Authors: Ken Bush
Tags: #Vampire Apocalypse
Fall of the Mortals
A novel by
Copyright © 2014. Ken Bush. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce any or all of the contents of this book, in any manner. The author exclusively retains all rights to reproduce, transmit, upload, download, compile, decompile, reverse-engineer, hold in any retrieval system format, scan, photograph, photocopy or fax, distribute via the internet or in any other manner the contents of this book. Without exception, written permission of the author is required for any action relating to the content of this book.
The Tower Prisoners
Shaun went out for his daily ride on his dirt bike down the abandoned and desolate streets of downtown Los Angeles. He wore his matching bike helmet, gray zipper hoodie, jeans and tan worker boots. The streets were empty. There was a foul stench in the air that harrowed up the awful odor of dead humans somewhere in the proximity. There was no sound but the quietness of December in southern California and a slight breeze that blew through the air. The breeze blew some paper trash across the street but it did a lousy job at refreshing the air. Despite the gloomy atmosphere outside, Shaun, being in his mid-thirties, felt the need to go on his solitary rides. Sometimes he went on walks for exercise, especially since he was six feet one and weighed a little over two hundred pounds. He enjoyed walking to a building that had a metal bar structure out front. He used one of the elevated bars for pull ups.
Shaun was tired. His eyes were full of despair. He was sick of being a defenseless prisoner to the night creatures that sought to wipe out him and the rest of the few people who were left. He was tired of being isolated with the same people who bantered and argued day after day over the same petty, meaningless crap. They didn’t understand that they were all that they had left. Despite there being plenty of square footage in the living areas of the top twelve levels of the tower, he still had to escape from the monotonous quarreling to the roof of the building and look out at the Pacific Ocean. He would ponder how he and the annoying people who he was stuck with in the tower were going to get out of L.A. when the food supply ran out. They didn’t eat a lot but it was still three meals a day.
Sometimes, he would think over his horrible life; losing his career as a police officer just before the end came. It also depressed him to think about losing his wife, Sharon, and his daughter, Kylie, who was only seven years old, to the sweeping, brutal takeover of the fanged night monsters. He missed them so badly. He would do anything to be with them again. He couldn’t count the number of sleepless nights that he wetted his pillow thinking about Sharon’s touch or Kylie’s bubbly personality. She loved her Daddy so much. It brought him some comfort to ride out to the beach and write something about them in his diary. He had to, however, accept the awful truth, they were gone and nothing he did could bring them back. It alleviated his depression listening to music on his mp3 player, mainly rock and classic rock from the eighties.
It was discouraging not being able to go anywhere he wanted. The only freeway open was the Santa Monica which led to the ocean. He could get to the beach and back to the tower. That was it. It was blocked off in every direction from there. The other freeway was the 101 which went north towards Santa Barbara. It was impossible to go any further than Santa Barbara. All the smaller roads off these two freeways were congested and blocked with stranded vehicles. There were also several multiple car pile ups involving cars, trucks and semis blocking freeway access everywhere. Most of the people had abandoned their cars to get away from the legions of flying vampires. The people ran away, screaming for their lives, in masses. The vampires flew down and snatched them like hawks catching rodents. This horrible sight continued until the entire nation was infected. There were only rumors of other humans left out there protecting themselves from the night creatures.
Shaun and the others had plenty of fuel for vehicles. They had a handsome collection of cars – a black Ferrari, a red Porsche, a yellow Lamborghini, a green Hummer and a Chevy pickup – parked in front of the tower, yet there weren’t many places to go. The dilemma was not knowing which roads would be open and having open access to another safe hold, if another haven with people and supplies even existed. No one knew for sure if anyone was out there. If another place did exist, would the roads permit safe enough access before the night came? The cellular and land services were down. There was no communication with anyone. There were no satellite TV broadcasts except for one channel that said
The Emergency Broadcast System
with no one speaking and no sound.
