Living in such a state taTestaTesTaTe etats a hcus ni gniviL of mind in which time sTATEsTAtEsTaTeStA emit hcihw ni dnim of does not pass, space STateSTaTeSTaTeStAtE ecaps ,ssap ton seod does not exist, and sTATeSt oFOfOfo dna ,tsixe ton seod idea is not there. STatEst ofoFOFo .ereht ton si aedi Stuck in a place staTEsT OfOFofo ecalp a ni kcutS where movements TATeSTa foFofoF stnemevom erehw are impossible fOFoFOf elbissopmi era in all forms, UfOFofO ,smrof lla ni physical and nbEifof dna lacisyhp or mental - uNBeInO - latnem ro your mind is UNbeinG si dnim rouy focusing on a unBEING a no gnisucof lone thing, or NBeINgu ro ,gniht enol a lone nothing. bEinGUn .gnihton enol a You are numb and EiNguNB dna bmun era ouY unaware to events stneve ot erawanu taking place - not iSSUE ton - ecalp gnikat knowing how or what 12/07/00 tahw ro who gniwonk to think. You are in SiXTY-SEVEN ni era uoY .kniht ot a state of unbeing.... ....gniebnu fo etats a
I bet you weren't expecting this. So we're a little bit late, I confess. Or perhaps this issue came out on time and went seven days into the future (postdating itself in the process) as a little experiment in time travel. It's only natural these days to start off an editorial with excuses.
Frankly, things have been quite disjointed these past few weeks, and, no, I'm not referring to the election. But, since I brought it up (hooboy, here it comes), I guess I should discuss it a bit.
It's not really the election that frightens me. Bush or Gore, whatever. Like I could really care at this point. Who wins is not the issue. It's what happens when I watch the political commentators on all of the news channels. Whose idea was it to have NPR commentators actually show their faces for the world to see?
It scares me. Literally. Wet spots on the couch. I hear Daniel Schorr do his commentary on the radio, but I don't see him. And then, there he is, looking at me from the tv. That's just wrong. I've heard his voice for a long, long time, and I've never had a face to go with it. All of a sudden, though, this concrete image of what he looks like appears and I can no longer envision him in the way that I previously had.
What's even worse is when I somehow mentally blank out the image on the tv so that I am just seeing black but still hearing his old, drawling voice. Christ, people. You ruin book characters for me by making movie adaptations. Don't do it to my radio broadcasters as well. Let me at least have a little bit of imagination left.
Ah, disjointed. You don't want to hear about my mundane life, and I really don't want to talk about it. It's been busy, but it's not like it is all that exciting. Mostly work. Enough said. Procrastination factors in there quite a bit as well.
So, for those of you who have sent me submissions and have not yet heard back from me, I am still getting around to them. The big influx at the end of the month was more than I was expecting, and I am not praeterhuman, contrary to a totally self-imagined scientist's double-blind study involving gibbons and wax.
But disjointed is an excellent trait for a zine, or at least I think so. Take this issue. Newspaper letters, community service, zombies, and a fairy tale that was never meant to be told. My mother always told me to try and be consistent because people admire that quality. She also thinks it's funny to leave messages on my answering machine about family gatherings that I've supposedly missed but never actually occurred.
I love you, Mom, and I love all of you, too. The fake millennium is almost over, so pack your bags and get your suits ready. It's gonna be one hell of a big ass nothing, I tell you what.
From: MR DANIEL MATTHEW GRATTON To: email@example.com Subject: ok tell me to write whatever. i can do it.
[this is a good start. willing, malleable, and ready to do the bidding of acp. he believes in himself, has a good attitude, and just needs a little help in the idea department. i've found that the best ideas come in the form of random thoughts. yes, that's right. random thoughts. naturally, these thoughts aren't really all that random, but they seem to be at first. for instance, yesterday, the name barabbas popped into my head for no good reason. and i was like, 'why the hell am i thinking about barabbas?' and then i realized that you could probably translate the name from the hebrew into 'the son of the father.' there's some story potential right there. but you can't have that one. that's mine. that's usually how it works, though. random thought, strange extrapolation, and bam fiction happens. if you want to write non-fiction, a good way to begin is to just start bitching. it works for the pundits.]
From: Sergeant Zeno To: Kilgore Trout Subject: Re: State of unBeing #66 -- not necessarily like Dad's collection of Streisand records, but close. How many readers of the SoB? I mean subscribers. -- I am, -Zeno.
[this question seems to pop up from time to time. i have no idea how many readers we have. as for subscribers, that constantly fluctuates, but it's a couple of hundred. we've seen a rise in subscribers lately for some odd reason, and we've also had an increase in the submission rate. but let's face it. we're not really all that popular. and that's the way it should be. if we were popular, our t-shirts would cost you 80 dollars, and the zine subscription would cause you to mortgage your house. don't have a house to mortgage? you'd have to buy one just to mortgage it because we only want subscribers who are up to their ass in debt. that's what popular is all about, man: getting people to spend their money when they shouldn't. i remember this one girl from high school that was so popular that i didn't have any money that whole year. well, that and not having a job at the time. but you get my point, don't you? since we're not popular, we're free. and we seem to attract english professors. who could ask for anything more? but just wait, because one day, you'll need that equity loan to read the literary trash you crave in your darkest moments.]
How fares free speech in America, you ask. I've done a protracted test of sorts, and the results are -- well, let's say enigmatic. Maybe you can make sense of it all. As Shakespeare might say, I'm lost in it.
For thousands of readers in north Louisiana, I am "that atheist fellow from Ruston," a small town on I-20, not far from Mississippi. For ten years, I've written anti-religious letters and columns to the two largest newspapers in the northern half of the state. The letters have elicited about 400 written responses, most published.
I decided to defend nontheism because no one else was doing so, even though both papers had long been saturated with pro-Christian letters and features.
My comeuppance followed hard upon my first letter and has, through the unabated responses to subsequent letters, continued ever since. Bible Belt readers, I now realize, neither suffer a fool gladly nor hesitate to call a fool a fool.
I am often advised to read Psalms 14:1 ("The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God'"). In the responses, the ad hominem retort has flourished like a perennial weed. I have been christened with such unendearing epithets as Satan, anti-Christ, Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Mussolini, Attila the Hun, Madelyn O'Hara (sic) and William Buckley, Jr. (because of my putative predilection for sesquipedalian diction). I have also been nicknamed after diminutive species: mouse, minnow, housefly, spider, ant, flea.
I am rebuked both for being an intellectual and a pseudo-intellectual, and I don't know which is worse: "Sloan may be an intellectual, but he's also a gibbering idiot and a bubble and a half off." "Mr. Sloan is highly intellectual -- that is, he speculates about things he doesn't know anything about." "Sloan ought to consider it is no coincidence that intellect and ignorant begin with the same letter."
My bogus intellect frequently elicits exhibitions of wit: "I was no magna nor summa cum laude, but simply a grateful 'thank you laude' when I graduated." "Sloan thinks Jesus is a liar, a bum, a beggar, and thief. In his vast wisdom, he has confused Jesus with Bill Clinton." "Professor Sloan has a BDIP degree (bombastic, doctrinaire, intolerant, and predictable)."
One reader sent me a clipping of his response to one of my letters. A dime and a note were attached. The note read: "Send a copy to a friend -- if you have one." Offhand, I couldn't think of one.
Eleven professors signed a letter assuring parents not all faculty members shared my views: "If you or your children enroll at this university, you will meet faculty who have Dr. Sloan's perspective. But you'll also meet many faculty who are committed to Christ."
An editorial page editor refused to print my responses to criticism of me, though he printed critics' responses to my criticism. When I publicly pointed out the double standard, he wrote a column defending himself: "Sloan is right, you know. His turning upon those who criticized his deep emotional aversion to worship was prevented. It just seemed too, too sadistic on my part to do otherwise. I think of the Bible Belt as people who are proud to give their allegiance to a higher spiritual power rather than follow the unwashed rudiments of man."
Some respondents try to strong-arm editors. A professor of economics spearheaded a movement to have my letters squelched: "Sloan's letters are the moral equivalent of yelling 'fire' in a crowded theater. It is time to suspend publication of Sloan's clever but ill-intentioned letters. They pump up his ego at considerable expense to the public good." A guy named Bubba wrote: "If you share Sloan's beliefs and that is the reason for your continued support, then you can cancel my subscription. I'll pass this along to all my buddies, and you'll probably hear from them also."
Respondents assure readers my foot will slide in due time: "While I will pray for Sloan, I pray not to see him in the end, because I don't plan to go where he's heading." Some display a Dantesque dash: "It looks like Sloan is going for the whole enchilado--death, followed by the White Throne judgment, humiliation, condemnation, then thrown into the bottomless pit by an archangel with an attitude, to swim around in a burning fire with his master, the devil for eternity."
Some think I'm still salvageable: "God has shown me that you, sir, will in time accept Jesus as your savior, and you will stop disgracing Him." One woman was grandiose: "Mr. Sloan, you are like Saul. I believe God is going to use you the way he did Saul. I just can't wait to see you proclaiming the gospel of Jesus." On my answering machine, a Pentecostal woman left a message in tongues. After the last indecipherable word, she emitted a long, satisfied exhalation.
Some commiserate with me: "Gary, I often wonder who let you down. Was it your mother, your wife, a friend? What filled you with such hate for all that is sacred and true?"
Several churches have made me their project: "Gary, next Sunday at 10 a.m. we will be praying that the Holy Spirit will reach out to Gary Sloan and that he will receive a sign by Wednesday, June 14th, at 6 p.m." If the sign appeared, I missed it. A large Baptist church (Six Flags Over Jesus, one wag called it) blazoned a pithy homily on a marquee that faces a thoroughfare: "GARY, GOD IS REAL, AND HE LOVES YOU DEARLY." No one from the church dropped by, wrote, or called.
I've received two published letters of support. The first was from one of my wife's undergraduates: "Hurrah for Gary Sloan! I hope he runs for President!" The effervescent student was, I surmised, bucking for an A. The other kudos was from a devout Christian: "Gary, with every letter you write, you bring people closer to Christ. Keep up the good work."
After I had written my first letter, a colleague said he figured I had a death wish or had gone off my rocker. He may be right on both counts. Come to think of it, maybe all this has nothing to do with the First Amendment. As I said, I'll let you decide.
