Tapper wasn’t always soulless, but this story is about who he was after his operation. The man the doctors said had lost his soul.
He’s not bitter.
In fact, he’s loving life. It’s so simple with no moral values to weigh you down.
But he made one little mistake. The couple he killed wasn’t on his hit list. Now, his employer has decided Tapper should “retire”.
Offended by the boss’ human resources representative, and the attempt on his life, Tapper takes the advice of an associate; to use his employers money to fulfill his retirement dreams.
Those simple plans are made more difficult with the whole zombie apocalypse problem.
With a nagging rash on his hands, and the world quickly changing into a place where everyone you meet may be a flesh eating semi-dead, Tapper realizes it may well have all started with his little mistake.
More importantly, Tapper himself is changing, and he’s not a damn bit sure he likes that.
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I woke with a splitting headache.
It felt as if someone had lodged a freaking pickaxe in my skull.
I tried to sit up.
Someone HAD lodged a pickaxe in my head, and it pinned me to the surface of an old roll top desk. Every time I tried to sit up my skull would slide along the rusty pick until it banged against the handle. This was a new experience. Groping behind my head I grabbed the flattened groove digger side of the pick head and pulled with all my strength. It held fast. I tried pushing and pulling from side to side to loosen the point, deeply embedded in the desk after passing through my skull. Given the odd angle and lack of leverage, this too was fruitless.
A door creaked open behind me. Or closed. It was hard to tell from this angle. A cool breeze wafted over my head. Must be open. I tried to rotate my head around the pick so I could spy the door. The desk was wide, and I needed to half lay across it to turn far enough. Finally, I could just see the edge of the door with one eye. The fuzzy one. I was getting aggravated. “Damn it. Is somebody there?”
I brightened. Mikey was a simple kind of guy. Not overly active in the upstairs. I liked that about Mikey. It made him easy to direct. “Mikey! Good. Come over here and pull out this pickaxe.”
“What?” … the fuck was he talking about
“It’s a mattock. Not a pickaxe.”
“the fuck you say. They’re the same.”
“Not really. A pickaxe has a..”
I interrupted him. It was interesting and all, but I really did want to get my head free.
“This thing going through my head, Mikey. Come and pull it out alright?”
Mikey, good natured fella that he is, grinned. Then he ambled over and pulled the ‘mattock’ out of the desk. Job well done and congratulations on my tact and good fortune. I stood up straight and faced Mikey. I wondered what he was before he was this. You would guess some sort of service job where he worked with people a lot. A friendly clerk at the neighborhood convenience store maybe. But you never know. Might have been a sick fuck child molesting homicidal freak rat bastard. Sometimes the change would make you something totally different in that way. I remember how it was with me and Felicia, but I can’t ‘feel’ it like I could then. I can’t be there anymore, because now I’m here, and here is all I can be. I suspect I’m a lot more like I was in the beginning than the time of the change. Coming full circle, I think we called it back in the days of sanity, such as it was.
I tried to remember how this whole thing had come about. I certainly had no memory of going to sleep with a garden tool of questionable classification protruding from my head. The trouble seemed to be that I had no clear memory of what was happening before I woke up. There was a hole in my memory, and I suspected it somehow corresponded to the hole I now had in my head. It’s probably a good thing the other end hadn’t been implanted. It was fortunate that I was no stranger to dealing with the effects of head trauma. I simply ignored it and started over.
“So, Mikey. What are we doing here?”
Sometimes, Mikey’s simple nature is an impediment to the overall rate of progress.
“Weapons and ammunition. Good rations, personal armor.”
This seems like something I should remember.
“Mikey, Mikey” I interrupt. “Why do we need that?”
He looks at me like I’m fucking with him. Testing him somehow. He’s on the verge of a smile but unsure if that’s the right response. Maybe I’m not fucking with him. “Mikey, who’s in charge?”
A huge smile splits across his face. He’s on solid ground now for sure. “You are boss.”