Behind The Vale. Chapter Two: A Fiery Temper.

Chapter Two: A Fiery Temper.

Eric woke up feeling very warm and well rested. He was therefore surprised to see frost creeping from the corners of the glass on the window by his bed. He shrugged off the oddness of his feeling warm in such a cold environment (he could even see his breath). He simply looked forward to a most likely very slow day at the lake. He checked his cell phone to see if Luis (his boss) had called him or left a message. Something along the lines of “Hey, the lakes frozen over, don’t come in,” and hopefully the very unlikely added sentence of, “don’t worry about not getting paid we will totally pay you. In fact, we’ll give you three hours overtime just for the inconvenience!” Yeah thought Eric, that’ll be the day.

So with no messages and no indication work had been canceled, he prepared as though work was still on. He slid off his bed, put on clothes, and preceded out of his room to go downstairs. When he stepped into the living room he knew right away something was wrong. He could see it on his little sister’s face. He looked across the room at the rocking chair by the window that his mother always sat in when she was troubled. She was sitting in it. He glanced at his younger sister Elizabeth, she had tears in her eyes but was not sobbing. She looked angry in fact. He mouthed “are you ok” at her. She shook her head and then jerked it towards their mother. He nodded, confused, and walked over. “Mom?” Eric said soothingly. She didn’t respond. “Mom, what’s wrong?” He asked a little louder.

“Oh.” His mother said as if she had only just noticed here child’s presence. “I’m, I’m alright… it’s just that… I got a call.”

“A call? A call from who?”

She sniffed. She looked into her sons eyes. The eyes of his father. “He’s dead. Your father is dead.” She started to sob again. Now he understood Elizabeth’s look of anger. He had never heard his mother speak of it but he knew she probably thought of him often. He could never understand his mothers’ behavior over this topic. He often saw her looking at old photos of him, and she was now staring at Eric with a look of someone lost.

Cindy was a broken woman ever since she found out about her husbands extracurricular activities. She had known something had been wrong with him but she assumed he was having an affair. His behavior was off and she knew it. He had been distant and extremely introverted. When Cindy had confronted him about her suspicions of him having an affair he had laughed in her face. He called her a worthless woman who had no clue about his life and she would never appreciate what he had done for her and their children. He than said that she was not worthy of carrying any more of her children. She had been two months pregnant, and he punched her as hard as he could in her stomach causing her to have a miscarriage. He proceeded to knock her to the ground and kicked her while she lay there in a sudden world of horror.

Charlie had been a kind and nurturing husband and had been ecstatic when he found out she was pregnant with their first child. They had been trying ever since they had been wed, they had met at museum showing about the mythology of the ancient Mayan’s and their culture, and they had been deeply in love from their first date. He was wonderful with his children. Now, here he was, beating her viciously in the kitchen which they had painted and designed themselves. She was now trapped in a hell which had once been the story of a happy family life where their biggest problems had been whether or not they could afford to afford a new car on her husbands’ salary. When he left she lay there sobbing, staring at the floral patterned tiles they put in together when they first started to renovate their home. He had disappeared for a week after that. The next time she saw him was on the news confirmed as the serial arsonist that they had now dubbed as the hellfire arsonist.

It had troubled her all these years. She tried to be as strong as possible for her children. She had moved them away when Eric had to deal with viscous bullying at school and when reporters tried to interview the family’s babysitter, it was the last straw.

“I’m sorry.” She said, and she was. “I know I shouldn’t be like this, he turned into a monster. But he still was my husband, and despite all he did I still love him.”

“I know” said Eric. He was a monster he thought. His mother started sobbing again Eric heard Elizabeth stand up behind him walking over to where he and his mother were. He stepped back and said to his mother, “I’m sorry. I know you love him and I remember the good times two but you can’t feel too bad about it. We haven’t been in contact with him for ten years after all.”

“That’s just the thing” she said with a note of anguish in her voice. “Before he killed himself he-“

“He killed himself?” Eric asked a little surprised.

“Yes.”

“How?” he asked.

“Oh you don’t want to know that,” said his mother. It seemed she was starting to pull herself together a little though.

“Please, I want to know.” Eric asked. His mother looked up at him a little bit of confusion in her face. While Elizabeth was giving Eric her “shut up now” look to Eric.

“Why?” His mother asked.

“It’s… its just important to me I guess.” Eric himself wasn’t entirely sure why he cared, but he had a suspicion and he wanted to know if he was right.

His mothers lip trembled, “he burned himself alive!” She said and she broke down again. Elizabeth held her trying to sooth their mother. So, thought Eric, I was right.

“Mom, I’m so sorry. It’ll be ok though. Look,” he said glancing at the time lit up on the cable box, “I have to go to work. But I promise we’ll talk about this when I get back. Everything will be alright.” His mother nodded, unable to talk at the moment.

Eric walked into the hallway getting the car keys off the hook on the wall and then exited the house sure that his sister would be able to calm their mother down. She was always good at that. Eric went to the car parked on the street his mind full of unpleasant thoughts and an even more unpleasant indefinable emotion that seemed to feel a little to similar to joy for him to feel comfortable with given the situation. He got to the car and opened the driver’s door and got into it. He put the key into the ignition and started the car. He was about to take it out of park when he paused. He was feeling strange. He felt the same small hole in him he did time to time when he thought of his lack of a father. This emotion almost always gave way for an intense feeling of rage and anger, but it wasn’t coming this time. He took several deep breaths and calmed himself down. He tried to ignore this odd lasting emptiness in him. He took the car out of park pulled away from the street curb and drove off to work.