There is a story: Once upon a time, in the early seventies, a Franciscan priest named Father Bruce Ritter was a professor at a university in Manhattan. One Sunday, he delivered a sermon wherein he challenged his students, asking them whether they would go out and change the world, or whether they would sell out before they were twenty-one. At the end of the sermon, one of the men in his audience stood up and returned the challenge. Why are you lecturing us? he asked. You have a comfortable bourgeois professorship and a nice apartment; haven't you already sold out?
Father Ritter took this challenge to heart. He requested of his superiors that he be allowed to leave his position, and he moved to lower Manhattan, to live among the poor and find how he could help.
One evening, a kid showed up on Father Ritter's doorstep. The kid told the priest he had no where to go, and could he sleep on his floor one night. Father Ritter could not find it in his heart to send the kid back out into the cold, and he spent the next few days calling state departments and homeless agencies, trying to discover who took children in. No one did; Father Ritter had discovered -- or been discovered by -- the most forgotten. There was no service to care for children on American streets.
Meanwhile, night after night, the kid came back, and more kids came, and eventually Father Ritter's apartment was filled every night with those with no place to go. Eventually, he discovered as there was no one to help them, he would have to take it upon himself, and Covenant House was formed.
He continued challenging people, and people came to volunteer, to live among the homeless youth and give them a new start. This organization exists today, and is called the Covenant House Faith Community. Although in numbers more people work in the non-volunteer Covenant House Agency, the foundation of Covenant House spirituality derives from the Faith Community, that network of volunteers who set aside their own ambitions for a year to work with the poor. It is that Faith Community I have committed to live in for the next year, until December 2001.
Regular readers of State of unBeing know my opinions on our society and our economy. I am angered by it, and angered by the apathy and inhumanity among the people which supports it. You may also know my dilemma: For all my studies, for all my contemplation, I don't know how to solve the problems of our society. Eventually, one comes to a crossroads. Intellectual investigation and the search for answers can spur one on; they can also be covers to shroud one's unwillingness to do anything. "I haven't found the answer" can be an honest cry; "therefore, I'm not going to do anything" is not. "I can't do anything" is an excuse.
I reached that point. I could continue to be angry, and let it eat at my own humanity. Or, I could fight the revolution.
The revolution, among those of us who are proud of our heritage, the heritage of 1776, of 1849, of 1968, is a difficult thing. Like the Jihad among the Muslim, like spiritual warfare among Christians, it means a form of struggle it is often easier to distort and ignore than to refute -- or embrace. I will not go through the motions; I will not disavow the revolution to live a comfortable life for myself. I am advantaged: I have a good background; I have an education; I am intelligent. I could do just about what I want to. But I will not. I will struggle.
Some information about Covenant House in general. It has been around close to thirty years. Today, it follows the same policies of Father Ritter. It serves to practically help the people who come there, and, most important to me, it has an open door policy. Anyone twenty-one and under who comes to Covenant House will be helped. The only exception is someone who is actively violent. Everyone will be found a place to sleep, offered a shower, fed. Covenant House continues to help people, in a real sense. There is no need for referral. There isn't even need for papers. No one preaches over dinner. People who come are in need; people in need are helped.
Over the years, additional programs have been added. They will help with getting a GED, or job training. There are programs for juvenile offenders. There are drug and alcohol referrals. (I am not personally aware of any in-house treatments, though in my location they have been known to find an opening, even if it means locating one out of state, covering the cost, and putting the kid on the train to get there.) And there is the program I work in, called Rites of Passage, where people stay as long as necessary, some for years, in their own apartment, until they can locate their own apartment, put aside money in the bank, learn how to deal in the outside world, establish a work history, and so on.
Covenant House is the largest child care organization in the world. It is located across the United States, and in six other countries. It lobbies the U.S. government, and the United Nations.
And now, thirty years later, past the time of stagflation, is it still necessary? Hasn't the state picked up the slack? Here's one answer: For homeless women with children in the city of New York alone, seventy-five percent of the beds are in Covenant House. The state of New York sends kids to Covenant House, because they know Covenant House will take them in.
When I was young, I was going to save the world. And so was everyone I knew. In high school, even in college, we were all about the evils inherent in the system, about how we had to make a change. There was a change. Most of the people I grew up with moved on to jobs and families, and restricted their agitation about the injustices in the world to when they are reading the paper or watching the news.
For a while, I felt that as a betrayal. I felt they had sold out. They felt they had grown up, or moved on, or become "realistic." If betraying myself and humanity is "realistic," I felt, I refuse to be so. I continue to feel that. My anger at this world is so intense, I don't know I could accept it if I wanted to. If I tried, if I pretended, it would kill me. One or the other of us must die. And I don't want to kill myself.
I no longer see this as a betrayal. Now, I know I was just hearing them wrong. It seems to me perfectly natural for an adolescent to rage at problems in the system, but when he says, "The system must change," he means, "The system must change and let me in." He means, "I must find a way to accept this system." Adolescence is a time of coming to terms with the problems of this world, of acknowledging them and coming to terms with them. Generally, through deciding on apathy. Perhaps this was why my closest friends generally could not see themselves growing up. Many of us did not want to grow up. Perhaps we had an intimation that to grow up in this world means, in some sense, already to die.
Perhaps my problem is I am too gullible -- or honest. When I said, "The system must change," I was expressing anger at the system, not my own sense of exclusion. I embrace exclusion from a society I cannot in good conscience embrace. I embrace my liminality. And I struggle.
Will I save the world? No. Will I bring down the system? No. But I will not submit; I will not accept a world that turns my stomach. I will fight.
There have been nearly a thousand Faith Community volunteers since the late seventies. I have met several of them in the course of my training. Today, there are roughly twenty-four, across only six houses. We are four here in Atlantic City; six in New York; three in Toronto; three in Vancouver. I think there are four each in Fort Lauderdale and Houston.
There was a time when there were forty in the New York house alone. New Orleans closed this year. I don't know how many Faith Community houses there have been; I know there used to be ones in Los Angeles and Anchorage. But so few people are willing to volunteer anymore. True, there are now many volunteer organizations: AmeriCorps, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, the Trinitarian Volunteers. But volunteerism across the board is down. America is more dead than living.
Who is a typical Faith Community member? I couldn't tell you. Of the ones I have met, more females than males have volunteered. I am told, had I joined six months earlier, I would have found the opposite. There have been married couples in the past, though I'm told that's a hard life. Roughly half of the volunteers are in their mid-twenties, fresh out of college. (A college degree is not required to join, but a college degree or work experience is.) The other half range up to sixty-eight and sixty-nine. Some have left jobs and careers, some have just begun them, and not a few have come out of retirement so as to continue to serve. One woman in the early years came out of retirement and spent the last seven years of her life volunteering.
We allow the Faith Community to tell us where we will work, and what we will do. We make three commitments: to community, to prayer, and to service.
Community means we live together, we eat together, we pray together, we work together. Community is not something Americans have much experience with; we spend much of our formation studying and experiencing it. Community is a sense of solidarity, of trust, of vulnerability, of cooperation, that is difficult to express in words. But we find it vital to our success. I could spend pages writing about community alone; other have done so. But this is a brief article.
Prayer. Covenant House was founded by a priest, and the current president is a nun. Covenant House considers itself to still have its roots in Catholicism. However, one need not be a Catholic to join. I have been told there have been atheist, agnostic, and Hindu members. When New Orleans closed, one faith community member chose not to transfer, and moved instead into a Buddhist temple. The communities I have lived in, either on formation or for work, have included an Episcopalian, an Anglican, a Mennonite, a Lutheran, and a Charismatic Christian. Each of us are driven by a sense of spirituality, and our spiritualities are very important. Community means we respect each others' spiritualities, and as hard as we may debate them, it doesn't impair our love.
Prayer means we are involved in hardcore headwork. Since I joined up, I have studied meditation, contemplation, drumming, Native American smudging. We are committed to individual prayer, to group prayer, and to the practice of spiritual direction. We are not in this just because we are nice people or looking to fill time. We are driven by spirituality. We have a higher purpose.
Every day we pray. There was a time when communal prayer took place for three hours a day. This was for two reasons: For one, it reflected Father Ritter's efforts to form a kind of lay order. As a Franciscan, there are things he had seen work. He took these lived experiences, and brought them into Covenant House. Covenant House, as a living community, has grown with these elements and found what works. The other reason: At that time, with up to forty people living in the house, it was very seldom that everyone could come together. Like community meals, community prayer is very important. Three prayer sessions made it more likely that groups could come together.
Today, we pray for half an hour a day in community, at a time worked out in each house when everyone can be home. In my house, that is seven in the morning on weekdays and nine in the evening on weekends. In New York, some days it is six in the morning, and others it is eleven at night. These times change with work schedules and community decisions.
And one other thing I like: There is no one prayer, and there is no one prayer leader. In each house, the responsibility to lead prayer rotates. It is mandatory that there be a prayer, and it is mandatory that there be silence for fifteen minutes or so. Other than that, each prayer leader prays in the way that speaks to them: spiritual readings, songs, and so on.
And we commit to service. We commit to work with the residents.
Some would say this perpetuates the problems. Some have said the same about unemployment benefits, social security, the general safety net. Is it true? Perhaps. I don't see much chance for a rebel army of starving adolescents overtaking Washington, but perhaps by alleviating poverty, we reduce the tensions that would lead to general revolution. I don't know. I don't have any better answers. I know I seek to struggle, and this is how I do so. I struggle by learning and building community. I struggle by prayer. I struggle by service. I don't see myself postponing the revolution; I see myself fighting it. I challenge those who feel I postpone the revolution to show me how much better their apathy, their screeds and formalized marches on state capitols.
Because, I don't have the answers. This article isn't to convince everyone to join a service community. This article is not to answer your questions; it is to ask my own. These are my questions; this is how I seek their answer. I struggle, without knowing if success is even possible in a world like this, because I refuse to accept the world as it is. I question, because I refuse to accept the half-answers my society offers me. I fight, because not to fight is as good as to die a worthless death.
