Chapter 24-5: Blood Required

Posted: April 1, 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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She woke the others and told them to meet her downstairs in the dark diner. Gina went ahead and positioned herself behind the long serving counter and readied one rifle for quick use. She had a great view of the streets on three sides through several large windows which spanned the restaurant. It was slowly getting lighter outside. She would be able to see them long before they saw her if the brothers tried to sneak in.

Meredith, Frank and Stephen joined her in the diner five minutes later.

“Marcus is watching the girl. She was asleep when we came down,” Frank said. “Are we in trouble… again?”

Gina quickly filled them in on all she’d discovered from Megan’s notebook and from her discussion with the girl an hour ago.

They all silently digested the news.

Meredith finally said, “Do you really believe those boys will attack this place after what you did to them?”

Gina was caught off guard by the older woman’s tone. “Yes… I made a mistake and left two of them alive when I ran off after Marcus. If they know we have Megan… and I believe they do… then they’re probably outside right now. My guess would be that they’re hiding in the building across the street where they can keep their scopes fixed on the front of the diner.”

Frank sighed. “And here I was looking forward to scrounging up some cold-ass coffee and a stale bagel before getting shot at again.”

“How’s the arm?” Gina asked.

“Meredith patched me up pretty good. I’ll live. She’s turning into a regular field medic.”

Meredith stepped out from behind the counter and toward one of the large windows.

“Stay out of the light, Meredith,” Gina cautioned. “We don’t know what capabilities they have on their rifles.”

She turned and frowned at her. “We don’t even know if they’re still in the area. They could be miles away by now.”

“Gina’s tactics are sound,” Frank said. “And it’s very plausible that those boys are waiting to pick us off, just as Gina suggested.”

Stephen sat on one of the stools in front of the counter. “When does it end… when does all this killing end? They shoot us. We shoot them. They come back for round two and the vicious circle continues. This is pointless.”

“I whole-heartedly agree with Stephen,” Meredith said. “We need to stop this right now.”

“That’s exactly what I intend to do, Meredith,” Gina said. “I’m going to let Megan go. She’ll draw them out of hiding and we’ll finish this, like we should’ve done the first time. I’m not letting two snipers loose so that they can pick off another one of us! They’re going to want blood for blood, especially after what happened at the office building.”

“You mean, when you all stormed the building and murdered as many of them as you could find?” Meredith would not back down.

Frank threw his hands up, tiring of the whole conversation.

Gina tried to stay calm. “Murder is a strong word to be throwing around, Meredith. We were defending ourselves. They would’ve come down and finished us off. We’re still alive because we reacted quickly.”

Meredith shook her head. “So you’re going to let that poor girl go outside thinking that she’s about to be reunited with the father of her child, and then what, Gina? Are you going to shoot all three of them in the head… just in case they try to retaliate? Kill or be killed, is that it?”

“I wasn’t going to hurt the girl,” Gina said. “I don’t believe she has anything to do with what happened.”

“Well, I guess that just makes it all better.” Meredith looked to Frank and Stephen for support. “Are you two just going to blindly follow this madness until we’re all dead?”

Frank grumbled something inaudible while wiping the sleep from his eyes.

Stephen stood up and said, “Meredith’s right. We need to stop and seriously think this through. Nothing good can come out of this.”

Gina dismissed Stephen with an angry look. She turned to Meredith and said, “This is the only way to be sure that they won’t snipe us the moment we leave the diner. Once they have Megan back, there will be nothing to stop them from attacking us.” Gina was getting frustrated by the older woman’s resistance. “Meredith, I appreciate that you’re trying to find a peaceful solution to this mess… but that’s just not the way things are done anymore.”

“That’s a bunch of bologna!” she countered. “Stop trying to water down the facts by using the ‘state of the world’ to defend what you did… and what you’re about to do again! We still have the freedom to choose how we react to this sick world and what it has done to both the living and the dead. Just because others have chosen to forsake what’s right doesn’t make it okay for us to do the same! Why bother trying to survive at all if it’s at the expense of so much… blood!”

Gina was getting hot. “Look! I didn’t ask for this! I didn’t want to be your fucking leader! But you all took it upon yourselves to swear me in because none of you had the balls to make the hard decisions. It was easier to pin that nasty job on someone else! So here I am… doing the fucking hard thing once again and trying my best to keep us alive! If I hadn’t been so fucking soft, maybe Greg would still be alive right now… hell… maybe Amanda, too! But I won’t make that mistake again.”

They were all stunned to silence.

