Tag Violence

Dead Drive

[WP] You’re scouting the apocalyptic ruins when you happen upon something strange. A couple you knew before they were zombies, who were on the brink of divorce at the time, having what appears to be an argument, just with typical zombie moaning. How much of them is still inside?

The cattle drive is just like all the previous ones, grueling and boring until it isn’t. A pack of wolves run into the heard, scattering them. A rider draws his six shooter to defend them but his horse is spooked and begins to turn away, causing him to lose his hat to the wind in the process. He yanks at the harness, driving his spurs deeper, finally getting the horse oriented back in the right direction.

Several wolves have singled out and leaped onto the back of a cow, driving it to the ground. The rider hesitates, realizing that wolves don’t hunt that way. He pulls back the hammer, then drops it as a plume of smoke peels away. The wolf is jolted by the impact but otherwise continues to gnaw at the cow’s backside. Several more shots follow, and the single wolf finally goes down as the others continue their task.

The rider looks around more gunfire rings out around him. A moment later and the wolves leave the cow as they chase down another cow. The rider dismounts and begins reloading his pistol as he walks over to the dead cow. He looks it over. Its eyes are white and very little blood comes from its wounds, the result of a still heart most like. He holsters his sidearm and walks over to the dead wolf. It smells awful and its fur is matted with something other than fresh blood. A closer inspection reveals its gums pulled away from its teeth and wounds that seem much older than his gunshots.

A mulling sound has him spin and draw his weapon again. He backs away as the cow rocks and tries to regain its feet. After trying and failing multiple times, it seeming to extend its neck to him, he notices that one of the wolves managed to ravage its leg so it cannot stand. He draws the hammer back as he approaches it again. It reaches towards him, and he hears a clicking sound as its teeth chomp together in his direction. His nose wrinkles as he squeezes the trigger, shooting it in the head. It falls still immediately.
Some other riders gallop over to meet up with him. The horses nay and try to pull away as they draw closer. “John,” one of them hollers. “You didn’t get injured did you?”

John pauses to look himself over. “Nah. I seem to be alright.” He turns and raises his hand over his eyes. “I seem to have lost my hat and horse though. Any chance we can round up the heard again before nightfall?”

The rider climbs down and passes his reins to another. He walks up to John as he pulls off his gloves and looks down at the cow. He shakes his head. “We’re calling it John. I think those wolves were infected with that new strain of rabies we’ve been hearing about out west. If you get infected, not even death can cure you. You just keep moving and trying to attack every living thing around you. Me and some of the other boys are heading back to get our own ranches in order. I suggest you do the same.”

John nods. “Any chance, I could get one of you to round up horse? I should have an extra hat in my saddle bag.

“One of the boys is already on it. Just hope those carriers didn’t turn their attention on it.”

A short time later, another rider arrives with John’s horse in tow. “Much obliged partner.”

The rider nods. “A group of us are sticking together as far as the Lancaster Ranch. You’re welcome to join us up until we go our separate ways from there.”

“I reckon I will,” John replies. “Obliged again.” He pets the neck of his horse, it seeming much calmer now. “Easy girl,” he whispers. He gets into his bag to retrieve his other hat. He then replenishes the ammo on his belt and ensures his rifle is fully loaded. He finally climbs back on and nods to the other rider.

The group of them travel at a brisk pace, finally separating at the agreed upon location. John decides to continue into town to acquire more ammo should this strain of rabies turns out to require more ammunition than he typically keeps on hand. Purchasing the extra ammo is going to hurt considering he wasn’t able to collect on this last job but he would need to avoid getting infected if he intended to complete any more drives.

Riding into town is a bit off putting so he stops on the outskirts of town. No one is really moving around the town which is odd. It’s the only town around for over thirty miles so it’s typically buzzing with activity. He only sees the two people standing outside the Sheriff’s station, seeming to argue about something. Several horses are tied to hitching post outside of the saloon, but their reins are all drawn tight as they all lay on the ground. Aside from the arguing couple, the only other activity comes from the tumble weed that crosses the street, disappearing between buildings.

