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    WARNING: Stories on this site may contain mature language and situations, and may be inappropriate for readers under the age of 18.

    BRIDESHEAD BEACH by Tom Hamilton
    January 21, 2010  Longer stories   Tags: ,   

    1.

    “Look,” Kathryn said, “this one has the keys in it.”

    “It’s probably out of gas,” Maureen acknowledged, “most of the ones with the keys left in them are out of gas.”

    “Well,” Kathryn stripped off her business suit jacket and searched the mercifully empty streets, “we’re gonna have to give it a try.” She climbed behind the wheel and unlocked the passenger door so that Maureen could climb in the other side.

    “I never thought that I’d be caught dead in a Hyundai,” Maureen said as she shut herself in.

    “Yeah,” Kathryn commented, “but I’d rather be caught dead in a Hyundai then caught by the living dead.” She tried to turn the ignition over but the car coughed like a sick old woman.

    “See,” Maureen said, looking around cautiously, “the piece of shit’s dead. Now let’s get the hell out of here, we’re makin’ way too much noise.”

    Instead of answering, Kathryn tried to turn it over again, and this time the car sputtered to life.

    “Hot damn!” Maureen said and squeezed Kathryn’s arm. “Let’s cruise.” Maureen was a huge woman; bordering on morbidly obese. Her thin, patchy, gossamer strands of blonde hair framed her red face and the blotches of psoriasis which traveled up and down her exposed arms were shaped like small countries on an oceanographic map. Kathryn was glad that they had found a car, not for her sake, but for Maureen’s. She was not sure that the heavily breathing fat woman could escape quickly enough in the dreaded event that they should become cornered.

    But now that Kathryn had the compact car started, she was faced with a new problem. This model was equipped with a stick shift; a four on the floor.

    “You know how to drive one of these?” She asked Maureen. ”

    Maureen looked at her confused. “Put it in drive,” she said.

    “Well hell, I’ve never driv…” Halfway through Kathryn’s sentence the passenger side window shattered and a white arm roughly grabbed Maureen by the hair. The big woman screamed, scratched and pushed at the chest of an attacker who’s face could not yet be seen. “GO! GO! GO! GO!” she shouted. Kathryn threw her arms up in vexation and scanned the car’s controls. But she may as well have been staring at the console of an airplane and her panic was giving her even less chance of figuring it out.

    “GO KATHY GO!” Maureen continued to buck and kick at the form which was trying to enter the cab.

    “I’M TRYING! I’M…” As she pawed the gear shift the clutch inexplicably popped and the little car scooted a few feet, momentarily shedding the assaulter whose gruesome white face then came into view as it stumbled: one eye gone from a rifle shot which must have missed the brain. But the car soon stalled and the abomination was on them again. Maureen scooted across the seat in an effort to avoid the cold white hands of the monster but this move only squashed Kathryn up against the driver’s door; making it impossible for her to try the ignition again. For several seconds all she could do was try and catch her breath as her friend fought for her life against one of the living dead. She couldn’t even reach the door handle. But then, just as she was contemplating what it would be like to roam the city as a shuffling corpse, the sound of a gunshot reverberated off of the high buildings. And she heard Maureen’s voice go from high pitched wails of terror to sobs of relief. A second later she felt the considerable bulk of her robust friend ease up and off of her. Maureen was shivering as if she were wearing soaking wet clothes in sub zero temperatures. “OH Jesus, OH Jesus, OH Jesus.” She kept repeating.

    When Kathryn could turn around again she saw that the back window of the Hyundai was smeared with bright red flecks of rose colored blood. As Maureen recovered enough to climb out of the car, Kathryn leaned over across the upholstery and inspected the slumped over body of the dead-dead man. His second eye now shot out also. She tried to start the Hyundai again, but it was as dead as the felled ghoul; out of gas after all. Kathryn got out of the driver’s side and looked back over the roof of the car towards the source of the snipe.

    “Just in the nick of time,” an approaching voice said and Kathryn locked eyes with a man in a plain green soldier’s uniform with a matching helmet. A long rifle hung from a strap around his neck. This was obviously the marksman who had re-executed their deathly pale stalker. The man’s round and puffy face seemed much too swollen for his trained and trim body.

    “OH, Thank you, thank you sir!” Maureen gushed as she took two uneven steps over trash and rubble towards her savior. Kathryn suspiciously brushed her long brown hair off of her alabaster cheek. “How will we ever be able to make it up to you.?” Maureen continued.

    “Well,” said the man, “I’m not sure that you can.” And Kathryn was wary of his weird grin and the facetiousness which she sensed in his tone. She walked around the deceased car and stood at her friend’s side; her taut yet curvy body evident even under the business skirt and long sleeve white blouse. “But I might be able to think of something your friend here can do.” The man quipped. Kathryn understood what he was getting at perfectly, but Maureen didn’t seem to get the gist of it. She took another step towards the man and was now standing no more than four feet from him.

    “Well,” she smiled, “if there’s anything that we can do, I’m sure… I mean, you saved our life. We really don’t know how to thank you.”

    “Hey,” the man held his palms out innocently and continued through an earnest smile, “don’t mention it.” He then quickly raised the rifle and shot Maureen in the throat. She didn’t fall at once, but could only stand back and cover the wound in shock. Then she took her hands away from it for some desperate reason and a straight line of blood shot fifteen feet across the asphalt every time that her heart beat. Kathryn rushed to her friend’s side and dropped to her knees, almost catching her as she collapsed onto the cluttered street. Oblivious to the gunman, she tore off a strip of her blouse and pressed it against the wound; but Maureen only gaped for air, her mouth opening and closing like a manatee out of water. Kathryn heard a second loud boom; as if she were an inch from two cars colliding and now there was a hole in Maureen’s forehead to match the one in her throat. The big woman’s eyes grayed over and stared into the distance of the next world.

    Kathryn scooted away from the body and stared up at the murderer from the seat of her skirt. He was chuckling, yet his weapon was pointed at the ground.

    “You’re not going to kill me?” she asked.

    “Why would would I shoot a smokin’ hot fox like you?” the man answered.

    “But um… But I… you shot you… killed her. Why did you kill her?” Kathryn stuttered through the shock.

    “I was doin’ her a favor.”

    Kathryn mulled this over for a few seconds. “And you won’t do me the same favor?”

    “No,” the man answered, “I’m not going to shoot you.” A gleam twinkled in his eye that must have been similar to the one Adam and Eve saw with as they bit into the apple. “But don’t worry,” he finished, “there will certainly be favors involved. Now March!” He raised the gun again.

    “No!” Kathryn resisted defiantly, “kill me here but I’m not going with you.” She meant it. She did not want to see what this violent cretin had in store for her.

    “Look bitch,” he began, “there are worse things than gettin’ shot: now get up and make that nice ass a yours march before I show you what those things are.” Kathryn didn’t move.

