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Vampire Faces Zombie Apocalypse

by Samuelx 01/14/18

Night fell, bathing the South Dakotan landscape in eerie darkness. Freshly fallen snow littered the land, blanketing nearly everything. It was cold that night, even for that part of used to be the United States of America. The country no longer existed, just like most of the world's nations. To have a country, one needs land, population and government. Two out of those three criterions for nationhood have been rendered moot by the flesh-eating Zombies, who rendered population and government non-existent.

"Those things are getting smarter," Owen Stephenson said to himself, watching through binoculars as the Zombies swarmed over the modest human settlement, all that remained of the City of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This latest band of soon-to-be former survivors numbered forty or so, ordinary men and women who'd banded together to survive the Zombie Apocalypse. They'd hidden inside a Walmart, the one on the edge of town, and fortified it to prevent human marauders and the Undead from coming inside.

Owen had been observing this particular settlement for some time, and he'd seen some of them come back injured from a hunting party. They were doomed the moment they brought their dying friends into the stronghold. At the onset of the Zombie apocalypse, everyone thought that only those who got bitten by Zombies would be turned, and everyone was wrong. These days, any ordinary man or woman who dies, in whatever manner, will rise as a Zombie unless their brain is destroyed to prevent reanimation.

"Poor shmucks," Owen said quietly, and he quickly surmised what happened. The injured hunters reanimated after their deaths, and infected the whole compound. If Owen's non-beating heart could still feel pity, it would have been saddened over the destruction of what was left of his hometown. If only it still beat, of course. Unfortunately, becoming a Vampire meant ridding himself of a lot of human foibles, such as sentimentality, and that penchant for daytime activities.

Six feet four inches tall, broad-shouldered and strongly built, with caramel-hued skin, piercing brown eyes and somewhat unkempt dreadlocks, clad in a long black overcoat over a black T-shirt featuring Malcolm X and blue jeans, still ripped from his days as an NCAA football player, Owen Stephenson definitely cut an imposing figure. It was his native toughness that allowed him to weather the often-traumatic transformation one undergoes as one turns into a Vampire, and gave him a change to thrive in a hostile world.

The towering Vampire scanned the darkness, and did not like what he saw. Nevertheless, once upon a time, Sioux Falls was the place that a young mortal man named Owen Stephenson called home. He first saw the light of day here, and it was also the last place where the sun's rays touched his skin. He was born here, the result of an unlikely romance between Jaffer Stephenson, a farmhand originally from Jamaica, and Lily Cagney, a young white woman who elicited much scandal by falling in love with, and subsequently marrying the handsome foreigner.

Owen Stephenson and his parents led a tumultuous life in Sioux Falls, which was no bedrock of racial tolerance even in the 1980s. Unlike a lot of towns in the Midwest, or the Prairies regions in general, Sioux Falls took the progressive route on civil rights and racial relations in the 1960s. That didn't mean that people wouldn't have a problem with a tall, dark-skinned Caribbean man with an accent marrying a blonde-haired local young white woman, just two decades after racial segregation became outlawed. The Stephenson couple was seen as pushing social boundaries, and set a lot of local tongues a-wagging.

Owen lived his whole life in Sioux Falls, and grew up in a world where people stared at his Poppa and Momma for being an interracial couple, and for having him, of course. The four percent of the local population which was African American wasn't totally welcoming towards Owen and his parents, but they were fixtures at Mount Harmon Methodist, the local black church. Among its five hundred or so congregants, Owen and his folks found a second family, of sorts.

When Owen turned eighteen, he seriously thought about attending college far from home, someplace like Boston or Los Angeles, but lacked the funds. Thusly, Owen attended Augustana University on a football scholarship, graduating with a business degree in 2009 at the age of twenty three. Yeah, Sioux Falls was his home alright, and he died here. And thanks to the Vampire virus circulating in his veins, keeping him in that sundry place between life and death, he'd been reborn here.

A decade and a half later, the whole world went to hell. The dead began to rise, for reasons unknown, craving the flesh of the living. With so many television shows and movies whose plots involved the flesh-eating dead, such as World War Z, The Walking Dead, iZombie, and others, one would think that ordinary men and women living in Western society would know what to do when Zombies became a real problem. And one would have been dead wrong, pun intended.

