Welcome To Lazarus

Instead of a "BANG", humanity is passing away with the shuffling of dead feet, and hungry moans. Desperate men and women fight against the rising tide for the newly risen dead.Sometimes, though, the undead are not he most dangerous things out there. Civilization has failed the test; the only thing left is survival.

Lazarus is just one of many places where humanity holds on by a thread, and life and death come as easily as a roll of the dice.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Orpheus Reborn: Meat Wagon, Pt 2 (Zombie Fiction)

As Williams worked on the patient and called in, the police officer gave a shudder.  His body convulsed then lay still.  Williams tried to find a pulse, but couldn’t.  He relayed the info to hospital on the other end of the radio.  Much to their surprise, they were told to not continue live saving activities.  If the man had expired, they were to take the body directly to the morgue.  JD looked at Williams through the rear view mirror and saw he was as confused as JD was.  Williams pulled a sheet over the man’s face, so he wouldn’t have to look at his face and ravaged neck.  Blood quickly soaked through the white sheet.

        With traffic, the morgue was fifteen minutes away. They talked through the pass-through between the cab and back of the ambulance, as JD drove. Williams noted that the whole incident just verified that things were quickly getting out of hand in the city. JD had to agree. They were only about two minutes out and Williams was doing the paperwork, when he saw movement out of the corner of is eye. He glanced up sheet covered body across the compartment from him. In dis-belief he saw movement under the blood stained sheet. "What the??" His exclamation was loud enough to cause JD to look in the rearview mirror. He saw Williams lean across the compartment and grab the sheet. He pulled it down, exposing the body underneath.

        To JDs shock, as soon as the pulled back the body of the expired police officer sat bolt upright. Its arms reached for Williams. JD could hear a raspy growl come from the back of the ambulance, as the body lunged across the compartment for towards Williams. "Holy shi…" Williams bellowed as the body slammed into him, teeth gnashing. The momentum of the officer’s body caused them both to fall back out of JDs view in the mirror. Luckily, JD’s attention came back to the road. He cursed as he wrenched the ambulance to the right. In the seconds he had been fixated on the rear view mirror, the ambulance had drifted across the center line and into oncoming traffic. JD over compensated. His eyes widened as the ambulance barreled towards a parked car. He swung the wheel to the left, in time to sideswipe a minivan, instead of slamming into it full on. He saw a blur in the rear view mirror, and could hear Williams grunt as both he and officer flew to the opposite side of the rear compartment.

        JD’s arms locked straight and he slammed on the brakes. He turned the wheel, as the ambulance started to skid. From behind he heard a scream of pain and terror. He could tell it was Williams. That single thought caused fear to ripple through him. He knew Williams was not the type to do that. The ambulance skewed across the traffic lane and came to halt. In a flash, JD had undone his seat belt and was turning towards the pass-through. As he fully turned, what he saw momentarily shocked him into inaction. The officer and Williams were on the floor, leaning against the back door, with Williams on the bottom. The fingers of one of the dead man’s hands were buried deep into Williams left eye. The wrecked mass of the eye was spread across Williams’ cheek. The policeman withdrew his fingers and stuck them in his mouth. JD could hear a sickening slurping sound. The officer’s head then bent towards William’s neck. Williams looked at JD, with a mixture of shock and pleading. Williams’ head lolled to the side as he lost consciousness.

JD came out of his daze and lunged forward and grabbed the man both shoulders. He pulled the body backwards, trying to save his friend. The man’s body came away from Williams. As they separated, blood sprayed from Williams’s neck, covering the back and side of the compartment. As they fell back, looking upside down at him, the man’s eyes locked onto JD’s. His lips curled, showing its bloodstained teeth. In an instant, JD realized the look on the face was one of feral hunger. ‘Get away from it and kill it, now" ran through JD’s mind.

