The Civil Dead (The Calm Before)

The Civil Dead (The Calm Before)

A Story by Colton Warr

"The Civil Dead" returns to set up the finale! Joe and Addy survive another attack. Cole and Sci find their way back into an army camp. Our four characters get closer to a collision.


The Civil Dead

A Short Fiction Series by Colton Warr

"The Calm Before" 

Just South of the Maryland Border. September 1st, 1862. 

"I don't give a damn about you. It's as dry as that." 

Cole Niles stepped up to the older man who had been yelling at him since he had told him of his choice. 

"Pop, this isn't a decision that I am making for us. This is a decision I am making for me. I have to serve."

Cole's father stepped away from Cole in disgust. He spat from his mouth a dark and thick liquid which came from tobacco grown right on their farm. 

"Yeah. Okay. You're damn right you servin'. But you are servin' the wrong damn people, Cole. Can't you see that? They will take this away from you. From us. This is about more than negros, far more, I can stomp my boot on that." 

Cole tried to reach out to this father. 

"What's it matter if I am back when my time is done?" 

His father turned around to him and cracked. 

"Because you'll die for the wrong God damned side!" 

And with that, his father shoved him into the side of their barn. The two men stood, heavy breathing and sweaty, as Cole's father began to slowly back off. The two men were silent. Cole wiped the sweat off of his brow as he tried to muster up something to say. His father seized the opportunity first. 

"Ain't no honor in dying for the wrong side. And if you fight for them and turn your back on this will die for the wrong side, Cole. That’s just how this works.” 

Cole Niles awoke to the smell of something. It smelled good, whatever it was. He continued to sniff and take in the smell. He rose up and noticed that Sci had started breakfast already. 

"I see that you were seeing things again in your sleep." 

Cole stood up from where he slept. 

"Jesus, Sci. Can you at least let me take a piss first?" 

Sci slapped what appeared to be some bacon on a wooden plate. 

"I, too, saw things in my sleep." 

Cole finished his morning pee and then walked over to the small fire Sci used to cook with. 

"Awfully kind of those old folks back west to offer us their plates and food. I think they thought they were contributing to the war effort, though." 

Cole smirked as he began to dig in. Sci then fixed his plate. 

"I saw him again, Cole." 

Cole chewed his food violently as he pondered his response. 

"The Priest? The one with the bones?" 

Sci nodded his head up and down. Cole finished his plate in a quick fashion and then placed his wooden plate on the ground. 

"Have you ever seen this Priest before? Perhaps on the plantation you were on? Didn't you mention that there were many of different....beliefs?" 

Sci shook his head slowly. 

"He seems familiar. But I do not know him." 

Cole laughed. 

"My friend, that last statement of yours was a bit off the tracks." 

Sci squeezed out a confused smile as he placed his plate on the ground. 

"Who did you see?"

Cole clenched his jaw and he swallowed. 

"It was my family again. My father."

Sci zeroed in on his friend. 

"Good or...?" 

Cole stared into the flames as they slowly whipped back and forth in the cool, autumn breeze. 

"No. Let's push on. We've got a hard days ride to Pennsylvania. My old friend will meet us there tomorrow morning. We can figure out a way to get ourselves out." 

The two rose up and Sci began to kick some dirt into the fire. It soon was extinguished. The two men readied their horses as the sun began to show itself. 

"I must piss...then we ride." 

Sci then walked several steps over to a tree and began to relieve himself. He finished and turned back to the horses. When he did, he saw Cole Niles with a lever action rifle to his back. He then heard the sound of a weapon c**k behind him. There stood a man with a pistol aimed right at Sci's head. Several other men revealed themselves with guns fixated on Cole and Sci. 

"You boys were a difficult pair to catch." 

Out of the trees came a man with an eye patch. He hoisted a double barrel shotgun over his shoulder. 

"You mind tellin' me what two Federal officers assigned to the western theater are doing so far East?" 

Cole and Sci shared a glance. 

"I'll sure as s**t tell you." 

The one-eyed man removed a piece of parchment from his coat pocket. 

"You two men...well, it appears that you're both runaways. Maybe in more ways than one." 

The man glanced at Sci and grinned. 

“What a sorry disgrace you are.”

Cole Nile’s defense of Sci angered the one-eyed man. He stepped towards Cole, shotgun still hosted over his shoulder. 

“Did a man who killed three of his fellow soldiers and then ran for his own skin just call me a disgrace?” 

Cole swallowed hard as he contemplated his thoughts. 

“Not much to puke out of that mouth of yours now is there?” 

