The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Posts Tagged ‘apocalypse’

Apocalypse: The Incident With The Car (One For The Road)

Posted by BigWords on January 30, 2010

From my zombie WIP (currently laboring under the working title of Zombie Apocalypse) comes the first actual sighting of a ghoul. This is from the chopped-down version – and still comes in at around page fifty. It is still in very rough shape. There’s so much I’m meant to be doing right now that updating this blog has been pushed down the schedule a ways, though as soon as I get everything sorted I’ll be back to abnormal as usual.


The Incident With The Car
(One For The Road)

Harold’s mind was racing as he turned off from the more familiar streets on to the long road back to Lumberton; a mobile ‘phone gripped tightly to the side of his face as he pushed the car on to greater speeds, desperately attempting to conjure a plausible scenario which could explain his absence and yet cast him in a good light. It was harder to fabricate balls-out lies than he remembered from his youth, the necessary neurons not quite firing in his brain due to a potent mixture of fatigue, stress and – crucially – alcohol. Simmons wasn’t born to move in lazy towns, the pace of life in the city had shifted his internal clock too far from the rural timeframes which others seemed to accept. “I’m on my way back now, and you wouldn’t believe the roads up here.” A pause. “Probably around three. Maybe a touch later if I can’t floor it down some of the dirt trails which pass for roads up here.” The line crackled and fell away for a moment. Dumb fuckin’ ‘phone he thought, and held it in front of him as he tried to focus his vision. The bars indicating reception quality rose and fell in a steady rhythm, mimicking the equalizer on the car’s radio.

The dull thud, as a shape hit the car, rolled over the hood then fell away to the side of the road – taking the wing mirror with it – was merely the punch line to the bad joke that Harold Simmons’ day had become. A sharp crack appeared in the windscreen after the fact. At no point did Harold’s mind dare to contemplate the possibility that he might have inadvertently caused the death of another human being. “Aw… You god-damned cock-sucking son-of-a-whore,” Simmons spat out. The mobile ‘phone had landed at Harold’s feet as he struggled with the steering, beeping once in protest at its’ treatment before deciding that things were too stressful to deal with.

Spun like a child’s toy, the car came to a stop facing back in the direction whence it had come, its’ journey’s end marked by black rubber laid into the surface of the road. The body lay twenty-five yards back, yet the most important detail of the night – at least in Harold’s mind – concerned one broken light, a dented hood and a certain missing wing mirror. Toting up the damage, albeit with four beers and an empty stomach hindering his math, the damage came to the somewhere in the region of a thousand dollars. “This is why I hate pissant, backwater, shithole, hicksville…” Harold’s tirade stopped mid-sentence when he realized Mr. Roadkill wasn’t as dead as he ought to be. Staggering along the dirt embankment, his victim haphazardly navigated his way towards Harold.

“What is it, you dumb sonuvabitch?” Harold yelled, stepping out of his car. “You want to swap insurance details or something?” No response. “I could’ve killed you back there, ya drunken bum.” Still silence. Bain damage, Harold pondered, maybe a mute? Too drunk to talk? The last thought hit a little too close to home. The man moved closer, agonizingly slowly, but moving closer all the time. Harold glanced at the man as he tried to reign in his anger. Average height, average weight and utterly unremarkable, even Roadkill’s clothing was forgettable. The checked shirt, blue jeans and heavy workboots didn’t help with his bland conformity. This guys wife couldn’t pick him out of a line-up.

Harold ran his hand over the hood, “Look at it. Just look at it.” The car was of no importance to Mr. Roadkill, who – it seemed – moved very fast for a man who could barely¬† put one foot in front of the other without having to comically readjust his center of gravity by waving his arms like a windmill. Harold turned back to the man in time to see the man lunge forward again. He seemed to hang there, mid stumble with his head cocked slightly too extremely to one side. Inertia, slow to take hold, finally caught up with him, and his full weight propelled him the two feet distance towards Harold. The full weight of the man had pinned Harold to the side of the car, time stretching as Harold’s brain tried to make sense of the surreal situation.

“Get off me ya pole-smoker.”

Mr. Roadkill sunk his teeth into Harold’s left arm, tearing away jacket, shirt and skin from the wound as he pulled back, trying to straighten his head. The man’s arms flailed, making him look even more like a certifiable bug-munching, shit-flinging looney tune than ever. Senses already dulled by alcohol, shaken by the crash and confused by the crazy idiot with a biting fetish, Harold tried to force his brain into action. Harold pushed back against the man with all of his strength, mentally calculating how much time he had wasted with the interruption to his journey. Roadkill, sprawled on the ground, displayed no sense of impropriety at his actions, moving his head to one side as Harold’s foot swung out at him, swiping at the leg once immediate danger had passed.

