Episode 29: Warning: Graphic Content
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Let's go back in time, just a bit, and....well, well, if it ain't the haggard middle-age couple who were hiding in that Little Caesars. Remember them?
Always bickering. How come these pieces of work still get to live? Talk about an unfair! They let the old woman get eaten alive. They also wouldn't let poor Johnny inside the restuarant for refuge and he got screwed. Now karma is biting their selfish asses.
One can argue they're right in not trusting anyone, considering how that group in the high school fell apart or what Lillian is up to in town. On the other hand, how can you expect to survive in the longterm if you don't trust and help out someone now and then? Let your noodle chew on that for a while.
Anyways, this nasty couple made it out of the city, miles of winding British Columbia highway between each small town, one just as dead as the next. Stuck in the middle of nowhere because their sporty convertible finally ran out of gas, it's amazing they made it this far. They have no weapons but do have a bag with a few meager supplies, as well as that duffle bag stuffed with cash.
Can you believe it? There's a few abandoned vehicles on the side of the road but literally nobody has gone by, so it's finally dawning on these two geniuses that help won't be coming. The safe camp up in Vernon is way too far but the town of Princeton seems a realistic goal, so they start walking.
Deciding not to leave the money behind, all they can do is argue. The woman blames him for everything, past indiscretions as well as their current predicament. He tells her that her only redeeming quality is loading a dishwasher quickly.
She replies that she wants a divorce. It's getting dark and they're in an obligatory spooky fog, not realizing there's a set of flaming red eyes watching them from the brush. Little do they know that all the lcamps plague survivors had tried to set up in the mountains had fallen, either by hungry undead or something even more unimaginable.
Ready for that bad karma?
After some more distance, their deranged and meaningless bickering halts when they come upon something really, really gross in the middle of the road. There's a car with its driver's door wide open. A few feet away is a body of a man, or maybe it's a woman, its head missing. The fly covered victim is ripped open with yellowish/red gooey gunk pulled out, while entrails have been yanked from the rectum. It's a recent kill.
The now dead meat just changed a tire, the flat and wrench still close by. This poor sap was oh-so-close to making it out of there but ran out of time when something nasty opened this person up like a can of beans. It stinks as if a septic tank exploded here.
"Oh my god, what happened? Stay away from it!" the woman barks to the husband. "Keep going, don't look!"
The noxious odour is too much for the emotionally drained hubby who throws up on his wife's expensive sneakers, drawing an instant verbal wrath. He begins to pant and his head throbs. He tells her he's about to poop his pants and runs to the bushes, leaving her standing alone with the mangled, mushy corpse.
He's always doing this to her, making things more difficult. The frustrated woman after a couple of minutes realizes he didn't bring any toilet paper, prompting her to reach their bag of supplies to grab the last half-roll. As she heads in his direction a horrific scream shatters the woods, followed by a monstrous howl. Oh no!
Are the dead lurking in the woods? They are almost everywhere, you know.
The woman drops the TP and bag and runs in justified terror, however still clutching the bag of cash. Whatever attacked her husband doesn't seem to be pursuing her, though, but she runs until she can't run anymore.
Now it's official that her trite life has completely fallen apart. What's worse, that car is working fine, keys in the ignition and trunk filled with supplies. Had she only known, right?
A couple of hours later she staggers with the money to another unbelievable scene in the night: a light beige motorhome surrounded by rotting bodies, lots of them.
What the hell is going on?
The vehicle's door is open and nobody is around. The RV is a perfect place to stay tonight. Needless to say, she doesn't get much sleep.
While that bit of unpleasantness unfolds, watching intently from a hillside are the bikers, wearing their usual colourful gear and helmets with visors down, samurai swords strapped to their backs. Preferring to remain unseen, they continue their information gathering. You just know that sooner or later they’ll join the festivities in this netherworld, but not now.
"Her luck ain't changin' but at least she has great hair," Headsnapper deadpans.
The following afternoon the woman resumes her desperate trek to somewhere, anywhere. It's stifling hot and the dehydration is overtaking her. Her head light, the lousy world starts spinning and she stumbles off the road, rolling down a dusty hill.
The money bag opens and bills fly everywhere.
That's great, just bloody great! What else will go wrong? Wanting a respite from her troubles, she crawls to a dead tree and ends up spending an hour or so laying under it, but unwilling to die. Later, she somehow gets back onto her feet even though the strength in her legs is almost gone, while her arms swing side-to-side.
"I don't deserve this, I don't!" she cries.
What a sad sight indeed as she finally decides to leave the money behind. It's getting pretty dark again, like stage lights dimming on a show that didn't deserve such an extended run.
She doesn't even know where the hell she's headed as she goes down a side road and then another, eventually reaching a long narrow path through an expansive field of overgrown grass.
Having her quota of hardship for the day, she then sees something excellent and a thrill rushes through her, like the time she recently cleaned out her mum's bank account, tightly holding onto the cash since the disaster, but this is a million times better....and she's rid herself of that brainless husband!
"Oh god, saved! Thank you, god, thank you, thank you, thank you!"
She has always prayed to the all mighty but that never stopped her and her husband from living a truly despicable, self-serving existence.
Now this lady of all people, who doesn't deserve it, catches yet another break.
It looks like a monastery surrounded by a formidable wall. It's obvious people are here as a light pierces the night from a beautiful tall church and she hears......Greek music? The woman, her face dirty and clothing tattered, continues to sway he arms as she stumbles toward salvation in the night but doesn't realize she's already been spotted by Father Michael in the guard tower.
The young priest sees his target through his night vision scope. Just another misshapen monster. Wanting to test out the silencer he dug out from the armoury, he gently squeezes the trigger and a big, bloody chunk of the monster's head blows off. Nice shot! He's bored and this is a nice way to pass the time.
"Hey, Father Michael, what are you doing?" Gareth asks the sharpshooter from down below. "You know what the cardinal said, the ammunition has to be saved. No more target practice, brother."
"Oh ya, forgot," Michael replies, embarrassed.
The hulking priest laughs. "I won't tell, brother, if you won't. Anyways, Father Dale is taking over the guard shift in a minute. Let's have wine and hear Seth do his thing on the banjo."
"Sounds pretty good brother. Everything is all good....ya. He's pretty damn good with the thing. I wish I knew how to play an instrument. My dad said he'd teach me the guitar, you know, but he kinda died. Bastard," Michael acknowledges. "I heard one of our newcomers knows how to play the guitar. We'll have to go find one."
Father Dale soon arrives to take over watch. Gareth and Michael try not to stare at the enormous, ugly brown mole with a thick black hair sticking out on the guy's neck.
Already having taken in Silent Dave and Leo, the priests rescued a group of survivors a couple of days ago from a broken down light beige RV. They eventually managed to bring back the motorhome too. Finding a guitar for Leo proved trickier.
Let's fast forward some months later. Yup, the dead are still everywhere but this place remains nice and safe.
A brooding Leo, sick of the cardinal's rank authoritarianism, wants to use the RV and some guns to go down to Seattle to get Kate but his requests are continually rejected.
Someone had left a book here on how to build wealth through rental properties and the dude has been keeping his mind occupied by reading it over and over until he just can't do it anymore.
His hands in his overall pockets, he paces in circles in his bedroom, feeling unhinged. It's hard to keep it all together, really. When he can sleep his dreams are getting more weird, which has him thinking they aren't weird at all but something normal he's viewing from a different angle.
Well, insanity is only a state of mind, no? Let's not even get into that objectionable dream he had the other night of he and Jesus drinking at the Sunstone Pub. The dude couldn't quite make out what the holy man was trying to tell him, something important, but does recall Jesus stiffing him with the bill.
Looking out his window at the soiled Canadain flag, he's missing Big Gregg big-time. The other day Leo found a rolled up Edmonton Oilers hockey team photo from the mid-80’s and decided to put it on his wall to add a little colour to this dreary abode and hopefully ease his vexation. He soon ripped it down after remembering he was a Calgary Flames fan.
But now he gets a welcome knock on his door from Gareth. The big guy picked up something on a scouting mission... a near new, custom made acoustic guitar in African mahogany. Sweet! He plays a little Girl From Ipanema for him.
Later that afternoon, a breezy and oddly cheerful Leo plays his new instrument for Hall's kids and a couple of other priests outside. This thing is quite therapeutic, so much so he doesn't even need weed.
Leo doesn't know what he's feeling, only that he can live a meaningful life, if not here, then elsewhere.
A crazy notion, really, slips into his rationale that he's been chosen by some higher power to lead the righteous. Perhaps it's not so crazy that he's the hand of the all mighty. It's looking like he'll have to take this place and, yes, it will probably get messy. Innocent people will perish but, hey, if every pork chop was perfect we wouldn't have hot dogs. For now, keep real quiet and wait.
The following evening, after spending a productive day helping Hall and his wife in the garden, Leo is summoned by Gareth for a meeting in the dining hall.
Several other priests including Seth are waiting for them with brimful machismo. The colourful cowboy walks up to the dude and puts his hand on his shoulder, offering a warm smile and news that's certainly music to Leo’s ears. It also gives him prophetic clarity.
"Leo, the cardinal has given the order. Wanna come with us? You told us about what happened to your groups back in town. Well, she must be stopped. Wanna come with us and kill Lillian?"
Story by Sandor Gyarmati
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