The man then turned to Sci. 

“You both will be executed for being runaways and for treason. As far as we know, you boys are southern sympathizers. Maggots.” 

The man then turned his attention back to Cole. 

“I’ll speak to ya this, you little s**t…” 

The one-eyed man lowered his voice. 

“…If you decide you do have something to say to me…maybe me and you go deep into the woods and punch it out? I’ve always wanted to know what color blood a traitor has in his main arteries.” 

Cole took a step towards the one-eyed man as he was being tied at the wrists behind his back. 

“You keep runnin’ that jaw of yours and you may just slip on a rock and dislodge it.” 

The two men stared at each other as the tension burned in the morning fog. 

“Yeah. You know what, let’s make this easier on us fellas.” 

And with that, the one-eyed man swung the butt of his shotgun and knocked Cole Niles clean out. 

Atlantic Ocean. Several days later. 1862. 

The Sprint’er sliced through the cold ocean like a sword through flesh. The sun could be seen as it began to descend beneath the line of sight. The group of survivors from Charleston still struggled to grasp what they experienced. With the doctor gone, anyone's injuries were left to heal on their own. Addison Belle kept her knife wound clean and wrapped everyday to try and avoid infection. However, the small group had used up almost all of the supplies they had on the ship. 

“It sure does hurt my brain when I try to come up with a reason why you bring food to him.” 

It was the captain of the Sprint’er who spoke. Addison Belle was fixing a plate of food. 

“And it sure does hurt my brain when I try to rack it for a reason why we aren't headin’ south.” 

The captain took a step closer to Addy Belle. 

“How in hell do you still stand by that s***s side? He ain’t nothin’ but a deranged sorry excuse for a man. He ain’t got nothin’ left in him but boilin’ blood.” 

Addy looked up as she felt the man step closer to her again. 

“You need yourself a real man. One who ain’t gonna make you think he could kill you at any turn. That man down there, he’s tied up like an animal for a reason.” 

Addy interjected. 

“He’s tied up because I don’t trust him not because he’s some savage.” 

The captain fired back. 

“And we are headin’ north ‘cause who knows where else this s**t is happnein’. We ain’t runnin’ to some island to hide for the rest of our lives. Whatever s**t back there was scary…even for a man of war like myself. People are gonna need a man who has been it. Who has fought them before. Not some loose cannon.” 

Addy turned to the captain. 

“And you’ve fought them, have you? You’ve been in it?” 

The room fell silent as Addy walked towards the door. She stopped before she exited and turned back to the captain. 

“You have no idea what we come from. Perhaps you would be just as much of an animal if you were him.”

Joe Ferris sat on a wooden floor at the bottom of the ship. His wrists were chained to the hull and he was locked in a small cage. Metal bars enclosed him. His wrists were bloodied by his multiple attempts to escape. The blood from where Addison had struck him still sat dried on his head. He stared at the ground until he felt something…someone. He turned quickly to see Addison Belle. She stood just outside of the bars with a plate of food. The two locked eyes as Joe slowly stood up. As he did, she slowly knelt down. She carefully set the plate down and slid it to him beneath a small opening in the door. She then stood back up. Joe swallowed hard as he held back some emotion. 

“It’s awfully damn hard to eat when you are chained like a dog.” 

Addy could hear the spite within his voice. She swallowed hard as well. 

“I’ve always wondered somethin’ about you, Joe Ferris.” 

Joe clenched his jaw as he listened on. 

“Why is a man so good at killin’ so hellbent on runnin’ away from a war?” 

Joe broke his glance at Addy and looked down at the floor. Addy stared at him as she awaited an answer. Several silent seconds passed. 


Joe swallowed hard again as he tried to muster up the courage to tell her what happened. Why he was running from the war. Just as he was about to speak, a shout came down from the top-deck. 

“Miss Belle…I reckon you better march up here. We’re runnin’ into a bit of trouble.” 

It was one of the women from the group of survivors. This intrigued Joe as he forgot about his response. 

“Where are we? You’ve been comin’ down here for days and you haven't told me a thing. There’d be no trouble if we were headin’ south.” 

Addison held back some tears as she began to walk away. 

“Addison! Addison Belle!” Joe yelled. 

She did not turn back. She couldn’t. She marched back up to the top deck to learn what happened. She was greeted by a chaotic sight. Several people raced around the deck as the captain bared out orders. She stopped the lady that yelled down to her. 

“What is it?” 

“They think we may have gotten caught in the blockade.” 

Addison then raced to the captain. 

