Categories
City of Zombies

New Day

Darkness took over as Erik finished the bottle of wine.  Guilt racked thoughts persisted within his head as he looked out a grime covered window.

His wife,  her face painted in fear, stared at him.  The memory of her death haunted him.  The wine, warm and ineffective was now gone.  Erik stared forward out the window and watched as the memories paraded by.  His daughter, a beautiful, talented young woman stepped forward.  Her face fallen and her eyes hollow.  The beauty that once encircled her was now gone, replaced by the infection.

“The Deadwood infection…” he began.  “A bacteria trigger by research into effector proteins that caused anomalies in plants.  Plants!  Not children or wives of researcher but plants.”
“It’s not your fault.”

“It is,” Eric replied to his doppleganger.  “It’s all my fault.  This whole zombie, lockdown, take over the world, new world order, mess is my fault.”

Eric began to fall asleep.  His head switching off and his eyelids falling over his world.  His leather, seat shaped bed, jerked.  Eric looked to the right, cleared the sleep from his eyes and saw an animal grazing near the passenger side door.

“Is that a deer?  A four-legged hunted creature within the walls of the city?  That’s not possible.  This city is surrounded by walls.”

The deer, fawn colored and oblivious to anything around it, chewed on the long grasses beneath it.  There was a long knife within the duffelbag, along with a heavy steel chain.  To the right of the chain was a small shotgun, it’s wooden stock cut short in a hurry.

Erik opened the chamber and found a round buried within the weapon.  He smiled and attempted to open the driver’s door when the deer bolted and disappeared from view.  Seconds later the hood of the old Mustang collapsed under the weight of the creature.  The windshield cracked.  From the left, an infected monster stepped past his window.  Erik froze and waited for it to clear the door.  That monster grabbed a hold of anything it could and bit down.  Blood covered the windshield as Erik watched.

Erik cleared the grim from the Mustang’s driver’s side window and searched for other infected.  Seeing none, he slowly stepped from the driver’s door.  The noise from the door alerted the infected woman, closest to him but she was distracted by the meal they had fought so hard for.  A young and disfigured infected man bolted for Erik as he placed his left foot outside the door.  Erik noticed him and attempted to close the door.  He screamed in pain as he realized his mistake and allowed the door to open to free his foot.  The infected man pounced on the opportunity and pushed open the door.

Erik struggled to close the door but the creature easily beat out any strength he had.  The infected man stepped forward and shoved it’s gruesome face into the Mustang.  Erik fell backward leaving his legs vulnerable.  The creature grabbed a handful of Erik’s thigh just before the shotgun fired a mess of steel bearings from the end of the barrel.  The noise echoed through the steel trap Erik sat within.  The bearings, that didn’t hit the infected man, shot through the car.  Erik hid, as best he could, within the seats. He kicked the monster out and on it’s back.  After the ringing in his ears stopped Erik stepped out into the early morning sun to face a new day.

Categories
City of Zombies

Do Zombies have Friends?

“Look at you, guiding all the innocence to safety,”  Erik’s doppleganger taunted as the group passed another nest.  “You know they are not innocent, don’t you?  You are not innocent either.”

“Shut up!” Erik shouted out loud as Steve rambled on about accounting to the tall Haitian man named Jean Claude.

“Look at the ragtag group you got here.  Remember the group you came in with…”

“Enough,” Erik looked away and noticed all four of the others were staring at him.

“Yea, what of it.  I have imaginary friends.”

With that said the others walked a little faster heeding corrections Erik made to their forward momentum.

Michigan Avenue, a grass covered throughway of old, split the large grass fields of the city in half.  Nature tried it’s best to erase what it could but what it struggled to remove left a large patch to walk upon.

“This road should help us,” Erik said then added.  “Has anyone seen those other two gentlemen?”

The others nodded then began the long trip toward the worn and overgrown buildings downtown.

The walking infected populated the road ahead, hanging out near the cars like teenagers parked on a Friday night.

“I wonder what they talk about,” Rebecca said.

“Who, the infected?  There’s no conversation going on?”  Erik replied noticing he was left alone with the young girl.

“Look at them, they stand next to each other.  I bet they hang out with their friends.”

“Your dreaming little girl.  The infected have no friends.”

Erica looked back.  Noticed the young lady talking to Erik and called to her.  Rebecca smiled politely and sped up to catch up with her mother.

“It’s getting a bit dark,” Erik said after about an hour.  “We should really hide out for the night.  The cars are not the safest, but it’s all we really have.”

