The World of The Gunny

The Wasted World of Gunnery Sergeant DeShane
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 Post subject: Zombie Manuscript Rewrite
PostPosted: 03 Apr 2009 23:47 
Warrant Officer 1
Warrant Officer 1
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Joined: 25 Aug 2005 09:47
Posts: 909
Location: Maumee, Ohio
Prologue: Undue Alarm

I guess everyone remembers where they were that morning. I wish I had a better story for it. It was Monday, March 21st. I was blissfully celebrating both my divorce and the four month anniversary of my discharge from active duty in the United States Army. Though my tenure at West Point dictated that I spend three more years in “reserve” status, my obligations were minimal. For the immediate future, I had planned on doing absolutely nothing. I had the resources to get away with it, and what I saw in my five years of active service, I think, earned me the right to loaf for a few months before I looked for another job.

After resigning my commission at the ripe old age of 27, I had moved back home to Clearwater Montana, close to the Idaho border. My father had recently passed away, leaving me the house and everything the family had, which included enough money to finance my sloth for as long as I felt like lying around. Luckily, this all came after the divorce, so that cheating bitch couldn’t get her hands on any of it.

I suppose before I go any further, introductions are in order. I’m Lieutenant William Dwayne, of the US Army (ret.). It was seven thirty in the morning when I collapsed on the couch after sleepwalking through my morning routine. Despite my critical lack of sleep the night before, my internal alarm woke me at seven sharp no matter what. I knew the day was going to suck right then and there, but I had no idea how right I was.

Making breakfast, I flipped on the news. I heard something about riots going on, but I wasn’t paying enough attention to care. Someone was always rioting somewhere. It wasn’t until I sat down that I was able to actually listen to what was being said.
The talking head was halfway through explaining when I sat down. “…unexplained riots. The participants are incredibly hostile, attacking bystanders and destroying property. The National Guard is being mobilized to help restore order. We have unconfirmed reports of similar events overseas, but have no official word on that at this time.

Initial attempts to disperse the crowds were met with force. Though details are sketchy, we do know that hospitals in both cities are struggling to deal with the sheer volume of injured. The riots began in Los Angeles late last night, while here in New York we first received word of similar events just before dawn. The riots here started in Northern Queens, and have now spread into parts of Eastern Manhattan.

This just in, we have just learned that riots are starting in Chicago as well. We’ll keep you up on anything that—”
Anything else that was said was cut off when a bullet tore through my window and shattered into my TV.

My thought process at this time was something like: ARM YOURSELF! Where did it come from? That TV cost three grand! I bolted to the bedroom and took my Colt M1911 from the nightstand, pocketing an extra magazine.

Cautiously peering through the broken maw of glass that used to be a bay window, I saw something that five years in Middle Eastern hellholes hadn’t even prepared me for. The man who lived across the street from me had been tackled by a woman in a bloodstained nightgown, who was tearing at him tooth and nail. I took aim and cracked a shot off. My aim was dead on, the round struck her elbow, tearing her forearm off and sending it cartwheeling across the yard spewing blood. Amazingly, the blow only drew her attention to me. She took no notice of her missing arm as she leapt up and charged at me. I aimed for her chest and fired again. The bullet took her down, but she scrambled right back to her feet. Shocked, I aimed for her head. The bullet shattered her face and blew what had to be a fist sized hole out of the back of her skull, and she collapsed. This time she didn’t get up.

I ran through my front door across the street to the man on the lawn. As soon as I stepped out the door I could smell the smoke, hear the sirens. I felt for a pulse. Nothing. I began chest compressions, only stopping to dial 911. A recorded message politely informed me that all circuits were busy, and that I had to deal with the problem my own damn self. As I resumed chest compressions, the man grabbed my arm. I’m not a doctor, but that man was dead. His eyes popped open regardless, and he tried to pull me down. I was shocked, but not so out of it that I didn’t have the presence of mind to fire my weapon, spreading his brain across the lawn. I left him on his lawn, dead for good. I was returning to my house when I realized he never returned my snowblower from that winter. I managed a weak grin as I entered.

Sensing time was critical, I gathered some food, bottled water, and ammunition before I headed into the garage. I already had flashlights and extra gasoline in the trunk, along with a first aid kit. What I really needed was in the safe on the far side of the garage. Keying in the combination, I withdrew a Remington 870 Shotgun and a M1903 Springfield rifle. It was a dinosaur technology wise, but it kicked like a mule and was relatively new. I loaded all the weapons and ammo into the backseat, save the M1911, which I holstered. I tried 911 again, to no avail. As the garage door was opening, I remember praying that this was just a nightmare and I was still asleep. No such luck. The sunlight in the east obscured by the rising smoke from the city, I half expected to smell brimstone as I pulled out of the driveway. Death had come, and, as so often happens, hell followed with Him.

"Detail makes the difference between boring and terrific writing. It’s the difference between a pencil sketch and a lush oil painting. As a writer, words are your paint. Use all the colors."

“For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, 'It might have been'.”

"The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can't help it."

"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self." Best. Band. Ever.

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