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View Full Version : Short Horror Story #2 (offensive language and violence)



JamesR
November 9th, 2014, 01:36 AM
Hello friends. Sorry I was absent for so long. I unfortunately got flu and subsequently took a bit of a break from writing and critiquing. However, I was able to finish a few of my fan-fics (which I unfortunately can't post here) and to complete my next short zombie story, which I am going to share in this post.

Again, I warn that this story includes not only extraordinarily graphic and disturbing violence, but it also has a lot of swearing and racially offensive words (it takes place in a prison after all), and so may be offending to some viewers. If it helps mitigate it all, know that I'm a Mexican myself and that I wrote this story mostly as a rant against racism, police brutality, corruption of authority, and human cruelty. One will find that there are a lot of hidden references to Civil Rights leaders, dates, and other interrelated events.

This is also my first time ever writing in multiple POVS as I believe there are a few brief moments in this story where I write from the perspective of characters other than the main protagonist. So some insight and helpful advice on this in particular would be useful.

I'd also like to announce preliminarily that I tried to incorporate some of your feedback from my last story into this one. In particular, I dropped some of the redundancies and excessive adverbs/adjectives (except when I use alliteration, which I occasionally use), instead adopting more metaphors and similes. I also tried to find a healthy balance between the whole Show-Tell debate.

Also, this story doesn't require that you read the last story, however, I STRONGLY recommend that you read my previous story before reading this one as they take place in the same universe, and this story makes a few Hand-Waves to the previous story (although they take place in a different location and with different characters).

The previous story can be found here (http://www.writingforums.com/threads/151271-Short-Horror-Story-*WARNING*?p=1782930&highlight=#post1782930)

Without further ado, here is my new story.

EDIT: I tried to format it properly from Word with that W option on here, but for some reason the indentation still didn't work. I apologize. I also tried attaching the document directly, but it went over the maximum capacity.
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2nd July 2015
Virginia, USA
6:03PM

