The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Zombie or Post Apocalyptic themed fiction/stories.

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by absinthe beginner » Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:44 am

I suspect Lucas and his hot Korean femme fatale are going to show up as a deus ex machina one of these days.

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Redsky » Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:46 pm

Didn't receive an automatic update for your last post TB. So could you post MOAR! Just to check and see if it's working please?
Then post another chapter just to make sure. :D

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Ahkaine » Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:37 pm

Tinderbox wrote:Using the rifle as a crutch, he stood unsteadily on one foot and lifted the other to inspect the hole the .45 Colt slug had made in the toe of his boot.
Anyone else read this as the rifle jammed barrel down in the dirt with Redhouse leaning heavily on it? I'm thinking this problem resolves itself when he pulls the trigger.

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by JeeperCreeper » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:52 pm

Ahkaine wrote:
Tinderbox wrote:Using the rifle as a crutch, he stood unsteadily on one foot and lifted the other to inspect the hole the .45 Colt slug had made in the toe of his boot.
Anyone else read this as the rifle jammed barrel down in the dirt with Redhouse leaning heavily on it? I'm thinking this problem resolves itself when he pulls the trigger.
All I know is after I saw this thread had a notification that wasn't a new installment, I want to shove my face down in the dirt because I want MOAAAR
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by absinthe beginner » Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:26 pm

“Fuck!” an enraged Redhouse shouted as he kicked the derringer from her hand and hopped away. “What did you do, you stupid, smelly, shit-faced whore!”
Did anyone else think Redhouse was a bit verbose for a dude who just unexpectedly nearly got his big toe blown off? I would've expected a stream of single-syllable obscenities amid a near-state of shock.

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Tinderbox » Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:27 am

With the empty bucket in hand, Katrina had already walked around the inner compound wall twice before she heard voices coming from up in the watchtower. Hoping her presence had been noticed, she stood before the gate to the inner compound. But when the door eventually opened, it wasn’t Liam or Ryan Weeks who she saw, but their father.

“Miss Van Kooten,” he said curtly as he passed her, “get back to your cabin.”

“What is it?” she asked, noticing his hurried pace. “What’s going on?” But Weeks didn’t spare her so much as a second glance as he jogged away. She stood wondering if she should do as Weeks had said or if she should wait for someone else to appear. A moment later, that someone appeared in the form of Voletta Nevers.

The girl’s face appeared from around the edge of the gate. She looked at Katrina with her large dark eyes and, without a word, began to push the door shut.

“Wait,” said Katrina, “you’re…uh…Voletta, right?” The girl gave a slight nod, but continued to slowly close the door. “Wait! Do you know what’s going on? Why did Mr. Weeks run out like that?” For a second, Katrina thought the girl wasn’t going to answer. But the door stopped moving and Voletta’s voice came quietly out through the three inch gap.

“One of the men who went out with Mr. Kern, they saw him walking back across the field out there. They said he looked hurt. Mr. Weeks went to find out what happened.”

“One of them came back?” Katrina asked. “Just one?”

“They said it was Mr. Carstens. He fell over right in front of the gate and then they brought him in.”

Katrina’s first thought was to wonder if they knew enough to check the injured man for bites. Her second thought brought her back to what she had originally hoped to find out.

“Do you know if Liam came back yet?”

For a few seconds, Voletta didn’t answer. When she did, it was nearly a whisper. “No, he isn’t back yet. He’s been gone all night and…and it’s because of you, you and your friends.”

“I’m sorry,” she replied, thrown a little off balance by how personal Voletta made it sound, “but I didn’t ask him to go out there. I don’t want anything to happen to him. My friends are out there, too. I’m worried about them, the same as you’re worried about…about Liam.” And it struck her then that the girl’s feelings for Liam might be more than just friendly. “It sucks,” she went on, “when they go out and we’re stuck here where we can’t do anything to help them, when all we can do is worry.”

“I didn’t want him to go,” the girl said through the gap between the gate and the wall. “I never want him to go, but…it’s like…”

“It’s like they have to,” Katrina said, her thoughts in sync with the girl’s.

“It’s like,” Voletta added, “it’s just who he is.”

“I know,” Katrina said in a voice almost as quiet as Voletta’s. “I know what you mean.” The two of them were silent until it risked becoming awkward. Then Katrina cleared her throat. “I guess if Liam’s not back, then no one knows anything about Mundy or Miles or the two guys who went with them.”

“No,” Weeks said tersely as he walked up behind her, “no one knows anything new about them.” He looked like he hadn’t slept all night and the muscles along his jaw were working nervously. “I figured that’s why you were hanging around our wall.”

“No one tells me anything,” Katrina responded, her back stiffening a bit. “I have to find out somehow.”

“Well, Carstens isn’t up to giving us any news at the moment. He’s unconscious. Dr. Yang says it’s probably shock, though how a horse doctor can recognize shock, I don’t know.”

“Mr. Kern and the other guy – ”

“I know, I know,” Weeks said gruffly. “It doesn’t…look good. And now I have to go in there and tell Gary’s wife and kids about it.” The man ran his hand over the week’s worth of stubble on his face. “We’re not used to this kind of thing, you see. Not like you.”

Katrina knew the man was afraid for his son and stressed further by the disappearance of Kern and his companion, but she took affront at his words. “I’m used to this kind of thing?” she said to him. “You don’t get used to it. You never get used to it.”

Weeks looked like he might have regretted what he’d said, but his voice remained hard. “Is there anything else I can help you with before you go back to your cabin, Miss Van Kooten?”

“Give me my guns,” she said suddenly. “Let me go look for them. I’m…I’m sure Liam took that dirt road across the river, the same one Kern took. If Mundy comes back with a vehicle, he’ll come up that road.” She stared at Weeks and he stared back without speaking. “I could sneak out, but I’d rather go with my guns. Of course, if you’re still afraid of letting me have them, I’ll go unarmed.”

“You’d go out there,” Weeks asked disbelievingly, “without your guns?”

“Well, I’m not thrilled by the idea,” she replied, “but it’s better than sitting in here feeling useless.”

