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A Genuine Baptist Downpour - Cid's Story.


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The rain came down in a freezing sheet, each droplet feeling as though it had attached to it a knife-point by which each crystalline drop could shear its way through skin and bone. The wind howled like a crazed banshee in the trees, swirling like some whirling dervish as it lifted small objects off the ground into flight. One such object, a small branch, smacked directly into Cid's face as he scoured the treeline for any signs of movement. He jumped at the sudden impact, heart leaping into his throat, but he simply chuckled mirthlessly upon finding that it was merely some harmless piece of shrubbery. The events of the past day had made him.... jumpy.

The rain picked up intensity somehow, nearing gale-force status with each passing moment. Cid was reminded of a phrase his mother always used to say about weather like this: "This ain't no mere Presbyterian shower, it's a genuine Baptist downpour!". The thought of his mother made him smile for a moment, and the act itself felt strangely alien to him. It felt like he was doing it for the very first time.

Cid lifted a shaking hand up to his brow to try and shield the water from his eyes as he scanned the horizon. There was no movement that he could see, and the light was still on in the small cottage some 300 meters off in which he had been staying before all hell broke loose. He spasmed, and a wave of nausea washed over his body, causing him to retch and rest his hands on the ground. They sunk into the sodden earth, his hands going into the mud up to his wrists. At that moment, Cid could give a shit if his hands were clean, and he squeezed his eyes shut and swallowed hard to try and beat back the sickness. He almost had to laugh, as not two days prior he had come to this remote corner of the world to kick a nearly life-long cocaine addiction, and here he was: a stranger in a strange land which was infested by zombies, fighting off the shakes and sickness associated with kicking his drug habit. Shit, at least there won't be any coke laying around that I might be tempted to use, he thought. Fuck if I couldn't use a bump right now, though... Another wave of nausea caused him to vomit a little, but the lack of any food in his stomach caused it to be a thin, bilous yellow stream. Breathing hard, Cid clenched his teeth and got up onto a knee, slinging the muddy slop from his hands as he looked back again toward the cottage.

Suddenly, a sickening sound emanated from some dark place in the forest behind him: a sort of foul, sucking sound mixed with an inhuman groan. Cid's heart jumped into his throat, and he instinctively dropped to his stomach as he scanned the area behind him. Clouds blanketed the night sky, causing the world before his eyes to be not more than a ghastly row of trees silhouetted by a purplish sky. Something shambled drunkenly to his left, walking with what seemed like some kind of stiff limp. A zombie, no doubt. Luckily, it was extremely dark, and it crossed Cid's mind that his coffee-dark skin certainly didn't hurt in his ability to be stealthy at a time like this. Utilizing the vast stores of knowledge he had built up by playing stealth-based video games and watching action films, Cid slowly got into a crouch and started making his way down the small hill and out of the forested area, deciding that heading directly across the clearing toward the cottage would be the path of least resistance.

That is, until his foot slipped and sent him rolling down the hill, his body slamming into rain-drenched earth as he went. It seemed like a small eternity before he rolled to a stop at the foot of the hill, and the wind was knocked out of him and his ears were ringing violently. Violently enough, indeed, that it nearly drowned out the gut-wrenching wail of the zombie in the forest, who, having discovered that some living thing was foolish enough to take a tumble down the hill, was currently enraged and running directly toward Cid's new position. Seeing this, all feelings of self-pity which may have taken hold at that moment were quickly replaced in favor of a much sharper, more prescient feeling: fear. Cid lurched to his feet, nearly slipped again as the mud below him churned underfoot, and he made his way as quickly as he could toward the cottage with the screaming wails of the zombie sounding dangerously close with each passing moment. Water and mud flew in a torrent as he ran, and the water flying into his face made it that much more difficult to see his way toward the house. Even so, he crossed the clearing and made it to the cottage somehow, and flung himself toward the front door....

...Only to find the handle locked. He had done so when that first zombie had come to the door the day before, beating on it with the same savage cruelty that possessed the one who now trailed him. He scanned the area frantically, painfully aware of the fact that he had paid scant attention to his surroundings when he had arrived the day prior to the outbreak. The metal door attached to a small shed on the other side of the yard banged and creaked as it swung on rusty hinges, and Cid sped toward it at a frantic pace, his lungs burning fiercely. The zombie behind him was closing, following with the same dogged determination he had had on so many evenings when finding drugs became near-impossible.

