Chapter 31-3: Marvin’s Day

Posted: September 4, 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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~~~

The embers of a small fire crackled behind the CB radio equipment. An old soiled and blood-stained love seat sat near it. Other than a few other pieces of abused furniture, more garbage, and splattered blood stains on the walls and the hardwood floor, the room was empty.

Diane Conley, the last of the hunters who had accompanied Tony to rescue Gina from the hands of a madman, his machine, and the terrifying Shadow Dead, now found herself back in the arms of more madness.

As she cautiously scanned the room, looking twice into every shadow, Dwayne peeked down a short hallway revealing the basement door and two additional doors at the end of the hall. The red-bearded man looked back and signaled that the hall was clear. Diane signaled likewise.

They met up near the basement door, aiming their guns towards both ends of the hall.

“I’ll check the back rooms,” Dwayne whispered. “Cover my six.”

Diane nodded.

Dwayne opened one door enough to peer through a crack, quickly scanned it with his flashlight, and then quietly closed the door. He did the same with the other room and then returned to Diane. “Both are clear. There’s a small bedroom to the left that looks like a murder crime scene. I’ll spare you the details. The door on the right leads to a utility room with a back door leading toward the stables. The lock bar’s still in place.”

“That leaves you-know-where,” she said.

“Think it’s just the one we saw outside, then?” Dwayne looked around nervously. “His wife got loose, the way Tony tells it. Maybe she’s long gone.”

“Maybe,” Diane said. She didn’t think so. Something was definitely wrong. Her keen hunter’s senses were telling her that they were being watched. She’d felt this same feeling a hundred times back when she used to track deer with her father in the woods. And just like deer, if the animals remained still long enough, it was easy to overlook them in whatever natural camouflage nature provided. In this case, it was the darkness provided by the boarded up windows which aided the ruse over her eyes. And anyone who’s ever been a child already knows that darkness hides monsters, she thought. “You ready,” she asked, turning toward the basement door.

“Let’s do it. This place is getting my paranoia all fired up. I’m starting to see things that aren’t there.”

“You’re not the only one,” Diane said. She reached for the door knob. It was unlocked. She looked at Dwayne and raised her fingers… three… two… one…

She quickly opened the door and dropped down on a knee as Dwayne aimed over her. They flooded the stairs with light, fingers on triggers, ready to destroy the first thing that moved.

There was nothing on the stairs.

From somewhere toward the back of the cellar, they could hear movement. Lots of movement.

“Shit,” Dwayne said.

Diane led the descent into the dark basement with Dwayne right on her heels.

Once at the bottom they quickly scanned the darkness and found them.

“Fuck me,” Dwayne said.

Diane lowered her weapon a little. In the far corner, bunched together like frightened children, were several half-naked men and women, trying to hide behind each other while cowering from the bright lights. They looked ill, severely dehydrated, malnourished and as white as ghosts. Whatever meat was left on their bodies was stretched tight over their bones.

“Hello,” Diane said awkwardly. “Don’t be afraid. We’re here to help you.” She seriously doubted there was any help left to give. It was a wonder that any of them were still alive.

“Basement’s clear,” Dwayne said. “Just these poor souls.”

“Then he’s upstairs,” Diane said. “And I hope when Gina and Tony find him, they kill that bastard slowly.” She tried again, “Can any of you speak? Do you understand me?”

“The… light,” one of them whispered in a raspy voice. “We’re… afraid of… the light… ”

“It hurts their eyes,” Dwayne said, lowering his flashlight. “They probably haven’t seen the sunlight in months.”

Diane also lowered her light. She continued to keep her gun raised. Something was still triggering the alarms within her head.

After the flashlight beams fell away from their shocked faces, the prisoners turned their backs toward them and formed a tight circle in the corner.

She counted eleven. The longer Diane looked at them, the more she was reminded of the mutilated woman who answered the door. Shit! The realization hit her too late. “Where are their chains?”

“What was that?” Dwayne said.

“Tony said they were chained up when he was here.”

Dwayne quickly scanned the basement again. “There,” he said, motioning toward another corner of the basement.

