Thursday, April 24, 2014

Part Ten

The Creepers of McCall’s Ridge

Part Ten


            The creepers reached for Ernie, their rotting arms wobbling in the still evening air. For a split second he froze and stared at their hands. The five creepers were covered in gore from the meal that they were making out the dead soldier that lay next to the road but their fingernails were what stood out to Ernie; yellow in color but they seemed to glow in the dying light of the day. Ernie broke himself from his trance and began to run past the creepers towards the last place he had seen his brother. The military vehicle was smoldering now. The rubber from the tires was completely burned to gooey black masses under rims that sat on the ground. Ernie frantically sprinted around the vehicle calling out his brother’s name but only succeeded in calling in more creepers from their dinner of soldiers next to the truck.

            Ernie peered along the road, the same direction the soldiers had approached from the lake and could hear the rubble of more military vehicles coming. He ran deeper into the woods while the creepers began to divert their attention to the sound of the approaching vehicles. He slid on the soft pine needles as if he was sliding into home plate and then lay still under the relative concealment of a fallen pine tree. Ernie watched as three armored Hummers slowed to a stop next to the smoking truck and several soldiers in mixed uniforms began to unload. Each man began to take aim at separate creepers and took quick head shots to dispatch the closest threats first and then began to move outwards. Ernie’s stomach began to toss around as he watched more and more creepers emerge from the wood line and make their way towards the soldiers. Several stepped within feet of his hiding position, moaning, and dragging their feet as they slowly made their way to a quick death at the hands of the skilled killers.

            These men seemed different than the ones him and his brother had faced near the lake and more recently after the blast he had created. The shooting stopped and several of the soldiers began to simply walk around with long bladed knives and stab their slow moving attackers in the tops of their heads and then moving on to the next slow moving target. Ernie was mesmerized by their efficiency in killing. These boys are good, he thought to himself. The passenger side door on the second Hummer opened and a man in a crisp looking uniform stepped out with a stubby cigar protruding from his mouth. His white hair was cut closely to the skin on the sides with it forming into an extreme flat top. Ernie watched as the man slowly scanned the area around him, turning his head slowly revealing two wicked scars that streaked across his right eye and down his right cheek. Ernie shivered as he stared at the man whom resembled the cliché of every military officer he had ever seen in a bad action movie.

“Get out the oracle.” The officer said in a voice that sounded like sandpaper.

“Roger that, sir.” An obedient soldier said as he walked to the back of the rear Hummer and dropped a metal tail gate. “Let’s go dummy! Get up!”

            Ernie turned his head sharply to the left as he lay in the dirt to try and see the ‘oracle.’ The Hummer shook violently and the soldier stepped back and pointed his rifle into the vehicle. He began to shout warnings into the truck until the shaking stopped and whatever was inside began to comply. Ernie watched as the rear of the truck stooped then shot back up as a huge beast leapt from the rear truck and landed with a thud to the muddy road. Ernie couldn’t breathe. His breath was caught in his throat as he stared at the shackled, hairy beast standing in front of the soldier. It slowly stood to its full height, which had to have been eight feet by Ernie’s estimates, and turned to walk to the officer only after glaring threateningly at the soldier pointing his rifle at him.

            As the beast walked, Ernie took in all its features; its large slopping forehead, red eyes, long shaggy brown hair, bare chest, and large feet…big feet…BIGFOOT? Ernie’s heart pounded in his chest as he stared at the beast that he had heard so many stories about but had never believed was true. So many folks from the hills had believed that it was real and had claimed to have seen or have had heard its calls in the middle of the night but Ernie had just written them off as folklore or old hills tales. Now he was staring right at the hairy beast as it walked in heavy shackles to classic action figure officer. It stopped walking and stared at the man as if he would tear him apart if his hands weren’t chained securely to his stomach.

“Where are they, Oliver?”

Oliver? Ernie wanted to laugh out loud. Bigfoot’s name was Oliver?

Oliver looked in Ernie’s direction and said in a squeaky voice, “Under that fallen tree.”

Ernie would have broken out laughing at the response if it wouldn’t have been for the shock that Bigfoot had spoken or that all of the soldiers were now pointing their weapons in his direction.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Part Nine

The Creeper’s of McCall Ridge

Part Nine

            Preacher had allowed Grover into his home only after he had taken his battered and muddied boots off at the door, explaining to the young man that, “my old lady will flip her lid if you track mud in her home.” Grover stepped into his home and found that there were dead birds dangling from the ceiling; hundreds of them. He paused staring at the scene while the old man pushed passed him and shouted into the home, “Hey old woman! We got us a guest!”