Shaun came up to a medical helicopter that had crashed through the glass windows of a building on street level. It was demolished. The blade propellers were broken off and it was mostly burned from exploding on impact. It rested in the middle of the lobby. He parked his dirt bike in front of the building and walked to the cockpit. The pilot and co-pilot were charred in their seats. He pulled the pilot out and rested his body on the floor of the lobby. The co-pilot was stuck in such a way that he couldn’t be pulled from the wreckage. Despite the dashboard console’s damage, the radio still worked with some static. He always ended his morning stroll by seeing if he could make contact with Rick Mason; one of the survivors in Las Vegas. Rick had told him that there were forty-four people with him in the Stratosphere Casino Hotel and that they had plenty of food, water and electricity for more people. Just before Rick told him where the last of the people were gathering, the radio cut off. That was the last Shaun ever heard from Rick, which was two months ago. He reached into the dead helicopter and picked up the radio.
“Mason. Are you there?” said Shaun into the mic. “Is anyone there?”
“Rick Mason. Are you there? This is Shaun Grazer. Come in. Over.”
Nothing was heard over the radio but static and the wheezing sounds of the poor connectivity. Shaun hung it up and walked back to the tower. It was almost time for dinner.
Shaun arrived at the seventy-second floor. There were sofas against the large windows that overlooked the city. Vincent Jones, an eccentric sixty-three-year-old war veteran, was frantically searching for something. Mr. Jones was partially delusional and a little paranoid. He had P.T.S.D. and had been a borderline schizophrenia case for the past few years and his symptoms were getting worse. He had a limp and was slightly hunched over when he walked. He stood at five foot eight and was bald on top with short, curly gray hairs on the sides of his head and wore thick glasses over his baggy eyes. He was slightly overweight and always wore an army jacket, even when it was warm outside. He kept a thigh-holstered survival knife with a compass at the bottom of the handle over his khaki, cargo-style pants. His voice was scratchy and he always accused the others of stealing things that he never owned. He previously lived alone in a one bedroom apartment near the city on government disability.
Mr. Jones joined the bank tower family nine months ago. He was waiting at a bus stop when all the commotion happened. He hurried along with the crowd of people who ran from the vicious creatures that flew over them. As he stumbled along Grande Avenue in front of the tower, Harold pulled him into the entrance doors and got him into an elevator with him just as a vampire flew at them and reached out almost scratching him with its long fingernails.
Mr. Jones noticed Shaun come in.
“Someone stole my cupcakes,” Mr. Jones blared.
“I’m sure no one stole your cupcakes, Mr. Jones,” said Shaun.
“They did, they were right here!”
Shaun tried to quietly pass Mr. Jones but he pulled on his hoodie sleeve.
“You need to let go of me, okay?” said Shaun patiently.
“But what about my cupcakes?” he asked again in a loud tone.
Shaun calmly removed his sleeve from his grasp trying to be as patient as possible with him. Shaun walked away and headed toward the kitchen area.
“Lower your voice. I’m gonna see what’s for dinner,” he replied calmly.
Chris Dunham, a slim sixteen-year-old with long black hair and a mustache, sat on a sofa reading a magazine, trying to ignore the ‘old schizo’. Chris liked to smoke cigarettes and wear heavy metal t-shirts. He’d had dreams of playing the electric guitar and becoming a rock star until everything changed. He respected Shaun for the most part but he still emitted his teenage arrogance.
Mr. Jones glared at Chris with a scowl. Chris sat on the sofa with a smirk. He enjoyed seeing Mr. Jones get worked up.
“It was you, wasn’t it, you little punk?” asked Mr. Jones harshly.
“I didn’t take your stuff, old man,” answered Chris.
“Liar!” Mr. Jones hollered.
Shaun went over to Mr. Jones and gently placed his hands on his shoulders. He looked at Shaun and started to sob.
“Shaun. They took my cupcakes,” wept Mr. Jones. “My granddaughter made them.”
“Mr. Jones. No one has had cupcakes in here. Ever,” said Shaun calmly.
He helped Mr. Jones back over to the sofa where he sat down and sobbed.
“Betty’s making soup,” said Shaun calmly. “Try to calm down.”
