only made three kill shots before the pack reached the small ravine. Seconds later they toppled into the wash. Again a living person would be in pain from such falls, but the undead picked themselves back up and came for them.

zombie_forest_by_taiki23

The team switched to the head sized stones and maybe dropped nine more before Jake called out. “Hand to hand weapons now! Try to hold the ridge it will give us an advantage. The four of them drew their weapons and was about to lay into the remaining twenty zombies when gunshots rang out to the south.

“Shit,” Jake said as he smashed his first zombie in the center of the head. “That must be Tal and he would have to be in deep shit to risk firing a gun!”

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Zombie Pistol

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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 green

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You can explore more of the Eternal Aftermath here!

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Zombies Two

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