“What?” A female’s voice shouted from the back of the home.

“You heard me you ornery old bat! I said we got a guest!”

A woman in a red checkered dress darted from around the corner, her steely gaze locked on Preacher. “What did you call me?” She snarled.

“I said you heard me and I love you a whole bunch!” He said smiling.

Grover fought back a smile as the old woman never blinked. “That isn’t what you said. You’re lucky I love you or I would have already put a pillow over your head in your sleep. Hello young man. Have a seat. Would you like some tea?”

“Yes ma’am. That would be great.”

The old woman disappeared into the kitchen to retrieve Grover’s tea.

“I would like some too honey poo!” Preacher shouted.

“Get it yourself!” She shouted back.

“Boy. You would think the man would be the king of his castle.”

Grover started laughing as Preacher walked into the kitchen to retrieve his own cup of sassafras tea. He was left alone to wonder how he was going to live without his brother. Though they had argued often, it had been small squabbles and always on a brotherly level. Now, without him, the world seemed empty and alone. Grover stared at the floor and thought about the soldiers gathered around the lake and began to plan his attack.


            He could hear the creepers chewing. Though his eyes were open, at least he thought they were open, he couldn’t see anything. There was a heavy weight lying on top of him and it smelled horribly. The creepers growled at each other and continued to chew. It was if they were eating beef jerky and spaghetti right next to his ears. His body ached and throbbed with pain as he tried to remember what had happened to him. He remembered the explosion and the jet flying in but there was nothing after that. He pushed the heavy weight that covered him with his arms until he could see the failing day light streaking past the dead creeper that he held in his arms. The large caliber bullets had made a mess of its body creating a soupy mess that spilled out on Ernie’s body. He fought back the bile that tried to escape his stomach and slowly scanned the area around him.

            He could see five creepers eating what was left of a soldier a few feet from him. None of them acted as if they had seen the movement of him lifting the dead creeper from his position. Ernie groped around him and could not find a weapon. He slowly wiggled from his prison of several other dead creepers and then stood. The cool air of the forest gave him goose bumps as well as seeing the creepers slowly turning their heads to focus on him. Ernie froze. The creepers, like cows, slowly chewed the meat that dangled from their lips but never let their eyes move from Ernie. Ernie slowly raised his arms out in front of him, mimicking a classic zombie and said, “Braaaiinns.”

The creepers snarled and stood from the dead soldier and began shuffling towards Ernie.

“Crap. I totally thought that was going to work.”

Monday, March 24, 2014

Part Eight

The Creeper’s of McCall Ridge

Part Eight

            Grover left the ruins of the battlefield behind him and trotted up the ridge until the moans of the creepers had been drown out by the sound of crunching leaves under his boots and the noise of the friction between the pants legs on his overalls. It had been a long day for him; an emotionally draining day and he needed to find shelter before the sun went down and he was left in the dark with the creepers hot on his trail. He knew the soldiers would still be out there as well but figured they wouldn’t be in search of him. Most likely they would assume that the air strike had been successful and the two hillbillies had been killed. In reality, there had only been one. Ernest. Grover leaned against a tree and rubbed a final tear from his eye, promising himself he would not shed another tear for his brother. He would replace his sorrow with rage and kill every one of the men around the lake for what they had done.

Grover took a deep breath and stared into the sky. Several white clouds had begun to mix with darker clouds with the promise of rain; even more reason to find shelter he thought to himself. He reached into the front pocket of his overalls and found his last cigarette that had somehow survived the action with the creepers as well as him cramming several full magazines of ammo around it, and lit it with a nickel plated lighter his father had carried in Vietnam. He took a deep drag from the tobacco and exhaled as he stared at the skull and cross bones on the lighter.

“Fear No Evil.” He read aloud. A sentence that felt fitting for the world he was living in.

There was movement. Grover froze. He had just caught a slight glimmer of a sapling shaking to his left. There is no way them creepers have caught up with me already. Is there? Grover raised his rifle and aimed in the direction of the movement while the half-smoked cigarette dangled from his cracked lips. Show yourself maggot! He shouted in his head. I will blow your head off! He seen movement again and slowly raised his thumb to the selector lever to switch the rifle from safe to fire and placed his finger on the trigger. He watched as the shambling creeper pushed its way through the underbrush and began to bend small saplings as it walked. Oddly, the creeper had a rifle slung over its shoulder. The creeper, bald and dressed in a red flannel shirt and blue jeans, stopped walking, and pulled a pipe from its pocket and began to pack tobacco in it. Grover lowered his rifle. It wasn’t a creeper, thankfully. But he didn’t know if this man was friend or foe.

