-XVII-

Listen to the Guns n’ Graves theme song while reading!

Athan sped into action so fast John wasn’t sure if he should be thankful that he was there to help or be afraid that he was able to kill so easily.  John didn’t have time to think about it – a zombie perched above the bar in a tiny cove jumped out at him.  The creature landed on his shoulder and tackled him.  Tempted to scream for Athan, John knew if Athan looked away, even for just one second, he’d be eaten alive.
               And then what?
               What would the Keeper of Souls or the Keeper of Minds do?
               Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.
               They’d keep looking.  Looking for the person to take on the Keeper of Death.
               John felt a tiny flame of rage strike up on his gut.  The zombie was trying to chomp at his neck but John threw is a solid fist back and hit the monster.  It fell off him and he turned and started to stomp on its face when another zombie came running at him.  Then another.  And another.
               “Shit,” John whispered as he reached for his guns.  They were gone.
               He looked to the empty holsters.
               “How?” he asked as a zombie grabbed his throat.  John looked to his right and saw Athan holding up a chair like a lion tamer at a circus.  He, however, had more strength and skill.  In his other hand was the leg to a table and he was hacking away at the zombies with speed.  To his left, he saw the faint figure of the Keeper of Souls standing in a corner.  No zombies bothered her.  She lifted her hand and there they were – John’s guns.
               The zombie tightened its grip and John screamed.  Athan turned and threw the table leg.  It hit the zombie in the head like a spear.
               Dead.
               John let out a sigh of relief and then saw two zombies attack Athan.  They both went for the same leg, just in different places.  Athan fell to the ground and swarmed.
               “NO!” John screamed as he dove over the bar.  He sailed through the air and landed on the hungry pile of undead beasts.  He thrashed and clawed and punched and kicked anything that was moving.
               “I’m here Athan,” he kept screaming over and over.
               The something changed.  Something clicked.  Something that at that point in time could serve as the greatest moment of John’s life.
               He felt a sense of surrounding and being so strong, it was almost overwhelming.
               A zombie tried to bite him.  A second ago, a chunk of flesh would have been missing.  But now, John reached out and tore the zombies jaw off in a flash.  The creature fell back.  Another zombie reached down towards Athan.  John grabbed its arm and twisted it and it snapped off like breaking a banana from a bunch.
               John didn’t even care to stop and think about what was happening.  He let his instinct take over.  Every move a zombie made, John somehow say it and was able to block it and rip off a limb or in a few cases kill the zombies by punching them in the right spot.  John wasn’t sure what the right spot was, but it had something to do with the spine because the zombie would go limp and fall to the ground.
               A few minutes after it all began, it was over.
               The zombies lay scattered in the musty bar like weekend drunks.
               John grabbed Athan’s hand and pulled him up.
               “You’re alive,” John said.
               “And you saved me,” Athan said.
               John looked down the empty gun holsters and then to his fists.  “I don’t know how I did it…”
               “The power of the mind,” the Keeper of Minds said in John’s head.
               “Here with go with this talk again.”
               “What talk?” Athan said and then nodded when he realized what was happening.
               “Were you in on this stunt too?” John asked poking Athan in his solid chest.
               “Not this time.  I thought I was gone there.”
               “It’s part of the tests,” the Keeper of Souls called out as she slowly appeared.  “Not bad John.”
               “Not at all,” the Keeper of Minds said.
               John jumped, he hadn’t seen the tall man appear.
               “What’s the purpose?” Athan bellowed, his eyes locked on the Keeper of Souls.  “Tell me now.  You watch as we die?”
               “But nobody died,” she replied with a calm, deceiving voice.
               “Almost,” John said.
               “And almost is enough for me to get mad,” Athan added.
               The Keeper of Minds nodded towards Athan and a few seconds later Athan let out a long breath.
               “I’m fine now,” he said.
               “Good,” the Keeper of Souls said.
               “Can I have my guns back?” John asked reaching for the empty holsters.  He felt the butt of his guns and wasn’t a bit surprised.  The Keeper of Souls smirked and John was tempted to pull one of the guns out and shoot…
               “Calm John.  That is the key.”
               John looked at the Keeper of Minds and nodded.
               He wondered if that was what he had said to Athan to keep him calm.

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About Jim Bronyaur

Jim Bronyaur writes mystery, thriller, and horror books. Grab a book at www.JimBronyaur.com Tweet him @JimBronyaur And for those who have Kindles and Prime, you may be able to get some of Jim's books for FREE!
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