Chapter 22-9: Almost Dead

Posted: February 2, 2016 in Apocalypse, books, creative writing, drama, Free Online Novel, free zombie books, Horror, horror fiction, killing zombies, living dead, monsters, mystery, novels, serial novels, Survival, suspense, thriller, Uncategorized, walking dead, zombie books, Zombies
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~~~

“They’re going to make it through!” Brian said as he nervously held his rifle in one hand and wiped the sweat off his brow with the other. All his false bravado disappeared, as did the color in his face.

“Stay steady, son,” Greg reminded him. They could all hear the monsters pushing their way through the razor ribbon. He could picture the beasts below getting ensnared while others simply crawled over top of the pile getting closer and closer.

The dead were not dissuaded by pain or the sight of their brethren being torn apart by razors and sharp mesh. If they feared anything at all, it was not satisfying the hunger which drove their simplistic existence to consume flesh. Greg believed they would blindly jump off the Grand Canyon if they caught the scent of blood at the bottom. And that single-minded devotion to feed was what they all had to face now. The one chilling question which remained: Was the yellow-eyed zombies’ motivation to see them dead stronger than their motivation to remain alive? Time would tell.

“Roger,” Frank called over to their far right. “Be ready with those cocktails. We may only have one shot at this.”

Roger nodded back. He nervously inspected the box of bottles again and flicked his lighter for the tenth time, fearing that it would not light when they needed it most.

“You ready, Greg, or do you need me to hold your hand through this?” Frank called over.

“You should have brought your mannequin arm,” Greg said with a grin. “Just the sight of you wieldin’ that thing might make a couple of ‘em fall down laughing… easier to kill ‘em on the ground and such.”

Frank laughed and turned to Tommy, “This mother-fucker isn’t ever going to let me live that down.”

Tommy gave him a confused look. “Did he say something about a mannequin?”

“Never mind… long story.” He turned so they all could hear him. “Remember, don’t get anxious. We need to let a few of them inside long enough for Roger to light them up with the cocktails. We need the light for accurate shots and don’t waste your fucking ammo shooting into shadows.”

The teenagers gave him a quick nod, showing Frank their wide-eyed looks of terror. They were all clearly grateful that the big man was there to take over what was starting to feel like a suicide mission.

Frank frowned at the sight of his trembling allies. Who the fuck said it was alright to send these boy scouts out here to do the dirty work? He was clearly displeased at the responsibility of having to keep these kids alive. “Hey!” he called out, making sure he had everyone’s attention. “I wouldn’t wish this shit on my worst fucking enemy… but we’re all there is. So wipe those ‘I’m about to piss my pants’ looks off your fucking faces and man up! These next few moments are going to separate the boys from the men, so stop acting like the fucking boogeymen are at your doorstep and start thinking about what’s left of your people upstairs. Those fuckers outside won’t stop until they’ve slaughtered everyone you ever knew or cared about. So stop trying to pull the blankets up over your heads because your mommies and daddies aren’t coming to turn on the lights and tell you it’s all just a bad fucking dream. This is as real is it gets. These things are attacking your home, for Christ’s sake! Probably the last home you’ll ever have in this fucked-up world. This is your one chance to make a fucking stand and send those things back to hell! So… start… getting… ANGRY!!!”

That was enough to get their blood boiling as the teens shook off their paralysis and reestablished their sights on the gymnasium door with fresh motivation to let the dead know who was in charge.

Greg looked back at Frank and said, “Good speech. Hell, you even got me fired up.”

Frank smiled back. “Fuck, I think I needed to hear it, too.”

Suddenly, the entire first floor of the apartment building erupted in erratic howls which stole their resolve immediately. Frank and Greg were reminded of when they heard the same howls at the power plant before it was attacked.

“That can’t… that can’t be good,” Brian whispered.

Greg closed his eyes and began to pray. “Many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, there is no help for him in God…”

They could hear movement closing in on the gym. It sounded like they were trashing the abandoned classrooms.

