Shauna and the Dead: Second Strain


Second Strain


The door slammed tight behind her. Amidst a sea of groaning walkers came the audio of knuckles cracking with intent. Black army issue boots, tight-fitting denim, kick-ass Ramones t-shirt and bandana; she was so primed to do battle with the hordes of undead swarming around her. Shauna was unperturbed by the commotion, strewn across the hill before her were droves of the wounded and infected. There was no hope for them now, putting them out of their misery and ending their famished torment was the only available option. Fucking plebs weren’t getting their gnashers on her epidermal blanket. Siphoning crimson from her athletic frame was going to prove a bridge too far for these out-of-sorts wannabes.


The crazy straws were out, clutched by her sides and ready to make critical contact. Shauna had sublime skills with these cylindrical death-tubes, years of twirling practice had prepared her for this outbreak and she didn’t procrastinate in the slightest in putting them to stellar use. First straw straight into the eye socket, mid retina no less, as a curb-crawling creeper met his end. A shortly followed second was rammed forcibly through the skull of a survivor mid-transformation. “Be at peace” was her gently delivered rejoinder as another undead moron bit the curb. Ordinarily Shauna would not give a second thought to curb-stomping his lame ass but the infection was still spreading and there was still a smidgen of humanity in the otherwise dead eye of her quarry so mercy was shown.


No such luck for the shuffling shit fuck reaching out for a grab as she round-housed him,removing any vague balance and sending him toppling onto both straws which had been strategically placed already underneath his falling shadow. This time both eye-cavities were trespassed as both straws exited through the back of its cranium, threading through optical fluids and strands of fleshy tissue. As it fell flat, the straws protruded through the fresh fissures akin to the aerials on a 1950s telly. The convulsing cadaver was then brought to a standstill as she placed her boot on both straws and pressed down with a vindictive wiggle just to stir the cerebral seasoning further into each cavity.


First stop, the supermarket. It seemed so clich├ęd but Shauna was fully mindful that further tooling up would be necessary. The lofty vantage point over her home town revealed numerous pockets of these flesh-foraging festering fucks. This was bad man! Like looking at a blood sample through a microscopic lens her peepers revealed a fair few thousands, rowdily rampaging. The gradient of the hillside was steep but this just afforded opportunity for a lady of Shauna’s stature. With a six-pack better stacked than a surfboard sandwich and a steely determination bleeding from each fiercely focused eye she crouched like a panther and set off with some velocity. Steadily building a rate of knots able to test the strongest heart, she distributed distress with every forceful step. Hop, skipping and jumping on her descent with a cruel twinkle in her eye, she moved with the guile of a Manga -styled Amazonian Tokyo Cyber-Cheerleader. Plenty of and later she has arrived at her first checkpoint in her perilous mission.


The riverside park seemed comparatively sparsely furnished considering the bottle-neck of brain-desiring rotters all congregating around the entrance. A few meaningful bounds and she spotted a fisherman by the quayside, galoshes up to his knees and donning a pea-green body warmer and similarly drab beanie. This dude seemed to be struggling to reel in whatever it was he’d caught. Shauna instantly recalled that only minnows settled in these waters and, with that, the warning bells rang. Def Con 1 achieved. She observed him a moment longer, fascinated by his plight and curious to see its resolution.


With a start the wayward angler flicked the line above his head, sending a disembodied bonce careering straight towards her path. No sweats; she caught the head under the heel of her leather boot, which settled in-between jaws still in the throes of gnashing the rubber sole. She lifted her foot and delivered a crushing blow, splitting first the jaw and in turn the bottom segment of its head from the top. The crunch alone would evoke retching from the burliest alpha male but Shauna simply didn’t flinch. This gal had evidently played Duke Nukem, most probably with inverted controls, no decomposing dimlow was going to bite her dreams. Shaking her boot briefly to dislodge the shattered fragments of incisors from her boot, she pressed the fuck on.


One more misguided traveler was making relative haste to her co-ordinates and in full traffic warden attire. She was clutching a half-scribbled ticket in one hand and holding a crassly removed appendage in t’other. She didn’t get into Shauna’s personal space and instead was hoisted from the ground like a rag-doll. This particular walker was no more than 6 stone drenched in piss; no match for a trained MMA fighter like Shauna. She may have been 5″4 but that meant a low centre of gravity. She flung the bony stench-wench in the direction of a metal park landmark shaped in the mould of a flower and with razor-sharp petals. Of course, it accepted its offering, piercing both heart and lower spine on two of the edges. The sheer force of the throw was sufficient to keep pressing her back, exposing large areas of glugging innards. Kidneys and a stretch of intestine oozed out, sliding down the shiny metal and dripping into a lumpy pool of grue beneath. “You EVER fuck with me again…” She left the mutant fishwife pinned and slowly spilling away and returned her attention to the path ahead. Shauna was only a few hundred yards from the supermarket now, her second checkpoint beacon was in sight. But that is a story for another day.


Keeper of the Crimson Quill



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