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Without further ado here’s part 2
DEAD OF NIGHT
By Alex Lomonte
The First Mourning
He tried to help out wherever he could, but he was too preoccupied with the thought of losing Gisele or his family. He had many questions go right through him, he could not focus, he had no sleep, he was exhausted and he was sure that he lost someone in his family. He walked along the familiar streets he would walk throughout his life. They were all shadows of what they used to be; windows in every shop and home were shattered, chimneys smoked with no one tending the fires that burned in them, walls and doors ruined torn down by desperate zombies trying to eat the inhabitants of the home. He had so much pain inside formed by the distant memories that were in ruins because of the evil that ran through the city last night.
Dmitri turned the corner to his street. There were bodies everywhere, there were zombie corpses lining one side and guards’ and townspeople’s lining the other. It was a terrible sight, and the smell was worse. He had a pain stab him through the heart, he knew nearly all the people on the street. He ran down to the end, where his house was. There were a few guards who opened the doors for him, “They’re in your father’s study,” one called after him.
Dmitri sprinted up the stairs; he could not imagine the thought of losing someone he loved. He went past the boarded up rooms that he normally ignored so he thought nothing of them. He got to the fifth floor and entered the double doors that swung into his father’s study. Before he could register what was going on he got tackled by Gisele, she was crying and the hug she gave him squeezed the emotions out of him. They cried tears of joy because they were together again, both didn’t know what they would do if they lost the other. When they finally let go of one another they gave each other a kiss then Dmitri turned to his parents.
“What happened?” Dmitri asked everybody. “I’m surprised, how did you all get out?” He looked at the three of them, “I was expecting the worst… I was so afraid.”
“We know sweetie,” said his mother Janice. “We had all the guards we ever hired protect us, and your father still has tricks up his sleeve.”
“Your grandfather taught me a thing or two about how to fight.”
“Dad, he’s leading this.”
“Who is? Your grandfather? Impossible.”
“No, it’s him; he is one of the zombies. He was standing not five feet away from me this morning.”
It went quiet for a long time, Gisele and Dmitri III were inseparable, while he and his father shot nervous glances at the door for any news from outside. His mother stared out of the window leading to the balcony. “Ooh here comes Viktor,” she said. “He’s carrying something… no, that’s a little girl.”
They all looked out the window and saw the big man carrying the little girl. It was quite the sight, the two were complete opposites. They came in the study and Viktor handed the sleeping girl to Mrs. Helsgound.
“I found her,” he explained. “She didn’t have any parents…” He trailed off and looked over at Dmitri. “We need a plan.”
“When Vlad gets here we will come up with one. What’s her name?”
“She doesn’t have one, at least not one she can tell me. She can’t talk.”
“What do you want to do with her? You can’t take her with us.”
“I do want to raise her, as my own child. You know, once we finish off this threat. So, if it’s not too much to ask, Mrs. Helsgound, can you watch her while we are out?”
“Of course my dear, I nearly raised you,” she joked.
“What news do you have?” the mayor asked. “Is the city as bad as on the street?”
“Unfortunately, it is. I’m sorry sir, we could’ve done more.” He glanced at Dmitri, realizing he accidently blamed him.
“Yes, I understand that. Now we just need to plan on how to move on from this tragedy, and how to avoid it. What do you gentlemen suggest?”
“I want to cause the fuckers as much pain as possible for what they did to this city and that little girl. I am furious….” He trailed off because he was losing his temper.
“I think we should move the fight away from the city,” Dmitri looked at Gisele, “to avoid as much civilian harm as possible. It seems like they were attracted to the fight, and where blood was spilled was where it got worse.”
“Hmm… interesting. We’ll see what Vladimir has to say when he arrives. In the meantime I have a surprise for you two.” He looked at Viktor and Dmitri. “Follow me.”
They followed him to a staircase and both examined the bookcase for a book that might help them. Then the bookcase started moving. It revealed a staircase that was pitch black. Dmitri Helsgound II went down.
“Come on boys!”
The two friends looked at each other and followed the mayor down the passageway. They sidled their way down to the bottom, it remained dark for a moment until, “Walla!” the mayor said with echoes as the room lit up. The room was round with all sorts of parchment and scrolls on the sides. There were paintings of the battle that was fought to gain the city freedom. In the middle of the room was a table that had a map of the city, the buildings were raised up, the hills were there and it seemed like a crystal ball.
“I should have shown you this earlier,” the mayor said regretfully. “I did not know how fierce the threat was. Here we have a map of what we own. Here is the map of our territory. We need to use this as a weapon, a tool for our advantage. Dmitri, what do you think?”
“It’s wonderful. We need this. We need to bring the fight to the outer edges of town, and to the woods,” he motioned to the piers, farm area and woods. “I would like to avoid the fields though. After what we saw last night, I don’t know if we can outrun them.”
“I agree,” Viktor added, “sir, they are deceptively fast and strong. I struggled with a few of them.”
“Alright. I have something else for you, once Vladimir gets here. Let’s go back upstairs.”