So I will probably not be writing much for State of unBeing for a while. The heads of Apocalypse Culture Productions know how to reach me; I will not be online so much for a while. It is time to step out of my head and struggle in the world. I write to say what I will be doing, and I close with the Covenant House Mission Statement:
We who recognize God's providence and fidelity to His people, are dedicated to living out His Covenant among ourselves and those children we serve, with absolute respect and unconditional love. That commitment calls us to serve suffering children of the streets, and to protect and safeguard all children. Just as Christ in His humanity is the visible sign of God's presence among His people, so our efforts together in the Covenant community are a visible sign of God, working among us, and our kids.
Hughes and Westerberg had almost finished their sweep when Westerberg noticed someone curled into a fetal position under a hedge. "Hey, you," Westerberg called out, aiming his rifle at the figure on the ground. Whoever it was wearing blues, which were definitely the worse for wear. "Hey, can you hear me?" Westerberg tried again.
"Go away," they heard a voice say weakly, and the figure on the ground uncurled and shifted to face them.
"Killinger?" Hughes said, almost laughing. "What the fuck are you doing out here, man? We all thought you were dead."
"I would be, if it weren't for Peters," Killinger told them. "He... he went outside to shut the gates, and they attacked him.... He'd left the door unlocked, and they were in the gate house before I could do anything. He came back and distracted them so I could run..."
"Fuck... but why are you out here?" Westerberg asked.
"They, they were in the streets," he said, staring down at his scuffed boots, "all over the place. I ran where I didn't see any."
"Uh, okay, I think we should get you to the hospital," Hughes said. He saftied and shouldered his rifle, then offered Killinger his hand. Killinger just sat where he was, not making any attempt to rise.
"We need to get going, especially if there are a bunch of those things running around," Westerberg said.
"Yeah, c'mon, man," Hughes added impatiently.
Killinger still made no move to get up.
"Killinger, get up," Westerberg said sternly.
"Fuck this," Hughes said, handing his rifle to Westerberg. He squatted down and grabbed Killinger, throwing the smaller airman over his shoulder.
"But--" Killinger objected, weakly trying to get loose.
"Just be quiet," Hughes said menacingly, turning and heading back toward their Bronco. "Falcon Charlie, this is Falcon Three," Hughes transmitted. "We completed our sweep, and we found Killinger. We're en route to the hospital now."
"Falcon Three, this is Falcon Control," the control center replied. "We copy, you're taking one individual to the hospital. Report back to west gate once you've dropped same off, how copy?"
"Falcon Charlie, this is Cobra Lima. That's a negative on that last; have those personnel report to west gate ASAP," Hughes heard the lieutenant transmit.
"Roger, Cobra Lima. Did you copy that last, Falcon Three?" the control center asked.
"What?" Westerberg asked.
"They want us to report to west gate ASAP," Hughes told him.
"I heard that, dumbass. Why?" Westerberg said.
"The L.T.'s got a burr up his ass about something. Maybe he needs a new laxative," Hughes replied. "Roger that, Falcon Charlie. We'll be en route to west gate ASAP."
"Here they come," Lopez said, gazing at the approaching horde through his night vision goggles. "They're coming!" he yelled again.
"Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes," Moore commanded shakily, trying to sound confident and in control.
"You ready?" Lopez asked Smith.
"Y-yeah... just haul ass, right?" he asked, moving to rise.
"No, stupid. If it gets bad, haul ass," Lopez chided him.
"Sir, do you really think we can hold them?" Burkhamer asked Moore nervously, watching as more of the things shuffled out of the darkness.
"We're behind a fence, and we have guns, right?" Moore replied, a little more confidently. "We can take them."
"I'm not so sure, sir," Burkhamer said, watching as the groaning mob started shaking the fence.
"We've got to hold this gate," Moore said. "We can't let them on base."
"Yes, sir, but maybe the guys are right," Burkhamer insisted. "Maybe we should get more ammo."
"Sir, Senior Airman Hughes reports as ordered," Moore heard someone behind him. Hughes and Westerberg were standing at attention, Hughes saluting while Westerberg supported Killinger between them.
"At ease," Moore said, looking over the frightened gate guard. "What happened to you, troop?"
Killinger began to tell him about being overrun, and Moore interrupted angrily. "So you just abandoned your post, and let a bunch of those things on base?" he asked.
"N-no, sir. If I hadn't run -- there were too many of them..." Killinger began.
"Shut up, you useless piece of shit! Take him to confinement, Airman," Moore snapped, addressing Hughes.
"Yes, sir. I'll take him straight there after the hospital, sir," Hughes said.
"No, you'll take him there right now, Airman. This puke doesn't deserve medical treatment from my hospital," the lieutenant replied condescendingly.
"Yes, sir. The hospital first, sir, and then confinement," Hughes repeated defiantly. He moved a little closer to the smaller officer, to remind him of who was bigger.
"I suggest you back off, Airman, unless you want to be brought up on charges of insubordination," Moore warned him.
"Uh, Lieutenant, sir, maybe we should open fire," Burkhamer interrupted, staring at the dangerously loosened fence that was swaying back and forth with the mass of bodies pressing against it.
"Goddammit, Sergeant, can't you see I'm busy?" Moore half-turned, shouting at Burkhamer.
"Sir?" the startled NCO asked incredulously.
"Has EVERYONE lost their fucking MINDS tonight?" Moore screamed, his face turning beet-red. "When I fucking want you to fire, I'll order you to fire! Until then, BACK OFF!"
Moore turned around, and saw the three airmen backing up, horrified looks on their faces. "GODDAMMIT, I'm not done with you yet!" Moore screamed, and then turned to see what they were staring at.
The walking corpses were lined up along the chain link fence, struggling to push it over. The fence poles were bent dangerously far over, several of the creatures already making their way up the fence by crawling. Hughes and Westerberg hurried to their Bronco, shoving Killinger into the back seat.
"See?" Killinger asked self-righteously from the back seat.
"Fuck this, man," Westerberg said, staring at the riot at the gate.
"I heard that," Hughes said, gunning the engine and throwing the truck into a reverse spin.
"Fire," Moore said weakly, as the first of the creatures came over the collapsing fence. "Fire... fire... FIRE!" he repeated, more loudly each time. The things started coming over the fence in waves, and Moore could see his troops throwing down their weapons and turning to run.
"Stand your ground!" he yelled frantically as a dozen more came over the fence.
Hughes jerked the wheel and headed through a hedge, and across the golf course. "Um, where are we going?" Westerberg asked, steadying himself against the dashboard as the Bronco bucked up and down.
"The hospital," Hughes said. "We've gotta get everyone out of there."
"Shouldn't we call somebody?" Killinger suggested from the back seat.
"Shit!" Westerberg said, realizing he hadn't heard anyone call in for assistance yet. "Falcon Charlie, this is Falcon Three," he radioed, as Hughes plowed the truck through another row of hedges.
"Falcon Three, go," the controller replied.
"Control, we've got an overrun situation at west gate," Westerberg said, almost dropping the radio as Hughes slammed on the brakes to make a tight turn. "Repeat, they've taken out the fence at west gate and are overrunning that position."
There was a moment of silence from the other end, and then the controller stammered, "R-roger, Three... have all personnel fall back along Barksdale Boulevard to the Headquarters building."
Moore watched as the orderly line broke and ran. All he could do was scream at them to hold their positions; none of them paid any attention to him. He drew his pistol to take one of the deserters out and felt a hand on his shoulder. He spun, enraged, and was confronted by the ghoulishly grinning face of one of the creatures. Moore screamed incoherently as the thing fell on top of him, sending the pistol skittering across the pavement. His screams were cut short by the creature's lunge, its teeth tearing out his throat like an animal.
Burkhamer saw the fence start to completely collapse, and then his rifle stopped firing. He glanced over at the lieutenant and saw him go down under one of the things. Panicked, he dropped the useless weapon and turned, heading across the golf course after the three in the Bronco. He could only think one thing: run.
Colonel DeVries took one last look at his wife, then turned to go. He felt her hand twitch and then squeeze his own. "Cheryl?" he whispered incredulously. Her eyes fluttered open, apparently gummed down by dried tears. "But... you're..." he said, pulling at his hand. She turned her head and looked at him blankly, then at his hand in hers. He heard a wet, almost gleeful gurgling come from the back of her throat, and she started pulling his hand toward her face. "Cheryl?" he repeated, more loudly this time.
"Colonel, is everything okay in there?" Marley called from the waiting room.
DeVries watched in horror as his wife's mouth opened, her hand bringing his closer. "No!" he shouted, snatching his hand free a split second before her jaws snapped shut. "No!" DeVries said again, horrified, as his wife's corpse moved to sit up.
"Sir, are you... holy shit!" Marley cried, stepping into the room as the corpse found its footing on the tile. "Colonel, get back!" Marley shouted, stepping in front of DeVries and drawing his pistol.
"What's going on in here?" a nurse asked, coming through the opposite door. "Oh my god!" she said, dropping her clipboard.
"Get out of the way!" Marley yelled, backing through the door. The nurse ducked back out of the room, and Marley opened up on the walking corpse at short range.
"The head, the head, aim for the head!" DeVries shouted over the gunshots, looking around for something to use as a weapon.
Marley dropped the empty clip and reloaded; the thirteen rounds had only slowed her down. DeVries grabbed an IV stand and upended it, swinging at his dead wife's head. The thing was grinning sickly, it's gaze fixated on the colonel; the blow toppled it, sending it crashing to the floor with a mess of medical gear. The thing started to rise again, and the colonel smashed the base of the stand across it's skull.
"Shoot it in the goddamned head!" DeVries screamed, tears rolling down his face as he hit the thing over and over.
Marley raised his pistol and fired a single round into it; the round punched through its eye socket and exploded out the back with a spray of brain matter and bits of skull. "Jesus," he said, as the thing collapsed back against the wall and slid to the floor.
"Jesus ain't got nothing to do with this, son," DeVries said quietly, wiping his eyes with his sleeve. "Nothing at all."
Hughes brought the Bronco to a screeching halt outside the emergency room door. "Get everyone out of here!" he yelled at the guard.
"What?" the guard asked, as Hughes leapt from the truck.
"West gate's gone! We've gotta get everyone outta here," he replied breathlessly, charging through the doors. He glanced into the nurses' station, where several had already gotten on their feet. "Get on the intercom, get everyone out of here, ASAP. We just lost west gate."