The whole way his mind was racing with thoughts and feelings that were unquantifiable to him. He arrived at the lake quicker than he expected to see that it was indeed closed. “Thanks for the heads up Luis” he said aloud. He turned the car off and got out anyway though. He thought a walk on the lakes’ beach would help clear his mind. He was walking when he heard giggling coming from the small patch of woods on the side of the beach. He saw a young Asian girl’s head peaking out from behind a tree nearest the beach.

“Um, you’re not supposed to be here right now” he called to her. When he spoke to her she giggled again and ran deeper into the forest. He looked at her puzzled. Not only did he have no idea who she was but she was wearing a swimsuit. Usually he was the only one who could where clothes that light in weather like this. The sky was overcast and he was concerned about her. Maybe she wasn’t in her right mind he thought. He sighed and walked after her.

“All right, very funny! Now come out, we’re closed today and it’s to cold for swimming right now.” He heard nothing, he was getting very annoyed now. This little girl is just having some childish fun with me he thought. He turned around and walked out of the small patch of woods, once he was out he stopped dead in his tracks. There was the little girl knee deep in the water, except she was no longer a little girl. She was now a tall beautiful woman with long shining black hair wearing a white Kimono with blue embroidered swirls like wind running vertically down the Kimono. She had no trace of a smile on her face or any sign that she may giggle again. In fact she looked quite stern. He found himself suddenly fearful. This little girl, now full grown, but… how? He could tell it was the same person. Then he realized it was probably some kind of prank and this woman was the older sister of the girl in the woods. Still, something told him that he may be in trouble. He brushed off that idea. What harm can she do to me?

“Quite a lot of harm actually” the woman responded. She pale white skin was almost transparent.

It began to snow heavily and suddenly, it was collecting on the ground supernaturally fast. Eric was frozen in terror, and for once he felt very, very cold. “What, who are you?” Eric stammered. She had read my mind he thought. I didn’t say those words, but she answered me.

“You may call me Oyuki,” she replied sternly with no trace of the friendliness that the young girl had displayed. “Have you heard of me?” Eric shook his head. Oyuki sighed, “of course not. What can I expect from someone who was raised in the western world. You only pay heed to the knowledge of the west. Very few children of the west care to learn about anything else but what the west has to offer.”

Eric was very confused now. What was she talking about he wondered. All he knew and cared about right now was that this woman, Oyuki she called herself, was clearly dangerous. “What do you want?” He asked trying to invoke confidence in his voice and not show his fear.

“To talk” she said.

“That’s all?” Eric was still very nervous still.

“Yes, we will talk and then we will se what happens from there.” She spoke evenly and calmly, showing little emotion.

“Okay.” He said, “What do you want to talk about?”

“Perhaps we should talk about your father’s death.” She said.

“What?” Eric was now more nervous than ever. Nobody here knew about his father. He had always had this fear in the back of his mind that someone here would find out about him and Eric and his family would have to move again or worse someone would come back to avenge a relative or friend of theirs that had died in the fires his father started.

“Is it true he has died?” she asked simply.

Right, straight to the point Eric thought. “Yes, as far as I know” he answered.

“Hmm, well that’s not good.”

“What are you talking about? Of course it’s good!” Eric’s temper was now rising; it overwhelmed his current feelings of disbelief and fear. First his mom now this strange woman, his father was a sick psychopath who had killed over two hundred people. He knew this because (despite his mother’s insistences) he had looked up the news articles about the fires, he even knew the names of over two dozen of the victims of the fires. The names of all the children that had died in the apartment fire. After reading about the first three fires he hadn’t bothered reading about the last. It was a catholic school and it would have had so many children listed as casualties he wouldn’t of had enough room in his head for anything after remembering all there names too.

“He was a monster! How can anything about his death be anything but good?” He challenged.

“You hate your father very much I see. I agree that he was a monster of course, but the reason I’m here is because I very well be looking at another monster in the making.” Eric was taken aback, before he could respond Oyuki continued “your father had fire in his soul. It is now free.”

Eric could take no more. Who was this woman? How did she know about his family? “I have no idea what you are talking about. I have nothing to do with my father, and I want nothing to do with you. Goodbye.”

She had a look of anger on her face now and Eric’s terror returned with full force. What had gotten into me he thought. Since when do I mouth off like that and what the hell is going on in the first place! It was like he had awoken from a trance, a trance where this situation made sense and wouldn’t make him run in the first place. Well it was time to run now.

