Monthly Archives: June 2016

How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 120

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A tin can soared into the sky, then drifted down.

A bullet popped it back up. A second, third, fourth. Six shots in all kept it dancing until it hit the ground again.

Slade blew the smoke off his revolver, twirled it around his finger, then handed it to Miles, who took it and loaded it.

“Ready?” Slade asked.

“As I’ll ever be,” Milo answered.

Slade threw a new tin can into the air. Its journey was uneventful. Up, then quickly down as the three shots Miles took got nowhere close to making their mark.

“I don’t get it,” Miles said. “I shot that werewolf.”

The lawman walked over to the can and picked it up. “Shooting a werewolf’s like shooting the broad side of a barn. Anyone can do it.”

Slade loaded three more rounds then handed the pistol back to Miles. “No offense.”

“But the real trick,” Slade said as he hauled his arm back and prepared to throw the can again, “Is to shoot something small and far away…”

Slade hurled the can up into the air. Miles missed twice before the can plopped down again.

“…before it shoots you,” Slade said.

“I’ll never get it,” Miles said.

“Takes time,” Slade said. “And patience.”

“That’s ok,” Miles said as he passed the revolver back. “I don’t want to get it anyway.”

“Why don’t you keep it?” Slade asked. “Never know when you might need it.”

“No,” Miles said. “Pa was right. Fighting isn’t something to look forward to. I never want to hurt anyone ever again.”

“Fair enough,” Slade said.

Slade and Miles sat on a fence together.

“I wish I hadn’t killed him,” Miles said.

“It was you or him,” Slade replied. “You’d rather him be here now?”

“Honestly,” Miles said. “Yeah. Just so I don’t have to feel bad about it.”

“Huh,” Slade said. “First time I ever heard someone say that.”

“You never feel bad when you shoot someone?”

Slade stalled by taking a long drag off his cigar then exhaling the smoke. “Honestly? All the time.”

There was an awkward silence until Slade broke it. “Don’t tell anyone. I got a reputation to keep.”

“I’m just going to live a peaceful life so I never have to kill someone and feel bad about it ever again,” Miles said.

Slade nodded. “Good plan…except…what if someone comes after you anyway?”

Miles took a few seconds to think about that. “I’ll worry about that when it happens.”

Slade rolled his eyes, unholstered his revolver and passed it over to Miles once more.

“Kid, there’s an old saying,” Slade said. “‘God made man and Samuel Colt made them equal. Take it already in case you need it.”

“Nope,” Miles said as he pushed the revolver away. “Besides, no one’s equal to a werewolf.”

“Good point,” Slade said.

The lawman holstered his weapon.

“You know,” Slade said as he chomped on his cigar. “You’d probably know more about this than I do but it seems to me that if one werewolf were to kill some kind of big important boss werewolf, that he’d become the boss werewolf.”

“That’s true,” Miles replied. “Technically, I’m now King of the Western Werewolves.”

Slade choked on his smoke in shock. “I was just joking. Are you serious?”

“Yes,” Miles said.
“So why don’t you…”

“Claim the title?” Miles asked. “Because every alpha wolf has to protect his reign from a non-stop onslaught of challenges from werewolves who think they’re bigger and badder.”

“Suppose that would get tedious,” Slade said.

“It would,” Miles said. “And besides. I’m a werewolf of peace now.”

Slade shook his head. “Werewolf of peace.”

The duo stood up.

“So listen,” Slade said. “Miss Bonnie and I are headed West and we’d like it if you’d come along.”

“No thanks,” Miles said. “I’m not a kid anymore.”

“Oh,” Slade said. “I wasn’t saying that. Just that, you know…”

Slade scratched the back of his neck and worked up the courage he needed to say something emotional. “…we’d miss you.”

“I’ll miss you all too,” Miles said. “But I need to be my own man. Make my own way.”

“I can respect that,” Slade said.

“I’ve got to,” Miles added. “Pa told me if our line lasts long enough a Freeman might accomplish something great one day.”

Slade tipped his hat. “Something tells me that will happen sooner than you think.”

The sappiness was not lost on Miles. He smiled.

Slade stretched out his hand to offer a handshake. Miles bypassed that gesture and gave Slade a hug instead. A big one.

Such displays of feeling were new to Slade, but like anyone, he figured out what to do. He returned the hug, patted the young man on the back, then let him go.

The lawman rubbed a tear away.

“Something in your eye?” Miles asked.

“Aww it’s this damn cigar,” Slade replied. “Dirty habit. Don’t pick it up.”

A bag was propped up against the fence. Miles picked it up, opened it, then unbuttoned his shirt.

“Where will you go?” Slade asked.

“Not sure,” Miles replied. “Explore awhile. Maybe head down Mexico way eventually. Pa thought it would be nice down there.”

