Another Zombie Excerpt

The doors slid open as I reached them and I took stock of what I was up against. There were several people in an elevator trying to get out of the hospital, but they were blocked by over a dozen zombies. Someone in the elevator had a pistol and was shooting the zombies, but of course they didn’t know you have to shoot them in the head to kill the virus, so they were not very efficient at it.
I arrived in just the nick of time. There were a couple zombies keeping the elevator from closing and therefore the people inside, had nowhere to go. I moved quickly. They didn’t notice me until I got near enough for them to smell me. Two turned around only to catch a blast from my shotgun in the face. A few more caught some pellets and spun around in time to have another blow end their miserable existence. A few more rounds and the bulk of them had dropped to the ground. The shrills and screams from the elevator had increased, but the poor people inside didn’t know the king had arrived.
The two zombies in the door to the elevator were injured from my assault. They laid on the ground squirming and growling—their bodies broken, but brains intact. I slowly moved the shotgun to my left arm, pulled the cop’s pistol out of its holster with my right and fired a round into each of their skulls.
I sighed, pleased at the carnage around me. I was in such a state of Zen that I almost forgot about the people in the elevator. They said not a word, only stared at me in disbelief and fear.
Back to reality, I took charge, “Get up, we need to get out of here. It is going to get worse.”

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Zombie Story

For Halloween, here’s a few lines from a zombie story I never finished editing. Hopefully I can work on this project soon.

Just as it seemed I was going to have to back down the Captain’s radio rang, “Captain, there are some civilians walking toward the gate, what should I do?”
Captain Peck paused but grabbed his radio as if to answer but the words froze in his throat, his mouth open. I watched him intently, still resting on the side of my truck.
“Sir? What are your orders? Do I stop them from getting in?”
He pushed the talk button on the radio, “Are they hostile? Are they armed? What is their disposition?”
“They don’t appear to be armed, and they are on foot. But they have not responded to any command I have given them.”
“Detain them and question them, then report back to me and I’ll decide what to do with them.”
“Yes sir.”
He put his radio back on his hip and stared back to me, “Friends of yours perhaps?”
“Not likely,” I responded.
“No matter, I told you to leave and take all these people with you,” he gestured to the large group standing on the opposite side of the road from us. Just then however, a few gun shots rang out. They were from the direction of his front gate. To his credit Captain Peck didn’t waste any time, but hurried to the gate, drawing his pistol, his soldiers chased after him rifles in hand. I also reached for a pistol from the bed of my truck, tucked it into the back of my belt and jogged after him and his company. I don’t run.
Before I could see what was going on I heard Peck yelling commands, “Stand down! Get off him! I’ll shoot! Now!” Then a couple shots fired from his pistol into a figure crouched over one of his gate guards.
I managed to reach the scene in time to see him shoot at another being sprawled across his other guard. There were two others stumbling toward the gate. Captain Peck cursed, “Stop where you are!” he commanded to the others, “I won’t hesitate to shoot you.” One of his men checked each of the downed gate guards who were wailing in agony, blood covering their upper bodies. They’d been bitten. The rest of his men stood behind the captain rifles pointed at the other two. I just stood back and watched. I could have intervened, but the Captain had to understand. He had to see for himself.
Of course the two continued to approach growling lowly and death in their eyes. Their movements were mechanic and uncoordinated. Their heads were misshapen and swollen, much larger than a normal human. Their faces too were distorted like there were large tumors growing around their eyes and ears. It gave the appearance that their face had been smashed and then reformed like it was made of clay. “This is your last warning,” the Captain shouted, “ready…fire.” The guardsmen opened fire, each letting loose with about three rounds, center mass, just as they were trained. The oncoming zombies dropped. I still waited. Everyone was visibly shaken. Captain Peck lowered his pistol and rushed over to the nearest injured soldier. Everyone else was looking around with wide eyes and mouths open.
Peck was yelling, “Ryan! What happened? Ryan?” The soldier did not respond. He had a glassy look to his eyes and his mouth was foaming a bit. The blood slowed however and it looked as though he would survive. I knew better. He shook the soldier but the downed zombie grabbed Peck’s arm and sunk his teeth into it. The captain shrieked and fired two more rounds into the beast’s chest, dropping him to the ground again.
Peck staggered to his feet, dropped his pistol and grabbed his arm. “What the hell is going on?” he pleaded his voice cracking and his face contorted. He grunted and groaned as he gripped the wound. One of his soldiers snapped from the trance they all seemed to suffer from. He ran to his commander, slung his weapon, pulled a pressure dressing from a pouch on his harness and began wrapping the bite.
I could see that none of the beasts were finished yet. Each wriggled and writhed and were still capable of biting another victim. In this moment I moved forward and drew my pistol. The guardsmen raised their rifles to me now, and the Captain jumped back shouting at me to lower my weapon. I ignored the danger, aimed in straight at the forehead of the nearest ghoul and fired one round through his head. He dropped and laid still. The others were climbing to their feet in spite of the bullets that filled their bodies.
“You have to put one through the brain,” I calmly explained and squeezed off another round at the next closest. He too dropped and was done. The other two were now to their feet. The guardsmen had put dozens of bullets into their chests, and yet they pushed on singly focused on sinking their teeth into another victim. I turned to them and taking my pistol in both hands, aimed and fired a round at each of them; right through the skull. They collapsed.
I turned back to the group, stared right at the Captain and said, “That’s your enemy. At least now you know.” I started walking past them toward the terminal again. Everyone stepped aside as I approached. I saw my wife and kids standing by and reached out my hand for them. Jr. took it and I lead them back toward the truck.

