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All The Dead Are Here - Pete Bevan's zombie tales collection

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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.

October 27, 2011  Longer stories   Tags:   

“Jesus Christ, this mud is thick!” said “Mississip” as his left leg became stuck up to his knee in the wet, viscous mud of the swamp that he and his two companions trudged through miserably. The temperature and humidity were so high and the air was so thick, that Mississip’ imagined he really could cut it with the long bayonet attached to the barrel of his Model 1859 Springfield Musket which he struggled to keep dry in the near tropical conditions.

He peeled the grey slouch hat from his head and wiped the sweat from his brow with his forearm, which did little more than smear the mud and grime that covered every inch of Mississip’s face. He sighed and pulled at the stuck leg. It started to give and then with a wet slurp the swamp let his leg go and he was free to continue on after the single file line of his two friends.

The other two were too wet, hot and miserable to respond with anything other than a grunt of assent as they concentrated on keeping their own feet from getting stuck.

“Listen here ya’ll,” , came the voice from the man in the front of the file, “I grew up in a place a lot like this, ya’ll got ta be careful. Don’t go wanderin’ off to the sides to much, you get yerself fallen into a quicksand hole, you’ll disappear faster an’ a Molly Cottontail with a regiment on her heels!”

The other men chuckled at this reference to the habit of hungry men on the march breaking ranks to chase down a spotted rabbit in a field nearby. A jolly game it was, and often ended in a meal. The line of three men continued along seemingly unaware of where their final destination was. The Yankee cavalry they had skirmished with and then subsequently retreated from earlier in the day were the least of their worries now. They were concerned more with waging a running battle against vicious flocks of large mosquitoes that dove in with an audible whiz very similar to that of a minee ball when it zips by. The nasty things hurt like hell when they got into you to, more akin to a wasp sting than a mosquito bite. The men were constantly swatting at them.

“Eh Cap’n,”, said Mississip as he caught up to the rear of the “march column”, “with all yer schoolin in that fancy Yankee school up noth, how’s come you managed to get us lost in this here swamp with nothin’ but our muskets and a few crumbs of hardtack? I’da rather fought them yanks toe to toe, whooped em, and ate on they rations.”

The mud covered man in the front of the group looked back towards Mississip and smiled. “Now Mississip, we all know how mean and ornery you can be when your belly gets to yelpin’. But even you could not have whooped that big Yank Sergeant. He looked meaner an’ a bull and was probably just as strong.”

Mississip just scowled, “Yeah, he prolly just as dumb as one too. I grew up herdin’ cattle. I’d have wore him out right quick had there not been so many of his friends around!”

The second man in line spoke up “Yeah right Mississip! That blue belly sarge would’a broke ya skull in two and feasted on yo brains, and then complained about how scanty the ration was!”

This brought a loud chuckle of amusement from the men, except Mississip. He opened his mouth to say something and then decided it better to conserve his energy for the walk. The trio trudged on through the bog.

A white mist, several inches thick, hung like a blanket over the muddy soil. Everything stank. The dirt, the trees, the men, everything had a dank smell of earthy decay. Like a freshly turned grave. The heat and humidity were oppressive, and the mosquitoes grew even more relentless as the sun began to sink towards the horizon.

The men came to the shore of a swampy lake. It stretched for hundreds of yards in front of them and around them. The Captain cursed quietly.

“Well boys, looks like we hit a dead end. Let’s have a sit for a spell whilst I think about our next course of action.”, Said the Captain.

“Shucks Cap’n. I vote we stay right heyah ‘till the Lord himself decide to end this war. I’m sick of fightin’ the Yanks.” Said Mississip as he found a somewhat dry patch of ground near the base of a moss covered willow.

“That’s why the Army ain’t a democracy. Can’t have hay brained corporals making the big decisions.” Said the Captain as he took a seat next to the same tree as Mississip had and removed his tattered boots and examined his mud covered and swollen feet.

“Cap’n , he’s right though. We ain’t ate a square meal in nearly two weeks. Livin’ off acorns and roots isn’t exactly my idea of gourmet fare.” Said Tom. He was the third man to sit down next to the trunk of the tree. As he was barefoot, he just set his rifle up against the trunk of the tree and examined his own mud encrusted feet. Calloused and toughened by a life nearly always barefoot, his feet and ankles none the less had been soft enough for several leeches to grab hold of. He pulled the slimy creatures from his skin and tossed them away.

“See if we can get a fire started. I bet I can find us a snake or two down there by the lake.”, the Captain stated confidently.

“Snake? Hell, I’ll eat anything at this moment Cap, even that Yank Sergeant!”, said Mississip as he gathered together a small pile of tinder with which to start a fire. The Captain grunted and disappeared through some bushes and was heard tramping through the underbrush near the lake and was gone. The men managed to gather together some dry wood and actually start a fire.

After a while the Captain was heard pushing his way through the muck and the underbrush and appeared carrying two ropy objects in his hand, each about 3 feet long. The black scales on the bodies of the snakes glistened in the firelight as the Captain used his knife to remove the heads of the animals and then tossed the bodies into the coals of the fire. Soon the smell of cooking meat was evident and the men’s mouths watered as the snakes fizzled and hissed while the meat within the tough scales cooked.

Eventually the scales of the snakes were black and charred, and the captain took his knife and stuck it into each of the charred snakes in turn and removed them from the coals. He then laid out one of the blackened and stiff snakes and cut it in half length wise. A steaming pile of entrails was released from the belly of the snake and after a minute of cutting the captain held a dozen strips of juicy and hot snake flesh which he handed to each of the men in equal portion. They devoured the meat within seconds, grunting primitively as the warm and succulent meat was swallowed and began to fill their empty bellies.

After the meal, they curled up together next to the fire and fell fast asleep as a black, misty night crept in from the surrounding landscape. The call of an alligator could be heard in the near distance and the constant chirp of crickets, the croaks of large frogs in the lake, and other calls of the multitude of swamp life could be heard in the nearby trees, and it wasn’t long before the men were snoring next to the fading red coals of their fire.

When Tom’s eyes flicked open, it took him several moments to remember where he was. Then, as the fog of sleep abated somewhat he lifted his head and looked around. His other two companions were fast asleep, and the fire had been reduced to a smoldering pile of red coals. A thick mist blanked out the rest of the view except he could see the shadowy forms of the large trees in the patch of woods they had taken temporary residence within.