    “MARCH!!!” This mean bellow frightened her enough to where she got up and began marching in the general direction of where he had his gun sight pointed. They walked for perhaps ten blocks without speaking, around stalled cars, crude makeshift sandbag forts and fire blackened barricades. Finally they rounded a corner and Kathryn found herself staring at a huge edifice of crushed cars. They stretched in between two buildings to create an impressive blockade. There was a doorway sized opening which had probably been left there intentionally by the crane operator. A second soldier stood in this entrance, listlessly smoking a cigarette. The men nodded at each other as they passed. On the other side of the junker wall there was a long segmented vehicle painted camouflage and covered with nets of black mesh. It reminded Kathryn of a mechanical caterpillar. Reacting to a shuffling sound off to her left Kathryn caught sight of a dead MAN IN A SUIT AND TIE as he stumbled out of an office building. He did not have to push the exit lever since all the glass doors had been busted or shot out. Before Kathryn could even cry out, yet another boom raped the silence and the zombie jumped as a head shot met with its scalp. A JFK sized flap jutted out from the side of its exposed skull right before it fell. There was a sniper atop the caterpillar which Kathryn had failed to notice and he had skillfully lopped the dead man’s brain off.

    There was a wrought iron door in the center of the long bus which opened down like a draw bridge. The soldier softly tapped Kathryn in the small of the back with the tip of the powerful gun. Feeling that she had little choice she climbed inside. There were several other women within the capsule/cell. They laid haphazard under freckled spots of sunlight which circled in through small, perfectly round holes in the wall, as if coin blanks had been knocked out of them. None of them spoke to Kathryn or offered up any theories in the way of explanation. Some of them wore clothes which were dirty and disheveled, others still looked halfway presentable. The soldiers were obviously on patrol to collect prisoners and this made Kathryn wonder why Maureen had not also been spared? The draw bridge like door clanged closed behind her.

    Then as she looked around the cab the similarities began to hit her: even with their tatted hair and torn clothes; even with their grimy skin and wept away mascara; even with their stinking underarms and chipped nails: all of the women confined within the car were at least fairly attractive.

    2.

    “Well it has to be better than wandering around out there,” a pale girl with tired, purple chevrons underneath her pretty hazel eyes was saying, “I mean, at least we’re away from those dead things.” Some of the women shook their heads yes, but most were too exhausted to answer. Kathryn and the others had been led into a brightly lit room where they sat at small exam desks like school children or collage students. There was a blackboard on the wall but there wasn’t anything written on it and no chalk could be found on its built in shelf. There was no apple nor was there a teacher’s desk to set one on. The room had no windows but there were two doors: one which they had been led through after exiting the caterpillar and a second door which was in the complete opposite corner. On each desk a glass of ice water had been placed and most of the women drank greedily.

    After about fifteen minutes, the door which they had been led through opened and a man sauntered in. He wore a similar uniform to the one sported by the men who had captured Kathryn, only he had a baseball cap on rather than a helmet and there were two silver bars on the shoulder of his long sleeve shirt. His polished boots were free of dust and grit and tufts of thick black hair sprouted out from underneath the hat at wild intervals. He looked the ladies over with maddening turquoise eyes and even though his movements were controlled and strict, Kathryn sensed that he was deranged inside his mind.

    “Hello Ladies,” he began, “my name is Captain Enervy.” The women straightened up and cocked their heads to listen even though he was speaking at a drill sergeant’s pitch. “I have some very good news for all of you: we are now inside a guarded and heavily armed compound. You are completely safe from the monstrous creatures which have, unfortunately, taken over a large part of our city. This is a situation that our forces are working hard to rectify. In the meantime you will be given food, lodging and you will be able to wash whenever you wish. You will also sleep in a warm bed.” He paused here and some of the women began to rejoice; clutching each other’s hands, cheering and even crying. But Kathryn, who had watched her friend executed, did not join in the celebration. “All that we ask in compensation is that you women comply with our orders which includes supplying companionship to and satisfying the needs of our troops.” The joyful chatter ebbed quickly and the happiness decelerated down into a bleak silence. Captain Enervy proudly surveyed the scene, ready to gauge the women’s reactions and field objections. After a few confusing seconds one woman stood up.

    She wore nothing but a grungy tank top and a pair of tattered Levi’s. Her hair was cropped into an extremely short crew cut. But even in this unflattering apparel she was a breathtaking beauty: boson brown eyes large atop chiseled cheekbones.

    “You mean,” she said, “that you want us to have sex with them.” Captain Enervy looked the woman right in the face and Kathryn saw a flash of the temper which he was making an effort to conceal.

    “Yes,” he answered simply, “we want you to have sex with them.”

    “Jesus,” the standing woman said, “you guys are unbelievable. Instead of using your weapons to help people you want to turn the world into one big brothel.” Kathryn felt like telling the dissident to pipe down; she was sure that the girl did not realize how hot the fire she was playing with could scorch. Perhaps her introduction to this army had been kinder than Kathryn’s violent, murder splattered initiation. Oblivious to these grave dangers however, the girl continued. “Well I won’t do it. I refuse! I will not! I will not! I’d rather take my chances with the walking dead than have some sweaty grunt rape me every night. At least the dead are honest and up front about their intentions.”

    Captain Enervy slowly strolled around the room, addressing everyone except the short haired woman. “I strongly suggest to all of you that you stay here with us in comfort and safety. I’m sure that, at some point, some of you may have to perform acts which you might find distasteful or immoral, but I assure you! There will be no rough stuff and you will be treated with respect as brides of the regiment. And I implore you…” Here he paused for effect, “I implore you to consider the heinous alternative.” The room fell silent as the women’s troubled, overloaded minds contemplated this difficult choice. The defiant woman continued to stand but she didn’t shatter the break. Finally, after about half a minute, Captain Enervy seemed to be speaking for her.

    “Of course, if anyone feels that they have a better chance out there, with those shuffling ghouls, then they are free to go. Private Gliet!” He called out to a man at the back of the room. Kathryn hadn’t noticed the man before and she wondered how long he’d been standing there. She even supposed that it was possible that he’d been there for the duration of Enervy’s announcement, but she didn’t think so. He was a tall soldier: perhaps six foot two or three, in marvelous physical condition. Although his features seemed tainted by a trace of mental retardation; almost as if he were a mongoloid.

    “Show this nice young lady the way out.” Captain Enervy said as Kathryn shivered and trepidation traveled up her delicate spine. Private Gleit nodded and gestured towards the standing woman like a waiter ready to show someone to their table. He held his arm out towards the second door; the one located on the opposite side of the room from which they had entered. The woman took a few timid steps, perhaps starting to sense what Kathryn already knew: that this seemingly carefree release from the regiment was too good to be true. And so it was.

    As the woman approached the threshold, Private Gliet simultaneously accosted her while swinging open the door. The sunshine which flooded in was even brighter than the room’s white lights. There was no floor or stairway beyond the frame: just the thin air floating invisible over a twenty five foot drop. Before the short haired women even had a chance to scream Private Gliet hurled her out head first. When she did scream, it sounded as if her voice were floating up and out from an elevator shaft. At the bottom of her drop were the dead; hundreds of them crawling and falling over each other like salamanders in the mud. They did not even have the sense to catch her or break her fall. So when her vivacious frame met with the hard, packed down sand something could be heard snapping: perhaps an arm or a leg. They converged upon her quickly however; pulling her apart like lions raking at a bison carcass. Mercifully the screams didn’t last long as they soon pulled out her voice box. Her clothes quickly disappeared along with her skin. The carnage ended as someone who had once been someone ate her beautiful face.