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Enslaved by Business: An Epic of a Lost Blogger

Enslaved by Business: A Epic of a Wayward Blogger

1 Not so long ago, in the town WordPress
2 Lived a teacher who dreamed of being more
3 During the summer vacation he planned
4 To once more become an adventurer
5 For though he loved his students so dearly
6 He longed for a great life of excitement
7 And committing heroic acts for all
8 Whether saving damsels from fates horrid
9 Or slaying evil beasts of all sizes
10 And writing about all his mighty deeds

11 So he prepared to adventure once more
12 This time not letting distractions derail
13 His focus and zeal to go and explore
14 While he attempted such things many times
15 Each time he returned to life as before
16 Never having the energy to last
17 More than a couple of months at his best
18 For while his heart was pure, his body failed
19 Always weighed with responsibility
20 Demands called him back from adventuring

21 This time would be different however
22 Wiser and more committed than ever
23 Our man developed a much better plan
24 Pacing himself and setting up smart goals
25 He was more motivated than ever
26 As he set out to live his lifelong dream
27 Of poetry and prose for history
28 All would know his name and his fantasies
29 Etched in annals for antiquity
30 Nothing would stop him from his destiny

31 All was well through the summer months so warm
32 With students out of school at home to play
33 He began his adventuring posthaste
34 Was off to a glorious beginning
35 His spirits high as he traveled the land
36 Gaining ever more followers around
37 While citizens of WordPress expressed likes
38 Swelling the man’s heart with encouragement
39 He believed he finally found it all
40 The call that pulled at his spirit so strong

41 Alas, the students beaconed him return
42 His children desired he coach their team
43 Now hours of time used for adventure
44 Was instead used to instruct the children
45 And his adventures slowed as he tired
46 When before he had tales, now he had snores
47 The energy he had slowly destroyed
48 And his heart forgot the call of the wild
49 Though his spirit would one day stir anew
50 These days he digs deep merely to get through

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Sureshot Excerpt: Durbar meets the archery captain

“Well, here we are,” declared Karr at last. “Let me introduce you to the captain of my archers.” Karr led him toward one of the men who was shooting. He was tall and had massive arms. His hair was short and his face clean like most of the other men Durbar had seen. Karr stopped them before reaching the man. The bowman held his massive bow up to shoot. It was finely crafted and had metal plating at the handle and tips. Durbar had never seen a bow that had metal before and wondered what the purpose was, but let it go as decoration. The giant man pulled back on his massive bow and loosed an arrow. It flew with amazing speed and struck the target just outside the center circle, driving the entire tip of the arrow into the wood. The spectators cheered and the man held up his bow in response.

