Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Lieutenant Donovan surveyed the battleground from his perch high atop the cliff side. Through his binoculars it was more than apparent that what was going on down below; all the 'action' that he was currently avoiding, was escalating into nothing short of a Goddamn bloodbath. Donovan scanned the horizon for any sign of the other battalion he'd radioed in over three hours ago, but to no avail: something must have gotten to them before they were even able to break into the battle front. Too bad, really. He could really use the reinforcements right about now. He let the binocs drop to his chest, sighed with obvious concern, and turned to face what was left of his men.

"Boys," The lieutenant began as he straightened and made himself look every inch of his six-six, 270 frame, "I'm afraid it looks shitty. Worse than shitty, really... I'd say shitty with a fine patina of FUBAR, to be honest."

The men glanced around at each other, apprehension flooding over their far-too-young faces, and said nothing. The guys had seen so much over the past forty-eight hours, and never once was it something they'd ever, in any of their lifetimes, want to see again. They'd begun this skirmish one-hundred sixty strong and had been systematically whittled down to a mere thirty five. Along the way many of their very best soldiers had fallen. Each and ever one had given their lives fully in battle; never backing down, never giving in, and never dying with less than a grin full of 'fuck you' slathered across their hard core mugs. The men were strong, willing, and just about as bad-ass as you could possibly want. The lieutenant was proud, but the men, now less than a third of their original numbers, were beginning to show some real fear.

"No, fellas, I just can't believe we are going to have much of a chance down there... but we have no other choice," Donovan said as he paced the distance from front to rear of the line. "It's grim and I'm not going to fucking pretend otherwise. Our ammo supply is woefully low, our rations have been depleted, and, well, our count has dropped almost inconceivably."

The line of thirty five each exchanged nods and looks of gratitude that the other was still alive. Each knew that barely two days ago they'd marched into absolute hell. The enemy were far quicker, far more hungry, and far more persistent than the men, and each and every one knew it from the very first minute they'd engaged them. The war was brutal. There was so much more blood, dismemberment, and destruction than any one of the brave soldiers could have believed possible. Yes, nearly all had been involved in some way or another in battle prior to this particular action, but nothing, no matter how horrid, could even remotely come close to the atrocities they'd seen thus far. But even so, despite all of that, they sallied on and stood stolid.

"Men, today we take up our arms for quite possibly the final time," The lieutenant continued, "Today we all go forth remembering our fallen, but killing with reckless abandon as we do. We must obliterate as many as we can and we must, for fuck's sake, fight on through our pain, our agony, and our ultimate deaths. Yes, even as we die, we have precious little recourse but to shoot our way into Heaven.

"Now, as we crest this precipice to our maker, let us all bow and give thanks to He who continues to breathe life into our souls just as he gives us those without mind or souls to prey upon. Boys, let's face those mother fucking zombies like it was our only goal in life. This is what we we all born to do! MOVE OUT!"

The men, all thirty five worn and wasted shrouds, raised a gun and whooped what was to be their last holler. They all, in unison, built each other up for the coming doom, and marched with their lieutenant into the mouth of madness.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Mack turned the key, listened for the telltale clack, and nodded in mute satisfaction as he stepped away from his bar for the evening. Evening... that was a misconception if there ever was one: it was 4 in the morning, for Christ sake! Mack chuckled, smiled at the softly glowing sign over the entrance of his pub, The Mack, and made for his truck parked in the back of the parking lot.

The soft crunching grind of pebbles beneath his footfalls was nearly the only sound, save for a siren somewhere miles away. Mack could finally make out the lone Ford sitting like a long-awaited island jutting from the horizon of some sea-lost ship. It sat under one of only two working parking lot lights: the others had long since died out or had been broken by hooligans. In the cone of glow that emanated from the lamp sat the black silhouette of the F-150. But, for the first time ever, it didn't sit alone.

Leaning against the hood was a form, obviously human, standing completely still. Mach stopped walking so rapidly he almost slid and fell. What was that? In the seventeen odd years he'd owned and closed his bar, he'd never, not even once, seen another shape leaning against (or anywhere near) his vehicle. Mack was more than a little frightened; slightly above nervous, to be honest, and the click his swallow made as it escaped his suddenly dry mouth gave every indication of the same. The figure stood, still as the evening breeze, and waited.

Mack ran a thought quickly over his options. He could turn heel and run back to the bar, open up, and escape to the familiarity of it. He could, change his trajectory and make as though he was headed somewhere completely different. Or, what he could do, was head to his truck and stop acting like a fucking baby. Somehow, the latter seemed the more natural thing to do. And so, with a quick persuasion of the blade from the pocket knife he'd always held with him, Mack started his pace anew.

But his stroll was slower now, somehow more purposeful and agitated. No matter how natural he attempted to be, it was still painfully obvious that his mind just didn't want his legs to do what they needed to do. Mack broke out in a cold sweat; he could feel a drip raising every hair on his back as it coolly trickled down to his pants waist. He took in a shuddering breath, let it out in an abnormal blast of fright, and plodded on. He was closer now, but the form, now not quite as human as he once thought, remained stolid and unchanged.

Damn it this is a fuckin' waste of time! Mack muttered to himself as he tried in vain to gather up any kind of waning strength. But somehow, as big and formidable of guy he was, every inch of him was literally scared shitless and, without his even realizing it, he had once again stopped walking. Staring straight ahead, unblinking, Mack peered curiously at the black shape hugging the front corner of his truck. It had legs, this was obvious, and it had arms dangling down by its side, also very apparent. And it even had a head... but wait, was that a hat? Was this person wearing a, what, Fedora? Mack had seen enough movies and men attempting to be cool wearing such head wear, so he was almost damn certain that that's what it was. So, it was a guy wearing a hat. Mack didn't know anyone, save for a few bar flies, who even sort of looked like this guy. The shadow stood firm.

Mack felt a bit better. It seemed he'd at least identified the form. So now, with every scattered bit of courage he had left, he approached. Once closer to the light, Mack's feeling of apprehension and worry sloughed off like a wet towel. The object was a motorcycle with a helmet attached to the handle bars. Form a distance, with the coupling of many layers of mind tricks, Mack had made the form into something it wasn't. Mack chuckled to himself, just inches shy of hysteria, and that's when he felt the the cold steel pierce the side of his skull.

The End