It was just another day at Lyndon B. Johnson’s State Correctional Facility for Danny “Desperado” Ramirez as he navigated his way through the narrow corridors of Cell Block B. Conditions within the prison had consistently gone from bad to worse as resources were redirected to aid the civilian world. The lights flickered overhead, and nobody bothered to change the bulbs; the temperature was hot, but the AC unit was defunct to conserve electricity. Dirty laundry piled up and defined the prison with a horrid odor, but it remained unwashed to conserve water. Bathing had also grown more infrequent, along with clean dishes and eating utensils. But the guards did not care. Water was scarce. Even basic necessities like food and toilet paper were in short supply. First the meals decreased in size, then in quality, and then in number. Inmates were down to only one meal per day, which consisted of a small bowl of rice accompanied by a slice of bread or fruit on a good day. Danny looked down at his tray. Today his bowl of rice seemed even smaller than usual. He scoffed in disgust.
“Now, I know it must taste like shit to you boys after having it for so long,” one guard sympathetically announced. “But don’t blame us; blame Uncle Sam. American taxpayers don’t give us prisons much to work with, and with the epidemic running rampant, they’re even cheaper now than ever before.”
Danny ignored him. His attention was more fixated on the guard’s new FN FAL assault rifle than it was on his words. Of course the taxpayers had grown cheaper; it did not require a genius to figure that one out. Even basic entertainment like television and radio had been deprived from the inmates in order to save money and resources.
Tensions were understandably high; everybody was on edge. Fights had become even more commonplace, as did murders and riots. The fact that cellblocks were overcrowded three times beyond their maximum capacity to save space only made things worse. As a result, even the guards became increasingly paranoid and violent. They took turns patrolling the halls at all times, arrogantly brandishing their newly outfitted military-grade rifles like children with their toys. Even the mildest demonstration of disobedience was met with swift and decisive retribution by the hands of these dangerously over-armed renegades.
“Clank!” the bars slammed shut behind Danny as he entered his small, claustrophobic cell. He neatly placed his tray on top of a minuscule table that had been attached to the wall and turned to gaze out the bars. He saw the guards, adorned in their dull olive-drab fatigues and hats. Those not on duty exchanged cigarettes, drank coffee, and played cards on a table that had been erected at the center of the cellblock. Their rifles were always nearby. Elsewhere, inmates foolishly protested the prison from inside their cells. “Down with LBJ KKKorectional!” and “LBJ is Apartheid!” they repeatedly chanted as they angrily waved makeshift picket signs. Such blatant displays of protest were mercilessly silenced with bursts of automatic gunfire.
“Make sure you put one into each of their heads,” one guard eerily commanded as blood dripped from their freshly slain carcasses. “Last thing we need is for them coming back.”
“Hey Desperado,” Danny’s cellmate Cesar asked, tapping his shoulder. “You gonna eat that rice?”
“No.”
“Oh boy, gracias!” Cesar replied, swiftly stuffing large bites of rice into his mouth. He was a fat Hispanic man with black hair. He was also Danny’s cousin. A third man named Santiago also inhabited the cell. He was tall and bald with flame tattoos running down his arms. He was Danny’s brother-in-law.
“Man, we gotta get out of here,” Danny whispered.
“What’s the rush?” Cesar replied, food falling out of his mouth and onto his orange jumpsuit. “At least we’re safe in here.”
“’Safe’? Did you just see what happened?” Danny responded, watching in disgust as four guards dressed in hazmat suits systematically fired a bullet into each of the corpses’ heads before transporting them to the large crematorium in the basement.
“It’s a dangerous world out there,” Cesar shrugged.
“And it’s a dangerous world in here,” Danny objected.
“Eh, it’s better than ending up corpse food,” Cesar sighed. “I hear that the outside world is in chaos; society is barely hanging on. People are boarding up their houses and having to miss work. Parents aren’t even sending their kids to school.”
“Has it spread past the East Coast yet?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Hey Santiago!” Danny spoke to his brother-in-law from across the cell. “Any news about the outside world?”
“How about this?” Santiago replied, reciting a crumpled newspaper. “‘Gay Marriage Behind Epidemic: Conservative politicians blame homosexuality for the epidemic and believe that the United States’ only hope is to pledge total, 100% military and financial support to the nation of Israel.’”
“Fuck that,” Danny scoffed.
“Oh yeah?” Santiago retorted. “Global Warming To Blame: Liberal politicians call for tighter gun-control amidst the epidemic and blame the undead on global warming.”
“Enough of that American shit,” Danny interrupted. “What’s going on in the rest of the world?”
“Not much,” he answered, flipping his newspaper. “Five nations declared martial law—including us.”
“Anything else?”
“’Russian Orthodox Chronicle: Lone priest whose duty knew no bounds is officially canonized by the Church into a modern saint.’”
“Not that pinche religious shit,” Danny complained. “I mean something important—something that effects us.”
“Nada amigo; there ain’t shit in here.”
“So what do you guys think’s gonna happen to us?” Cesar interjected, his voice cracking like an adolescent. “I don’t want to end up corpse food, even if it means staying locked up in here forever.”
“We stay locked up in here forever and we’re gonna be canned corpse food, cavrone,” Santiago commented, lighting his last cigarette. “When I was a boy, mi abuela used to tell me stories about the dead crawling out of their graves…”
“Nooo! Cut it out!” Cesar nasally whined, trembling in fear.
“…She said they used to terrify villages at night, eating the living like chili verde, only for the partially-eaten to die, come back, and then do the same thing. Eventually it would spread across entire villages, until all the men got together with their clubs and rifles to finally put the infestation down.”
“No shit?” Cesar questioned, the hairs on the back of his neck standing up as he stared attentively into his friend’s eyes.
“Si, they used to think it was evil spirits—God punishing Mexico for the drug cartels. But now we know better…”
“Aww fuck man!” Cesar cried. “We are going to end up corpse food! I knew it! I fucking knew it!”
“Would you two fucking cut it out?” Danny shouted. “None of us are gonna end up corpse food!”
“You have a plan?” Santiago inquired, taking a final, prolonged drag out of his cigarette before it burned out. “How do you know we ain’t gonna end up corpse food?”
“Because we’re gonna fortify this place up; transform it into a pimping fortress.”
“Ahh! You’re loco!” Santiago laughed hysterically. “And just how are we gonna do that with all the trigger-happy pigs around? Last week they shot a guy in the cafeteria just for stealing an orange. Point blank range in the back of the head, the poor nigger never saw it coming. Then they taxed his family for the bullet and made me mop up his brains.”
“They’re not going to be here much longer,” Danny surmised, watching as a small group of guards struggled to move a large crate.
“What?”
“They’re clearing out; preparing to leave. I heard from that fat fuck over in Cell Block D that the military has quarantined Virginia and is evacuating out the uninfected.”
“Well why don’t they evacuate us too? We’re not infected.”
“Yeah,” Danny sarcastically rebutted. “A couple of colored, convicted criminals? Like the government gives a shit what happens to us. They’re not getting us out of here. We’re spics; nothing more, nothing less.”
“I don’t know,” Santiago doubted. “I thought you said you wanted to get out of here? What’s this talk about making this place a fortress?”
“We do; out of these fucking bars and out of the guards’ control. But as a building itself, this prison is perfect,” Danny explained. “Even Cesar himself said so. Didn’t you Cesar?”
“I wish I hadn’t opened my big mouth…” Cesar groaned.
“Still,” Santiago continued to doubt. “I gotta get out of here to protect Marisol and the baby. I can’t just leave them out there alone and in danger. What kind of husband and father would I be?”
“If I know my sister, she probably took the baby and evacuated the moment these reports started popping up. They’ll be fine.”
“This is probably gonna end in disaster,” Santiago conceded. “But fuck it amigo, I’m in.”
“Shit,” Cesar groaned. “You guys are all I got. Fuck it, I’m in too.”
“So what’s the plan?” Santiago asked.
“Everyday for the past week I’ve been seeing less guards,” Danny explained. “Originally we had 110 but today we’re down to about 30.”
“And?”
“Since we know they’re being evacuated, that number is going to keep decreasing everyday until there’s none left.”
“I still don’t fucking get it man.”
“Just trust me,” Danny assured. “I have a plan, but first I need to recruit some muscle.
“Well what do you need us to do?”
“Nothing for now. But I’ll need a pack of smokes.”
“Don’t look at me!” Santiago exclaimed. “That was my last.”
“Ugh,” Cesar lamented, reaching into his pillowcase and removing a hidden pack of cigarettes. “You can take mine, but only because we’re cousins and I ate your rice.”
The next evening, Danny entered the prison cafeteria as usual. The inmates were herded into a single-file line like cattle and distributed their rations by armed guards.
“Next!” one of the guards ordered. “Name and ID number.”
“Danny Ramirez, #011529,” Danny answered, receiving his meager rations. He then inconspicuously surveyed the rows of tables, each filled with hungry inmates enjoying their meals. Overlooking them were guards who stood menacingly in the shadows with their weapons locked and loaded. Coming upon a lone table in the back of the room, Danny spotted who he was looking for. Removing the pack of cigarettes from his pocket, he pushed his fears aside and approached the table.
Four inmates immediately sprang from their seats and apprehended Danny with their makeshift shanks. The guards, who were busy pummeling an inmate for dropping his rations, failed to notice.
“The fuck you think you’re doing here?” one of the inmates demanded of Danny.
“I come in peace,” he replied, showing them the pack of cigarettes.
“Let him sit with us,” the leader of the gang ordered, pacified by the sight of the cigarettes. Danny sat across from the man and placed the cigarettes at the center of the table.
“I won’t waste your time; I’ve come to you with a proposition.”
“What?” the powerful Black leader inquired, his dreadlocks extending to his shoulders.
“You know just as well as I do that the guards have been evacuating,” Danny explained. “And that it’s only a matter of time before we’re either executed or locked in our cells and left for dead.”
“What are you getting at?”
“We need to stage a coup.”
“What?”
“It’s our only hope; otherwise we’re fucked.”
“How would we do that?”
“I have a plan, but I need the manpower. And you’re the only person here with enough influence to give it to me.”
“All right,” the man said, accepting the pack of cigarettes at the center of the table and then motioning for one of his posse members to hand over their bowl of rice to Danny, doubling his rations and thus sealing the covenant. “I’ll do it; you got my support.”
“My name is Danny,” Danny extended his hand in hospitality.
“Malcolm,” he shook his hand. “So what’s the plan?”
Today was the day. There was no turning back. Danny had reviewed the plan with Malcolm the previous evening; everybody was in position, ready to act. As soon as Danny exited the showers on this crisp Independence Day morning, an irrevocable, meticulously orchestrated chain of events would unfold. He savored the precious bits of warm water that cleansed his body; his last shower was a month ago.
“All right!” a guard declared. “Everyone back to their cells!”
Danny obeyed the order and slowly began to march back toward his cell. Along the way, he saw Malcolm. The two nodded to each other in affirmation. The plan was set. Danny’s palms began to sweat in anticipation and fear, but he knew that it had to be done.
“Ay dios mio!” Cesar feigned illness. “I’m having pains in mi chest! Mi pinche heart is hurting!”
“Escort the inmates to their cells,” one of the guards ordered another guard who wielded an MP5K submachine gun. “The rest of you come with me; let’s see what’s going on.”
