13 September 2012

Rise of the Zombie-Pires, Part Five...[]

She looked around, as if trying to see an invisible foe, her ears turning every stray sound ominous. He had said there were three monsters outside, but only two lay vanquished at their feet, their blood turned to fire within them by her silver weapon.

"I know she's out there," he said distantly, his eyes similarly darting around. "She, or it, or whatever. I doubt these things have any sense of self anymore, beyond hunger."

He looked down at his gun, lying on the floor, useless even despite its remaining bullets. "Toss me one of those knives, would you?" he said, motioning toward her bag. "We might not have a lot of time, and you've seen how they regenerate from regular wounds."

She pulled out another knife from her backpack and handed it to him, all the time thinking how strange it was that a blunt knife could be their best choice of weapon. Looking down at her own knife, she noticed again that no blood remained on the blade. The only sign remaining of her act was what had splattered on her clothing. She'd heard that silver was effective against evil, acting like a purifying agent against their corruption. Apparently, it was true.

As if hearing her thoughts, he said, "Yeah, silver. Evil can't touch it, and since these zombie-pires are two kinds of evil, I guess it hurts them twice as bad."

He sounded so confident, she didn't bother to question his logic. For all she knew, he was right.

"I'm Nate, by the way," he said. "Nate Sanders. Thought you might want to know." He said it matter-of-factly, as if it were just a side-note to him. Instead of waiting for her reply, he walked to the corner of the shed and grabbed a roll of duct tape and an old wooden rake. Breaking off the rake end of it, he began taping the silver knife to the now-sharp end, making a crude spear.

"You're the neighbor girl from the next street up, right?" he asked, still continuing on despite her silence. "I've seen you walking down the street occasionally. I think we went to high school together, but I guess we had different classes. Been a while since then, anyway." He appraised his weapon critically and, after giving it a few test-thrusts, judged it sufficient.

There was still silence outside, with no sign of the third zombie-pire. She was afraid even to approach the door, imagining the monster waiting crouched at the entrance, ready to pounce on her unawares. She pictured in her head the creature leaping at her, tearing at her with horrible, clawed fingers, fangs ready to-

"Gimme that a minute, would you?" he asked gently, as he put his hand on hers to take the knife from her. His hand was warm from adrenaline, but the touch still startled her. "I'll make you spear too. Be a lot safer to attack from a distance." She saw that he held another wooden handle in his other hand, though she couldn't tell from what. Half-reluctantly, she let him have the knife, and he set about fashioning a second silver-tipped spear without even offering thanks, as if it were expected, not requested.

"Well," he said, "she's probably waiting outside for us, but we're gonna have to go out there anyway, since we can't exactly stay in here forever." He handed her the spear, picked up her backpack, and took her hand. "You ready? Stay close."


12 September 2012

Rise of the Zombie-Pires, Part Four...[]

Note: Yeah, I didn't post yesterday...

She looked at the knife he held in his hand, then out towards the shed door. If what this stranger said was true, the monsters were on the other side, possibly coming toward them at this very instant.

In fact, it was the very next instant. Just as she was about to ask how long they had to plan, the report of a body slamming into the door shook the whole building. Then came another, and another. Her rescuer leaped to his feet, dropping the knife instinctively as he picked up his .44 magnum. "There are three of them," he said calmly. "Whatever you do, stay close." He loaded rounds into the pistol hurriedly, his eyes fixed on the door.

Just as he was about to load the last round, the door split from top to bottom, sending splinters flying. A corpse fell through and onto the floor; no, not a corpse, a monster. Another climbed over it into the shed, leaping towards the man holding the gun. It staggered slightly as three rounds landed squarely in its chest, but recovered without losing its footing. The man cursed under his breath, but before he could fire again, the creature was on him. He fell backward, hoping to stay out of the zombie-pire's grasp, and fired again, this time hitting the monster straight between the eyes, leaving a gaping hole where its face once was.

Meanwhile, the other zombie-pire had regained its feet. Its empty, soulless eyes fell squarely on the girl in the corner of the shed. Its fangs extended hungrily as it pounced after an easy meal with supernatural speed. From the depths of its inner chasm, it let out a feral scream.

