Mountain of the Dead
By Aaron Wilson
Artwork by Jose Baetas.
Jack stood on the cabin’s front porch, waiting for the mountain’s warning tower to rocket flares into the blackened sky, and signal once again that the gates of hell had become unhinged. And just like fireworks on the 4th of July, the darkened sky began lighting up. Jack took a swig from the Jim Beam bottle that he was strangling by the neck, before heaving it towards the mountain. He was no longer running on 80 proof - he was now running on revenge. Jack staggered back inside the cabin. All he could hear was his family’s final screams, now blaring in his head like an AC/DC record. He headed straight for the stockpile of weaponry that he had amassed in anticipation of the second coming of Death’s Necro-Army. He knew it wouldn’t be long until the Necrobastards would be descending down the mountain for him, so Jack quickly began arming himself. The first weapon he picked up was his army knife; responsible for the countless deaths of global enemies from his five tours of duty, and the one weapon he would be proud to die with. Next, he gripped the pineapple hand grenades; great for crowd control. His eyes then locked onto the 12 gauge Zabala. There was never a need for an explanation when choosing this shotgun for killing. Last up was the M9 Flamethrower, because Jack knew that the best way to exterminate flesh rotting bastards was to burn’em. He was now fully loaded, for Hell’s Army. As he bolted for the door, Jack turned his head and took a glance at the family portrait that was now clinging to the wall - just in case it was for the last time. He then slammed the cabin’s front door behind him and began marching towards the Triumph motorcycle. It was now time to exterminate the flesh rotting bastards.
Jack sat idling the Triumph at the base of the mountain. His head was bowed, and thoughts of his dead family were now flooding his mind. He could see their faces of agony, as they called out to him for help that night. It was the first time in five years that Jack’s mind had resurrected those final moments. Every painful image that flashed in his mind made him strangle the Triumph’s handlebars that much harder. Finally, the memory of his son being born drove Jack past his breaking point. He could not restrain the adrenaline rush that was now flooding his body. So, Jack clenched his teeth, revved the Triumph’s engine, and began gunning it up the mountain. As he was giving the Triumph all it could handle, the tape deck was doing the same. Judas Priest was roaring through the Mountain’s forest. Hordes of animals were now fleeing past him. Jack knew Death’s Necrobastards were getting close. The flamethrower’s tanks were now clanging together as the Triumph’s gas tank was giving out. Jack knew he couldn’t risk blowing himself up, so he skidded the Triumph, and jumped off. He would now be ascending the mountain on foot.
With his black leather gloves gripping the flamethrower, Jack continued onwards up the mountain. The fog was growing thicker with every stride he took; as if hell was trying to suffocate him. He suddenly stopped in his tracks. The sound of Death’s Necro-Army was ricocheting off the trees: the moans were surrounding him. Jack clenched the flamethrower’s handle tighter, and got in the ready position. He began peering through the blinding fog for the first sight of Death’s Necro-Army. The moans were violently piercing his eardrums; with sounds that would make most men’s teeth shatter. Suddenly, there was nothing but the sound of his leather gloves scrunching the flamethrower. As the emptiness of Death hovered over him, the first of Death’s Necro-Army broke through the fog. Its eye sockets were hollow. Jack could see nothing but the soul-less darkness through them. The Necrobastard was now standing less than 30 metres from him. More of Death’s mercenaries then began appearing. With flamethrower in hand, Jack was ready to take his revenge on the Necrobastards that had stolen his family from him. The first numbskull to come within 20 metres of him would get torched first. As the nearest Necrobastard started plodding forward, so did Jack. He instantly began twitching his trigger finger, and lit the flesh rotting bastard up like a Cuban cigar. Jack continued spreading the flames evenly over the rest the Necrobastards. The sight of burning numbskulls was sending him into testosterone overdrive. He began pulling harder and harder on the flamethrower’s trigger: bringing furious carnage to all of Death’s defenseless Necro-Army. The smell of burning rotten flesh was now stinging Jack’s nostrils. The flamethrower then began stuttering: its tanks were emptying. Jack tore off the flamethrower’s backpack, and tossed it to the ground. He quickly reached over his shoulder for the Zabala. Burning Necrobastards were now clawing at his All-American flesh. Jack began blasting holes the size of grapefruits through the numbskulls, but Death’s Necro-Army kept coming at him. Jack reached towards his waist, and pulled off a pineapple hand grenade. He then pulled the pin, and launched it up the mountain to slow Death’s onslaught. He then threw another, then another, and another, and as far as he could chuck’ em. Blown up limbs and torsos began scattering overhead, and showering down: Jack was loving every minute of it. He then turned back to the Zabula, and continued blasting the Necrobastards. Jack then pulled his finger from shotgun trigger; smoke began rising from the barrels. Jack looked around at the bonfires of steaming carcases surrounding him: it was Vietnam all over again. As his mind caught up with his eyes, Jack continued up the mountain, disposing of the remaining Necrobastards.
As Jack muscled his way up the edge of the Mountain, he could see the gates of hell in the near distance. He stood up, and quickly threw the shotgun over the ledge of the mountain. He then took his trusty army knife from his boot, as he wanted to feel revenge through the tip of the blade. Jack started inching forward towards the Gates of Hell. He knew the legend of Death being a shape shifter. As he took his next step, a Hellhound came charging out at him from beyond the gates. Its laser beam eyes glowed through the darkness, and were locked onto him. As it closed the distance, the Hellbeast’s heads began rapidly mutating, and enlarging: its body quickly followed suit. The Hellhound suddenly leaped towards him. Jack quickly opened his stance so that he could embrace the fucker properly. He took a powerful swipe with his army knife, shearing the blade across the throat of Death’s guardian. The great beast tried to howl, but could only manage wimpy gargling noises from its slit throat. Jack knelt down to try and look into the Hellbeast’s eyes, but saw nothing. There was nothing there but a soul-less abyss. He stood back up, and walked over to the edge of the mountain. The sun was now piercing down through the sky’s darkness, exposing the massacre he had left leading up the mountain. Jack had gotten his revenge. He pulled out the Ashton cigar from his leather vest, hung it on his lower lip, and patted down his jeans pockets for his zippo. No luck. Jack knew right then that Death and its Necro-Army would be back for him. And that just like today, he would be ready.
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