“Pima,” Slade said. “Little town in Arizona. Southwest of Tombstone. That’s where we’ll be if you ever need anything.”

Miles folded his shirt up neatly and put it in the bag. It’d been the first time he was able to take off a shirt without destroying it in awhile.

Slade looked away as the boy removed his pants. Miles folded them up and packed them too.

“I’ll come visit someday,” Miles said.

“I’ll make us some dinner,” Slade said. “Lest Miss Bonnie poison us all.”

Miles’ chuckles trailed off and turned into heavy breathing.

Slade turned around to find the boy had taken his werewolf form.

The bag laid on the ground a few feet away.

“I got it,” Slade said.

The lawman noticed Miles’ head was pointed in the opposite direction. This gave him the chance to sneak his pistol into the bag just before he hanged the strap around the werewolf’s neck.

Slade patted Miles on the head as he would a puppy. “Take care of yourself, werewolf of peace.”

A rush of air pushed out of the werewolf’s snout, followed by some panting.

Slade pointed his finger at the wolf.

“Don’t go blaming yourself forever for what happened to your father,” Slade said.

More air. More panting.

“All right then,” Slade said as he slapped Miles’ furry back. “Happy trails.”

Miles took off. Fast. Lighting speed. His paws galloped across the plain as his fur bandied about in the breeze.

Slade watched his young friend gallop away until he became a blip on the horizon.

“Shit,” Slade said. “I know you will.”

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 119

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A few hours laters, Slade found himself staring down at a stone marker. A name and dates had been carved eloquently into it. “Mavis Beauregard 1814-1877.”

Less eloquently, but with just as much love, a name and dates had been etched across a wooden cross. “Gunther Beauregard 1813-1880.”

“Did you know Mavis?” Slade asked.

“A little,” Miss Bonnie answered.

“Those two get along as famously as he made out?” Slade asked.

“And then some,” Bonnie replied.

“Damn,” Slade said. “I hope I find a wife some day who will cook all my meals and sew me a fancy vest.”

“Good luck with that,” Miss Bonnie said.

The couple laid some flowers down on each grave.

Miss Bonnie looked around. Fresh graves going on forever.

“The cemetery sure got bigger,” Miss Bonnie said.

Slade struck a match and lit his cigar. “That it has.”

He puffed.

“Boots on or off?” Slade asked.

“Huh?” Miss Bonnie asked.

“Nothing,” Slade said. “Just something Gunther said to me is all.”

“Is it me or are you chattier lately?” Miss Bonnie asked.

“I don’t think so,” Slade said.

“I do,” Miss Bonnie said. “You and the Chief were looking as thick as thieves.”

Slade coughed into his hand. “I might be trying harder.”

Miss Bonnie pointed to an old oak tree. Miles was standing next to it. He’d found a nice plaid shirt and a pair of pants that actually fit. He was even wearing Gunther’s hat, red feather and all.

And he was staring down at another grave.

“I think I see someone who needs you to try,” Miss Bonnie said.

Slade noticed Miles was wearing a particularly forlorn look.

“Aw shit,” Slade said.

The lawman joined Miles under the tree. The cross simply read “Joseph Freeman.” Miles had never thought to ask his father what year he was born, nor had Joe ever gotten around to sharing that information.

“Miles,” Slade said.

“Slade,” the boy replied.

“Miss Bonnie said I ought to talk to you,” Slade said.

“OK,” Miles said.

Slade exhaled a burst of smoke then lost himself in thought for a moment. Finally, he drew his pistol.

“You want to forget all that and do some trick shooting instead?” Slade asked.

“Do I ever,” Miles replied.

Slade and Miles walked away together.

“Is your voice different?” Miles asked.

“I had a lozenge,” Slade answered.

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 118

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Five Days Later

Slade stabbed his shovel into the earth, then leaned on it and wiped the sweat off his brow. He gulped water from a canteen, wiped his mouth, then let out a satisfying, “Ahh.”

“Gack…ack…”

The lawman was no longer alone. He turned around to find himself staring at a wretched zombie. Its hair was patchy. Clothes ripped apart. The few teeth it had were gnashing their way towards Slade.

Splat! A tomahawk crashed through the creature’s skull, sending its corpse into the six-foot hole Slade had dug.

Slade nodded at Standing Eagle, then offered the Chief a drink. He accepted.

“Sorry if I startled you,” Eagle said.

“Nah,” Slade replied as he looked down at the still zombie. “Saved me from having to carry him.”

Slade scooped up a pile of dirt and tossed it on the zombie’s face. Then another. And another.

Eagle surveyed the field. Rows and rows of fresh graves as far as the eye could see, each marked with a wooden cross.

