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Zombie Me: Patchwork and Pieces

Chapter 1: Part 1, Litany of Rot

Chapter 1: Part 2, Shattered

Chapter 1: Part 3, Growling with Hunger

Chapter 1: Part 4, Vion Rising

Chapter 1: Part 5, Stand Off

Chapter 1: Part 6, The Call

Chapter 1: Part 7, Free Association

Chapter 1: Part 8, First Taste

Chapter 1: Part 9, Bert and Ernie

Chapter 1: Part 10, Starting to Rain

Chapter 2: Part 1, "Me!"

Chapter 2: Part 2, C.A.B.L.E.T.V.

Chapter 2: Part 3, Raining

Chapter 2: Part 4, Sheltered Hunger

Chapter 2: Part 5, Clouded Eye Open

New short story "The Awakening"

Chapter 2: Part 6, Everything Yet Nothing

Chapter 2: Part 7, The Cheshire Smile

Chapter 2: Part 8, Cacophony of Fists

Chapter 2: Part 9, Still Born

Chapter 2: Part 10, Empty Nest

Chapter 3: Part 1, False Rescue, Hidden Hope

Chapter 3: Part 2, The Process

Review of Brainchild... A collection of Artifacts

Chapter 3: Part 3, Psuedo Life

Chapter 3: Part 4, Wayward Derelicts

Chapter 3: Part 5, The Cleaners

Chapter 3: Part 6 The Corridor

Chapter 3: Part 7, Echoes of Death

Chapter 3: Part 8, The Road Kill Machine

Chapter 3: Part 9, Fixed Lividity

New short story "Alone in the Woods"

Chapter 3: Part 10, Fire Within

Chapter 4: Part 1, Eye of the Beholder

Chapter 4: Part 2, Home

New - Character Sketches

Chapter 4: Part 3, Dead Inside

Chapter 4: Part 4, Dead Soldiers

Chapter 4: Part 5, Kill Switch

Chapter 4: Part 6, The Call Part 2

Chapter 4: Part 7, The Key

Chapter 4: Part 8, Reunion

Chapter 4: Part 9, Unleashed


2005/10/28

Chapter 2: Part 6, Everything Yet Nothing

Once again he sat there alone in a world that seemed hauntingly familiar yet entirely new to him. The man who had called him friend had gotten up and now stumbled among the graves heedless of the drenching rain. His entrails dangled, painting red blotches along the ground. He would falter now and again as they became caught up in his feet. The dog Pieces had slept briefly, and now playfully chased after the floppy tripe in a macabre game of keep away.

The rain kept a steady pace with thoughts that pitter patted in his mind. He knew things, but couldn't connect the drips of thought into anything larger than puddles. He tried to remember anything about the past which he could grasp onto, something onto which he could build a foundation. Conflicting thoughts fought with each other as blurred memories tumbled viscously. There were age conflicts, physical attribute differences, philosophical differences, and multitudes of religions in his memories. A definite sense of masculinity pervaded him, and his body was male, yet memories of a female nature roiled within. One memory had him losing his virginity to a seventeen year old blonde named Sarah on prom night. In another he was giving birth to his daughter Elizabeth, and yet in another he was too young to have children. The two opposing facets of man and women set the stage for far stranger contentions and for these he didn't need memories to observe. He was embroidered with difference. Looking down at his hands he could delineate where dark skin, possibly African American, was stitch tightly with what looked to be Caucasian. He was everything yet nothing.

Blood splashed against the walls as his fist slammed into the puddle where Nick Daniels had lay. A spider web of cracks emanated from beneath his knuckles in the red stained marble. His troubled thoughts cleared as deadened nerves carried faint signals of pain through his nervous system. Pain was all that was real now, pain and the craving for flesh. Licking the tacky liquid from his hands he sat back and enjoyed the coppery taste.

A slight wind picked up from the east carrying with it the salty sea air. The rain had let up slightly but the wind tossed it at harsh angles against the small building. A story book ending seemed far away, too many things appeared to be stacked against him. No home, no family, and no coherent memory all seemed insurmountable obstacles.

A wet lick brought him back to reality as the dog cleaned the remnants of the drying blood from his hand. No family seemed to be an incorrect statement. They were family he thought sensing the dog, and in no truer sense looked to be spun from the same yarn. The plastic stitches that coursed its back matched those on his arm.

His hand rested on the back of the large animal, its unnatural strength radiated from deep within. It was the strength of a hunter, it was a purpose which seemed built in both of them. He had witnessed it firsthand when they encountered the singing man. The dog intuitively took position in the shadows and waited for a signal from him. They had worked silently as one waiting for the prime opportunity to strike in the darkness.

As if on cue they both turned their heads towards the distant edge of the cemetery. Voices, carried on the wind alerted them to an approaching group. The dog sniffed the air and pawed the ground in agitation. Patchwork stepped silently out of the building and into the light rain with Pieces in tow a few feet behind. They would again have the chance to hunt together tonight.

