a sample from TITANIC PANIC!
Work progresses nicely on the second installment in the Farcical Zombie Trilogy. Only one chapter stands between me and the dreaded “proofing” phase. In the meantime, here’s a snippet from a chapter I finished not too long ago. There’s no context because that would spoil the randomness of it…
“Right then. I’m Joe. This is Benson. We’re on a mission to rescue whatever stragglers are down here before we jump ship. Let’s go.”
“I’m not going on any rescue mission.” Arnold scoffed. “I’m getting out of here. Point me to the direction of the life boats.”
Benson snorted at him. “I got news for you, sir, we’re not riding any life boats.”
“What do you mean? The ship is sinking. We must—”
“A ship this size, with a manifest this big. There’s not going to be enough for all of us. Women and children, sure. But the men—most of us, anyway—are going down with the ship.”
“Well then…do what you want; I don’t intend to be part of the 'most of us' contingent. I…intend…”
He had more to say but lost his train of thought. The last remaining lamp in the room was casting a glisten on the floor, one which wasn’t there earlier. The three men noticed it at the same time and squinted as they looked down to make out what it was.
It was water.
“We have to move.” Benson said. He spun in place to head for the exit but felt the revolver slip out of his back pocket. “Hey…”
“Now just a minute.” Arnold said, pointing the gun at him before swinging it toward Joe: “You too, stay still or your friend gets it.”
“Ah we’re not really friends.” Joe replied quickly.
“No one is going to do anything stupid.” Benson said.
Just then, the ship angled sharply downward and all three men lost their balance. Joe sprang for Arnold, who saw him coming and pistol-whipped him in the jaw, putting him on the deck. Benson leapt for him next…
Benson fell, blood spilling from his chest. Arnold heaved deep breaths in and out, looking at the two men, then to the water slowly filling the room. “Sorry about this.” he mumbled as he knelt down to pick up the elephant gun that Benson dropped as he fell.
Joe stirred and began to pick himself up, which prompted Arnold to run for it. The cowboy was not inexperienced picking off a moving target, however. He withdrew his sidearm and took aim. “Not even swerving.” Joe said as he squeezed the trigger.
A *bang* echoed around them and a red mist burst from Arnold’s shoulder. He stumbled forward but kept running, escaping out of the room, presumably to the stairway beyond. Joe lets him go, choosing instead to aid Benson.
“Joe…” he whispered, wincing as the cowboy lifted his head.
“Hold on partner. I’ll get you up and out of here.”
Benson waved the idea away, shaking his head in defeat. “Listen to me. Promise me you’ll go to my room. It’s on this deck, in the front of the ship Promise me.”
“I promise. I do.” Joe replied, stone-faced.
“My room is located—”
“Oh Benson, I’m real sorry.”
“…wha?” he eeked, grimacing.
“When I said we weren’t friends. I mean, I had only just met you and all. And you seem like a swell guy—”
“Joe. My room. It’s the second on—”
“—a little stand-offish maybe, but that’s you. I see that now. Anyway I shouldn’t have been so quick to dismiss you—”
“Joe. The second room on the …”
“I promise you. I will make it to your cabin. I will find your lost love. We will both escape for you. I swear it.” He looked down into his friend’s eye, steely determination on his face.
“Benson?” A gentle shake elicited no response. He was gone. Joe sighed deeply, water beginning to reach Benson’s shoulders and spill over his chest.
The cowboy stood up and looked down at his fallen companion. “This will be your burial.” he said stoically and sloshed toward the exit, stopping only at the door to turn back one last time and think aloud: “Ahh shoot, he never told me which cabin he was staying in…”