Hughes nearly ran into two people carrying an occupied body bag as he jogged down the hall. Behind the two orderlies were LtCol DeVries and SrA Marley.
"Commander," Hughes said, stopping short and saluting. "Sir, we lost west gate."
"I heard," the colonel said slowly. "We were just disposing of my wife."
"Long story," Marley said.
"Throw it in the incinerator!" DeVries yelled after the two orderlies. Hughes heard one of the nurses relaying the evacuation order over the intercom.
"Has everyone in the housing area been evacuated?" DeVries asked, looking at Hughes.
"Yes sir, about an hour ago," Hughes reported.
"Good," DeVries said. "I want you to get as many people as you can and fall back to the flight line. Get everyone out of L.E.D. and have them report to the squadron. Marley, go with him. I'm going to stay here, and help supervise the evacuation."
"Sir?" Marley asked, surprised.
"I don't need a baby-sitter, airman," the colonel said sternly. "Besides, we need everyone we have out there to protect the dependents."
Marley nodded and turned to follow Hughes down the hall. He stopped, looked at his pistol, then handed it over to the colonel. "Here, sir," he said, grabbing a battered Louisville Slugger out of someone's gym bag. "I'll use this."
DeVries smiled and stuck the Beretta in his belt. "Thanks," he said, as Marley hurried off down the hall.
The sound of commotion in the hallway woke Bishop and Connally. They heard yelling, then sporadic gunfire.
"Jesus, what the hell is going on?" Connally asked, jumping to his feet and going to the bars. There were more yells, a door slamming, and then more gunshots, punctuated by the staccato snapping of an M-16 on burst. Something large and heavy thudded against the confinement hallway door, and then it burst open. Bishop and Connally watched Hughes pump two more pistol rounds into the body on the floor, and then he hurried over to their cell.
"We've gotta get out of here," he told them as he tried different keys in the cell door lock.
"What's going on?" Connally asked as Hughes threw open the door.
"Those things are all over the base," Hughes told them, handing them each pistols.
"What happened the Lieutenant Moore?" Connally asked.
"He got lunched," Hughes said, leading them down the hall past two mutilated Security Forces troops and a half-dozen decaying corpses. "We lost west gate, and there was a hole in the fence. God knows how many of those thing are running around out there." Hughes paused at the front door. "There may be a bunch of those things outside, so be ready."
Lopez and Smith watched the creatures mill about below, waiting for the mob to disperse. They'd headed up a tree in the middle of the golf course and had been sitting in its branches for almost 45 minutes.
"You think it's safe yet?" Smith asked after the last zombie had wandered by.
"Wait a couple more minutes, then we head for the hospital," Lopez told him.
"What?" Smith said. "No way, it's too far we'll never make it."
"Look, I'm not staying up here all night. The LT may have been loco, but there's still people out there who need our help
"No, fuck you," Lopez replied, dropping down to Smith's branch. "I'm no fuckin' coward. I'm just not stupid. I'm not gonna just sit up here while those things make everyone into snacks."
"You're fucking insane!" Smith yelled, clinging onto a tree branch.
"And you're a chickenshit coward," Lopez said, dropping to the ground.
"I -- I'm not a coward," Smith said defensively.
"Then get your punk ass down out of that tree. Sergeant Burkhamer?" Lopez stopped, staring at the overfed outline approaching from across the course. Smith dropped down behind him as Lopez called out again.
"I think it's one of those things, man," Smith said, backing up.
"Hey, Sarge! Sound off!" Lopez yelled, pulling his rifle up over his head and raising it to port arms. "Sergeant Burkhamer! Hey... oh, shit."
He stared for a moment at the sergeant's partially dismembered corpse lurching toward him, steadied his rifle, then squeezed the trigger, planting a bullet squarely between the former NCO's eyes. The creature dropped lifelessly, its head collapsing like rotten fruit as it hit the ground.
"Fuck me!" Smith managed, fighting back nausea.
"You know, I've been waiting to do that for years," Lopez said, turning on his heel.
"Viper Charlie to all posts and patrols. Be advised, all personnel are to report back to the squadron ASAP. Repeat, all personnel are to fall back to Hangar Three to regroup," the radio chirped.
"What?" SSgt Richards said aloud, the telephone ringing almost in unison with his question.
"Viper Echo," he answered.
"Sergeant Richards? This is Sergeant Mann at control. We're evacuating everyone; there's going to be a bunch of MUNS vehicles coming through any minute," Richards was told. "We're going to need to expedite them out -- just, uh, do a mass emergency exit."
"What? Okay, I'll open both gates," Richards said.
"Oh, and, sergeant, once everyone's through, we're going to need you to evacuate as well," Mann told him. "The Fire Team should be the last through, so just catch a ride with them."
"Roger," Richards said and hung up. Gaetano was fast asleep, sprawled in his chair. Richards hit the oversized buttons on the gate control panel, and all four vehicle gates started rolling open. A few moments later, he saw what looked like a small group of people approaching on foot from outside the restricted area.
"What the..." he muttered to himself as the first of the transports rolled through the gate, honking its horn at the pedestrians. The group continued toward the gates, undaunted by the large semis and tugs rolling through. One of the people tried to climb on to a slow-moving truck and was knocked off by gunfire from the passenger side window.
The last of the patients and hospital staff were crammed onto a bus stolen from the TRANS yard, and DeVries was helping load medical supplies into the back of an ambulance.
"Colonel, sir, Airmen Lopez and Smith, reporting," he heard someone say behind him.
"You two look like you've been through hell..." the colonel said, looking the two mud-splattered airmen over.
"Yes, sir," Smith said, "we're coming from west gate. You need to get out of here. It's not safe."
"I know," DeVries said. "Help them load this stuff, will you? I need to make a telephone call."
The two out-of-breath airmen saluted, and DeVries jogged back inside. "C.S.C., Airman Jones, how may I help you?" a female voice on the other end answered.
"Airman Jones, this is Colonel DeVries... could you let Master Sergeant Hoffman know I'm on my way from the hospital?" DeVries asked.
"Sir, um, Sergeant Hoffman is dead," Jones said slowly.
"Well, then, who's in charge over there?" DeVries asked.
"Well, sir, right now, SSgt Richards is highest ranking, but he's still out in the area."
"Well, who's in charge there?"
"Here, sir? I, uh, I think it's SrA Hughes, sir."
"Senior Airman Hughes? Where are all my NCO's?" DeVries asked incredulously.
"Dead, I think, sir," she replied. "No one's been able to contact anyone from the staff except you."
"What about Lieutenant Moore?"
"No, I'm sorry, sir. He was at west gate, and...."
"Look, can you patch me through to ACC?"
"Yes sir, stand by..." she said, the telephone clicking with the transfer.
"Colonel DeVries? This is General Millson," another voice said. "How's the exercise proceeding?"
"Exercise, sir?" DeVries asked.
"Yes, the no-notice exercise. I understand you have one in progress?" the general asked.
"No, sir, this is no exercise," DeVries corrected him. "This is real-world."
The general laughed. "You've got quite a sense of humor, Colonel. But seriously, how are the Op-For units working out? Probably scarin' the shit out of the troops, right?" The general chuckled again.
"W-what are you talking about, sir?" DeVries asked hesitantly.
"The new Op-For units -- the meat puppets -- you did get them, right?"
"Sir, I'm sorry, I'm not following you."
"The walking corpses. They are working out, aren't they?"
"Working... out, sir? They've overrun the base," DeVries told him.
"What do you mean, overrun? Are you telling me your troops can't handle a few animated dead?"
"A few, sir? There are hundreds of these things running around and killing people!" DeVries shouted into the phone. "Are you telling me this was supposed to be an exercise?"
"Eating people, Colonel? Aren't you overreacting a little?" the general asked.
"Christ, my wife was killed by one of those things!" DeVries yelled. "And they're spreading, too, like some kind of goddammed plague!"
"Well, that wasn't supposed to happen," Millson said petulantly. "I was assured that they were basically harmless, just walking puppets."
"What did you do, General? What did you use? Chemicals? A disease?"
"I'm sorry, that's classified."
"Classify this!" DeVries screamed, slamming the telephone down into its cradle hard enough to shatter the handset. "You stupid FUCKS!" he screamed, slamming his fist against the wall. "You, stupid, stupid fucks..."
"Hey, Sarge, I don't feel so good," Gaetano told Richards.
"Your arm bothering you again?" Richards asked, looking over at the airman.
"Yeah, that too," he said. "I dunno. I feel like I'm coming down with something." He was getting a little pale, his forehead beaded with sweat, and his hands were trembling slightly.
"I don't know what to tell you. Just try to relax, drink a little water or something."
"Yeah, I am a little thirsty," Gaetano said, getting up and heading for the bathroom.
Richards heard the sound of running water, interrupted by the sounds of drinking. A moment later, he heard Gaetano vomiting into the toilet, and the bathroom door slammed shut. "Hey, you okay in there?" Richards asked, getting up and going to the door. He was answered by the sound of another round or vomiting.
"Yeah, I think I'm okay now," he heard Gaetano answer. "Just felt sick all of a sudden."
Richards heard some more splashing, and Gaetano staggered out, making his way slowly back to his chair.
"Just need to sit down," he said, collapsing into the padded rolling chair.
A quick jog across the Law Enforcement Desk parking lot had gotten Hughes, Bishop and Connally safely to Hangar Three. Someone had set up a machine gun nest on the two outside stairwells, and Hughes waved to the gunners as they passed underneath them. A crew of mixed military and civilians were stringing concertina wire across the parking lot, reinforcing it with sawhorses while others kept an armed watch. With the exception of the small group of zombies that had made it to the LED, there hadn't been any sightings this far back. Yet.
There were over a hundred people crammed into the guardmount room, most of them civilian dependents. Bishop noticed that several of them were armed with M-16's from the squadron armory.
"It's gotten pretty bad, hasn't it?" he asked Hughes.
"Yeah," Hughes said. "I'm the ranking person here until the Colonel gets back from the hospital."
"You've got to be shitting me," Connally said.
"Nope. Most everyone with any rank is either K.I.A. or missing. I think some of them ran. You guys wait here; I've gotta go check with C.S.C. and find out about the colonel and convoy."
