The Civil Dead (The Descent)

The Civil Dead (The Descent)

A Story by Colton Warr

The fifth installment to my "The Civil Dead" series. Joe and Addison escape Charleston but at what cost? Cole nd Sci are followed. And the Cursed make a move...Reader discretion is advised.


The Civil Dead

A Short Fiction Series by Colton Warr

“The Descent” 

Charleston, South Carolina. Several weeks after…

It was the type of night that someone could disappear during and not a soul would notice. At least, not until the morning sun rose to relieve everything. A thick and syrup-like fog hung in the night. It was perfectly intertwined with the various buildings, taverns, shops and homes of Charleston. It was clearer now than it ever had been…Charleston was no longer Charleston. 

“Can you walk?” 

Joe Ferris asked as he caught Addison Belle. The two looked weak. Their faces bled with both blood and insanity. 

“Addison, I said, can you walk?” 

Addy Belle quickly gathered herself as she stumbled to a more normal stance. She took a hand up to her nose and proceeded to wipe the slowly running blood away from it. 

“I’ve told you. I’m just fine.” 

The two looked at each other for just a second before Joe’s focus returned to the task at hand. 

“Well, sweetheart, I don’t believe you for a second. Quite frankly, I do not care, at the moment. If you can walk or not doesn't really matter. If you can’t….” 

Addison interjected. 

“You’ll what? Leave me here to rot and die while you escape to your little hideout in the islands? I know your true intentions, Joe Ferris. And they’re s**t.” 

Joe Ferris grabbed her by her shoulders. 

“I’m afraid that you don’t know my true intentions, Miss Addy Belle.” 

He was locked within a daze. He stared deep into her soul. A few more seconds passed and Mr. Ferris returned. He shook his head. 

“If you continue to stall us you may very well know all of my intentions very soon.” 

All of the sudden something came over Addy and she immediately bent over to the ground and began to puke. Joe looked on in disgust as he swallowed some of his own. Something then caught Joe’s attention out of the corner of his eye. It was one of them. No, two. Now three. The dead were now just one building over as Joe could see their movement through the windows of the building that separated them. He reached down and grabbed Addy’s now bloodied blonde hair. He violently pulled her to an upright position and placed his hand over her mouth. Addy quickly left a state of confusion and entered one of petrified. The small group of Cursed continued to walk, aimlessly, passed where they were now crouched. Joe quietly shushed Addison. The group of Cursed continued to move, slowly. Addison felt it again. She wouldn't be able to hold it in. Joe saw what was happening and covered Addy’s mouth with his entire arm as if she was in a headlock. Addison threw up again, right into Joe’s arm. The sound was muffled, however. The group of dead figures continued on until they were out of sight. Joe removed his arm from Addison’s mouth. After she gave it a wipe with her own dress, she glanced up at Joe.

“I apologize. If you hadn't made me eat-“

Her sentenced was cut short by Joe’s hand. He backhanded her right across the face. Addison only had a second to react before he grabbed her by her hair and the two continued on toward their task. They quickly and quietly navigated the foggy streets of the city. There were Cursed everywhere. They would roam the streets as if they were on sentry duty. Joe and Addison reached the edge of a large street. They stopped behind a building and Joe peered out from the side of it. What he saw frightened him to his core. There was a huge gathering of figures slowly roaming back and forth. They appeared to be only in one area on the entire street. Joe looked closer and realized why. 


Joe scooted back and leaned his back up against the side of the building as he collected his thoughts. Addison stayed silent as she, again, tried to keep something down. Joe could tell his vision was blurred. He felt weaker and weaker as the night dragged on. 

“You hear that?” 

Addison listened closely. She had to get passed the occasional growl from the Cursed in the streets. She heard it. 


Joe turned to her. 

“The port must be right on the other side of those buildings. You can make it. You can get there. Take a deep breath for me. Let me see it. In and out, now.” 

Addison was scattered and afraid. She tried to comply but her breathing seemed to be off. 

