22: Birth and Death of a Sex Imp

“I’ll tell you why I love cock. An erect penis has God damn purpose. It is a glistening testimony to drive and determination. The magnificent exposed head, drooling desire, twitching and demanding to be known. Each pulsing vein a river of will. Striving to fill me up with its pearly white promise of new life. It drags our male body forward with its need. Overriding all judgement for its, I’ll say it again, Purpose. What the fuck does a pussy have?”

The man filling me with his cock talk was The Lips. one of the henchman of the Baron Von Monkey. When I had been handed the Satphone, while still naked and freezing in a hole in the ground, I had expected the Baron. Not his comfortably gay, mildly english sounding compatriot.

“Wwwwwhy are you telling me this?” I said into the sat phone.

I had fallen from the sky wrestling with a soldier of the enemy. He was a pile of shattered bone to my left. I slowly stood up. The new body creaking a bit. Just the same as the old. When my energy returned I began striding towards the door of the airship.

“I’ll tell you another thing. The taste of cock fresh from-” I cut him off.

“Look-k-k-k. I agree. Cocks are nice, but I am naked, freezing and where is the fucking monkey!?” I built to a good yell.

“Cocks are nice? I’m saving that one for later.” Delta said quietly off to the side.

“Shut the fuck up little girl! I’m not in the mood.” I barked at Delta and then started in on the henchman, “And cock fiend get the fucking monkey or I will hang this phone up and you motherfuckers get nothing from me.”

The last bit I said as I stepped into the airship. Delta had managed to land it. I was quite impressed. She had crushed one of the old Winnebago wheels against a rock, but it wasn’t really being used for anything anymore.

“Where’s my pictures?” The Monkey hissed into my ear through the satphone, as I began to ransack the clothes lockers in the back of the Winnebago-based airship.

“Well,” I said with a bit more vinegar than usual, “I took a few shots of the holy place, it was called the Well of Souls, then my lovely assistant and I blew the motherfucker up. Probably literally a motherfucker by the way”

“What!?” Squealed the monkey.

“Yup. We blew it up! But I’ll tell you what, you crazy little hairball fuck, I found something even better.” I responded as I pulled a nasty looking pair of sweatpants on.

“What is that?” An edge of intrigue in his screeching voice.

“A place called The Yards. I’m not sure what it is, but it is at a place called Battle Mountain in old Nevada.” I said.

“Seek it out Humbaba and send me what you have.” The Monkey spat.

“Don’t fucking call me that.” I hung up on him and tossed the phone onto one of the beds.

Delta was standing behind me as I slipped on a grey shirt with the picture of a rooster being choked on it.  Where the fuck did the previous operators of that airship get their clothes, a pedophiles hope chest?

I had lost my nice pants, shirt and sweater, but my outerwear was still in the Winnebago and I had most of my weapons. This ramshackle expedition was going to run out of supplies soon.

I turned and Delta was still standing there, looking implacable and bemused. The greek delta symbol tattooed on her forehead was still marred by an old scar. Her hair was longer than when we first met, but still jet black. She had a pair of sweatpants on as well. They were over large and held up by a ratty leather belt. She also wore a bunnyhug with the hood pulled up over her ears to ward off the cold.

I looked her in the eyes and said, “You remember the name of that crazy bitch that shot me with an arrow?”    

“You mean the one you fucked?” She responded with a quizzical turn of her head.

“Ahem. Yes. That one.” I answered, averting my gaze.

“Of course.” She bounced a little and smiled, “I liked her. She was fucking nuts. Her name was Matilda. And she had six goats. All named Mittens for some reason.”

“I thought her cat was named Mittens?” I asked as I stepped by her and into the living room/kitchen. There was shit all over the floor from the struggle.

Delta turned and answered, “Well the goats were named Mittens too. Never saw a cat.”

“Well we are going to go find her again, trade for some supplies and maybe convince her to come along for the ride. We could use the firepower.” I said.

“You think your ass could handle it?” Delta asked.

I glared at her and began opening the few cupboards looking for food. Dieing always left me starving. Whatever food was in my system must go into the process. There was a dozen or so packages of dried raman noodles above the stove. I began eating one of the bricks of carbs raw.

“Can you shut the door. It’s freezing in here.”, bits of noodle blowing out past my lips as I spoke.

Delta raised her eyebrows and gave me a ‘you idiot’ look. It took me a second.

“Oh balls.” I said, spitting more bits.

When the Gilgamesh soldier and I had exited the vehicle at several hundred meters up we had taken the door with us. An inspection revealed the hinges went with the door and a few chunks of the frame with them. I sighed heavily and stuffed another chunk of raman into my mouth.

A search of the Winnebago turned up some worrying pornography, a lot more ammunition, more raman, various clothes in different states of repair and some patch canvas for the gas envelope among a lot of other things. That would have to do.

After we suited up in more proper outdoor clothes Delta and I ventured out with the canvas and a bucket of resin that we figured went with the patch canvas. Or they got high with it. Fuck if I know. We got it sealed up and all it cost was one of my gloves, now part of the patch, and an hour in the cold.

We returned to the relative warm of the Winnebago through the drivers side door.

“Why have you never tried to fuck me?” Delta asked as we were pulling off our outerwear, in a tone like she was asking why the sky was blue.

I paused in taking my jacket off and stared at her.

“Because I’m old enough to be your father and I’ve tried to never think of you that way.” I finally responded and began to again pull the outdoor gear off.

Delta looked down, “Older guys have tried before.”

“Well that’s easy. I’m better then them.” I responded.

She snorted, “Sure. You’re just biding your time. Then Bam! I’ll be knocked up with your demon spawn.”

I laughed, “Just make us some lunch while I try and figure out how to find the crazy bitch.”

The tablet the monkey gave me had a GPS app and maps for most of the western USA. I was able to find Battle Mountain easy enough. The crazy bitch`s lair was a different story. I spent an hour tracing old routes from known locations and I was pretty sure I found an area to search for her.

After my escapade with the maps I hooked the satphone into the tablet and logged onto the fucking internet. I was amazed that it still existed. The eastern hemisphere had come through the fires relatively well. They still had a bruised and battered civilization. Including Satellite access to a rudimentary internet. That must cost the Monkey a heap of poop.

Once I logged on I composed an email with all the info I could think of and the pictures I had taken before my daring rescue. The email was large, but I hit send and it began its uploading.

I hated the fucking monkey, but he had equipped me for this journey into the cold. And he had found my bowler hat. It was sitting on the dashboard. More handsome than ever.

“Here. Eat this.” Delta dropped a bowl of bright orange macaroni in my lap.

“I haven’t had mac and cheese in...I really have no idea.” I said.

The rubbery noodles oozed down my throat and the too salty tang of the fake cheese stung my tongue. I was in heaven. It pulled me back to Saturday lunches in my childhood home.

“God this tastes like month old period pussy.” Delta made a face as she slurped up her portion.



We began our journey the next morning. By my calculation it would take about a week to get in the area where Matilda probably was. Then we’d have to float around until we spotted her shack and barn. It was a bit of a long shot.

I loved Delta like a father, but spending a week cooped up in a tiny box with her was trying. At least this time she didn’t try and stab me with a knife. Delta was mostly back to her old self. Talking endlessly, finding any number of topics that made me feel uncomfortable. She wasn’t talking about her time at the Well of Souls. She had been there for six months or so and it had to have been fucked up. I did find out she had turned sixteen a month earlier. So there is that.

Then one day while we were playing some poker at the kitchen table.

“So...Why did you say cock is nice? Are you gay? Is that why you’ve never tried to fuck me? It would explain a lot of things. Do you like anal? I’ve heard even most gay guys don’t do that. Is that true?” She verbal diarrhea asked.

I had been taking a drink of water and spluttered a little. Some dripping onto the cards.

“I’m not gay. I’m as straight as any man is when he’s comfortable in his sexuality and walking this lonely world.” I responded.

