Michael and Jacob – Plywood derby

“Do vampires have feelings? Asking for a friend.” Narrator

Michael’s head began to swim then a wave of nausea struck. He heaved and this was followed by a second. His throat screamed as nothing came up. Michael looked down to notice blood on the ground when his body seized and he fell to his side.

Michael woke up strapped to a piece of plywood. The plywood was canted upward and he was moving backward. Michael could see someone above him. A monstrously tall man with a large backpack under a black trench coat. To the right Michael noticed Jacob strapped to a second piece of plywood. Thick leather straps held him securely as his sneakers dragged over the asphalt.

Michael looked himself over and found a large, bandage wrapped around his waste. A large red stain near his wound and a second near his chest. His boots dragging the ground. Behind him was a mob of zombies. Michael began to get a better sense of his surrounding as he continued to wake. The houses had begun to get bigger as he realized they had left his previous street and were now moving toward the center of the city.

“What is this?” He thought. “Broadway? Richie riches used to live here. Now they are all dead or fled to the North. The monster do not like the cold up there. Leave us poor folk to lie and steal and spend eternity in the City of Monsters. Frick’n backwoods justice from here to Buffalo. If that city still exists…”

Michael’s driver suddenly dropped him with a thud and he complained. He watched as the zombies approached. To the left was a large gate. The tall man was struggling to close. To the right was a small army. They fired and Michael’s ears rang. A row of zombie lay motionless. The tall man strained to pull the heavy gate further till a zombie approached and attempted to surprise him.

“Holy crap,” Jacob said as the tall man grasp the zombie and bit into its rotten flesh. The man didn’t chew but seemed to suck from the zombie victim. He then tossed it away, shook and pulled the gate closed like it was a thin sheet of paper. He turned to Jacob and Michael, his face covered in gore.

“Come on, no! This is not happening,” Michael began. “I understand the zombie apocalypse and all and the shit show my brother and I started by stealing from the Governor. I get that the punishment was life behind the walls of the city for me and my family. All that sucks and now my family is dead but this is not going to happen. I’m done. I am not staying here strapped to a wooden barbecue plate waiting to be sucked dry.”

“Michael.”

“No Jacob. This is the end for me. I’m not being left a husk of skin and bones.” Michael struggled to free himself but was barely able to move.

“I understand,” said the tall man as he grabbed a towel from a go bag and cleaned up his face. “I should of introduced myself.” He said.

“John Peterson and I am a vampire.”

Dirt and Grime

Jacob woke up first, half buried in dirt and with his brother’s feet in his face. His face felt as if someone has superglued half of it together with rocks and other crap. He looked up at the bottom of the house. The jagged escape hole was covered in debris. Jacob could hear movement above the debris.

“Wake up, Michael.” Jacob said as he shoved his brother.

Michael woke up then winced as the pain from the tear in his side screamed. He looked himself over and found himself and the wound caked in mud.

“The zombies! In the house can they get us?”

“No, apparently the closet collapsed covering our escape.”

“Well, that was easy enough,” Michael said with a weak smile. “The escape that is. What do we do now Jacob. This was your idea.”

“Crawl to the back of the house. There is a way out under the back porch.”

“Sounds easy. Is it?”

“Yea, how’s your side? That nail tore you up.”

“Got some dirt in it. Can’t be bad, right. At least it stopped bleeding. Let’s go.”

Michael started the crawl through the dirt toward the rear of the house.

“So that has been here since we were kids?” Michael asked after a moment.

“Since before dad left.” Jacob replied.

Michael growled. “Ass.”

“Tell me about it. You left it got worse. He beat me, locked me in the closet and forgot about me. I would show up two days later through the front door and he never questioned how. Never was so happy to be beaten and locked up.”

The two men crawled under the kitchen floor listening to the footsteps of the undead searching for a hint of life to chow upon. Michael winced as his dirt covered bandaid fell away and the wound bled.

Michael headed to the left corner and grabbed an aluminum sheet. He attempted to remove it but it resisted. Jacob came up from behind him.

“It’s not the exit. There is a loose piece near the center.” Jacob said and began toward the exit when a loud ripping noise stopped him and he turned.

“What the hell, Michael!”

Light from outside snuck under the house revealing blood on Michael’s hands and upon the ground near his side.

“Dude, you’re losing a lot of blood. We need to get that wrapped up and stopped.”

“I’m not staying under this house to be treated by Doc Brown,” Michael snapped.

“Look, you attracted attention so now we are stuck.”

Outside the covered porch the two men could see them roaming.

“Can they leave us alone for a damn hour. They are always around. I just want a moment to breath without death trolling me from outside a freakin porch.”

