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Authors: Mark Lansing

The Beginning

BOOK: The Beginning
11.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

MARTIN swung the baseball bat and connected with the back of the kneeling man’s skull, fragments of bone splintered with a sickening crack. The man fell sideways and revealed what h
e had been bent over. Or what was left of it.

The fur around its collar was matted with blood and vital organs oozed out of a deep gouge in the stomach. Martin dropped the bat and fell to his knees as he tried to understand what exactly was happening. The
Great Dane’s breathing was laboured and the only sign of life was from the flicker in her eyes. Martin’s hands hovered cautiously over the dog’s wound, his mind raced frantically for something to do, anything but to just watch.

The puddle of blood widene
d and Martin felt the warm touch of it on his knees as his jeans soaked it up. Shocking him into action, Martin began to push organs back into the wound, thrusting them back in desperately. His hands clawed at the ground around him trying to find anything he could. He grabbed the cord of the intestine and started to shove it back inside, then it pulled back out.

Martin’s eyes slowly followed the trail of intestine from the wound, along the ground and into the man’s blood splattered mouth. His teeth were gn
awing viciously with an animalistic hunger, tearing and ripping wildly.

As Martin stood up and began to back away, the man seemed to notice him for the first time. His red eyes locked onto Martin’s eyes, his mouth drooled with intestine, his face covered
in a mixture of his own blood and the Great Danes.

Turning quickly, Martin began to sprint across the long lawn, not daring to look over his shoulder. The sun gleamed off the rooster-shaped weathervane fixed onto the top of a red-wood barn, this was Martin
’s beacon of hope.

Martin couldn’t see the man, but he knew he was close behind. He could feel hot breath on the back of his neck. He could hear the thud of its limbs on the sun-baked ground.

He skid to a halt outside the barn door and, hoping it wasn’t locked, flung it open. He jumping inside without looking back and slammed the door behind him. It was pitch black inside. Martin leant back on the barn door, swallowed hard and slowly slipped down the door.

What the hell is going on?

His eyes were getting adjusted to the darkness when he was suddenly overwhelmed with the smell of freshly laid down paint. Strange he thought, Dad hasn’t been in this barn for decades. The next thing to catch his attention was in the corner of the barn where Martin could make out a flashing white light. Through squinted eyes, Martin could see it was a thin line of light on the floor.

Martin closed his eyes and allowed his head to drop backwards till it touched the barn door, he exhaled deeply. He needed to
get back to the house, he had to warn his parents about this madman. Then the door Martin was leaning on shuddered with the vibrations of a heavy impact.

Sprawling forward in a reflexive action, Martin was soon on his feet. But no more impacts came. Only
the sound of a loud breathy inhale from the other side of the door. Then silence.

With an air of caution and sickening curiosity, a nose with flared nostrils appeared in the gap between the barn door and the floor. It inhaled deeply. Then withdrew, makin
g room for two hands, the fingers already missing nails and horribly broken. They began to claw at the ground, dragging dirt back onto the other side. Quickly, a hole began to emerge.

Surrounded by blackness, Martin stumbled around conscious of the increa
sing amount of light which was creeping in from the expanding hole under the door. Martin was simply putting distance between himself and the door, but soon he found himself in the corner of the barn, standing next to a square with flashing edges.

turned and glanced at the door. The hole was now big enough for the man to get his arm up to the elbow in. Martin instinctively took a step back and his heel caught on a raised edge.

He swiftly bent down and ran his hand over the smooth surface of the flo
or. Sunlight was now bursting in through the hole, lighting up the barn’s interior. Martin’s frantic searching fingers located an indented button, his index finger plunged the button down.

With the swiftness of technology far beyond this abandoned barn, a
small metal sheet withdrew to reveal an inbuilt keypad, 4 flashing dots prompted a code. Martin’s mind raced and he input the code for the safe in the main house.


Martin’s mind raced trying to think of the code. A loud crack came from behind him, he twisted his head to see the man’s head already inside the barn. His arms were trying to drag the rest of his body through the hole, but it was too small and his shoulders were grating against the barn’s wooden door.

Martin, think, he thought to himself. Their wedding anniversary?


Martin’s could feel his heart thudding against his ribcage. He was never going to guess the code. And that man was almost inside the barn. He was not going down without a fight.

By now the inside of the barn was dimly lit by shots of sunlight beaming from the hole under the barn door and the splintered wood. Martin stood up and looked around for some kind of weapon he could use. Leaning up against a wood
en support at the far end of the barn, illuminated by a shot of sunlight, was his Dad’s old rifle from Vietnam

Martin froze. He knelt back down and entered in the number that had been a feature of all of his father’s war stories. The number that h
is father would willing have given his life for.