“Is that a poetic way of saying you’ve sucked cock for room and board? Or do you like it? Are you some kind of pan-sexual imp dispensing blowjobs and sucking cunt equally? I miss getting my-”

“Nope. No. No. No. No. We are not discussing your or my previous sexual encounters. Not happening.”

“How many woman have you fucked?”

I tilted my head and looked up. Doing a quick tally. Then I caught myself.

“I’m not telling you that.”

“But you were thinking about it. The number is right there on the tip of your head.” She poked me in the forehead.

I grumbled and began to deal the next hand of poker.

“I’ve met the sex imp of the everafter. He’ll take your cum. No charge. Just a meal and smile will do.” She said in a sing-song voice.

I tried to ignore her and she took that as a sign to call me the sex imp for the rest of the trip.  

When we arrived in the area I thought Matilda lived it was more mountainous than I recalled or could have guessed from inexpert reading of the map. We were weaving around foothills and mountains. The winds were beginning to be a problem. It was hard to keep the ship on a straight line.

I had the GPS, but I wasn’t using it well. We never did find Matilda, She found us. Just like last time, she announced her presence with a rocket.

We were floating through a valley when I saw a bright flash down on the ground about a kilometer ahead of us. I was thinking it might be another flare, the symbol of Gilgamesh was still on the side of the airship. That thought process took me to the realization that Matilda was probably shooting at us a again.

“Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!” I screamed as I spun the wheel, trying to dodge the thing.

The ship had barely started to react to my actions when the rocket whooshed past us. A few seconds later there was a woomph sound behind us.

“What the fuck was that?” yelled Delta as she dropped the copy of the Chorus of Gilgamesh she had been reading.

“Pretty sure she is trying to kill us again. Hold on!”

I saw another bloom of fire ahead of us.

“Motherfuck. Motherfuck.”

I slammed the uppy-downy lever into the down position and tried swerving again to little effect. The second rocket smashed through the windshield. Glittering bits of glass mushroomed out into the cabin. The rocket had entered at a bit of angle and punched a hole through the right side of the Winnebago as it exited. I will never know why it didn’t explode on either impact. It did however explode just outside.

The shrapnel created a thousand new little holes in the Winnebago and tore a big one in the gas envelope. The ship began to drop, much faster than it should. I was also bleeding from a dozen

holes in the side of my body.

“Delta! Are you ok?!” I screamed over the ringing in my ears.

“Fuck!” I heard her scream back.

I took that as ‘I’m fine’ and returned my attention to driving the falling airship. It juttered and was slowly corkscrewing as we lost altitude. The fans had stopped and turning the steering wheel had no effect whatsoever. The power had gone.

Out the gaping hole where the windshield used to be the snow capped trees were getting a lot bigger. The right side of my body was starting to go numb, generally a bad sign, but a welcome respite from the pain.

“Strap yourself in little lady!” I shouted over the wind.

“Fuck you! Just fuck you!” Delta screamed back as she pulled her way into the passenger seat up front.

We both clicked in the shoulder belts and I braced my foot up on the dashboard. With the painful gloriousness of hindsight I realised that was a bad idea. I looked over and saw Delta gripping her seat for dear life. Looking back out the front I was greeted with a tree.

The leading edge of the airships, er, balloon struck the tree and we spun around and continued the remaining 20 meters to the ground.  It didn’t seem like we were falling that fast, but we hit hard enough to knock me unconscious.

When my brain began to swim back to the surface the first sensation I was aware of was pain. The type of pain I hadn’t felt in awhile. I was no stranger to pain. Most of my deaths had not been overly quick. My hands and arms flopped lazily around, mostly of their own accord. They were trying to figure out what to do.

My vision returned and I found myself on my back on the forest floor again. The snow bedecked trees stretching out towards the sky. It was truly beautiful. I was, however, distracted by all that pesky pain.

My brain was now informing me that it was mostly coming from my left leg. I didn't really want to look, but I did anyway. There were two spears of bone sticking out of my leg. One mid thigh and the other was most of my shin bone. The flesh had exploded outward. I could see little clumps of meat adhering to exposed bone. The leg now looked more like bloodsoaked, hairy beef then something you would use to stand on.

Someone had torn the cloth of my pants away and had tried to bandage the leg, rather crudely. I imagined it had been Delta.

I could see her and Matilda standing off about two meters away. They were talking. Arguing I think. It was hard to tell. My ears were filled with a roaring sound and very little of the outside world could penetrate that.

Matilda was in a winter military uniform of some kind. She had a dozen pockets, all full of ammo and tools. On her back was a bag and an impressive looking rocket launcher. In her right hand was a pistol and her left held an assault rifle.

“Are you sure?” Matilda said, some words drifting through the auditory fog.

“I’ve seen him do it a bunch of times.” Delta responded.

Matilda nodded and raised her pistol to me.

“No! I need to do this.” Delta said, reaching for the pistol.

Matilda made to pull it away, but stopped.

“Mittens says you need it more then me. I do what Mittens tells me to.” Matilda responded and handed the pistol over.

Delta walked up closer to me. I doubt she was as confident of her aim as Matilda was. She raised the pistol up and pointed it right at my forehead.

“I love you sex imp.” She said.


And the pain went away.

Lovingly Copyedited by Mollie

21: Galactus Would Have Been a Better Name


The Scout Riders of Gilgamesh are more or less what they sound like. They rode from area to area scouting. They were the front lines and the harbinger of the Chorus of Gilgamesh and its coming. Kind of like Silver Surfer actually. Galactus would have been a cooler name than Gilgamesh. I should have told him that. Oh well.

The riders always had the white circle on a black background flag of Gilgamesh rising out of a pack on their backs, waving above their head. It said to the world to fuck off or get in line.

When a rider found a new town or farm, or anything really, they would mark it on a map for later conversion which would mean a team of soldiers and priests descending on the place and offering those who remained a choice: Convert or die. It’s very medieval of them.

If people in the town saw the rider and knew what he represented they could try to kill him or, more likely, begin to flee before the conversion by force came. Gilgamesh was becoming more than just a crazy cult. It was a horde. And one of these scout rider cocksuckers was standing atop his horse below our airship.

He had fired off a flare already. I was confused at first. If anything he should be shooting at us. Rather than hey, I’m a flare. Ooogity-booogity. We had just laid waste to a holy site and I had stolen a goddess or whatever they considered her. Then I realised that damn flag was painted on both sides of the great big gas bag we dangled under.

While I contemplated this he let off another flare. It shot right by the windshield.

“Motherfucker!” I exclaimed.

I plopped my road weary ass into the captain’s chair of our mighty floating Winnebago. The controls weren’t a mystery any more. Except that red button. No idea what that red button did.

When I had obtained the ramshackle airship I just pushed the accelerator knob thingy forward and turned the wheel until the compass pointed north. As with most things, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I, however, had no idea how to land.  

The uppy-downy lever was well marked so I tested it with an ever so gentle nudge down. Nothing happened. I’m not always the most subtle when stressed so I slammed it down and pulled the accelerator lever back.

I am not the most skilled of drivers and I was now hovering hundreds of feet in the air; this thing was terrifying. Give me a fresh snowfall and an unbroken path any day. Flying was fucking scary.

There was one big fan on the back of the Winnebago to give thrust and four smaller ones for maneuver. When I pushed the accelerator all the way down the rear fan cut out and the front two flipped around to kill the forward momentum. It then began pushing the ship backwards. I quickly slipped the accelerator to its mid point, where there was a little tick.

Pushing the uppy-downy lever made the back maneuver fans start exhausting up pushing the ship down. There was also something complicated involving compressed helium happening, but I didn’t know about that. The ship dropped with surprising speed.

Airships and blimps are supposed to be sluggish or some bullshit like that. My amatuer manuever began to impart a sharp downward angle as well, making everything not nailed down slide forward, including Delta. That girl could swear and she was still naked.

“Get some clothes on!” I screamed over the sound of my heart pounding.

“You’re going to kill us asshole!” She screamed back.

This wasn’t very productive.  

