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Monday, December 14, 2015

ZOMBIES: 'We're Alive' Fan Fiction - Chapter 11 - Locked, Loaded, and Locked In

A few years back, I was commissioned to write a story for the 'We're Alive' podcast.

Long story short, it didn't pan out.

But I spent a very long time writing it for it to languish in my computer.  I spent that time not only writing it for the 'We're Alive' folks, but mostly for my readers.

So what I've decided to do is publish my initial story here, via my blog, as a work of FAN FICTION, a completely unofficial piece about a character from the series.  This is completely unofficial and unauthorized, but I think my work and time spent on this project deserve to see the light of day.

I would like to encourage everyone who might enjoy this fan fiction to check out the officials 'We're Alive' website HERE.  It is a fantastic and well-developed world created by a group of professional writers and expert voice actors.  

In the meantime, here's the completlely unofficial, unauthorized 'We're Alive' fan fiction, originally entitled (WORKING TITLE:  BURT)

BY

BOWIE V. IBARRA

From an idea from the creators of the
“WE’RE ALIVE” podcast
  

Copyright 2011 PRODUCERS OF “WE’RE ALIVE” PODCAST, BOWIE V. IBARRA


11.  LOCKED, LOADED, AND LOCKED IN

     When Burt finally arrived at the sidewalk just across the street from the store, he sighed in frustrated disappointment.
     It was worse than he thought.
     Black puffs of smoke were billowing out of one of the windows of ‘Locked and Loaded’.
     Fire, he thought.  “Dammit,” he groaned.
     Though Burt wanted to run to the building, he knew he had to take a moment to recover.  He had dashed down the sidewalk amid the chaos of the city for five city blocks.  He had avoided conflicts, mostly adults asking for help.  He never changed that thought that they were completely capable of defending themselves.
     It was a cruel call to deny people help.  But this wasn’t about being courteous anymore.  Not like many people in the US were courteous anymore.  Courtesy goes hand in hand with civilization.  Watching the fistfights, desperation, and bloody violence on his run was proof enough to Burt that civility in the City of Montebello was temporarily out of service.  The episode at the apartment with the children was proof enough for Burt.
     This world had not time for civility.  It was about survival.
     Burt had a splitting headache.  He was very tired, and was feeling like his eyes were trying to close.  His vision was blurring.  Leaning against a building, Burt caught his breath.
     “C’mon, man,” he said to himself.  “Get moving!”
     Burt took off across the street.  As dangerous as it was, he moved through the slow and go traffic with precision.  He was surprised the streets weren’t completely choked with cars, but imagined this section of the city was still maneuverable while other parts weren’t. 
     Jumping over the last vehicle, he tumbled off the hood and fell to the sidewalk.  He groaned in pain, looking up at his store and all the people in it as the driver of the car he just tumbled over yelled, “Hey, fuck you, man!”
     Anger flooded Burt’s heart.  But the anger was not against the driver who just insulted him.  It was for the people looting the store.  He was no killer.  But he was going to make a statement that he would do just that if needed.
     “Get away from my store!” he shouted.
     The people standing around his store turned to him and laughed.
     Burt stood up and unslung his M-16.  He held it in front of him.  A side of him still wanted to unload on the people.  Plug every single one of them.  Put them away like a Chicago gangster with a Tommy Gun.  These were the same idiots he despised, the same ones that started this madness.  These crazy people who were going so far as to eat each other.  What kind of human does that?
     These people needed to be stopped, exterminated like vermin to never infest the city with doom like they did today.
     But who was he to decide who lived and died?  He was no god.  He was just a man with a goal.
     There was another method of achieving his goal that was only moments away from being in his hands.  He aimed the machine gun just over the heads of the looters and opened fire.  The looters scattered like roaches spooked by the sudden illumination of lights in a room.  Burt fired short bursts, advancing to the store.  Hot shells raced from the rifle onto the pavement, singing the song of a hellborne wind chime.  Some people had pistols of their own.  Maybe even stolen from the store.  They shot at Burt, but were completely missing their target because they were running and shooting wild.  As he finished every round in the magazine, he moved to the front door.  The people had scattered to Burt’s superior firepower.
     Laying by the door were two corpses.  Both had parts of their bodies dismembered.  Their stomachs had been torn open.  Their entrails lay in pieces all around the body.  Burt didn’t realize the bodies were there until he reached the door and he stepped in the pool of blood their bodies had spit out onto the pavement.  He coughed in disgust.
     Burt ducked his head just under the plume of smoke and walked into the store.  Broken glass from the front door crunched under his feet.  He didn’t know what to expect, but he knew it was not going to be good.
     The smoke shrouded the store in mystery.  Burt could feel the fire nearby, and immediately moved to where the fire extinguisher had been installed.
     As he cleared the smoke, he was shocked at what he saw.  The pillaging was exactly as disastrous as he’d imagined.
     Grabbing the fire extinguisher off the wall, he turned it on the flames.  It wasn’t long before the chemical cold of the extinguisher put out the small fires, reducing them to smoky piles of rubble.
Near the front door, Burt could hear yet another gathering of troublemakers.  He could see their shadows through the smoke, and hear their chatting.
     “Get the hell out of my shop, you bastards!” he shouted.
     The stout old man opened fire with precision just over the heads of the looters, quickly making them scatter like pigeons startled at a downtown park.  Two of them opened fire with pistols as they ran, making Burt dive behind a wooden case that was now lined with broken glass where pistols used to lie in quiet solitude.
     “You just fucked up, old man,” shouted a voice.
     “Just walk away,” said Burt with an exhausted smile. 
     Lord Humungous.
     “I’ll spare your life.  Just walk away.”
     “Fuck you, old man,” shouted the thug.  The crunching of glass below the adversary’s feet signaled to Burt that the enemy was making a move.
     Burt listened closely to the direction he estimated the sound was coming from.  But he could not get a bead on it.  He was too tired to concentrate.
     I’ll be goddamned, thought the old man to himself.  Just overwhelm him, thought Burt to himself.  Overwhelm him with firepower.
