Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Genre: Horror (Zombies)

Carson Ryder: Former marine/Former police officer/Suffers from retrograde amnesia/ Searching for clues to his past/Lost his wife and daughter
Taryn Mills: Survivor found outside the Starlight Hotel/Lost her boyfriend, George Verdi, to the Biters/Not afraid to use a gun/No known family
Nikki Fox: Former registered nurse/Never married/Lost contact with her family during the first initial weeks of the outbreak
Reggie White: Born and raised in Arkansas/Has never left the state before
Scotty Loomis: Originally from Utah/Friends with Reggie/A perpetual fountain of random facts and useless information
Corey Smith: Doomsday prepper/Lives in a fortified compound with a tremendous arsenal of weapons
Paul Langstrom: Former police officer/Originally from Detroit/Transferred to NYPD in 2008/Worked narcotics
Luke Chen: Runner/Competed in the Olympics/Knows how to use a gun but he prefers a katana
Dominic DeVito: Originally from New York/Not too bright/Afraid to use a gun for fear of shooting himself or someone else
Amy Greene: First survivor who was taken in by Corey/She is a recovering alcoholic


By Daniel Skye


Day Three Hundred and Eleven.
          By dawn they had crossed the border, stopping only once to refuel. They drove through Paris, Greenville, Dallas, Abilene, and Odessa to name a few.
          “You know exactly where were heading?” Corey inquired when they seemed to be driving forever with no end in sight.
          “I don’t have precise directions,” Ryder said. “Willard Pickman just said Texas, near New Mexico. He said the town was called Last Chance, but it wouldn’t be on any map. And he said the lab would be underground.”
          “So we’re just going to drive around till we find this place?”
          “That’s basically the plan.”
          “If I had known it was going to take this long, I would’ve brought booze. The guys have probably drank the last of it by now.”
* * *
          And that last statement was accurate. Scotty, Dominic, Reggie, and Luke had polished off the case of stale imported beer, and were sitting in easy chairs on the side of one of the outhouses, taking in the sun and passing around the bottle of Tenafly Viper. It was all they had left.
          They had also had a bottle of peach schnapps among their inventory, but it seemed to have disappeared from their stock.
As Amy Greene slept through the day, Nikki Fox grew suspicious and snuck into her room. She found the bottle of peach schnapps under her bed, empty. There wasn’t a drop left.
She considered shaking Amy from her slumber and lecturing her while she laid there, her eyes half open. But she waited instead. She thought about what she was going to say, rehearsed.
“This stuff tastes like ass,” Dominic said after a swig of Viper. He passed the bottle to Reggie who took a sip. The rancid look on his face indicated that he concurred with Dominic’s assessment.
“What do you expect?” Luke asked. “That shit is like sixty years old.”
“You know they used this stuff in a horror movie called Street Trash?” Scotty asked. “It would melt anyone who drank it. Needless to say it didn’t help with sales.”
“I think I remember that movie,” Dominic said, chuckling as he reminisced. “Is that the one where they play catch with the bum’s pecker?”
“That’s the one,” Scotty snickered.
“Sounds like one fucked up movie,” Reggie said.
“It was,” Scotty affirmed.
“I always preferred action titles,” Luke said. “Like the Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone movies. And to a lesser extent, Jason Statham and Jean-Claude Van Damme movies. I never really was a fan of horror.”
“What about Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee?” Reggie asked.
“I never really cared for Bruce Lee,” Chen said. Reggie looked surprised by that statement. “What?” Chen asked. “Just because I’m Asian, I have to like Bruce Lee?”
“I didn’t say that,” Reggie said. “I’m just surprised that someone who likes action movies doesn’t like Bruce Lee.”
“Chuck Norris could mop the floor with Bruce Lee,” Luke said.
“Now that’d be a fight for the ages,” Scotty said.
“I’d rather see Bruce Lee versus Jackie Chan,” Reggie said. “Now that’d be something.” He took another swig of Viper and handed the bottle to Luke. Luke sniffed the neck of the bottle and passed it off to Scotty without even trying it.
Scotty chugged some of the booze and it burned the back of his throat. “I can understand why they used this in that movie,” Scotty said. “My throat feels like it is melting.”
Luke walked around the outhouse to take a piss, and afterwards, Taryn Mills approached him. “Married?” she asked.
“Nah,” Luke shook his head. “I was engaged once. But it obviously didn’t work out.”
“So you don’t have a girlfriend? Anybody waiting for you out there?”
“If I had anyone waiting for me, I wouldn’t be here right now.”
“So you want to fuck?”
“Excuse me?”
“It’s a simple question,” Taryn said, rolling her eyes. “Do you want to fuck me?”
“Is this a trick?” Luke asked. “Some kind of prank you girls are playing?”
“No tricks,” Taryn said. “I just want to fuck. It’s either you, Scotty, Dominic, or Reggie. Reggie’s sweet, but he’s not my type. Dominic is as dumb as a pet rock. And Scotty is so horny he’d shoot his load the second I take my clothes off. So you want to fuck me?”
“Absolutely,” Luke said. “But the guys are just around the corner. And the girls are in your place.”
“What about Corey’s manor? Are the doors locked?”
“Nope, he never locks them.”
“Then what are we waiting for? Let’s go.”
“All right, on one condition?”
“We fuck in his bed.”