She drifted over out of the lake onto the snow of the beach leaving no footprints. Eric ran away from her as fast as he could. There was already two inches on the snow and he was slipping on it when he was going uphill on the sand. She was much faster and then he tripped over something just under the sand and landed on his face he looked to see what he tripped on. His blood turned cold. Half of a man’s face was sticking out of the sand that Erik had knocked off of it with his foot had hit it. “Luis,” he said softly. Luis’s face was blue and had ice coating his partially revealed face

He then remembered the issue at hand. Erik looked up and there she was right on top of him she was smiling now. She reached down and grabbed his face. He felt an intense burning cold on the spot where she held him and it was spreading quickly. His eyelids froze shut, he cried out and tried to break free but for a woman so slender she was incredibly strong. Then she hissed and pulled her hand off and Erik’s face felt warm again as did the rest of him. Though he kept his eyes shut for they were still quite painful. Then he felt her hand back on him this time on his chest. His heart was pounding fast but then it slowed and he started having immense trouble breathing and it hurt to try. He felt her hand jerk off him again as well as a grunt of pain from her quickly followed by a thunk a bit a ways off from where he was laying. He opened his eyes and saw her lying on her back she rose from the snow with a look of fury and fear. Eric felt his chest warming quickly he looked at it and he saw that it had been partially frozen but steam was rising from it and the frost on it was turning into a wet patch on his long sleeved shirt. What the hell is going on? He thought again. How did that happen? The woman wasn’t looking at him now she was looking at a point above and behind him. He turned his head upward to see what she was looking at, and he saw it, but it only confused him more.

Behind him was a very short man. He was over four feet tall at the most. He had a long dark brown beard braided many times in bunches at the end of it. His hair, also dark brown but with streaks of grey, was made into a single very long braid at the back that he had over his shoulder so it rested on the front of his chest. His facial features were off too. His nose was wider than any person he had seen and his brow jutted out over his eyes more than most peoples too. He was very broad for his height, and held in his hands was a massive two headed hammer that would have been large even on a regular sized man.

This woman had had no trouble manhandling him but this small man clearly scared her greatly. Who is the man? Eric thought.

“Go now or I will end you right here, little Yuki-onna.” He had an accent that Eric couldn’t quite place. Swedish? But his voice was very deep and very intimidating, and if that wasn’t enough to put her off from killing Eric the sight of the giant two headed hammer would certainly do the job. The hammers head was designed to look like two wolf heads facing outwards hackles raised with their teeth showing. There was a slight gap in the wolves’ mouths as they were open just an inch, and coming out of the wolf head mouths was smoke.

She spoke in a different language now, which Eric guessed as Japanese, he couldn’t understand it but the short man seemed like he could. He had slight smile on his face, like he was amused with what she was saying.

“You can leave any time now, little Yuki-onna” He said hefting the huge hammer onto his left shoulder. She hissed and burst into a snow flurry that spread and dispersed, and as she did the snow stopped falling all together and the sun began to creep out from behind the heavily overcast sky. The short man took a deep breath and looked down at Eric smiling.

“For someone so cold she had quite the temper, eh?” Eric stared bewildered at this man. He must have looked somewhat silly because the man just laughed. Beat his chest once with his free hand (the other one being occupied with the giant hammer) and yelled out “ek hlifa sja barn svell bikkja!”

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Behind The Vale. Chapter One: Let The Fire Burn Them.

Chapter One: Let the Fire Burn Them.

It was a cold day outside. Much colder than the season should allow, after all it was mid July. It was so cold that people were actually wearing heavy winter coats. Just the day before all the weathermen were predicting record high temperatures for the state, but the next day it was significantly below freezing. None of the weathermen, or really anyone, could explain how this had happen. The heat wave that was supposed to hit the Northeast simply dissipated. People attributed it to global warming which in a normal situation would be completely logical and most likely accurate. This was not normal though, not in the slightest. Everyone was cold. Lakes and ponds had frozen early in the morning, and it only kept getting colder.

Eric did not need a coat when he woke up in the morning. He rarely had blankets on him while he slept at night even in midwinter, and midwinter's in Vermont could get very cold. Eric Shellvitts was in most ways a normal and happy seventeen year old. He was tall, lean, handsome, with short blonde hair, and was athletically built. He was self conscious about himself though, due to a large gruesome scar on the left of his lower back that extended up to his spine. Still, just a minor problem. He was looking forward to being a senior in high school next year. His grades were good and it seemed like he would be the first person in his family to go to college when he completed his next year of school. However there was one major problem in his life, that problem being his father.

When Eric, his little sister Elizabeth, his mother (his mother’s name was Cindy Hurly but she had reverted back to her maiden name, Shellvitts, after the scandal. So she was Cindy Hurly but was now, once again, Cindy Shellvitts.), and his father had lived in the L.A. area there were a series of fires that the police and fire department were baffled by. The fires had been started by an outside force, there was no doubt about that, yet none of the people who investigated the fire understood how the fires had been started. There were no traces of incendiary fluids, electrical devices, or even a discernible location of where the fires had started. It seemed like the fires somehow started in multiple places all at once both inside and outside the buildings that burnt down. They would never have found out who was committing the fires if it hadn’t been for the fact that when the firemen had arrived at last of the fires Charlie was standing by the building, mesmerized and on fire. When one of the firemen went to save him the flames around him jumped to the fireman burning him alive. At least that was the story they told officials who seemed to think they were suffering from shock at the loss of their friend. Later the firemen recounted their story and decided that it must have been a trick of the fire light and that Charlie must have had a bonfire next to him which he somehow directed at the poor fireman.