We weren’t plummeting exactly. More of a slow motion dive towards the hilltop with the rider on it. So the death spiral wasn’t all bad. I began to control my breathing a bit and slowly pushed the uppy-downy lever up. The doom dive began to slow. We also evened off a bit. Delta began to pull her naked ass back towards the bedroom.

“Get dressed in something! If we’re going to have a chat with this motherfucker you need to not be naked! Or just fucking hide!” I screamed over my shoulder.

When I turned back to the windshield, the rider had lead his horse off the snow capped hill and was calmly tying it up to a tree.  He seemed to not have noticed I had no idea what I was doing. The flag on his back was coming down too and eing neatly folded and rolled up. Fucking wad.

I began to circle the ship around the hill as it got lower, sort of a cork screw down. The trees around here weren’t very tall yet. A new growth. It would have been wiped clean by the fires 20 years earlier so I wasn’t likely to smash into them. Just snow covered ground.

With some on the fly, so to speak, experimentation I was able to level the ship off and bring it within a hairs breadth of the ground. The now horseless rider dashed to the side door of the Winnebago. He opened it and hopped in. I pushed the uppy-downy lever to its midpoint. The fans cut out and we began to float up again.

The rider was the image of manliness. He was dressed all in black winter gear. Heavy coat, covered in pockets. Thick canvas snow pants, also covered in pockets. A black pistol at his hip. His face covered by a black face mask and he had the backpack. A  submachine gun bouncing around on a strap from the bag.

Delta had made it to the bedroom. She had struggled into a ratty old bunny hug and some sweatpants held up by a belt around her waist. She’d done well in the minute or so of frantic time I had given her.

The rider pulled his facemask off revealing a dark visage. That’s a little melodramatic but he had rough skin and a jet black beard. It was shockingly well trimmed. Way better then the crazy mange of mine. I swear the motherfucker must have shaved the edges that morning. The last time I shaved was...well that’s not important. He swung his pack off and put it on the kitchen table.  

He had shoulder length black hair, continuing the colour scheme. It was wavy. I have to admit it gave me complicated, confusing, cock in the mouth feelings. Being somewhat sexually attracted to a man I was likely going to torture and murder shortly might present a problem. He made it easier though.

He smiled, big white smile. How were his teeth so clean?

“How goes it brother? Do you have any warm food? Does the shower work?” He asked as he walked the few steps towards me.

I weakly returned his smile and put my right hand out to offer a shake. Also surreptitiously patted my hip holster where I had placed the taser earlier.

“It goes well now. Heavy news though.” I replied. We shook hands. Good strong grip.

His smile faded, “Oh? What news?”

Time to spray some half true bullshit, “You better take a seat. You must be”

He had an earnestly worried look on his face. He sat at the blood ball table and I sat down on the bench across from him. Delta stayed back in the bedroom. Still visible, but in the background.

“There has been an attack on one of the holy stites. The er..”, I struggled to remember the name, “Well of Souls has been destroyed.” I said trying to slip deep concern in my voice.

His face fell, his damn eyes began to well up.

“No! It can’t be. I was there just four days ago. I had my seed purified and I drank of the blood of Ereshkigal. I have never felt more at peace and one with the mission. With the will of Gilgamesh. What happened?” He was almost weeping now.

I kept a wretch back at the drank of the blood comment, ”I’m not sure. There were explosions and I was able to rescue this priestess and make it to this ship. I would have waited for more, but the tower began to fall so we made our escape.”

“We must report to The Yards. They will have the men to investigate.” He stood up and made for the radio on the dash.

“Wait. I don’t know of The Yards. I am a humble neophyte. Where is it?” I stood as I spoke and let my hand drift towards the taser.

He turned and looked at me, the first hint of suspicion on his face, “It’s to the east of here, near Battle Mountain in once was Nevada. I must raise them on the radio...”

When he had turned from grabbing the radio to respond to me he got a good look at Delta.

“Ereshkigal” He said with shivering reverence.

It was time to end the conversation before it got even weirder. I drew the taser, but wasn;t fast enough. The rider saw the weapon in my hand and batted it away. The taser discharged, firing the darts into the bench seat, harmlessly shocking the pleather. I dropped the useless taser.

The rider went for the pistol on his hip. I grabbed his wrist and planted my forehead on his nose. The cartilage shattered under the assault of my skull. My vision exploded with white stars and pain pulsated throughout my head. I’m not sure why the headbutt is such a go to move for me. It always hurts so much.

He stumbled back a bit, obviously a little shocked from the blow. Blood was streaming out of his nose, giving his immaculately trimmed beard a festive colouring. I followed up my first attack with a punch to the stomach that should have doubled him over but he absorbed the hit and tackled me.

I tried to turn the tackle and maybe flip him, but all I succeeded in doing was directing us into the fridge. We hit it hard and I felt my rib crack. The fridge door popped open and food poured out on to the gross floor.

I grabbed him by the front of his jacket and tried to push him back and get me off the fridge. He took the opportunity to rain blows on my midsection, popping a few more ribs. A wave of nausea washed over me. I slammed my head into his nose again and again, continuing to pulp his face. After the last blow I could feel strings of his viscous blood sticking to my forehead. Or was it mine?

We bounced off the appliances, the table, the bathroom door cracking shitty, fake wood and bones. The rider kept landing punches to my damaged chest and I kept headbutting him and kneeing his balls.

The fight was getting to the exhausting, desperate point. We were trying to kill each other with the interior of a Winnebago. I can remember clawing at his face at one point and ramming my fingers into his destroyed nose. Eliciting a gut wrenching scream, but still he struck me.

Delta sped up the deterioration of the fight by shooting me. It happened with no warning, just a gunshot and a numb feeling in my midsection. The bullet had grazed the rider's torso on its way to me.

“Oh fuck.” I heard Delta exclaim.

“You couldn’t have stabbed him!” I screamed at her.

We had rumbled into the middle of the Winnebago. The door was right next to us. With what remained of my dwindling energy I pulled us both towards it. Our balance was gone and we struck the door with our combined weight. It burst off its hinges and pin-wheeled off into the abyss followed closely by the rider and me.

The airship had been rising ever since we had picked him up. It hadn’t been very long, but it had managed to rise a good 300 meters. This gave me 10 seconds to pound the shit out of him.

I still held him by his jacket front and I punched him in his screaming face and kept doing so until we struck a tree. He spun away from me and I tumbled in the opposite direction. Sure hitting a tree hurts, but I was in a rarified air of pain and adrenaline where everything is kind of numb. Besides I hit the ground less than a second later.


I did my rebirthing dance and woke up shivering, naked in a hole on the forest floor. Delta was leaning over me. Her eyes glanced down to my crotch.

“Never gets any bigger does it.” She said

“Ffffffuck you.” I shivered and responded.

“You have a phone call.” She said holding up my Satphone, “He says he’s a monkey.”


Lovingly copy edited by Mollie



20: Toilet Knife

There is no better way to travel then in an airship. Assuming the weather is good. And the batteries are charged. And the helium sacks aren’t leaking. And the dead girl living with you doesn’t try and walk out the screen door on the side of your floating Winnebago. I guess it’s kind of a mixed bag really.

Well she wasn’t dead. Not any more. I had seen Delta die. Or at least I thought I had. Her brains had been shot out before my eyes. But she was sitting at the tiny pull out kitchen table in our new home. She was wrapped with a blanket. It was stained from the bulls blood smearing off her naked flesh.

Her hair was matted with the drying blood. It was falling off in clumps on to the formica. Her eyes were fixated on them. When she thought I wasn’t looking she would roll them up into a ball and flick them at me. That little act of playfulness gave me some hope in the face of her yawning silence.

I worried that she was broken beyond repair. While I had travelled with her before she was never quiet. She never stopped talking for more than a few minutes. Even in her sleep she would mutter, grumble and fart at the world. But now she just stared and flicked blood balls at me.

My silence wasn’t anything new. I was staring out the windscreen. Pretending I knew where I was going and brooding. Convincing myself I was giving her some space wasn’t working. I really had no idea what to say to the recently dead, despite my personal experience. I should have said something. Shoulda woulda coulda.

