Sunday, 13 May 2007

Chapter 54: Easy Shift

Private Moore was sitting under a tree in the darkness, enjoying the easy shift. Every four weeks, the soldiers had to take the journey out to one of the dugouts hidden in the fields on the one-mile radius around Hartley House. Their job was to keep a watchful eye on the skies for approaching bloodsuckers but since there hadn’t been any vampire activity for a long time, everyone in the squad looked forward to the lookout shift as an opportunity to chill out and get some extra shut-eye.

The soldiers on the easy shift all kept in touch with each other on a different radio channel that wasn’t being monitored by their colleagues at Hartley House and took it in turns to sleep. Private Moore looked at his watch.

Time to catch some zees.

He picked up his radio and changed the channel. ‘Time’s up, dude. It’s my turn now,’ he said, expecting his squad mate Private Norris to answer him, but there was no reply.

‘Hey, are you there? Wake up you lazy son of a bitch.’

Again, all he heard was interference on the radio.

‘Is anyone else out there? Anyone seen Pete tonight?’

There was no answer again for a few seconds until he heard the friendly voice of Private Wilson. ‘Hey, it’s Mike here. I haven’t seen him or heard from him. Thinking about it, I haven’t heard from anyone for a while.’

‘Come on guys,’ Moore said into the radio, ‘no messing around tonight. Who’s out there?’

After another moment of radio static, Private Wilson answered again. ‘Looks like it’s just me and you. I wonder what’s going on. Oh shit, wait a minute.’

‘What’s going on, Mike?’

‘Look up. To the east.’

Private Moore grabbed his rifle and got to his feet. He looked to the east but couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Just a big black cloud.

Just a big black cloud that’s moving towards me.

‘What the hell’s going on, Mike?’ Private Moore shouted into the radio and got a one word answer that made his heart sink.


He heard the sound of gunfire in the distance and ran into the middle of his field to make a stand against the dark cloud coming his way. Realising he had left his radio under the tree, Moore checked his rifle was loaded and flicked the safety catch, hoping to keep his worst nightmare at bay long enough to get back to warn everyone at Hartley House.

Who am I kidding? I’m a dead man
, he thought.

He was right.

Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.

No comments: