Monday, September 28, 2009
Connor squirmed on the ground clutching at his bleeding leg. He lay in a pool of blood as he cried. Kayla tried to help but had no idea what to do. Keith dropped the gun and ran to his brother’s side.
“Oh my God, I’m sorry…sorry…don’t die…please God, I’m so sorry, Connor! Please be okay, please!” Keith begged.
Connor refused to move, he was stricken with fear and pain. Creatures crept forth from the shadows, lurching towards the sounds of Connor’s pain. Kayla was the first to notice, she pointed into the darkness at pale limbs and faces that swept through the cover of night. Keith ran back for his gun, wiping the gore from it on the grass. He pointed it into the darkness ahead as he urged his brother to get up.
“C’mon, Connor, get up man. We have to go, they’re coming!” Keith pleaded.
Connor continued to squirm in the street, and the dead things continued to creep forward. Keith aimed his gun at the closest creature, and fired. The blowback made him stagger, but Keith kept his footing. He couldn’t tell if he hit his mark, and if he did, it didn’t matter cause the dead thing moved forward still, unaffected. Trying to aim for the head, Keith fired again, nothing. The noise from his gun seemed only to pull more creatures from the darkness. Kayla had managed to get Connor to his feet. He was covered in his own blood and kept both hands on his leg. He was sobbing, and his chest heaved. Kayla supported the side of his body where his wound was and helped him begin to move. His steps were slower than those of the dead, and every one agonizing.
Keith fired again, and again, to no avail. He squeezed the trigger once more, and the gun refused to fire. Keith tried again, but the gun was empty. A shot rang out through night air, followed another. Two of the creatures fell to the ground. They didn’t get back up. A man emerged from the darkness carrying a rifle. He wore dark clothes, and a black hat. A dog trotted along behind him, remaining silent but with such a powerful presence she didn’t need to bark.
“Stay where you are,” the man called.
The trio didn’t move. They didn’t so much as whimper. The man raised his rifle and took down a few more of the lurking dead. He whistled and his dog trotted toward the kids. They stood as if made of ice, or cement. The dog sniffed each one of them, giving a sad whine once she sniffed Connor. The man jogged over to the kids, slinging his rifle over his shoulder.
“Are you kids okay?” he asked.
“I shot my brother, he’s gonna die,” Keith cried.
The man looked at Connor’s wound, and patted him on the shoulder. The kids were afraid of the man and his dog, but they tried not to show it.
“You’re brother will be fine, but we have to get him to my house. I can stitch him up there. You kids can meet my son, and the rest of us. Come on, before these things get any closer. I’m Reggie by the way, and this is Peanut,” Reggie pointed at his dog.
He grabbed Connor and threw him over his shoulder. Reggie jogged back in the direction he came, Kayla, Keith, and Peanut followed behind.
…to be continued in Stay Dead: Kings of the Castle Part 14!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Keith, Connor, and Kayla walked for over an hour. They kept mostly to the shadows and moved slowly. Their run-ins with the dead creatures of the night were few and far between but terrifying nonetheless. They passed a number of homes that were boarded up, and tried, on one occasion, to gain access to one. The people inside either couldn’t hear their knocking and pleading, or chose to ignore it.
Being the vigilant trio they were, they carried on. They came across a number of streets that still had its streetlights on. They preferred walking down those—but still clung to the safety of shadows. At the end of the street they spotted a police cruiser parked in the middle of the street with its door ajar. They ran towards it.
Sitting slumped on the pavement was the remains of a police officer. His head was a pile of swollen mush sitting on his shoulder. Flies and maggots crawled and burrowed atop the corpse. There was a pool of blood with chunks of human meat scattered around the dead man in blue. Connor vomited on site of the man. Keith stepped closer, and Kayla stood her ground between him and his brother. The man was clearly dead, he had multiple wounds; tears, bites, bullet holes, and there was what was left of his head—which wasn’t much.
Keith reached forward, his fingers snatching the dead man’s badge. He pulled it from his frayed and blood-caked shirt—wiping the blood on the hardened blue fabric. He attached the badge to his pants pocket. Kayla watched not really understanding why he was taking it from corpse. Connor sat on the curb spitting the sour taste of puke from his mouth. Keith then unbuckled the man’s belt, his hands trembling badly. He struggled removing his belt—but he eventually removed it—and slung it over his shoulder. Keith now had a badge and the gun to go with it, as well as an extra clip, a baton, a set of handcuffs and its keys—all thanks to the belt.
The trio continued down the street, the next block’s streetlights were out, but there was a light in the distance. Not knowing what else to do, they headed in its direction.
As they walked passed the last lit streetlight before turning down the next street a dead thing (with only half its body left) crawled from underneath a truck. It looked burnt and pussy. Its forearms were reduced to barely-skinned bone crutches. The creature’s innards dragged behind it, though not much was left inside, save that of dried blood and maggots. It startled the trio—and, unable to prevent the natural reaction, they screamed—letting all within earshot know where they were. The creature crept closer, what it lacked in speed it made up tenfold in its ghastly and grotesque appearance. Keith fumbled for the gun as they backpedaled away from the crawling remains of the dead man. He finally had the gun, holding it in both hands, as he’d seen in many movies and television shows and pointed it at the creepy crawly. He pulled the trigger, but nothing happened. He shook the gun in his hands and tried again but still nothing. Despite all the knowledge he gained from movies, the safety feature on any given firearm was never acknowledged. He frantically tried one more time to shoot the creature but still the gun did not fire. The creature was now on his leg and Keith had no choice but to smash the gun down on the dead things head. He did so again and again, the gun and his hands were cover in pulpy bits of flesh, sinew, and thick coagulated blood. He still held the gun as if he intended to shoot it but used it like a hammer. In the melee the safety became unlocked. A shot rang out from the gun and Connor screamed. The dead thing lied at Keith’s feet as his brother squirmed in the street, “you shot me,” he cried.