“I’m not sure many men would do this,” Eagle said.

“Yeah,” Slade said as he kept shoveling. “But zombie or not, everyone deserves a proper burial don’t they?”

“They do,” Eagle said.

Miss Bonnie and Miles approached, each holding onto the edges of a large burlap sack that they dragged behind them.

“Found two more,” Miss Bonnie announced.

The bag started moving on its own. Groans came next.

“Gimmie that,” Miss Bonnie said as she yanked the shovel out of Slade’s hands. She then wailed away on the sack, striking it vigorously. “Bad zombie! I told…you…to…stay…dead!”

The bag was still. Then it moved once more. Miss Bonnie gave it one last whack. That did the trick.

“I think there’s some space left on the north side,” Slade said.

“Ok then,” Miss Bonnie said as she handed the shovel back to Slade. She and Miles moved on with their ghastly cargo.

“Interesting woman you have there,” Standing Eagle said.

“Yeah,” Slade replied as he returned to shoveling. “I’m just glad she’s on my side.”

Eagle picked up another shovel and joined in.

“What will you do now?” Eagle asked.

“Go West,” Slade replied. “Got a hatchet with my Pa I’d like to bury.”

“Ah,” Eagle said. “I suppose no matter who we are, none of us ever feel like we have lived up to our fathers’ expectations do we?”

“Nope,” Slade said.

Slade and Eagle kept shoveling scoops of dirt into the hole for awhile.

“The old man with the beard,” Eagle said. “The deputy. He was like a father to you?”

“You could say that,” Slade said.

“I am sorry,” Eagle said.

“Eh,” Slade said. “For some reason, I don’t think he’d want any of us to be.”

“Strength,” Eagle said.

Slade corrected him. “Practicality. Crying for him won’t bring him back so he’d say it is a waste of time.”

“Yes,” Eagle said. “Wandering Snake was the same way. Age brings a sense of clarity the young do not understand.”

“Live long enough and you’ve seen so much shit that you know how shit will go down before it actually does,” Slade said.

“Indeed,” Eagle said.

Slade stopped scooping. “I’m sorry,” the lawman said. “I tried to stop him.”

“I’m sure you did,” Eagle said. “But no one could have stopped him. Snake was an old man and his mind was made up.”

Slade got back to work. “What was it like?”

“What?” Eagle asked.

“You know.”

“Being dead?” Eagle asked.

“Yeah.”

“Imagine drifting through a sea of bright colors while a feeling rushes over you as if you were being caressed by the hands of a thousand beautiful women.”

“Are you serious?” Slade asked.

“I am.”

“Shit,” Slade said. “Now I feel even worse for not stopping him.”

Eagle laughed. “Oh. Fear not. It was a prelude of what’s to come and I can only assume the feeling will become even better with every good deed I perform with the time I have left.”

“You’re a hell of an optimist, Chief,” Slade said.

“You should try it sometime,” Eagle replied.

The hole was filled in. Slade tamped the earth down.

“I’ll join the warriors to search for more zombies,” Eagle said.

Slade plunged his shovel into a fresh patch of ground. “I’ll keep digging.”

Eagle started to walk off then stopped when Slade called for him.

“Thanks for dying for me,” Slade said.

“You’re welcome,” Eagle said. “Just don’t ask me to do it again.”

The men shook hands and looked at the town in the distance. Burnt out, crumbling buildings. Death and destruction everywhere.

“You know the government fucked my people over,” Slade said.

Eagle started to respond with, “Now you…”

Slade and Eagle smiled and pointed at each other as Slade finished the thought. “Now we know how you feel, yes.”

“Eh, not quite,” Eagle said. “But it’s a start.”

“Anyway,” Slade said. “They cut us off. They’re not coming around here any time soon and I don’t work for them anymore so as far as I’m concerned, Highwater is yours.”

Just as Slade finished his words, the cracked steeple of the church slipped off the roof and crashed to the ground.

“Sorry it’s such a shit hole,” Slade said.

“Better days are ahead,” Eagle said. “And ‘yours.’ ‘Mine.’ Surely you realize by now these words are unnecessary.”

“I’m starting to,” Slade said.

“All will be welcome,” Eagle said.

“You’re a very mellow man, Chief,” Slade said. “How do you do it?”

“Practice,” Slade said. “Patience. Study. Meditation.”

Slade nodded.

“And special herbs.”

“Herbs?” Slade asked.

Eagle walked away. “You couldn’t handle that shit, Slade.”

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Will You Use Facebook Live for Promotion?

Hey nerds.

Informal poll here.

I’ve been seeing people spring up with Facebook Livestreaming all over the place the past a week, the latest Facebook feature.

Will you use it and what for?

