Chapter 31-4: Marvin’s Day

Posted: September 6, 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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Gina pulled her handgun out and aimed for the loveseat.

Diane was already moving. She rolled forward out of the chair and dropped to the floor.

Gina fired twice into the empty loveseat as Marvin tried to move, but was struck by Gina’s second round. He cried out in pain, dropping the handgun.

The muzzle flash from Gina’s gun momentarily blinded the other hostage takers, catching them by surprise.
She quickly acquired her next target, the man behind the couch with their gun, and fired two more rounds into the man’s chest.

By now, Tony was also firing. He took out another one behind the couch.

Marcus quickly moved between the two in front of the basement door and hacked into them with his machete.

From behind Marcus, a silenced gun fired, taking out one of the two figures in the center of the room. That had to be Hagar.

Diane quickly acquired the fallen gun, rolled toward the last figure in the center of the room, and popped up right in front of him, shooting him squarely beneath the chin.

Everything happened in seconds, and then it was over. All seven hostage takers were down.

Marvin was the only one still alive. He was holding his bloody left shoulder, screaming out in pain.

Marcus and Hagar turned on their flashlights exposing the grim scene.

Like the pale women on the porch, several more grotesque looking people lay dead in various bloody positions around the living room.

Gina and Tony retrieved their weapons and flashlights from the dining room table.

“Scan the area,” she barked. “Make sure we got them all!” She looked to Marcus.

Marcus anticipated her question. “We were already heading back when we heard Marvin’s radio message. We discovered the front and rear doors locked. Fortunately, the boards over the window in the bedroom at the back of the hall were already loose.”

She smiled. “You two probably saved all of our asses by catching them off guard like that.”

Marcus bowed dramatically and gave her a wink.

Hagar simply grunted. “It’s pretty fucked-up what we found in the stables. Bodies hanging from the rafters… looks like they were skinned alive.”

“Damn you, deaders!” Marvin shouted through gritted teeth. He tried to crawl back down the hall toward the basement. “It’s Marvin’s day! No one supposed to shoot Marvin on Marvin’s fuckin’ day!”

“Someone secure that asshole!” she shouted.

“Hold still,” Marcus whispered in his left ear as the machete fell across Marvin’s neck. He helped the bleeding man get up and made him sit on the love seat. “If I were you,” he advised, “I would be very quiet right now. If you’re quiet enough, maybe Gina will forget you’re still alive. Marvin’s day or not, you are moments from leaving this life.”

Marvin looked into the man’s eyes and found them very familiar. He quieted down to a whimper as he placed a hand over his wounded shoulder.

“All clear,” Hagar shouted.

“They came from the basement,” Diane said. “That’s where they ambushed us… and killed Dwayne.”

“The basement?” Tony asked.

Diane looked as pale as their attackers. She turned to Tony and sadly added, “There were no prisoners to save, Tony.” She looked around at the bodies. “I… I think… whoever was here to save is long dead now.”

Gina sighed. “The corpse we found upstairs seems to confirm that, Tony. I’m sorry.”

Tony looked away and found himself staring at a dead, half-naked woman, with a sharp table leg in her right hand. There was a slow flowing crimson puddle beneath her and blood all over her mouth and teeth. She’d fallen near the bad man’s patched-up CB radio equipment. This woman, like the other on the porch, reminded him of Lydia. And then a horrible realization hit him.

“Gina, we found them,” Tony said, as he continued to stare at the dead woman.

She came over and stood beside him. “Found who?”

“These… people… we just killed… they were once his prisoners.”

Gina stared down at the dead woman. “You mean…”

Tony closed his eyes. “I don’t know what the bad man did to them, but these poor souls are who we came to rescue. They must have given up long ago to become so… lost.”

“I think he’s right,” Diane said. “When we first went downstairs, we thought they were captives. That’s how they tricked us.”

Gina nodded. She took in the grim scene, unable to process how these men and women had devolved into these pitiful creatures. “So we did this for nothing,” she said. “Dwayne died for nothing.”

Diane shook her head. “Unbelievable.” She looked at the squirming man in the love seat, suddenly wanting to kill something. “That’s the fucker who killed Dwayne. Stabbed him through the chest with a spear.” She stepped closer to the love seat. “I don’t care what they used to be. We should put this thing out of its misery because they’re nothing but wild animals now.”

“Wait!” Tony stepped in between Diane and the love seat.

Marvin turned and saw what looked like a bull about to charge.

