Vampire Guts in Nuketown was originally published in 2013. It is available to purchase in full via Kindle or paperback by clicking here.
BEFORE THE BOMB
“Is it on?”
“Yes, sir. You’re live.”
The man took a deep breath, eyes weary, and looked into the camera.
“My dear citizens of the United States, and those of you watching from around the world,” he said, sweat dripping off his pale, sickly face onto his suit jacket. His eyes were sunk deep in their sockets. He looked tired. A type of tired that no amount of makeup—and he wore much to cover his condition—was going to hide. “I come to you today, not as your president, but as your brother in this crisis. A crisis you all know too well. A crisis that ordinary people on the streets call ‘The Infestation’, an unbeatable virus that’s turning your loved ones into bloodthirsty monsters. But here, in the Whitehouse, we don’t call it The Infestation. We call it The Bitch.”
Murmurs sound off from behind the camera. The President raises a hand, and they go quiet.
“I wasn’t supposed to say that. I’m supposed to follow the script and tell you all that everything is going to be OK, and that we’ve got this situation under control. I’m supposed to tell you all to obey the 5 o’clock curfew, to send only the strongest members of your family out to the food rationing stations, to stay in your homes at all costs, and report any sightings of… the creatures… to your local National Guard liaison.
“I’m supposed to tell you to take your immunity injections, and that more are on the way.
“But after what happened yesterday…” he lifted up his arm and looked at the bloody bandage it wore around the forearm area, “when we broadcast live from the lab to show you concerned citizens the progress we’d made toward a cure, well, I- I just can’t, in good conscience, come on national television and lie to you folks.”
“I…” The president coughed hard into his hand. He pulled out a handkerchief and wiped his mouth. Blood came away on the white cloth. He swallowed hard and continued.“I’m telling you right here, right now, on live TV, what even the closest members of my cabinet don’t know. I’ve consulted with my top military generals, and indeed those from around the globe, and we’ve come to a conclusion about The Infestation. The only, conclusion, really.”
He looked sternly into the camera, redoubled his focus, and spoke on.
“Our war against these… things. Aw, hell, let’s call them what they are, for once. Vampires! Our war, the global war against these vampire creatures has failed!”
He slammed his fist down on his desk, showing the type of white-bred, southern gusto that had won him the election and re-election. The type of gusto he hadn’t displayed once since the first outbreak occurred over twenty-four months prior.
“Medicine,” he said, looking at his wounded arm again, “has failed us. There will be no cure for this epidemic, this nightmare apocalypse that has swept over our great nation, and the farthest reaches of the world. That is truth, America. Honesty.”
Shouting came from behind the camera. There were sounds of a scuffle, and then a door slamming hard.
“Do not panic, America. Do not panic, planet Earth. Hope is not lost. Where medicine has failed us, science will still be our savior.”
The president coughed again. This time, a fit seized him. His sixty years showed on his face and in his thinning hair as his body shook up and down from the force of the cough. A black-suited man came into frame, taking the president by the arm. He shook the man away, pushing him off camera. When he opened his eyes again and looked into the camera, they were shot through with thick, bulging red veins. When he spoke again, his voice had taken on a gravelly tone.
“Vampires rule the dark, but we will once again own the light. Strategically placed missiles across the globe are preparing to launch, even as we speak, an experimental type of nuclear weapon. This weapon will detonate simultaneously across the vast expanse of our upper atmosphere, triggering a fundamental molecular change in the ionosphere.
“Now, you know me, America. I’m no scientist. I don’t know what that means anymore than you do. But I trust these men and women. They’ve been working for two solid years on this weapon. They are our only hope.”
More coughing. The president was so shaken by the throes that he clutched the corners of his desk. Blood spittle flew from his mouth, flecking the papers laid before him. This time two men came into the shot, offering the president a new kerchief, wiping the dripping blood from his mouth. One of them said, “This interview is over, sir. Let’s get you back to bed. This was a bad idea.”
He shook them off. “Let me finish, damn you! I’m almost through!” The men backed away.
