The New Custom

We were doing a routine flyover of vast expanses of empty desert, looking for any stray ghouls that might still be wandering around. The war against the undead had officially ended three years ago, but the bastards still showed up in small pockets here and there. We were part of a U.N. force responsible for these clean up missions. It was a simple task, a pilots dream really, to fly around the world and occasionally debrain a zombie or two. This job promised to be more of the same.

Boris was the first to spot the lone straggler from the cockpit. You could tell one by the way they walked, but U.N. policy required that we land and send a couple of soldiers to visually confirm at close range before we opened fire. This ghoul was walking in a circle about 10 yards wide and had probably been doing so for some time before we found it. I located a level area within 50 yards and instructed the boys in back to get ready as I began to put the chopper down.

“Just a single, boys. Pop its brain and get it in the bio bag before I start sweatin’.” Sitting mobile in a copter under the heat of an Egyptian desert sun was one of the few drawbacks to this gig, but my boys were pros so I figured we’d back in the air in less than ten minutes.

Peter and Yogi hit the ground before the pads touched sand and made it all of twenty yards when all hell broke loose. One second it was just a barren desert but in a flash it began to writhe with putrefying flesh as over a hundred ghouls began to burrow out from under the ground with alarming speed and an almost choreographed efficiency.

“Oh Fuck!”s went up all around and Boris grabbed the controls, but I quickly disengaged them. From the air we could use larger arsenal to wipe out a large swath of the desert floor, but I couldn’t give up on Peter and Yogi so easily. I told Boris to sit tight and be ready to take off at my command or demise and grabbed my weapon, a fully automated rifle with a 2 hp chainsaw bayonet. As I hopped out the hatch I saw Peter engaging the enemy with his kung fu skills while Yogi the master marksman took precise head shots at ghouls. These two were a hell of a killing team and a joy to watch but I knew if I didn’t do something quick they were as good as dead.

I started up the chainsaw and began to cut a path for my comrades when I heard yelling behind me. I turned around and saw that the undead motherfuckwads were closing in on the chopper. “Fuck.” As I turned back again I saw that in the short time a handful of zombies had managed to get a hold of Yogi. Peter immediately yelled “I Love You!” and put a shot in his partner’s forehead, as was our custom when you were as good as gone. Peter spun around and in a flash of movement knocked several enemies to the ground but the effort was wasted. He grinned that stupid grin of his at me and yelled “I Love Me!” and fired a shot right into his own temple blowing dinner right into the enemies ranks.

I wasted no more time and turned back to the helicopter. The fucking ghouls were all around it and Boris was firing manically at the hatch trying to keep the stiffs out. “Leapfrog. North. Four hundred yards.” I yelled. My copilot responded right away and with one hand still poppin’skulls the other took the controls and lifted the whirlybird off the ground. There was almost a clearing heading north and I began to run in that direction hoping to meet Boris back on the ground in a few minutes. As the chopter lifted up I noticed it had several of the undead assholes hanging on. I took the minimum amount of shots possible and ran for my life but as I began to put distance between myself and my pursuers, I noticed that the hangers on had landed safely with Boris. He must not have had even the slightest clue, perhaps too rattled by this surprise attack, he didn’t notice the undead climbing into the hatch until what I confirmed upon my arrival was too late.

“I Love You!” I yelled. After pulling his and the other corpses from the craft, I managed to get in the air just in time to avoid being swarmed and feasted upon like some kind of carrion among these unliving vultures. Vultures. That’s exactly what these damn monsters are. Ground level bottom feeders feasting upon the carcass of humanities decadence. “This won’t hurt a bit,” I screamed at the top of my lungs as I unleashed a fiery hell storm of unbridled fury on a generous portion of the desert floor and then for sarcastic effect added, “bend over.”


This room is cold and I am tired of being locked in here. It was just a small tooth scratch and everyone knows that getting bit doesn’t always mean you become one of those things. I think it’s gotten even colder since that last sentence, and I am beginning to feel dizzy, which I am sure is a reaction to being locked in this damn quarantine cell all night. Just to make sure I walk over to the toilet and bend over to look in the polished metal for signs of the change. In the reflection I see my commanding officer standing outside my cell. When did he get there? I could have sworn I heard him whisper ‘this won’t hurt a bit’ so I turn around to ask…

“I Love You.”

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