Vampire Guts In Nuke Town Chapter 6

Vampire Guts in Nuketown was originally published in 2013. It is available to purchase in full via Kindle or paperback by clicking here. Before reading this chapter, catch up with chapter 0chapter 1chapter 2, chapter 3chapter 4 and chapter 5


Chapter 6

When he came to, he was restrained by the pair of bloodsuckers. They held him to the mutant-corpse floor by both arms, their heavy bodies crushing down on his shoulders, threatening to rip them from their sockets. His bag lay discarded mere feet away; might as well have been miles.

He strained up with all his power, screaming out. It was no use, the monsters weighed twice as much as him. They pushed their knees into his back, maintaining enough leverage to hold Guts completely still. He thrashed once more before going limp, accepting the futility of spending any more energy.

Why don’t they kill me? Guts thought. Makes no sense!

Guts had killed hundreds, thousands of these animalistic creatures. They did not use reason or rational thought. They were driven by pure instinct and an insatiable lust for human blood. Burrowing tunnel traps, kidnapping, restraining humans, ambushes… there was a calculated method to all of this that Guts had never seen out of vampires. The thought sent a chill down his spine.

Shelly screamed again. Guts snapped his attention back to the present. She was held against the wall twenty or so feet in front of him, just to the right of the first of the three openings in the far wall. Two vampires held her, snapping and snarling in her face, but made no move to attack. They were waiting for something. But what?

When that something arrived, it took everything Guts possessed mentally and emotionally from slipping into madness.

It started as a distant clicking noise coming from deep within the cave system. The noise quickly grew louder and louder, until Guts thought the cacophony of clicks, now accompanied by grunts, snarls, and screeches, would drive him mad. What emerged from the mouth of the closest opening nearly did.

The clicking noise was actually the sound of a dozen vampires crawling across the floor. Their talons strained against the petrified mutant corpses from the weight of their cargo. Riding atop the backs of these dozen beasts was a living nightmare. A vampire, yes, but like none Guts had ever seen before. His body went numb at the sight of its hideous form.

Instead of coarse red hair like other Fangers, its smooth, hairless body was a golden brown, with skin as thick as an elephant’s. If a typical vampire stood heads above a human, this monstrosity must have been quadruple that. It lay on its back, using the vampires beneath it as some obscene living throne. Its enormous head and neck were buried under three leathery chins. Twin ropey, slimy tongues lulled off to the sides of its huge open mouth, slopping yellowish foam onto the creatures below. Its lower mandible split in the middle, each side of its jaw, covered in jagged fangs jutting in every direction, pulsed back and forth, as if in anticipation. In place of its eyes were two thick, veined stalks jutting upward hatefully, ending in a hideous pair of lidless, unblinking orbs serving as eyeballs. In the middle of its tall, wrinkled forehead sat one more eye, this one somehow even more menacing than the others. From off the sides of its gigantic head came, long, slender legs covered in black hairs, resembling spider legs that swayed back and forth.

Unbelievably, this bizarre mutation’s head was not the worst part. Its bulbous, pulsating stomach, jutting upward and containing at least two thirds of the mass of the entire giant vampire’s body, took that title. Its short, squat arms and legs, no longer capable of supporting the weight of the thing, stuck out of the sides of the pumpkin-shaped stomach, layered in purple veins that seemed to writhe around underneath its skin. A pair of fat tits hung off to each side, the enormous areolas slick with slime. The stomach ended in a coned tip, almost like that of a volcano. From the mouth of this strange orifice spewed more of that disgusting yellow gunk that sloughed off the sides of the belly and onto the vampires below in great gobs.

The whole ghastly procession came to a halt in front of Shelly in an extremely violent fashion. The giant Fanger grunted and gyrated until the creatures below it stopped. It struggled off of the half-dozen vampires in the rear, landing directly on top of the half-dozen in front, smashing them beneath its sizable girth. Gore and shit shot out underneath its mass in a great splat, an unfortunate few surviving long enough to shriek out cries of terror and pain before coughing up their intestines, bleeding out, and falling silent.

The freakish mutant-vampire, now seated on its wide ass, reached out, gently brushing its pudgy, clawed paw across Shelly’s face. She wailed in disgust. Unbelievably, the monster let out a guttural laugh. It was conscious, sentient, possessing an intelligence Guts knew was simply impossible. Yet here it was, kneading Shelly’s naked breasts with one hand while rubbing its fat belly with the other.

She shuddered in disgust, shrinking away as far as her captors would allow.

Guts pulled and wrenched his arms to the point that his joints strained and threatened to snap, but he was held fast.

Why are they making me watch this? he thought. Why don’t they just kill us? Why play games with their food?

It made no sense, no sense at all… until the giant’s stomach folded back into four neat flaps. Something in Shelly’s young mind snapped, as though she’d already anticipated the horrors to come. Guts had not, but his confusion did not last long.