“Addison, breath. We are so close, darlin’. I can get you safe.” 

Addison finally took a deep breath before she spoke. 

“I seem to be wonderin’ if I’ll ever be safe with you.” 

Joe Ferris felt his blood boil. Now, he was the one who took a deep breath. 

“I ain’t asking you to spend your life with me. I am simply asking you to cross the road with me.” 

He felt as if that sentence, alone, was kinder than he would ever want to be to this girl again. Addison took another deep breath. Her thoughts raced as her visor began to blur. Her body ached and her heart pounded. Neither of them being in a state to be alive, yet here they were. Addison stood up. 

“I don’t need your help crossin’ the road, Joe Ferris.” 

She then began to walk out into the road. Joe reached out and grabbed her arm but she turned and smacked it away. She then began to walk into the street. Joe Ferris rose to his feet as he drew his pistol and took aim at Addison Belle. His head was foggy just as the streets were. He shook his head and blood and sweat fell from it. He holstered his pistol. She was now almost to the other side. 

“F**k it.” 

Joe Ferris took off after Addison. He was in a full sprint across the road that had maybe twenty Cursed on it. Addison heard the sound of his feet as he ran and took off herself. Just as they both made it to the other side Joe grabbed a hold of Addy’s hair and slammed her into the dirt and blood, which currently filled every street and alley in the town. He flipped her over so her face was toward his as he was on top of her. He jammed one of his hands over her mouth and pressed her face into the ground. He then turned and looked behind him to see if any of the figures heard or saw them. Seconds passed as Addison struggled to breathe. She tried to dig her nails into his arms but it was as if he could not feel it…or had chosen not to. After he was satisfied he turned back to Addison.

“If you ever thrust my life into danger like that again, make no mistake sunshine, I will kill you.” 

Addison’s eyes swelled up as tears began to flood them. 

“And to ensure such a rash and foolish action does not happen again…” 

Joe unsheathed his knife from his belt and held it at the ready. 

“…I will, only for the moment, take away your ability to be mobile.” 

And with that, Joe Ferris plunged his blade into Addison’s calf. She could not bare it. She clawed and screamed but Joe’s hand on her mouth blocked the sound. The pain was too much for her to bare in the weak state that she was in. And after several seconds, she lost conscientiousness and fell limp. Joe took note of this and removed his hand from her mouth. This was no act. Joe lightly slapped her face to no avail. She was out cold. Joe then noticed that the low growls and rumbles of the dead in the street were growing louder. He turned behind him again and could make out the shadows of a couple of figures thanks to a flame which flickered near the road. He then turned back to Addison. He, now, felt the full effect. He could barely see and all of the sudden his body grew weak and tired. He shook his head and tried to snap out of it. 

“Come on, Joe. Use that head of yours!” 

Eastern Kentucky. 1862. 

“I do not get why we travel at night.” 

It was the thick African dialect of Sci. He and Cole had been riding for weeks now. They had both changed attire. They both had long coats which sat overtop of various light jackets and shirts. They both had a bandanna around their neck. Cole still wore his Cavalry hat. He did, however, make some minor adjustments to it to make it seem not so Army like. They both had found horses in their travels, which greatly increased the speed in which they were now moving. The two men bounced up and down on their saddles as the two horses slowly strutted. 

“It does me well to see you in a saddle again, Sci.” 

Sci took a moment to take in the nice comment and then continued to scan his surroundings. 

“You think I would never ride again?” 

Cole smiled as he listened to his closest friend try harder and harder to speak English correctly. 

“I just didn't think you would be riding again so soon, is all.” 

“A man must do what a man must do to survive.” 

Cole smiled again. 

“You and I will make it out of this war, Sci. You hear me? We will get another chance at all of this. We will settle down with wives and families. We will tend to the fields during harvest and buy and sell at the local markets in town. We will get to see our children grow up to marry. We will soon become our dreams, my friend. 

A few seconds of silence passed before Sci spoke. 

“For you. But, for me?” 