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How the West Was Zombed – Almost Done

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Well…not quite almost.

But, the overall story itself has been told.

The East was saved. The West was zombed.

All the characters have done what they needed to do.

Now there just needs to be one last part to say where they’re headed in the future.

Sooo…this is great. I’m at 89,000 words and while I still have a lot to go, the end is in sight.

Thank you 3.5 readers. I can’t wait to publish this bad boy, collect my sweet check and go buy some mozzarella sticks at Applebees.

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How the West Was Zombed – Part 11 – Catching a Train

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It’s do or die time for Slade.

A train full of zombies is barreling East. If it crosses the Mississippi River, the United States is surely doomed.

Will our hero save the day?

And while he’s at it, will he save the woman he loves?

Will he even get to save the woman he likes?

Chapter 103        Chapter 104        Chapter 105 

Chapter 106      Chapter 107        Chapter 108

Chapter 109     Chapter 110         Chapter 111

Chapter 112     Chapter 113         Chapter 114

Chapter 115    Chapter 116          Chapter 117

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Game of Thrones Recap – Season 6, Episode 10 – “The Winds of Winter” – Season Finale

Time flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it 3.5 readers?

Season 6 of GOT is over. Done. Finito. In the books.

Let’s talk but beware for like Melisandre’s mystical vagina, this post is dark and full of terrors…AND SPOILERS.

Mostly spoilers.

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From a writing standpoint, so many things happened this season that we’ve all been waiting for a long time:

  • Arya got her revenge.
  • Jon Snow is King of the North.
  • Sansa escaped a life of having to go from being tortured by one douche to being tortured by another douche.
  • One of Cersie’s schemes actually worked.
  • The Imp is finally recognized by someone who appreciates his brain.
  • The Khaleesi is on her way to Westeros.
  • Overall, the kids have grown up and everyone’s either doing or on their way to doing what they’ve been meant to do all along.

So about last night –

CERSEI 

She’s long lamented that her lack of a dong has held her back. She has argued many a time that she’s wise and brilliant and if only she were a man she’d be taken seriously.

Well, people be taking her ass seriously now because…holy shit…she done went and exploded the Sept of Baelor.

Took out the High Sparrow, all his little sparrows, probably even the Tyrells though technically we didn’t get full confirmation as to whether or not Margery and Loras made it out or not.

The running joke about Cersei is that her schemes always fail. Not only do they fail but they usually make her problems worse. (i.e. she gives the High Sparrow extra powers to go after her enemies only to have him turn on her.)

Did Cersie know that Tommen would kill himself?

You could argue yes because she did put on her Queenly garment before it all went down.

You could argue no because she had Frankenmountain keep him from getting blown up and historically, though she has been douchey to everyone else, she has been fiercely loyal to her children.

At any rate, her butt is on the Iron Throne.

KHALEESI

I know her name isn’t Khaleesi but I like it better and it is easier to spell.

Didn’t you get goosebumps seeing all those ships and dragons crossing the Narrow Sea?

The long awaited invasion of Westeros is on the way.

Though  I have to wonder, when that happens, could the end of the show be far behind? Putting the Khaleesi on the Iron Throne and defeating the White Walkers seems like the final plot points that need to be wrapped up.

THE IRON BORN

Bunch of smelly pirate vikings.

If you ask me, GRRM is way too obsessed with turning his male characters into eunuchs.  Spare the balls, George. Spare the balls.

But despite being a eunuch, Theon seems to be on the way toward redeeming himself for his douchebaggery. He’s lost his claim to the Iron Islands, but may do something super heroic, die in battle, or end up as his sister’s chief advisor.

Speaking of…

WOMEN TAKING OVER

Hey. Look. I’m all for women’s rights and shit but Westeros is becoming a total vag-ocracy here.

You’ve got Cersei on the Iron Throne and the Khaleesi about to take the Iron Throne (does anyone think anyone in Westeros is willing to be chomped by a dragon to protect Cersei? Doubtful.)

You’ve got Ellaria Sand ruling Dorne after killing her brother-in-law in a coup.

You’ve got Lady Olena in charge of Highgarden even though she’s like a million years old.

Sure, Jon Snow is King of the North but he’s one of those perpetually depressed hipster emo losers who will probably walk away from it all and turn it over to Sansa.

I’m not saying never have a woman ruler but you know, let’s mix it up and have some peen-ocracies and some vag-ocracies.

ARYA

Checked a big name off her list. Got her revenge.

WHAT’S BEYOND WESTEROS?

There was a brief mention this season that there is land beyond Westeros but no one has ever sailed that far.

I wonder if that will become some kind of allegory to Europeans sailing and colonizing the Americas.

WHAT SAY YOU, 3.5 READERS?