Greg spoke up to keep their fears at bay. “…But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head…”

They were closer.

“Get ready,” Frank told them. “This will be fast.”

“…I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill…”

Something banged loudly against the gymnasium doors.

“…I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people that have set themselves against me round about. Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God; for thou has smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly…”

The doors to the gym violently burst open as three disfigured and bloody creatures entered, sniffing at the air like hound dogs. Four more immediately followed.

Roger lit up the first cocktail, drawing the attention of all seven beasts.

They barred their teeth at him and tore into his soul with their hideous yellow eyes. The monsters began to scream as they rushed toward the bleachers closest to his location.

Roger nearly dropped the lit cocktail at his feet as he became unglued by the rampaging dead. He managed to get it over the balcony as the bright fire exploded on the bleachers, temporarily stunning the zombies.

Five more zombies entered the gym.

“Shit!” Frank yelled as he lifted his rifle and opened fire on the closest zombie.

Everyone followed suit as muzzle flashes lit up the balcony and the amplified sound of rounds exploded like thunder.

They took down the first wave of the dead before they reached the bleachers… barely.

More were storming in now. The dead charged into the gym like a violent mob.

Greg spent his entire first clip aiming toward the doorway, trying to mow them down before they could disperse and gather speed.

Roger managed to toss out three more cocktails, one landing head on in the middle of the new group. The zombies caught fire and ran wildly about the gym as another group entered immediately behind them.

“They’re coming at us too fast!” Tommy said as he continued to fire round after round.

For every beast they took down three more ran in to replace it. The dead were relentless.

Greg’s AK-47 suddenly jammed. “No good!” he called over. “Can’t clear it! She’s running too hot!”

The dead sprinted from the doors toward the bleachers directly beneath them.

Roger got one more cocktail over the side just as a new group of the dead began to climb up. The zombies caught fire and fell over top of each other.

More were coming… fast.

“This is a lost cause!” Frank yelled. “Fall back to the hallway before they cut us off!”

The yellow-eyed monsters reached the top of the bleachers and began climbing on top of each other until the first one reached the balcony.

“Roger!” Tommy yelled. “Get the fuck out of there!”

Roger foolishly tried to light the remaining cocktails and toss the box over the side before they could reach the rail. He was caught by surprise as a yellow-eyed woman quickly scaled the balcony rail and jumped on top of him. The lit cocktails fell back and struck the balcony floor setting both Roger and the zombie on fire. His screams distracted the zombies long enough for the others to reach the second floor doorway.

They entered the hallway and ran toward Gina’s position like the devil was on their tail.

