Tag Archives: zombie

Zom Fu – Chapter 52

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Near the steps of the Imperial Palace, three terra-cotta soldier statues stood ever so stoically, serving as tributes to warriors who had fallen in the past in the name of the Emperor. Their eyes were bright red sapphires, a bounty that the Whirlwind was unable to resist.

“Come on, you bugger,” the Whirlwind said as he jammed a dagger underneath one of the sapphires and attempted to pry it out. “Just a little…there!”

The Whirlwind stared longingly at the treasure in his hand, only to be interrupted by a cold, undead hand on his shoulder.

“Bah!” the Whirlwind said as he bashed the zombie on the head with his club. “Can’t you see I’m busy?”

“Rarrrgh!” Niu cried as he lifted another undead warrior over his head and tossed it into the night sky. “There are more important things to be busy with!”

“I was promised loot!” the Whirlwind said as he began to work on prying out another sapphire.

A zombie jumped onto Niu’s back but was quickly thrown off. Another attacked from the front, but Niu managed to grip the beast by the face and jaw, allowing him to separate one for the other.

“I said I’d look the other way!” Niu shouted. “A feat that is growing more difficult the more you shirk your responsibilities!”

The Whirlwind rolled his eyes as a second sapphire eye dropped into his hand. “Oh alright, pansy!”

Thonk! Clonk! The Whirlwind bashed in the brains of countless zombies as a fireball whizzed just inches over his head. A zombie standing directly behind the thief was hit by the flame and was incinerated instantly.

“Hey!” the Whirlwind shouted at Junjie. The thief tapped his own head to make sure his locks will still there. “Watch it, will you? If you burn off all my hair and leave me like baldy here, the ladies will never touch me again.”

“You test my patience,” Niu said as he pummeled a zombie.

“Someone had to,” the Whirlwind replied as he bashed his club into an undead skull.

Crack! A bolt of lightning streaked through the sky, followed by a menacingly loud thunderclap.

With his ghostly frame, the Infallible Master walked right through his disciples, the zombies, even the various members of the Clan of the Mediocre Yet Effective Club Bonk. The old man reached the top step and looked into the sky, where more lightning bolts passed overhead, high above the palace.

“Children,” the Infallible Master said. “Time is of the essence!”

The Whirlwind’s associates formed a line near the middle of the palace steps, bonking any zombie that dared to pass. This allowed Junjie, Niu, and the Whirlwind to enter the palace with the master.

“Club fu saves the day!” the Whirlwind remarked.

“Now is not the time!” Niu hissed.

“Niu and Whirlwind, you must find the Emperor,” the master said. “Junjie, follow me.”

“But shouldn’t I help them find the Emperor?”

“This is more important,” the master said.

“What could be more important than the Emperor?” Junjie asked.

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Zom Fu – Part 3 – Attack on the Tiger Claw Clan’s Sanctuary

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With Bohai’s help, Dragonhand leads an attack against the Clan of the Sacred Yet Inscrutable Tiger Claw Clan’s sanctuary.

Niu protects the little ones.  The Infallible Master confronts the threat head on.  Junjie and Mei-Ling are late to the game.

Chapter 14          Chapter 15          Chapter 16          Chapter 17

Chapter 18          Chapter 19          Chapter 20         Chapter 21

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Zom Fu – Chapter 3

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“Perhaps we should discuss this first,” was the last thing Junjie managed to say before his mouth was shut by Bohai’s foot.

Junjie brushed the blood from his lip with the back of his hand, nodded at his opponent and asked, “So that’s how it is, is it?”

“It is,” Bohai replied as he cracked his knuckles.

“So be it,”Junjie said.

The two men paced to and fro like a pair of hungry jackals until Junjie threw a punch. Bohai caught it with his left hand then attacked Junjie with his right. They became locked in an attack and deflect pattern for several minutes until Junjie finally landed his fist on Bohai’s face.

“You have no idea how long I have wanted to do that, brother,” Junjie said.

“Ahh,” Bohai said as he spit blood out of his mouth. “You have no idea how long I have wanted to do…this!”

Bohai lunged for Junjie’s arm, gripped it, and flipped Junjie into the air before slamming him to the floor.

A grounded and dizzy Junjie looked to his right to find Niu sitting perfectly still on the floor, meditating with his eyes closed.

“You’re not interested in becoming the Twentieth Infallible Master?” Junjie asked Niu.