Tony leaned over the scrawny man in the chair and screamed, “Why did you do it? Why did you give up and let that fucker turn you into… this!?”

Marvin had no answer. He just collapsed into the chair, placing his frail limbs before his face. He started to weep.

Marcus took a step back and sheathed his machete. Pathetic creature, he thought. He reeks of fear.

Just one step up from the latest road-kill, boss. Nothing this foul should still be alive.

Marcus was in complete agreement.

Tony wasn’t finished with Marvin. “You cowardly piece of shit! Were you the first to join him? Did you talk the others into giving up, too? Did you help the fucking bad man butcher all those people? ANSWER ME!”

“Tony…” Gina said cautiously, placing a hand on his shoulder.

He snapped his head toward her, looking like he was about to explode. Then his face softened. “Sorry,” he said.

Marvin looked up at the big man, still shielding his face with his hands. “We were… Marvin was… so very hungry. It started off as one day… then two… then three… so many days that Marvin would do anything to eat… anything. And then he made us do things. The bad man made us do anything he wanted… made us love him, yes he did. We fought at first… but the hunger… oh the hunger was just too much! Marvin wanted to die, yes he did!”

Tony turned back. “Then you should’ve fought like hell until he killed you.” He turned away. “You make me fucking sick! You chose to become the bad man’s dogs… until you became just like him!”

“But Marvin was… so… HUNGRY! Don’t you understand? Can’t you see? You don’t know. You can’t know what it’s like!”

Tony stopped. He took a deep breath and then said to Gina, “I’ll be in the dining room. I can’t look at it anymore.”

She nodded.

“I hate to be the one to ruin this wonderful party,” Marcus started, “but since there are no survivors to rescue, and the bad man is clearly missing-in-action, as is his wife, might I suggest we leave. It will be dark in a few hours.”

Hagar, in a fit of frustration, turned a small corner table over and kicked it several times. “What a fucking waste! Dwayne died for nothing!” He turned to Gina and pointed in her face. “This if all your fault!”

Gina looked him calmly in the eye and said, “Yes. It is.”

Her unwillingness to fight back at the accusation only infuriated him more. “They fucking killed him and started nibbling on his flesh before he stopped kicking! Who the fuck does that? I mean… if you’re still fucking human!” Hagar glared at the cowering Marvin and finished, “I say we skin this bitch alive and hang him in the stables!”

“I second that,” Diane chimed in.

Marvin was terrified. He looked from face to face and found no forgiveness in their eyes. As a desperate measure, he blurted out, “It’s… it’s not too late to save them! Marvin knows which way the bad man comes and goes! Marvin knows things, yes he does. Marvin knows more than he should.”

Tony entered the room. “What do you mean, ‘save them’?”

“He… he’s out making the run. The bad man will find people. The bad man always finds people. You could save them, yes? Save them from this awful, awful fate! I can-”

“Shut your fucking mouth!” Gina said coldly. She stepped up to the disgusting man and set him on fire with her fierce green eyes. “I will ask, and you will answer me. Understand?”

Marvin nodded.

“How long has he been gone?”

“Since… since this morning,” Marvin stammered. “He always takes most of the day to gather them up. That’s his way. He watches them, tricks them, and then he grabs them.”

“When is he due back?” Gina asked.

“He’s already late. It’s not like him to be late, especially since-”

“Which way will he return from?”

Marvin got quiet.

Gina leaned in, nearly touching Marvin’s face with hers. “I asked you a question, you piece of shit. Which way does your fucking master arrive from? Does he use the woods? The driveway? Does he have a vehicle?”

“The van’s not here,” Tony said. “I remember that he had a van.”

Marvin’s eyes shifted from the big man to Gina, and then he stared down at his hands. “Marvin can’t say for sure. Marvin doesn’t remember.”

Gina closed her eyes and nodded. “Sure. Sure. You don’t remember. I get it. If you tell me where he is, you’re afraid the bad man will punish you, right? Like the old man upstairs?”

Marvin nodded and looked away.

“Wait… did you fucking help him do that sick shit?” she asked.

“No… no… not Marvin. Marvin doesn’t go upstairs. No one goes upstairs. That’s his place. That’s his dirty little secret place.”

“But you know what he does to people he finds, right? You know that he mutilates them because you can hear them scream, right?”

Marvin’s refused to look up. “Yes. Marvin knows. Marvin knows very well what happens to those he punishes… to those who fight back. Each group comes in. Most are taken to the stables. The rotten apples, the ones who don’t behave, the bad man keeps for himself… takes them upstairs and does very bad things to them.”