Karr was clapping lightly having seen the man shoot better. “Tarbon,” called the general, “come here. There is someone you have to meet.” Turning, bow in hand, the man came over to Karr and Durbar and saluted the general. Karr returned the salute.

“General Karr, what brings you out to the range?” the bowman asked.

“Well, this here is Durbar, the prince’s mysterious Sureshot that he has been talking about for the last few months. The prince wants us to allow him to train here before the competition. Word is that he is taking your place on his team.”
The huge man towered above Durbar by about five inches. He glared down at him with fiery blue eyes. His face was square and flat and looked to Durbar as if it had been pressed that way.

“So, this is the man Rothan thinks is better than me, eh?” he questioned in a deep voice, almost a growl.

“The prince’s opinions are his own,” answered Durbar.

“Well, what do you think?” Tarbon asked pointing a finger at Durbar’s chest.
“I know that I am better than you.”

“Ha! Ha! Ha!” the man roared leaning back, holding his belly with one hand as if to keep it from bursting open. “And how do you know that? You just met me and you have never seen me shoot.”

“I saw you just now.”

“And after just one shot you know you can beat me?”

“Yes.”

“Well, if you are so sure, Mister Sureshot, then let’s have a little competition right now.”

Durbar was really starting to hate his new alias. “I will not decline,” he answered confidently.

“Good! General Karr would you kindly judge our shots and determine the winner?” Tarbon requested?

“Of course I will Tarbon, but are you sure you want to do this right now?” the general questioned with some apprehension in his voice.

“Why not? I want to show all of the men that I am still the best archer in Harmon.”

“As you wish.” He thought for a moment. “Let’s make this easy. Ten arrows at the one-hundred-and-fifty-foot target. Ten points for a hit in the innermost ring, eight points for the second ring and so on. The man with the most points after ten shots wins, simple. You can use your own bows but not your own arrows. I will give each of you ten arrows made here at the garrison. Do you both understand?”

Both men nodded. By this time, word of the Tarbon-Durbar match up had spread like a wildfire, and everyone in the near vicinity had gathered to watch their captain and the challenger, Sureshot, compete in a pre-competition match.
“Good. Tarbon take row three; Durbar, row four,” Karr ordered. The general called a couple of men and told them to clear the targets, get the men a ten-arrow quiver, and move everyone into the stands. As they were preparing the range, Durbar strung his bow and pulled back the string a few times to loosen it up and make sure it was secure. The range was finally set up and each man stood ready.

General Karr announced, “Okay, men, I expect that each of you will be courteous to the other while shooting. Tarbon, since this is your range, you can start.”

“It would be my pleasure, general,” snorted the captain.

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Title Vote:

62b6e664d963f3d4b83dc364e3fd7fc7--character-inspiration-file

Help me with a Title!

So far I’m thinking:

  1. The Sureshot (like the old title)
  2. The Sureshot is Born
  3. The Sureshot Rises
  4. Rise of the Sureshot

Working title for book 2 is “Sureshot the Assassin” and for book 3 is “Sureshot the King.”

Comment your pick!!!

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What’s that sound?

Ever wake so slightly in the night? When it is far too dark for you to see? What is it in the dark? While everything else is deadly quiet, except for the scratching in the wall? Or the tapping on the window? What’s that howling in the night? What do you do? Do you try to go back to sleep? Do you attempt to ignore the sound and calm your nerves? But it persists doesn’t it? And you simply can’t ignore it? Doesn’t it seem much louder than it ought to be? What on earth is it?

Is it a simple rodent crawling in the walls? Could it be nothing more than a tiny mouse, searching for a bit of food? That isn’t so scary is it? But how close is that mouse to you? Why is it so loud after all? A very large mouse perhaps? Would that explain the sound in the dark of night? Have you ever heard a mouse make that much noise? I thought the term goes “as quiet as a mouse?” This tiny mouse isn’t very quiet though is it? What if it’s something more?