“Oh I am,” Niu answered. “But if I am meant to have the staff…”

“…then you will have the staff,” Junjie said as he leapt to his feet and quickly dodged Bohai’s foot.

“You are daft as you are humongous, Niu!” Bohai shouted.

“Perhaps I am the last one you should be worried about,” Niu said as he pointed a finger toward the ceiling.

Bohai and Junjie looked up to find that Mei-Ling was already five floors above them and easily jumping up to the sixth.

The master laughed. “Hmm. Perhaps the first female Infallible Master’s time has come.”

Bohai performed a running jump to the second floor’s wooden bannister, grabbed it, stood upon it precariously, then jumped up to the third floor bannister. Junjie followed, nipping at Bohai’s heels.

The chase was on. Junjie remained just below Bohai until the tenth floor when Bohai decided to improvise and stomp his foot down on Junjie’s head. Knocked off balance, Junjie let go of the bannister and began to fall until he grabbed Bohai’s leg and yanked him down with him.

The duo fell through the air for a few levels until they rolled to the right and crashed through the fifth floor bannister.

Back on the ground, the master was lecturing his most gigantic student.

“I am disappointed that you are not in this, Niu,” the master said.

“I am in it,” Niu said with his eyes still closed. “If I am destined to lead then I will.”

“Sometimes I think my foot is destined for your ass,” the master said.

“If your foot is meant for my…”

“Silence!” the master shouted. The old man looked up to see Mei-Ling moving higher and higher.

“Children!” the master shouted. “Have you found the toys I have placed around the tower? Play nice with them!”

On the fifth floor, Junjie and Bohai spotted a couple of the toys in question hanging on the wall. Junjie seized a pair of nunchucks while Bohai claimed a wooden bo staff.

“Stand down before I destroy you, Junjie,” Bohai said.

“You are not worthy of the Staff of Ages,” Junjie replied. “Your disrespect of the master has proven that.”

“It is mine by right,” Bohai said. “I am the best!”

Junjie gripped one end of the nunchaku and used it to twirl the other end by the metal chain. “Prove it.”

The pair had a stair down for a while. Finally, Bohai brought his bo staff through the air in a sweeping motion. Junjie cracked his nunchaku against the staff, deflecting the attack just in time.

Attack and deflect. Attack and deflect. Eventually, Bohai managed to get a jab in against Junjie’s chest. Not to be outdone, Junjie answered the hit with a nunchaku smack against the side of Bohai’s face.

Down below, the master and Niu listened to the commotion.

“I have done nothing but show you kindness since we were children and you have done nothing but mock me for it!” Junjie cried.

“How can I make you better if I don’t point out every one of your many, many flaws?!” Bohai asked.

“Hmm,” the master grunted. “Those two have some issues to work out.”

“If they are meant to work them out then…”

The master interrupted Niu. “No one likes a fatalist know-it-all, my son.”

“Perhaps they aren’t intended to, master,” Niu said.

“Ugh,” the master said as he slapped his forehead.

Up above, Mei-Ling was now on the eighteenth and final floor. There she found a bow, an arrow, and a coil of rope. She tied one end of the rope to the bannister and the other end to the arrow.

The tower was circular in shape, little more than an extra large cylinder. Mei-Ling could see the Staff of Ages hovering just underneath the skylight, but it was much to far too reach with her hands. So, expert markswoman that she was, she took aim at a wooden support beam on the other side of the eighteenth floor, fired, and scored a direct hit.

In doing so, she created a taut tightrope. Now she just had to walk it.

However, as she leaned over the bannister and looked down to see how tiny Niu and the master looked from this height, she realized that the feat she was about to try was easier said than done.

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Would a Zombie Apocalypse Really Be That Bad?

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Hey 3.5 readers.

Blasphemy for a zombie nerd to say this, but sometimes I wonder if a zombie apocalypse would be as bad as they are portrayed on television.

Don’t get me wrong.  A zompoc would be awful.  However, I feel like the government has all kinds of contingency plans on what to do if America is invaded and what with police and army and everything I feel like the zombies could be fended off.

Sure, it would be a disaster.  Many would die, have their brains eaten and end up undead.  I’m just not convinced that people would instantly drop everything when the first zombie wave hits.

Yes, our public officials, politicians and so on make us worry sometimes but I think they would stick around to coordinate things and I don’t think the army, police, first responders etc would give up without a fight.

