The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Zombie or Post Apocalyptic themed fiction/stories.

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by teotwaki » Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:50 am

TB

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

Don't make me wait months for this to unfold:

"Mundy’ll kill every last one of you and burn the place to the ground"
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by FlashDaddy » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:01 am

LUX!
- Flash

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Halfapint » Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:37 am

OMG! YES! I actually got my heart pumping when she was excaping. The same feeling I got at the end of the last book. I haven't felt this emotionally invested in characters In.... ever? So good! thank you TB! I loved hearing the story from lux, I had almost forgot about her! haha not really.
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by 91Eunozs » Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:58 pm

Image

Thank you!

As usual, superb writing and great to gain more insight on Lux...as well as the other side...
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by thewickerman » Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:34 pm

Wonderful. And a character named Alex Higgins! :clap: A little nod to my country?

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Tinderbox » Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:45 pm

thewickerman wrote:Wonderful. And a character named Alex Higgins! :clap: A little nod to my country?

I had to Google it. I hope I got the right guy.

"Alexander Gordon "Alex" Higgins was a Northern Irish professional snooker player, who is remembered as one of the most iconic figures in the game."

Purely unintentional. :) When the credits roll by on TV shows or at the end of movies, I sometimes look for good last names to use and I guess the name Higgins stuck in my head. And though they share a name, the Alex Higgins in the story looks (in my imagination) like one of my managers at work -- one I'm not overly fond of :wink:.
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by 2T2-Crash » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:22 am

Awesome! :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Tinderbox » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:44 am

Since Katrina had left the log fort, Liam Weeks had been spending much of his free time standing atop the wall, not that he had as much free time as he used to. With Mr. Kern and Mr. Carstens dead along with Quay and his men, there were fewer people to do what needed to be done around the camp, such as taking down the logs of the inner wall and using them to rebuild the watch tower. Mr. Hollings still claimed to be traumatized by his ordeal and spent most of his time lying in bed. At the other end of the scale, nobody seemed to be able to keep Mr. Gladston off his feet despite his shoulder wound. Mr. Kern’s wife and children mourned him and the day after they’d buried Mr. Carstens’ remains, his widow had moved in with the camp doctor, May Yang. The atmosphere in the camp had been hushed and cheerless the day after the attack, but the mood had dissipated as repairs became necessary and the usual chores were once more taken up.

Though still bruised, Rory Sharp did her share. As custodian of the large amount of supplies Mundy and Miles had brought back, she made sure that Hyacinth was comfortable and well fed. Miles Curvey did what was asked of him and could reliably be found spending his free time trying to repair the humvee he’d driven to the camp. With a fifty caliber bullet hole in its engine, Miles’ attempts were regarded by everyone as a waste of his time, much like Ryan Weeks’ opinion of Liam’s new pastime: standing atop the camp’s log walls and staring out across the clearing beside the Craving River.

“You’re wasting your time, little bro,” Ryan had said in his usual pretentious way, appearing at Liam’s side one day and making a show of stretching his arms over his head. “She’s not coming back. She’s been out there too long. It gets to you, gets in your brain, like those soldiers who couldn’t leave the jungle behind. She could’ve stayed, but she didn’t. It’s like she can’t handle civilized life anymore. She needs to be out there.”

Liam kept his eyes on the old logging road across the river. “Do you even listen to your own bullshit?” he asked in a quiet voice.

“Nah,” Ryan had replied with a grin.

For the first day or two, he kept watch for her return. But now, it was not so much that he expected to see her returning, it was more of a yearning to follow. His desire to go out after her had risen slowly, day by day, until it fully occupied his mind. He was painfully aware that there was little chance of him catching up with her now, but with the wild imagination of an eighteen year-old, he still harbored one hope for seeing Katrina Van Kooten again.



******



The autumn sunlight had only just melted the frost on the ground when Liam left camp through the main gate. He signed himself out in accordance with the rules, despite the fact that he was only going a short distance beyond the ditch.

“Just going to see Miles,” he told Gladston, who was watching the gate that morning.

“Well, you know where he is,” the man replied, adjusting the sling holding his arm and wincing. “Where he always is.”

He walked toward the base of the low hill that overlooked the camp. Leaning against a disabled National Guard humvee with its hood open was a still somewhat doughy young man named Miles Curvey. Though Miles was only two years older than Liam, he had been difficult to get to know. He had a socially awkward way of acting that made it hard for people to connect with him.

“Miles,” he called to him as he closed the final few yards, “how’s it going?”

