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March 29, 2015

Race for Safe Haven - I Love This Plan

[Posted by Ted H]

Let's hear it for getting vacation time so I could actually get some writing done!


[Race for Safe Haven - I Love This Plan]

            "I love this plan," Rhett said while in the backseat of his own car. They had just dropped Matt off where he needed to be, and now they were on their way to the club where the rest of the group was hiding out. "You're a little weird, aren't you?" Steve asked, sitting next to him. Laura sat on the far end while Mike sat up front with Jason driving.
            "You sure they're still alive?" Steve asked, silently hoping Mike would change his mind over the whole endeavor. "Once I'm in position, I'll try to see through the window they were in," Mike said as he held up binoculars "Try to see if I can raise Eric on the radio again, too. You two just get to the fire escape I told you about and let me worry about details."
            He meant that for both Steve and Rhett, who were going to try and get into the club and retrieve the group. Rhett didn't know much about the people inside, and he understood why he had been given the job he had for this. Mike and Laura would take up position in another building and, along with Matt, use the flares to distract the crowd of zombies right outside. Jason, meanwhile, would be the getaway driver. Rhett didn't know what the plan would be afterwards, or even if he planned to stick around, but for now he was involved in this group.
            "Coming up on the van," Jason said as he turned the corner. In the middle of the street up ahead was an empty van, some zombies still standing by it. "That's what you used to get here?" Rhett asked, noticing how dilapidated the van looked. "We found it out in the sticks," Mike said "It was the only thing that worked. Sue me."
            "Stop near the van," Mike said as Jason slowed down. Mike, Rhett and Steve piled out before Jason even stopped as they swarmed the van. Mike took aim and shot the nearest zombie while Steve threw open the van's trunk hatch. "We're already drawing a crowd!" Mike said as Laura ran out and grabbed bags from Steve. Rhett waited by the back of his car as Laura and Steve ran over with their gear and tossed it all in the back. Laura then went back into the back of Rhett's car as Mike hustled over.
            "We'll draw as many as we can," Mike said as he climbed back into the front and Rhett closed the trunk. "Good luck!" Jason called as he sped away, leaving Rhett and Steve alone near the dead van. "I told you I love this plan," Rhett said as he and Steve began running down the street after the others. The car speeding through was suppose to attract the dead, allowing the two on foot to reach the club. "Towards the corner," Steve said, pointing.
            Most of the dead had given chase to Jason as he easily drove away, but enough had noticed Steve and Rhett running to option for the easier meal. The club sat with only a few zombies hanging around, and only a couple by the side they were running for. "Get up the ladder quick, I'll cover," Rhett said as he swung his shotgun at the first zombie and knocked it backwards. He then took his handgun out and aimed at the other, shooting it before it could get too close.
            "Fuck!" Steve yelled as Rhett caught up. The fire escape ladder was up Steve couldn't jump high enough to grab it.  "Gimme a boost," Rhett said as he dropped his shotgun and backed up. "Are you kidding me?" Steve said. "We don't have a choice!" Rhett said as Steve eyed the approaching hoard behind Rhett. "Fine," Steve said as he crouched and locked his hands together. "You can reach it, right?" he asked. "Let's find out," Rhett said as he ran up. He jumped into Steve and up as the other man lifted with all his might.
            For being overweight, Rhett found Steve had an uncanny reserve of muscle, as he was launched high into the air, achieving just enough height to grip the bottom rung of the highly placed ladder. Rhett figured most of that strength came from how scared shitless Steve was becoming from the zombies, but it was a welcome revelation. Rhett pulled on the ladder as he began his fall letting it cascade passed him as he fell to the ground. As Rhett landed, he fell off balance and ended up on his ass.
            "Go!" Rhett yelled as he rolled to the side and retrieved his shotgun. He immediately rose to one knee and readied to fire as Steve scrambled up the ladder. Rhett wasn't entirely familiar with the range of his shotgun, and didn't want to end up wasting any shells, so he held his fire as his trigger finger desperately wanted to tighten at the approaching zombies.
            "What are you waiting for?" Steve yelled as Rhett spun as he turned and made for the ladder. There were zombies approaching from the rear, all converging on the fire escape as Rhett covered the couple feet to the ladder and jumped on. With the shotgun, Rhett could only climb with one hand, but he was still able to scale up the fire escape and join Steve on the landing. Below them the ground was no longer visible through the sea of bloody faces and up reaching arms.
            "Still think this is fun?" Steve asked as Rhett smiled. The two took a moment on the landing to collect themselves, despite the constant moaning below them. Rhett looked at the wall of the building. It was brick, in bad need of repair, with chunks of the wall missing. A cable coming from the roof and trailing near them connected to nothing; Rhett having no idea what it could have been for.

March 22, 2015

Race for Safe Haven - Who Locks Their Door in the Apocalypse?

[Posted by Ted H]

Writing for this story has hit a standstill. Apparently, outside of November, I'm incapable of writing too much before I let myself get distracted. On vacation this week, gonna try to hammer out a bunch of stuff. Maybe...


[Race for Safe Haven - Who locks their door in the apocalypse?]