Then again. I could be wrong.  Everyone might see a zombie and crap themselves.

Even if the world were to descend into an apocalyptic state, I feel like there is a lot of knowledge in people’s brains, such that rebuilding might not be as difficult as imagined.  Surely there would be more to life than just wandering from town to town to see which abandoned stores still have old boxes of candy and twinkles to feast on.

Hell, the Ancient Romans built some impressive buildings and did great things with very little compared to what we have today.  You, the average reader, could take the knowledge in your modern brain and go back to ancient times and live like a King.

Or could you?  I suppose you’d have to have the skills needed to take the knowledge in your brain and make it happen in real life.

I don’t know.  I could be wrong.  Maybe without the whole system in place now we’d all just end up acting like a bunch of dummies and be screwed.

Maybe I have too much faith in people.  Then again.  Maybe I don’t.  I hope we never find out what a zombie apocalypse would be like in real life as there would be way too many zombies.

FYI the Yeti just reminded me that I did live through a zombie apocalypse that was better known at the time as the East Randomtown Zombie Apocalypse, the terrible ordeal in which #31ZombieAuthors assisted me and gave me the advice I needed to pull myself out of a jam.

I’m sorry.  I’m very forgetful when I’m under Yeti control.  So yes, to answer my question, people are stupid and a zombie apocalypse would be awful as the zombies would eat everyone and then everyone not eaten would do stupid things.

Ergo, this post was pointless.  My bad.

But tell me what you think anyway, 3.5

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Undead Man’s Hand – Chapter 22

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The first ten minutes of Bullock’s tenure as Sheriff of Deadwood were uneventful. He felt proud of himself, that he’d found a way to improve his family’s well-being. As he walked down the road, a few people noticed the star.

There were a few mutterings about it. “New Sheriff in town” and so forth.

Around the eleventh minute, Bullock noticed that a large crowd had gathered outside the town stable. Curious, Bullock graciously pushed his way through the townsfolk until he was inside.

Harvey Turner, a big man in overalls, was the stable keeper. He stood over a dead body that was lying on the ground, pieces of hay sticking to the blood that covered his face and clothing.

Doctor McGillicuddy was on his knees, examining the body.

“What state exactly was he in when he found him?” the doctor asked.

“I lifted up a bale of hay to feed the horses and there he was,” Harvey said. “Put a fright in me something fierce.”

“What’s going on, Doc?” Bullock asked.

Doctor McGillicuddy had been so busy with his examination that he hadn’t even noticed Bullock’s entry into the stable. He looked up and the first thing that caught his attention was the shiny star pinned to Bullock’s shirt.

“Why in God’s name are you wearing that?” Doctor McGillicuddy asked.

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 115

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Miss Bonnie was feeling rather discouraged.

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

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

Her resilience remained.

“This is bullshit,” she said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Arrrrrrrrrrrrghhh!”

The room went silent.

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

The barn doors swung open.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What’s he saying?” Bobcat whispered.

“I don’t know,” Miss Bonnie replied.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I don’t get it,” Bobcat said.

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

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

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

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

“Shit,” Miss Bonnie said.

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

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

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

“We need to do something,” Bobcat said.

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

“But…”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Snake!” Bobcat said. “The woman!”

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

The knife.

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

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

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

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

Bobcat registered his disbelief. “What the…”

“Spirits,” Snake said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“But…but…youse a girl!”

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

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

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

“I…I am impressed,” Bobcat said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Fucking men,” she repeated.

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How the West Was Zombed – So Much Action

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And now the part all 3.5 of us have been waiting for – Slade’s big fight against Blythe on a fast moving train.

I’m not sure action translates well into books.

On a movie screen, you can see an explosion.

In a book, I’m not sure what an author can really do other than write, “There was an explosion.”

Oh well.  This next part is going to be action packed, so please advise me on how to make it better.

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How the West Was Zombed – Killing Your Darlings

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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 93 (Rewrite)

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Gunther only had the one good eye, but that was all he needed to land a shot straight through the neck of the werewolf that had Standing Eagle pinned. The werewolf roared in pain and became distracted just long enough for the Chief to spring to his feet and bash the beast backward with multiple tomahawk smashes to the face.

Once the monster was within range, Gunther put a silver tipped bullet right in the back of its hairy skull. Eagle side stepped just in time to avoid being crushed by the collapsing carcass.

