The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Zombie or Post Apocalyptic themed fiction/stories.

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Sheriff McClelland
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Sheriff McClelland » Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:17 am

You're doing great . I'm on the edge of my keyboard most of the time ;)

Wondering how they'll get a semi up the mountain road ... can't wait .
"Yeah, they're dead. They're all messed up. "

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Redsky
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Favorite Zombie Movies: Romero's stuff

Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Redsky » Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:04 am

Tinderbox,

You're doing great with this story. How ever it plays out is the way you want it too. The characters are your creation. Do with them what you will.
“Next time go faster! Fulton who the fuck told you that you could choke out a stenchie? Jesus!

Do I have to do everything?” he yelled at the squad staggering to his feet again.

“Oh he’s fine. He’s back in asshole mode.” Erica said

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deadcat7382
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by deadcat7382 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:24 pm

great story! Don't sweat the details too much!
"Stay with me! If you find yourself alone, riding in the green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled. For you are in Elysium, and you're already dead!"

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One for each of ya."

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Tinderbox
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Tinderbox » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:43 pm

At first the radio chatter between the three vehicles was animated and light-hearted. Nadia and Michael traded comments about Mundy’s driving and Mundy dared them to do any better. But soon the lingering excitement of their escape ebbed and they drove in silence, retracing the route they had taken the day before.

Overhead, the clouds were broken into patterns painted pink and orange against the pale blue. The budding trees to either side of the debris-littered road were wearing deep shadows. The afternoon was giving way to evening.

“We need a place for the night,” Mundy decided over the radio. “I suggest pulling in someplace where the trailer’s hidden from the road. No sense in flaunting our good fortune.”

“We passed a place on the way here,” Nadia said. “It’s going to be on the left a few miles up.”

The large wooden sign read Still Groves Tree Farm. On a gentle rise, acres of evenly spaced evergreens grew to either side of a dirt road. Douglas Firs and Norway Spruces covered the top of the rise and continued over the back of it where other trees – poplars, maples, and fruit trees, their roots encased in burlap and half-buried in the ground - surrounded two plastic-walled greenhouses. Mundy pulled the semi in between the greenhouses and a small exterior plywood building painted red and green.

“I think this’ll be good,” Mundy called on the radio. “I don’t think the trailer can be seen from the road.”

“As long as the neighborhood’s quiet,” Nadia radioed back.

Mundy emerged from the cab of the semi wearing a long dark brown knee-length oilskin duster coat complete with a shoulder cape. On his head he wore a black cowboy hat with a straight wide brim and a telescope crown.

“What the hell are you wearing?” Nadia chuckled.

“I found them in the sleeper cab,” Mundy announced. “Whaddya think?”

“First the six-guns,” she laughed, “now this? You look like such a dude.”

“Hey, one of the few perks of post-apocalyptic living is that the last fashion critic is shuffling their way up some street in Manhattan looking for human sashimi.” He lifted his chin in a haughty manner. “I like ‘em. I’m keeping ‘em. I’m gonna wear ‘em.”

“Whatever,” she said with a shake of her head.

The land behind the tree farm sloped down to a small stream and then rose on the other side into wooded hills. The semi-opaque greenhouses were filled with rotting, deflated pumpkins, moldy cornstalks and hay bale decorations from the previous fall and were easy to check out, leaving only the plywood sales office.

“Locked up tight,” Nadia reported. The door was thin metal over a foam core and the frame was soft pine. Neither stood up to Nadia’s brief efforts with the crowbar. The inside was dry and smelled of soil and fertilizers. The movement of air in through the door set wind chimes to work and a few of the garden ornaments arranged in plastic tubs around the floor made half-hearted attempts at spinning and twirling. There was a full soft drink cooler against the wall and a rack of dozens of different kinds of vegetable and flower seeds.

“Gotta get those veggie seeds for Eric and Hitomi,” Nadia said, fishing a bag out from behind the sales counter. “A consolation prize for not bringing back any cows and chickens.”

“I’ll get the cooler,” Lucas offered, finding some empty boxes to fill.

Dinner consisted soup cooked in the can over what Mundy called a Dakota fire pit.

“It lets you have a small fire below ground level,” he said while digging the connecting airway tunnel to the main hole with a trowel from the sales office, “where the light is less likely to be spotted.”

With hot food in their stomachs and the fire pit glowing with embers, they sat and stared silently, each in their own separate direction, each lost in their own thoughts. It was Nadia who broke the silence.

“Do you remember,” she began slowly, “throwing food away just because it was a little past the sell-by date on the package?”

“Do you remember tipping the food on your plate into the trash because you were so stuffed you couldn’t eat another bite?” Mundy said from underneath his wide-brimmed hat.

“How about not finishing a meal at a restaurant just because you thought the taste of it was a little off?” Michael added with a chuckle.

“I remember vegetarians,” Lucas contributed. “How weird does that seem now?”

When the sunset had become a purple streak against the black and they could no longer see a safe distance around them, Mundy let the embers at the bottom of the hole die and played the gentleman.

“Nadia,” he said, “that humvee’s not fit to sleep in. The semi’s sleeper cab is all yours.”

Her eyes showed her considering it for a moment before she answered. “No, you need to be in there in case we have to get moving fast. Do you mind doubling up? I mean, is it big enough?”

Mundy managed to keep his face expressionless as he answered but Michael thought the effort must have been enormous.

***

It was long after midnight when the rain began to fall. The ping of the drops on the roof of the Forest Service truck was enough to rouse Michael halfway to consciousness before his brain identified the sound and once again allowed him to drift off. The patter found its way into his dreams, however, where it became hundreds of gray-skinned fingertips tapping on the dirty walls of a glass building. The tapping increased until it became a steady drone, then changed into a dry, reedy moan coming from hundreds of mouths, each one open and showing gnashing teeth. When the glass broke and the corpses stumbled forth, Michael fell backwards into an open grave. He tried to hide there but found it already occupied by a squat, brownish-orange skinned man with a scraggly beard who sat surrounded by candles.


******************************


Michael emerged from the front seat of the truck to a chilly landscape still dripping from the early morning rain. He tried to close the door quietly but Lucas, sleeping in the backseat, was startled awake anyway. Nearby, Nadia was using Mundy’s fire pit for breakfast and was squatting next to a pot of water, warming her hands as the water began to boil. Breakfast was going to be instant oatmeal packets and peanut butter on stale crackers.

“Morning,” he greeted her quietly. “Where’s Mundy?”