    Back up in the room panic ensued. Private Gliet, his mission accomplished, stood at attention with his back to the wall. The women roared and screamed and cried and several of them stood up on their chairs. They stomped their feet on the seats like cartoon wives in white aprons afraid of a kitchen mouse; as if trying to put as much distance between themselves and the dead pit as possible. Kathryn did not get up, but she buried her face in her hands and tears sizzled out from in between her fingers. Captain Enervy stood upright with his hands still clasped behind the back. The mad violence which always seemed to be spinning in his eyes momentarily quelled.

    “Now!” He shouted spiritedly, “if there are no more conscientious objectors, I suggest that you all get some sleep.” He paused here to salute the moaning women. “Report for makeovers at 0900.”

    3.

    The salty smell of the nearby sea tickled their nostrils and billowy strips of evaporating clouds dissolved in front of the unbridled sun. The group rode on the back of a flatbed wagon; much like a hayride only devoid of any leisure or fun. They were being pulled along by a tractor which was driven by a heavy set, thick legged matron who was also wearing the now familiar uniform of the regiment. Only this version came with a skirt instead of pants. She had no holster for a gun, but a long truncheon hung from a loop on her accessory belt. The words: PENIS ENVY had been carved neatly down its shaft.

    All of the women had gotten a chance to shower and they were furnished with toothbrushes, deodorants and other sundries. Not having a fresh change of duds however, they had had to put their soiled clothes back on. They did not see any soldiers along this path save for the matron and talk among the passengers soon turned to crude escape plots.

    “I wouldn’t,” said Kathryn. Then she pointed to a distant tree line. Barely visible in the rising haze was a tall chain link fence with looping scribbles of razor wire and spikes at its highest point. As they got a little closer to that spot and rounded a bend, the dead could be seen clinging to its tiny octagons in between crawls of climbing vines; like grotesque butterflies on a screen door.

    “We’re still inside the compound,” she whispered, “they must have gunners perched atop the perimeter: not so much to keep us in as to keep the dead out, but I’m sure they’d shoot anything that moved.” As if on cue a distant spit of machine gun fire crackled in the morning air and the peering dead peeled off of the fence. It was 8:45 AM.

    Finally, the tractor ground to a halt in front of what had been a department store. Mannequins stood naked in front of the shattered out display windows and fallen clothes littered the aisles. Some of the panels were missing from the ceiling and sunlight made its way through the voids, taking over the job of the snuffed electricity. Otherwise, it looked basically alright. The heavy set woman who had been driving hopped down from the tractor seat.

    “My name is Sergeant Marge,” she shouted, “what I need for your ladies to do is go inside there and pick yourself out some clothes. If I were you I would select something short, bright and sexy. You will also find a large assortment of cosmetics inside. I suggest that you paint those pretty faces up bright and rosy; the more the soldiers like you the faster they’ll be finished with you and you can go on back to your barracks. Do not use any hairspray as the men don’t like the way it feels and DO NOT select any outfits with pants: DRESSES only! Don’t worry about the living dead as this sector has long been cleared and you are behind friendly lines.”

    Here one of the women, a thirty something brunette with thick, preened eyebrows, scoffed and whispered to her friend: “Yeah, real friendly.” This prompted Sergeant Marge to stop her instructional speech and walk through the crowd where she met the brunette. She put her chin one centimeter from the woman’s cheek and spat at the side of her face, “DO NOT interrupt me!” The woman froze and stood at attention. The big woman turned as if to walk away, before quickly spinning around, drawing her club and bringing it around in a three quarter circle onto the back of the woman’s leg. The brunette hit the street and cried out in agony as she tried to massage life back into her throbbing calve. Satisfied, the sergeant continued.

    “So,” she picked up her lost thought. “You will be safe at all times. You’re all welcome to try and escape, although I can assure you that it is impossible and even if you did manage to breach our security you would still be without food, water or shelter. Not to mention that you would be at the mercy of the living dead, who, as we all know, are not capable of mercy.” She paused here, and looked around, waiting for her words to sink in. “While, on the other hand, if you’re smart and go along with our curriculum: you will be well fed, comfortable and in no danger. Hell,” before finishing this sentence, she even had to scoff at herself, “you might even find that, after a while, you’re startin’ to enjoy it.” The women said nothing, although the way most of them shuffled in place clearly indicated that they had their doubts. “Alright! I need you little whores to make yourselves beautiful. I’ll expect to see you back here and lookin’ like super models at eleven hundred.”

    4.

    When the sun was at its pinnacle, Sergeant Marge led Kathryn and the others down towards the beach on foot. It was a little treacherous walking on the sands since some girls had selected high heels or pumps. As they approached a sentry post which led onto the dunes two guards looked Kathryn and the others over lustfully. A wolf whistle was heard as one of the men feigned masturbation and leered like a chimp. Some of the girls had a little trouble climbing a high sand cliff in their prissy shoes. But the ground leveled off at the top and they all looked out over the omniscient ocean. A chubby cloud suddenly blocked off the sun’s rays and the waves whipped a dark blue like an endless dream of troubling shadows.

    The soft and salty squalls teased the teased hair of the forced prostitutes as they were led towards several tents. The structures were small and circular, lavishly draped in velvet like a knight’s quarters. Triangular flags, tugged straight out by the ample winds, flapped atop each bungalow. As they approached the initial doorway, the first woman was ordered inside. She put up no opposition and disappeared behind the curtain. It did not take much imagination on the part of the group to know what was going to happen to her next, and even if it would have, they would soon be experiencing similar treatment themselves and would have no need to vex their imaginations. After three more stops it was soon Kathryn’s turn and she was ushered into one of the tents.

    A black man sat at the edge of a wide cot; wearing only an army green t-shirt, dog tags and loose fitting boxing shorts. He was slowly breathing through a cigarette and made no more movement then a waiting spider. There was no floor save for the sand of the beach as Kathryn demurely stepped inside. There was a bottle of Crown Royal Whiskey sitting on a nearby backpack and two collapsible director’s chairs across from and facing the cot. At last he moved a little.

    “Sit down,” he said, “you want a drink?”

    Kathryn thought about this for a beat, decided that she’d never wanted anything more, and shook her head yes. Although the man had yet to look at her, he somehow caught her nod and poured her a sip in a plain plastic glass. She sat down across from him in one of the chairs. “Stuff’ll be gone pretty soon,” he said, “be a real shame to never drink Crown Royal again. Who knows what kinda shit we be resortin’ to drinkin’ after that; mother fuckers be goin blind and shit.” Kathryn didn’t answer or react in any way. After a few seconds, she did take a sip of the hard brown liquid. When she commenced coughing the man spoke again: “Yeah, I know you scared, but you got to ask yourself: who worse? ME!? Or them hordes out there? Any sane individual know the answer. If there are any sane people left that is. Hell, I ain’t that scary.”

    In the pause, the man poured himself another. “What’s your name?” He asked.

    “Kathryn,” she answered blandly.

    “Hmmm, how you feelin’ Kathryn?”