“Hey old man!” Grover shouted.

With the quickness of a mountain cat, and much to Grover’s surprise, the old man dropped his pipe, grabbed his rifle, raised and fired in Grover’s direction before he could react. The rifle was nearly silent but the smack of the projectile slamming into Grover’s forehead wasn’t. His legs went numb and the world around him swirled and went dim as he suddenly went from staring at an old man, to the clouds, to a quiet darkness.


“Hey dummy! Did I kill you? Hey wake up!”

Grover slowly opened his eyes and stared into the face of the man who had shot him. Grey stubble bristled across his chin and his neck that held two homemade necklaces that dangled inches above Grover’s face. One was made of string and a handmade wooden cross and the other was a mixture of dead birds with their feet tied to a brown piece of leather looped around the man’s neck. Instinctively, Grover reached out to choke the man but he was just as quick as he was when he pulled his rifle and dodged the attack.

“Hey, calm down there big fella! Sorry about your melon. Thought you was one of them soldier boys. I think you will live though.” The old man said as he began to laugh.

Grover rubbed his forehead, now felling like someone had hit him with a splitting axe, and found where he had been shot. A small round pellet was firmly lodged in his the skin and most likely in his skull as well.

“Did you shoot me with a BB gun?”


“You shot me with a BB gun?”

“You hard of hearing youngin’. I said yes dummy!” The old man shouted and then began laughing. “Hey get up. The invaders are coming up them there hills. We need to get out of here. I figure you can stay with me fer a bit if you like. At least until things cool down. I assume you was with them fella’s that shot up that convoy?”

Grover stood with the help of his rifle and looked down the hill and could see that the creepers were coming his way. “The invaders?” Grover asked.

“We can talk at the house. Come on Knot Head.” The old man began laughing again and started walking down the hill.


            They reached the home as the sun was dipping its face behind the western horizon. It was a small shack, not much smaller than the place that Grover and Ernest had called home before the soldiers had burned it down and stolen their belongings. The old man stopped a few yards short of his home and laid his bag on the ground and began to scan the trees.

“What are you looking for old man?”

“Bluebirds.” The man said in a tone as if Grover should have known the answer.

“Bluebirds?” Grover looked up into the oak and pine trees that surrounded them. The slight wind pushed the branches and leaves in a gentle manner as above them the final dark clouds of rain gathered to dump their water on the dying land below.

“Yep. Hate them suckers. They is evil.”

“Bluebirds? You think bluebirds are evil?”

The old man looked at the ground and then back up at Grover. Then he looked at the pellet stuck in Grover’s forehead and started laughing. “It is hard fer me to take you serious when you have that BB stuck in your head.”

Grover raised his finger to his head and began to pick at it but it wouldn’t budge.

“Looks like I am stuck with it. Thanks to you.”

“You’re welcome. Anyway, yes bluebirds are evil. They are the reason we are in the mess we are in.”

“What. With the creepers?”

“You call them creepers? Never heard them called that before. Yet, I haven’t really talked to many folks since the invasion started.”

“The what?”

“The invasion. Gee whiz boy, where you born this stupid or did you have to work at it?”

“What like Russian’s or something?”

“Don’t be silly. Why would the Russian’s do this? I mean like aliens.”

“Aliens? Then what are the bluebirds in this grand scheme of things.”

“I told you. They are evil. They are the vessel of the alien plague that has taken hold of this country. Those little grey men figured if they could wipe us out with it then we would be easier to take over!”

It was Grover’s turn to laugh. He laughed so hard his head felt as if the pellet in his head as going to shoot from his forehead. When he looked up the old man was pointing his pellet rifle at his face.

“You find something funny friend?”

“Uh-, no. I just find it hard to believe that a well-coordinated bluebird and alien attack would be the reason for the world to end.”

The old man raised his rifle and shot into the air at an enemy Grover could not see and waited. A small blue dot emerged and then plummeted to the earth and landed with a soft thud onto the pine needles and leaves. The old man picked up the small bluebird and then dug several small nails from his bag.

“What are you doing?”

“The invaders do not like bluebirds. For one reason or another bluebird’s make them stay away. I guess they assume that this area is already infected and they move on.”