“Still asleep,” she replied as she tended the flames. “And, no, we didn’t have sex.”

“Not my business,” Michael said quickly.

“Under normal circumstances, no,” she said, still not looking up from the fire. “But we’re not normal people anymore. We’re like hunter-gatherers now, like some Ice Age tribe. And I doubt there were many secrets in those camps.”

“Mundy…might have…some…feelings…”

“Come on, Michael,” she said with a shy smile. “I’m a full-grown woman. I was even quite worldly before the world ended. It was nice to sleep next to someone after so long. And if it winds up happening again, I suppose Mundy’s not so bad.”

“Not my business,” Michael said again, this time through a smile.

To their left, Mundy appeared and dropped to the ground beside the semi, his duster coat flaring out behind him. He walked with his head down, his face nearly hidden beneath his hat, adjusting his revolvers and waiting to speak until he was standing beside them.

“Did you tell Michael nothing happened between us last night?” he asked without meeting her eyes.

“Yes, I did,” she replied.

“Crap,” he deadpanned. “I was going to make up some real good stuff.”

“I bet,” she said.

“There was going to be some very descriptive language.”

“Uh-huh.”

“There might even have been mention of sweet nothings being whispered.”

“Good thing he knows better,” she countered. “I have my reputation to think of.”

“This is all getting sickeningly sweet,” Mundy said. “Should we stop?”

“Definitely,” she said. “I’d like to get on the road and back to Goodnight House before dark. I’m sick of dead towns and buildings smeared with dried blood and guts.”

“’Let us, then, be up and doing,’” Mundy said, earning raised eyebrows from Nadia. “Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,” he explained.

“And you were what before the world ended?”

“Someone who picked up a book every now and then,” he replied with a grin.

***

They had been on the road for four and a half hours, returning along their previous route, relaxed in the knowledge that they knew its rough spots and sure that the way back would be clear of major obstacles. Once, they saw a trio of corpses on the shoulder of the road dressed in fresh-looking blue surgical scrubs who raised their arms and shuffled toward the vehicles as they passed. A short time later, they drove by a group of fifty or more moving through the parking lot of a huge building supply store. Michael noticed how the dead were all oriented in the same direction, as though they were moving together in a herd. Once they saw a column of smoke rising in the distance but their course was set and none of them thought seriously about diverting from it.

“There are a lot more of them,” Michael observed over the radio. They had just passed a field dotted with a dozen or so, all facing the road. “We didn’t see this many before.”

“Maybe it’s the warmer weather bringing them out,” Mundy radioed back. “Maybe they’re a little hungry after a long winter.”

When it happened, Michael was looking at a ten foot tall fiberglass chicken sitting on a pedestal outside a fire-ravaged fried chicken restaurant and wondering if civilization would recover to reclaim the kitschy roadside attention-getter from the elements or if nature would reclaim it and the entire strip mall they were passing. How many years would it take, he wondered, before there was only a ten foot tall chicken-shaped monument, its paint worn away and its concrete pedestal crumbling, standing in a field that used to be a paved parking lot? Then he saw the semi truck and trailer ahead of him begin to swerve in a serpentine fashion and chaos came out of nowhere.

Michael was third in line behind Mundy in the semi. Nadia and Lucas were in the lead, out of Michael’s line of sight. It all happened so fast that no one had time to use the radios. The semi truck and trailer veered wildly, nearly tipping as it left the road and crashed through the strip mall parking lot in a cloud of dust and flying debris. He saw it clip the side of a shed-sized wooden building, destroying it completely, and continue onward. Then Michael saw the humvee on its side, skidding roof-first into a Jersey barrier that separated a parking lot from the road. After colliding with the concrete barrier, the vehicle slammed down on its wheels, righting itself in a cloud of dust, smoke and steam. He hit the brakes and then saw the heavy steel cable writhing like a snake, still moving after snapping. It wasn’t an accident, he realized. The thick cable had been purposefully stretched across the road. He could see the backhoe that had drawn it taut in the parking lot on the right, concealed beside an ice cream stand and he saw how the overhead power lines atop the wooden telephone pole on the other side of the road still twitched with the force of the cable snapping. And then he saw figures emerging from the strip mall on one side of the road and from behind the ice cream stand on the other, figures that didn’t move like the dead but like the living, and they all seemed to be pointing rifles and shotguns at the crashed humvee.

Without thinking much about it, Michael took his foot off the brake and switched it to the gas pedal. He turned the wheel toward the humvee and proceeded into the parking lot and back out into the street at the highest rate of speed he could manage without completely losing control of the truck and its load. Back he went into the parking lot, tires squealing, and back out into the street, making sloppy, lopsided circles with the humvee at the center. The people who had emerged from hiding to rush the humvee scattered, a few firing their guns at him. Michael heard a few shots hit the truck, but the sound seemed to come from far away and reminded him of the ping of rain drops from the night before. Even as his hands and arms whipped the steering wheel left and right and his foot worked the brake and accelerator, it was as if he was watching it all happen from the distant end of a tunnel.

There was his galloping heart and a pounding pressure in his ears. There was the stale taste of fear at the back of his mouth. There was the wildly distorted world beyond the windshield with its three bullet holes forming a triangle. There was the street and people in dingy, ragged clothes running, the parking lot and people darting left and right, the screech of tires and the smell of smoking rubber, the world tilting this way and that.

Centered at the far end of the tunnel that had formed in his vision, Michael saw a figure standing steady in the parking lot, his feet planted firm, a shotgun raised and aimed directly at him. This man, Michael thought with certainty, would not miss. But before the man could fire, he jerked and stumbled back a step, lowering his gun a bit and glancing down at himself in a confused manner.

The man was dead. Every cell in Michael’s adrenaline-soaked body knew it instantly; the man who had almost killed him was dead and the shots that had killed him had come from the humvee. He could hear them continuing: pop-pop, pop-pop. It was almost of no interest to him when the man collapsed and didn’t move again. He’d known it was coming.

He heard the smack of bullets against the F550’s metal as he pulled up beside the humvee and tumbled from the passenger side door. Inside the humvee, Lucas was looking dazed and disgruntled, as though someone had just woken him from a deep sleep. Nadia was firing her M9 pistol from the open driver side door. When he said her name, she glanced at him groggily.

“Lucas, can you move?” Michael asked. Lucas didn’t answer, but he did move, slipping from the passenger seat and nearly falling as he tried to stand. “Nadia?” But she was already moving out through the driver side door, dangerously exposed to the gunfire of their attackers. Michael raised the coach gun and fired both barrels in quick succession, removing more glass from a few already broken windows, trying to give her cover as she walked drunkenly around the vehicle.