We had managed a harrowing escape only a few hours before. Bullets had been ricocheting around the interior like fucking plinko. Its amazing that nothing broke and we weren’t shot. The sun was beginning to rise; warming the floating Winnebago. I stripped off my blood caked jacket. I was covered in almost as much blood as Delta; stuck under my nails and in my ears.

The kitchen sink was empty and I tested the taps. They produced a brown, warm water. I proceeded to use a junky looking dish cloth to give myself a little whore’s bath. The sink ran red with the blood of last night’s ritual sacrifice and of some poor kid I gutted with an axe. I hoped that I would never get too comfortable with killing. Each one was a stain.

After my Lady Macbeth moment at the sink I plopped back down in the driver’s seat. A comfy captain’s chair.

The Airship was fairly simple and incredibly complex. The basic controls were shockingly well labelled. It had become obvious that the thing wasn’t driven by an internal combustion engine, but by an electric one. How did I deduce this? Why, by seeing the gage labelled solar battery charge.

There were a wide range of gages. A compass. Speedometer. Various battery levels. Helium volume and pressure. No altimeter though which was incredibly irritating later on. I was going north and had lots of charge. That made me feel like I knew what I was doing. The problem was I had no idea how any of it worked. Or what a lot of it meant. So if anything went wrong I was screwed, just like with my old truck.  

The Winnebago had all the comforts of home as imagined by a motorhome executive thirty years ago. So we had our lovely electric stove, that had been gutted and replace with ammo stores and a hot plate. Next to that was a convenient double sink now smeared with blood. A comfy bench seat ensconced a formica topped table. All of which were covered with mysterious stains.

Right behind the driver’s seat was a mounted MK19 Automatic Grenade Launcher. Or at least that’s what the markings said. Behind the passenger seat was a M2A1 Heavy Machine gun. Both ready to rain fire and lead upon the unsuspecting world.

The “living room” area was also the kitchen table. There was a recessed area on the wall. That was probably where a flatscreen used to hang. It was now being used as a gun rack. A couple of long rifles, some short barrelled assault rifles and two tasers. One of the long guns had “bessie” scratched into the fancy carbon composite stock.

There was a bathroom. It was a toilet and shower all wrapped into a frightening mildew box. I hadn’t bathed for weeks so it was starting to look mighty tempting. The dish soap wipe down would do for now.

The back of the ‘bago was a bedroom with 2 bunk beds in it. Under and around the beds was devoted to further ammo and food storage. There was a a lot of ammo in that little tin box. There were also several bullet holes in the floor from our escape from the holy place the night before. We were lucky we didn’t hindenburg the motherfucker.

I had lost most of my gear in the fight. The tablet, the satphone and the camera were still in my pocket. My revolver and rifle had made the trip as had my favourite multi-tool and, of course, my precious bowler hat. It was starting to look a little stained and worn, but that didn’t matter. It still made me look hot.

The only contact I had out there in the wilderness was a mad lady. She had shot me with an arrow. Right in the leg. I got infected with worms. I got better. Then she fucked me. In a good way. The thought of it made my cock twitch.

She wasn’t traditionally attractive I suppose. Brutish and muscular for a woman. Taller then me. She kept her blonde hair cut down in a brush cut. I’m sure she would have been categorized as a dyke or something, but she didn’t seem to have any aversion to hetero fun times. Definitely a powertop and crazy as a sack of bees.

I was out of it for most of my time with her, from the infection. She had...rescued us?...I guess. She attacked a convoy of Gilgamesh followers that were taking Maria, Delta and I somewhere. That’s when she shot me. I really should've gotten her name. I am really bad at that. Delta would know though.

I traded the crazy dyke lady for some supplies with the promise of returning with skins and cured meats. Well it might have been for taking the rough sex like a champ. She had awoken some turn ons in me that were difficult to sait Mr. Fisty.

I had yet to fully pay her back for everything. With the GPS on the tablet I could probably find her again. Assuming she hadn’t moved much.

The Baron would be calling again in the next few days to get an update on my recon mission. I was supposed to send him images and intelligence reports on the place Delta and I had shot up. He was probably not going to be pleased that we had basically blown it up. Fuck’em.

The chair begged me to so I began to spin. Twirling and staring at the ceiling. There was some movement out of the corner of my eye. Delta had flicked another blood ball at me. I brought my head down just in time for it to land on the tip of my nose. I scowled at it and Delta giggled.

The giggle was like a starter pistol. I bolted out of my seat and scooped her up, blanket and all. She began to squeal along with more giggles. I carried her to the shower/bathroom and dumped her in it. With a sharp tug I pulled the blanket away.

The taps were a mystery to me so I just turned them until ugly water came out. The giggling turned to cursing when the cold water hit her. I quickly shut the door and leaned against it. She pounded at the door.

“Shower up and get that foul blood off you.” I shouted over the water.

“Fuck! It’s cold!” She screamed back and hit the door a couple times.

“The longer you take the colder you’ll be and who knows what that water actually is.” I responded.

The silence returned. She stopped hitting the door. No more playful giggling. Just the sound of the water running and stuttering. I sighed and began looking around for a towel. There was a filthy looking one on the floor all covered in grease stains. So not very helpful. I leaned off the door a bit. A cleaner towel would have to be found.

Delta kicked the door. It caught my heal and I tripped. The Winnebago doesn’t offer a lot of space for a full grown man to fall down in. I tried to crumple down, but flailed my face into the fridge across from the bathroom. I saw the prerequisite stars and slumped the rest of the way down to the floor.

That floor was disgusting. Crumbs. Mud. Rotten food bits. Mysterious brown material that was not mud. And now my face was mashed into it. I groaned and rolled over. Delta was a top me. Straddling me. Naked. I might have been turned on if I thought of her that way and she wasn’t fifteen. Also she had a knife to my throat.

The shower had moistened the blood again, but she hadn’t been in there long enough to wash it away. It was flowing again; in streams down her body. Little drops of it were dripping off her long black hair and on to my grimy shirt. I could feel the little spots of wetness on my chest. Slightly cooler than everything else around them. Disrupting the thermodynamics of my man boobs.

“Why did you leave me there!?” She screamed at me. Holding onto my shirt she pulled me closer. She was stronger than I remembered. The blade was pressed into my throat. If it had been sharp I would be bleeding out.

“I thought you were dead.” some tears welled up in my eyes, “I saw you die. Rasmussen murdered you.”

Her voice was beginning to stutter with emotion, “I know! I know! But you were supposed to save me.” The last part trailing off.

The blade was still at my throat. It had eased up a bit. “I’m sorry. I couldn’t save you. I couldn’t save Maria. I failed you both.”

The knife clattered to the floor next to my head. Delta fell down onto me. Her face hidden behind her bloody hands. With one arm I held her tight. With the the other I pulled the discarded blanket over us. She was shivering as well as being wracked with sobs. I ran my hands over her hair and just kept saying, “I’m sorry” over and over again. My mantra. I’m sorry.

 She cried for awhile. Almost exactly fifteen minutes. There was a clock on the stove. When she calmed down I sat her up and made sure she was wrapped up in the blanket again. I was on the floor next to her. We stared at the wall together. Her still sobbing intermittently and me blank faced.

Finally I spoke, “Two questions.” I held up two fingers in front of me, “First. Where did that knife come from? I don’t remember seeing that. Second why did they shave your pubic hair?”

She blurted back at me, “Why the fuck were you looking at my pussy old man?”

“I was not looking at your pussy! I just noticed when I was scooping you out of the bulls neck blood.”

“Likely story.”

I glared at her.

“They did not make me shave my pussy. I just like a clean front lawn. Pervert.”

“I’m the pervert? I thought the apocalypse would bring the world back to the realms of wild and wooly vaginas. But the smooth pussy still stalks the world. As big as ever.”

“Are you saying I have a big pussy?”

“Oh for fuck sake.”

She giggled and punched my arm.

“Where did the knife come from?”

“It was on the back of the toilet.”

I chuckle grunted.