Alec Wilson and his buddies were on their second row of graves. The sounds of spray cans filled the air with the quiet hiss of rattlesnakes. "Yo Alec! Gimme a red, I'm out!"

"Here ya go!" Alec expertly flipped his knapsack over his shoulder and opened it. It was filled with a dozen or so cans of spray paint in an assortment of colors. Grabbing a can of red he tossed it over to Jonesy. "Don't forget to switch the spray tip off the old can! Those tips are hard to get!"

"Damn kid! You act like I ain't ever done this before!" Jonesy fronted an aggressive attitude jokingly towards Alec.

"Yeah, well the way you been pissin through paint tonight it seems like you a virgin!" His mock slang carried sarcastic undertones. Alec could hear a slight chuckle from the remaining member of their crew, Smitty. "Now shut it unless you wanna get us all pinched!"

Jonesy quietly finished up the swastika he'd been working on with the new can of paint. Their small group was part of a larger skinhead gang called FSU which stood for Fuck Shit Up, and that's pretty much what they did. Their goal tonight was to defame any grave with a name that appeared non-white. Little did they realize that more than half the graves they had vandalized so far were of W.A.S.P.'S. and a majority of the paint had already been washed off by the rain.

"Do you hear that?" Jonesy stopped spraying and looked up from the tomb in front of him. "Yo! You guys hear footsteps?" a slight rustling of leaves followed. "Dude! 5-O!"

"Shut up! You're making Smitty nervous! It's pitch black and 5-O would be using flash lights!" Alec had always been the level headed one. "It's just the wind blowing leaves up your skirt! Ya big sissy!" Alec turned to continue spray painting when Smitty started to make a gurgling sound. "Smitty what the F..." his words trailed off as his gaze fixed on the sight before him.

On the ground off to his right in a pile was Smitty and something else. It was a large dog and it had locked its jaw around Smitty's throat, his eyes bulged in their sockets with each squeeze. Its hind legs tore at Smitty's abdomen with powerful kicks until his intestines spilled onto the ground with a wet slop.

Alec gasped at the gore, he had never seen anything quite like it. Jonesy hearing the commotion looked to Alec and then to Smitty. Dropping the can of paint, he had just got up to help his fallen friend when a powerful hand grabbed him from behind and pulled him back to the ground.

Patchwork felt rage from all his frustration come to the surface as he grabbed the bald head of Jonesy. With uncalculated strength he rammed it into the still wet swastika painted on the grave. A fissure appeared on Jonesy's forehead as his skull cracked with the sound of a hollow coconut. The second bash sent the rupture to the apex of his head. On the third smash Jonesy's head exploded with a cracking mush. Patchwork continued ramming Jonesy's limp carcass into the red pulp that covered the granite surface. All earlier signs of vandalism had been washed away in blood.

Alec turned to run from the sights before him. With every footstep he stumbled with fear as the wet leaves slid beneath his feet. He ran directionless through the cemetery until he saw the figure of a man standing alone praying over a small grave.

"Mister! You gotta help me! There's some psycho guy back there who killed my friends!" Alec placed his hand on the shoulder of the gentleman, "Mister, please..."

The man's hand slowly rose up in a gesture of comfort when Alec noticed that it looked like it had been used as a dog's chew toy. Flayed fingers grabbed onto Alec's hand and quickly pulled it into his mouth. That was when Nick Daniels had gotten his first taste of flesh as he bit down hard. Alec pulled away tearing the few ligaments that held his pinky on. The man slowly turn revealing a gaping hole where his throat had been. Alec, too shocked to feel any pain, ran from the nightmare he had unwillingly entered. The gates to the cemetery loomed before him like the entrance to paradise. Street lights painted the sidewalks in safety as he broke through the darkness and headed towards the light.

Like a long lost son returning home, Nick joined his creator as they feasted on the remains of Jonesy. In just under an hour the mewling cries of the reborn Smitty filled the air around them. Patchworks' family was growing...

2005/10/14

The Awakening

Awakening with a jerk Martin Brenaugh immediately regretted it. His head swam and his vision blurred as a migraine pulsed in his brain. He hadn't had a hangover this bad since he'd started school last fall at UNH, but now almost a full year later he had proven himself to be a glutton for punishment.

A ruddy orange light crept along the ceiling as the early October sun slowly rose from behind a dilapidated barn that sat alone in the field outside. Martin's eyes painfully adjusted to the encroaching dawn. The abandoned farmhouse that he and five other brothers from his fraternity had partied in the night before was about six miles in the woods headed towards Madbury. "Do you know that some say the Gilson farm is haunted?" Jim Switten asked jokingly as he roughly drew a map for the guys to follow. Sure Martin had heard strange stories about Dr. Gilson and his family, but that's all they were... just stories. In any school the freshmen are notorious with spreading rumors, and at UNH the local area provided ample fodder. There was a rumor that the good doctor had had his license revoked for performing unnecessary surgery. Still there was another that claimed Dr. Gilson had become entangled in the dark web of Voodoo while he had interned at a French colony in Haiti, but that's all they were... just rumors.

