City of Monsters

City of Monsters – part 1

Jacob and Micheal:

“The pungent smell of death was everywhere.  It burned your nose, not like a flame but like a punch to your brain.”


“We can head into my house.” Jacob stared through a grimy window of the garage door. Standing on a pair of milk crates.  “We should have enough room to run to the back door.  It’s unlocked.”

“No Jacob… Sharon is in there and Barbara.” Michael shot back.

“Oh god!  I know she’s in there.  We have to do something!” Jacob stumbled from the crates.

“I’m sorry buddy but she has been dead for over a day.”

“I know this,” Jacob shouted.  “I’m not some naive psychology case.  I know what we did.  We left the girls in the house to save ourselves now we are going to die.”

“We didn’t leave them by choice. We had no other option.” Michael replied.

“Choice!  We could of died with them.  Now we are going to die in this garage!”

“Keep your voice down,” Michael scolded. “You are not dying in that garage by yourself,” Michael whispered.

“Oh great,” Jacob replied, forced but quieter. “Now I will be responsible for killing my best friend too.”

“We are not staying here but I am not going back in there to see the remains of my wife and yours.”

Jacob looked at his friend.  In two days Michael’s face had aged twenty years.  His blue eyes hidden within the swelling of a black eye and lack of sleep.

“Do you think about her?  Barbara?”

“Do you wonder what she’s thinking, maybe she’s trapped inside her body?”

“She’s not,” Michael snapped.  “There all dead.  Everyone.”

Michael stood at the window at the side of the garage and looked outside. “You see that women standing there, she’s dead.  That kid standing over a family dog… dead. They are all dead.”

“Sure, ok.  What’s your plan? We need food with any plan and I have a ton of food in the house.”

“I don’t have a plan.  All I know is we can’t stay here and I’m NOT going in that house,” Michael replied.

“Fine, I’ll do it myself.”

“I’ll get the door,” Michael pushed past Jacob and grabbed the door handle.  He turned the knob than stopped. He looked. He turned the handle till it clicked and opened the door.

Jacob followed Michael from the garage.  They leapt over to the house and followed the outside wall.  At the first window Jacob stopped and looked inside.  Michael continued to the next window.

She was in there.  Her perfect hair drenched in dark clumps of blood. “Screwed up face,” Michael thought cursing under his breath.  Her face long and drawn down.  Her jaw slack and her arms to her side.  She stood staring at the dining room wall.

Jacob moved behind Michael watching the other undead as they stood waiting.  He began to watch a single zombie in particular.  It was moving, barely.  Gnawing at its pale lips.

“Movement could be a sign it’s not completely asleep,” Jacob thought.

Michael watched within the window.  “Barbara,” he whispered.

Barbara moved.  She brought up her right hand and brushed the hair from her face.  The outside world disappeared instantly.  Michael watched as Barbara began to dance. She turned.  Her face was hidden behind long beautiful dark hair.   She turned and turned again.  Jacob stepped onto the heel of Michael’s tennis shoe causing pain to shoot upward.  Micheal lurched forward and banged his fist upon the glass window.  The zombie with the pale lips woke immediately and searched for the source of the noise.  Its eyes gray and fixed forward as it turned the gruesome head. Within the window Michael noticed the Barbara was gone.  She had left the room.

Jacob apologized.  He tried his best to make himself part of the outside wall of the house.  Michael noticed the pale zombie lumber forward and turned from the window.

Three more zombies woke.  Their gray eyes bursting with excitement.

“My god, why did you have to do that,” Michael shouted.  The pale zombie approached from the left side.  Two of the three zombies lumbered near them from the driveway.  Michael turned and stared at a face in the window of the home.  Barbara, her pale eyes staring hungrily out the window, scratched at the glass.

“Go.. go…” Jacob whispered and motioned for Michael to follow him toward the back of the house.  Michael ripped his gaze from Barbara and followed.  The two men walked toward the back of the house careful not to make any more noise.  The rear door of the home was on the left and the garage door was on the right.

“Let’s go, Michael.” Jacob prodded.  Michael hesitated and then followed.  Jacob opened the back door and stepped inside.

“I don’t want to do this,” Michael insisted.

“This or die?” Jacob replied.

“Just go,” Michael pushed as both men entered the back porch

Michael closed the door behind him and searched for a lock.

“What are you doing? That door doesn’t have a lock.”

“What do you mean, doesn’t have a lock?” Micheal growled.  The door was ripped from his grip and a large zombie stood at the entrance.

“Why doesn’t this door have a lock!”

Jacob struggled with the inside door knob.  The large zombie stepped forward toward the men.

Michael shoved the zombie with his foot causing it to stumble backward.