Gina couldn’t stop, now that the damn had exploded within. “You want to judge me for going after those fuckers who shot my friend dead in the street? You want to condemn me and say that I’m no damn different? Fine! I can take it! I’ve been taking all the hits for this group because that’s what the fucking leader does! Just don’t talk to me about survival, as if it didn’t cost a fucking thing to stay alive. Because it costs everything! We don’t get to keep our hands clean and our consciences clear if we hope to have any chance of making it one… more… damn… day! Just look at all the shit we’ve had to overcome. We have no one who gives a shit about us! We’re alone and targets for both the living and the dead. Survival is a nasty business which leaves no room for self-righteous notions that don’t fill your belly or keep your guns loaded. ‘Survival’ means doing whatever we have to do to keep from drowning in all that blood out there!”

“I hate that word: survival,” Megan said from the steps.

Everyone turned. They were all surprised to find her there.

“What the hell is she doing down here?” Gina glared at Marcus.

Marcus stood near the girl. “Megan wanted to talk to all of us… so I brought her down.”

“You sound just like him,” Megan said to Gina.

“And who would that be?” she asked impatiently.

“Donovan. He used that word like an invincible stamp to justify every action we committed. Near the end, there was no right or wrong anymore… just that grand grey place called ‘survival’.”

Gina didn’t know how to take that. She quickly changed the subject. “What did you have to tell us?”

Megan tried to smile. “I just wanted to say that I’m truly sorry for all that’s happened… I know Lucas and Jonathan are, too.”

“That’s all well and good, Megan, but it changes nothing.” Gina said. “It doesn’t change the fact that I’m worried about your friends trying to retaliate against us… just to get to you.”

Megan shook her head. “They’re not like the others… neither am I.”

“I really wish I could believe that, Megan, but I can’t afford to,” Gina said.

Marcus turned to her and said, “Tell them. Tell them what you told me upstairs.”

Megan nodded. “I had a dream,” she said, “and not a nightmare, for once. This one was… beautiful. I saw my baby being born, and Lucas was there with me. It reminded me of how Lucas and I were, before everything went bad. Just a few weeks ago, the hardest thing I had to face was telling him that I was pregnant… and I knew how terrified he was of having children. But I knew it would be alright eventually because of how much he loved me, and I him. And then everything changed… and we grew apart.” She paused, trying to hold back the tears. “I don’t know what will happen next and if Lucas and I will make it. But that doesn’t matter now because there’s only this little baby inside of me who counts. He or she is the only reason I haven’t given up yet and blown my brains out. So you see, this little child saved me… and my child—our child—will save Lucas, too, and bring him back to me.”

She had their attention.

“Hate me and hate Lucas all you want for our part in what happened… but please… let us go so that we can save this baby who has nothing to do with anything that’s happened in this crazy new world.”

Gina was about to protest but found that she couldn’t.

“Well, I’ve heard enough,” Meredith said. “Gina, we are letting Megan leave now to find her friends. She’ll explain the situation to them and then they’ll go. There’s nothing else to be said about this.”

Gina turned and fired back, “What… are you calling the shots now?”

Meredith walked up to her and said, “No, Gina… not me… not you… Gregory is making this call. Because you know damn well that if he’d heard what that young woman just said, not only would he let them all go… but he’d go with them just to make sure that baby stayed safe.”

Gina shook her head. “So… we risk our lives again because a dead man said so?”

Meredith smiled. “Yes. That about covers it.”


Jonathan was getting worried about his brother. Lucas kept falling in and out of consciousness. He was able to stop the bleeding but there was still a bullet stuck inside or him that Jonathan could do nothing about. They needed to get to Headquarters and get his wounds treated properly.

He turned back toward the window of the SUV where he had his rifle positioned. He lifted the scope back up and stared out at the diner. There was still no movement. We’re running out of time, he thought as the sun began to get higher in the sky as full morning set in. It’s getting too bright now. How long are they going to wait in there? Maybe they’re already gone… slipped out the back hours ago and we’re just wasting time. Anything was possible at this point. Jonathan needed to do something.

“Anything?” Lucas asked weakly.

“Just sit tight, little brother. I have this under control.”

“We lost control a while ago… the moment we let Donovan take over.”

Jonathan had no response to that. He simply nodded and said, “Doesn’t matter now. Whether Donovan’s dead or long gone, we still have a mission to complete.” He realized he’d just said too much.

“What mission?” Lucas asked.

“I was just being dramatic. We need to rescue Megan… that’s all I meant. She’s the mission, right?”

“She’s everything, Jon… everything. I can’t do this shit without her.”

“We’ll get her back. All we need is our opportunity. I just wish they hadn’t fucking decided to sleep in!”

Lucas laughed. “I’m glad you’re here, Jon… even if you did get us into this mess.”

Jonathan nodded.

Sunlight struck the moving glass of the diner front door. Someone was coming out.

“It’s happening,” Jonathan said, aiming the rifle. “Can you drive this thing?”

Lucas forced himself up and behind the wheel of the SUV. “If she starts after sitting so damn long, then I can get us there.”

“Stand by… something’s going on.” Jonathan continued to stare at the open doorway.

Lucas kept his hand on the ignition key.