“The scientists have told me that the nukes are harmless to you and I; that the radiation will be pulled up and out of the atmosphere, creating a new layer of energy around the planet, a layer that will filter sunlight in such a way as to attack the corrupted cells mutated by the Infestation virus. Make no mistake. It won’t cure the afflicted. It will destroy the damn things! We call The Infestation Virus “The Bitch” because that’s what we’re going to make it, Citizens of the world! Our Bitch! We will eradicate this plague on our people! We will survive this horror! We will once again rule this planet!”
With that, the coughs seized him entirely. He slumped over on the desk, coughing, hacking, and spitting blood. After a few moments, he was silent.
The two men came back into the frame, attempting to lift the president from his desk. When he lifted his head again, his eyes glowed a preternatural solid red. Like a spotlight from hell blasting out from inside his head.
Voices from behind the camera cried out, “He’s changing! Get away from him, NOW!”
Before the two men could react, the president whipped out his hands, clutching them both by their throats. Their surprised, choked sputters found a quick end when he crushed both of their esophagi simultaneously.
The skin on his face and head began to twitch and squirm before the camera. He opened his mouth, revealing rows of fangs too large to be contained within his human jaw line, so it grew to accommodate its new cargo. As did his ears, gaining six inches and ending in points; forehead, widening; and brow, growing ridged and thick. His nose shrank, receding almost entirely into its own footprint, then shriveling into a raisin-like black scrunch in the middle of his face. Fine, red hairs slithered out of his open pores, covering most of his face and filling in his receding hairline. Finally his skin turned, in a matter of seconds, from a rosy pink to a dark brown.
The President stood, screeched a loud, inhuman sound from between his massive new jaws, and flipped the enormous desk forward, smashing into the camera and three men standing behind it, their screams of pain distorting the sound of the broadcast. The camera survived the impact, laying now on its side, filming the horrific scene at an odd angle from the floor, an angle which allowed the entirety of the nightmare beast to be shown, head to toe. Growing to nearly 8 feet tall, the thing had shredded its suit and slacks. Its huge, clawed toes stuck comically from ruined shoes. A pair of hideous prehensile wing appendages jutted out of its back, swaying threateningly with their razor-sharp, single-clawed tips.
The door crashed open, off camera, causing the monster to look up and screech again, defiantly ripping the remainder of the shredded clothes from its now massive form.
“Go, go, go, go, go! Take him down! Take him down!”
A young man in a black suit and glasses with a white ear piece dove into the shot, arms spread wide, protecting the vampire president from harm.
“He’s still the president! Back down, now! You have no jurisdiction in the White House! I will consider any act of violence upon his person a Coup attempt! I will personally-“
And then the vampire reached out, grabbed the young man’s head, opened its enormous fangs, and sunk them deep into his brain. Clear cerebral fluid and blood gushed out of the jagged holes in great spurts. The man convulsed in the vampire’s arms. His sunglasses fell off, revealing eyes already rolled into the back of his head.
The vampire screeched again in defiance, tossing the helpless body to the floor. It landed directly in front of the camera. The man’s face contorted and twitched. He gurgled as the seizure continued, foaming at the mouth, bleeding from the ears and nose.
Gunshots ripped through the air, smacking into the vampire’s wide chest with a series of quick thump, thump, thumps. The monster staggered backward as the gunfire continued. Black glowing blood erupted from its wounds, but it did not go down. Instead, it pushed forward into the hail of bullets until it stood directly above the Secret Service agent dying on the floor. Only its taut, muscled leg remained in the shot.
A stream of urine rained down on the man’s face as he died, an act of inhuman ferocity that would serve as the final publicly broadcasted image from the United States Government. The signal was cut off, replaced with a marker and looped music. It read:
“Please Stand By. Make sure to take your immunity shots twice daily and report any suspicious behavior to your local National Guard Liaison. We must persevere. We must be vigilant. Together we will survive. We will return you to your regularly scheduled programming shortly.”
At 6:41pm August 9th 2020, just twenty-four hours after the last Presidential Address, the nukes launched, and everything changed. Forever.
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.