Danny entered his cell, and just as the guard was about to lock it, Malcolm came up from behind and wrapped his arms around the guard’s neck. Danny quickly began to pummel the guard in the chest, rendering him unconscious. The two inmates then stole his weapons.
“You take the submachine gun; I’ll take the sidearm,” Malcolm said, sticking the .357 revolver in his waistline and then using the guard’s keys to free inmates from their cells. “You guys know the plan.”
“False alarm, amigos!” Cesar changed his demeanor. “You can take me to my cell now; I’m feeling better.” The guards were puzzled and ordinarily would have beaten or even shot an inmate for such a spectacle. But today they were overworked and acutely undermanned. They escorted the lone inmate to his cell, and fell right for the trap.
“Now!” Danny shouted, drawing his MP5K submachine gun. Four inmates sprang from their hiding places and ambushed the guards like a pack of lions on the hunt. The men held them hostage with their shanks, while two more men disarmed them and redistributed their firearms amongst the group. In total, there were four snub-nosed .38 revolvers and two FN FAL assault rifles. Alerted by the commotion, four more guards led by a captain who wielded a powerful KSG-12 tactical shotgun frantically rushed down the corridor to investigate.
“Drop them!” the ragtime time of revolting prisoners barked, using their commandeered firearms to ambush the reinforcements.
“Drop them or else your friends over here die!” Danny reaffirmed, pointing his gun at the hostages. Enraged, but utterly powerless, they complied and tossed their M16-A3 rifles onto the ground. They then loosened their belts and surrendered their handguns as well, which amounted to two more snub-nosed .38 revolvers along with two SIG Sauer P239 pistols.
“Kaboom!” the captain’s shotgun thundered as he shot one of the rebelling inmates in the chest. Blood from the grisly wound drenched his orange jumpsuit like ketchup, and the poor young Black man was dead before his corpse even hit the floor.
“You’re gonna fucking die you wetback spic piece of shit!” the captain growled, refusing to relinquish his weapons. His blood boiled, and his eyes were filled with rage. He pumped his shotgun once more and leveled it at Danny’s forehead. “Even if they kill me, you’re gonna die you fucking spic! I’m gonna blow your fucking brains out!”
“Thwack!” he was pistol-whipped on the back of the head by Malcolm’s mighty .357 Colt Python before he could pull the trigger. His body fell to the floor unconscious like a sack of potatoes.
“I’ll be taking this,” Malcolm nonchalantly announced, picking up the discarded shotgun.
“Thanks,” Danny said to the man, motioning for more inmates to gather the discarded weapons on the ground.
“Don’t mention it,” he replied, firing the gargantuan KSG-12 shotgun past Danny’s head. Startled, he discovered that the dead inmate had reanimated and was only moments away from biting him before the powerful buckshot blew its head up like a balloon, putting it down once and for all. Bloody bits of skull and brain matter splattered across the wall like paint, and then two inmates carried the headless corpse downstairs to the crematorium for disposal.
“So what’s next?” Cesar asked, holstering his new P239 pistol.
“Lock the guards up in a cell.”
“How about me?” Santiago inquired, wielding an FN FAL rifle.
“Why don’t you and Malcolm take a few inmates and go inventory the place? See what supplies there are and work out the logistics.”
Santiago and Malcolm took their group of inmates and dutifully went off to fulfill their task. Two hours later they had the information they needed and returned to Danny.
“So what do we got?” Danny asked.
“We got lots of rifles—mostly FN FALs, M16-A3s, and M4 Carbines,” Santiago replied. “We also got some SPAS-12 shotguns, MP5K submachine guns, and a shitload of .38 revolvers and P239 pistols.”
“How about any special weapons? We got any snipers, heavy machine guns, or ordinance?”
“We have a few Dragunov sniper rifles and a handful of RPGs. We also got three M249 SAWs.”
“How’s ammunition?”
“Surprisingly plentiful,” Santiago smiled. “Apparently it’s the only thing we won’t have to worry about for a long time.”
“How about food and water?”
“We got enough food to last us a month if we distribute it in three meals per day; three months if we keep it at one meal per day. As for water, we got enough bottled water for three months, and whatever we can get from the plumbing before it shuts off—if it shuts off,” Santiago explained. “The good news though is that we have some seeds, basic agricultural equipment, and a stream that flows through here from the outside. We have the potential to be fully self-sufficient.”
“How about meat?”
“Nothing, but I looked through a map and noticed there’s a chicken farm only a few miles from here,” Santiago answered. “Chances are the owner was evacuated and there might be some chickens that we can forage and breed for meat and eggs.”
“Utilities?”
“Not including the energy we’re getting from the power plant which could go off at any moment, we got an emergency generator with enough fuel to power the place for about two weeks.”
“Then we’re fucked in that regard,” Danny muttered.
“Not necessarily,” Santiago disagreed. “There’s a handful of windmills not too far from here with power lines that run right through this place. With some ingenuity, we could probably modify the lines so that the windmills become our power source. There are also a few defunct solar panels that we could repair.”
“How the fuck are we going to do that?”
“Hey, don’t underestimate prison ingenuity. We got engineers in here who could MacGyver tattoo guns out of Xbox controllers and napalm out of melted chocolate bars. Plus we got a whole library full of useful books and shit that could help us.”
“We also got a radio,” Malcolm interrupted. “I got some of my niggers setting it up in the cafeteria.”
The group entered the cafeteria and saw three inmates setting up a radio on top of a table. Danny, Cesar, and Santiago sat together at the table along with Malcolm as they waited for the radio to be fixed. Large crowds of other inmates also gathered round in the cafeteria, eager to hear something from the outside world. The radio then sputtered to life.
“This just in,” the announcer reported. “Reports of the epidemic have continued to skyrocket all across the East Coast, with isolated but unconfirmed cases being reported as far West as California. Virginia has been hit exceptionally hard by the epidemic and subsequently remains the first and only state to be officially quarantined by the military, with evacuated refugees pouring into neighboring states by the droves. The virus has become airborne, I repeat, the virus is airborne! A bite is no longer required for infection as even the unbitten now have the potential to reanimate after death. All who are infected will reanimate after death; infection via the air will not accelerate death like in those infected via bite, but the virus will still remain dormant within them and cause reanimation when they do finally die. The Center for Disease Control is taking no chances and has ordered that all deceased bodies be immediately surrendered to the military and/or Civilians’ Volunteer Army for proper disposal. Should you find yourself in circumstances where this is not possible, bodies may be manually disposed of either by burning with an accelerant such as gasoline and/or by destruction of the brain as in the form of a gunshot. Residents all across the nation, even if unaffected areas, have been ordered to wear gas masks and to stay indoors at all times until further notice. Martial law has been vehemently resisted all across the Southern portion of the nation, with some politicians denying the epidemic as quote ‘a Yankee conspiracy’ end quote and the subsequent martial law as quote ‘an act of Northern aggression on our soil’ end quote. Three states, including Texas, have unofficially seceded from the United States and have taken up arms against her. As a result, the military has been mostly redirected to quell the uprisings of these dissident separatists who President Barack Obama has called quote ‘domestic terrorists’ end quote, leaving the Civilians’ Volunteer Army in charge of handling the epidemic. On an international note, Russia declared Victory Day last Sunday, becoming the first infested nation to successfully eliminate the threat from within its borders. Russian President Putin could be seen gloriously processing around the Kremlin as a pallbearer to the casket housing the Russian Orthodox Church’s newly canonized St. Vladimir the Brave. On the other hand, the epidemic has reached quote ‘apocalyptic’ end quote levels in China, with massive hordes of the undead overwhelming entire cities and even provinces, their numbers ranging in the early millions. Chinese leaders have discussed the use of nuclear weapons, which would make them the first nation since World War II to use them, but have been persuaded by President Barack Obama to hold out for a better solution. This is the emergency broadcast network and we will remain on the air at all times to keep the American people up to date on all information pertaining to the epidemic.”
“We’re all gonna fucking die!” inmates screamed in terror as panic descended upon the prison. They bickered and shouted amongst themselves, uncertain of what to do. Some of them engaged in senseless, violent brawls; others recited prayers and prepared for death. Rioting broke out, and inmates vandalized the cafeteria. They whined like children, lamenting their desperate circumstances.
“Everyone!” Danny tried to address the room.
“You fucked us over worse than we were!” the inmates scapegoated Danny for their problems. “We’re gonna be eaten alive by those things! We’re stuck in the quarantine zone!”
“Boom!” Malcolm fired his shotgun into the air, restoring order to the room. “Ya’ll need to calm down!”
“We’re not going to die!” Danny readdressed them. “We can survive if we just work together!”
“Work together?” they laughed in his face. “We’re niggers and spics, we ain’t going to fucking work together!”
“But we can!” Danny insisted. “If we stop fighting each other and unite again the common enemy!”
“Why should we?”
“Because,” Danny had an epiphany, “the dead know no ranks or color so why should we?”
The inmates were brought to silence by that statement. They lowered their heads in shame, convicted by the sudden realization of just how futile their divisions and hatred really were. They realized that humanity was its own worst enemy—that the only way to deal with the external threat of the dead was to overcome the enemy within and band together. The fighting and the mass hysteria stopped; inmates embraced one another as brothers united.
“It’s settled then,” Danny smiled. “We work together.”
The inmates worked hard in the early morning dew, loading a plethora of weapons, ammunition, and tools into four prison vans as the rising sun beat down on them. Danny overlooked them along with other inmates as they performed various tasks around the prison. Utilizing knowledge derived from library books, some were on the rooftops installing solar panels and modifying existing power lines so as to derive electricity from the windmills; others were on the ground, sweating from the intense labor as they prepared the landscape for farming.
“A quad of vans ready to go,” Santiago said to Danny, handing him a loaded SPAS-12 shotgun. “Cesar’s waiting for you in the first one; me and Malcolm are gonna take the rear one.”
“Open it up!” Danny ordered the inmates atop the cement wall as they patrolled the perimeter with their M4 Carbines and Dragunov sniper rifles. The main doors buzzed to life, and then they opened.
The convoy of vans bravely exited the prison into the dangerous world outside. As they traversed the rugged hill country, the inmates saw the grim aftermath of the epidemic for the first time. Overturned cars were hazardously littered across the deserted roads like tombstones at a cemetery; telephone poles were cracked and bent out of shape. The few intact houses that pockmarked this rural region were desolate and abandoned, with their doors left wide open and belongings such as furniture strewn across their yards. There were no signs of life anywhere. The livestock who would normally graze these lands had gone missing; the birds that would provide nature with the beauty of their song were mysteriously absent. Everything was quiet—too quiet.
“You think anyone’s home?” Cesar broke the awkward silence from the passenger seat as he rolled down his window.
“Doubt it,” Danny replied from the driver’s seat. “Looks like most of the survivors were evacuated out of here in a hurry.”
“What about that guy over there?” Cesar asked, pointing at an elderly man in a hospital gown.