Out of the fat vampire’s wide-open belly slithered five wet, slimy, pulsating yellow tentacles. The creature’s obese head lulled back. Its undulating eye stalks unfocused and sagged. It seemed to be in some kind of trance, letting the tentacles take over control of its body.

They writhed, slowly crawling up to Shelly’s body with sensitive delicacy, leaving that thick yellow slime in their wake. Shelly gagged and pulled away from their slug-like embrace, straining against the two huge vampires’ grasp.

Suddenly, the tentacles sprang upright, stiff, poised like snakes. The two Fangers holding Shelly pried her legs apart. She wailed and thrashed until one of the tendrils shot forward with uncanny speed and precision. It jammed its tip into Shelly’s mouth. Her eyes grew cloudy as madness washed over her, taking her mind completely. The tentacle wormed its way further into Shelly’s mouth, forcing itself into her throat. The remaining tentacles swayed with some internal rhythm as the big vampire drooled, deep in its trance.

Guts thrashed anew, trying in desperation to break the Fangers’ vice-like hold. “Take me! Let the girl go!” he wailed. His bowels roiled as he bucked and squirmed. If only he could get to his knife… he could put an end to all of this.

His protests were met with a gigantic hand smashing his face into the mutant-ground. He felt a tooth crack free as his head was ground further into the granite-like flesh underneath him.

Another tendril rocketed forward, plunging into Shelly’s nether regions. At this point, the two monsters holding her let go. Shelly was now suspended in air by these two grotesque phalluses penetrating her body. She was conscious, unbelievably. Her eyes darted back and forth as she realized her captors had let her go, allowing the wormish tentacles to have their way with her.

She grasped the tentacle invading her mouth with both hands in an attempt to free herself. Two of the three remaining tendrils whipped out, lashing around her wrists, breaking her hold. The third shot down and inserted itself into her anus. Now all of her orifices were filled with the yellow, ropey appendages. They continued their odd swaying, which now caused Shelly to move with them in some twisted parody of a dance. There was a grotesque gracefulness to the movement, a hypnotic, almost soothing gesture that, coupled with the fading light of Guts’ dying flare, looked almost beautiful.

Hideously, as this violation reached its crescendo, Shelly transformed once again into her spiny, mutant self. The tentacles were, against her will, causing her to orgasm, over and over again. She moaned in a sick combination of pain, terror, and ecstasy, her hips matching the gyrations of the offending appendages beat for beat.

Then, abruptly breaking the trance, came an oval-shaped object from deep within the gaping stomach. It slowly made its way up the length of the tendril invading Shelly’s mouth. She eyed it the entire time, screaming around the massive flesh in her mouth, tears streaming down her face. The object forced its way past her lips and down her throat. Similar lumps appeared at the bases of the rest of the tentacles penetrating her body, and then made their way inside of her.

To his horror, Guts realized that these oval-shaped objects must be…

Eggs!

The realization shot jolts of panic through his entire aching body. He broke out in a cold sweat, the implications dawning on him at once.

We’re not food! his mind screamed in terror. These bastards are using us to breed!

It suddenly made perfect sense. The morbidly obese horror was some kind of breeder mutation. The pain-wracked faces on the cavern corpses were not from feeding, they were from breeding! Now he saw the exploded throats, stomachs and even skulls from where these monstrous eggs had hatched. Guts was inside of a vampire nest, and the thing that undulated before him was a queen! Those Pogs in front of the motel, they weren’t attacking him or warning him about Nick and Shelly. They were trying to communicate the vast nesting ground of vampires directly below his feet!

My God! Guts thought, his mind racing. They’re down here infesting humans! Humans immune to the vampire virus!

Judging by the amount of pulsating lumps worming their way into Shelly’s convulsing body, each person impregnated by this mutant queen could birth a dozen or more of these…what were they? Drone vampires? Guts noticed now that the creatures surrounding the queen had no sex organs. Like cockroaches, these vampires were down here breeding by the tens of thousands!

Adapting, Guts thought. They’re running out of humans to feed off of, to change into more vampires. They’ve been forced to adapt or starve to death. They had evolved into a self-sustaining race of parasitic organisms! But through what method? Was the mutated DNA so malleable that something like this could happen simply from starvation?

As Guts’ mind was torn to shreds with this epiphany, Shelly’s body was experiencing a similar violence. She was being filled so full of vampire eggs, her belly had ballooned to three times its normal size. Rips and tears crisscrossed its length. Flesh and muscle strained beyond its means with its new living cargo. Similarly, her cheeks were now split into an obscene smile to accommodate the passage of the vile eggs.

After what seemed like an eternity of torture, the tentacles withdrew in one quick motion, dropping Shelly to the floor with a sickening thud. Her two drone captors grabbed her by the arms and dragged her ruined body toward the cave mouth from where the queen had come. Just before she was pulled from sight, she locked eyes once again with Guts. Her gaze was unrecognizable, totally overcome with madness and terror. She was broken beyond any hope of saving. The girl Guts had fallen for was gone. Only a fleshy shell, host to tiny monsters, remained.

