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Tales From The Oddside

By:Al Bruno III
Tales From The Oddside - A book by Al Bruno III
Author:Al Bruno III

Tales From TheOddsideby Al Bruno IIIrev 1.0Copyright Al BrunoIII 2011Smashwords EditionLicense Notes:This free ebook may becopied, distributed, reposted, reprinted and shared, provided itappears in its entirety without alteration, and the reader is notcharged to access it.TALES FROM THEODDSIDE</ol>


Tales From TheOddsideby Al Bruno IIIrev 1.0Copyright Al BrunoIII 2011Smashwords EditionLicense Notes:This free ebook may becopied, distributed, reposted, reprinted and shared, provided itappears in its entirety without alteration, and the reader is notcharged to access it.TALES FROM THEODDSIDE</ol>


Tourist TrapbyAl Bruno III<I>Thefollowing story was originally published by Eden Studios</I>The living deadshambled aimlessly down the street, their clothes and flesh intatters. My heart in my throat, I angled the van around them as bestI could, but they flail at the vehicle as it passes, their slimyfingers streaking the body. I had hoped to find settlements here onthe Canadian side of Niagara Falls. All I found was abandoned carsand shattered storefronts. The Pancake House was in flames, thegrocery stores had all been looted, zombies milled around inside theshowroom windows of a department store, gnawing confusedly onhalf-clothed mannequins. Every few miles I tried the CB radio, hopingto find someone, anyone out there that could help.The seat beside me wasfilled with ammo and weapons. The medical supplies and food was inthe back with Laura. She breathed harder and harder with eachcontraction. This wasn't planned -- you have to understand -- none ofthis was planned.</ol>


Tales From TheOddsideby Al Bruno IIIrev 1.0Copyright Al BrunoIII 2011Smashwords EditionLicense Notes:This free ebook may becopied, distributed, reposted, reprinted and shared, provided itappears in its entirety without alteration, and the reader is notcharged to access it.TALES FROM THEODDSIDE</ol>


I had been making myway North. Everyone's been making their way North since the zombiescame. The theory is that the undead will be less active in the colderregions. Don't know if its true or not, but it seemed like a goodidea.I had came across Lauraby the side of I-90; she had run over one too many zombies and it hadgummed up the underside of her car. They had started to swarm herlittle Volvo.I had pulled over tothe side of the road and popped enough of them to give her a chanceto make a run for my vehicle.Sometimes it amazes mehow good a shot I've become over the last year. When all thisstarted, I didn't even know how to fire a gun. Guess all those gamesof DOOM were good for something after all.I had figured I'd bedropping her off at a settlement someplace, so I had asked her whereshe was going."North." shehad said.And that's how westarted traveling together. It was nice to have someone to talk toagain, and someone to watch my back when I was foraging. She was nogreat beauty by any stretch. I mean, she could have been a reallooker but there was something sour about her looks. She was goodenough company though, and when we had made love at night in the backof the van she was eager and welcoming.That was then. Now, thegas gauge read a quarter of a tank left. Laura was moaning in pain,she pushed and pushed but the baby just wouldn't come. It had beenalmost twenty hours of labor and still nothing. She was going to dieif I didn't do something soon. I tried to CB again, hoping to find asettlement, a military base -- someplace with a doctor.</ol>


I knew I should haveworn a condom or pulled out or something, but she told me shecouldn't have babies. She said there was something wrong with herovaries. Something gynecological, I don't remember what exactly. Butshe got pregnant anyway. Figures, I never won a damn thing in my lifebefore.Suddenly an ideaoccurred to me. Ocean World was up ahead. They have -- they had ridesand animal exhibits and dolphins and killer whales. A place like thathas to have a first aid kit, several first aid kits maybe.Laura is saying my nameover and over the whole time I made my way to Ocean World. Theparking lot was empty. We drove around the skeletal remains of a bearon the way in but aside from that it was clear sailing. There didn'tseem to be a lot of zombies milling around. Always a good sign. Theyhad probably eaten everything there was to eat months ago. The livingdead aren't above eating animals -- I've seen them chow down onanything from cows to kittens. I think they prefer people though,I've never seen zombies swarm a caribou the way they swarm people.Maybe it's the way wetaste.I parked the van asclose as I could to the main entrance but Laura was beyond walkingnow. I told her to wait there and I'd get a cart or something tobring her in. She begged me not to leave her, not to abandon her.It took me fifteenminutes to calm her down. Jesus Christ! Fifteen minutes wasted! Ilocked her inside the van. I had the hunting rifle and a handgun withme. Extra ammo was loaded into the pockets of my jeans. Hopefully, Iwouldn't need any of it but zombies are like fucking roaches. Theyget everywhere.</ol>