“Ducks,” Lucas said. He might have been telling Nadia to duck as the bullets zinged off the Jersey barrier or he might have meant they were sitting ducks. If it was the latter, Michael couldn’t help but agree.

They were sandwiched between the wrecked humvee and the idling, bullet-riddled Ford. The gunfire had slowed to a shot every ten seconds or so, enough to keep them immobilized while their attackers maneuvered around them. As they did so, they started to whistle and hoot and call out in taunting voices.

“Hey! Hey, you! You’re dead! We gonna kill you! We gonna kill you and rape the bullet holes!” Another voice yelled, “You gonna die slow for killin’ Maddie.” “I’m gonna cut your fucking heads off and keep ‘em as pets,” called another.

Nadia sat down hard in the road between the vehicles looking stunned and dejected and slapped her last magazine into her pistol. Mundy took the cue and reloaded the shotgun.

“Now,” said another voice from the direction of the strip mall, “that’s what’s gonna happen if you don’ put down your guns and come on out. We don’ want you. We jus’ want your stuff. ‘Course, if you dick aroun’ an’ make us mad, well…you don’ wanna make us mad. You put your guns down an’ walk out. Everybody’ll be free to go on about their business.”

“They’ll kill us the second they can,” Lucas said numbly, leaning his rifle against the truck and checking the rounds in both of his revolvers. “That’s just what they do.”

“You don’ have time to think about it,” the lead hijacker called. “When I count ten, you are gonna start dyin’.”

Michael saw that they had rolled two cars into the road ahead of them, using them both as a roadblock and as cover. Two other cars were already in place behind them, blocking off the way they had come.

“Get in the truck,” Michael said to Nadia and Lucas. He grabbed Nadia under her arms and pulled her to her feet. “Come on, we’re better off moving than sitting still. Lucas, you – “ But he never got to finish making up his suicidal plan of action.

With a sudden wave of noise, the semi truck came barreling out of a side street beyond the hijacker’s roadblock. Mundy had left the main road and had made a wide loop through the side streets of the town. Now the big rig returned to action, charging in like a fire engine red rogue elephant, careening from one side of the road into the strip mall parking lot to graze the glass walls of the storefronts, collapsing them in a cloud of dust and debris. Mundy swerved back out into the road again, plowing through the two cars the attackers had rolled into place and parting them like swinging doors. The hijackers ran for cover, though at least one was hit by one of the spinning cars and knocked off his feet. Both Nadia and Lucas shot at him as he tried to get up. Michael couldn’t be sure whose bullet struck the man, causing him to roll into a ball and lie still.

The semi roared past them, weaving back and forth across the road, causing as much mayhem as possible. Mundy even had the temerity to honk the horn.

The distraction of the semi truck and trailer raging down the town’s main street was enough to allow them to pile into the F550’s front seat. Michael kicked at the gas pedal and they shot straight at the gap Mundy had created in the road ahead, aiming for escape.

“Turn around,” Nadia said in a surprisingly subdued voice. “Turn the truck around, Michael.”

Turn around,” Michael repeated robotically, testing the idea out loud, hoping that the absurd sound of it would be apparent to all. A part of him wanted to explain to her that this was their chance to escape and that if he did turn around, the hijackers were likely to cut them to pieces in a crossfire. He wanted to tell her that Mundy had risked his life to give them the chance to get away and that he would surely keep on going back they way they had come until he found an alternate route back to Destitute Mountain. But a quick glance in the rear view mirror showed him the semi stopped dead against a ruined store front and some of the attackers converging on it. “Okay,” he said resignedly, “turning around.”

He cranked his arms and pulled the sharpest u-turn he thought he could manage. Stomping on the accelerator, they rumbled down the street, veering left and right, skipping roughly over plastic car parts and concrete curbs. He was left with the flash images of several hijackers’ faces: grubby, gaunt, surprised and angry. He chose a still mostly intact storefront near the stalled semi and pulled in close. As Nadia and Lucas bailed out on the passenger side and took cover inside the building, Michael chanced a look around.

He saw the hijackers advancing on the semi truck, ducking from car to car, darting from telephone pole to dumpster. None of them were shooting as they moved forward and it was strangely quiet until Mundy opened up from under the trailer with the M4 on semi-auto, catching three of the attackers in the open and sending them to the ground.

“Sons of bitches didn’t expect that, did they?” Nadia shouted. “I guess you get so used to murdering unarmed refugees on the road, you forget what a real fight’s like! Here’s some more, you…!” She fired three times through a large break in the storefront window and knocking the leg out from under a man wearing a police-style Kevlar vest. The man cried out as he fell and then crawled behind a car, leaving a blood trail behind him. Lucas fired a carefully aimed shot from his rifle and Mundy fired again from his spot beneath the trailer. The hijackers stopped their advance and scurried for cover.

In the resulting quiet, Michael heard Mundy’s voice calling over the radio which had fallen to the floor. As he bent over to pick it up, a shot passed through the driver side window, obliterating it and showering him with small chunks of glass. Michael decided not to sit back up, but grabbed the radio and heard Mundy’s voice.

“Michael, get your frickin’ head down, man.”

***

A little more than an hour had passed and the sun had reached its high point in the hazy white sky. During that time both sides in the fight had made small attempts to dislodge the other from their positions. Each time there was movement, one or two shots would ring out and people would again dive for cover. Every so often the voice of the lead hijacker would call out over the parking lot, suggesting a truce and making offers of safety.

“Isn’t this a pickle?” he’d say in a folksy manner. “But I think if you jus’ get in your truck and drive away, everyone’ll live to see tomorrow. There’s been too much death already, don’tcha think? Whaddya say?”

The first few times, Lucas had answered with a shot from his rifle, trying to penetrate the engine block the lead hijacker was hiding behind. After that, though, he hadn’t bothered.

Mundy was still under the trailer where he would take a shot every once in a while and talk to Nadia on the radio. Their first exchange involved mention of the M203 grenade launcher mounted beneath the barrel of the carbine Mundy held.

“The grenades are where, Mr. Schwarzenegger?” she asked with exasperation.

“In the humvee,” Mundy answered. “You don’t walk around with a loaded grenade launcher.”

“No,” she replied, “but you could at least keep them closer at hand!”

