I’m closing out the week with another brief story from PAX.
Only, this time, actually a story.
One of the things I love about board games is the way they sometimes yield cohesive plots. Reading between the die rolls, you can find narratives that are accidentally perfect.
And, because I love those stories, here’s a rendering of my run in The Last Night on Earth, during lunch at PAX today. I made small adjustments only to increase humor (or because I couldn’t remember exact details–it was 12 hours ago, which is an incredibly long time in PAX hours). Enjoy!
When the zombies clawed their way out of the ground, Sheriff Anderson was in the barn, with Jenny, the farmer’s daughter.
Hearing them just outside, the sheriff spun. “Jenny, you any good with a gun?”
“Uh . . . Yeah.”
The sheriff, without another word, handed her his revolver, certain he could find another one in the barn. He knew the farmer well enough–had feared a gun the man kept somewhere in this barn.
But only a moment into his search, Jenny pulled at the front door. “It’s locked!”
A sentence punctuated by a window shattering. Before the sheriff could blink, a zombie was on her, biting first, going down second, the revolver roaring in Jenny’s hand.
“I’m bit,” she winced. “Here, sheriff, take this . . . pitchfork.”
The sheriff blinked. “I . . . What?” he asked, finding it impossible not to eye the revolver he’d just given her.
“Here,” she said, pushing the pitchfork at him, eyes so earnest it hurt.
Sheriff Anderson took the pitchfork, began to run outside.
But Jenny called after him, wistful. “Sheriff . . . If I can heal this disease . . . If I survive . . . I’ll want that pitchfork back.”
Sheriff Anderson stared. “Uh . . .”
And Jenny looked out the window. “I gotta get to the high school.”
Anderson grumbled. “I’m gonna just . . . keep lookin’ for that gun.”
Moments later, Sheriff Anderson was outside, sparing Jenny only a glance. She was running into the cornfields. Of course she was.
It didn’t matter; the mansion in the middle of town was being overrun, and the sheriff knew that if they could keep enough zombies out, he and the other survivors could fortify–survive.
The sheriff, spitting, sweating, ran up to the side of the mansion and fired in through a window, taking down one of the zombies attacking the pastor inside.
Missing the zombie that came up from behind, clawing at his neck.
The pastor called for him to come inside, but maybe it was the pain. The fever. Maybe it was the zombie, still ambling toward him. The fact that the lights had gone out in the mansion.
Maybe it was Jenny, still headed toward the cornfields.
“Can’t trust ’em!” he shouted over the moaning and screaming. “Can’t trust no one!”
Grabbing a fire extinguisher and running into a pile of zombies felt like the best idea.
For a moment, it was. He managed to fend off five of them, pushing them away from the mansion.
But then, a moment later, all five were on him. He went down brawling, shouting like the maniac he’d immediately become.
And, not a second later, I was allowed to pick a new character from two possibilities . . . one of whom was Billy, Sheriff Anderson’s son. I had to pick him.
He was randomly given an item, which happened to be a shotgun (we immediately decided it was his father’s). Ready for vengeance, Billy entered the field, screaming a super typical, overdramatic, “Paw! No-o-o-o!”
Unfortunately, the game ended there, but I loved finding that story in a bunch of random die rolls.
And Sheriff Anderson, fist fighting zombies in a cloud of fire extinguisher smoke, already having gone totally insane after about ten in-game seconds, got the biggest laugh of the game.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this one.
Technically, the spree is over–I didn’t even start this post until Saturday. But, eh, it’s still my fifth post for the week, so I’ll take it.
If you’re a regular, thank you for the support. I’m gonna go enjoy the rest of my vacation, but I’ll be back bright and early Monday morning.
If you’re new, my name is Louis Santiago, and I’m a fantasy writer based in the Bronx. My short story, “Aixa the Hexcaster,” was recently published in Mirror Dance Fantasy. However, I’m still very much learning about the writing process–still trying to figure it out. Part of that means posting on here every weekday, even though I make absolutely no money from it. So, if you like what you read here and feel up to getting an email every weekday–a new post from me delivered right to your inbox–then please hit the Follow button at the bottom of this page. Because, even though all I get from this site is emotional support, that support means the world to me.
Either way though, thank you for passing by! I hope that you have an awesome weekend, wherever you are!
And, of course, as always, write well.