Diane turned and noticed several rusted chains fastened to the concrete floor. She stared at the chains and felt her stomach drop. “It’s a trick!” she shouted.

The survivors all turned around at once and began to spread out. Their faces were full of something Diane and the others had seen countless times on the faces of the dead.

Hatred. Hunger.

“They’re armed!” Dwayne shouted, raising his gun.

They prisoners were quicker than they appeared. While Diane and Dwayne were distracted, they had armed themselves from a small cache of primitive weapons hiding behind them in the corner. Some had broken table legs, others had sharp fragments of broken glass. One had a screwdriver. Some had what looked like sharp bone fragments…

“Don’t fucking move!” Diane shouted.

They raised their flashlights.

The prisoners began to scatter toward the closest shadows in either direction.

“Go left!” she shouted. Diane aimed toward the right, trying to target the fast-moving predators. The muffled muzzle fire of their handguns flashed across the basement as they opened fire on their attackers, penetrating bodies as blood splattered against the walls.

Several of the prisoners screamed.

Dwayne had just enough time to lift his foot and kick a woman in the chest. Another grabbed his gun arm, causing him to drop his weapon.

Diane spun and shot a bearded man in the forehead as he swung a piece of glass inches from her throat. Someone moved behind her and stripped the flashlight from her hand. It spun wildly through the air before striking the concrete and going out.

The prisoners briefly regrouped within a crawlspace behind the staircase to form a collective charge. She had no shots.

Diane and Dwayne could not fight effectively in the confined dark space.

Dwayne was trying to light up the targets with his flashlight while attempting to locate his gun.

Several eyes peered out at them through the narrow slats between the steps. We move or we die, she thought. “Dwayne! Go for the stairs… now!”

Dwayne raced for the landing. Diane was right behind him. As they ascended, several hands tried to grab at their feet through the open slats. Diane fired at their outstretched arms, causing more shrill cries of pain.

Dwayne was almost to the top.

The shadow of a man appeared in the doorway causing the red-bearded man to stop.

“Shit,” Dwayne said, managing a nervous laugh as the man retracted what looked like a spear.

Diane couldn’t get a clear shot with Dwayne in front of her.

The man let loose a savage shout and thrust the spear straight through Dwayne’s chest, the bloody tip barely missing Diane’s face as she stumbled down a step.

“Die, you fuckin’ deader!” the man shouted. “Don’t you know that it’s Marvin’s day!”

Dwayne stared at the wood sticking in his chest and then coughed up blood.

Marvin’s fierce face lit up with excitement as he tightened his two-handed grip on the spear. He removed the flashlight from the dying man’s hand. “I said, it’s MARVIN’S… FUCKIN’… DAY!” He stepped forward pushing Dwayne backwards with the spear until he fell directly on top of Diane.

She dropped her gun trying to hold the man up as they both fell backwards down the steps and into the darkness.

Diane struck the concrete hard with the back of her head as she landed on her back and started losing consciousness. No! Not like this! I don’t want to die like this! She tried to locate her gun and failed.

Someone pulled the body of her friend off of her legs and into the shadows. She could hear the sound of flesh being torn to pieces behind Dwayne’s futile screams. They were going at him like a pack of wild animals. She looked up at the faint light coming from the open doorway.

The shadowy man was licking the blood off the tip of his spear.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this, she thought. They were supposed to be the victims… not us!

Marvin stared down at the woman and shook his spear at her. He tossed Dwayne’s flashlight down the hall and then started descending the staircase, closing the door behind him until all the light was extinguished.

She could hear the wood squeaking under his footsteps as he approached.

Nothing’s worth saving in this world, she thought bitterly. Nothing can be saved without losing something else in return.

Dwayne had mercifully stopped screaming.

She tried to shut out the sounds of teeth biting into flesh. Everything is already dead.

Diane could sense the man hovering over her in the darkness as she waited for his spear to finish her off.