Lucas had made three trips into the back of the darkened liquor store they were sheltering in, finding nothing but flattened cardboard displays, bare wire racks and empty metal shelving. They had removed a few lengths of the shelving, leaning them up against what remained of the front window, hoping that the steel would be thick enough to deflect birdshot from a twelve gauge and at least slow down a round from a hunting rifle.

“They’re not shooting much anyway,” Nadia observed. “They’re low on ammunition, just like us. That’s the only reason we’re still alive; each bullet is worth ten times its weight in gold.”

“Did you see them?” Michael asked. “Their faces? Nothing but skin stretched over bones.”

“Yeah, I bet they’re hungry. They’ve probably picked clean every boarded up farm house and survivor camp between here and the ocean. Killed everybody and taken everything. They can see what’s in the boxes in the back of the Ford and they can guess that there’s more in the semi trailer.” Nadia looked into Michael’s eyes to make sure she was understood. “They’re as single-minded as zeroes and just about as dead inside.”

“Hey. They’re moving,” Lucas said from where he knelt, peering out past the Ford at the battle lines beyond. “Across the street. See them? They’re coming out from between the buildings.” But by the time Michael and Nadia had joined him at the window, he had changed his assessment. “Oh, sorry. My mistake. They’re zeroes.”

Just as Lucas had said, they moved out from between the buildings on the opposite side of the road. At first there were only a few, walking in a surprisingly normal fashion. They were the color of dirt and grime and black encrusted gore. The spring sunshine died upon their lifeless skin. Then, suddenly, there were more – many more.

All three of them watched silently, frozen in place and in the back of his mind Michael realized that they were each waiting for the same thing, fascinated to see how long it would take to happen. When it did, it came with a fearful shout.

“Dead ones!” The call came from one of the attackers hidden across the road. The words were echoed from half a dozen different locations along with a follow-up shout from the original alarm-raiser: “Lots of them! Lots! Oh, holy shit, it’s a fuckin’ herd!”

This was enough to stir the hijackers from their concealed positions. Lucas was ready when the first one rose and began to run. A .357 magnum round cracked from the muzzle of his rifle and the man doubled over into a somersault across the asphalt. Mundy, too, took the same opportunity and let loose with shots from the M4 as the hijackers across the road panicked and left their cover. Four attackers fell under Mundy’s fire, at least one of them calling out pitifully for help from his friends as the throng of corpses began to spill across the parking lot and toward the road. The calls ended in a shrill drawn-out scream as the zeroes found their sole desire and fell upon the wounded man.

“Shoot them! Shoot them!” Nadia yelled. “This is our chance!” She fired her pistol at the men fleeing the dead until the magazine went empty and the slide locked back. “Damn!” But Michael was right there, taking his fingers out of his ears and handing her his twenty-two revolver and the five hundred rounds he had in his coat pocket. “Yes!” she said and resumed firing, spending all nine shots on one target before reloading and moving to the next.

Lucas’ face was impassive as he lined up his shots and took them. Michael watched men tumble to the pavement and immediately begin crawling, not away from where the bullet had come from, but toward it, because the dead were still coming, belching the air from their lungs in grotesque animation at the sight of the warm, live food before them.

“Coming in,” Mundy’s voice crackled from the radio. “I’m coming in. Don’t shoot me.” He appeared at the shattered glass storefront looking wild and glancing nervously over his shoulder. Michael saw that among the few things he had grabbed before leaving the truck was his new hat and duster coat. “They’re pouring up the road. I’ve never seen this many in one group. We need to get up on the roof or something.” The screams of wounded hijackers being overtaken by the dead punctuated his words. “We need to do it now.”

“Out the back,” Lucas said as he stood.

“Is there a way up to the roof back there?” Mundy asked.

“I don’t know,” he answered, pointing through the storefront and out across the parking lot, “but we can’t go that way.”

The dead were closing in. Some had halted where they had found prey and clustered around the bloody messes in silent feeding frenzies, though sometimes the bloody messes themselves were still screaming. Others approached the front of the strip mall stores, the remaining portion of their brains still looking for movements or sounds that belonged to the living.

Before they fled into the shadowed recesses of the store, Michael chanced a quick trip out to the back of the Forest Service truck. He cut the bungees securing the two short spears to the truck bed with his pocket knife and, trying to balance the two five foot long poles as he ran, hurried after the bobbing flashlight beams of the others.

The store’s back room smelled like wood smoke, wine and vomit. Nadia pushed the door shut behind them and bolted it as the rest of them clustered around the gray steel door beneath the exit sign. As quietly as he could, Mundy turned the deadbolt and depressed the metal bar. The door clicked open a few inches and fuzzy yellow sunlight lit up the room. Mundy took off his hat and stuck his head through the gap.

Even from where he stood, Michael could hear the throaty croak from outside responding to the sight of Mundy’s head. The door was pulled closed and the deadbolt turned to the sound of dead flesh pounding, slapping and scraping against the outside.

“Lots of them?” Nadia asked, fixing the beam of her flashlight on his face.

“Lots,” he replied breathlessly.
Last edited by Tinderbox on Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"...the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire..."

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Nancy1340 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:03 pm

Yowwwwzer! :clap: :clap:

Pretty dang exciting here. Thank you.

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by WendyPlains » Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:45 pm

Well now, a cliffhanger - that is just plain mean...... :awesome: Seriously, grand stuff. I'm just a little confused as to how many vehicles they are now driving: 3 with the semi full of food? And how come they missed these guys when they came down the first time? Did they use another route? Not nitpicking...just wondering. I do love your story and you're great about posting nearly every day. Thanks for that.

Good thing I've got Mom's Zombie Years story to read in the intervals, still have a long way to go to catch up on that one! :D

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Manliest » Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:57 pm

Humvee is down and rolled over, semi is (presumably) crashed into the building, forest service pickup is up but probably shot up.


Looking like a long walk ahead.

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Tinderbox
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Tinderbox » Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:01 pm

WendyPlains wrote:I'm just a little confused as to how many vehicles they are now driving: 3 with the semi full of food? And how come they missed these guys when they came down the first time? Did they use another route? Not nitpicking...just wondering.

Good thing I've got Mom's Zombie Years story to read in the intervals, still have a long way to go to catch up on that one! :D
What Manliest said.

They started through town with the humvee, the semi and the Forest Service truck, but I think the humvee has just about seen its last mile. As for the hijackers, they're not local boys. They just roam about and happened to be in town to set up their latest trap in the path of Michael, Mundy, Nadia and Lucas.

I enjoyed Mom's Journal of the Zombie Years a lot! That story and Alpha Dog's Journal were the first two online zombie fiction stories I ever read.
"...the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire..."

