Sunday, February 1, 2015


Genre: Horror (Zombies)



Carson Ryder: Ex-police officer/Ex-marine/Lost his wife Caroline, and daughter Charlotte/The unofficial leader of the group/Dying for a cigarette/Has mixed feelings about Nikki Fox
Corey Smith: Doomsday prepper/He was expecting and preparing for the zombie apocalypse for years/Lives in a fortified compound with a tremendous arsenal of weapons
Taryn Mills: Survivor found outside the Starlight Hotel/Lost her boyfriend and her family to the Biters/Former exotic dancer/Not afraid to use a gun
Nikki Fox: Former registered nurse/Lost contact with her family during the first initial weeks of the outbreak/Was married once but hid that fact from the group/She is secretly in love with Carson Ryder
Reggie White: Born and raised in Arkansas/Has never left the state before/He has a criminal record, but he’s not a violent man and tends to avoid confrontation if he can
Scotty Loomis: Originally from Utah/Friends with Reggie/A perpetual fountain of random facts and useless information
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/Former used car salesman
Amy Greene: First survivor who was taken in by Corey/She is a recovering alcoholic who manages with the support of Nikki Fox/Trying to take back control of her life


By Daniel Skye



          Eli Carver, Mr. Jones, and their flock had infiltrated the compound. And in the process, all hell broke loose.
          Corey Smith had climbed down from the roof of the manor and had taken his position next to Carson Ryder, his back pressed against one of the outhouses. Bodies were scattered all over the compound; some dead, others barely alive.
          The busted gate had left them open to the world and a horde of Biters the likes of which Corey had never seen paraded down the hill, invading the compound.
          Some of Mr. Jones and Eli Carver’s brainwashed followers finally came to their senses and retreated. Others stayed, refusing to retreat to surrender. Most of them were willing to fight it out to the bitter end. But so was Ryder and his group.
          “Cover me,” Corey said, dropping his sniper rifle. “I’m making a run for the Quonset hut.”
          Corey made his move and Ryder sprung out from behind the outhouse with his Remington, firing at anything that moved across the lawn. It didn’t matter if they were living or undead. He didn’t discriminate. Everyone was fair game.
          Dominic DeVito and Luke Chen had taken cover behind one of the other three outhouses. DeVito was a disaster when it came to handling a gun, and he had missed more than he had hit. But at least he hadn’t shot one of his own teammates yet. That was considered a plus.
          Luke was faring better, and had used the pump-action shotgun Corey lent him to take out several thugs who were trying to creep around the side of the outhouse.
          DeVito peeked his head around the outhouse, where two Biters loomed over the side. He fired three shots with the handgun. Two bullets struck the first Biter in the chest and shoulder. The third bullet hit the second Biter right between the eyes.
          “Yes!” DeVito shouted. “I did it! I capped that sucker!”
          BLAM. There was a tremendous ringing in Luke Chen’s ears. He looked at the ground, where DeVito’s body now lie. Then he looked up and saw the culprit. Not a man, but a woman in a white tank top who bared the same tattoo as Eli.
          Luke pumped his shotgun, but hesitated. The woman raised her gun to fire again and Luke had no choice but to shoot. Her body skidded across the lawn and Luke dropped to his knees, checked DeVito’s pulse.
          It was too late for him. Luke glanced towards the adjacent outhouse where Scotty Loomis and Reggie White were positioned with their rifles. But there was trouble heading their way. Biters. A whole army of them.
          Amidst the chaos, one of their adversaries had gotten a hold of the bazooka and had it perched over his shoulder, ready to launch.
          “Take cover!” Ryder shouted as the rocket propelled from the bazooka, soaring through the air and reducing the Quonset hut to debris.
          “COREY!” Taryn screamed. Ryder had covered him, but then he had come under fire again and had to take cover. He lost track of him and never saw him exit the hut. Now all that remained of the hut was a flaming wreckage, and Corey Smith was nowhere to be found.
          The girls had stuck together, taking cover behind the manor. Nikki Fox wasn’t a professional when it came to firearms, but she was an ace when it came to adapting to her surroundings.
