As I locked the back door and rammed a chair up against it, I hoped I could find something to cover the windows to keep them out. As I had run from my stalled car into this ramshackle house, I could see the half naked drooling zombie moving in my direction. It was a good thing they moved so slowly as I was out of shape and couldn't run too fast.
No, that's not going to work. The editor said for everyone not to write about zombies. I guess it has gotten too easy to write about them since there are so many movies about them all over the video store now. Oh well, I am supposed to be a writer and should be able to come up with something else.
* * * *
If I am the last man on Earth, I should probably be looking for a more secure place to live and stock up on canned goods and dried foods. I knew where a good supply of gasoline is and can pick any automobile I wanted. I just needed to stay in at night and do my exploring during the day.
But no, I'm out looking for the bloodsuckers hiding place to take some of them out and make my existence easier and possibly live longer. No, that's not going to work either. Richard Matheson and Will Smith have already done that and I know I can't add anything to what has come before. I've got to think harder and come up with something more original.
* * * *
The sirens are wailing. Everyone is running for shelter. The sky is filled with flying soldiers coming in from Germany. London appears to be doomed as the first wave of German rockets hit the heart of the city and took out Scotland Yard. Other rockets carrying mustard gas landed on the outskirts and the winds scattered it about leaving people screaming from the pain. As I wondered about among the dead and dying, I wondered what would be come of me.
Then the bombs started falling again. Somehow they were falling into the crowds of people as they ran for shelter. As the moon came out from behind the clouds and the rocket men appeared to be landing, I noticed body parts and blood covering the street. I had to admit I couldn't tell where I was. Suddenly there was a sharp pop and a blaze of light and I realized that a bomb just went off next to me.
Okay, that's a good start but I don't know where to go next. I'll have to do some more research and come back to it later.
* * * *
As we patrolled the wire fence and concertina wire that separated the Army base at Cu Chi from the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Regulars, we were keeping a close watch for breaks in the fence or bodies that got caught in the random fire exercises and claymore mines. If we found a break, we would try to fix it ourselves or call it in if it was too large for repair. Sappers would come in and throw their satchel charges into the fence and try to infiltrate the base.
Sometimes they would get through and set up some sort of device inside the camp to take out as many as they could. The last two incidents I personally witnessed were enough to raise my blood pressure and make any reason enough to blow some of them away.
In the chow hall next to us, someone had gotten in and wired enough C4 into the tray racks that when the grunts came in for breakfast and pulled a certain tray out of the rack it blew up killing 34 men and putting 50 more in the hospital. A lot of them lost legs and arms. Several had concussions and holes where theirs eyes uses to be. It wasn't a sight I wished to remember, but how do you get a massacre out of your minds eye.
Sometimes, someone would sneak in a taxi girl and would try to make a dollar or two off of his fellow soldiers. They were able to get away with it because the officers had girls come in to clean their hootches and you could sneak a taxi girl easily with them. But this time, this one brought more into camp that usual. They are searched and come up clean. This one had her weapon hidden inside her and the first customer she had was also her last. She had placed two razor blades in a cross pattern in a piece of bamboo and stuck it in her vagina. When her first client got down to business, he pressed hard and pulled out his member spread into four pieces. As soon as he realized what had happened, he started beating her with his fists and didn't stop until there was a bloody pulp where her head used to be. That's sight that gets burned into your memory and I can still see it today as clear as I did then. I often wondered how you explained something like that to your wife or fiancée at home.
God, I don't think I can go on with this. Nobody wants to know about Vietnam. When we came home they spit on us and called us baby killers. They still won't like the truth. We helped the Vietnamese out during the day and they tried to kill us at night. What would one of our "saints at home" have done when a friend bought a coke from a street vendor, took a big gulp from it and have his throat collapse from the battery acid that was in the bottle or buy a pack of cigarettes, light one up and after two or three puffs have it blow up in their face or die before they hit the ground from the cyanide soaked in the tobacco.
I guess I need to find something else to write about. I'm not sure the editor wants something like this. I think she prefers fiction rather than a true tale. Horror can have a dark face or a yellow one or a white one. It just depends on how you look at things.
* * * *
We had just carved the jack o lantern and put the candle in it so we could have some on the porch for the trick or treaters. Halloween was a big deal in our small town since the old mill had closed. The stores didn't carry much more than the necessities of life, so we made our treats for the kids. Under Granny's instructions, we inserted the razor blades into the apple, injected the oranges with antifreeze and pure grain alcohol, made chocolate candies out of exlax and covered the popcorn balls with rat poison. This would be the most fun time we've had since Uncle Leatherface was alive. I can't do this one. The editor will think I'm really warped thinking up stuff like this. I've got to come up with something better.