He was alone. Again.

Guts was pulled to his feet, the next intended victim of the vampire queen. The six remaining drones labored to raise the horror off of their squashed brothers and sisters. They were able to get “her” up and over their heads and across the short space relatively easily. They stopped directly in front of Guts, and seemed to have a handle on their cargo, until the drone furthest to the left slipped on a puddle of gore and slime, losing its balance completely. The whole lot of them joined their relatives in oblivion as the queen crashed down on top of them, splattering their innards across Guts and his two captors. The queen let out a booming laugh as she settled into the mess of writhing, flailing flesh beneath her.

Guts poured sweat. Waves of terror wracked his body. He could not get those eyes—Shelly’s eyes, as she disappeared into the cave mouth—out of his mind. He was still held by both arms, a drone on each side, as he looked up into the face of nightmare death before him.

She massaged her belly again, preparing to enter the trance that would mean Guts’ death; a horrifying death caused by a score of vampire fetuses eating their way through his innards; a death Shelly would be experiencing soon.

The queen’s head drooped, her eye stalks sagged, her mouth dropped open, and her stomach peeled back. The tendrils crept their way out from inside her wet depths.

Guts drew in a deep breath and held it. The first tentacle shot toward his mouth. Calling upon the very last bit of energy reserves that his exhausted, broken body could muster, Guts flipped backward, kicking the tendril back the way it had come with almost inhuman timing.

The wretched thing slammed directly into the queen’s open mouth, causing her eye stalks to snap back to attention, the one in her forehead wide with surprise and horror. She pawed at the tentacle with both hands, but her stout little appendages were too short to reach all the way to her face. Her strange reproductive organs acted with a will all their own. They snatched her arms away as they began to pump eggs from deep within her bowels, down her throat. She let out a guttural, primal scream that shook the mutant corpses loose from the ceiling, threatening to rain them down on her own head.

Guts’ flip finally broke him free from the drones’ grasp. He landed behind them, right in front of his bag. He snatched up the shotgun and, wasting no time, unloaded a blast of buckshot point blank in the back of the first drone’s head before either of them had a chance to turn around. Its face exploded outward, the black, glowing gore splattering all over the queen, lighting her up like some sick parody of a spotlight.

The second drone flipped around, razor teeth bared. It screeched and launched its massive body forward. Guts unsheathed his knife and spun around, using the forward motion of the vampire against it. Its throat exploded in a torrent of gore as Guts slashed through its meaty flesh nearly through to the back of its neck. Guts jammed the barrel of the shotgun up violently, tearing through the thin membrane of its lower mandible, and fired, sending its brain matter clear to the ceiling in a glowing fountain of chunky gunk.

That left Guts face to face with the obese monster responsible for Shelly’s horrific death. The queen was still thrashing about. Unbelievably, her grotesque bulk had grown in size as the tentacle in her mouth unloaded its cargo into her stomach, which was nearing its bursting point.

Cartridges spent, Guts dropped the shotgun and approached the incapacitated freakshow with caution. He snatched one of the swaying tendrils out of the air and climbed up onto the enormous beast. Standing on the distended stomach, he grabbed the back of the nightmare monster’s head.

The queen’s eye stalks focused in Guts’ direction, and panic radiated out of the glowing red orb in the middle of its forehead. Guts decided in that moment, that of all the things there were to hate about these ugly, murderous horrors, it was the eyes that he hated most.

He smashed the tentacle’s pointy tip deep in the queen’s middle eye socket, putting an end to the redness, but not the glowing, as a fresh torrent of blacklight blood ejaculated from the wound, covering Guts’ head and face anew. The queen screeched out again through the tubular protrusion blocking her multi-segmented mouth, somehow louder than before. Guts had to grab his ears to keep his brain from turning to mush.

The tendril stuck in her eye socket wormed its way deeper into her head. Cracking and fracturing the bone structure of her face. Her body finally went limp as the eggs began to pump their way into her brainpan. Guts dismounted her fat body and backed away, completely covered in vampire bodily fluid.

Without warning, the queen’s head, under enormous pressure from the eggs now dumping in through her eye hole, exploded out in a great geyser of brain matter, egg pieces, and torrents of blood.

It was over. Guts was alone, standing in the great mutant tomb. He dropped to his knees, completely spent, physically and emotionally exhausted, well past his breaking point. His head sagged, his shoulders slumped. Darkness threatened the sides of his vision as his consciousness swam. He was about to let go, about to sleep, totally oblivious to the dangers that threatened. That’s when he heard it.

A cacophony of screeches and clicks. The cavern shook from the sheer volume of it.

No.

Dozens of glowing red orbs poured from the nearest cave mouth, then dozens more from the middle, and even more from the far cave mouth. A new queen emerged on the backs of drones. Then another. And another.