Cole lost his smile as he knew where Sci was going. 

“You are a white man and will have white children. I am not white. No home for me now in your country. Why will there be one soon?” 

Cole stopped his horse in its tracks and allowed Sci to ride up along side of him. Sci then came to a stop as well. 

“Yeah, Sci, I don’t know. I wish I could sit atop this horse and tell you that things are going to be different for you.” 

Cole felt a tear or two develop in his eyes. 

“I wish I could tell you that you have a place here with us. Because you deserve one. You deserve to be my neighbor and sit at my table and eat with my family more than half of these white men.” 

Cole turned away from Sci as he continued. 

“What saddens me is that I cannot tell you anything. I can’t even tell you that a Northern victory in this war will result in your freedom….when has killing people ever brought about the change we need?” 

Cole sniffled as he finished. 

“This war isn't even two years old and I've already lost faith in it. I question if the men I’ve killed truly deserved to die.” 

A few silent seconds passed. 

“You come visit me. You sit at my table with my family. We can still be free in our own way. ’Til the world catches up.” 

Cole then grabbed a hold of his reigns and spurred his horse. 

“The world shouldn't have to catch up to what is right and just.” 

The two men continued on through the darkened woods. Every now and then the moon could be see through a small opening in the dense trees. 

“So…why do we travel at night?” 

Cole smiled as his friends question provided some relief. 


Just as Cole was about to speak, a flock of birds took off to their left. The two men drew their pistols and peered into the woods. 

“See anything?” 

Sci looked deep into the trees in front of him. 

“There is a figure.” 

Cole quickly came to a decision. 

“Let’s ride. Quickly, to the north.” 

Charleston, South Carolina.  

Joe Ferris walked with a heightened pace as he drug Addison Belle behind him. He carried her by her wrist as the rest of her body was dragged through the dirt. He bandaged her calf up with a piece of his shirt to keep her from bleeding out. He would stop to check on it every few feet to ensure that it did not rip off. He and the limp body of Addy arrived at the edge of the city. He dropped her wrist as he scanned the port and the collection of ships it possessed. 

“I told you we would make it.” 

He said with a smile as he turned to Addy. She was still not present. 

He turned back to the water. 

“Alright, Joseph. You have made your way to the ocean but you know nothing of sailing a vessel. Whatever will you do now?” 

He leaned Addison up against the side of a dock pole as he began to take in the area. Before he left, he looked at the closed eyelids of Addison Belle. 

“If you, by chance, awaken while I’m gone…wait for me right here.” 

He smiled after he said it. Addy was still out cold. Joe Ferris then took off towards the closest ship. He noticed that the dead were not near the ocean. They patrolled the streets in droves but were not near where the water touched the earth. Joe used this to his advantage and moved quicker than normal. He boarded the first vessel and took a look around its top deck. No signs of life. 

“Well, Joe, if you were a captain of a ship and knew what the hell you were doing would you still be here?” 

He whispered to himself as he glanced into what was likely the captains quarters. Nothing. He looked back to where he left Addison. She was still there. He grinned before he exited the first ship and moved on to the second. He searched the second top deck as he latched on to a sliver of hope that he would run into a captain. No sign of anyone. 

“There has got to be a way out of hell, right?” 

He then glanced back to where Addison was. Only this time, something was different. There were several figures slowly walking up to her. Five to be exact. Joe drew his pistol. He felt dizzy as his head began to spin. 

“I’ll shoot these s***s, one heart at a time.” 

Joe Ferris stumbled off of the ship and began to head toward the figures. Addison still sat knocked out and upright against one of the poles on the pier. The five figures now surrounded her as they slowly mumbled to one another. As Joe arrived on the scene, he noticed they were humans. This did not change a thing in his mind at the moment. He grabbed a hold of the closest one and held a knife in his left hand up against the man's neck as he pointed, with his right hand, his pistol at the group. 

“If you touch her, I will remove your bottom limbs and leave your bodies in the streets for the dead to feast on.” 

