Authors: Arthur M Wyatt
A gripping t
ale of the living, the dead, and the
struggle to s
urvive in an apocalyptic world.
Arthur M Wyatt
“The Demon Dead”
© 2014 Arthur M Wyatt
rt, Concept and Design by Arthur M Wyatt
This story takes place in Arizona. I have taken certain temporal, fictional, scientific and geographical liberties.
This is a work of fiction.
Names, characters and incidents either are the product of the authors imagination or are used fictitiously except for the Miniature Schnauzer Abby. Her character was used with written permission (paw print) and certain royalty considerations. Any resemblance to actual persons. living or dead, or events is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means without the written permission of the author.
The world began without man, and it will end without man.” - Claude Lévi-Strauss
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” - Confucius
“What a caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” - Richard Bach
The sun hovered low in the western sky. The orange disc just beginning to touch the horizon.
Amy and her companion continued on their journey. Where they would end up she wasn’t quite sure but she was hopeful.
They struggled forward. Making slow, agonizing progress.
As they plod along steadily and slowly on US-180, watching the suns
et is the only pleasure they have left. The pale blues, violets and shades of red and orange danced around the sun as the disc continued to sink farther and farther until it disappeared below the horizon all together.
Their search for survivors and food seemed to be an exercise in futility. Because, it appeared, there were neither.
She felt helpless. Helpless to affect the outcome in any way. She wanted to cry, to scream out, but she couldn’t.
The next couple of days should be interesting
, she thought.
No-one wants to die but at this point she would be glad when it was over.
Amy moved to Flagstaff just over a month ago after finding a great job in a law office as a paralegal.
At thirty five she
was a five foot six, one hundred and forty pound redhead with a fiery disposition. She had always been very independent and the move did not scare her at all. It was like a great adventure and she felt it was now or never. She had no children and after a failed marriage of six years wanted a fresh start.
She loaded all of her belongings into a rental trailer, filled her new truck to capacity and hit the road with Abby, her five year old Miniature Schnauzer.
She felt exhilarated as she pulled onto the interstate. Carrie Underwood blasting on the radio. Downtown Charlotte disappearing in the rear view mirror.
With both parents gone, killed in a traffic accident, and her sister having moved away to the west coast, there was nothing to keep her from leaving.
She spent all of her time since the move working, setting up her new home, and getting to know the neighbors.
She hoped to make the short trip to the Grand Canyon soon. She had always wanted to see it. She put that at the top of her list of things to do once she was settled in.
Amy went to work Monday, then enjoyed a relaxing evening at home watching a movie, eating popcorn and sipping a glass of red wine. She went to bed at her usual time of 11:00 p.m. after walking the dog and locking the doors.
Most of the time Abby slept through the night but occasionally she would wake Amy with an urgent need to go out. Tonight was one of those nights. They had only been asleep for one hour. Groggily Amy stepped into her slippers.
“Abby you better really have to go,” she said as she headed off down the hallway, the little dog leading the way.
As she walked out the door and stepped onto the front lawn, bright meteorites streaked across the sky above her. The cool night air felt good against her skin. A slight breeze rustled her hair.
Suddenly Abby began to bark in that hysterical little dog yapping Amy was so familiar with.
“Oh my God,”
she said. “What’s your problem?”
Some of the neighbor
’s dogs began to join in.
“See what you did?” Amy said as if the dog could understand her.
She stood staring into the heavens. The streaks of light were continuous and numbered in the hundreds. She had never seen anything like it.
Abby attempted to bark and pee at the same time. Her habit of lifting one leg off the ground while squatting made this almost impossible. Looking down and seeing the trouble she was having Amy couldn’t help but giggle.
finished her business they went back into the house and turned on the TV. The news channels were breaking in with video of the meteors as they streaked across the sky. There had been no warning of this event the announcer said.
Amy thought that was strange. How did they not know?
She had to be at work the next morning so she turned the TV off and went back to bed. She was soon fast asleep. It was 12:50 a.m.
The alarm sounded at 06:30 a.m. Amy had to be at work at eight but she could leave the house at fifteen minutes before and still get to work on time. She never quite understood people who get to work early. She worked hard and stayed late but she didn’t do early. Sleep was too valuable.
She put on her housecoat and headed to the kitchen to make coffee. The morning sky was ablaze with yellow, orange and red at the horizon then transitioning to bright violets and blues higher up. Amy stared out the window as if in a trance never having seen such a sight.