Maybe it is only a rat then? Aren’t rats larger? Wouldn’t they make more noise than a mouse? But are you afraid of rats? Why? Do they seem more frightening than a mouse? Are they more dangerous perhaps? Will they sneak into your sheets and bite you in your sleep? Will you scream? Will you ever be able to rest after that? Will you always think of the rat in your bed? Could you ever get that feeling out of your head? Maybe it isn’t a rat?

What if it’s a ghost? Is it haunting your house? Is it the ghost of someone murdered? Or could it be the killer himself? Can he still torment the living? What if he can kill from beyond the grave? Was he sent by something more sinister? Is he there to torment your spirit? Perhaps he brought friends? Are they going to feast on your soul? Is there anything you can do to fight them? Are you helplessly alone in bed? Shouldn’t you investigate? Or would you rather be dead? But ghosts don’t exist do they? Isn’t it something else? But if it’s not a mouse or rat or ghost, what is even left?

Could it be a monster? Are monsters even real? Perhaps it lives in your nightmares? Does it stalk you in your dreams? Does have sharp claws and teeth? Does it snarl or snap or howl? Can it devour people whole? Or perhaps tearing you limb from limb is its goal? How many arms does it have? How many eyes? Does it look like a massive spider? Or maybe it is more like a reptile? Is it really scary? Are you frozen with fear? Can anything save you from this monster? How often is it here? Has it followed you from your childhood? Has it been there every year? Is your heart pounding? Are you breathing too fast? Or are you holding your breath? How long can that last?

It’s probably not a monster is it? Or anything to fear? A lot of things scratch in walls don’t they? Couldn’t it be anything? Or nothing at all?

But what if it really is the thing you fear? Will you face your fear once and for all? Or will you let your fear continue? Will you let it have control?

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Grigor’s not-so Mirror Images

Far to the north, near the Spine of the World, a party of adventurers trudged through the frozen landscape in search of giants who attacked one of the Ten Towns. The group consisted of a mighty, yet simple, barbarian, a devoted dwarven cleric, a noble human and a very clever and studious mage named Grigor Marsk. Prior to leaving town to track the giants, Grigor spent hours upon hours by daylight and candle light pouring over scrolls and tomes ever searching for new spells and strategies for defeating the beasts who plagued that land. With a twinkle in his eye and a sly smile he anticipated the next encounter with the giants. He sorted out a plan that would make quick work of even those formidable foes.

With huge tracks left by the giants, the trail was not difficult to follow. A trio of the monsters camped against a short cliff and the heroes approached from above. Hearts filled with confidence, they did not hesitate to engage their enemies. Grigor cracked his knuckles arrogantly as he began his work. The mage spoke the words of an ancient spell and energy suddenly surged through their loin clothed barbarian who flexed his swollen muscles and gripped his massive maul before shouting an enraged battle chant and leaping into the giants’ camp. Grigor smiled. So far so good.

With the barbarian swinging his mighty maul in an absolute fury below the ledge, the noble among them took aim with a musket he crafted his self and fired off a shot at one of the giants but the shot sailed helplessly wide of any adversary. The dwarf called upon his god for favor in battle and his spiritual hammer appeared and began to smash the giants along with the barbarian. “Excellent, this is going well,” Grigor mused.

The giants roared, toxic breath from their hateful mouths, picked up their enormous clubs and searched for targets. Two decided to batter the barbarian to death while one elected to climb the cliff and look for the being that fired a shot at them from the mysterious mechanical weapon.

The barbarian took some savage hits but stood tall to the onslaught and howled back at the beasts defiantly. He swung his maul with extra speed and might curtesy of his mage companion. From his vantage, Grigor the mage could see the giant climbing the cliff and would have none of it. Mages do not survive blows from a giant’s club. That is for the duller and sturdier adventurers. Grigor did not fret however, clever as he was, he closed his eyes to concentrate and recited the words of a new spell that would protect him. Moments later mirror images of conjurer appeared around him; four images in total. This was intended to confuse his enemies and protect him from attacks. Grigor smiled.