So, Eric’s father’s was a serial arsonist. There had been four buildings burned down in total. The first was a hotel, though the fact that it was a hotel wasn’t the whole story about that building. It was a brothel. Everyone knew this but no one attempted to bring it down. Word was that the brothel had tapes of some political figures as well as some of Los Angeles’s finest on tape partaking in some of the more exotic options on the hotel’s room service menu. All the staff on hand at the brothel that night had burned alive in the fire, plus five clients. The woman who ran the brothel had not been in that night and was a clever person. Her name (or so she claimed) was Genevieve De`lue, and she kept very thorough records. She was more than happy to help the police given her business had been destroyed as well as many of her friends. The police had many suspects yet no leads, and then an unfortunate break did come for the case. Another fire.

The second building to be burned down was an apartment complex. The top penthouse suit was owned by Tomas Faraday, an infamous crime lord. During the time of the fire the sinister crime lord was having a meeting with his top lieutenants about how they were going to distribute their new drug on the street. Unlike with Genevieve De`lue the police had been working hard to bring this criminal down, and the leader of this rather large criminal enterprise had been planning on ways to elude the cops from discovering his new drug. Most of the apartment occupants on the floor below the top penthouse where the meeting was taking place were used for packaging and diluting the drugs so the drugs wouldn’t kill the person on the first use, after all repeat customers are what are needed in this business. As Tomas Faraday and his lieutenants lifted their glasses to toast their new plan… fire and smoke erupted all around the building.

It is true the police would have shed no tears over the fiery eradication of Tomas Faraday and his top men, as well as the crippling blow to their drug operation the fire caused. However, I have not mentioned the other five floors all occupied by citizens. Granted not all the people in the building were exactly law abiding, but death by either suffocation from smoke inhalation or the flesh melting heat is a death none deserve.

They figured it was a serial arsonist that believed he was killing people who deserved to die (they assumed correctly I might add). So to make a long story short, the third building was a warehouse used as a meth lab, and the forth was a Catholic school whose Bishop was accused of molesting several children.

It is at the church where Charlie Hurly was caught. When he was brought in he was quiet at first, they had him in the interrogation room for two hours without getting a word out of him. They showed him the pictures of all the burnt corpses, both civilians and criminals, no reaction. They yelled, they offered him deals but no reaction. They needed a confession for the fires. They could put him at the scene of the church fire but that was it, as explained earlier there was no evidence of any incendiary fluids or devices. His silence did offer them a small blessing though. He didn’t ask for a lawyer. Finally as they were walking out to take a break he said on word. God.

“What?” asked the lead detective named Aaron Smith.

“God.” Replied Charlie.

Aaron glanced at his partner James Harrison. “God?” asked detective Smith again.

“Yes, God.” Urged Charlie

“Exactly what about God?” asked detective Harrison.

“He told me to do this”

“Okay, God told you to do this.” Said detective Smith, drawing out the O sound of okay out clearly confused. Then it dawned on Smith, ‘he’s trying to get off on the insanity plea’, he thought. He sighed and sat down across from Charlie once more, indicating to Harrison that he should do so too. “So, God tells you to do something and you do it? Makes sense, after all if God tells me to do something I’m going to do it. I mean, I’m a Christian too. Detective Harrison, what about you? You would do something God told you to do, right?”

“Of course.” Harrison replied. They were trying to make Charlie feel foolish so he would let something slip. It worked.

“God wouldn’t speak the two of you!” Charlie said annoyed.

Harrison raised an eyebrow, “Oh? And why wouldn’t he?”

“Because you do not control the holy fire! I was chosen because I can bring down the fiery wraith of the Lord.”

“Hey, anyone with a book of matches can start a fire and claim it to be Gods wrath. I remember another case where-”

“I didn’t use matches” said Charlie, cutting off Smith mid sentence with a look of pride on his face.

Smith smiled. Now we’re getting somewhere he thought, he believed Charlie was about to reveal exactly how he had caused those fires. “Yes, we know that. How exactly did you start those fires? Gotta admit, you have us stumped there.”

“I told you, holy fire.” Charlie said this like it was obvious.

“Why don’t you explain to us exactly what this ‘holy fire’ is if you don’t mind.” Harrison asked.

“It’s a fire everyone has. It comes from the soul. But only God can allow you to use it. He must speak to you, and give you his divine plan. You need a purpose from the almighty lord to use it,” Charlie explained.

Harrison made a noise of interest. “Alright. Let’s say I believe you. How do you use it? What I mean is, how can you control it”

“I’m not the one to tell. It is a secret of the lord only to be given to his disciples.” Charlie wasn’t looking just prideful now, he was looking smug as well.

“Okay. Can’t explain it.” Smith responded clearly annoyed. How about you show us.”

Charlie frowned. “I… I can’t”

“Why not?” asked Smith, “I mean I’m sure detective Harrison would like to see it, hell, I know I would.”

Charlie frowned again with his brow furrowed. “It… It left me, I can’t hear the Lords voice in my head any more either,” he began to speak rapidly and more panicked, “I don’t understand. I did his work, I burnt the sinners!I destroyed them with the holy fire of the lord! I sent their evil souls to hell. I did his work, why did he abandon me? I let the fire burn them!”

Smith and Harrison looked at one another. They were both thinking the same thing, he really is crazy.