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by WendyPlains » Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:29 pm

Thank you both for your replies. And thanks for clearing up,where the raiders came from Tinderbox.

I can't seem to find the beginning of Alpha Dog's Journal. It seems to me like it's been taken offline but maybe I just can't navigate the site properly. I was also reading another story called The Other Side of the Apocalypse, which strangely enouh, was very similar to Mom's Journal though this guy had a lot of very annoying religious stuff in it. He used to post long, boring tracts of the Bible after every post. The story wasn't bad but he gave up after something like 32 pages and never finished the dang thing. I hate authors who do that!! I'm also following another ZA story called Diary of a Runner which is well written but, now that I'm caught up, the author takes forever to update. All in all, your story is top of my list at the mo.

PS-Hope it's not innapropriate to refer to other stories on this thread. I don't want to offend anyone because of it.

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Zimmy » Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:16 pm

Great story. Your descriptive style is as good as a screenplay.
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Tinderbox » Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:48 pm

Zimmy wrote:Great story. Your descriptive style is as good as a screenplay.
Thanks, Zimmy.

And to any big shot Hollywood producers, I'm open to any and all obscenely lucrative offers. Even if you (*sigh*) do to it what you've apparently done to World War Z.
"...the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire..."

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Tinderbox » Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:40 pm

They could see them through the peephole in the back room door; nine silhouetted figures slowly walking the aisles of the liquor store. Michael knew that to KT nine of them might pose a problem, but the bigger problem would come from the four or five hundred that had swarmed the strip mall, brought in by an hour’s worth of back and forth gunshots and the other noises of battle. In the two hours since they had shut themselves in the back room, the pounding at the back door had eased up but it hadn’t gone away entirely.

“Where did they all come from?” Michael whispered. He sat with his back against the inside wall facing Nadia who rested against the block exterior wall. The back room was long and narrow, narrower still where floor-to-ceiling metal shelving units were bolted to both walls. Lucas had already climbed the empty shelves, looking for a way out of the back room through some sort of air vent, but found nothing except cement block walls and the corrugated steel sheeting of the roof.

“We passed those two large groups along the way,” Nadia whispered back. “There were probably five or six more groups just off the road that we didn’t see. Maybe they heard us passing and started walking after us. Maybe other zeroes saw them and joined in. They do that, just like mindless herd animals.”

“How many bad guys do you think got away?” he asked.

“None, I hope,” she answered bitterly. “There were maybe twenty or so to begin with. I bet we got half of them. I hope the zeroes got the rest. If they’re going to be murdering bandits, to hell with them.”

Every few minutes, Mundy would flick on his flashlight and walk by, slowly pacing the length of the back room. Michael waited until he’d passed to ask the most important question.

“How long, do you think, until they move on?”

She was quiet for a moment before answering, “There’s no way to tell, Michael. They had themselves a nice meal out there. That probably made quite an impression on them. If nothing draws them away…who knows?”

The circle of light from Mundy’s flashlight approached and stopped next to them. Into it, Mundy set down a toolbox they’d found at the far end of the back room.
“It looks like they were renovating the restroom,” he said, “chipping a few new holes in the cement block wall for new pipes.”

They had each inspected the box of tools, as they had each inspected the entire back room, hoping to find something that would make them feel a little less trapped. The toolbox held a few feet of electrical wiring, half a dozen screwdrivers, a claw hammer, a hacksaw and six or seven other common hand tools. The heavy club hammer and the three cold chisels Mundy had separated out of the box were no ticket to freedom as far as Michael could see. He supposed Mundy might suggest hammering their way through the cement block walls into the empty store next door, but the noise would certainly bring the dead in to meet them on the other side.

“I’d like to try something,” Mundy continued, “but it’s going to mean making a lot of noise.”

“If you pound a hole in the wall to the next store,” Nadia said, “they’re going to be right there when you break through.”

But Mundy pointed the beam of his flashlight at the corrugated metal ceiling.

“That steel’s not so thick,” Mundy said. “On top of it is going to be some insulation and then maybe some PVC sheathing all held down by industrial glue. The only tough part is going to be the steel sheeting.”

“You’re going to hammer us a nice little skylight?” Nadia asked with a snorting laugh. “Through steel?”

“Last November, I was stuck for two weeks on the second floor of a house by a big group of zeroes; not as big as the group out there now, but big. The stairs had been cut through and collapsed so they couldn’t get up, but they wouldn’t leave. So I sat there and sipped toilet water and thought about dying in that ugly 1980s plywood people box that reeked of the suicide in the basement. I don’t want to go through that again. So I figure, if some drug addict can cut his way into some strip mall pharmacy through the roof, we should be able to cut our way out of here.”

“Except those drug addicts weren’t dumb; they used cordless saws,” Nadia replied. “And the wall between us and the front of the store is drywall. If they get excited by the noise, they might knock out enough shelving to start clawing through it. I’ve seen that happen.”

Mundy held up the chisels, singling out the one with the pointed end. “Anyway, I’d like to try.”

None of them spoke for a moment and they could hear the scrape of fingers against the metal of the outside door.

“Have fun,” Nadia finally said.

“I was trapped in a building for a month by a bunch of dead little kids,” Lucas said. “I’m all for it.”

“Beats doing nothing, I suppose,” said Michael, not altogether sure if it was true or not.

***

Mundy worked standing in a half crouch on an office door that they had laid like a bridge across the top of the two shelving units. For a while, he had tried working while lying on his back, like Michelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, but after frequent shouts of “frickity-frack!” for the dust in his eyes and his arm muscles protesting the unusual angle, he had found crouching easier. The slant of the steel ceiling’s corrugations helped him, but working overhead was still exhausting. When the steady sounds of the chisel driving against the ceiling slowed, Lucas climbed the shelving units and took over for a while. When the pace of his hammering slowed, Nadia took her turn. When it came time for Michael to take over, he was relieved. Climbing up the shelving units toward the zigzagging steel trusses and sprinkler system pipes got him a little farther away from the sound of the dead clawing at the doors. The scraping, pounding, and slapping had increased noticeably since Mundy’s hammering had begun. In the claustrophobic dark of the back room, Michael found his nerves rubbed raw by the sound of it.

In the fading circle of light from the flashlight taped to the top shelf, he was surprised to see the progress they had made. The pointed steel chisel had made perforated lines in the ceiling forming three sides of a twenty inch-wide square. Now the task remained of removing the remaining metal. Michael found that the flat ended chisel worked pretty well when driven at an angle between two holes. But it wasn’t long before his fingers were numb from the impacts, his arms burned with the exertion and his hammering became less and less effective. Mundy relieved him after an embarrassingly short time.

