Beware The Mold, by Blaze McRob

Each Halloween, we seek out the creepy, the unusual, the off....and the the parts of our personalities that we tend to hide for the other, weaker, months of the year come out to play. 

Well, seek no further, Weeners. Blaze McRob is here to save the day with some good old-fashioned curse for digging where we don't belong. 

Enjoy if you dare, but please...

Beware The Mold

     A warm breeze blows across the porch as I sit on a chair, welcoming the relief the movement affords me. There is not much to ease our suffering, our pain, anymore. Even being what we are, it hurts to know there is no redemption.

     We are eternally damned.

     It wasn’t always like this: I still remember the good days, those where we worked hard but could feel the satisfaction at the end of a long day, knowing our families were better off. None of us are better off anymore. All the residents on the mountainsides and in the valleys know the curse for what it is.
     The mold: it came when we weren’t looking, even though we should have known something was wrong. Very wrong.
     One day we worked the mines, and the next, the mines were gone, still there, but no longer used. Strip mining was the thing. Why pay miners to work underground and have to deal with annoying lawsuits and safety litigation when it was possible to go to the top of a mountain and just take it apart, one bulldozer load at a time? No more collapses; no more huge payrolls.
     Ah, but the West Virginia mountains do get rain, and it would roar down from the denuded mountain tops and poison the aquifers and streams below. Potable water was a thing of the past. Many of us died. The lucky ones . . .
     The caves always held mold and mushrooms, and their bounty spread above. For those knowledgeable in the harvesting of the edible ‘rooms, it was a welcome addition to our diets. But the fungi were changed somehow by the toxins in the water. It was . . . it was almost as if they had been given a mind, a purpose, a reason for advancing higher on the evolution chain. 
     Trees were covered with the mushrooms, and the pigs loved them, breaking free from their pens to seek them out and enjoy their sweet succulence. And of course, we ate the hogs, and that’s when it started.
     We died from eating the pigs which ate the poisoned mushrooms. But we didn’t really die. We came back, the fungal monstrosities living within us controlling our bodies. Most of the undead lost their minds to the ravages of the infection, but not all of us.
     My flesh rots, pieces falling off constantly, but I am one of those fortunate enough to still have power over my brain, although fortunate might be the wrong word. The pain is horrendous in my body, and I envy those roaming around, seemingly oblivious to anything other than finding food. I need sustenance as well, but I try with all my might to retain a certain level of humanity.  
     Yeah, right! As if I will forever be able to maintain the status quo. I am undead, and as such, I am not really of this world anymore. I am some kind of forgotten entity not wanted by God or Satan. If there is a limbo being, I am it.
     My wife and children belong to the mindless ones, and because of this, my mental anguish is increased to the point where controlling my rage is becoming ever more difficult. But I must try to maintain some semblance of purposeful brain activity. The few of us able to reason are responsible for those who can’t.
     And yet, I feel myself going the way of the others, my mind finding it ever more difficult to sort out fact from fiction, but I fight it. Damn it! I must. My turning must wait to finish the final transformation. Things must be done, no matter how much pain I must suffer.
     Those I love so much come out of the house and join me on the porch, not being there for the sense of family, but more for companionship with others of their kind. Maybe they think I will give them food. In all actuality, it appears they don’t recognize me; they see right through me.
     My heart is broken, but I know only too well I will join them soon. Will we have a common bond again once we are all on the same level? I hope so. If not, perhaps all of us will be mindless wanderers searching for food to sate our enormous appetites. The pain should be gone then. I hope so anyway.
     The anger builds inside me, my mind and soul battling for supremacy in the matters of humanity and retaliation. My soul is losing the battle; my mind tells me who is responsible for this damnable curse and demands I take action while I still can.
     Yes, as my heart aches for my family, I realize once more that we have been abandoned by God and ignored by Satan. We have become lepers in the war between the Light and the Darkness. What does humanity matter when it has been stripped from you by the actions of damnable individuals, supposedly human, but without an iota of decency in their bodies?
     The logic is irrefutable: they are guilty and we are hungry. The undead courts have condemned them: at least the ones in my mind.  
     Not bothering to seek the counsel of others like me who can still reason-for all I know they might have converted over completely anyway-I assemble an army of my fellow Zombies and we march en masse to where the mine owners live. They will be first on our list of those who will suffer for what we have become.
     There is no guilt residing in me any longer, nothing holding me back. What must be done will be done. The guilty will suffer as we have suffered.
