Chapter 23-6: Recruits

Posted: March 13, 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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Megan sat alone in the loft, staring out at the late morning blue sky. A refreshing breeze blew in through the loft door as she watched it caress the tops of the tall grass like an invisible hand lying flat across the field. She could almost forget the last few days as she closed her eyes and allowed nature’s lie to carry on for a moment, far removed from their present situation.

She opened the small spiral notebook she had acquired from one of the bags, along with a ball-point pen, and tried to think of baby names.

Thomas, she thought. Megan wasn’t crazy about ‘Tom’, but Thomas was a lovely sounding name. Now, if there had only been a book of baby names and their meanings tucked into one of those bags…

The woman below let loose a heart-piercing low groan, causing her innocent thoughts to scatter to their usual hiding places, far from the gloom and doom of the barn. Megan let out an exhausted sigh.

The others had spun up the zombie for another round of torture.

Megan heard their cruel laughter as they egged each other on—the creature, sounding much weaker this time as it continued to struggle, attempted to get its teeth into one of them. It never stopped trying to feed. For a moment, Megan almost wanted the pitiful zombie to succeed and then she cursed herself for such a horrid thought. They’re like wicked children who tear the wings off butterflies, or put stray cats in bags and set them on fire!

She shook her head and began writing in the notebook:

It’s been four days now since that shady man, Donovan, decided to leave us in the middle of the night. I’m starting to think he’s long gone. Part of me is glad, but another part thinks that if he were still here, the others wouldn’t be acting like… like animals.

The first couple of days here were really hard. Whenever Jonathan wasn’t looking, the others were mean to us. It’s like they didn’t know what else to do so they took out their frustrations on the outsiders. They think we’re a liability and a ‘waste of space and resources’, as that bitch, Violet, likes to point out at every opportunity. Dwayne and Simon were never this bad. I think she’s poisoned their minds against us.

I told Lucas to say something to Jonathan, but he didn’t want to look like a pussy in front of the others… or in front of his fucking idol! Speaking of misplaced hero worship, that loser didn’t know what to do when his precious Donovan left him high and dry. He looked so lost and unsure about everything that first morning when he broke the news that we were supposed to sit tight and wait. No one understood that at all… and that was the only thing we agreed upon.

What came after was despicable.

On our second afternoon, Jonathan announced that he wanted us to thoroughly ‘interrogate’ the zombie. As if it could answer all our fucking questions or something. I think he just wanted to give his recruits something to do. They were starting to moan and groan about waiting around so he told us that Donovan wanted us to find out everything we could about our ‘enemy’. Personally, I think Donovan left it alive just to drive us insane every night so we’d never get too comfortable or get any real damn sleep!

It was okay at first. The others were too afraid of it to do anything other than goad it on from behind the gate. All the monster ever did was get all riled up and snap its jaw at them.

When that was getting them nowhere, it was Simon who went outside and found some stones to throw at it. The others were shocked at first when he threw the first rock as hard as he could and nailed the woman right in the forehead. It stopped for a second as if trying to understand what just happened as black blood oozed out of the cut across its head. That’s when the others joined in and made a game out of it to see who could get the monster the most confused… It was depressing. I couldn’t watch.

Lucas came up to me later that day and said, “At least they have someone else to bully now.” I didn’t know what to say to that. Lucas was already pissing me off because he hadn’t talked with Jonathan yet about us leaving for the power plant. He kept stalling and saying that he was waiting for the right time. Whatever. I was just grateful that Jonathan didn’t join in on the zombie torture. He seemed distracted and detached from the whole affair, spending a lot of time outside watching the field. If Jonathan decided to join in on the ‘fun’, it would just be a matter of time before he started belittling Lucas until he started torturing the dead thing too, just to impress him.

But then, it all got out of hand anyway…

Megan stopped writing when she heard everything get quiet below. Maybe they finally killed it this time… and now they’ll be bored and miserable again.

