Tag Archives: werewolves

How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 120


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 114


The Missouri shoreline was littered with wreckage and zombie parts. Slade and Sarah held on to to their furry life raft as he swam to shore. The young wolf deposited his humans into the sand then become a boy again, huffing and puffing from exhaustion.

Slade removed Sarah’s gag.

“Why…why did you call me…”

Sapped of all her strength, Slade’s bride passed out.

“Oh God,” Slade said. “She’s dead.”

Miles looked at Sarah. “She’s fine. I can see her breathing.”

“No,” the lawman said. “Bonnie.”

“Oh,” Miles replied.

The boy sniffed the air. “She’s fine too.”

Slade shook his head in disbelief. “How could you possibly…”

Miles shrugged his shoulders. “My nose knows.”

Slade grabbed hold of Sarah’s limp body and hoisted it over his shoulder.

“Come on!” Slade shouted at the boy.

“You’re going to have a lot of explaining to do aren’t you?” Miles asked just before he returned to wolf form.

“Yeah, yeah,” Slade said as he climbed up on the werewolf’s back. He held Sarah close with his left hand and clutched a clump of fur with his right. “Mind your own business, fur ball.”

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How the West Was Zombed – Holy Crap


Holy Crap 3.5 Readers.

Six months later, I finally closed the major arc of the book.

Every great story begins with a question.  Or questions.

The main one was would Blythe carry out his mission to transport zombies across the Mississippi River?

Answer – spoiler alert – no!

Still much more to go, but now it is mostly batting cleanup.

Oh I can taste all that sweet, sticky Amazon cash.  I’m going to eat at Applebees for a week.

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 112


The zombies clawed over each other until they finally poured out of the hole that Zeke had torn through the box car roof. A few cars back, they were emerging through the holes that Miles had torn as well.

Slade laid down the heat and put bullets into brains. He quickly ran out of ammo and with no time to reload, he drew Gunther’s knife and stabbed furiously at the zombies that surrounded him, all the while struggling to maintain balance as the train cars rattled due to the increased speed.

A zombified Mr. O’Brien, once Highwater’s friendly photographer, was decapitated by Miles’ claws while Slade plunged his blade into the brain of what had once been Leo, the town’s preeminent drunk.

As soon as they cleared out the zombies in their way, the lawman and the young werewolf ran, with more zombies in hot pursuit.

Slade reloaded, fumbling to fill his pistols with silver-tipped bullets and maintain his footing at the same time.

It was day now. The sun shined brightly and warmed Slade’s face as he blasted a zombie that was grabbing his arm.

The zombies stopped. Slade was puzzled by this until Miles pointed up ahead.


The vampire was using his covered up hostage as a human shield, one arm locked around her neck while his free hand pointed his revolver at Slade.

“Stand down, zombies,” Blythe said. “Mr. Slade and I need to have a little chat.”

Slade and the vampire locked eyes.

“Drop your steel,” Blythe ordered.

Reluctantly, Slade set his pistols down on the boxcar roof.

“And you,” the vampire said as he looked to Miles. “Lose the fur.”

Miles morphed into his boy form.

“Bonnie!” Slade shouted. “Are you all right?”

“Mmmphh!” was the hostage’s muffled reply.

Blythe shook his head and pulled the sheet from his captive’s head.

Sarah. Her mouth was gagged but the fear in her eyes was palpable.

The vampire guffawed. Slade, for the first time since he’d become a U.S. Marshall, displayed a moment of weakness and dropped to his knees.

“Oh,” Blythe said. “Look at you, Slade. You’re too easy.”

“But you said…”

“What?” Blythe asked. “That I took the woman you love the most with me? I lied! That’s what vampire lawyers do!”

Slade stood up.

“The tiny fragments of whatever was left of your heart just snapped, didn’t they?” Blythe asked. “Ms. Lassiter is gone. I’d tell you that she’s dead but that’d be too easy. She’ll wish she was I guarantee you.”

The vein in Slade’s forehead pulsated to a boiling point.

“You’ll hate yourself forever for failing her,” Blythe said.

The vampire nudged his head toward Sarah. “You’ll hate this one for not being your beloved Bonnie…and you’ll hate yourself for hating her.”

Blythe pressed the revolver up against Sarah’s head. “Do I have to splatter her brains to get you to make a deal? Or will you realize once and for all that all a soul does is tear a man up inside and keep him from being his best possible self?”

Miles tapped Slade on the shoulder. The lawman ignored it.

“I’ll draw up a new contract later,” Blythe said. “But for now, a verbal accord will do. Agree to sell your soul to the Chairman or your say goodbye to your second best squeeze.”

“Slade,” Miles said as he continued to tug on the lawman’s arm.

“Not now,” Slade replied.