Weeks expelled a lungful of air and shook his head. “I’m tempted to let you do it,” he said as he pushed the gate open wide enough for him to slip inside. “I really am.”

Through the gap in the gate, Katrina could see Kern’s wife and his children walking briskly toward them across the courtyard. “Sean,” Mrs. Kern snapped, making Weeks whirl around, “we’re going to see Mark Hollings. We need to know what happened to Gary.”

“Miranda,” Weeks said to the woman, “stop. Hollings is unconscious. He can’t tell us anything. Gladston will tell us as soon as he’s able to talk. Until then, there’s just no sense in going out there.” Weeks looked at Kern’s son, Xavier. “Aren’t you supposed to be on watch?”

“He needs to know what happened to his father,” Miranda Kern said sharply, her voice on the edge of tears. “We should be there when Mark wakes up.”

“Miranda, take the kids back inside. You…you aren’t…” The distraught woman wasn’t thinking clearly and Weeks was having trouble finding the right way to tell her that. “Look, there’s nothing to do but wait until Hollings can tell us what happened.” He looked again at Xavier whose eyes were wide with fear. “And meanwhile, someone needs to get back up in that tower.” From across the outer compound they heard a voice shouting. “Oh, shit, what now?” Weeks asked, casting his eye skyward.

For a brief second, Katrina pitied the man.

Weeks squared his shoulders and drew a big breath. “Miranda,” he barked, “back inside! Amanda, help your mom. Xavier, get back up in the tower and tell me who the hell is doing all the yelling over there!” When they had reluctantly retreated back into their compound, Weeks turned to Katrina. “And you,” he said, “do me a favor and do not go out looking for your friends or Liam or anyone. I do not need another lost lamb to worry about.” He raised his eyes to the outer wall. “Who’s that running along…” The man’s words trailed away and he squinted at the armed men making their way towards them. “Medina and Olinger,” he said, as if to himself. “Why…” But again, he left the sentence unfinished.

Katrina could tell something was happening. She didn’t think that Medina and Olinger, two of Quay’s men, were supposed to be inside the walls. The continued shouting from somewhere near the gate told her that the others – Quay, Redhouse and Hinkle – were also involved. Gradually, a look of alarm crept across Weeks’ face.

“Miss Van Kooten,” he said, “maybe you’d better step inside until we sort this thing out.”

“No, I…” Katrina was about to say that if something serious was happening, she had to get back to Hyacinth and Rory, but at that moment both Medina and Olinger increased their pace, running fast toward the gate. The two men raised their rifles and fired poorly aimed shots which sent splinters flying on either side of her. She heard Weeks swear loudly and saw him pull his right arm to his chest. Before she knew it, she was inside the gate, pushing it closed. But Olinger and Medina were there in an instant, smashing against it with the full weight of their bodies and knocking her back. The two men burst in, each of them chambering fresh rounds in their rifles. Olinger aimed his weapon at Weeks who had sunk to his knees, cradling his bleeding arm. But just as he seemed about to pull the trigger, Medina yelled at his companion.

“Come on, dumbass, let him bleed! We’re supposed to take the guns in the tower!” Olinger was too wound up with fear and excitement to question Medina’s orders. He swung his rifle around and followed. It had all happened so fast that Katrina was watching them run toward the watchtower before she thought of the pistol in her waistband.

The courtyard was soon filled with frightened people. Gina Weeks came running and a confused looking Ryan Weeks jumped out of one of the RVs. Mirana Kern and her daughter came, too, with Voletta Nevers appearing last. Out of them all, Voletta was the only one who had armed herself, carrying the Marlin .22 LR bolt action rifle Weeks had once given her.

“Everyone,” Weeks said, still clutching his bleeding arm, “into the bunker.” When they hesitated, he repeated the order in a louder voice, adding, “You, too, Miss Van Kooten.” He glanced up to the top of the tower. “We don’t have much time.”

“Sean,” his wife gasped, “your arm.”

“It’s not a bullet,” he replied, “it’s a fragment of a bullet or a splinter or something and there are medical supplies in the bunker.”

“I don’t…” Miranda Kern said “…I don’t think we should go down there.”

“My rifle’s in my room,” Ryan said in a dazed voice.

“Damn it,” Weeks said, getting to his feet, “there’s no time. Two of Quay’s guys are up in the tower. They’ve got the guns. The rest of them will be here any second.”


An hour had passed since Quay and his four companions had taken over the camp, but Mundy knew nothing about it. He struggled to steer the step van down the last quarter mile of road, wondering if it would make it across the river. The vehicle had already surprised him by lasting as long as it had and by making it all the way up the rough, twisting Forest Service road. Now all that was left was the shallow crossing and climbing the opposite river bank.

“Easy-peasy,” Mundy said anxiously, muttering the words for what seemed like the hundredth time since he’d started up the road. Every time the step van had managed to make it through a tight space or succeeded in spinning its tires out of a patch of loose soil, he’d rewarded the machine with the same thing he used to say to his son, Wyatt, after he’d finished a difficult homework problem. “Easy-peasy,” he’d say – and the boy would finish up by adding “Lemon-squeezy.”

For a moment, Mundy let himself think about his sons, Wyatt and Craig, picturing them playing at their neighborhood park and hearing their voices in his head. He returned to reality just in time to jerk the steering wheel to the left and keep the step van from running off the road.

The perfect example of why I can’t go there, he thought to himself as his heart pounded. Sometimes he felt like apologizing to the memory of his two sons for not thinking of them more, but in what was left of the world, distractions could be deadly, especially ones so consuming. When he prayed, he sometimes asked that when he died, he would die slowly so he could finally indulge in the memory of his boys.

Liam had hopped out of the vehicle a few minutes before, promising to immediately return to the camp by way of the escape tunnel Kern and Weeks had included in their disaster shelter.

“How much room do you have down there?” Mundy had asked him as he’d prepared to go.

“The tunnel itself is small, but it connects to the shipping containers. There’s a lot of room in them, now that we’ve used up so much food.”

Mundy became thoughtful. “Your dad really had you set up. Shipping containers full of food;” he mused, “sounds like it could’ve lasted years.”