“Why does he cut off their heads and hands?” Marcus asked. “The corpses in the stable were all like that.”

Marvin looked like he was about to cry. “We… we still need to eat. Marvin needs to eat…”

“You mean to tell me that you sick fucks eat the hands and the heads?” Diane asked.

Marvin was quick to respond. “No… no… never the heads… NEVER! Just hands… sometimes feet. Marvin makes his stew with them. That’s all.”

Diane looked like she was going to vomit, remembering the dinner plate she found. “We need to get out of this madhouse,” she said.

Gina looked puzzled. “What about the heads? Where are they, Marvin?”

Marvin shivered uncontrollably. He did start weeping then. “Marvin can’t talk about them. They speak to Marvin, make fun of Marvin, make Marvin feel bad… very bad.”

“I’ve had enough,” Tony said. “Let’s just destroy the CB equipment. That way the fucker can’t lure anyone else here.”

Gina refused to look away from the pathetic man. “So they fight back. He takes them upstairs. Tortures them, experiments on them, and then removes their hands and heads.”

“More than that!” Marvin said. “He takes their eyes… takes their eyes while they’re still alive so he can get their souls. The bad man’s magic is very, very powerful. He keeps them alive… sets them up to watch over the rest of us… to remind us what disobedience brings. They always speak to Marvin… always blame Marvin for not fighting back… for not fighting with them. They want Marvin to join them.”

“Join them where?” Gina felt a chill seize her. Perhaps this slaughterhouse was haunted with the ghosts of those who died horribly upstairs. They have already had to accept the fact that the dead had come back to life and several other supernatural seeming occurrences. What isn’t possible at this point? she wondered. “Where, Marvin?”

Marvin started to sob. He lifted one bony arm and pointed toward the kitchen.

Gina looked up and found Marcus.

“I’ll go check,” he volunteered, exiting the living room.

Gina forced herself to remain patient. She allowed the monster to weep a moment longer. Then she said, “Look, Marvin, do you want anyone else to die? Do you want the bad man to keep bringing them here to die?”

“No… no… Marvin just wants to be left alone. Marvin wants to stop hearing them speak to him. But they never stop speaking to Marvin.”

Marcus returned. His face looked grim. “They’re in the refrigerator… looks like all of them. It’s loaded with human skulls like some proud collector’s favorite display case.”

Marvin covered his ears and began to rock back and forth.

Gina removed his hands and said. “Tell me where he’ll approach the house from, Marvin. Tell me so we can stop the bad man from using his powers… so you don’t have to hear the dead speak to you anymore.”

“Marvin can’t! Marvin won’t! Just leave… leave before he gets back. Before everything goes wrong. He’s already late and the others will be coming soon.”

What the hell did that mean? Gina wondered. Others?

“Fuck! You mean there’s more of these assholes out there?” Hagar said.

“I don’t believe he’s referring to the rest of his group,” Marcus said. “The corpses hanging in the stables look like an offering of some kind.”

Gina turned. “Offering?”

Marcus smiled. “What I mean is, and sorry for being so crude, but you don’t hang meat out like that unless you’re trying to invite something to eat. The scent of those corpses could easily carry upwind a good distance.”

“But we haven’t seen any deadheads, other than a few frosty ones that got buried during the winter,” Diane said. “They can hardly move now because they’re so deteriorated. Actually, it’s a bit unnerving that we haven’t seen much of anything on this run… living or dead.”

“Whatever, let’s just remember that this crazy little fucker did say ‘others’ as in more than one,” Hagar said. “Maybe this fucking bad man knows how to draw them out.”

“But why?” Diane said. “Why the hell would he want to attract that kind of attention?”

Tony remained silent.

“Doesn’t matter now,” Gina said. She needed to know where the bad man was and intended to stop this. She had to justify putting them all in danger… for something. “Nine’s covering the fields. He’ll let us know the moment anything alive or dead enters the perimeter.” She focused on Marvin. “Now, tell me what I need to know? It’s the last time I’m going to be nice about asking. Is the bad man already out there and aware of us? You better not be stalling for him.”

Marvin refused to speak.

Gina looked like she was about to explode. She took a deep breath and let herself fall into the dark void within. “Fine. I tried to be nice. Hagar, please escort this asshole to the dining room. Diane, Marcus, I’ll need your help for this.”

“With pleasure.” Hagar grabbed Marvin’s arm, causing him to wince in pain from the bad shoulder, and roughly dragged the man-eater into the next room.

