Daily Archives: April 18, 2016

How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 82

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“Oof!” was Doc’s cry as he doubled over to clutch his stomach shortly after Miss Bonnie sucker punched him in the gut.

“You dirty spy!” the redhead said.

“Spy?” Doc inquired as he righted himself. “Oh no, madam. You have me all wrong. As a citizen of this fine country, I simply had a business matter to discuss with the marshal. I had no idea I would end up walking into a display of your torrid affair.”

“Doc,” Slade said. “How did you escape?”

“Outfoxed you, dear boy,” Doc said. “Don’t be too hard on yourself. We all can’t be Harvard men.”

Doc found himself on the business end of Miss Bonnie’s finger as it wagged an inch away from his face.

“You better keep your stinking trap shut about this you damn dirty zombie or so help me…”

Doc turned an imaginary key in his mouth and mimed throwing it over his shoulder.

“I assure you, my good woman, my lips are sealed vis a vis your transgressions,” Doc said.  “It had not occurred to me that the two of you were canoodling in secret but as the bible says, ‘let he who is without sin cast the first stone.’ I, of course, cannot.”

Slade tried a less violent approach.

“Doc,” Slade said. “We’re about to take the battle to Blythe.  Sarah’s already a wreck. Now is not the time to…”

“Not another word of it, please,” Doc said. “You have nothing to fear from me. Marshal, I too have long been a patron of practitioners of the world’s oldest profession so it does not surprise me that you have taken a shine to the vivaciously alluring Miss Lassiter as opposed to the chaste and pure Widow Farquhar.  Two women to choose from.  Would that we could could all have such problems, eh old boy?”

Doc nudged Slade with his elbow in jest but the move did not go over well.

“I’ve had about enough of you,” Miss Bonnie sneered.

“Oh Miss Lassiter, you misunderstand me again,” Doc said. “I’m simply saying in my own experience, I prefer the company of prostitutes because they are, despite their lowly status in society, some of the most honest women around. Every romantic relationship will inevitably cost a man dearly in some manner. At least ladies of the evening have the common courtesy to demand cash on the barrel head as it were.”

Slade noticed that Miss Bonnie was fuming.  “Doc, you may want to quit before she slugs you again.”

“Quite right,” Doc said.

The trio awkwardly looked at one another.

“Isn’t this cozy?” Doc asked. “The three of us warming ourselves by a fire.  And rather ironic, when you think about it, that the two of you require my assistance in containing the effects of your immoral doings while as it so happens I too require your aid in a most delicate bit of business, Marshal.”

“What?” Slade asked.

The good doctor handed over the documents he’d drawn up and the Reverend’s quill pen, dripping in ink.

“Your signature, if you please.”

Slade took the papers and looked them over.  “What is all this?”

“Oh, you’ll find everything in good order,” Doc said.

Upon reviewing the second paper, Slade’s reaction was the same as the Reverend’s. “This is a lie.”

“Is it?” Doc asked. “Or is it a little white lie? Little white lies make the world go round, good sir.  People don’t need to hear the absolute truth. They just need to hear what they wish the truth to be. Little white lies such as, ‘Yes Grandmother, I find your cooking to be superb’ even though it is rubbish or ‘No, Miss Farquhar, I do not recall seeing your betrothed inhaling the face of a known prostitute…”

“I quit that,” Miss Bonnie said.

“Did you?” Doc asked. “Well, buck up and get back to it my dear, for as they say, ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.’ No one likes a quitter.”

“That’s not what I meant,” Miss Bonnie said as she took the papers away from Slade and looked them over. 

“Is this for real?” she asked Doc.

“Indubitably,” Doc replied.

Miss Bonnie handed the papers back to Slade. “You should sign it then.”

“Indeed,” Doc asked. “All I require is for a public official in good standing to sign as a witness.”

“I’m not the marshal anymore,” Slade said.

“Yes,” Doc said. “But if you’ll notice, I took the liberty of dating these documents two days ago, back before you tendered your resignation. Although, for all we know, you may very well still be the marshal. I doubt very much given the current zombie crisis your resignation will be processed through the proper channels anytime soon, if at all.”