He pushes into town, feeling that he may need that ammo more than he originally believed. He approaches the couple outside of the station, then hears their teeth clacking together as they face one another. He then realizes he recognizes them as the Winchester couple. He knew they were prone to arguing and thought they were having some sort of passive aggressive stare off but then he also recognizes the symptoms of the rabies strain. He wonders if some part of them is still in there somewhere but quickly dismisses it as habits they had established from arguing so frequently.

He dismounts and ties his horse to a post before approaching any further. He draws his firearm and then a backup. He pulls back each hammer and aims at each of their heads. The sequential blasts hit them at a near identical time and they collapse into one another. John looks around as he holsters the backup pistol. He unties the horse again and leads the horse inside the station as he keeps the other pistol at the ready.

Tables and chairs are knocked aside, and a corpse is laid in the middle of the floor, its head a canoe as a V shaped splatter stretches out across the floor. Another corpse is against a wall with a similar stain behind its slouched form. The horse follows along without much fuss, so he releases its reigns to pull a shotgun from a rack. He holsters it in his saddlebag before scavenging ammo and pistols from the corpses. He finishes up, then leads his horse back towards the door, making his way to the general store. He steps out onto the station’s porch, then immediately backs into the doorway once again. The streets have come alive, now something closer to what he was originally expecting, only it’s not the signs of life he had anticipated.

A Better Class of Villain

[WP] You are a villain, but you have standards: when lesser villains try to hurt your arch-nemesis’ wife and kids, you show them why you are the biggest fish in town.

“Karl,” he calls, bursting through the door, onto the rooftop.

Karl stands at the edge of the roof with his arms crossed. He turns back casually and nods. “Stan, so good of you to join us.” Karl gestures to a corner of the roof. “Your family is just there and are otherwise unharmed.

Stan rushes over to embrace a scared wife and two young daughters. They are sobbing and eagerly welcome Stan’s open arms. “It’s alright,” Stan insists. “The way is clear. Get our girls back inside and head back down to the lobby. I’ll be there soon.” His wife nods and Stan leans in to kiss her on the forehead, then brushes the cheek of his girls. The two of them hug against their mom’s leg, concerned only about their mother being upset. “Go,” Stan says with a head gesture and they’re off. Stan closes the door behind them, then bows his head as he places his hand against the door.

Stan turns to see Karl still standing in the same place, looking over the building’s ledge. “Are you a fan of calisthenics Stan?” Karl asks without looking back. “I dare say, I wouldn’t be the man I am today if I hadn’t enjoyed them so.”

“What’s this about Karl? Why get involved like that?”

Karl grits his teeth but still doesn’t look back. “Lazy is what it is Stan. No one wants to work for anything anymore. Everyone’s after a handout. It sickens me.” Karl then gestures towards the street with his forehead. “This city deserves better, and I won’t tolerate cowardice. You and I work too hard for our ideals to have them trampled on by those vision-less worms. Let them flounder around in the dark, I say. Whenever they break through the surface in the rain or in the night, we step on them, driving them back where they belong…or sometimes, we drag them out and let them wither in the sun. It really doesn’t matter as long as everyone is in their proper place.”

Stan shakes his head as he approaches Karl wearily. “What are we talking about here Karl? You seem a little…off your normal.”

Karl finally turns to face Stan. “Oh Stan. I’m sorry about that. I suppose I’m just not in the mood for our usual lighthearted banter.” He pauses. “Circumstances have me in a bit of a foul mood.” He looks at Stan appraisingly. “I’ve always appreciated you, Stan. You should know that. You work hard for your ideals, and I see that, I really do…it’s why you are my one true rival. But,” he raises a finger, “I am a fierce competitor, and I don’t like underhanded tricks.”

Stan finally sees beyond Karl, to his powers in play. Tethers have materialized from portals in the air and strands run down the face of the building. “What have you done Karl?”
Karl shrugs. “I restored order. Nothing more.”

Stan rushes past Karl and looks over the building’s ledge. Two men are restrained at the end of the tethers. They are six stories above the ground and swung together, like two pendulums poised to swing away from each other. The only thing keeping them from doing that just that is the death grip that they have on one another. Stan’s eyes them move away from them and sees another two other portals in the trajectory of their swing…a wall of spikes for each of them.

“The only thing they can rely on now is one another and their calisthenic aptitude is about to communicate each’s worth. That sort of muscle failure has a unique way of putting your strength in perspective because once it’s gone, you can know its limit.” Karl turns to walk back towards the door. “It won’t be long now, Stan.”