“That’s not a guy,” Danny answered, watching as the lone man struggled to ascend the hilltop. “That’s one of them.”
“The ghouls?” Cesar stuttered in fear.
“Si,” Danny replied. “It’s just harder to tell because that one’s fresh. But you can always tell by the way they walk so slowly.”
“I see another one,” Cesar gulped, unstrapping his MP5K.
“We got our first ghouls,” Danny spoke to the other vans via walkie-talkie. “Get your guns ready, but keep quiet.”
“Roger,” Santiago replied. “The farm’s just up ahead.”
There were two main structures at the farm: a single-story farmhouse and a large barn. As the convoy approached the farmhouse, Danny noticed that there were five ghouls stalking the entrance. They purposelessly mingled about like cattle, unaware of their surroundings.
“Get ready to touch down; you know what to do,” Danny said over the intercom. “Cesar and I will take out these first five.”
“Us?” Cesar was reluctant. “I knew you were gonna say that.”
“There’s only five,” Danny consoled him. “We can take them.”
Danny brought the van to an abrupt stop and then sprang out of the door. He steadied his shotgun on top of the hood and took aim at the first ghoul. This one was a middle-aged man who wore the uniform of a construction worker. Danny opened fire. The powerful buckshot grinded the ghoul’s head into ghastly bits like ground beef, splattering rancid blood and brain morsels across the grass. The four remaining ghouls turned at the sound of the gunshot and fearlessly lumbered toward Danny, dominated by their instinct to feed. He took aim at the second one. This one was a female. He fired again. Utilizing the SPAS-12’s semi-automatic mode, he fired two more shots seconds later. But before he could fire a fifth shot at the final ghoul, Cesar stuck his MP5K out the window and dispatched it with a single shot to the head.
“See?” Cesar joked, finally exiting the van. “I’m not afraid.”
“Yeah,” Danny scoffed. “You wait till there’s only one left.”
The other vans shut off their engines, and armed inmates expeditiously exited from their rear doors. They carried out boxes of ammunition and two tires. The tires were drenched in gasoline and positioned a few meters away from the vans; snipers armed with M4 Carbines and M16-A3s took position on top of the vans. Other inmates stood guard by the ammunition boxes with their weapons drawn.
A small horde of two-dozen ghouls descended upon the abandoned farmhouse. They came from the hilltops, lumbering unhurriedly in their characteristic gait like the Persian Immortals of old. They were soulless and lacked expression like otherworldly marionettes animated by an external force. They unleashed their signature moan and attracted even more ghouls to their position as they advanced toward the inmates.
“Crack! Pow! Boom!” the inmates’ guns roared, mowing down the ghouls like grass. The tires were set on fire, and like deer caught in the headlights, the horde froze in its tracks. The ghouls halted their advance and shrugged back in fear at the sight of the flaming tires.
“Keep the fires burning,” Malcolm ordered the inmates as he watched the ghouls linger about in the distance. “Only shoot the ones that come too close.”
“Malcolm,” Danny greeted his friend. “Why don’t you and Santiago take some guys and go get what we need from the barn? Cesar and I will check out the farmhouse.”
Danny watched as the two led their small group to the barn. Malcolm took the inmates inside to forage for supplies while Santiago stood guard outside the door with his M16-A3. Danny then loaded fresh shells into his shotgun and entered the farmhouse with Cesar. The living room was a mess; used tissues were scattered all over the floor along with blankets on the couch. Old plates of half-eaten meals and desserts were stacked on top of the coffee table; toys were littered across the floor. Danny noticed that the television was still on, and that a child’s DVD was playing in repeat.
“Anybody home?” Danny asked, carefully exploring the house with his shotgun. “I can provide you with safety at the prison.”
“Danny!” Cesar hollered from the kitchen. “You should see this!”
Danny entered the kitchen and discovered the grisly remains of a father and his toddler son. Their bodies were on the floor by the table. Each of them had a bullet hole in their head. Danny noticed that there was a lever-action rifle still in the father’s lifeless hands. He rightfully surmised that this was a murder-suicide scene. Tears began to fall from his eyes as he investigated the bodies. He found a small copy of the Torah on top of their table. While he did not know what it was due to his unfamiliarity with the Hebrew language, he knew that it was religious in nature due its ornate binding. Chills went down his spine. He placed the Torah in his pocket and began to speculate about the last days of this family. This house was their tomb; the inside scene their epitaph—a testament to the final moments of their lives.
Danny came upon a door. It was locked. He tapped on it, and to his dismay, he heard rustling inside.
“I think there’s one in this bedroom!” Danny announced to Cesar. “I’m going to put it to rest.”
Danny strapped his shotgun to his back and drew his revolver from its holster. He then proceeded to kick down the door, and just as he suspected, there was a lone ghoul inside. This one was a female in her thirties; her hair was in a mess, and she wore a gray nightgown. Danny took aim at her forehead. He tried not to make eye contact, but it was hopeless. He stared deeply into her mechanical, being-less eyes and went numb. The sorrow was too great. He looked upon this abomination of nature with pity, contemplating how it was once a wife and mother. As it hungrily stumbled toward him, vocalizing its lust for flesh via that unearthly moan, Danny felt remorse. Holding his breath, he finally pulled the trigger and silenced the lone ghoul.
“Ice cream sandwich?” Cesar offered Danny as he entered the bedroom, holding a small box.
“Where’d you get those?”
“The freezer,” he answered, chocolate smeared across his face as he munched away on the frozen treats.
“Fuck, Cesar, don’t you have any respect for the dead?”
“¿Que pasa? The dead ain’t got no respect for us anymore either,” he justified himself.
“I can see why,” Danny whispered in disgust as he returned the smoking revolver to his holster. “Have the guys dig a hole, big enough for about three people. We’re burying this family.”
“Huh?” Cesar dropped his box of ice cream. “You heard what the radio said! We’re supposed to burn them!”
“I don’t give a fuck what the pinche radio said!” Danny dismissed him. “I said we’re burying them!”
“Crack!” an inmate’s FN-FAL rang out as a lone ghoul straggled too close for comfort. The fire deterred the rest of them. Danny exited the farmhouse, carrying the bodies of the dead husband and little boy. Cesar was behind him, dragging the body of the slain, infected mother.
“Hole’s ready” one exhausted inmate informed as he wiped away the sweat and dirt from his face.
“Great,” Danny responded, laying the two bodies inside of it. Cesar did the same with the mother’s body. With a lone teardrop in his eye, Danny positioned the corpses so that their hands were held as a testament to their family hood. Then he removed the small Torah from his pocket. He still did not know what it was, but recognizing its religious significance to the family, he reverently placed it on top of them. The inmates then finished burying the family.
“Vans are loaded up,” Malcolm and Santiago approached Danny. “We got enough hens and a rooster to raise our own chickens. We also took a few cages and some supplies.”
The convoy reignited their engines and headed to the hardware store. As they left the isolation of the hilly countryside and approached downtown, the number of undead increased. Danny watched as they vagrantly prowled the ghost town, eerily shuffling about like tormented souls in Dante’s The Inferno. They lacked any apparent direction or pattern to their movement, unaware of even each other’s presence. One dawning a tattered police uniform lumbered right into a tree; another in a cheerleader outfit from the local high school stumbled through the doors of a 7-Eleven convenience store. Their numbers ranged in the early dozens, and they were evenly distributed across the area.
The caravan parked right in front of the hardware store, positioning the vans so that their backs faced the store’s entrance. Inmates silently came out of the vans, nervously gripping their weapons so tightly that their fingernails dug into their palms. Swiftly they poured a semicircular trail of gasoline around their position, tossing the empty gas cans back into the vans.
“Those ones are too close,” Malcolm whispered, watching as five ghouls devoured the corpse of an EMT from an overturned ambulance only a few meters away. “Take them out nice and quietly.”
A group of inmates unstrapped their M4 Carbines and placed improvised suppressors fashioned from bicycle pegs onto their muzzles. Then they took aim at the feasting ghouls and fired.
“Pew, swoosh, snap,” the muffled carbines hissed, dropping the ghouls like empty milk bottles as they chomped and chewed up the meat like piranhas, repulsively slurping up the pool of blood and brains like smoothies. Even as the gunfire executed their peers one after the other, they continued to voraciously feed upon the mutilated corpse until they were all put down.
Danny used a crowbar to pry open the barricaded doors and then entered the hardware store. Santiago, Cesar, and Malcolm followed closely behind. The store was dark and difficult to navigate, with large boards and metallic shutters over the windows.
“Hey, I see a light switch,” Cesar said. “Want me to turn it on?”
“No!” Danny stopped him. “That could attract more of them.”
“I found some flashlights,” Malcolm offered a solution, stumbling upon a cart full of them.
“And I found some duct tape,” Santiago added.
The group opened the flashlights and hastily taped them to the barrels of their guns as they continued to navigate the hardware store.
“Look for seeds, fertilizer, and rototillers,” Danny said to them, flipping off the safety to his SPAS-12 shotgun. “And stay in pairs.”
“I found the rototillers,” Malcolm responded, strapping his KSG-12 shotgun to his back. “Someone wanna give me a hand?”
“Sure,” Cesar approached. “The fertilizer and seeds are probably close by too since this looks like the gardening section.”
Danny approached a door. It was locked. He tried to kick it down, but the lock was too strong. He considered shooting it open, but decided against it because the sound would attract more ghouls to their position.
“I could get it,” Santiago intervened. “I’ve been picking locks since I was 13 years old.”
“Thanks.”
“Okay,” Santiago warned. “It’s unlocked now.”
“Open it up,” Danny replied, aiming his shotgun at the door.
Santiago opened the door and ducked out of the way. There was nothing inside except for a staircase leading to another floor.
“It’s safe,” Danny lowered his shotgun.
“Behind you!” Santiago shouted, fumbling for his M16-A3.
Danny turned around, his finger on the trigger of his gun.
“Sucka almost got you,” Malcolm said to him, twisting his shiv into the lone ghoul’s temple. Rotten pieces of brain and blood dripped from the wound as the ghoul’s lifeless carcass fell to the floor. “You gotta watch your back, Desperado. I ain’t goin’ be here forever.”
“Why don’t you and Cesar finish up down here?” Danny suggested, still shocked at how close he came to death. “Santiago and I will see if there’s anything useful upstairs.”
The duo ascended the staircase up to the second floor and cautiously crept across the long, dark hallway. Their pulses raced, and their breathing grew irregular. Sweat dripped down their foreheads.
“I’m getting a bad vibe up here amigo,” Santiago muttered, lowering his M16-A3.
“Me too,” Danny replied. “But we’ll be out of here soon enough.”
The hallway led to three closed doors. Covering one another, they swung open the first door and entered with their guns drawn. Nothing. It was a large storeroom full of extra merchandise.
“Beef jerky!” Santiago excitedly exclaimed, stuffing a few packs of the snack into his pockets.
The two then exited the room and approached the next door. Repeating the same drill as last time, they attempted to open it. But it was locked. So Santiago picked the lock, and on the count of three, Danny signaled him to open the door.
There were six of them inside, gruesomely feeding upon the body of a young brunette woman at the center of the room. The entire scene was a mess. Furniture was overturned, blood was everywhere, and there were holes in the wall. Danny stared at them, nauseated at the repulsive bloodbath. Their pale flesh rotted off of their bones, and they carried a putrid stench. Chunks of flesh and muscle dangled out of their mouths as they tore and gnawed at the woman’s carcass like wild animals eating a deer.