            The group quickly filed out of the bar and headed for the streets. Mike first, then Matt, Laura, Rhett, Jason and Steve bringing up the rear. Only Mike, Rhett, Steve and Matt were armed with guns. Laura had her knife at the ready and Jason wielded a broken chair leg.
            They stayed in the middle of the road to better see anything trying to come at them. A few zombies saw them, but they moved too quickly for any of them to catch up. Mike led them to a predetermined set of connected buildings and led them to the roof of the first one. They walked over to the building on the end of the block and made their way down. If anything had been following them, there was no way they'd be able to catch up.
            "How do you know to come this way?" Rhett asked up the line. "Meticulous planning," Mike responded "You said Spencer Street was where you found the gas station?" Rhett nodded and Mike checked his map. "We're making good time," he said "If all goes smoothly, we should be out of here before sundown."
            "What happens after sundown?" Laura asked, suddenly afraid the dead possessed a nocturnal power she wasn't aware of. "After sundown, it gets too dark to see," Mike said sarcastically, earning a few chuckles from the group and a sour look from Laura. "Let's go," Mike said and the group fell silent once more. They left the final building and made their way forward.
            Back on Spencer Street, Rhett looked about at familiar landmarks. The dead blindly made their way through the street, still walking in the direction they heard the gunshots hours ago. "Up ahead is the station," Rhett whispered. "Alright," Mike said "Jason, get in the front seat and start the car. Laura, pump the gas. The rest of us will surround the car and fight off anything close."
            "Anyone got a credit card?" Rhett asked, remembering the obstacles from his previous visit. "Where's yours?" Steve asked.
            "I, uh, left it at home?" Mike sighed heavily as Steve dug out his wallet and handed Laura his credit card. "I'll pay you back," Rhett said "I'm good for it."
            "Are we really storming for the car armed with four guns and hardly any ammo?" Matt asked. "There's a shotgun in the car. We'll be fine," Rhett said. "Dibs," Laura said at the mention of the shotgun. "You don't get to call that on an owned weapon," Rhett said sternly "Go rob your own dead cop if you want one so bad."
            "We ready?" Mike asked. "Maybe?" Steve said as everyone broke for the gas station. Jordan was out in front with Mike not far behind. Rhett and Steve trailed while Laura was falling behind fast. "Whose idea was it to leave the means to our escape in the hands of the fat girl?" Rhett shouted. "Go fuck yourself!" Laura yelled as Rhett and Steve slowed down and flanked Laura as she ran.
            Jordan reached the car and went to enter when he realized the door wouldn't open. "Who locks their door in the apocalypse?" he asked aloud as Mike reached him and stood in front of the car with his gun aimed. "You can't trust anyone!" Rhett said as he aimed his car remote and unlocked the doors before tossing the keys to Jason.
            The rest reach the car as Laura hunched over and put her hands on her knees and tried to catch her breath. "C'mon!" Rhett yelled as Laura made no effort to pump gas. "Gimme a minute," she said between breaths. Rhett grabbed the card from her hand and initiated the transaction at the pump. "Steve, what's your zip code?" he asked as he sped through the process. "13214," Steve said "Hurry up!"
            A crowd of the dead had begun to gather around the gas station. Everyone armed held back and refused to fire. They didn't have much ammo to mess with. Rhett readied the pump and let Laura take over, then moved around to the passenger side and went to retrieve the shotgun. Stragglers from before inside the station were now making their way out.
            "So who is gonna be dumb enough to take the first shot at a gas station?" Steve asked as Laura nervously danced as she pumped gas. "How much do we even need?" she asked. "Just keep pumping!" Mike shouted. "We can't wait forever," Steve said "They keep closing in like this, they'll be too dense to drive through."
            Rhett looked to the hoard closing in. Steve was right, so he walked towards where the hoard looked thinner away from the gas station and leveled his shotgun. He pulled the trigger as the gun kicked into him, the barrel flashed and the group in front of him suddenly blew backwards, limbs and blood suddenly flying away from them. "Nice!" Rhett said as he pumped the gun and readied another shot. "Get forty bucks in the tank and drive this way!" Rhett called back "I'll keep this way open!"
            Rhett took aim and blew away another gathering of zombies. "We don't even need half a tank, let's just go!" Mike yelled as he broke for the car and got in. Laura threw the pump down and jumped in the back while Matt got in on the other side. Steve opened the trunk and crawled into the back as Jason fired up the engine and drove to where Rhett was. He slowed down passing Rhett as he ran to the open trunk and jumped in, ushered by Steve.
            Jason drove them out of the area and to a quiet spot. Afterwards, everyone got out and Mike unfolded a map on the hood of the car. "That wasn't so hard, was it?" he asked with a forced smile. When no one responded, he looked back to his map and pointed to a spot on it. "This is the building where the rest of the group is. We need to figure a way to get there and get everyone out."
            Rhett went back to the trunk to retrieve a bag while Mike continued. "Now it's a lot of those things out there, but if we can distract them enough like at the bar, then we can give ourselves some room to work." Most of the group nervously nodded. "How many of them are we talking?" Rhett asked. "At least twice as many," Jason said. "Doesn't matter how many there are," Mike said "So long as we stay out of sight and the only noise we make is the bottles and whatnot we throw, it'll be okay."
            "That's a dumb plan," Rhett said as he dropped his duffel bag in front of Mike and opened it. "You have a better idea?" Mike asked with an arched eyebrow. Rhett pulled out a flare and presented it. "These will work a lot better than a bottle. Not only will it draw their attention, but it'll do a better job at keeping their attention. Keep them distracted longer."
            "How many flares do you have?" Jason asked. "Plenty," Rhett said with a grin "That cop car had just about everything I'd want."
            "That cop is gonna be pissed when he realizes all his shit was stolen," Laura said.
            "He won't..." Rhett said as he pulled out every flare and handed them to Mike and Matt.
            Mike nodded as he looked over the flares. "These will be our exit distraction."
            "Wait, then what's the entrance distraction?" Rhett asked.