    It was an odd question, and after mulling it over for a couple of seconds, Kathryn just felt compelled to answer honestly. “I feel a little under it,” she whispered.

    “Yeah,” he half laughed, “no wonder, me too.”

    He got up and walked over to a basin of water; bending over to splash some onto his tough and leathery features. As he toweled off he said: “Well, we best be gettin’ on with it. Climb up on that cot over there.”

    Without much vigor, yet resolved to her fate, Kathryn walked over and laid down on her back. She didn’t even have a chance to settle in before the man was on her; his service revolver pressed up against her temple and his breath on her cheek. She gasped in shock.

    “What you think huh?” he raved, “you think I’m like these animals roun’ here HUH! You think I force myself on some poor girl ain’t willin’ HUH!” Kathryn’s only defense from this offbeat attack was to close her eyes tight, forcing a hot tear to leak out and streak across her cheek. “What I want with you white bread? Me I gots… I mean I had… a wife and baby a my own. I know they out there somewhere,” He waved his arm in a gesture which represented everywhere. “I know they…” He stopped talking and jumped up suddenly. Kathryn rose up to a sitting position as he knelt down in the corner of the hut and began to weep roughly. When he had quieted some, she got up from the cot and walked over to where he was doubled over. Putting her petite hand in between his muscular shoulder blades she softly spoke.

    “It’s okay,” she said, “We have all lost someone that we loved.”

    After a couple of more minutes of sobbing, he slowly picked himself up and walked back over to sit on the cot. Kathryn stayed where she was, her knees in the sand. He swallowed the final gulp of whisky and began speaking on a new subject:

    “Enervy is a monster,” he said, “not just a close minded grunt, but a dangerous killer. When he picks you, and sooner or later he will ’cause he always picks the pretty ones, you as good as dead.” Kathryn could only stare at him. “He like to make porno and snuff films; force chicks to fuck the dead, evil shit like that. I only wish that there was somethin’ that I could do for ya.”

    Kathryn shrugged and smiled faintly. “Wait a minute,” he said suddenly as if a thought had just occurred to him, “wait a minute.” He leaned over and reached into his backpack; retrieving a handsome military issue buck knife complete inside a camouflage sheath. He got up quickly and offered it to Kathryn. “Hide this, don’t show it to that dyke Marge, don’t show it to any of the bitches in your barracks, don’t show it to no one. When Enervy picks you, wait until you get him by himself. When he turn around you bury this spike in his black heart ya hear me? It’s your only chance.”

    Kathryn looked at the knife. It was long and intimidating, but she supposed that she could hide it inside her bottoms. She smiled gratefully and took the bracketed blade. “Thank you,” she said.

    “Yeah alright,” He sauntered back over and reclined onto the cot. His relaxed posture a sharp contrast to the madness he had demonstrated throughout their rendezvous. “By the way Kathryn, my name is Granderson. Pleased to meet ya.”

    “Pleased to meet you.”

    “When that dyke Marge comes back you tell her everything was cool; you had a good time.”

    5.

    Several days passed inside the stainless steel barracks which may have been more accurately described as a cell. Kathryn didn’t do much of anything during this interlude aside from lying forlornly in her bunk and praying that she wouldn’t be selected for a second and surely more intimate date. Now and then the dull, mirrored door would roll open and Sergeant Marge would call out the name of the next unfortunate escort.

    Kathryn didn’t make many friends throughout this period, nor did she want to. Sporadic spurts of conversation floated past her ears intermittently, but the topics were limited to such small talk as the good condition of the food, the affable temperature of the cell and the crisp and clean sheets. No one seemed eager to touch upon the subject of their forced sexual encounters or the horrific encounters they’d had with the dead which had led to their imprisonment here. Kathryn didn’t much want to talk either, even though she’d been fortunate enough to avoid being blackmailed into intercourse; at least so far.

    She hid the buck knife underneath her mattress since that was the only place to hide anything. At times when she felt the most dread, she would finger the blade which Granderson had loaned her, praying that she would have the courage to use it when the crucial moment came. Then she closed her eyes and drifted into a rash phantasm:

    She was trapped inside a burning mobile home which had been surrounded by the dead. She could see the tops of their squash colored heads moving past the small, weak, roll out windows. She fled into the hallway bathroom and closed herself off inside a cramped closet. But the moaning marauders were relentless. They shredded their hands and forearms, even bashing their soft heads against the aluminum siding until she could sense that the panels were starting to give. Then they were walking inside the blaze; becoming the fire, awash in flames, willing to endure any Hellish barrage to get at her. Until they wrapped their cold burning arms around her and the last sound she would ever hear were chained up dogs howling in the distance. She awoke to Sergeant Marge calling out her name, in the same gruff pitch as the pit bulls from her nightmare.

    She rolled over on her side before rising and slid the knife down inside her pink underwear.

    Once outside she discovered that it hadn’t been night after all as the hot sun blushed in an endlessly clear sky. There was no clock or fixed schedule inside the barracks, making it impossible to tell the time of day. They did not return to the tents, but rather walked for a short stretch along the shore until they came to a lavish beach house. Its picturesque balustrade affording any onlooker a scenic view of the tumultuous pacific.

    As Kathryn climbed the wooden stairs which led up from the beach, she recognized Captain Enervy sitting leisurely on a deck chair. His tan and muscular body covered only by a pair of oak green army issue swimming trunks. “Hello,” he said with surprising friendliness, and then as he looked past Kathryn, “that will be all Marge.”

    The Sergeant saluted and said, “I’ll be at the bottom of the stairs if you need me Captain,” with that she turned and exited. Enervy studied Kathryn for several seconds before sipping an icy drink in a tall glass. His gaze did not seem as disquieting in this relaxing setting although he did not ask her to sit down or offer her a beverage. Finally he said, “Do you know why you’ve been brought here?”

    Kathryn’s mouth turned up at the corners, “for sex,” she said bluntly.

    Enervy chuckled petulantly, “because there are some things going on here at the base that I think you should know about.”

    “Why tell me about them?”

    Enervy got up then and began to pace. This reminded Kathryn of the military manner which he had displayed in the classroom and of his potential for being gravely dangerous.

    “Because I like you. I’ve liked you from the first time that I saw you.”

    “That’s nice,” Kathryn said sarcastically. He seemed to get a little peeved at this.

    “You don’t understand, there are dangers everywhere. My offer to you could save your life.”

    “Offer?”

    “You could become an exclusive. An officer’s mate if you will. A position which would give you a chance to get out of the barracks; living in an officer’s quarters with only one man. In a monogamous relationship. Yet before I can offer up these luxuries, I need to have a sense of your attitude towards this promotion. Not everyone gets a chance to avoid the camp’s pitfalls.”

    “You mean like the pit that women fell into when you ordered her murdered.”

    Enervy grimaced again, he seemed to be getting annoyed at the way that she kept shooting him down.

    “That was very unfortunate,” he said, “but she was trying to instigate a riot. We cannot have anybody stirring up controversy or inciting rebellion. DISCIPLINE!” He shouted with such force that Kathryn was taken aback as he began raving, “We must have order here or else every women in that room, including you, would have had to die. Every woman in that room would have to be sacrificed to preserve order and… wouldn’t that be a shame to waste all that beauty?” Here he smiled slyly and with a wave of his hand finished, “one bad apple, you see.” He sat back down and took a sip of the drink. His anger having passed as quickly as it came about. This gave Kathryn the courage to say:

    “So you’re a good guy, is that it?”