They trotted off up and went through the bookcase again, this time leaving it open. The girls were still there, with the child. The child was awake and Gisele was helping her eat. She looked at Dmitri, and they made eye contact, they wanted to talk to each other. They knew that they didn’t have much time left together. Dmitri’s mom noticed the feeling and relieved Gisele from feeding the girl. Dmitri and Gisele went on to the balcony and closed the doors.
“I don’t want to lose you, ever,” Gisele said, looking into Dmitri’s big blue eyes.
“Being away from you is the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through, you’re the only person I want to be with.” Dmitri brushed aside her bright blonde hair. Tears welled up in Gisele’s blue-green eyes. They held each other and tried to enjoy the time they had together. “If I don’t come back, move on. If I don’t come back, never forget me. I want to always be in your heart. I love you.”
“I won’t forget you, you’re my first and only love, there’s no one who could change that, there’s nothing that would. Dmitri, I love you.”
They looked out on the midday horizon. Dmitri glanced down and saw Vladimir coming down the road. Gisele looked at Dmitri and followed his gaze. “Dmitri, I need to tell you something.”
“What is it babe?”
“I-We’re having a baby. I’m pregnant.”
Dmitri was shocked. He had tears come to his eyes. He had no idea what to feel. They just hugged and held onto each other. Viktor opened the door and said, “sorry to break this up, but Vlad’s here.”
The couple released each other and Dmitri headed inside, Gisele stayed out looking at the city. Viktor and Dmitri went inside and saw that Vladimir was sitting next to the mayor, Dmitri Helsgound II was in tears. Dmitri hurried to his father’s side.
“Vladimir’s father is gone.” He choked out. Vladimir looked away before he cried too. “My father killed him. It’s not right. We need to end this!” He got up and wiped his tears off and stormed off downstairs. The three followed.
“Right, now Vladimir, this is the map of the city. Tell us what you found.”
“First off, as I went away from the city it was less destroyed. So I think that we need to get the fight away from the city.”
“Good, you and Dmitri are on the same page. Where did you say you should go?”
“I thought that we need to break up the fight, bring them to the pier first, and then possibly move it completely away from the city, either to the farms or the woods. We have to move the fight further and further away. We know that they went were there was a fight and blood was shed. So tonight we should set up the battle at the graveyard. Vlad, Viktor, are we all on the same ground?”
They nodded in agreement and turned toward the mayor.
“Okay, I’ll send word for any guards to report there before dusk. But now what about the townspeople? We need to keep them safe.”
“I suggest they all take refuge at another city.” Viktor piped up.
“NO! If they leave now they’ll likely be gone forever. We need a space where the masses can rest.” The mayor exclaimed.
“What about this very castle, sir?” Vladimir asked. “It has a grand hall and plenty of room. But it’s your castle.”
“That doesn’t sound like that bad of an idea, I’ll make the preparations and send out a town crier.” The mayor wrote his requests on a paper and rang a bell near the edge of the map table. A servant came in through the side door, took the paper, nodded at the mayor and retreated from where he came.
“Follow me,” the mayor said. “I have something for all of you.”
The group entered a door at the back left side of the room. Inside was a brilliant armory. The finest weapons and armor were stored in the cases and lined the walls. It was a magnificent sight. The mayor went to a case covered in a silk cape and pulled it off, opened it and called Viktor over. He pulled out a humongous two-handed axe with a spiral design up the hilt. The edge of the blade was black while the middle was gleaming silver. The pick at the end was sharp as a razor on the corners. It should have been too heavy for the mayor to pick up yet it was made by the greatest blacksmith and was lighter than most swords.
Next he called Vladimir over and handed him three things; a bow and quiver that was supposedly blessed by the touch of an angel. In addition he gave him two large daggers which could be considered a sword to a child. Each had a different carving into the handle. In one there was a very jagged design with sharp turns in the lines. The other had a swirling pattern that looked very smooth and calm compared to the other.
Dmitri Helsgound II gave his son his own sword. He took it off his belt and simply handed it to Dmitri Helsgound III. The mayor looked at him with loving eyes and then nodded toward the sword. Dmitri took the sword out of its sheath. The handle seemed to fit his hand perfectly molding into his hand as if it belonged there. The blade was a great one; it was very large and curved into a precise point. The sword was beautiful and was no doubt once his grandfather’s. The mayor eventually said, “You have to end this beast before it ends us. Good luck.” He headed back upstairs and took one look back at them.
Dmitri looked around at his lifelong friends and he knew they would be together until the end. They made a few more adjustments, taking more equipment and planning out their defense of the pier. They all agreed tonight was the last night in the city. They didn’t know how they were going to lure the zombies to them once they finished in the city, but they needed to get the threat away from the innocent people. They headed up the stairs, Dmitri looked toward the balcony and Gisele was still out there.
“I’ll meet you right outside.” Dmitri told Vladimir and Viktor. They understood and let him be. Dmitri went outside and hugged Gisele. They looked into each other’s eyes.
“This won’t be the last time I see you, I promise,” Dmitri told her. “I will do whatever it takes to see you again. I want to be there for you and the child. Gisele, I love you.” Dmitri kissed her goodbye and she started crying. He couldn’t look back or he would cry as well.
He met Viktor and Vladimir outside like they planned. They headed down the street. They went against the grain as the citizens were coming into the castle. They were getting prepared to fight to the death.