The noble gun slinger fired at the giant climbing the cliff and missed yet again. Grigor shouted at him to shoot the others but the nobleman would have none of it. Who was a dirty mage peasant to tell a member of the aristocracy what to do after all?

The dwarf battle cleric was not about to allow his friend the barbarian take all the glory so he too leaped off the cliff and into the fray wielding his hammer, swinging it at his hated enemies. Together the pair smashed the giants, cracking bones and bruising bodies.

The giants pounded the enraged barbarian, badly beating his body as he pummeled them in return. The third, however, pulled a large bolder from a massive bag and took aim at the mage, Grigor. The mage just smiled knowing his mirror images would give the giant enough targets to consider that the chance of him choosing the actual Grigor was small. The giant reached back and hurled the boulder directly at the unarmored mage smashing him hard on one side. Dazed and wounded, Grigor shook his head and looked at his mirrors who seemed to look back blankly at their conjurer.

The battle raged on. The rifleman fired at the giant on the cliff hitting him, bullet penetrating the giant’s flesh deeply. Grigor shook his head, dismayed his party was not following his expert strategy. The dwarf prayed to his deity and channeled some healing energy into the savage barbarian who did nothing but smash the giants before him with speed and precision. Grigor shouted words of power and magical energy flew at a giant, pelting him with the magic missiles. Satisfied, the mage remained confident that the battle would be one.

With bellows of hate, the giants would not relent and again their heavy clubs pounded the brave barbarian who dared oppose them. The rock heaver took aim once more at the mage and his mirrors. As the dull monster considered his target he was momentarily confused by the number of identical mages that stood beyond, yet in the next moment it seemed as though four of them pointed to one. Not one for thinking, the giant hurled the bolder once more, at the actual Grigor, knocking the poor mage nearly from his feet and injuring him further.

Head spinning and body aching, Grigor fell to one knee and tried to reason out what was wrong. He looked around him and in fact his mirrors were still there, yet the giant had not been fooled by them in the least. They even seemed to shrug at him as if to suggest they also didn’t know what was wrong.

Below, the barbarian smashed one of the giant’s knees bringing him low while the cleric blasted his war hammer into his face, caving his skull and ending his miserable life. They turned to the other giant next to them and started hammering away at him. The noble marksman took aim and fired again at the foe on top of the plateau, once again hitting the beast, bullet burying deeply into the creature’s chest causing him to wail in agony.

Sensing that his life was nearly over, the badly wounded giant drew another boulder from his satchel and looked to take one of his enemies with him to the grave. The mage watched as once again the monster took aim at him, hoping his mirrors would finally confuse the beast. The giant glared at the group of copies and noted that four appeared to gesture towards one yet again. The giant, strength failing, launched the rock at the mage. Grigor’s eyes grew wide and he froze while he watched the rock hurl towards him. His mirrors watched as well, unconcerned. The mage held his breath and closed his eyes anticipating the end. A deafening crash rang in his ears and he was certain the boulder had smashed him. Another moment passed however and the sounds of battle below continued so he slowly opened his eyes. He was still living. The rock lay next to him and his mirrors smiled at their master and raised their thumbs simultaneously in approval. Grigor was not impressed.

The mage decided he could not remain on top of the cliff and was convinced his mirrors were in league with the giants. He slid down the cliff on his rear end so as to prevent the fall from killing him and remained prone while he cast yet another spell to injure the giant below.

Another blast from the rifle ended the giant on the plateau and with his friends dead and his body badly beaten the final enemy chose to flee from the heroes. He turned tail and ran away only to be chased down by the hasty barbarian and smashed once more with the heavy maul, splitting his spine and bringing him face down into the frozen ground.

Victorious yet bloodied, the heroes celebrated. All except Grigor, who glared at his innocent looking mirrors, wondering why his illusion was so unsuccessful in confusing his foe. There would be many more hours studying his scrolls and tomes to try to understand why his mirrors were so disloyal to their own conjuror. Perhaps some team building was necessary to bring them together?

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