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Oyface

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead - The stories of William Ashby

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Oyface    340

"I'll Sleep When I'm Dead"

The stories of William Ashby

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I'm reviving this old thread since I need somewhere to put Ashby's stories. If you decide you can be bothered to read them, I hope you enjoy.
If you're not up for a long read, I suggest skipping the first one. I like the shorter ones better, anyway.
 

 

 

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Back in Norway, I was with a good group of people, about seventy or eighty of them. They started out about a hundred-and-fifty kilometers south from where I met them, along the Norwegian highway. Good old E6. I was walking in the middle of it one day, minding my own business, when this huge fucking convoy rolled up right behind me and offered me a ride. Like hell I was gonna decline any offer that meant I wouldn't be walking, so I joined up with them. Their "leader", Ricky, wasn't really much of a leader, but he did the best he could. He'd gotten the idea that since the infection started in Chernarus, that would probably be the first place people got it under control. And I gotta say, he wasn't that far off. I didn't really get to know the rest of them, but they took me in when our country was going to shit, so I owed them my life. Funny how little that means sometimes.

 

"The Convoy"

 

I remember how the biters turned their heads as we passed them. Every day we were on the road I saw them, standing there by the side of the road, growling and screaming at us as we drove by. Some of them occasionally tried to chase us, but obviously we were way faster than them. As for the rest of them, before they could even register that their dinner was driving away, we were gone. I was riding pretty far back, with a bunch of assholes I didn't really know that well. I remember I was getting real pissed at the guy in the seat next to me, whatever his name was. I can barely remember any of them now, my memory ain't exactly what it used to be. So, this guy was going on and on about how many infected he had killed, and all about his "amazing headshots" and "fucking sweet knife takedowns". Naturally, I had to speak up.

"Oh, for fucks sake, just shut the fuck up already. Can't you see that people are trying to rest? This trip is already killing us."

He looked at me as if I had just punched him straight in the nose, and flipped me off. "Why don't you have another drink, rock-star, and mind your own fucking business?"

"Why don't you shove that gun up your ass, and let me pull the trigger?"

The driver laughed from the front seat. The guy next to me produced an awkward half grunt/half cough, and lit up a cigarette. I grabbed the pack of cigarettes before he could put it away, (I was a bit of a jackass back then, not going to lie,) lit one up for myself, tossed the pack back to him, and grabbed my bottle. For a while after that, we just sat there in silence. As I saw the skyline of the city come closer, I wasn't sure if I should blame my nausea on my fear of death, or the alcohol.

-

I woke up with a jump as the car came to a stop. All the other cars had stopped in front of us, and soon enough I saw why. Our plan was to cross the bridge, but there was no bridge. By the look of it, someone had blown it up. I got out of the car and walked up to the front. Most of the others had already gathered up there, being loud as usual as they discussed just how amazingly fucked they were. Richard, the guy leading the convoy, swore and slammed his map down on the hood of a car.

I figured I'd leave them to figure it out, so I excused myself and walked back to my seat. Grabbing my binoculars, and my bottle, i made my way to the very end of the parked vehicles. By the looks of it, no one had remembered to keep an eye out behind us, leaving me to sit around until they decided to move again. I sat down, brought the binoculars up to my face, and looked down the road. Nothing. I took a sip from my bottle, and kept watching.

About half an hour later, the sun was starting to rise, and my bottle was starting to run on its last drop. I knocked back the last of it and got up on my feet, about to walk back to the others, when I heard a faint sound. I turned around, and had another look through the binoculars. The empty bottle shattered against the ground as it slipped out of my hand. A massive group of biters were making their way straight towards us, slowly stumbling down the road, making noises that made my ballsack shrivel up in fear. I stopped by my car and grabbed my knife before running up front to the others.

"There's a metric FUCKTON of infected coming down the road behind us." I lit up a cigarette as Richard stared at me. First in disbelief, then fear.

"Fuck ... Fuck. Fuck! Okay. Alright. This is what we'll do. Everyone, start up your vehicles, make a wall. Jarmo is out looking for a way over, he told me over the radio that there's no way out except back. We're going to have to fight these fuckers." They all stared at him or each other for a few seconds, not moving a muscle. "What the shit are you waiting for, people? Now! Fucking get to it!"