“Gina,” Tony said. “What are you doing?”

“Stay out of this, Tony,” she advised. “We came here to find the sonofabitch that tortured you and left you chained in a basement to die. The only reason this creature’s still alive is because he knows where the fucking bad man is.”

“This is wrong, Gina,” Tony said. “He’s still a human being. Let’s not forget that.”

“He’s not human anymore,” Gina insisted. “Anyone who could do the monstrous things that he and the others in that basement did, are monsters themselves.”

Tony’s face displayed a sea of sadness. “I’ve seen this look all winter. What you’re about to do to this man is as bad as what the monster you’re after did to us. Just leave it be. We have the house. We have his equipment. We can stop the transmissions right now.”

Gina felt like Tony had just struck her. She was about to speak but stopped. Doesn’t matter. She finally said, “I’m sorry you don’t understand, Tony. I’m sorry I’m not the girl you used to know. I’m fucking sorry the world turned to shit and ruined everything… but this has to be done!”

“No it doesn’t, Gina,” he said. “One day I hope you can understand that.”

She nodded. “Please, stay here.”

Tony turned away. “Fine.”

The others forcefully sat Marvin down at the dining room table.

Diane noticed the bony man eyeballing the plate of stew and she quickly shoved it off the table.

“Hold him still,” Gina advised. She sat down in the chair directly across from the thing who gave up his right to be human in exchange to save himself.

Hagar stood behind the small man and placed his hands on Marvin’s shoulders, applying pressure to keep him seated.

Marcus stood next to Gina with his machete in hand.

Diane waited beside Marvin with her gun drawn.

Marvin kept stealing uncomfortable glances toward the kitchen. “Wh…what happens to Marvin now?” he asked. Gina’s deep probing stare made him extremely nervous.

“What are you?” she asked. “You’re not dead, you’re not even half-dead like those grey-eyed bastards who should be… like your master. But you certainly don’t qualify as ‘alive’ anymore either. Not after what you participated in here.”

Marvin began to shake.

“I thinks he’s going to wet himself, Gina,” Hagar said with a laugh. “Have you ever seen anything so pathetic and close to death that’s still so afraid to die?”

Diane shifted uncomfortably.

Marcus simply waited.

Gina ignored Hagar and continued. “No… he’s not afraid of us. There’s a spear in Dwayne’s chest that proves that, right Marvin?”

Marvin wisely remained silent as he felt Hagar’s big hands squeeze a little tighter.

“But he is afraid.” Gina shook her head and looked into the kitchen. “He’s afraid of the ghosts.”

“Please…,” the terrified former prisoner said. “Marvin doesn’t know where he is. Marvin just… made it up, so you would leave Marvin alone. Yes, the bad man’s told Marvin things… but not everything. Marvin’s only guessing on the rest.”

Gina smiled like the devil. “Well… Gina thinks Marvin’s a pretty good liar when Marvin wants to be. Last chance, asshole. Where is he?”

“Marvin doesn’t know-”

She stood up and slammed the table, causing Marvin to flinch. “WHERE IS HE?”

He stared down at his dirty feet and started to weep.

Gina sighed heavily and looked to Marcus. “Go open the fucking fridge. I’m going to put his head in there with the others.”

Marcus raised an eyebrow and nodded. He started toward the kitchen.

Marvin tensed up so quickly he almost broke Hagar’s grip on his shoulders. “No! Please… anything but that! Marvin can’t go in there!”

“Then tell me where your master is?” Gina said.

Marvin shook his head.

Marcus opened the refrigerator, exposing several blood-stained skulls.

Diane took a step back. “Sick fucker…”

Even Hagar was shocked to silence.

Marvin saw the skulls… and wet himself. He placed his hands over his ears, but he could still hear them:

“Hello, Marvin.”

“We’ve been waiting for you, Marvin.”

“Come join us… join us, Marvin.”

“There’s room for one more, Marvin.”

“No… no… no… no!” Marvin was violently shaking his head.

“We want you, Marvin.”

“Pay us what you owe, Marvin.”

“Give us YOUR HEAD!”

“NO!!!” He stood up, knocking Hagar back and off-balance. Marvin quickly turned around, locked his fists together, and then started pounding Hagar in the face.

Hagar was stunned and staggered as Marvin tried to slip past him.

“Slippery fucker! Get him!” Hagar yelled, trying to reach out for his arm.

Marvin ran right into the barrel of Diane’s handgun and stopped.