The vampire cocked the hammer of his revolver with his thumb. “What’s it going to be, Slade?”

Slade stammered. “I…I…”

“Slade!” Miles shouted.

“What?!” Slade shouted back.

“It sure is a nice day, isn’t it?” the boy asked.

Slade squinted his eyes as he looked toward the sun, then back at Miles.

It was time for Slade to hope.

The lawman dove for one of his pistols. The boy wolfed out to his massive furry form, then picked up Slade and through him off the side of the car.

Slade hurtled through to the air in a leftward arc. He took one shot at the vampire before being caught in by Miles’ left paw.

The young werewolf had dug the claws of his right paw into the side of the box car. With all his might, he held on.

Slade looked down. The ground below quickly turned into water. The train was now over the Sturtevant Bridge, darting across the Mississippi River.

Blythe, still holding onto Sarah, peaked over the side and scoffed. “You missed!”

Slade sneered. “Did I?”

Blythe looked himself over, wondering what he’d missed until he saw it. Slade’s crack shot had pierced the chain holding his golden medallion, the gift from the Chairman bestowing upon him the right to be one of few vampires allowed to bask in the sun.

The vampire, for once in his long existence, was afraid. He dropped his revolver and fumbled to catch his talisman but it was too late.

It slipped off his neck and fell through the air into the water below.

Blythe hyperventilated. His face turned purple.

The vampire let go of Sarah and clutched his neck and struggled to breathe.

“Do you think…”

Blythe could barely get the words out.

“… this changes anything?”

The vampire’s eyes bugged out of his head. The veins in his face turned black. “We are legion…for we are many!”

Blythe pushed Sarah off the side of the box car. He then exploded in a burst of sticky, black blood. What had once been the Legion Corporation’s most cunning strategist now painted the roof and side of the box car.

There was no time to celebrate. Sarah screamed through her gag as she fell through the air. Slade reached for her but missed.

Miles roared. He let go of the box car, pulled Slade closer to his body, then caught Sarah.

As the trio fell, a few words from a familiar, overused voice carried through the wind into Miles’ highly sensitive werewolf ears.

“…the open minded masses of the future will no doubt look upon him with great reverence as the man who destroyed the Sturtevant Bridge…”

The young werewolf recognized Doc’s voice and realized no good could come out of this third person tirade. He hugged the two humans tight then maneuvered himself to take the impact of the water landing with his back.

The trio plunged deep into the river as they struggled to reach the surface, the sounds of a tremendous explosion filled their ears.

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 110


The soldiers fired at the rampaging werewolves, but their bullets, with nary a trace of silver in them, were of no use. The wolves just kept coming.

All order was lost. The women gave up on the line and ran towards Illinois. Even some of the men, upon noticing that the soldiers’ attention was diverted, added to the madness by running across the bridge.

Major Culpepper rattled his saber high above his head.

“Halt, filthy dog monsters!” the Major yelled. “By authority of the President of the United States, I command you to…”

“I don’t think they’re listening, sir,” Bartlett said as he emptied his pistol at the werewolves. “And shooting at them is pointless.”

Bartlett snapped to attention and saluted his commanding officer.

“We’ll die with dignity, then sir, for a good soldier would never…”

“Retreat!” Major Culpepper shouted with roughly the same tone of a crying school girl. “Run for your lives! Every man for himself!”

“Oh Hell,” Bartlett said as he ran behind his fearless leader.

The werewolves made it to the bridge. They slashed soldiers and innocent bystanders alike.

Doc flicked his wrists to draw his six-shooters. He was about to take aim at a henchwolf when he felt a tug at his arm.

“Come on!” Annabelle urged him. “Now’s your chance.”

The good doctor surveyed the bridge. So many men were fleeing now. It would have been so easy for him to have joined them.

But then he spotted the Major and the Corporal running towards a very confused Robards.

Each officer gave a the demolition expert a different order.

“Blow the bridge!” the Corporal hollered. “Now! Before it’s too late!”

“Damn it, man!” the Major shouted. “Keep your grimy hands off that plunger until I’m on the other side!”
“What are you two yammering about?” were the last words Robards spoke before Mayhew’s teeth chomped through his carotid artery, spraying blood all over the faces of the Major and the Corporal.

Mayhew pulled the detonation box out of Robards’ hand just before the body of the demolition expert hit the ground. Then he looked at Culpepper and Bartlett and snarled.

“You there!” the clueless Culpepper bellowed. “That is official government property! Set it down at once!”

“But carefully,” Bartlett added.

An indecisive Doc stared at the unfolding chaos between the werewolves and the soldiers, then back to Annabelle’s sweet face. To the soldiers. To Annabelle. Back and forth went his head until he saw Mayhew’s henchwolves reach their claws into Culpepper and Bartlett’s backs and rip out their entrails.