“I just know it’ll piss him off,” Luke laughed.
Taryn grinned. “Naughty, naughty. Okay, let’s do it.”
* * *
Between El Paso and Van Horn, they saw hand painted sign that was staked into the ground. It didn’t have any “welcome” greeting. There was no population total. Just a white sign with LAST CHANCE painted on in black letters.
“Looks like we’re close,” Corey said, reducing his speed. “We just have to find this place now.”
They had entered a very dry, arid region. They were on the outskirts of the desert, surrounded by sand and cacti and dry vegetation.
“You think they hid it somewhere in the desert?” Corey asked. “That’d be the most logical place to hide some secret underground base?”
“It’s possible,” Ryder said. “I’ll keep my eyes peeled for any signs, trails, or tire tracks. But for now, just keep driving slow.”
Crawling along the road at ten miles per hour, they still heard Paul pounding against the back windshield before they saw the Biters.
“Uh, guys,” Paul shouted. “We’ve got company.” Corey hit the brakes and one Biter slapped the hood of the truck as it stumbled around for the side. Another Biter mashed its face against the window, hissing at Corey through the glass. Paul ducked down as a third Biter tried to claw him and another struggled to climb into the bed.
Before the men could contemplate their next move, Paul snatched one of the shotguns, pumped it, and fired once. The Biter that was trying to climb into the bed went flying and skidded across the pavement, leaving a trail of blood and skin that ripped as easily as tissue paper.
A second blast from the shotgun capped the Biter that tried to scratch him. He leapt up in the bed and pumped the shotgun again, an empty shell popping out from the breech.
He raised it and said, “Hey, motherfucker!” The Biter with its faced pressed against the glass turned, looked up at Paul, and snarled. He squeezed the trigger, the bullet propelling through the barrel and splitting its head in two.
He turned the shotgun on the final Biter, the one scratching Corey’s hood, messing up his paintjob. The blast tore the head right off its shoulders, and blood as thick and black as motor oil splattered across the pavement.
“GO!” Paul screamed and they were off again, this time at a faster pace.
           It was around sundown when they entered the “town” of Last Chance. There was a small rest area adjacent to a no-name gas station with rusted fuel pumps from the 70’s.
Up ahead, an abandoned deli with posters in the windows still advertising Jolt Cola and New Coke.
“I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore,” Corey said as they rode along.
In the center of this town, a two-story building with the letters CDC above the front door.
“This has got to be the place, right?” Corey asked as the truck came to another stop.
“He said it was underground,” Ryder said. “But it’s a start. Let’s check it out.”
* * *
          Amy Greene woke feeling dehydrated. Her eyes were bloodshot, her temples throbbing. It felt like a knife twisting in her skull. As a recovering alcoholic, Amy recognized the signs immediately. She was suffering from a terrible hangover.
She still tasted the peach schnapps on her tongue. But it didn’t taste as sweet as it had the night before. Not it tasted bitter and awful. It tasted like regret.
When she came out of the bathroom, Nikki Fox was waiting for her, arms crossed, shaking her head in disappointment.
“Why’d you do it?” Nikki asked. “I’m not mad. I’m not even that disappointed. I just want to know why you did it.”
“I don’t have to explain myself to you,” Amy barked.
“Amy, I’m trying to help here,” Nikki defended herself. “Believe it or not, you’re my friend and I care about you.”
“Friends?” Amy snapped at her. “We’re not friends. We’re just stuck in this place together. It’s all circumstantial. We’re friends out of a geographical convenience. That’s all.”
“No, that’s not all,” Nikki said. “You know that’s not true. If these last few weeks or months have meant anything to you, you know that’s not true.”
“Look,” Amy sighed. “I’m sorry if I offended you. I didn’t mean to take it that far. But I have demons, Nikki.”
“We all have demons,” Nikki said. “Carson does. Taryn does. I have demons, too. Even demons have demons. But we can’t let those demons defeat us. You have to be strong. You have to fight. You can’t just give in to temptation when things go bad for you.”
“I know,” Amy said, breaking down, crying. Nikki embraced and soon the tears were flooding Nikki’s shoulder, soaking her blouse. She patted Amy on the back and assured her everything would be all right.
“Promise me you won’t drink again,” Nikki said.
“I won’t drink again,” Amy cried. “I promise. Never again.”
* * *
          Inside, the three men found a secret shaft that seemed to descend beyond the basement level. They also found Biters. Lots and lots of Biters.
          Corey had taken down six with one of the automatic pistols he dragged along. Paul seemed to prefer the pump-action shotgun, which he used to dispatch several impending Biters.
          Ryder finished off the last one with his Remington. He felt the shotgun kick and watched the bullet rupture the muscle and pink sinew of its ravaged facial tissue before it propelled through the back of its head. Then they turned their attention towards the mysterious elevator shaft.
          Ryder peered down into the darkness. Corey passed him a flashlight and he examined the shaft. “We’re going down,” Carson said. “Be ready for anything.”

To Be Continued With Part Thirty: FIGHT TO THE DEATH

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