Free Read Friday: G is for God is Dead Pt II

© Can Stock Photo / Zeferli

Author Note: What follows is a brief foray into the world the four boys from my post apocalyptic series inhabit. A world of unrestrained brutality where death lurked at every turn, where the only law was the firepower one carried, and the only hope was for a swift death followed by a dreamless sleep. Inspired by Stephen King's Dark Tower series. Roland Deschain was the last gunslinger, one of these boys is destined to become the first.

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G is for God is Dead!

On a winding country road four boys reach the edge of reality.

Going around was a preferable option that would add another day to their trek. While it was not a real inconvenience as they were well stocked for an extended trip, and were quite capable of living off the land, there was something about the whole situation that tickled his curiosity.

Why? The question begged to be answered, why would they hang their priest?

He didn’t appear to have suffered any other wounds, his clothes though dirty, looked to ve well maintained.

“What do you suppose happened?” Window said on his right as Meat watched the clearing ahead for any signs of life.

“Hard to say,” he answered with a shrug, his gaze never straying from that clearing.

“There’s only one way to find out,” Window said as he started down the road ahead of them.

“Maybe we should just go around,” Meat said, stopping the younger boy in his tracks.

“I agree,” Einstein offered, “I think it would be better if we just went around.”

“What do you think?” Window said, shifting his gaze to Billie-Bob who was whispering to himself, his voice soft, indistinct, the words running together like a chant.

“Who me?” Billie-Bob looked up startled, shrugging as he shook his head and lifted his hands, palms up. “Doesn’t matter to me which way we go.”

“It’s settled then, we’ll go through,” Window said before turning on his heel and striking out.

“Wait,” Meat said, “I don’t think it’s safe.”

“Where is it safe?” Window shot back, turning to face the other three boys, “tell me that, where in this world is it really safe, because you know what, I want to go there. I’m tired of always being afraid, always having to be cautious so we don’t disrupt the others, or draw their attention.” Window’s voice rose as he continued, closing with a shout of frustration. “Where is it safe?”

Several birds took to flight from the trees above them squawking in protest with raucous cries. Window stood before them, like them, nothing more than a kid lost in a world that no longer cared. Sure they were armed, and they certainly knew how to use the weapons they carried, but beneath their grimy exteriors, they were nothing more than children shouldering a burden that had been forced on them.

As the echo of Window’s voice faded into the distance, and the startled birds had settled elsewhere, from the forest on their right came the steady sound of someone’s approach though the dense blanket of leaves that covered the forest floor.

All eyes turned to the forest, hands dropping instinctively to the butts of  their weapons. In this new age, when a stranger approached, it was best to be ready for anything.

A spot of white materialized from the gloomy forest depths as those steady footsteps drew closer. A person emerged from the shadows, staggering towards them, more details becoming obvious with every passing moment. She might have been beautiful once, but not anymore. Long blonde hair, that which remained, hung in filthy strands around a face marbled in shades of gray and black. Her mouth hung open, exposing blackened teeth that had probably once been perfectly straight and white. Her eyes burned with a preternatural light, shimmering in the shadowy depths as he mouth worked in hungry anticipation of sinking those neglected incisors into warm, living, flesh.

She was one of the undead and they slipped well worn pistols from leather holsters as she reached the edge of the road. Window fired, the sound of his forty four shattering the stillness, sending a flock of birds into startled flight as the heavy slug slapped her in the forehead, stopping her forward momentum as it shattered her skull and pulped her brain.

She dropped to the ground instantly as what remained of her brains splattered against the tree trunks behind her.

“What the hell did you do that for?” Meat yelled as he turned on Window. “Now everyone within a four mile radius knows where we are.”

“Who cares, let em come get us, I’m ready for them.”

Meat saw the truth in the younger boys eyes, for all his bravado he was as scared as the rest of them.

As if in answer to Window’s boast the sound of more movement came from the forest around them. More shapes emerged from the shadowy depths, staggering into view, drawn by all the noise Window had made.

“We better get going,” Widow said as he turned to flee down the road. The other three followed as more than ten of the undead staggered onto the cracked pavement of that narrow ribbon of road. Followed by even more that seemed to inhabit the entire forest around them.

Where had they come from? Meat had time to wonder as they drew closer to the church flanked by two other buildings. They were in the middle of nowhere, far from any major cities, there shouldn’t be that many undead in the woods around them.

When he chanced a look back he saw the road covered by a staggering crowd of the undead.

Window reached the church first and without hesitation he smashed open the door. After the last of them hurried through he closed it and with their help used whatever was lying around to barricade it.

To be continued!

The four boys featured in this story appear in my post apocalyptic coming of age series available from Amazon.

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