The hair on the back of his neck stood up on end and a feeling of dread descended upon him and he couldn’t understand why he had the feeling for a few moments but then the thought hit him. It was too quiet. The chirps of the crickets, the calls of the bull frogs in the nearby underbrush were silent.

He then saw a shadowy figure hovering in the misty underbrush just outside the dim glow of the coals. The shape of the apparition was barely perceptible, just a glimpse of a shifting form in a momentary clearing of the mist, but he knew what he saw.

He reached over to where his rifle was and his heart sank into terror when he realized that it wasn’t there. His hand pawed for a moment desperately at the empty ground where he was sure he had laid his rifle.

He then reached out slowly and touched the man next to him, the Captain.

“Cap..” he whispered out. His eyes widening in terror as he saw a dozen dark shapes slowly and silently emerge from the shifting mists. Their features were completely hidden in the darkness, mere shadows gliding silently towards where they lay, and they had the three men completely surrounded.

“CAP!” Tom shouted out and as if that was the signal a half dozen of the shadows rushed forward. They were carrying thick wooden clubs, and as they pounced on the trio they proceeded to beat wildly down, knocking the soldiers senseless in a few rapid strokes. The last thing Tom remembered before the black numbness of unconsciousness took him was the sight of the glistening white teeth of a Negro man smiling down at him.

When Mississip awoke the first sensation he felt was pain. His face was badly swollen and he could feel a thin stream of blood running down his eyebrow and cheek. He had a terrible headache, and wanted to vomit. His left eye was swollen shut, and when he attempted to flicker it open, flashes of raw light and pain ran through his brain. He did manage however to peel his right eye open and the world around him slowly came into focus.

He was laid on his side inside a chicken wire cage, like an open air chicken coop. It was perhaps 4 feet tall and about 12 feet in width and length.  The chicken wire was attached with crude nails to the framework which consisted of rough hewn branches as thick as a man’s wrist. The entire thing wasn’t very strong, but neither did it have to be. Two men stood guard at all times watching them. The ground was covered in chicken dung, and it stank horribly. He managed to get himself up into a sitting position and slowly turned his stiff neck to take in other details.

His two companions lay beside him, still out for the count. He looked up through the top of the chicken coop at the sky above and the sun was just breaking the horizon. It was still cool, but within a few hours the heat would become stifling.

He coughed raggedly and tried to spit, but his mouth was dry. He smacked his lips and then using his good eye looked towards his captors. They were both Negroes, powerfully built. They both wore stained cotton shirts and a pair of knee length cotton breeches that were frayed at the hems. They were barefoot, and sat in a crouch looking back at Mississip silently.

“Hey.” Mississip croaked. His throat was so dry he could barely choke out the word. “Hey.” He managed to say louder. One of his guards perked his head up and looked at him.

“Water.” Was all Mississip could say.

The guard stood up to this full height and stepped over to the cage and cocked his head as if he didn’t understand what Mississip was saying.

Mississip swallowed a dry swallow and began to lose patience with the man. Was he an imbecile? “Water.” He said once more while staring up at his captor with his one good eye.

The man nodded and smiled as if he understood finally what it was Mississip wanted, and then he untied the hemp twine holding up his pants and promptly produced his manhood. Within a moment a long arc of yellow urine was reaching towards Mississip. He hollered out and attempted to scoot away from the stream in vain as it battered against him and ran down into the chicken shit stained soil. The two guards broke into hilarious laughter and then chattered in some strange language that Mississip didn’t understand as the now relieved guard took up his old position nearby.

Mississip muttered several choice slurs under his breath, and then he noticed the Captain stir. He scooted over to him and placed his hand on the Captain’s shoulder. “Cap?” he said. The Captain was beaten as badly as Mississip was. His eyes were swollen shut except for two tiny little slits and these slits managed to twitch a little and then the red eyeballs of the captain peeked through.  “Mississip? What the hell happened?”, the Captain groaned out.

“We got bushwhacked , that’s what happened.” Said Mississip as Tom also began to come around. Within a few minutes the three of them were sitting Indian style in the cage going over their situation and tending to each other’s wounds as best they could. The two guards never left the area and never took their eyes off the three men but occasionally muttered to each other in their peculiar language.

“What is that Cap? I ain’t heard nothing like it afore” whispered Tom. The Captain listened intently a moment. “Not shore myself Tom. My guess is some kind of Creole, like them Cajuns in that Lou’siana Regiment. Remember?

Tom shook his head. “I dunno, Cap. I just know they got on us good. We were stupid not to post a watch.”

“Well, what’s done, is done. Now we just gotta figure out why they took us in the first place.” pondered the Captain.

“Who knows what these darkies plan on doin to us Cap!?” piped in Mississip. “I’ve heard about these colonies, filled with murderous escaped slaves still practicin’ them old ways from when they was savages in Africa!  They prolly gonna butcher us alive and munch on our bones!” He said, the hint of real terror climbing in his voice.

“Hush Corporal, you’re too thin and stringy to make a good meal.” Said the Captain. Then suddenly a small tumult ensued out of the men’s sight behind the wood and thatch huts that surrounded the chicken coop in which they were imprisoned. The sound of a dog barking, and several excited voices became evident and then what sounded like a rattlesnake’s rattle.

The source of the noise became evident when a crowd of villagers emerged from the cluster of huts, at the head of which strode a large Negro man with a massive barrel chest and thick arms. He wore a head dress of bright red and white rooster feathers, and the curious rattling noise emanated from several bone necklaces and bracelets draped around his neck and wrists. His ears were pierced with bits of bone, and the Captain’s eyes widened in awe at the sheer power he had over the villagers. The only clothes he wore other than this raiment was pair of tattered denim pants and the villagers were always nearby ready to touch the hem of his filthy rags as if he were a savior. The Captain quickly realized that to these people, he probably was.

The Chief stepped forward and stared down at the three beaten and defeated men and smiled a huge smile, his teeth glistening in the morning sun. “Welcum to our humble veelaj white mons. It is not often that we are visited by such distinguished guests.” The irony in the Chief’s thick, accented tone was quite evident.  “I apologize fer dee..” he looked up and furrowed his brow for a moment, as if seeking the proper word, then smiled again and looked down at the Captain, “accomadaashuns.”

Mississip began to mutter a slur under his breath and the Captain put his hand out to silence the words in his throat.  “I’m Captain…” the Captain began but the Chief cut him off with a dismissive wave.