“Woooooo! Wooooooo!”

The train was getting close. It’s whistle was carrying through the air.

With the fate of the nation resting in the paws of a damn dirty werewolf, Doc knew what he had to do.

He snuck one last kiss from and one last glance at his beloved.

“Remember me, my dear.”

Doc walked toward the werewolves, but continued to shout instructions at Annabelle.

“And tell the world of my story.”

The good doctor was free of fear as he stepped down the bridge.

“For when men of great intellect and excessive humility such as myself dare to leave their mark upon the world, even the most scholarly of scribes will scarcely understand how to record the doings of such remarkable men, and thus it is up to the common folk to…”

Doc stopped and turned back.

“Oh right. She’s gone.”

The trio of werewolves surrounded the half-man/half-zombie.

“Right then,” Doc said as he pointed one pistol at a random henchwolf and the other at Mayhew’s head. “I shall be taking that box, my good man.”

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 109


Doc and Annabelle were out of time. The last of the women folk stepped onto the bridge and Annabelle had to join them.

“Goodbye my love,” Annabelle said as she moved in to plant one last kiss on Doc’s rotting face.

“My dear,” Doc said. “Promise me…”

Annabelle looked away. “Don’t say it.”

Puss oozed from a sore on Doc’s cheek.

“…that you’ll find another…”

“I won’t,” Annabelle said.

Doc persisted. “…man to…”

“I’ll never love another man as much as you,” Annabelle said.

“I was going to say that you must find a man who will do that thing…”

Annabelle looked back at increasingly zombified lover.

“Oh,” she said. “You mean that thing where he…”

Doc nodded.

“And I?”

Doc nodded again.

“And then there’s that other thing that?”

One more nod.

“Well yeah of course,” Annabelle said. “I can’t go my whole life without that.”

One more embrace.

“But you’ll always be the best at it,” Annabelle said.

“Indeed,” Doc replied.

A tear rolled down Doc’s face as he watched the only woman he’d ever loved walked away.

But sadness replaced fear as he found Major Culpepper’s soldiers pointing their rifles his way.

Doc raised his hands.

“Don’t shoot!” Doc said. “I am a man of science!”

The soldiers shot…but not at Doc.

Doc ducked and ran out of the path of the gunfire. He turned to see three werewolves charging the soldiers.

Mayhew and his hench wolves had arrived to clear the bridge.

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 108


Mr. Cobb manned the controls, his paws adjusting various knobs and levers.

“Faster!” Blythe commanded.

The furry engineer shook his head to indicate, “no.”

“Don’t bore me with concerns of safety!” Blythe shouted. “I need to get these zombies across the river!”

The engineer relented and took the train to an alarming speed.

The vampire stepped into the engine room, where werewolves were shoveling coal into the furnace at a furious pace.

Blythe could see the coal reserves were running low.

“Start throwing zombies in as soon as you run out,” was his order to the werewolves.

The vampire returned to his cabin and clutched his hand around his captive’s arm.

She shrieked and jerked about wildly underneath the sheet until she felt Blythe press his revolver against her temple.

“Do you know what this is?” Blythe asked.

She nodded.

“Then move,” the vampire said.

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 106


The night gave way to morning. The dark sky slowly shifted to a light gray as a red sun peaked over the horizon.

Had Slade and Miles not been paying so much attention to their footing as they walked down the line of box cars, they might have enjoyed watching a beautiful sunrise.

Miles stopped when he realized that inside his mind he was no longer alone.

“I surely do feel sorry for you young’uns.”


Realizing something was amiss, Slade stopped walking. As a human, he was oblivious to the conversation.

“I reckon some things will never change,” Zeke continued. “My grandpappy used to warn me about strife he’d been through but despite his best efforts he was never able to keep me from making the same mistakes he did.”

Miles sniffed the air. He put a paw on Slade and nudged him back a few feet.

“And you’re just like I was,” Zeke said. “It’s not enough to tell you that you’ll get an ass whupping. You actually need to experience the whupping.”

“Miles,” Slade said. “What’s the hold up?”

Slade’s question was answered when a furry gray fist punched through the metal roof just in front of him.

A second paw emerged and a hole was torn until it was large enough for Zeke to emerge in all his gray, mangy glory.

Zeke hauled his arm back and socked Miles in the face, sending the young werewolf flying backwards.

Slade was about to come to his friend’s aid when Zeke’s two henchwolves popped out of the hole.

“Know your role, boy!” Zeke said as he tromped towards Miles. “The alpha leads and the pack follows. That’s the way it’s always been and it’s the way it will always be.”

Groans and snarls bellowed out of the hole in the roof. Hands, feet and other body parts poked out. The zombies had been packed to the roof and they were itching to get their mitts on Slade’s brain.

