"What do you think you're getting for Christmas, Sawyer?" Phil asked
Sawyer patted on the steering wheel of the boat.
"Yeah, right." said Ryan
"What time are your other friends meeting us down here?" asked Phil
"Well, Mike and Brad will be here around 6 and Jacob and Michael live here so they can show up at anytime." said Ryan
"Two Mikes." said Sawyer "We should think of a nickname for one of them."
"I'm sure we can keep track of who's who." said Ryan
"We should have them try some 'Stuff'." said Phil
"Do you have any here?" asked Ryan
"Yup!" said Phil "Right here in the cooler."
"What's 'Stuff'?" asked Sawyer
Phil tossed him a jar and explained what it is and how it's made.
"You take an empty jar and fill it halfway with sugar, then top it off with Mountain Dew." said Phil
"It looks like mud." said Sawyer as he stirred the contents of the jar with a spoon.
"Nah, it tastes worse than mud." said Ryan "Try it."
Sawyer scooped up a spoon full of Stuff and put in his mouth. The sugar rush was intense as he tried to swallow the thick substance.
"Blah!" cried Sawyer as he spit it out and threw the jar into the water. "It's horrible!"
"Hey! Don't waste it!" cried Phil
Ryan laughed as Sawyer frantically drank a bottle of water.
Suddenly, the water around them began to bubble as they heard a low rumble beneath them.
"What's that noise?" said Phil
"Is it an earthquake?" said Ryan
Then, with an enormous splash, a ship burst from the water less than a hundred feet from them. They couldn't see movement on the ship. If there was anyone on board, they didn't appear to be alive. Then the door to the captain's quarters swung open and out stepped an undead pirate. Ryan gasped at the sight of the monster, causing it to look right at him. The pirate stared at him and squinted his eyes then ground his teeth in fury.
"You..." said the angry pirate
"You..." said Ryan, a bit freaked out.
"It's the two landlubbers and their beast!" cried the pirate as a full crew of undead pirates stormed out of the cabin and onto the deck of the ship.
"It's Black Beard!" cried Ryan "Sawyer, get us out of here!"
Sawyer gunned it towards shore as Phil took out a knife and cut the anchor just before they ran out of rope. The pirate ship lowered their sails and turned towards the fleeing boat. A single cannon at the bow of the ship rang out as a shot was fired.
"A fortune in treasure for the man that cuts them down!" cried the undead Black Beard
"And a keelhaulin for all ye that fail the Captain!" added the Boson
The water beside their boat exploded as Sawyer struggled to keep control.
"Where did he come from?" yelled Phil
"It must have been the Stuff!" said Ryan
"I had no idea it was that powerful!" said Phil
Ryan pulled out his phone and tried to reach his friends.
"Brad! Is that you?" asked Ryan
"Brad's busy right now." said a female voice
'Oh great...' thought Ryan
"Ma'am, could you please give him the phone? This is an emergency!" said Ryan
"Just a second..." said the girl, impatiently
Then Brad answered the phone.
"Hey man. Can't you tell I'm doing something right now?" said Brad
"I don't care!" said Ryan "I'm in a world of trouble here and need your help right now!"
Another cannon ball missed the boat and exploded nearby.
"What was that?" asked Brad
"That's the world of trouble I was telling you about!" exclaimed Ryan
"I'm on my way. I'll pick up Mike." said Brad as he hung up
Ryan got a hold of Jacob and Michael and asked them to assist as well. They all agreed to meet in downtown Houston and try to figure out a way to beat the pirates. Sawyer managed to put some distance between them and the pirate ship. He ran their boat onto the beech and the three friends sprinted to their truck and away from the ocean. Ryan drove them towards an abandoned building that they had all agreed to meet at. Once everyone was there, Ryan explained the situation.
"OK, first of all, we have two Mikes here so Michael, you're Jim until further notice." said Ryan
"Why do I have to be Jim?" asked Jim
"Cuz Mike is one year older than you." said Ryan
"Whatever." said Jim
"Now, a group of undead pirates chased me, Phil and Sawyer out of the ocean and I'm sure they'll follow us into the city." said Ryan
"Come on, Ryan." said Mike "You expect us to believe that garbage? Have you been watching too many movies?"
"It's true." said Phil
"Well then I'm sure it's all over the internet." said Mike as he pulled out his laptop and checked the news
"What the..." said Mike "TNN and Coyote News are both reporting that zombie pirates have stormed the city of Houston and are attacking the citizens."
"Zombie Pirates in Houston?" said Jacob "I knew I should have moved to Dallas when I had the chance!"
"They're saying that when the zombie pirates attack someone, they also become a zombie pirate." said Mike
"We need to stop them." said Ryan
"How?" asked Phil
"Brad, can you get us some weapons?" asked Ryan
"Sure, what do you need?" he asked
"I'll take a shotgun, get a sniper rifle for Phil, a M-16 for Mike and whatever you want." said Ryan
"I'm on it." said Brad as he left the building.
