Unknown81

~~~

Gina circled around the large office area until she found a second wing of private offices in a darker section of the third floor. She carefully peeked into each room, gun drawn, nerves on edge, until she found another stairwell that she assumed led up to the roof access.

As she got closer, she heard a voice whisper from behind a copy machine to her left, “Gina… over here.”

Marcus was just visible in the failing light.

She moved in beside him. “Anyone else?”

“I was following the hooded man with the bow… he’s very quiet. Lost him over here somewhere.”

Gina was still staring toward the stairwell. “I think they might have gone back up to the roof. I’m going to check it out.”

He held her shoulder and shook his head. “There’s two more in the stairwell. They just came up from below. They seem… sheepish and unsure of what to do. I keep hearing them whispering in the dark. They practically gave themselves away.”

Gina nodded. “Thanks for the heads up.” She got up and started down the hall, gun aimed at the dark stairwell.

“Gina!” Marcus hissed. He got up and followed behind, aiming his gun toward every shadow in passing.

“Come out of there!” Gina yelled. “You’ve got nowhere left to run!”

“Gina,” Marcus warned, “you’ve just given them a target in the dark.”

She ignored him. “Come out so I can see the cowards that shot my friend in the street!”

“Please… stop,” someone shouted from the stairs. “We don’t want any trouble. We’re both armed and we could’ve shot you both already. I’m sorry about your friend.”

“Come out!” she shouted back, continuing toward the stairs.

“Get back!” shouted a second voice. “All we want is get out of here. We’ve got plenty of supplies… guns, ammo, food… take it all. Just… let us go our way.”

“Gina…” Marcus urged. “You’re way too close.” He was expecting an arrow from everywhere.

She finally stopped and let out a heavy sigh. “Okay… come out and we’ll talk about it.”

Marcus gave her a puzzled look.

“Put down the guns first,” came the second voice.

“Not going to happen,” Gina said. “If you are sorry for what you’ve done, then prove it by stepping out of the dark.”

There was a moment of silence.

Lucas stepped out of the stairwell with his rifle pointed toward Gina. Jonathan came out behind him, aiming at Marcus.

Both Gina and Marcus’s guns were up immediately.

“Wait!” Lucas begged. He lowered his rifle, letting it hang from the shoulder harness. He put his hands out and said, “Just… hold on.”

“What are you doing?” Jonathan snapped.

“Lower it, Jon,” Lucas said. “Just do it. There’s been enough killing today.”

Jon shook his head and aimed his rifle toward the floor. But he refused to let it go.

Gina lowered her weapon.

Marcus did the same.

She was staring at the rifle strapped across the young man’s chest. “You were on the roof… correct?”

Lucas realized he was a dead man the moment he looked into the red-haired woman’s eyes.

“Please… don’t do this,” Lucas urged. “This isn’t what it looks like.”

Gina couldn’t shake the image of this monster using that rifle to blow her friend’s brains out. She raised the gun back up, surprising Marcus.

“No… don’t!” Lucas yelled, placing his arms over his face.

Jonathan started to raise his rifle.

“You’re a fucking monster,” she hissed and started firing her handgun.

Lucas fell back into his brother, causing Jonathan’s shots to go wild. Lucas was struck in the left wrist and shoulder. Gina’s third shot hit the rifle across his chest.

Jonathan dropped his rifle and was frantically pulling his brother back toward the stairs.

Something caught the corner of Marcus’s eye. He raced toward Gina and pushed her back.

The whizzing arrow struck a water cooler where she’d been standing.

Gina and Marcus turned toward the dark office area and started firing toward the source of the shot.

The man in the hood ran off along the back and out of sight.

Marcus turned to Gina. He looked furious. “I’m going after him.”

Before she could say anything, Marcus was gone.

~~~

Donovan knew after the first few minutes of the attack that they were overmatched. He’d accepted his fate to die along with the cell—since the failure was his own. He had sorely underestimated the raggedy looking group that had wandered into town. On the surface, they looked like any other pathetic group of victims: too exhausted to care and simply waiting to feed the next horde of the dead they foolishly stumbled into.

He had taken advantage of an opportunity to take his recruits to the next level and hopefully burn off the remaining wax of an obsolete society that promoted mercy and tolerated the weak. Unfortunately, Donovan had failed to perceive the steel that was forged beneath soiled and blood-stained clothing; fire disguised as road fatigue; ice for blood when it came to avenging their own—slain pointlessly in another dead-end town.

Yes, his mistake was costly—fatal. But what he discovered beneath the rage that fueled their resolve to see them all dead, was an adversary worthy of postponing his fate for a little while longer.

The man with the machete… yes… he was not like the others. There was no rage driving his actions, and yet, his loyalty to those that blindly sought the fruitlessness of revenge, was unwavering. Donovan was intrigued by the man’s motives to kill alongside those with base motivations.