Drones swarmed the walls, the ceiling. The queen’s final cry must have signaled the rest of the hive deep within the bowels of the nest. Howls, screeches, screams, and worse consumed the vast space.

If Guts had been a normal man, this would have been his end. If he only had guns and knives at his disposal, he would have stood no chance against the vast army of monsters before him. But Guts was no normal man. He was a mutant. And the weapon he possessed was unlike anything these vampires had ever seen before.

He stood, ran his fingers across the scar on his stomach. He closed his eyes, took in a deep breath to center his focus, even as he felt the rancid breath of monsters on his face as they converged on him, fangs and claws bared, lusting after the killing strike.

The tattooed horns on the sides of his head unfurled, took volume, coalesced, and finally stood tall and firm, jutting out a full foot on either side, spindly legs wiggling.

In one quick stroke, he slashed his belly wide open, spilling heaps of blood and intestines onto the cave floor. He leaned backward, spread his arms wide, and unleashed the fury into the throng of beasts before him.

All at once, the slick ropes of intestines came to life. Three drones dropped from the ceiling just above Guts’ head. His exposed entrails gathered into three loops that shot up off the ground, seemingly with a will of their own, and plucked the beasts out of the air by their throats. The vampires were slammed together back to back. The intestines tightened, bulging their beady red eyes. They clawed at the flesh with their killing talons to no effect. The spots where they slashed shot blood and shit into the air, and then healed closed just as quickly as they were opened.

Guts clenched his stomach muscles. The three loops constricted, popping the Fangers’ heads off like wine corks. Their bodies crashed to the floor, crushing a pack of vamps charging forward. Their thick black blood rained down from the sky.

More entrails poured out from Guts’ open wound. Like great whips, they slashed back and forth, splitting vampire faces, dismembering limbs, exploding chests. Soon, the war cries were replaced with howls of pain.

Still more intestines spilled from Guts’ stomach. Yards of slick, bloody guts thrashed and circled around his body. From floor to ceiling, great coils swirled and gyrated, protecting him from any attacks the vampires tried to muster. As quickly as they advanced, they were snatched from the floor, thrown against walls with the speed of car accidents, sent high into the air and dropped to splat against the floor, pulled apart limb from limb, and smashed together like bugs against windshields.

In moments, the advancing army of vampires was reduced to bloody, ruined corpses. The queens were dropped to the floor, left to fend for themselves. The drones ran for the cave mouths, their only means of escape. The killing flesh slithered along the floor like gory snakes, plucking drones up by the feet, flinging them like toy soldiers.

The queens did their best to crawl and flop away from the advancing death. The entrails rolled them up in thick coils like anacondas and squeezed until they squirted their hideous eggs all across the cavern, never to infest another helpless human.

The entire nest had been decimated. Not a single vampire lived. A deafening quiet soon filled the massive space, as the intestines silenced the last of the dying monsters. The huge room was as bright as day. Vampire blood covered every last inch of exposed space. Even as the last beast died, the room looked full of movement. Blood pulsed as it oozed and congealed, dimming out as it dried.

Now Guts was truly alone. He simply stood in the river of gore. He did not want to think, or to feel. He just wanted to be. So that’s what he did, basking in the calming silence.

After some time, he willed his body to contract, to wind back in to himself. His flesh obeyed, constricting its loopy self back into his stomach, neatly fitting into its rightful place.

His horns deflated and lost their dimensions, slithering back against his head, becoming tattoos once more.

His wounds from the day—the bumps, bruises, cuts, scratches and broken bones—all healed themselves, until his flesh was smooth and slick as the day he was born.

Just as the last of him was about to enter into his belly, he stopped it. A single great loop hovered in the air next to his face. Guts lowered his head, allowing the flesh to wind around his neck.

He felt nothing. Another hoard of monsters dead, and the hurt and pain in his chest was still as great as the day he found his wife and little girls… He couldn’t bear to think the rest.

What was the point? He killed and he killed. He put himself at death’s door time and time again, and yet he lived. Murdering the vampires never made him feel better, never satisfied his vengeance, never brought his family back…

He tightened the coil.

Then he opened his eyes.

The closest cave mouth was lit up. Not with pulsating, organic vampire blood, but something else. It looked like… florescent light?

Impossible. The power grids had been offline for years. Even generators powered by gasoline were as rare as the fuel that ran them.

The loop uncoiled and found its home with its brethren inside Guts’ stomach. The wound sealed itself. Now nothing but a red line remained. He gathered his supplies, reloaded the shotgun, and lit another flare as he made his way toward the weird light source. Toward the cave mouth Shelly had disappeared into.

***

Check back next month for the next exciting chapter of Vampire Guts In Nuke Town, or click here to buy the full novel via Kindle or paperback on Amazon.com.