The old man began to nail the bird to the tree facing the direction the creepers would be approaching.

“That one little bird is going to turn back all them folks?”

“Most of them. I have more of them birds on trees around here so we should be fine tonight. Let’s go eat.” The old man said happily.

“What is your name anyway old man?”

“Tim. Tim Preacher. But you can just call me Preacher.”

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Part Seven

The Creeper’s of McCall Ridge

Part Seven

            The air was still and quiet after the A-10 military aircraft completed its fire mission on the area that Grover and Ernie had ambushed the government soldiers. Grover stood staring at the pile of creeper bodies that had once been where his brother Ernie had been standing when the plane had opened up with its large caliber weapons. Steam rose from the mangled bodies and churned earth but there was no sign of movement. Grover’s heart sunk in his chest and felt as if it would crawl straight from his chest and out of his body to escape the hurt that was slowly clawing its way through him.

The quiet around him slowly grew into a cascade of moans as he realized that he wasn’t as alone as he felt on the inside. Hundreds of creepers had descended from the surrounding area of McCall Ridge and were reaching out for him. The cloudiness that engulfed his mind slowly cleared and Grover realized that he was going to die. Not a quick death like his brother but the agonizing death of being eaten alive by hundreds of slack jawed shambling puss sacks and that wasn’t going to happen.

Grover pulled himself on top of the slow burning armored vehicle and slid down into the turret until he was behind the machine gun he and his brother had worked so hard to get their hands on. For a quick second, Grover felt his heart race as he grasped the pistol grip of the M240 and pointed it at the wall of creepers walking towards him. He felt indestructible. “I got this.” Grover whispered as he squeezed the trigger and watched as the rounds screamed from the barrel and impacted into the chests and faces of the moaning creepers.

Dark blood and bits of cloth splattered into the air as the echo of machine gun fire bounced off the many hills of the surrounding valleys. Methodically Grover pulled the trigger, released, aimed, pulled the trigger, shifted fire, and pulled the trigger, until finally the beast in his hands clicked on an empty chamber. Sweat poured from his face and trickled down the sides of his body causing him to shiver. There were still several creepers coming down the hills towards him but he had knocked down a large majority of them with the walls of lead that he had sprayed into the men and women who were seeking to make him lunch.

Grover ducked his head into the truck and began to scan quickly inside the truck for anything useful. The man that had been the first gunner of the vehicle lay on the floor with a large portion of his face and lower jaw missing. Grover stepped over him and grabbed an automatic rifle from a rack attached to the wall of the vehicle. Several magazines were also attached to the rack which Grover began shoving into the pockets of his overalls. Lastly he grabbed an aid bag from the back seat and began to crawl back through the turret so that he could escape the burning vehicle.

Grover’s right foot became stuck on something inside the vehicle before he could completely remove himself from the truck. He looked down to find the first gunner holding his foot with both hands. Once again his heart began to race as he kicked wildly trying to dislodge the creeper from his leg. The gunner began to use Grover’s leg like a rope and was clawing his way towards Grover’s face; his eyes milky white and tongue hanging from where his jaw should have held it in its normal position.

“Oh God save me!” Grover screamed as his grip slipped from the turret lid and he fell into the burning truck. The man who had called for the air strike was now also moving. He had turned from his seat and was trying to crawl into the back of the truck with Grover and the gunner but was restrained by the seat belt that was holding him securely; allowing him only to claw at the air and growl at the two figures rolling around in the rear of the truck. Grover slammed his fist into the throat of his attacker and heard a crunch but the dead man did not flinch and continued to attack. Grover slammed his fist over and over again into the side of the man’s head until finally the creeper lost its balance and slid from on top of him and lay beside him, desperately trying to bite him without a jaw. Grover stood and began to stomp the gunners head until the creeper stopped moving.

Coughing, Grover pulled himself back through the turret and onto the top of the truck. The burning tires had finally caught the rest of the truck on fire and he was escaping just in time. Grover hopped to the hood and then to the ground as the creeper in the passenger seat clawed the windshield as if he could will himself through the glass.

Though he did not want to know what the fate was of his brother, Grover decided that he needed to at least find his body so he could give it a proper burial but there was already another wall of creepers moving towards him. The words of his brother slammed into his mind, “Don’t be Rambo.” He was right. What good would it do for him to die now to try and find his body? He would want him to live.

“I’m sorry brother.” Grover said as tears streaked from his blue eyes. “I will get ‘em for you.”