He had more than one opportunity to place an arrow in the other two. They were like bulls charging after a red cape, easily distracted and out-maneuvered. Donovan had fled the offices after his recruits were lost, doubled back quietly, and had patiently waited for the enemy to foolishly expose themselves. He’d watched the red head and the big man speaking near the stairwell, arrow notched and ready to take down the more dangerous of the two. It was apparent that the red head was their leader… and the obvious choice. He’d pulled back his arm to let the arrow loose and destroy the scar-faced beauty. But then, the man with the machete was about to spring his trap. Donovan had smiled at the cunning man, who was slowly closing in to claim his prize. Donovan had quickly moved off, allowing the man to puzzle over how his prey had eluded him.

And now, he’d figured it out. Donovan had toyed with the man long enough. He’d waited patiently in the darkness, watching the man and the red-haired woman discuss their options as Jonathan and Lucas waited to ambush them in the stairwell. The man with the machete had already discovered the ambush… as Donovan expected he would.

But then the woman came out in the open, compelled to feed her sick need for vengeance by demanding the Rhodes’s brothers to come out.

As expected, neither brother opened fire… they both had a lot to learn. They chose negotiation instead, as if the matador could reason with the bull… pathetic.

The man with the machete tried to stop the foolish woman, but was unsuccessful… and then he committed himself to her irrational act by stepping out alongside her, proving again that his loyalty to… her… was absolute, even if those actions meant his death sentence.

It delighted him that he’d figured out the man’s weakness. That was how one hunter killed another. So he let the man become aware of him by notching another arrow and firing at the leader.

The man had saved her, confirming all Donovan needed to know… and now, the man would forsake reason and blindly come for him… just like the other bulls.

Donovan headed down to the first floor and continued into the basement where the darkness reached out like a thick blanket over the eyes. He found a long and narrow hallway at the other end of the basement, behind all the office supplies. Where the hall led was irrelevant. What mattered was bringing the man to him and leveling the playing field for battle. Besides, he had already exposed the man’s weakness… adoration.

The hall was so dark that Donovan could not make out his bow before him. He prepared his final arrow for the kill, closed his eyes and waited for the man to enter the hall.

Something ever-so-slightly shifted in the darkness up ahead. Donovan could feel it with every sense well-refined by a life of living in the shadows.

Predictable, he thought with a smile. Every weakness left a trail, no matter how faint; a trail that led to the mystery behind a person’s eyes—the vulnerable spot known as the secret self.

Donovan knew the man was on the move, just as he knew they shared that dark hallway.

He let loose his arrow.

From twenty feet away, Donovan heard the machete hit the concrete. Gotcha! He lowered his bow and spoke into the darkness. “You were a worthy adversary, brother.”

There was a sharp snapping sound and then the man was upon him. Donovan felt one hand grab the hair at the back of his head. The other hand, holding the broken arrow—his arrow—was placed firmly up under his chin until the sharp point drew blood.

For the first time in a long time, Donovan was genuinely surprised.

“Well played, brother,” he said, dropping his bow. “I’ve underestimated you.”

The man in the darkness said nothing. He despised the archer for he was a serpent of the old world.

“So tell me, brother,” Donovan said. “Do your friends know you the way I know you?”

Marcus finally spoke. “You… and your kind… belong in a darker place than this hallway.”

Donovan smiled. “You would know, brother. I’ll save a place for you.”