“Okay,” said Smith rubbing his left temple. He had lost a lot of sleep on this case, the autopsy reports of all the victims alone would keep him up since they numbered over two hundred, and the case was almost over… though it was not the ending he had hoped for. “We’re going to need you to sign a written confession.” He said exhausted, feeling little closure or relief.

Now, back to Eric, who woke up on this unusually cold summer day in Vermont. He was aware of his family’s dark secret, yet it was completely out of his mind at this moment. However, in a few short hours during the early morning when he wakes up for his job as a lifeguard at a small local lake the memories of his fathers’ sins would come into his mind in a very uncomfortable and very revealing way.

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A Hike at Dean Pond pt.2: Decimation.

Went to dean pond again today. This time me and my friend stuck to the area where the tornado hit. Hope you enjoy =).

A hawk!
This may not look like much but it's actually the only exposed part of an underwater stream =)

And as a demonstration of why you should not wear shorts if you plan on hiking of trail,

Do not worry, I am wearing shorts when I take these lol.

UPDATE.

Here are a couple of pictures my friend took of me when we were there.

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A hike at Dean Pond.

So I went to Dean Pond the other day with my friend and Dean Pond is actually a nice large forested area and I thought I'd share some pictures I took. Hope you like them =)

Sorry that some pictures are on their side, I don't know how to turn them lol.

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Zombie Survival on the Attack

Zombie Survival on the Attack.

A breakdown of weapons useful for the zombie apocalypse and commonly believed superior weapons which in fact are not.

1.Projectiles

Projectile weapons are of course the most desirable of weapons for the zombie apocalypse, and with good reason, however there are some projectile weapons popularized by film and T.V. that are in fact very impractical.

1. A) Firearms

First off is the shotgun. It has been a staple as a zombie killing tool in many a zombie work of fiction, and not without reason it definitely has a lot of power which is a great weapon for completely destroying the brain. However, there are downsides to a shotgun as a zombie killer. Primarily of course is the noise, a shotgun is loud. Which is very good for inducing fear into the living, but zombies don’t feel fear, they are driven only by hunger for the living. So rather then putting the fear of death into people around you are simply stating loudly for all the zombies in a two mile radius “Hey! Zombies! I’m right her! Come eat me!”

My choice would for a Pistol would actually be of the weaker calibers you can get. A .22 or .9mm pistol. It may not have that long of range or much power, but the latter is precisely the reason I prefer it. A typical .22 has enough power to enter the skull, (depending on the distance and you shouldn’t be trying to shoot zombies at a long distance with a pistol anyway. They are slow and there is no point wasting ammo when you can simply keep away) but not enough power to exit. This means you have a wad of led simply rattling inside a zombie skull allowing for considerable brain matter to be scrambled up with minimum effort. Also a suppressor for a .22 is more effective seeing as a .22 makes less noise when fired then most other guns, especially a shotgun.

As for sniper rifles a lower caliber wouldn’t be the best choice considering with this kind of firearm the goal would be to take out zombies accurately at a distance. That does not mean however that you need to go extremely overboard with your rifle choice. Rifle distance accuracy is rated in meters. In my opinion a distance of 800 meters (or over 2,600 feet) is plenty of space for you to take out a large amount of zombies before they get to close for comfort. My personal choice would be the Harris M89 bolt action rifle. The reason I like this one is the fact that it uses an M14 automatic rifle ammo cartage which allows you to have more ammo (they come in 5, 10, or 20 round count) than your typical bolt action rifle.

1. B) Bows and Crossbows.

Now, I am more preferable to a bow myself (mainly because I know how to use it and I’m not a bad shot with it) but there is no denying that a crossbow provides much more power. I will now go over pros and cons of both.

A crossbow has more power than your typical bow, which is obviously a pro for the crossbow. However there is a downside, they take longer to load then a regular bow which is another reason I prefer a bow. You can fire and reload a regular bow much faster then you can with a crossbow. Also with modern compound bows you are able to have a much higher draw weight (higher draw weight=faster velocity with more penetrating power) then you would be able to with a recurve or long bow. Another advantage of the modern compound bow is that when you pull it to its full draw length it ease’s off the tension and resistance of the bows string. Another advantage to both bows and crossbows is retrievable ammo. If it is a group of say 7 to 15 zombies a high draw weight bow is likely able to do the job and able to recover ammunition, though the crossbow may not be up to the challenge do to the fact you can not reload it as quickly as I have already mentioned.

1. C) Throwing Weapons.

Throwing weapons are not that practical really seeing as most people lack the coordination/skill and strength to throw a knife with enough ability to penetrate the skull. That does not mean you should write off throwing weapons completely seeing as an axe is likely to be able to crack a skull open with enough force to also damage the brain as well as a well thrown spear. If you have any of these it is not a bad idea to use them in a pinch although mostly it’s a one shot deal and you are unlikely going to be able to recover your weapon. Throwing weapons also tend to need more practice to have the ability to perform well with them and are a short range weapon. If you are not surrounded you’d be better off just running, and if you are surrounded it’d be ill advised to throw your only weapons.

2. Hand Held Weapons.

Hand held weapons are a must because you never know when you will be in close proximity to a zombie or multiple zombies with no more ammunition. Another vital reason for a hand held weapon is, depending on which you choose, it can be used as a tool in non zombie situations.