She started the coffee maker and tried to get Abby to go out with her to get the news paper. News papers were being overtaken by technology but Amy still liked the feel of an actual paper in her hands.
he little dog refused to go. She seemed nervous, which was strange because she was always excited to go out in the morning. Unless of course it was raining.
Amy left her where she was and went out to retrieve the morning paper alone.
She stepped out onto the lawn but the paper wasn't in its usual spot.
Tommy must be running late
, she thought.
Across the street and two
houses down she saw one of her neighbors, an older retired lady Amy knew as Miss Lillian, out walking in her front yard. She was wearing a pink nightgown but had on no house coat and only one slipper.
The ground was cold and covered with dew. She watched for a moment as the lady walked slowly in a circle. She was raising her feet with every step as if she were stepping over something on the lawn. Then she stopped, slowly turned and waved weakly.
Amy kind of waved back raising her right arm slightly from its position by her side. Even in the dim light and at that distance she could see the dark circles around the ladies eyes. The sockets looked empty. Amy, a little spooked, looked away.
Her attention was then drawn to a figure standing by the street next door. It was her neighbor Bob. He had helped her tremendously in her short time here and she considered him her first friend in Flagstaff. He was an older retired widower and mostly kept to himself. He occasionally helped Lillian across the street but they actually didn’t seem to like each other very much. Amy thought that was a strange relationship.
His back to her, he stood a little unsteadily peering down the street. She walked toward him and called his name. He didn't seem to hear her.
She approached him and tapped him on the shoulder. Then, she noticed the blood on his arm and stepped back.
"My God Bob are you ok?" she asked as he turned to face her.
His sleeves and the front of his shirt were soaked with blood. As their gaze met Amy saw that his eyes were wide and hazed over and there was this god awful hideous, lip-less grin on his face. He looked like a crazed homicidal clown. His hair was matted with blood and his nose was a mangled bloody mess. He was groaning as though he were in pain. She stood in shock, staring.
He screamed, bringing Amy out of her trance, and then lunged at her. She turned to run. He fell down behind her but managed to grab the bottom of her housecoat causing her to trip. She fell face first into the grass. He had a hold of her ankle now and was trying to get into position to bite. She turned onto her back and kicked him in the face as hard as she could. His head snapped back as he let out another angry growl. He didn't loosen his grip on her ankle. She kicked him again.
Looking around for a weapon
she saw only one possibility, a lawn sprinkler, with a metal spike on the bottom, sticking out of the lawn three feet away.
She kicked him two more times in the face then turned over and crawled toward the sprinkler. Clawing at the dirt and dragging her neighbor's zombie behind her, she finally made it and jerked the sprinkler out of the ground. She turned and kicked him one more time in the face.
aising the sprinkler over her head with both hands, she brought it down as hard as she could, plunging the spike into the top of his skull.
It seemed to sink in slow motion, squirting blood in a crimson geyser as it sank into his brain.
flashed through her mind of the "Sword And The Stone". The sword stuck in the stone awaiting the true king to come and remove it.
He who removes the sprinkler from the skull of the zombie, shall be King,
The thought left her
mind just as quickly as it had come.
As the spike plunged into the depths of the zombie
’s brain, his grip on her ankle weakened, he slumped to the ground and was still. She crab walked several feet backwards and sat staring at the dead man while trying to make sense of what just happened. Despite the cool air she had started to sweat profusely. Her heavy breathing causing her chest to rise and fall. Her heart pounded in her ears.
hit Miss Amy!" It was Tommy the paper boy.
Tommy was a twelve year old boy who lived at the other end of the street with his Mother, Father and sister. He was short for his age and a little overweight.
Curly brown hair stuck out from underneath his Sun Devils ball cap. She noticed that his shirt was on inside out. He had been the first to welcome Amy to the neighborhood.
He was standing on the sidewalk. His bike on its side, newspapers strewn all around. She hadn't even noticed that he had ridden up.
"I saw the whole thing, are you ok?" he asked
“I think so," she said weakly.
He walked up and handed her the paper as if it was a normal morning. “Sorry I’m late,” he said.
Her neighbor would have attacked and killed Tommy had she not come along. So she started the first day of the end of the world by killing her neighbor and saving her paperboys life.
All in a days work,
eople were starting to come out of their houses. Bloodied and shuffling along slowly. They wandered into the street. There must have been fifteen or twenty of them. The street had been empty just minutes before.
Across the street, Mrs. Lee ran out of her house screaming. Covered in blood. Right behind her was her husband Fred. His face bloodied and bruised. Close on his heels was their teenaged son Brian who was growling and snarling as he chased his Father out into the street. His eyes were wide with rage.