Every person turned to Joe in shock at the comment. There were three men and two women in the group. 

“A survivor!” One of them spoke. 

“My good man, we are not the enemy in this city. We are survivors. As must be you, right?” 

Joe shook his head as he tried to restore his blurred vision. He kept his pistol fixated on the group as he examined each one. Three men and two women. 

“No one survived.” 

One of the men took a step toward another as he spoke to the group. 

“He’s deranged. Like Marvin was. He isn't on the tracks right now.” 

Joe gripped his hostage tighter. 

“Who in the hell are you besides the son of a w***e?” 

The man deflected the comment and remained calm. 

“I am Simon. I am a doctor here…well, was a doctor here. I can help you, both of you. You are both damaged in more ways than one.” 

“Shut up, you son of a b***h, and don't you ever talk about her again.” 

Another man in the group stepped forward and spoke. 

“Easy, soldier. You ain’t never trained for this, I get that. I wasn't neither. But we have a shot and a half of gettin’ out of this hellhole alive.” 

“Unless one of you s***s is a captain than we are all likely to be eaten alive where we stand. It’s just a matter of time.” 

The same man raised his voice and took another step forward. 

“Soldier! I am a captain. That there blockade runner with the rusted funnel is mine. Pull your s**t together and we can all help each other.” 

Joe shook his head again as he tried to reestablish focus. 

“Quiet, you fool! They’ll hear us.” 

Simon snapped at the captain and then pointed at Addison. 

“I can assure you, I am a doctor and can make her better. But to have a chance at that we need to get out of here. You understand?” 

They all glanced at Joe, all on edge as they awaited his response. He finally lowered his weapons and freed the third man from his grip. 

“Lead the way, cap’n.” 

Eastern Kentucky.    

    Cole and Sci raced through the dark woods atop their two horses. Various branches and limbs brushed across their faces as they rode with haste until they felt satisfied they had out ran whatever was moving about in the woods. They both rode hard for what seemed like an eternity before they were halted by something in their path…a cliff. 

“You see that down there? There’s a building.” 

Sci scanned the buildings surroundings as Cole spoke.

“It’s lit up. There could be people down there.” 

Cole seemed relieved, at first.  

“Are people a good thing for us right now?” 

Cole thought the situation through. There could be people down there, yes. But, given their current circumstances of being runaways from the army, perhaps it would depend on what kind of people are down there in order to decide if it was good or bad. 

“Alright, the way I see it is this. If whoever you saw back there is hunting us for leaving then anybody that is inside of that cabin down there is considered friendly.” 

“And if I saw nothing?” 

Cole paused for a few seconds as he glanced over to Sci. 

“I’m not willing to stick around and find out. Besides, even if whoever is following us comes a-knockin down there, they won’t kill us. Not with others around.” 

Sci stared at him blankly. 

“Meaning, we would have a chance. A better one than if we continued to ride. Our horses are tired and so are we. We’ve been riding for two days straight now.” 

Sci took in a deep breath. 

“Let’s go see if they are friendly or not.” 

And with that, the two men rode down to the shack. It turned out to be a tavern, of sorts. A small keep where weary travelers could rest and quench their thirst before heading back out. Cole and Sci rode up to the front of the building. They dismounted their horses and tied them to a post. Before they entered, Cole stopped Sci. 

“Remember, We’re runaways now. We may not see a friendly face out here for awhile.” 

Sci nodded and with that the two men entered the tavern. It was very small in size. There were only five or six tables. Add in the bar stools and the place could only fit about twenty. The barkeep was an older fellow. Any hair he had on his head was gray. He had his back turned to Cole and Sci. 

“Don’t bother closin’ the door behind ya. I’m all shut down here. Sorry, it’s late and I need sleep too, you know?” 

After a few seconds passed the door closed. The old man turned around to see Cole and Sci in front of him. 

“You boys deaf?” 

Cole and Sci stood and stared at the old man. 