“That was the plan,” Liam answered as he reloaded his empty magazine, “but then the others started showing up.” Tucking the magazine into his pocket, it was Liam’s turn to become thoughtful. “He let them stay, but he was ready to turn you and your friends away, until you made your deal with him for the food. I guess he can be, you know, kind of a dick.”

“Your dad let the others stay and he got a nice watch tower and stockade out of that deal, plus a bunch of useful people. Your dad’s no saint, but don’t hold that against him. He’s pragmatic. You should be glad for that.”

“I guess saints don’t last too long these days,” Liam said.

“No, they definitely do not,” Mundy muttered.

“So, the world belongs to the bad guys now?”

Mundy thought for a moment and then shook his head. “Not as long as there’s someone left to remind them that it doesn’t.”

And with that, Liam had departed, leaving Mundy to his thoughts. When he caught sight of the river he felt relief and then a spike of apprehension. Would Quay and the others be bold enough to try taking over the camp or would they get cold feet? And would they seek his help or would they simply try to kill him? And if they succeeded, would he get his wish and die slowly, at long last able to dwell for a while on the memory of his boys?


“Shit,” Quay whispered to himself as he watched Hinkle tip the whiskey bottle to his mouth, then spin around gunslinger-style and squeeze off four unsteady shots into a nearby rain barrel with the small .380 pistol he’d found. Quay turned to Redhouse who was limping along beside him in the boots he’d taken off Gladston’s feet – boots without a bullet hole in one toe. “Where’d he get the ass whup?”

“Hollings place, I think,” Redhouse grumbled, “when he was looking for guns.” The man stopped and looked over his shoulder at one of the cabins where they’d confined the others. His fingers flexed on the grips of Gladston’s pistol. “My toe hurts like hell. You shoulda let me kill her. Gladston, too. You said we needed to kill him.”

“It’s not a question of letting you. Kill them all you want, but do it later. We are still missing two people, not counting the Weeks and Kern families.”

“Olinger told you they’re holed up in their bunker. And with that escape tunnel blocked, none of them are going anywhere.” He glanced up at the watchtower where Medina and Olinger were keeping watch – Medina armed with the machine gun and Olinger looking awkward as he carried Kern’s prized Barrett .50 caliber rifle from one side of the tower to the other.

“That’s all fine and good,” Quay told him, “but that still leaves two unaccounted for – and one of them is Mundy’s little blonde girlfriend. And don’t go letting her looks fool you. Someone who’s survived on the outside for so long can probably stick a blade in you before you know it.”

“I thought Mundy was with us,” Redhouse said through clenched teeth. “Shit, my foot is really hurting.”

“He might very well be,” Quay replied, ignoring the man’s complaints, “but he’s not here, is he? If he was, we might not have to worry about the girl.” The man sighed. “Look, kill the lady and Gladston later. We’ll make a big production of it to show the others what happens if they mess with us. But right now, let’s find our missing – ” A whistle from the watchtower cut short Quay’s words.

“Hey!” Olinger shouted, pointing down at a part of the outer compound that Quay, Redhouse and Hinkle couldn’t see. “There’s one! Right there!”

Medina swung the M240 around and fired a short burst, followed by whooping laughter from the two men. He let loose with another burst and then another. A few seconds later, Daniel Beers stumbled into view from around a corner. Medina fired again and the dirt behind Beers erupted, making the man jump and run forward. Hinkle laughed loudly at the sight and, despite the pain in his foot, Redhouse joined in.

“Glad you could join the party,” Quay said to him as he shuffled toward them. He raised the .308 hunting rifle he’d taken from Gladston’s cabin and aimed it at Beers’ chest. “Where’s the blonde girl?”

“I…I don’t know,” Beers answered, staring at the ground in front of him. “I was alone. I was…I was just getting some water when…when everything started…”

“And you decided to hide instead of coming to the rescue of your wife and friends,” Quay finished for him with a tone of contempt. “Good man. Hinkle, get this brave, brave man in with the others, will you?”

“That only leaves the girl,” Redhouse said when they’d gone. “When do we take care of Weeks and Kern’s family?”

Quay thought for a moment. “On the one hand, I’d say there’s no rush. We know they can’t get out of the hole they’re in. But on the other hand, we don’t know exactly what they have down there.”

“We know they’ve got a lot of food,” Redhouse pointed out, “enough to last a long time. So how do we convince them to come out?”

“We could start killing people if he doesn’t,” Quay proposed, but Redhouse shook his head.

“Weeks wouldn’t care. He’s got his family with him.” A sudden thought occurred to Redhouse and he grinned. “You remember when Olinger complained about the taste of the water and Hoffer told him that they were adding a drop or two of bleach to it to make sure it was safe to drink?”

“Yeah. He said Weeks had a whole case of it.”

“And remember when the mosquitoes were really bad and Yang gave us that little bottle of ammonia to take the itch out of the bites? She said there was plenty more if we needed it.”

“You mix bleach and ammonia,” Quay replied, “you get poison gas. I remember hearing about some janitor who accidentally mixed the two together and wound up dying from the fumes.”

“Find me some. We’ll mix it up, chuck it down that hole and they’ll either come out or they’ll die down there. Either way, problem solved.”

“I am impressed,” Quay said, but before he could say anything more, Olinger whistled again. They looked up at the watchtower and saw him pointing out across the clearing.

“Truck!” he hollered. “Coming up from the river! There’s a truck coming!”

Redhouse and Quay looked at each other. “Mundy,” Quay said. “So Kern didn’t kill him. Good.”

“You’re sure putting a lot of hope in the guy joining up with us.”

Quay shrugged. “He’s got skills.”

“Maybe,” Redhouse said, spitting on the ground, “but if we just shot him, there’d be more for us.”

“We might need him,” Quay countered. “He’s got experience we don’t have.”

“Whatever,” Redhouse groused, “if you like him so much.”