“Your name and rank meen nothing here white mon. I had a name and a rank once, in my homeland.” He lifted his arm to indicate towards the ragged huts that surrounded the cage. “It was very much like this in fact. I had a wife, and a child. I had a fathah and a mothah. Until some white mon much like you came to my veelaj. My fathah was chief den. The white mon offered gifts to my father to purchase some of the men in the veelaj and my fathah refused the white mon.  That night the white mon came back with other white mons and…” the Chief stopped and stared off into the distance, a flash of rage passed over what had been moments before a friendly and open countenance, then it disappeared and was replaced with the vicious smile.

“Here is water. It will be a hot day.” He said with quiet severity and opened a hatch on the top of the coop and tossed one of the men’s canteens in, shut the hatch, turned and walked away rattling, the troop of children and villagers following at his heels.

Mississip quickly grabbed up the canteen and opened the lid and began pouring the warm, but clean water down his throat. The liquid overflowed his mouth and spilled down his cheeks. After a few good chugs he sighed and handed the canteen off to the Captain who drained himself a good draught then Tom repeated the process. This used up about half of the canteen.  The Captain replaced the cap and told the other two he would ration the rest because they had no idea when or if they would receive anymore.

Tom reached into his shirt and withdrew a dirty cloth square. He unwrapped the square to reveal a small wafer of hardtack. A little bit larger than a communion wafer. He broke the cracker into three equal pieces and distributed them to the other two. Then each man chewed down the dry cracker and followed it with a measured swallow of water from the canteen. So was served breakfast.

The sun began to climb into the mid part of the sky and the temperature rapidly rose. The humidity was oppressive and the men sweltered in the direct sunlight of a deep Southern midsummers day.  The Captain would reckon an hour by the movement of the sun, and then distribute a small ration of water to each of them. By doing so, they managed to keep themselves hydrated throughout the terribly long hours of the day, but just barely.

As the sun just began to settle onto the horizon the Chief returned, again followed by an ever bowing and scraping entourage of dirty little children and village women. He marched confidently at the head of the column of villagers and stopped just before the cage. He signaled to some of the other men, stoutly built and armed with spears, except for three of them who were armed with the rifles that were taken from the soldiers as they had slept, they came forward and stood around the chicken coop.

“Deez men will take you to bathe. If you try to escape, they will keel you.” The Chief said matter of factly and then opened the side of the cage. The men crawled out and stood and stretched after the long hot day in the cage. They were surrounded by six men, two on the side of each prisoner, and escorted them down to the lake where they were allowed to bathe and were given fresh clean clothes, recently made, of cotton spun threads. Though rough and crude, the clothes were far better than the mud encrusted and chicken shit stained uniforms they were wearing, although the Captain wondered why they were being given new clothes when the villagers were obviously wearing little more than dirty rags themselves. After this they were marched back towards the village. As they came near, the sounds of drums could be heard beating a steady rhythm along with a curious, low chant.

They came upon the scene of a giant bonfire, burning high in the sky that lit the surrounding area in the rapidly growing dusk of the day. The villagers were dancing around the fire in time to the beat of the drums, which were hollowed out logs upon which the drummers used thick wooden mallets to beat out the time. The villagers danced around in unison, chanting, hooting, and stamping their bare feet into the dirt around the fire. Had the Captain not been a prisoner of these people, he would’ve been particularly fascinated by this display of religious fervor. Instead, he feared that these villagers wouldn’t be letting them view this ceremony with an aim to let them go back to civilization with tales of their exploits.

The men were placed within a rough circle laid out on the ground in white chalk. The drums beat louder and faster and the dance picked up in speed as the villagers began to twirl and twist and chant louder.  The Captain saw that the villagers had blank eyes, obviously completely oblivious to the outside world. Then suddenly the drums stopped, and the villagers all sank to the ground in prostration as the Chief came around the fire and walked up to what appeared to be some kind of altar, carved out of a stump. On the altar rested a single wooden cup of black, brackish fluid. The Chief lifted the cup high into the air and muttered some kind of benediction in his patois and then came towards the men.

He stepped in front of Tom, placed the cup to his lips and then suddenly spit the contents into Tom’s face. Tom flinched as the warm spray of chicken blood spattered onto him. The Chief then stepped over to Mississipp’ and began to repeat the process. Mississipp made an attempt to resist but a couple of the stout men of the village seized both his arms and held him fast while yanking back on his long disheveled hair, forcing him to face the Chief while he spit the blood onto him.

Finally the Chief came to the Captain and smiled a thin, wry smile at him before sipping the cup and then spitting the blood onto the Captain.

Then, he turned around and set the cup on the altar and looked towards the still prostrate villagers. “My People!” He boomed loudly. “My People! We have leeved for a long time here, sheltered in the hidden embrace of our swamp and its mist. Free from da white mons lash! The power to speak to the spirits of our ancestors is strong within the men of my family! I have talk to dem, and they revealed to me that they wish to meet our honored guests!” The villagers all nodded and whispered among themselves. Yes, yes they must meet the ancestors.

“Take them to the lake.” The Chief stated and the six guards returned and led the men back down to the lake where a primitive pier was built out onto the shallow water. Tied at the end of the pier was a small boat with two oars. The men were bid to climb inside and once sat down a couple guards and the chief stepped in. The Chief went to the bow of the boat while one of the men took up the oars and began rowing, guiding the small skiff across the blackened, mist covered lake. Soon, nothing could be seen at all but the mists in which they were cloaked. There was only the quiet hiss of the boat as it glided over the lake that could be heard and none of the soldiers had any idea how the man on the oars knew which way to go.

Within a few minutes however the boat ground up on a muddy beach, and the men were told to leave the boat. The soldiers did so and stood around looking at the mist shrouded tree line several tens of paces away from them. The Chief took a large conch shell from a bag at his side and placed it to his lips. He took a breath and blew a long, loud echoing note that reached over the swamp. He repeated the tone again, then a third time and then waited patiently.

Soon, a sound that was somewhat familiar, but wholly out of place came to the Captain’s ears. He was a veteran and had seen many battles. And invariably after a long day’s fight, when the night settled over the battlefield and the last shots of the skirmishers had fallen silent.  The moans and cries of the wounded and dying men laying in their ranks out on the field could be heard clearly in the cool night air. The Captain hated that sound, but these moans and cries were even worse. They had the sound, not of the pain of being wounded, but of damnation.