    He hatched a peevish grin, “There are no good guys or bad guys, only survivors.” He got up from the chair and stepped towards her. “It’s a difficult call, I understand. But I’m afraid that it’s one you’ll have to make rather quickly.” He was standing right in front of her now and she tried not to step back from him or seem intimidated. “I’m afraid that humanity no longer has any time for courting. And I personally have many responsibilities here at the base, so I won’t be able to wine and dine you.” He took her firmly by the shoulders and kissed her softly on the mouth. Her heart began to beat as if she were searching for a bomb in a maze of industrial pipes. She could feel the knife pressing against her abdomen as his hands traced down the small of her back and squeezed her buttocks. She knew that the time for action was now; it would only be a few seconds before he pressed against her and discovered the knife. But she was frozen by fear and stress. She leaned back, almost feinted and then was righted by his strong arm. When she went limp however her muscles contracted and the knife slipped and dislodged from her underwear. It hit the wooden deck with an audible thud. It then bounced under the railing and onto the sands below.

    “What was that?” He shouted, “You bitch you… who sent you here to kill me?”

    Kathryn couldn’t answer, the scene was too much for her nerves and she was going in and out of consciousness. He let her go and she collapsed onto the deck. Enervy abandoned her felled frame and walked over to the railing.

    “Sergeant!” He shouted. Marge walked out from under the deck into view and looked up at them. “Fetch me that weapon.” She looked at where he was pointing and walked towards the knife. Enervy stormed back over and lifted Kathryn’s dizzy head off the wood planks. “Now bitch,” he began, “you’re going to tell me what you’re doing here or I’m going to cut your fucking eyes out!”

    Marge stomped up the stairs then. “Hold her down Captain,” she said, “I’m going to teach this little hussy a lesson.”

    He did so. “Don’t kill her Sergeant,” he said, “I need to find out some information from her.”

    “Oh don’t worry Captain, don’t worry about anything.”

    What happened next flabbergasted Kathryn to the point where she didn’t know if it was real or imagined: Sergeant Marge stepped around Captain Enervy and, in one swift motion, plunged the buck knife into his unprotected eye. He wavered, wavered and a stream of yellow liquid shot out from his retina. Sergeant Marge quickly reached over and extracted the knife before plunging it back in again as if she were hacking through a watermelon. This time the Captain fell; the blade still protruding from his eye; its handle covered by a wash of blood and other internal fluids which dripped down onto the deck and Kathryn’s fair forehead. She could feel his heavy body pinning her down and before her mind revolved into blackness, she heard Sergeant Marge say:

    “Get up murderer, you’re going to have to answer for killing the captain.”

    6.

    When Kathryn awoke she was being marched down the beach. Sergeant Marge had her arm twisted behind her back; tangled in with the club like a splint.

    “March whore! March whore!” She kept shouting and finally Kathryn’s feet began to walk for themselves, even though she had lost her shoes at some point and the grains of sand felt like miniscule shards of glass. They soon abandoned the beach however and Kathryn’s brown toes burned on the hot asphalt. Before long they came to a block building with the anagram Y CA hanging from the second story bricks. The second letter in the abbreviation was obviously missing with two bare, rusted prongs sticking out between the Y and the C. As Kathryn was being marched through a locker room she began to hear the moans. Like the cries of the prisoners of Dante’s Inferno themselves. She tried to run but Marge tightened the splint. “Don’t even think about it bitch.”

    They came to the room which was the source of the ungodly noises. There had once been an Olympic pool at its center but the water had long been drained. Now the dead were crawling around on the hard floor; trying to climb out; sliding back down the walls and falling over each other; writhing like fat snakes. Marge marched Kathryn right to the edge of the pool. The dead made no reaction aside from continuing to try to escape. Kathryn braced her self for the cruelest of deaths but before she could be thrown in, she heard the sound of applause or rather; one man clapping.

    Sergeant Marge whirled around as Granderson walked out of the shadows laughing heartily.

    “Captain Granderson,” she said, “this woman murdered Captain Enervy and then she tried to attack me. I was taking her to the pool.” Kathryn stared at Granderson, desperation in her eyes. He shot her a reaffirming look that gave her hope.

    “How was he killed?” He asked Marge.

    “With this sir, she must have stolen it from one of the officers.”

    Granderson nodded and retrieved his own gore splattered knife from the Sergeant. “Yes,” he said.

    “Captain Granderson, this may be an inopportune time to bring this up. But you’ll be needing a replacement for Captain Enervy. I’d like to respectfully submit my name for serious consideration.”

    “Don’t worry Sergeant Marge,” he answered, “you’ll get what’s coming to you.”

    “I’m glad to hear that sir, I have done my best for the regiment.”

    “Mmm hmm, mmm hmm,” Granderson was staring at the knife and seemed to be thinking about something else.

    “What about this wretched underhanded bitch sir? Do you want me to toss her into the pit?”

    Kathryn stiffened in terror.

    “Well,” he said while hatching a smile, “why don’t you let me worry about her?”

    Marge looked around slightly confused and then, perhaps not wanting to defy the Captain, she released Kathryn from the wrestle hold.

    “Will there be anything else captain?”

    “I don’t think so,” he said before quickly pulling out his service revolver, “at ease Sergeant.” He pointed the gun and shot the thick bodied soldier right between the eyes. The back of her head exploded before she blinked once in shock and fell onto the tiles like a folded up lawn chair. Kathryn stepped back agape; this was the third time in less than a week that she’d watched someone executed at point blank range before her very eyes and the impact which the shock had upon her did not lesson with repetition. Granderson casually strolled up to them and nudged her body over the edge of the pool with his boot. She hit the pond of dead and bounced around like a dingy in a hurricane; before her body went under their solid surface and disappeared in a violent whirlpool of gore. He then looked at Kathryn and smiled wide.

    “Ah, thank you, thank you so very much Kathryn for doing what I could not: I’ve wanted Enervy out of the way for some time now. But the sycophants within his faction never would have stood for it. I would have been tried for it and well… the trials around here usually end the same.” He gestured towards the pool. “But this: this senseless self defense at the hands of a whore. Why it’s practically perfect and I even get rid of that dyke Marge to boot. Too ambitious that one. Now I’ll follow you, through those doors.” He said before sticking the revolver in between her two shoulder blades. As she’d done so many times in the last few days, Kathryn began to march. He continued: “And with Enervy out of the picture my faction will take over the entire compound with me as commander in chief. Tantamount to a king nowadays.” Kathryn noticed for the first time that the colloquial street lingo he’d been using back in the tent was gone and he was now talking with the brio of a college professor. They crossed through a tiled opening which had no door and into a shower room. “Now as a reward for so bravely assassinating my biggest political rival I’m prepared to make you a star.” Kathryn rounded another corner and standing in front of a row of shower stalls she saw a video camcorder perched atop a tripod.

