Cooking A Rat

August 14, 2015 at 12:27 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , , )

Mitch Morrison didn’t hurry as he prepared the meal. Since he just cooked for himself, as he had for that last year, it was a low maintenance affair. He just tried to fix and eat everything as quickly as possible. The only excitement he ever felt was in the knowledge there was something to cook, for quite often there wasn’t.

End Game

He was high enough into the mountains that he had decided to risk a fire. The wind whistled through the sandstone boulders that he hoped would hide his small flame. It blew grit into his food, but he remained miles from caring about such things. As he took in a deep breath, he wondered what it was he might still care about.

Night had fallen and covered the hills of the Rincons in its dark embrace. In the distance a coyote let loose a mournful howl. Critters and insects chattered like the world wasn’t crawling with animated corpses. Not that too many of the walkers made it up this far. Between the hard climb and the difficulty finding food, Mitch saw zombies rarely this high up off the desert floor. That didn’t keep him from pitching his hammock ten feet up into the trees. Many a time he was woken up in the middle of the night by the sounds of growling undead reaching for him from below.

Three Zombies

He flipped the desert rat over on the grill he’d made from a broken portable heater. He mostly ate little mammals he gathered from his traps these days. He had gotten pretty good at setting them. Rattlesnakes were a treat and with the small stream on the face of the mountain, he figured he might be one of the healthiest people living around Tucson.

“Smells good, pops,” a voice said just three seconds before the barrel of a rifle pointed straight as he head.

Mitch cursed himself for being so careless, but when two more figures joined the first, he realized there wasn’t much he could have done about it anyway.

Riot Gear

He took in the three youths. Each looked to be barely more than teens, but they had grown up fast. Dirty scowling faces glared down at him from over tattered layers of mismatching clothing. Two had rifles, the youngest only a pistol. Backpacks and knives hung from them.

The second rifleman rushed forward and grabbed his rat off the grill and then promptly dropped it. “Shit, that’s hot.” He had knife cut his hair short and done a rather poor job of it. His round face’s eyes seemed too small for his head and he stared at Mitch while he blew on his fingers.

“Well, it was on a fire.”

“Watch your lip,” the big one said, while thrusting his rifle into Mitch’s personal space. The guy might had been just old enough to enter a liquor store, if there were still such things, and had the look of someone who thought things through.

“If I’m not mistaken, this is my camp.”

“Yeah, and these are our guns,” pig eyes said.

“Has the honor of the west fallen on such hard times?” Mitch eyed the boy with the pistol as he spoke. He had lowered his gun and just stared at the rat. “Would you like a piece?”

“He won’t get the first piece,” pig eyes said.

“I think it’s my choice who I give my food to.”

Face Biter

The big one moved in a grabbed Mitch by the front of his shirt. “Are you senile or something? The only choice going on around here will be whether we shoot you before or after we look through your gear.” Turning toward pig-eyes, he said. “Rus, start searching this guy’s pack.”

Mitch held up his hands. “You won’t find much. I don’t even own a firearm, much less have bullets.” It wasn’t completely true. Mitch had a few guns stashed in the cliffs, but without bullets there remained no reason to lug the heavy things around.

Rus pulled a fistful of tangled piano wire out of Mitch’s pack. “What the hell is this shit? You strangle zombies or something?”

“No, it’s for making traps, how do you think I got this rat, which is burning by the way.”

The big one let go of him, drew his knife, and then stabbed it into the cooking rat. He took a big bite out of it. Despite the heat, he said, “Doesn’t suck. I’m Brad.”

Rus laughed and said, “Brad the bad,” while upending Mitch’s bag and dumping all prized possessions into the sand. He pocketed things as he rummaged through the pile.

“You met Rus and the skinny guy over there is Eric.”

“Well can you give Eric a bite of that rat, please?”

“Why the fuck should you care?” Rus said, and he found half an energy bar. “Sweet, score.”

“Don’t eat that,” Mitch said and almost stood up, but then thought better of it.

“And why the hell not, old man?”

“Because that’s what I use to bait my traps. I can catch a hundred times that much food with that.”

“Oh really,” Brad said. “Maybe you just figured out a way to survive long enough to see the sunrise, pops.”

“Huh, why?” Rus asked.

Brad took another bite of the rat. “Because come sun up, this old puke is going to teach us all how to set up traps.”

Desert
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Check in next weekend for the next part of Mitch’s journey into the beginning of the second year of the Eternal Aftermath.

Zombies are hungry for your flesh

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At the door

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Lock Down, Bite Down… part III

August 10, 2013 at 3:33 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , , , )

Dells watched in muted horror as the doors to the clinic flew open and nine stumbling blood splattered people, half of which he knew, came pouring out. Standen had barely noticed because he still wrestled with the small Janise girl that had her teeth clamped down on his left hand.

“Shot them, shot them!” the teen Becca screamed.

Dells indecision reached new heights, but his attention was drawn to his partner smashing the young girl on the side of the face with his pistol. This proved enough to knock her off his hand, but a blow that should have left her bed ridden and crying all day, didn’t faze her and she sprung back onto her feet and rushed Standen again.

This time he kicked her away. She lost her footing again, but scrambled to her feet like nothing had occurred. “Son of a bitch…” he started, but by then the victims from the clinic had drawn near.