     The big money boys live in a rather exclusive area, a town of its own, really, with iron gates and security devices meant to keep the rabble away from their immense stone houses sitting like so many castles, taunting we “lesser” people, saying, “Look at what we own. You’ll never live like this, you pathetic bottom feeders.”
     The show of ostensity is about to end for them. How can they hold us back forever? We are already dead. We can’t be killed.
     Our huge numbers are enough to knock the gates open, and I feel a tinge of excitement as the alarms sound, the crescendo of the blasts flying through the evening air, creating the most marvelous symphony to my tortured mind.
     The lights, looking much like those in a prison complex, flash every which way, creating a kaleidoscope of colors which make it appear I’m on the dance floor of disco city. But this is no disco. This is revenge. There will be no survivors.
     Locks on the doors to the majestic houses are activated before we reach them. Whether it is a part of the alarm/light display, or through some other mechanism, I don’t know; and I don’t care. Nothing will take this night from us. Nothing. 
     Fuck the doors! Windows! Glass! This shit will allow us entry easy enough. 
     We mount an attack and slam through the windows, some of us getting cut in the process, blood flowing onto the floors inside, but it matters not. If anything, the contagion within us will spread even more now. The mold from our blood will be absorbed into the bodies of those we attack. Even those who are fortunate enough to run off will not be saved. Through their eyes, noses, and ears the disease will spread. And then . . . and then they will become like us, and they will endure as we do, forced to carry on an existence that is not really conducive to fostering human relations. 
     But that is inconsequential, for now we are hungry and must feed. A smorgasbord of warm flesh and blood awaits us, trying to escape, but it is to no avail. We herd them against the walls and tear into them, our teeth cutting huge chunks of flesh out of them, and their precious life giving blood is lapped up by our eager tongues. 
     Limbs are torn off and thrown to our brethren behind us so they can join in on the feeding frenzy. As much as I strived to maintain my humanity for as long as I did, I bask in the glory of the moment, digging in for all I’m worth, my clean clothes splattered with blood and gore. The more I eat, the stronger I get.
     Bodies squirm under our assault, living much longer than I would have expected, but that only seems to sweeten the taste of dinner. Staring into the eyes of one of the mine owners, I smile, letting him see me for who I am, and then viciously bite into his skull, tasting the tender gray matter which will no longer produce any thought for him.
     One last spasm, and it’s over for him. 
     No one is spared in this house. All are found and devoured. Entrails cover the handrails leading upstairs, Zombies grabbing them by the handful as they search for more victims, munching on the twisted guts as if they were pretzels, a tasty hors de voirs prior to the main course. 
     None will suffer the fate of the Zombies. After a horrible death of being eaten alive, they will pass to the next existence, whether that be Heaven or Hell. For them, it is over. Regeneration will be impossible for them: their flesh has been completely devoured; there are no entrails remaining; their brains are gone; all that remains are bones, and even some of them have been eaten.
     House after house is broken into; body after body is devoured, eaten alive, slowly passing to the next plane of existence as all their body parts are now only food for the “bottom feeders.” Who is on the bottom now?
     My family and I have teamed up as a fighting force. I, having sharper mental acumen, am able to find those we seek and lead them to my wife and three sons. The boys are strong and drag our prey down, and we all eat together.
     Ah, yes: the family that eats together . . .
     My wife is munching away on the brain of our latest victim, when she looks at me, a glint of recognition in her eyes. With each successive kill, not only her, but my sons, as well, appear to become sharper, more focused. 
     Wait! I feel myself leaving the state of anxiety I was in and returning to my old self. The reason? What’s going on?
     It’s the food! The struggling humanity being annihilated by our horrific attacks are not only fueling our bodies, but our minds as well. Brain food! The most powerful source of rejuvenation seems to come when we eat their brains and hearts. It’s as if we are part and parcel of the old Zombie movies. Brains! We do want to eat brains!
    But there is a new twist added in with us: we get better. The way I’m starting to feel, I believe my entire family will be able to function like me. Living, breathing, thinking, flesh-eating, blood drinking, and brain eating Zombies: ruthless, unforgetting, and unforgiving. 
     Revenge tastes sweet on my tongue as we capture a man and woman attempting to flee into the forests surrounding us. 
     “Please! Don’t hurt us!” the woman shouts. “We have done nothing to harm you!”
     “Oh, but you are wrong, dear lady,” I say. “It is because of you we are the way we are.”
     My wife bites into her skull and gets the brain matter first this time, sparing her from a more prolonged, more agonizing death.
     I reach for the man, but he is strong and quick and manages to get up and run away despite the fact I have already removed part of his skull. But he doesn’t go far: rocking unsteadily against a tree, and taking his head into his hands, life slips away from him, and he falls to the ground. By the time I reach him, intent on finishing my meal, he stirs and stares at me with lifeless eyes.  