“Back dating a document?” Slade asked. “Doesn’t seem very honest…”

Slade instantly recalled what Doc had walked in on him doing and took the pen.  Doc turned around to offer his back as a makeshift writing desk and Slade signed both papers.

“Yes,” Doc said. “You scratch my back and I shall scratch yours.  Oh, that does feel good…”

The marshall forked over the papers and pen.

“Thank you, my good man,” Doc said. “You have my gratitude and if I may, I should very much like to aid you in escorting Miss Lassiter and company to the livery. From there, Annabelle and I shall make our departure.”

“Do you really love her, Doc?” Miss Bonnie asked.

“Indeed,” Doc said. “So rare is it in this world that two people with a consummate understanding of one another’s strengths and weaknesses join together that when such a match is found it must be nurtured, as one would a tiny sapling until it becomes a majestic sequoia.”

Miss Bonnie was baffled. “So…yes?”

“Yes,” Doc said as he folded the papers and placed them in his coat pocket. “Oh, and Miss Lassiter, one more thing. Some time ago, I saw you make quite a trick shot with a derringer in order to break up a squabble amongst roughhousing ruffians in your establishment.”

“What about it?” the redhead asked.

“I wonder if I may be so bold as to ask for it,” Doc said.

“I don’t know,” Miss Bonnie replied. “It has some sentimental value for me.  Besides, I don’t remember where I…”

Doc interrupted. “It’s for Annabelle to use to shoot me in the head should I become a full zombie.”

“Now I remember.” Miss Bonnie hiked up her skirt, fished the piece out of her garter belt, and handed it over.

“Isn’t this grand?” Doc said as he accepted the minuscule weapon. “Friends helping each other?”

“It sure is,” Miss Bonnie said. “I hope Annabelle uses it in good health.”

“Oh, Miss Lassiter!” Doc said as he chuckled. “You are a card!”

Slade and Miss Bonnie watched Doc walk back into the church.

“He’s still an asshole, right?” Slade asked.

“The biggest ever,” Miss Bonnie replied.

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BQB’s Celebrity Twitter Followers

Thus far, the list includes:

  • Taye Diggs…though that guy follows everyone.
  • Zack Ward aka the guy who Scott Farkus in A Christmas Story

And although those are both very fine follows, check this out:

Yup – Chris Hardwick’s (host of Talking Dead) mom.  Hooray for celebrity moms!

But you know, 3.5 readers. You don’t have to be a celebrity or a celebrity’s mother to follow me.  Just head on over to Twitter and follow @bookshelfbattle

I’m always tweeting something nerdy over there.

 

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 81

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“Do you think he’ll answer?” Miss Bonnie asked as she watched the flames dance.

“I don’t know,” Slade said.  “He was mighty sore at me.  And I let Gunther flap the blanket for awhile so he probably did some of that fake Injun talk shit.  The Chief hates that.”

The marshall and the redhead watched the bonfire for a time.  Slade reached for Miss Bonnie’s hand and held it. 

“I love you Bonnie.”

They were words that Slade had never spoken to another woman before. And though many women are often touched by such a warm gesture, Miss Bonnie grumbled a curt reply.

“I don’t blame you.”

A few beats skipped until she finally relented.  “I love you too.”

More fire watching.

Slade rubbed his thumb back and forth over the back of Miss Bonnie’s hand.

“When this is over, you and I have to be together,” Slade said.

“Your fiancé might have something to say about that,” Miss Bonnie said.

“I don’t care,” Slade said.  He grimaced then added, “I do care. I don’t want to hurt her. But my whole life I’ve been pretending to be someone I’m not and if I make it out alive I’m not going to do it anymore, not with her, not with anybody.”

“Rain,” Miss Bonnie said. “I’m too exhausted to be your discount head shrinker so just spill it.”

“When I was twelve I hid under the bed while a bandit shot my Ma dead,” Slade said.  “My Pa sent me away because he was disgusted with me.  I’ve been trying to prove myself ever since, shooting and stringing up every criminal I could get my hands on, talking in a tough guy voice that isn’t even mine.  None of it matters.  None of it makes me feel any tougher.  Whatever I do, I’ll still be that boy hiding under the bed.”

“That’s awful,” Miss Bonnie said.

Silence.