2. A) Bladed Weapons.

Some bladed weapons are very useful in a zombie attack situation whilst others are quite impractical. The sword for instance, it does not really matter what kind of sword as almost all are not a good choice. There are a couple reasons for this one is availability; it is unlikely that you would come across an actual sword tempered properly for proper battle purposes. Most swords that are sold at shops are replica’s, meaning they are not built for actual combat and are most likely factory made with little concern for durability. The second reason swords are not that useful is depending on the type of sword it may be used more for stabbing then slicing. Swords are predominately meant for damaging flesh not piercing into or caving in a skull. True there are swords meant for beheading but a severed zombie head can still bite causing an unsuspecting passer by to maybe step near the head and get an ankle bit.

There is also the spear. It has a great amount of reach to keep the zombies away from you which is a great advantage but it is a piercing weapon not a chopping weapon. If you go with a halberd (which is a medieval weapon similar to a spear and has a spear point with an axe head as well) you can chop at their head but spears like this have a similar problem to the sword which is they will be hard to find and even harder to find a battle ready one. They are also awkward to carry and will really slow you down if you are traveling in confined spaces. So I would avoid these almost completely.

Axe’s and hatchets are another choice in bladed weaponry. One that is more useful in my opinion then a sword. An axe gives you more reach then a hatchet and plenty of power to crunch through a skull and into the brain. However an axe is meant to be used with two hands and in my opinion you should always have a hand free. Which is why I prefer the hatchet, it may give go leas reach then a full length axe but it has just as much power thanks to its simple yet effective design. Both axes and hatchets give you more penetrating power due to the fact that they are heaviest at the end of the weapon which allows for a greater amount of force because it build up momentum better then a sword since most swords are equally weighted throughout the length of the blade. Try swinging a bowie knife into a tree, now do it with an axe or hatchet. You will have a better result with the axe or hatchet. Another advantage is you are less likely to break a hatchet then a sword. Especially if it’s a full metal one, though keep in mind that that an axe can reverberate force down the length of the handle causing a jolt to hit your hands and arms which can cause pain. Practice with an axe (not on skulls but on stumps and whatnot) and you will be able to avoid this and if it does happen you can be prepared and shake it off better.

Now to my personal favorite, the machete. A machete gives you both benefits of the hatchet and axe. It gives you more reach then a hatchet but can be wielded with one hand quite effectively. Another advantage to the machete is its relative ease to obtain, which is also true of axes and hatchets of course. You can walk into most stores that have a camping section and find one. They are sturdy and strong and similarly to the hatchet/axe are weighted heavier at the end allowing a larger degree of force to cave in the skull which is good for someone who may not be that strong. It is for these reasons that the machete would be my recommended hand held bladed weapon.

2. B) Bludgeoning Weapons.

There is a wide array of choices for a blunt force weapon. The most obvious being the baseball bat. The baseball bat is certainly an adequate weapon for crunching zombie heads even if a bit simplistic. A base ball bat does have flaws though. Similarly to the axe it is less effective when only using one hand and I do believe it is important to have a free hand, whether to hold a second hand held weapon or a firearm. Another flaw with the baseball bat is they are less sturdy then one would think.

There is a wide array of hammers that can be used. A sledge hammer is the best option out of the hammer category because of its length and heavy weighted end. Though again is less effective when wielded with one hand. There are single handed sledge hammers of course. Though hammers, unlike hatchets axes and machetes, do take a larger amount of force to do some serious zombie brain destroying damage.

Finally there is a mace. The medieval kind not the stuff you spray in muggers’ eyes, nor the kind with the chain. This has similar problems to the swords, and similar advantages to the machete. The disadvantages are it’ll be hard to find an actual battle ready mace, though it gives you more reach then a hammer as well as a heavy weighted end allowing for heavy force to crack the skull and damage the brain enough to kill the zombie. It is also supposed to be wielded with one hand so there are no problems there. This is why it is in my opinion the best choice for a bludgeoning weapon for zombies however since it is hard to find I can not recommend it. So as a second resort I would choose a sturdy single handed hammer, I personally would avoid most bludgeoning weapons though.

3. Explosives and Incendiary Weapons.

3. A) Flame Weapons and Incendiary Explosives.

Flame throwers will definitely light up a crowd of zombies no problem but that really isn’t the most practical of offensive plays. On the living a flamethrower will cause them to panic and run for cover for fear of being set on fire and that pain that comes with it, and therein lays the problem, zombies don’t feel pain or fear. So this will definitely kill them in time, but they will still be able to bite you while on fire before the heat kills their brain. Flashy? Yes. Effective? No.

In relation to other flame related weapons such as Molotov cocktails, torches, and flaming gasoline containers. I personally think these flaming weapons are not a very useful approach to use against zombies. Not to say fire doesn’t have a place in a situation dealing with zombies, but the situation in which they are useful would be to burn their bodies once they have once again been killed.

Incendiary explosives are different. Those do create a shockwave that could potentially knock zombies down, and since zombies are slow it takes them longer to stand back up from being knocked down which would be helpful as a stalling tactic to allow you to create a bit more distance between you and zombies.