    “A porn star maybe, but a star none the less.” Kathryn could hear an awful gurgling sound coming from one of the stalls which was obscured by a curtain, like a dog which had been run over by a milk truck whimpering and wounded on the road. She slowed down as she approached the source but Granderson urged her on with the gun. “I’d like to introduce you to someone.” He quipped. Grabbing her mane tightly so that she could not run. Granderson pulled back the shower curtain revealing a monstrous spectacle.

    There was a purple faced dead man standing in the shower stall. He was held in place by an intricate web of barbed wires which made deep laceration in his beige skin. There was no blood flowing from these fresh cuts however and his upper lip had been either been lopped off or had disintegrated from decay. There was no teeth in his mouth and both of his arms had been surgically amputated at the forearm. He looked up at them with a savage longing in his bright teal eyes.

    ” This is Corporal John,” Granderson said, “he may be dead, but he does have one attribute that not every zombie has;” here Granderson paused and pulled a toga off of the hideous creature’s midsection. “You see old John here still has the fire down below.” Kathryn tried to bolt, but this only tightened the grip that Granderson had on her long hair. He continued as if she had not even tried to escape: “That’s right: John here, long lost buddy of ours, will respond to sexual stimulation.” Kathryn struggled and cried, but the Captain was much too strong for her. “So what I want from my actress is very simple Kathryn,” he reached up over his head and switched on a boom box which had been sitting atop the block divider wall. The familiar riffs of the Rolling Stones ‘Start Me Up’ strummed out. “You just listen to old Mick Jagger here, where ever he may be. Because he’s got some good advice for you and we’re goanna find out if your hot enough:” He switched on the camcorder. “We’re gonna see if you can make a dead man cum.”

    7.

    Private First Class John Wilkes Scooter Benson was glad that he’d joined the army. God knows where the hell he would have ended up if he’d went to college with his pencil necked high school buddies; probably roaming the streets like some possessed puppet, looking for some poor bastard’s entrails to munch on. Whew, he shivered. As it were he was situated inside a safe compound. He slept in a firm but comfortable bed inside a five star barracks. Chowed down on a hot breakfast, before reporting to his cushy duty. And while there were still poor bastards out there somewhere, scavenging for their very lives, he pulled on clean, laundered and starched socks every morning. Hell, next week it was going to be his company’s turn with the women. They… His thoughts were interrupted by a flash of motion on the far right of his peripheral and a quarter of a second later he emptied a clip into a walking corpse who had once been a very attractive woman in a yellow sun dress. Not long after the big slender bullets ripped her apart his two way crackled out a garbled spiel.

    “What’s goin’ on over there tower sixteen? Over.”

    Scooter picked up the two way. “What the hell da you think’s goin’ on? I got a walker two blocks northwest and I just took her head off. Over.”

    There was a brief pause and then the radio barked again, “10-4. Over.”

    Scooter had seen them riding by on the back of the flat wagon. Jesus they had looked good; some of those dresses didn’t cover much more than a napkin would have. They must have sent a rescue squad over to the Playboy Mansion to come up with those bitches. One more work week and he would get to sample the goods: if you could even call this work that is. Sitting in an armored tower shooting at these slow, stupid, mothers like they were clay ducks. He’d played video games which were ten times harder. Hell, some of the guys were even bringing twelve packs up into the towers with them. May as well drink as many cold ones as possible before the supply was gone forever. Sniper command knew about it but they didn’t give a shit. Hell some of the guys aim was even a little sharper with a couple beers in em, took the edge off. And the… His thoughts were boggled again by a stir of dust a great distance away; out past the old fish hatchery, which was barely visible on the farthest rim of the firmament. It looked like a dust storm kicking up or fog maybe.

    “What the hell,” scooter muttered and picked up his binoculars. But he wasn’t really prepared for the sight he beheld once he lifted the field glasses to his eyes: THE DEAD! Hundreds of them, thousands of them, millions of them marching across the exposed prairies down past the old dilapidated foundries towards the outskirts of the town. Like maggots on the carcass of a deceased world; shaking and squirming and deathly white. Ready to attach themselves to any living or dying population. Scooter lowered the field glasses.

    “Holy fucking shit!” he said.

    8.

    In her bare feet Kathryn scrambled across a high asphalt parking ramp. She could not see the beach, but she could hear the roar of the ocean splashing up against the concrete barriers and continuing on up underneath the beams which held the structure she was standing on in place. The drum like pop of automatic gunfire came from every direction; challenged in pitch only by the locust like drone of the moaning dead.

    Back inside the Y CA from where she had just fled, Kathryn had stood up straight in front of Captain Granderson and told him to shoot her in the chest rather than force her to copulate with the grotesquely disfigured and demonized Corporal John. The officer looked out from behind the camcorder and grinned like a hyena, but just as he was preparing a fresh wisecrack, an invisible force slammed into his shoulder. He screamed in agony as a small geyser of blood leaped from the new wound in a vivid splash. Before he could even collect himself a second projectile struck him in the opposite shoulder, causing him to fold down onto his knees. Kathryn took a step forward towards the front of the stall as the shooter came into view; With his one eye twisted into a cruel taffy like laceration, which resembled a mass of egg yokes mixed with ketchup and tarter sauce, Captain Enervy approached them. Thick spiraled designs of dried blood on his bare chest. His good eye shining as blue as a whirlpool whipped by a cyclone; relishing the prospect of retribution and vengeance.

    “Hello Granderson,” he said, “didn’t think you were going to get rid of a soldier of my caliber that easily did you?” Granderson didn’t answer but only writhed in agony on the hard shower floor. a huge circumference of gore widening around him. “You think I don’t know the people who want me out of the way around here? Your coup is through asshole and another bullet’s too good for you. Now get up and march to the pit.” Kathryn would have backed into the stall and hid, but with Corporal John zoned into the booth she had little choice but to stand her ground. Finally Enervy noticed her and turned towards her.

    “Ahh, the little cunt.” he said, “still think you’re an assassin? I ought to throw you in the pits.” Kathryn said nothing, but could only stand dumbfounded by the awful sight of the maimed soldier. “Nah,” he said after a few seconds. “I think I’ll just blow your fucking head off.” But even as he pointed the gun at her to carry out this threat, Granderson sprang up from the floor. The two men locked onto each other as the gun went off again. The bullet ricocheted throughout the block partitions before hitting Corporal John in the head. His brain exploded like a stink bomb full of thick black ink and his horrid body collapsed only to be held up by the web of wires. This sight drove Kathryn into a near frenzy of fear and she shot around the two struggling men to escape down the hallway. She heard several more gunshots as she exited the building but would never know who shot whom.

    Now she was crossing over from the asphalt and back onto the beach; grains of sand digging into the balls of her red feet like metal shavings. Wasps sang around her and she slapped at her head dizzily, before realizing with a rising sense of terror that it was gunfire in the air which was making the buzzing noise; gunfire which was narrowly missing her pretty head. She dropped onto her stomach to avoid the bullets, but a lump in the sand brushed up against her: It was a severed head with a hole the size of a grapefruit underneath its blood soaked hair line. She screamed and rose again. Running down the beach in an aimless panic.