“We’re stopping in from Tennessee. We’re heading up to D.C. It’s been a long and wild ride so far. How about just one drink, sir?” 

The old man continued to close up shop. 

“No, sorry. I have some newborn calfs to get back to. If you fellas head about 10 miles down the road you’ll find a small town nestled up against a creek. They have a restin’ place if you need it.” 

Sci nudged Cole as the old man spoke. When he had Cole’s attention, he nodded to the window. Cole peered through the dirty glass. Three riders had just ridden up to the tavern. The men began to dismount their horses. 

“They were much closer than we thought.” 

Cole and Sci whispered as the old man continued on about his farm. 

“No more runnin’, Cole.” 

Cole scanned the tavern as him and Sci moved away from the windows. 

“We’re bottled up here, my friend.” 

“Do we let them take us?” 

Cole turned to the old man as he had ceased to talk. 

“You boys bring friends?” 

Just as the words left his mouth a shot rang out and a bullet crashed through the window and slammed right into the barkeep's stomach. Cole and Sci dropped to the ground. A barrage of shots rang out in the night and continued to tear through the wooden tavern. Cole and Sci flipped over two tables to create another barrier. Bullets whizzed by them and tore through the tables as the barrage continued. The two ex-soldiers drew their pistols and prepared to return fire. Cole spoke. 

“Well, I’d say the whole prisoner situation is a no.” 

Charleston, South Carolina. 

The group of survivors were now aboard “The Sprint’er” a Confederate blockade runner that was stationed in Charleston. It was a three-masted vessel with one large iron steam exhaust in the center of the ship. Joe Ferris and the doctor, Simon, were near the side of the ship and kept watch while the captain and the rest of the survivors began to feed the steam engine. Addison still sat, perched and knocked out, up against the side of the ships railing. Simon and Joe did not speak as they stood and peered into the city. Smoke rose from most of the buildings. The streets were littered with figures. They roamed from one end of the city to the next. As if they were awaiting something. 

“I can treat her if you’d like. I can examine her calf.” 

Joe turned to the doctor and glared. 

“You will do no such thing.” 

Joe then returned his gaze to the city. 

“What’s your name?” 

Joe shook his head as he tried to come to his senses. 

“My name is none of your concern.” 

The doctor continued to implore. 

“The captain called you a soldier and you responded. What are you doing so far from the fight? Are you on leave?” 

Joe had had enough. He walked right up to the doctor's face. 

“My part in the war is none of your damned business. Now, if treating her will shut you up then, by all means, treat away.” 

Joe then turned back to the city. Simon stared at Joe for a few seconds and then turned his attention to Addison. He padded down his pants and began to look around for something. 

“I seem to have misplaced my mobile kit.” 

Joe ignored the doctor. Simon then stepped back to the side of the ship and spotted it. 

“That’s it there. I must have left it on the ground when we were checking to see if this girl was alive.” 

Joe turned to him and grinned. 

“Don’t be shy, now. Go and get it.” 

The doctor took in a deep breath. 

“You’ll cover me, then?” 

“Should be no reason at all to cover you. Go and get it. Fast.” 

Simon then exited the vessel and began to walk towards his kit by way of the pier. As he was about halfway, a low grinding sound rumble from the steam ship. Black smoke began to puff from the funnel. Joe turned to the captain with a look of distress. 

“We must hurry, get those sails down. Where is the doctor? Where is Simon?” 

Joe then turned to Simon and he reached down to grab his kit. Joe peered behind where Simon was and noticed movement. A lot of it. 

“Well, my good captain, it appears your rusted funnel has garnered the attention of the entire population of dead in Charleston.” 

The two men gazed as a horde of Cursed moved towards the ship. 


The captain called out to the doctor as the ship began to move. 

“I’ll make sure he gets onboard, you get that anchor of yours up. Now!” 

The captain did not like the idea of taking an order from Joe, but he complied anyways. Joe then turned back to Simon. 

“Run, you son of a b***h!” 

