Tag Archives: cowboys

Remember the Zombamo – Introduction

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Jim Bowie. Sam Houston. William Travis. Davy Crockett. Juan Seguin.

When the West was young, a series of unlikely events occur, pushing these men to Texas as if guided by a well-intentioned divine hand.

Texas is in a state of revolution as Texans decide that the dictatorial rule of Mexican President Santa Anna can be stood for no longer.

Four out of the five will throw down against a vampiric Santa Anna’s army of zombies at the Alamo, defending the old Spanish mission with their lives and fending off the evil that lies below it – an evil so powerful it could consume the planet.

The fifth will later confront Santa Anna’s zombies on the field of battle.

Will our heroes save the day? Find in the first book of BQB’s Zombie Western Series.

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 107

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Major Culpepper watched as Private Robards placed the last dynamite bundle.

“That’ll do it sir.”

“You’re sure?” the Major asked. “We can leave nothing to chance.”

“It’ll be a magnificent explosion,” Robards replied.

Robards picked up a wooden detonator box, being careful not to get his hand anywhere near the plunger at the top. The device was hooked up to a large spool of blasting cord, the opposite end of which was hooked up to the last bundle of dynamite. In turn, that bundle was connected to a long line of bundles placed on supports all across the bridge.

“I’ll walk the box across, sir,” Robards said. “I don’t trust any of these other idiots with it.”

“Very well,” the Major said. “Just be sure not kill us all with that contraption.”

One of Robards’ helpers picked up the spool and walked behind the demolition expert, leaving a trail of blasting cord behind as they walked toward the Illinois side of the bridge.

The Major addressed the crowd. Corporal Bartlett took his place next to a squad of soldiers.

“Now then,” Major Culpepper said. “Women and children only! All men say your goodbyes and then off you go back to the West to fight the zombie menace. Make your country proud.”

An ornery looking man shouted, “Why don’t you fight the zombie menace?”

The Major grabbed his belly and laughed. “Oh you are a card sir! I’m much too important to have my brains eaten. Away with you now!”

All the men turned and started to trudge back to Highwater. Women of all ages marched across the bridge. Some carried babies, others held their children by the hand.

One woman kept her face covered by a scarf. Her shoulders were wrapped by a raggedy, worn out afghan. A bonnet covered the top of her head. She hobbled along slowly, her right hand gripping a cane. With her left arm, she clutched a white cloth bundle.

Bartlett approached her.

“Oh ma’am,” the Corporal said. “Here, let me help you that.”

The old woman’s voice was high-pitched. “No thank you sonny.”

“Please ma’am,” Bartlett insisted as he reached for the bundle. “You look very unsteady and I fear you might drop your grandchild.”

The old woman looked down and shook her head. “Oh no, sonny. He’s fine. What a nice young man you are for caring. Goodbye!”

Oddly, the old woman picked up her pace, walking as if she didn’t even need the cane.

Bartlett kept up. He grabbed the bundle and pulled it away only to be surprised how heavy it was.

“Ma’am I don’t mind helping you at all…what the…ooomph!”

Bartlett strained under the weight of the bundle. “What in the world?”

The old woman grabbed the other end of the bundle. “He’s a very fat baby. Let him go!”

“What have you been feeding him?” Bartlett asked as he yanked the bundle his way.

“Buttermilk three times a day,” the old lady said as she yanked the bundle back. “He’ll be as big as Paul Bunyan one day!”

There the pair stood on the bridge, locked in a tug of war with the bundle, each refusing to give in.

“Stop!” the old woman protested. “You’re hurting him!”

“Ma’am,” Bartlett replied. “I’m with the government. You can trust me!”

Finally, each person pulled their end of the bundle so hard that the cloth came undone and hundreds of metal objects clattered all across the bridge.

Cutlery made out of pure silver. Forks. Knives. Spoons. Gold pocket watches. A flask or two. A cigar box. Rings. Necklaces. All manner of jewelry. Coins of every denomination.

Bartlett was shocked. He grabbed the bonnet that was covering the old lady’s head to reveal a head of grimy receding hair. He then pulled her scarf away to discover that she was not a she at all.

It was frequent Bonnie Lass customer Roscoe Crandall.

“What’s the meaning of this?” Major Culpepper asked as he stepped over to inspect the commotion. As soon as he saw the riches at his feet he added, “What in the name of William T. Sherman is all this?”

