A collection of horror, mystery, and science fiction tales, with contributions from fellow writers, James Darko and Dexter Lynch. If you wish to contribute, I'd be happy to showcase your writing. Just send me a message. The stories are free to read and always will be. Some are better than others (I'm speaking only for myself), but I can't give all my best ideas away for free, ha ha. Feel free to share any stories, but please be sure to give credit where credit is due.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
IN THE FLESH: PART EIGHTEEN
Genre: Horror (Zombies)
Ryder: Former marine/Former police officer/Suffers from retrograde amnesia/ Searching
for clues to his past
Albright: Found and saved Carson/Was married once/Bad tempered/Doesn’t seem to
care at all about family or traditional values
Sudrow: Youngest member of the group/Former spa porter/Happy to be doing
something else/Lost his family to Biters
Burton: Survivor found in Cherrywood Mall/Parents were rich and left him a large
inheritance when they died
Sheldon: Used to drive a truck/Lost his family/Carries a badass flamethrower
Jackson: Tough as nails/Has no fear/Knows how to use a gun
Reese: A young man who saved Kenny Sudrow’s life/Carries a submachine gun/A
native Bostonian/He used to be a mechanic
Mills: One of the newest members of the group/Little is known about her at this
Garcia: A ticking time bomb
IN THE FLESH
By Daniel Skye
THE ROAD TO ARKANSAS
Day One Hundred and Ninety-Eight.
Vern was there to open the doors and
let them in through the vestibule. The group was melancholy, as they returned
minus one member. They lost George Verdi back at the hardware store. There was
no time to save him.
At least that’s the story Diego Garcia
tried to sell the group. And what was worse is that the group seemed to buy it.
In actuality, Diego had shot George in the leg and left him for dead in that hardware
store to save himself. But mainly just because Diego felt like killing someone.
He didn’t have to put a bullet in his head to know George was
a dead man and that he was the one responsible. As soon as that Biter tore into
his gut and ripped out a length of George’s small intestines, Diego knew he was
Taryn Mills ran into the vestibule,
looking to leap right into the arms of her beloved. Instead she was greeted
with silence. Valentina was building up the nerve to break the news to her. But
Taryn wasn’t born yesterday. She could do the math and she knew immediately
that someone was missing from the equation.
“Where’s George?” Taryn asked, her benevolent
smile slowly fading.
“Sweetheart, you should probably sit
down,” Valentina said.
“Oh God,” Taryn sobbed and the tears
started to flow. And once they started, they just wouldn’t stop.
Valentina put her arm around Taryn to
console her and Carson Ryder tried to express his sympathies, but Taryn could
hear nothing over her own sobs and high pitched squeals.
Damien slipped away quietly to find
Tyler Reese and bumped into him after he turned the first corridor. He passed
Tyler the bag with the oil. “Did you fix the RV?”
“Everything’s good to go,” Tyler said.
“Just got to pour in the oil.”
“Well do it and get ready to go,”
Damien said. “Carson’s itching to leave. He wants to hit the road by morning.”
“Will do,” Tyler said, nodding. “What’s
going on out there, by the way?”
“We lost George,” Damien said. He was
the only one who didn’t appear morose about the subject. The loss didn’t tear
Damien up like it did the others. This was something Damien had hardened
himself to, something he had prepared for. Loss was inevitable in this strange
new world they had found themselves in.
“Damn,” Tyler sighed. “I’m sorry to
hear that. Wait, does that mean Taryn is single now?”
Damien chortled. “Just go change the
* * *
Eli Burton had morphed into the newest
recluse of the gang. He kept mostly to himself, except for when he was hungry
or when the group was going on a mission. He’d always volunteer to come along,
but lately Carson and others seemed to be avoiding him more than he was
avoiding them. Anytime he’d volunteer for something, Carson would request that
he stay behind and guard the hotel.
But that night, Eli felt like
socializing. And so he cornered Diego Garcia in his room after everyone else
had turned in for the night.
“I know what you are,” Eli told him.
“I could see it in your eyes the second I met you. You’ve got that killer
instinct inside of you.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking
about,” Diego said, playing dumb.
“It’s cool,” Eli assured him. “My lips
are sealed. Go nuts. You’re off to a good start. Nice move getting George Verdi
out of the way. If I were you, I’d kill that dark one next.”
“Vern Sheldon?” Diego asked, raising
one quizzical eyebrow.
“Yeah,” Eli said. “He’s got it coming
to him. And nobody will miss him. He’s a useless pawn in this intricate game of
chess I’ve got going. Destroy him. I won’t utter a word to a single soul. I
“You know something?” Diego said.
“You’re all right, Eli. Now beat it so I can get some rest. Vern Sheldon can
wait till morning.”