Simon turned to look behind him only to see the image of a hundred dead, blood foamed mouths moving towards him. 

“Oh no. Oh God.”

Simon took off for the ship. 

“Anchor is up. The ship is movin’.” 

The Sprint’er slowly started to peel away from the dock. 

“Slow up on those sails so he can get back!” 

Joe raised his hand. 

“Nay, I have him. Keep the vessel cookin’.” 

The captain grabbed Joe by the arm. 

“I am the captain of this ship.” 

Joe grabbed the captain back and drew his pistol. 

“That may be so, but I have this and you do not. Keep this vessel moving.”

Joe then turned to Simon as a horde of the dead ran behind him. They were catching up. The ship had almost left the dock by the time Simon reached it. His previous way of entering the ship was no more, so he ran to the end of the pier and lunged for the ship’s railing. His hand slipped from it and he began to fall. Just before he did, Joe Ferris reached out and grabbed ahold of his hand. The captain saw the horde at the docks and took several steps back in disbelief. Just as Joe was about to pull Simon up, a member of the Cursed lunged for the doctor. The dead figure dug his nails into the doctors back and latched onto him. Joe saw this play out in front of him. Just then, another dead figure lunged and attached itself to the first. Simon let loose a scream as the two figure dug their nails deep into his flesh. The first then sunk its teeth into the doctor. With more dead at the ready to jump, Joe immediately knew what he had to do. He withdrew his knife from its sheath. 

“Help me! Please!” 

Simon continued to scream as the two Cursed tore the very flesh from his back. 

“I’m sorry. You were never built for any of this.” 

And with that, Joe Ferris stabbed his knife into Simon’s wrist. Simon lost all feeling in it and let go of Joe’s hand. He immediately fell to the water as more of the dead jumped into feast on the now easy meal. The water turned a dark red. Joe looked down at his hand and noticed he still had a hold of Simon’s hand. This image shook him and almost made him return to his normal state. The captain and the rest of the survivors were in shock. 

“Joe, did you get it?” 

Joe immediately turned at who spoke. He could recognize that soft southern draw anywhere. 


She had risen to her feet during what had just happened. A scream cut the moment short. Joe turned to see what had alarmed one of the survivors. One of the Cursed had made its way onto the ship. Joe tossed the hand overboard and withdrew his pistol. 

“Everyone would be wise to stay back. I can take care of you.” 

The figure was motionless as it stood. It stared with its black eyes at Joe as he carefully stepped closer to it. The group looked on in suspense. Joe then stopped. 

“Whenever you’re ready, darlin’.”

And with that, the dead figure chomped down its jaw and took off towards Joe. He took aim with his pistol and squeezed off a round. The bullet hit its chest but not its heart. Joe grew frustrated. He braced himself. The figure then lunged at him with both of its arms. Joe collected its arms with one hand and pressed his pistol directly up to the Cursed’s heart. Joe gazed into the black eyes of the dead. He almost couldn't look away as it tried so hard to get a bite out of Joe. He then pressed in on the trigger and sent a bullet through its heart. The figure then lost the blackness in its eyes and slumped over. Joe tossed the body out to sea. He then holstered his pistol and smiled. He turned around with that same smile and was greeted with a wooden paddle to his temple. Joe Ferris tumbled to the ground. He was now knocked out cold, and it was Addison who had taken the swing. She stood over his body and dropped the paddle. She slowly turned to the rest of the survivors as her blonde hair blew into her face. 

“You’ll want him chained down somewhere. Trust me.” 

Eastern Kentucky. 

The barrage of gunfire finally came to a halt. Cole and Sci collected themselves. 

“I’m going up to have a look.” 

Cole then rose over the wooden table they had turned for cover and took aim at the front windows. He saw nothing out there. He crouched back down. 

“I don’t see ‘em out there.” 

Sci then scanned the bar area behind them. 

“Is there a back way in?” 

Cole then began to scan the bar as well. A man then emerged from a back storage room. 

“Yes, there is.”