She had no time to think, so she didn't. In the first moment, she saw the nightmare creature jump at her, and in the next, it was writhing on the ground, flames bursting like blood from a wound in its chest. What had done that? She realized she was now standing, and looked down at her hand. It held the silver knife her rescuer had dropped, which was now dripping with a gooey, black substance -- was that blood? -- which was slowly burning away, leaving the knife once again clean.

A shot brought her back to the moment. Her rescuer was on the ground, and the zombie-pire attacking him now had a hole for a face. The creature staggered back a few steps and reached up to feel for what was now not there. But it was still alive, and it was still hungry. It rushed at him again, not stopping to think how it would now devour its prey, and knocked the gun out of his hands as it pinned him to the ground. Its black blood was oozing slowly from the hole, and she could see that facial features were slowly re-forming as the blood flowed. Its powerful arms kept him unable to move, and in a few moments it would be able to enjoy a well-earned meal. The exultant zombie-pire did not notice the girl as she came up behind him, not until the knife had plunged into his back, turning his blood to flame.

With the zombie-pire distracted by its own death, the man was able to break free and get to his feet. He looked down at his hands, checking that he was still alive and whole, then over at the girl, who stood over the fallen undead with weapon bared. "Good work," he managed to say, finally. She seemed even more shocked than he was, however, and remained silent.

Then, he remembered. "There were three of them," he said. "Where is the other?"


08 September 2012

Rise of the Zombie-Pires, Part Three...[]

It didn't end swiftly. It didn't end at all.

When she finally let herself take another breath, she was amazed to find she was still alive. Somehow, she found the courage to open her eyes and look up at the monster that had leaped at her. Its eyes were still empty chasms,  but all the ferocity and hunger had left them. Its mouth was agape, fangs still dripping undead saliva onto its blood-red tongue. But it wasn't moving.

She looked down at her hand, the one she had raised in self-defense with whatever she had grabbed. Her fingers, still trembling, were closed around the handle of a butter knife, the blade of which had pierced through the monster's chest, aided by the force of its leap. She pushed the creature off of her with as much strength as she could muster. There it lay, again a corpse, the instrument of its demise protruding from its ribcage. A butter knife. A silver butter knife, from the antique set her family had always owned. She drew it out of the corpse, and a brief trail of flame followed the blade, followed by the stench of burned, rotting flesh.

Suddenly, a knock came at the kitchen door. No, not a knock; it was the sound of several more monsters rushing at the door. Her heart began to race again, as she planned her escape. Quickly grabbing the tray of silverware from under the counter, she poured its contents -- all silver, all now her only means of self-defense -- into her old school backpack. She found a battery-powered radio and flashlight and packed these as well. All of these would do her no good without food, however, so she grabbed the first, best source of non-perishable food she could find -- an unopened box of Twinkies -- and stuffed it into the backpack before zipping it up and making for the basement.

It was eerily quiet in the basement, but she knew there was a secret door which led to an old Underground Railroad tunnel somewhere down there. If the monsters hadn't found it, she would be able to use it to make her escape. If they had...there weren't really any other options. She pushed aside an old bookcase, full of her parents' dime-store science fiction novels from the '60s, and found the secret trap-door which led to the tunnel. The hinges had long-since rusted away, but with some difficulty she was able to lift off the door. The wooden ladder had also either been taken or rotted, but a newer one was standing nearby, so she used it to descend into the dark tunnel beneath her house.

The tunnel itself was surprisingly still clear, although the air was stale and stagnant. She had to crawl for the last way, which wasn't easy with her backpack, but she made it to the other end and looked up at the other trap door, hidden inside an old toolshed behind a neighbor's house across the street.

Now, of course, the problem presented itself of how to get up there. She was almost ready to crawl back for the ladder, when the trap door opened with a crack, and a face looked down at her. She screamed and threw herself against the tunnel wall, but the figure above put a finger to his lips to silence her. Clearly, he was still among the living.  He lowered a ladder for her; she climbed to the top and tumbled onto the floor of the shed. The light was off, and only the darkness of a moonless night came in through the lone window.