“Like you’d expect,” was Miles’ distracted reply, “trying to patch a fifty caliber hole in an engine.” He looked up, suddenly focused on Liam. “Is it lunchtime? It can’t be lunchtime yet.”

“No, it’s not lunch,” Liam answered. He decided to talk a little more about the humvee. It seemed to have become Miles’ main focus in life and he’d spent every one of his spare moments over the past few weeks trying to repair the damage it had suffered when Miles and Mundy had killed Quay and his men. “You think you can fix it?”

Miles brushed at a strand of lank brown hair that had fallen across his glasses. “Well, the bullet wasn’t armor piercing, but it still did a lot of damage. It’d be a lot easier to fix if there were some spare parts. Any idea what we’re having for lunch?”

“Uh, no. Sorry,” Liam replied. “Probably the same thing as yesterday and the day before.” Liam took the mention of spare parts for the vehicle as an encouraging sign, one that dovetailed neatly with his plan.

“Not gonna complain,” Miles muttered. “Compared to starving, anything’s good.”

Liam saw Miles’ attention begin to slip back to the humvee’s engine and continued quickly. “I was wondering, um…I heard…heard all about the way you…you know, the way you flew a plane halfway across the country...”

“Hardly that far,” Miles said, his mind only partly on what Liam was saying.

“Yeah, well, it got me thinking. Could you teach me to, you know, fly a small one engine plane?”

Miles raised his eyebrows and looked at him. “Can I teach you to fly a small plane?” he repeated. He blinked rapidly and shook his head. “Why,” he asked slowly, “would you want me to do that?”

Liam sighed. “Can you keep a secret? I mean, can what we say be just between you and me?”

“Yeah,” Miles said. “Okay.”

Liam sighed again. “I’ve been thinking a lot about…about your friends. You know, Mundy and the guy they were going out looking for and the girl who was kidnapped and…you know…”

“And Katrina,” Miles put in, looking intently at his face so that when Liam blushed, it was plain to see.

“Yeah,” Liam continued, his eyes on the ground at his feet, “and…and Katrina.”

“Okay, I think I get it,” Miles said. “You’ve been thinking a lot about…them. What does that have to do with wanting to learn how to fly a – ” Suddenly, the pieces clicked into place. “You know where there’s a plane,” he said, filling in the picture, “and you want to learn to fly because you want to go out and find…them.” He leaned against the humvee with both arms and gave a soft snort. “You’ll never find them. Mundy went off before Katrina. There’s no way to know if she even found him.”

“I think she would’ve come back by now,” Liam said, “if she hadn’t found him.”

“Maybe,” Miles considered.

“And we know which way they were going – which general direction, anyway.”

“A general direction,” Miles repeated. “That’s not much to go on.”

“It wouldn’t be if we were in more built up area,” Liam said quickly, “but we’re out in the mountains. And after the mountains, there’s the – ”

“Yeah,” Miles interrupted, “I know. There’s a lot of open space to the east and the south of here. Lot’s of farms and open scrubland. Not many major roads. Not too many towns and cities. But you’re assuming a lot.”

“There’s the river,” Liam said, “the Columbia. There weren’t so many bridges even before all of this happened and I heard they even blocked off one or two of the smaller ones after the shit really hit the fan. They would have – ”

“They would have done the smart thing. They would’ve found a boat – there would’ve been a lot of boats along the river – and they would’ve crossed at a point where there wasn’t a bridge just to avoid any possible complications.”

“People took a lot of the boats when things went bad,” Liam countered. “They figured going by the river was better than going by the roads. So…so Mundy and…and her…would probably have crossed at one of the remaining bridges. That makes it easier to pick up their trail. I’ve…I’ve thought a lot about this.”

“I’m sure you have,” Miles said, crossing his arms. “Have you thought that maybe they don’t need someone coming after them – if they’re still alive, that is? Have you considered that maybe Katrina is okay with Mundy – again, if they’re still alive – and that having you come along might only complicate things?”

Liam raised his eyes to meet Miles’ gaze and then resumed staring at the ground. “You spent some time with them – ”

“Mainly Mundy,” Miles pointed out.

Liam had spent a little time outside the walls with Mundy, too, but to tell that story, Liam would have had to tell how he’d saved Mundy’s life by shooting at his would-be executioners, Mr. Hollings, Mr. Carstens and Mr. Kern, and he didn’t want the people in camp to know that he’d played a role in two of them dying. “What’s…I mean, Mundy and…Katrina…what’s…the deal there?”

“Mundy likes Katrina,” Miles said bluntly. “He likes her a lot. But the difference in their ages – ”

“Yeah, I know,” Liam interrupted in a rush, “I mean, what’s up with that? He’s like twenty years older than she is. That’s…that’s a lot.”