“Shush,” Danny whispered as he strapped his shotgun to his back and drew his sidearm. “Let’s take them out quietly with our revolvers.”
The first ghoul went down instantly as the small projectile penetrated the back of its head like a watermelon and splashed its brains across the room. The noise alerted the five remaining ghouls of the duo’s presence, and slowly they staggered toward them, smacking their lips at the sight of fresh prey. But they too went down instantly as Danny and Santiago rapidly fired their .38s in quick succession.
“This is just an employee’s lounge,” Danny said as he ejected the spent bullet casings from his revolver and reloaded it.
“Where do you think they came from?” Santiago asked.
“Looks like they worked here,” Danny hypothesized. “My guess is they locked themselves in here, unaware that one of them was bitten.”
The two left the lounge and approached the third door. This one was unlocked. But this time they took extra precautions before entering. They pressed their ears against it to see if they could hear anything inside. Nothing. They entered the empty room, only to find that it was an office with various documents scattered everywhere.
“Look what I found,” Danny dangled a large ring of keys in front of Santiago. “I bet one of these is to the gas pump outside.”
Alarmed by the sound of heavy gunfire outside, the two descended back down the staircase and rushed to investigate.
“We gotta hightail it now!” Malcolm said to them as they exited the hardware store. “The vans are loaded and ready to go! We got everything we need!”
Danny and Santiago watched as one inmate ignited the trail of gasoline from earlier, encircling the convoy with a defensive shield of fire. The ghouls, who had began descending upon their position, hesitated and recoiled back at the sight of the flames. They were afraid of fire. They fell left and right as inmates hammered them with volleys of well-placed gunfire. Then everybody got inside of the vans and headed back to the safety of the prison with their objective complete, driving straight through the wall of flames like bats out of hell.
They arrived back at the prison in the early afternoon. Danny was relieved as the vans were unloaded and the inmates used their newly acquired supplies to complete their work around the prison. The crops were planted, the electricity issue taken care of, and a chicken farm established. The prison was now fully self-sufficient. Danny spent the rest of the day exercising in the prison gym before treating himself to a long shower and retiring to his cell for the evening.
He woke up with a blistering headache. His ears rang like telephones; his vision was blurry. He touched the back of his head. Blood. The pistol whip from the other day had given him a concussion. He had been unconscious for almost two days. The captain checked his watch. It was a quarter till midnight. He stumbled to his feet and observed his surroundings. He was inside of a large soundproofed cell. The other captive guards were not inside, although he saw evidence of their presence in the form of messy bedspreads. In a twist of irony, the inmates must have escorted them to the cafeteria for a snack. The captain approached the cell door. To his amazement, it was unlocked. He peeked his head outside. The exit to the prison was only a short run away; but a lone inmate wielding an MP5K blocked it. The captain was exhausted, but he knew that this might be his only opportunity to escape. He snuck out of his cell and stealthily approached the lone inmate from behind.
“Die fucker,” he whispered to the inmate with malice in his eyes as he snapped his neck back like peanut brittle. The inmate’s dead body went limp and fell into the captain’s arms. He dragged the body into his cell and hid it on top of a bed, where he then covered it with a blanket to conceal its true identity. He then picked up the MP5K and commenced his escape, slipping away from the prison under the cover of moonlight.
But as the other captive guards were escorted back into their soundproofed cell and locked therein by the inmates, the dead body reanimated, and nobody was able to hear their screams…
“Danny,” Cesar gently woke his cousin the next morning.
“What?” Danny awoke, reaching for a bottle of water under his pillow. “Is something wrong?”
“We got civilians outside.”
“Huh?” Danny coughed and spilled his water.
“Civilians,” Cesar repeated himself. “Outside. They say the government didn’t evacuate them. They’re going crazy out there.”
Danny saw them from atop the cement walls. They were in a panicked frenzy, desperate to get in. Overwhelmed parents desperately tried to console their crying children; the elderly and the infirm struggled to avoid being trampled underfoot by the chaotic masses. They each carried large bags and backpacks filled with what little things were able to salvage before fleeing their homes. They had been abandoned by their government and left for dead in lieu of the wealthy, affluent citizens who were currently being evacuated. They were also mostly Black, Hispanic, and Slavic.
“Let them in,” Danny ordered. The large steel doors slowly whirred open, and the masses of civilians entered the prison yard as the doors then closed behind them.
“What should we do now?”
“Relieve them,” Danny stated. “And make sure they sleep individually in the cells tonight, just in case any of them were bitten.”
Danny blissfully watched in peace as inmates rushed to assist the exhausted civilians. They helped carry their bags, offered water to the thirsty, and gave what little medical support they could give to the injured. One group of inmates carried a pregnant woman’s bags and brought her a couch to lie down on; another lifted an old man who was too tired to walk. A Muslim inmate of Middle Eastern descent even assisted a blind, elderly Christian lady by reading the Gospel out loud to her. One sight in particular caught Danny’s eye: a crying little girl.
“What’s wrong mija?” a young Hispanic inmate asked the little girl, bending down on his knees to speak to her at eye level.
“She’s gone; I lost her!” the little four year old girl sobbed, using her pink pajamas to wipe her tears.
“Who?”
“Butterscotch; my stuffed horsie,” she answered softly. “I never go anywhere without her, but when mommy said we had to go, I wasn’t able to grab her from my crib. Now I think the stinky, hungry bad people might have got her.”
“Aw you poor little baby,” the inmate embraced her in a hug. “I don’t think I can get Butterscotch back, but I do have someone who wants to meet you.”
“Who?”
“Meet Sprinkles,” the inmate said, revealing a newborn kitten to the little girl. “I found her all alone inside of a shoebox at the chicken farm yesterday. I think she wants you to be her new mommy!”
“Sprinkles?” the little girl enthusiastically asked, with her dejected spirits immediately uplifted.
“Si, and she’s all yours,” the inmate replied, placing the kitten into the little girl’s arms.
“I love you Sprinkles!” she smiled, gently petting the kitten.
“And she loves you too,” he responded, using the sleeves on his orange jumpsuit to wipe her tears. Another inmate, a large biker with many tattoos who had been a mechanic prior to his incarceration, fixed the little girl’s tricycle and outfitted it with a basket for the kitten.
Danny was soothed by the heartwarming displays of human kindness and hospitality. The inmates were overjoyed as well, discovering that many of the civilians were their families and friends from the outside. For a moment, in that serene utopia of peace, a sense of normalcy was restored to humanity. Suddenly the nightmare that was the world no longer felt as dark as it truly was. Within the storm, there was light and peace. Danny never believed in Heaven; but he thought that if it existed, it would resemble this.
“Danny!” Cesar shouted the next morning, shaking his sleeping cousin. “Wake up!”
“What?” Danny responded in a half-asleep daze, rubbing his eyes.
“We’re under attack!” Cesar replied, handing him an M16-A3 rifle.
“What? By who?” Danny shouted, now fully awake and with the safety on his rifle switched off.
“Come look!”
“Fuck! I knew this was bound to happen!” Danny growled. “Did any of the civilians die and reanimate last night in their cells?”
“Nada; they’re all still alive.”
“Well at least we know they weren’t bitten, otherwise they’d have passed and reanimated by now.”
“Si,” Cesar agreed. “Although, we have no way of knowing if they’ve been infected by the air. Everybody who’s infected reanimates when they die. The airborne strand won’t kill them right away like the bite victims, but being the stealthy little fucker that it is, it’ll wait until they die naturally and then reanimate them.”
“Make sure they all sleep in the cells at night. And when someone does die, burn the corpse in the crematorium as soon as possible, just to be safe. If the family and friends won’t let you, then lock the corpse up in a cell and give them some time. I’m sure after a couple days of mourning and potentially seeing their loved ones reanimate, they’ll let you dispose of it properly. Be sensitive to their emotions.”
Danny entered the control room and pressed a button on the console. The various computer monitors flickered to life, revealing different views of the prison from its many security cameras. The prison was under attack. He saw three large vans pull up. The doors opened, and a group of ten guards were ejected out of each van. He also saw the escaped captain from earlier, wielding a new KSG-12 shotgun.
“I thought they were evacuated!” Danny exclaimed.
“They were! But I guess the captain must’ve reached a phone and had them rerouted back here.”
“I thought he was locked in a cell!”
“He was! But I guess he must’ve escaped.”
“Evacuate the civilians! Have them retreat inside to the cells! That’s probably the safest place for them to be. Sound the alarm and get the guys ready for combat! Shit is about to go down!”
“You got it!” Cesar said, scrambling to fulfill his tasks.
Danny rushed down the corridors and exited the building. He rendezvoused with Santiago and Malcolm outside in the prison courtyard. The two were armed, the former with a Dragunov sniper rifle and the latter with his KSG-12 shotgun. Bands of inmates, armed with an assortment of weaponry, gathered together and prepared for combat. One duo of inmates readied one of the deadly M249 SAWs and took aim at the large steel doors; another duo readied an RPG. Sharpshooters with their M4 Carbines took up position on the tall watchtowers; inmates armed with close-ranged weapons like handguns and shotguns fortified themselves within the prison interior to protect the civilians.
“There’s a lot of us and only a few of them,” Santiago assured, taking aim at the door with his sniper rifle.
“They’ll never get in; the walls are too thick,” Malcolm speculated.
“They’ll get in,” Danny disagreed. “They know this place; they wouldn’t have come unless they had a way.”
“So what do we do?” Santiago asked.
“Sigh,” Danny exhaled. “As crazy as it sounds, we open the steel doors and let them in.”
“Are you fucking insane?” Santiago and Malcolm asked in unison.
“They’re going to get through either way,” Danny explained. “If we don’t open the doors they’ll just blow them open, and then we’ll lose our greatest form of protection from the epidemic. At least if we open it and let them in, we can save our walls and the doors.”
“He’s right,” Malcolm realized. “Open the motherfucking doors!”
The large mechanical doors opened, revealing something that nobody inside had anticipated: a fearsome M4 Sherman tank.
“A tank?” Santiago was petrified. “They got a pinche tank!”
“Pow!” the metallic behemoth dominated the battlefield, firing its mighty 75mm cannon. The M48 High Explosive round obliterated one of the watchtowers like cheap plastic, sending its helpless sharpshooters sprawling. With the large steel doors closing behind them and cover provided by the tank, the guards then charged across the courtyard like a herd of angry rhinoceroses.
“Let the fuckers have it!” Danny ordered, opening fire.
Bullets pierced the air like a swarm of bees as inmates opened fire on the advancing guards, commencing a vicious firefight with casualties amounting on both sides. The guards’ ranks were severely thinned as heavy automatic fire from the M249 SAW cut them down like bowling pins, ferociously shredding their innards into ground beef. Sharpshooters also enacted a heavy toll on their numbers with the constant bursts of fire from their M4 Carbines, dropping them as if they were ducks in open season.