The last of the transports was rolling through the gate, and Richards waited for the Up-HMMWV that carried the Alert Fire Team to get to the gate house. Gaetano was looking bad, his breathing shallow and his skin looking somewhat jaundiced. Just as the Hummer pulled up next to the building, another gaggle of the animated corpses started making their way into the vehicle entrapment area. Richards yanked open the heavy steel door, dragging Gaetano by his armpits to the rear driver's side door.
"C'mon!" someone yelled at him as the M-60 gunner mounted his weapon in the turret and opened fire on the lurching assembly. Richards heaved Gaetano into the back seat and climbed in on top of him, slamming the door shut behind him. "Go!" one of the team yelled, and the driver gunned it. Richards looked out the passenger window and saw several of the things laying in a heap, shredded to ribbons but still moving somehow.
"I don't think concertina wire and a chain link fence is going to do it," Hughes was telling Colonel DeVries. The colonel raised his hand to Marley, who was standing guard near on of the wire teams. "You didn't see what happened at west gate; they just massed up and pushed the damn fence over, sir."
"We don't need to hold them off forever, just long enough to get those birds airborne," DeVries said, gesturing towards the aircraft on the ramp.
Hughes looked over toward the B-52 bombers. "No shit," he mused, half-smiling. "You think they'll hold everyone, sir?"
"I don't know," DeVries said. "It won't be pretty, but we've got to try."
Bishop walked down the upstairs hall toward where Marley was positioned in the makeshift gunner's nest. "Hey, man, Hughes asked me to come up here and help you watch," Bishop said, sitting down cross-legged beside him.
"I didn't know polyester was so tough," he told Marley, looking at his battered blues uniform.
"Neither did I," said Marley, still staring out across the parking lot.
After a few minutes of silence, Bishop nudged Marley. "What's up with you? Why so quiet?" he asked.
"What, you mean besides the rampaging zombies?"
"I don't know if I should tell you this," Marley began, "but all this... this bullshit... this was supposed to be an exercise."
"I see your sense of humor's survived tonight," Bishop replied, laughing.
"It's not fucking funny, man. They did this to us -- our own fucking government -- the Air Force."
"The Colonel told me, when we were coming back from the hospital. Those things out there were supposed to be the opposing force, some kind of domestic terrorism exercise."
"No shit?" Bishop replied, stunned. "What, what happened?"
"Smith thinks it was something to do with the radiation, or maybe the chemicals polluting the area," Marley said. "Thinks it's some sort of virus or something, and it mutated when it was exposed to the environment around here. Something like that, anyway. You know how he's into all that shit."
The weapons caravan was approaching the flight line gate, which was manned by what was left of the security forces. The gun guards dismounted and joined the security team as each trailer passed through the heavily but hastily fortified gate. Each truck, in turn, stopped in front of one of the B-52 bombers, awaiting crews to upload the weapons into the bomb bays and wing pylons.
Headlights flashed in the trailing Hummer's rearview mirrors just as it was passing the base ball park. "I think we've got a straggler," Richards said, looking back over his shoulder.
"It's got to be someone from the east side housing area," the driver said, pulling over into the weeds.
Richards noticed more sets of headlights, finally counting what looked like a dozen vehicles. "What the hell," the driver said, reaching for his rifle.
The lead vehicle pulled up beside the Hummer, and the passenger rolled down the window of the truck. "Hey, guys," he said, leaning across the door, "Ya'll might want to get the lead out. We just passed an army of those un-dead fuckers about half a mile back." The man spoke with a thick southern accent.
"Say what? Where are you coming from?" the driver asked.
"All over, really. Red River Militia, but we're the only ones that made it this far," the truck's passenger said. "We come through that gate over yonder." He pointed back in the direction of the east gate.
"We come to help ya'll get the civilians out -- figured you boys could use a little help," the truck's driver yelled across his passenger.
"Yeah, fuck it," Richards told the Hummer driver. "Tell them to follow us."
The driver repeated his instructions to the civilians, and then pulled back out onto the road.
Richards sat back and realized that Gaetano's breathing, which had been steadily slowing for the last hour, seemed to have stopped completely. "Gaetano," he said, shaking the still airman. "Gaetano, you okay, man?" He shook Gaetano again, more roughly; the airman's hand fell limply to the side. Richards checked for a pulse; his fever seemed to be gone, but Richards couldn't find a pulse. "Oh, no," he said, rolling Gaetano over. The festering wound on his arm looked even worse than before, if that was possible; Richards slapped Gaetano, trying to rouse him. His formerly fevered skin was now cold and clammy to the touch; his open eyes were getting cloudy already.
"I'm sorry, man," Richards said sadly. "We were almost there."
Hughes pulled up to the gate in his much-abused Bronco. "Where's the fire team?" he asked one of the sentries.
"The tail trailer said they stopped back on the curve by the ballpark," the sentry said, "but that was 15 minutes ago."
Hughes reached behind his seat for binoculars and focused them in on the ballpark fence. He could see a line of vehicles stopped along the road; a moment later, he saw the A.F.T.'s Hummer pull out and start leading the caravan toward the gate. "Oh, there they are," Hughes said, lowering his binoculars.
"Hey, you guys want some boxed nasties?" he asked the guards, motioning toward the back with his thumb. "Got them from the in-flight kitchen."
They were already headed for the rear gate of the Bronco as Hughes rolled down the window, and the guards started grabbing boxes, thanking him as they dug through their contents.
Hughes looked up in time to see the Hummer swerve, then ramp over the culvert and toward the fence. "RUN!" he shouted, leaping from the Bronco as the heavier armored vehicle smashed into a telephone pole. The pole cracked and swayed, sparks flying from the transformers atop it, then slowly canted over, smashing down into the flight line fence. The driver's side door of the Hummer flew open, the driver tumbling out, covered in blood, screaming through half a face. Something leapt from inside the smashed truck onto the driver's back, tearing into the base of the man's neck with his teeth. Hughes recognized the uniform on the assailant. It had been a cop and was amazingly still wearing its beret. A tall figure unfolded from the back seat on the driver's side, lifting a rifle and smashing it down on the thing's head over and over.
The caravan of vehicles following the Hummer seemed to be carrying a hundred armed civilians, some of them in camouflage and all of them armed. One of them moved in and pulled the tall soldier off the creature, while another moved in and planted his hunting rifle at the base of it's skull. The creature looked up, and Hughes recognized the thing -- it looked like Gaetano -- at least, until the rifleman pulled the trigger and blew its head off.
"Major Franklin, Red River Militia," the rifleman said, extending his hand.
"What?" Hughes said stupidly, still rattled.
"We come up here to see if you boys need any help. Looks like you do."
"What can I do for you?"
"I think the question is, what can we do for you," the man replied, looking over the damaged fence.
"Sir, we don't have much time," Bishop yelled to DeVries, the sound of the B-52 jet engines nearly drowning out his voice. "We've got at least a dozen of those things wandering around the parking lot, and Hughes says the west flight line gate is down."
"I know," DeVries shouted back. "Those militia guys also said there were a bunch more of those things coming from the east.
"What should we do, sir?" Bishop asked. DeVries was staring out across the flightline, and Bishop glanced over to see what was drawing his attention. A load crew was busy uploading a rack of bombs onto a B-52.
"Son of a bitch!" DeVries shouted. "Look, tell Hughes to tell the guys at the gate to fall back as soon as they run into trouble. Have everyone form an arm link cordon and fall back -- in formation -- to the squadron. That should hold those creatures off long enough to get everyone aboard. I've got to go kick someone's ass..."
Hughes walked across the pavement to where Richards was sitting. "What the hell are you still doing out here?" he yelled. "You should be back at the hangar!"
"No, man," Richards said, holding his injured shoulder. "You see, he got me. I figure I got six, maybe seven hours, before I turn into one of those things."
"But what about your family?" Hughes asked.
"They didn't make it. I already checked."
"But you don't know..."
"Yeah, I do," Richards told him. "You see, I watched them get shot up down by the area. I didn't say anything because they were already dead."
"Oh, God, I'm sorry."
"Naw... I'll be with them soon... I just figure, I'll do my part here, help some other families make it.
"You need anything?" Hughes asked after a moment.
"I could use a cigarette... maybe a shot of Jack," Richards said.
"I'll see what I can do," Hughes said.
Bishop waved Hughes over to where he was standing on the flight line. "Some of the MUNS boys have an idea," he said, pointing at the two technicians standing nearby. "They wanna rig up a fuel-air bomb and blow this place to hell once we've left."
"Aren't you supposed to be on lookout?" Hughes asked him.
"Nah, Smith and Lopez came up and relieved us. Said something about wanting to make up for something. I dunno what. Anyway, about that bomb -- they don't have the parts for a timed detonator."
"Yeah, so, we drop it out of the plane once we take off. No big."
"That might work, if we were talking C-130's, but these are bombers. You know, with bomb-bay doors?" one of the weapons techs interrupted.
"So... we open the doors, and all the nice people we're all trying so hard to save go out with the bomb," the tech told him.
"So don't set it off," Hughes replied.
"Hey, I hear ya, but do you really want those things running around loose?" the tech asked. "Didn't think so. And if we want to set it off, we're gonna need a volunteer."
"To set it off, right?" Hughes asked. "I think I've got the perfect guy."
"Hey, guys, we got problems," one of the volunteers called over the radio. "We got a shitload of those zombie things headin' right for us, over."
"Tell them to form up in a line and fall back across the flight line," DeVries said to Marley. They were helping load one of the last of the B-52s; several of the bombers were already taxiing down the runway. DeVries looked over at Richards, who was sitting next to a jury-rigged fuel trailer, sipping from a bottle.
"You sure you want to do this, sergeant?" DeVries asked.
"No, but we don't have much choice, do we?" he said, smiling. "Don't worry about me. I'll be... well, I was going to say I'll be fine, but I won't."
"I don't think any of us will, after tonight," DeVries said.
Hughes, Bishop, Lopez, Smith and Marley were crammed into Hughes' Bronco, speeding across the tarmac toward the last waiting bomber. They flew past SSgt Richards, who was sitting next to the makeshift bomb that would detonate the base fuel tanks, calmly sipping his bottle of Jack with a rifle across his knees. As they got closer to the plane, they could see something was wrong. One of its engine pods was smoking, and it looked as though it had run off the runway partly into the grass. Hughes pulled up as close as he dared, and they all saw a spray of blood that covered the pavement behind the damaged engine pod.