“It’s a bit,” Miles conceded.

“And,” Liam went on, “what’s she think about, you know, him? I heard the whole story. She was rescued by some guy. She didn’t talk for a long time because of the trauma. Then their house burned down and their group split up and…and she got stuck with the old guy who, you know, likes her.”

“Did Rory also mention that he’s kept his hands off her all this time?” Miles asked.

“Yeah,” Liam answered anxiously, “but who knows how long that’ll last? You know what she looks like. You know how…really pretty she is. I know Mundy is a…well, he’s not like Quay and his guys were, but Katrina is…you know…she’s really pretty. How long is he going to keep his hands off her?”

Though not much older than Liam, the smile Miles wore was paternalistic. “I may not have known them so long, but I’m guessing Katrina doesn’t need a chaperone. You know how tough you have to be to make it out there?”

“You don’t know,” Liam mumbled. “No one knows. Anything could happen.”

“And Mundy,” Miles went on, “he’s the protector type. He needs to be. It’s, like, what he does so that he can, you know, live with what he’s lost. He’s got eyes, he’s a guy, but I don’t think he’d force anything between them. Now, if Katrina gave him the go ahead, well then – ”

Liam shook his head, as if to erase the very idea. “I don’t think she’d do that. I just…I didn’t get that from her.”

“Hmm,” Miles said, sensing he’d hit a brick wall on the subject. “But back to this business with the plane. You know where there’s a small private plane?”

“I think so,” Liam replied. “Yeah.”

“Where?”

“I’m…not saying. Not until you promise to teach me how to fly it.” He estimated that it would take at least two days to get there. He recalled the last time he’d seen the plane, safely stored in the big old barn on the farm where his childhood friend, Jordan Nevers had lived. He remembered Jordan describing the stern punishments meted out by his father whenever he thought he saw the tarps covering the nearly forty year old Grumman Cheetah even the slightest bit askew.

Miles inhaled deeply and let it out slowly. “It doesn’t matter. In the first place, I only had a few flying lessons – really, really informal ones. Secondly, I crashed that plane. And three, the plane you’re talking about probably isn’t there anymore. All the airports, even the rural ones, have been hit by scavengers by now.”

“This plane isn’t in an airport. It’s in a barn on an out of the way farm. The guy’s dad kept it covered in tarps. Flying it was what he did for fun. He kept it clean and in running order. He even had his own airstrip.”

“A grass airstrip?”

“Yeah,” Liam answered.

“A grass airstrip where the grass is probably now three feet high?”

Liam conceded the point with a short sigh, but he didn’t give up. “Then…maybe I can use the road. It’s straight enough in places.”

Miles shook his head. “You’re crazy,” he said. “It’s just plain insane to even think about going out and getting a plane that might not be there, flying it when you don’t know how and trying to find two people – ” he directed a meaningful look directly at Liam’s eyes “ – or one person, in particular – who are out there on foot and who might have chosen any old way to go. It’s – just – dumb.”

“The whole thing is dumb,” Liam agreed. “Everything is dumb. It’s dumb that we’re stuck out here, hiding behind a bunch of logs. It’s dumb that I can’t…that I can’t get away from it, you know, for a while.”

“Why,” Miles asked, genuinely perplexed, “would you want to get away from this? There’s food, there’s safety – well, relatively speaking – there’s companionship – ”

“There’s mind-numbing boredom,” Liam broke in, frustrated. “There’s always having my dad there to tell me what to do. There’s always my brother. There’s no chance of me ever meeting a girl like Katrina ever – ever – again!”

“There’s that other girl,” Miles pointed out. “What’s her name? Viola? The quiet one that’s always looking at you?” He put his hands on either side of his head and wiggled his fingers like eyelashes. “Big eyes.”

“Voletta?” Liam shook his head. “We just took her in when her family died.” It was odd, he thought, that Voletta’s name would come up. Jordan Nevers had been her brother. The plane was in the barn on her family’s property.

“So?” Miles said. “Not like she’s your cousin or anything.”

“Look, I just need to know if you’ll help me. I need to…I need to get out of here. I need to at least try to find her…them, I mean.”

“You mean her,” Miles corrected.

Liam sighed again. “Yeah. But the rest of it is true, too. I need to get out of here.”

“Out of this nice, safe place with all the people who love you,” Miles clarified, “out into a world of shit.”

“Flying over it would be a lot safer than walking through it.”

“See, you say that…”

“Plus, I might know where you can find another humvee like this one.”

“What?”