He trotted up the ridge and made a left turn back towards the lake; where the soldiers who had started the war would surely be waiting.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Part Six

The Creepers of McCall Ridge

Part Six

            Ernie kicked the door open the shed and walked directly to the back of the dingy shake; a man on a mission knowing exactly what he was looking for. While Ernie began to pull items from under the shop table, Grover watched intently from the hanging door.

“So, what you building brother?” Grover asked in a sing-song voice.

Ernest slammed a large six foot long cylinder on the table and began taping wires to the top. “Remember how we used to tape together sparklers when we were kids and blow holes in dad’s yard?”

Grover began to laugh, “Oh, yeah I remember. And, no matter how many times the old man would threaten us with beatings for doing it he was always out there with us the next time we would do it laughing with us, wasn’t he?”

“Well I am making something like that. But it doesn’t have sparklers and we are going to need a bigger hole.”

“This is going to be awesome.” Grover giggled.

“Yes sir it is. I just hope there is enough acetylene left in this tank to do what we need it to. Find me a couple of batteries.”

“When did you become Mr. MacGyver?”

“Hey, you watch a couple of Discovery Channel shows and you pick up a few things. I can’t help it if I tried to expand my mind and you spend your time destroying yours with cartoons.”

Grover began shuffling through scattered tools and other discarded items around the shop looking for anything that held a battery source and then shouted “Found some!” as he held up a dingy plastic flashlight.

“Those will work, I think. Ok, help me carry this contraption. We can hide a piece from the lake. I figure them old boys are probably still camped down there. We see if they are, we plant our friend here, then we get them to go where we want them to, and BAM! We get my dog back and your machine gun.”

“Don’t forget my Skynard records.”

“And your Skynard records.”

“This is so exciting.” Grover said as he grabbed a shovel and walked from the shed.

            Murray Lake, the 250 acre lake the brothers had fished since they were boys was now a large barren pit of mud with the stench of rotting fish and creepers rising into the mountain air. Ernie and Grover had hid their device under some dying brush and leaves alongside the gravel road and had hid behind a fallen oak tree. The soldiers that had destroyed their home had followed a pattern as Ernie had assumed they would and had returned to the same position they were in when they had initially been attacked. They were sitting in a circular perimeter roughly 300 yards from where the brothers hid amongst the dead leaves and branches of the fallen oak.

“Them dummies set right back up in the same spot?” Grover whispered to Ernie.

“I believe they are used to fighting them creepers. Creepers don’t think brother. You can do the same thing over and over again and not suffer the consequences. I don’t think that they are setting there waiting for us though. We still don’t know why them mongoloids blew up our fishin’ hole.”

Grover began shaking his head, “True.”

The brothers continued to lie in the warm noon sun as they watched the soldiers move about their day as if there was not a worry in the world. Several creepers tried to shamble into their perimeter but were quietly dispatched with either an ax or knife blade quietly to the head. Grover began to shift back and forth nervously and aim his rifle at a soldier standing on the hood of an armored vehicle holding a rifle. Grover watched the man through his scope. He was dressed in a mixture of traditional camouflaged uniform that a soldier would wear but topping his head was a black bandana bearing a white skull and crossed bones emblem.

“Stay calm brother.” Ernie whispered.

“I am. That’s the dude that was screaming about us wanting a war.”

“Yeah, I know.”

In the distance Ernie could hear a rumbling that caused Grover to tap his leg to see if he was hearing the same thing. Ernie simply nodded his head but continued to scan through his rifle scope looking for the source of the noise. The soldiers in the small camp began to move with a purpose and run around gathering their gear. The soldier with the skull bandana jumped from the hood of his truck and opened up their perimeter. From the far side of the road Ernie watched as a large crane followed by another two armored trucks sped up the gravel road and into the small perimeter of the vehicles next to Murray Lake.

“What in the world do they need a crane for?” Grover almost shouted.

“I don’t know but I am a thinkin’ that we are about to find out why they blew that dam though.”

“Well that stinks.” Grover said as he rolled over, now resting his back on the scaly gray bark of the oak. Ernie did the same and pulled a cigarette from a crinkled pack and handed it to his brother.

“What stinks?”

“Well, them folks have our stuff and they destroyed our house and our favorite fishin’ hole. I mean those fools have taken everything from us that the creepers haven’t in 24 hours, man. I was really looking forward to some payback but now we are going to have to wait. I hate waiting.”

Grover lit his filter less cigarette and then handed it to Ernie.