People muttered in disbelief and disagreement, but got in their cars nonetheless. Eventually, the main street was blocked off by an RV, two vans, and a few sedans. The two other streets on either side were partly blocked off with big trucks and more sedans. All in all it was a decent defense. Richard climbed the RV, watching the horde getting closer. I couldn't hear what he was saying, but I saw him talk into his radio, and a few seconds later shots started ringing out the distance, as a few of the infected fell dead. No doubt, Richard had signaled Jarmo to open fire. I saw Richard pull out his rifle before I turned back to my alley. I was positioned on the left, supposed to call out if anything moved outside the blockade. I heard the front lines opening fire from outside the blockade. Those who had volunteered to go outside had gotten the biggest guns, and they sure made the noise to prove it. Soon after, the right blockade opened fire from across the street. Richard was barking orders over the radio, as if anyone could hear him over the sound of the poor man's version of a firing squad.

Seeing movement in the corner of my eye, I turned to aim down the alley. I quickly dealt with the infected walking towards me, with a quick bullet to the head. Moments later, the alley was swarming with infected who were drawn by the gunshot. I swore quietly, bolted back behind one of the cars, and opened the door. I put down two infected, jumped into the car, and forced the hand brake down. That idiot from the car seemed to understand what I was doing, as he ran over and started pushing the car towards the edge of the blockade. I fired a few more shots, piercing the window, and put down three more as the car hit the truck in front of it, successfully blocking the infected from us.

The guy climbed the car and took aim with his submachine gun, but half a mag later, the infected were still coming on too strong. The car started rocking as they piled up against it, all reaching up for the idiot who was trying to put them down. My potshots here and there weren't helping much, but at least I was still alive. The noise coming from the front lines had now turned significantly lower, leading me to the assumption that casualties were already happening. I climbed the big truck and kept firing, but no matter how many I killed I knew i couldn't finish this with just my pistol. I had tried to count my shots and I knew I only had about five or six bullets left, at most. I pulled the slide back, caught the bullet in the air, and put it in my front pocket, as I silently wished I had brought my bottle of liquor. I looked down at the idiot.

"They just keep coming! We can't just stand here like easy dinners!" I yelled out to him. "We need more firepower. Run over to Richard, tell him we need more people, and more guns!"

He nodded and leaped down from the car, sprinting towards the other blockade. I looked over to the right blockade, where they seemed to be in trouble. Biters were flooding in from between the blockade, and people were scattering as the infected fed on the slow. Some were trying to hold the line, but they were soon overpowered. I saw the idiot reach Richard, exchange a few words, and point towards me before getting a look of pure fear on his face. As Richard ordered two people to assist me, I looked down to see the fault in my plan. While disabling the hand brake had allowed me to move the car, it had also given the biters the same opportunity. As the car rolled further and further back, the first few walked inside their defenses, quickly followed by his compadres. 

I heard someone open fire, and saw the first few go down, but it was no use. They had already swarmed inside, surrounding me in the process. I stayed low, quietly praying to the lord below that they would be distracted by the people trying to save me. And sure enough, before too long, they were all down, except for the idiot, and Richard, who turned and climbed the RV again. I looked around in panic, and saw a fire escape, just close enough for me to jump on. I could lie and say I hesitated before leaving all my friends behind, but no, I jumped without a second thought. As I climbed the first few floors, I looked down and saw Richard fighting side to side with the idiot. The idiot was down to swinging his bat, turning biter brains into jelly, one at a time. For a moment I even thought they might make it out of there.

That was until I saw the two walking behind them. Just as one of them was about to launch at Richard, the sound of Jarmo's rifle pierced the air. The bullet went straight through the head of the biter, and hit the idiot in the shoulder. My guess is, Jarmo sacrificed him in order to save Richard. The idiot went down, of course, and the other biter was on top of him soon enough, biting down on his face. Richard turned with a look of disgust, and took aim. One pest removal and one mercy kill later, the biter and the idiot were dead. 