Moving backwards to the safety of the car, Harold was careful not to take his eyes off Mr. Roadkill for one second. Bite me once, shame on you. Bite me twice, shame on me. Slipping into the driver’s seat he brushed his right hand over the open wound, pulling closed the door with his increasingly painful arm. It burned, but as he could still move his fingers (enough to flip off the bitey idiot as he pulled away at least) he put the incident behind him. That’s gonna hurt in the morning, he thought.

The drive went surprisingly quick once Harold had gotten past the back-roads and on to the freeway. The streets were clear of heavy traffic, though the question of why didn’t register.

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Get Down With The Sickness

Posted by BigWords on July 18, 2009

You can’t escape the relentless stories of bird flu, swine flu, monkey flu or porcupine flu (and whatever other types doctors will make up later in the week), so I’m shamelessly going to use the trope for my own ends. The Canadian crisis from a while back has already spawned a movie-of-the-week, t-shirts (kinda), a range of toys (probably), a musical show (not really) and is beginning to wear out its welcome in the media. Which is why I’m gonna re-invigorate the Fear The Flu franchise right here…

What we need is a central character who we care about. Someone who will stand up against the upcoming crisis, where three quarters of the world’s population will be killed off. It has to happen sooner or later because that is where the plot is heading. I’ve seen enough horror films to recognise the signs: People coughing in the street, the calm before the storm, the slow build-up¬† to a big season-end cliffhanger. We’re all fucked, right?

Sorry, but I refuse to take the government warnings seriously.

Statistics are meaningless when the people using them are unaware of the variables and in-built error-factors. When television presenters (who are the last people on earth you should be getting your medical advice from) start to drone on about how The End Is Nigh, you have to take their warnings with a pinch of salt. Anyway, I have my own theory why the rise of superbugs, contagious diseases and other contaminants are on the rise…

A chunk of history is called for before I begin launching into my theory: The United States Forestry Commission, particularly their fire department, started to put out forest fires in 1905. The guys thought they were helping Big Momma Nature out with their interference, but they stopped forest fires so completely that they caused more problems than they solved. The sequoias rely on forest fires every so often in order to breed, but the intervention of humans was crippling their ability to reproduce. The situation became so serious that they nearly became extinct in the middle of the last century.

What was the solution? Yup, that’s right… Let the flames rise high. ‘Cause that is what they need, regardless of what makes sense to the people who look on and say “Why doesn’t someone put out the flames?” It’s an evolutionary quirk that they rely on something for their survival which could so easily kill them…

Which is where I come back to the 3,649,821 varieties of highly effective influenza now being prepped by shadowy government agencies, soon to be released in a town near you. We need the cull that a pandemic will bring to the human race, just as the sequoias are dependent on the flames. We are running out of room on this planet, and we’re not going to get our asses into space any time soon. An evacuation of the human race into the dark of space is many, many years away from being anything other than science fiction.

The 1918 pandemic didn’t eliminate our species, but let’s face it – infestations are really hard to get rid of… And that is, essentially, what we are. We’ve crawled all over the surface of this planet, tainting nearly every area we have settled in. There have been many attempts by nature to get rid of us, and every single time we have managed to thrive in the aftermath. This is ignoring the attempts made on our own efforts to wipe out all life – the first nuclear explosion was hotly contested by scientists at the time, some of whom believed that it would tear the atmosphere off the Earth, killing everyone.

We came back, in greater numbers and with more diseases.

We’re desperately in need of a solution to a great many problems such as shortages of housing, jobs and food… I’m thinking that the apocalypse predicted by the low-brow presenters of television magazine-shows is the answer to all our problems. If it works, and that is a big IF (because “the best laid plans…” and all that), then we’re gonna have to come up with a way to prevent the rapid population growth that follows.

Do we really want to find ourselves back in this position in fifty years?

Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Get up, come on get down with the sickness
Open up your hate, and let it flow into me
Get up, come on get down with the sickness
You mother get up come on get down with the sickness
You fucker get up come on get down with the sickness
Madness is the gift, that has been given to me

Get Down With The Sickness by Disturbed, written and composed by Disturbed

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