          She held her ground and used the Mossberg that Ryder had given her to blast anyone or anything that crossed her path. But their foes were armed with Mossberg’s and firearms of their own. And their seemed to be no quit in most of them.
          Taryn didn’t need any help at all. If she could, she would’ve been firing the Mossberg and the .27 Beretta at the same time.
          Amy Greene was no gun fanatic. In fact, guns terrified her. But the semi-automatic pistol that she was armed with had not left her side. Though she seemed to be firing more at the zombies than their main adversaries.
          Killing a person wasn’t Amy’s custom. She didn’t have it in her like the rest. And that proved to be her downfall when a young woman with dark curly hair snuck up behind the manor.
          Amy was the first to see her. But she hesitated. And it cost Amy her life. The girl shot Amy twice; once in the stomach, once in the chest. And then Taryn proceeded to blow the young woman away with a single shot from the Mossberg.
          “No!” Nikki cried, falling to her knees. “No, no, no, no, no! Don’t die on us, Amy…please stay with us.” She tried to apply pressure to the wounds to slow the bleeding. But one of the bullets had pierced her lung and she was bleeding internally.
          Nikki cradled Amy in her arms and held her until she was gone. By the time she had wiped her tears and dried her eyes, Taryn was gone. Not dead. She just bailed on them.
          A group of men were closing in on Ryder when he dug through his pockets and came up with one of the grenades Corey had passed along. He yanked the pin, flung it through the air, and sent the men–the ones that survived–scattering from the explosion.
          The second grenade seemed to finish the job.
          Scotty and Reggie tried to hold their own against the Biters. But it was no use. There were too many of them and they were closing in at all sides. That’s when Chen rushed over, discarding his shotgun and pulling the katana from its scabbard.
          “GO!” he told them. And White and Loomis made a break for it before the Biters formed a complete circle around Chen. They took cover behind the adjacent outhouse where Ryder was stationed.
          “The fuck is he doing?” White asked.
          “No clue,” Loomis said. “I think he’s got more balls than brains."
          Carson Ryder could see nothing beyond the walls of rotted flesh that had formed around Chen. Surrounded inside this circle of bloated corpses with their swollen, distended bellies, their blackened teeth, and their charcoal grey complexions, Chen had a moment of lucidity.
          “Damn,” Chen muttered. “I fucked up on this one.”
          Most of Eli and Jones’s followers had fallen back as the growing number of Biters threatened to consume them all. Ryder, Loomis, and White could not intervene without putting themselves in jeopardy. All they could do was watch from a distance as the mob of Biters started closing in on Chen.
          He heaved and gagged and fought his stomach’s urge to recycle his breakfast. He knew the damned things smelled, but up close was a whole different story. The rotting stench hit him like a punch to the throat.
          Some looking as though they’d been dead for years. Loose, saggy skin and disintegrating bones that scraped and grinded together with every move their made. Some had patches of flesh ripped from their faces or torsos, exposing the muscle and sinew beneath.
          “Can you see him?” Ryder asked.
          “I can’t see anything besides the Biters,” White said. “It doesn’t look good.”
          A jet of blood spurted into the air, erupting like a geyser. Then another fountain of blood sprayed up into the air. And another and another. Ryder could see the source of this carnage as the katana whirled through the air like a propeller, decapitating the head of every snarling Biter that loomed over Chen.
          When it was over, Chen was drenched in blood and standing over the corpses of three dozen or more truncated Biters. But this opening only led to more gunfire from their opposition. Luke, moving faster than the wind, took cover behind the outhouse with Ryder and the rest of the guys.
          “What were you thinking?” Ryder asked.
          “I wasn’t,” Chen said. “But Reggie and Scotty were in trouble and I had to help them.”
          “Noble,” Scotty nodded. “Stupid, but noble.”
          “Thanks for saving our asses,” Reggie said.
          “Don’t thank me yet,” Chen said. “Wait until all this is over.”
          The savage, brainwashed followers advanced again, fanning out across the compound. But they were cut off in their tracks from a barrage of bullets. The men turned and saw Corey beside the manor, clutching an M60 machine gun with a 200-round bandolier attached. He didn’t stop firing until the gun had been emptied and the trigger made that click sound.