Roscoe started to reply with his old lady impression. “It’s not…”

Seeing that Bartlett and Culpepper were not amused, Roscoe reverted to his own voice.

“It’s not a bunch of peoples’ personal belongings I looted from their homes while they were all busy running for their lives from the dead men I swear,” Roscoe said. “It’s all mine.”

Bartlett raised an eyebrow. “Really?”

Roscoe grabbed the lapels of his pink dress and puffed out his chest. “They are! I’ll have you know I’m a rather well-to-do man in Highwater!”

Bartlett shook his head. “You’re in a lot of troub…”

Before the corporal could finish his sentence, a bullet tore through Roscoe’s skull. The degenerate’s body fell to the ground.

The corporal turned to the Major, who was holding a smoking pistol.

“Sir!” Bartlett said.

“Oh don’t give me that look, Bartlett,” the Major said. “The man was clearly scum.”

“But he should have had a trial!” Bartlett said.

“We’re under martial law, man,” Major Culpepper said. “The law’s very unclear in dark times such as these.”

The major looked at all the shiny objects on the ground, then back to Bartlett.

“Be a good man and scoop that all up, will you?” the Major asked. “We’ll claim it for the war effort.”

“But we should try to find out who the owners are,” Bartlett said. “Maybe some of these things belong to the women.”

“Nonsense!” the Major said. “We have a wall to build!”

Bartlett shook his head disapprovingly then remembered his place. He dropped to his knees and started picking up the items and placing them in the white cloth.

A feint sound interrupted his concentration.

“Arrrrrrwooooo!”

Bartlett lifted his head up. “What was that?”

The Major nonchalantly dropped some tobacco into his pipe. “What was what?”

“Arrr! Arrr! Arrrrrwooooooo!”

“That!” Bartlett said.

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The Magnificent Seven – Movie Trailer

Hey 3.5 Readers.

Chris Pratt. Denzel Washington. Cowboys and awesome action. This movie looks pretty good.

Check it out:

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 100

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“Of all the…”

Gunther coughed up some blood.

“…ways I thought I’d buy the farm, getting gut shot by a…”

More coughing.

“…Goddamn bloodsucking lawyer wasn’t one of them.”

Slade writhed about on the floor, desperately trying to break free from his shackles.

“Hold on,” Slade said.

Drip. Drip. Drip. The ground underneath the old man grew redder with every drop.

The door opened. A werewolf entered. Timidly, he walked over to Slade.

“Aww what the fuck do you want now?” Slade asked.

The werewolf extended his pointer finger, then using the claw at the end of it like a knife, sawed through Slade’s hand and feet shackles as if they were made out of butter.

“Miles?” Slade asked.

The werewolf nodded and growled in the affirmative.

Slade ran to Gunther and grabbed hold of the old man. Miles cut the rope and helped Slade ease Gunther slowly to the ground.

Miles morphed into his boy form.

Slade tore open Gunther’s shirt and stuck a finger into the wound. The old man yelled louder than he ever had before.

“What the fuck are you doing?”

“Looking for the bullet,” Slade said. “If I can just get it…”

Gunther winced. “Nah…forget that shit. We all got our time and this is mine.”

Slade tore a large piece off of Gunther’s vest, prompting the old man’s expected complaint.

“Now what the hell…Mavis made that for me!”

Slade pressed the fabric as hard up against the wound, doing what he could to stop the bleeding.

The old man raised a shaky hand and looked at Slade, who looked at it hesitantly.

“Jesus Christ,” Gunther said. “I’m not asking you to fuck me in the ass, just take my hand, will ya?”

Slade grabbed it.

“Boy, I know you think I’m a coward…”

“No,” Slade interrupted.

Gunther nodded. “Yes, yes you do. It’s ok. Maybe I am, or maybe you’re just too bullheaded. But I was never trying to get you to run away from every fight. I was just wanted you to save yourself for a cause worth fighting for.”

The old man coughed. His voice grew weaker. “And this cause…”

Another cough interruption. “…is worth it. Every bit of it.”

Slade pressed the makeshift cloth deeper into the wound. The old man yelped.

“Just…forget that. Stop wasting your time on an old son of a bitch and go save someone. Anyone. As many as you can…”

Slade and Miles traded sad looks.

“That fucker is playing with your head,” Gunther said. “Using your women against you. You can’t save them both so you’ll hate yourself either way but forget about all that…you got to…stop that damn train.”