What did you like about this season? What did you not like? What did you want to see and or not see?

What’s next?

Discuss.

 

 

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 117

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Slade’s stoic face broke as he looked down at his close ally. He cried…but just a little.

Bobcat patted Slade on the shoulder. “Slade, if it’s any consolation, I pleaded with Eagle to allow your town full of lying, thieving back-stabbers to be consumed whole by the zombies as punishment for the many, many years of torment your people have put my people through.”

Slade sniffed. His eyes dried up. “It isn’t, but thanks, I guess.”

“Then perhaps it is a consolation that he cared enough about you and your people to ignore me and come to your aid anyway,” Bobcat said. “Truly, he was a better and more forgiving man than I.”

“I wish it was me lying there,” Slade said. “Instead of him.”

“I wish so too,” Bobcat said. “I really, really do.”

Wandering Snake stepped next to Slade’s right side.

“A bear catches a fish,” the shaman said. “A bear eats the fish. A bear’s belly is full. The bear is happy.”

Slade nodded.

“A bird eats a seed,” Snake said. “A bird’s belly is full. A bird is happy.”

Slade nodded again.

“But a man,” Snake said. “And, to be specific, your kind of man. He eats his dinner. His belly is full. He wants more. He lives in a home. He wants a bigger home. He has gold. He wants more….”

“I get the picture,” Slade said.

“Do you?” Snake asked. “Because all any man ever needs to do to be happy is to realize he lives in a world bestowed upon him with all the food he’ll ever need to eat, all the water he’ll ever need to drink, all the materials he’ll ever need to survive and most importantly, more than enough of everything to share with everyone. There is no need for anyone to ever be unhappy.”

Slade kept listening.

“Your people have dreamt up some interesting inventions,” Snake said. “Pipes that belch smoke in the air. Iron horses that connect one part of the land with the other. Weapons that can rob a man of his life with frightening efficiency.”

Miss Bonnie squeezed Slade’s hand.

“But in your kind’s quest to see what it can do, none of your people stopped to ask themselves if there are things that they should not do,” Snake said.

Snake tapped the bottom of his staff on the ground. “What do you see when you look at me, Slade?”

Slade was hesitant. “An..Injun?”

Snake shook his head. “You see a crazy old man. Some foolish savage who believes he can do a little dance, wave a few trinkets around in the air and channel the power of the spirits.”

“Maybe,” Slade said.

Snake dabbed his finger into a pouch, then dabbed a few red lines on either side of Standing Eagle’s face.

“Then maybe it will surprise you to know that my people have been channeling the power of the spirits since the beginning of time,” Snake said. “An art that your people would crudely refer to as ‘magic’ I believe.”

Slade was in doubt, but felt it would be rude to not allow the old man to continue his speech.

“There are many like me,” Snake said. “Or rather, I should say there were many like me. Long ago, back in the time before your people decided this land was for them and only for them.”

Snake set ablaze another one of his bundles of incense, waving the sweet smelling smoke all around Standing Eagle’s body.

“Many of us had powers so great that we could have wiped out your kind a thousand times over and saved this land for ourselves,” Snake said.

The shaman stood up and handed his incense to Bobcat. “We considered what we could do, then realized what was right to do, and we decided that the only morally right course of action would be to allow your people to shame themselves, rather than use our power to cause any further loss of life.

Snake removed a sharp stone knife from his belt.

“And yet your people refer to us as savages,” Snake said. “Ironic, isn’t it?”

“It is,” Slade said.
“Oh,” Snake said as he grabbed Slade’s hand. “I don’t mean you, specifically, Slade. Eagle did have respect for you, as you were the only man from your government who kept his promises that any of us have ever met in our lifetimes. Until, of course, you lied about Jack Buchanan.”

“I didn’t lie so much as not explain myself well,” Slade said.

Snake let go of Slade’s hand. “It is of no consequence now. Your conscience should be clear, but I do believe that the shame of what your people have done will follow them far, far into the future. One day, your people will look back on what their ancestors did to my people and recoil in horror.”

“If the zombies haven’t eaten everyone by then, I reckon so,” Slade said.

“And now, I advise you to look away,” Snake said. “For this is a different moment, one where what I can do matches what must be done.”

Snake closed his eyes, gripped the knife with the blade pointed at his chest, and stretched out his arms.

“What are you doing?” Slade asked.

“The spirits require a trade,” Snake said. “I am old and in these dark times, the Eagle must stand.”

Slade grabbed Snake’s arm but Bobcat pulled him back.

“You can’t!” Slade protested. “We can’t just let him…”

Miss Bonnie and Miles looked away as the shaman drove the knife into his heart. Fox and Owl caught him and eased his body to the ground.

“Why?” Slade shouted. “Why didn’t you stop him?”