Steve, Erica and Rebecca settled for a Red Prius.  They locked the doors and settled in as much as they could.  Steve and Erica were in the front seat and Rebecca the back.

Erik found an old red Mustang, surprised to see such a prize within the walls of this infected city.  Inside, the vehicle Erik found a black duffel bag, a wooden bat and half a bottle of wine.

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City of Zombies

Creepers

“What do you know of these creepers,” Jean Claude asked as they exited the back of the Corner Store.

“They are some sort of mutation from the original bacterium that made up the infection.  I’m not sure how that happened.”

Jean Claude walked silent, listening.  Erik’s doppleganger began to appear ahead of him in several locations.

“The are small tells within the tall grass.  The creepers make a nest-like circle so the first thing would be to notice an unusual space.”  Erik noticed his doppleganger stood within several of these nests.  He stopped, picked up a small stone from the ground and threw it.  It struck the old man in the back forcing him to stop and turn around.  The young lady, his granddaughter, was closest to nest.

“Are you insane,” shouted the old man.  “What the hell was that for?”

The sudden noise triggered the Creeper and it leaped for the young lady as her mother screamed.  Erik bolted forward, followed by Jean Claude.

“Follow me, closely.”

Erik used his doppleganger as a guide and ran around the nests, within the grass.  He stopped and stood behind the old man and the girls mother.

“Jean, we have to wrestle with the Creeper.  Let’s get behind it.

The Creeper was entangled in the grass forcing both men to grab and pull the tall grasses at the roots.  The young lady struggled and kicked, successfully delaying the creature.  Erik found the creatures legs, broken and useless, and pulled.  The skin and muscle weak stretched.  The Creeper ignored Erik’s attempt to pull it away and tightened it’s grip on the girls legs.

Jean stepped within the nest and stood over the Creeper.  He grabbed the creatures chest and lifted it up.  The Creeper released his grip on the young girl and turned it’s attention to Jean.  Erik dropped the creatures legs and stepped up beside the tall man.  The Creeper struggled but it wasn’t trying to free itself.  It was trying to grab Jean.  It twisted it’s chest and spine.  It swung it’s dirt-covered hands, grabbing at Jean’s head.  It connected at times but never able to hold on.  “Your lucky you have little hair,” Erik commented and searched for anything to end the life of this creature.

A sudden thump did the job as Erik looked up.  The old man had struck the creature with the remains of a wooden plank.  Jean dropped the creature, stepped back then watched as the old man crushed the creatures skull.

“How’s your granddaughter,” Erik asked after the group collectively swallowed an anxious breath.

“Rebecca’s fine,” He said.  His voice shaking.  “Thank you for the help.  I wish you would of hit me with that rock a little sooner.”

Erik smiled.  “So do I.  My name it Erik.”

The old man shook Erik’s hand and introduced himself as Steve.  His eldest daughter as Erica and the young lady as Rebecca.

“Very nice to meet you.  This is Jean Claude.”

“We met,” Steve says.

“Of course,” Erik replied.  “Follow me, I can lead you past all these Creepers.”

Categories
City of Zombies

Prom Queen

“You didn’t close the door,” Erik shouted as he watched the infected woman step forward.

Sean and Andrew stepped up to the woman and stabbed a knife into the side of her rotten head.  The prom queen dropped to the floor.  “We need to get out of here.  Crazy man, you’ve been here longer.  Is there a place to go?”

The door behind Erik clubbed him and pushed him into the wall.  A human-like, bi-pedal creature stepped forward, it’s face stretched.  Large teeth hanging over it’s thin lips.  The creature’s eyes were red, even in the darkness of the back room.  Large wings unfurled as it cleared the door.

“I know you two,” it shouted and pointed at the two black men.

“You don’t know jack… razor face.”  Andrew and Sean turned and bolted for the door.  A second zombie appeared, only to be shoved to the side.  Eric stood behind the creature staring at the dark, feathered protrusions jutting from it’s back.  The creature jerked forward toward the old man but stopped.  Erik held unto the thick, dark wings.  The creature growled and turned but Erik stepped along with it.  He stayed behind the creature as it fought to remove Eric from it’s back.  The old man and the others left through the back door.  The large Haitian man, named Jean Claude, followed slowly watching as Erik fought with the creature and tried to negotiate his way toward the exit.

Erik pulled on the creatures left wing and forced it to the ground but he would still have to rush past it to get to the door.  He spotted Jean Claude at the door.