Everyone has already died. She fought back frustrated tears and closed her eyes.

~~~

Gina swore at herself as they set up position behind the base of the stairs, staying within the shadows with a clear line of sight down the hallway and past the kitchen. They couldn’t see beyond the kitchen into the dark living room without using their flashlights and betraying their position.

Fuck! He told me there was only two of them. Now, I don’t know what I’ve gotten us into.

“I’m sorry, Gina.” Tony could see the accusing look on her face. “It’s been over half a year since I’ve been here. I had no idea the bad man made some friends. He always operated alone before.”

Of course he was right, but Gina was still upset. They’d planned this. Practiced the assault. Everything was supposed to go smoothly. But how could any of them know what to expect with Tony’s old intelligence. And now, two of her group were captured. That’s what you get for putting so much confidence in your fucking plans and your firepower. There were too many unknown variables from the start. You stupid bitch. Should’ve known better. You can’t just walk into a devil’s den and not run into problems. Her only advantage at the moment was hoping Marcus and Hagar had been monitoring the radio. There had been no mention of them by the hostage taker, just Diane and Dwayne.

Of course, they could be seriously outnumbered.

There’s nothing left to do but play this out and improvise, Gina thought. She took a deep breath to steady herself and then shouted, “Okay, we’re here! We’re downstairs just like you said. How do we play this out without anyone getting hurt?”

“Start down the hallway slowly, deaders,” a raspy voiced shouted back. “Place your weapons and your flashlights on the dining room table. Then, come into the living room with your hands raised. You do anything else, Marvin slits the woman’s throat and has her for breakfast tomorrow.”

Gina looked over at Tony and silently mouthed, “Marvin?”

He shook his head. There was no Marvin when he was last here.

Gina motioned toward Tony’s pack. He was holding a few spare 9mm handguns without silencers.

Tony retrieved two guns and handed one to Gina. Then they stuffed them in their waistbands at their backs, within easy reach.

“Leave the packs here,” Gina instructed. “We do what he says and hope he’s not smart enough to check us for more guns.”

Tony nodded.

“First opportunity, no matter what happens next, no matter how many there are, I’m going to give Diane a look.”

“A look?” Tony was puzzled.

“Trust me, she’ll know what I’m telling her. After that, you follow my lead and be ready.”

“Ready for what?”

“To kill everyone in that fucking room.”

Tony frowned. “What about a peaceful solution? Maybe they just want us gone.”

Gina gave him an incredulous look. Was he not just upstairs with me? Did he not just see all that insane shit? “Just follow my lead.”

He reluctantly nodded.

They both stood up from their cover and started down the hallway.

When they reached the dining room, Marvin said, “That’s close enough. Leave your shit there.”

They both placed their silenced weapons and flashlights on the dining room table and then raised their hands above their heads.

“Good… good,” Marvin said. “Now, come in here so we can get a good look at you fuckin’ deaders.”

There was still soft afternoon light pouring in through the small kitchen window, just enough to leave them standing exposed in the dining room. They wanted to see us coming long before we saw them, she thought. Someone had closed the front door and replaced the lock bar. Shit.

“Let’s go,” Marvin said. “Living room… now!”

Tony gave her a final encouraging nod as they walked down the hall toward the darkest part of the house.

The living room opened up to the left. A small fire was lit providing the only light in the room. The situation would be difficult to assess without their flashlights.

As her eyes slowly adjusted, Gina could make out several shadowy figures in various spots. They all appeared to be holding blunt weapons. Two figures stood behind a large couch on the far side of the room. Two more stood in front of what remained of the hall where Tony had told them the basement was located. Two more stood at the center of the room just to the left and right of a love seat, which had been turned to face them. She could see one more figure standing behind the love seat, just in front of the fire, holding what looked like one of their guns to the last figure’s head who sat motionless in the chair.

Seven of them. Seven that we can see, Gina thought. Maybe more that we can’t see.

“Alright,” she said, preparing to bluff like she’d never bluffed before, “I don’t know who you freaks are, but you’re in some serious shit right now. I’ll only say this one time: Release our friends and surrender. This doesn’t have to escalate any further.” Gina focused on the chair and squinted. “Diane, is that you?”