The creatures outside the enclosure stopped. They stood for a moment then began to rip the wooden slats from the back porch.

Both men stood and watched. Jacob crawled backward and tapped Michael to do the same. A second then a third slat disappeared revealing a pair of jeans working hard to make a hole. A second set of hands grasp the wooden slats and tore them from the porch. The jeans knelt and revealed a pale, dark-skinned face and a wide unnatural smile.

“Thank the Lord… we have survivors,” said the man.

“I knew I heard something a few days ago but it was in the garage over there,” said a second voice.

“We have a horde on the way. We have minutes,” said a third.

The man with the huge smile reached forward, “We are here to rescue you. Hurry time is short.”

Jacob began forward but Michael hesitated.

Jacob and Michael – Fist-d-Cuff

Your not going to win an Oscar for best Action scene punching a zombie. In fact it’s the most uncomfortable feeling as solid mass meets gelatin.

Narrator

Michael swung first. He struck the zombie in the temple. The zombie stared forward, as the right side of its head collapsed. The bone under the rotten flesh stopped Michael’s blow. The pain of the impact forcing Michael’s hand open and he finished the blow with a slap.

The zombie stumbled to the right, opposite direction of Michael’s blow. It crashed into the bedroom wall. Hitting it hard with it’s fragile face. The profile of the creature’s face collapsed. Leaving a soft, gooey center and blood spread upon the wall as it slid down.

Jacob swung next and missed. His fist skated over the zombie’s nose, breaking it easily. Jacob’s elbow followed and struck the zombie in the right eye. The zombie’s head fell backward. The rest of it’s body forward. It’s rubbery arms flailed. The bones shattered from the first attempt with the bat. Jacob and the zombie collided. The zombie’s head snapped forward. It’s right eye hid behind its boney socket. It’s long grimy teeth struck Jacob in the shoulder. Jacob fell on his back. The zombie fell upon him but struck the hardwood floor with its forehead. The noise from the impact echoed through Jacob’s right ear drum. The zombie skull cracked with the first blow. It shattered with the second. Blood sprayed the floor and covered half of Jacob’s face. Jacob wanted to move but his body didn’t. His arms and legs wanted to lay under the creature and think about this a moment. Jacob screamed at Michael as warm, retched smelling liquid dripped upon his T-shirt and jeans. He tried to shove the zombie upward and right but the body didn’t move.

Michael slowly lifted the body and moved it. “Jacob! Shut the hell up.” Michael said in a forced whisper. “There are more and your going to bring them all in.”

“I’m done Michael!” Jacob replied a little more carefully. “I can’t do this shit anymore. My wife died twice everyone else wants to eat me. I’m going to just stop fighting.”

Michael grabbed his brother and lifted him from the ground. “Stand up, boy. We do not have time for this.”

Jacob shoved Michael’s hands away but his knees sank. Michael grabbed Jacob before he fell. “Jacob, now stand on your feet!”

“I’m trying dude.”

Footsteps approached the bedroom door and the blockade. A zombie fell forward the moment it attempted to step through it. A second appeared, paused and fell. A third set of footsteps.

“The closet…”

Jacob and Michael – My legs – part 3

Michael screamed. Thin boney fingers dug into his left arm.  Jacob prepared to swing the bat but stopped, afraid to strike Michael.  The zombie dug it’s long, sharp nails further into Micheal’s arm.  Michael twisted.  He grasp the bone-like hand with his right hand and pulled.  Pain radiated up his arm and into his shoulder.    The nails tore large cuts into his forearm as the  muscles in zombie’s hand stretched.  The second zombie pushed forward and reached toward Michael.  Jacob swung.  He struck the zombie and the zombie collapsed.

“Jacob, she has my legs,” Michael shouted as he looked down.  Barbara, her face unrecognizable had a hold of his right leg.

“Get her off my leg!!”

”She’s not on your leg. She is dead,” Jacob shot back.  Barbara lay in a pool of a thick, dark goo.   “She’s not moving.”

Michael pulled the thin fingers from his forearm.  He retrieved the bat from the floor and pressed the larger end against the zombie’s chest.  He pushed the zombie backward and jerked his ankle from Barbara’s perceived grasp.  Jacob grabbed Barbara’s blood soaked dress and pulled her away.

“Michael, your losing it,” Jacob stated. “Seriously thought I would be having the problems in this house.”

The two remaining zombies stepped forward.  The couch slid upon the floor.  Michael and Jacob stepped back toward a bedroom.  More zombies filed in through the back door.

“Michael calm down,” Jacob said. “It’s fine.”

”It’s not fine!  This is NOT fine!”

