Friday, May 2, 2014

We're all human, even when we're not.

Murdox was standing on the hill overlooking the enemy camp.  He hefted his war hammer and grinned at the sleeping sentries.  The fools had dared to enter his territory.  With the fall of technology, the only way to keep anything was to win.

This band of marauders thought themselves' special for they still carried watches and cell phones like at any minute this nightmare would end.  It has been seven hundred ninety three days since magic returned.  The first sweeping gesture to gain control was to kill all technology.  The feat was amazing since it somehow disabled firearms and combustion engines from working.

The world's population has dwindled from the lack of food production and distribution.  People fought to go to the wilderness and it seemed like nature's food reserves in the wild animals would go extinct, but they are now higher on the food chain.  Without guns, most people can't kill their food to eat.  They had grown soft over the generations.
Murdox was not like most people.  He fought his way north into the wilderness of northern NY.  With his strength, he stole and fought his way to the land of harsh winters and few people.  Along the way, he fashioned himself a weapon of immense strength, his war hammer.  It was eight steel plates jammed onto the head of a baseball bat filled with concrete.  Using welding adhesives and some large bolts it had held together.

Once he found an abandoned farm house on a hill within walking distance of a water source, he began to fortify it.  With a basic knowledge of defense and his muscular frame, he tore down the barn and stripped the fences of their barbed wires.  From there, he defenses grew.  

Two weeks from the initial blackout, the world knew what he had already figured out.  Technology is dead and only the strong will survive.  At this point, he had bottled enough water from the river to last him a year and had begun stockpiling food he could find on night raids on surrounding houses and stores.  These were not without the occasional killing.  His number one concern was to prepare for the worse which is yet to come.
Weeks later was the first test of his defenses.  Local thugs, who had crying girls ganged and bound in tow.  He cursed his luck for he knew if he won there was no way to save the girls for they would run out of food long before the appointed time.  

As the gang tried to overcome his stout defense, one of the girls tried to run away.  The leader caught her and took her to the barbed wire where he proceeded to threaten Murdox to surrender or watch all the girls be tossed into the matt of barbed coils.  Biting his lip, he waited behind a stone wall he has erected.  True to his word the girls were hauled to the front and tossed like dead wood onto a bonfire.  The screams would keep him awake for the rest of his life.

His soul was ripping as he sat and heard the deaths of innocents on his garden of razors.  What was it to survive if he lost his grip on humanity?  Shouldn't he have tried to reason with them or just give up to save the girls who were currently screaming as flesh was being torn from their skin?  He shook his head, his death would just mean they would have raped and killed the girls as they pleased.  It would not save them.

Gripping his hammer tight, he waited out the screams until there was silence.  As the wind rustled the leaves in the yard, he heard the laughing of the members of the gang.  It started as a chuckle then grew them rolling on the ground wiping tears from their eyes.  The leader gasped and mimicked the girls' final gasps on the barbed patch.  Murdox stood, but his eyes were glowing with a dark red light.

With three steps he reached the body strewn barbed patch.  Deftly, he jumped from body to body and met the gang who were recovering from their mirth.  A guttural roar left his snarled lips as he brought the hammer down on the head of the leader.  The steel plates impacted with enough force causing the head to explode.  Sliding his feet in the dirt, he turned and swung the hammer into the chest of the second guy.  The rotation and swing combined and drove the victim into a third and they both fell being pierced by the mini-windmill tower artwork left by the previous owners.

One member remained and he pulled out a pocket knife and swung it in front of him.  Murdox grinned and stalked down the fourth member who had laughed the hardest.  The man lunged and with a decisive blow with the hammer, Murdox had shattered the wrist which sent the knife flying harmlessly away into the night.  Moving blindingly fast in the dark of night, Murdox smashed every major joint and then dragged the semiconscious man to the road where he picked him up and slammed him down on the post long since disregarded.  The pole pierce the jeans in the crotch and the body slid down it like a puppeteer's hand into their sock puppet.

Murdox walked back and blinked a few times as he stood over the gang's hoard of food and weapons.  Looking around he saw blood and death glistening in the moonlight.  At his feet was a word, "Zerk" written in the same blood which covered his hands.  His eyes teared up, and he grinning into the night sky while saying thanks.  

Over the years, he and Zerk had talked.  Zerk was his monstrous rage which slept in his soul.  The release of the ancient ways, his soul has released the bonds of humanity and allows him to go berserk, which saves Murdox his humanity.

Standing on the hill, he grins, "Time to play Zerk."

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