…to be continued in Stay Dead: Kings of the Castle Part 13!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Luckily the three landed safely, with the exception of a few scrapes and scratches, in the brush of the tree. They moved like monkeys, climbing quickly along the branches till they had to jump to the ground. The man, still in disbelief, followed their cue and jumped after them. He broke through the brush and snapped many branches before he fell to the ground. He landed in such a way that his tibia cracked and protruded through his flesh. He lay there writhing in pain, screaming. His breaths were labored and angry. The kids looked at him triumphantly. The kids didn’t look long however because the noise they made warranted the attention of the roaming dead things—and they crept toward them.
The kids ran back to the house but the front door was locked. They attempted to go around to the back of the house but the creatures were too close for comfort. The windows were locked as well. The kids had done a good job of fortifying the home, too well in fact, because they could no longer get inside. Left with no other options they ran.
The man, still-writhing in pain, squirmed toward the house. Had he been paying attention to the children as intently as he had for the last few days he would’ve known there was no easy way inside. The creatures stumbled closer to him as he pushed himself along the lawn. With each push came agonizing pain from the bone-pierced-flesh of his leg. The creatures descended upon the man. Whether they were drawn by the noise, his scent, the growing puddle of blood that surrounded him, or from something unseen by human eyes, they fell upon him. They clawed, and grabbed at his wounds. They grasped at his mouth and eyes. They bit him over and over again, devouring his flesh. The man’s shrieks of agony turned into the sounds of gurgling as his own blood pooled in the back of his throat.
The children ran into a cluster of bushes and watched as the savagery continued. The creatures eviscerated the man. He ceased to make any noises. The dead things chewed on his flesh and innards. They plucked out his eyes, his tongue, and began clawing at his head. The kids could no longer watch. They were near vomiting, but the noise would surely give them away. Fear forced their stomachs to subside.
Keith looked for a way to get back inside his home, but he found none. The dead things grew in numbers and surrounded the corpse of the man whose intentions were cruel. Though the scene was disturbing and would undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on each of the kids, Keith could not feel sorry for the man. As far as he was concerned—he got what he deserved. With no idea of where to go, the kids ran off into the night, surrounded by darkness, the only light was that of the moon and the stars.
…to be continued in Stay Dead: Kings of the Castle Part 12!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
but here's some watercolor sketches I did for some very awesome people. I mailed them out today, so hopefully within a week they will be in their new homes. I really like how they came out, so I figured I share.
Despite the man’s angered pleas and curses, he could not convince them to let him in or to simply come out. He punched and kicked and the door began to splinter—he’d be in sooner rather than later. Kayla searched for a way to stab him again, but to her disappointment she could not find one that involved moving the dresser or venturing beyond the door. Fear froze the kids. They did not know what to do or where to go. They had only two options: open the door, or go out the window.
“Come on, we have to go,” Keith said.
Keith moved to the window before either of them could ask where. He climbed onto the windowsill and began making his way to the roof once more. The door continued to splinter as the man behind it howled in wild rage. He managed to budge the dresser with each blow to the door. Keith hung from the roof with his hand outstretched downward to help Connor shimmy himself up to roof. Kayla swung her head from Connor to the door and back again—the man was almost in, and Connor was almost up. Kayla gripped her knife tightly, her lip quivered. She stepped closer to the door which now had a fist-sized hole in it. She could see the man panting but still shouldering the door. He was slowing down, tired, and in pain. She quietly climbed onto the dresser and as the man shoulder the door again she stuck him once more with the pocketknife. He howled and clutched at his shoulder. The blade was buried deep and as the man moved away from the door the knife went with him. He pulled the knife from his shoulder and put his face up to the hole in door. His eyes were huge with hate and when he saw the young girl who stabbed him he screamed a number of obscenities at her.
He screamed out all the things he wanted to do to her once he got through the door—things no child should ever hear. Things no child should ever have to face. He stuck his head through the hole and flicked his tongue up and down in quick succession. She spat at the man and ran for the window. His words stuck with her and made her feel dirtier than she had been while locked away in her bedroom.
As Kayla began climbing to the roof the man burst through the door with the small pocketknife in his hairy-knuckled hand. His shirt was torn and covered in blood and his teeth looked like dirty yellow knives. Keith pulled her up by her arm as she kicked herself up. The man hung out the window slashing the little knife upwards in a desperate attempt to slice her.
He pocketed the knife and pulled himself up to the roof. His shoulder throbbed in pain as he did so, but his adrenaline dulled the pain. Before the kids knew it—he was up there with them. Had they thought he would make it to the roof they would have kicked him down, or tried to stop him. He now stood on the roof, knife in hand, panting like a mad man. The kids backed up toward the edge of the roof near Kayla’s home. Once again they were left with two choices: stay on the roof, or jump into the tree that separated the two homes. To the man’s surprise, they jumped.
…to be continued in Stay Dead: Kings of the Castle Part 11!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
The time for new blood in the horror waters has come. Here's some artwork for an upcoming horror anthology that has been lurking in the shadows for a number of months now and itching to get out. It includes a short story as well as artwork and editing duties by myself. Byran Wolford of Drunken Zombie fame is also spearheading this project with me and sharing editing duties as well as contributing his lovely tale of the macabre. It's been awesome putting this together. I've been fortunate it enough to be able to work with many good friends and talented creators as well as semi-seasoned authors. I ask you to check out the blog for it, follow it, let others know and check it often: http://darkhorroranthology.blogspot.com
There is no release date yet, and we may be soliciting more stories, so stay tuned and in the meantime...Stay Dead.