Gunther gripped Slade’s hand tighter then let it go. He reached down towards his belt and fumbled with his knife, but lacked the strength to draw it.

“Bowie’s knife,” Gunther said. “It’s my prized possession. Shit. All these years and its the only valuable…thing I have. Take it.”

Slade drew the knife out of the sheath.

The old man patted Slade on the arm. “Take the sheath too. First rule of carrying a knife is…”

The old man coughed as if he were hacking up a lung.

“Fuck,” Gunther said, then carried on. “Don’t carry it on your belt loose or you’ll cut off your pecker.”

Slade fought back the urge to laugh.

Slowly, the old man raised his head and looked down at his ragged, dusty boots.

“Shit,” he said. “Will you look at that?”

“What?” Slade asked.

“Aww it’s just when we threw down against Smelly Jack that first time,” Gunther said. “You told me…you wanted to die with your boots on. I guess you and I are different because I always wanted to die with my boots off.”

Slade reached for the old man’s boots. Gunther grabbed Slade’s hand again and held onto it.

“Nah,” Gunther said. “Who gives a shit now? It’s just…when I was young I thought I’d go in a nice warm bed. I thought Mavis would be holding my hand instead of you, no offense.”

“None taken,” Slade said.

“Then I thought I’d have some young’uns looking over me but the Lord saw fit to not bless Mavis and I with any.”

The old man stretched both hands out and waited…and waited. Slade was baffled.

“Hug him,” Miles whispered out of the corner of his mouth.

“Oh,” Slade said as he clutched the old man in an embrace.

“I suppose you’re the closest thing to a son I ever had,” Gunther said.

Upon hearing those words, a tear trickled out of Slade’s eye. He wiped it away as he lifted his head up.

“Aw hell Miles,” Gunther said. “I don’t have anything to give to you.”

The old man and the boy hugged. “That’s ok.”

“Wait.” Gunther’s shaky hand lifted his hat off of his head and placed it on the boy’s. “Every cowboy needs a hat.”

The boy stood there with some tears in his eyes as well. He was still naked, but sporting Gunther’s dapper hat, red feather and all.

“You look sharp,” Gunther said. “But you need some pants.”

Gunther grabbed Miles’ hand with his left and Slade’s hand with his right.

“Promise me something, boys,” Gunther said.

“Anything,” Slade replied.

“That you’ll both do your best to die with your boots off.”

That idea went against everything Slade had stood for but he nodded yes. Miles did the same.

The old man clutched his chest and threw his head back, coughing uncontrollably. Finally, he stopped and made a few gurgling sounds.

“I’m a-comin’ Mavis,” he whispered.

Slade and Miles watched as the life drained out of Gunther’s one good eye.

Angrily, Slade stood up and punched the wooden support beam in the center of the livery. The pain made every bone in his hand throb with agony, but he didn’t care. He punched the beam again and again. Then he stormed outside.

Miles followed.

“Look!” the boy said. Miles had spotted Slade’s twin pistols and bandolier on the ground, still filled with silver-tipped bullets. His captors had stripped them off of Slade, but then just tossed them amidst a pile of dead zombie bodies.

Slade grabbed both guns and holstered them, then put on the bandolier.

Off in the distance, the Marvel of the Rails sounded its ear splitting whistle.

“Damn it!” Slade said.

Slade and Miles hustled through town, running past rubble, burning buildings, and townsfolk turned survivors trying to piece their lives back together. A few stray zombies that didn’t make it on the train wandered about aimlessly.

The duo reached Highwater Station only to find the Marvel was gone. They gazed across the prairie only to see it chugging about a mile away, about to disappear over the horizon.

“Fuck!” Slade shouted as he stomped his foot on the platform.

The boy tugged on Slade’s arm. “Come on,” Miles shouted. “Let’s go!”

“Aww there’s no horse that could catch up to it now,” Slade lamented.

Miles took off the hat Gunther had given him and gently laid it on a bench people usually sat on as they waited for trains to arrive.

“Who said anything about a horse?” the boy asked.

Miles became a wolf again. He lowered himself down on all fours, waiting for Slade to climb on.

Slade shook his head in disbelief. He climbed on the werewolf’s back, gripped a big hunk of fur with both hands, and held on as Miles took off.

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 98

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Iron shackles kept Slade’s hands bound tightly behind his back. Another pair secured his feet together. He was flat on his back, staring at the ceiling.

Gunther laid next to him, in a similar predicament.