"You have got to be shitting me!" Smith screamed, suddenly hysterical. "We go through all this shit just to die now?"
Bishop looked back across the flight line toward the horde of approaching zombies. "Look, we've got what, maybe ten minutes before those things get to Richards and he blows this place to hell, right?" he said.
Hughes grunted in agreement. "Let's just haul ass over to the aero club and take one of those little Cessnas," he suggested.
"Yeah, maybe it'll work," Lopez said hopefully.
"Well, GO, you silly son of a bitch!" Marley said, cuffing Hughes across the back of the skull.
"Right," Hughes replied, gunning the engine. He figured it had to work. They were all overdue for a lucky break.
BiG BLUE MiNT EATER
George Washington was covered in Gore. Then he lay Silent in the Grave 100 years. The Brick Fence surrounding the Small Yard was Eaten in Places by moss. The moss was Brown & Green. The Brick Fence fell apart. He noticed his Eyes were open. He fed on what he thought were Mashed Cranberries in his Box. He felt ill all the Time. There were Trees over him, which he could not see. He knew they were there, because he heard their Leaves when there was a Breeze. He knew he was awake. He could hear the Birds from 6 Feet under the Earth. The Birds came away and returned from the Sky at Leisure. And nearby there was a House. It had a Nifty front yard with a couple trees in it. The house was white. Autumn leaves were falling all around the neighborhood. The Autumn Leaves fell in the Churchyard. There were dead leaves of magnificent color on the Roof of the House. The leaves fell with wonderful grace. They settled in the Brown Grass. Some of the Leaves got stuck on the Wall of the House. A Cat was kept in the House. The Cat was Shedding. The doorbell Rang. The Cat did not answer the Door. The Door was unlocked. The Big Blue mint Eater came in. The Cat made Coffee on its hind Legs for the Big Blue mint Eater. The Big Blue Mint Eater pet the Cat. They played with the Water Hose in the Back Yard. The Cat Sprayed Cold Water all over the Big Blue Mint Eater's Back. The Big Blue Mint Eater impregnated the Cat on the Trampoline later in the Day. The Sun Smiled down at them. The Shrubbery in the Yard was made of Plastic. The Grass was Green behind the House. It was Easter Basket Grass. The Neighbors watched the Cat and the Big Blue Mint Eater from their Patio. The ChickenPire came over and Raided the Fridge while the Cat was outside with the Big Blue Mint Eater. The Neighbors had sent the ChickenPire there. The ChickenPire slept in Mama Bear's Bed. The ChickenPire shaved with Papa Bear's Razor. The ChickenPire ate the Dogfood from the Dog Dish. The ChickenPire smoked Cigarettes with Dracula. Dracula showed the ChickenPire his Scar. The Scar was on Dracula's Upper Thigh. The ChickenPire was Turned On by it. Dracula turned off the Lights. Only their Cigarettes were seen in the Dark. Dracula's eyes became as Flashlights. He came to Bed with the ChickenPire. Their Cigarettes set off the Smoke Detector. It Screamed at them. Dracula became very Angry at the Smoke Detector. George Washington came over with the Boogansville County Fire Department. George Washington burned the House Down. George Washington found the Garbage Sack Unicorn in the Garage while he was Burning the House down. George Washington lifted the Glass Mask from his Fireman's Helmet and Engaged the Garbage Sack Unicorn in a game of Scrabble. But The Garbage Sack Unicorn had no Patience. George Washington refused to end the Game before it was finished. The Garbage Sack Unicorn had no Choice but to Continue playing. "Try, Damn You!" said George Washington. The Garbage Sack Unicorn tried the Very Best it could. It had no Choice. It was trapped by George Washington. The Garbage Sack Unicorn came up with the Word, "Sloppypusopotamus." The Garbage Sack Unicorn won the Game with it. George Washington was very angry when he Lost, and he Squirted the Garbage Sack Unicorn with his big Hose. George Washington stood in front of the Rubble of the Smoldering House with his Friends. George Washington's Friends were Good Americans. They roasted Marshmallows in the Fire. They threw the Garbage Sack Unicorn into the Fire. The Garbage Sack Unicorn Screamed and Cried and Carried on and Declared that it would have its Vengeance on George Washington with its Last Dying Breathe, which was full of Ashes. George Washington threw Mr. Potato Head in the fire. George Washington picked a Large Snail up from the Ground. He threw it in the Fire. The Snail whined about it. Then it Crackled and popped. A Great Butterfly that had a Teddy Bear head came out of the Snail Shell. It belonged in the Zoo. The Butterfly with the Bear head fluttered around George Washington. Its Insides were made of Burnt Toast. The Butterfly with the Bear head went out across the river, which lay beyond the Churchyard. The Butterfly with the Bear head went to a place which all present were Uncertain of. When the County Justice Jack Mitchell learned of the Fire, he was very concerned as to how it had been Caused. He was suspicious that there had been some Foul Play. George Washington had started the fire with his own matches and a Bottle of Whiskey. The County Justice was uncertain of this. He wanted to make sure that George Washington had used Good Whiskey.
The County Justice crossed the District in his Stationwagon. The County Justice arrived at the Boogansville Cracker Shack. The Whore of Boogansville lived there. She let him in and the County Justice banged his Gavel hard against the Kitchen Table. The County Justice drank Booze and Ate Eggs in the Boogansville Cracker Shack. They were Easter Eggs. There were Toads inside the Eggs. The Toads hopped out and got all over his hands and in his Pockets and down his Pants. This Tickled the Justice. The Justice took some Chocolate and Fed it to the dog. This gave the dog Very bad Gas. And every time the dog farted, it had to blame it on the other dog now, because it was so Embarassed. The Whore of Boogansville, tall and bony, scolded her other dog when the other dog Farted, because it smelled even worse than her Ass did. The Other Dog totally got away with it, and the Other Dog was sent out of the Boogansville Cracker shack for the entire Afternoon. The County Justice continued on his way after he had eaten the Eggs and drank the Booze. He could not do the Whore of Boogansville to any Satisfaction because he had had his dick Chopped off with a Pair of Scissors when he was in Preschool earlier in the Day. He'd needed it for Show and Tell. And Now when the Whore of Boogansville Serviced her Customers, the Other Dog Farted and stank. She did not Realize her Mistake because she was the Whore of Boogansville. The Big Blue Mint Eater had taken the Cat to Breathing Lessons for their Baby. When they found out the House had been burned down, the Cat realized it was in big Trouble. The Cat met Mama & Papa Bear at the Police Station with her Big Blue Mint Eater. Mama & Papa Bear smoked Cigarettes and drank Coffee with the Cat. The Police Officers were Grateful because the Cat made some Coffee for them, too. It was Cowboy Coffee. The Cat used Eggshells to make the Coffee Grounds sink to the Bottom of the Frying Pan. Chief Justice Jack Mitchell came in. He took a Shit. He Shat out Booze and Eggs. It burned his Ass. Jack Mitchell took a Statement from the Big Blue Mint Eater. The Big Blue Mint Eater said that life was a Piece of Shit on a Paper Plate. Jack Mitchell Agreed. Mama & Papa Bear did not want the Big Blue Mint Eater to be part of their Family. The Big Blue Mint Eater said he thought their Cat was "Really Great," in his Statement to Jack Mitchell. Jack Mitchell asked the Sheriff to get him a Coke.
ALGAE (893 wds)
The Sheriff stepped outside. There was a Pink Pig. The Pig came over to lick the Sheriff's Boot, which had Slop on it. The Sheriff wanted to Scratch the Pig with his Rake, but the Rake had been Reserved for George Washington. George Washington was not there, but if George Washington ever found out he Scratched his Pig with the Rake, he knew for certain there would be dire consequences. George Washington would Most Certainly chop his head off and Flush it down the Toilet. So the Sheriff did not Scratch the Pig with the Rake. The Chesapeake Bay was right next Door. The Sheriff looked at it. There was a Red Whale in it. It waved its Fin at the Sheriff and Spat water into the Sky. A Large Ocean Liner sailed past and it Cut the Red Whale in Half. It was Disgusting. There was an Alligator on board the Ocean Liner. It covered its Eyes because it could not Stand the Sight. It was Horrible. George Washington, however, would have None of That, and he pulled the Alligator's hands away from its Face. George Washington made the Alligator watch the Gore from the Deck of the Ship.
GEORGE WASHiNGTON: Look, dear Alligator,
At the Gory Innards Of our Friend, the Whale.
See, the Water itself
Has Turned Red, and is Soaked
With Guts and Garbage.
This is a Glorious Day.
It is Very Much like
The Reflection of the
Sunset on the Water
Of the Lake. Only a Fool
Would not Gladly
Swim in such a Soup.
But we Have Work to do,
And you have not brought
Your Swimming Trunks, Damn
You. So Lettuce be About
Then George Washington forced the Alligator to walk on its Hind Legs everywhere. Governour Guzzle Guts was somewhere on board the Ship. He had been up all night, Swashbuckling. The Atrocities which Governour Guzzle Guts had Lately Committed were of the Most Profound nature. Governour Guzzle Guts had used the Ship to Block any Vessels from using Joe's Fishing Dock. This had upset Joe very much, because Joe had wanted to go Fishing with his Nephew that day. Governour Guzzle Guts had also lately Urinated from the Stern of his Ship onto a Piece of Algae. The Algae had been Minding its Own Business. Governour Guzzle Guts had a Commendable Aim and there was Strength in his Stream. But the Algae would Never Forgive him for it. The Algae had Never wanted to take a Bath Before. Now it did. "It was worse than Birdshit," the Algae said to George Washington when George Washington discovered it in the Captain's Quarters.
THE ALGAE: I have Never Wanted
To take a Bath Before.
But when the Governour
Guzzle Guts Urinated
On Me, it was Worse
Than the Time I was Shat Upon
By a Pelican.
The Captain of the Ship himself was Strapped to a Metal Table. He was Greenish in Color and of Excessively Large Proportions. His head was Flat on Top. He was hooked up to Some Electrical Equipment. The Alligator turned it all on when George Washington left the Room. A Lightning Bolt then Struck the Mainmast of the Ship and sent a Bright Wave of Electricity down it. The Ship's Captain woke up and broke free from the Metal Table. He Found George Washington and challenged him to a Pissing Contest. George Washington won the Pissing Contest because the Captain's stream was weak and thick. This gave George Washington great confidence. The Piece of Algae told George Washington then about a Pissing Contest which was going to be held in Illinois. George Washington was excited by this and he stepped from the Inflatable Kiddy Pool which was the Chesapeake Bay.
THE iLLiNOiS PiSSiNG CONTEST
George Washington went Directly to the Illinois Pissing Contest, which was being held in the Backyard, over by the Grill. There were Hamburgers on the Grill. General Wooster was there. The Illinois Pissing Contest was his Idea. George Washington talked Shit before the Contest Began. Then he Proclaimed himself the Winner and accused Everyone Else of Cheating. George Washington said he would have Chief Justice Jack Mitchell issue them all Fines for Contempt when his Stream Faded. Jack Mitchell came over then. He wore How Now Brown Cow's Skin and Pretended that he was not Jack Mitchell. General Wooster did well in the Illinois Pissing Contest. He thought it was all Wonderful and he left then to get a Coke from the Coke Machine, and to join the Main American Army. The Main American Army was in Boogansville. George Washington had sent them there. George Washington helped his Friend, Ernest Hemingway, get Piss-Roaring Drunk after the Illinois Pissing Contest. Ernest Hemingway had lost the Contest to George Washington and therefore was very Upset about it. Ernest's stream was Not as Mighty as it had once been. Therefore, George Washington helped Ernest blow his Head off later in the Day. Ernest was very Thankful to George Washington then, and George Washington explained it was no Big Deal. Mrs. Biosphere presented George Washington with a Trophy. She congratulated him for Winning the Pissing Contest. Time had given her Wrinkles. She had sent her Science Class on a Field Trip to Hell so she could attend the Pissing Contest. The Wolfman met the Science Class Children in Hell.
The Wolfman had gone to Hell to find the Big Blue Mint Eater. Hell was also known as Greater Boogansville County. The Big Blue Mint Eater had fallen in love with the Kitty Cat it had Impregnated. But the Kitty Cat was no Longer allowed to see the Big Blue Mint Eater. So the Cat had run away to Hell. The Big Blue Mint Eater had chased her all the Way There. The Wolfman told the Children to keep their Eyes Peeled. The Big Blue Mint Eater chased the Kitty Cat up the Stairs in Hell. Dracula was at the top of the Stairs. The Big Blue Mint Eater crashed into some Furniture as it chased the Kitty Cat. The Kitty Cat leapt through a Window. The Window shattered. All of Greater Boogansville County could be seen through the Window. The Big Blue Mint Eater followed the Cat with its arms extended. The Big Blue Mint Eater knocked a giant hole in the Wall because it could not Fit through the Window. The Big Blue Mint Eater died when it hit the ground of Boogansville County. All the Children were there. The Big Blue Mint Eater had a Squirting alarm Clock in its head. The Big Blue Mint Eater's squirting Alarm Clock went off and a Spray of Pink Lemonade shot into the Sky from its head. The Children danced with the Wolfman in the Lemonade. Then Dracula came over and Stuck his Big Fork in the Big Blue mint Eater's Head. He did not like to see the Children have Fun. The Wolfman found a Can of Asparagus in the Big Blue Mint Eater's Belly. Dracula opened the Can of Asparagus. A Great Flowery light sprouted from the Can of Asparagus. It was an Edifying Experience. Dracula broke down and wept because he needed an Oil Change. All of the Children took pity on him. But a Storm was coming. It was seen over the Bay. It was Dark red and Violent. Blood was in the Breeze. The Whore of Boogansville was heard to Scream from a Great Distance. It was a Shrill Alarm. The Children were evacuated by the Schoolbus, which cared for them. There was nothing for it and there was a Great amount of Gore. George Washington burned down a Necessary House in this Time of Crisis. And George Washington took a Live Calf and Chopped its Head off and threw it in the fire. George Washington was made very happy when a Bunny Rabbit hopped out of the Calf's body with a Bowl of Salad in its Kangaroo Pocket. George Washington gave the Bowl of Salad to the UFO, which came from the Forest when it saw the Burning Necessary House. In Return for the Bowl of Salad, the UFO allowed George Washington the use of itself. George Washington piled what Good Americans he had up into the UFO. They Flew to Mars.
Mars had an Ice Cream Cone for a President and it spoke with George Washington in its Martian Palace. "God Damn, it's Cold in here," said George Washington. "Could you turn up the Heat?" The Martian President was happy to Oblige and it then Began to Melt in front of George Washington. George Washington was not Impressed by this. The Good Americans with the Martians decided to drop a Bomb on Pluto. A Secret Martian Agent, called Nathan Hale, had discovered that Pluto was the Enemy Headquarters. Pluto was a Broom Closet in an Old Wooden House in Westchester County, which was Downstairs. The Wolfman flew the Good Americans in his Frig Pig to the Place. They landed and everyone Got Out. George Washington stepped inside the Broom Closet first. He carried a Wiffle Bat. It was Dark. General Wooster had a Flashlight. They found the Garbage Sack Unicorn all tied up within the Broom Closet. There was a Vacuum cleaner beside it. How Now Brown Cow came in from the Kitchen and Demanded to know what was going on. George Washington ordered her tied to a Rocking Chair on the Front Porch. How Now Brown Cow was very upset about it. George Washington Stuck a Trash Bag full of Trash onto the Garbage Sack Unicorn's Horn and set it Free. The Garbage Sack Unicorn ran gay through the Fields. Then George Washington ordered his Friend, Richard Flex, to Drop a Bomb in the Broom Closet. Richard Flex did so. The Wolfman recorded it on Video Tape. The Wolfman was Pleased. The Wolfman gave Richard Flex some Toilet Paper and went back to Mars with the Video Tape. George Washington sat outside with How Now Brown Cow. They Chatted. How Now Brown Cow explained to George Washington that she was Upset because he had chopped her up when she was but a Calf and had thrown her into a Burning Necessary House. She Moo'd at him about it. George Washington made no Apology and said that he had done it out of Necessity. George Washington said that the Whole thing was "Just Fun & Games anyhow," and he slapped her on her Rawhide Back. Then he sent her out to Fetch him a Glass of Milk. George Washington told How Now Brown Cow that if she did not find him a Glass of Milk that she would be "An Enemy to Our Cause; and suffer the Like Treatment as her Friend the Calf, twice over." How Now Brown Cow then taught George Washington a Lesson in Milking. General Wooster saw this -- and averted his eyes.
General Wooster found Richard Flex in front of the Broom Closet and asked Richard Flex to marry him. Richard Flex agreed, and they were married. But General Montgomery stood up during the ceremony and said that it was not fair, because he and General Wooster had been married the night before. Semen White stood up and said that he was the one who should get to marry General Wooster, because General Wooster had proposed to him that morning. Richard Flex was deeply upset by this, and he called the wedding off and refused to speak to General Wooster again. "O, come on now! I only did it because you are all Brothers to me!" General Wooster said with a tear in his eye, "I really want to marry George Washington!" Richard Flex then felt sorry for the General, and they were friends again. Richard Flex felt Dirty. Richard Flex filled the Bathtub with Hot water. He sat in the Hot water and played with the Bubbles. Richard Flex was taken Prisoner by a Small Plastic Pirate Ship, called the Shrieking Shark. The Wet Scourge, who commanded the Pirate Ship, made a proposal to him. Richard Flex was to keep his cabin clean, boil his teakettle, and polish his boots. In return, Richard Flex would be allowed to go swimming with a rope tied around his neck in the water of the Bathtub. Richard Flex went into the Wet Scourge's cabin and fluffed his pillows. He boiled some tea. The Wet Scourge came in and sat down at his Table. He unfolded his Maps and Drank some of the Tea. "Aargh -- This Tea is God Damn delicious!" he told Richard Flex. The Wet Scourge directed his Shrieking Shark then to the Soap Dish. "X marks the Spot!" he said. The Wet Scourge stood on the Bar of Soap. He dropped to his Knees and Prayed. The Wet Scourge let Richard Flex help him Dig for Treasure. They did not find any. The Wet Scourge was very angry now, and he Marooned Richard Flex on the Bar of Soap. The Wet Scourge told Richard Flex as he sailed away that if he Ever saw him Again, he would Chop off his Head and Flush it down the Toilet. Richard Flex was Sad about this for awhile, but then he got out of the Bathtub. Dracula came in to take a Pee while Richard Flex was toweling Off. Dracula was very Mad at himself because of this. Dracula flushed Richard Flex's Head in the Toilet a few Times. This made Dracula feel Better.
SCRATCHiNG THE PiG
Dracula found George Washington in the Yard. George Washington was Scratching the Pig with his Rake. George Washington showed Dracula how to do it. Dracula enjoyed this very much. George Washington asked Dracula if he knew where the Urinal Soap Chicken was. Dracula said that he did not know. Dracula continued to scratch the Pig with the Rake. The blood of the Urinal Soap Chicken Screamed out from the Earth a few feet from the Pig Pen. George Washington ordered the Ground be dug up in that Area. A little Red Tricycle was discovered a Few feet below the Surface. It said its name was General Lee. It was covered in the Blood of the Urinal Soap Chicken. The Little Red Tricycle led George Washington over to a Barn, where Christopher Marlowe, the Elizabethan Playwright, was kept. George Washington convinced Christopher Marlowe to help him Assassinate Abraham Lincoln. They went Fishing together. George Washington hooked an English Teacher from the Pond. He dragged her up from the Water and she Flopped around for some time. George Washington calmed her down and stroked her long Wet hair. After she introduced herself, and looked at George with mild Embarrassment, she asked if he would like to run for President. Because George Washington had a Crush on her, he volunteered to run for President. His English Teacher smiled at him. George Washington went to School with her. George Washington gave a Speech in the Gymasium. His beloved English teacher clapped for George Washington and pulled off her shirt showing that she had no Bra underneath because he drove her so Wild. In his Speech, George Washington said, "God Damn it. Fuck. Shit," and many other Swear Words. The Definition of each Swear Word was Read Out Loud by an Obnoxious honking Mule. The Mule had survived the Mexican-American War.