She thought of Lucas and frowned. They hadn’t spoken since yesterday afternoon when he had decided to try to ‘fit in’ with the recruits. He’d reasoned that if they saw them as part of the group, then maybe talking Jonathan into leaving and heading to the power plant would be easier because he could convince the others that it was a sound idea.

She had offended him by saying, “Stop trying to be one of the popular kids like you’re back in high school and start thinking about being a fucking father! We need to leave this place!”

Megan closed her eyes, fighting back tears, when she thought about yesterday morning. She opened her eyes and started writing again:

Those freaks must have gotten up bright and early. I guess they just couldn’t wait to get back to their play-thing. I slept like the dead—first time in three nights I got more than two hours a shot. Anyway, I went down and saw that the gate was wide open! I was about to call out but then I heard Violet’s voice from within the stall. That bitch! I’ll never forgive her for what she made him do. I’ll never get the image out of my head.

I heard her yell, “Do it, you chicken shit! Get a piece for yourself because you know damn well it wants a piece of you!”

I can’t put into words what it sounded like she was making him do. I was more afraid of what I would see in that stall than of anything else that’s happened so far. When I got down there, I saw Violet sitting in front of the woman, holding her head down in the dirt while Simon and Dwayne sat on its legs. Lucas was straddled on its back with a knife… sawing its ear off. I was so stunned by the brutality my Lucas was inflicting on this thing that I simply froze.

Violet looked over at me and smiled. And then the bitch said to me, “Your boy’s a man now, Barbie. He’s finally got his hands dirty.”

Lucas looked at me then. I could tell he was horrified by what he’d done, holding that thing’s ear in one hand and the fucking bloody knife in the other. But he must have seen something in my face which shamed him… and rightly so. I don’t think we’ll ever be the same after what he did.

Jonathan must have slipped in behind me, because I never even heard him approach until he started screaming at them. It was the one and only time that I respected him… ever.

He grabbed Lucas by the back of the shirt and dragged him out of the stall. “Of all the fucking stupid things you could possibly do!” he had shouted in his face. “Go wash that thing’s blood off your hands!” He’d turned on the recruits and yelled, “Get that fucking zombie tied up… NOW! If I ever catch any of you doing anything so fucking reckless again, I’ll skin you alive and feed you to that thing! Am I making myself clear?”

They had all nodded pretty fucking quick, too! Good for you, Jonathan.

I remembered looking over at Lucas. He was staring into his shaking hand… at the severed ear which he was still holding. And that’s when he started openly weeping.

Jonathan gave me a pitiful look and said, “Megan, get him away from here… please.”…

She stopped writing. Her own hand was shaking as she started to cry. After the incident yesterday, Lucas kept to himself, feeling humiliated and angry. They’d shared a quiet meal last night and had gone to bed without a word between them. She didn’t know how she felt about anything anymore, let alone, how to comfort him. So they both suffered in silence.

And then came this morning. Megan started to write again:

The day started off with so much tension in the air. Jonathan said very little to the recruits as he ate a quick breakfast and went outside. I remember Violet stabbing him in the back with her eyes when he left. Dwayne and Simon just stared at their food, trying to become invisible. And Lucas… Lucas looked like he’d aged ten years since the previous day. He wouldn’t even look at me. He just gazed toward the back of the barn, toward the stall, listening to the woman shuffling around in her torture chamber…

She stopped, remembering the rest:

Jonathan had come back inside fifteen minutes later and had said to her, “I’m taking my brother outside to walk the perimeter of the field. Don’t worry, I’ll keep him safe.” He then looked over at Violet and finished, “She fucked his head up pretty good yesterday and he needs to get out of here and shake this off. Alright?”

Megan had simply nodded. One look at Lucas’s despondent state and she knew it was a good idea.

He had turned to Violet and said coldly, “I’m leaving you in charge here, not because I want to, but because you’re all I’ve got.”

