© Alexander Charles Lomonte and Lomonte’s Lager, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given by Alexander Charles Lomonte and Lomonte’s Lager with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Look at what I finally got to writing! It’s been too long, and I am sorry, hopefully this chapter will make up for the absence. I will hopefully develop a routine and get a chapter out weekly or sooner.
But without further ado:
DEAD OF NIGHT
By Alex Lomonte
A Major Loss
Dmitri, Vladimir, and Viktor met the handful of fighters at the piers around midafternoon. They did not have a lot to work with but they knew that the men that were with them were good fighters because they made it through last night. They began the preparations to fortify where the piers. Dmitri ordered Vladimir and the best archers they had to set up a camp on the rooftops as to have the best view of the battlefield that it would become. He also had Viktor have the strongest men create a barricade on one side of the road. They piled lumber that they could find and set it up so the men over there could easily push back the zombies that would be there. Dmitri took the other men and had them set up on the back end near the water, they would be on the boats ready for another attack from the eastern edge of town.
The night was coming and the men were starting fires to keep them warm, to cook food and to see where they were. Suddenly they heard an ear piercing roar and then all was quiet, the only movement and noise was from the river doing its usual trickling in the evening. Soon there was the sound of fighting in the distance. It continued for hours and seemed to get louder and louder. The men were confused and had to hold their breath because they were simply terrified of the fighting and screaming coming from in the city.
Dmitri looked around at the terrified faces around him. He knew that being silent wouldn’t draw the zombies to them and would only make the damage worse to the city. He started making as much noise as he could, screaming, shouting, banging things on the ground; everyone was looking at him. Soon Viktor joined in, he banged his axe against his armor, he bellowed into the night. Then slowly the rest of the men joined in on the shouting and noisemaking. The men were making such a noise it drowned out the sounds of the river and the fighting in the distance. For those that could hear the fighting they heard it taper off and knew it could only mean one thing. The fight was coming to them. However, the last noise from the far off battle was a terrifying screech that echoed into the nights and seeped into the souls of anyone that heard it.
The first zombies appeared near the edge of the street, they rounded corners limping or running, drooling with blood and spit, it was a blood-churning sight. They came in hordes, they came around corners, came through alleys, through houses, windows and doors. They didn’t stop. The archers on the rooftops shot at the fastest ones, they went down fast and in a bloody mess. Finally the first few zombies made it to Viktor, they were hit hard by two fisted axe swings, they got head-butts to their faces, and not much was left after it. The zombies crumpled into a heap of bones, flesh and blood. Viktor released his anger on them and transferred his worries into a rage and let them feel it.
Dmitri surveyed the scene that was unfolding in front of him and he was glad to see that they were putting up a very good fight. He did worry that if they kept coming the men would soon wear out and get tired. He had to wait for the exact moment to have his backups come in and finish the fight, hopefully. He let his mind wander while he watched Viktor bash heads in and soon noticed that Vladimir was being ambushed on the roofs. He saw a few zombies coming up behind the group of men on the roof. Dmitri grabbed a man’s bow and notched up an arrow. He pulled back and timed his breath. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale—shoot.
He fired the arrow through the air and watched as it caught the attention of the men on the roof. It flew past them and they looked outraged, but as they saw it wasn’t aimed toward them their emotions changed. They took out their swords and led by Vladimir they battled their way out of the jam and off the roof. They appeared out of an alley and jumped into the fight with Viktor and his men.
The fight waged on and the night was almost at its darkest. The men were visibly tired and Dmitri knew it was time to motivate them for the rest of the night. He looked at the men he was with; nodded, and then charged into the mob of zombies and men. He took out his father’s sword and put it to good use. He unsheathed it and swiftly cut zombies and stabbed through their soulless bodies, trying to avenge everything that they had ruined. The men all fought deeper and deeper into the night. Everybody was involved in a fight, every inch was a struggle, the men parrying and slicing away, the zombies, scratching, biting, and ripping at an undeserving enemy.
There was a shriek that froze the battle for a few moments it came from in town, the inhumane shriek was followed by another scream barely audible, but it was that of a woman, a woman who lost her world. Dmitri felt a screaming pain in his head, heart and back, he collapsed while there was a silence, he was cringed on the ground, the whole world silent to him. Viktor saw this and charged over to protect his leader, his friend. The battle started up again. It seemed like there were more and more zombies coming from in town now.
Dmitri was still lying on the ground, the world around him was silent, but in his mind was the sound the unstoppable sound of pain, a thousand people screaming right next to him, a hundred children crying, millions of people’s pain funneling into noise and going right into his mind. He couldn’t stop it, he moved around trying to escape the nightmare, he saw people, everything in a slow pace his men, his citizens dying in front of him, in slow motion, and he had nothing he could do to stop it. He laid there and began to weep, he couldn’t stand the sights, or the pain that was transferring into him, he tried to picture Gisele’s face, her body, her anything, but his mind could not remember what she looked like. He cried and cringed more as the pain got worse. Writhing on the ground for what seemed like hours in his state, he blacked out.