Vampire Guts In Nuke Town Chapter 5

Vampire Guts in Nuketown was originally published in 2013. It is available to purchase in full via Kindle or paperback by clicking here. Before reading this chapter, catch up with chapter 0chapter 1chapter 2, chapter 3 and chapter 4.


Chapter 5

Catching his breath, pain radiating through his entire core, Guts peered into the large break in the wall. It was not long; in fact, it did not puncture the outer wall of the building. But it was deep. It went down, and down, and down some more.

There was a shaft bored into the floor between the drywall and support beams and the concrete outer wall. It extended much farther down than the weakening light from outside was able to reach, directly into the ground below the motel.

There must be a cavern system beneath this place, Guts thought. This whole time the cocksuckers were under our feet. Listening. Waiting.

Guts looked back behind him, out the shattered window. It would be dark very soon. He couldn’t stay in this place. There was no way of knowing just how many Fangers were underground. Dozens? Hundreds?

They must be malnourished, Guts thought. Otherwise they would never risk coming above ground before dark. They probably hadn’t fed in weeks. Clearly, they’d heard all the insanity playing out up in the room. Those three must have been scouts, sent to the surface to assess the threat level; or maybe they’d gone crazy with bloodlust.

Who knows, Guts thought as he paced around gathering his things; those that weren’t covered in rancid vampire gore, that is. I’ve never seen a Fanger attack during the day. Not once. He limped toward the door, ready to put this whole crazy mess behind him. There was so much vampire blood on the floor, ceiling, and walls that the whole room pulsed intermittently with a glow that bore the unmistakable resemblance to a black-light rave party before The Infestation.

A hand dashed out and grabbed his ankle. Guts leaped back, startled. It was Nick’s hand. The hand attached to his severed arm. The elbow of the dismembered limb flexed, extending the trunk up toward Guts’ face. At the end the torn off limb was a new mouth, gory and misshapen, but apparently capable of speech, as it whispered perfectly clear words:

“Sh-Shelly… Shell-y…”

Guts glanced over at Nick’s mangled corpse.

Unbelievable! Underneath all that desiccated flesh and Fanger gore wasn’t a corpse at all; not quite yet, anyway. His breathing was shallow and barely perceptible, but his remaining eye showed a fiery life as it stared into Guts’ own. At each point where the vampires had torn his flesh, Nick had grown a new mouth. There must have been two dozen little deformed mouths on his face alone. They were all over his broken body like lesions with lips and teeth. When the arm spoke again, his voice issued from every grotesque orifice.

“Y-you… mu-st… h-help my… s-s-sister!”

He was rapidly losing blood. He would be dead in minutes. The detached arm slowly crawled up Guts’ leg. “C-can’t… lea-ve Shelly… h-here…”

Guts looked out the window. It would be full dark in ten minutes. If he walked out there now, in an unknown town, with no shelter in sight, he was as good as dead. He glanced back at the hole in the wall. If he went down that shaft, he was deader than dead.

He plucked the dismembered arm off his leg and chucked it out the broken window.

“Guess you junkies were right, after all,” Guts said, grabbing Nick by the hair, pulling him across the floor toward the hole.

“W-w-what?”Nick managed, in between cries of protest and pain.

“Pog blood. Makes you immune to vampire bites. You’re not changing into a Fanger. That’s good,” Guts said, looking down into Nick’s good eye. “’Cause that just means I can kill you slower.”

By the time they reached the hole in the wall, Nick had stopped crying out, but he was still breathing.

Good, Guts thought. Give those fuckers something to chew on while I run around like a fool trying to get myself killed.

He reached into his bag and pulled an old signal flair out of a pack of five he’d traded a sack of vampire teeth for the last time he’d visited an outpost.

He popped it, filling the room with a horrific redness that only served to intensify the carnage before him. Nick’s eye flicked back and forth in disbelief as Guts pushed the hair out of three mouths on his sweat-and-gore-soaked forehead.

“Calm down, little buddy. This won’t hurt a bit.”

Guts jammed the flair into Nick’s main mouth, then hauled his body over the lip of the hole, sending it bouncing down into the shaft. Nick’s renewed screams echoed dully up into the room as Guts reloaded the shotgun, stuffed it into his large canvas bag, and prepared to descend into the bowels of hell.

Nick was still mumbling and moaning through some of his mouths when he finally made his way into the opening.

Guts smiled. The little incestuous bastard’s got some spunk in him, he thought as he navigated the tiny expanse. The shaft was wide enough for hulking vampires, so he was able to work his way down the hole with relative ease. His biggest hurdle was the fact that he’d lost feeling in his hands somewhere around the time he was tossed out of the room by Mohawk, and the rest of his body hurt so much he wished it was numb, too. Slow going as it was, Guts soon neared the end of the small tunnel.

He stopped ten feet shy of the bottom of the shaft. He estimated that the monsters had bored the hole three stories down into some kind of cave system directly below Room 17.