March 8, 2015

Race for Safe Haven - Beer Toss

[Posted by Ted H]

Typical scheduled weekend for me: Friday-off, Saturday-off, Sunday-half day
Typical weekend for me in practice: Friday-cover a shift, Saturday-cover a full shift, Sunday-work my shift AND cover a shift...


[Race for Safe Haven - Beer Toss]

            Mike climbed the ladder leading to the roof of the bar. Out in the open air, he could now more audibly head the moans of the dead where before they were just a muffled background noise. They were farther away than he expected, meaning Matt's job had worked. "Matthew?" Mike called out. Out towards the back edge of the flat roof was Matt.
            He wore dress clothes and his long hair was tied behind his head. He had thick black rimmed glasses that he would occasionally wipe clear with a piece of cloth in his pocket. Strands of hair can come free and were sticking to his forehead from sweat. He had been throwing beer bottles from out of sight to farther and farther away points in the back alley to lure the zombies away from the door. His plan was to work his way to the street so the back alley would be entirely clear of them. It had been tiring work, but effective.
            Jason trailed up the ladder with another case of bottles. They had worked through the empty one and had moved onto filled beer. No one was interested in drinking it, so it was no big loss. "Change in plans, Matt!" Mike called as Matt chucked a final glass bottle and turned around. "What's going on?" he asked. Jason walked towards the front to check things out on the ground.
            "How clear is the alley?" Mike asked.
            "If we had to leave out the back now, we'd be dead," Matt said "I got them away from the bar, but there's just too many of them in the alley to lead them all out. They're just too tightly packed in there, I can't get all of their attention."
            "Maybe you don't have to," Jason said as he walked over "The front's still pretty clear. You could easily lead them away so we can leave." Mike nodded approvingly. "That's the plan then," he said "We leave through the front."
            "What about Eric and the others?" Matt asked.
            "Were going to get them, then we're getting out of the city." Mike responded.
            "How? We barely made it here."
            "Remember the guy we pulled out of the alley?"
            "Tell me he has friends out there."
            "No, but he has a car."
            "We can find a car. That was the plan once we got back together."
            "When was the last time you found a car that worked or had gas in it? Or blocked in gridlock? Rhett has a car at a gas station and all we need to do if fill it up and leave."
            "One car. For all of us?"
            "It's an SUV."
            "That's still one car for almost a dozen people."
            "Then we pile on like day laborers, I don't give a shit. It's a way out of the city. A safer and more readily available way than any other we can come up with."
            "Fine," Matt said and walked over to the case of new bottles and picked them up with Jason to head to the front and draw the few zombies up there away from the front. They began tossing bottles as far as they could to draw the dead away from the bar and give everyone plenty to space to run when they finally left.
            Mike continued to figure the plan ahead in his mind, trying to account for every little detail and what to do if something goes wrong. Then he's think about what comes next and ever last step he figured heeded doing to get to Albany. Anything to think about so long as he didn't have to think about his wife and kids and how they were still out there. Alive or dead, he needed to know, and he no longer knew where he could possibly look.
            "That's as good as we're gonna get," Matt said as he and Jason made for the ladder. "Get everyone gathered up front," Mike said. He looked up to the sky to see the sun begin it's trip down. "Gonna be dark soon," he said as he sighed. Usually this time every day he would get his coffee; a pick me up to get through the rest of his work day, which he would cap off with yet another coffee. Lately he's been learning to go without and he's been pretty good at waking up in the morning without the caffeine boost; fear of the dead makes a fantastic wake up call. But that mid-afternoon always gets him. He yawned and slapped his face a couple times before making for the ladder. He wondered if the gas station had any coffee left.

March 1, 2015

Race for Safe Haven - Were Everybody Doesn't Know Your Name

[Posted by Ted H]

Need to get better at putting time aside to write...but then I started playing Red Dead Redemption, and getting into wild west shootouts with the law seemed like a more fun idea...