Cole squeezed off a shot at the man and then he returned fire. Just then, a shot blasted through the wooden table right beside of Sci’s face. Sci then inserted the barrel of his pistol through that same hole and fired a round off. The bullet struck a man entering through the front of the tavern. He dropped to the ground and let out a scream. Cole decided to bulrush the man behind the bar and fired off every remaining round in his pistol at him. The man then fell to the floor and groaned as blood now soaked into the wooden wall behind him. Cole now faced the front door with his back up against the bar while Sci faced the back entrance and bar with his back to the wooden table. The two men reloaded. 

“See anything behind the bar?” 


Cole continued to reload. 

“You get that one coming through the front.” 

Sci cocked back his pistol and fired another round through the hole in the wooden table.


Cole finished reloading. 

“Where the hell is the third?”

The two men scanned the tavern and listened closely for any movement. Cole then noticed a man mounting a horse outside. 

“Stay down, Sci.” 

Cole took off towards the figure as he began to ride off. Cole glanced down and retrieved the lever action rifle from one of the now dead men. He exited the tavern and took aim at the man riding away. He inhaled and fired. A second passed and the bullet struck the rider in the center of his back. He tumbled off of the horse and to his death. Cole noticed that Sci stood beside him now. 

“It had to be done, right?” 

Cole turned to his friend. 

“We had no other choice. It was us or them.” 

Cole and Sci searched the bodies and took anything they could. 

“This should be it, you know?” 

Sci turned to Cole in confusion. 

“The trail should go cold after this. We can’t take any chances, though. We make sure their trail is as cold as winter will be.” 

Sci smiled. 

“We burn the bar.” 

Cole returned the smile.

“We burn the bar with the bodies inside.” 

The two men then saddled their horses. They took two of the ones that the men had ridden up on and let their previous two into the wild. They piled the bodies into the bar and poured several bottles of whiskey all over the wooden building. Cole then struck a match and tossed it into the bar. The building went up in flames in seconds. Cole and Sci sat atop their horses as they stared into the orange and red as they danced in the night. Cole seemed to grow more and more troubled by what had just happened. Sci padded him on the shoulder and they began to ride off. 

“It had to be done. I stand by you until the end.” 

The two then started down the path towards the small town the barkeep had spoken about. 

“We can get some rest at that small little town he was speaking about. Maybe even eat a hot meal. What do you say, my friend?” 

Sci smiled and took a bottle of bourbon out of his saddle pack. Cole laughed. 

“Holy s**t. You sly devil you.” 

“I could not let the flames take it all.” 

Voudoun (formally known as Charleston). Some nights later. 1862. 

It was the point of the night closest to the sunrise. The point where the night was at its darkest. The moon was silenced by a blanket of clouds. The water that sat beside the overtaken city was as black as the sky. The night was without wind and without noise. There was nothing...but a curse. The dead all stood at the edge of the city as they awaited them. A flock of darkened ships sat atop the black ocean. One entered the port and ceased just out from the city docks. One dingy paddled to the docks. An older man, cloaked and hooded, exited first. He extended his hand which boasted several pieces of bone that had been redesigned into various rings and bracelets. Another hand reached out and grabbed his. It, too, possessed that of human bone as it accessorized a hand of a woman. The two stood and gazed upon the city as it still smoldered and smelled of rotten corpses. The woman was hooded too. They kept their hands interlocked as they began to walk towards the town. The cursed, in all of their exposed flesh and dangling bone, awaited the two. They longed for them and stood still in their wait. The two arrived before the cursed. The bones that hung from their cloaks ceased to cling and clang. The Priest of Bones then removed the hood that covered the old and dry face of the Priestess of Hearts. The two gave each other a look and then turned their gaze to the dead. The Priest released the Priestesses hand and stepped forward. 

"Have any survived?" 

The horde of the dead swayed back and forth as a silence fell upon them. The Priest then closed his eyes and began to mumble something in an unheard language. He then opened his eyes. 

"What did they tell you, my blood?" 