“Take a breath… Barbara is dead. We have to figure out how to get out of this.”

“I felt her grab my ankles!  We have to get out of this house,” Michael said while scanning the front room.

Four additional zombies had entered the house  behind the two the were still roaming behind the leather divider that was a couch.  The front door was on the other side of the room and the kitchen was a no go area.  Behind the two men was the main bedroom.  A large queen-sized bed sat in the center of the room.  A window in the front wall and a closet against the wall right in front of them.

”Maybe, we should hide in the closet.”  Michael smiled.

“Dude, not that.  Not now.  Let’s block this doorway,” Jacob replied.

Both men lifted the large queen mattress from the bed and stuffed it into the doorway.

“Why did you not add a door to your bedroom,” Michael asked.

“We have no kids.  We don’t need it.”  Jacob replied.

“Until I showed up and saw you two doing the nasty.”  Michael laughed.  His forearm painted in blood.  The men flipped up the frame and pushed it against the doorway.  Jacob grabbed a towel from the closet in the right rear of the room and attempted to hand it to Michael.

Michael stood with his back against the mattress and frame.  Behind the bedding blockade were three zombies attempting to climb the flimsy wall of fabric and wood.

Jacob tossed the towel at Michael and stood beside him.

“Wrap that up the best you can.  When we get out of here I will make you a proper dressing,” Jacob instructed.

“Ah, my brother the medic.  It’s been ten years since you left the Army.  You think you can still do a proper dressing?”  Michael asked.

“Better than you.”

From above Michael’s head a thin, rotten hand reached up and over the wall.  It ran its black goo covered hand over the side of Michael’s face.  Michael stepped forward, turned and growled.  “I am so tired of you monsters touching me!  Stop touching me!”

The wall built from bedding began to fall forward.  The zombies that managed to climb the mattress tumbled into the room.  Jacob stood with his back to the bed frame.  He glared at Michael.  Michael attempted to readjust the wall but the damage was done and a pair of zombie began to claw their way into the room from the floor.

“There are two more out there!”  Jacob screamed.

“It will not matter, if these two take us out,” Michael replied while wrestling with the bed frame to keep the other pair out.  He watched the room as one of the two zombies cleared his head and stared forward.  A simple sniff of the air alerted the zombie to the men’s presence and it started to move forward.  The other zombie followed soon after.

Michael found the bat and held it, larger end farthest away.  The zombie stepped forward.  Stopped after meeting the resistance created by the bat then continued forward.  The thin skin of the monster tore and gore began to cover the bat.  The other zombie moved around to the left of the first one.  The other zombies attempted to push through the mattress wall.

You shot me?

The .45 went off. The sound stuck to the walls and shook the building. Jean Claude spun, fell and disappeared.

“You have gone to far,” Sean shouted and attempted to advance.

“Don’t move!”

“What? Are you going to shoot me too?”

“I don’t know, did you hit me. Did you do this!” Erik pointed at his head wound with the weapon.

“Shoot yourself.”

Erik stepped from the counter and toward the two remaining men. The .45 pointed in their direction.

“You’re going to listen to me. Pack your crap and leave.”

“Ok, fine!” Andrew and Sean said in unison.

“Move!” Erik shouted when both men stood motionless.

Both men began to collect what they could, taking time to pick up as many items as they could.

Andrew stood first pointing a pistol then Sean.

“What now!” Sean shouted.

“I can still fire,” Erik replied then stepped forward.

“Back away you suicidal bastard,” Andrew countered and stepped foward.

“Do you know how many we’ve killed? I can put you down easily.”

“And why am I still walking!” Erik took another step.

“I don’t want to kill your dumb ass. Stop moving.”

“Shoot me! Do it!” Erik shouted then repeated it.

Erik positioned the weapon forward. He growled as he began to measure the likelyhood of hitting one of the men.

“The other would likely kill me moments later,” he thought. “I can make this happen.”

He stepped forward and tuned out the shouting. He dropped any hope of life after this encounter. He placed his finger on the trigger when the door in the back of the store exploded open.

Handy work

Erik sat in a lawn chair he found in the tiny camping section. He could not help but stare at the pale remains of partially severed hands and arms tacked to the plywood windows.

“Imagine, if they were human arms and not the infected. It would be cruel and unusual punishment,” he said.

“They are not human,” Jean Claude replied as he sat beside him in a simular looking chair.

“It was supposed to be a cure for Cancer. It was a mutating cell inhibitor. It was not supposed to create new cells. A new nervous system. It moved so fast. It was spectacular until it took my wife…”

A painful thump and Erik’s world went dark.

