What’s up world! It’s been too long since I posted anything and I’m a sad sorry excuse for a person for doing that. We’ve been gearing up for the kids going back to school (Chris is a Junior this year!), our upcoming vacation to the Smokey Mountains, Sarah’s ice skating lessons, Emily’s tennis lessons, Chris’ paperwork to apply for an appointment to the US Military Academy, work, etc., etc., etc. This parenting and real life thing is a pain in the ass. But we do it out of love for the kids and we all have this damnable eating and housing habit to support.
One of these days I’m going to blog about a day in the life of us, but be ready for either sheer boredom, hilarity, horror, or all of the above. I’m kind of smiling now. Kind of.
But anyway. Here’s chapter seven of Werewolves of the Dead, which I am still working on in my free time. Out of 115 originally typed pages, I’ve re-read it to page 137 out of 154. Yep, I added an extra almost 40 pages to the manuscript thus far. Well, I hope you enjoy it!
Shannon gagged on the odor that overtook the first floor. She resisted the urge to cover her mouth and nose with her guide hand instead keeping both hands firmly gripped on the pistol.
Edging up the stairs the smell turned harsher. She’d never smelled anything like it. Logically, tactically she knew she should take the basement first but the smell was stronger from the second floor.
Arriving at the landing between the second and third floors she found scattered pistol and assault rifle cases along with various empty pistol magazines. She thought the police had to have come with all the fire that must have happened, but with the walls so thick and the building so secluded there was no chance that any would hear the fire fight that took place.
Coming into town she had noticed that the streets weren’t as deserted as they should have been. Vagrants were out in what appeared to be force, roaming the streets in groups of three or four. Occasionally she saw one or two straggling alone but paid them no mind.
She cruised past two deserted police checkpoints three and four blocks away. Each had two sets of two cars blocking an intersection, their lights flashing the darkness aside. The sight an equally abandoned SWAT vehicle at the second checkpoint had sent chills along her back and arms. The scene was surreal and bloated with portents she didn’t care for.
She thought of those intersections now as she bent down to examine the spent brass. The first she picked up was a 5.56mm casing from the M16 family. She knew it well having been shot by one several years before in a previous hunt. Having an opponent that knew her way around a weapon then was as harrowing as now. It was never fun to have someone shot back at you; especially one bent on maintaining their status quo.
Touching the 9mm casings gave her greater dread. There were more of them than the thinner, longer assault rifle shells. That could mean more targets for her.
The littered landing, with its bullet riddled graffiti proclaiming that Sheila gave good head or Bobby loved Joannie and her tits, gave way to a shell strewn second floor landing.
The dark hall did little to hide its secrets or even the dead bodies from Shannon’s night vision.
The first three bodies she came to were police officers. Only one had held unto its pistol in death. Even after the arm had been ripped from the shoulder, it held unto the emptied pistol.
The first officer had been torn apart in ways she’d never seen before. Her blood froze in her veins. Werewolves were greedy animals when hungry but the officer had been torn apart by more than three determined assailants. Bloody foot prints, most bare, were streaked around the upper body. The lower lay in two pieces three feet way. His legs had been torn apart at the groin. It looked more like a Lovecraftian version of a wishbone than a dead man’s lower parts.
The leather pistol belt sat still buckled to a portion of the waist. She was about to move away to the other bodies when something about the remaining flesh caught her attention. She couldn’t tell what it was immediately but she forced herself to look closer anyway. The condition of the body made her fearful in ways she hadn’t been in ten years.
She pulled an ink pen from the floor. There was no way she was about to touch this mess. Poking and prodding the destroyed flesh she realized why the flesh had looked odd. There was no way that human teeth could’ve done damage like she examined unless it was morbidly famished. Her mind pushed the thought aside but still she saw the unmistakable human teeth marks. A human, and at least three at that, had torn the dead cop apart and devoured him. Two of the teeth marks were small, like children’s. One set was smaller than the other.
Run, girl! Get the hell out of here! The kids are dead so call it day, her mind yelled. She forced the thought aside as she dropped the pen on the torn leg. It bounced off and made a loud, melodic tink on the floor. The sound was like a sonic boom in her ears.
Holding the 1911 out, at the ready, she scanned the dark. Nothing moved. Feeling confident that she hadn’t given her presence away she rose up and moved forward.
Stepping over the third and final body parts almost caused her to scream. She swore that the mouth moved and the eyes flittered for a moment. She looked down at the head, stared at it. The eyes didn’t move and the mouth stayed gaped. She knew it had to have been her nerves but still… it looked like they had moved.