Standing Eagle sat up and gasped.

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 116

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The blood and guts in her hair didn’t phase Slade. Once Standing Eagle’s warriors were cut loose, Slade grabbed hold of Miss Bonnie and kissed her deeply. Passionately.

Slade pulled back. “I thought you were dead.”

“I thought you weren’t going to come for me,” Miss Bonnie replied.

“Looks like you didn’t need me to,” Slade said.

“I know,” Miss Bonnie said as she rested her head against Slade’s chest for a moment. “But it’s nice to know that you tried.”

The pair kissed again, madly swapping spit and tongues, lost in each other, oblivious to the world.

“Ahem.”

Miles was back to his boy form and standing next to the couple, pretending to clear his throat.

Petrified, Slade froze up.

“She’s awake?” Slade asked.

“Yup.”

Slade turned around to face his bride.

It isn’t easy to describe a facial expression. The English language has words like “unhappy” or “disappointed” or “sad” but really there isn’t a single word that can sum up the pain that the Widow Farquhar was in upon seeing her fiancé sucking the face of the Highwater’s most infamous prostitute.

The best attempt at a description would require you, the noble reader, to imagine that you’re a child again, and your beloved grandmother just gifted you an adorable puppy dog on Christmas morning. You’re sitting there, petting it, stroking it, bonding with it and then all of a sudden your grandmother produces a revolver, blows the dog’s brains out, declares that Santa Claus is non-existent, then blows her brains out. Finally, your parents walk in and upon seeing the mayhem, they too produce revolvers, inform you that you’re a loathsome disappointment, and then blow their brains out.

The look on your face as you sit there amongst the rotting carcasses of your puppy, granny, and parents would not only be a perfect blend of shame, sadness, depression, anger, confusion, agony and despair, but also it would be more or less similar to the expression that enveloped Sarah’s face that day.

Sarah’s voice wavered. She’d lived a sheltered life, cared for by men all of her days. Confrontation was something she just was not used to.

Her voice faltered.

“You…”

Slade stammered. “Sarah…I…umm…”

Sarah’s hair was a bird’s nest like mess from all the turmoil she’d been through. Her dress was wet, filled with holes, covered with so much mud and blood that it looked nothing like a wedding dress anymore but rather like the tattered rags of a common street beggar.

She drew closer. “You thought that I…was her.”

Slade’s cheeks flushed with embarrassment. Miss Bonnie stepped back.

“No,” Slade said.

“You were disappointed when you saw me on the train,” Sarah said.

Slade shook his head. “No, no. Not at all…I…”

Sarah looked Slade in the eye. “You called me Bonnie.”

Slade dropped his head in shame. “Yes.”

The Farquhars were good Christian folk, people who believed that the bible wasn’t just a collection of useful morality tales but rather, that all that hullaballoo actually happened. Thus, from a young age, Sarah had been taught to be a good person, to behave herself and mind her P’s and Q’s, lest she be denied entry into heaven, or be turned into a pillar of salt, or end up in hell pushing a boulder up a never-ending hill forever and ever.

But in that moment, she forgot all that and unleashed the most breathtakingly obscene tirade that had ever occurred in the history of Highwater.

“You fucking cocksucker!” Sarah shouted.

She slapped her dainty hands across Slade’s chest. He stood there and took it like a man. It wasn’t that difficult. There wasn’t much power behind those slaps.

“You dirty son of a bitch bastard, fucking two-timing, philandering, rancid piece of shit out of cow’s smelly ass!”

“Whoa,” said Miles as he stepped a few feet backward to avoid the fray.

“I hate you!” Sarah cried. And she was, literally crying. Tears streamed down her cheeks and her swears were interrupted by sobs. “ I fucking hate you, you fucking disgusting pig and I hope that you contract a fucking disease that makes you shit blood out of your asshole until you fucking die!”

“Sarah,” Slade said. “Can we…can we just talk?”

In response to that question, Sarah balled her hand into a fist and launched it at Slade’s jaw. There was power behind that blow and in terms of pain, it ranked right up there with all the socks in the jaw Slade had received from various criminals in his career as a law man.

“And you!” Sarah shouted at Miss Bonnie.

Miss Bonnie closed her eyes. She figured she deserved a good punch of her own for stealing a bride’s groom but instead felt something small bounce off her cheek.

The redhead looked down to see Slade’s mother’s ring lying in the dirt. Sarah had screwed it off her finger and thrown it at Miss Bonnie’s head.

“You can have him…whore!”

Sarah stormed out of the barn and into the road. She walked off. Slade, Miss Bonnie and Miles followed.

“Sarah!” Slade yelled.

Sarah kept walking. Slade kept following.