“Now you think less of me,” Slade said.

“No,” Miss Bonnie replied.  “I’ve done bad things.”

Slade held his left hand up in a stop motion. “Please. Everyone knows your ‘bad things,’ Bonnie.  Roscoe Crandall tells everyone who’ll listen.  I don’t care about that.”

“I shot my husband,” Miss Bonnie blurted out, abruptly.

Slade was taken aback.  “What?”

“I was married,” Miss Bonnie said. “To a man who started out nice then turned into a real horse’s ass.  Beat me half to death so many times I lost count so one day I got tired of it and I just up and shot him.”

Slade fumbled for a response.  He couldn’t think of one.

“It was him or me,” Miss Bonnie said. “And I chose me.”

“That explains a lot,” Slade said.

“I suppose,” Miss Bonnie said.

“Those dog monsters you killed,” Slade said. “All those zombies you shot up like they were nothing.  Your offer to shoot Doc…”

“OK,” Miss Bonnie said.

“…your stubborn bull-headedness…your cold demeanor when it comes to romance…your money grubbing tendencies…”

“OK!” Miss Bonnie repeated.

Slade put his arm around his lady love.  “I don’t care.”

The pair stayed like that for awhile until Slade started up again. 

“A year ago Pa wrote me a letter,” Slade said.  “Read an article in the paper about me and one of the outlaws I dragged in.  Told me he was sorry.  Said I’m welcome to come visit him if I were so inclined.”

“Fuck him,” Miss Bonnie said.  “You were twelve and couldn’t have done any better had you been an adult.”

“I know,” Slade said. “But hearing it from him might put my mind at ease.  Nothing else has.” 

“Do what you want then,” Miss Bonnie said.

“Come with me,” Slade said.

Miss Bonnie scrunched up her face. “What?”

“To Arizona,” Slade said.  “This town’s in ruins. There’s nothing left for us here.”

“I’m not going to be ‘the other woman,’” Miss Bonnie said.

“You’ll be the only woman,” Slade replied. “Once this is over, I’ll sit Sarah down, spill my guts, and take my licks.  Then we can be together.”

“I…I don’t…”  Miss Bonnie stammered.

“Just think about it,” Slade said.  “And in case I die….”

Without warning, the marshall scooped Miss Bonnie up in his arms, dipped her, then kissed her passionately.  The redhead let her guard down and returned the favor.  Tongues were surely touched.  Spit was definitely swapped.

Once the smooching subsided, Slade finished his thought. “…I don’t want to go without having done that.”

Clap. Clap. Clap.

The couple’s hearts sank as they heard a pair of hands applauding them from behind their backs. 

There was a witness to their illicit secret, one with blank eyes that served as mirrors, reflecting the bonfire’s flames.

“Bravo!” Doc said between claps. “Bravissimo! Encore! Encore, I say!”

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 80

shutterstock_320226569Gunther walked into the the church to find Doc and the Reverend chatting away, thick as thieves.  The old man noticed the broken chair parts and rope pieces all over the floor.

“Shit,” the deputy said.  “He try to eat you, Rev?”

“No,” the preacher replied.

“Hell with it then,” Gunther said as he took a seat at the table.  “Pour me one of those.”

Miles, a human once more, came in, all wrapped up in his blanket.  It was a bit singed but extra toasty from the fire.   He sat down next to Gunther, who in turn, took the Reverend’s bottle and poured the boy a shot.

The kid stared at it.  “Am I old enough?”

“You killed more zombies today than I did,” Gunther said.  “You’re a man.”

The boy took a sip and instantly sprayed it out of his mouth.  “What the?”

The adults laughed.  “I didn’t say it was tasty,” Gunther said.  “It’ll put hair on your chest all right.”

Gunther pondered that statement then upon remembering that Miles was a werewolf, added, “Not that you need anymore.”

Sarah entered in a daze.  She sat down at the table, making a point to stay far, far away from Doc.  His eyes remained a ghastly sight.

“Miss Sarah,” Gunther said as he poured another shot and slid it towards the bride. “Not that I want to turn you into an alcoholic but if ever there was a time to turn to the booze to help get you through, this might be it.”

