Dawn Harshaw / Zombies VS Vampires VS Demons / Demon Butchers Zombie Horde (short story)
Don't put off being who you want to be, not another second!
Due to a sense of finality and the inability of most to see beyond it, death is the object of much fear. However, losing sight of yourself is worse than death, and there are oh-so-many ways to do it.
- Dreamer's Handbook
With a single powerful strike, Jor tore the fence apart and smashed the head off the unfortunate zombie who happened to be standing on the other side of it.
The fence barely slowed Jor strike - its purpose was obviously not to keep intruders out, but to keep the zombies from wandering away. The zombie's head wasn't simply severed; the force caused the fleshy bone fragments below the neck to explode and the detached skull splatter flat on the ground.
Jor stepped over the ruined fence as zombie miasma dripped from his hand. More of the idle undead started to notice his presence.
'Orummagh is the sun of my existence. I surrender to Him completely.'
Jor wasn't quite himself - but he hasn't been himself for a long time, and he knew it. Rage tainted his mind and infused his body.
His legs carried him forward, but he couldn't feel them at all - only an icy cold sensation which rose to meet the burning rage descending into his stomach. The unnatural energies swirled, twisting his guts and making him want to hurl.
'For He is truth. For He is power. For He is salvation!'
Two nearby zombies staggered into Jor's path: Jor rent into the mid-section of the first one, breaking the spine and snapping the body in half, and his other hand swiped the head away from the second zombie.
Bone splinters embedded deeply into his hands, but Jor didn't even notice them. A mixture of decaying flesh and blood stuck to his arms and chest - the horrible smell made him want to gag even more, but this natural cleansing reaction was denied to him.
'His strength flows through me and my devotion never falters.'
Jor's sinewy legs carried his overly large torso swiftly and effortlessly, without any input or feedback from his conscious mind. He approached large groups of idle zombies, only to dance away when they noticed him. When the faster ones caught up, he mowed them down with the rage flowing through his huge arms.
He didn't always get the timing right: sometimes his hands moved too fast, taking off only a limb or two. Sometimes his hands moved too slow, letting twitchier zombies through. They sunk their teeth into Jor's flesh, hugging it close while clawing at it with all limbs and protruding bones.
Jor felt no pain from such attacks; he grabbed and forcefully tore attackers from his body, who took away bite-sized chunks of his own flesh - a minor annoyance, at most.
'Purge impurities! Cast away heresy! Pave the way with blood!'
Jor's thoughts were fragmented; the only full sentences he was capable of thinking were part of demonic prayers and litanies. The demon directly controlled most of his subconscious, while his conscious psyche was shackled by years of religious indoctrination.
Jor's circle-strafing maneuvers herded the slower zombies together into a horde of mindless, stinking, groaning decay. He was red from his own blood.
'My faith in Orummagh brings His glory to the world!'
Finally, the swirling in his stomach vanished as all cells in his body succumbed to the corrupting demonic influence. The chaotic, forced growth of his legs accelerated to match the size of his morphing body - gaining great stability, but losing the ability to move at all.
The influx of demonic energies was too great for his malign tumor of a body to handle. The energies seeped visibly outside of his physique, reducing visibility and mirroring the red haze Jor felt in his mind.
Zombies piled around him, the closest of which pressed against and inadvertently shielded Jor. Others tried to get closer by climbing atop of other zombies.
Jor felt nothing but RAGE as the red haze leaked from every pore of his figure.
For a moment, as the zombies clawed away at his body and the channeled rage overpowered, the shackles slowly fell from Jor's mind and one happy thought filled him:
Orummagh sees me! I'm worthy! He sees me!
"...disposing of it would be a waste; demonic blood of this quality could be worth a small fortune in the right market. Maybe the techs can find use for the rest of the body, too."
"Understood, sir. Should we quarantine the area?"
"No need. Notice the irregular blast pattern and the slight charring of the corpses? This was demonic, not biological. A wave of internal pressures blasted the mindless ones from within, followed by a large, fiery explosion originating from the possessed channeler. The energy is still thick; by its texture I'd guess it belongs to one of the elder demons. You - send for a demonology expert!"
"Look! Sir, it might still be alive!"
With great effort, Jor opened an eye - only to see another set of eyes staring back at him. They belonged to a large man, whose frame didn't hide too well the heavy grafts and localized mutations.
"I'm security chief of the Midflower. Speak, demon spawn! Who sent you, and what hell did you unleash here?"
Jor tried to move his body, but succeeded only in turning his neck. Yet, his mind was clear and observed his present state with calm detachment.
"Maybe it's one of the mad ones that wander in from the desert-"
Jor's throat was sore and dry - not to mention half of it ripped out - but he tried to speak nonetheless. The words came out as whispers:
"Orummagh... he's smart... Run, run!.. Others will come..." He coughed up blood, but even the strength to cough quickly diminished.
"Who's coming? Speak!"
He warned them to spite Orummagh, but whether they'd heed his warning or not didn't concern him - he wasn't going to spend his last breath trying to explain.
Jor closed his eyes, and with this act, outer sensations stopped reaching him.
His mind retreated, touching up on the memories of the many years he and his beloved Connie spent under the demon's shadow. They lived in nomadic camps, all their waking hours spent in work and devotion to the demon. They endured ash storms, starvation, and the burning sun.
At least we had each other - but the thought didn't fill him with romantic notions, only with regret. If only we had the strength to end our lives... instead of succumbing to misguided purpose and false hope. We should have died together with dignity.
As Jor's body has shut down, so did his mind. I'm going first, love...
Dawn Harshaw / Zombies VS Vampires VS Demons / Demon Butchers Zombie Horde