Doctor Kazarian scribbled a few words
on his notepad. At least that’s what Diego assumed he was doing. The text was
invisible to him, as Diego could not see what Kazarian was writing from the
couch he was sprawled out on. For all he knew, Kazarian was playing tic-tac-toe
on Diego’s dime. He was paying for these therapy sessions and he expected to
see some results.
“What do you feel right now?” Kazarian
“Anger,” Diego barked. “Rage. Hate. I
hate everyone and everything around me. The feeling is overwhelming. I can’t
shake it. I can’t live a normal life. I try to fit in, but it’s just acting.
It’s not the real thing. I want the real thing. I want this sickness to go
“What sickness?” Kazarian inquired.
“The voices in my head. The pangs in
my gut. I’m talking about the sickness that has spread through my body. It’s
tainted my blood and diseased my organs. Every night I pray for it to stop. I
just want the sickness to go away. Please, help me, doctor.”
“What voices do you hear, Diego? What
do these voices say? Do they tell you to do things? Bad things?”
“They tell me…to kill.”
“But you’ve never succumbed to
temptation? Isn’t that correct? Diego, you’ve never acted on these impulses,
“Oh, doctor, if you only knew the
things I’ve done. I’ve got plenty of blood on my hands. And I’m not speaking
figuratively. I’m a bad man, doctor. A very bad man. And I need you to cure me.
Make the sickness go away. Please just help me make it go away. Tell me what to
do. I’ll do anything. Anything.”
“Diego, I want you to wait right here.
There’s a man that can help you. I’m just going to go into the other room and
call him. Stay where you are, please.”
“I’m afraid I can’t let you do that,”
Diego said, springing up from the couch. Kazarian moved for the door, but Diego
was faster and made it there first. He drew a cloth from his jacket that
harbored a strong chemical odor. “I’m sorry about this, doc. But I can’t let
you put me away.” He clamped the chloroform soaked rag over Kazarian’s face and
in seconds, his body crumpled to the floor.
Diego thought. Nice going. What are you
going to do now? You can’t kill him here. It’ll be too messy, too much evidence
to clean up. You could get caught. You can’t let that happen, Diego. You
promised yourself you’d never see the inside of a prison cell. Remember the
closet? Remember what that bitch did to you? Do you want to go back to that
Diego mulled his options. If he killed
Kazarian now, the police would be able to determine the time of death and match
it to the time of Diego’s appointment. And Kazarian also had a secretary, a pretty
young blond named Fallon. She would be a witness and Diego couldn’t leave any
witnesses behind. It was quite the predicament Diego had found himself in.
Until he realized it was five o’clock and he was the last patient of the day.
He opened the door and shouted,”
Fallon, come quick! I need your help! Doctor Kazarian has fainted!”
Fallon rushed in to find Kazarian
splayed out on the floor. She kneeled down and attempted to revive him by
performing CPR. She caught the lingering stench of the chloroform a second too
late as Diego snuck up behind her and clasped the rag over her face. She tried
not to inhale, but the chemicals were too strong and she lost consciousness in
Diego locked the front doors to
Kazarian’s office building and used the back exit. He pulled his car around and
strategically arranged their bodies in the back of his Ford Bronco.
Then he wiped his prints clean from
the office and erased his name from the office computers and Kazarian’s
When Diego was certain there wasn’t a
trace of himself left behind, he slipped out the backdoor and drove off with
Kazarian and his secretary in the rear of his Bronco.
What was he going to do with them?
Even if I knew the answer, you wouldn’t want to hear it.
Day One Hundred and Ninety-Nine.
Carson Ryder rose before sunset and
snuck out back. He walked along the garden and came to the site where Janice
Whitfield and Chase Crawford were buried side by side. In the wet grass, Carson
spotted the object of his desire.
It was the crucifix that Chase
Crawford had clung to like a good luck charm. It was only after he had
abandoned his faith that the good Lord chose to call him on up to heaven.
Carson placed the crucifix around his
neck and let it dangle in front of his chest. “I’ll give it a good home,
Chase,” Carson said. Then he bid farewell to his fallen comrades and started
packing the RV.
No one else was awake yet, but he
figured he could have the guns, fuel, water, food, and other supplies packed by
the time they all woke up.
It was just past dawn when he heard
the screams. He grabbed his Remington from the RV and racked it to make sure it
was loaded. Then he made a mad dash around the side of the hotel and saw the
girl running through the garden with three Biters on her trail.
These ones were fresh. Not nearly as
decomposed as their fellow undead counterparts. Their decay was gradual, but
the signs were still evident. And they all had those same dead, grey eyes
devoid of any pupil or sclera.
Two slugs zoomed through the barrel of
the shotgun and pierced the skulls of two bloodthirsty Biters. He pumped the
shotgun again and fired a single shot that caught the final Biter in the throat,
tearing its head off by the neck.
The girl was panting, struggling to
catch her breath. When she did, all she managed to say was, “Thanks.”
“What’s your name?” Carson inquired.