          He tossed the M60 aside, joined the men behind the outhouse. By then, Nikki Fox had taken cover with them as well. But there wasn’t much gunfire to take cover from.
          Corey had eliminated the remaining followers that refused to retreat. The only threat that stood now were the Biters. And there were still sixty or more spread out across the compound.
          “Where the fuck were you?” Ryder asked.
          “Yeah,” Reggie said. “We thought you were dead.”
          “I thought I was dead too. I ran to the Quonset hut to get the M60. Next thing I know, the thing got blown to pieces. I barely made it out in time. Got thrown pretty far from the blast. I must’ve lost consciousness for a little while.”
          “Where’s Taryn?” Loomis asked.
          “She was with me one minute, and the next minute she was gone,” Nikki said.
          “Hey, you brain dead cocksuckers!” Taryn’s voice carried across the compound.
          “Speak of the devil,” Corey said.
          “Hey, over you here you bloated, maggoty fucks! Come and get me!”
          Taryn was taunting the Biters, luring them all in her direction where she stood across from the manor. But she wasn’t alone. She had backup in the form of Vern Sheldon’s flamethrower. The one weapon Corey had left out of his inventory.
          With the flamethrower strapped to her back, she sparked the pilot light and squeezed the trigger. The torch released waves of flames that jetted out in short, controlled bursts.
          The fire spread fast, devouring the Biters and sending others scrambling in every direction. This was the opening they needed. Armed with whatever guns they had their hands wrapped around, the gang opened fire, aiming for the heads. Between the guns and the flamethrower, they finally had the situation pretty well under control.
          Now there was only the matter of Mr. Jones, who lie writhing in a pile of the dead. His leg was clipped by a stray bullet in the fray, and he couldn’t pull himself back up to his feet.
          “What should we do with him?” Corey posed the question to the group as they were all reunited again.
          “I say we cut him up into little pieces and feed him to the Biters,” Taryn said.
          Jones winced just at the thought. He started crawling on his belly, trying desperately to escape. But with his injury, he was crawling at the pace of a snail.
          “I say we torture him, then we feed him to the Biters,” Reggie suggested.
          “I say we saw his head off and stick on the top of the fence like a pike.”
          “I love it,” Ryder said.
          Corey wandered off for a few seconds, and returned with an axe in hand. “I couldn’t find a saw,” he shrugged. “But this will do the trick.”
          “Hold it!” a voice commanded. And they turned their collective heads to see Eli standing near the wrought iron fence, Colt .45 pressed to Nikki Fox’s skull. “This isn’t over! Not until I get what I want!”
          “What the fuck do you want?” Ryder asked.
          “You,” Eli said. “Dead.”
          “Even if you kill me, even if you kill Nikki, you’re still outnumbered. You’ll never leave this compound alive. Neither will Jones.”
          “I don’t give a fuck about Jones,” Eli said frankly. “You could kill him for all I care. But my work isn’t finished until you’re dead, Ryder. If I have to sacrifice myself in the process, so be it.”
          “Your work won’t be finished until the world is completely destroyed,” Ryder pointed out. “That was your real goal. That’s what all this was about. The planning, the orchestrating, timing the release of the virus, finding the perfect scapegoat. This is your legacy. This is what you set out to do.”
          “And I’ve accomplished my goals. The world is in ruins.”
          “Have you?” Ryder asked sincerely. “You took a little visit to that underground base in Texas. You and your buddies. But you didn’t destroy every vial. We found a few of them intact. Brought them back. Tested one out. It works, Eli. The cure works. What do you think of that? All your hard work is about to be erased.”
          “Prove it,” Eli demanded. “Show me the vials.”
          “They’re not here,” Ryder told him. “I buried them somewhere, not too far from here. I can show you, but only if you let Nikki go. Trade her for me. Look, I’m unarmed and I’ll do anything you say. Just let her go.”
          “Ok, deal,” Eli said. “Get your ass over here and let’s get this show on the road.”

To Be Continued With Part Thirty Five (The Last Chapter): FINITO

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