When Michael’s feet were again on the tile floor of the foul-smelling back room, they heard a sharp metallic clattering sound from out in the store.

“That,” Nadia said with a clear tension in her voice, “would be the shelves on the other side of the wall.”

As if to confirm her words, a sound like the dull scratching of dozens of fingernails began. Michael was suddenly and acutely aware that, apart from the exterior cement block walls, the inside of the strip mall store was little more than a skeleton of thin metal framing dressed up with drywall. To a reanimated corpse, unconcerned with broken fingernails or fingertips worn through to the bone, drywall was just a temporary barrier between it and live food.

Michael put his eye to the peephole in the door and saw the aisles of the liquor store filled with slowly moving silhouettes.

“We can climb,” Lucas said from the darkness. “That’ll keep us out of reach…until enough of them get in here so that they can pile up on top of each other.”

“Lucas,” Mundy called from above, “you’re up.”

Lucas didn’t hesitate. He stepped into the light from Nadia’s flashlight and, with one last glance at the wall, began to climb. Michael could tell from the look on Nadia’s face that she was thinking of doing the same thing.

“Think the shelves can support all of us at the same time?” Michael asked, though it was more of a suggestion.

“I bet they can,” she said quickly. “Bring the spears, the guns, the tools – everything. We need to be ready to roll.”

Michael was just passing the last of it up to her when the frantic scrabbling at the wall took on a hollow sound.

“I think they’re through the outer sheet of drywall,” he called up to them all. There was no sense in whispering anymore. Michael climbed to the top shelf beside Nadia. Mundy lay on the opposite side, massaging his arms, his face red and dripping with sweat. Lucas, his hair wet and plastered across his forehead, worked with the hammer and chisel at the remaining steel burrs keeping the metal flap from opening.

From down below there came a hollow thud as something impacted the inside wall. Michael narrowed the beam of his flashlight and focused it on the spot as the drywall seemed to bulge and crack. The dull sound of it came again and again until something penetrated in a cloud of white gypsum dust. To Michael, it looked like the paw of some animal. It took a second for him to realize that the paw was just a hand with all of the fingers broken off at the first knuckle.

“There they are,” Nadia said, her voice dry and flat.

“That’s it,” Lucas reported. “It’s free.”

“Okay,” Mundy breathed. Groaning with sore muscles, he shifted into place and helped Lucas pull down on the steel flap. “Watch the edges,” he winced. “I just got cut.” He pulled his knife from his belt. “Nadia, you wanna join me?” Together, they drew their knife blades across the exposed foam insulation, carving out chunks which fell like a yellow avalanche on the corpse below still struggling to get its shoulders through the gap it had made.

Michael watched the foam insulation fall as the wall broke open in another spot, revealing the clutching hands and grasping arms of another zero. This one had less trouble getting through and, within half a minute, it had wriggled into the back room and stood up. Behind it, another followed. Looking up at the light from Michael’s flashlight, they each uttered a single wheezing grunt and raised their arms.

“Give us the spears,” Mundy said and Michael handed them over. Putting all their strength into it, Nadia and Mundy pushed the metal tips hard at the top roofing layers. Nadia wobbled and nearly lost her balance.

“For shit’s sake, don’t fall now!” Michael spluttered loudly.

“Why, Mr. Sallow,” Mundy said, his voice constricted by the effort of piercing the roof’s PVC coating, “I don’t believe…I’ve ever heard…you use…such strong language.”

“I’ve been saving it up,” Michael grumbled. “I’ll curse a blue streak that’ll follow you into the next world if any of you fall now.” Below, the bodies of long-since deceased people were worming their way into the back room through both holes in the wall, belching out their greeting and raising their hands like undead worshippers under a Pentecostal tent.

“That’s it,” Mundy said. “Cut more over there. You got it.”

Michael felt fresh air flowing over the back of his neck and looked up to see daylight seeping through a long tear in the roofing material. A few more slashes from Nadia’s knife and the flap opened on the hazy pink of a sky that Michael thought he might never see again.

***

In his haste to leave the back room through the small square hole in the roof, Michael cut his scalp on the jagged edge of the corrugated steel sheeting, but he didn’t care. He wiped at the blood that trickled down his forehead, gulped at the fresh air and looked around at the other three, wondering idly if he looked as dirty and sweaty as they did.

The day was dying. The sun had disappeared behind bands of clouds that sat heavy on the horizon and glowed cheerlessly in white and brassy layers. Lucas was the first to break away, moving cautiously toward the edge for a look. There were enough zeroes behind the store to keep them from considering leaving the roof, but it was the view out front that was truly chilling. One by one they joined him, crouching down on shaky leg muscles to peer at the grotesquely fantastic sight of a street filled with hundreds of corpses.

“Can they get up through that hole?” Michael asked. The blood had stopped flowing down his forehead but the wound had started to throb with pain. His hair felt matted and sticky. He thought longingly of the hot water at Goodnight House.

“Probably,” Mundy answered. “I’ve never known them to be especially good climbers, but when enough of them have filled the back room…” He gave Michael an exhausted look and pointed over his shoulder at a large rooftop air-conditioning unit. “If you can get that thing free of its mounting, I’ll help you roll it in place over the hole. Deal?”

“Sounds like one to me,” Michael answered. Over the course of the next half hour, while dusk loomed and Mundy and Lucas rested, he and Nadia used nearly every tool in the toolbox on the AC unit, bashing at supply lines until they broke free and removing screws from the metal skirt around the base. It was getting dark when the four of them rolled the heavy unit in a series of loud crashes toward the hole they had hacked through the roof. Once in place over the black square, they each slouched away to fall in four separate places on the roof, tired, sore and with a wary eye on the dark clouds rolling across the sky.

“Rain,” Nadia said from where she lay. “It figures.”

Thirty minutes passed - maybe forty or fifty – Michael couldn’t be sure. He was already teetering on the edge of sleep, but when he heard the sound of feet pounding across the roof, he sat up and blinked blearily at the three figures approaching them at a run. Nightfall was almost complete and he could only barely see them until they were close. They came from the far end of the strip mall roof where they had hidden themselves behind more of the large AC units.

“Hey!” was all he managed to say before the three hijackers were on them, knives drawn. He felt around him for the shotgun.