As a Vampire, Owen was just as affected by the Zombie problem as anyone else, if not more so. The Zombies were a big problem. They uprooted the Vampires as the top predators on the planet earth. They were everywhere, munching on the humans, and drastically reducing the Vampires food supply. The Vampires absolutely despised the Zombies for dethroning them.

The Zombie problem continued to expand, and thanks to their foolishness, the humans were unable to curtail the problem. All the humans had to do was stop being sentimental, isolate the infected and exterminate them. Destroying the brain always worked best. Sadly, they couldn't even be bothered to do even that. Owen and his kind went out to slay the Zombies when it became evident that humanity's combination of foolishness, emotionality and lack of preparation spelled doom for everyone. Sadly, they were overwhelmed.

As Owen continued to watch the carnage, cool eyes observed him in the pre-dawn darkness. Booted feet stepped through the snowy foliage, moving without anything even resembling a sound. Nevertheless, Owen turned, for the seventh sense that only Vampires possessed allowed him to sense his own kind across great distances. The new arrival stopped ten feet from him, and waited silently.

"Bodies, shambling ones and mortal ones, and not a frigging drop to drink," came a snarky voice, and Owen sighed, though he no longer breathed, and turned to face the new arrival. Nagla Haddad stood there, clad in the neon-yellow workman's vest that she took off a victim, long ago, plus a black tank top and blue jeans. Tall and willowy, with dark bronze skin, long curly dark hair and lively brown eyes, she looked beautiful...and lethal. She was his Maker, and they were locked together for all eternity.

"Well, first comes first served, the Zombies got them, they got here before we did," Owen replied at last, and he handed her the binoculars. Nagla all but snatched them from his grasp, and then took a look at what was supposed to be their new feeding ground. They were growing desperate these days, driven half-mad by their craving for human blood. Owen knew that Nagla last fed five days ago, upon the leader of a pack of human marauders who attacked them in the middle of the night.

"Whatever, you're our leader, find us some food, and fast," Nagla said tersely, and she licked her lips, flashing Owen a fanged smile. Owen sighed, and tried not to roll his eyes. Nagla whistled, and two more silhouettes stepped forward from the darkness. A tall, bald-headed, bearded and dark-skinned African American man in military fatigues, and a short, slender young Asian woman with spiky hair bleached bone-white. Rex and Sasha, the newest members of their little club for post-apocalyptic blood drinkers.

"I didn't find anything in the east," Rex said, his voice gruff and unyielding, and Owen faced the tall, burly soldier-turned-Vampire, whom he turned himself. They first ran into each other during the rise of the living dead, when Owen went to hide from the daylight near a military base where Rex Jackson, USMC corporal, happened to be stationed. A fight ensued when a horde of Zombies swarmed the base, and during the ensuing confusion, Owen saved a badly injured Rex, by turning him into a Vampire.

"This whole land is barren, virtually no humans or animals left, the Zombies have eaten everything," replied Sasha Nguyen, Rex's fellow Vampire and paramour. The young Asian woman, originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, was visiting her fiancé Todd's family in Rapid City, South Dakota, when the dead began to rise. Sasha ran into Owen and Rex as they fled the Zombie-infested military base, and they ended up turning her, to gain an ally and spare her from becoming Zombie food.

"We need to get the hell out of here before daylight," Nagla said tersely, and Owen nodded. He looked at the sky, which, while still dark, was lightening rapidly. The quartet vanished into the darkness, moving at superhuman speed. They found an old warehouse which was mercifully free of both humans and Zombies, and slept in the rafters, as was their custom. They didn't want to risk being found out by human marauders, or mauled by the Zombies, by sleeping on the floor. They were helpless during the daylight hours.

"Sleep tight everybody, I promise we'll find some food tonight," Owen said to his acolytes as they began preparations for the day. Rex and Sasha nodded, but Nagla shot him a dubious look. Bitch needs a hobby, he thought sourly. As the Vampire clan slept away the daylight hours, Owen hugged the metallic pole bisecting the entire warehouse, and lay there, in that strange place between sleep and wakefulness. As he often did nowadays, he thought of his old life, back in Sioux Falls. He dreamed of before, back when he was still human, the dead stayed dead instead of munching on the living, and the world was a much simpler place...

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