     Reloading the M-16, Burt stood up and immediately opened fire.
     The boy ducked and jumped out of the way, crying out like a little girl.  Burt did not let up.  He emptied the M-16 on his own store, making the kid scramble in fear back to the front door.
     When the M-16 ran out of ammo, he immediately pulled out his pistol and opened fire.  The time between weapons gave the kid a chance to scurry out the door like a scalded dog, running in fear and respect.
     “Goddamn right,” muttered Burt.
     But the smoke, exertion, and hunger was taking its toll.  The room was pillaged.  He didn’t want to look at it anymore.  But he had one more thing to check.
     Shuffling in an exhausted daze to one of his first safes, he realized it wasn’t as safe as he thought.
“All gone,” he said, looking inside and sighing.  “All gone.”
     The safe had been forced open.  It wasn’t a job for amateurs.  Few knew about the safe.  The only ones who did, who were also capable of opening it, were some of his regular customers.  From that list, a modest few had the tools and the talent to pull it off.  He was disappointed, if his theory was correct.  He couldn’t believe they would do that to him.  To the store.  To Shirley.
     There was one safe, though, that only he knew about.  Shirley knew about it, too.  It was her safe, after all.
     Stumbling, Burt hoped against hope that it was unharmed, unopened.
     Burt breathed a sigh of relief when he finally arrived and saw it was completely untouched. 
     “Shirley,” he whispered.  “You’re safe.”
     Inside the safe was ‘Shirley’, her favorite gun:  a Desert Eagle.
     Dropping the fire extinguisher to the floor, Burt leaned against the wall in complete exhaustion.  He had reached the store.  And though he would have to take out an insurance claim on the entire business, his prized possession in the safe, the one thing that could never be replaced by insurance money, was safe.
     There was no sense staying in the store now.  It was completely ransacked, vulnerable to anyone and everyone who dared enter.  The store could be fixed, repaired.  And her gun was still safe.
     Burt was exhausted.  Totally spent.  Cashed.  He needed food.  Water.  There might still be both in his office in the back.  He could go get it.
     But all he wanted to do for the moment was rest.
     He won.  He got what he wanted.  Now it was his body’s turn to reward itself.  First, with rest.  He leaned against a wall and let it support his body as he slid down and sat on the floor.
     His eyelids fell across his eyes.  No part of his body wanted to move.  Every part of his body wanted to rest.
     Eyes closed, he could still hear the chaos outside.
Sirens.
Gunshots.
Cries for help.
Cries of terror.
Cries of anguish.
A dog barking.
Car wreck.
More sirens.
Muffled shouts.
Gunfire.  Scattered gunfire.
     Then, the crunching of glass.  Shuffling feet from the smoky front room with the muttering of yet another set of opportunists.
     “Get out of my store,” shouted Burt, firing three rounds from his pistol into the air.
     The feet shuffled back out of the store.  Shouts of fearful obscenities faded away as the thieves took off.
     Burt hardly opened his eyes.  He couldn’t.  It was as if they were weighed down.  He was completely exhausted.  His head throbbed with pain.  He needed the nap, and let the sounds of pandemonium sing its lullaby to him yet again.
And again, sirens.
Gunshots.
Cries for help.
Cries of terror.
Cries of anguish.
A dog barking.
Car wreck.
More sirens.
Muffled shouts.
Gunfire.  Scattered gunfire.
     Then, the crunching of glass again, a slow crunching of glass from the smoky front room.  There was no muttering of opportunists, only the silence of mystery.
     “Get out of my store!” shouted Burt.  The feet stopped moving.
     Silence.
     There was no running like before.  So Burt fired the last three rounds into the air again.
     Again, silence.  Only the sounds of the nightmare city outside could be heard.  Burt’s lullaby.
     “I said get out!” shouted Burt again, trying to force his eyes open.  He needed to stand, but his body had shut down.
     Silence again.  The crunching stopped, but the sound of a person fleeing through the glass was, once again, not heard.
     There was something different about the silence.  It reminded him of what a big cat walking through a wilderness, preparing to pounce must be like.  Silent to find the direction of its prey. 
     Then, the crunching of glass started again.
Burt wanted to shout again.  But he stopped himself.  Something about the moment reminded him of playing ‘Marco Polo’ back at the public pool in Sacramento with his cousins.  With eyes closed, he would shout, ‘Marco’, to which his cousins and friends would reply, ‘Polo’.  He would try to swim to their voices.
     Today, the pool was ‘Locked and Loaded’.  The water was the smoke.  His cousins were strangers in his store.
     This was suddenly no game.  He was being hunted.
Burt no longer had ammo.  He assumed he wouldn’t need so much for the run.  He also took for granted he could get some here at the store.  But it was not to be.
     “Dammit,” he whispered.  He had no energy to fight.  He needed to hide.
     Then, from the front room, a pair of legs came into view.  It’s upper body was shrouded in smoke, walking in the haze as if unaffected. 
     “What the hell?” whispered Burt.
     Then, the figure emerged from the smoke.  Its face was pale.  Its skin, clammy.  Its mouth and hands were stained in blood.  It wore a white lab coat, and must have been from the nearby scientific facility.
     “The cannibals,” whispered Burt.  “Shit.”
     Burt had to move.  He was in no shape to fight.
     A bathroom was just a few feet away to his right.  Burt stood up slowly, leaning against the wall for support as he moved to the room.  He did not look back as he heard the person vocalize a peculiar but frightening groan.
     “Shit,” Burt muttered, stumbling towards the door.  He moved against it, hoping it was open.  It was not.
     It gave the ghoul enough time to reach him.
     “No!” shouted Burt, shoving the bloody figure away from him.  The shove gave Burt just enough time to open the door and fall in the restroom.
     Dazed, Burt looked up.  The cannibal was picking itself off the ground, ready to pounce.
     Burt lunged with all his might to the door, slamming it shut in the face of the creature like a door knock from an insurance salesman.  The beast beat at the door as Burt twisted the lock in the gilded knob.  He slid down the door, falling to his ass.
     This was as far as he was going to go.  With the thing outside his door, he was under siege with nothing to fight back with.
     “I can wait, you bastard,” whispered Burt defiantly.
     Within several minutes, the pounding stopped.
     Several minutes after that, Burt fell asleep again.  The monster didn’t get him.
     But his diabetes did.