“Are you going to stand there or help me?”

Jean Claude stepped forward, grabbed a steel pole and struck the creature in the side of the head.  Erik fell backward as momentum shifted unexpectedly.

“Dude, I didn’t think you would kill it,” Erik said after a moment.

“What did you expect me to do?”  Jean Claude replied with a heavy accent.

“That’s a very good point.”

Outside the back door, the two men watched as the remaining survivors stepped through the tall grass and headed for the tall buildings that used to be Ransom.

“They don’t want to be stepping through the tall grass like that,” Erik said.  “There are these creepers that crawl through the grasses.”

“Should you care, man?”  Jean Claude replied.

“Name is Eric, I’m a drunk.  I’m not a monster.  I’ve seen more death then the average person plus they have a child.  Have you ever seen a child die?”

” Eric, what would you like to do.”

“I would like to get a drink, but since I can’t we need to get them out of the grass.  There is a road, old Michigan Avenue about five hundred meters from here.  It will be relatively safe to travel.”

Categories
City of Zombies

The Back Door

“Did you close the back door?” Erik asks again with force.

“I don’t know man, settle down.” Sean replied.  “I wasn’t the last one in.”

Erik slid the revolver into his pocket and pushed through the crowd mumbling to himself.  He headed toward the back of the store, past all the dust covered shelves and groceries lying on the dirt covered floor.  The older gentlemen followed him and peppered him with questions.

“I don’t know how long I’ve been here, did you say your name was Peter?  It’s been an eternity.  I just want to make sure the back door is closed.”  Erik replied as he pushed through the doors and into the darkness of the back of the store.  Light slide through a crack in the back door.  Erik began to react when the sound of breaking glass erupted from somewhere behind him.  A scream told them that somehow the infected had breached the front of the store.  Erik turned back to the door only to be overwhelmed by the others heading toward him and the back of the store.

For seconds he could see that they had broken the large picture window and the infected had begun flooding into the store.  Sean and his brother pushed past and stood in the darkness.  They were followed by, a child and two adults.  Last to enter the back room was the tall Haitian.

“Is that it?”  Erik asked.  “The rest were eaten by something.  It wasn’t the infected.”  Jean Paul replied.

Erik pushed the door open to reveal five large, winged, human-like creatures feasting on the captured.  A pair stood, guarding the others.  Fighting the infected as they attempted to climb into the window.  The creatures didn’t seem to care much for the infected, nor did they fear them.

“I told you they would follow us,” Sean said loudly then stopped.

Erik closed the door and spun around.  “What do you mean, they followed you?  You were being followed by vampire!”  Erik stepped toward them.  “How are you even still alive?”

“It’s complicated.”  Sean’s brother Andrew replied.

“Uhm.. this is complicated,” Erik replied as he spotted the back door open.

Within the door stood a prom queen, in a torn red dress.  Her face was mangled but her jaws still worked.  She spotted the others within moment and stepped forward.

 

Categories
City of Zombies

Let Us In

An older white man, beard grey and covered in gore pounded on the thick store windows as Erik stood behind it.

“Let us in!” The old man shouted.

There were nine left, a cluster of desperation, as the infected stumbled after them.  Erik watched.  The revolver, he found behind the service desk, floated within a numb grip.  Pointed at the gray strands of hair below the man’s nose.  The old man stopped pounding on the window, looked back and noticed another prisoner was taken down in a gory infected lunge.  He placed his face against the dirty glass, his arms outstretched.

“Kill me!  Just do it!”  He shouted.

Erik squeezed the trigger.  The hammer clicked back.  A noise startled Erik and he fired into the wall on the left.  The old man, stepped back and watched as a group of prisoners stepped into the Corner Store from the back.

“Get out of my store!”  Erik shouted.  “This is my store!”

“Hold up,” replied a tall black man.  “My name is Jean Claude.  We are not hear to hurt you.  We just need a safe place to stay.”

“This is not a safe place,” Erik replied but then paused.  “You have an accent.  What is that, where are you from?”

“Ay, I am Haitian, man.  I moved up here before the infection.  I’m not a threat.  We are not a threat.  We just need a place to stay and then we will move on.”

Erik turned to find the old man had disappeared from the window replaced by several infected, eager to step threw the window.

“They are going to break my window,” Erik replied as the others approached.  “They are…”

Soon, Erik was disarmed and forced to sit.