Without another word, Marcus slowly pushed the arrow head into Donovan’s throat. He continued to do so, listening as Donovan choked to death on his own blood.

~~~

Megan quickly turned off her flashlight when she heard someone rattling the doorknob. They’ve found me!

“Megan,” a familiar voice whispered through the door. “Megan… open up. Lucas and Jonathan sent me down here to get you. You’re not safe here… they’re coming.”

It was Violet.

She turned on the flashlight and shined it toward the door. “What’s happening up there?” Megan asked through the door. “Is Lucas okay?”

“I’ll tell you all about it once we’re safe,” Violet said. “Hurry up and open the door. Lucas and the others are downstairs waiting for us. Those murderers still think we’re on the third floor… they’ll be done here any second. We have a chance to get the hell out of here!”

Fuck me! Megan raced toward the door and unlocked it. She opened the door and Violet rushed into the room, pushing Megan back. Violet looked like hell as she anxiously glanced back into the hall.

“My God,” Megan said, looking at Violet’s wounds. “Was the attack that bad?”

“You don’t know the half of it,” Violet answered. “Are you armed?”

“Lucas tried to give me a gun but… no, I’m not armed.”

Violet smiled at her and said, “That’s good.” She sucker punched Megan in the mouth, knocking her to the ground.

“What the hell?” Megan managed to hold on to the flashlight. She shined it in Violet’s face and saw that familiar monster from the barn.

“You have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do that, you fucking worthless bitch!” She reached behind her back and pulled out the large kitchen knife.

Megan got to her feet and slowly backed up toward the wall with her hands up. “Look…whatever you’re thinking… they’ll be back any second. You don’t want to do this, Violet!”

She started walking toward her. “I’d cut your fucking tongue out first, but then I wouldn’t have the chance to hear you beg for your life.”

Megan looked around for a weapon—anything she could use to defend herself. There was nothing. “Please… don’t do this. We can work out our differences- ”

“Shut your fucking pie-hole! My God, is there any end to your endless bullshit? I don’t know why Donovan kept you around, you disrespectful cunt!” She lifted the knife and swung it in front of her face.

Megan was crying. “Alright… you win. I’m terrified! I’ll do whatever you want… just please don’t kill me. I’m pregnant.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah… boo-fucking-hoo for the pregnant bitch,” Megan mocked. “I bet you just love to hold that over his head, don’t you?” She swung the knife toward her again.

Megan tried to move around her but Violet blocked her path.

“You make Lucas weak, you stupid bitch. I’ve seen what he’s capable of… but you… you tear him down all the time! Nothing he does to protect your worthless ass is good enough for you, is it Barbie?”

“That’s… that’s not true… I love him,” Megan said.

“‘I love him’,” Violet mocked with a whine. “Give me a fucking break! When I’m finished with you, I’ll make it look like one of those savages upstairs took their time cutting you up. Lucas will be all choked up about it at first. But then, I’ll be his new ‘go-to’ girl. And then I’ll wrap my legs around him and do things to him prissy girls like you would never dream of. He’ll forget all about you by the time I’m through with him.”

“Shut up!” Megan shouted, finding a bit of steel within.

Violet swung the knife toward her again and laughed. “Did I strike a nerve, Barbie? Yes… I can tell. You already know he wants to fuck me… that’s why you nag… nag… nag him to fucking death! Well… don’t you worry your pretty little head about it because I’m going to fuck you with this knife to show you how I’m going to fuck him.” She twisted the knife around and thrust it forward for effect. “Just like that, bitch.”

“You’re a fucking monster,” Megan hissed. “After you kill me, he’ll know what you did because you freaks haven’t poisoned him completely. He’s still a good man and you’re just a pathetic, evil little monster!”

Violet’s eyes were full of murderous rage. She started to charge forward but then stopped as she heard someone approaching the door.

She turned around, placing the knife behind her back as a large man entered the room with a gun aimed toward her head.

“Please… don’t kill us,” Violet begged, as she fell to one knee, pretending to cower.

Frank took in the two terrified women and eased up. “Tell me where the rest of you fuckers are hiding, or I’m going to blow both your heads off!” Frank roared.

“We’re… we’re not with them,” Violet lied, putting on her best damsel-in-distress act. “They locked us in here and… made us do things.” Violet’s tears gave her credibility. She flipped the knife around in her hand, preparing to throw it at the injured man.

“She’s got a knife!” Megan blurted out, pointing toward Violet. “Don’t believe a word she says!”

Violet gave her a disdainful look. “You just killed us whore!” she hissed.

Megan flashed her a satisfied smile.

“The knife,” Frank commanded. “Show it to me… slowly.”

Violet smiled and placed the knife on the ground in front of her. She slowly stood up, raised her hands, and backed away. “You win, asshole. Now what?”

Frank threatened, “Give me one fucking reason why I shouldn’t put a bullet tattoo on your forehead?”

Violet smiled wickedly. “How much time do you have, big guy? I’ve got all kinds of reasons I could show you.”

He shook his head. “Unbelievable. I’ll make this simple for you: Tell me where your trigger-happy friends are hiding and I won’t shoot you in the knee caps.”

“Fuck you!” she hissed defiantly.

Frank’s face grew dark. “Bitch… don’t think for a second that I won’t waste you. You’re not a piece-of-ass worth saving.”

“Frank?” Gina called from down the hall.

“Over here,” he called back, never looking away from the tattooed killer.