In a blood and guts fueled frenzy, Slade was using his twin pistols to pop putrid zombie heads as if they were ripe watermelons.

Eagle’s warriors fought valiantly. Bobcat jammed his blade into a zombie’s forehead, then hacked off the creature’s hand, stole its gun and used it to blow out the brains of three more zombies.

Fox scalped a zombified Buchanan Boy, using his knife to peal away the undead man’s hair and skin, not to mention the top half of his skull. Once the zombie’s brain was exposed, Fox plunged his blade deep inside it, putting the zombie’s lights out forever.

The zombies kept attacking, as did the two remaining werewolves. The cowboys and natives closed ranks, fighting in close proximity to each other as they hacked off and shot off all manner of disgusting zombie parties.

“It seems I have saved your useless hide again, Slade,” Eagle said as he hacked the arm off one of his attackers.

“I don’t feel too safe yet,” Slade replied as he put a silver tipped bullet right through the eye of a werewolf, dropping him cold. “But thanks.”

“Are you two going to kiss or are you going to kill zombies?” Gunther asked. The old timer pulled the trigger of his rifle only to hear a click. Out of ammo, the old timer improvised and bashed an incoming’s face in with the butt of his Winchester.

“We make our ancestors proud today, Eagle!” cried Bobcat as he lopped a zombie’s head clean off and tossed it into the air. It remained alive until Slade put a bullet between its eyes before it hit the ground. It was an epic trick shot.

“Am I seeing things or are there even more of these fuckers?” Gunther asked.

“You aren’t,” Snake replied as he conked a zombie over the head with his staff. “We kill more and more and they just keep coming…ugh!”

Two zombies grabbed Snake’s arms and attempted to pull him into the sea of undead that surrounded the heroes, but Screeching Owl put an arrow in each of their heads in order to free the shaman.

High up above the brawl, Blythe hovered in the air, directing his zombies in their gruesome carnage. Slade took a few shots at the vampire, but Blythe dodged them adeptly.

From his vantage point, Blythe could see a mile in any direction, and to his delight, the entire town had become filled with zombies and werewolves.

The drive was finally complete. The werewolf herdsmen had brought their zombie cattle in, and with is mind, the vampire directed all of the undead to converge on the mayhem outside the livery.

Gunther smacked and punched away the hands that grabbed him, but they were too many. The old man was hoisted into the air and held there by several different pairs of hands. Soon, Slade was overpowered and ended up joining him, as did Fox, Owl, Bobcat, and Snake.

All heroes resisted but they were unable to break the undead grips that held them up over the zombie crowd below.

Eagle wasn’t so lucky. With a werewolf’s paw around his throat, he was lifted into the air. The werewolf squeezed…and squeezed until…CRACK! The Chief’s neck snapped and his body went limp.

Slade cried out in anger and struggled to free himself to no avail.

Down the road, a rider approached on a horse. As he drew near, the zombies parted to let him through. At least twenty hulking werewolves followed in his wake.

Ezekiel “Zeke” Kane. Alpha King of a wolf pack out of Colorado. He was older, in his early fifties at least. The hair that flowed out from under his hat was grey, as was his long beard. His leather coat was worn, looking as though it had seen a lot of action on the trail.

Blythe motioned for the zombies to clear a circle. Zeke rode into the middle of it. His spurs jangled as his boots hit the ground. Blythe landed next to him.

“Mr. Kane,” Blythe said.

“Counselor,” Zeke replied in a Southern twang.

“I trust your ride in was riveting?” Blythe asked.

“Sacked and burned everything from Colorado to Missouri,” Zeke replied. “Every pack from here to the Rockies joined in. These zombies are dumber than an inbred aardvark but they respond to the whip all right. Got quite an army on your hands now.”
“The chairman will no doubt reward you and yours ten fold,” Blythe said.

“Well, my mama always said it was impolite to talk money in front of company but I sure hope so,” the alpha said. “We didn’t drag these sons of bitches cross country for our health.”

Slade, Gunther and the natives were on their feet now, being restrained by the zombie hordes. The werewolf who bested Eagle tossed the Chief’s carcass at Blythe’s feet.

“Good boy,” Blythe said to the werewolf.

“Glory be,” Zeke said as he looked over Eagle’s muscular frame. “That’s the biggest Injun I ever seen.”