“Get the door open!”

“I’m trying,” replied Jacob as the knob finally turned and the door opened.

The large zombie stepped forward again and entered the porch.  Jacob disappeared within the doorway followed by Michael.  Michael closed the door quickly and they both stepped into the kitchen. He found the door lock, the security bolt and the chain.

The large zombie began to bang on the back door.  Michael braced himself against the door until she walked into the kitchen.

Barbara, her jaw broken and head disfigured stepped into the kitchen.

Michael shoved his right foot against the door and looked at Jacob.  “What now, genius!”

“I got this Michael.  I got this.” Jacob stepped forward with a baseball bat but didn’t swing it.  He placed the end of the bat on Barbara’s chest and pushed her back into the dining room.  Attached to the kitchen door was a baby gate.  Jacob swung that closed and locked it.

“A baby gate, really?” Michael said.  “We are going to have to kill them, you know.”

“No, we don’t,” Jacob replied.

Next up — Jacob and Michael – The Wives  

City of Monsters Monster Stories Shortz Stories

The Harkin

Featured Story

Author note: Adding this to my new City of Monsters collection.

The warm water from the shower massaged Tracy’s back.  The steam from the heat of the liquid filled the room but left the view within the small bathroom window.  Tracy reached for the shampoo when she saw a frightening shadow passing in front of a the church next to the house.  The creature had tall, thin legs.  It’s keratin-covered abdomen stood six foot over the asphalt.

Tracy, unconsciously, reached for the window shelf and knocked over a bottle of shampoo.  The noise started her and she screamed.

Tracy took in a sudden breath and held her mouth as the insect-like creature stepped from the shadow or the church.

Tracy scooped the shower curtain to the right and stuck her head out.

“Darrin!  There is a Harkin outside.  What are we going to do?”

She could hear someone moving around, outside the bathroom door.  The thought, quick and terrifying, of an invasion within the house swam within her head.

“What did you say?”  Darrin replied.

“There is one of those Harkin bugs outside.  Where are the kids?”

Tracy could hear her husband search the room next door.  Items fell to the ground.  He cursed, as whatever he was looking for, eluded him.

“Darrin!  The crossbow is on the shelf next to the AR-14.”

“Why did you move it,” came the reply.

“Just get it.  The Harkin just stopped at our driveway.  Where are the children!”

The horror of the situation suddenly got worse when Tracy heard her middle child scream.  The Harkin stuttered movements proved that it was surprised by the sudden noise.  It turned its arrow-shaped head to the right and began to step forward.  The driveway was covered in stones.  The Harkin struggled to stand upon the stones.  It’s thin legs pausing and stepping carefully.

The back door slammed shut several times and  Tracy could hear the children talking.  She sighed till she saw her husband step past the window.

Darrin was dressed in ratty shorts and a white t-shirt.  He loaded a bolt and pointed the crossbow at the Harkin.  Tracy banged on the glass.

“You have to shoot it between the head and abs?”

The Harkin turned toward the noise.  Darren grimaced but dutifully grinned then waved.

Tracy watched as her husband began to approach the insect.  She banged on the shower window again as he approached.  This noise distracted the Harkin but also her husband.

She opened the small window and waved. Darrin grumbled and refocused on the Harkin.  Tracy watched as he held the crossbow to his shoulder and zeroed in on the soft section between the plates of keratin.

He fired but the bolt  bounced off the insects armor.  It did attract attention and the Harkin turned toward him.  Her husband skipped toward the back of the creature.  Tracy suddenly noticed he had no shoes on.

“What an idiot,” she thought as he avoided being seen.

She banged on the windows again drawing attention back to her.  The Harkin began to approach the house.  The grass beside the driveway would make it easier to move.

“Darrin, you have to keep it out of the grass.”

Her husband approached the large insect.  He was crouched and moving carefully.  The crossbow trained on the target.  The bolt flew from the weapon and struck the creature.  It didn’t scream, as you would expect, but it sighed and sank.  It’s abdomen stood three feet from the ground as Darrin loaded another bolt.  The creature began to struggle as the poison in the bolt began to work.  It was unable to free the bolt from beneath the armor.  It swung its right-front legs near the wound.  Darrin got closer and fired a second bolt into the creature.  The Harkin retched.  It tried to reach out and tear into its attacker but the poison infected it’s blood.  It’s energy level dropped every second as it was starting to die.

Tracy suddenly heard the door open and close and knew the children had left the house to check out the creature.  She took a final look at the creature.  It sat upon the green grass beside the house.  Darrin, motioned to the children to stay away.  She then stepped from the shower, grabbed a towel and got dressed.