Abacus Jones: Soulless Cowboy Stops the Zombie Apocalypse!

The wind was blowin’ so hard I had ta’ keep a hand on my hat ta’ keep it from flying off my head. Dirt kept stinging me in the face, makin’ it hard ta’ keep my eyes open. The howling wind made it hard ta’ hear anything. Blind and deaf, I kept trudging forward, hoping that I was still going in the right direction. Bad things were goin’ on at the town cemetery.

Patrick Conners, a somewhat powerful warlock, was there. I’d been chasing him all over the desert. The amount of money I spent on supplies ta’ keep on his trail fer so long was actually more than the amount I would receive for claimin’ his bounty. By this point I didn’t care. For all the shit I had ta’ put up chasing him I woulda’ spent all the money in the world.

His specialty was zombies. He was an expert not just in raisin’ the dead, but controlling ‘em. His strategy was ta’ go to a town, raise the dead from their cemeteries and then sic ‘em on the town. The folk would be too terrified of having ta’ fight off their loved ones that nobody realized a few of the dead was robbing the bank. He finally pulled that stunt enough times that people got wise. A bounty was posted and I took the job.

I’d gotten a reputation, too. People were slowly coming to the realization that supernatural events were becomin’ more and more common and the idea that monsters and demons roamed the earth weren’t just fanciful notions. People knew me as a guy who took care of otherworldly crap. I was also known as a guy you could screw out of paying. I weren’t too fond a’ that reputation, true as it was.

By the time I got close enough to see him I knew it was too late. He was just about at the end of the ritual. Any minute the cemetery would be crawlin’ with the living dead. If the wind weren’t blowin’ so hard, or if I were any sort a’ decent shot, I could’ve just taken him out with a bullet. I had brought along an axe for the zombies. It was easier than shooting ‘em. I weren’t a good shot, but I was an expert at chopping.

He finished his chanting and shut his book. The wind and the noise died down, cloaking the both of us in eerie, almost unnatural, silence. Any moment I expected ta be swarmed by the undead. After a moment a’ nothing moving both of us started ta’ get confused. That was when I really started lookin’ around. All of the headstones were in perfect order, none so much as cracked. On most of them I could clearly see who was buried in the plot, when they died and how long they lived. The ground was pretty even, making it easy ta’ get around. I couldn’t help myself, I started laughing.

“What are you doing? Why are you laughing? What’s so funny?”

Patrick was marching towards me in a huff. When he go close enough I figured I had a good shot of shooting him. I was willing ta’ take that chance since, yeah, I weren’t that good of shot, but hacking up a living, breathing person was a bit too gruesome, even for me.

“You dumb son-of-a-bitch. You wanna’ know what’s so funny? You picked the rich people graveyard. All these folk are buried six feet down in nice, sturdy coffins. You shoulda’ done this in the poor boneyard on the other side a’ town where they ain’t so far down. All your zombies are trapped. Thought you were an expert on this?”

Then I had ta’ shoot him a couple times on account a not being able ta’ hit anything vital the first time. That’ll teach him ta make me chase him for so long.


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