“Quite the quandary.”

“Quite the what?” Grover said with a raised eyebrow. “Speak ‘merican man, we are in ‘Merica.”

“We can still hit them. I say we bury our little present for them, make them come to us, and get a little payback. We can still find out what they are looking for later.”

“You think they will hang around after we hit them?”

“We don’t have enough bullets to take them all out but we have enough to make us feel better.” Ernie said laughing. “They brought a crane and more folks up here. They ain’t going anywhere. Let’s have some fun.”


It took over an hour to bury the canister in a way that the gravel road did not look like it had been tampered with. Ernie was very pleased with his handy work as was Grover. Ernie had explained to Grover that the device needed to be on the gradual turn so that when the soldiers drove their vehicle along the road, even if there was something for them to see, it would be harder for them to notice it with it being on the turn rather than being on the straight stretch. After burying the device, Grover had found a slight rise in the ground that he hid behind and waited patiently. Ernie slipped back through the wooded area until he reached the edge of the tree line. The crane had begun raising its boom as if it was getting ready to work. He fought the urge to wait and see what the crane operator was going to pull from the depths of what was left of Murray Lake. But, he had promised Ernie action and he knew that no matter what happened in the next minutes the soldiers would still be working to retrieve whatever was in the now empty lake.

Ernie raised his rifle and took aim through his scope. He found the soldier with the skull and cross bones bandana walking the perimeter of the vehicles. Slowly he took a breath in, let out half a breath and squeezed the trigger sending the hot lead from the barrel, screaming across the open field, over the dead grass, over the now empty lake, past the cable of the crane and into the exposed neck of the soldier before he could hear the shot. Immediately Ernie chambered another round and placed his cross hairs onto a soldier standing next to the man that was now flopping on the ground and squeezed off another shot. This time the bullet slammed into the soldiers shoulder, destroying bone and muscle, sending him backwards.

Men began to run around and climbing into their vehicles. Now without their leadership they seemed to be running like chickens with their heads cut off; just as Ernie had hoped. Ernie stood in the open and fired two more wild shots so that the soldiers could see him and then ran along the road into the woods. The soldiers started up their trucks, intent on revenge of their fallen leader, once again just as Ernie had planned.

Grover had heard the first shot and had alternated between standing and kneeling as he tried to wait patiently. This was a hard task for him to accomplish. Several more shots rang out and concern spread across his face. Ernie had told him to stay put, no matter what. Though it had been simple instructions, he was worried about his brother and wanted to run to his add. Relieved, he watched as Ernie darted between oak and pine trees across the gravel road from where Grover was hiding.

With his head held low, Ernie kept a steady pace as he trotted along, every few paces glancing backwards to ensure that the armored trucks were still following him. Machine gun fire ripped through the humid noon air around Ernie and crashed into the trees sending bark shattering around him. Ernie screamed in shock and fell to the ground, disappearing from Grover’s field of view.

“Ernie!” Grover shouted over the incoming fire.

The two gunners were focusing their fire on his brother and had not spotted Grover, nor had they spotted the device the two had placed in the road mere feet in front of them on the slight curve in the road. Grover watched, once again in relief, as Ernie slowly slide from behind the cover of some low lying brush and waved at his little brother as if he hadn’t seen him in years and then pointed to the road.

The first vehicle past over the prepped area without incident. Grover frowned and looked at Ernie who just shrugged his shoulders at him. The second truck drove over the Ernie’s creation and perfectly made pressure plate, and was lifted off the ground. The blast created a huge fire ball that lifted the rear wheels of the armored truck off the ground and the slammed it back to the charred earth, leaving both rear tires churning black smoke. The blast caused the first truck to halt. The gunner stopped firing and looked back at the burning vehicle.

Ernie took this time to raise his rifle again and fire another well aimed shot at the gunner facing away from him and watched through his scope as the round entered just below his left ear, causing his head to jerk at an awkward angle and then disappear into his vehicle. Grover was doing the same from the opposite side of the road. The soldiers from the burning truck were opening their doors trying to escape the burning hell that Ernie had created only to be met by the flying lead that Grover was sending their way from the safety of the short hill he had been placed by Ernie only 75 feet from the road. In a panic, the first truck turned their truck around and sped away through the woods, around Grover’s position and then back onto the road leaving their comrades behind. Grover had stopped firing and listened to the truck engines fade into the distance as they made no attempt to stop. From inside the vehicle he could hear the moans of the wounded and the crackling of the fire from the burning tires. A radio cracked to life inside the truck and he heard voices.