But nothing could compare to the guards’ mighty M4 Sherman tank, which wreaked havoc upon the prison’s defenders. Immune to small arms fire due to its heavy armor, the tank effortlessly stood its ground and continuously fired its heavy cannon. Entire trios of inmates were ruthlessly obliterated into confetti on impact. As combatants began to break formation and disperse, panic and disorder set in on the battlefield with neither side gaining the upper hand.
“We need to retreat inside!” Danny barked, emptying half a magazine into a guard at point blank range. “That tank’s gonna eat us up out here! We’ll have a better chance inside with the others!”
“Fine by me, amigo!” Santiago was relieved, entering the building.
Danny ordered his men to fall back, and gradually they fled to the inside of the prison where other inmates reinforced their ranks.
“Come on Malcolm!” Danny said to his friend, letting loose a burst of automatic fire from his rifle. “Let’s get the fuck inside!”
“Go! I’ll cover y…” Malcolm was interrupted mid-speech, dropping to his knees in pain from a gunshot wound. He coughed up blood, and his shotgun slipped through his fingers onto the floor.
“Malcolm!” Danny screamed. “We have to get you out of here!”
“No use. I’m fucked,” he whispered. “Just promise me one thing.”
“What?”
“That if I become one of those things after I die, you’ll put me down for good,” he said to Danny, handing him his Colt Python.
“I promise,” Danny accepted the weapon from his fallen comrade, shaking his hand one final time before departing the battlefield and rejoining the other inmates inside of the prison.
Malcolm saw the tank—the vehicle responsible for the deaths of so many of his brothers in arms. With its large cannon and .50 caliber machine guns, it was fast approaching. Miraculously, he spotted a loaded RPG lying on the ground next to him. It had belonged to a dead inmate. Mustering what little strength he had remaining, Malcolm picked up the weapon and took aim. He fired.
“Swoosh!” the rocket soared across the battlefield, detonating center mass on the tank. The M4 Sherman’s thick armor was finally pierced, and it erupted into a molten ball of bent steel and flames. A smile of relief flickered across Malcolm’s face, and then he died.
“I want a status report!” Danny demanded. “How many people are dead or wounded?”
“Twenty dead; eight of them us and twelve of them the guards. We also got four wounded and one of our watchtowers destroyed,” Santiago answered. “What do we do now?”
Before Danny could respond the door opened, and the eighteen remaining guards stormed into the prison. Intense gun fighting broke out, along with vicious hand-to-hand combat. One inmate was violently thrown off of a guard rail, the impact from the crash shattering his spine like glass; another took a full magazine of 5.56mm bullets to the stomach, riddling it with bloody holes like Swiss cheese.
But the guards suffered intense losses as well. One guard was engulfed in a hail of automatic gunfire from the mighty M249 SAW, his bloody torso literally sawn in half like a twig; another was struck twice in the chest by an inmate’s potent SPAS-12 shotgun. There was no clear victor as each side refused to yield to the other.
Amidst the cataclysmic holocaust, a stray gunshot cracked the lock to one of the cells and unleashed its undead captives: the imprisoned guards from earlier. The corpse of the inmate who the captain had earlier killed and hid in the cell during his escape had reanimated, and in turn it infected the nine helpless guards. Utter pandemonium broke out as they aimlessly shuffled through the halls, attracted to the commotion. Civilians frantically fled their hiding places in the cells behind stainless steel toilets and overturned beds at the fearful sight of these shambling ghouls. Even the discipline of the guards began to dissipate as they slowly broke rank.
“Holy fucking shit!” a young, inexperienced guard panicked, dropping his rifle. “I’m getting the fuck out of here!”
He darted for the door, discovering to his horror that outside, in the aftermath of the messy, morbid massacre that had taken place, the twenty fallen combatants had reanimated and were silently lurking the prison courtyard. They perked up at the sound of his screaming, and slowly but steadily they all began to limp toward the doorway, dragging their mangled corpses like deadweight. The guard thought to reenter the building—there were only nine inside. But in the chaos of the ongoing battle between the guards and the inmates, that number multiplied as fallen belligerents from each side reanimated and joined the ranks of the undead. The young guard was surrounded as the dead dawned on him from all sides. There was nowhere to run and there was nowhere to hide. Their lifeless moan sent chills down his spine, as his worst nightmare became a reality.
“Shut and lock that fucking door!” the captain ordered, trying to maintain some semblance of order among his men. He attempted to form an infantry square, rallying six of his men into position. But it was futile as panic set in, and the formation was gradually broken. The small horde of undead easily picked off the lone deserters, graphically disemboweling them like crude butchers as they consumed their flesh.
“Aim for the head!” the captain shouted. “Single shots! Semi-auto! Conserve ammunition!”
But his advice went ignored by the frenzied guards as the option for “Full Auto” on their selectors proved too tempting. They fired wildly in all directions, wasting their ammunition when single, well-placed shots to the head would have sufficed. One guard spent an entire magazine into a trio of ghouls, splattering their thick, congealed blood across the walls. But they were unfazed, and they continued to descend upon him like a pack of wolves. Another guard managed to momentarily keep his cool, firing single shots from his MP5K and subsequently dropping four ghouls. But as their numbers continued to swell, his aim grew erratic and he began to fire rapidly into the horde. In no time he switched to “Full Auto,” and after several misplaced bursts, his submachine gun clicked empty. He was promptly devoured.
Human error and discord prevailed. The guards were more than capable of dispatching the horde. They had the weapons, knowledge, and numbers needed. But they did not have the discipline; nor did they have the selflessness to cooperate. The remainder of them suffered agonizingly painful deaths as the ghouls overwhelmed them. They then reanimated and joined the ranks of the undead themselves.
The captain was last to go. Keeping a level head, he continually fired his KSG-12 shotgun and dropped ghouls like raindrops. But eventually his weapon rang empty, and the undead masses encircled him. He quickly tried to load fresh shells into the shotgun, but his shaky hands lacked the proper coordination for the task. He abandoned the shotgun and drew his sidearm.
“Bang! Bang! Bang!” the P239 pistol cracked, bringing down three of the advancing ghouls. The captain fired again, and four more were slain. But then it was too late. The horde extended their cold, decaying arms and pulled him apart in all directions, sinking their undead teeth into his flesh. He shrieked in peril as his stomach was torn open, and watched as his own entrails were expelled. Then he was incapable of watching anything at all as his eyeballs were bitten out of their sockets like oysters. They tugged and bit at his head, ripping off shreds of flesh and hair. His head was split open by the trauma, and finally he succumbed to death as his warm brains oozed forth from his skull.
“Gather the surviving civilians and retreat further back into a different cellblock!” Danny ordered the inmates. “Then lock off this cellblock from the rest of the prison! We’ll deal with the horde later, but for now we have to contain them and save the civilians!”
“Danny!” Cesar approached his cousin. “Santiago’s on the roof and he says there’s something you’re gonna need to see!”
“Hold on,” he replied, removing the Colt Python from his waistline. He spotted the reanimated corpse of his comrade Malcolm. It was feasting on the warm flesh of the slaughtered captain. He aimed the revolver at its head, and then hesitated for a moment.
“Danny?” Cesar interrupted.
“Adios amigo,” he pulled the trigger, putting his brother in arms to rest and thus fulfilling his promise.
“Danny! It’s no joke! You need to come!” Cesar rushed him again.
“I’m coming,” he responded, tossing the revolver onto the floor.
“Danny!” Santiago said as the pair finally made it to the roof.
“I’m here,” he answered.
“Andale, you need to see this,” he handed him a pair of binoculars.
“The fuck?” Danny looked through them at the surrounding countryside. “Who are they?”
“The CVA—Civilians’ Volunteer Army. They’re the military’s first response to the epidemic,” Santiago answered, using the scope on his Dragunov sniper rifle for a closer view.
Danny saw them from the rooftop. With their wide arsenal of weaponry ranging from automatic rifles and submachine guns to basic civilian shotguns, bolt-action rifles, and handguns of all varieties, these dangerous bands of deputized civilians patrolled the countryside, clearing out the infestation on sight. Waves of the undead dropped like flies as they were engulfed in an incessant barrage of gunfire, their bodies then rounded up like hogs and set on fire by brigands of men in white hazmat suits.
“That’s some fine shootin’, Cletus!” one member complimented another as a powerful .338 bullet pierced the forehead of an infected toddler, gruesomely tearing its young head in half like butter. These trigger-happy, sadistic barbarians guffawed like madmen and proudly waved Confederate flags, treating their job as if it were merely a lighthearted hunting trip. Accompanied by large RVs acting as mobile diners and concessions stands, they gluttonously chugged beer and coffee by the gallon as they boasted of their marksmanship to one another. Danny felt sick.
“And they’re marching right pinche toward us!” Cesar cowardly stated the obvious. “What the fuck are we gonna do?”
Danny paused in silence. He watched in terror as the thick prison walls were destroyed by RPGs and crude pipe bombs, the CVA forces pouring in like an ever-encroaching wildfire. They made no distinction between the infected and the living, silencing both on sight. Nobody was spared from their severe level of their cruelty as even civilians were murdered in cold blood. Mothers wailed in agony at the loss of their children to these tyrannical despots before being executed themselves, and the elderly pleaded for mercy but were shown none.
“Ahahaha!” one man laughed hysterically as a pregnant woman succumbed to the gunfire and fell to the floor dead. Dawning his Smith & Wesson 500, he approached her corpse and took aim at her head.
“Wait!” another man interrupted. “Let’s wait for her to reanimate then cut out the niglet fetus to see what it looks like!”
“Swell idea, Sanger!” the first man replied, returning his weapon to its holster. “I wonder if the niglet will reanimate too!”
“I’m goin’ cut out the pussy!” a third man boasted, dragging the undead corpse of an infected teenage female by the hair. Her limbs were broken back, and her jaw had been savagely disfigured, rendering her as harmless as a dove. Thick, gelatinous clumps of blood covered her like a blanket, and maggots burrowed inside her lifeless flesh. Numb to pain, she remained motionless apart from her mechanical, disembodied eyes as the man lifted up her nightgown and used his hunting knife to callously carve out her vagina, which he then kept as a macabre trophy.
It was then that Danny had a revelation. Amidst the morbid spectacle of horror, the truth was made manifest. Watching as the CVA hedonistically indulged in the most depraved acts imaginable—even raping not only the living women, but also the undead, infected corpses of women as well in the ultimate display of necrophilia—he realized who the true monster was. It was not the living dead; nor was it the virus responsible for their existence. They were merely chaotic neutrals, the personification of life’s trials, tragedies, and disasters. In ordinary circumstances, one would recognize them as poverty, disease, and warfare; in these circumstances, they were reanimated corpses with an insatiable lust to feed on the living. And like all of life’s tribulations, they revealed humanity’s true colors hidden beneath the veil of the human heart. Tragedy revealed character, heroism, and virtue; but it also revealed cruelty, vice, and evil. The real monster was deep inside the entire time. It was closer than Danny had ever realized. It was the barbarity of human nature itself. We were the monsters.
“The only thing we can do,” Danny finally responded to Cesar, loading a fresh magazine into his M16-A3. “Fight the power.”

