Tuesday, August 17, 2010


"We can't just keep stopping like this, we aren't getting anywhere." Lucas was referring to the actuality that every couple of minutes Captain had to slow up to remove a pebble or twig or something foreign and pokey from his sandals. "This is why normal people wear normal shoes."

They had been on the trail for a while now, and Captain was getting good at ignoring the constant complaining and insulting that Lucas spewed.

Curry came around once, looking at them, perhaps processing the scene. Captain calmed her and ran his fingers through her hair, separating strands fused together with dried blood. When she was aware that they were carting her out of the park to find help, she positioned herself leaning on the other side of the chair and was asleep again before she offered any insight into what had happened.

It was definitely not easy pushing that wheelchair over rocks and fallen trees across the path, but with much disdain Lucas also took a turn pushing every so often and albeit slowly, they were making progress.


Jesse issued a firearm to Robin and Pegs, while Hubble refused. He gathered things from around the campsite he claimed would do fine in defending them from the walking dead. A rain stick, a baton looking rod with something inside it to make a precipitation sound, seemed to be his major weapon of choice.

Jesse was done arguing with these hippies. This Hubble character clearly refused to take the situation seriously, and Jesse was disappointed that he would have to see him suffer for it later, but they had stood around "planning" long enough.

The current plan of action was to run through the festival and warn as many as they could about the approaching mob of hungry undead. Jesse could only imagine the reactions of all of these people, and he hoped that with his current company they would at least buy the story enough to participate in the scenario. None of this mattered when they actually got it together and left the campsite.

Everyone was out of it. Perhaps not quite undead, yet, but they were all mindless for sure. Jesse chuckled to himself imagining the scale of mindlessness a hippie might traverse before getting to this point.

The sun was up high now, and it beamed an unforgettable heat, possibly hotter than this area had ever seen. Every single person attending the festival that they could see stood around the main stage. There was something going on in the middle of all these heads, but the crowed stacked so far, none of them could make out what.

"What's wrong with them?" Robin asked, to herself but out-loud.

The music had finally stopped, if you could even call it that to begin with. With a squint Hubble could see the stage. He could see what looked like guitars left laying across the stage. A keyboard was tipped over. The stage was empty of people except a backup singer with a microphone nearly in her mouth, and a drummer still seated at his set. The singer moaned into the mic occasionally, with absolutely no melody. Every couple of minutes or so, you could hear the drummer kick once on the bass drum.

Jesse offered up their next actions. "They are all focused on something in the middle of this crowd. We should push in there and make our announcement, maybe some of them will listen." He shook his head, "but I think it might be too late for most of these kids."

Hubble wasn't buying it. "Too late? It doesn't look like any of them have been bitten. There wasn't any screaming that I heard, no signs of any sort of attack. What the fuck are you talking about?" He tapped a guy on the shoulder, who didn't turn around.

"Hey. Dude, what's everyone lookin at?"

The man still did not turn. Hubble raised his voice, "I'm talking to you!" and put his hand on a shoulder and spun the guy around. There was no expression on the face and it looked beyond Hubble and the others for a moment, before simply turning its attention back with the rest of the audience.

"This aint like the zombies you know. There seems to be some kind of transition from alive to undead that happens, somehow, even if they weren't bit. We watched it take Tony, slowly but surely. "

Robin shivered uncontrollably. She was fucking scared, and felt cold, even under the blazing sun.

Pegs considered what he knew. He thought about everything that he had been told and added up everything he was seeing, and all he could think in conclusion was that he was unable to run, and that seemed a likely necessity at some point. He stopped.

The others began pushing their way through the crowd, and when they saw what everyone was staring at, Hubble threw up, Robin turned away crying, and Jesse did all he could to not open fire on the crowd.


Captain was in front and a few yards ahead. Lucas had been pushing Curry for a while, he figured they would move faster since that goddamn hippie refused to wear real shoes. He expected the Captain to step wrong at any minute, and when he did; when that ankle was snapped and the dude was trippin' out, screaming, and unable to observe the world around him with any understanding; Lucas would leave him there. The bait might actually buy him some time to save his own life, and perhaps this girl, too.

Lucas could smell the smoke from the joint up ahead. He wondered if Captain would ever pass it, and suddenly, the Captain stopped.

Captain held a 24 ounce beer can tight, sipping from it frequently. It wasn’t the first. His backpack was so full with empties that he had to dig for the rare chance of a piss-warm beer. Each time he searched, like magic he found one to drink, somewhere in the depths of his seemingly bottomless backpack.

As he gracelessly stumbled down the path, soaking the front of himself with spill, he stopped. Through the foliage ahead, someone was walking the trail towards them. He crouched to get a better look, and whoever it was must have spotted him as well, because they darted off the trail into the woods.

When Lucas caught up Curry moaned at the halt and shifted her body a bit. Lucas demanded the joint.