“No,” Sarah said as she slid the drink back. “I’ll be seeking penance for the rest of my days for imbibing earlier and I cannot allow myself to sin any further.”

“Suit yourself,” the Reverend said as he helped himself to Sarah’s drink.

“While we are on this subject, Reverend, I must say your behavior throughout this entire ordeal has been less than holy,” the bride said.

The Reverend sighed. “Miss Sarah.  Despite my internal doubts, I have lived a pure life,  a penchant for liquor being my only weakness, one which I have done my best to atone for.  I have helped my fellow man, put many lost souls on the right path and yet here I am, trapped in a zombie infested nightmare.”

Sarah scowled. “I have yet to lose my faith.”

“Are you sure?” the Reverend asked. “Cowering in the corner isn’t exactly a sign of a person who is sure the lord is going to swoop in and save her at any moment.”

Sarah stood up.  “Well, I never!”

“Perhaps you should,” the Reverend said.  “A life of faith has gotten you the same place it has gotten me…nowhere.”

Sarah stomped her foot and stormed off, only to stop abruptly.  “All of my prayers have brought me Rainier Slade,” the bride said.  “The bravest, toughest man in the entire West.  He will see me through this.  I’m sure of it.”

The bride found a pew to sulk in silence in.  The Reverend reached for the bottle only to find Gunther’s hand on his.

“We all got a part to play in this, Rev,” Gunther said. “And a preacher that can’t lift people’s spirits aint of much use to anyone.”

The Reverend’s face flushed with embarrassment.  He put the cork in the bottle. “Duly noted.”

The good doctor felt a hand on his shoulder as the scent of a familiar perfume wafted through his nostrils.

Annabelle had just entered the room and was surprised to see her companion not tied to a chair.

“You’re free and you haven’t bitten anyone,” Annabelle said. 

Doc kissed Annabelle’s hand. “I wouldn’t count yourself safe though, my dear.  You look so ravishing that I should very much like to consume you for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Every one at the table let out a collective groan.

“A word?” Doc asked Annabelle. She consented and together they walked toward the open door frame, finding a spot to speak in private.

“Dearest, I must present you with a difficult choice,” Doc said.

Annabelle’s bright eyes were fixated on Doc, waiting for what he had to say next.

“The safest option for you would be to accompany Miss Lassiter and seek refuge with the Indians,” Doc said.  “I haven’t the slightest clue of what my condition will bring and the possibility that I may lose control and attack you is quite real.”

“I’ll take the chance,” Annabelle said. “I won’t leave you.”

“Selfishly, I hoped you would say that,” Doc said. “As I am not welcome in Miss Lassiter’s party due to my condition, I intend to press on eastward.  My Miracle Cure-All may be a failure, but I will still pursue my dream of spreading news of the curative properties of cocaine to the world.  If you come with me, I shall protect you with my dying breath and if we make it to Boston, we will catch a vessel to Britain and begin our new lives together, free of this zombie infested continent once and for all.”

Annabelle’s eyes welled up as she wrapped her arm’s around the doctor.  “Oh Doc.  You had me at cocaine.”

To her surprise, Doc pushed her away.  “But my dear, you must promise one thing.”

“Anything.”

“If I am overcome by my condition and become a wretched beast, you must save yourself and put a bullet directly into my brain.”

Annabelle frowned.  “I couldn’t possibly.”

Doc stepped back.  “Quite understandable.  Very well, my dear.  Then with regret I must insist that we end our courtship at this time…”

“OK!”  Annabelle cried.

“I must hear you promise my dear,” Doc said.

“Fine,” Annabelle said. “I promise to shoot you if you become a zombie.”

“Lovelier words have never been spoken,” Doc said.  “If you’ll excuse me now, I must have a word with the Marshall.”

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These Yummy Mozzarella Sticks Will Be in My Belly

Oh, sweet cheesy mozzarella sticks. Italian herbs and cheese in stick form, perfect for dipping into marinara sauce. Once ingested into my stomach, they will bind me up and make me drop a brick but it will be so worth it.

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Attorney Donnelly advises me to note this is not a photo of Applebee’s mozzarella sticks per se but just random sticks in general.  Either way, so delish and nutrish.

The Applebees website lists their mozzarella stick appetizer at eight bucks. (I assume Mrs. Applebee comes out and gives you a back massage or something.)