He then saw several shuffling forms appear in the mists of the tree line, and then the forms stepped out of the mists, stumbled really, and came into view. They were people, dressed in clothes just like the Captain and his men wore. But if the clothes of these people had once been new, now they were mere tattered rags.  Their features were not easy to see in the dark of the night but he could see they were both men and women, and even a child. They were Negroes that much was obvious, but their clothes were so tattered and torn that they provided no cover of modesty to their bodies.

The Chief quickly ordered the man on the oars to push off and within a few seconds the boat disappeared into the mists. The captain watched it go, and then looked back at the people that were now stumbling their way towards them, moaning and raising their arms towards the Captain, as if to embrace them.

“DO YOU SEE KAPITAN?” came a loud, disembodied call from the mists that taunted them. “THEY WELCUM YOU WITH OPEN ARMS!” followed by a long roll of low, deep laughter that faded off into the distance. The wind picked up, and the Captain caught the rotten odor of decomposing flesh. He knew then, that he was meeting “the ancestors.”

Mississipp’ looked around in terror as the dead came within view and their horror finally revealed itself in the pale light of the moon. Their bodies were badly decomposed, many were almost skeletons with just the thinnest of muscles and flesh held to bone. “What the hell are we gonna do Cap’n!” Mississipp’ said as the fear in his voice raised it to a higher pitch than usual. The Captain, still staring with abject horror as these creatures came steadily towards them, had only one word in response.


They ran alright, as fast as they could. They jogged down the muddy beach away from the “ancestors” that had grown in number to over a dozen, and then they turned onto a muddy animal path that led into a thick patch of mangrove trees. The mists enveloped them like a blanket, thick and white. It cut their view down to a mere few paces. They continued on, unsure where to go. They slowed down and began a steady trotting pace. The sounds of moans echoed around them out of the mists. The Ancestors were not only nearby, they were numerous in number. The Captain wasn’t sure exactly how many ancestors “lived” on this island of the damned, but he was sure it was a great many of them, and they were obviously on the trail of fresh meat.

The Captain looked about and strange wooden idols, stick figures and other carvings were strung about on the trees and branches of the path with twine.  The Captain simply could not believe that he was trapped in this nightmare. In school he had read the works of Poe, and even that tortured author’s twisted mind couldn’t come up with something like this.

They continued down the path, the mists all around them keeping them hidden, they hoped, from the hordes of howling damned that inhabited this awful island. He led the way, brushing through thick spider webs without sense of direction or time. Mississipp followed behind the Captain, barely able to see the back of the Captain’s sweat stained cotton shirt, despite the fact that the man was only a few feet in front him. Tom followed up the rear, he turned his head to look down the trail when suddenly something reached out and grabbed his ankle. He lost his footing and fell face down into the wet muck, then felt a terrible pain, unlike any he ever felt before, on the back of his calf as the flesh was torn away by rotten, but still capable teeth. He screamed out in horror and pain as he looked and saw that a legless torso of a man was clutching onto his leg, chewing at the chunk of flesh it had just ripped from him. Jagged strands of his own skin hung from the creature’s lips as it greedily munched on his very own flesh. He screamed even louder.

The Captain stopped and looked behind and saw Tom struggling with the creature. He looked around and quickly found a thick branch lying on the side of the path. He took it up and sprinted over to Tom and using all his strength swung it and connected with the creature’s head, the rotted branch instantly broke on the thing’s skull, the force knocking it off of Tom and onto the trail. It landed on its back, but then rolled over and started to drag itself forward towards the men again. Growling and grunting like some kind of wild animal. Tom was howling in agony as the blood streamed down his mangled calf soaking his cotton pants in black. His screams seemed to infuriate the moaning denizens hidden somewhere in the mists all around them. They picked up in intensity and volume and they could be heard, crashing and stumbling about in the thick underbrush of the swampy hell they had been cast into.

Mississipp quickly ran forward, a good sized stone in his grasp and yelling in rage he swung down on the rotted, legless corpse again and again. It grunted each time the heavy stone made contact with its skull. After a half dozen good swings, the thing’s head was a misshapen pulp. The half revealed skull stove in. The corpse ceased to move any further. He spit on it, panting with exertion.

Mississipp then looked up the trail and saw another corpse stumbling down the path towards them, its rotted eyes locked on his. It was hard to tell whether it had been man or woman. It was just a thin, emaciated skeleton with the added macabre spectacle that it chomped its teeth down repeatedly, black droolish liquid dripping down the rotten, half visible mandible of the pathetic soul. He whooped a rebel yell as loud as he could and charged it. He swung the gore encrusted stone with all his might into the side of the creature’s head and with a wet crack, its skull dented in and it collapsed to the ground. He then stood over top of it and brought the stone down a few more times for good measure. It too ceased to move.

By this time the Captain had managed to get Tom’s leg bandaged with a strip of cotton cloth torn from his pant leg, and he got him to his feet just as several more corpses came stumbling out of the bushes. Mississipp raised the stone again but the Captain shouted at him “No Corporal! We’ll be overrun here! We’ve got to keep moving!” then allowing Tom to lean on his shoulder, he began helping his wounded subordinate limp down the trail with Mississipp following behind. They managed to move just fast enough to outdistance the slow corpses, but the sounds of moans in the mist were on all sides of them and it was obvious that at some point they would exhaust themselves and then these damned souls would move in for the kill.

The Captain was beginning to grow desperate. Tom was grunting in pain through his teeth with every step, and the Captain could see that he wouldn’t be able to keep up this pace for much longer before they would have to turn and fight. Suddenly, as if by a miracle they broke out of the tree line into a large clearing, and as the mists shifted they revealed an ancient and half ruined plantation house sitting forlornly in the center of the swamp.  It was rotted and sagging, with long vines curling up massive columns, encrusting them in a thick, green leafy fur. But it looked strong enough to shelter them and maybe offer some protection from the raving, moaning dead steadily closing up the distance behind them.

The Captain whispered a prayer of thanks and shouted at Mississipp to hurry for the structure. They ran up onto the porch and the Captain went to push the door. It refused to budge. He looked back and the first skeletal corpses were just staggering out of the woods and making a beeline straight for the plantation house. The Captain snarled in rage and kicked the old door and it cracked. He kicked it again and the rotted wood of the doorjamb gave way and the door creaked open a little. Another kick got it open wide enough to squeeze through and the trio got inside.

