sunset-at-sea-711245_640

~~~

Amanda screamed and wildly swung her pipe around to fend off an attack. She nearly hit Charlie in the head. The monster reached out with long dead arms and grabbed her hair. It pulled her down and leaned in to bite her nose off.

Black blood sprayed across Amanda’s face as the zombie took a round to the temple.

Greg turned the rifle around and shot two more coming from the left. He kept Ashley behind him.

“We can’t get through!” Charlie yelled, backing further into an alley between two of the hangars. “We’ll be cut off in here!”

Greg backed them in and yelled, “Better to funnel them toward us! Keep going ‘fore they cut us off on the other side!”

“There’s too many!” Amanda screamed as another took a lunge for her. She backed into the alley in time.

Greg barely had enough time to swing the rifle into the head of another one.

Charlie stopped. Several large crates were blocking the alley. “It’s a dead-end!”

Ashley screamed as the one who went for Amanda and missed, crawled its way in and grabbed her ankle.

Greg slammed the butt of his rifle into its head, turning it to mush. He looked up in time to watch the mob move toward the alley. He wondered if he had four rounds left.

~~~

“They didn’t make it!” Gina yelled. “They can’t get through!”

“Fuck ‘em!” Frank shouted back. “They’re as good as dead! We will be, too, if we don’t get keys for this thing.”

Gina turned and glared at Frank’s back. “Fucking coward! Doug was right about you!”

“Being right didn’t get him very far did it?” Frank threw back.

“Are we going?” Marcus asked, coming up beside her. He had his bloody machete out.

“Thank you,” she said meekly, feeling better that she wasn’t going it alone.

Frank was close enough to the boat to see the ignition key hanging invitingly from the steering console. “Son-of-a-bitch!” he yelled excitedly. “The keys are already in the ignition! Let’s get the fuck out of here!”

Stephen and Meredith were about to board the boat.

Gina started firing at the closest zombies. Her aim was immaculate as the dead approaching the docks fell to the ground. She started moving back toward the hangars as the sound of her gun started to draw more of them her direction.

“Gina!” Stephen called out. “Where are you going?”

She turned and he saw her terrified face and heard the fear and guilt torn words. “I’m not leaving them like this… I can’t…”

Stephen said to Meredith, “I’m going to help them.”

“No,” Meredith said, retrieving her knife. “We are going to help them… and don’t you dare try to talk me out of it!” She turned to Frank.

Frank refused to look at them. He stopped long enough to say, “I’ll try to wait as long as I can… no promises. Besides, someone’s still got to get this boat ready to go.”

Meredith waited.

He looked at her gravely and said, “It’s always been about this boat for me, and you know that! Go get yourselves killed, if you must… but don’t think I won’t leave you all here… and I do mean all of you.”

She frowned and nodded. “Let’s go, Stephen,” she said. “There’s nothing left here but another dead soul with a boat.”

Frank smiled. He watched them catch up to Gina, who was already reloading. They slowly cleared a path back toward the others. “Damn, idiots!” he mumbled to himself. “Go die with the rest!” He turned the ignition key. It purred to life. He raised the anchor. He started checking the sails while removing the mooring lines from the dock.

Frank had no intention of waiting.

No one has what it takes to survive except good old Frank.

~~~

“Who’s firing? Is that Frank?” Amanda asked. “They’re coming back for us!”

The zombies began to turn toward the new sound as Gina continued to pick them off. “Hey!” she shouted at them. “Over here you stupid pricks!”

The dead began to shift toward the sound of Gina’s voice, allowing the others to get out of the alley… barely.

Greg pushed one creature back into another, knocking them both to the ground. “C’mon! She’s buying us a little time!” Then he saw them. Gina, Marcus, Greg… and even Meredith, were attacking the horde from the flank.

Gina made eye contact with him. His face looked grave as he pointed behind her.

Gina turned around. They were cut off from the marina by a larger group which was still pouring out of the last two hangars.

“We can’t get through!” she yelled over at Greg. “Go back! Go back! Try for the boathouse, we’ll meet you there!”

Greg nodded as he swung the rifle around into the skull of another monster.

“If the boathouse fails, go to the back-up plan!” Gina shouted, hoping he could still hear her.

He tried to yell back, but was forced to fend off another attack. He shoved the barrel of the rifle straight through a rotting girl’s face. Greg turned back but the horde obscured his view. They were gone.

“Wait!” Amanda shouted. “Don’t leave us here!”

Greg turned. The undead had come between them, forcing Amanda and Charlie back toward one of the hangars. They were trapped.

He raised his rifle to start firing.

Click

“Dad,” Ashley said, gripping her father’s waist, “there’s more of them coming!”

Greg turned and watched another group emerge from a hangar to their rear. In a moment, they would be completely cut off from reaching the boardwalk gate.

Charlie and Amanda started screaming.

He couldn’t see them anymore behind the horde.

Greg swore in frustration. There was really no choice to make. He picked Ashley up in his arms and made a run for the motorized gate as the undead closed in around them like a swarm. Dear Lord, watch over them… or give them a merciful end.

Ashley closed her eyes and tried not to freak out every time she felt wet, cold flesh brush against her exposed legs.

They made it past the gate. Greg put Ashley down and managed to roll the gate closed before the horde reached them.

“Dad!”

Greg turned. His face went pale. “Dear, God,” he whispered. “The damn gunshots woke up the rest of them.”

The remaining undead residents of Fairport Harbor had started coming down toward the river. The boardwalk was overrun as nearly a hundred famished ghouls, not yet aware of the pending feast, approached the marina from the south.