Violet remained still, hands out in front of her, as the red-headed woman with the scar running down her cheek, stepped into the room. She tensed up immediately when she looked into the red-head’s eyes and saw her murder reflected in them.

Megan simply pushed her face into the wall, closed her eyes, and prayed for it to be over swiftly.

Gina looked briefly at Frank and then focused on the two women.

“We were just discussing where the rest of their group was hiding,” Frank said. He nodded toward the tattooed woman. “This one has a mean streak and a mouth to match. Looked like I interrupted this one going after the other one over there with the kitchen utensils. Seems like killing each other is also acceptable behavior for these animals.”

“You got it all wrong,” Violet spat. “We’re not the killers… you are! That’s why we should’ve hunted the rest of you down… Donovan was right about all of you!”

“That would be your hooded friend, correct?” Frank asked.

Violet said nothing.

“Enough of this,” Gina said. “I’m just trying to understand why they’re still breathing.” She lifted her gun, pointed it in Violet’s face and pulled the trigger.

The click of the empty magazine caused both Violet and Frank to wince.

Violet let out a nervous laugh, staring down the end of Gina’s gun, and said, “I get it… this is a bluff. Nice try but I’m not telling you shit!”

Frank turned to Gina and was alarmed by the intense look of disappointment in her eyes.

Gina dropped the empty gun and balled up her fists. She couldn’t look away from the tattooed woman’s smirk. “We’re just some source of amusement to you, is that it? You all saw us from the rooftop and thought it would be fun to kill some people… because that’s what monsters do now when there’s no one left to guard the day and no consequences for your kind.”

Violet remained silent. She was no longer smiling.

“Pick it up,” she told the monster.

“Excuse me,” Violet said.

“Gina…” Frank cautioned.

“Pick up the fucking knife you sadistic bitch! Go on… I’m not armed. Here’s your big chance.”

Violet briefly looked down at the kitchen knife. She let out a deep breath, resisting the temptation, and raised her hands a little higher instead. She said, “No. I pick up that knife and your big friend puts a bullet in my- ”

Gina reached over, grabbed Frank’s knife from his sheath, and lunged for Violet, stabbing her in the mouth.

Frank took a step back, surprised by Gina’s brutal move.

Gina let go of the knife and Violet fell to her knees with a look of shock and horror… and then she was gone.

Gina kicked the tattooed woman over and reached down for her gun.

“Gina?” Frank said, unsure of what to say at that point.

She was already reaching into her pockets to find a spare magazine. “Just because they’re women doesn’t make them any less dangerous, Frank,” was all she said. She found a fresh magazine, removed the empty one and reloaded her gun. She then turned toward the other monster.

Megan raised her hands. “Please… don’t do this! I’m not with them! Tell her, Mister! I… I warned you about the knife, didn’t I?”

Frank shifted uncomfortably. He was no longer holding up his gun. “Gina… hold on,” he said.

Gina wasn’t listening. She lifted the gun and pointed it at the other female monster.

“Oh, God… no! Please don’t! I’m… I’m pregnant!” Megan was on her knees, trying to shield her belly from Gina’s bullet.

“Gina!” Frank shouted.

“Die you fucking monster!” Gina fired three rounds… into the wall above Megan’s head.

She looked threateningly up into Frank’s face after he grabbed her arm and pushed it up and over the terrified woman.

Frank shook his head. “No… Gina! This ends right now! What the fuck’s the matter with you?”

Gina eased up and looked back at the cowering woman on the floor.

Megan couldn’t stop sobbing.

What am I doing? Something started to click within.

Frank gently removed the gun from her hand and let her go.

Gina grabbed the sides of her head as if it were about to explode. She gave Frank a grateful look that made the big man uneasy.

“Fuck… Frank!” she said. “I’ve lost it… I’ve lost my fucking mind!”

Frank swallowed hard and said, “It happens. Just walk away, Gina. I’ll handle this.”

Gina quickly stepped out of that room as if all oxygen was suddenly depleted. Once in the dark hallway, she sucked at the air, trying not to pass out long enough to regain her sanity… if that was still possible.

“What is fucking wrong with me?” she whispered into the darkness.

The dark had no response.

~~~

Next Episode (24-3):/strong>
https://freezombienovel.wordpress.com/2014/10/14/chapter-23-3-blood-required/

Previous Episode (24-1):
https://freezombienovel.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/chapter-24-1-blood-required/

~~~

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________________________________________________
“Chapter 24-2: Blood Required” Copyright © 2014 Scott Scherr. From the Novel “Don’t Feed The Dark” Copyright © 2014 Scott Scherr.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission by the author.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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Comments
  1. Anonymous says:

    Excellent as always, Great Chapter

    Like

  2. Artcp says:

    Hey Scott, I thought Violet’s death was a little bit unclear. Being stabbed in the mouth isn’t usually lethal, unless you stab deeper and get to some vital part (brain, spine, etc.). After re-reading it a few times I assumed she stabbed either deep into Violet’s mouth getting to the nape or vertically through the soft part under the mouth and into the brain.

    As always, keep up with the good work.

    Like

    • sscherr says:

      Thanks for the observation here, Art. I will definitely look into it. As soon as I get caught up with new material, I will add all your lastest catches. I appreciate your careful eye :)

      Like

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