Mississipp closed the door behind them and leaned against it. He heard the moaning dead slowly mount the steps of the porch and reach the door. Then he felt several hands pounding and scratching at it. He held it tight and yelled out for the Captain to grab something with which to barricade the door. The Captain set Tom down and then looked around and noticed a long board was hanging loose on the floor. He tore it up and then went over and jammed it at an angle against the door, sealing that particular entrance tight. Mississipp backed away from the door and while it shook and shimmied as the dead on the other side continued to pound and scratch at it, their awful moans echoing through each man, it looked like it would hold, for now.

“What in damnation are these things Cap’n? They look like corpses or something!” said Mississipp as he collapsed with exhaustion against a wall next to Tom, trying to tune out the ceaseless moans and pounding on the door.

“I don’t know Mississip, but we’re in a whole world of trouble that’s for shore.” Said the Captain as he went over to Tom and began to examine the wound on his leg. The Captain unwrapped the bandage to reveal a ragged, two inch wide tear in Tom’s calf. It was still bleeding profusely, and there was an odd stench of gangrene to the wound. Tom was looking pale, and it appeared he might be going into shock.

“Tom!? Tom!?” yelled the Captain and Tom’s eyes cleared and he came to his senses. “Yeah Cap,” Tom said between labored breaths of pain, “It hurts like hell. Worse than takin’ a ball.” he said. The Captain nodded and retied the blood soaked cotton to the wound. “I know son, just hold on while we figure out what to do.” replied the Captain.

The dead had apparently given up pounding at the door and instead could be heard moaning and shuffling about on the porch. The windows were all boarded up tight, and through the cracks in the planking they could see the dead out on the porch wander back and forth. More had arrived, they could be heard out in the clearing in front of the plantation house, though how many there were, was impossible to tell. The Captain looked around at his surroundings. They were in the main parlor. A large set of oak stairs, rotten with age ascended to a landing. There was no furniture visible, so it was obvious that whoever owned this house at one time had abandoned it and left it to the elements.

The Captain stood up. “Corporal, stay here with Tom, I’m going to take a look around and see if I can find us something to use for weapons. You managed to put two of them down, so apparently they aren’t as immortal as they appear.”

He then proceeded down a darkened and rotted corridor. Blank spaces on the dirt and grime encrusted walls showed where paintings had once hung, and cobwebs covered every corner and flat surface. The ancient wood beneath his feet creaked loudly with every step. He turned into a doorway and came upon a kitchen, a set of stone ovens sitting against a wall. A long table, blood stained and covered in feathers was present, and many shelves lined the walls where dry goods were once stored, but now all sat empty and unused.

He passed over and looked into the larder, and then smiled. Luck hadn’t failed him yet. Hanging on the wall on two hooks, was an old and rusty axe. He reached out and grabbed it up, it was heavy and strong. The wooden handle was stout and capable. He nodded and returned to the parlor where Tom was leaning up against the wall, mercifully unconscious. Mississipp was peering through a crack between two boards in a window. He looked back when he heard the Captain creaking back down the hallway with the axe in hand.

“What can you see Mississip?” said the Captain as he went back over to Tom and placed a hand on his forehead. He was ice cold, and his breathing quite shallow, coming in labored breaths. He undid the dressing over his leg and was horrified to see blackened, gangrenous flesh had begun to spread out from the wound. The odor was overpowering and he almost vomited. He covered the wound back up.

“Not a damn thing Cap’n, the fog is so thick, like soup. Occasionally I catch one movin’ around out there yonder but how many of them there are I haven’t a clue.” Mississip said and then turned away from the window. “How’s Tom?”

The Captain shook his head. “Not good. I’ve never seen anything like this. Who knows what kind of sickness those damn things carry. “

Mississip shivered and then turned back to looking out the window. The fog was thick and shifting. He could only see the porch itself, and the steps leading off of it disappearing into a thick white cloud. Occasionally a shadow would be seen in the shifting, swirling mists and then just as quickly disappeared. They were out there alright, hidden by the fog, patiently waiting.

Suddenly a loud thump was heard upstairs and the two men shot a look up towards the landing above thier heads. Mississip began to mutter a prayer under his breath, shivering with fright. The Captain lifted the axe. Another thump was soon heard, followed by a long scraping sound, like something being dragged along the rough hewn timber floors.

The Captain’s heart rate jumped, and the acid taste of fear was on his palette. He clutched the axe tight and then began to ascend the creaky stairs. As he came to the top of the landing, he heard it again a thump, followed by a long scraping sound. It was coming from a room at the end of the landing. The door to which was closed.

The Captain swallowed a lump in his throat, and then began slowly moving towards the door, the sounds behind it becoming more evident. Thump hisssss, thump hissssssss, thump hissss. He reached the door and placed his ear close to it, as the sound had suddenly died away. Then something on the other side of the door fell against it loudly, and a long low moan rolled out. The Captain, startled, jumped back from the door. The brass handle on the door began to turn and rattle, but apparently it was either locked or broken, because the handle just rattled but the door didn’t open. The Captain breathed a sigh of relief as another low moan emanated from behind the door. Then the sound came again. Thump, hissss. Thump, hiss, as whatever it was moved across the room.

“Cap’n!” came a call from downstairs.  “Come quick! Somethin’s wrong with Tom.” The Captain, satisfied that the thing was trapped inside the room for the time being, went back down the creaky steps over to where Tom, who was now awake, lay there shivering in a cold sweat.  The Captain went up to him and crouched down.  Tom looked up, his eyes were hazy and distant. “Cap?” he said weakly.

“I’m here Tom, wassa mattah?” said the Captain.

“Cap’n.. I can feel it. It’s eatin me up inside, I know it. Everything hurts..” suddenly he turned his head over and vomited black bile all over the floor. It reeked something awful and Mississip turned away, choking back his own reflex to vomit. Tom, once the spasm had passed, coughed raggedly and then turned back up to look at the Captain, the liquid running down his lips. “Cap’n.. don’t.. let me..die” he started to say before a wave of pain swept his body, then he relaxed and breathed deeply for a few moments. Tom faded off into unconsciousness again. The Captain felt his pulse, it was very weak and thready. It was obvious the man didn’t have long to live.

Mississip began pounding against the rotted wall in frustration, cursing wildly at the situation he found himself in. He raised such a ruckus that the thumping began even louder on the door upstairs, and the dead outside were heard stumbling their way on to the porch and began beating on the door again.