[Race for Safe Haven - Where Everybody Doesn't Know Your Name]

            Rhett slowly woke up to the sound of two men talking in the distance. There was still a pain in the back of his head, but nowhere near as bad as it was before. The room he was in was dark, some light peeked through from the open doorway, leading to where the men were talking. "Hello?" he mumbled, but nothing responded. He wanted to get up, but when he moved his right arm to prop himself up, he found it hindered by the handcuff on his wrist attaching himself to the nearby radiator.
            "You have got to be fucking kidding me," he said as he gave a tug on the handcuff again. "If I get handcuffed one more fucking time in this apocalypse..." he said to himself as he used his free hand to pat down his pockets. His handcuffs, the same ones the cop had used to arrest him with previously, were packed in the gas mask bag Rhett had attached to his belt. Whoever decided to detain Rhett took them right out of the bag, but left the bag on his belt. This was preferable for Rhett, who had also stashed the paperclip he used to unlock the cuffs previously in the same bag.
            "This is what I get for being nice," Rhett said as he retrieved the paper clip and began to work on unlatching the cuff on his wrist. While he worked, he kept an ear out for anyone approaching, but also for what the conversation going on outside was about.
            "Are you sure the door will hold?" a young man had asked. He was fat with shaggy hair and a chin strap beard. He wore a black long sleeve shirt with a dress shirt opened over it.
            "It's steel, with a deadbolt," and older man responded "And the window on it is barred. We're still safe." He had gray hair buzzed short and a clean shaved look. He wore a dark shirt with a vest over it, stained with blood on the back.
            "It was still stupid going out there for that guy."
            "Jason said he's okay. He helped them apparently."
            "Laura didn't seem too crazy about him."
            "The less we talk about heeding Laura's opinion on guys, the better."
            "Well either way, this guy could be trouble."
            "Let's just see what he has to say when the time comes."
            "What do we do until then? Those things are at our back are blocking the only way out if things go south up front."
            "Matt is taking care of it."
            "And our next move? We can't squat here forever."
            "I'm figuring something out. We have time though since the others might've found a way out."
            "Mike, the place got overrun. They aren't getting out."
            "Then we'll go get them."
            "We don't even know if they're alive anymore."
            "There's no way all of them died. We have to at least try to save them. They deserve that chance. Besides, do you remember our gear? How long do you expect us to survive without supplies and food?"
            "We don't have the numbers where we can afford to attempt a rescue like that!"
            "Then the new guy can help us."
            "Are you crazy? We had to drag his dumb ass in here because he almost got himself killed!"
            "Are that would be, what, only slightly less useful than the people we have at the ready now? We could use any help we can get, and not just for today either."
            "What am I helping with?" Rhett asked, shocking both men who were too engrossed in their conversation to notice that not only was Rhett awake and unshackled, but also that he snuck out of his room and retrieved his handgun that was sitting on a nearby table. The younger man immediately reached for a gun at his side, but before he could get it out, Rhett had calmly raised his own gun. The older man just stood with an unamused look on his face.
            "I thought you said there were no keys to those handcuffs?" the older man said.
            "Not important," Rhett said.
            "Just take a breath and relax," the older man said "We're all friends here, Rhett."
            "So Jason and the bitch made it?" Rhett asked, eliciting a chuckle from the younger man.
            "Yeah they did," the older man assured him "Thank you for helping us. I'm Mike and the man behind me is Steve. And since we're all alive and thus on the same side, we should probably all lower our weapons. Yeah?"
            "Well, you handcuffed me. What did you expect me to think?" Rhett said, weapon still raised. "You wouldn't have been the first person to take advantage of us," Steve said as his empty hands fell to his sides. "I ran into your people and got caught up in all this mess," Rhett said as he finally lowered his gun "I just want to get back to my car and to the Carrier Dome."
            "Why?" Steve asked.
            "That's where all the survivors are going, right?"
            Steve shook his head as Mike said "The shelter here in Syracuse lasted maybe two days before the dead overtook it." Rhett felt dejected from the news. "How do you know?" he asked. "One of our people came from there," Mike said "Couple others passed by when it fell. Most shelters across the country didn't make it very long."
            "Harboring infected people turn out to not be a good idea after all?" Rhett asked.
            "Not like they could have done anything," Steve said "They were under watch constantly. The infection though, it still spread. People forgot that the infection doesn't show symptoms right away. Gathering all the living together in one place just made it that much easier to spread the disease. By time everyone realized what was happening, it was too late to stop it. People freaked out, some got hurt. All it took was one person with the disease dying without supervision."
            "We also didn't realize that the bites spread it," Mike added "People were being treated for bites and scratches from these things and no one thought that the infection transferred. Sure, there were suspicions, but not enough time or resources to keep track of all the injured. Humanity was caught with its pants down, and we made every wrong choice possible."
            "Damn," Rhett said as he leaned up against a wall. "How do you not know any of this?" Steve asked "The Dome falling is pretty common knowledge." Rhett began to talk of everything that happened to him from the beginning of the infection. Through the story, Jason and Laura entered. At the end, Rhett found Steve was smiling. "Man, you're lucky you ran into us. The Carrier Dome is nothing if not an angry hornets' nest of dead bodies."
            "Lucky me," Rhett said sarcastically. "You could show a little fucking gratitude," Laura said angrily "We pretty much saved your life." Rhett ignored her, but he could feel the eyes of everyone staring at him. "So what's your plan now?" Jason asked. Rhett shrugged. "Hope Jake has better luck, cuz either way I'm heading for Rochester." Everyone else in the room looked at each other. "I didn't hear much from Rochester," Steve said "I doubt they'd still be around."
            "You should come with us," Mike said "Forget Rochester and come with us to Albany."
            "That's not exactly along the way," Rhett said.
            "Tell your friend to head over there too."
            "I've missed something?"
            "That place in California your friend mentioned? That's the place to go. It's called Safe Haven, and it might just be the last place on earth that's free of infection."
            "And going in the complete opposite direction of California is you next move why?"
            "On foot or by road, we may never make it. Every state capital and the DC area are offering guaranteed transport though. The trick is to be there in time."
            "What happens if you're not in time?"
            "Then we walk. By road we may not make it, ergo, if we're too late to Albany then we might not make it."
            "Which is why we can't waste any more time here," Steve interrupted.
            "We're not leaving until we at least try to get to the others," Mike said. "Then let's do that shit now!" Steve yelled. Mike turned to Rhett. "There are members of our group pinned down," he said "I know they're still alive, the trick is getting to them without anyone getting slaughtered."
            "I'm really not that interested in joining any groups," Rhett said "Especially if they're trying to convince me to abandon my best friend. Sorry." Jason wore a look of shock on his face while Laura looked disinterested. Steve made a face and shook his head. "What about your car?" Mike asked "You think it's going to be a simple task to get back to it and out of here?"
            "I'll figure it out," Rhett said.
            "No you won't," Mike said "But how about a deal? You don't want to stay with us, but what if you help us this one time, and in return we help you get your car back. Then we can be on our merry ways and never look back."
            Rhett took a moment to think about it. Mike had a smile and seemed like he knew Rhett would agree to it while Jason had a more hopeful look on his face as he nodded towards Rhett. "Fine," Rhett finally said "But we get my car back first."
            "Cuz we're gonna need it."