3. B) Shrapnel Spreading Explosives.

As for shrapnel explosives, these are more useful than the aforementioned incendiary ones. True they are not accurate enough to insure brain destroying damage but they are definitely effective in slowing them down. For instance they could blow limbs off making their movement even more hindered than their rotting bodies do already.

So this is all the advice I will give for now on offensive preparation. You must remember that you still will need to train with all of these weapons to be more effective in their use when they are needed most in the field. Train when you can, try not to do so much training with firearms that you deplete your ammo to soon. I say again, good luck, keep safe, and always prepare for the worst.

And for other zombie tips here are my other two blogs. One. Two.

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Zombies. The Myths, the Make Up, Behavior.

Zombies.

The Myths, the Make Up, Behavior, Characteristics and Anatomy of a Zombie.

A zombie is a creature with low to zero intelligence. Here I will dispel some myths about zombies that have been perpetuated by the film and entertainment industry too make the zombie more freighting and menacing (as if there is any need too make these horrid beings any more terrifying.)

First and foremost, zombies can not run, or move even at a speedy walk. It is not hard to move away from a group of zombies if they are not close, however this handicap should not lead you to believe that they are not dangerous, for as most people know the real danger is not in capture by a single fast zombie, but in being caught in the midst of a crowed of them.

The reason zombies can not run is because that they have already begun to rot which means deterioration of muscle development and mobility. Decomposition is broken up into five stages, fresh, bloating, active decay, advanced decay, and finally dry/remains.

Fresh decay shows little sign of death but rigger mortis does take place in this stage, which is the beginning of the lack of mobility/motor functions of a zombie corpse. In the later forms of decomposition you can see obvious signs of decay and these forms of decay are the real hit to the zombie’s mobility. In these stages microbes that have remained in our body begin to attack the cellular structure of the compounds that make up the human body and this causes lack of stability in the zombies flesh and muscle mass. However, zombies do decay at a slower rate then regular dead and decomposing organisms. The reason for this is as of yet, unknown.

The next myth we shall tackle is the aspect of zombie intelligence. In many films today you see zombies began to learn how to use tools and weapons or even strategize ways of getting human prey. Zombies have little too no intelligence. They are compelled by base needs, and the only one that seems to be the driving force for them, is hunger. There are only two main parts of the brain that are active in the brain, and both of those parts of the brain are still active are only active in the most rudimentary sense.

The first part of the zombie brain that is most active it the Hypothalamus which is part of the limbic section. This part of the brain controls base bodily functions. Such as appetite, thirst, and other bodily functions. The only one of those functions that is really active is obviously appetite. Though they seem always want to eat without the actual need for it seeing as they do not need any kind of sustenance to survive. This section of the brain also controls motor functions some base emotions (which are clearly not active in the zombie brain as they have no emotion) and automatic function like breathing and the like which seems to be active as they do draw breath, however it does not seem to be a function needed for them as all attempts to poison them through gas has failed dismally.

The second part of the zombie brain that is active is the Medulla Oblongata which also controls motor functions and automatic functions such as breathing and digestion. It is not clear if zombies need these functions, and they do function in a very poor way as digestion is practically stopped and it is more likely that a zombies stomach will burst before it is able to digest the food which they seem not to do, or it functions so slowly it is nigh impossible to tell.

Third, zombies are not limited to eating human flesh. They well eat any creature including insects provided that they are still living. Zombies prefer the flesh of the living and will actually not eat already killed meat unless it is very fresh. This is important to remember as there have been reports of people trying to lure zombies away by putting meat in strategically placed areas to allow for easy kills. There preference for the flesh of the living is not completely understood, but there are of course theories. An example of one is that they somehow need to feed on warm flesh or flesh that still has blood pumping through it. Though seeing as no explanation has been provided for why this would be a specific need it is hard to view this as fact.

Another possible myth is that zombies have extra acute senses that allow them to find living creatures from a long distance away. The reason I say possible myth is that although most zombie experts seem to dismiss this as pure fantasy, there is no denying that zombies do have a way that they find animals from a good distance in order to devour their flesh. One theory given about this is that because of their lower brain functions and base needs there senses are no longer distracted by other smells sights or sounds. It seems the sole use of their senses is used to track prey. Some speculate that they have some new way of sensing us brought on by the virus but seeing as no evidence has been shown for this supposed extra sensory devise from examining both diseased and living zombies (please pardon the use of the word living).

You already have the virus! It is not just those bitten that carry the virus we all have it in us. As demonstrated by some of the early Romero documentaries (as well as later ones) all of those that die these days will become zombies. Yet the virus does not seem to effect the living in any way, it only shows itself when something living has died. This is why it is imperative that you always destroy the brain when someone dies. This doesn’t mean you have to get violent, you could simply stick a screwdriver through there ear or nose. You could also go the route of the Egyptians where you use a narrow hook up the nose and scramble the brains as to make positively sure that the brain is destroyed. This would probably be the safest approach.

These are the most important facts to remember about the zombie scourge. You must be prepared, always on the watch, willing to kill even your best friend or family members if they are turned or die of natural causes. A new pamphlet will be released for survival tips on how to keep safe and what you must be prepared to do and how to steel your mind and your body for what must be done. Good luck, keep safe, and always prepare for the worst.