Bobcat refused to be silent. “You know not what you do, demon,” he shouted at Blythe. “You have taken the life of a warrior far, far better than you could ever be and the spirits will demand justice. They will demand…”

“Shut him up,” Blythe said. His undead stooges obeyed and clamped their hands tightly over Bobcat’s face.

Gunther and Slade were already subdued in a similar manner, disgusting hands over their mouths preventing them from saying anything.

“Mr. Kane,” Blythe said. “I hate to give you another job before you’ve had a moment to put your feet up, but there is an urgent matter in need of your skill.”

“Let’s hear it,” Zeke replied.

Blythe pointed to Slade. “This one has two women.”

“Two?!” Zeke balked as he walked over to Slade. “God damn, boy. Leave some for the rest of us, will ya?”

“They escaped,” Blythe said. “I need them back unharmed.”

Slade winced as Zeke sniffed him. “He reeks of both of them. I got their scent.”

The King flexed his muscles. They grew and grew until his clothing ripped off of him. He morphed into a mighty werewolf but unlike the others, his fur was mangy and grey.

He dropped down on all fours and scurried through the zombie hordes. Two wolves joined him.

“Take them inside,” Blythe commanded. His zombies obeyed and carried the prisoners into the livery.

Blythe rose into the air and flew back to the Marvel, where Mr. Mayhew and the other conductors were waiting.

“Shall we begin boarding sir?”

“Yes, Blythe replied as his feet touched down on the platform. “But your men can handle that. I need you to head off to the bridge and make sure it’s clear of any rabble.”

“Consider it done sir,” Mayhew replied.

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How the West Was Zombed – Chapter 77

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Lady Blackwood stood in the deep, dark void in the middle of the circle of fire, surrounded by the flames that went on forever and waited…and waited…and waited.

Such was the chairman’s style.  He was much too important to see anyone on time.

The fire dissipated and the lady found herself in a finely decorated reception area.  Polished wooden floors, magnificent artwork on the walls, the only thing that threw off the room’s atmosphere was the drooling bug-eyed goblin perched on top of the desk.

Fabrizio had no use for chairs, preferring to squat on his haunches like a frog and allow his arms to dangle in front of him.  He may have been a scrawny, pointy-eared, snaggletoothed little freak, but as the chairman’s personal secretary, he guarded his boss’ interests zealously.

“Does ye have an appointment?” Fabrizio squeaked.

“I don’t need one, fool,” the Lady replied haughtily. “I’m the vice-chairwoman.”

Fabrizio closed his left eye and leaned in to study the lady’s face with his right. “Be ye really the vice-chairwoman or be ye an assassin in her guise?”

I’m a mental construct, worm,” the lady said. “My body isn’t even here.”

“Yes, yes, but one can never be too careful with the chairman’s well-being,” the goblin said.  “Disrobe for a cavity search, please.”

Unamused, Lady Blackwood backhanded the twerp’s face, launching him across the room until he smacked into a wall.  She opened up a door behind Fabrizio’s desk and proceeded to strut down a lengthy hallway.  Suits of armor from various cultures and time periods were lined up against the walls.

“Wait!” the goblin cried as he scurried after her.  He wrapped his arms and legs around the lady’s left leg but his insignificant frame wasn’t enough to slow her down.  She kept walking with the puny mongrel still attached.

“Before the chairman you can see you must answer my riddles three!”

“Unhand me, lecher!”

The lady kicked her leg until the goblin fell off and skittered across the marble floor.

The goblin threw himself before the lady’s feat and groveled in a most unpleasant and pathetic manner.

“Please!  You must let me announce ye or the chairman will have my hide!”

The lady rolled her eyes.  “Very well.”

The goblin and the vampire reached the large iron doors leading into the Chairman’s chamber.  Fabrizio leaped into the air, grabbed the door handle with his claws, planted his feet against the door and struggled wildly until it budged.

The little beast entered.  Lady Blackwood listened to the goblin’s muffled announcement.

“The vice-chairman here to see you, oh illustrious one!”

The chairman’s reply was a booming, guttural bellow, so loud that the wind produced knocked both doors open and caused the lady’s hair to flap in the breeze.

The goblin walked out tipsily, looking like he’d just lost a three round prizefight.

“Is he in a good mood?” the Lady asked.

“Better than usual,” the goblin replied.