February 17, 2015

Race for Safe Haven - Tara

[Posted  by Ted H]

So...I've been working Sundays a, every Sunday. Turns out this seriously fucks with my updating because I forget. The time I usually set aside for updating and all the little nuances that come with it is now taken by me driving to work and dealing with people. My bad. Figure I'd update before people think that I've abandoned the site...


[Race for Safe Haven - Tara]

            The chorus of moans outside was unrelenting. They knew who was inside and they weren't going away until they were fed. One would almost think that they could smell the living inside. Tara peeked out the window to see them outside the club, mindlessly wandering about, some keeping close to the van she had ridden in on. The previous night was stressful and restless, knowing what was outside. Today was merely bleak.
            Tara thought back to the previous day once again. They had tracked down a van and wanted to use it to drive to Albany. The engine had a problem with it but it was fine as long as it wasn't taxed. When they had driven near a horde of zombies and had to get away in a hurry, they decided to risk the engine and drive through as quickly as possible. But the area they drove through seemed to be an unending deluge of the dead, and when the engine failed, everyone bailed out as quickly as possible and scattered away.
            Tara didn't know at first if anyone else had made it out besides the few people she was with now. She met up with three others in her group and they took refuge in a nearby club. Inside was also infested with the dead, but with no way of backtracking, they scurried to a nearby staircase and barricaded themselves on the second floor. The small area they were in was deemed safe for the present, and they waited there for the night, though little sleep was done. All talking had been done in whispers for fear of the dead that were on the second floor as well.
            Along with Tara was Sarah, Eric and Jenny. Eric had bestowed himself leader until they could hook up with the rest of the group, something he maintains will still happen. Eric spent most of last night talking over a walkie talkie radio that he had. It was through that Tara learned that the rest of the group had also escaped, though they were still fractured beyond just missing the four in the club.
            "Jason and Laura are still missing," Jenny said, sitting next to Tara as she moved away from the window "Everyone else is accounted for." Tara looked to Eric, still chatting away on the radio, then back to Jenny. "I hope Jason's okay," Jenny said. "He's a smart kid," Tara assured "You know he'll find his way back. And maybe he's got Laura with him."
            "Neither one are much fighters," Jenny said pessimistically. "They'll make it," Tara said "We'll make it. We're all going to live through this."
            "You don't honestly believe that, do you?" Sarah said as she walked over, topless and fixing her brunette hair into a ponytail. "Nice to see you and Eric slept peacefully last night," Jenny said condescendingly. Sarah smirked and rolled her eyes. "We're all as good as dead," she said "Even if we make it out of this particular jam, we're still as good as dead. Might as well enjoy every quiet, and relatively private moment we can get. The dead don't have to be the only ones moaning."
            "Get dressed," Eric said as he walked over "We're leaving."
            "How?" Tara asked "The way we came is filled with zombies."
            "It probably cleared out a bit with all the commotion still happening outside at the time, but that's not the way we're going."
            "We going out a window?" Jenny asked.
            "Mike has eyes on our building," Eric said "At the other end is a fire escape. That's our way back to the street."
            "Did they find another vehicle?" Sarah asked "A van, truck, anything like that?"
            "They're not getting us," Eric said "Ammo is low for them and Jason and Laura are still MIA. Our only way out is through our own means. Then we make for the rendezvous Mike told us about before."
            "We only have just one gun," Tara said, not liking the  plan thus far.
            "And I've killed more of these things than anyone," Eric said with a smile "So just one gun is fine so long as I'm around." Eric reached and pulled out his .357 magnum and proudly held it up. "Six shots per load," Jenny reminded him "Not so great if we get swarmed."
            "Then don't get swarmed," Eric snapped back "We either leave now or we never get out of here. No use in waiting." The three girls looked to each other nervously. The dressing room they were holed up in offered little in the way of weapons. The options of waiting to die or to follow Eric and possibly dying weren't very enticing.
            "Let's go," Eric said, not even caring in anyone else wanted to weigh in. The far end of the dressing room had two doors hugging the corner. One led to a small walk-in closet, the other led to a hallway. Inside that hallway they heard the movement and moaning of at least two zombies. Eric picked up a bag and handed it to Sarah. Inside was all his spare ammo that he didn't have stuffed in his pockets. There was also a knife that Jenny took out and wielded.
            Eric unlocked and threw the door open, walking through with his gun leading the way. A lone zombie down the hall turned itself to see the living approach and immediately started for them. Eric wasted no time walking right up to it and shooting it in the head, lighting up the dark hallway and sending an earsplitting boom all around.
            Before the body even struck the ground, hungry moans rose up to respond to the gunshot, the promise of a possible meal exciting all the dead inside and outside the club. Realizing the gravity of the situation almost instantly, Eric ushered the group to hurry through the small hallway. Along the way, another zombie was making its way at them. Eric pushed it into the wall before grabbing it by the shoulders and throwing it at the opposing wall. He then dropped his boot several times on its knee, destroying its knee cap. The group rushed by before it could get back up.