Lucas had heard them coming, as well. As one attacker leaped at him with a wild cry, Lucas whipped the spear around, thrusting it one-handed like a sword, letting the man’s momentum impale his body. The spear’s sharpened rebar point protruded out the back of the man’s ribcage. The attacker flailed helplessly, then crashed to the roof and skidded to a halt.

The assailant who fell upon Mundy caught him as he tried to roll to his feet. Moving with an angry growl, Mundy managed to block the thrust of the knife but couldn’t spare a hand to reach either of his sidearms. They wrestled to see who could gain the advantage needed to kill the other.

Nadia had drawn the revolver Michael had loaned her from her waistband and had shot her attacker nine times as he ran at her. The hammer clicked another three times on spent shells before she stopped pulling the trigger. The hijacker was as good as dead, but the small .22 bullets didn’t stop him from dropping on her and plunging the serrated blade of a hunting knife into her arm. Nadia yelled in pain and shoved the man’s body to the roof where it convulsed crazily. Hissing like a snake, she pulled the blade from her arm and probably would have stabbed him with it if his body hadn’t stopped moving.

Michael’s hands finally found the shotgun near his feet and he stood to face the ongoing struggle between Mundy and his assailant. Michael pointed the 12 gauge to the side of the two men and waited until he thought he could fire without hitting Mundy. Finally, Mundy landed an arm across the other man’s throat and rolled to put some distance between them. Michael’s finger was still settling on the trigger of the coach gun when one of Mundy’s .45 Colt revolvers punched a hole in the night and the hijacker spun and fell.

Damn!” Mundy panted. “What next!?” He cocked the gun again and stepped toward the man he’d just shot. “What the hell else can possibly be next!?”

“S’okay,” Lucas called from nearby. “I don’t see any more. I think it was just the three of them.”

“It’s just…” Mundy said in a shaking voice, “…the day started out so nice.” He lowered the hammer on the revolver as Nadia, her arm dripping blood, picked up the large kitchen knife the hijacker had dropped.

The hijacker wasn’t dead, but by the light of Lucas’ flashlight, Michael could see he soon would be. The man rolled over with a yowl of pain and clutched his right side where Mundy’s bullet had passed through. Blood puddled on the rooftop beneath him and after a moment or two of panicked gasps, the man seemed to gather some calm. He even summoned a thin, flickering smile.

“You…you four jus’ gave us a helluva time, dincha?” said the man in a voice Michael recognized as belonging to the lead hijacker. “‘Course, we were pretty much worn down or you mighta been the ones had the helluva time. I wancha to know it was nuthin’ personal. We were jus’ starving’ an’ you look like you had a whole truckloada stuff. A cuppla…a cuppla the guys even went cannibal a week ago an’ we…we hadda kill ’em. Hellu…helluva world, innit?” He was quiet for a moment, during which the scuffing sounds of hundreds of pairs of feet could be heard from the parking lot below. “Now, I know you don’ owe me no favors, but I’m hopin’ you’ll do me two: Don’ let me get back up after I’m dead an’ don’ let them eat me. Jus’ leave me up here on the roof. Birds can have me, if they want, but…not them.” His eyes focused on Nadia’s bleeding arm. “Who…who gotcha?” he asked her with a bland smile. “Fink? Bald black guy? Big hunting knife with a sawback?”

“He’s dead,” she said angrily.

“Fink’d stick his knife into zeroes, let that black gook in ‘em dry on the blade,” the lead hijacker said in a voice that was fast becoming dry and hollow. “Ol’ Fink may be dead, but he’s laughin’ on his way to hell.”

***

The clouds kept their promise of rain. It fell softly, but without shelter on the rooftop they were soon soaked, cold, physically spent, and miserable. They’d dragged the three bodies to the back of the building and performed the first of the two favors requested by the dying hijacker. Neither Nadia nor Mundy were in any mood to do the lead hijacker his second favor and they unceremoniously dumped the three bodies over the edge to the undead crowd below. The man’s dying words echoed in all of their minds as they huddled on the wet roof under the patter of the rain.

“Still gonna make fun of my new water-proof coat?” Mundy asked as he draped it tent-style over Nadia’s head.

“No,” she said. She smiled weakly as she shivered. “I like your new coat.”

“That wound is bound to get infected,” Mundy said to her. “One of us should go for the antibiotics in the truck.”

“Don’t you dare,” Nadia shot back. She’d wrapped her wound and the bleeding had stopped, but the thought of what might have been on the attacker’s blade weighed heavily on her. “There are too many zeroes to risk it. Besides, everybody knows antibiotics don’t do a damn bit of good against – ”

“You believe what that guy said?” Mundy interrupted. “He was an evil bastard who probably never said a true thing his whole life.”

“We don’t even know if the virus – or whatever it is – can survive outside of a host,” Michael added. “But what we do know is that any normal infection can kill you. The bag with the antibiotics is right behind the driver’s seat. One of us can jump down to the roof of the truck – ”

“And not be able to get back up,” she interjected, “while fifty walking corpses hear you fumbling around in the dark and zero in on the sound. No. I’ll shoot any of you who try it.”

“Well, we’re not just going to sit around and do noth – ” Mundy started to say.

“Look,” she said with a note of finality, “it’s too dark now. You’d kill yourself jumping down. And using a flashlight would bring in every single one of them. When it starts to get light, we’ll draw as many as we can away to the far end of the building and one of you heroes can try your dumb plan. Until then, I’m…I’m really tired and…and I need a little bit of rest. A little bit of rest doesn’t sound so bad to me.”

Michael heard tears buried beneath her words and he was sure of only a few things: the rain would fall, the night would seem to last forever, and when the sun rose, they would do what they could for her and try to get out of there. But he wasn’t sure any of it would do any good.


*****************************


Though exhausted, what Michael experienced was more delirium than sleep. He would drift off and then find himself in a dream version of the day’s events. He was six years old and driving a Big Wheel in circles in the middle of the street while yellow jackets zinged past his head; he was hanging from the ceiling of a blackened room while unseen hands grasped at his feet; he was running from a junkyard filled with scarecrow-thin drifters who wanted to gut him with kitchen knives; he was lying on the roof of a building in a puddle of ice cold blood…

“Michael.” Lucas’s voice cut through the feverish visions and brought him back to consciousness.

“Yeah?” he answered, opening his eyes only the tiniest bit. The world was a very dark gray with only the slightest trace of the coming sunrise seeping through the overcast sky.

