Authors: Christian Fletcher
LEFT ON AN ISLAND
By Christian Fletcher
Copyright 2016 by Christian Fletcher
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living, dead or undead, is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from Christian Fletcher.
Also by the author –
Left On The Brink
Left In The Cold
Left On The Run
Before The Dead Walked
Green Ice – A Deadly High
Kindle Author Page US:
Amazon.com: Christian Fletcher: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle
Kindle Author Page UK:
Amazon.co.uk: Christian Fletcher: Books, Biogs, Audiobooks, Discussions
Contact me on Facebook:
Christian Fletcher Novels | Facebook
If you’re going through hell, keep going
I felt the icy fingers of insanity threaten to reach deeply into my brain as I sat on my bunk onboard the Russian warship. I wasn’t seasick but the rocking motion and isolation drove me crazy. The people I bunked up with bored me rigid and my old pal, my alternative self came almost every night in my dreams to berate me.
I’d even dreamed that myself and my old friend, Steve Cousins planted a bomb in
back in Brynston, Pennsylvania, the place where we’d lived before the nightmare of the living dead began. The bomb had exploded in the bar room and killed almost everybody inside the building and some people in the parking lot. Eazy, Batfish and Donna amongst the casualties. How Steve and I whooped when we saw the devastation we’d caused. I awoke with a mixed bag of emotions. How good it had been to laugh and spend some time in Steve’s company again. It felt good but why the hell was I dreaming of blowing up mostly already dead people?
Chernakov of the Russian Army was no Christopher Columbus. A navigator of a sea going vessel he fucking wasn’t. Smith had messed up big time by grabbing him off the opposing Russian ship when we were back in Northern Ireland. This big gray bitch of a warship was just plowing through the Atlantic like there was no tomorrow and we hadn’t seen so much as a square foot of land in eight goddamn weeks. We’d sailed through rainstorms and waves that would have sunk the most enthusiastic Captain Ahab imitators out there on the sea.
In one moment of reckless and ridiculous temper, I’d thrown a Lapis Lazuli jewel encrusted ring overboard into the deep briny. A gift given to me by my late girlfriend, Estela Cordoba, who was unfortunately killed in action like so many others I’d briefly been acquainted with since the rise of the undead.
What a dickhead!
For the life of me, I didn’t know why I did that. That ring was all that was left of her and I’d tossed it into the sea like it was nothing. A part of a person I’d never get back. Why do we do these stupid things on impulse? I thought about her as I leaned against the ship’s guard rails with the salty sea breeze blasting into my face.
“I hope there is a heaven and you’re right there amongst it,” I muttered. Same to all those who had gone in the face of this terrible, new apocalyptic world, where the dead walked and wanted nothing more than to feast on the living.
The upside of life onboard the ship was a well stocked bar, full of genuine Russian Vodka that my Scottish and Irish counterparts and I fleetingly appreciated. Maybe a little too much. Sometimes I was happy just to drink my life away. We’d mix booze and banter on the upper deck and a few of the guys would burst into songs of old and all things Celtic past, then we’d hurl our empty glasses into the sea. It was a fun activity for the first couple of weeks. We were simply celebrating being alive and living someplace where nobody, alive or dead could touch or harm us. No threat at all for the time being.
Live for the moment
was the genial consensus.
But alas I, Brett Wilde, was not to lead a life of such prolonged mirth and cheerfulness, as I let the details unfold…
“Hey, Smith,” I called. “O’Neil wants to talk to you.”
Smith flashed me an irritated glance as he strolled down the main drag of the ship’s numerous corridors. “Tell him I’ve left the country,” he snapped.
I shrugged in frustration. “Smith, we’re on a goddamn boat. We leave countries all the time.”
“It’s a ship, not a boat,” Smith corrected me, before disappearing from view around a corner.
Smith had been spending most of his time during our voyage to nowhere with Thomas McElroy, an Irish guy from Belfast who had helped us escape the clutches of the Russian Army. McElroy was a man’s man, big and tough, not afraid to be violent when he had to and very similar to Smith in lots of ways. McElroy was probably more on Smith’s psychotic level than I could ever be. If I was honest, I felt a little jealous and a bit left out of the equation. Smith was supposed to be my buddy but he’d blown me off to spend all his time with this guy.
Smith and Thomas McElroy and his Northern Irish paramilitary crew were the tough guys of the world. Born fighters and born survivors no matter what kind of shit the world threw at them.
I was a lowlife deadbeat who’d been extremely lucky to survive through this whole zombie apocalypse thing. I knew my place in the pecking order. I was no military guy, no
but I’d learnt how to use a gun and I’d learnt how to survive. Plus one for the jerks and nerds of the world.
But I felt a little annoyed I’d been left out of the loop on our chartered route. I always had the impression that Smith and I we’re survival buddies, if there was such a thing, and he’d always consult me on our way through a continued existence. Obviously, that was not the case. Thomas McElroy had taken my place, and to be honest, he was more than worthy of that lofty position.