            The far end of the hall had a door that was suppose to lead to the fire exit. Eric quickly kicked it open thinking it would only contain a few zombies at most. As soon as the door swung away, it revealed over a dozen waiting and hungry ghouls already riled up from the gunshot. Eric panicked and rushed a shot off, missing his target's head entirely and striking the wall on the far side of the room.
            Tara didn't need to be a scholar to understand that the four loaded bullets Eric has were woefully insufficient against the incoming hoard. "Go back!" she shouted as Eric screamed "No! We keep going!" and shot one point blank in the face. He grabbed it before it dropped and used it as a shield as he pushed them back at the doorway. "We push through. It's the only way out!" She wanted to help, but all she could manage was to stand still and watch the hopeless struggle.
            Jenny ran up to help push and tried stabbing any zombie that stuck its head through, but she couldn't generate enough force to penetrate the skull. "This is suicide," Sarah said as she slowly backed up through the hall, away from what she was sure was about to be a dam breakage of zombie. Eric, who had pushed the dead so far that he was almost into the next room, was now encountering enough resistance that he was forced back, barely able to keep the corpse he was holding in the way of the dead.
            Jenny managed to push on zombie's head down to where she could drop her knife right through the back of its skull. Before she could pull it out, reaching hands grabbed at her, forcing her to abandon the knife and retreat backwards. Now alone in his struggle, Eric placed his magnum muzzle in the mouth of a nearby zombie and pulled the trigger, hoping the new corpse would act as a roadblock to the advancing horde. Instead, it became dead weight being pushed on top of him as arms and heads began spilling through the doorway up high.
            "Fuck," Eric said to himself as he looked to Tara and Jenny nearby. "This isn't gonna work!" Jenny yelled as Eric gritted his teeth and slowly nodded. Sarah meanwhile had continued her backtrack, refusing to turn her back on the scene playing out. Suddenly, she fell backwards over something and toppled to the ground. "What?" she asked as she looked to what she was top of to see the one-kneed zombie from before.
            She screamed as she tried kicking backwards. The zombie grabbed one of her legs and held it down. "No!" she screamed as she tried pulling her leg away as the zombie held her tight and moved one hand up her leg to push her pant leg away and expose her calf. Sarah raised her other leg and began kicking at the zombie's head, but it refused to be deterred as it dropped its head onto her leg and bit in.
            Sarah's painful howl was the breaking point for Eric's endeavor, as he slipped out from his collapsing zombie barricade and ran for Sarah. Tara and Jenny were already on their way down the hall as the zombie pulled up from Sarah's leg and chewing on a mouthful of flesh. Tara jumped over the two and reached to pull Sarah away while Jenny grabbed the zombie by the ankles and pulled in the opposite direction.
            "Shoot it!" Tara yelled at Eric as he ran up, no indication of stopping. "Leave her!" he yelled as he ran by, the horde from the next room climbing into the hall over the three corpses stuck in the doorframe. "No, please!" Sarah cried out as Eric sped by, not even a glance down in her direction. "You bastard!" Jenny shouted as the combined force of her and Tara pulling finally broke the zombie's grip on Sarah. Tara kept dragging her away as Jenny stepped on and over the zombie as it tried crawling after the girls.
            Jenny helped Tara pick Sarah up and follow Eric while the dead chased. They stumbled down the hall, only slightly faster than the hoard chasing. At the end, Eric was through and looking back at them with the door in hand. "Don't close the door!" Jenny yelled as Eric hesitated but couldn't bring himself to close them out. Eric aimed and fired at the hoard as the girls ran passed him. He stepped back and closed the door.
            "Gimme something go block the door with!" he yelled as the girls dropped Sarah and grabbed a table and dragged it over. Eric braced the door while Tara and Jenny ran about grabbing any furnishing that wasn't nailed down and tossing it in front of the door. When they were finished, all they had was an awkward pile of furniture, most of which had been used to barricade the staircase entrance from before.
            Eric silently reloaded his magnum as Tara sat against the window and helplessly listened to the pounding at the door to the hallway. She turned to hear pounding begin at the door to the stairwell as well. Sarah sat on the floor sobbing as she tried to tie a torn rag from her shirt onto her leg, the blood pouring into a puddle around her. Jenny took a seat next to her and closed her eyes.
            "Shit," Eric said as he patted down all his pockets. "What is it?" Tara asked. "The radio," Eric said as he bit his lip "It must've fallen out when I was trying to push through." He turned to punch the wall, exciting the dead at both doors even more as they tried to claw their way through. Neither barricade they set up would hold forever. The doors were old, and were starting to already crack under the relentless assault the dead.
            Jenny gave off a heavy sigh and kept her eyes closed. Sarah finished the best she could with her leg and sat crying to herself in the middle of her own blood. Eric swore to himself as he paced about the room, occasionally stopping to try and tweak the barricades on both doors. Tara turned to look out the window. The world outside looked quiet, with the dead silently roaming about right under her. Tara could only wonder how much time was left before one of the doors failed, or how much longer Sarah would last, or how much longer any of them would last with no supplies.