~~~

Charlie swung his pipe, smashing the cheekbone of an elderly zombie. “Find the control panel!” he shouted as he and Amanda backed into the vacant hangar. “Close the fucking door!”

Amanda found a control box off to the right with two big buttons, one red and one green. The red one had the word CLOSE written in bold white. She pushed it hard and then ran back behind Charlie.

The large-roll up door began to close.

“Charlie!” she screamed. “They’re still coming!”

The sheer size of the horde began pushing Charlie and Amanda toward the back of the hangar. He swung madly at several outstretched arms trying to claw at his face.

Amanda had already lost her pipe outside.

The door continued to close, cutting off the horde outside from the twenty who made it inside. They continued to advance, crazed by the scent of flesh and bone.
One of them grabbed the end of Charlie’s pipe in mid-swing, stripping it from his hands. The pipe fell to the floor.

Amanda began screaming hysterically as they were pushed back against the far wall, the hangar suddenly going dark, as the door slammed, shutting out the light.

The darkness bought them a fraction of a second longer as the undead momentarily lost their prey.

Charlie felt their sickly arms cross his face in the dark. He lifted his arms to fend off the attack. He shouted, “STOP! GET THE FUCK OFF ME! GET THE FUCK BACK!”

The hangar went silent.

~~~

“I’m almost out!” Gina shouted, trying to keep the horde off of her group.

Marcus and Stephen continued to chop and bash their way into the hungry mob while Meredith tried to distract them with her knife long enough for Gina to get clear head shots.

“This is a losing battle,” Marcus said. “I can’t even see them anymore.”

“We’re too late, Gina,” Stephen said.

She tried once more to look beyond the growing horde which blocked them on both sides. She looked to the right and spotted another gate at the end of an alley between two hangars facing the river. “That way!” she shouted. “Follow me!” Gina led them into the alley and reached the gate first. It was locked with an old chain and padlock.

“Shoot it off!” Marcus yelled, holding off the horde with his bloody machete.

Gina aimed. Fired. The lock and chain fell to the ground. “Get Meredith up here!” she shouted.

Meredith came to the front as Gina opened the latch and practically pushed her through the open gate.

“Watch the drop off,” Gina advised her, both women now noticing how close they were to the water. A narrow path led down to the raging river below.

Meredith was safely on the other side of the gate.

Gina turned toward the advancing horde and began firing head shots. “Come on, you two! Get your asses through this fence while I’ve still got bullets left!”

Marcus and Stephen moved quickly past her and through the gate.

Gina fired her last three rounds. Shit!

They were still coming.

Gina rushed to the opening, closing and latching the gate behind her.

“There’s a way down to the river,” Meredith said. “We just-”

“Just go!” Gina barked.

One of the undead grabbed at her hair through the mesh. She twisted around and smashed the hideous thing’s fingers to pieces with the butt of her gun. Gina got up and started following Meredith down the narrow path, which descended the steep embankment at an odd angle.

Several zombies smashed into the fence, causing Gina to lose her concentration as she turned and slipped down the embankment, falling directly into Stephen, causing them both to fall into the turbulent waters of the Grand River. Large waves, brought in by the strong storm current off the lake came crashing down at the mouth of the river, forcing them underwater for a few seconds, just to surface farther up river in time for another large wave.

Marcus and Meredith tried to get to them before they were pushed beneath the boardwalk, but the current was pushing at them too fast.

They watched helplessly as another wave buried them beneath the violent foam. When the water receded, Gina and Stephen were gone.

~~~

Next Episode 15-1

Previous Episode 14-3

~~~

If you’re enjoying Don’t Feed The Dark so far, please consider voting for it on Top Web Fiction and Top Site List by clicking the links below. This will help increase its visibility and draw in more potential readers. No registration is required. Thanks for your support and for reading :)

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__________________________________________
“Chapter 14-4: The Marina” Copyright © 2014, 2015 Scott Scherr. From the Novel “Don’t Feed The Dark, Book One: Southbound Nightmares”.

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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