    She ran for a great while without reason or direction, zigzagging through a field of the living dead. But they were slow and cadaverous and she managed to avoid most of them easily. Periodically, some of them exploded and were hurled fifteen feet into the air; their frail bodies cracking apart like wooden figures on a firing range. Although Kathryn, in her distress, did not even realize that she was running through a mind field.

    Ultimately, she came along to a line of soldiers. Slowly retreating as a massive front of the dead converged upon them. They fired their impressive weapons continuously; the large pellets seeming to evaporate in the cold flesh of the creatures like snow melting onto a hillside; only the occasional shot finding its target and obliterating an evil brain. They also coated the creatures with the incinerating spittle from a squadron of flame throwers. But, just as in the dream which Kathryn was now recalling in a deja vu, the wall of flames had a minor effect.

    After Kathryn ran around and then past the battle, the soldiers began to be overcome. The sheer numbers of their maggot ridden opponents defeating their ample firepower. And the dead covered them over like the tide washing out the sands; their screams piercing the air like a bite pinching through flesh.

    She continued on at a full sprint; darting in a line concurrent with the fence; the dead clinging to the links like fancy colorful insects pinned to a cloth; an endless mass of their decaying brethren swelling against the ramparts behind them. Hundreds of thousands of white ghouls as far as the eye could encompass. Kathryn fell for the second time, filling her eyes up with the coarse sand. For a few seconds she could only crawl slowly before she sensed a great violence around her and rose to run down the beach blindly. She bounced off of mysterious forms now and then but had no way of knowing whether or not it was one of the soldiers or one of the dead. After a few frightful seconds of this she could feel the warm ankle deep waters of the Pacific sloshing through her toes. She dropped to her knees and frantically washed the sand out of her eyes. When she could open them again, she saw the flags of the tents; the knight’s quarters where she had first encountered Granderson and the girls in her group had first encountered the lust of the regiment. The fabric was being ripped apart by the dead; who were perhaps hoping to find even more quarry inside the makeshift huts.

    Instinctively, she began slowly backing into the waves until the warm waters were at her waist. Thankfully, the flesh eaters did not seem to be following her into the depths. Most of the soldiers gamely fought on against long odds rather than flee into the ocean. Perhaps the instincts instilled in them during their training spurred them on to make a stand or maybe they just did not want to get their precious guns wet. Now the water was at Kathryn’s neck as the fence collapsed in many sections under the great push of the lifeless yet living throng. The creatures crawled across the hot sands as if blind and hungry like a million infant crabs searching for a slimy meal in the wet dirt. The death shouts of the regiment were somehow louder and more painful than the steady moan of the cold crowd; as if the souls of the soldiers were suffering more misery than even the tortured, solid ghosts who confronted them. But even if they could defeat the dead in terms of agony, they could not defeat them in battle. The last pocket of the regiment was cornered and torn apart like strips of red rags. Kathryn sighed, nearly cried, turned from the horrid scene and began to swim.

    END.

    29 Comments

    1. Awesome story!!! Very vivid…… would be a great movie concept. Keep writing my man!!!!

      Comment by Brent on January 21, 2010 @ 5:04 pm

    2. Tom,

      This is by far your best yet. I spotted several fantastic lines of description and turns of phrase that I find myself jealous I didn’t think of.

      Once again I also find myself in admiration of the pure darkness I am always too wimpy to write into my stories. I need to get drunk on cheap whiskey, watch Hostel on repeat and see if I can match you or Clitoris Rex for sheer ‘Ew’ factor.

      The only thing I didn’t like was just how lucky she was, she was spared too many times for my liking, by random chance, but that just my opinion.

      Great work Tom, great work.

      Comment by Pete Bevan on January 22, 2010 @ 3:17 am

    3. I agree that this story was your best yet in as far as it followed the more traditional Zombie lore. I have however enjoyed your other stories as well. It is my hope that you continue the story if the character survives the swim that is. Good work.

      Comment by Chris on January 22, 2010 @ 10:44 am

    4. Not exactly a woman-friendly world, this apocalypse of yours, is it?

      Comment by alice on January 22, 2010 @ 10:52 am

    5. Excellent, the ebb and flow of the story great.

      Comment by Ghostwalker on January 22, 2010 @ 11:02 am

    6. Ive got to say this is definetly your best story yet! Great Work!

      Comment by Nick King on January 22, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

    7. So THIS is how the undead came to roam the ocean floors! When that mass of rot-bags finished with their tiny snack, they must have followed her out to sea =)

      Comment by Mr.Four on January 22, 2010 @ 1:33 pm

    8. That was simply amazing, great work.

      Comment by Doc on January 22, 2010 @ 7:58 pm

    9. As much as I dislike the old ‘Army Gone Rogue’ stereotype… THIS STORY WAS FUCKING AMAZING. I mean, you did a great job with the whole atmosphere of the story, and with developing the characters. Especially Grandeson.

      Fuck that guy.

      Comment by Liam Perry on January 23, 2010 @ 1:34 am

    10. Well written and stomach churning. A bit over the top,but what zombie infestation isn’t?

      One would hope that in the event of a world apocalypse,all of the men would not be so misogynistic.

      Comment by abe on January 23, 2010 @ 5:54 pm

    11. Wow!! Truly outstanding read!!! Would love to see more of what poor Kathryn encounters in this dead world of yours!! Thanks for the wonderful story!

      Comment by Glenn on January 24, 2010 @ 9:37 pm

    12. Great, the apocolypse isn’t bad enough, but every fat person (i.e. fat WOMAN) is stupid or evil in this story. I didn’t realize that adipose tissue causes intellectual and/or moral disfunction. Way to show a hatred of women and fat bodies. What an awful story.

      Comment by Annitspurple on January 24, 2010 @ 9:51 pm

    13. Yeah, I agree.

      Comment by Zoe on January 25, 2010 @ 11:21 am

    14. so i guess all the other women were killed as well at the end?

      Comment by implant on January 25, 2010 @ 11:53 am

    15. In Tom’s defence (do I really want to do this?) ALL the men were evil and only two women were. If you want to define it in such black and white terms.

      In my opinion he seems to write about the dark heart that shows in people under under the extreme stress of a zombie apocalypse. Ergo everyone is a shit rather than a mysoginst. Under the lens of this view it also doesn’t matter if you are fat or thin, male or female, you’re still a shit in Toms eyes with the exception of the protagonist and the other women who, although victims, retain a certain moral dignity.
      It seems to be more to do with the use of power, as those with power abuse it, again be it male, female fat or thin. There are no heroics in his stories.

      Maybe Tom should comment.

      Comment by Pete Bevan on January 25, 2010 @ 4:24 pm

    16. To the individuals complaining about the misogyny in this piece I have to ask if you’re familiar with history previous to the last century? History is inherently sexist, racist, and clasist. It is only with well managed societies that we have come to a point where equality is an achievable concept. This story is one of the better ones on this site because it does not shrink from the more primal aspects of human nature. Does anyone really believe that with the utter loss of civilization those with power wouldn’t abuse it? The comments demeaning this author could only have one excuse for the naivette expressed… and children shouldn’t be on this site.

