The second piece I’m currently working on is a genre that I’ve always loved, either in book or movie form. End of the world survivalist apocalyptic sci-fi horror! I can’t get enough of it! John Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids started it off for me. Since then I think I’ve read just about every book and seen just about every end of the world movie that is out there. This piece Edge of All Our Fears is my personal homage to all those zombie movies and tales I’ve known and loved. And to the immortal Charlton Heston who even now must be running around putting down the undead; saving humanities collective asses in that great Zombie land in the sky!
Here’s a sneak peek….
The journal of Mick Rose
Frisco, TX 2016
Sept 3rd 2016
Delusion is the last refuge of the unhappy.
No…that’s wrong. It’s the last sanctuary of the soon to be extinct. I didn’t actually witness the beginning of it, and from what I’ve seen and endured since I’m not sure if I want to be around for the end.
I’m tired, cold, dispirited and am now quite alone. I finally put Sheryl Wilson out of her misery this evening. I think I’ll try to sleep for a while now.
Sept 4th 2016
An anniversary of sorts; I realized this morning that it’s been almost six months since the five of us emerged from ‘DeepShell’ into the nightmarish place that the world has now become.
I shot poor Sheryl late yesterday afternoon. She was dying; her death was totally inevitable. The raging infection and limb contorting agonies brought on from her wounds meant she was having a very bad time getting there. I had done all I could for her; one final act of mercy remained. I steeled myself with a numbed disconnection that would enable me to do what must inevitably follow. Without hesitation I went into her sick-room and quickly but gently turned her on her side while placing a pillow over the back of her head making soothing nonsensical noises to her. I pulled a small .22 pistol from my pants waistband and jammed it up hard against the sweat soaked bolster and shot her once in the back of the neck; smoke and small particles of material billowed up. A final jerk from Sheryl but her death was almost instant. She was now free, released from her suffering – but I’m not. Her awful tortured screams from the long days before won’t leave my head. And at night in the darkness behind my closed eyes they are the loudest.
And now she’s gone I’m the only one left alive of our small group.
That’s why I’m leaving this record. I just want to be heard; if by no one else then merely by these pages of my diary. A final testament to what was.
It may seem bizarre, but as I sit here and write, of all the things I could think about, I’m contemplating the stars. Because on those rare occasions that I can make time to stare up at them, I know I am looking at the irrevocable past.
Just as when I see the Others — I’m looking at an inescapable future.
And I’m fairly certain that future won’t include us.
On long sleepless nights I have lain in darkness and desperately attempted to mentally summon those days that have now gone forever; I have tried to remember what it was like before medical science blithely turned the world to hell and I got put on the redundant list with the rest of humanity; poor bastards.
Yes–it’s been six months now since the pressure lock was cycled and we five stumbled out into a bewildering nightmare from which there would be no awakening. We had no idea what devastation would be waiting above. How could we have guessed what havoc had been wrought on the world whilst we scientists were isolated underground within the DeepShell complex? The five of us, Jenson, Roberts, Cherenkov, and Wilson and of course me had spent three long years literally cut off from the rest of humanity. We were totally incommunicado, simulating living conditions on other planets and moons within our own solar system. Thirty-six months of total isolation proving that these self-contained environmental pods buried deep in the Texas plains could adequately maintain human life on inhospitable worlds as yet unexplored by man.
The ultimate irony; while we diligently proved that science could sustain us on virgin worlds that were as yet to be sullied by the touch of mankind; others used that same science to destroy us utterly. Not deliberately, of course, that would be the ultimate obscenity. No one meant to do it. But it does prove that the road to hell really is paved with good intentions.
And hell is now where I reside.
Sept 9th 2016
Haven’t been able to add to my diary for a few days now; the Others are adapting to new circumstance; their tactics are obviously intelligently evolving. Or perhaps I’m just getting careless.
Maybe subconsciously I’ve reached the point in this terrible struggle for my survival where I want to be careless.
Whatever the reason, days after the event, it is only now that I actually have time to set down what occurred.
I was planning to forage in the huge Target grocery store just north of Gaylord road. It was still an hour or so till dawn and the Others are normally at their most quiescent then. Their night vision we had quickly discovered early on is unaccountably very poor and the time just before pre-dawn is the best opportunity to quickly raid the derelict stores and tentatively search local neighborhoods for needed supplies.
And so when I was ambushed I wasn’t prepared for them in the numbers they were in or how organized they had become.
But they were certainly ready and waiting for me.
I had left the big Tahoe at the far end of the dark parking lot, then opened up the back and as quietly as I could I dragged out the wheel-barrow that I’d need to relocate my acquisitions back here once I had scavenged them.
It would have been impossible to get the big SUV closer to the store; there were literally hundreds of abandoned vehicles dumped at various crazy angles all around the place. The vehicles size and bulk made it impossible to thread through the small gaps between them without risking some potential crippling damage to my transport or attracting a lot of unwelcome attention.
I had used duct-tape to secure a couple of big Maglite flashlights to the front of the barrow; crude but effective. In the inky stinking blackness of the store they might be needed if my other aids failed for any reason.
I tested them each in turn, switching them quickly on and off to make sure they operated as expected.
Then I pulled the monocular night vision goggles over my eyes and instantly the huge darkened car park was transformed into an eerily lit world of green glows and softened shadows. The night vision equipment feels bulky and uncomfortable on my head, but it gave me the advantage of being able to see in complete darkness if only in a narrow radius and for scant few hundred feet.
Satisfied I pushed them back up high onto my brow, and then carefully examined my ever present collection of firearms.
The heavy Ruger Flattop .44 special Blackhawk was in a worn leather holster at my right hip. I pulled it out smoothly pushed the cylinder out and re-checked it was loaded. It was. I pushed the cylinder back into the frame. I had gotten to like that gun. The revolver’s .44 rounds were heavy and had a relatively low muzzle velocity– but they were absolutely devastating at short range. When one of the Others were hit with a round from the Ruger, they tended to stay down. And unlike a semi-automatic this superbly crafted firearm wouldn’t ever traitorously jam on its user, although its one drawback was the cylinder could only hold six rounds.
I slid it back in, and then jerked out the semi-automatic .40 Glock 22 from my shoulder holster.
I dropped the magazine from it and replaced it after satisfying myself it was full. I re-holstered it.
A Mossberg Model 500 combat shotgun almost completed my lethal ensemble. I double checked that was fully loaded also before carefully placing it into the barrow. Finally, an Eagle Talon Tomahawk was tucked into my gun belt within easy reach.
Content with my equipment and my arsenal, I was now ready to undertake the risky business at hand…