“Listen here, you crazy nut,” Sean Baker stepped in front of Erik.  “I have had way too much of this.  The threats, the beatings and the intimidation.  I have no problem ending your life.”

“Stop Sean,” shouted Andrew Baker, a carbon copy of the blue eyed, dark skinned, man that held Erik by the collar of his shirt.

“You, all need to stop,” added the old, graying man.  The old man’s voice was slow and careful.  “This man has been trapped in this store for God knows how long.  He is allowed some paranoia and psychosis.  Let’s figure out what we are going to do now.  I’m stuck in this damn place with my granddaughter and her family.  I don’t want to see anymore violence.”

Sean let Erik go and stepped away.  Erik searched the room to see all nine survivors standing around him.  “Did you close and lock the back door?”

Categories
City of Zombies

The Corner Store

The Corner Store stood within a patch of broken asphalt.  Small islands of tall, starved weeds floating in a sea of black.  Surrounding the Corner Store was a twelve foot concrete wall.  The wall surrounded the city of Ransom.  Ransom, once full of the living, now draped in a walking death.

The wall gate opened and waited.  Two tractors, each pulling a wagon, rumbled into the city.  Upon the wagons stood twenty people, all convicted of crimes outside the walls.  The few infected near the wall began to stumble toward the noise of the tractors.  The tractors stopped and BlackWater guards dismounted from the tractors.  A black SUV pulled up behind the tractors and several more guards stepped out with automatic rifles.  Erik watched as the guards shouted and fired into the air.  The new residents leapt from the wagons.

Some scattered and attempted to distance themselves from the guards.  Several of the runners were stopped by gruesome traps.  Partially paralyzed, infected, monsters that trolled the tall grass near the gate.  They lay in wait for the living to trip and fall over them.  Scenes Erik preferred not to recall from his welcome to the city weeks ago.  The traumatized sat around the wagons and cried.  Soon to be motivated by nervous Blackwater guards with a swift strike to the side of the face.  If they were lucky, an effective threat motivated them.  A group spotted the Corner Store and began to move toward, what seemed to them, safety.  The remaining prisoners, frozen in fear, were shot and left in the drop off zone.  The guards mounted the tractors and SUV and turned around.  They disappeared back to the outside world leaving the prisoners to fend for themselves.

“No…no…no!  This is my place,” Erik shouted, watching a group of twelve heading his direction.

“There is a pistol behind the old service desk,” he muttered.

Categories
City of Zombies

Gary, what did you do!


“Gary, what are you doing?”  Erik shouts as he shakes the overwhelming feelings of loneliness from his head.  He lifts the bottle of whiskey to his lips and takes a swallow.  The warm liquid burned his throat and Erik waited for the thoughts to begin to fade.

The metal shelves behind the glass doors fell with a crash.  Light from the large front store window illuminated a tall, rotten man standing within the fallen metal columns.

“Gary,” Erik replied with some hesitation.  “What did you do?”

The tall infected man stepped forward and tripped over the shelves.  Erik leapt back and searched for a weapon.  The back of the store was dark but it was a warehouse.  Large steel shelves held dry food, aluminum cans and a broom.  The broom sat against the shelf as Gary began to stand.

“Don’t you move, Gary,” Erik said as he made his way over a mess of busted boxes.  Another crash and Erik realized a second infected creature found the open glass door.

“You have to be kidding me.  You invited Nora to the party.  You are an ass, Gary.”

Nora falls over the metal shelving.  As Erik tumbles himself over the boxes beneath his feet.  He swears as his right hand strike a pile of aluminum cans.  Gary steps forward, growls and lunges.  Erik pulls his feet toward his chest as his hand throbs.

“You stupid, ugly be…”  Erik slides back then under the large steel shelves.  He grabs the broom and it falls forward.  Gary grabs the broom and pulls as Erik pulls back.

“Give me that broom,” Erik insisted.

Gary’s unnatural strength pulled him forward, leaving Erik face down.  Gary growled, grabbed a knot of Erik’s shirt, and bent down.  Erik felt a large object on his left and pulled.  A large wooden pallet fell knocking Gary to his right.  Erik scurried backward before the pallet trapped him on the ground.

Nora, a grotesque vision of rot, shuffled past Gary.  She turned and slid between a wall and the steel shelves.  She zeroed in on Erik and stepped forward.  Erik fought off the infected woman.  Her enhanced strength frightening.  Erik pushed Nora’s hungry hands away.  Avoided another attempt then crawled under the steel shelves.  He tried to push the shelves over Nora but it wouldn’t budge.  A noose of thin skin and bone wrapped it’s gory fingers around Erik’s ankle.