Down the road, Standing Eagle’s warriors could be seen marching toward the barn. They were carrying a large bundle of some kind, so big that it required men on each side to hoist it over their shoulders.

“Sarah!” Slade yelled again. “I can’t just let you leave on your own! There are zombies out there!”

Sarah did an about face, balled her hand, gritted her teeth and screamed like a raging, rabid animal.

“Shit!” Slade said as he put up his hands to protect his face from the series of blows that rained down upon him. “Ok! Ok!”

Sarah gave up and kept walking. Slade stayed in place but shouted one more time, “Sarah.”

“What?” Sarah asked without turning around.

“I’m sorry.”

Sarah kept walking. “Fuck your sorry in the ass with a syphilitic donkey cock.”

“Jesus,” Slade said to himself.

Slade didn’t move but he could feel Miss Bonnie’s presence next to him. Together, they stood silently for a moment and watched as Sarah walked past the incoming warriors.

“Did you know she had that in her?” Miss Bonnie asked.

“I did not,” Slade replied.

Slade was about to walk to the barn to collect his mother’s ring when Miss Bonnie held up her hand and twitched her fingers to show that she was wearing it.

The lawman sighed.

“What?” the redhead asked.

“The vampire,” Slade said. “Said I wasn’t able to feel hope. That I’d never be happy. No one around me will be happy.”

Miss Bonnie took Slade by the chin and kissed them. “I doubt it,” she said.

“What if he’s right?” Slade asked.

“Then we’ll be unhappy together,” Miss Bonnie said.

The couple embraced and kissed again.

“But what if…”

Miss Bonnie cut her man off. “Fuck that vampire! Now you get down on your knees and you beg me for my hand, Rainier Slade!”

Slade smiled, as did Miss Bonnie. Neither of them felt the need to say it, but for a man who was allegedly unable to feel hopeful, Slade was looking very happy.

He got down on one knee and took Miss Bonnie’s hand.

“Bonnie,” Slade said. “If you’ll have me…”

“Oh shut up,” Miss Bonnie said as the two hugged and kissed again.

The newly engaged couple walked hand in hand down the road. Their joy quickly turned to sadness when they caught up to the warriors. Miles had already joined them.

Wandering Snake directed the warriors as they laid their bundle down.

It wasn’t just any bundle. As Snake pulled the sheet away, the lifeless face of Standing Eagle was revealed.

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 115

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Miss Bonnie was feeling rather discouraged.

Her hands had been tied behind her back. Her legs were bound together. Like a slab of beef, she was left to hang upside down from the rafters of a dusty barn by a length of rope tied around her feet.

There was enough slack in the rope that her head was only a few feet off the ground. She felt dizzy as all the blood rushed to her head, turning her face roughly the same color as her hair.

Her resilience remained.

“This is bullshit,” she said.

Standing Eagle’s warriors had been similarly restrained. Charging Bobcat and Screeching Owl hanged to the left of Miss Bonnie, while Crafty Fox and Wandering Snake hanged to her right.

Charging Bobcat flexed, shook, shimmied, writhed his body all about, grunting and groaning, fighting for his freedom.

“You will strain yourself,” a calm Snake said.

“So we just do nothing?” a belligerent Bobcat replied.

“We wait for the spirits to make their will known,” Snake said.

“That’s a good way to get yourself killed,” Bobcat said.

Bobcat gritted his teeth as he struggled. Finally, he shouted loudly. Angrily.

“Arrrrrrrrrrrrghhh!”

The room went silent.

“It is a good way to not lose your mind,” Snake said.

The barn doors swung open.

Lamont walked in and laid his bag down on a table that had been set up for him in the middle of the barn.

“Oi,” the cockney vampire said. “Let’s have a lil look see at me crowded space, yeah?”

The vampire opened his bag and laid out a variety of tools. First, there was a rusty pair of pliers.

“Pinchers they is,” Lamont said. “Yank your scratchers right off your pointers.”

Filled with fear and confusion, the hostages took in the show. Lamont was happy to spend some time instructing his captives on the tortures he had in store for them.

Next was a pair of scissors. “Nice snip snips,” Lamont said. “Take off a toesy woesy they will.”

Out came a long, sharp knife. “Slasher. Now that’ll rearrange your gullivah all right..”

“What’s he saying?” Bobcat whispered.

“I don’t know,” Miss Bonnie replied.

“What tongue is he speaking in?” Bobcat asked.

“English,” Miss Bonnie said. “But I think like…from England.”

Lamont pulled out more items. A cat of nine tails. A length of chain. A few collars with spikes pointing inward.

He chuckled as he pulled out the last item – a corkscrew.

The vampire walked over to Miss Bonnie, leaned down in front of her face and held the corkscrew in front of her eyes.