Two werewolves entered the livery and set up a table and two chairs. One of them threw a rope over an old wooden support beam up in the rafters, then tied the other end around Gunther’s hand shackles.

The wolf yanked on the free end of the rope until the old man’s feet were dangling just above the ground. The beast then tied the end of the rope he was holding to a vertical beam in the middle of the room.

“Don’t I get to talk to a judge or somethin’?” Gunther asked.

A big hairy paw slap across his face was the werewolf’s response.

“Guess not,” Gunther said as blood trickled out of his mouth.

The second werewolf picked up Slade and sat him down in one of the chairs.

Blythe, who’d been supervising the entire operation from the corner, strolled over to Slade and drew his revolver.

The vampire pressed the cold steel up against Slade’s forehead. Slade closed his eyes and leaned into it. He wasn’t scared at all. Rather, the idea that all his torment could be over in an instant filled him with a sense of relief.

“Pow,” the vampire said as he pulled back his weapon. Slade opened his eyes.

“How simple it would be to solve the threat you pose to me,” Blythe said as he holstered his piece and took the seat on the opposite side of the table. “But luckily for you, you have friends in some very high places that you aren’t even aware of.”

Slade sat in silence.

“Do you know how vampires hypnotize people?” Blythe asked.

No response.

“The eyes,” Blythe said. “They truly are, as people say, the window to the soul. I can look into the eyes of most people and quickly learn everything there is to know about them. Their deepest, darkest secrets, their hopes, their dreams. Then, without ever saying it directly, I’m able to implant into their minds the false promise that if they do what I ask of them, their dreams will come true. Moments later, they recall nothing and they’re convinced their actions were of their own volition.”

“Am I supposed to be impressed?” Slade asked.

“No,” Blythe said. “It’s more of a psychological parlor trick than anything else. I convinced Judge Sampson to let your least favorite family go by promising him that he’d be governor one day. Politicians are so easy. Just promise them more opportunities to be treated like the prized pig at the county fair.”

Blythe drummed his fingers on the table. “Jack Buchanan was a cinch as well. Money and whores and, well, I’m not sure I can find fault in that. Who among us doesn’t appreciate money and a good whore?”

Slade wiggled his hands. It was no use. The shackles were too strong.

“Ironically, your whore was a tougher nut to crack,” Blythe said. “I thought a promise of money would bring her around as well but no, all she needed was a promise that one day she’d end up with you. If my heart still worked, it would have been warmed.”

Slade’s heart did work. And it sank.

The vampire wagged his pointed finger at the captive. “But you, my friend, are a horse of a different color. I looked deep into your soul and saw it all. The cowardly little boy hiding under his bed while his mother was dragged into the street and shot like a dog…”

Slade sneered.

“…the Daddy who confirmed your sense of self-loathing by refusing to love you…”

The lawman attempted to rise to his feet but a werewolf’s paw pressed him back down into his seat.

“…the disappointment you felt when you realized that even though a Marshal’s star gave you a license to hunt down and kill everyone who ever reminded you of your mother’s killer, no amount of blood was ever going to bring you peace…”

The vampire clicked his tongue in a “tsk, tsk, tsk” sound. “Many people claim to feel hopeless but few actually are. Even the most downtrodden, destitute hobo privately harbors hope that he’s just one stroke of luck away from finding himself in a mansion feasting on caviar, a gaggle of servants catering to his every whim…”

Gunther piped up. “If you’re going to prattle on and on forever, you think one of your dog monsters could cut me down? Hanging like this is hell on an old man’s back.”

The old man’s insolence was met with another werewolf slap to the face. Gunther’s beard became soaked with his own blood.

“A simple ‘no’ would have sufficed,” Gunther said.

The vampire smiled then turned his attention back to Slade. “You are a truly hopeless individual. There’s not a speck of optimism in you. You believe the world is garbage, that everyone’s lives are meaningless, that building yourself into an admirable position is pointless because as soon as you get comfortable life will inevitably send the equivalent of a Sawbuck Sam to tear everything apart again.”

Slade didn’t want to give Blythe the satisfaction of an answer, but he didn’t have to. Blythe could tell by the look on Slade’s face that he was speaking the truth.

“Rainer,” Blythe said as he leaned across the table. “A soul will never be anything more than a cause of constant torment for a man who is irreparably hopeless.”

“Just kill me and get it over with,” Slade said.

“Kill you?” Blythe asked. “I want to save you.”

