Music Store

Time for another apocalypse fantasy. Zoic and I were stir crazy today. The pressure of dealing with the apocalypse is intense. Staying inside hardly seems safe. So we go out. Today was my choice, and I had a very specific grudge to work out. I selected a corporate guitar store. While there are better stores in town, I feel like they are deserving of more respect than this one.

It was a bit of a drive, but there aren’t exactly speed limits anymore, and hitting the infected is sort of the goal, so we made it quickly. It was a part of town we hadn’t been to, so we had to scope it out a bit. Plus, we went in armed. The general rules for insane, risky behavior in the apocalypse, if I was a rule making type, are never leave without fully loading your weapons, bring something that doesn’t need reloading, and have enough fire power to kill a large group of zombies. Maybe put something in there about saving ammo, etc. We really just make it up as we go along.

We parked the car out in front of the store. The windows are lined with bars inside, and it looked like someone had tried to lock things up in the last moments. These are always interesting circumstances. You never know what you’re going to find.

Zoic laid her gun right up close to the lock, and took care of it in one.

“Remind me to get a gas torch.”

We went through the usual steps. “Hello?” “Is anyone in here” “We’re not infected”. No responses. As usual, the infection had spread before they locked the doors. Rookie mistake.

We walked around cautiously. No sense getting maimed by a guitar shop employee. That would just be sad.

There were eight of them walking around. Manager. Keys. Drums. Guitars. Basses. Electrical. A couple customers. The employees were nearly indistinguishable from their living forms. We made quick work of them, and my, it was satisfying. Covering one wall with Unnecessary Pretentiousness. Covering another with Idiocy. Putting the body of a guitar through the brains of Just Plain Unhelpful. Did I know these people? Unlikely, but they’re not much different from their corporate brethren elsewhere.

We fixed the door, so that only a crack remained open. Enough for one infected to enter, but not easily. I selected my tool. They had a single Rickenbacker 4003 in the red finish. Truly a beautiful instrument, it had been the object of my dreams in the old world. But I wasn’t about to stop there. I strung together as many amps as I could find. I pulled all of the effects out of their boxes and glass cases and put them together. Then I turned it on. Standing on my make-shift stage, I played a long, sustaining pitch of the open E. Low, and gravelly, the building shook. It took Zoic completely by surprise. She had selected the Gibson Les Paul for her tool, but with entirely different purpose. Taking a swig of off-brand rum, she waited. I played more. I played what I could remember. I was at least a year out of practice, and my hands had seen some things in recent times, but I was emboldened by the massive sound coming from behind me.

Then they came. One at a time, hardly a problem for Zoic, known to go head to head with five or six.

First, an infected in a dress shirt and tie. Pants MIA. He stumbled in, confused by the vibrations. A few more notes more fully confused him. Zoic prepared a rather large swing. She struck him right in the head, taking it off. The guitar, unharmed. Then another. A younger woman. Nice dress. Might have turned at a party. Zoic brought her axe down in the center of her skull. Then dragged the body over with the other one.

Our bottle neck seemed to be working. Another zombie, mostly disoriented. Zoic kept fighting, I kept playing.

Then two entered. Zoic swung her instrument hard, knocking one into the other, falling neatly into the pile. Two more. Our defenses were breaking down. Three entered. Two went for Zoic, one came for me. A fast one. A complete surprise. I saw the look in his eye and reacted almost automatically and completely regretably. The strap came off of the shoulder, the bass came forward, and I thrusted into his head. He fell back. I hopped down from my perch and I smashed his head in with the body of the bass. It cracked. The contact with the concrete floor did not make it happy.

By now, Zoic had switched to bullets, and the horde was rushing in. I pulled a sharpened machete I found a while back from its holster on my side and got to work cutting. We weren’t overwhelmed, just a bit unprepared. With the spacing of our city, there are never more than maybe thirty or forty infected in a group. Just wait it out.

The end came. The floor of the music shop was littered with bodies. 49 Infected. In the interest of returning, we dragged them all out and set fire, as usual.

Returning inside for a final sweep, I came back to my beloved Rick. There it lied, neck snapped from the body. There was nothing I could do to fix it. I removed the pickups and the bridge and most of the wiring. I put them in a bag I found behind the counter.

Then we left.

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