wainscottbl
November 12th, 2014, 03:16 AM
“Now, I know it must taste like shit to you boys after having it for so long,” one guard sympathetically announced. “But don’t blame us; blame Uncle Sam. American taxpayers don’t give us prisons

Not a big fan of this by the guard. It's like you are telling the story by dialogue, which is fine, except here it sounds forceful. Like preachy. Too forced. I would rather you show me about what's going on in the world through the story itself. It might take longer to do so but if you are telling the story at the same time it can work well.


Tensions were understandably high; everybody was on edge. Fights had become even more commonplace, as did murders and riots. The fact that cellblocks were overcrowded three times beyond their maximum capacity to save space only made things worse. As a result, even the guards became increasingly paranoid and violent. They took turns patrolling the halls at all times, arrogantly brandishing their newly outfitted military-grade rifles like children with their toys. Even the mildest demonstration of disobedience was met with swift and decisive retribution by the hands of these dangerously over-armed renegades.
“Clank!” the bars slammed shut behind Danny as he entered his small, claustrophobic cell.

See showing us what is going on like this, though this is telling I suppose. But you are incorporating it into a sort of casual flow and it works. But what I do not like is all of a sudden you have him in his cell. He was just at his meal. Make it more clear he went back. Perhaps why even. I figured he was in a mess hall or something, but he eats in his cell. Where does he get the food? Why is he eating in his cell and not a mess hall? These are questions on my mind.