The vampire reached into his pocket and produced a piece of paper. He unfolded it and laid it out on the table. A werewolf set down a quill and an inkwell.

“More specifically,” Blythe said. “I want to save you from your soul.”

“I wish someone would save me from this never-ending soliloquy,” Gunther said. His words were met with another werewolf slap, but he didn’t care anymore.

“You are hopeless and yet your soul demands that you feel,” Blythe said. “Love for Bonnie Lassiter, the woman you feel you can drop your false facade of bravado around and be loved for who you are. Love for Sarah Farquhar, who looks up to you as the brave man you wish you were even though it is not the man you are inside. Hatred for yourself for loving both of them and for loving Bonnie more despite the societal convention that you’re only supposed to love the woman you’ve formally promised yourself to.”

Blythe pushed the paper across the table, then signaled the werewolf standing guard over Slade to remove the shackles from the prisoner’s hands.

With his hands free now, Slade choked back the urge to fight. He was outnumbered and his pistols had been taken from him.

“Take your time and peruse the contract,” Blythe said. “It’s all fairly standard boiler plate. You agree to sell your immortal soul to the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Legion Corporation.”

Slade read the document to himself. It was written in elegant cursive. Had the subject matter not been so wicked, it would have been suitable for framing.

“In exchange for this valuable commodity, the Chairman will appoint you as an agent of the Legion Corporation. You’ll be rewarded handsomely and without that wretched soul of yours weighing you down, you’ll be able to cheat, kill and fuck you way through the rest of your life without nary a concern of how it affects anyone or what anyone thinks of you.”

Slade kept reading. “You want me to sell my soul to the dev…”

Blythe reached across the table and pressed his pointer finger up against Slade’s lips. “Shhh. We don’t speak of any of the Chairman’s many names. He prefers to remain shrouded in mystery.”

Slade reared his head back, unpleased that a male finger had been on his lips. The vampire moved back in his chair.

“Naturally, the Chairman will expect you to do a lot of killing on the Legion Corporation’s behalf,” Blythe explained. “Oh and your employment with Legion must remain strictly confidential. You see, we’ll need you to continue holding yourself out to the public as a decent, honorable man. Luckily for the Chairman, decent men will be in short supply once the country is overrun with zombies and all laws are thrown out the window. But without your soul, you’ll have no qualms about gaining the people’s trust only to lead them to their doom.”

Blythe cleared his throat and carried on. “You really have no idea how lucky you are that the Board of Directors has taken such an interest in you. You’ll be a very important man in our new world order.”

Slade looked at the line where he was supposed to sign. He looked up at the vampire.

“And what if I don’t sign?” Slade asked.

“Oh you’ll sign,” Blythe said. “I’m nothing if not very resourceful. I have my ways of convincing the hopeless that life would be better sans soul. You’re on the precipice right now and all I need do is keep pushing until you’re over the edge. You can sign now and spare your loved ones a great deal of agony, or we can continue our negotiations. I’m not sure Miss Lassiter or Miss Farquhar will last very long though.”

Slade seethed with a burning rage, urging him to leap across the table and rip Blythe’s head off. Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option while a werewolf was nearby.

The vampire playfully bonked the side of his head with his hand. “Oh, I forgot. I have them both.”

“What?” Slade asked.

“The woman you promised to marry and the woman you’d rather marry,” Blythe said. “Both are in my custody, ready to be abused and tortured to no end for as long as you need further lessons on how burdensome it can be when your soul constantly demands that you care about other people.”

Slade looked at the paper again. “I sign this and you’ll let them go?”

“If you sign this, you won’t care if I let them go,” Blythe said. “I’m sorry but you really have no leverage here.”

Slade picked up the quill. He dipped it in ink. He touched the tip on the signature line.

The old man interrupted him. “Son,” Gunther said.

Another werewolf slap.
Blythe raised his hand to signal the werewolf guarding Gunther. “It’s alright. This is a legal hearing so never let it be said I did not allow all interested parties to speak their piece.”

The werewolf nodded and backed off.

Gunther started again. “Son, if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life it’s that when things look bleak, it seems easy to do something that under normal circumstances would make us ashamed. Give in to this fanged fuck today and you’ll be giving into him for the rest of your days. And I suppose the version of yourself that you become won’t give a lick off a bull’s nuts, but I know the you that’s sitting there right now does care. Somehow, some way, even when it seems impossible, life has a way of unfucking itself. You don’t need to sign that because I swear, I don’t why when or how, but things will get better. They always do.”