“Nadia’s gone,” Lucas said. “I’m pretty sure I heard her jumping down to the roof of the truck just now.” He bent down and picked up something near his feet that glowed with a faint rectangle of light. “My Rhino is gone and she left the radio on.”

What!?” Mundy said as he stirred. Beside him was his oilskin coat, folded neatly, and on top of it, Michael’s .22 revolver. “Where’s Nadia!?”

“Down there,” Lucas answered, pointing to a fleeting shadowy figure moving between other shadowy figures, but this one was moving purposefully. As she moved through the crowd of them, they swirled in her wake and moved to follow. Within a few seconds, they lost sight of her in the early morning gloom.

“Dammit!” Michael said in a whisper, “she’s not going after the medical bag. Where’s she going?”

For half a minute none of them spoke. They stared hard across the dimly lit street, trying to catch another glimpse of her. Then came the sound of the humvee engine struggling to turn over before finally starting up. The noise of the engine was much louder and rougher than usual and tore through the quiet like the roar of a lion.

“No, no, no,” Mundy breathed. “No.”

“Yeah, that’s my baby,” Nadia’s voice said over the radio. “I knew it would start for me, even after taking a beating.”

Mundy grabbed the radio from Lucas’ hand. “Nadia, get back here!”

“Sorry, Mundy,” she replied. From the street came the sound of the humvee’s tires moving slowly over the asphalt, then the flare of headlights catching dozens of zeroes shuffling toward her. Her words came over the radio amid the sounds of dry, raspy groans. “It wouldn’t do any good. I can tell it’s got me. I’m hot and sweaty then cold and sweaty, my eyes, nose and mouth feel like they’re filled with sand, and every bone in my body aches like it’s broken. Now you tell me what that is.”

Mundy raised the radio to his mouth but couldn’t speak.

“You know it as well as I do,” she continued. She honked the humvee’s horn, drawing even more attention to herself. Zeroes answered from the pre-dawn grayness with a rising chorus of croaking moans. “I had to do something while I could still think straight. I unloaded all the gear and dumped it in the street. The plan is, when they follow me down the road, you three get your asses moving, gather up the gear and go.” She tapped out a rhythm on the horn in a constant bleat of sound.

“Nadia,” Michael said, taking the radio from Mundy, “take it down the road a ways and circle back. We’ll rendezvous a mile up the road.”

“Michael,” she replied, “thanks for loaning me your twenty-two, but I thought I needed something a little bigger. I argued with Perko about it, but I don’t think it’s suicide if you’re going to come back as a danger to the living.”

He spent a few seconds trying to think of something to say, finally settling on, “I guess…I guess you’re right.”

“Thanks for taking me in. You’re a good man. Is Lucas there?”

“Here,” Lucas said.

“Lucas, sorry for taking your weird looking Rhino, but for what I have to do, I needed something along the lines of a .357 magnum. I hope you understand.”

“No prob,” Lucas replied, his expression blank.

“Thanks. You rock, but loosen up a little, will you? Hey, Mundy.” Lucas handed the radio to Mundy.

“Yeah?”

“I bet it would’ve been nice,” she said to him.

“Yeah,” was all Mundy could manage for a reply.

They watched the mob of corpses caught in the shine of the headlights part around her as the faltering humvee knocked them out of the way or rolled slowly over them. They banged on the dented and scraped sides of the vehicle as it passed, but she was careful not to let too many of them mass in front. She kept up a steady pace, not to leave them behind, but to lead them.

The honking of the horn played Nadia Guerra out of town, followed by a parade of dead bodies lured by the sound and the lights which their last remaining mental faculties identified as food, their sole remaining desire, the only motivation they had left.

They heard the beeping of the horn for a full fifteen minutes as it crept farther down the road. A short time later, they heard three gunshots and then, as though separated from the others by long, deep breath, a fourth. For a long time after that, the horn sounded one continuous wail, as though a steady weight was pressing on it. Then they didn’t hear it anymore.

Up above, the overcast sky had broken into islands of pink and gold heralding the sunrise.
"...the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire..."

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Redsky » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:07 pm

Dang. :shock:
“Next time go faster! Fulton who the fuck told you that you could choke out a stenchie? Jesus!

Do I have to do everything?” he yelled at the squad staggering to his feet again.

“Oh he’s fine. He’s back in asshole mode.” Erica said

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by URBAN ASSAULT » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:37 pm

I think this is one of the best stories I have read in the ZS fiction section to date.

Well done, and I can't forget to ask for MOAR!

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Nancy1340 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:53 pm

Awwww man! :(

Great chapter. Thank you. :clap:

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Mister Dark » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:45 pm

Wow.

Keep it up, man. Great work.

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by DTyra » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:27 pm

Every time I start really liking a character...
You weren't born with a silver spoon in your mouth; you were born with a shovel up your ass, so pull it out and start digging!
Short stories about the subsidiary characters of "Behind a Veil of Darkness" http://zombiefictionandothertales.blogspot.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Qasim » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:49 pm

DTyra wrote:Every time I start really liking a character...
Come on, you knew it was going to be one of them. This isn't an episode of GI Joe.

Selfless effort and not resorting to deus ex machina to resolve the conflict. Good chapter.

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by GotMak » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:51 pm

First the Red Wedding, now Nadia. ugh! Awesome story, though.
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Tinderbox » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:32 pm

WendyPlains wrote: I was also reading another story called The Other Side of the Apocalypse, which strangely enouh, was very similar to Mom's Journal...
I had forgotten about that story. The funniest thing was, while I was reading it, I gradually became aware from the street names that the author had set the story one or two streets over from where I grew up in Orange, CA in the 1970s. Now I'm on the other side of the country. Still makes me grin at the thought of it. :clownshoes:
"...the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire..."

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Tinderbox » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:20 pm

Thanks very much for the comments. I do appreciate them a lot.
"...the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire..."

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by WendyPlains » Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:56 am

Aw, you killed off Nadia! I thought the only way for them to get off of the roof would be a diversion of some sort but that was a sad way to so it... :( Great episode though. Do they have enough food now for a while for their diminishing mountain cabin population? Better yet, will the truck start up again? Looking forward to the next installment...

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Manliest » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:18 am

I hope they get back to find everything alright at Goodnight.

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Murphman » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:48 am

What a great way to end Nadia's time in your world. Well done.

Please sir, may we have some moar?
"If you are prepped for pandemic flu, you are more than prepped for Ebola. And pandemic flu is hella more likely, that's the one that scares me, personally." - Duodecima...and she's a freaking doctor. What are you?

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