        JD backpedaled across the cramped compartment. He lost his footing of some loose webbing and fell backwards. The man’s attention had turned from Williams to JD. He fought to untangle himself from Williams’s limp form, and the sheet which had covered him, which was still wrapped around his legs. As the man thrashed to get free, JD scuttled back into the cab of the ambulance. As he watched the officer roll over and start to crawl towards him, JD’s hand fell upon Williams’s kitbag. ‘THE GUN!’ JD could feel its form through the canvas bag.

        Grabbing the bag with his right hand, JD used his left hand to pull himself across the passenger side seat. His back pressed partially against the dashboard, and partially against the door, he pulled the bag onto his lap. In actuality it took mere seconds for JD to unzip the bag, and remove the pistol. In JD’s mind’s eye it took an eternity. As he fumbled with the zipper, he felt a hand grab his leg. He looked down at the blue clad arm. He tried to pull his legs up to his chest, to get out of the reach of the man in back, but only partially managed. The man’s fingers clawed at his leg. He could feel the man pull himself forward. JD could see the bloody claws wrapped around his right calf. The man’s head came into view.

        JD yanked his leg free as the man’s teeth snapped, in an attempt to take a bite of JD’s flesh. JD’s left leg snapped out once, then twice into the man’s shoulder. This caused the man to roll to his side, exposing his chest. JD could see the damage that had been wrought on the man before. ‘There was no way this was happening, the policeman was…should be…is dead’, JD thought. Both hands on the pistol, he racked the slide, and thrust it forward between his knees. He pulled the trigger, twice. In the confined space of the cab, the roar was deafening. JD could see the slugs tear in to the man’s chest. The man was forced back a bit, but started to roll back towards JD, his hands searching for him once more.

        JD’s right leg pistoned out and caught the man in the chest. He pinned the body against the driver’s side seat, and pulled the trigger once more. This time the bullet caught the man above the right eye. A neat little hole appeared, as the man’s head snapped back. Microseconds later, a crimson spray erupted across the driver’s seat and door. JD could feel the hands that were clawing at his leg fall away, and as the body went limp. He could see bits of gray matter splattered across the upholstery and door.

        He turned a bit and pulled the door handle. He rolled out and quickly regained his feet. As he stood, he kept the pistol pointed into the cab, in case there was any fight left in the already dead man. He quickly gained his senses and moved to the rear of the ambulance. He could see blood smeared across windows. As he opened the doors, Williams spilled out backwards into his arms. His face was deathly white, from loss of blood, and he had a jagged tear across his face and neck. His left eye socket was a bloody mess.

        Williams’s mouth moved, as though to speak, but all the came out was a strangled gurgle. JD gently laid him on the ground. "Don’t say anything, we’ll get you patched up and to the hospital. Don’t worry, man, I’ve got your back."


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Orpheus Reborn: Meat Wagon, Pt 1 (Zombie Fiction)

Author's Note:  There is some vulgarity in this story.  No worse than what you'd hear on TV now a days; still there none the less. 

  "Man, I’m telling you things are getting friggin’ weird. Some guy attacked Johnson, you know from bus 12, and bit his ear off. City Hall is trying to keep a lid on things, but it’s all coming apart. That red headed cop, what’s his name from Central Division, Tomlinson…whatever...he said that they were under orders NOT to talk to the press, and that that everyone was working a double shift, as of this morning. You can’t deny that business has picked up in the last forty-eight hours. And I don’t mean "full moon" busy, I mean "there’s some creepy stuff" busy."

        Jan Davidson, known as JD, looked sideways at the large man in the paramedic uniform behind the wheel of the ambulance they sat in. Williams was always talking about squirrelly stuff; alien abductions, government cover ups, etc. This time though, JD knew he was on the money. Things had been getting weird in the city, really quick. "Yeah, but what are you gonna do? You’ve got a job, and need the paycheck. We’ll just deal with it, like we always do." It was JD’s manner to take things in stride, even when things got hairy. Williams was always amazed at his capacity to remain if not calm, at least controlled under most circumstances.