Slade stared at the vampire. “I need you to promise you’ll let everyone go.”

“Everyone?” Blythe said. “That’s a bit much, isn’t it?”

“Bonnie. Sarah. Gunther. The Injuns. Everyone.”

Blythe sighed. “I had intended to turn your native friends into blood bags. Savage blood is so hearty and delicious. They don’t poison their bodies with as much impropriety as civilized men do. But I suppose there are other savages I could harvest.”

The vampire stood and walked around the table. “Very well. Sign and all of your people go free.”

Blythe pressed his left hand down firmly on Slade’s shoulder, then tapped his right finger on the signature line.

“Right here,” Blythe said. “And then it will be done.”

“Don’t do it, boy,” Gunther said. “He’ll kill us all anyway.”

“You can hit him now,” Blythe said without looking up. The werewolf obliged, giving Gunther another slap to the face.

Slade dipped the quill into the inkwell, swirled it around, then pulled it out, carefully wiping the excess ink off on the sides of the well.

He hesitated for a moment, then scrawled away across the signature line.

A curious Blythe leaned in to read three words written in poor penmanship on the contract he’d so dutifully prepared.

“FUCK YOUR MOTHER.”

And unfortunately for Blythe, his exposed neck became an irresistible target for Slade, who quickly plunged the sharp end of the quill pen into it.

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 97

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For Miles, there was something strangely comforting about lying face down in the dirt. He was alive. And no one was bothering him.

He laid there long enough to relax and become a boy again.

He stood up. The thought crossed his mind that he could walk away from it all now.

Pa was right. He wasn’t cut out to be a fighter and there was no shame in admitting that to himself. His father hadn’t told him that to be mean but rather to save him from a life he wouldn’t be able to handle.

Now there was an opportunity for Miles to save himself.

Naked, bruised, bloody, aching all over, he put one foot in front of the other, heading South. Heading anywhere but Highwater.

Miss Bonnie would be fine, right?

Surely, that scrappy lady had a better chance at survival than anyone. But she was up against werewolves.

What about Miss Sarah? The odds of her surviving a werewolf kidnapping were a million to one.

All the images of what could be happening to the women Slade had trusted him to protect ran through his mind. He shuddered and tried to think of something else. Anything else.

He couldn’t. Worse, all he could think about was his hesitation. Would one smash to that random wolf’s face have made a difference?

Sure, he still would have had to face King Zeke, but perhaps he could have distracted him long enough for Miss Bonnie to run.

The boy stopped. He remembered his father’s words.

“Someday a Freeman will do something that will make all the shit we’ve been through worthwhile.”

The kid had taken those words to mean some Freeman way down the line, in a future so distant he couldn’t conceive of it.

Miles was a Freeman. The only male Freeman in his line.

His brain was undergoing some hearty calisthenics. He couldn’t exactly keep the Freeman family going if he died fighting werewolves that were stronger and more devious than he was, could he?

But then again, he wouldn’t set much of an example for his future, hypothetical, non-existent at the moment family if he forever had to tell them that when people needed him, he walked away.

Screw it. The boy wolfed out, pointed himself towards Highwater, and ran.

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How the West Was Zombed – A Note on Chapter 95

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Recently, I wrote Chapter 95, in which the Major and the Corporal decide whether or not to disobey orders and allow a gaggle of people cross the bridge (thus escaping the zombie hordes) before it is blown up.

Doc rides onto the scene at the end, thus confirming the Major’s worry that a zombie might be amongst the crowd.

Doc, of course, is a higher functioning half-zombie.

Anyway, this won’t be 95.  I’m going to push this to later. Logistically, I don’t think Doc has had enough time to make it to the bridge yet.

Our story will pick up with Miles, and then we’ll find out what happened to Gunther and Slade.

I know. The 3.5 people reading this care more about Gunther than Slade.  Can’t blame them. Gunther has personality. Slade’s kind of an uber depressed pretty boy.

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How the West Was Zombed – The Beginning of the End

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Howdy 3.5 cowpokes.

I’ve been dragging my feet lately because…well..we’re finally on the back nine.

Is Zombed going to end soon?

Nope. But we’re past the beginning and the middle and now, for the first time ever, I’m working on the end of a novel.

It’s a long end. A big end. My novel’s end got back.