     He has become one of us, one of the damned.
     In a matter of minutes, he joins the others and attacks his former friends.
     Shots ring out from the far end of this exclusive housing development, and I run off to see what’s going on, my family in tow. Some of the mine hierarchy and their families are holed up in the last house. They have weapons: a lot of them; and they are holding their Zombie antagonists off, hitting them with well placed shots from their rifles and pistols  and watching them fall.
     Sensing victory and an opportunity to escape, they run across the fallen bodies of my comrades and attempt to escape the confines of the house.
     Hands of the fallen reach up and grab them, keeping them from leaving, pulling them down, and then doing what we do best.
     As the teeth bite into them, they wail into the night, calling for help that doesn’t exist. Bite after bite cuts them to shreds, and long fingers with nails like super-strong talons tear into their stomachs and expose the intestines, which steam once they come into contact with the evening air blowing in through the open doors and windows. All here perish, their entire bodies fueling our bodies and minds.
     My little army and I get stronger and stronger . . .
     By the time we leave, there is no one left for us to eat. A few have seemingly escaped, only to return to the fold because the infestation has rendered them void of any of the vestiges of humanity. The army of the undead is growing.
     We return to our homes in different stages of our metamorphoses to our new existence. Some of us have varying levels of co-ordination and brain function. Now that we have eaten human flesh, we have stronger minds and bodies. It is quite obvious the animals we subsisted on before were not the proper fare for us to consume. Humans! We need to eat them to reach the culmination of what we can be. The brass ring is ours for the taking.
     My wife smiles at me and takes my hand in hers. She still can’t speak: perhaps she never will; that might be from atrophy or destruction of the vocal cords. I can’t say for sure. But speech isn’t necessary; I have her back, and that’s what matters.
     We lie together in bed, my arm around her. She is happy for the first time since everything started to hit the fan. Our sons had succumbed to the infestation. Okay, it was probably my fault for making certain they had more to eat than me.
     The fucking pigs! After losing my job in the mines, I had to slaughter them for food. What choice did I have? None! Shit, no one knew about the disease then. 
     My wife was tortured. First she was forced to watch them waste away, and then they died. Heartbreak for both of us. I dug their graves in the back of the house, facing where the sun would greet them before anyone or anything else when it rose in the morning. My wife watched my every move, crying the entire time. I had no more placed the last shovel of dirt on my youngest son’s grave when she let out one last sob. I was forced to dig one more grave.
     The next morning, I woke and was greeted by the four of them sitting around my bed. At first I was overjoyed they were there, but then I wondered what the hell had happened. They were dead! Pieces of flesh were falling from them and they moved erratically and seemed to have no thinking abilities at all.  
     They were merely there . . .
     I thought it was some kind of a weird-ass dream, but it wasn’t. They were dead, but they weren’t dead; they merely went through the motions of some kind of existence I could not understand. The troubling part was when I prepared some pork roast for all of us to eat. They refused to eat it and went out to the pen and killed a big sow with their hands and teeth, and feasted on her flesh and blood like some kind of depraved animals. 
     In shock, there wasn’t much time for me to worry about it. Within a day or so, I fell in to some sort of seeming trance and passed away.
     But I didn’t pass, either. I returned, and I know now what had happened to my family. Why I was still able to think and talk was a mystery, but in all other ways, I was the same as them: I was undead.
     But now: shit, it’s all different! We’re still Zombies, yet by consuming human flesh, we are evolving in to something more than that. Much more.
     Damn! I don’t understand why we need to be cannibals in order to exist on any level of existence that raises us higher than primitive life forms, but so be it. Doing what we need to do has strengthened my family and me, and I see no reason any longer for me to take a passive role in the survival of our species.
     I fall asleep and dream for the first time in ages, thinking pleasant thoughts about the future now that my family has been returned to me.
     We sleep ‘til late afternoon. Our flesh fest has carried us over quite well, but now that we know the secret to our success as a species, I prepare for our evening, an evening to be filled with more of the scintillating pleasures we experienced last night. Our main antagonists on the local level have been pretty much consumed or converted. So we need to search for fresher meat.
     Yes, the anticipation of the kill, the rapturous excitement of the culinary enticements afforded us, and extracting more revenge get me more focused and in tune with my family, as well as my army.