Standen stood closer and they fell on him while he focused on the girl. “What the hell?” Soon his words were replaced by ear rending screams as three new mouths clamped down on him.

“Holy Hell,” Dells started several of the people rushed toward him on awkward stiff legs.

Becca grabbed his arm. “Either shot them or run!”

How could he run while his partner was being killed, but looking over he saw that Standen had already been pulled to the ground and it would be too late to do anything for him. It was also too late to make it to his vehicle, because the bloody mindless victims stood between him and his ride.

The girl had already run off, but turned long enough to yell. “Come on! If they bite you, you end up like them. They already got my brother.”

Her words snapped him out of the mind numbing horror he witnessed and he turned just as the first hands reached out for him. Sprinting forward he grabbed Becca’s arm and hurried her along.

“When are you going to start shooting them?” she got out between gasps.

“I can’t just go and shoot people. There could be a way to save them.”

“Can’t you shoot people that are murderers?”

He nodded.

“Well than all of those fuckers qualify. I left my brother in there. Oh God.”

“We need to get to the station, I have to call more sheriffs and get folks up here from Tucson.”

“With all respects,” she said while pulling a lock of auburn hair from her face, “screw that. Mary had just come back from Tucson. This had happened to her there. How do you know things aren’t worse there? We need to warn the people here!”

“You alright, sheriff?” a voice called out to him from a pickup truck. Mickey Gibson drove and Bill Adams rode beside him.

“I’m about as far from alright as you can get. I need you boys to take us to my station and consider yourselves both deputized.” They gave him a strange look, but stopped the truck so the pair could hop in.

Before Mickey pulled away, Dells heard fresh screams sounding behind him. He cursed as the truck pulled away.

 

 

 

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Windows, Fingers, and Knives

May 18, 2013 at 1:36 pm (Apocalypse, Eternal Aftermath, Horror, Zombie) (, , , , , , , , , )

Mitch and Bonnie Miller sat in their car trapped in the middle of a traffic jam. They had each been trapped in traffic before, but from the looks of things, this would be the last time it would ever happen to them. Because, unlike the other traffic jams they had suffered through, this one also had zombies and about a dozen of them were slapping the car windows with bloody smacks and pressing their snapping teeth up against the glass.

“What are we going to do?” Bonnie pleaded, while grabbing his arm. “Please, I don’t want to die like this.”

Mitch didn’t answer right away, instead his mind went back to the first person they had seen get torn apart by the raving maniacs that the media were only recently calling the walking dead. It had been their mail man of all people. His prim shorts became drenched in blood as five of the things had drawn him to the ground. The man’s screams had seemed to go on forever.

That had been the moment that Mitch had decided it was time to flee Tucson. Unfortunately so had a few hundred thousand other people.

Bonnie’s voice drew him back to the present. “Come on Mitch, we might not have much time.”

 

He eyes traveled to the back seat of their hybrid. They mostly held food and clothes, but he had grabbed a few butcher knives. He handed one of these to Bonnie, but kept rifling through the gear until he located his old hammer. It had a small sledge head, but the handle stretched only about eighteen inches long. It had been his father’s and the only thing he had ever seen his old man use it for was driving the tent stakes into the hard packed earth when they went camping.

“Okay, at least we’re armed.”

The moaning grew in volume as two more of the wandering dead took up posts outside of the compact vehicle. So much blood covered the windows they had become opaque.

Bonnie looked down at the knife clutched in her quivering hand. “What do you expect me to do with this anyway? You can’t possibility think that we can fight our way out of here.”

“No I don’t. At least not yet.”

“Not yet?”

“Calm down, will you. I’m trying to save us.”

“Calm down? How do you expect me to calm down? This moaning is enough to drive me mad. We’re about to die.”

“Not if I can help it.” Mitch’s greying hair was drenched in sweat and he wiped it out of his face. “I’m going to try something.”

 

He rolled down the window. Only about four inches, but that proved enough to send the freaks into a frenzy. Mouths pressed against the opening while fingers struggled for a grip. The moaning rung in his ears.

Mitch went into a frenzy of his own—chopping at the fingers and faces. Several severed fingers dropped to the floor of the car while he kept stabbing and cutting.

Bonnie might have been screaming.

One face dropped lower and Mitch yelled, “Got yeh!” and stabbed forward. The blade took the madman in the eye and he fell back with a final gasp. But more tried to grab the window. “Crap,” he said and attempted to roll it up. He got less than an inch from his goal, but at least ten fingers still protruded into his car. He set to hacking them.

It proved a gruesome affair. The whole time he chopped at them, Bonnie begged him to stop.

 

“I can’t stop, they could break the window.”

Her hysterical cries sounded loud in the enclosed space, but after two more minutes, he had cut enough fingers away that he was able to roll up the window.

Her face stayed buried in her hands. “Why didn’t we run away from our car like everyone else? Why is this happening to us?”

“I’m sure there are plenty of others trapped in their cars all around us and it would be my guess that these people attacking us could very well be some of the people that did run away.”

This seemed to sober her slightly. “But what are we going to do? You can’t kill them all through the window.”

For a long moment the only sounds heard were the continuous moaning and the violent hand slaps. Then Mitch said, “Don’t worry, I have a plan”

 

The Story continues next Saturday!

 

 

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