“You were supposed to save me. I guess you did in a way. I’m like you I think. I remember the sound of the gun than waking up naked in the back of one of those trucks.”

“I don’t know Delta. I don’t know. Maybe I’m infectious. I’ve spent more time with you and Maria than anyone else in a very long time.”

I looked at my hands, draped in my lap. Old now. Older than my 40 some years. Creased and scarred. Stories behind them. Even little bits of embedded grit. Stones and metal shavings. All those little things remade when my heart stopped and my body burned. .

“Could you be my father? My mother was never sure my dad was really my dad.”

Raised eyebrow, “Where were you born?”

“San Diego. I think.”

“The farthest south I’ve been is San Francisco. And that was just a few months ago. So I probably didn’t fuck your mom. Sorry. Unless my masturbatory emissions have a range measured in leagues.”

“I wish you’d fucked my mom.” She leaned her head onto my shoulder.

“Me too hun. Me too.”  

There was bright flash through the front windshield, ruining our sweet moment.

“What the fuck now.” I exclaimed.

We both go to our feet. I sat in the driver's chair and she slid into the passenger seat.

“That’s a flair.” I stated.

The smoke trail led down to the top of a hill. The landscape was thinly wooded. A young forest for a new age. We could see a man atop a noble steed. He had a flag mounted on his backpack.  A pole lifted it above his head. It was the white circle on black background of the Followers of Gilgamesh.

That’s when I remembered the giant painted flag on the side of our stolen airship.

“He thinks we are on his side.” I said.

Delta bounced up out of her chair, letting her blanket fall again. I was getting very tired of averting my eyes. She made to grab “Bessie”. I placed my hand on her arm. She turned and glared rage back at me.

“Wait.” I reached down and grabbed one of the tasers, “I want to have a friendly chat first.”

Delta just smiled.


Lovingly copyedited by Mollie!



19: The Temples of Pussy, Cock and Blood

The compacted snow was changing from insulating friend to damp enemy. It was melting beneath my body heat. When I had laid down on that hill the snow had welcomed me. The snow was mother nature’s foam mattress; like those old people on TV used to rave about. Now it had betrayed that initial trust. It was seeping in. Making what was once dry and warm wet, cold and angry. Also my balls were in a weird place, further disrupting my experience.

Why was I atop a hill in the dim of night staring through an incredibly old, but fancy camera? Simple really. A crazed fake monkey had sent me here to find out information on a cult I was hoping to bring down so I could save a 6 year old girl they had captured and to avenge a 15 year old girl they had murdered. Like I said; simple.

This place was an outpost, or holy site, of the Followers of Gilgamesh. It was in the mountains of Northern California. Before the fires that brought low our mighty civilization, it was a mine. Actually it looked like it was a mine way before that. Like 19th century old.

The buildings were mostly grey and rusted, made out of corrugated metal. There was some kind of spray foam insulation all over the edges of the walls. There was only one street. Along it was arrayed a commissary, barracks, a warehouse, A motor pool, a Temple of Inanna and at the end of the road a Temple to Ereshkigal.  

They were a fringe cult, they murder without thought and claimed me as a cosmic foe whom they would need to defeat to bring about the true Everafter. On the up side, they seemed to have temple prostitutes and a fucking airship. I can remember thinking over and over again, “Where did they get a fucking airship”.

The Temple of Inanna was painted a garish red and out front was a woman and a man each wearing a long fur coat. As soldiers and pilgrims passed, they opened them up to reveal their nudity and would give the classic come hither wave of street walkers throughout history.

The woman was voluptuous and had what a friend of mine would have called great, big veiny tits. Her hair was long and red. Not naturally red, but dyed to match the Temple. Her curves were sexy and she had eyes filled with need. She was good. In the hours I sat on that hill watching I saw her pray with twelve men and one woman.

The man was skinny and tall with short, dyed hair. His cock was shaved clean and impressively large. Every time he opened his coat it would waggle back and forth, beckoning the world forward. Not demanding to be sucked, but suggesting it might be fun to play for awhile. He was with nine men and three women while I watched.

The sex was all out on the front porch of the red temple. I have to admit it was transfixing to see these moments of lust played out as worship. Not played out. It seemed to be real worship. Not john and whore, but priestess/priest and supplicant. There was ecstasy in it. This was not a trumped up gloryhole to these people. It was sacred. It was rapture. It was cum.  

I was surprised to see condoms used. When a cock fucked an ass or pussy it was wrapped up. Safety first I suppose. Your sacred prostitutes lose something when they are wasted with disease and pregnant all the time. I wondered what their feeling on gay marriage was? Gilgamesh’s holy book didn’t really touch on it.

The Temple to Ereshkigal was built into the mine shaft. It was painted black. At its top was a walkway with a plank leading out to a mother fucking airship. It was grey and had on its flank a painted black flag with a white circle at its center. The symbol of Gilgamesh. The gondola was small, no bigger than an RV. On the side I could see little protuberances, gun emplacements. The top of the ship glittered in the dim moonlight. I would later find out that was a solar cell.

 The front door of the temple wasn’t decorated with whores or much of anything. There was one of the usual priests of Gilgamesh with his priest’s collar and garish orange windbreaker. This one was modified by the presence of a toque and scarf. Under the jacket was another more winter appropriate jacket as well. Above him was a sign painted in crude white lettering.


Temple of Ereshkigal

Lady of the Underworld

Mother of The Humbaba

Humbaba is what they called me.The undying demon. The guardian of the forest that must be destroyed to bring about their mythical ‘True Everafter’. The Everafter was what people had taken to calling the world after the fires came. A lame joke I suppose, but the Followers of Gilgamesh had latched on to it. In their holy book, The Chorus of Gilgamesh, The True Everafter was a heaven made manifest by the raising of Gilgamesh to godhood. Made possible by my blood and doing something with Maria, the little girl they took from me.

The idea that Ereshkigal was my mother was new to me at that point. A new addition to their cosmology. I was famous within this group. The Chorus was being heard by more and more. They raided and took settlements, converting those who remained. Baptising them with the blood of the dead.

They wouldn’t be any different from any other apocalyptic cult that went before if it wasn’t for how well equipped they were. They had almost unheard of access to vehicles, fuel and weapons. The only other force that well equipped back then were the Chinese and they were locked away in San Francisco. This edge was making Gilgamesh a threat and the only local force to deliver on any kind of promises. They brought hope. Hope paid for with blood.

Bells began to ring out from the Temple of Ereshkigal. It was ten at night. The sound must have been coming from speakers. I never saw any bells. All the people inside the compound halted and looked to the black temple. The soldiers took their helmets off. The random pilgrims and parishioners took off their caps and toques. The sound lasted a minute. Then they began to move again, replacing their headwear.

The sacred prostitutes picked up the mats they had been standing on and went inside the red Temple of Inanna. Through all of these goings on I was snapping pictures with my camera. Capturing it all to the tablet in my pocket. For posterity and the mad monkey. I would upload choice shots to him through the SatPhone he sent along with me. It amazed me that such a thing still worked.

Two soldiers came out of the barracks followed by a slight figure in a sumptuous black fur cloak. It flowed down to to the ground and shimmered in the light from the stars and the crude electric lights hung along the street. Everyone turned to face the group and bowed when they saw them. The soldiers didn’t carry the usual assortment of firearms, but long spears and oval shields. The shields were black except for a simple line drawing of a naked woman with wings and horns.

They led the cloaked figure to the doors of the Temple of Ereshkigal. The figure stumbled as she got close. The soldiers gently righted her. The hood of the cloak fell back and she looked right at me. Her eyes stared right at where I was and so did the symbol tattooed on her forehead. It was a sort of triangle. The greek symbol for Delta.

It was Delta staring at me. The girl that bastard Rasmussen murder in front of my eyes. The man who took Maria from me. I had seen the bullet from his gun destroy that symbol as it passed through her head. I had seen her brains splash out onto the bridge we stood upon. I had seen her die.