Erik grabbed the steel shelf with his left hand and shoved his right foot down into Gary’s face.  Gary growled but it lasted seconds before his worn, rotten spine snapped.  Anger raged and Erik crushed the infected man’s skull.  Nora grabbed at Erik. He continued the rage, grabbed the broom and thrust it into Nora’s piecemeal chest.  He twisted her body and forced her to the ground.  Erik pushed his booted foot down and crushed her face flat.  He then found a coffee pot and hit her till she stopped moving.

Erik screamed as adrenaline ran through him.  He picked up whatever he could and tossed it.  After a minute he found his way out of the backroom and stood within the store.  Something outside the thick, glass picture window caught his eye.

Categories
City of Zombies

The Pretender – City of Zombies

 

Eric stared up from the floor.  His head pounded.  Silver racks of milk, solidified within the plastic containers, sat waiting for customers that would never come.  A breath of putrid air rushed past him and escaped into the darkness.  Eric turned his head and the muscles in his body seized.

“What the hell!”

It laid against the glass.  A gore-covered, mutilation of human life.  It’s bare sockets, for eyes, staring through him.  It’s hands, skin barely hanging on the remaining digits, pushing against the grimy glass.

Eric slid away from the abomination and toward the darkness.  His lungs held his breath hostage as he stared at the gore staring back at him.

“Gary!!” Eric laughed.  “You scared the crap out of me.  I literally have it running down my leg.  “That was a good try.” He continued as he stepped back and into the darkness.

“Now where did I put those other pants and that last bottle of whiskey.”

Eric strolled through the back room of the Corner Store till he found a pair of pants hanging over a turned over cart.  Eric pulled his pants down, revealing several large scars, reminders from his childhood.   He replaced his pants and found the last bottle of whiskey.

His right leg shook forcing Eric to hold onto the wall.  The event with Gary frightened him.  “Are you serious with pretending Gary was trying to scare you?”

“What are you doing back?”  Eric said with a growl as a version of himself sat upon a stack of crates.

“You are seriously messed up.”

“I don’t need your advice,” Eric said.

“You have been drunk for three days.  Two infected stroll around outside a simple glass door.  You just found yourself within inches of a horrid creature and you pretend he is your friend.”

Eric stood up and removed the top from the whiskey bottle.

“Well, you killed your entire family.  Stick it up your high and mighty crap,” Eric closed his eyes, took a deep drink of the strong amber liquid and reopened them.  The Eric doppleganger was gone but so was everyone else.  He was alone again.  The backroom was quiet except for Gary banging on the glass door.

 

Categories
City of Zombies Kingsboro Journal

The View

The pungent smell of death was everywhere.  It burned your nose, not like a flame but like a punch to your brain.  The view, outside the garage, was unreal.  Neighbors standing in the corner of the yard staring at nothing.  Body parts dangling from gnawed bones.  Others following the leader beside the privacy fence in the back yard.

“We can head into my house,” Jacob offered.

“No Sharon is in there and Barbara.”

Jacob took in a deep breath in all the commotion yesterday he had forgot that his wife Barbara had been the first to fall.  They were less than a foot from the exit when Michael’s wife Sharon was ripped from his arms.

“Oh god,” Jacob almost fell to his knees and stepped back into the garage.

“You are not dying in that garage by yourself,” Michael whispered.  “I am not going back in there.  Are you going to follow me or not?”

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.

“What the hell you looking at?  Let’s go.”

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 screwed up.  Her face long and drawn down.  Her jaw slack and her arms to her side.  She stood staring at nothing till she saw him in the window.  Something flashed inside her and she began forward.  Jacob felt Michael tug at him but Barbara was coming.

“Maybe she hadn’t been bitten,” he thought.  “Maybe she wasn’t part of this.  Maybe all this will go away with one more look at her.”

“Jacob!”

Michael jerked him to the side just before Barbara appeared at the window.

“Ass!  She was fine,” Jacob shouted then realized what he had done.  He had just alerted ten… maybe twenty infected undead to his location.

Three standing in the driveway woke up suddenly.  Their eyes burst with excitement.  They took one careful step then another.  One of them jolted forward and both men ran toward the front of the house.  They stopped mid-front yard and looked at the view ahead of them.  The population of human corruption stumbling in lines forward and backward.  Lives missing and replaced by a corrosive mental condition called the Darkness.