A Friend Once Told Me . . .
Oh, sorry for the interruption but I'm writing this in retrospect and I had to take a moment to deal some more of those rancid bastards. They are really coming out of the woodwork.
Anyway. As I was saying, I needed Sting. Sting refers to the sword once held by Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit. I guess you would have to be a geek or fantasy lover like me to get the reference. I had bought a sword many years ago and it felt like Sting to me so the blade had become my sacred blade, a totem, if you will. I had practiced forever swinging it and imitating any action I could, mostly stuff from that live action role-playing society that bears a different name in every town I have been in. I know, how geeky can you get, huh? That's me-get used to it. But Sting was in the car, one story and a hundred feet back.
"You still got the Ruger?" Bruce asked. It was Bruce's own gun but he loaned it to me on several occasions.
"That's still in the car." I said walking back to my closet. I figured that in a pinch I could use the clothes rod.
"Fuck." He threw his hands up in desperation. "We are surrounded by zombies and you leave our weapons in the car."
My brow scrunched together in puzzlement. "I was moving tomorrow, remember? What do you expect?" I shouted. "And what's with this zombie thing. It's not like we are in some movie or something."
"Get your ass over here." I ran back to where he stood by the windows. Gently, as not to draw notice, he lifted the blind the inch it had to give and pointed with the barest tip of his finger. Now in my defense, they looked like a group of people walking down the road. No different than you would find at any suburb even relatively late at night. But then I noticed the shambling. My immediate thought is that they were drunk, not an unlikely explanation, even in the old suits and dirty cheap rags they wore. That's when one of them lost an arm. It slid away from her body like a purse slipping from a shoulder, dropping with a barely audible thunk. Now that was not reasonable.
"Shit!" I shouted, backpedaling from then window.
"Quiet!" Bruce whispered. "You want to get their attention, or something." He turned back to the window, analyzing the formation. "They are attracted by smell, motion, and sound and only certain combinations. Don't let them fool you. Just because they are dead doesn't mak'em dumb."
"How the fuck do you know!" I whispered.
"I've seen these before. You know that cave in Germany I don't talk about." Bruce had been stationed in Germany for two years as a tank driver, just for clarification.
"Except when you're drunk, yea."
"What the hell do you think I was doing?" His eyes narrowed as if reliving the dark cave. "Dealing with some freak that summoned these things. That was a squad of military troops, and quite frankly, Dan, I don't think you got that kind of training."
"OK, how do we deal with them, then."
"Just like Deadlands, shoot the head. Kill the gray matter and they drop."
"What about beheading?" I asked, acutely conscious of my complete lack of firearm.
"You happen to have a shovel?" He remarked. "If it doesn't' kill them, it kills all brain commands. They go limp."
"Then get me my sword." It wasn't until that cinema moment that I felt the adventure surround me, as it had been promised in legends and novels over and over again. I had a quest. Get the blade, kill zombies, get to San Fran, live happily ever after. I thought it might work. I mean, what would you do, hide under the bed?
"As far as I'm concerned, getting out of this apartment and into the shambling hordes isn't exactly a good strategy." He wobbled his head, attempting to see more of the action outside. "Well, they aren't going after anything that I can see in particular."
"Where are they going?" I asked. "Which direction?"
"Probably coming from the park."
"I guess they didn't like the pool." He smirked. Normally I would appreciate the sallying of wit, but I was confronting something that I wanted to believe as much as I rejected. Buoyed by the alcohol, my mind had disassociated the fear, leaving me with craters of bravery filled with adrenaline. I figured that I would crying like a baby later, or just pass out.
Oh, the park-another little known fact. Denton used to have a shantytown where the park now stands. It had been a self-supporting community with its own grocery stores, square and graveyard. Quite a large graveyard, if memory serves. Not as large as IOOF to the south, which I figured was bubbling with now restless forms.
"Ok, I'm with you so far, but why are they getting up? Dead things don't usually do this sort of thing." I was annoyed at his know-it-all attitude. "What does this have to do with that feeling? Or do we have some sort of necromancer?"
"You said it, not me." He checked his ammo and slid against the wall till his backside rooted against the floor.
"A necromancer?" I asked. "Any other time I would have you committed, but considering the deadites outside . . . "
"Hey, you're the one who casts spells and prays to old gods. Haven't you ever met a necromancer?"
"Just those wannabe freaks on Fry St." My mind, not on any comman d that I could have given it, mind you, began to assess those freaks who could possibly pull something like this off. "There's that Satanist, Ra." Ra lived in the pagoda. Yes, I said a pagoda, a block and a half away. Somehow the vibrations seemed to pulse from that general area. When your mind is open, as mine was, granted clouded with whiskey and Irish car bombs, you can read energy like a tide. You can feel its pulses. Now I was still feeling the effects of the alcohol and I couldn't trust my intuition, but the strongest gut feeling came from that general direction.
"Where is Ra?" Bruce asked. "Southwest?"
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