My mind was a blur, a haze of thoughts and emotions. Was she like me? Undying. Was this her twin with the same tattoo? Was this thing in me contagious? Could I make others like me? The most tortuous thought that smashed its way to the front was: I had left her there. Left her with these people. With that monster. The monster who had declared war on me. The monster who had hanged me, murdered Delta and stolen the closest thing I had had to a daughter since my baby Tess had died over twenty years before.

Her stare broke with mine and the soldier led her in through the temple doors. My body moved. I stood and shed my fur cloak. Slushy snow fell off me as I put together my rifle and slung it to my back. My revolver was on my right hip and I attached my axe on the left. Ammo went into all my pockets. I pulled my precious hat tight against my cold weather face mask. The heavy pack I had carried for the last four weeks was left behind as I ran down the hill towards the chain link fence.

I was immortal, but certainly not impervious. I charged down the hill and that did not matter. The only thing that did was that I failed this girl, as I failed so many people before her, and this was my chance to redeem myself.

A guard was patrolling the edge of the fence. He had to hear me coming. The snow was thick and the bullets in my pockets were clinking like pounds of loose-change death. They had built the fence too close to the bottom of the hill. I could barely see him, but he was closer to the light of the compound and was silhouetted by it.

I slipped my axe from its sheath as I approached. He turned towards the sound and was met by me flying through the air with the axe raised. I can still remember that look of shock in the poor boys face. He couldn’t have been more than eighteen, but I did not hesitate to bury the head of my axe in his chest.

The sound was brutal, but not loud. A wet crunch as the blade went in, followed by the humph and smacking of our bodies hitting the snowy ground. He couldn’t scream, I had deflated his lungs, but he could still make noise. My gloved hand made a tight seal over his mouth as he thrashed away the last of his strength and oozed blood and foam. When he stopped moving I moved my hand from his mouth and closed the fools blank eyes.

The violence had brought some sense back to me. I had been lucky that this guard was alone and stupid. If he had gotten a shot off I would be dead or about to die now. With a disgustingly organic sound I pulled my axe free. I wiped it clean on the guards uniform and replaced it at my side.

There was blood splashed all over my white winter gear. I could hardly fake my way through the front gate in what I was wearing or in the guards ruined uniform. The fence it would have to be.

I had a handy multi-tool stashed in one of my various pockets. With this miracle of modern engineering I was able to curse a hole into existence in the fence. With all the foresight of that moment I had made it a tad to small and shredded my coat on the way through.

There wasn’t much to the place. I was behind the commissary. Peaking in one of the windows revealed it was quiet if not empty. People were sleeping on the floor, dozens of them. There were even children there. Families on pilgrimage? Slaves? Converts? I didn’t have the luxury to find out.

There were a few more buildings that I edged around before I could see the doors of the Temple of Ereshkigal. I was hidden in the harsh shadows from the street lights. Out front was the priest, wearing his orange windbreaker. The Temple had been built from the main mine shaft and rose high towards the docked airship.

It was an old damaged building, despite its fresh coat of black paint. With an excellent die roll I was able to sneak around behind it and up the little hill the shaft was built into. A section of the wall had rusted away and had been replaced by plywood. I easily pulled it back and slipped inside.

It was hot and dank inside. I could smell cow or cowshit at least. There were other smells in there too, familiar, but unnamable. The lighting was fairly limited too. No electric lights in there, just torches of all things. Their wavering light lent the scene a medieval air. I wonder what the ones too young to have seen a period movie would have thought of it. Normal? I don’t know. My references date me.

I was standing in a hallway. It sloped down towards more light and I could hear chanting. It was a low thrum, oozing through the air to my ears. It was hypnotic. For a moment I was lost in its otherworldly gibberish.

I pulled my revolver and carefully sidestepped down the hall. The cow smell was getting stronger as I approached the bottom of the slope. It opened onto a large room  two stories tall. It used to be the mine shaft. Now it was an altar.

At the center was a grate. On it knelt the naked form of Delta. Her robe had been shed. Her head was bowed low. I had never seen her naked before. When we had travelled together, I had always turned my back or left the area when she had to do naked things. I never thought of her that way. She was another daughter to me.

Her hair was longer now than when I saw her last. She always tried to keep it short. I would let her use an old pair of scissors I had to roughly cut it down. It had that bedhead quality people used to pay money for. Now her black hair flowed down her back. There was a tattoo there. She might have always had it. I don’t know. It was wings. Not angel wings really. More like crows.

There was a ring of knelt pilgrims around the grate. They were the source of deep chanting. They rocked back and forth to the tone. The worlds were nonsense to me. Another language or just useless babble.

The oddest thing about the scene was the bull. It was raised high above Delta, strung up by chains. It was obviously alive, but docile. It twitched and moved its head around. Level with him was a catwalk. On it were the two soldiers with their spears.

The chanting began to speed up. On the other side of the Temple was an open door leading to a staircase. It looked like it went up to the catwalk and possibly higher. It would have to do.

The people in the temple were too busy with their pagan worship to notice me. I bent my legs and prepared myself to make a dash for Delta. That’s when the chanting stopped. Delta slowly came to her feet and stared up at the bull. Why was her pubic hair shaved? I hesitated.

The soldiers thrust those long speers into the throat of the hanging beast. When the blades were pulled out a torrent of blood spilled down on Delta. It was like someone had turned the tap on a blood shower.

The hot fluid flowed over her. Her hair matted down against her back and breasts, clinging to her skin. The tattoos lost in the crimson. The blood flowed easily down to her feet and drained down into the depths of the earth through the metal slats. What the fuck? I un-hesitated.

The circle of kneeling pilgrims were only two rows thick. I vaulted over them and landed running on the grate. It was slick and I almost lost my footing when I bent low to pick up Delta. I did it on the move. It was more like a controlled tackle. The breath left her with a howf.

The blood was still free flowing when I was under the bull. It added to my gorey paint job and slopped around on the brim of my hat. It would take me forever to get that smell out.  

For a moment the people just sat there, dumbfounded. By the time they started yelling and getting to their feet I was already to the stairwell. At the second level a big man with a spear and shield was there to meet me. Fortunately a thin wooden shield doesn’t help much when presented with a .357 Magnum round. He tumbled over the catwalk railing.   

My guess had been right and the stairs went higher. I took the stairs three or four at a time. I was in pretty good shape for a forty something, but I was huffing and puffing pretty hard. Delta was limp over my shoulder. She was conscious I think. I could hear her crying.

The crowd was on its way up behind me. They were screaming for the infidel’s blood. They were cursing the Humbaba. If what I was hoping for wasn’t at the top of this tower I was going to have some fun when they caught me.

There was finally a door. I burst through it and almost ran out into nothingness. The bit of roof was miniscule and rickety. But no more than four meters in front of me was the airship. What I had thought was about the size of an RV actually was an RV. The underslung gondola had been constructed from an old Winnebago.

“Hunh. A Winnebago with wings.” I muttered to myself.

It wasn’t wings really, but a great big sack of gas. It was filled with helium, I would find out. The “plank” going out to it was a metal ladder. The motherfuckers could put together an airship, but not a solid piece of wood to get to it.

Whilst I was contemplating how to navigate the shitty ladder a man opened the side screen door of the RV.

“Who the fuck are you?” He yelled through the wind.

I promptly shot him. I didn’t have time for this shit. He slipped out of the door and fell the thirty or forty meters to the ground. I holstered my revolver, adjusted Delta on my shoulder and took my first step onto the ladder. The crowd was getting closer. Their shouts were becoming clearer.

At first I was slow and careful with each step. The ladder moved as the airship shifted in the wind. At the halfway point I slipped so I did that half fall/half run thing you do when you are about to lose your balance on the beam; desperately hoping you get across before gravity makes you its bloody bitch.

If the door hadn’t been open I would have fallen. I ran straight through it and fell to the floor of the camper. I left Delta down there, stood and turned just in time to see the first of the crowd come rushing out the door and run out onto thin air. The next couple of people through the door followed him. I lifted the ladder free and let it fall as well.

The door was shut. I stepped over Delta, who was still weeping on the floor, and made my way to the front. I had to teach myself how to fly an airship real quick. Thankfully everything was very well labeled.

