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 and chapter 4.
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:
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.
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.
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.