Guts refused to believe that mindless bloodsucking fiends were capable of such precision and forethought. He was utterly baffled, having never before seen any indication that a vampire’s diseased brain thought about anything more complex than eating, fucking, shitting, and hiding from the sun.

He wasn’t left with his thoughts for long. Nick screamed in horror as a hairy arm shot out and grabbed hold of his useless body.

They took the bait! Guts thought, as Nick was dragged out of sight. That’s what he’d been waiting for. Cautiously, silently, he dropped the rest of the way to the bottom of the shaft. Kneeling like a cat, ignoring the excruciating pain wracking his muscular form, Guts held his breath and looked into the abyss before him, the back of his neck throbbing steadily all the while.

The vampire dragged Nick out into the middle of a large cave.

The ceiling stood easily two stories. The entirety of the large expanse (the best Guts could tell from the dimming light of the nearly spent flair jutting out of Nick’s face) was fifty-odd yards across, with three large openings on the opposite walls leading off into the darkness.

Nick’s whimpers and pleas were finally put to rest when four more vampires loped out of one of the openings, drawn by the smell of fresh blood, and began to savagely feed on his prone and defenseless body.

Guts again silently applauded Nick’s will to live, as, even with five blood suckers ripping and tearing at his broken flesh, he attempted to kick them off. His end came when one of them grabbed him by the head and took a bite out of his face, revealing a puddle of mucus and brains beneath it.

After Nick was drained, it didn’t take long for the creatures to get bored and trot off. Guts waited in the dark for another ten minutes before he dared move. He stepped out into the expanse and lit another flare.

Then dropped it on the floor.

Everywhere—the walls, floors, gigantic ceilings—was covered in the bodies of the most hideously deformed mutants Guts had ever seen. He’d heard the stories, heard survivors drunk on Poog whisper about people so deformed, so unbelievably mutated, that they’d taken to subterranean caverns beneath the ground. He never thought the stories were true, but…

Guts couldn’t believe his eyes. His stomach turned, threatening once again to evacuate its sparse contents as he looked around this tomb of insanity.

Like stalactites jutting hatefully downward from the ceiling were arms frozen in pain; arms with sickle claws in place of fingers, tipped with maniac eyeball clusters. Layered into the dense walls were wide, pale backs, dripping with coarse hairs that would have looked more at home on the legs of a fly, appendages like cancerous growths angling out of spines and off the tops of upside-down-faced heads. Beneath his feet, eyeless faces were packed thick as lumber pallets; faces with teeth on the outside of mouths; noses as large as heads; faces set into chests that bore no neck nor head of their own…

There were tens of thousands of bodies packed into the expansive cavern. This place had seen genocide. An entire community of outcasts decimated by vampires. Their dried up, petrified remains used to decorate their former shelter. Faces twisted in nightmare death masks of pain and suffering danced and taunted Guts, illuminated by the horrific crimson light of his flare.

He closed his eyes, steadied his breathing, and concentrated on the memory of Shelly’s face as the scarred Fanger stole her away into the darkness.

He opened his eyes and walked toward the three passages at the far side of the cyclopean tomb, when he heard a sound that made him give pause: a faint whimper. He froze. It came again; a voice, faint, but clearly female. He quietly pulled the shotgun from his bag and made his way toward the source of the small sound.

Once he’d located its general direction, he crept up to a tall mound of dead mutants, crouched behind it, and waited.

He heard it again.

Shelly.

He spun around from behind the corpse mound, shotgun extended in front of him. She was cowering against the north wall behind a thick muscular leg covered in veiny fingers jutting out from the wall of death. Her knees were drawn up to her chest, arms wrapped around them. She was naked, shivering, still whimpering softly. Her eyes were open but vacant, their former depth robbed away at the hands of the scar-faced vampire.

“Come on,” Guts said softly. “I’ve got you. Let’s get outta here.”

She mumbled something Guts couldn’t make out. He leaned closer.

“What?”

“Run.”

Screeching from above made him snap his head up just in time to see two huge vampires perched on the ceiling, nearly imperceptible nested in the hive of corpses directly above Shelly, launch themselves down toward him. It did not, unfortunately, leave him time to do anything else.

The beasts crashed down on top of his head, knocking him unconscious. Shelly’s hysterical screams were the last thing he heard before consciousness swam away into the warm, inviting darkness.

***

Check back next month for the next exciting chapter of Vampire Guts In Nuke Town, or click here to buy the full novel via Kindle or paperback on Amazon.com.

Vampire Guts In Nuke Town Chapter 4

Vampire Guts in Nuketown was originally published in 2013. It is available to purchase in full via Kindle or paperback by clicking here. Before reading this chapter, catch up with chapter 0chapter 1chapter 2, chapter 3

Chapter 4

Nick’s hand shook with fury. His teeth clenched and relaxed. His eyes bore the gaze of mania as they continued to drip golden tears. Guts heard a crash behind him, and everything on Nick’s face changed to pure terror.