      Comment by Foul on January 25, 2010 @ 6:31 pm

    17. Normally, I don’t like to leave comments on my own stories, even though some of them have gotten dissected pretty good and probably could have used some defending. Most of the time I feel that the story should stand or fall on its own without my interjecting anything. I can tell you however that I am not a misogynist as I have a loving wife and three small daughters. I am very respectful to woman and I respect the rights of everyone. Being overweight myself it is rediculous to think that I would single out fat people as being evil or stupid. I was simply trying to picture different chatactors in my mind and every human being looks different. I felt that I had to make Maureen fat so that the soldier would have a reson to kill her and start out the story with a bang. This is not to say that fat women aren’t beautiful. Unfortunately for her Maureen was not very attractive in other areas either and the soldier felt that they didn’t need her. ( They weren’t worried about the personality of the prisoners.) In hindsight I guess that I could have made Maureen a man, but I was just trying to make an impact on the reader and there are a lot of bad charactors in the story who are in tip top shape. This brings us back to the story’s treatment of women: As Foul- the commenter above me -pointed out, history has shown us that when the rule of law breaks down and civilization disintergrates, women will be taken advantage of or outright raped. I could give you multipule examples and even recent ones, but I know that everyone is already thinking of their own. To give you a good fictional axiom you could read Jose Saramango’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel ‘Blindness’ I feel that the woman in that book were far more brutilized than anyone in my story and I don’t think anyone’s accusing Jose of being a misogynist. Now I’m not trying to compare my stupid zombie story to the work of a master. I’m simply trying to say that just because the charactors are evil, that doesn’t mean that the author hates women, fat people ( in which case he’d have to hate himself) , black people or anybody else. But I don’t think that a zombie would be politically correct and I’m trying to make the story as realistic as I can. I don’t think that anyone would be worried about stepping on anybody elses toes during a zombie outbreak and that it would be every man, woman and ethic creed to themselves.
      But to those women who commented and didn’t like the story, I feel that you are entitled to your opinion and I did not mean to offend you or women in general. But I think that to say that the story is awful because you didn’t like the way that bad charactors are treating women may be a little unfair. Hey, it’s just a dumbass zombie story, maybe we’re all reading too much into it.
      On a lighter note, I’d like to say to Pete Bevan that his stories are not wimpy and that everyone knows that he is one of the best, if not the best, writers on this site. I also appreciatte his comments, not just to me but to a lot of writers on this site. Even when he criticises something, he does it with tact and encouragment and I’m always glad to see him post something new.
      I’d also like to thank Ryan for posting my zombie stories on this site and everyone who commented for their feedback. Some of the criticisms stung a little bit, but on the overall my stories have been pretty well recieved, especially the last couple. And how else are are we going to get better as writers if we’re not criticised.

      T.H.

      Comment by Tom Hamilton on January 26, 2010 @ 2:44 am

    18. does some one needs to write a zombie story where the men capture and hoard only fat women? maybe a story where fat women capture and whore out very fit well endowed men? i suspect the men would not even mind. might go something like this =) Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves sex with multiple women, in return u will be provided with food, water, shelter and 24/7 protection from the undead. if this story existed those ladies would be turning guys away in droves.

      Comment by the dude on January 26, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

    19. @Dude

      hahaha but I don’t think you are helping 🙂

      In all seriousness it does raise some interesting questions about gender roles after a zombie, or indeed any apocalypse.

      Comment by Pete bevan on January 26, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

    20. This was awesome you have talent enjoyed every minute of it.

      Comment by JERRY A on January 26, 2010 @ 7:38 pm

    21. Well written but just out and out filthy, try not to focus so much on gore…and the part about making a zombie cum? Just disgusting and i think dirty purely for the sake of being dirty

      Comment by Jeff on January 27, 2010 @ 3:12 pm

    22. So, to all you detractors:
      You want a Zombie Apocalypse story in which all of the characters are totally equal, everyone is treated fairly and justly, and nobody has any obsessions or perversions of any kind. Does that about cover it?

      Well, Ryan, you’re just gonna have to take this site off the web, my man. It seems to me that EVERY story here has (gasp!) a BAD GUY! Or a stupid person, or a mean person, or something.

      People, if you don’t get the fact that Zombie stories are NOT ABOUT ZOMBIES, you need to go read Jane Austen. Zombie stories are about US. And, we, the People, are generally base, selfish beings.

      Yes, there are those who would sacrifice. Those who are honorable. Those who, in fact, care about our fellow humans. We, however, are so far in the minority that we would be overcome by the survivors long before the Zombies would get us.

      If you don’t like seeing the base nature of humans, DON’T READ THE STORIES that are posted here. These authors (and I have submitted stories myself) don’t mind a critic, but don’t be a jerk.

      I loved the story. Other that a few, minor grammatical errors, it was a great Zombie story showing the good and the bad. The hero was a woman, so I fail to see how the story, or the author, could be considered misogynistic.

      Comment by cdugger on January 30, 2010 @ 10:07 am

    23. Very intriguing tale! I hope Kathryn makes it.

      Comment by Cherry Darling on February 6, 2010 @ 9:58 am

    24. Great story, I thoroughly enjoyed it! Don’t worry about the bashers, apparently when society breaks down we’ll all hold hands and make smores together.

      I loved the direction you went. Undoubtedly there will be this population represented as well, ( at least in my mind) who revert to the baser instincts and capitalize on others misfortunes. As for the morality, those readers should read some of the Marquis DeSades works, he was French nobility and far cruder than you. Bravo for a fun story!!!

      Comment by Brad on February 28, 2010 @ 8:18 pm

    25. Great story man, although I must agree with Pete that she was a bit lucky.

      Also, I’d hope that the Army would be a little more… proffesional in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse. I’m sure the British Army would.

      Comment by Scott B on May 15, 2010 @ 10:43 am

    26. Tedious and indulgent. This story reminded me of a poorly made “Lifetime” movie plastered together by soap opera acting. That said, I was surprised to find some very well written lines and descriptions. Will have to read more of your work to get a better balance of your talent. Indeed, you do have talent.

      Comment by Clement S. on August 21, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

    27. I have to admit this one was a little hard to read. Hard as it is for some to admit, there would be women, men and even children who would be forced into that kind of life just to survive.
      It was an excellent story, and true to the brutality humans are capable of when they know they can get away with it.

      Comment by vanessa on December 27, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

    28. you probly allready know this but
      PHAT STORY!
      keep writing this is the first one ive read from you hoping theres more 😀
      zombie snuff porn
      (feignes masturbation and leeres like a chimp)
      BAhaha 10/10 man 10/10 😀

      Comment by james glenn on April 11, 2011 @ 10:28 am

    29. It was good and all, but you had the two main men, Captain Enervy and Captain Granderson, survive some ridiculously nasty wounds. After all, if some big woman plunged a knife into a normal human’s eye, twice, with enough force to coat the handle in gore, than they would not be getting back up, ever. Even Captain Granderson was shot twice, once in each shoulder, with enough force to cause a geyser of blood to spring forth. Afterwards, he was only on the ground for less than a minute before he,” Sprang” back up and ready to fight. No human can obtain these wounds and be expected to fight, move, or even live. The unrealistic recovery of the two main men distracted me from the story and made the whole thing seem poorly planned.

      Comment by Von on June 4, 2011 @ 2:18 am

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