Out of the corner of his eye, Quay watched Redhouse. It wasn’t that Quay liked Mundy so much, it was that he was pretty sure he’d need Mundy at some point in the near future. It was Redhouse’s comment about shooting Mundy in order to enjoy a bigger piece of the pie that perfectly illustrated his concern. Quay was sure that someday Redhouse was going to try to kill him and put himself at the top of the totem pole. He didn’t begrudge the man for it. In Quay’s experience, it was just how people were. But Mundy, he figured, might just be the kind of man to neutralize that threat. He was ruthless enough to survive in the apocalypse, but he was also the kind of man who would put himself in danger by heading out into the remains of the world just so his girlfriend and a little girl he wasn’t even related to might survive the winter. The man had something akin to values and that set him apart from Riga, Hinkle, Olinger and Medina. When the time came, Mundy’s values might just counter Redhouse’s complete lack of them.

“Well,” Redhouse said through his teeth, “you go deal with the son of a bitch. My foot hurts. And since things down here are so under control, I’m going to trade places with Olinger up in the tower. I’ve always wondered what the view’s like. Besides, I don’t think he knows what to do with that big ol’ .50 caliber anyway.”

“You get up there and you keep an eye on things,” Quay told him as he started toward the gate. “There’s only five of us. We’re walking a razor’s edge. Tell Medina that if anyone so much as sticks their nose out of either of those cabins, he should spray the place with bullets. And keep me covered, at least until I find out where Mundy stands.”

“You want him dead,” Redhouse said as he limped in the direction of the tower, “you just give me the sign. We’ll see what skills the guy has against a .50 caliber bullet.”
"...the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire..."

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Tinderbox » Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:34 am

absinthe beginner wrote:

Really, TB, you need to order your wife to work three jobs so you can devote yourself fulltime to bringing the story to its successful conclusion.
"Order" my wife?

You really want to bring about the apocalypse for real, don't you? :wink:
"...the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire..."

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Tinderbox » Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:36 am

Ahkaine wrote:
Tinderbox wrote:Using the rifle as a crutch, he stood unsteadily on one foot and lifted the other to inspect the hole the .45 Colt slug had made in the toe of his boot.
Anyone else read this as the rifle jammed barrel down in the dirt with Redhouse leaning heavily on it? I'm thinking this problem resolves itself when he pulls the trigger.
Why can't I think of good stuff like that!?
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And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire..."

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Tinderbox » Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:20 am

Inside the buried cargo containers beneath the watchtower, Katrina had given up trying to force open the door at the end of the escape tunnel. Ryan had tried it first and had reported that it was blocked.

“It opens, like, half an inch,” he told his father after returning from the tunnel. “You can see a little bit of daylight, but something’s jammed against it on the outside.”

Miranda Kern sat between her daughter, Amanda, and her son, Xavier, who they had found at the bottom of the watchtower ladder with a bloody nose, a split lip and a bayonet slash to the palm of his hand. Ryan Weeks had sunk down in a crouch against the metal wall of the container and appeared to be lost in thought as he chewed on a fingernail. Voletta stood at the bottom of the ladder looking up at the trapdoor above, her little .22 LR rifle in her hands.

“At some point our tunnel stopped being a secret,” Weeks said as his wife, Gina, cleaned the wound on his arm. The bullet fragment hadn’t gone deep and the woman, working by LED light, had been able to remove it. “They’ve blocked the door.”

“Okay,” his wife said, wiping the hair from her eyes and leaving a streak of her husband’s blood on her forehead, “so we’re stuck down here for a while. It’s not like we’re going to go hungry. Seriously, Sean, is this not the safest place around?”

“Until the air goes bad,” Weeks said, wincing at the pain as his arm was bandaged. “Or until they figure a way to smoke us out. It would be much better to get out into the forest where we can move around. Gary and I have a few caches of food and water and equipment hidden nearby.”

Once again, they heard the muffled sound of the M240 being fired from up in the tower.

“They’re killing them,” Miranda Kern wept. “They’re killing everyone up there.”

“We don’t know that,” Weeks replied.

That was when Katrina had gone to see if she could get the escape tunnel door open, but Ryan’s report had been accurate; it was jammed shut. When she returned, Gina Weeks was passing out blankets to help with the chill in the air and Sean Weeks had taken Voletta’s .22 LR rifle in his uninjured left hand and was watching the trapdoor. When he glanced down and saw the 1911 pistol in Katrina’s hand, he blinked in surprise.

“Where did you get that?” he asked. “You'd better give that here.”

“No,” was Katrina’s indignant reply.

“Come on,” Weeks persisted, “I know my way around a 1911. This is no time to – ”

“No!” she snapped, her refusal echoing through the empty steel container. “This is Doughboy. Lucas and Lux gave it to Mundy and Mundy loaned it to Rory and Rory loaned it to me. So, it’s like a family heirloom. And it would be a very, very bad idea to try and take it.”

“Of all the ridiculous…” Weeks breathed. “Save me from obstinate teenage girls with big bore weapons.”

From the darkness that filled the empty cargo container behind them and through the narrow passage in the one beyond that was still packed full, they heard the sound of someone moving toward them through the tunnel.

“Shine a light!” Weeks hissed and his wife complied, bathing the far end of the empty container in the weak glow of her LED headlamp. He aimed Voletta’s rifle at the doorway on the far end. “They might try coming from both ends at once,” he told Katrina, “so you keep that forty-five trained on that door above us.”

Five endless seconds later, the weak glow from a small, dying flashlight appeared and a single figure emerged. “Who’s there?” came Liam’s hushed voice. The young man squinted into the light shining at him.

"Liam," his mother gasped, rushing to him. Finally recognizing them, Liam lowered his carbine .

“I heard the shooting," he said from his mother's embrace. "They had a log jammed against the tunnel door."

Five minutes later, after checking to see if the area around the tunnel exit was clear, all eight of them had scrambled out into the cover of the trees.

“I think,” Sean Weeks murmured near Liam’s ear, “seeing as how things worked out, we’ll just forget about the many, many ways I was going to punish you for sneaking away like you did.”

"Do we really want to go away from the camp?" Ryan asked. "I mean, we can't just let them have it, can we?"

"Later," his father told him. "We'll worry about it later. We can spend one night camping out, can't we? Who knows, we might check back in the morning to find the assholes have all shot each other."

"What about the others, though?" his wife said. "What about Nina and Rich and Diane and...everyone?"

"Later." Though Weeks said it quietly, the word hung heavily in the air.

