Saturday, August 03, 2013

In the Night Kitchen, with Hungry Dead

As of this excerpt from Chapter 7 of Bleeding Kansas, the dead have risen. Derek Grace is locked inside a luxury hotel with one other living man, whom he doesn’t quite trust—and who happens to be the only one with a gun. Mr. Grace has gone downstairs to score some beer from the hotel bar and look around for weapons:

The light outside is fading. I edge around the front desk to the lounge area. The TV is still on. The screen shows a stock loop of landmark shots from around the world, implying that the SOS is going out to all the powers that matter, so remain calm (and feel free to join in the prayers if you need something to do while cowering in your shelters-in-place). 

There is no news on what is happening in the individual countries, let alone here in town. Just shots of large congregations, close-ups of supplicants on their knees, mumbling into their clasped hands. I’d try the other channels but that noise in the kitchen….

With the mmmm! and hnnnnn! sounds over the slurping and smacking there’s no doubt as to what it is. The question is, who is that thing eating? Did Tanner come down ahead of me and get caught?

(Goddamnit I don’t want to do this I don’t want to do this I don’t want to do this!)

I push through the swinging doors.

I see the dark mass on the floor before me. The creature—Jesus, what do we call these things?—doesn’t look up until I turn on the light. She was a woman once, younger and somewhat more attractive than the scrawny cougar I defaced earlier. She looks up at me from where she sits carelessly on the floor, like a toddler plopped on her butt to play with something. She doesn’t see me, of course, but she knows I’m there. She sniffs. Smell must be a major factor in how they register living flesh.

This lady’s problem is she’s got a scabby VanDyke around her mouth from feasting on the cooling remains of Officer Dalton. Registering new scent is difficult with her current meal literally under her nose.

I stand as still as possible. After a while she resumes noshing from a rip she’s torn through Officer Dalton’s exposed man-boob. I take a step back.

With a triumphant roar she rises quickly, facing me as if she really sees me. Her arms thrust forward, fingers clawing. I swing the floor lamp stand and she grabs it with blood-freezing force, the metal support pole warping in her grip.I let go of the stand and duck behind the hot table. She slings the stand away, stumbling over Dalton’s body as she comes for me.  I’m casting about the room, looking for the—there! The chef’s station.

A heavy, cleated meat tenderizer. A cleaver.

She has animal sense enough to brace one arm against the hot table to hold herself upright as she takes large strides to close the distance between us, her blue-gray hand gliding along the brushed steel of the grill table. But I have two working legs and a righteous fear for my life.

The cleaver is in my left hand, the meat hammer in my right. She rounds the edge of the table. Her arms stretch to take me, her flesh-clotted teeth bared to her blue-black gums as she moans in anticipation of fresh meat. I bring my left arm across my body and swing out.

There’s lots more and worse where this came from in BLEEDING KANSAS. Get it while the bodies are still more-or-less warm! (Trust me, they’re no good cold.)

Read more here! A Kansas City Friday Night with Zombies

“Please Don’t Leave Your Dead Children Unattended”

How to Put Out a Fire on Your Lawn with the Bratty Bastard Who Started It

Sunday Driving Through the Apocalypse