Friday, June 11, 2010

American Apocalypse IV - Heartland Chapter 10e

Who ever was on bell ringing duty was slow to get to the bell as they were just starting to ring the alarm when they rolled in. They were driving two 4 wheel drive trucks that had been modified for back country use. Both had winches up front, were set up higher, and they each had an extra tire on top of the cab in a rack that had to have been made locally as ugly as it was. They had the Brethren symbol painted on the doors of each truck.  Well at least I didn't have to wonder who they were anymore. 

There was two in the front and two in the back.  The back of each truck had sections of steel bolted to the same iron work that held the spare tire.  The one in the lead had "War Wagon for God" painted on the steel. The other one had "Jesus Rulez!" At some point the paint job on each had been altered using spray and brown exterior paint to give them a camo exterior.  Each one had collected a few bullet holes in the body somewhere. Probably from accidental firearm discharges.They pulled in facing us. I could see the driver of the lead vehicle grinning at me through the cracked windshield.  They dismounted leaving one guy in the back of each vehicle.

They looked like I expected. They looked competent at small town bullying and civilian raping.  I knew what they were here for. Trouble.  Plus I liked the trucks.  The old man had gotten up out of his chair and I joined him while I edged off from him by about four paces.  People like to bunch up for this kind of thing. They did it instinctively. If we ended up having to fight with shields it would come in handy.  Until then it was stupid.

The dogs had woken up and were starting to sit or stand up to see what the excitement was.  I told the old man "Go open the door so the dog can get out but keep the kid inside. I'll talk to them until you get back." Instead he yelled "Open the door Iris and let the dog out but keep the boy in!" I looked over at him, he grinned and told me "Fuck that. I'm not going anywhere."

I was still laughing as they formed up in front of the trucks. Four of them in front, each one standing about a half of a pace apart. Two more hung back by the cab. They had left the doors open. The other two up in the bed had scoped rifles they were using to  look towards the houses on the hill. I revised my opinion of them a notch upwards. 

The leader said "Hey Captain. You know..." He didn't get to finish his sentence because I was walking towards them grinning and yelling back "Praise the Lord! Did you get the message.." By then I was within three feet of them.  I drew both guns and shot the two on the ends in the face. I stepped forward. As I did I whipped both guns in, crossing my arms as I did, then I turned my wrists so they were sideways and snapped my arms out  in a sweeping arc. The arc was interrupted by the side of their heads. As I did that I cocked them again.

Simultaneously out of the corner of my eye I saw a blur leap past me on to the hood of the truck to my left. I heard nails scratching camo paint and then Woof was over the cab and someone was screaming. I shot at the other backup in the bed of the other truck as I shot at the one who was hanging by the open door on my side. Both shots missed with the Colt ball ricocheting off the window of the truck. The old man had cut loose with his shotgun and had blown away the guy on the other door. Then he was down, in the background the sound of the dogs was insane as they roared their desire to get a piece of what was happening.  

Someone was firing single aimed shots from the hillside, at least I hoped they were aimed, and two more people were running down the hill towards us. Someone else was firing from the woods to my right. Then it was over. It wasn't silent. Woof was growling and it sounded like he was ripping his kills arms off inside the bed.  Hopefully the guy was dead by now.  The two I had face smashed were moaning. One went for his weapon. That ended any pain he was feeling. The other one was mumbling something that sounded like "I surrender."  I shot him too.

The young man, Cameron I think his name was and the old lady were kneeling by the old man. Both of them were crying.  I looked back. Zane was standing in the doorway with his rifle on his shoulder. I noticed a couple cartridges on the ground by him. He looked at me, and I said "Clear." He dropped the rifle from his shoulder a little bit.  Not much.  "Clear" wasn't the same as "Over." The dogs were all over the downers except for the Captain.  The people from the hill had made it to us and were looking at the wreckage, the dogs, and me with horrified looks on their faces.

I was looking at the trucks.  With a little luck one of them still ran and that was all I needed. More people were coming out of the woods around us. I looked at them, back at the trucks, and realized I had the makings for my very own mini-Horde.


  1. At least Cap went down fighting. After he left the Navy he probably never thought that would happen until things went to shit.


  2. Oh darn. That Cap'n was a good guy. Please make it so he wore his body armor and is only knocked out from the punch. Thank you. Sorry. I KNOW it's YOUR story. It's just that I have a fondness for tough old geezers with dignity.

  3. I make my comments hoping to never live in this America. From what I've read this basically reduces us to pre-civil war days. Your life expectancy wasn't that long. The chances of the Capatin getting shot in a raid were just as good as any other type of death. Unattended broken limbs, bacteria that resists antibiotics (assuming you have the tech to make them), tetanus. Liking some one does not prevent the eventual from happening.

    If he is dead hopefully he lived a good life and passed what he could to his kids if he had any. That part is pretty much the same as it is now.


  4. Keep up the fine work. I bought American Apocalypse and I am really enjoying your posts. The only problem is I am caught up and can't get to the end fast enough! Just wondering, is Gardener related to Chance the Gardener of "Being There" by Jerzy Kozinski?

  5. Matt, he picked the name Gardener because of his first kill using a trowel.