Batfish, my longtime apocalypse counterpart seemed to be avoiding me, only fleetingly, smiling and welcoming when Spot, our Jack Russell dog and fellow survivor came to greet me. We’d had a drunken moment together in Belfast and hadn’t spoken of the prevalence or of much since. Sarah Wingate, Smith’s girlfriend and former U.S. Army Medic often dragged me to one side and asked me if I was okay.
The guy who’d wanted a word in Smith’s ear was a Northern Irish politician from Belfast called Sammy O’Neil. We’d met up with the last living inhabitants of the Northern Irish capital when we were on the run from the undead and the Russian Army while in the city. They’d been holed up in a tower block, surviving day to day like the rest of us. O’Neil basically called the shots, governing their existence in their hideaway, as he had done when the world was normal. He was a tall, skinny guy with thinning gray hair and a hooked nose, like a hawk. He was probably in his late fifties or maybe early sixties.
Now onboard the ship, like all fading people who used to hold positions of power, O’Neil still thought of himself as an influential character. His ideologies not going down too well with some of the Scottish contingent but it was all in good faith, almost laughable as politics didn’t seem to matter anymore. Protestant and Catholic and their religious fractions of their past were now a forgotten occurrence. Long standing hatreds dissolved and alliances newly formed. I didn’t have any great pull to religion but some of these guys were quite passionate with their piousness, praying every day to some higher entity which, personally I was sure didn’t exist.
In essence, nobody seemed to listen to O’Neil anymore and Smith and McElroy seemed to be governing the whole shebang. And not doing it very well. We were in the middle of the ocean without a glimmer of sight of land, let alone the Caribbean Islands we were supposedly destined for.
The ship’s crew consisted of four abducted Russian sailors, manning the engine room, along with their commanding officer,
Chernakov, who was supposed to be navigating our passage. Also onboard were around one-hundred and fifty to two hundred refugees from Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as our own party from the United States, which included myself, Smith, Batfish, Sarah Wingate and our little Jack Russell dog, ingeniously named Spot, due to the small patch of black fur blemishing the rest of his all white coat.
We’d fled our native homeland some time ago in the vain hope we could find a safer place to see out the rest of our days, away from the clutches of the undead. It hadn’t worked out too well for us and we’d lurched from one crisis to another on our travels throughout the UK, losing plenty of good people along the way.
The Scots and Irish people we’d teamed up with were all amiable and friendly, welcoming us with open arms when we were in big trouble. The Russian military had spread through Glasgow in Scotland, stripping the city bare of its assets and threatening to intern us all into some kind of horrific communion in their home country. We’d escaped their detention and commandeered one of their Navy’s warships in the process.
To add to our navigation worries, we also had the disturbing prospect of the Russian Navy chasing our asses across the Atlantic to try and retrieve their stolen ship.
Sarah Wingate was a tough cookie and also a genuinely lovely person. She was Smith’s full time girlfriend and had stood by us since we’d flown out of the States from New Orleans a while back. Batfish had been with us since the whole world went to shit. She was a self styled Goth chick when we’d first met up back in Brynston, Pennsylvania, in what seemed several life times ago.
Batfish had a previous relationship with one of our party. A U.S. Army soldier named Gera, who was a genuinely good guy but had been murdered by some psychotic woman back in Scotland. I’d also had a brief affair with a female soldier, the gorgeous Estela Cordoba, now sadly no longer in the land of the living. I’d also shared a few glorious fleeting moments with a girl named Julia at the beginning of the undead outbreak. Typically, Julia had also perished from a fall off a tall building in New York. I carried the burden of guilt with me as I considered her death was due to bad planning on my part.
That was me all over. Bad planning and anybody I started deeply caring about went to meet their maker pretty quickly.
Batfish and I had shared a bed one drunken night back in Belfast. I am sorry to say, I can’t remember anything about our caper under the sheets except for waking up naked the following morning with the world’s worst hangover. She seemed to be continuously embarrassed in my company after our dalliance and had barely talked to me since. Batfish stayed close to Sarah Wingate when she wasn’t with Smith, as well as mingling with the rest of the motley crew.
Two dark haired young Irish girls, at a guess below the age of ten, had taken Spot to their hearts. They regularly walked him around the upper deck, fed him cans of corned beef and laughed wholeheartedly while clearing up his poop.
That left me pretty much alone. Of course, I conversed with the other people onboard. I wasn’t that much of a fruit loop. I spent much of my time listening to music. Some Russian dude had left his IPod onboard with a few cool tunes from ‘
’ amongst some Eastern European Heavy Metal. I plugged in the earphones and got lost into my own little world. But I felt isolated and abandoned, left stewing in my own inner stupor with my alternative alter-ego conversing with me on a regular basis. If the world had still been as it was before the undead outbreak, I’d probably be sectioned into some mental asylum by now.
I’d been suffering these psychotic episodes for a while, after some despot doctor had pumped me full of mescaline at Newark Airport, back in the States, claiming his methods were an attempt to discover a cure to save humanity from the undead disease. The said doctor had also perished at the hands of the undead and had succumbed to a gruesome death. After all this time, I felt glad. Good riddance to bad rubbish and bad people. Doctor Soames hadn’t really tried to save anybody; he’d simply tried to slowly exterminate me and would have killed all of us and gone on killing the survivors until he ran out of living people.