“Hey Grover?” Ernie shouted from across the road.


“You okay?”

“Yeah. You?”

“Couple scratches. I will live. Them folks dead in there?”  Ernie shouted again as he stood up from behind the bushes he had been hiding behind.

“Dead-ish. Think they are trying to talk on their walkie talkies or something.”

“Well don’t let them do that!” Ernie shouted as he came running towards the burning truck.

“Why not?” Grover said with his arms out.

Ernie opened the driver’s door and found the man dead with a large hole in the side of his face. The man in the passenger seat was near death but still breathing and holding a hand mike that looked like a telephone to his ear, blood streaking down his pale face.

“Yes. I said send in the birds and wipe this place clean.” The man muttered as he let the phone shaped mike slide to his lap.

Grover trotted next to Ernie and looked into the rear of the truck and could see that the gunner was lying in the rear of the truck not moving either.

“Doesn’t look like this truck has our stuff in it. Good thing too. Your stupid idea would have caught it all on fire. Even that dumb dog of yours. What do you think he meant about, send in the birds?” Grover said mocking the dying man’s voice.

Ernie began to notice over the ringing in his ears the moans of the creepers around them. Grover could see the look of concern on his face and began to scan the area around them as well. Shambling between trees and around bushes the brothers watched as creepers began to make their way to the sound of the explosion from across the state. The explosion had worked like a dinner bell. Just like the one on the lake dam. Their moans rose into a chorus that drown out the crackles of the fire around the armored truck.

“Okay. Do you have another magic wand to get us out of this brother?” Grover asked.

Ernie quickly counted his rounds and found that he had two left; Grover had one.

“No magic wand. We are goin’ to need us a miracle I believe.”

Thunder struck above them, a crash that shock the ground underneath them and caused the two to dive to the ground. Grover rolled and tried to run only to be met by a wall of creepers, their arms held out in a welcoming manner hoping to grip his flesh in their yellowing teeth. He yelped and then turned to run back to Ernie only to find that he was gone. Where he had been standing was now just a patch of road with twenty creepers shuffling towards Grover. Before he could shout for his brother, Grover caught a glimpse of giant bird streaking through the canopy of the trees. It was as if the world was moving in slow motion.

The bird was huge and dark in contrast to the bright blue midday sky. It was flying low and without a sound until it fired. It was not a giant bird but a military aircraft. Grover watched in horrific slow motion as large caliber bullets tore through the branches of oak and pines trees in white and yellow streaks and impacted in straight lines amongst the creepers slowly walking towards him. Rounds churned dirt and through the bodies of the dead and then Grover’s heart stopped. Locked in hand to hand combat with several creepers was his brother Ernie. Behind him the bullets streaked, ready to collide with him, and no way for him to shout a warning in time. The world around Ernie exploded into a mass of body parts, leaves, dirt and rock while Grover’s world was left with the moans of the creepers, the screams of jet engines and the silence of the forest.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Part Five

The Creepers of McCall Ridge

Part Five

            The brothers had spent the night in the safety of their childhood treehouse as small bands of creepers shambled under them to their burning home. They had watched with amusement throughout the night as one by one, each creeper walked mindlessly into the fire as if it were prey to be consumed, only to be consumed by the fire themselves. The sun rose over the rolling hills to the east, rays of warming light darting through the fall leaves to let the world know that another day was beginning.

“Hey Ernie?”


“You ‘member that time you fell out of this treehouse tryin’ to impress your cousin Jackie?” Grover started giggling and then held his side as he laughed even harder. Ernie’s face flushed red at the accusation of being in love with his cousin but more because he remembered the real reason he fell from the treehouse.

“You pushed me out of this here treehouse you peckerwood. You’re lucky I broke my arm when I fell out or I would have given you some lumps on that lopsided head of yours.”

Grover kept laughing and shouted, “See! You just admitted it! You fell!”

“Shut up before you get them creepers attention.”

The two brothers spent the morning sifting through the remains of their home and found little that they could salvage. Ernie was able to find his .45 caliber pistol and 11 rounds that had not burned in the fire. Gleefully he had held it over his head and then began to dance around in a circle as Grover made a comment about how Ernie probably had been dropped a few to many times when he was a baby by their mother.

“Well little brother, what do you think we should do?”  Ernie said with his hands on his hips facing the sun as if he was a super hero.