A thick metal block slid back with the effortless ease of high powered mechanics. Beneath it was a thin set of bright white stairs leading underground. Martin scrambled down them, catching the sight of the man hurtling through the barn in the corner of his vision. He slammed the palm of his hand into the close button. The metal block slid across swiftly. But not before a few flecks of blood-dotted saliva flew from the man’s mouth as he threw himself through the air and connected with Martin’s face.

Chapter 2

Martin wiped the saliva off with the back of his hand. He could hear a faint banging sound on the other side of the metal block, but it was so distant and weak that it sounded as if it came from a tired elderly mouse.

Martin slid down onto one of the steps and listened to the steady banging inches above his head. What would drive someone to do that? He must have escaped from a mental asylum or be high on something.

Martin surveyed the narrow staircase he was in. The walls were bright white, illuminated from the inside. The smell of new paint returned to his nostrils. Martin had always liked the smell of fresh paint, it reminded him of new places, new beginnings. After all, that is why he was here.

Returning to his hometown had seemed like such a good idea, now it seemed like a big mistake.

He had no idea how right he was.

He stood up, ducking slightly under the low ceiling, and descended the white staircase. 10 steps down. At the bottom
was a metal block similar to the one at the top of the stairs, but it was twice as large. The keypad was located on the right of the door, he entered the code again and the door slid open.


The door effortlessly slid to the side and inside the whole room burst into life. Lights switched on like a dominoes stack starting at the door and finishing at the other end of the room, Martin guessed about 100 feet away. Towards the back of th
e room a generator spurted into life. The walls, floor and ceiling were made of dull grey concrete. It made the whole room feel smaller and tighter, shrinking gradually.

Behind him, at the top of the stairs, Martin could hear a faint banging, so faint tha
t for a second he wondered whether he was just imagining it. Then the image of the man’s mouth hanging open, his blood stained teeth and chin came back to him. He shuddered and turned his attention back to the empty room. 

A bunker? Why would his parents have a bunker?

His parents.

He had to warn them about the man. He had to find a phone.

Martin took a step into the room and took in the contents surrounding him. It was essentially one big box with three small compartments on the far end of the room.

To his left was a kitchen area, complete with a sink, a row of cupboards and a large fridge. Martin realised how thirsty he was, he checked his watch; 10:38am. He’d spent all of yesterday driving to his parent’s ranch in Colora
do. By the time he arrived it was past midnight and he barely had the energy to climb the stairs and collapse into his old bed.

When he had woken up, there had been a note stuck to the inside of his door. Even from his bed Martin had recognised his mom’s
trademark love heart scribbled on at the end of the note. He wish he’d read it.

Instead his attention had been grabbed by the bark and then loud shrill of his parent’s Great Dane; Roxy. Then the sight of a man hunched over it. That was when he had grabbed
the bat and sprinted out to help his childhood companion. His parents couldn’t have been home or they would have come out to help him.

Martin blinked. He knew he wasn’t thinking straight – dehydration can mess with your head. He strode over to the fridge
and pulled open the shiny metallic door. Inside were neat rows of army rations in silver foil packages, lined up horizontally. His dad had been a military man, and although he’d encouraged Martin he had never wanted to enlist. In the door of the fridge and packed in the bottom shelf were 1 litre bottles of water. Martin plucked one out, unscrewed the cap and took a long drink. He closed the fridge door, took another big gulp of water and while holding it in his mouth, surveyed the rest of the room.

He made
his way towards the back of the room where there was three doorways to three small rooms. There were no doors so Martin could tell as he approached the first room that it was a bedroom. But the bed seemed out of place. It had a bright pink patchwork quilt which Martin immediately recognised as his mom’s work. In contrast to the dull grey walls it seemed alien. On the bedside table was a picture frame of his parents at the beach, his mom’s blonde hair billowing in the wind while his dad’s ever present baseball cap was fixed tightly over his brow. They looked happy. Martin wondered if they were safe.

The next room was a simple toilet and bath with a shower extension. Martin smiled. His mom loved baths and he could imagine her arguing with dad to get one inst
alled in the bunker, no matter the cost. Martin’s dad, Collin, was one of the hardest, most badass men Martin have ever met. He didn’t back down from anyone or anything. But his mom always got her way – always.

The final room was locked. Martin entered the same code the bunker door into the keypad.


Martin thought he’d perhaps entered the code wrong, so he tried again, this time taking extra care when pushing each number.


He didn’t want to find out what happened when he entered the code wrong three times. He looked over at the only corner of the room left unexplored. Fixed to the wall was a large television screen, Martin guessed
at least 6 feet wide. Directly below it was a desk littered with button, joysticks and smaller screens.

And a telephone.

BOOK: The Beginning
11.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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