His words had struck her like a slap to the face.

“Well call this a chance for you to make up for yesterday. You’ve got only two fucking things you have to do: One… leave the dead thing alone. Two… leave Megan alone. Are we clear on this, recruit?”

Violet had looked like a kettle on the stove, slowly boiling over. She had wisely responded, “Yes. I understand.”

“Good,” Jonathan had said. He took them all in and finished, “Look, I know it’s not been easy being crammed in here for the last four days. I get it. But let’s just keep it together a little longer. I’m taking Lucas out to look for any signs that Donovan might have tried to get back here but was maybe delayed. Hell, he might even be back before we return. But just in case, I want to know what’s going on out there. We should be back in a couple of hours. Keep someone up in the loft to watch the field at all times until we get back.”

That had been early this morning. They had been gone for hours and Megan was really worried. She had been quick to volunteer for loft duty when Violet started venting an hour ago about how Jonathan didn’t know what the fuck was going on and how he didn’t have a clue… and so on… and so on… Rather than becoming a target for her anger, she’d disappeared into the loft to wait out the storm.

And now, it sounded like Violet and the others were clearly disobeying Jonathan’s standing orders as they started on the dead woman again.

After what felt like an eternity of silence from down below, Megan finally heard Violet yell, “Don’t you feel anything, you stupid bitch? Even now… all you want to do is eat my fucking face off!”

Dear God, Megan prayed. I don’t want to go back down there with that psycho. Please… please… bring them back safely. Now, would be nice.

Megan looked out the loft door and noticed the grass moving in an irregular manner. That’s not wind. And then she saw heads moving through the tall grass. She counted about twenty of them.

“No… oh, please… not now.” Megan rose to her feet. She dropped the notebook and nearly fell out of the loft trying to climb down the ladder.

She raced toward the stall as Dwayne and Simon turned from standing just outside the gate and tried to stop her.

“Hold up,” Dwayne said.

It was too late.

Megan turned toward the stall and found Violet holding a machete with the creature’s dark blood all over it. She looked at the woman, who was still tied up at the back of the stall, and froze.

“Oh my God!” she said, covering her mouth. “Why? Why would you do this?”

Violet had stripped the woman’s clothes off, revealing all of her pale flesh. The woman’s body was covered in dirt and black blood. Being completely naked made the zombie look surprisingly… human… as her pale body had not yet rotted away. Violet had cut the woman numerous times, all up and down her body. But what was most disturbing was that she had sliced the poor thing’s nipples clean off, in some sick attempt to humiliate it by attacking its womanhood.

“Get the fuck out of here!” Violet yelled, aiming the machete toward her. “Get out, or you’re next!”

“There’s… zombies… coming through the field!” Megan blurted out, forcing herself to look away from the horror show.

Violet’s face went white. “What… now? Are you sure?”

“They’re coming right now, you crazy bitch!” Megan shouted. Her emotions were on overload. Seeing the dead woman’s abused body somehow made her feel violated.

Violet was scrambling. “Dwayne! Simon! Get the fucking guns, assholes!”

They rushed toward the bags just as the barn doors burst open.

Jonathan and Lucas stormed in looking like they had just escaped hell.

“Arm yourselves!” Jonathan shouted. “We’re about to be overrun!”

~~~

Next Episode 23-7

Previous Episode 23-5

~~~

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__________________________________________
“Chapter 23-6: Recruits” Copyright © 2014, 2016 Scott Scherr. From the Novel “Don’t Feed The Dark, Book Three: Recruits”.

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. kotawa says:

    I’m really curious why Mother needs Megan’s child >_<

    Also , a small thing that made me frown : "He grabbed Jonathan by the back of the shirt and dragged him out of the […]"
    I was wondering if instead of Jonathan you meant Lucas ? It would make more sense in the context !

    Anyways , nice chapter and thank you for your hard work as always !

    Like

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