“Dad,” Liam said quietly, unable to hold back the news, “Mr. Kern and Mr. Carstens are dead.”

Weeks nodded grimly. “Not now,” he whispered. “Tell me later. Miranda and the kids don’t need to hear it right now. Let’s get them someplace a little safer.” When they were all gathered together, Weeks spoke to everyone in a hushed tone. “About four hundred yards in that direction is a rock outcropping where there’s a cache of food, water, a tent and a few other things. Everyone stay together.” They slipped into the forest, leaving Liam to guard the rear with his carbine, a position that allowed him to notice that Katrina was hanging back.

“Go on,” she told him. “I’ve got somewhere else to be.”

He considered arguing with her about it, but the idea faded quickly. “When I left Mundy, he was alive. He’s probably back by now. He knows Quay is going to try to take his supplies. He said he was just going to let them. What’s the deal with that?”

Katrina shrugged. “I don’t know. But he’ll need my help. He usually does.” She began to move back toward the camp, but halted when Liam said “Wait!” in a hoarse voice.

“I’ll come with you,” he said. “I can help.” But she shook her head.

“You’ve already helped. You did good. Thanks. Now, go on with your family.”

“What are you going to do?” he asked. But she only shrugged again and, summoning a small smile for him, she turned and left.


Quay took a deep breath of the cool autumn air and walked out across the plank bridge over the ditch. At the same time, Mundy stepped down from the vehicle and began walking toward him. There was no sign of the other three who had left with him. Probably dead, Quay thought and he wondered if Mundy had killed them. The man was a cool character, at least on the outside, and Quay knew how important that was. Staying cool while stepping into fiery situations was what kept a man alive.

When the cops had arrested him at age eighteen for assault, Quay had stayed cool and was released when no witnesses would come forward. When he was twenty-five and the scary men who supplied the drugs he sold showed up to find out who was skimming their profits, he remained cool and let one of his partners take the fall for what he’d done. And ten years later, when the TV was showing dead people walking around and eating people, Quay stayed cool. He heard his girlfriend reject her cousin’s invitation to a survival camp way up in the mountains. Later that night, while the sirens howled on the other side of town, he’d stolen her car and followed the directions on her cell phone. While he was on the road, she’d called her own phone and in hysterics had told him someone had smashed the front window and was clawing at the bathroom door. And he’d stayed cool, hung up the phone and kept driving.

Quay stopped, held the hunting rifle in a relaxed grip and let Mundy close the rest of the distance. “I see you’re all by your lonesome,” he said to him. In response, Mundy simply lifted his hands, palms up. “Are the others dead?”

“Storch and Riga are,” Mundy replied matter-of-factly. “Miles and I decided to go in different directions.”

Quay noticed Mundy’s eyes flickering in the direction of the fort and knew he was realizing that Weeks and the rest of them were no longer in control of it.

“So, Riga’s dead, huh?” he said to Mundy, trying to read the man’s thoughts. “That’s…disappointing. How did he die?”

Mundy’s mouth formed a grim line. “He managed to piss off a group of very well armed gentlemen who saw fit to reply with about two hundred rounds of high velocity ammunition.”

“Ah,” Quay said, “well, that was always his gift, pissing people off.” He rested the rifle on one shoulder and motioned for Mundy to follow him into the compound. “His absence does leave us a little shorthanded, though. So, is the truck filled with food?”

“Food and other supplies,” Mundy replied as they crossed the plank bridge and went in through the gate.

“Good. Not that it’s as important now, but we can add it to what we just took possession of in there.”

“Yeah, I notice there seems to be a change in management.” He looked around, noting Hinkle swaggering about, holding a small pistol in one hand and an empty bottle in the other. Olinger had come down from the tower and was leaning against the wooden cart that camp inhabitants lined up in front of to receive their food rations. He munched on what remained of breakfast and chuckled at Hinkle’s antics.

“That a problem?” Quay asked.

“I think I’m the one who suggested it.”

“That’s right, you did.”

“I also suggested you wait for me to get back before you did anything, but you started the party early.” Mundy glanced up at the tower. “You even took the big guns, huh?”

“Redhouse got antsy,” Quay shrugged. “No matter. It was easy as anything. The people here, they just don’t have any fight in them.”

“Well, you could kinda see that right up front.”

“Of course, Gladston did have to go and get himself shot and wounded,” Quay admitted. “Weeks and his family are trapped like rats in their hidey-hole, but we have a plan to deal with that.”

“And then,” Mundy said, “no more permanent outside guard duty.”

“No, no more of that,” Quay grinned. “We’ll all be inside the walls from now on. One big, cozy family. How does that sound to you?”

“That’s how it should’ve been all along,” Mundy said truthfully. “How are the townsfolk reacting to the news?” As if on cue, Hinkle started yelling drunkenly at the people crowded into one of the cabins.

“Hey! You okay in there? Hey! You comfy?” He aimed the little pistol in his hand at the door and fired twice, bringing squeals from within. From up in the tower, Redhouse laughed loudly and Medina sent a celebratory burst of machinegun fire into the air.

Quay looked on with a tight smile across his face. “I haven’t asked them for their opinions. And, really, who cares?”

“Not me.”

“Alright then,” he said, slinging the rifle across his back and continuing in a loud voice, “today is going to be a day of setting up a new order inside these walls.”

“Since my first day here, I could tell it needed one.”

“So you’re in?”

“I would like to check on my friends.”

“Right,” Quay replied, sounding troubled for the first time, “your girlfriend, the lady and the little girl.” He sighed. “I’ll tell you right up front, Redhouse has got issues with the lady.”

“Who? Rory?” Mundy grimaced. “Who doesn’t have issues with Rory?”

“She managed to shoot him in the foot,” Quay said, holding out Mundy’s derringer, “with this. One of your guns, if I remember correctly.”

Mundy took back his pocket pistol and checked the chambers. “I wasn’t going to leave them here unarmed, but no one told her to shoot anybody. Where are they now?”