One henchwolf lunged at Slade only to take a silver tipped bullet straight to the head. The beast’s carcass fell into the open hole which led to a symphony of crunching bones and unruly growls as the zombies in the boxcar had their fill.

The second henchwolf was more wily. He knocked Slade down and dragged him close to the open roof, preparing to toss his victim into the zombie infested box car so he could be eaten alive.

Slade found himself in an unenviable predicament. A werewolf’s loathsome sharp teeth filled face was hovering over him, dropping drool all over his face. Meanwhile, zombie hands were reaching out of the hole, desperately trying to grab onto any piece of flesh they could find.

Blam! Slade blew the henchwolf’s brains out then scrambled away just in time to avoid being flattened by the enormous carcass.

Zombie hands felt around until they gripped the deceased henchwolf’s foot and dragged him into the pit. The car rocked as the zombies fought over all that werewolf meat.

Slade stood up and turned around. Zeke had wrapped his paw around Miles’ throat and had lifted the young werewolf into the air. Miles was kicking his feet to and fro, struggling with his hands to free himself to no avail.

Miles!” Slade shouted. “Just be yourself!

The young werewolf shot a confused look at Slade, annoyed at what he thought was a sappy sentiment.

Slade gripped his pistol by the end and hauled his arm back. “No! Be…your…self!!!”

“Did you honestly think a pathetic little whelp like you could ever challenge an alpha king?” Zeke asked. “Swear your allegiance to me this instant or I’ll tear you apart!”

Miles transformed into his normal boy form. His body became so small that he slipped right out of Zeke’s grip. Before the King could figure out what to do, Slade tossed his pistol.

The boy caught it. He pointed it at Zeke’s head, pulled the trigger, and the King fell dead.

“Sorry,” Miles said. “But I’m a Freeman.”

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 105


Inside the engine room, the fire inside the furnace glowed redder and hotter with every scoop of coal the werewolves shoveled. King Zeke, back in human form, tipped the back of his chair against a wall and attempted to get some shut eye.

His rest was interrupted when the scent of two intruders entered his nostrils.

Zeke’s boots clanked across the metal floor as he left the engine room. With two werewolves in tow, he marched to Blythe’s personal cabin and knocked on the door.

“Yes?” Blythe asked as he poked his head out of the door.

“Trouble a-brewin,’ Hoss,” Zeke said.

“Slade?” Blythe asked.

“Yup,” Zeke said. “I’m picking up his stink. And the boy werewolf.”

The vampire nodded. “Dispatch the boy posthaste will you? And bring Slade to me.”

“Gonna cost ya,” Zeke said.

Blythe grimaced. “Put it on my bill,” he said as he slammed the door.

Zeke busted out of his clothes, morphing into his gray wolf form. He and his two henchwolves took off.

Inside the cabin, Blythe massaged his head and mumbled a litany of complaints to himself.

“Blasted werewolves always nickel and diming me,” Blythe said as he sat down on a couch. “Does anyone care about a job well done anymore?”

The muffled screams of the captive woman lying on the couch next to him interrupted his train of thought.

“I’m sorry my dear,” Blythe said. “I suppose the last thing a person in your predicament needs is to hear me carrying on about my problems.”

Blythe’s prisoner was wrapped up from head to toe in a white bed sheet, with chains wrapped around her arms and legs. She screamed but her words were unintelligible.

The vampire brushed his hand over his prisoner’s head through the sheet.

“Hush now. This will all be over in a moment.”

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 104


Run?” Miles thought to himself. “No thanks. I’ve done enough running.

The young werewolf galloped along the left side of the last box car, jumped towards it, then dug the claws on his left paw into the metal. With his right paw he punched a hole in the box car, then used both paws to rip the steel apart until there was an opening big enough for him to jump in.

Inside, the box car was pitch black. That didn’t matter to Miles. He could still see.

But the smell of all that rotten zombie fleshed packed into that giant rectangular can was ungodly.

Groans and demands for brains filled Miles’ ears. He struck wildly, his claws ripping off zombie heads, limbs and other parts.

Like ants converging on an unattended sweet, the undead swarmed on the werewolf, knocking him down, biting and scratching at him.


Every wound the undead opened on Miles’ body instantly closed. The werewolf stood up and shook the undead off of him.

Miles bent his knees and, as if he were spring loaded, hurtled himself through the roof of the box car.

Slade was just about to step forward when Miles emerged from the twisted steal, his fur covered with zombie guts.

“I thought I told you to run!” Slade said as he looked up at the young werewolf, who was now towering over him.

All Miles could do was growl in response. Had he been able to communicate with Slade, he would have shared what he was thinking.

Run? I’m tired of running. I’m a Goddamned werewolf. People need to start running from me.”

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