February 1, 2015

Race for Safe Haven - Another Bar

[Posted by Ted H]

Cold, officially over.
Inventory season, officially over.

Think it'sabiout time I started writing again...


[Race for Safe Haven - Another Bar]

            They weaved through alleys and cut across streets whenever it was clear. If anything dead saw them, it was too far behind to catch up to them and would lose them in their serpentine path through the streets. There were time where Rhett felt like they were traveling in circles, but didn't speak up about it. Either Jason knew where he was going and Rhett would speak up and possibly draw unwanted attention for nothing, or Jason didn't know where he was going and Rhett would speak up and draw unwanted attention while the group was lost. Either scenario didn't appease Rhett, so he kept his mouth shut and decided to just deal with the situation he was in.
            At one point, Rhett could tell they were going in circles. Jason seemed to be taking them passed the same point over and over. Eventually, they made it back to the same spot and Jason stopped, allowing Laura and Rhett to catch up to him. "Problem?" Rhett asked and Jason nodded. "At the other side of this block is where we need to go," he said "But the dead are everywhere. No way I can sneak us around them all."
            "Just distract them," Rhett said "Throw a bottle or something."
            "We tried that before," Jason said "Doesn't work that well. Sure, some of them will follow the sound, but too many will linger around and make it impossible for us to get through unnoticed."
            "I pied-pipered these fucks once already," Rhett said.
            "Yeah, with a gun," Laura mocked.
            "Then that's what I'll do," Rhett said as he made up his mind.
            "What are you...wait, what?" Jason said.
            "I pop a couple rounds off, run like hell, give you guys an opening."
            "That's suicide," Jason said while Laura made no effort to dissuade Rhett.
            "Where are you trying to get?" Rhett asked.
            "There's a bar on the other block," Jason said "But I don't think the front windows or doors were reinforced enough to repel a siege of the dead that you'll have tailing you. Even if we get through, there's no way you can just show up with that many on your tail."
            "I don't see a problem here," Laura said as Rhett made a face and thought. "There's gotta be a back door," he said "A shipping entrance or something. That could withstand a hoard."
            "But they'll still follow you to the bar, They'll still get in," Laura complained.
            "They're not smart enough to go around to the front," Rhett said "They follow me to a door, then that's all they'll try to follow me through."
            "I'm not even sure there is a back way in," Jason said.
            "Either that, or we wait out here all exposed and get discovered eventually anyway. You're call."
            Jason didn't like the idea, but he couldn't think of any better plans either. Reluctantly, he nodded. "Don't move until the coast is entirely clear," Rhett said as he walked out towards the open street "And make sure someone's at that back door when I arrive."
            "IF there is a back door," Jason reminded him.
            Rhett's instincts were at defcon 1. He hated this plan, and figured now would be as good a time as any to get the hell out of there and try to find his car again. The gas station might have cleared out by now and he might now be able to gas up in peace. He wouldn't lose sleep over abandoning Laura, and the world probably wasn't losing a valuable asset if Jason died, but he ultimately couldn't allow himself to leave those two hanging like that. And the prospect of hooking up with other survivors wasn't that bad of an idea. They were all undoubtedly heading for the same place anyway.
            "I gotta stop being nice," Rhett said to himself as he took off running for the dead. A few noticed him right away and gave off excited moans as they shuffled to meet him. Rhett then turned and started running parallel to the hoard as he tried to get the attention of as many as possible. Once at the corner of the street, he turned back, took aim at the closest approaching ghoul and pulled the trigger.
            The shot echoed like the one at the gas station as the nearest zombie crumpled to the ground, a bullet hole in its forehead. Anything nearby turned towards the sound as Rhett began sprinting down the next street. Keeping ahead of the dead behind him wasn't going to be a problem, but now everything up ahead of him was aware of him, and looking to cut him off for a meal.
            At the end of the block, Rhett looked down to see the bar in question. "Can't believe I'm trying to get into yet another fucking bar," he said to himself as he started running down the next block instead of heading for the bar. At the next corner, he would turn and try to circle to the rear of the bar. Getting there would prove to be an issue since space was becoming limited from the dead closing in on all sides.