So it’s taken me a bit.  Had to do some thinking. Make some decisions.  Specifically, I had to think about how each character’s personal story ends within the context of the book, as well as how/where they’ll be in the future (or do any of them have a future? muah ha ha?)

And amidst all that, I also have to set things up for the sequel – How the West Was Zombed Part II: The Quest to Fill Bookshelf Q. Battler’s Pockets with Mad Sticky Scrilla.

Hopefully, I’ll start back up again this weekend.  For those of you have tuned out or have just tuned in, follow along, will you?

As I said above, we aren’t close to being done yet, but we’re if this experience has been a flight, we’re on a slow descent toward our intended destination, so fasten your seat belts, put your tray tables in the upright position, and for the love of God stop playing candy crush.

I dare say these last few parts (which, not gonna lie, could still take me a couple more months) will be important to the overall project so come along with me on this ride and help me figure out how to make this book better…so I can stack cheese.

Did I say stack cheese? I meant uh…improve my art.

In all seriousness, I think good books and money making books are one in the same so your help will be greatly appreciated.

And for those of you who have been following along since the very beginning (and seriously, thank you for that) please tell me what YOU would like to see happen with the characters by the end.

Not gonna lie, I already know what’s happening to everyone but I’d still enjoy your input.

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How the West Was Zombed – Discussion Question

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It dawns on me that Chapter 95 raises a potentially interesting discussion question for my 3.5 readers.

3.5 readers, suppose you are in the army, charged with blowing up a bridge to prevent hordes of zombies from crossing.

A crowd of people shows up.  You’re under orders from your superiors to shoot anyone who tries to cross.

To send them back means they will become zombie chow.

But, due to their being little knowledge about the zombie menace, it is possible you’ll be allowing the zombie menace to spread across the bridge by letting people cross.

Do you bend the rules and let them cross or stand firm, obey your orders, and refuse to let people cross?

Discuss.

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 94

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Miss Bonnie headed south, maneuvering Doc’s wagon down a bumpy path through a forest. The trees were tall and in the moonlight, just the slightest bit spooky.

“Oh I don’t know about this Miss Lassiter,” Sarah said as she looked around. “We will be safe without any men to protect us?”

The driver felt like chewing Sarah out for making that statement but erred on the side of diplomacy. “I think we’ll manage.”

Miles stretched out in the back. Occasionally, he nodded off, only to be jostled awake when Miss Bonnie took the wagon over a rock.

He could hear everything the women were saying.

“I wish I shared your optimism,” Sarah said. “Perhaps life is easier for someone with a…carefree spirit.”

Miss Bonnie raised an eyebrow. “Is that supposed to mean something?”

“Oh no,” Sarah said. The bride examined her wedding dress. The train had ripped off hours earlier and between the blood stains and dirt it was more of a reddish brown now than white.

“It’s just that, you lived such a glamorous lifestyle,” Sarah said.

“I did?” Miss Bonnie asked.

“I would imagine a saloon keeping prostitute has many interesting stories,” Sarah said.

“Drunk perverts parting with their pay for pussy is about it,” Miss Bonnie replied.

Sarah blushed. “Good heavens.”

Chance plodded along at a steady speed.

“Sometimes I wish I hadn’t lived such a provincial life,” Sarah said. “Between my father and my departed husband, the only thing I have ever done is cook and clean for men. Why, if it weren’t for all of the sinful debauchery guaranteeing your place in eternal hellfire I’d have half a mind to trade places with you.”

As a dedicated church lady, Sarah had a habit of speaking straightforward, oblivious to how her words could be construed as insulting. Miss Bonnie picked up on that but did her best to not take offense.

“Word to the wise, darling,” Miss Bonnie said. “If you spend your life depending on men to take care of you, you’ll be mighty disappointed when they let you down.”

“I suppose,” Sarah said. “Oh but I’ll never have to worry about that with Rain. Such a rugged and hearty man’s man. Perfect in every way. He’s brave and bold and has no problems whatsoever. And he’s so dedicated to me.”

Having no interest in carrying on that line of discussion, Miss Bonnie changed the subject. “Kinda chilly isn’t it?”

Sarah rubbed her hands over her elbows, hugging herself. “It is.”

In the back, the scent of three werewolves wafted through the air and up into Miles’ nostrils. The boy opened his eyes and sat up.

“Have you and Rain been acquaintances long?” Sarah asked.

“Huh?” Miss Bonnie replied.

“He seems to hold a high opinion of you,” Sarah said. “Trusting you to look out for me and all.”