I took one last glance at the street below me, watching my friends desperately fight for their survival. I holstered my pistol and started running across the roof, too afraid to face the guilt of what I was currently doing. Before too long, I was gone, and for all I knew, so were they.

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Russia was no Disneyland. It was crawling with Russians, but that shouldn't be a surprise. They're tenacious fucks, those reds. But like I was saying, times were tough. Surviving wasn't easy in the first place, and it sure took a while for things to get better for me, on my own up there. Like most of us have at some point, I hit rock bottom. Finding food was getting harder, but at least there was still alcohol. The liquor might have fucked me over once or twice in the past, leading me down the wrong road and occasionally messing with my head, but luckily we were able to bury the hatchet for good, and became the best of friends.

 

"Dazed and Confused"

 

I looked down at my glass as the whiskey poured down and filled it to the brim. Some real old-school Led Zeppelin was playing over the speakers, in a bar that would've looked abandoned if it hadn't been for the two of us sitting there on opposite sides of the counter. I gave the other man a nod as I grabbed the glass, chugged nearly half of it, and almost puked right there in front of the man that had been kind enough to offer me the free drink. 

I coughed as I picked myself back up again, lit up a cigarette to even out the taste, and grinned at him. "Even when I drink every chance I get, I still can't get comfortable with the taste. Besides, I'm really more of a rum and coke kind of guy."

He laughed as he poured one for himself, which he got down with relative ease before filling his glass again. I looked at the bottle as he placed it back on the bar.  I didn't recognize the label, but I know the word "whiskey" when I see it. I forced myself to have another sip before I put the glass down.

"I know what you mean. But, believe me; the taste is nothing compared to the hangover you will have tomorrow." he said as he raised his glass to have another sip, probably to prove a point. 

"Every day starts with a hangover now, if I can help it. I don't exactly feel like living sober these days."

He frowned as he put his glass down, and looked at me as if I was a child who didn't know jack shit about anything. "You foreigners, always complaining and whining about everything. You have a drink in your hand, do you not? You are sitting here, still alive, are you not? Stop crying about it. It is not so bad."

"Is this really enough for you?" I looked back at him as I grabbed my glass and forced down some more of the whiskey.

"Enough? My friend .." he said as he leaned across the counter, his mouth widening with a grin, showing off a row of rotten teeth. "We live in a world where everything is free. Anything we want is ours for the taking, and you sit here feeling sorry for yourself? Good God, man, take a closer look around. The sun is shining bright in the sky, and you are enjoying a nice drink along with some decent music. Now, shut the hell up already, and finish up your-"

I instinctively jolted back as he lunged at me, snarling and biting at the air where I had been just a moment ago. My glass hit the floor just about the same time the back of my head did, shattering into a thousand pieces, and for a few seconds the only coherent thought in my head was "what a waste of perfectly good liquor".

Eventually I came to my senses, and clumsily got back on my feet. The music was gone. Was it ever there? Ignoring my other thoughts, I turned my attention back on the infected man. Seemingly stuck to something behind the counter, he helplessly stretched his arms out towards me in an attempt to get an easy meal. The fact that we were a good two meters apart didn't seem to discourage him.

"Fuck, man, was that really necessary? I thought we were bonding, here."

I grabbed the leg of the now broken chair I'd been sitting on, and pushed him back so I could grab my cigarette from the ashtray. I saw no point in leaving behind the remaining whiskey either, so I grabbed the bottle as well and shoved it into my coat pocket. As I stepped back and dropped the piece of broken furniture, he leaned across the counter again and made a series of strange gargling noises.

"Don't take that tone with me. This isn't my fucking fault." I spat at him, and for some stupid reason it made me feel better. "Prick .." 

He replied with a series of noises I'm not entirely sure how to describe with words.

"Alright, alright, if you insist ... I'll clean it up." I took my knife out of my pocket, took a step closer, and with one swift movement I ended his miserable life right there.

"Thanks for the drink." I said as I pulled my knife out from his head, and made my way out the door.