* * * *
We had made friends with the animals by feeding them. Sometimes I wondered if they weren't eating better than we were. On a normal day we would have between five and ten does, a couple of fawns and one or two bucks with six or eight points each. We also had a family of turkeys that came around a lot. There were also more birds and squirrels than you could count. The animals got along with each other and there was some playful fighting but all that changed when the meteor landed. They still came around and at but they were not friendly anymore. One of the bucks still carried the remains of a turkey that had stuck to one of its antlers. The turkeys would catch the squirrels and peck them like the corn and feed on their entrails. The squirrels would jump out of the trees on the birds and feathers would fly.
Somehow they had turned carnivorous and even we had trouble being out with them. I was still nursing my leg from where a buck got behind me when I was too slow in putting out their food. We were hearing stories from other areas about bear and wildcat attacks. The animals were moving into the cities looking for food and corn and all the normal items was not enough, now they wanted meat and blood.
This isn't going to work. It sounds like the script for a Roger Corman b-movie. There's already too many of them on the Horror Channel and some of the other cable channels.
This is turning out to be a lot harder than I thought it would be. With so many people out there writing and getting published or even self publishing, new ideas are becoming harder to come up with.
* * * *
Paige and I were out enjoying a pleasant October Sunday by having a picnic. We had driven out into the country and found a shady spot overlooking a rolling grassy meadow. In then next pasture over was a herd of cows. Most of them were lazing in the sun while others were chewing their cud. It was calm and peaceful with hardly a cloud in the sky.
All of the sudden it became silent. The birds weren't singing, the wind went still and a round shadow began moving over the meadow. We looked up and saw a silver object moving silently in the sky. It came to a stop over the cows and a red beam flashed out from underneath and sliced off the cows head. Another beam lashed out and cut the carcass in half and part of it started rising up into a hole that had opened in the bottom of the ship. Paige screamed and started running for the truck. I started to pick up the picnic basket, but when the ship started moving in my direction I thought to hell with this and started running as fast as I could. I looked toward the truck for Paige and didn't see her. I looked up and saw her in the air being pulled toward the ship. I called her name and started running faster until I saw that I was not on the ground and was being pulled toward the ship as well.
Crap, nobody wants to read UFO stories either. There are always a bunch of froot loops claiming to have been abducted by flying saucers. This is too old hat for the sophisticated readings that will be buying this anthology. I've got to think of something before the deadline sneaks up on me.
* * * *
I don't know how Nesbitt talked me into going mountain climbing with him. It started out as a small trek up Mount Shasta. Then Mount Rainier and a trip to the Swiss Alps. I didn't mind going along but I felt like a free loader since Nesbitt insisted on paying the way. He said he liked my company and didn't like to do things alone. None of the trips were for the glory, but just a personal accomplishment and pride.
But now we were in Tibet and he wanted to try to scale Mount Everest. He had a group of Sherpas who said there was an easier path to the top and we should make it in about a week.
Everything went fine for the first couple of days but on the third day, we were hit by a blinding snow storm. We sought shelter in a foul smelling cave. The smell was like something out of a decaying meat locker, but it was warmer than being out in the storm. After a small meal of chili - some really spicy stuff, we laid down for a nap with the Sherpas on guard. When we awoke, the Sherpas and most of our gear were missing. On top of that the entrance to the cave was frozen over with snow and ice from the storm.
As we looked around to see if there were any tools or implements of any kind to help us out of our predicament. It was then that we discover a new aroma and found a large cache of bones, human bones. I think that we had been left in the lair of the yeti and were there to be his next meal.
Hell, this sounds like another "B" movie from the fifties. I guess I spent too much time at the movies when I was a kid. At least they were only a dime and not the $12.50 it takes to get in now.
That's the real horror - $12.50 for a ticket, $5 for popcorn, $3 for a coke and if you want to take a date it'll be double that. That is scary, especially with the movies they are putting out today.
* * * *
I guess I'll send this to the editor and see if anything strikes her fancy. Maybe one of these ideas may fit. Anyway, it's almost dawn now and my coffin is calling. I guess I'll get something to drink from the blood bank and work on it again tonight.
x x x