“Are we sighted?” 

The captain continued to bark out orders that the survivors barely understood as Addy awaited a response. She raised her voice. 

“Captain, have we been sighted?” 

He turned to her and smiled. 

“Yes. Three northern ships ahead. They’ll outrun us. we’ll need to sink ‘em.” 

Addison was taken back by this idea.

“Sink ‘em. You are simply out of your head if you think we have the favor in those odds.” 

The captain shoved by her. 

“Maybe we all are animals? If you don't much like fightin’ I suggest you get yourself behind some cover.” 

He then turned towards the group. 

“Everyone man a cannon. We go at ‘em head on and full steam!” 

Addison gazed out into the open sea where the three Union ships were barreling down upon them. They were spread out and had already out positioned the Sprint’er. Addison knew what had to be done in order to save the lives of this group. She raced down from the helm and searched for a weapon. 

“Miss Addy, we aren't really gonna fight are we?” 

Addison grabbed an iron wrench used from maintaining the steam funnel. 

“Will you do something for me?” 

The women quickly responded. 

“Yes, Miss Addy, anything ya need.” 

“Tell the others to raise the white flag as high into that sky as they can. If we don’t surrender we will all parish.” 

As Addy walked away the women grabbed her arm. 

“What of the captain?” 

Addy turned to her with the eyes of a savior. 

“He won’t stop you. Leave him to me.” 

Addison then marched back to the helm as she concealed the wrench. The women relayed Addy’s message to the others and they complied. Within a few minutes, the white flag of surrender ascended near the top of the middle mast. The captain caught a glimpse of it. 

“What in the s**t are you cowards doin’? Lower that damned piece of cloth and fight! Or it will be me you deal with.” 

“I do believe we are done with your dealin’s.” 

The captain then turned to Addison Belle who then struck his temple with the iron wrench. The man tumbled to the deck as she looked down upon him. She then gazed back out into the sea. Two of three Union vessels were perched back with their guns out in case anything happened. The third was heading straight for the Sprint’er to accept their surrender. Addy then glanced down to the rest of the group and nodded at the women. 

“Just kneel down with your hands up so they don’t think it’s a trap.” 

The ship moved its way closer as it prepared to board. Just as Addy was about to head down below deck for Joe the captain grabbed her by her hair. 

“Come here you little w***e.” 

He then threw her face into the wooden railing of the ship. He didn't let go of her hair. He then turned the now died Addison towards him and reared back and threw a punch which landed on her left cheek. Addison went in a twirl to the ground. The captain then reached down and grabbed the iron wrench. He looked over his shoulder and saw the Union ship almost alongside them now. He looked down to the survivors. 

“You sons of b*****s man a gun! They’re here to kill-“ 

Just then Addison dug her nails into both of his eyes from behind. The captain released a scream as he stumbled about and tried to get her off of him. She let out a scream as she continued to dig further into him. He waved around the iron wrench as he tried to strike her blindly. Blood streamed down his cheeks and into his mouth as his face was now impaled. One lucky swing of the wrench struck Addison in the head and knocked her out instantly. They both fell to the ground. Addison was out cold and the captain no longer had sight. He moaned and groaned as he held his hands in front of his face. 

“I can’t see them….I can’t…”

After several minutes the Union ship began its boarding of the Sprint’er. Bluecoats flooded onto the deck as they quickly disengaged the steam engine and the sails. 

“We’ll tow it behind us back to port.” A sailor called out as they searched the ship. 

The leader of the boarding party caught sight of the bloody scene near the helm and took several men over. They saw an attractive southern bell out cold with blood running down her face and an older man who had his eyes gouged out. He could hear them as they walked about the ship. 

“I can’t seem them….I can’t see!” 

The leader gave out orders. 

“Get everyone on board. Is the vessel clear?” 

A soldier came up from below deck with Joe Ferris still in chains. 

“Found this one underneath. Nothin’ else down there, though. These folks were short on supplies.” 

The leader of the boarding party took in the scene of the small and bloodied group. 

“Christ…what in the realm of God happened here?” 

Just South of Sharpsburg, Maryland. September 1862.    

Cole and Sci were being towed behind two horses. The horses belonged to the one-eyed man and his band of Union soldiers who were sent to corral the two runaways. A thick rope was firmly tied to each of their wrists. The group moved at a hastened pace and so both Cole and Sci had collected several wounds. Some on their arms and legs from falling by way of not being able to keep up. And some by the sheer tightness of the rope around their wrists. It had been several days since their capture, and although there may have been a time or two they could try and escape they did not. The small band of soldiers and their two prisoners finally had arrived at their destination…it was an army. 