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Zombie Survival Gear

My Pick List for Zombie Survival Necessities

(In no particular order)

 

1. Flint Fire Starter. 

 This will start fires affectively even when wet. By scrapping the flint with any rough metal, or even the edge of a coin, it will admit a large amount of sparks that will allow you to ignite whatever dry brush you may find.

 

2. A Good Heavy/Long Machete.

This will allow you not only clear away brush and branches that lay in your path but it also makes for a very handy zombie dispatching weapon, because of it’s weight and fairly easy to handle nature. The weight and length of it allow there to deliver a higher amount of force than a smaller blade.

 
 
 
3. A Multi Purpose tool that includes at the very least a shovel, an axe and a saw, Such as this,

This will allow you to dig holes to dig latrines, saw logs and branches, and if need be chop would, but it would be recommendable to saw instead of chop as an axe will make more noise that will carry for a distance. Perhaps an unwanted group of the undead scourge. The axe would be predominantly for the purpose of self defense.

 

 
 
 
4. Water Purifying Tablets, like these,

      This will allow you to drink stagnate water with less risk of contracting some sort of illness. Warning: DO NOT THINK THIS WILL PROTECT YOU FROM ZOMBIE INFECTION! Though these will help to drink water that may carry unwanted bacteria it will not protect you if there happen to be rotting undead corpses that have been in the water. Remember there is no cure from infection.

 

 
 
 
 
5. Grappling Hook and Rope.

      This will be useful if you need to get up a tree or a small cliff, and of course rope is very handy and can be used for a multitude of different task. However be careful with the rope you select, it must be strong enough to lift you up but you shouldn’t carry so much that it slows you down. For this reason I would recommend either braided nylon rope, or parachute cord, seeing that the later is much harder to find you will be heavier which means you will not be able carry as much of it. I would recommend at least 50ft of it. Trust me when I tell you that it is very handy, but again if it is too heavy go with less rope make sure you can mover freely. If you are lucky enough to find parachute cord, count your blessing because it is extremely strong and relatively light weight so you will be able to carry much more lengths of rope.

 

 
 
 
6. A portable hammock that does not need to be screwed in but simply tied.

      This will be quite hand it will be easy to carry, easy to set up, and if you use the previously stated rope and grappling hook to get yourself higher in a tree, you will be much safer sleeping than you would be if you were on the ground. I would recommend you use some sort of strapping method so you do not fall out while you sleep.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
7. Food.

      MRE’s are military rations, MRE stands for meals ready to eat. These are handy as they have a long shelf life. I would also advise canned goods. Never get any perishables and do not count on Mother Nature to provide, she can be a cruel mistress and in a zombie induced apocalypse most animals will have departed do to fear of being eaten alive. (Even though zombies favorite meal is from the living flesh it once was, I.E. man flesh.)

 

8. A first aid kit

      Now some of you may scoff at the ides that this as a necessity, after all there is no cure to a zombie bite. However you can get injuries from more then just zombies. You could slip climbing a cliff and tear your leg open. And if you have an open wound not caused by a zombie, you may die yet or get infected as a result of not treating and dressing this wound. It may not help a zombie infection, but that is not the only kind of infection, or wound you can get walking through tough terrain or demolished city streets.

 

 

 

      Now this list is simply what you would need to survive, not what you would need to be on the offensive. Obviously some of the items I mentioned can be used for offensive purposes, but this list is simply recommended objects that would be quite useful in keeping ahead of the zombie scum, as will as avoid confrontation by being safe, and being clever.

      I wish you all good luck when the zombie plague inevitably arises

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Pictures

Some pictures I took when I went to the Quabbin Reservoir yesterday. No animal's unfortunately, but I did get some photos of evidence that they had been there.
 

 Some very pretty woods with a rock wall running in between older trees and saplings in front of them

 Bear Crap

 Moose Poop (it was practically right next to the bear poop)

 A very pretty reflection on the river

 The Quabbin Reservoir!!!

 Me three miles in, a little after a very steep hill, and I'm obviously very out of shape lol.
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Stan Lee

            Stan Lee was essential to the progression of comics. Without him it would be likely that we would not have the complexity to comic characters that we enjoy today. His creations were made more human, flawed and relatable. Before him comic characters were made to be the example of what we could be but Stan Lee made his own characters so they were not the example, they were the ones striving to become the example. However the reason he influenced comics so much was not just because of how he treated his characters.

            The reason Stan Lee was so important was because he made the reader apart of the comics. When he was higher up in the company he gave the writers and artist nicknames. He would have things in the back of his comics talking about rivalries and what was going on in the offices. It is unlikely that these things were really going on but it made the reader feel like they were in the loop. So it was not just how the reader was able to relate to his characters but how the reader was able to relate to the company.

            This was not really done before, sure there would be letters to the writer that were answered but bringing the readers in making them feel apart of it that was something special. Now there are very few companies that don’t bring the reader in at some level. We have complex emotional develop in all companies characters, with the companies reaching out to the reader. This is how Stan Lee changed the medium; I doubt there are any writers or companies today that have not been modeled after Stan Lee’s design. Stan Lee changed the way in which writers treated their characters and in which the way companies operated with the reader. That is why he is so important to comics today, he changed the companies from something more corporate to make the readers feel like it was more of a family.

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