Free Read Friday: G is for God Is Dead Part IV

© 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!

Part IV

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

“It’s nothing, really, just the wind, and all that, there’s nothing at all in the shadows,” the man finished, jerking his head around to the right as he continued to search the shadows. “Or maybe it’s a nightmare that’s slipped its moorings,” he whispered more to himself as he turned from the four boys to continue his search of the darkness that had grown to fill the church with a palatable sense of approaching doom. They were trapped between the undead waiting outside, and a shadowy presence that inhabited the church. Why were the undead waiting? What invisible force was keeping them at bay? The questions begged for answers that were not immediately forthcoming.

“He’s crazy,” Window said, dismissing the old priest as he vanished into the thick gloom.

“Shhh,” Einstein said, “not so loud, he might hear you.”

“So, who cares?”

As the other three were dealing with the priest Billie-Bob had been watching the statue behind the altar. There was something about it that touched him in a darkly primitive place where old fears roamed unfettered through narrow corridors. Something that wasn’t quite right, aside from its size.

Window’s shout drew his attention, and when he looked away, just at the very edge of his peripheral vision, he spotted movement. The statue had moved, and he took several steps back as fear washed over him. He shook his head in an attempt to clear it. It had to be his imagination. It wasn’t possible for the statue to move. He focused his attention on it, watching for even the slightest sign of movement but the shadows were thick, and details were scarce.

He could move closer, but no, it was safer to remain where he was. He looked away, this time focusing on the statue and was rewarded with a slight nodding of the head. It had to be the shadows playing tricks on him.

Retrieving a flashlight from his pack he turned it on and played the narrow beam across the statue’s face, those clear blue eyes sparkled in the soft light. First one eyelid, then the other, closed and he took several steps back.

“Guys,” he whispered as he struggled to come to terms with what he had just seen. They were still arguing among themselves after the priest vanished into the deeper shadows along the side of the church.

Then he felt it on an emotional level, something reaching out to him, caressing his thoughts as it sought what? What was it searching for?

Do you believe? The question formed and he looked from the statue to his friends. They were the only thing he had ever believed in. The only thing he found he could trust. You couldn’t even trust adults in this new reality, it was every man for himself, and as the youngest member of this quartet he had experienced that disregard first hand. Most of the adults he’d met in his short life were focused solely on their own needs and wants.

You can trust me, a sweetly sinister voice whispered in his mind and he found himself drawn to the statue like a moth to a flame. He was aware the others had stopped arguing, their focus shifting from the priest to him, as they each in turn, spun around to watch as he slowly approached that living statue.

“Billie-Bob, what are you doing?” Window shouted.

The young boy failed to answer as he slowly approached the statue, one hand outstretched, reaching for those clear blue eyes locked with his as that inner voice soothed his terror. Quelling his fear, blanketing it with a spreading numbness that slowly washed through him.

With its numbing embrace came understanding as Billie-Bob shed his well earned doubts about humanities purpose and its future.  They had come to witness the dawn of a new era. Those who had gathered beyond the walls of the church, drawn by that which inhabited the statue, the undead were to be the chosen ones.

When he and his brother first arrived at Bremo Bluffs, they had been taken in by a husband and wife who had lost their children to the awakening. Their presence helped soften the blow of that loss, but the couple had found more solace in the bible, in particular the teachings of revelations and the passages that dealt with the rising of the dead. For them the awakening was not the end of society, but the beginning of a new age.

Did that mean they were doomed to an eternity of damnation?

“Come to me,” that sinister voice whispered in his mind, and he did, against his own will, unable to stop himself. 

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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