“DAMN YOU BASTARDS ALL TO HELL!”, Mississip yelled out at the dead on the porch. “I’ll KILL EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU SONS OF BITCHES!”

“CORPORAL!” the Captain hollered out but Mississip kept raging out at the dead, who were pounding on the door so hard that it shook and looked like it was about to come off the hinges.

The Captain stood up and got into Mississip’s face. “CORPORAL! You WILL get yourself together THIS MOMENT! That is a DIRECT order!”

Military discipline reasserted itself, and Mississip sank to the floor next to Tom’s prone form, sobbing. After a few minutes, the pounding on the door subsided, though dozens of separate moans could be heard out on the porch and the lawn. The Captain closed his eyes and took a deep breath then spoke quietly, “Mississip, we have to hold our heads together son if we’re to get out of this.”

Suddenly Tom began to convulse violently, his entire body stiffened up like a board and his eyes opened to the ceiling and his teeth ground together. He began breathing extremely hard. The Captain and Mississip looked over in horror as the convulsions reached a climax, and then Tom’s entire body suddenly relaxed and released one long breath, then was silent.

The Captain went over and placed a finger on Tom’s neck. Nothing. “He’s gone.” He said with finality. Mississip shook with rage and anger, but managed to hold it together. The Captain closed Tom’s eyes and sighed. “Well, come on Mississip, let’s go upstairs and see what’s locked in that room up there.” Mississip nodded and hefted the gore encrusted stone in his hand, and the two men ascended the creaky, rotting stairs to the landing.

When they arrived, whatever had been making the noise had ceased to move about for the time being. They moved closer the door ever so slowly, each step making a creak that ran up the spines of the two men. They moved to the door and the Captain placed his ear to the door a moment and then listened intently. No sound. He stepped back and hefted the axe, turned it to the flat of the blade and swung it into the door, while Mississip stood just behind him, the large rock gripped with white knuckles.

The rotten doorjamb splintered and the door flew open with a loud crash. Mississip looked into the room. Standing in front of them was the now deceased, but very much active body of what was once a white man. He was remarkably preserved, for a walking corpse. He was wearing a fine suit, now dry rotted and moth eaten, covered in dust. It was even carrying a cane, which it used to prop its stiff body up with. It turned towards the door as it blew open and its toothless mouth opened and a moan escaped and then it used the cane to step forward, thump, then drag its stiff, emaciated legs behind it, hissss. Thump, hisss. Mississip just stared in disbelief as it took another step closer, thump, hisss.

The Captain stared as well in shock. Then recovered himself and stepped into the room. He looked into the rotted eyes of the sad creature and another moan rolled from its cracked lips. The Captain lifted the axe and brought it down on the pathetic ghoul’s head, smashing it like papier mache. The body collapsed to the ground instantly in a puff of dust.

The Captain looked around the room. It was the master suite. It contained a huge, dry rotted bed. Armoires and dressers abounded, once of fine work, now dusty and worm eaten. At the foot of the bed was a large oak chest, with stout bands holding it closed, old locks holding them in place. A desk also came to the Captains notice, several long candles on it.

He went over and there was even a box of matches nearby, which he opened and used to light one of the oil lamps that hung on a wall sconce nearby. A small globe of warm light filled the room. The Captain then noticed in the light that several faded parchments were laid out on the desk. He leaned in closely and saw that it was a map of the island on which they sat. Other documents were visible as well peeking out from underneath the map, a ledger in a readable cursive detailed a bill of lading for sugar shipments to and from the plantation. Another one listed the purchase of several slaves, four males, two females with child.

The Captain viewed the map and saw that there was a small boathouse about a quarter of a mile away on the other side of a sugarcane field. He hoped that there would be a boat there. Mississip then directed his attention to the locked chest. It was large and strong, with black iron bands holding it fast and two large locks. The Captain went over to it and using the axe, broke first one, and then the other lock free. Then threw open the chest. It was mostly filled with rotten, moth ridden clothes. They were just mere dusty rags. However, sitting on top of the clothing, was a finely wrought oak case. On the case was etched in fine gold leaf print. James Purdey & Sons, London, England.

The Captain’s eyes went up at the sight and he reached down and picked up the heavy case and laid it on the floor at his feet. He flipped open the finely wrought latch and opened the case to reveal a shining pair of the finest made dueling pistols the Captain had ever laid eyes on. They were made of the finest finished woods, and the hammers, triggers, trigger guards and other emblematic metal work that could be practically done so, were of wrought silver. They sparkled in the low flame of the lamp. There were also the various implements necessary to load and clean them. There was a powder horn, a small box of percussion caps, and one half dozen smooth lead balls each in their own individual socket. Ideally weighted and cast for maximum accuracy. The Captain whistled in appreciation.

He lifted one of the pistols out with care and marveled at its weight. It was quite heavy, particularly at the barrel. He pulled out the powder horn and poured a measure of powder down the barrel. Then took a leaf of wadding paper and using the silver ramrod in the case tamped it down onto the powder. Having done that he removed one of the lead balls from the individual socket in which it sat. He marveled at how smooth the surface of the lead marble was. Not a flaw to be seen was visible. He placed the ball onto the mouth of the barrel and jammed it tight. He added the percussion cap, and then slowly let the hammer down and handed the weapon to Mississip. He repeated the process with the other pistol.

Mississip then noticed a strip of leather hanging on one of the bedposts. He walked over to it and quickly noticed it was a scabbard, and inside that scabbard sat a large bowie knife. He picked it up and hefted it. The blade had a thin layer of rust over it, but he had no doubt that it would do whatever was required on the creatures that surrounded the plantation in which they were currently trapped.

Suddenly there was a loud crash downstairs, and low moan echoed up the stairway. The two men looked at each other and the blood drained from their faces. The moved quickly out the door and to the top of the landing just in time to see Tom picking himself up off the floor after having stumbled about for a moment. He had apparently stood up and not quite having his balance fell headlong into the board holding the door tightly closed. The wood had fallen, and the door was now hanging ajar. The noise had attracted several of the dead on the porch and they saw several pairs of hands pushing against the rusted hinges, pushing the door open wider. Their moans instantly began attracting the attention of those nearby and they slowly turned and began stumbling towards the now open door.