The accelerator would make it go. The gear shift had been turned into the up and the down movement and the steering wheel, well, steered. I turned the key. Everything lit up and the floor began to vibrate. No engine noise though, except the fans. I thought that was strange. There were an awful lot of other gauges and doodads, but the basics were in my grasp.

It wasn’t very fast. I wasn’t even sure we were moving at first. Bullets started smacking into the underside of the vehicle. Holes were appearing around me.

“Fuck! Fuck! Motherfuck! Fuck!” I screamed.

A thudding began behind me. I was afraid that something crucial had been hit. I turned to see Delta firing one of the mounted guns. It was an automatic grenade launcher. Dozens of rounds streaked down onto the outpost, the holy place, the well of souls. The explosives were ripping into buildings, which spilled out people. Then the grenades tore into them. Blood and body parts fountained into the air.

Delta’s face was lit with each shot. She was smiling, a tight rictus grin. Tears were rolling down over the tacky blood. The spent shell casings fell to her feet with a ting sound, barely audible over the boom of the gun. I turned in my new captain’s chair and put the pedal to the metal.

We floated off into the night; raining fire.

Loving copyedited by Mollie, Destroyer of nonsense. 

18: How to Masturbate in a Strip Club and other life lessons

Snow was a problem. So was the wind and the cold, but snow bogged you down. The cold you could fight with good clothes and fire. But the snow buried your fuel. It blinded you so you couldn’t see. Whether bright and clear or dark and windy, snow was a problem.

The roads north were not cleared. The Chinese had never bothered with anything out of San Francisco. They let the locals trudge through the snow in the winter and the muck in the brief, petty summer.

The location of the Gilgamesh holy site, their outpost, was a few hundred kilometers to the north; which doesn’t sound like much really. Even walking. The average human walks around 5 kilometers per hour, unencumbered. No one really goes anywhere unencumbered so lets slash that down to 3. At my 42? 44? years of age I could generally manage about 10 hours a day of travel. That means about a week.

However, when it has been snowing, non-stop, walking becomes more like swimming through syrup. It took me a week to just get out of the bay area. Part of that was walking around the bay. I did not want to traverse the Golden Gate bridge again.  

With all this amazing equipment the Baron had given me I hadn’t thought of one very important thing: Snowshoes.

The slog was tolerable sometimes, just knee height.  Those were the good days. With snow only up to my knees, I could easily retrieve some tinder for the fire and dry my soaking wet socks, boots and feet at night. When the snow on the trail I was following got so deep I couldn’t find the ground any more it was more complicated.

There were almost always treetops around poking out of the snow. How fucking festive. They made good fire wood at night and good direction markers during the day. The tablet I had  from the Baron had GPS built into it and amazingly there were enough satellites still in working order to get a signal. However, I didn’t want to waste the battery so I checked where I was at the end of every day and then took a bearing with a good old fashioned compass.

The third week of travel presented a problem. One I couldn’t really do anything about and would certainly occur, but I hoped to the hoping hopes it wouldn’t. There was a blizzard.

The day started with the wind up, lots of shifting snow and my cloak billowing, but no serious issues yet so I trudged on. The sun had reached a noontime grey smudge when it began to snow in earnest. That always sounds dirty to me; like something began by fucking poor Ernest, but I digress.

The wind bit at my eyes. I was wearing goggles and a facemask, but wind that cold and strong found its way around. The cold penetrated all the little cracks in my outfit. Under the cloak. Under the facemask. Through to the waist. It was going to freeze my flesh and bury me alive.

When the marker I was heading for was lost in the whiteout, I halted.  The snow was up to my thighs. I wasn’t going any further that day. There was a fancy collapsible shovel in my bag. It had proven to be quite reliable for digging and ousting the odd racoon I found. Vicious little fucks.

The shovel cut easily into the packed material. The hole expanded until it was as deep as I was tall. I leaned on the side of my crude abode, catching my breath and putting my headlamp on over my bowler hat. With a bit more effort, I hacked out enough room to set my bag down. I was going to spend a fair bit of the day there so I decided to dig a bit deeper and give myself more space. My second thrust into the snow hit something solid.

With my gloved hand I brushed away the snow and discovered a dark curved surface. At first glance it looked like ice. I could see a spiderweb of cracks. They were growing out from the spot where I struck it, tracing paths beneath the snow to where I could no longer see them. An ominous creaking noise began all around me. As I realized what was going on I gave an all too predictable exclamation, “Oh Shit.”

The glass, as it was indeed glass, shattered beneath me. I, and probable a half ton of snow, cascaded down into the abyss. My stomach jumped, twisted and protested as I dropped. The surface I landed on gave in as I my ass hit it. It was wood. I looked up from my awkward seating to be greeted with a white shower.

As my wits began to return, I could feel the splinters of wood in my ass and the radiating pain from what I figured was my tailbone. The snow had covered me, but not quite buried me. My hands and face were mostly free. This allowed my mouth to spew forth a torrent of obscenities; as was its right.

My head moved around to more thoroughly enunciate the fucks and cunts. This made the light from my headlamp dance around the rather large room I was in. The most striking and immediate feature were the four poles rising to the ceiling at the sort of corners of the glass dome I had fallen through.  

They gleamed golden and smooth. Mysterious, yet familiar. I knew I had seen something like them before. The thin poles were obviously not supports of any kind. They could hardly have helped hold up the ceiling. Besides, there were far more robust looking supports nearby. The most they could have held was maybe the weight of a human being. And that is when it struck me. I had fallen onto the mainstage of a strip club.

I began to laugh. A mad laugh. It boomed around the club filling it up and causing a fresh sprinkling of snow to drift down. I let my lamp move slowly around the space, bringing stark illumination. There were benches around the base of the square stage I was stuck in and booths and tables out beyond. To my right there was a bar and a pool table and to my left there were darkened VLT’s, hunting arcade games and something called a Dolla, Dolla Bill Machine.

Other than the pain from my damaged ass, it was oddly comfortable sitting there cocooned in snow and wood. Warm and quiet. It afforded me a few moments to contemplate my situation. I was alive and more importantly not seriously injured. One problem. My bag. It hadn’t fallen.

It was dangling from the edge of the hole I came through, dancing above me on its momentum. The hole I had been digging had collapsed in on itself, sealing me into The Strippers Tomb! I would have to get the bag down. It had almost all of my supplies in it. Chief among them, my food.

It was a slow, grunt filled, process to free myself. Once accomplished I stood upon a heap of snow. I still could not reach my bag. I tried a few jumps, but only got within teasing distance of it. My revolver was contemplated as a solution, but I didn’t want to damage it or bring all the snow down on me. The only thing for it was to venture into the darkened den of lascivious entertainment.

The air was stale and warm. At least compared to outside. It wasn’t too hard to breathe so I made the assumption that there must be a way outside somewhere. There was mustiness in the air as well. It wasn’t a full on funk, but it wasn’t pleasant either.

The club had survived the assaults of the world ending fairly well. Most of the wood was intact and nothing looked scorched and burned like most of the buildings I saw at the time. The area must have been spared the fires if not the snows. I continued on the assumption train and thought it had likely been abandoned shortly after the fires. Hell there was still booze behind the bar.

Good alcohol got very rare, very quickly in the Everafter. Another awful side effect of the apocalypse. Booze was never really my bag, but I did like a glass a scotch or wine from time to time. It was a pleasant little comfort that you miss when it is gone.

The bar beckoned for investigation, but first I started looking around for a stool or ladder. I settled on one of the bar stools. It was relatively stable once planted in the snow mound on the stage. With a bit of teetering I was able to yank down my bag. There was a small tear in it though. Fucking glass.

After a snack and a swig from my water bottle I began the awkward process of picking the splinters from my ass and cleaning the tiny wounds with some fancy sterilizing napkins. It wasn’t as bad as I feared. Only a couple managed to punch all the way through my snow pants, pants, long underwear and underpants. It still stung like a bitch.