            Burt didn’t know how long he had rested, but he knew it had to be long enough for that thing to leave.
            Rubbing his eyes, he had to figure out his next move.  He needed food.
            Leaning over, Burt looked under the bathroom door.  The tiles were warm where he had been seated.
            Burt could see nothing.  The monster was gone.
            “Dumb bastards,” he muttered, chuckling.  “Dumb bastards.”
            Burt got to his feet and walked to the sink.  Turning on the faucet, he scooped several handfuls of water into his mouth.  He tried to recover.  He was still hungry, still low energy. 
            But he had to get to the office for some food.
            He unlocked the door.
            He opened it.
            Burt felt he could just walk out without fear.  But he took his time anyway.
            It was a good thing he took his time, too, because as he stepped out, two of the cannibals were standing beside the door, waiting for him to emerge.
            “Shit!” he shouted, slamming the door shut again.  He twisted the lock in the knob again before the two started banging against the door again.
            They’re smart, he thought to himself.  “Good God,” he whispered.  “Good God almighty.  The sonsabitches were waiting for me.”
            Burt fell to his ass again.
            Unless someone came by soon, he was trapped.
            What a wonderful world, he thought to himself, chuckling.
            After six minutes or so, the pounding at the door stopped.
            After six minutes or so after that, Burt passed out.
            After six minutes or so after that, Burt had visions of Max, left alone on the highway.
            Somewhere in the layers of his visions, Louie Armstrong was singing.
           
=   =   =   =   =   =

            BANG
            BANG
            BANG

            “See?  I told you someone was inside.”
            “But he’s already dead.  What are you doing?  Get away from him.”
            “Maybe… maybe he’s not…

            “Shit!  He’s alive…




8-15-11
SATX
In the republic of Texas
“Pigs on the Wing, pt. 2”
ZombieBloodFights.com


FOR THE REST OF THE STORY, CLICK ON THE WE'RE ALIVE WEBSITE, GO TO 'LISTEN', AND CLICK ON 'CHAPTER 3 - THE NEW ARRIVALS' PART 2 OF 3, 4 min., 20 second mark.


BOWIE VALERIANO IBARRA is an artist living in Texas.  He enjoys zombie movies, combat sports, and action/adventure movies.  His first book, the zombie horror classic “Down the Road” was picked up by Simon and Schuester in conjunction with Permuted Press.

Bowie earned an Associate in Art from Bee County College, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting and a Masters of Theatre History from Texas State University.

You can learn more about Bowie, his body of written works, watch exclusive videos, and network with him at his official website, ZombieBloodFights.com.



Check out the 'We're Alive' podcast HERE...

Network with Bowie and find his other titles at his official website, ZBFbooks.com.

For the full scoop on the story, join the official ZBFbooks.com Facebook group HERE.

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