“Well, you two fellas see this? Come on, come around here and take this in.” 

Cole and Sci were both allowed to walk towards the front of the group. They witnessed a huge Federal force as it marched along the road. It seemed endless. 

“Gotta be some 50,000 men down there, no?” 

The one-eyed man followed his question with a laugh. Cole was taken back by the size of the force. 

“Where are they marching to?” 

The one-eyed man turned to his men and smirked. 

“We’ve kept some vital information from you, I’m afraid. Ya see, a big batch of gray backs have managed to maneuver their way into the area. Mr. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia. They’re makin’ a run at the capitol. So…we’re here to meet him.” 

Cole and Sci exchanged confused looks.

“Why wouldn't we be taken back to our proper theater of war? Back West?” 

“Because, we received a visit from a courier in the night a few days back. General George McClellan is calling all men to the fight. Sounds like it’s gonna be a good one, huh?” 

Cole continued to watch the marching army. He watched on with both nerves and angst. He still held a thirst in his soul for battle. 

“Don’t you two sorry sons of b*****s worry you bloody little faces…You’ll be all tied up in the camps prison. Right next to the medical tents so you can always smell what we do to traitors.” 

And with that, the men continued on towards the army. As Cole was being dragged behind a horse he blanked out and thought back to his time in the army. He thought back to his last battle and what he had done right and wrong. These thoughts then led to his father and his disgust in his decision. Cole could help but wonder what disgust he would now have for him. As the group arrived near the front of the march a Union officer accompanied with several other men rode out to them.  

“Whoa, easy there.” The officer was speaking to his horse. 

“You men halt where you are. I’ll need to see some papers, cloth or any other piece of whatever that may have who you are and what the hell you’re doing.” 

The one-eyed man reached into his coat and retrieved from it the sam paper he had showed Cole and Sci when they captured them. 

“These two men are prisoners of the Union army. They are runaways and traitors who murdered in cold blood several Northern soldiers. We were assigned to track them and bring them to a swift and Federal justice.” 

He then handed the paper over to the officer. He then retrieved another piece from his jacket. 

“This is a letter that one of your couriers dropped to us in the night. We have been assigned to join up with General McClellan until the battle has subsided.” 

The officer took the second piece from the one-eyed man. He took several seconds to study them and then folded up both pieces of paper and put them in his coat. 

“Very well. I’ll keep hold of them until what’s done is done. You are clear to join ranks. We make camp at sunset.” 

The one-eyed man interjected. 

“And if you, by chance, die in the fightin’?” 

The officer turned his horse to leave them as he responded. 

“I sure as hell don’t intend to die in the state of Maryland, sir. Do you?” 

Even if the one-eyed man wanted to respond he could not. The officer and his men rode off immediately following his remarks. The one-eyed man turned to his group. 

“You boys stay close to me through all of this, ya hear? Once the smoke clears we can get out of here.” 

Cole felt obligated to respond. 

“You sure you boys haven't been close to being runaways yourselves?” 

The one-eyed man turned to Cole.

“Oh, we’ve thought about it. But we haven’t. You did. And you killed some good men.” 

He took in a deep breath. 

“You two will be executed. Likely not ‘till after the battle. Believe me, I’ll be lobbying for it to be done sooner if you keep showin’ your a*s like that.” 

Annapolis, Maryland. September, 1862.         

Joe Ferris and Addison Belle sat on a cold concrete floor as they and their fellow survivors were surrounded by iron bars. The group had been imprisoned at the Naval Academy until someone could decide what to do with them. The group had tried to plead their case to multiple officers. To no avail. The group sat in silence as they all stared at the ground or the walls that surrounded them. They had barely eaten since arriving and had not been able to sleep. 

“They think we are some kind of traitor, don't they? They think we are spies.” 

It was the woman that Addison had seem to befriend. So, she took the liberty of responding. 

“They are simply just discussing what to do with us. We have told our story. Clearly, whatever happened down in Charleston hasn't happened up here. In turn, they do not abide by our tale. But our tale alone might have them thinkin’ we are just crazy and not actin’ as spies.” 

Joe Ferris released a heavy sigh. Addison heard it along with everyone else. 

“Somethin’ to say?”

Joe looked up at each of them before he spoke. 

“I sure as hell do. You fine people may still think that I am crazy but I am here to present to you the truth and nothin’ but it. We are to be hung by the neck until death comes for us. We were captured on a Confederate blocked runner. We all have our southern tongues. No matter how bloody and how exhausted we seemed no human in their right mind will ever believe the tale we have to tell. They will have to see it to believe it.” 