Tom turned and looked up at his former friends on the stairway and moaned a pitiful cry, then began stiffly working towards the stairs. He had some trouble negotiating them at first but they were broad and low, and after a moment he was comfortably making them one slow step at a time. The outside dead filling in the space behind as they finally pushed the door open and began to file into the parlor. The Captain took his dueling pistol and cocked the hammer back. Then pointed it down at one of his most loyal and reliable men, “May God rest your soul, Tom..” he said and pulled the trigger. A gout of smoke issued from the front of the pistol and the top of Tom’s head disappeared in a spray of ochre mist and the ball continued on to bury itself with an audible thump into the chest of another corpse behind him . His body slumped to the stairs, blocking for a moment the dead as they stumbled over his body, but the mass soon began crawling over Tom and each other. They were desperate to get at the men at the top of the stairs.

The Captain and Mississip backed down the landing and into the bedroom where they closed the door and manhandled one of the massive armoires in front of the door. They heard the first dead mount the landing and their multiple moans were soon just on the other side of the door. Muffled behind the armoire, the noises of scratching and pounding of palms against the door could be heard and the armoire rattled but held fast.

The Captain took a moment to reload his pistol and then considered their options. He went to the window and looked out. The fog had eased off, and he could see farther in the weak moonlight. The dead were pretty spread out down there. If they were quick and careful, they might be able to make it. Sloping away from the window was the long roof of a porch. He eyed the planks suspiciously and wasn’t sure if the rotted wood could hold the weight of a man but they didn’t have any choice. This was their opportunity while the dead were distracted exploring the new surroundings of the plantation house.

The Captain used the axe to smash out the frame and the shards of glass that remained, allowing for them to exit out on to the roof of the porch. The Captain went first, feeling carefully with his bare feet upon each plank for a soft spot that might cause him to go crashing through to the porch below. Each step he took the boards would creak and sag. He continued down the roof. Mississip followed, he too was eyeing each plank suspiciously with each step, and sweat broke out on his brow as he was sure each board was the one that would crack under his weight.

Suddenly with a loud crack, the board under one of the Captain’s feet gave way and his leg plunged through up to his thigh. The sharp jagged pieces of the board scratched cruelly into his leg. The splinters of the roof fell down onto the heads of several dead that were standing underneath the Captain when a juicy, tasty, living foot suddenly broke through the roof above their heads. They raved for it and reached up with their hands, the way a group of children would reach for an apple on a branch. The Captain was lucky that his foot rested just out reach of the raving dead below. He felt the brush of their ice cold fingers on the flesh of his ankle and toes. Cold fingers explored the warmth of his skin and he silently screamed as his flesh crawled and his bladder let go.

Mississip made his way over and helped the Captain pull his leg out of the hole in the roof and the Captain sat there a moment, shivering in fear. He had wet himself, and the urine formed a dark streak down the Captains leg. Mississip knew better than to say anything about it. He was as much a veteran as the Captain, and had seen men shit and piss themselves empty while standing in ranks before brutal volleys of the enemy as their father or brother standing next to them disappeared in a cloud of red mist and gore, victims of war in the industrial age. He peered down the hole and shivered himself as he saw the rotted eyes of the dead looking up through the hole at him, moaning like crazy.

The Captain got his senses together after a moment and stood up. They then made their way slowly to the edge of the porch and peered down. It wasn’t very far maybe 8 feet and the ground was soft and muddy. They didn’t have any dead right below them but they did hear them on the porch stumbling around on the planks.

The Captain steeled his nerves and jumped, hitting the soft mud feet first and then curled up and rolled. He was jarred brutally, but made it clear and Mississip did the same. The dead on the porch turned and saw their meal sprinting away at top speed and began moaning and raving a warning to those in the surrounding area.

The Captain and Mississip plunged down a path into the mossy trees in the direction the map had indicated the boathouse was. The men huffed down the path, the moans of raving dead echoing once again through the misty forest night. The Captain was steadily eating up ground when a shadow suddenly passed in front of him and he collided with a corpse. They tumbled into the underbrush and its jaws chattered as it lunged out for him. He used the axe handle to bar across its neck, the awful smell of rot and death washing over his senses. He bit back bile as the hissing creature struggled desperately for his flesh just inches away.

Mississip ran up behind and grabbed a lock of the emaciated creature’s hair, which hung in odd patches on the skull. He pulled the head back and placed the bowie knife against the ghoul’s throat and began sawing back and forth with the blade. The decomposed flesh gave instantly under the rusty yet still usefully sharp blade and in a moment the skull of the mummified corpse came free. It stopped moving and went slack instantly, then tumbled into the bushes. Mississip tossed the head after it. The Captain stood up, “Thanks”, he then indicated the trail. Mississip nodded and took the lead as they jogged off into the mists.

They broke into a field of tall, now wild sugar cane. The thick stalks were taller than a man, and had overgrown the path that they were following, the path’s terminus clearly marked by a wall of cane. The Captain looked at Mississip’ and then peered behind him and saw about four skeletal corpses making their way up the path. The men’s eyes met once more and they nodded in unison and then, taking a deep breath, plunged into the thick cane.

The Captain and Mississip’ were blinded by the thick stalks of grassy cane and they used their arms to push their way through. The moans of several dead could be heard in various directions, indicating that there were a lot of dead in this field. Perhaps the last remains of the slaves who once worked these fields.

The Captain breathed heavily as he forced his way through the stalks with Mississip right behind him keeping an eye out behind them. A lone hawk, flying in the moonlight just above the field looked down, and its sharp eyes, trained for long distance surveying, spotted the shifting wake of the Captain and Mississip as they pushed through the cane in a roughly straight line. However, on all sides at various points in the field, other lines were were being made in the cane. They were made as the dead stumbled just as blindly as the men through the moonlit field in a steady pace towards the line in the cane drawn by the two terrified men, the hawk turned and moved quickly away, uninterested in the struggle below it.

Suddenly there was a loud SNAP, and Mississip hollered out in surprise and pain. He had stopped dead in his tracks. He started to holler out but the Captain was there in an instant, cupping his hand over Mississip’s mouth. Once Mississip had gotten the picture, he pointed down at his foot. The Captain looked down and was horrified to see a sizeable rodent trap, rusted with age and with sharp, wicked teeth had closed over Mississip’s foot. His heart sank and he crouched down and looked at it.