“We got the people split up into two cabins.” Quay led him to one of the doors. “The lady and the little girl are in this one.” He pushed the door inward to reveal eleven people, including Hyacinth who was sitting next to a bruised and bloodied Rory Sharp. Gladston lay nearby, his shoulder wound being tended to by a harried-looking Dr. Yang. The room smelled of too many scared and cringing bodies crowded into too small of a space. Out of all of the faces that looked his way, only one spoke.

“Mundy’s back,” Hyacinth said with a hint of music in the words.

“So,” Rory said, her words slurred by her facial injuries, “they got you, too, huh?”

“No,” he said to her in an emotionless voice, “no one got me.” He let his eyes slide from her face and turned to where Gladston lay. “I told you I would lay waste to this place,” he said to the man.

“And here I am,” Gladston replied, wincing at the pain, “too wrung out to enjoy the hellfire.”

With one last glance at Hyacinth, Mundy backed out of the room and Quay closed the door.

“He’s with them,” a despondent Rich Hoffer said to Rory. He tightened his arm around his wife’s shoulders. “Your friend’s joined up with them.”

Through the bruises on her face, Rory gave him a disgusted look and turned away.

“You think that’s the case?” Gladston said to her, his voice strained by the pain of his injury. Rory replied with a small shrug and flinched at the pain it caused her. “I should’ve just shot that bastard Redhouse in the back,” Gladston continued weakly, “but they always discouraged that sort of thing at cop school.” He grimaced as Dr. Yang moved his arm. “Anyway, your friend Mundy – ” But he stopped talking when Hyacinth moved in between them.

“He’s going to kill them,” she whispered, a certain excitement in her eyes as she looked into Rory’s face. “Didn’t you see it?”

Outside, Mundy was walking alongside Quay, surveying the empty courtyard of the log fort.

“We haven’t found your sixteen year-old yet,” Quay said to him. “I thought maybe you could get her to come out of hiding. You know, tell her everything’s okay.”

Is everything okay?”

Quay stared at him for a moment. “You tell me. Who’s been straighter with you, me or your friend Weeks? Who wanted to turn you away from here? Who went on out there to kill you and take your stuff? And even if he had decided to let you live, who would’ve marked you as second class – no, third class – and made you stay outside the walls?”

Mundy remained silent, as if in thought. He looked up at the watchtower where Redhouse and Medina looked back. “Nobody touches Hyacinth and nobody touches Katrina.”

“Understood,” Quay assured him. “What about the lady?”

“Rory? What’s she to me?”

“I was able to convince Redhouse to hold off on her – you know, just hit her a little – but just so you know, she is going to have to answer for what she did.”

“Yeah, well, we’re all going to have to answer for that.”

If Quay had a reply to what Mundy said, it was lost as a shout came from Redhouse in the watchtower.

“What’s he yelling about?” Olinger asked.

“He’s pointing to up toward the hill,” Quay said.

“You think it’s the dead ones,” Olinger said in a worried tone, “the ones Hollings mentioned?” He hurried to the gate, followed by a drunken Hinkle and Quay with Mundy in tow. “You think all the shooting brought them in?”

But it wasn’t a crowd of walking corpses that Medina and Redhouse had seen. A vehicle had appeared at the crest of the hill where they had first hidden and observed the log-walled camp, where Mundy and Katrina had first met Rory Sharp and Miles Curvey. It was an Army Reserve humvee.

“No,” Mundy said quietly, stepping back a few paces so that Quay, Hinkle and Olinger were all in front of him, framed in the middle of the open gate. “No, it’s not dead ones.” He pulled the revolver at his side from its holster and thumbed back the hammer all in one motion. At a range of only a few feet, there wasn’t much need to aim. Working from right to left, he shot Hinkle in the back. The bullet shattered the man’s seventh thoracic vertebrae and exited through his chest, causing him to lurched forward and fall. Olinger began to turn at the sound of the gun cocking, but Mundy fired a second time and the bullet entered the left side of his ribcage, pierced his lung and nicked the bottom of his pounding heart. Quay was the only one who had time to turn to face Mundy. The expression on his face was the kind a person wore at the end of a mystery movie when they find out just who did it. Though Gladston’s hunting rifle was in his hands, he made no effort to aim and shoot; it was clear to the man that it was too late. Mundy’s bullet hit him in the chest and he fell, still wearing a look of mild surprise.

It hadn’t happened the way Mundy had hoped. He’d waited and waited until all three men had finally lined up in front of him, but he had been hoping for all five of them. The smoke was still curling from the barrel of his revolver when Medina opened up from the watchtower with the M240, pelting the wooden walkway over gate with bullets.

Mundy ducked as the man adjusted his aim and another burst of 7.62mm rounds exploded in the dirt around him. Before he’d left on the food run, he’d told Quay about the guns in the tower having no line of sight on anything just outside of the walls, but the bullets impacting around the gate kept him from heading in that direction. Instead, he ran to the only thing around that seemed to offer any cover – the wooden food cart, still loaded with the camp’s breakfast rations.

“You are dead!” Redhouse yelled from the tower. “You hear me, you back-shooting son of a bitch? Dead!” And then in a lower voice, he heard him tell his companion, “Fuck him up, Medina!”

Another hail of machine gun bullets struck the ground to his left. One or two more bursts, Mundy thought, and the rounds would tear right through the wooden cart and into him. But, strangely, it was the thought of the big .50 caliber gun that captivated his imagination. He pictured Redhouse aiming the Barrett rifle and wondered if he’d even hear it going off or if the supersonic .50 caliber bullet would turn him into a cloud of red mist before the sound even reached him. Trapped against the wooden cart, Mundy craned his neck around and tried to signal the humvee on the hill behind him.


It had taken Miles a lot longer to reach the top of the hill than Mundy had estimated. The “rough path” Mundy had described from the highway through the forest had been less of a path and more just a connected series of spots where the trees weren’t quite so thick. White-knuckled on the wheel, he’d bounced over rocks, squeezed between trees and gouged a path up loose slopes, feeling more and more with every mile like he’d been beaten with a stick. The trip, he thought, would have been impossible for anything less rugged than the Army Reserve humvee.