“Well, as the brains of this outfit I suggest we kill them government psycho’s that stole your useless dog and my freakin’ sweet records. Then we come back up here and rebuild mom and dad’s home.”

“We gonna do that with a hand full of bullets and two guns?” Ernie said laughing.

“And a machine gun.” Grover said matter-of-factly as he spit a stream of tobacco juice into the gravel.

“We don’t have a machine gun dingle berry.”

“They do. On them trucks. Can’t be too hard to get one. We get us a truck. Light them boogers up, get our stuff, your no count dog, and boogie back up here and live happily ever after. The end.”

Ernie stared at his little brother as if he was speaking French. “And how in the world are we going to get one of them armored trucks from them well armed, well trained, government troops?”

“I ain’t going to do all the thinking for this gang. You have to do some too! You got a flamethrower in your pocket? You have a bomb? You have some magical voodoo wizard wand that you can wave around and change these trees into ancient warriors that will fight for us?”

“Wait.” Ernie said as an idea struck him. “I do.”

“You got a magic wand brother?”

“No you idiot! I got something we can use!”

Ernie began running to the end of the gravel driveway to a tilting shed as a dumbfounded Ernie followed close behind shouting, “If you got a magic wand you have to tell me! It's in the Geneva Convention!”

Monday, September 30, 2013

Part Four

The Creepers of McCall Ridge

Part 4

      The brother’s had decided against walking towards town. The sound of the explosion, coupled with the rushing water would be like a dinner bell for the creepers; plus Ernie was not happy he had lost his hunting rifle in all the commotion being left with only his Bowie knife to defend himself against the teeth of creepers and the lead of soldiers. The two had double-backed towards their home, slipping though the underbrush in hopes of dodging the patrols as well as the hordes of creepers that seemed to be appearing from behind oak trees every fifty feet.

“What a day this has turned out to be.” Ernie said under his breath as a creeper dressed in business slacks but no shirt or shoes shuffled by.

“Tell me about it. Hope Buck is doing okay up there without us.”

“I am sure that mangy dog is doing just fine; probably still asleep on the porch.”

            The men continued walking up the final ridge known to them as McCall ridge until their small home was in view and then froze. Parked in front of their home were three armored vehicles that looked to be the same group that had engaged them several hours earlier. And, like Grover had said, their red tick coon hound was still lying asleep on the porch as if nothing was going on around him.

“That dumb dog. Armageddon is going on around him and he is sleeping right through it!” Grover whisper loudly from behind a tree.

“He ain’t no watch dog doofus. He is a bona fide coon killing machine. Them there soldiers ain’t no ring tails so my dog ain’t going to worry about them.” Ernie said with a bit of anger in his voice. He didn’t like that his brother was talking bad about the best tracking dog that he had ever had; even if the dog was lazy 98 percent of the time of its life.

“All I am saying is if them soldier boys is in there stealing my Lynard Skynard records me and that dog is going to have us a talk.”

The brothers watched as the soldiers came out of their home, untied Buck from the porch and loaded back into their vehicles.

“Where they going with my dog?” Ernie said now with sadness escaping his lips.

“Don’t do nothing stupid Rambo. That dog ain’t worth getting shot over.”

A final soldier emerged from their home carrying several square items under his arm causing Grover to perk up. “What’s he got?”

“Them hippie records of yours it looks like.” Ernest said giggling.

“That’s it. Them dirty so-and-so’s are going to die.”

“Settle down Rambo.” Ernest said in his best Grover voice. “We’ll see where they are heading and then we will follow and get our stuff back. Plus it is about to get dark and I don’t want to be locked in bitter mortal combat with them crazy suckers with all these creepers walking around.”

The soldier carrying Grover’s records placed them in his armored truck, retrieved a small item from the passenger seat, and hurled it like a baseball towards their home. Before either brother could process what the soldier had just done the front of their home exploded outwards causing wood and glass to shower across their unkempt lawn. The brothers watched in horror as their belongings began to smolder.

“Shoot at us again you crazy hillbillies!” The soldier shouted. “You want a war; we will give you a war!”

“What in the world is he talking about? They shot first.” Grover whispered.

“Don’t know brother but looks like we are at war with what is left of the U.S. government.”

“Let’s find us a place to hide. Them creepers are going to be all stirred up tonight after all the ruckus these idiots have caused.” Grover said to his brother as he slid back down McCall ridge.

“Good point. Hey! At least they took our two most prized possessions out of that house before they destroyed it.”

“You’re an idiot Ernie.”