Saturday, October 25, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - The Zombie 5,000 (Final Installment) By R.T. Ewell

The Zombie 5,000 is a short story that is exactly 5,000 words with the undead as the subject matter. The story is ten chapters so each one has five hundred words (minus the chapter titles) in it. This story is only available to read on Needless Things! Every Saturday in the month of October, a new installment will be released with the conclusion happening right here on the last Saturday (which just so happens to be today!) of the month!

Below is the fourth & final installment of The Zombie 5,000. If you missed the previous installment don't fret just Click Here to read the third installment!

Trigger Finger

As gunfire ripped through the air, Frank screamed over the eruption.

 “See what I fucking mean, they are coming straight for us. Just shoot at anything I don't care. We got enough magazines that we should keep you busy for a while. That trailer has enough for us to protect ourselves and in the process create our own mini army. Just keep shooting and we will bring the magazines to you.”

He dropped the boxes of ammo at Ray's feet and was called over by someone else. Ray couldn’t even comprehend all that was going on. Shit, he didn't even get a chance to see how his family was doing. For a brief moment, he started to question himself as reality came crashing in. His focus went back to the bottom of the mound of garbage which now was thick with zombies. Two hundred, three hundred, hell he wasn't sure how many were down there.

The gun that Frank had given him was already fully loaded. It would have been a total lie if he had said that he was not scared. If he had said “Yeah, I'm a man and like to kill shit.” That might of sounded cool but the truth was that he was completely out of his element. All he wanted was his family, but if these zombies got up the hill he could kiss any chance of that happening goodbye.
Ray held up the gun as the zombies were making there way up the hill. Moans, Groans, and the ground making noise underneath them could be heard in between shots being fired. 

The undead creatures were jerking and falling as the bullets ripped through them. Blood and ooze was splattering nearby trees. Ray had one in sight, his breathing was erratic making the gun shake. This wasn't who he was damn it. He was a baseball player, not some renegade out to save the world. The undead creature was getting closer as it clawed it's way up to the top.

Steadying the gun and focusing on the target at hand, just like he would if he were on the pitchers mound, Ray squeezed the trigger. The shot fired making his ears ring as the bullet ripped through the zombies shoulder. A chunk went missing out of it but the thing was still making its way towards Ray. Again, he fired, this time missing completely. Pissed off at himself, he steadied the gun once again took aim and put a bullet through its left eye.

Instead of moving forward relentlessly like it had been, the thing fell hard to the ground instantly. Now, with his first kill and confidence building, he got into more of a rhythm alongside his new gun toting friends. More magazines were dropped off to them that had been filled with bullets by children. They ran up to them like ball boys at a tennis match. After a little while the zombies numbers began dwindling. Maybe things were actually getting better now.

Devastation Looms

That thought didn't last long. A noise suddenly came from behind him, but from the sky. Jets flew past him at incredible speeds and so loud he had to hold his ears. Before Ray knew it, each one was firing missiles down onto the city. With each hit an explosion followed with a boom. He instinctively crouched to the ground. It seemed like a hundred missiles rained down over the city from well over a dozen jets soaring through the air.

The civilians that were on the garbage hill all cried out, running as close to the edge so they could see the results. Buildings were crumbling before their very eyes. Ray immediately scanned the area to find Betty and Jason. Among a crowd of people, he finally laid eyes on them. They all ran to each other and embraced one another. Betty was crying.

“What is happening now, Ray. Don't they know that people are still trying to survive out here and that they are killing innocent people.”

Ray didn't know the answer so he just hugged both of them tight. Panic had broken out on the hill even though no missiles had hit near it. Maybe they were safe he thought. Maybe the government knows that there are people alive trying to survive and now they are just going after the zombies. Of course they were killing thousands of innocent people in the process but Ray guessed that had to happen. Starting over would probably be the best way to go but he couldn’t help to think of all the families that were being ripped apart. All the people that were fighting for their lives down there. All of them just gone in an instant.

Somehow the garbage pile was ignored by the explosions but panic had taken over. People were running to their loved ones as fast as they could, not caring who they ran into. The best solution for Ray was to find Frank first. Then gather his teammates which he had not seen since he got pulled to gun duty. Stepping up on his tiptoes, he scanned the crowd of chaos. After a few minutes he spotted the crotchety old man.

Ray grabbed Betty's hand, who in turn grabbed Jason's hand as they ran in Frank's direction. They ran as fast as they could while dodging the mob of people that were running every which way. They tried not to run into anybody but there were just those moments where the situation couldn't be avoided. Jason knocked down a little boy by accident, but unlike most, they all three stopped to help the child up. Once they reached Frank, he was doing the unexpected. Crying.

“Christ, man I'm just a janitor and now everyone wants answers from me. How the hell should I know.”

Ray had never thought of what the man did previously, he would not have guessed janitor. 

A loud rumble got his attention and he couldn't believe what he saw.


Ray's attention was focused directly at the entrance where the first vehicle he saw was a tank. Once the tank passed through the entrance it fired a shot into the section of the dump with the most people. It caused the earth to viciously shake as people erupted in cries for help. Injured people were screaming screams that Ray had never heard before. After the tank came, so did other military style vehicles.

The only thing Ray knew to do was run back to the edge that he was at earlier. It was the farthest point away from the vehicles as they began to park. At first glance most people would have thought that this was the military. But Ray knew better. None of the people were in fatigues and none of them certainly acted like members of the military. The man that seemed to be the leader was in his early forties with dark hair. There was a man crying for help in a heap on the ground but all the dark haired man did was kick him in the stomach. Then he pointed at the injured man while another one of his “soldiers” shot him in the head.

With a megaphone the man began to speak to anyone who attempted to listen. “We are taking over what used to be the United States Of America. This is the third state in our plan and within months we will have complete control.”
Someone in the crowd yelled. 

“Who are you?”

“That is not important right now as you all have to die. Starting now.” the man said.

Gunfire ripped through the crowd as his people began firing relentlessly. Ray looked at Betty and then glanced down the hill. Betty nodded her head and all three of them began running down hill. There were still some zombies but the fear that was in them right now helped them avoid the undead creatures. The hill was steep, so sliding seemed like a better idea then running. Gunfire soared over the garbage heap as it seemed no one was specifically chasing them. However, other people had now joined them on the way down the hill.

Finally, reaching the bottom they all gathered together only to see pure destruction in front of them. People began to weep at the thought of the future. Ray was seemingly the leader of the group but hell, he didn't know what to do. In the midst of explosions and panic, Ray heard a sound. A sound that he had heard before. 

Within seconds a giant yellow school bus tore around the corner quite recklessly.
The doors to the bus opened with a hiss as Mustard sat there grinning ear to ear. 

“Well hot diggity damn, I sure am glad to see you guys, Jesus Christ, hop in.”

“What the hell are we gonna do Mustard,” Ray said.

With a laugh Mustard spoke.

“The only thing to do. We start over, just like they are.”


Next week there will be a bonus article about The Zombie 5,000. It will include the inspiration of this story and other fun facts! If you have any questions or comments about the story please ask them in the comment section below. Thanks for reading The Zombie 5,000!
-R.T. Ewell

R.T. Ewell on Amazon!

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