This one’s to celebrate the contract with Whiskey Creek Press to publish my Storm Chaser sequel, The Notorious Ian Grant. And, while we’re at it, why not celebrate finally getting another season of The Walking Dead?
Title: Things Go Better
Summary: A new weapon is found in the battle against zombies. A very strange weapon.
Length: 500 words
THINGS GO BETTER
Daryl Dixon stared down at the bubbling brown lumps on the concrete floor before him. “What the hell was that?”
He slowly lowered his crossbow, still unsure of what he’d just seen. A moment before, they’d faced a horde of walkers … how many walkers in a horde? At least three dozen, far too many for the four of them to have handled. And almost all, curiously, dressed the same.
“I don’t know …” Rick holstered his pistol and slowly approached the pool of brown liquid, which spread slowly as molasses. It smelled sweet and acidic, with only an underlay of rotting undead. “Guess I never thought about what hazardous materials might have been left behind.”
“This ain’t supposed to be hazardous materials.” Daryl looked up at the huge silver tanks, one of them now split open. “Rick, that .44 packs quite a punch.”
Rick, supposedly one of the best trained of their group when it comes to weapons, looked away. “Yeah, well … I got startled.”
They turned at a noise behind them, but it was Michonne and Herschel, returning from the water spigot the old man had found still working near one end of the factory floor. Michonne kept staring at her sword, specifically at the brownish stain that hadn’t rinsed off and the almost invisible pitting near the tip. She looked close to tears.
“Maybe you can get another one,” Daryl suggested. He took a step back at the glare she sent in return.
The liquid mass began to thin out, leaving the concrete scoured and a little pockmarked.
“I don’t get it.” Shaking his head, Rick skirted the edge of the spill and examined the closest tank. “Well, maybe over time it … changed. I guess we should consider ourselves lucky.”
“Yeah.” Daryl grinned. It felt strange. “We should just have … a smile.” Those poor souls must have been trapped all along. Then his friends entered, the tank split from an accidental shot, and the starved walkers just kept walking right into the spray. Weird.
“We were fortunate,” Herschel agreed. “Imagine what that stuff does to your stomach.”
They turned to look through the big windows along one wall, at the red and white logo outside. Daryl had actually been hoping for a little refreshment during their supply run to Atlanta, but now that didn’t seem like such a good idea. Still, they’d found a new weapon, which he was already thinking of as The Real Thing.
They looked at each other. Then they smiled, all of them, even Michonne. “Guess we’ve got some trench digging to do,” she said. “This could be a safe place, for awhile.”
“Well, not right by the tanks,” Daryl told her. Then he grinned again. “I’m thirsty. Think they got any Pepsi here?”