“One lil pop in your thinker in just the right spot love and youse a thinker no more,” Lamont said. “A blood bag forever after. Stay nice and fresh and give us some drinky poos you will.”

“I don’t get it,” Bobcat said.

“He’s going to perform a crude surgery on our brains so we won’t think any more but we’ll remain alive and pump blood that will be harvested for his kind to feed on,” Snake explained.

“Shut yer gob,” Lamont said as he shook his knife at Snake. “You’ll get your turn.”
Lamont picked the knife up off the table and sliced the rope that was holding up Miss Bonnie, allowing her to drop face first on the floor.
“Miss Bonnie said as she lifted her head up. Her face was bruised and bloodied from the fall. “And here I just thought he was some kind of fucked up pervert.”

Lamont brushed the palm of his hand across Miss Bonnie’s cheek.

“Mmm,” the vampire said. “Nice and soft. A pretty piece of flesh.”

“Shit,” Miss Bonnie said.

“Upsie daisy now,” Lamont said as he grabbed Miss Bonnie by the arm and dragged her over to the table. The vampire propped his vampire up in a chair and looked down on her.

“‘Ello poppet,” Lamont said. “Fancy a spot of fun? A bit of rough and tumble, ay? A little bit of the ole in and out? Nice day for a proper rogering in’it?”

Miss Bonnie responded with a gooey glob of spit that launched from her mouth to her captor’s face.

“We need to do something,” Bobcat said.

Snake’s eyes were closed as part of his meditation. “If we are meant to do something the opportunity will present itself.”

“But…”

“Trust in the spirits to make all right,” Snake said.

Lamont wiped the spit off his face and laughed. Then his eyes turned blank and blood red. He stared into Miss Bonnie’s eyes.

“You want it, don’t you love?” the vampire asked.

All the fight went out of Miss Bonnie. “Oh…I do…”

“That’s more like it,” Lamont said with a grin. He cut the rope away from Miss Bonnie’s feet and hands, then set his knife down on the table.

Miss Bonnie’s lips went all pouty. She batted her eyelashes. “Please. Don’t make me wait for it any longer.”

Lamont picked up Miss Bonnie, threw her down on the table, then started unbuttoning his shirt.

“Snake!” Bobcat said. “The woman!”

Snake kept his eyes closed. “Patience.”
Lamont and Miss Bonnie’s lips met, their tongues twirled together. But as the vampire reached a hand into the redhead’s blouse, her hand was reaching for something else.

The knife.

She seized it and with a swift motion, sliced open Lamont’s throat. Black blood rained out of it and onto her face.

The vampire stumbled back as Miss Bonnie stood up and pointed the knife at him.

Lamont reached for his throat, which was already beginning to heal. By the look on his face, he was clearly perplexed.

“A trick doesn’t work on someone that knows it’s coming, asshole!” Miss Bonnie said as she poked the air with her new blade, putting the vampire on the defensive.

Bobcat registered his disbelief. “What the…”

“Spirits,” Snake said.

“Spirits my ass,” Bobcat said. “That is one crazy white bitch.”

Lamont charged at Miss Bonnie. Together, they crashed into the table, smashing it to pieces. The knife was lost in the scuffle, leaving Miss Bonnie defenseless.

The vampire stood and grabbed Miss Bonnie’s feet. He started to drag her away. In vain, Miss Bonnie dug her nails into the dirt, as if that would somehow make her immobile.

Luckily, she grabbed a broken table leg just in time.

Lamont’s fangs popped out. He raised his right arm up ready to strike only to recoil in pain as Miss Bonnie plunged the table leg into his heart.

Shocked, the vampire looked at his impaled chest, then at Miss Bonnie, then back to his chest. He did this a few more times before finally voicing his confusion.

“But…but…youse a girl!”

The vampire’s eyes bugged out of his head, his veins pulsed, his skin turned purple and then like an overfilled balloon, his body exploded, sending black blood, bile, guts and parts everywhere.

Miss Bonnie wiped the blood out of her eyes. She was drenched.

“And don’t you forget it, motherfucker!”

“I…I am impressed,” Bobcat said.

Snake’s eyes opened. “Spirits. Am I right?”

“Fucking men,” Miss Bonnie said. “Always thinking with their peckers.”

The doors bursted open again. Miles entered in werewolf form, with Slade and Sarah on his back.

“Bonnie!” Slade shouted. “I’m here to rescue you!”

Slade hopped off of Miles’ back, allowing Sarah to rest on the werewolf as if he were a big furry couch. He looked around at the blood soaked room, then at Bonnie. He instantly realized how stupid his words were.

Miss Bonnie picked up the knife then walked over to Snake. She started sawing away at the rope that was holding the shaman captive.

“Fucking men,” she repeated.

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