When he’d encountered corpses walking the road, he steered around them, watching in the rearview mirror as their arms – if they had them – rose up in a sudden desire for the live, warm food that had just driven past. Once, while relieving himself against a tree on the roadside, the body of an old man in the remains of a hospital gown appeared as if out of nowhere and got between him and the humvee. As he hurriedly zipped up his jeans and reached for his rifle, his foot slipped on the asphalt’s crumbling edge. Miles fell to his knees and the corpse lunged. In all the time he’d spent on the road, Miles had never before had to grapple barehanded with one of the reanimated dead and the feel of its rough, gray skin against his hands made him yelp in fear and revulsion. The dead man’s limbs, however, were like twigs and Miles was able to push it away and recover his rifle. With repeated frenzied stabs, the bayonet made a mess of the dead man’s head before the tip of it found the brainstem. “Sorry,” he’d said to it as he stood breathing hard. He always liked to apologize to them – when there was no one else around to hear him – just on the slim chance that some spark of consciousness remained within them.

When the map showed him it was time to leave the highway and head off into the forest, he hesitated. He had a vehicle. He had enough food and water for a day or two. He was better armed than he’d ever been before. He thought about staying on the highway. He thought about heading off in search of a place where he could be safe; just him, no Rory, no Mundy or Katrina or Hyacinth. But then he recalled the feeling he’d had after Dr. Grant Blevins had forced open the door to the plane and had taken that final step, leaving him by himself at three thousand feet. Miles chewed his lower lip for a moment, then angled the humvee off the road.

He’d spent the night in a small clearing, shivering against the cold, but too cautious to risk a fire. By the time he’d finally reached the low hilltop where he and Rory had first met Mundy and Katrina, he was far behind schedule. Mundy’s plan called for him to get there early, keep concealed and watch, just in case help was needed. But hearing the sound of machine gun fire as he neared the top of the hill, he decided to skip the “keep concealed” part. Barely a minute after he’d lifted the binoculars to his eyes, he saw Mundy shoot the three men at the main gate. Then he saw him dive for cover as the machine gun in the watchtower began stitching the ground with bullets. He watched the gunfire creep closer to where Mundy was hiding behind a wooden cart. Mundy turned his head, looking at the hill where Miles sat and waved his arms. For a moment, Miles was gripped by uncertainty.

Why, exactly, was he doing this? he asked himself as the machine gun continued to make its rapid chuff-chuff-chuff sounds down below. Who was Mundy that he should risk his life to help him? Who was Katrina, for that matter? Who was the little girl, Hyacinth? Who, even, was Rory? Who were they and why should he be doing anything but driving away in search of a safe place to hide from it all?

The answer, he realized, was that they were like him; survivors in a world that wanted nothing less than to tear their beating hearts out, to rip the final breath from their lungs and be done with them. They were like Bobby Grimsley and Trevor Crow, his best – and only – friends throughout elementary school; each of them awkward and pathetic outcasts mercilessly picked on by the other students. They had each other and, really, nothing else.

Miles thought about the 7.62mm gun mounted on the humvee. Mundy had showed him how to load it and described how to fire it. But he wasn’t sure how effective he could be at the distances before him. And anyway, he realized as he got out of the vehicle and tore the plastic cover from the first AT-4, he really, really wanted to fire what the pages ripped out of the field manual described as a “lightweight, self-contained, anti-armor weapon.” He flattened the page with the step-by-step firing instructions on the humvee’s hood and muttered them aloud.

“Fold out shoulder stop,” he read. “Release sights. Pull safety pin. That’s…this thing at the back. Okay. Cock firing mechanism. That’s…this here in the middle, just behind the rear sight. Aim-set range if known; I have no idea what that means. Push safety and hold down. Fire by pushing trigger. That’s…that’s this red button here.”


Mundy was growing desperate. Medina’s shots had found the wooden cart and were chewing great chunks from its sides. He was going to have to run, but could he cross the open ground around him before Medina raked him with the M240? He was readying himself for a sprint when he heard the sound of a pistol being fired followed by grunted exclamations from the watchtower.

“Shoot her!” Redhouse barked. “Get her! There she goes! Fill her up with holes!”

Medina began shooting at someone other than Mundy and he didn’t wait to find out who it was. He ran for the open gate and the area outside along the base of the log walls where he couldn’t be seen from the watchtower. He jumped over the bodies of the men he’d shot and darted around the edge of the wall. Only once he was there and out of the line of fire did he realize that Quay’s eyes had followed him as he ran past. Though almost translucently pale, the man wasn’t quite dead yet. His chest heaved as he fought for the breath to speak.

“Mundy,” Quay rasped, speaking more to the sky than to him. “That was a good one, Mundy.” The man’s arms gestured weakly. “You…you kill the rest…the rest of them, too. None…none of us deserve to…live. Not one…of us…dirty…”

When Quay’s voice died away, Mundy let himself wonder who might be the focus of Medina’s shots. The M240 continued to stutter, sending a few rounds at a time smacking into the log wall to Mundy’s left. The shots came closer and he gradually heard the sound of someone running along the top of the wall where the guards usually walked. When the rapid footfalls were nearly above him, someone dropped from the top of the wall and landed in the dirt with a sharp yell. It was an impact that would certainly have broken both of Mundy ankles, but for a girl who had just turned seventeen and weighed next to nothing – a girl who had just saved his life by diverting Medina’s gunfire – the fall was only jarring.

He stared open mouthed at Katrina as she rolled, picked herself up and joined him at the base of the wall, still holding his 1911 .45 caliber pistol with an empty magazine and the slide locked back. After a moment had passed, it occurred to him to say something – something grateful, something meaningful, something straight from his heart.

“You know,” he said, “every molecule in my body pees itself when you go and risk your life like that.”

“You’re welcome,” she replied, red-faced and panting. “Now what?”

Mundy turned his head toward the top of the hill to where the humvee sat. “That depends on our guardian angel up there.” He’d barely finished the sentence when Miles’ thumb pressed the AT-4’s red trigger button.

They saw the flash and then heard the bang of the projectile leaving its launch tube. Mundy even thought he could see it for a split second zipping through the sky above. As the warhead exploded with the teeth-rattling crack of overhead lightning, it nearly knocked an injured John Gladston to the floor of the room where was confined with the others. The man he turned his head to Rory Sharp and exclaimed, “Holy shit! The son of a bitch is raining hellfire on us!”