Stan grips the ledge of the building, helpless as the two men cry and plead for anyone listening. Their grip on one another begins to fail and they start to hyperventilate. Suddenly, they fall away, then stop abruptly as they slam into the walls. Stan closes his eyes and looks away. He rises again and looks to Karl standing in the doorway. Karl nods and lets the door close behind him.

Underdog’s Theme Song

[WP] They told you that you were going to lead an army, 10,000 men strong, they didn’t tell you it contained only a single trained solder, and 9,999 support musicians.

The ground beneath your feet is a sloppy bog of mud, not from any rain or water, rather from the gallons of blood that soak the battlefield. There are parts of people, vehicles and weapons strewn everywhere, making it impossible to tell what pieces and components belong to one another. You also see a twisted harp nearby, so you know that at least a few of the corpses were from you band.

It all makes sense now. I have to admit, when the Lord Commander sent the missive and escort instructing that I show up to lead an army…I may have peed a little. I mean, what the hell would an orchestra conductor do at the head of an army? I mean, really. Let that sink in for a moment. Imagine being a chef and being told that you have to be the flight commander for a pack of fighter jets. I mean, WTF?

Geez, this ended up being overkill…by a lot. We might as well have been punching babies for as much resistance as they put up. How much were we outnumbered? Three to one? Four? It’s actually thousands of times more than that if we count our one fighter against their army of fighters.

Still, they could have given me a little more information ahead of time…ignorance isn’t always bliss. We just had the one guy against their 35,000-ish troops but who knew buffs could stack like that? Well, you can consider me sold. From here on out, anytime I play an MMORPG, I’m definitely running around with a pack of bards. This has overpowered written all over it. I’m just glad God isn’t a very hands-on GM. It would totally blow to have him patch this after we’ve just figured out how effective it can be.

Little Red Hooded Slayer

[WP] Little Red Riding Hood, The Big Bad Wolf, and the lumberjack all have to put their differences aside when they hear the moaning of the undead outside the cabin they’re in.

“My, what big teeth you have,” says the red hooded girl.

“All the better to—” The door bursts open. “Yelp,” cries grandma as she pulls the covers over her snout.

The red hooded girl orients on the door, a stun gun at the ready. “Jack,” she says. “What are you doing?”

“We’ve got company Sarah. Training is going to be a little more life and death this go round.”

Grandma’s eyes suddenly fall on the stun-gun in Sarah’s hand and her wolfish eyes narrow. “What’s going on here?” grandma asks, pulling the covers from over her snout. “What do you mean training?”

“Sorry wolfie, ole boy,” Sarah says with a mock apology. “You’re helping me get stronger.”

Jack approaches a window and pulls back the curtain. “Did you bring anything lethal?”

“Well of course not. I keep my grenades in my other picnic basket. Why would I need lethal?”

Wolfie pulls the bonnet from his head, curls his claws over his snout, and closes his eyes. “All this time? You’ve just been using me for—for training? Those times I almost had you…was any of that even real?”

“Sarah, Wolf, we don’t have time for any of that right now.” A thump collides with the window. Jack back pedals away, axe in hand.

“Spill it Jack,” Sarah says. “What’s out there?”

Jack levels his eyes on her and says one word. “Zombies.”

“You’re shitting me?”

Wolf growls and stands abruptly, then throws the bonnet on the floor. “You two have been playing me all this— wait, did someone say zombies?”

“Here,” Sarah says, tossing the stun-gun to Wolf. He fumbles it before securing it. “You know how to use that thing?” She doesn’t wait for a response as she kneels in the floor, pulling the cover from the basket and tossing bread aside. Wolf grips the weapon with both hands as he leans to look over the bed to see what she is doing. She pulls a panel from the bottom of her basket and removes a pair of silver pistols. She pulls back each slide in turn to chamber a round, checks the magazine capacities and resets the mag before lifting her skirt to check the extra magazines tucked into her garter. Jack and Wolf exchanges glances and Jack just shrugs.

“I thought you didn’t bring anything lethal?” Jack asks.