Addison was appalled. She pulled him over to the side and spoke to him in a low but assertive tone. 

“These people need hope, Joe. Not some crazy man who likes blood to tell them that they are all headin’ to heaven soon. They need somethin’ to hold on to. You were some kind of way back in it, I get that, but we are safe for now. The very least you could do is show some respect. That’s what a man would do.” 

Just as the words designated with Joe a man arrived at their cell. He had two other men behind him. One of the two men stepped forward and unlocked the cell. 

“I need you two. Now.”

The man pointed at Joe and Addison. They glanced at each other and followed them out of the cell. The man then locked the cell door back and they all exited the prison. They traveled to the adjacent building where they arrived at what appeared to be an Admiral's chambers. Joe and Addy entered the chambers while the rest of them waited outside. 

“Take a seat.” 

Joe and Addy sat down in two wooden chairs across from the Admirals position behind a large wooden desk filled with various medals and achievements. Joe took in his surroundings as Addy swallowed hard. The Admiral waited several seconds before he spoke. He shifted some papers around and placed them into a folder. 

“Would you like to know what we found…what landed in our port just after sunset this evening?” 

“I imagine even if we didn't you will tell us.” 

The Admiral grew impatient. 

“Fine, Shepard. Away with them.” 

The men outside of the chamber opened the door. 

“No! Wait. Of course, we would like to know. You’ll just have to excuse the man to my right. He’s gone through a lot and still isn't fully recovered.” 

The Admiral stared at the two of them. 

“Perhaps I should just talk to you then?” 

Joe took it upon himself to answer. 

“Well aren't you a polished piece of s**t.” 

Addison had had enough. 

“Fine. I think that to be a wise choice. Have him wait outside for me.” 

The Admiral then gave the order and Joe was escorted outside of the chambers. 

“You boys wait just outside. Don’t go too far. I may still have a question or two for him.” 

The door closed and the room filled with intensity and angst. 

“So, Mr. Admiral, sir. What is it you stumbled across in your port?” 

The Admiral rose up from his seat and began to pace behind his desk. Addison watched on with confusion. She quickly deduced the seriousness of the matter. 

“Exactly one hour ago one of my vessels beached itself on my shore. It missed every single dock and ignored every single ship and warning shot as it slammed into my beach. Is this a confederate attack of some sort? Was there a malfunction onboard?” 

Addison shook her head as she was now fully confused. 

“I ordered a search to be done of the vessel. And so, twelve men boarded the ship. Would you like to know what they found?” 

Addison shook her head yes. 

“They found exactly 24 bodies. Not a single living soul on board.” 

Addison’s mouth opened slightly in disbelief. Her mind started to race. 

“24 of my men had been torn to pieces on board that ship. And I cannot, for the life of me or my children, discover why.” 

Addison began to quiver. 

“Sir….you said, they had been torn?” 

The Admiral shook his head. 

“Like there was an animal, a tiger or lion, on board that ripped them to shreds of flesh and bone.” 

Outside of the chamber, Joe Ferris stood guarded by three men. The soldiers all stood at attention while Joe leaned himself up against the wall. 

“Any of you fine soldiers have any tobacco?” 

Joe smirked as he looked them all in the face. The men looked at him and then away and continued to stare at the walk in front of them. 

“You boys are a rowdy bunch of b******s, you know that?” 

Inside of the chamber, the Admiral continued to pace. 

“So you’re saying that people came back from the dead and attacked the living? They tore at them and bit them until their lives ended and they came back themselves?” 

Addison nodded her head violently. 

“Yes sir, I’ve seen it twice now. Once at my farm and once in Charleston.” 

The Admiral paused. 

“Funny you mention Charleston. You said that’s where you all came from…that was the ship I had sent to recon the city. It came back to me like that.” 

Addison’s mind quickly sank back to her farmhouse and the attack on her family. She remembered the beached ship and how her life had changed forever afterward. Addison slowly rose from her chair. 

“Admiral…tell me you still have men down by that ship?” 

The Admiral smirked. 

“Of course.” 

“How many?” 

The Admiral’s smirk slowly left him. 

“Four. Why?” 

Addison shook her head as she began to realize it. It was all lined up again.

“What happened to you people down there?” 

Outside of the chamber, Joe continued to lean against the wall. The three soldiers continued to stare in front of them.

“You boys sure do have a fine post. Any of you ever seen combat?” 