Mr. Jones walked away and stopped weeping. Shaun glanced at Chris as he walked by.
“He’s so crazy,” said Chris, still smirking.
“Be nice. He’s old and he has problems.”
“How was the walk?” asked Chris.
“Same as yesterday, lonely and boring.”
“Any luck with Vegas?” asked Chris.
Shaun shook his head.
“What are you reading?” asked Shaun.
Chris held up his magazine. It was an older issue of
“Okay, everyone to the table!” hollered Betty from the kitchen.
Betty Whiteman carried a pot of her home made Wisconsin Cheese soup with wheat bread. Everybody loved it. She was the mother figure for the group as Shaun was the leader and the older brother. Betty was an overweight black woman in her fifties. She cared for others like a mother and still had that bold, direct, witty way of speaking; one could tell that she was from the rougher streets of L.A. Her husband, Harold, was once an office executive at the tower when it was previously a bank tower and one of the world’s best known round skyscrapers. He knew of the survival capabilities of the building if the world ever fell into dismay; a kitchen on the seventy-second floor, lots of food supplies that could run at least a few years and a water line that was tapped directly into the city’s source. He was a black man standing at six feet two inches. He was round in the middle and liked to eat and smoked an occasional cigar on the rooftop. He too had to unwind trying not to think about the circumstances that he and his wife were in.
Betty and Harold were the ones who allowed Shaun and the other ten into the building—Chris, Mr. Jones, Mercedes Acosta (an eight-year-old Puerto Rican girl), Tommy Tanaka (a ten-year-old Japanese boy) and the Phan family (a Vietnamese family of four which consisted of Trang the father, Ni the mother, Thai their eldest son of nineteen and their daughter, Kim, a thirteen-year-old). The last of them was Yuri Aleksandr, a thirty-year-old foreign exchange student.
Everyone came in and sat at the large dining table that was once used for Harold’s board meetings. Chris went to serve himself as he anxiously seized the soup ladle from the pot.
“Shaun? Chris? Help pass out the soup,” Betty instructed.
Shaun and Chris did what they were asked without complaint. They respected Betty and Harold. Chris then sat down, served himself and began to eat.
“Don’t even think about it ’til we say grace,” Betty snapped.
Chris quietly put his spoon down.
“I didn’t prepare this meal for no heathens,” she added.
Everyone put their hands together to say grace. Betty humbly bowed her head and held Harold’s hand.
“Dear Lord sweet Jesus. Please bless this meal and protect us from the evil demons of Satan that trouble us at night,” said Betty. “If there are others out there in need that we can help, bless them to find us. Amen.”
in unison. Shaun appreciated what Betty said about
others out there in need
but he knew the truth. There was no one out there, at least in L.A., but the vampires that he expected would taunt them that night. The vampires could smell their blood miles away. They craved it. They wanted it. They were drawn to it like a starving lion to fresh meat.
“Any luck with the radio out there, Shaun?” asked Harold.
“None,” he answered.
“It’s because the people in Vegas are dead,” said Chris.
“Why do you say that?” asked Harold.
“We would have heard something by now,” answered Chris.
“Maybe their radio is broken?” said Shaun.
“They’re all vampires,” said Chris. “I know it.”
“They are not!” Tommy blared.
“Are too!” replied Chris.
“Bet me!” hollered Chris.
“Guys. Stop it,” said Shaun.
“Enough!” hollered Harold.
The table went quiet. Betty and Harold glanced at each other as Betty attempted to change the subject. Trang and Ni felt awkward as they watched the others bicker since they didn’t speak English. Mr. Jones sat at the table quietly and ate his soup quickly and tuned out the dinner table bantering.
Yuri was quiet as well. He loved chemistry and studied it around the clock. He even had a book at the dinner table with him. He was less than six feet tall, had a medium build and wore glasses. He had short, blond hair and a stern look on his face; however he was a friendly guy. He had a strong Russian accent. His plans were to get a PhD in chemistry in America and work in a government lab, possibly with the FBI in their forensics department. He would never forget when Betty and Harold helped him into the bank tower along with the Phan family when they ran for safety.