Daily Archives: March 2, 2016

How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 55

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Miss Bonnie wasn’t exactly in a rush to get back to the dive she called home. She’d walked to the Bonnie Lass so many times before, but there was something about this walk that felt different. The business she’d been so proud of was about to become her tomb, a place where she’d be stuck forever, surrounded by drunks, gamblers and perverts while another woman would be married to the man she loved.

So the redhead took her time. She stopped outside Anderson’s front window, gawked at the gee gaws on display and remembered the muffins she bought for Slade. She was pretty sure Sarah was an uppity bitch that baked her own muffins, but who cares? Miss Bonnie was a business woman, after all. An entrepreneur. An earner.

Miss Bonnie spotted Miles standing outside the store, eating his candy. She’d seen the boy around town before but had never met him.

“Hello,” she said.

“Ma’am,” Miles replied.

What do I now?” Miss Bonnie thought.

She was in the process of talking herself into believing that one day she’d get over her loss. Maybe she’d find a man that would make her say, “Slade, who?” Or maybe she’d just grow her fortune and have a good time counting all her money.

But she couldn’t help but notice how hard it was to think when there was an obnoxious hissing sound coming from directly behind her. She turned around, expecting to see a snake but instead refused to believe her eyes when she saw Hewitt holding a bundle of dynamite in his hand. The long fuse attached to it was lit and burning down.

Becker carried another bundle. He held a lit cigar against the fuse until it too sparked.

Both men were standing out in front of the Bonnie Lass. Hewitt hauled his arm back, creating an arc that led directly over the the swinging doors.

Miles had no clue what to do. Helplessly, he stood and watched.

The redhead lifted her skirt, pulled her derringer out of her garter belt and pointed it at Hewitt.

“HEY!” she yelled.

Hewitt craned his neck back.

“Douse it!” Miss Bonnie said. “Both of you!”

Hewitt faced the saloon again. He tossed his bundle in. Becker tossed his.

Miss Bonnie squeezed the trigger, opening a hole in the back of Hewitt’s head that instantly closed. He swung around, looked at Bonnie and smiled. His eyes turned yellow.

The redhead fired her second shot. It landed in Hewitt’s chest. Again, the hole disappeared.

From inside the saloon, Waldo the Barkeep screamed, “WHAT THE…”

Calmly, the henchmen ducked.

The explosion was massive. Miss Bonnie’s life’s work erupted into a giant fireball as pieces of wood, debris, and body parts sprayed everywhere.

But she wasn’t left with much time to worry about her lost business, seeing as how half of a flaming player piano was sailing directly towards her.

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 54

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A pencil, a few sheets of paper and a piece of licorice sat on the Andersons’ counter. Miles counted out his coins.

“Is this enough?” he asked.

Mrs. Anderson pushed three pennies back. Miles grabbed his purchases.

“Thanks,” the boy said.

“I think it is so wonderful that negroes are allowed to use money now,” Mrs. Anderson said as she turned to her husband. “Don’t you, dear?”

Mr. Anderson was much too engrossed with his newspaper to pay attention to his wife’s prattling. “Huh?”

“Negroes!” Mrs. Anderson said loudly to compensate for her husband’s hearing loss.

“What about ‘em?” the shopkeeper asked.

“I said I think it is wonderful they’re allowed to use money now!”

“Nah,” Mr. Anderson said. “If they have money they probably stole it.”

Embarrassed, Mrs. Anderson flicked the back of Mr. Anderson’s paper with her finger.

“What?” Mr. Anderson asked. The old coot lowered his paper and caught a glimpse of Miles. “Oh.”

Per his father’s advice, Miles was making an effort to understand that comments like that were always going to be a part of his life, and if he fought every rude person, he’d be fighting forever.

Two years earlier, Miles became aware of his alternative form when, to his great surprise, a similar comment caused him to wolf out in public. Miles and his father had been moving about the country ever since, picking up and leaving one step ahead of a torch and pitchfork brigade whenever the lad lost control.

Miles was getting older now and was determined to keep his cool. If he was ever going to stay in one place for any considerable length of time, he needed to learn to hold back the beast within.

“I don’t mean you,” Mr. Anderson said. “You look like a good one. The kind you’d trust to come into your house and clean up without stealing anything.”

Oh, how Miles felt the beast surge. He gnashed his teeth and choked his feelings back.

“Thank you, sir.”

“Come again,” Mrs. Anderson said.

Miles put his hand on the door knob.

“What a nice young man,” Mrs. Anderson said.

“For Christ’s sake, Muriel!” Mr. Anderson said. “Stop being so nice to them. They’re like strays. Pay them attention and they come back in droves.”

Miles sighed. He opened the door and stepped into the road. He bit off a piece of licorice and chewed.

Earlier that afternoon, he changed his clothes and took a bathe in a creek. The stink was gone. Avoiding Becker and Hewitt had bought him some time, but he knew he’d have to face them sooner or later, since he was determined to disobey his father and stay in town.

Miles blamed himself for his father’s predicament. Had he not wolfed out in Kansas, he and Joe would have never moved on to Missouri. Inside, the boy was scared and convinced Becker and Hewitt would shred him to bits in an instant.

But he wasn’t budging. He knew he’d never forgive himself if he left his father behind.

 

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