     Darkness settles in as preparations are made. It is best we travel at night, not that we can’t hunt and kill during daylight hours, but we do not exactly fit the “normal” look of the  human residents. Peeling flesh, open sores, some of us with missing limbs, and a preponderance of gouges from sharp teeth among our new recruits, are not easy to hide in bright light.
     Even darkness can’t hide us for who we are. We are the damned, but we are powerful, and the entire planet awaits our conquest. Billions of people reside on this spinning orb. That’s a lot of food. 
     The village of the rich is empty now, no residents are left here for us to pleasure ourselves with, but vehicles of all kinds await us. Yes! Many of us are now capable of driving, rejuvenated from our orgy of destruction last night. 
     Our army piles into the vehicles, a tight fit perhaps, but not for long: I have plans; big plans, and we will have more roomy accommodations soon. A couple of my compatriots have found buses used to transport workers to and from the mountain top mining sites, and these increase our carrying capacity greatly. Once we load them up with the weapons they used against us before, we’re ready to go.
     Down the mountain road our convoy rolls, following behind me as I drive a fancy Hummer I would have never been able to afford when I was grubbing for an existence in the mines. That I should now be sitting behind the wheel of this stately vehicle after my death and re-birth to my undead existence is mind shattering. Oh, the glory of it all!
     Destination: Camp Dawson, a little mountain army outpost in the local mountains. This place is one of those places that’s hush-hush. The terrain allows for troops to train in harsh, survival conditions.
     Their training is getting ready to escalate. Harsh conditions plus Zombies now.
     Our vehicles stop a mile away from the camp. Time for a little undead pow-wow. 
While sneaking in would be our best option, that’s not going to happen. It wasn’t possible at the mine owners’ homes because of all the security, and the alarm system is even stronger here. Next best plan coming up!
     Rearranging the convoy, putting the buses in front, we roar down the road and crash through the gates. The response in the way of lights and alarms puts the mine owners’ display to shame. Troops come after us in various stages of dress and undress, many having been asleep before our unexpected arrival. Bullets fly everywhere, mowing down a lot of our militia, but that won’t happen for long: one way or the other, they will come back from the dead- a perceived state of death from the soldiers’ viewpoint anyway – and rejoin the battle. Armament wise, we are vastly outnumbered, but our invincibility gives us an edge the Army doesn’t have, and it’s one that comes as a complete surprise to them. Standing over fallen foes, the horror of what we are becomes evident when the fallen ones fight back once more, chewing and tearing their way to domination. Others in my army attack them from behind at the same time, and, one by one, they fall to the ground, their blood-soaked bodies giving strength to my people. 
     Terrified eyes stare at us, and pleading voices shout for mercy, but this is survival. All those who are not a part of who we are become our enemies. It is that simple. If it were left to them, we would be mercilessly destroyed, the so-called humans unable to deal with another species threatening to become greater than them.
     A Sergeant approaches me, automatic rifle in hand, but the sight of me disturbs him long enough for me to lunge at his head and lock on with my teeth, my jaw strong and unforgiving. Gray matter is sucked into my mouth, and the sweet, succulent taste excites me, but I only take enough to kill him. He dies, a gaping wound in his head. In a few minutes, he comes up from the ground and attacks his former comrades. 
     The new master plan calls for us to create more undead, not enough to foster a huge force yet, but those who can help us win battles along our road to world domination should be utilized. Once dead and then undead, they will be loyal to the cause. The Sergeant is one of those people. Spilled blood, intestinal matter, and dead and dieing soldiers litter the ground of the compound. Our surprise attack, our show of force, has won the battle. Now that we are victorious, it is time for me to eat. My Zombie family shouldn’t have all the fun.
     The ruthlessness of my feeding methods doesn’t alter the fact I feel more human, more alive now that I am undead than I have ever felt before. The realization that I am immortal, as much as I am aware of anyway, fuels my desires to run ram shod through obstacles which would have held me back before. Even if I am for all appearances killed once more, I will rise up and face the new challenges head on.
     Blood pours from the head of the soldier my wife and I are both feeding on. This is not one to be saved: this man is dinner.
     “What now?” my wife asks, staring at me with love in her eyes.
     I smile, so happy to see she is able to talk to me once more. My sons will be next, I’m certain, to become in charge of their bodies and minds. “What’s next, sweetie?” I say, the blood and gore all over my face not mattering. “Washington, D. C. is next. There are too many fat cats sitting in the hallowed halls who are responsible for the devastation around us. They must pay.”
     She smiles at me and nods her head. “I’m with you. You know that. I’ll always be by your side.”
     We kiss and return to our meal. All is well: for us it is; not for humanity. 
     Washington, D.C. tomorrow. The rest of the world next.
     A New World Order is on the way. This is only the beginning . . .
Blaze McRob

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