From up on the low hill, Miles saw his first shot sail just to the right of the watchtower. The warhead struck the very top of the outer wall, exploding in a flash of yellow and a plume of gray smoke. Splintered pieces of wood spun through the air and fell like rain. He still had the now empty launch tube on his shoulder when Medina targeted him with the M240 and opened fire.

At first, Miles only heard the gun rattling off in the distance, but soon Medina’s aim improved and the bullets began to impact the ground in front of him and tear through the trees behind him. But it was the first few pings of the rounds striking the humvee that really spurred Miles into action. He ripped the plastic bag from the second AT-4 and readied it for launch with shaking hands. Suddenly, a fountain of dirt erupted to his left accompanied by the heavy percussion of the Barrett .50 caliber rifle. Miles could only repeat the same word over and over: “Shit, shit, shit, shit…”

The M240 spat more rounds his way and the heavy caliber weapon in Redhouse’s hands spoke again, this time striking the humvee’s engine with a sickening wallop that shook the whole vehicle. “Shit," he yelled in frustration and fear, “not the car! We – just – got it!” He put the AT-4 on his shoulder, squinted through the rear peephole sight, held his breath and pressed the red button.

When he opened his eyes, Miles saw pieces flying from the sheet metal roof of the watchtower and two horn-shaped curls of gray smoke billowing from either side of the observation platform. The warhead had blasted a large chunk from the side facing him and sprayed out bits of wood and metal at deadly velocities. But where there should have been relief, Miles felt only an anger that continued to rise within him as the smoke rose in the distance.

He dropped the empty launch tube and staggered to his feet. With barely a thought as to why, he clambered up behind the mounted machine gun, pulled back on the charging handle and began firing at the smoking remains of the tower’s observation platform.

“Happy now?” he said between bursts. “Happy now that you’re dead? Happy that you tried to kill me? Happy that you made me kill you?” As he neared the end of the ammunition belt, he began to shout so loudly that the words scraped his dry throat like broken glass. “Are – you – happy – now?”

Fifteen minutes later, after Mundy had used the last three bullets in Hinkle's stolen .380 pistol to put a hole in each of the dead men's skulls and after Katrina had run off to check on Hyacinth and Rory – and to tell the others that they’d better go and put out the fire now burning at the top of what had been the watchtower – Mundy reached the top of the hill. Miles was sitting with his back against the humvee, staring out across the camp. After a moment, he raised his eyes to meet Mundy’s.

“Well, I hated that.”

“What,” Mundy asked with a faint grin, “being shot at?” But Miles shook his head.

“I’ve been shot at plenty of times,” he replied.

Mundy realized what Miles meant. “You never had to kill anybody before.” He paused to recall the face of the first living man he’d ever had to kill and was startled to find he could remember the face so vividly, right down to the red network of broken capillaries that had covered the man’s nose. “Well, you sure picked a couple of winners to start out on.” He put his back against the humvee and slid to the ground beside him. “Don’t worry about it. I meant what I said to you back at that church camp: When someone tries to kill you, they’re already as good as dead. And we shouldn’t waste good time fretting about killing the dead.”

A long time passed and neither of them said another word. They sat and stared out over the camp as the fire in the tower was extinguished and as the milky haze in the sky clotted together to form clouds that threatened rain. Finally, as a cool wind began to blow, Miles spoke.

“If there are any necros around, all that noise from earlier is going to bring them in.”

“Yup,” Mundy said, discarding the stalk of brown grass he’d been absently wrapping around his trigger finger. “Fortunately, I think I know a safe place to stay the night.”
Last edited by Tinderbox on Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Hunt4lyf » Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:43 am

Hell yeah!!!!!!

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Murphman » Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:48 am

Double Post!!

Thanks TB.
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Halfapint » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:10 pm

.......... It's like I just got shot up with a heavy dose of MOAR. But I'm far far to excited to be drugged so hard. Thanks for that update! I that was one for the history books! Thanks Tinderbox, it was good, nay, it was GREAT!
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by 91Eunozs » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:17 pm

Hunt4lyf wrote:Hell yeah!!!!!!
This... So much this!

I got through the first entry and thought damn, what a great entry...and another cliff hanger. Then scrolled down for the surprise!

Like a present within a present!
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by teotwaki » Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:09 pm


I've experienced a runner's high many times so this has got to be a Reader's High!

Damned good stuff Tinderbox.
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Redsky » Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:24 pm

Yay! Nice updates!

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by TheWarriorMax » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:00 pm


Thank you
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than facing fearful odds,
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and the temples of his gods".

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by WendyPlains » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:18 pm

Thanks TB, really great updates and so nice of you to resolve the cliffhanger right away! :clownshoes:

So it looks like Mundy has finally found a safe place to deposit Hyacinth. They can't possibly keep them out of the inner fort after he brought back a truck full of food and killed off the bad guys. And even though they have less people to help defend the place, they also have less mouths to feed.

Can't wait for the next installment!

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by rivery » Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:08 pm

Holy Crap! This was great! Just read the whole thing thru. Well done!

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Sheriff McClelland » Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:10 pm

From the start I'm left wanting moar after each installment . Outstanding ! :clap:
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by absinthe beginner » Thu Feb 12, 2015 10:27 pm


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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by Mr. E. Monkey » Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:16 am

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by JeeperCreeper » Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:53 am

When he prayed, he sometimes asked that when he died, he would die slowly so he could finally indulge in the memory of his boys.
would he get his wish and die slowly, at long last able to dwell for a while on the memory of his boys?
If this is some kind of foreshadowing, I won't put up with it!!!! You took Michael, you can't take Mundy too!!!!

Really, TB, you need to order your wife to work three jobs so you can devote yourself fulltime to bringing the story to its successful conclusion.
No conclusion, this story needs to go on FOREVERRRRRR
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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by selen » Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:45 am

Wow! That was an awesome update Tinderbox :D :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

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Re: The Dead at Destitute Mountain

Post by akraven » Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:55 am

Fantastic TB! Thank you!

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