One after another she moved swiftly to the doorways of two patient rooms, one left and one right, hands trembling slightly. Nothing jumped out at her and no bodies could be seen. Her nerves were fraught and she was sure that she wasn’t alone. She knew she wasn’t alone. She was moving to the second door on the right when something rushed her from her left, knocking her to the ground.
Her pistol skittered from her hands, sliding across the floor to the opposite wall. Shannon fought back, wrestling her way onto her back to face a drooling, snarling lycan. It wasn’t as strong as it should have been but it was enough to overpower her in her human form.
It was a male, and dressed in a blood smeared hospital gown that lunged its foaming muzzle at her throat. Its breath was hot and smelled of diseased, old death. The things that never turned off for lycans in human form were smell and hearing. The smell was unbearable as it continued making snapping attacks at her throat and face.
Shannon was quick enough to avoid the bites. She started her change. The BDUs and tank stop strained against the growing skin. The clothes popped at the seams, giving up its fight to contain her rising bulk. Her vision blurred with her transformative pain but still held the beast at bay.
Shannon gripped its wrists as it reached for her throat. Her growing strength allowed her to fight its tightening grip. She kneed it in the groin but it did nothing. No grunt, no scream of pain or anger. The attacking lycan seemed intent on doing nothing but trying to eat her. It didn’t speak and the foaming dripping from its mouth made her think rabies even though the disease was comparable to a lycan getting the sniffles.
Finally her change was completed. She expected that alone to surprise the lycan but it didn’t even register it as a curious event. Shannon now had the strength to kick it off her, sending it crashing into the wall by her pistol. The impact cracked the plaster and made the wood underneath groan but it didn’t faze her opponent.
It rushed at her in clumsy gates, snarling and grunting with each step.
Shannon stood to her fullest height and noticed the lycan’s right leg below the knee and been ripped open and turned impossibly to the rear. She lost her concentration on what to do next as she finally looked into its eyes.
It’s eyes are what caused her to hesitate. The eyes were dull and milky white. No color flashed from them and no light was absorbed by them. The lycan virus made human paraplegics walk and the blind see; it could make the dumb talk and the mentally handicapped smart. The virus could do all this but only during transformation and nothing more. She knew the male lycan was dead. It looked dead, smelled dead and could be nothing short of just dead.
It was dead and still hungry. “I don’t want to hurt you any more than I have to so just back up.” Even with the natural growl she still sounded scared.
It charged her and she used its momentum to send it into the wall behind her. The impact broke bones in its muzzle and sent teeth to the floor but still it whirled on her. Bloody foam flew from its mouth as it roared at the ceiling.
“Fuck this,” she moaned, diving for her pistol. She lunged for it, snatching it up then turned and slammed her back into the wall. The magazine was loaded with silver rounds, for which she was happy to have loaded first. It got half way to her before she squeezed the trigger four times, sending it to the floor in a sliding heap.
Shannon pushed herself away from it, never allowing the muzzle of her weapon to leave the body.
She watched in horror and fascination as it returned to human form. Once she was sure it was dead she stood. The naked human form didn’t move. It lay on the floor like a perverse store window mannequin. He’d appeared to have been in his early twenties and Shannon got the sneaking feeling that it hadn’t been a lycan for long at all.
The fur had been matted and looked like the hairs had been diseased. Everything about it told her that it had never been a normal lycan. She couldn’t understand why she felt that; she just knew.
She mustered the courage to approach the naked male when it moaned. It flopped around uselessly, groaning its disapproval at being unable to stand right off. With effort and determination it rolled its way to sitting up. Looking at Shannon it moaned with great desire and reached its arms toward her.
Her mind raced for the answer. She kept coming back to zombie but she knew that was impossible. Even after what she had said to Rose and Deidre earlier it seemed improbable that this was one of the walking dead.
It made to stand up but the twist leg felled it. It settled on clawing its way to her.
Shannon stepped back against the wall, pistol aimed at the monstrosity. “What am I supposed to do now,” She pleaded to someone not there for an answer she already knew.
Instinctively she decided to see if the movies were correct. She took careful aim at its head and fired. The gooey, drying brain scattered across the back of the hospital gown; it slumped face first into the floor dead.
No more moans, no more movement came from it. Finally it was dead.