“Malcolm,” he shook his hand. “So what’s the plan?”
Today was the day. There was no turning back. Danny had reviewed the plan with Malcolm the previous evening; everybody was in position, ready to act. As soon as Danny exited the showers on this crisp Independence Day morning, an irrevocable, meticulously orchestrated chain of events would unfold. He savored the precious bits of warm water that cleansed his body; his last shower was a month ago.

Do you know how to copy and paste here using Word? It's in the FAQ. I think that might help so you get the space between a break in the story like I assume this is. Also between lines since that is the general rule for publishing here. Check out the rules. Just for future reference. No biggie. I'm not a mod. And it's easy enough to read, but it does help to post the "right" way.


“You take the submachine gun; I’ll take the sidearm,”


“We also got a radio,” Malcolm interrupted. “I got some of my niggers

Don't blacks usually say "nigga" when speaking of themselves in this regard, not...

People usually just say machine gun. Use that.


Dante’s The Inferno

Just say Dante's Inferno. That's how it's usually listed with Dante's and it flows better.


He shrieked in peril as his stomach was torn open, and watched as his own entrails were expelled.

Beautifully graphic! Love that line!

Anyway, enjoyed the story very much. Long but good. The only thing I did not care for, and this may be personally, is the villainous Citizen's Army and how exaggerated, to me, they were in their depravity. To me it was like a stereotype of rednecks. But maybe that's just me. I know some of those separatist groups can be quite crazy.

JamesR
November 14th, 2014, 12:20 AM
Thank you for the response. I appreciate it very much :)

Victor Anderson
November 14th, 2014, 10:08 AM
I loved the story, I couldn't think of a better way to waste some time! Please, keep of the good work, sir! Below this I've included a few notes:

I loved your sense of humor. I laughed VERY hard at the "Nice shootin' cletus!" Thing. XD

Kitten Deus Ex Machina? Ima smile about that for a week!

One can tell your a video gamer, eh? I love the fallout/ghoul thing.

In real life, the US (The nation I am presuming this story takes place in) has an actual plan for a zombie attack. If you ever need ideas, I'd check there.

JamesR
November 15th, 2014, 09:19 PM
Thank you for the kind response! Did you happen to get the George Lopez "Why You Crying?" joke?