The men stayed silent. Just then, a huge gust of wind blew through them and almost knocked them all to the ground. Joe was the first to rise up. 

“What in the southern hellfire was-“ 

Before he could finish the soldier in front of him rose up. His eyes were as black as the night. Blood began to foam and drip down his mouth. His skin transformed to a pale white as pieces of his flesh slowly dripped from his bone. The soldier chomped his now bloodied teeth together as it began to groan at Joe. Before he could glean at the other two men this one attacked him. It slammed into him which, in turn, slammed Joe into the wall. The figure began to scratch at the wall that Joe was pressed up against. He quickly reached down and withdrew the man's knife from his belt. He shoved it into the figure's heart. Joe then turned to the other two. They had been cursed as well. The two lunged for Joe as he blocked them with the now limp body of the first. They gnawed and scratched at it as Joe retracted the blade from the first and jammed it into the second’s heart. He then gave it another push and the blade came out of the second ones back and entered the thirds chest. Joe then pulled the blade from them and they both slowly tumbled to the ground. The third, however, did not tumble all of the way. He slowly rose back up and squared itself with Joe. The figure growled at Joe as it stood slowly wavering back and forth. Joe then heard a scream from the inside of the Admirals chamber. The figure then slowly bent its knees and then dove at Joe. Mr. Ferris braced for the dive with his left arm as he used his right to pierce its heart for good this time. The diving figure took Joe to the ground before it slipped away for good. Joe glanced at its eyes and noticed they had returned to their normal color. he then threw the body off of him and rose up. Another scream for Addy. He quickly grabbed two pistols from the now dead soldiers and kicked in the door to the chamber. He saw what used to be the Admiral as it dove for Addison, knocking her to the floor. Joe raced into the room. The figure reached out and grabbed a hold of Addison’s leg, but before it could dig into her flesh Joe stabbed its arm into the floor with the knife. He then pulled back the hammer of one of the pistols and used his foot to turn the figure over, exposing its chest. Joe Ferris then fired a bullet into the Admiral's heart, ending him for good. The tried to catch their breath. 

“You good?” 

Before Addy could respond a cursed figure crashed through one of the windows. It let out a growl as three more entered the chamber via the door that Joe had kicked in. Joe and Addy were surrounded. Joe handed Addy one of the two pistols. 

“Here. Just like Charleston. Just like your farmhouse. Fight to survive.” 

The four cursed figure slowly began to walk towards Addy and Joe. Addison took aim at one of the ones in front of her. 

“Hey, wait until they lunge at you. Wait until they get close. Best way to ensure you don’t miss.” 

Addy pulled back the hammer and waited. 

“And Addy….remember to breathe.” 

And with that comment one lunged at Addison. She waited until it close and then squeezed in on the trigger. A bullet was delivered right into its heart as it was sent tumbling to the floor. The other three came all at once. Two at Addison and one at Joe. Joe Ferris noticed the odds and took a shot at one of the two heading for Addy. He struck it in the heart but before he could readjust his aim a figure tackled him to the ground. Addison squeezed off another round as it slammed into the chest of the cursed. The figure glanced down at the new puncture and then  back at Addy. She quickly realized she did not strike its heart. he pulled back the hammer again and pulled the trigger. Nothing. The pistol was jammed. Just as the arms and nails of the figure reached out for Addy a bullet flew right into its chest. This time the figure slumped over onto the floor. Addy quickly turned and noticed that Joe had fired at hers first before trying to finish off his. She reached down and pulled the knife out of the arm of the dead and the floor. Joe was no completely underneath of the figure. Addy raced over and stabbed the cursed figure through its back and into its heart. Joe then threw it off of him and rose to his feet. 

“You’re bleedin’. Joe, you’re bleedin’.” 

Joe grabbed Addy’s pistol and unjammed it for her. He then handed it back to her as he started over to the window where one came crashing into the room. Addison grabbed him before he could reach it. 

“Were you bit? Did you feel a bite? You’re bleedin’.” 

Addison was frantic. Joe tried to extinguish it. He grabbed her back. 

“I am not bit. It must’ve just poked me with its nail. You need to get yourself back into this, ya hear? We will survive this.” 

Addison’s gaze left his eyes to behind him and out of the window. The sight took her breath from her and she took a step back. Joe quickly turned to the window and was hit with shock as well. They both step closer to it as they gazed upon what could only be described as hell. A single ship sat in the harbor as fire flew from its hull and top deck and poured into the various buildings and people in its path. Hordes of both the dead and the living scrambled about before their very eyes. 