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After I decided to keep heading for Chernarus, I started getting bored. Sure, I had a goal, but the process of reaching that goal didn't lead to much fun. Just walking. Every. Fucking. Day. Half the time I didn't even know where I was, it's a miracle I got here at all. But even so, I kept walking until I found myself by this huge mall. The soles of my shoes were pretty much gone at this point, so I decided "fuck the risks, I'm going in", and went to do some shopping. Turned out to be one of the best days of my post-end-of-the-world-life so far.

 

"Come On Baby, Light My Fire!"

 

"Hello?"

I knocked on the glass, peeking through one of the windows. The place seemed empty, but that didn't really mean shit. I shattered a window with my crowbar and stepped inside, and I'm sure I don't have to tell you what happens when we make noise in this day and age. The first two went down with one bullet each, the third I shot in the leg. It started crawling at me, which kinda grossed me out back then. Still, I walked over to him to get a closer look. He wasn't exactly fast, so I put my crowbar down like a cane right in front of me and watched him for a bit. He crawled head first into the crowbar, too stupid to move around it. His face kept rubbing up against the crowbar until his rotting skin just kind of rubbed off. His face wasn't much to look at anymore, so I moved around and stepped onto his back, shoes pointing at his shoulders as he squirmed helplessly under my feet. I tossed the crowbar in the air, caught it, and held it like a golf club. 

"How does Tiger do this shit .." I said to myself as I started swinging it from side to side, before I finally brought it down with full force, hitting it right on the side of the head. He went quiet after that, but I'm sure that's no surprise.

After my round of golf, I went further into the mall. Now it really did seem empty, which just made me more worried. But fear wasn't gonna get in the way of my new shoes, so I kept going.

-

After shopping for some new shoes, I decided to take a walk. Most the shops had been broken into and raided, but nobody went for the clothing, apparently. I found myself a costume store, and picked out a nice cowboy outfit that came with a fake revolver. I ditched the clothing and grabbed the hat and the revolver before I moved to the next shop. Some sort of fancy clothing place, it seemed pricy. I went through at least five different leather jackets (with matching belt buckles) before I found the jackpot. 

Some poor bloke had died right over by the underwear section, and apparently he was setting up to torch the place. He had assembled some sort of bonfire in the corner with clothing, bags, wood, and just a bunch of shit piled up almost all the way to the roof. There were gas cans all over, most of them empty, but some still had juice in them. Now obviously, when life hands you a big pile of nice juicy lemons, you set fire to the lemons and run like hell, am I right? So, I poured the gas onto the junk, kicked another can to spill it on the floor, and stepped back to light up a cigarette and just enjoy my expectations for a moment, before I tossed my smoke onto the floor. I thought about my first girlfriend as I watched the poor dead guy catch fire, which I guess is kind of weird. I'm pretty sure it was unrelated, anyway.

*BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP*

The god damn fire alarm. We can't get TV, internet, or even a hot fucking shower once in a while, but fuck me if the fire alarm wasn't still kicking it. "At the very least, there were no working sprinklers" I thought to myself as I ran out of the burning shop.

The alarm was still going off when I got back on the road, and every biter in the area was going for it. They were pouring out of the woods, but I took my chances and waited. By the time the sun started setting, it turned out to be worth it as the whole place was going up in smoke and falling apart, with the constant stream of biters only adding fuel to the magnificent fire. 

I think I might have shead a tear at some point, but don't tell anybody.

Edited by Oyface

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Nocheluz    122

I like! Hard to tell if he imagined the convo or it was part of his mental state. Good premise. I hope you feel like doing more :)

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Guest   
Guest

It will always be called "The Liquor Cabinet' to me <3

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Oyface    340

I like! Hard to tell if he imagined the convo or it was part of his mental state. Good premise. I hope you feel like doing more :)

Thank you! :) Who knows, maybe a bit of both? Either way, he definitely wasn't right in the head at that point.

It will always be called "The Liquor Cabinet' to me <3

<3

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Oyface    340

Updated the OP with a couple more stories, necroing the hell out of this thread. Might get some actual thread art at some point too, but I make no promises. Any volunteers?

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Oyface    340
3 hours ago, Cloudy said:

This , this is art.

 <3

 

Thanking you! 

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