            One zombie ventured too close in Rhett's way for comfort. He risked another shot as he raised his weapon as he ran and shot at almost point blank. The zombie kicked its head back as it fell over. If anything nearby wasn't aware of Rhett, it was after that gunshot. He cut over a sidewalk as he reached the next corner and turned.
            A row of buildings attached to each other dominated the right side of Rhett's vision as he desperately scanned the area for an alley entrance. A wall to wall mass of the dead was approaching up ahead as Rhett spotted an entrance to a side alley he was looking for. He pushed himself harder as he tried to reach the alley before the mob overtook it.
            He turned down the entrance with the dead right on his tail. He counted down the distance to where the bar would be and where the back door should be. "Oh fuck!" he yelled as he noticed a chain link fence blocking his path right where the bar's back door was. The alley way for the bar was on the opposite end of the block and already flooded with zombies.
            A couple trashcans were sitting next to the fence. Rhett jumped on to one of them and used it as a boost. He leapt and grabbed the top of the fence. The dead were catching up to him as he heard the moans, making him barely hear the sound of the fence rattling as he dug his feet into the gaps and climbed. Zombies on the other end of the alley took notice and started making their way to meet Rhett.
            As he reached one leg over the top, the mob reached the fence and started to thrash at it, attempting to go through it or just bring it down. The entire thing shook as Rhett struggled to get over and ended up falling backwards. His head bounced off the pavement as he landed, causing him to squeeze his eyes shut and grab for the back of his head. The pain drowned out all noise save for a ringing in his ears and all he wanted to do was go to sleep until the pain subsided.
            Instead, Rhett attempted to crawl away. The fence wouldn't be able to hold back the dead and more and more were piling onto it. He noticed a top corner giving way as the fence began to collapse. An attempt to get on his feet only ended with Rhett falling back onto his ass. He reached for his gun and kept it aiming as he crawled backwards away from the collapsing fence. Metal clattered to the ground as the fence stood no longer, the dead no longer hindered on their quest.
            There weren't enough bullets in the world to hold them back as Rhett stopped crawling and sat with his gun aimed. He couldn't decide which one to shoot, and even if her could he wouldn't be able to land a shot with his vision wavering. He briefly considered just putting one in his brain or at least shoot randomly to ensure these things would have to earn their meal a little more.
            Just then, the closest zombie fell over and Rhett felt hands grabbing him. His first instinct was the dead from behind had reached him, but instead of biting, Rhett felt himself get dragged along the alley as more zombies in his view were falling over. He could make out popping sounds as he was being pulled passed a figure aiming a gun and into a building. The stark contrast in lighting made it impossible for him to make out anything except the rectangle of light leading to the outside. The figure from before entered and Rhett felt himself being released. As the door was closing and Rhett's view plunged into darkness, he felt himself drifting to sleep, a confident sense of safety washing over him. Even if the people he was with now meant him ill, at least they weren't going to eat him.

January 24, 2015

Preview 2015...

[Posted by Ted H]

So I got sick.

And was doing inventories all month for work.

Those two things do not play nice.

One more inventory to go and I'm beginning to rebound from the cold, but clearly I've been slacking off on updates. But instead of slapping together something to cover this week, I decided instead to gather my are my planned writings for the near future...

-Race for Safe Haven. I've got plenty on standby for a while. Act 1 is almost done, just gotta get my cast to the climax and wrap it all up. Worst comes to worst, if I can't think of anything better, Act 2 will be my 2015 NaNoWriMo, but don't quote me.

-Demons Ascension. I've a couple short story ideas already in mind for James Blake. Lord knows I would love to write another novel with him, but I'd like to flesh him and his universe out some more with some short adventures before tackling another big project.

-Untitled play. Remember Our Town of the Dead? Remember how I mentioned it was originally some bull shit I scrapped together in high school and later redid it proper? Yeah, well that wasn't the only scrapped together play from high school. I've recently begun reading a book that served as the starting point to another one of those plays. Personally, I'd love to try that play again after actually reading the original story. File this project under "maybe".

-MLB Turtle Wax Awards. Yes. This will happen again. I enjoy it.

-Why Diary of the Dead sucked. I've been thinking about doing a long form essay about why this movie sucked, similar to what I did for the previous movie. Of course that would mean actually watching it. You can excuse me as to why that hasn't happened yet. Maybe I should do one for Resident Evil: Apocalypse instead...

-NaNoWriMo 2015. Duh.