Captain didn’t respond for a minute. He was trying to listen, and he knew better than to try to tell this asshole to be quiet, so he
just strained his ears harder, his drug-heightened senses granting him, at least, the ability to think he could hear anything. In reality he heard nothing, so he spoke (in a whisper not even the trees could hear):

“Shhh...someone is up ahead.”

Lucas didn’t hear this. He heard a whisper, figured the hippie spotted a fucking chipmunk or some bird and wanted to let it do its thing.

“Just give me that fucking joint man. I’m back here pusing this fucking wheelchair so you don’t hurt yourself and your up in the front, hoggin’ up all this weed. Aren’t you fags all into sharin’ and shit? Be kind to your brotha’, and all that. You got any more of those beers?

Captain shook his head throughout Lucas’ rant, and put his face in one hand, sighing. He stood, and answered his question first.

“Probably not.”

He didn’t check.

“Listen to me for a second. There’s a person, up ahead on the trail.”

He had Lucas’ attention now.

“When I saw him, he left the trail. I was trying to listen for him, in case he flanks us.”

The gun was out now. Lucas didn’t kick the wheelchair, but he pushed it aside behind the cover of a larger rock with his foot. Curry spilled out of the wheelchair face-first, and slumped onto the ground without much acknowledgement. He was down into a fire position without saying another word, scanning the trees.

There wasn’t anything. For ten minutes they waited. Lucas finally stood and explained that they were not being hunted.

“They’re hiding. Afraid of us, if anything. By now, they would have come at us if they wanted an attack. It might just be a hiker, in for the worst trek of his life.”

“We have to warn them then.”

“Right, let’s just leave the girl and wander off into the woods, zombies or not. Fuck it, we got guns, let’s just run out there and shoot each-other.”

And then, Captain, drunk and fed up, did something he never did before: he spoke his mind.

“You probably killed her just now anyway. Look at her, there’s nothing we can do for her. What if we get all the way there and she just becomes one of them. Then what? Then she gets loose in the hospital. Sets off sprinklers and shit. Don’t zombies multiply in water? Then we’re all fucked. Fucked, and all because we thought it would be a great idea to risk our own ass and carry some half-dead bitch to some hospital. This is all your fault! You brought that fucking kid here, he probably infected everyone...”

Lucas slapped Captain, knocking him over with a full force swing. It was more like an open handed punch than a slap, and felt like a roundhouse kick to the temple as Captain’s beer flew into the trees.

“Relax! You’re talking like a fucking lunatic. We, as in You and I, should you remain calm and actually be able to aim a gun, are going to be fine.”

Captain sat up, pulled another marijuana cigarette from somewhere in his dreadlocks, and took a deep breath before lighting it.

“I just don’t know what to do, man,” he said as he exhaled the first hit, a giant puff of smoke filling the area between he and Lucas.

“The first thing you do, Cap’, is give me that motherfucking joint.”


It was Tiny. Tiny, or a blob of flesh that someone had set Tiny's hat atop. The flesh around it seemed to boil in the sun. Flies swarmed around the pile and over the rivers of bodily fluid that ran in all directions at the base of the mess. Where the face should be, there seemed to only be a mouth. If there were any eyes, they were below the bill of the hat, unseen.

Though most of the people around were just staring, some were actively walking up to this mound of skin, and serving it something. Meat. As Jesse looked closer, he saw the gaping black mouth being fed limbs, arms and legs and fingers and eyes. Hair lined the outside of the mouth. Strands of it were stuck all around the opening, glued with blood and drool. It belched frequently and occasionally errupted vomit. One after another, in a small formed line, assorted people took turns bringing more and more flesh to feast on, like offerings to a bizarre king. The massive lump heaved with digestion, and it excreted as fast as it ate.

Robin knew immediately that it was, in fact, Tiny. The hat tipped her off, but also, the activity going on was not much different from a normal festival scene. Tiny had always plopped his enormous ass in the middle of a crowd and kept everybody drinking and smoking and swallowing pills all through the night. Here he was as usual, though something was very different. He was no longer human, and as she looked around at the faces, she realised that none of these people were.

The smell was nauseating. Hubble puked again. Jesse had taken aim at the mass. It was enormous, three times as big as Tiny had been previously, and that was an impressive bulk.

Pegs panicked. He knew it was time. Time for them to turn tail and haul ass. Run. Something he was incapable of. His only hope was that he would be able to shuffle faster than any of these zombies, should they take chase. Then he realised the spillage from Tiny was pouring under their feet, just before his prosthetic gave out, and he fell into it, bathing himself in the foulest combination of bodily export.

Robin screamed with him and reached down to help him up. As they got him upright, the legs wobbled beneath him and slipped out in front of him, bringing him right back down. They repeated this once or twice more, with Hubble jumping in to help. Again and again, screaming and crying they tried to get him on his feet, until a leg came off, throwing Robin backwards into the middle of the circle, soaking herself as well.

Jesse fired into Tiny.

No comments:

Post a Comment