I allowed the allure of the bar to overcome me. There were probably a dozen bottles of various types of hard alcohol behind the bar. They would make a nice addition to my stash of tradable goods. However, the most interesting thing was below the shelf of the bar.  There were naked ladies. Lots and lots of naked ladies.

Well pictures of naked ladies. There were long lines of pictures pinned to the wall under the shelf. They were all dated, starting out around the turn of the century. The earlier ones were polaroids and then they switched to digital printouts.

The girls were all performers for the club. They were on the stage I had landed on in various states of undress. Some wore spangly outfits, others were schoolgirls or police women. The baton was being put to good use in one of them. Big breasts. Small breasts. Flat bums. Big Bums. It was a smorgasbord of feminine flesh and I had a raging hard on.  

It is awkward to masturbate while wearing four layers of pants, but when it has been a while and you are greeted with a pornocopia you find a way. I struggled with various laces, buttons and clasps and finally released the penis into the chilly air.  It was surprisingly still erect. He hadn’t always been as helpful of late.

The whole process took less than five minutes of silly noises and vigorous hand gesturing. In the end I spilled forth several pregnancies worth of my seed on the dusty ground. Onan would be proud.

With some grunting and groaning I stowed the member away after he had defiled the bar. I then carefully collected the pictures up and put them away in my bag. I then picked the 4 fullest bottles of liquor and carefully wrapped them up in my extra clothes and tucked them up with the naked ladies.

Next on the list of things to do when trapped in a strip club with no living soul is to explore. I put on all my clothes and equipment and began to look around. The front doors were jammed shut with the snow. The glass in the doors had burst in and small piles of slushy snow had collected on the floor. There were various water stains spreading out from the door and rotting mold on the edges.

The way to the kitchen and various dressing rooms was behind me as I stood by the front door. There came a noise from there. A clattering. As if some metal pans had fallen on a hard floor.

I pulled my revolver, quickly checked it was loaded and shouted out, “Is there anyone there?!”

No response. I was beginning to sweat and the light from my headlamp was bouncing with my nervousness. The genuine terror of the unknown was seeping into me. There was also the very real possibility that I just came all over the floor of some random families makeshift living room.  

“Not as a threat. I am armed. If there is someone there please show yourself.”

I began to creep towards the kitchen, revolver in the leed. It was slow going. My feet did not want to carry me forward. It’s strange. Death held very little existential fear for me, but having to suffer through whatever pain was involved with the death was far more pressing. That is probably the part about death that we fear the most.

“Sorry if you saw that! I thought I was alone! If you have a towel I can definitely clean up!”

The kitchen doors were those kind that opened both ways and had little windows in them. I peaked through the hazy, dirty window, but couldn’t really see anything. The glare from my lamp blocked most of it.

“Really. What else was I supposed to do with all those pictures! I was afraid they were going to waste!”

I pushed the door open with my left hand and lead with the revolver. The musty, rotten scent I had detected earlier got a lot stronger as soon as the kitchen air hit me. The kitchen was still in relative good order. Pots put away properly, metal surfaces looked scoured and ready for use. It could be used for a supper prep if it wasn’t for the vast quantities of bones and feces.

The floor was covered with mound upon mound of ropey shit. The bones weren’t all that fresh and they were scattered all over the place. Some looked like deer legs, rib cages and such. Unfortunately there were human skulls that on my brief glances ranged from adult to I wish I could unsee how small that one was.

“Oh fuck. Is there anyone here!?”, a somewhat desperately shrill tone had entered my voice.

This last one got an answer. A low growl. It came from the back of the kitchen. I played my lamp over that area and got two eyes glowing in the reflected light. A long muzzle and barred yellow teeth. It was a grey wolf. He/She was not pleased with the interloper. I don’t know why but I decided to try and talk my way out of it.

“Hey there pup.”

It’s response was to rush me. The tiled floor was something of a problem for it. I hesitated. I hate shooting wolves or dogs. The shot I did get off went wide. The wolf pounced and bore me to the ground. I had my left hand at its throat, keeping those crushing jaws just shy of my face. With my right I plugged two rounds into its side and it went limp on me.

I shoved, it turned out, her off me. The wolf’s sticky blood had oozed onto the chest of my jacket leaving a smear that looked like someone had painted it on me. With a sigh I got to my feet and there was a howl in the distance.

The back of the kitchen had a hole in the wall leading out to some kind of crude tunnel through the snow. It had supports of wood beams and a ceiling of plywood. It was about ten meters long and led into another building. The ground was dirt and long dead grass. My little cone of light revealed this all to me and the collection of six sets of eyes staring back at me from the other building.

I fumbled two rounds into my revolver and brought it up just as the pack charged me. BAM, BAM, BAM. Three wolves down and three to go. The sound was muffled from all the snow. The smell of cordite was a welcome distraction from the rot.

BAM, BAM. Fuck. Only one dead wolf. BAM One more dead wolf. One to go. The revolver was empty and the last wolf was just about on me. I dropped it and quickly grabbed the axe off my backpack. The wolf was in the air and I brought the axe up under its chin, lodging the blade in his skull. The lifeless corpse careened into me and knocked me to the ground. For the second time in as many minutes I was on the floor with a dead wolf on me.

With a few tugs I freed my axe and cleaned the blade on the wolf's fur. I soon had the revolver reloaded and back in my holster. My bowler hat had been knocked across the room with the last wolf. Bitch. The light was still attached to it so my beautiful hat was easy to find.

All the blood on my white, grey jacket was making me wish that dry cleaners were still a thing. My goal was still to free myself from this snowy tomb so I could get back on my journey. Well once the blizzard had stopped. The strip club seemed to be a dead end so I picked my way past the dead and dieing wolves and into the next building.

It had been a factory at some point. Now it just seemed to make wolf poo. The fuckers certainly weren’t starving down here. The factory floor wasn't large. At one end was an incinerator or oven or some such. It had a large brick chimney going up the inside of the two story building and out the roof. At the other end was a large door opening to another snow tunnel. The original inhabitants had been industrious. I wish I knew what had left them vulnerable enough to get taken by wolves.

I was going to head out into the next tunnel when something about the incinerator caught my eye. There was a dim light and a dusting of snow coming through a door leading into the chimney. The door was more a big metal hatch, probably meant to seal in whatever was supposed to be burnt in there. I don’t know shit all about factories.

I stepped into the chimney. It still smelt of ash and there was a tangy metallic smell in there too. It was a wide room. Probably about ten meters across and on the other side was a rope ladder. It went all the way to the top where I could see light pouring over a ledge. The chimney had been capped off with something, but there was still light. The ledge protruded one or two meters from the side of the round chimney. It went all the way around.  

Rope ladders are the devils work. They are only slightly better than trying to free climb the wall. Its like wrestling with a dead snake. And climbing one up 30 meters into the unknown is hard. Especially when halfway up the bandage on your ass slips and you start to bleed again. With all the grace of a drunk hippo I pulled myself gasping onto the ledge. It was probably about two meters from the cap on the chimney.

All around the wall were little windows, covered in chicken wire. Wind, snow and light streamed in through them. There was also another heavy metal hatch, presumably, leading to the outside world. On the ledge there was a cot, piled high with blankets. It had managed to stay snow free and there was also a chair, a broken telescope and a metal tub filled with ash and wood. It was a lookout post for the buried town.

The cot called to me, but I checked the hatch first. It took some serious elbow grease...where the fuck does that phrase come from? Anyways I got it open. It stepped out to thin air. The chimney was ten meters or so above the snow line. Fortunately a series a metal rungs lead downwards. I shut the hatch. The blizzard was still marching around in force. The sun was getting low and my ass hurt.

I collapsed onto the cot face first and it thankfully held my weight. The backpack and cloak slid off me without much effort and I pulled the bag around to where I could reach it. With a lot of grunting and  fumbling I got my pants down to air out my bleeding bum. The bandage was adjusted back into place. I slid one of the bottles I had purloined from the strippers bar out of my bag and took a good long gulp.

I sighed heavily and mumbled into the cot, “Why is nothing ever simple?”

And drifted into a shallow sleep.