He reached the shed and swung the door open, but found the interior to be hopelessly dark. He got onto his hands and knees and felt around, looking for some object with which he might defend himself. Heedless of the noise he created in doing so, Cid gripped something wooden and pulled, causing a veritable mountain of scrap and garbage to heave and tumble. He had only a moment to look at what it was he had pulled out before the zombie was nearly on top of him: an old, weather-worn axe with a head that looked nearly ready to fall off should it be so much as looked at in a funny manner. Cid wheeled and leaped to his left along the fence-line that bordered the small cottage, causing the zombie to smash headlong into the shed's now closed door, staggering it for a moment. Cid came at the horrid creature with the axe then, bringing the weapon up and chopping downward with as much ferocity as he could muster. The head of the axe thunked against one of the outstretched arms of the creature, but the blunt edge of the tool kept it from getting embedded in it's fetid flesh. The axe, slippery in his hands, flew out of them upon the impact, causing Cid to reel and slip onto his back. The zombie was on him then, crushing into him with all its weight and strength. He could feel its warm, rotten breath as it began furiously flailing at him, landing powerful blows to Cid's body and face with its gnarled hands. So, this is it? he thought ruefully for a brief moment, this is how it all ends?

Suddenly, a shot rang out like some clarion bell, and the zombie crumpled in a heap on top of Cid. The undead had been a stout man in life, and so the weight of its body upon him squeezed the air out of him and crushed him into the muddy earth. Cid was vaguely aware of blood streaming from his face, and a sharp pain in his side was made ever more present by the mass of flesh lying on top of him. Even so, he dare not move a muscle - whatever was out there that had killed the zombie was still there somewhere, and Cid had no intention of finding out whether this person, or thing, was friendly or not. He kept still, breathing as little as possible so as not to cause the mound of flesh which obscured his form to move. Only a small portion of his face did he allow to stay uncovered, and rain spattered into his open eyes as he looked around him trying to gauge the location of whomever it was that had killed the zombie under which he now lay.

Seconds passed like decades, minutes - ages. The only sound after several moments which Cid could hear was the spattering of raindrops relentlessly pounding the earth. He decided then that it may be safe enough to move, and so he shoved the mass of flesh lying on top of him off to the side and slowly got to his feet, the many pains in his body now ringing out to him as if attached to some bell or chime. He breathed in, and the pain in his side blossomed like some bloody flower - likely one or more of his ribs was broken. Cid scanned his immediate environs one last time before slowly, carefully, heading toward the cottage again.

He fished around in his pants pockets for the key, and, upon finally finding it, unlocked the door and let himself inside, quickly locking the door behind him. Everything within was just as he had left it before he fled: his clothes, still packed away in a small suitcase; a carton of cigarettes and a lighter on the small kitchen table; his phone and iPod, now completely drained of power, lying next to an ashtray on the bedside table. He quickly flipped off the lights, allowed his eyes to adjust to his now-moonlit quarters, and moved quietly into the kitchen. He snatched a small pack of trail mix from out of the pantry, grabbed a pack of cigarettes and the lighter from off the kitchen table, and made his way into the bedroom. He stripped off his sodden clothes and changed into some fresh ones, sat down on the bed, and sighed deeply. His hands, still shaking, opened up the pack of cigarettes in a measured, robotic fashion, and he fished one from out of the pack and lit it, inhaling deeply. The moonlight flooded the room in a soft, cerulean glow, causing the swirling tendrils of smoke to churn gently on the still air. He sat there then, smoking his cigarettes and eating what little food was left in the house, eyes ever watchful and senses keen.

The absurdity of it all was enough to make Cid smile, but he didn't. He had already done that once today, and he didn't think he had anything left within him to force another one out.

--TBC--

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  • MVP

[[ Long stories are great. Gives us something to dig our teeth into. Have fun and keep going mate, see where the stories take you and see if it can influence your character.

I find that the more I write, the more in depth my interactions in game become.]]

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(( Yeah man, I intend to. I'll write some tomorrow, methinks. I've been enjoying the heck out of what you've written so far, too. Nice to have a community filled with such excellent storytellers and writers! Glad to be here. ))

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