Guts wheeled around just in time to see the mattress that had been propped up against the far wall fall away, revealing a man-sized hole. Out of this hole, stepped three creatures. They resembled gigantic bats more than men. They were nude, and stood at least seven feet tall. They had to stoop to fit into the low ceilinged little room. Their bodies were covered in coarse red hair. From their long bony fingers hung black, talon-like nails. From their massive shoulders sprouted a pair of small rudimentary wing appendages that ended in dagger-like points, curled around next to their heads, and pointed down at their chests like scorpion tails.

Their faces were the worst part: eyes like giant red orbs; mouths full of razor-sharp teeth, jutting in all directions like nightmare spokes on a bicycle wheel; noses short and pulled up against their faces, as though they’d smashed their heads against a brick wall until it was all flattened out; and ears long and pointed, jutting backward like antennae. Monsters. Vampires.

The three beasts sucked in huge breaths of air through their hateful snouts. They coughed and grunted at one another as they surveyed the contents of the room, their demoniac red eyes registering hunger as they landed on Guts, Shelly, and Nick.

Guts reacted as quickly as he could, but in addition to looking like shit thrown up from the bowels of hell, vampires were also fast. Deadly fast.

Guts pushed Shelly behind him, putting himself between the defenseless girl and the creatures, but he wasn’t fast enough. The vampire in the middle stayed put but, but those on either side flanked out, easily rushing past Guts, knocking the shotgun free of his hands as they passed.

A trap! thought Guts. A fucking trap inside a trap! The whole time Nick and Shelly thought they were ambushing me, these monsters were lying in wait for the perfect time to strike! Un-fucking-believable!

Vampires weren’t supposed to be this clever. They were giant beasts made of killing, nothing more. Using a few simple rules and doing his best to stay out of open darkness, Guts had managed to avoid any conflict with the beasts except on his own terms. This was different. This kind of strategic thinking chilled him to the core.

What’s changed? he thought. They must be as desperate as us. Starving. Looking for any way to score a meal.

The two flanking vampires pounced on Nick, choosing the lone target as a crocodile would a stray deer standing too close to the water’s edge.

He still stood frozen just inside the door, too shocked at the monsters’ sudden appearance to mount any kind of meaningful defense. He stood no chance. These feral beasts were expert killing machines. The virus that had mutated humans into nightmare creatures left nothing to chance. Everything about them was designed to rend, tear, and kill. Raptors with opposable thumbs.

One hit Nick at the head, the other at the waist. He crumpled to the floor without getting off a single shot from the revolver. The beast at his head sunk its fangs into his face, making short work of his left eye and nose. In two bites, he was no longer recognizable, only a bleeding, screaming, thrashing smear.

The vampire at his waist didn’t seem to mind that Nick had shit himself on the way down. It ripped through Nick’s pink belly with one powerful swipe of its razor-sharp hand. It buried its foul head all the way into Nick’s trunk, causing his body to flop comically this way and that, making him dance in time to the sounds of its slurping and chomping away at his entrails.

Guts shielded Shelly from this horror as the vampire at Nick’s head grew tired of eating his face, and instead bit clean through his left arm, tossing it aside like overcooked gristle as it lapped at the blood gushing from the limb’s mangled stump.

The monster in front of Shelly and Guts let out a high-pitched screech and began to move forward, ready to separate the pair. It stood another foot taller than its companions, a truly massive beast. In addition to its increased size and general additional ferociousness, this vampire sported a thick white mane atop its gruesome, fang-filled face that stood straight up, resembling a great Mohawk.

Guts quickly knelt, scooping up the discarded shotgun from the floor. His broken ribs screamed in protest, slowing his movement down just enough for the creature to capitalize. Had it not been for his injuries, he might have been fast enough to block the vampire’s attack.

Instead, as Guts stood on groaning legs, Mohawk made quick work of the five or six steps remaining between them. It dug its huge claws deep into Guts’ shoulder as the much smaller man stood upright.

Guts screamed as Mohawk tossed him across the room like an angry child flinging a broken doll. Guts hit the makeshift Poog-making table upside down, smashing it in half with his head and shoulders. He landed in the pile of dead Pogs with a loud splat, crushing their decomposing bodies. The noxious smell threatened to overcome him as he picked himself out of the puddle of golden ichor as quickly as his injuries allowed.

Mohawk had already begun to charge him. As it cleared the space between them, it opened its jaws impossibly wide and screeched.

Guts felt the strain on his eardrums as they threatened to give. He could smell the thing’s rotten breath from where he stood, adding to the garbage bin odor permeating his nostrils.

Ignoring his battered body, Guts thrust the shotgun forward, perfectly timing Mohawk’s advance. The barrel sunk into the vampire’s disgusting face, surprise washing over its gnarly features.

Guts pulled the trigger. “Suck it, ugly.”