“Fuck this, fuck this, fuck this,” Shannon groaned pitifully. “I’m a lycan killer, not a zombie killer.” She was about to run for the door when she remembered the kids. She couldn’t leave them to this, not if there was a chance they were alive.
She didn’t know what to do. For the first time in her crusade she was without an idea on how to proceed. Her sense of smell was useless because of the death stink. The only thing left was her hearing and she heard nothing.
Instead of doing a room-by-room check she walked down the middle of the hallways listening for any noise. There was no way she was going to change back to human. She was smart enough to know that the added strength and speed were needed more than ever.
Moving up the third floor stairway she was attacked yet again. A wounded, scared lycan dropped from the landing’s railing onto her. She kept her pistol in her hand this time around but made a mental note of actually attaching a lanyard to the pistols lanyard ring. Then lanyard ring went from aesthetic nicety to tactical need in the space of five minutes. The further prospect of loosing her weapon again held no appeal for her.
She was able to shrug her new attacker off, sending him rolling down the stairs to the landing below. It stopped immediately when it saw her eyes and the pistol she held. Shannon held her fire likewise once she saw his eyes.
“Don’t shoot,” he whimpered. “Please for the love of all that’s holy, don’t,” it whimpered. “You have to help me. Please, you have to help me. They’re everywhere.”
“Who’s everywhere,” Shannon said, padding down the stairs. “What happened here?”
“Zombies,” he said, holding his left side while holding the other hand out. “I’m serious, zombies. They tore through us like we weren’t even there. When the cops came we thought they were after us. It wasn’t until they started shooting behind themselves that we knew they weren’t. Normally we wouldn’t even consider banding with humans. We were just going to let them kill each other but when we saw…” it paused, gulped and looked around trying to find the words before sending paranoid glances down the stairs. “They grabbed a cop who was reloading and started eating him. I’ve eaten humans before but none of them screamed like that poor bastard. I’d never had pity on a hum before now.” He stared at the floor while lowering hand. “You’ve gotta get me out of here. I can make it worth your while.”
“Where are the kids,” demanded Shannon.
“They’re gone. I swear to you they’re gone. I tried to protect them. I swear I did but they got them. Those fucking things got them and…” he paused before continuing on in a small voice. “Before I could do the same to them.” The lycan started to cry. Not crocodile tears but a tear of revelation at what he was. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry about all I’ve done but you’ve gotta save me. Please.”
“The bodies,” Shannon said, swallowing her revulsion at the late epiphany. “Where are the kids’ bodies? I want to see them myself.”
“Up there,” he said, pointing to the third floor. Turn right, last door on the left. They’re all dead but I didn’t do it. I swear to God.”
Shannon sniffed him. She could smell no children’s blood on him. All she could smell was the stagnant stink of the zombies. “And these…zombies? Where are they? Are they still here?
“I don’t think so. They wandered off after they were finished. I hid after that. I thought you were one of them at first.”
“A zombie? Looking like this?” She waved at herself with her free hand.
“They change after they’ve eaten us and those of us that were bitten change like that too.”
“Are you hurt,” she asked, pointing at his side.
“I was shot by a cop in the fight. That’s all. Just a gunshot wound. I’ll be okay.”
Shannon had her doubts. Lycans shot while in transformation healed quickly. This lycan’s wound still oozed blood. “What’s your name?”
“Ronald.” He eased up like he was out of the woods and bonding with Shannon.
“Ronald. Okay, Ronald, have you been bitten?”
“What? No. No, no, no. I’m just shot. I promise.” The hope in his eyes faded. He knew what was coming.
“Let me see.”
“What,” Ronald said, standing. Shannon knew he was getting ready to attack. “Look, I haven’t been bitten.” Panic was giving way to defiance. Shannon knew she had to put a stop to this exchange. It was all the same for her; she was going to kill him anyway,
“Let me be the judge of that.” She kept the pistol on him while giving him one last chance to prove her wrong.
“I said I’m…”
BAM! Shannon shot Ronald in the head. The mess was fresher than the last as Ronald fell down. His body began its change back, starting with the head and working its way below.
Shannon stepped off the last step and placed two more rounds into Ronald’s heart. She’d heard the move was called failure to stop or something like that. It was a military term and she rather liked the thought of it. And after what she’d seen, she didn’t think it unwise to feel that ammo was cheap.
The slide was locked back. Shannon dropped the empty into a magazine pouch and reloaded a new one.
Sending the slide forward made her feel better, but only slightly. She still had to check on the room Ronald had told her about.