Meanwhile, the fight was raging on, Vladimir was trying to keep an eye on the sunrise, at least he thought he was facing east, he tried to see light on the horizon but everything in the sky was black. He did not know of Dmitri and his episode; however he tried to fight toward him because he wanted to be there for the end, if it was coming. He smashed and hacked away toward his best friend, and nothing would stop him, nothing, except for the mayor. Dmitri’s dad was standing not five feet away from Vladimir, in a ghastly state, he was one of them. Vladimir’s knees buckled but he caught himself before he collapsed.
Vladimir scanned the rest of the throng of bodies and one other stood out. Dmitri Helsgound I. He was standing off to the side of the battle staring right at Vladimir, his eyes shifted to his son, and his son moved out of the way. Standing directly behind the ex-mayor was none other than Vladimir’s dad. At this he did collapse. His dad pounced on him, clawing and trying to bite at his eldest son. Vladimir blocked and parried away any and all attacks making sure not to get cut or infected. He wrestled his dad off him and in a swift series of events he knocked his father down with a mace he grabbed in the skirmish, and then with all ties being cut in a smooth stroke downward he bashed his undead father’s head in.
Vladimir looked up at the Mayor then toward Dmitri’s grandfather, with hatred so powerful that would’ve cut diamonds. He then looked toward the east and saw what he was fighting for all night, a green light just brushing against the trees. He started at Dmitri Helsgound II and was stopped by a screech directed directly at him. Again, everything froze. The two looked toward Dmitri Helsgound I, who also shrieked into the early dawn. Every xombie there was, bolted off into the city, no doubt to the woods. Vladimir wanted to be certain, but couldn’t follow them by himself. He looked toward Dmitri, and Viktor. What he saw nearly scared him half to death.
Dmitri was crumpled up on the ground as Viktor was trying to tend to him. Dmitri was screaming in pain, he was crying too. He was sobbing as though it would never get better. His cries were not just of pain but for help too. The rest of the men began to gather. Viktor started telling all of the off when they were asking questions. The questions did not stop and Viktor was getting angry.
“STOP!” he bellowed. Every question stopped. “All of you! Clean yourselves up, clear the dead into the river, check on your loved ones, pray that they are in a better place, or safe, then meet us at the barn for tonight!”
The two stood over their friend and leader as his sobs slowed down and his breathing became normal. They were relieved that he was still alive. Dmitri stirred and sat up. He looked around trying to piece together where he was. He was no longer in a personal hell, but there was still pain and fear in the air. He sensed it; then looked at his two friends who helped him up. Nothing needed to be said, they knew that he was now in charge of the whole city. Dmitri, however, did not.
“I need to see Gisele.”
They walked to the castle, and saw the path that was taken by the zombies. Every shop window and doors destroyed, ransacked by undead pillagers, not taking anything except for the lives of the people. The pain was slowly coming back into Dmitri’s head. A slow throb that was getting worse, and worse with each step closer to his home. Vladimir and Viktor knew it was best to keep quiet and let Dmitri find out for himself. They whispered behind him as they walked, they were trying to develop a new strategy, and fast.
Dmitri turned onto the street towards his home, Vladimir and Viktor lagged behind to let him go. He took off and sprinted down the street, ran up the stairs past the knocked in door. He ran into the house, right up to his and Gisele’s room, which was not even scratched at. He sighed, and went in. Gisele screamed and threw a vase that smashed against the door behind Dmitri, she was guarding the child Viktor found, and Dmitri’s mother. She noticed it was Dmitri and they embraced each other. All the pain in his head went away as Dmitri held the woman he loves.
“What happened? Where’s dad?” Dmitri asked looking around at the empty room. Viktor and Vladimir walked in and hugged Gisele, Mrs. Helsgound and the girl.
Gisele was hesitating; she knew it would nearly break Dmitri when she told him. She took a deep breath and tried to look into his big blue eyes, that were already filled with hurt and anger, “He… he saved us. They came in, faster and stronger than we thought, and no guards would stop that force. They kept coming and coming, almost not stopping, then most of them fled the castle. Until, one came in. Your grandfather, he came in with a bunch following him. He came in… and roared and thrashed about, and your father told us to lock ourselves in here. He charged down the stairs and fought him. They fought and your grandfather started biting your father until he went…. Then your grandfather screeched into the night, everything was quiet and still, and then I felt a piercing through my body. A pain so fierce that I sobbed and… and I… couldn’t remember you, anything any part of you… and it made me sob harder… I’m sorry,” she fell into his arms. “The pain didn’t stop until I was with you again.”
Dmitri had a few tears running down his cheeks, imagining his father’s last stand and remembering the pain as he played it through his head. He kissed Gisele on her forehead.
“We will avenge his death,” Dmitri said.
“He died in the most honorable way,” Viktor mentioned, “defending not only his family, but his city as well.”
“Nothing will stop me, stop us, from ending this,” Dmitri exclaimed. “Not while I have a child on the way.” His mother gasped and he realized he hadn’t told her yet. Gisele went to her side and both women had tears of joy and a little bit of fear in their eyes. The entire room was worried about what world the child would be brought into. Dmitri looked out the window at the rising sun. A new battle was approaching and they needed to prepare.