CUNNiLiNGULO THE CONQUiSTADOR
The Mule slept with a Cactus at night. Optimus Sloppypusopotamus climbed from a Trash Can under the full moon. When Sloppypusopotamus came to the Mule, he took away all of its Money. Sloppypusopotamus lay down beside the Mule under the Stars. A Tumbleweed got stuck in the Cactus. Optimus Sloppypusopotamus found a Piece of Cunnilingulo the Conquistador inside the Tumbleweed. The Tumbleweed was on Vacation. Optimus Sloppypusopotamus brought this Piece of Cunnilingulo the Conquistador to George Washington. George Washington brought Sloppypusopotamus with him to the Boogansville Cemetery. He forced Sloppypusopotamus to Dig. A Box was discovered 6 feet below the Surface of the Cemetery. Sloppypusopotamus brought it above Ground. George Washington was so excited he did rip it apart with his Bare hands. His Horse, Old Nelson, stood by and Whinnied its approval. George Washington lifted out the Body like a fresh born Baby in his Hands. It was as if Hot from the Oven. It had Rotten Eyelids. It's Rotten Face came to Life in George Washington's Arms. "I am Cunnilingulo the Conquistador, and I am Hungry," it said. "Go into my Casket and bring me my Tuna fish Sandwiches." This was done and this pleased Cunnilingulo very much. Then the Storm came. Lincoln Logs Fell from the Sky. The Lincoln Logs hurt. Abraham Lincoln was near.
George Washington smoked a Cigar and visited the Grassy Knoll in Manigold Farm. The Farm lay Focused on some Gentle rolling Hills. There was a Stone House, a Barn, a Pond, and a Necessary. There were Fields of Urinal Soap. There was some Livestock and a Farmer's Wife. George Washington went into a nearby storage shed. George Washington met General Montgomery inside the Toolshed. General Montgomery had Toilet Paper wrapped around his Head. General Montgomery smoked a Cigarette with George Washington. General Montgomery told many Lies with the Toilet Paper around his Head. George Washington procured a Hatchet from the storage Shed. "Damn it, Hatchet," George Washington said. George Washington then brought the hatchet with him to Father Washington's small Cherry tree Orchard. George Washington found a perfect Cherry tree. He chopped it down with his Hatchet. George Washington knocked two big Rectangles out of the trunk of the Tree. George Washington notched the rectangles and made them very Sharp. He stuck the rectangles in his Mouth. George Washington tested his Teeth on a Cherry. The teeth were successful. A tall man came to the felled Tree. He carried a great Axe on his shoulder. He wore a top hat. He had a Shaggy Beard on his face. There was a large brown Mole above his Lip. Abraham Lincoln looked down at George Washington. Abraham Lincoln had a Folded face. Abraham Lincoln had a furled Brow. Abraham Lincoln wanted to chop up the rest of the Cherry tree for firewood. "I would that Wood you would make good use of," George Washington said. Abraham Lincoln thanked George Washington. George Washington left him there. George Washington was very happy with his Teeth. He chomped them at the Air as he walked back toward the House.
A great big Grizzly Bear was hiding in a bush. He saw George Washington and revealed himself. He gave George Washington a great big Bear hug and Slobbered all over him. George Washington did refute the Bear by taking off his shoe and smacking the Bear across the face with it. The Bear attempted to run away. He had now seen the Ferocity of George Washington. But the Bear was not quick enough. George Washington climbed upon his back. George Washington smacked the Grizzly Bear on the back of his Head with his shoe. The Grizzly Bear at last Escaped George Washington and hid in a Big Stone House. General Wooster and some other Good Americans Surrounded the House in the Fog. They could not break down the Door. It was too Heavy and Thick. George Washington found his way into the Bathroom of the House. When George Washington arrived at the Bathroom he found Christopher Marlowe sitting in the Bathroom sink. The Bathtub was half full of Cherry Kool-Aid. A tall black Top Hat floated on the Cherry Kool-Aid. A Fake Beard and a Fuzzy Facial Mole floated beside the Top Hat. Christopher Marlowe's face was Blue. He was very Scared. The Window was open. "Has something gotten into the house?" asked George Washington. Christopher Marlowe gave No Reply to this. He simply stared at the Window. George Washington went to the Window and put his hand on the Sill. The window Sill was covered with Blood. George Washington's Coat and Hands were covered with Blood. George Washington continued about his business. The Grizzly Bear came over and banged on the Bathroom Door to get in. The Grizzly Bear growled and Roared. George Washington opened the Door for the Grizzly Bear. The Grizzly Bear came in and drank some of the Cherry Kool-Aid from the Bathtub. The Ceiling opened up and Dracula floated down in a Rain of Confetti. He wore a Tuxedo. Dracula was Missing his Left Arm. Dracula Searched everywhere for it. Dracula was very Upset. He had been in a Barfight. Some One had yanked his Left Arm off and Thrown it a Great Distance.
George Washington convinced the Grizzly Bear to hide under the Bed with him, when Dracula was not Looking. They did so. The Good Americans pounded on the Front door of the House with their Cannon. General Wooster wanted to Bring the Bear away and show it to his Mother. There was a Movie Theatre under the Bed. George Washington watched a Film with the Grizzly Bear. The Grizzly Bear would not Stop Yawning. The Grizzly Bear stretched its Big Beastly arms and blocked everyone's View that way. The Movie was Home-Made. George Washington and a Bald Eagle shared a Bottle of Whiskey in the Movie. The Bald Eagle was Mad at George Washington for Chugging more than his Fair Share. George Washington got Mad at the Eagle and chased the Eagle all over the Garage, in the Movie. Feathers were Everywhere. How Now Brown Cow and her Cattle Friends busted down the Door of the Stone House where the Grizzly Bear was Hidden. How Now Brown Cow came to the Refrigerator. She opened it and saw that it was full of Frozen Beef. How Now Brown Cow was extremely Pissed Off. How Now Brown Cow discovered George Washington under the Bed with the Grizzly Bear. Her eyes were Yellow and Angry. How Now Brown Cow and her Friends had Driven the Good Americans from the House. How Now Brown Cow laid down the Law for George Washington. The Grizzly Bear said Hello to How Now Brown Cow. The Bear put its Arm around George Washington Jealously. George Washington decided it was time to Leave Philadelphia. General Wooster went to a Strip Joint and Smashed his Head in with a Bottle of Night Train after he had been Beaten by the Cattle. Dracula came in looking for his left arm. He found Igor there. Igor had Rugburns on his Knees. Dracula confronted General Wooster about this. General Wooster Tore off Dracula's Right Arm and threw it across the Room.
John Adams had Rugburns on his knees when George Washington left Philadelphia.
George Washington rested at home then. There was a knock at the door. George Washington came and answered the door. There was a beautiful Woman there. "Can you help me? I'm all alone and my car broke," she said. "Can I stay with you tonight?"
George Washington wished very much for the woman to stay, so he let her in. George Washington had a room prepared for her. He showed her to her room and said that dinner would be ready in 30 minutes. George Washington went away then to get his butcher knife. He dressed himself in his best smoking jacket.
The Woman undressed herself in the bedroom. She took off her face. This Revealed a Dog's Head underneath. Her name was Doghead. She was a Secret Agent. Doghead panted and slobbered in front of the mirror. Her eyes were yellow. Doghead got into the shower. Willy Wong would never find her here. She had Escaped him at present. Willy Wong would not have her on his dinner table. But George Washington might.
Secret Agent John Coward entered Doghead's Room. He searched through all of her things while she was in the Shower. John Coward found flea powder. He also discovered a complicated map of the Area.
George Washington discovered John Coward in Doghead's Room. He demanded to know what his business was and then brought him out into the yard. The Schoolchildren had come over for a Game of Touch Football. George Washington displayed Excellent Leadership Skills as Quarterback against the Inner City Children. George Washington's team lost for most of the Game, but he refused to Ever Give Up. Near the End of the Game, by changing the Rules, and with Guerilla tactics, and by Injuring some of the Key Members of the Opposition, George Washington's team at Last Won.
George Washington then gained much Popularity as a Hero. His face was made of Steel now. When George Washington died later in the Day, he was stored for a Short time in the Refrigerator. He met the Leftovers that lived in Tupperware. They were a Week Ancient. George Washington had a Pleasurable experience in the Ice Cube Tray. He fell into a Bag of Frozen Peas.
George Washington grew Concerned that all was lost in the Bag of Peas, but he managed to make Friends here. He found General Wooster in a Bottle of Ketchup. General Wooster left the Refrigerator with George Washington. General Wooster showed George Washington how to Smoke Newspaper at the Kitchen Table. They went to the Train Station. They went to Willy Wong's.
Willy Wong had a Wet Doghead in a Sack. General Wooster ordered the Frog Quiche from Willy Wong. George Washington ordered the Coconut Pork. It was time then to make Coconut Pork. Willy Wong tackled Miss Piggy when she made her way for the Door. She had come to Willy Wong's for a few Drinks and to watch the Girls. Willy Wong tore her pearl Necklace off and laid her up on the Table. She smoked and screamed and Carried on. Miss Piggy reached out to George with her White Gloves. George Washington pulled one of her White Gloves off and kept it. Willy Wong sprinkled Coconut shavings all over her. He used the Pearls as a Garnish. George Washington's eyes grew Wider. She fought until she was dead and Charred. "Wait a minute!" George said, "This isn't Coconut Pork; this is Coconut Piggy!"
George Washington didn't want anyone to eat Coconut Piggy. He was Disgusted. He stood up and Dumped his Whiskey all over her burnt white Dress. He decided to go to Philadelphia and find John Adams.
--SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-- State of unBeing is copyrighted (c) 2000 by Kilgore Trout and Apocalypse Culture Publications. All rights are reserved to cover, format, editorials, and all incidental material. All individual items are copyrighted (c) 2000 by the individual author, unless otherwise stated. This file may be disseminated without restriction for nonprofit purposes so long as it is preserved complete and unmodified. Quotes and ideas not already in the public domain may be freely used so long as due recognition is provided. State of unBeing is available at the following places: World Wide Web http://www.apoculpro.org irc the #unbeing channel on UnderNet Submissions may also be sent to Kilgore Trout at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. The SoB distribution list may also be joined by sending email to Kilgore Trout. --SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB-SoB--