Lady Blackwood entered the chamber.  The doors slammed shut behind her.

Surrounded by bookshelves filled with copious volumes of forgotten lore, the chairman sat behind a glorious oak desk in a leather bound chair.  From the lady’s point of view, all that was visible were the large, curled ram’s horns poking out from above the top of the chair, and a red right hand clutching a cigar.

The chairman’s voice was a low baritone.  “Our name is legion…”

The lady curtseyed and gave the expected response, “For we are many.”

“Why do you disturb me?” the Chairman inquired.

On Earth, Lady Blackwood feared no one but here in the underworld, it was hard even for a wealthy aristocratic bloodsucker to not be nervous in the chairman’s presence.

She chose her words carefully.  “Henry is poised to conquer America in your name but the board’s incompetence stands in the way.”

The cigar disappeared.  Smoke rings raised high above the leather chair.  The red hand dropped down again.

“Did I appoint intelligent agents capable of acting in my stead, or squabbling children unable to resolve their disputes without crying to daddy?”

“I do not cry,” the lady said.  “I merely beseech your intervention.”

What would you have me do?” the Chairman asked.

“Nullify the board’s demands that Henry toy with Slade,” the lady said. “Allow Henry to remove Slade from the equation without delay.”

The chairman shifted his cigar to his left hand and drummed his long fingernails on the desk with his right.

“I have been imprisoned in the realm of the damned since time immemorial,” the chairman said. “Waiting for a being such as Henry with the ambition to plot an invasion of this magnitude and the cunning to see it through to execution.”

Lady Blackwood was pleased to hear those words.  “Then I implore you to…”

The red hand raised in a sign for the lady to be silent.  She obliged.

“I have also waited since time immemorial for someone with Henry’s ingenuity with cruelty.  Our esteemed counselor is an artist who paints with human suffering the way others do with watercolors.”

“I’m sure he would be pleased to hear you speak so highly of him,” the lady said.

“I have waited here for millennia and can do so for countless more if need be,” the Chairman said. “If the invasion fails, I can wait for another.  But I do not know when another being with Henry’s acumen for turning honest men into heartless slaves will come again.  If there is even a slight chance that Slade could be the one that allows me to feel sunlight on my skin and dirt under my feet, then I will take it.”

“But..”

“I will take it,” the Chairman repeated.  Lady Blackwood knew it wasn’t a good idea to argue the point further.

“Very well,” she said.

“While we are on the subject of the board’s incompetence,” the Chairman said. “Let us discuss yours.”

“Mine?” the Lady asked, incredulously.

“Even with the greatest gunslinger who ever lived as your personal puppet, you still have not been able to best a drunk bitch and her dandified partner,” the Chairman said.

“Miss Canary has proven to be an unfortunate challenge,” the Lady said.

“Her contemporaries have been writing off her warnings about our operation as little more than the ravings of a mad alcoholic,” the Chairman said.  “But win or lose, the result of Henry’s invasion will be that people will listen to her.  She knows your name.  She knows the board of directors’ names.  She will share them…with men who will hunt all of you down and leave you no peace.”

“She will be stopped,” the Lady said.

“Will she?” the chairman asked. “An observation, Vice-Chairwoman. Your ineptitude put the safety of the entire board in jeopardy…”

“A traitor put them in jeopardy.”

“A traitor in your employ,” the Chairman noted.  “And yet at no time did any of the board members come to see me with complaints about you.”

The lady hanged her head low, something she never did to any man or beast on Earth.

“Loyalty, Vice-Chair,” the Chairman said. “It has a place, even amongst us.  That will be all.”

Lady Blackwood knew enough about the Chairman to realize that would, indeed be all and it would be hazardous to her health to discuss the issue further.

“Good day, chairman,” the lady said.

“Vice-chairwoman,” the Chairman replied.

The room disappeared.  The lady was in the black void again.  She closed her eyes and awoke frozen stiff with blood red eyes, stark naked in the middle of a brothel. 

She regained movement and her eyes returned to normal.  Two naked prostitutes who rivaled her beauty laid in bed, waiting for her return.  They both took turns smoking opium from a hookah, and had been doing so for so long they hadn’t even noticed their client’s previously immobile state.

“Come back to bed,” one of the girls said as she patted the mattress.

The lady pulled her robe from a hook and put it on.

“No,” she said.  “I have work to do.”

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