Minutes later he woke bloody and leaning against the remains of a shelf full of dusty baseball cards.

Jean Claude and the Baker brothers argued near the end of the checkout lane. Erik stood. Took a breath and then walked left toward a dirty counter that used to be the Service Center. Blood fell from the wound on the right side of Erik’s face.

Erik stepped behind the counter. He searched for the .45 he knew was behind the counter. The dusty handgun sat near a stack of boxes. Erik reached for the weapon as his head throbbed.

“This thing is huge,” he thought as he slid the weapon from the shelf.

“Where did Erik, the Horrible go?”

Andrew said.

“I’m not Erik, the Horrible or Erik, the Terrible… I am not an animal,” Erik stood and squeezed the trigger.

Born in Cleveland

Erik shook himself awake after the shove and slowly sat up. He looked around and quickly noticed the large glass window at the front of the store had been boarded up.

“What did you do?” Erik spat. “You are taking away all the light.”

“Old man,” Sean began. “I don’t know how you made it this long. This building has a huge glass window and the back door was wide open. The zombies could of walked right in.”

Erik ignored him and stared at the three new survivors. The Baker brothers were dark skinned and muscular. They stood a foot shorter then Erik at 6’2. The third man was 7 foot tall. His skin was black as coal with a yellow, toothy smile.

“Haitian? Why are you so far North?” Erik asked.

“I was an American, born in Cleveland.” Jean Claude responded. “Before the country broke apart.”

“Yeah, that was crazy…” Erik said then quickly added. “So how many did they add this time?”

“Fifty prisoners this time. It wasn’t a pleasant trip here so we would appreciate you drop the crazy loner act and help finish securing this building. There may be more survivors,” Andrew added.

Erik swallowed hard. He didn’t respond.

“I have a bottle of warm Vodka and a couple other bottles behind the service counter, if you want a drink,” Erik offered.

After several drinks and a couple hours the four men were happy with the security of the small grocery store. They settled in to sleep for the night when the banging started.

The Red Prius

An explosion rung through the early morning air.  Blood from the infected clung to Erik’s face.   The infected lay on the broken concrete and the hood of the old, red Mustang.  The hood is bowed downward and covered in gore. The windshield is broken and bloody.

“God, that’s going to bring down my resale value,” he said with a smile.  Outside the car, to the right he noticed a group of infected fighting their way through the tall grass toward Michigan avenue.  Behind Erik was a simular group struggling to fit through a small space between cars.  Erik remembered the duffle bag and grabbed it along with the bat.  He tossed it over his shoulder and stepped forward toward the others.

The red Prius was fifty feet ahead of him when he heard the scream.  He leapt forward and around another car.  He walked up to the Prius slowly as another scream erupted from the car.  The windows of the Prius were grime-filled like everything else.  He could make out the figure of the young lady in the back seat.  She was swinging her arms and struggling with something.  Sitting near the passenger-side rear door Erik walked around the Prius.  The doors on the passenger-side were closed and locked.  He could see Rebecca fighting with an infected woman.  The woman had turned around but was still restrained by the seatbelt.  Erik banged on the passenger-side window but this only frightened Rebecca and sent her scrambling to the driver’s side.  He banged again and flattened his face against the glass.

“Rebecca, it’s me.  Unlock the doors.  I need to get in.”

Rebecca looked toward Erik.  He wasn’t even sure she recognized him.  She pushed herself against the rear driver’s door.  Erik shouted again.

Rebecca blinked, paused then attempted to crawl toward the rear passenger door but the infected creature grabbed her hair and pulled.  Rebecca freed herself and crawled back to the driver’s side of the small car.  Erik pointed to door behind her and attempted to walk toward her but a tall, infected man stood in front of him.

Erik dropped the duffle and stepped back.  He squatted and pulled the wooden bat from the bag.  Three more infected were very near this one and would be on him in less then a minute.  Erik knelt and swung at the tall creatures legs, connecting and blowing it’s knee sideways.  The creature fell to the left and leaned against another car.  Erik ran around the front of the to the driver’s side rear door.  He pulled the door handle and it opened.  Rebecca fell backward, into his arms.  Erik helped her to her feet and stepped away from the Prius.

She stood silent, staring up at him.  Erik searched for meaning, for a reason she was not moving.  After a long minute he grabbed her by the waist, lifted her and placed her over his shoulder.  He then walked away from the scene.  Rebecca struggled but Erik held on to the young lady till they were far enough.  Jean Claude, stood watching as Erik stepped past him.

“Thanks for you help,” Erik snapped.

“Looked like you had it,” Jean replied.

“Damn it, I forgot the shotgun.”

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.”

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?”