The Priest gave the Priestess a sharp look. 

"It is apparent that some were able to escape." 

The Priestesses' head rose to the black sky as she clenched her fists. She then took a step towards the nearest cursed figure. 

"Did you let them go? Did you let them escape?" She said as she looked one after the other in the eye. 

"My marrow, they are not fully yours just yet. They will soon be. When that eve comes-" 

The Priest was interrupted. 

"If they are not mine then whose are they?" 

She then stopped at a figure whose side was wide open. A variety of guts hung from the wound. She then stepped up to the figure and looked it deep into the black abyss that was its eyes. 

"After all....I am their heart." 

And with that, the Priestess stuck her hand through the open wound and into the figures body. She then grabbed a hold of its heart. The others stood by and watched. They were anxious and were slowly chomping at the bit. They were torn between their instincts and the curse. The Priestess then removed her hand and the figure fell to the dock. In her hand was its heart. She held it up as she took several steps backward. The cursed groans were getting louder. She then held the heart to her mouth and dug her teeth into it. She tore at it and ripped it until a portion of the organ came loose in her mouth. She then dropped the heart as she swallowed the piece. She closed her eyes as the figures began to walk towards her. Several seconds passed as they came closer and closer. The Priest of Bones took a step back. The Priestess then opened her eyes and revealed a vibrant, golden glow. Just as they were in Haiti. The dead stopped where they were. The Priestess smiled. 

"They are all mine. For my heart is cursed and so is theirs." 

The Priest stepped back to her. 

"Command them, my Loa." 

She turned to the Priest. 

"I will take our more mature members and hunt down those who think they can escape the curse. You will oversee my commands here." 

The Priest nodded in agreement. The Priestess turned to the horde of the dead. 

"We need more. We must spread our curse. So I command you….I command you all…fetch me their hearts!" 



© 2016 Colton Warr

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interesting story, i will definately make time to read the others

Posted 4 Years Ago

I like the direction the story is going but much of the dialogs doesn't sound all that southern, it's lacking colloquialisms that are true southern expressions "Ya hear" "Yall" "Yesum" "Did ya get it". There are a few web pages that offer civil war era slang and such that you might want to research to help with the dialog. The average person in the 1860's and 70's had little or no schooling and it reflected in how they spoke and what they had to say. "Dang it, I plum forgot ta tell ya I wern't gona make it here ta day so yall didn't see me did ya?" It helps if you have kinfolks down south you can quote from who still speak with a lazy tongue in these modern times :~)
Still find the plotline so much better than the walking dead which lost my interest the first episode, so full steam ahead and get that priestess some more hearts :~) Clap! Clap! Clap! Clap!

Posted 4 Years Ago

Great job well written and Kept my attention. I love your details

Posted 4 Years Ago

Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

Thank you, George! I'm glad you enjoyed this one! Thank you for your kind words! Check out the next .. read more
George Peck

4 Years Ago

anytime and I will read it as soon as I can thank you for sharing.
The only bad thing I can say is remember the difference between breath and breathe, everything else was amazingly well written!

Posted 4 Years Ago

Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

Good Catch! I went in and edited that lol. Thank you very much for you kind words! I'm glad you enjo.. read more
i like this chapter,it is interesting

Posted 4 Years Ago

Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

Thank you very much, my friend! I'm glad you enjoyed this one. We descended to some darker territori.. read more
This is written very well, it holds the readers interest. One thing I wondered, did they use the modern day cuss words back then or different slang words of that period. Valentine

Posted 4 Years Ago

Colton Warr

4 Years Ago

Thank you very much, Valentine! I do appreciate your continued support in this series! Modern cuss w.. read more

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6 Reviews
Added on October 14, 2016
Last Updated on October 15, 2016
Tags: zombies, Story, Stories, Love, Hate, War, Friendship, Short Story


Colton Warr
Colton Warr

Richmond, VA

Rolling Stone... Twitter: @colton_warr Instagram: colton_warr Facebook: Colton Warr more..


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