Nothing happened.

Fucking hell! Guts thought. The Pog blood must have saturated the ammunition. Guts frantically pulled the trigger again and again with the same results. Mohawk wrenched the shotgun free of its maw, grabbed Guts by the arm, and flung him through the tarp into the open sunlight.

Guts scrambled free from the thick cloth, managing to dislodge all of himself except his left leg. He stood up, emptying the ammo into his hand as he did so. As he’d suspected, the shells were coated in golden slime.

Shelly screamed from inside the room as the Mohawk’s companions finished chowing down on Nick, advancing on her instead.

With no time to lose, Guts wiped the gunk from the shells onto his pants. He shoved the first one back into the chamber before he was violently yanked from his feet. The second shell flew out of Guts’ hand, landing well out of retrieval range. The end of the tarp had remained inside the room safely within the shadows. Mohawk was hauling Guts back inside, the angry sneer across its ugly face making its intentions quite clear. With one more violent tug, Guts was pulled through the decayed opening, back into the cover of darkness.

Mohawk grabbed him by the throat, lifting him six inches off the ground. As it reared back to land a finishing blow, Guts planted the shotgun against its left eye and held his breath, anticipating a violent death.

He squeezed the trigger.

Although nearly half the creature’s head was blown free in the blast of buckshot, it didn’t seem to faze the beast a bit. Chunks of brain, an eyeball, pieces of skull, and a torrent of the nightmare-black, glowing gore that served as vampire blood plastered the ceiling and rained down into the small room.

White mane hanging sickly to one side, eye socket gaping, bits of its own teeth stuck in its ruined face, the vampire struck down with its prehensile wing-limbs, stabbing Guts in both shoulders, pinning him to the spot. With all its weight, Mohawk crushed Guts to the floor, gushing black-light blood all over him.

Head spinning from unbelievable pain, Guts felt himself beginning to black out. Only the sight of the other two monsters chasing Shelly up onto the bed gave him the strength to unsheathe his knife and jam it straight up into the heart of the great monster above him.

Impossible buckets of liquid spilled all over him. He twisted the knife, wrenching a trench in the monster’s chest. Its blood completely obscured his vision as the bulk above him writhed and screeched in violent death throes.

Yanking the spikes out of his shoulders, Guts tossed the convulsing heap off him. It shuddered once more, then died.

Shelly wailed as the two smaller monsters cornered her against the wall.“Fucking help me, Guts!!!”

He wiped the gore from his eyes, grabbed the shotgun, and charged forward; ruined body be damned. The smaller of the two beasts (a real ugly thing with short, muscular arms) saw him first. It dove off the bed, putting itself between him and Shelly.

Guts flipped the shotgun around, grabbing it by the barrel, and clocked the vampire right in its hateful mutated face with an arching, sideways blow, sending the creature sprawling toward the door and window. As it sprang to its feet, Guts flipped his knife full-force, impaling the vampire in its abdomen. This action did not kill the beast, but the force of the blow launched it the rest of the way across the room, slamming it against the window. Great spurts of blood issued from the wound, covering Nick’s lifeless body until his mangled features were completely obscured.

Guts stepped forward and pulled the trigger of the shotgun.

Shit, Guts thought, forgetting he was out of ammo.

The vampire roared, flexing its huge arms. It stomped forward, raising its claws, ready to strike.

In response, Guts smiled.

The monster only got one more step before Guts threw the shotgun as hard as he could through the window. A blast of deep pink, nearly purple dusk-light poured through the broken glass, enveloping the vampire, trapping the wounded monster within its strange embrace.

Immediately, the coarse hair on its back and arms singed and burned away. It cried out with the loudest, highest pitched screech yet, causing Guts to cover his surely bleeding ears. Its dark brown skin wrinkled and turned black. Smoke coiled off it like a burning pile of plastic in thick, dark grey wisps. The vampire collapsed to the floor, trying to hide its face from the radiation light as its skin began to slough off in sheets, revealing boiling black blood underneath.

Guts covered his face and gagged once again. This smell trumped all of the noxious odors in the room, combining burning rubber, rotten fish, and soiled diapers. It trapped itself in the back of Guts’ throat, causing him to taste it every time he swallowed back the bile rising from his belly.

All at once, the gory heap exploded, sending its baked flesh and soupy blood in all directions. The entire room was splattered with sticky, goopy vampire remains.

Unrecognizable parts of its companion oozed down the walls and rained down from the ceiling as the final beast—with a flailing, kicking, screaming Shelly in its embrace—made a desperate dive off the bed and into the mouth of the hole in the wall from whence it came, escaping the sunlight, having only suffered heavy burns across the side of its face and left arm. Shelly cried out for Guts one last time before the monster disappeared into the blackness of the hole. She locked eyes with him, terrified.

Guts bolted after them on weak legs, but stopped at the wall. It was too late. They were gone.

***

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