“Gina! Don’t shoot! We’ve lost the gym!” Frank called. “They’re right on our ass!”

~~~

Amanda nearly jerked the trigger when she heard the gunfire from outside. She opened her eyes and lowered the gun. What the hell is that? She looked over at Stephen. He appeared unconscious.

Before the anger seized control again, her dead daughter’s words echoed in her mind:

“Do it, because you don’t know how to stop yourself from hurting the people I love.”

Could it be true? Despite what she thought of Stephen’s actions, could her daughter love this man so much that she… came back, to stop her? Did she actually just try to make Amanda kill herself to protect him?

She sighed deeply and thought, You are one fucked-up woman. You got yourself so tanked this time that you imagined hearing Marie speaking through this asshole.

But what if it did happen? If Marie came back, she could do so again. And if she harmed Stephen… what would that mean?

She looked over at the naked man she was about to torture and answered out loud, “It would mean that you really are a fucking monster.”

She heard more gunfire from outside.

Amanda slowly got up and walked over to Stephen. What the hell is wrong with me? Is this what I’ve turned into now? I’m as bad as Charlie for what I’ve done here.

She bent down and said, “Mar… Nicole… are you… still in there?”

Stephen turned his head slowly toward her and opened his eyes.

She did not see her daughter looking back at her this time.

Just the man who she loved.

Amanda got up and walked over to the bar. She found a pair of scissors and went back to Stephen.

When he saw the scissors, Stephen raised his hands and pleaded, “Amanda… please… don’t.”

She frowned at him and began cutting the tape. “You deserve to die,” she said. “I’m not doing this for you, asshole. I want to make that perfectly clear.”

Stephen simply stared back like a frightened child waking from a horrible dream.

“We need to get you dressed and get back to the apartment building,” she said. “I think there’s trouble… I hear gunfire outside but I can’t tell from where.”

“Amanda… I’m so sorry… for everything,” Stephen finally managed. When he was free of the chair, he rolled up into a ball and finished, “You’re right… I deserve to die. Just leave me here and tell the others I didn’t make it.”

“Fuck that shit. You don’t get to be the martyr. Come on. You need to get dressed. My fucking head is killing me.”

Stephen heard the gunfire now. “That sounds close.”

Amanda looked toward the front door with concern. “All that noise is just going to attract unwanted attention. We need to go… now!”

Stephen rose to his feet, being mindful to cover his nakedness. He found his clothes and hurriedly put them on. “Amanda, when this is over… whatever this is… if you still want your revenge, you can have it. I only ask that you let me try to explain what happened first. There’s more that I haven’t told you.”

“Yeah, sure… when it comes to pain, there’s always more. Let’s just get the hell out of here. This place is no good for either of us.”

Amanda helped Stephen to the door and together they exited the bar.

They were greeted by several dark and empty stares as the resident dead of Jefferson, stopped and turned their rotting heads toward them from the street.

“Fuck me,” Amanda said.

“Maybe we should get back inside,” Stephen suggested as the closest creatures became excited and shambled toward the bar.

~~~

“Move! Stay to the left!” Gina screamed as she stepped out beyond the plywood sliding gate and scrambled to the right to get a clear shot at the enraged beasts which exited the gym without slowing down. Their momentum caused them to slam into the hallway wall as they tried to turn.

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! She almost forgot to pull the trigger—the sight of the blood covered monsters almost caused her to freeze up. The shotgun was deafening as Gina fired off four rounds which knocked the first rank of zombies off their feet as rotting guts and blood exploded down the hallway, spattering the ghastly faces of the next wave just entering the hall.

This bought them a few seconds as Frank, Greg and the remaining four boys slid through the small gap in the barrier.

“Gina!” Marcus called out. “Get in here now!”

She pushed her fear-filled limbs forward, as she cut for the gap and tried to slow her breathing before she hyperventilated.

When she was through, the others quickly closed the gate just as the next group of flesh-eaters sprinted down the hallway, slamming hard into the barrier.

Tommy placed the barrel of his rifle into the gun port and fired blindly while the others tried to push against the barrier to stop the undead flood which nearly knocked the gate over on the first charge.

One of them grabbed Tommy’s rifle and pulled it out of his hands and through the portal. “Fuck!”

Several decrepit arms shot back through the portal trying to claw at his face as Greg pulled him back in time.

“We’re dead if we stay here!” Frank shouted. “We need to get to the top of the third floor stairwell and slow these fuckers down from above!”

Gina was jamming shotgun shells into the receiver of her weapon. “Rusty!” she shouted. “We’re coming your way!” She waved her arms wildly for the others to follow and they all evacuated the second floor.

The dead slammed the sliding gate a second time, knocking it off its track and creating a narrow gap. The frenzied beasts started to squeeze around the barrier.

From behind her, someone was firing. Someone else was screaming.

They’re plowing through our defenses like they’re nothing! she thought. We’re not going to last five more minutes like this!

~~~

Next Episode 22-10

Previous Episode 22-8

~~~

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__________________________________________
“Chapter 22-9: Almost Dead” 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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Comments
  1. nashmcgowan says:

    tense entry. Stomach gripping!

    Like

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