Ocean World might havebeen a fun place to visit before, but it was creepy now. The grasswas overgrown and heavy with weeds. The rides creaked and rocked totheir own rhythm. I found a couple of golf cart things right away butthey didn't have any power. There was a sign that pointed me towardsthe Visitor's Aid Station. That was where I had to go.Most of the animalswere dead in their pens. Looked like starvation, but what do I know.Poor things. Some of the bears had gotten out somehow but the zombieshad gotten to them and picked them clean.Speaking of the devil,I spotted a pair of zombies staggering around the remains of littlebuilding called the "Snack Shack." They were bloated andweird looking. Huddling in the corner of the aquarium building, Ithought about taking them out.Problem was they mightnot be the only living dead in the park and I didn't want to attracttoo much attention if I could avoid it. I decided to cut through theaquarium and take the long way towards the first aid station. Ipassed through the archway that invited me to "Explore theWonders of the Deep" and entered the darkness of the deadaquarium. I'd forgotten the flashlight, but I didn't want to go backto get it. I was afraid I'd loose my nerve.Rifle drawn, I made myway through the murk by touch. Occasionally, my hand would strayacross the clammy surface of a tank. I couldn't see the dead fishfloating inside but the cloying stench told me they were there.The passage I was inseemed to be turning. I wondered if I was going in circles. What if Icame right back to where I started? Could Laura afford for me towaste any more time?</ol>


Squelching footstepsalerted me to the fact I wasn't alone. Something moved in thedarkness, a shadow among shadows. I shouted a warning but there was ano answer. The shape moved closer. I fired, but th e shot was wide ofthe mark. The muzzle flash gave me a momentary glimpse of my attacker-- a zombie in the garb of an Ocean World tour guide.The bullet shatteredone of the fishtank walls. Water and dead barracudas spilled out overthe floor, knocking the zombie off-balance. It wobbled a moment andthen fell clumsily into a heap.When its head was upover floor level, I fired again. It twitched once and then lay still.I slumped against the wall, trying to bring myself to keep moving. Ireally just wanted to curl into a ball and wish this shithole of aworld away. Before Laura I used to think about suicide -- sometimes Iwould hold a gun under my chin and wait for my courage to take hold.Of course it never did. I don't know what scared me more, the thoughtthat there might not be a next life, or that there would be a nextlife and by killing myself I'd lose the chance for it.But I couldn't die now,I had responsibilities. I got up, started moving. Stagnant water andliquefied gray matter pooled around my feet. A few moments more ofwalking and I saw light at the end of the corridor. I picked up thepace.The exit brought me outto a huge amphitheater, seashell-shaped with long benchesinterspersed with tall stairways. There was no stage at the heart ofthis auditorium though, just a huge tank. The thick glass walls ofthe tank were frosted with grime and lichen. The water was brown andmurky and it sloshed gently over the edges. I had a momentary visionof warm weather, frolicking dolphins and laughing families.</ol>


From there it was quicksprint to the squat Visitor's Aid Station. I kicked open the lockeddoor to find medical supplies in abundance.And wheelchairs! Theyhad wheelchairs!I grabbed one andheaded back for the van. I didn't go through the aquarium this time.I just popped the two zombies hanging around the "Snack Shack"and prayed my luck would hold out.When I got to Laura shewas hyperventilating and there was some kind of fluid staining thecrotch of her sweatpants. It didn't look like blood or water.Not good.Not good at all.I took a long hard lookaround before I set the rifle down beside the van. It was all clear."I didn't thin kyou'd come back," she kissed my hand like I was the Pope orsomething. "I love you."I shushed her and gotto work. It wasn't easy loading her into the wheelchair. No matterwhat I did it seemed to hurt her. In the back of my mind, I startedthinking about that Robin Hood film they did with Kevin Costner. Iremembered the black guy in the movie had delivered a baby by cuttingthe mother open and taking it out.</ol>


Jesus. Would I have todo that?Grabbing a knapsackfull of iron rations and bottled water, we got moving. I rolled herthrough Ocean World. Halfway to the Visitor Aid Station, I spied oneof the living dead off in the distance. I thought about taking itdown, only to realize that I'd left the rifle back by the car. Istill had the pistols, but I decided to save them for now. As wepassed the amphitheater, something I spotted out of the corner of myeye made me stop dead.There was a dead killerwhale floating at the top of the stagnant water. Had that been therebefore? Or had it jut bobbed to the surface? I couldn't be sure. Hugeswathes of its black and white flesh had been gnawed to the bone. Itwrithed with zombies. Th ey crawled over its massive bulk likemaggots, immersion in water had left their bodies bloated and warped.The awfulness of what Iwas seeing held me there I couldn't look away.Suddenly one of themsaw us. It fumbled off the whale's body and clawed its way over thethick walls of the tank. It flopped onto the ground with a wet smack.Others started following, seething up over the edge of the tanktrampling each other in their hunger.Laura's scream goadedme back into action. I started running, pushing the wheelchair aheadof me with all my might. I could see the Visitor's Aid Station justup ahead.I didn't see the crackin the pavement.</ol>