“It’s just off the highway in the trees, turned over on its side. You’d never find it if you didn’t know just where it is, but you might be able to scavenge the parts you need for this one. You help me and I’ll tell you the mile marker.”

“You have been thinking a lot about this.” Miles thought for a moment. “And I won’t ask how you know where it is because I’ve heard that you sneak out there from time to time, Mr. War Hammer.”

“I…haven’t done that in a while,” Liam admitted, “not since…”

“Not since all the excitement here with Quay and his guys,” Miles finished for him.

“And the tower blowing up,” Liam added.

Miles looked out toward the camp. The top of the tower had nearly been rebuilt, but there were still charred marks to be seen on some of the logs. He had to stop himself from saying, Yeah, sorry about that. No one but Mundy, Katrina and Rory knew that Miles had been the one who had blown up the tower. The rest of the camp thought Mundy had done it, something that had only added to his unpopularity and their relief that Mr. Weeks had chased him off.

Miles turned his gaze on Liam again. “So you think you can bribe me with auto parts?” He looked tempted for a few seconds, but finally shook his head. “Sorry. As much as I’d like to get this thing running again, I’m not going to play a hand in you dying. I kind of like it here,” he said, pointing at the log walls of the camp, “and I don’t want to piss off the landlord – who just happens to be your dad.”

“Just…think about it,” Liam pleaded.

“Oh, I will,” Miles promised. “I’ll think about how crazy you are.”

“And,” Liam said before turning and walking back to camp, “it’s a secret, right? You’ll keep this whole thing a secret?”

Miles gave Liam a sideways look as he departed. “Oh, I guarantee I’ll do that much for you.”
Last edited by Tinderbox on Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Sheriff McClelland » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:50 am

Holy cow !
June is looking up :!:

Now I have a bed time story for tonight . Thank you Tb 8-)
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Halfapint » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:21 pm

HELL YEAH! I was curious what was going on back at the camp! Fantastic update TB! You distracted me just enough to get my focus back on work........ kinda. HA!
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by JeeperCreeper » Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:31 pm

YAAAASSSSSSS...

I was saving the last entry for a special occasion... now I can have two special occasions!!!
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by 91Eunozs » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:46 pm

Twofer Tuesday!*

Thanks for Moar story and setting up the next wrinkle or perhaps a spin-off tale? Regardless, your writing and sharing it with us makes me feel like celebratin' tonight!





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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by WendyPlains » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:27 pm

Wow, I'd actually forgotten all about this story it had been so long since there was an update and I've been following this since it began. I can't believe I was lucky enough to catch 3 updates! Thanks TB - still the best written zombie story online. :clap: You still manage to get us interested and keep us on the edge of our seats with your plot. Loved how you managed to bring us up to date on three different storylines. Well done!

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Spazzy » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:40 pm

Awesome as always!
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by selen » Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:24 am

I really hope Mundy and Lucas and Lux don't decide to kill everyone in the bunker to get Lux out. :ohdear:

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Zimmy » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:48 am

Great updates!
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by bodyparts » Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:48 pm

thanks for the updates TB !! :clap: :clap: :clap:

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by teotwaki » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:54 am

Grumman Cheetah

Image
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by 91Eunozs » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:22 pm

teotwaki wrote:Grumman Cheetah

Image
That Grumman's pretty sweet, but my vote for Post-apocalyptic ride in the sky:

Image

High wing for better visibility, relatively simple to maintain, easy to fly and with the high-altitude version plenty of power for short(ish) field takeoffs... t'd be my choice mostly because it's the platform I learned to fly on though!

Some variant of an Alaska bush plane would be sweet too.

My roommate from that era of my life would likely vote for this:

Image
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Halfapint » Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:25 pm

This is the post apocalyptic plane I'd want one do these.

Image
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by akraven » Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:55 am

TWo great updates TB. Good to hear what is going on with Lux! Thank you!

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by absinthe beginner » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:15 pm

Thanks for the updates, TB. Please keep them coming.

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by D_Man » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:24 pm

Great updates as usual TB. Thank you for keeping the story alive. I appreciate your tenacity. :o
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by wamba » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:55 am

I read a book years ago where a main character had to cross the country under less than ideal circumstances. In his skill set was time as a paratrooper and the most basic of flying lessons, he knew how to get airborn and maintain a rough compass heading. His solution was to "acquire" a sport parachute and steal a small plane. He'd pick a town out on a map that had a small airport just shy of his planes range limit. Fly to it, bail out at altitude, repack his chute, hike to the airport, find another plane and repeat. Wonder if Liam has access to a parachute.LOL
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