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 0, chapter 1, chapter 2, chapter 3.
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.”
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.
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.