Tag Archives: Zombie Western

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 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 107


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.


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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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 = #220 in Wattpad Horror Fiction

Hey geeks, nerds and assorted poindexters.

BQB here.

How the West Was Zombed is climbing back up the Wattpad Horror charts!

Currently #220!

Read. Follow me. Vote. Comment. Help me make the zombification of Wild West that much better.

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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 103


Slade gripped Miles’ fur tightly. The young werewolf was running at a speed that was incomprehensible to the law man. Winds rushed all over them as Miles’ paws tromped across the prairie.

Soon, the Marvel of the Rails was within sight.

“Just get me on board then run,” Slade shouted into Miles’ ear. “I don’t need a dead kid on my conscience on top of everything else.”

Bringing up the Marvel’s rear was a henchwolf manning a gatling gun. He instantly spotted the duo and unleashed a hell storm of bullets upon them.

Miles zigged and zagged, dodging each shot effectively but just barely. It was all happening so fast Slade’s mind could barely keep up with it.

The lawman pointed his pistol at the henchwolf’s head and fanned the hammer, striking the back of his gun with the palm of his hand over and over until six silver-tipped bullets had tore through the henchwolf’s head. Blood splattered across the gatling gun as the henchwolf keeled over and fell onto the tracks.

Miles sped up until he was running just behind the train.

The human body comes with all manner of built in means of self-preservation. Slade had to fight ever reflex he had when he tentatively stood up on the young werewolf’s back. He knew he only had mere seconds before he’d stumble and fall, so he quickly pushed off and grabbed the railing that surrounded the gatling gun car.

Slade pulled himself on board. He took six bullets off of his bandolier and reloaded his gun as he watched Miles veer off to the left and out of sight.

The lawman climbed a rickety iron ladder until he reached the top of a box car.

The Marvel’s whistle blared. Its bell clanged. Slade struggled to maintain his balance as the train barreled down the tracks.

Far down the line, he could see smoke belching from the locomotive’s stack. That was where he needed to be.

The wind whipped up underneath the brim of his Stetson, threatening to blow it away until he pulled it down tight over his head.

Slade’s woman and his hat were both at stake, and he was determined to not lose either.

Slowly, he walked across the box car as the train rattled down the track.

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How the West Was Zombed – Killing Your Darlings


Sigh. Gunther is dead.

I’m partly depressed and also partly a bit proud of myself.

Unbeknownst to you, 3.5 readers, I’ve been planning to bump the G-Man off for awhile now.

Initially, I intended that there would be a happy ending in which he lives and moves in with Slade and whichever woman he ends up with and acts as like a beloved cantankerous Grampa of the family…but…

It was the “dying with your boots on” thing that got me.  If you die with your boots on, you probably did so in battle.  If you die with your boots off, it means you were peaceful, surrounded by family.

If the series goes on long enough, maybe good ole Slade will keep his promise to Gunther and die with his boots off.

Have you ever killed off a main character, 3.5 readers?

Did it make you sad?

It does make me sad, but one odd thing – I’m looking towards writing accomplishments less in word counts or chapter counts and more of scenes and milestones.

I have been having all these images in my head of what will happen to the characters for months and am amazed to have gotten so many of these images down on paper now.

Thanks for reading, 3.5.  Your feedback is always appreciated.

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 100


“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 97

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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