John Peterson

“My god you’re tall,” said a Blackwater guard as he looked up at the tall man.

“We don’t see your type around here,” he added.

“What you don’t see tall black men around here,” John replied, his accent dipped in Creole. “I don’t see men standing over me with your pedigree. You are dark as night, my man. You stand half the height of the city wall behind you.”

“Dark, tall and not happy to be here.” John hissed. “I am a veteran. I fought for the country.”

“You fought as a liar. Vampire trash,” the guard replied.

“Correction, vampire fought in the Battle of Miami and kicked ass.” John growled. His teeth stained. A pair of canines hanging from his top lip.”

“I don’t care what you did. Stand against the wall,” shouted the guard and shoved John backward. John fell hard against the stone wall. Pain shot upward at impact. John lunged at the guard. His arms stretched backward. His wings buried under a heavy black coat. John’s wrist bound by chains.

The guard struck John with a nightstick. The impact of the night stick enraged the vampire. His large, thin jaw dropped and revealed additional weapons in the shape of knife-like teeth. He tried again to unfurl his wings. The guard swung again knocking John unconscious.

John woke up lying upon a wooden trailer moving forward slowly. The side of his head throbbed.

“He’s awake,” said someone above him. “Check to see if he is ok. If it’s really him we can use him to get through this.”

“Are you the Haitian Manhunter?” Asked a younger man. “The Florida Superman?”

John sat up. The large city gate stood behind him. The steel sheet metal walls spread to the left and right and disappeared from sight. On top of the walls sat 50 caliber gun nests, every 20 feet, manned with Blackwater guards.

“I’m not a super hero.” John snapped. He felt the side of his head then took in a long breath. He closed his eyes and repeated the breath. The wagon leapt jostling the passengers. John opened his eyes and looked around again.

“I will help where I can,” John said. He noticed a child near 11 years old. Near the child was, he assumed her mother. The father was unidentifiable or dead, which wasn’t unusual. A complete family unit was unusual these days.

Along the left side of the wagon was a young white man and pair of black men. On the right was the child and her mother, an older man and a man bound with rope.

John stood, walked to the front of the wagon. He shoved the wooden wall blocking the passengers from the driver. The wall wobbled prompting a surprise and an angry protest from the driver.

“Sit down!” Shouted the Blackwater guard. John peered over and looked at the guard. The guard was young and likely inexperienced. A pistol on his side and a shotgun strapped to the tractor. He turned and noticed the crowd marching behind the tractor.

“Zombie…”

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