“They’ve already killed Dwayne,” Diane quickly got out before the man behind the chair struck her in the head with the butt of the gun.

“Shut your mouth, deader!” the one known as Marvin shouted. He pressed the barrel into Diane’s temple, hard. “Speak again, and Marvin puts pieces of your brain on the far wall!”

“Just relax!” Tony said. “We’re fucking here, like you wanted. Now get the gun out of her face!”

Marvin laughed. “You’re a feisty one. A foolish man who thinks he can tell Marvin what to do on Marvin’s fucking day!”

“You’ve killed our friend,” Gina said in an emotionless voice. “For that, there’s no way I let any of you live today.”

Tony turned to her and said, “That’s not helping.”

“Listen to your big friend, foolish girl. No one threatens Marvin, especially on Marvin’s day. NO ONE!!! Besides, you’ve killed the voice… her body’s rotting away on the porch. ‘Eye for an Eye’ bitch!”

“What do you want?” Gina was already calculating which one to shoot first. She spotted one of them behind the couch who appeared to have their other missing gun. Tony was an alright shot, an average shooter at best, but even a skilled marksman would have difficulty aiming in such low light conditions. She would have to make every shot count, using the muzzle flash from the first shot to quickly target the next.

“What does Marvin want? What does Marvin want? Marvin wants you to say ‘sorry’ for all the trouble you’ve caused him. And then Marvin wants you to leave and never come back.”

“That’s it?” Tony said. “You want a fucking apology and then we can go?”

“There’s a small matter of price for your trespass and for the blood you’ve spilled. Once you agree to Marvin’s terms, than you may leave.”

Bullshit! Gina was not liking where this was headed. “What’s your damn price?”

“You killed the voice. The bad man will be very upset with Marvin if Marvin tells him that there’s no more voice. The bad man needs the voice.”

“What do you know about the bad man?” Tony asked. “Is he here? I would very much like to talk to him in person and… apologize.”

“You apologize to Marvin! It’s Marvin fuckin’ day… so you apologize to MARVIN!”

“Alright, Marvin,” Gina said. “I am the leader of this group. I made the decision to come here so I’m to blame for your troubles.” She took a deep breath and finished, “I am very sorry for all the problems I’ve caused you. Please let us go and we will never make the mistake of coming here again.”

“You’re good, deader!” Marvin laughed. “Marvin almost wants to believe you… almost.”

“I don’t care what you believe.” Gina dared a step closer, hoping to gain a better view of her targets.

“Stop!” Marvin said. “Marvin accepts your apology. Now there’s just the matter of price and then you can go on your way.”

“I’m listening,” Gina said.

“You killed the voice. Marvin needs a new voice. So Marvin’s going to keep this one as a replacement. Marvin’s heard her speak. She will make a great voice. The bad man will be pleased with Marvin. This is the price. Leave the woman and get out!”

From the corner of her right eye, just behind where the two figures stood, Gina caught a glimmer of movement from the dark hallway. She turned, and saw the fire briefly reflected in what appeared to be moving steel. Someone was signaling her.

Marcus! Somehow he got inside! It’s time to make a play.

“Do we have a deal?” Marvin asked.

Gina slowly lowered her hands.

Tony did the same.

“Let me find out if Diane is okay with it,” she said. “Then I’ll give you my decision.”

“Be quick about it!” Marvin was getting irritable. He hadn’t had a chance to eat and he missed his opportunity to feed on the deader in the basement.

“Diane?”

“Yes, Gina, I’m still here.”

“Are you okay with these terms?”

There was a slight pause, and then Diane answered, “I’m fine with whatever you decide.”

Gina smiled. She had her attention. “Diane, can you see me? Can you see my face?”

Another pause. “No, but if I could, I know exactly how your face would look right now.”

“Enough!” Marvin said. “She said she’s fine with it. What’s your decision, deader?”

Gina had decided on a new target.

She reached behind her back and removed the handgun from her waist. She kept her gun hand hidden behind her. “Marvin, I just want you to know that I’m a woman of her word and that I meant what I said.”

“And what was that?”

Gina smiled wickedly in the firelight. “None of you are getting out of here alive.”

~~~

Next Episode 31-4

Previous Episode 31-2

~~~

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__________________________________________
“Chapter 31-3: Marvin’s Day” Copyright © 2016 Scott Scherr. All Rights Reserved.

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. alikolino says:

    Thanks for the chapter

    Like

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