And then Megan was there, walking down the steps with her pack on, and into the center of the street. She was alone as she looked up and down the block, trying to decide which direction to move.

“I see her, Jon! She’s alive!” Lucas was getting anxious. “Let’s roll.”

“Not yet, little brother,” Jonathan said. He was scanning the diner windows, looking for a shooter. “Smells like a trap to draw us out.”

“What do we do?”

“Let’s see which way she starts. If she heads our way, we’ve caught a break. We can grab her when she gets closer.”

Lucas did everything he could to remain still. He watched Megan look up and down the street appearing unsure of what to do. He silently willed her to turn their direction.

Instead, she started calling out. “Lucas! Lucas, if you’re out there then please just listen. Don’t do anything! Tell Jonathan not to do anything! They let me go but they’re worried that you’ll start firing on them. Please don’t do anything! This is over. No one else has to get hurt.”

“Jon?” Lucas called.

“Hold on… I’m thinking.”

“Maybe we should honk the horn?”

“Don’t be foolish, little brother. They don’t know where we are yet.” He continued to scan the diner and the area around it, his finger resting on the trigger and ready to open fire if he caught a hint of movement.


From the other end of the block, positioned between two parked cars, Gina and Frank had their rifles fixed on the SUV. From here, Gina could clearly see the rifle barrel sticking out the rear passenger side window.

“You were right, Frank. I owe you a coffee,” she said.

“No… you owe me a mocha latte… big fucking difference,” Frank said with a smile.

Shortly before letting Megan go, Gina had insisted that they give her half an hour to locate the brothers, reducing the risk of being mowed down as soon as they all exited the diner.

They had reluctantly agreed, but Meredith had asked Frank to go with her.

“You don’t trust me, Meredith?” Gina had asked.

Meredith had been blunt. “No, Gina. I don’t.”

Gina had wanted to focus on the buildings but Frank reasoned that the cars were probably where they were hiding. “They already know that we’re on to their elevated attack positions,” Frank had said. “If they’ve any sense at all, they’ll try something different, hoping we’ll overlook them.”

Sure enough, it took them ten minutes to locate the SUV positioned discreetly down the block, just far enough away to seem insignificant, but still within rifle range.

“We’re going to let that girl get in that vehicle and let them all drive away, right?” Frank said.

Gina didn’t respond. She was focused on the vehicle, concentrating on her aim, her breathing, anything to keep her eyes on target and her hands still. I may only get one crack at this, she thought.

“Gina, if you make me take another gun from you, I’m going to spank you with it,” Frank cautioned.

“Be quiet!” she hissed. “Megan’s moving toward the SUV.”

“Yes… and that’s a good thing,” Frank reminded her. “She gets in the car and they all drive off into the sunset… remember?”

“So everyone keeps telling me,” Gina said. “They make a move for the diner and I won’t hesitate to fill that car with holes.”

“Fair enough.”

When Megan was within ten feet of the SUV, the driver side opened, startling the young girl.

Someone was calling her over.

Megan put her hands to her face. She was crying.

The driver poked his head out.

Gotcha! Gina thought. I can nail both the driver and the shooter right now! She exhaled and became a stone as she took aim.

Frank became extremely uncomfortable when the driver revealed himself. He watched Gina like a hawk.

She locked in, turning off all the thoughts which were distracting her, turning off the fear which made her question—made her doubt. Gina let the familiar numbness steal over her, and the fear was gone. She targeted the young man, putting the crosshairs on the back of his head.

The young man stepped out of the car, no longer able to wait for Megan. He was in tears.

They embraced and Gina saw something familiar illuminating their faces which made her lose focus and lower the rifle. She thought of Tony and shuddered, horrified at what she almost carried out.

Megan and Lucas got into the car. The SUV started up and Lucas quickly turned the car around and drove away from the diner.

Gina turned and handed her rifle to Frank. “We’re done here. They’re no threat.”

“Are you alright?” Frank asked.

Gina looked at Frank through two thick pools of sadness and said, “Like you said back in the office building… I’m the dangerous one.”


Next Episode 24-6

Previous Episode 24-4


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“Chapter 24-5: Blood Required” 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.

  1. Nash McGowan says:

    Damn, poor Gina is losing it. Another great chapter. This story is so huge, I love it. I can;t belive everything we read s far only happens in a few weeks. Crazy!


    • sscherr says:

      Hey Nash. Yeah, it is pretty wild how much stuff happens. I thought the same thing when I finished book three. It felt like what happened at the power plant was ages ago. I believe they are roughly four weeks in at this point. Makes me wonder how long a week in the apocalypse really feels when in our world, the same amount of time flies by like nothing.


  2. Zaca says:

    I just can’t get myself to like Gina. She has her good points but I just don’t care about them. I’m starting to like Frank more and more though. When or if Gina’s group meets Tony’s group, I bet things are going to explode.

    Liked by 1 person

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