Her rescuer put a hand on her shoulder, and she started. "Hey," he said grimly, "so I guess that means the zombie-pires are at the other end of the tunnel too." She blinked at the unfamiliar word, but nodded her head nonetheless, grasping the meaning. "They crashed into my house just a couple minutes ago," he continued. "Got my fiancee...got my cat...probably even went after my goldfish." His voice was pained, and now she saw that he was keeping a hand over a makeshift bandage on his right thigh. Seeing her gaze, he explained, "They didn't get me; Rachel was just always a poor shot. Anyway, bullets don't seem to kill them." He pointed to the handgun holstered at his hip -- a .44 magnum, which should have been able to blow a monster's head clean off at close range -- and muttered a curse under his breath. "So how did you escape?" he asked. "I only managed to get away because they were too busy with --" He dropped his head, unable to finish.

For an answer, she pulled out one of the knives from her backpack. His raised his eyebrows in recognition. "Silver," he acknowledged. "Good thinking. A zombie-pire has all the strengths of a zombie and of a vampire, but also their weaknesses." He reached out to take the knife from her hand. "So," he said, appraising the new weapon, "we know how to kill them at least. Now how are we going to escape?"


07 September 2012

Rise of the Zombie-Pires, Part Two...[]

Another scream ripped from the monster's throat, past its torn and bloodied lips, as it pounded furiously against the window glass. Its eyes were lightless, limitless chasms, like portals to some nether realm. It may have been a woman, once, but its form was now twisted into something both more and less than human. Still dressed in funeral clothes, though they had decayed where her body had not, she seemed a mockery of human mortality, both alive and lifeless. With this inhuman fury, she slammed her undead fists against the glass, until it began to shiver and crack.

The girl inside darted from her living room and into the kitchen, having no clear plan but to escape the gaze of the horror outside. She looked out the back door, but only for a moment, before slamming shut the wooden door and locking it against what she saw there. More horrid shapes were rising across the ground, as if from the very earth, and they were crawling toward her house. They had not seen her as yet, but they had blocked her way of escape.

Just as she let herself take another breath, the living room window shattered with a last dying gasp, and a thud from the next room told her the monster had tumbled inside. Struggling to keep her heart from bursting, it was beating so quickly, the girl put a hand over her mouth, hoping her breathing would not be heard.

Yet it was not her breath the monster sought. It clambered over the furniture, not caring that its exposed limbs were now being cut -- there was nothing left in them to bleed -- and turned toward the sound of a heart beating. A living heart meant food. It screamed again, the voice of a thousand souls in torment, as it shambled -- half walking, half stumbling -- toward the source of the sound.

Seeing the monster's lifeless white face rounded the corner and peered into the kitchen, the girl threw herself backward against the counter and grabbed for anything to use as a weapon. When the monster's eyes found hers, her fingers closed around a smooth metal object. As the creature leapt, almost flew, toward her, its fangs extended and its hands like claws ready to grasp and tear, her hand came up, as if on its own, and thrust the object out, as a weapon or a shield.

She felt the creature's body slam into her and prayed it would end swiftly...[]

06 September 2012

Rise of the Zombie-Pires, Part One...[]

Note: I'm writing this story for a friend and will try to post something new every day...please be warned it will be awesome...

Just then, a horrible sense of impending awesome began to loom on the horizon...

...it was that day when the zombie-pires closed in for the attack, their fangs drawn in anticipation, their hollow, soulless eyes agape with unquenchable hunger, their moans the only sounds in the stillness of the night...

Suddenly, a tap sounded against the window-pane. Was it just an errant leaf, blown about by the wind? No; the air was strangely still this night. What could it be? She turned to look through the glass in innocent curiosity. Just as she was almost certain there was nothing there, a white, bloodied hand slammed against the window with a heart-stopping swiftness and fury. A horrid, dreadful face appeared, pale white, the face of no living thing. A scream rang out. Was it hers, or this monster's? No matter; it saw her and knew there was food inside...


15 February 2012

My beard...[]

I love my beard...I see it as a survival adaptation. It keeps my face warm during the cold winter months. Since 2004, I have never once completely shaved my beard, and it has never let me down in all that time.

Be kind to your beards, gentlemen...they deserve it. []