Rustling and moans were heard close by and the Captain didn’t have long to figure this out. He grabbed at the trap and attempted to pull apart the teeth. It was rusted and tight and wouldn’t budge. He cursed and tried again. The rustling and moans echoing through the cane were almost right top of them and still the trap couldn’t be released. Suddenly, a bony, skeletal hand reached out from the cane behind the Captain, the rest of the ghoul’s body hidden by the dark vegetation. “CAP!” Missisip yelled out and then raised his pistol over the Captain’s head and fired it point blank into the vegetation at what he thought head level would be. Whatever it was fell back into the cane, but in a moment, it was heard struggling to its feet.

Mississip tested his foot and realized he couldn’t move, and barely limp as each time he set his foot down, a crippling wave of pain would race up his leg and into his spine, flashing his brain with warning signals that his foot was damaged severely by the hinged rodent trap. Mississip tossed the fine pistol away with casual ease and brandished his knife and looked at the Captain.

“Go on Cap’n, get outta heyah” said Mississip as the moans of the corpses grew louder as more were heard crashing through the vegetation all around them. The Captain looked at Mississip, torn with guilt and fear. “Sir I said GIT!” and the Captain didn’t need any more prodding, he just nodded. He handed his loaded pistol to Mississip then turned and disappeared into the mist soaked sugarcane.

Just as the Captain broke out of the sugarcane he heard Mississip give a mighty rebel yell and the battle moans of many dead echoed in response. He heard a swirling and crashing inside the sugar cane and the exertion as Mississip fought as best he could with the creatures. As the Captain reached the head of a trail that reached off into the darkness of the tree line he heard Mississip’s hoots and hollers instantly become screams, and it wasn’t but seconds after that began the Captain heard the booming report of the dueling pistol echo through the night, and then just the raving moans of the dead as they tore into what was left of Mississip’s body.

The path he followed ended at a rotten wooden shack on the edge of the lake. The Captain scurried down the path towards the dark and forlorn structure. He reached it and stopped at the doorway to the boathouse, the door long since missing from the hinges and looked inside the shed. Tied to the floor of the shed, floating on the water of the lake was a simple canoe.

The man whooped with joy and entered into the shed and jumped into the canoe. He then untied the hemp twine holding the canoe to the boathouse and then picking up an oar he began paddling for his life away from the hellish island. The echoing calls of the moaning damned craving for his flesh fading rapidly into the thick mists behind him.

The End


  1. Wow, very well written. Me gusta.

    Comment by Ashley on October 27, 2011 @ 3:44 pm

  2. Sweet.

    Comment by Terry Schultz on October 27, 2011 @ 4:42 pm

  3. Good lord! That was good. For the second night in a row, I will be sleeping with the lights on. I am finding myself inventing back story for how the zombie infestation started on the island. I hope you write a prologue to this and tell that part of the story. Well done!

    Comment by Linda on October 27, 2011 @ 11:50 pm

  4. I lived down South for awhile and you gave apt descriptions for the swamps. It was a “page turner” and I really enjoyed it but…if you pull a leech off you and the head will remain in you leading to a very bad infection. You get rid of them by burning them off with a lit cigarette or putting mosquito repellent on them.

    Comment by John the Piper's Son on October 28, 2011 @ 2:18 am

  5. Well I’m sat at work reading this and I still got the wiggins…

    Great atmosphere

    Comment by Pete Bevan on October 28, 2011 @ 3:47 am

  6. There are a few elements that i particularly enjoy–the lake, the idea of a hidden weapon in the old creaky house, and the sugarcane plantation. i wish you could have elaborate more on that scene, well…for me plantations are really creepy. i have lots of those in my hometown and i know 😀

    a very nice n creepy adventure. definitely a new fave of mine!

    Comment by j.tchaikovski on October 28, 2011 @ 5:57 am

  7. Nice story! I dont think a Yank would have gotten out alive !

    Comment by FRANK on October 28, 2011 @ 5:58 am

  8. Nice story, good to see a different setting for a zombie story.

    However, I thought finding the canoe was a bit too easy at the end, perhaps he should have tried swimming, praying that he could make it the half mile to the shore, leaving the ending more open.

    There were also a few places where I found the sentence structure quite awkward – sentences running into each other where they would have read better as separate sentences, and a couple of places where new sentences started where a comma could have been used. Basically, check your comma and full stop usage. There are a few places where it breaks down.

    When they ran down the beach as fast as they could they were only jogging – sprinting would have been a better choice of word as jogging is only a slow run.

    Last point, you’ve used the phrase “exit out on to the roof”. Exit means to go out by itself so exit out is tautologically wrong, in the same way as you shouldn’t say that someone descends down or ascends up something. (sorry, but that’s one of my bugbears).

    Please don’t think I’m being mean. I’m not, I enjoyed this story. these are just a couple of minor details that would have improved it IMHO.

    Comment by Marc on October 28, 2011 @ 10:40 am

  9. AT first I thought no zombies but cannibals. AT the middle of the storie with the island it was rock to the point. I liked the story the battles with the zombies and the fog made this story grate and perfect. The ending could tell that they might have another part of the story to continue.

    Comment by racouple73 on November 1, 2011 @ 3:39 am

  10. A really good, solid story, nice atmosphere and characterization. The only thing I would have added would have been a bit of backstory in the writings of the zombified slave owner.

    Comment by T.J. McFadden on November 5, 2011 @ 11:03 am

  11. Easily the best zombie story I’ve read this year. I wouldn’t have believed that I’d be cheering for Confederates to hold out but you’ve definitely made that happen. The story’s pacing, satisfyingly spooky mood, and Southern colloquialisms makes this quite the gem. Thanks for posting!

    Comment by Clement S. on November 17, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

  12. IV.I lived down South for awhile and you gave apt descriptions for the swamps. It was a “page turner” and I really enjoyed it but…if you pull a leech off you and the head will remain in you leading to a very bad infection. You get rid of them by burning them off with a lit cigarette or putting mosquito repellent on them.

    That’s a tick……..

    Good Story…..;)

    Comment by RedneckZombieHunter on November 18, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

  13. Well done! This could easily have been placed as a chapter in ‘Recorded Attacks’.

    Comment by Retrobuck on November 24, 2011 @ 9:20 am

  14. good story, well written.

    Comment by Oppressed1 on November 29, 2011 @ 7:15 am

  15. Wow!!!! I love this story, certainly one of the best stories ever, kept me reading until the end.

    Comment by Ehatsumi on February 24, 2012 @ 5:58 am

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