It took the girl a few seconds to
revive her body from the state of shock it had fallen into. When she regained
her senses, she said with a quiver in her voice, “Nikki…Nikki Fox. And thank
you again for saving my life.”
“Don’t mention it,” Carson said.
“Where were you heading?”
“Heading? I was heading nowhere. I was
just trying to survive and avoid those freaks at all costs. I stumbled across
three of them in the woods. Ran as fast as I could to get away from them. But I
tripped on a rock and they managed to catch up a bit.”
“Our group is heading out to Arkansas.
We’ve got an RV big enough to accommodate ten people. If you joined us, you
would be number ten.”
“What the hell,” Nikki shrugged. “It’s
better than staying out here on my own. And I’ll do whatever I can to help.
Before all this crazy shit went down, I was a registered nurse. I could come in
I’m sure you will,” Carson said. “Now
come inside and meet the group. You must be famished. By the way, I’m Carson.
“Nice to meet you, Carson,” she said
“Before we go inside, I need you to
take a look at something,” he said, removing and unfolding the faded photograph
from his back pocket. “Do you recognize the woman or the little girl in this
“Yes!” she said, her eyes lighting up.
“The woman’s name was Caroline. The girl’s name was…oh man, it’s on the tip of
my tongue. It started with a C.”
“Yes, that’s it! They were part of my
group. We were just twelve people. We were camped out in the west wing of a
hospital for two months, just waiting for the cavalry to arrive. Eventually,
some of the others wanted to move on. She went with them.”
“Did they say where they were heading?”
“I think they said Washington. A lot
of people seemed to be heading there a few months ago. Everyone assumed that
was the safest place.”
“Well, from what I heard, they were
wrong. Washington belongs to the dead now.”
“The whole world belongs to the dead
now,” Nikki pointed out.
“Another member of our group ran into
my wife. Caroline told her they were heading for Arkansas.”
“Caroline’s your wife?”
“Yes…I mean, I think she is. I have
severe memory loss. This was the only picture I could find in my old house. And
that’s me in the photo.”
“She spoke of a man when she was with
our group. Her husband. I can’t remember if she ever addressed you by name. But
she spoke very highly of you. She said you were a police officer. That she felt
sick for having to leave you behind.”
“She said I was a police officer? You’re
“Then I’m right,” Carson said. “Caroline
is my wife. And Charlotte must be my daughter. I have to find them. Why didn’t
you stick with them when they moved on?”
“I got cold feet. You see, I’ve never
left Tennessee before. But now I realize there’s nothing here for me but death.
So I’m willing to accompany you on your journey. Like I said, I’ll do whatever
it takes to help.”
* * *
Inside, Carson introduced the latest
addition to their group as everyone gathered their personal belongings and
“Pleased to meet you,” Vern said,
stopping to shake her hand. Damien, Tyler, and Kenny all stopped to greet her
as well. Taryn had sunk into a deep state of depression and was too despondent to
acknowledge Nikki’s presence. Valentina was one of the last to greet her when
Carson pulled her aside.
“We need to clear something up,”
“Ok,” Valentina shrugged. “What’s
Nikki here saw the photograph I have.
She claims she knew my wife. That my wife told her they were heading for
Tennessee, not Arkansas.”
“Carson, when I ran into your wife, my
father and his gang were scavenging through town for new victims for their sick
little games. I was trying to get her and your daughter out of there as fast as
possible. I don’t really remember what she told me. I thought it was Arkansas,
but it might’ve been Washington for all I know. She could’ve said Florida or
California. It all happened so fast and I was terrified, they were terrified. I’m
sorry if I got your hopes up.”
“You mean, they might not be in
“There’s only one way to find out,”
Valentina said. “And I’m with you every step of the way. I just hope you’re not
mad at me.”
Carson sighed. The journey had already
taken so much out of him. He had no energy to waste on petty grudges. “I
forgive you,” Carson said. “Now let’s get going. Once we get to Arkansas, we’ll
know for sure. I just hope we can find her.”
“We will,” Valentina said. “Just have
And with that remark, Carson took
Chase’s crucifix and started rubbing it between his thumb and index finger in
the same manner as Chase himself.
Kenny made sure to grab the case of
liquor that was getting lighter and lighter with each passing day.
“This last few months have wiped me
out,” Kenny said. “I don’t know if I can stand another couple of months on the
“Well why don’t you have another drink
and burrow your head deeper in your ass, why don’t you?” Damien remarked and
walked away in a mood.
“What’s his problem?” Nikki Fox asked
“He gets that way sometimes,” Tyler
shrugged. “Hey, you don’t happen to have a boyfriend, do have?”
“This is going to be a long trip,”
Nikki said, rolling her eyes.
Diego Garcia had spent the night
polishing and sharpening the straight razor he carried in his boot. The first
chance he got, Vern Sheldon was history…
To Be Continued With Part Nineteen: Killer Amongst