“It’s happenin’ again.”

Joe turned back to Addison. 

“We go further inland this time. West, away from the ocean. We aren't just yet surrounded. We can make it out of here on foot and go from there. Sunshine, keep that pistol in her hand and your pretty little finger on the trigger.” 

As joe began to lead the way out of the building Addy grabbed him once more. 

“Tell me you’re fine.” 

Joe thought about kissing Addison Belle where she stood. But the flames outside were getting closer. He lowered his voice to her for the first time in awhile. 

“I am fine. And I need you to be too.” 

The gazed into each other's eyes as Addison regained her composure. She nodded her head to signify she was ready and with that Joe led them out the back door. On their way out several cursed figures started after them. Joe turned and took aim. 

“No! I want two. You get the one on the right.” 

Joe glanced at her but before he could speak she pulled her trigger and dropped one where it stood. Joe then fired at his as she fired at her second. The two then started back towards the only direction they knew to be safe…west…towards Sharpsburg, Maryland. 

September 15, 1862. Near Sharpsburg, Maryland. 

Cole and Sci sat on the dirt which served as the floor for their prison. They were in one of many tents scattered about two large open fields just north of Sharpsburg. Cole sat awake as Sci slept. He couldn't help but think of the last time he was on a battlefield. The last time he had made camp with his fellow soldiers. He remembered how proud he felt that entire day. His last true day as a soldier. Coles trance was interrupted but several men running just outside of their tent. Their hands were bound together as two men stayed watch outside. Cole peeked his head out and noticed the men were running into the medical tents that sat beside where Cole and Sci were being kept. 

“Back inside, you s**t!” 

One of the two men on guard duty pushed Cole back into the tent. The commotion woke Sci from his slumber. 

“Cole, you alright? What is happening?” 

Cole collected himself and brushed the dirt from his clothes. 

“I’m not sure. There’s a lot of movement out there. A lot of men were out and about. More than we typically have at this hour. I think something is happening.” 

Cole couldn't make out anything as he tried to sneak his face through the tent opening a second time. It was the middle of the night and there were only a few lamps and fires lit.

“Why were you not sleeping?” 

Sci’s question took Cole slightly by surprise given the moment. 

“I couldn’t. I didn't want to. And clearly, I wasn't supposed to.” 

The two men outside of the tent heard Cole and Sci talking and noticed Cole trying to peer through the tent again. This time the two men shoved him back and entered the tent themselves. 

“Will you two show a little effort. At least try to show us you don’t want to die right this second.” 

The one-eyed man then entered the tent and defused the situation. 

“What seems to so excitin’ in here that I heard s**t over the commotion outside?” 

Cole collected himself again. 

“What is going on out there? I see men moving quickly.” 

The one-eyed man smirked as he knelt down to Cole who sat upright in the dirt. 

“Yeah. There may be soemthin’ happenin’ outside but you are not outside. You’re inside. You should only concern yourself with inside movements. How ‘bout that?”

Cole grew tired of the entire situation. He had been tied up for too long. He launched himself up from his sitting position and struck the one-eyed man with the top of his head. The blow bloodied his nose. As he fell back one of the other two men in the tent swung their rifle at Cole and connected with his ribs. The blow sent him to the ground. The commotion allowed Sci to get up and begin to strangle the other man in the tent. The one-eyed man then head-butted Sci and grabbed him by his collar. He then began to drag Sci out of the tent and into the camp. Cole rose back to his feet and tried to go after Sci but another blow from a rifle butt sent him to the ground again. The one-eyed man got Sci to his knees.

“You know. I’ve had about enough of this s**t. I told you not to continue to run your jaw and what did you do? F****n’ headed me like a man with no honor and no balls. Well, see now your time is up, gentlemen.” 

He withdrew his pistol and held it to Sci’s head. 

“How’s about I blow you to kingdom come?” 

Just as he pulled back the hammer five men rode up on horseback to the scene. It was the same officer that met them as they rode up to the marching army. 

“Still this weapons or we will be forced to discharge ours.” 

The one-eyed men looked up at the officer. 

“You won’t shoot me here.” 

The officer rode up to the one-eyed man and withdrew his blade and held it to the one-eyed man's neck. 

“No, I won’t.” 

The situation was quickly defused and the one-eyed man holstered his pistol. The officer then sheathed his blade. 

“If you and your men aren't equipped with rifles and canteens and aren't standing up at the line in five minutes I will have you thrown out of this camp and the army. is that understood?” 