“Are you kidding me? Where do you think the boy scouts got it from? I’m always prepared. Let’s get out of here before we’re surrounded. Oh and Wolf—” Wolf jumps and fumbles the stun-gun again but recovers his grasp. “Don’t eat them. We have no idea what ingesting them would do to you and I’m not keen on fighting an undead Big Bad Wolf just yet.”

She walks past Jack as she leaves the room. Wolf’s shoulders slump as Jack offers an apologetic shrug, then beckons Wolf to follow.

Hunted Hunter

[WP] I’ve heard of stories of the monsters that lurked in the dark, creatures that would rip you apart mercilessly in a heartbeat. But when my father, the last of my family, had an axe split through his skull by a band of killers, I realized I had nothing left to lose by fleeing into the shadows.

The line of trees ahead of me are back-lit by the brightest full moon I’ve ever witnessed. As I flee my father’s killers, the shadows of the haunted wood seem to reach towards me. We rapidly approach on a collision course and I’m forced to wonder if I’m only trading one demise for another.

I spare a backwards glance as I break the threshold. Torchlights bound across the darkened field as they pursue. My fear for my life is the only means that pushed me into this place. Let us hope their blood-lust doesn’t also rise to the task.

All aid of the moon’s light abandons me as the treetop canopy robs me of illumination. With hands outstretched, I barrel through branches and barbs alike. My stride is high kneed as my footing becomes unsure and awkward. My shirt snags on something. I spin, then tumble through the underbrush. All is still for a moment and I strain to listen for my pursers.

“Spread out! He can’t have gone far!”
“B-but… this is the haunted–“

“Enough of that nonsense. No such thing. You know the boss’s rule. No witness. Now get in there and root him out.”

Still they come? Was it not enough to rob me of my family, my home? With my head pressed into the forest floor, them bursting through our front door replays through my mind. Just do as we say, they said. No one will get hurt, they promised… they lied. I picture the axe falling from behind my father and the plea in his eyes, urging me to run. My teeth are forced together as a tear is forced out of my eye.

I look back towards the voices, then sit up as my will firms. The trees ahead of me become back-lit by torchlight but my vision is adjusting to the dark and I won’t need it to see. I unsheathe the blade that is strapped across my back and melt further into the shadows. I can’t speak to whether or not this forest can kill but it will contain death this night. I’ll run no longer.

The group of torchbearers make their way through the woods, nervous looks on all of their faces. A branch breaks just outside of their torchlight. They all orient on the sound, then another sound makes them do a 180.

One of their number is collapsing to his knees, the torch drops in front of him as he grasps at a blood fountain in his neck. The other men back away from their comrade as he collapses, face down.
There are just the three of them now. They each make frantic turns, grasping their torch and waving it as if to bat away the darkness.


The moment’s soundtrack is that of flickering flames, frantic breathing, and their own heartbeats that sound as though they are beating against their eardrums. The symphony is interrupted by a new whirling sound as two of the three turn towards it. The third’s head rocks to the side as a blade plunges into his temple, where he immediately falls like a felled tree.

One of the last two survivors takes off running in another direction. Only a few moments pass before his outcry is cut short. The last of the men stands firm, his torch in one hand and a hatchet in the other. Blood still drips off the weapon’s edge. His eyes play tricks on him as shapes seem to form outside of his torchlight.

“I know you’re there! Show yourself!”

As if to answer his command, a shape steps into the survivor’s torchlight and then walks past him. It’s the boy they were pursuing. He’s covered in blood and doesn’t acknowledge the torchbearer as he walks over and crouches next to the knife bearer. He takes hold of the handle and pauses.

“I suppose I should thank all of you.” He wrenches the blade back and forth before prying it from the corpse’s skull. “Fleeing into these woods.” He waves the blood drenched blade as he gestures around them. The dropped torches have set the ground on fire and it now illuminates the entire area around them. “Killing all of your men…it made me remember something…something important.” He smacks the wet blade against the flat of his hand. “You see that wasn’t my father…not my real one anyways. He found me out here when I was younger. When you killed him, I thought you had driven me from my home but instead, you drove me back to it. So I guess I should thank you. Please, allow me this parting gift.”

The torch’s flame seems to flicker in a great gust of wind and suddenly the boy is behind the torchbearer. The torch falls from his hand, then he collapses to his knees, the impact causing his head to tumble loosely across the forest floor. The boy’s silhouette then disappears from the fire’s glow.