The brothers had been sent there on Friday by some of the senior guys in the frat as a pseudo initiation prank. Martin felt that the older guys were just busting on them because that's just what guys did when they were bored. They had left school as the sky was beginning to darken at five fifteen and were out exploring the grounds by six.

A thick fog grew from a slight haze until it covered their feet adding to the unease felt by all. They set up a battery powered stereo and threw back some cold brews while playing poker. After a bit they all started to feel more comfortable and John Conroy had suggested they go out back and check out the barn, after all that's where it was rumored that Gilson had performed his rituals.

The trek out to the barn had been uneventful. The grass was now heavy with dew and their shoes had quickly become so saturated that walking was arduous. The crooked doors to the barn had been rusted shut from decades of contact with the salty seacoast air. It had taken the strength of both John and he to force them open. Inside the dank barn old tools and equipment decorated the walls and hung dangerously from the rafters. Martin was admiring a scythe that swung slightly in the drafty barn when Bill Randell had called their attention to where he was in the back. He had found a locked trunk with strange writing stamped along the rusted steal bindings. "It looks like chicken scratch... Hell I can't even read it!" Bill said and then quickly smashed the lock with a hammer he had grabbed off the wall. A white mist escaped from the trunk as Bill heaved the lid open with a groan. That was the last thing Martin remembered of the prior evening. Everything else was lost in his alcohol addled brain.

"I'm never gonna drink again!" Martin mumbled as he pulled himself out of his sleeping bag. Looking down he noticed that his feet were covered with a rust colored mud. "What the..." He glanced around the room and saw that the same rust colored mud spotted the floor forming what looked like bloody footprints trailing from the door to where he lay. I must have indulged a little more then I remember he thought.

Martin slowly stood and waited for the pounding in his head to clear before following the footsteps to the door. The old wood sighed heavily as it swung open to reveal the shadowed hallway which led to the main stairway. Passing by the few rooms that occupied the second floor he knocked on the doors to see which of his fellow brothers had crashed where. Each attempt was met with silence. Slipping slightly in the cold mud he regained his balance while narrowly averting what would have been a painful fall down the stairs. Man what a mess!

Reaching the bottom of the stairway he looked around and saw Bill asleep on the floor covered with an old stained blanket he had grabbed from the frat house. Barely covering Bill's lanky form the bottom was covered in the same mud that his bare feet were. Must have come from the walk back from the barn... He thought as he continued the search of the main room. The radio squeaked to life as he fumbled with the buttons. Trying to find the news on one of the NPR stations he passed by random snippets of songs he liked. Continuing to try to piece together the events of last night, advertisements droned along in the background when finally his attention was caught by a news alert.

...Five UNH students have been missing now for six days. The students were all members of the Delta Omega Alpha fraternity and were last seen on Friday. Anyone with information has been asked to report to the Durham police department...

"Six days! Damn what's been going on?" The words came out slurred as he was still shacking off the effects of the hangover. Then Martin realized that if six days had passed he shouldn't have any more alcohol in his system, he shouldn't be hung-over at all. His stomach growled painfully when he realized also that he hadn't eaten for six days. He groaned at the thought, "This can't be happening!" Walking over towards Bill he started trying to wake him.

Back at the fraternity the police had come by twice now and both times Jim Switten had ducked out the back door. I'm gonna kill those guys for doing this! He thought as his Altima sped down route four heading towards Madbury. I bet they're doing this to get back at us for the Gilson farm. Jim took a sharp right and turned onto a dirt road that cut right between two large corn fields. Within minutes Jim's car skidded to a halt in front of the old house. Off to its side under an old oak tree, Martin's beat up Chevy Charger sat covered in fallen autumn leaves. Mounting the whitewashed steps Jim could see movement through the cracked front window. I knew it!

Roughly throwing open the front door Jim burst into the living room, "Do you guys know how much trouble you're in?" Jim suddenly halted as his rage melted into shock. Before him lying on the floor was Bill Randell with Martin Brenaugh kneeling over. The floor was slick with bloody footprints and gore. Martin sat there wrist deep in Bill's abdomen digging out any organ which he could grasp, his skin was an ashen grey and he bobbed his head from side to side as if inebriated. Blood trickled from Martin's mouth as he chewed on what looked like a liver. Martin turned towards Jim with a look of confusion mixed with hunger. On the floor Bill's body started to move and his eyes began to open.

Somewhere behind Jim he heard a door shut followed by the sound of shuffling feet. He turned to see what had once been his friend John Conroy blocking the door. John also was covered with blood, it poured from his mouth as he slurred out the word "Brrraaainssss......"

Outside the house within the dark shadows of the barn the trunk slammed shut. Five pairs of sneakers were locked within along with the souls of their owners.

Happy Halloween!!!