The one-eyed man nodded in agreement. He whistled to his men they all headed towards the front. The officer then turned his attention to Cole and Sci. 

“My friends are going to escort you over to the medical tent. There, you will be tied up and you will not speak and will not try and escape. If you are still there by battles end I may give you another day so you can try and explain to me why you killed Union soldiers. That clear?” 

Cole and Sci nodded and then were escorted to the medical tent. 

Annapolis, Maryland. Same night of the attack. 

The port and city of Annapolis Maryland was engulfed by either flames of hordes of the dead as they feasted on the living. Men, women, and children lay in the streets as the dead tore at their skin and moved it out of their way so that they could begin to eat their organs. There were various cursed figures that roamed the town on fire. As they roamed they began to spread the flames with them. The Priestess of Bones paced up and down a line of the newly cursed. She examined each one with a small of delight and intrigue. She would remove an article of clothing from one of them every now and again. She had a certain look in mind for her cursed. She then arrived to one of the many soldiers who had been assimilated into her command. She removed its hat and threw it to the ground. She then shuttered in disgust and reached back out for the hat. One of the cursed figures behind her slowly bent down and picked it up. It then handed it back to her and she placed it back on its head. She then smiled in acceptance. Something caught her eye before she carried on. There was a leather bound journal in this particular soldier's belt. She took it from him and opened it. As she began to read a smile as big as she had ever smiled sliced its way through her pale face. She then closed her eyes and dug her nails into the journal. The pages began to rip as she began to mumble something. After several seconds, her eyes came open as they were now a golden glow. The veins in her neck lit up a dark black as she yelled with the sound of more than one voice. 


Every single cursed figure in the entire city turned in the direction of where her voice came from. They all stood and faced where she was even if they could not see her. A quiet fog descended on the city. The Priestess of Bones dropped the journal to the ground. 

“There are 100,000 hearts converging on the same location not far from where you stand.” 

The figures swayed and stumbled back and forth as they faced her. 

“That means there are 100,000 hearts waiting for us. They wait to be cleansed. They wait to be cursed!” 

The figures all let out a growl as blood came from their mouths. 

“I command your hearts this; march with me to this place in their world…and we will make it a part of our own. Lend me your hearts and I will let you take theirs. For no mere mortal can escape the black fog that is our curse!” 

The figures all let out another scream. After they finished, they all turned, in unison, to the west. The Priestess stepped on the journal as she stepped forward. 


© 2016 Colton Warr

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register


a very vivid story.
Thanks for sharing :)

Posted 3 Years Ago

A amazing tale written my friend. I like the situations and the characters. Civil war made the story more intense and realistic. Thank you Colton for sharing the outstanding tale.

Posted 4 Years Ago

An epic story of the hard times of the Civil War portrayed so well. I felt like Clint Eastwood as a character was going to show up and clean up the mess.

Posted 4 Years Ago

Very well written and deeply moving. Not my favorite subjects but your writing knowledge is great. Valentine

Posted 4 Years Ago

So I'm going to rest in bed and it's just the kind of story I needed. Gripping story and great dialogues. A fair amount of action with some creepy scenes I definitely liked reading.
Awesome work man!

Posted 4 Years Ago

First off, Let me just say that I'm honored by your read request. I suppose, given what you are writing about, I should have a bit of insight or...if not that, another pair of eyes looking in, if you will. But this is good so far, really. With that said, given that you are writing about the past, a rather distant past at that, I would do a bit of research into that time, Especially about speech patterns and tendencies. There was a certain, in a way, Sothern American brogue that was common placed then that doesn't seem to be existent here. I don't know, maybe it's just me. But to more noticeable things, like when Cole and Sci are communicating, you express that "...Sci nodded his head up and down," but this is unnecessary since most people know that nodding usually involves the up and downward movement of the head. You also used words like morning pee, wooden plate, among others. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm sure these terms may not be in keeping with the times your story takes place. Another thing that was not clear to me is the location of their exchange. Where are they? Sure they are not indoors, but where are they outdoors? I.E Amidst the wooded tangles on the outskirts of a mining town, Cole awoke to the smell of something...' Not a brilliant example, but something like this gives the reader a better understanding of the story. You do a better job of this everywhere else. Other than these and a few textual problems, your writing is engaging. There was a buildup and intensity that was gripping. Good job on this, man.

Posted 4 Years Ago

colton this chapter much more intense than the previous chapter,it is going to be a great book my friend

Posted 4 Years Ago

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


7 Reviews
Added on October 24, 2016
Last Updated on October 24, 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..


Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..