“Oh you know that old expression,” Miss Bonnie said. “‘If you can’t trust the town whore to look out for your bride then who can you trust?’ Right?”

“Is that an expression?” Sarah asked.

“Sure is,” Miss Bonnie answered.

“I’m not sure it is,” Sarah said.

Miles opened the back doors, allowing them to sway in the breeze. In the distance, he saw three glowing yellow eyes. They grew bigger and bigger until he could see three furry faces.

King Zeke and his two flunkies were closing in.

The boy knocked on the front of wagon. Miss Bonnie could hear Miles’ muffled voice from behind the boards.

“Miss Bonnie!”

“What?” the redhead asked.

“Company!”

Miss Bonnie craned her neck backward and caught a glimpse of the three sets of yellow eyes.

“Son of a…”

The redhead snapped on the reigns, prompting Chance to run as fast as his hooves would carry him.

Sarah turned to see what was going on. “Oh Lord save us.”

Miles drew his rifle and aimed for the glowing eyes, but the wagon shook uncontrollably as Chance bolted. The boy fired and missed. Zeke’s henchwolves flanked either side of the wagon, while the King himself followed behind.

One henchwolf ran along the left side of the car. He jumped up and dug his claws into the wagon to hold on. As soon as his face popped up, Miss Bonnie filled it full of buckshot. Unfortunately, it wasn’t silver buckshot, so it didn’t kill him, but it was painful enough that he let go and tumbled to the ground.

Sarah shrieked as the other henchwolf wrapped its paws around her waist. Miss Bonnie dropped the reigns, allowing the wagon to swerve all over as she grabbed hold of Sarah’s ankle. Though she tried to keep the bride in the wagon, King Zeke’s lackey was too strong.

The last thing Miss Bonnie saw was Sarah kicking and screaming as she was flung over the henchwolf’s shoulder. The wolf turned around and ran back towards town, upright on two feet as he carried his prize.

Miles watched as Zeke grabbed hold of the back left wheel, causing the wagon to jerk so abruptly that it started to flip over.

The boy thought fast. He morphed into werewolf form, becoming so tall that his head crashed through the roof of the wagon. After slashing through the boards that separated him from the driver’s seat, he picked up Miss Bonnie and jumped just in time to avoid being caught amidst the flying debris as the wagon crashed into pieces on the ground.

Chance managed to twist himself free of the wreck, then ran off into the night.

Miles felt sharp claws dig into his back. He put Miss Bonnie down and turned to find himself facing the henchwolf that had been shot by Miss Bonnie. His wounds were heeled.

The boy was angry. First his father. Now his newfound friends. He scratched his claws across the henchwolf’s face, then connected an uppercut to the attacker’s chin, launching him into the air then down to the ground.

Miles jumped on top of him, drew his hand back and was ready to deliver a death blow when he saw it. A look of fear in the henchwolf’s eyes.
The kid put his paw down, stood up, then started to walk towards Miss Bonnie, who was searching around for her shotgun to no avail. She picked up a piece of wood and prepared to defend herself.

Miles sensed the henchwolf was behind him. He turned just in time to see a paw coming for his face, only to be stopped when a grey paw grabbed it.

King Zeke’s voice crawled its way into Miles’ mind.

“Now is that any way to treat a fella who did you a good turn?”

The henchwolf was confused. “He got in the way.”

“That bloodsucking lawyer aint paying us to kill our own kind,” Zeke said. Then he asked the kid, “What’s your name, boy?”

“None of your business,” Miles replied.

“Helluva way to talk to your elders,” Zeke said. “Why don’t you run along now before I put you over my knee?”

Zeke and his henchwolf gathered around Miss Bonnie. The redhead got a few good whacks in on the henchwolf’s snout before he grabbed her board, snapped it in half, and picked her up.

Miles put a paw on Zeke’s shoulder. “Tell him to let her go!”

The sound of Zeke’s laughter flowed through Miles’ mind. Zeke turned around, socked Miles in the face, causing him to soar several feet backwards until he landed on the ground.

Zeke gripped the back of Miles’ head and looked him in the eye.

“Here’s some free advice, kid. Either join a pack and do as you’re told or find a cave to hide in, because the next time you put your paw on an alpha, you best be an alpha.”

Zeke let go of Miles’ head, allowing it to fall on the ground. The boy looked up as his assailant walked away.

“And you’re no alpha.”

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