So, I’m thinking I’ll price How the West Was Zombed at 2.99 and then once you factor in Jeff Bezo’s cut, I’ll probably need to sell four copies just to make sure I have enough.

You know what? Let’s go for five copies. I’ll want a soda to wash all that gooey cheese down.

What a world we live in. Never did I once dream that I would ever be a successful enough writer to buy my own plate of cheese sticks and now I’ll be wolfing them down.

I don’t know exactly when. There’s still a lot of work to do. But there’s definitely a light at the end of the tunnel for the first draft and thus that’ll be a first for me.

Not sure how long, could be a year or two before it gets self-published but now I know it is not a question of if but when.

Those cheese sticks will be mine and I owe it all to my 3.5 readers.

Oh wait. Damn it. I’m going to need 5.5 readers to get cheese sticks and a coke. Come on people, I need 2 more readers to make my dream of a delicious appetizer come true.

In the meantime, 3.5 readers, would you do me a favor and read what I have written so far of How the West Was Zombed?

Your comments (good or bad) bring this project closer to fruition.  If you help me whip this book into good enough shape I might even…no…dare I dream it?

Get an entire fiesta lime chicken entree.  Oh sweet, delicious chicken seasoned with lime…

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Game of the Month With Video Game Rack Fighter – Uncharted 4

 

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Video Game Rack Fighter – Ranking World Car Thief Mayhem Champion; Currently Involved with Bookshelf Q. Battler (She has our condolences.)

Hey 3.5 Readers,

Video Game Rack Fighter here, swiping BQB’s laptop to bring you my very first Game of the Month column.

Alien Jones has a column.  Dr. Hugo Von Science has a column. Even the Yeti has a column but that’s ok, BQB.  Make the best thing that ever happened to you wait an entire year to get her own column. That’s totally fair.

***cough cough JERKFACE! cough cough***

Excuse me. Lots of dust here in BQB HQ.

Uncharted 4!  Let’s check out the trailer:

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – Playstation

3.5 readers, I love, love, love this series. It is cinematic gameplay at its best. These games always grab hold of you, drag you in, and leave you feeling like you’re guiding treasure hunter Nathan Drake through his very own movie.

The graphics are that good, rivaling any big Hollywood blockbuster.

There’s a little bit of everything. Gunplay.  Oh stop. If you’re reading this then you’re a video game nerd and you know you can’t have a good game unless you’ve got some gun action.

Hell, I’ve been lobbying Nintendo to let Mario pack a Mac-10 but they won’t return my calls.  Dorks.

There’s death defying stunts. You’ll feel like you’re with Drake as he’s clinging on that ledge, overlooking a drop into vast nothingness below.

And there are puzzles.  The puzzles I’m not that huge a fan of. Some of them are pretty obvious. Others are real head scratchers that take some time. Occasionally, they take too much time and then I have to go online to search for the answers so I can get back to making Drake make things go boom.

If you’re new to the series, it follows Nathan Drake, modern day ancestor of 1500’s explorer Sir Francis Drake, as he goes on globe trotting adventures to uncover treasures and relics.  Obviously, there are always bad guys with unlimited supplies of henchmen getting in the way.

Naughty Dog, the game’s developer, scored a winner when they first began making this series. I’ve played them all and they keep getting better and better, proving that it is possible for games to a) have a lot of action and b) a compelling storyline.

Screw the movies.  Just stay home and play Uncharted 4.  Just don’t get any popcorn grease on your controller. Those things are like seventy bucks a pop.

You know, a friend of mine who only has an X-Box asked me whether or not Uncharted is worth springing for a Playstation (seeing as how it is exclusive to PS.)

My answer? If you’ve got the money and plunking it down isn’t going to leave you sleeping in a cardboard box at night, then yes. Yes it is.

STATUS: Rack worthy. This game totally deserves a spot on my rack.

Hmm.  Yeah, BQB said that was a poorly phrased line and I scoffed at him but now that I hear it out loud…

Oh well. Uncharted 4 is my game of the month for April.  If you’ve played it, share your thoughts in the comments and tell me which game you think should be my Game of the Month for May.

Take it easy, 3.5.

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