“Please try it,” Diane said. “Please…”

Marvin’s eyes twitched erratically, reminding Diane of someone on meth.

Before he could charge the woman, Marvin heard a growling sound behind him as the fiery red-head grabbed him around the neck and dragged him back toward the table.

Marvin fell, face first against the table as both Hagar and Marcus held his arms behind his back.

Gina held his head down, facing the kitchen, so he could see the skulls. “Yeah… you’re scared shitless of your friends in there! I imagine you’ve got good reason to be… probably has something to do with them losing their heads, too!”

“Get off me you fucking, deaders!” Marvin screamed, showing a surprising amount of physical strength. He managed to get an arm free as Marcus tried to grab the flailing limb. He had to drop his machete to reestablish his grip.

Gina saw the machete and picked it up. “Last chance!” she threatened, holding the machete up where Marvin could see it. “I mean it… I’ll cut your fucking head off and put it in there!”

“No! Marvin will not go in there!”

“Then tell me where the bad man is! FUCKING TELL ME RIGHT NOW!”

“What the hell?” Tony said, stepping into the dining room next to Diane. “Gina! Stop this! Are you fucking insane?”

Gina could not hear him. She was in the red. “Alright, you monster! I warned you! I gave you every chance to cooperate!”

Marcus finally got control of the pale man’s arm, managing to hold it down against the table.

She saw the arm and said, “Marcus! Hold it still!”

He looked at her brandishing his weapon and understood. Marcus grabbed Marvin’s forearm with both hands providing her a clean cut.

Gina raised he machete and took aim.

“Gina…” Tony whispered in shock. He was unable to move. She won’t… she can’t… she’s just bluffing!

“We’ll start with something simple, then,” Gina said. She brought the machete down hard, chopping Marvin’s left hand off. It fell to the floor with a sickening thud.

Marvin screamed and gave up the fight as Hagar and Marcus released him, allowing the man to grab his arm with his free hand.

Hagar pulled him back into the chair. “That was fucked up, Gina,” he said.

Diane looked ill.

Marcus simply took his machete from Gina and indifferently remarked, “He’ll bleed out if we don’t take care of that.”

Tony broke his paralysis, seeing the bleeding man in the chair, and immediately ran into the living room to find something to use as a tourniquet. He found an old red bandana in a corner and returned. “Move!” he yelled as he slipped in among the others and quickly tied the rag above his wrist. When he tugged tightly on the knot, Marvin screamed again. He was about to pass out. By then, Diane had found the dirty man’s pink scarf and placed it on the severed wrist, applying direct pressure.

After a few minutes, the bleeding slowed down. Marvin passed out.

“Is he dead?” Gina asked. She hadn’t moved from the table. Her face was expressionless.

Tony refused to look at her. He said over his shoulder, “You’re out of your fucking mind, Gina! You’ve gone too far this time!”

“Wake him up,” she said. “If he doesn’t tell us where he is, I’m going to make him eat it!”

Tony turned. The look he gave her was the equivalent of a major storm front. She’d never seen his temper so aroused and directed toward her. “Fuck… you!” he hissed.

Diane and Hagar exchanged worried glances.

For the second time, Tony struck her with his harshness. She stared down at her bloody hands. They were shaking. She felt the blood leave her face and a chill passed through her entire body.

Marcus came over and spoke softly. “You’re in shock, Gina. Take a breath and stand down. You won’t get anything out of him. I believe that pitiful man doesn’t know anything or he would’ve told us by now. He acted like Death itself was staring back at him from that icebox.”

She gave Marcus an uncertain look as the reality of what she just did came crashing home. Before she turned into emotional jelly, the darkness stole over her, making her numb, and acting as a shield.

Doesn’t matter.

She looked back at Tony, who clearly hated her in that moment, and wanted to say something… anything.

The radio in her pocket began to chirp as the sound of static filled the room. Then a voice came over the radio:

“Gina! Gina! Come up! You guys aren’t alone anymore. Repeat, there’s movement in the woods on the other side of the stables. Can’t make ‘em out yet, but whoever or whatever’s out there, there’s a lot of them. Do you copy?”

“Shit,” she said, still staring at Tony.

His face softened considerably. “We’re out of time.”


Next Episode 31-5

Previous Episode 31-3


Don’t forget, a new episode of After The Dark, my DFTD talk show, will resume on Friday. Gina Melborn will be returning for Part 2 of our Phantoms premiere.  Come join us to discuss this weeks episodes and other topics related to the series.


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“Chapter 31-4: 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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