        "It’s different this time. I’m telling you, I’m worried. I even got Alice starting to get things we might need if it hits the fan. I also brought this". Williams reached into his kit bag, which sat on the floorboard between them. He pulled out Colt .45 1911 pistol. JD sat up a bit straighter, tension visibly crossing his face. "What’s a matter Mr. Ex-Marine; afraid of a little gun?" Williams said, with slight mockery. Williams enjoyed ribbing JD about being a Marine, as he had spent 4 years in the Army.

        JD reached across and used his open palm to ensure that the pistol was pointed away from him and towards the floorboard. "I’m not afraid of any gun. I’m afraid that your dumbass is gonna shoot one, or both of us. Plus," he continued, "if you get caught with that thing in the bus, you’re gonna get both of us fired; in a heartbeat."

        "Don’t worry, that won’t happen. Besides, it gives me peace of mind. Promise me one thing." JD eyed him sideways and gave him the "what now?" look. "We’re tight, no matter what happens, we got each other’s backs, and when it’s time to go, we go together…I’m serious"

        "Ok, drama queen, now put that damned thing away," JD replied shaking his head in amusement. Williams smiled and did a quick press check and ensured the safety was on. As he was putting the pistol in his kitbag, the radio crackled to life.

        "Unit 14, multiple victims at 63rd and Prospect. They say that one is a police officer in critical condition. You’re the closest, hurry."

        JD keyed the mic and responded, "Roger that, on our way," as his other hand reached up and hit the switches for the lights and siren. Williams turned the key and put the ambulance into gear. Pulling into traffic, they headed towards their destination. Several blocks later, they saw the lights of police cars. As they drew closer, they could see police tape already up and a crowd gathering. An officer doing traffic control waved them past, as they pulled as close as possible to the incident site.

        Pulling to a stop, they both jumped into action. The two and a-half years they had ridden together had made them a well-oiled machine. They entered the small house.  There was an elderly black man slumped in a chair.  The side of his head was missing; he was obviously beyond help.  In the middle of the room, there was a large woman face down, with three blossoms of blood on here overly large smock.  Williams began to check her out, when a policeman intervened; “Leave, one of ours is in the basement, barley hanging on”, he said pointing to an open door in the hallway.  They moved towards it, stepping over a third body; this one missing the top of its head.

        They maneuvered their way down the narrow staircase and saw a group of officers huddled over another, who lay on his back.  JD shouldered his way passed, and they gave the paramedics room to work.  As they began stabilizing the victim, an officer explained the situation. A patrol car had received a call a possible abduction.  When they arrived they entered the house and found a small time thug wanted in connection with a recent murder.  He had viciously attacked one of the officers and the mother had attacked the other.  The incident ended when the second officer shot the perp and the husband shot the mother, then himself.

As the paramedics worked over the victim, they looked at each other. Williams frowned and shook his head. JD knew what he meant; the man did not have a chance, he had lost too much blood. He doubted he would last long enough to get him into the bus for the ride to the hospital. Blood frothed at his neck, with every ragged breath. His trachea was punctured and his aorta was shredded. JD was surprised he still had a pulse. JD didn’t like losing anybody, especially a cop, but sometimes he knew it was hopeless for the victim. This was one of those times.  They needed to move fast, as there was nothing they could do on site

Williams and JD quickly placed the officer on the stretcher.  Hurriedly they moved it up the stairs and through the house.  Time was against them as the man’s life slid further away.  They placed the stretcher in the back of the ambulance. Williams started to head around to the driver’s side. JD stepped in front of him and placed is palm on his chest. "Uh-uh," he said shaking his head. "I’ve had to ride in back the last 3 times and either do paperwork or work on the patient. This time, I drive and you fill out the forms." Williams acquiesced with little argument. He and JD shared responsibilities evenly, and it was long past his turn. He crawled into the back of the bus, as JD shut the doors and got behind the wheel.

To Be Continued...

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