Make a statement in any room with this framed poster printed on high quality paper, with a partly glossy, partly matte finish. • Alder, semi-hardwood frame • Black color • .75” thick • Acrylite front protector • Hanging hardware attached • Made in Los Angeles
“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.”
“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.”
“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.
— This shirt was painted for the sole purpose of showing off the fact that I am now a Grand Pop.. First time ever 🙂
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Source: Grand Pop – Unisex T-Shirt
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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?”
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.
“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.