"What about me and Jacob?" asked Jim
"You guys are going undercover." said Ryan
"As undead pirates?" said Jacob
"Try to find a costume store and get zombie costumes and pirate costumes. Combine them and hope it works." said Ryan
Jim and Jacob looked at each other and shrugged. They left the building and made their way to find a costume store. Brad returned a short time later with a weapons cache.
"Where did you find these so fast?" asked Mike
"A S.W.A.T. van was abandoned down the road. I just helped myself." said Brad as he loaded his M-240
Ryan picked up the shotgun and smiled.
"I think I'm going to keep this." he said "Phil, take the sniper rifle and Sawyer to a tall building and keep an eye out for us."
"Where will you be?" asked Phil
"The news is reporting that the majority of the zombie pirate activity is happening around the Toyota Center." said Ryan "Find a spot there."
"Got it." said Phil "Let's go, Sawyer."
Phil and Sawyer took Ryan's truck and drove towards the Toyota Center. Ryan, Mike and Brad finished loading their weapons and left the building as well. Ryan had given everyone radios and headsets to communicate with.
"Watch Dog?" said Ryan "Do you read me?"
"We hear you, Slapshot." said Phil "We're in position."
"Do you see anything yet?" asked Ryan
"See anything, Sawyer?" asked Phil
Sawyer shook his head as he slowly scanned the streets below them with a spotting scope.
"Nothing." said Phil
"OK. We're on our way to you." said Ryan
"Team West Texas." said Ryan "Did you guys find disguises?"
"Yes." said Jim "Why are we Team West Texas?"
"Because Team Jacob was taken." said Jacob with a laugh
"OK, Team West Texas. Try to find Black Beard." said Ryan "As soon as you find out where he is, get out of there."
"No problem." said Jacob
Ryan, Mike and Brad made their way down the streets of Houston, listening and watching for signs of the zombie pirates. The city was almost completely silent except for the sound of Brad lighting a cigarette. Then Mike heard something.
"Behind us!" said Mike
All three turned around and saw hundreds of zombies and zombie pirates coming towards them.
"In front of us!" said Ryan
Hundreds more suddenly appeared down the road they had been traveling on.
"Push forward!" cried Brad with his cigarette bouncing in his lips as he opened up his M-240 on the zombie mob
The group steadily moved forward as they fired their weapons, constantly keeping an eye out behind them. The Zombies were closing in on them as they fought their way to the Toyota Center.
"Team West Texas!" yelled Ryan over the sound of gunfire. "Have you found Black Beard?"
"Aaaarrr, we have not." said Jacob "But we be in with the crew. We'll have him nailed down in no time a' tall."
"Hurry up!" said Ryan "Watch Dog! Can you see us?"
"We see you." said Phil
"Any help you could give would be great!" said Ryan
"You got it." said Phil
He fired shot after shot into the crowd of zombies and took out as many as he could.
"Avast this suicide mission, lads!" said one of the pirates "There be a sharp shootin bilge rat in that building! Turn ye vengeance on him!"
The zombie crowd turned towards Phil and Sawyer's position and began running towards it.
"You're about to have company, Watch Dog!" said Ryan
"We see it!" said Phil as he continued to fire "Just find Black Beard!"
Sawyer took his AK-47 and waited behind Phil for the zombies to rush through the door.
* * * * *
"Aaaarrr, we be growin weary of this dry land!" said Jacob to a random zombie pirate "Where be Black Beard?"
"Who be ye to ask this of me?" said the pirate
"I be... Cutlass Jake! And this be... Head Shot Jim!... Aaaarrr!" said Jacob
"Why is he called Head Shot Jim?" asked the pirate
"If ye don't tell us where we can find the captain, we just might have to show ye." said Jim "Arrr."
The pirate hesitated for a moment, then told them.
"The capt'n be plottin our next move within the buildin with the frozen floor." said the pirate "But if I be ye, I'd not bother 'im. He ain't in the mood for talk since he found a mirror."
Jacob and Jim started to walk away as Jim called Ryan.
"Slapshot, we have Black Beard's location." said Jim "He's in the Toyota Center."
"Got it, good job." said Ryan "Now get out of there."
"We're on our way now." said Jim
Suddenly, one of the pirates called back to them.
"You two! Stop!" said the pirate
"Aarrr, what be ye wantin with me and he?" said Jacob
"Ye be Cutlass Jake and Head Shot Jim?" said the pirate
"Arr." said Jim
"Lies!" said the pirate "These two here be Cutlass Jake and Head Shot Jim!" said the pirate, pointing at two other zombie pirates.
"What were the odds?" said Jacob as they turned to run away.
"Slapshot, they're on to us!" said Jim into the radio
"Try to get to safety. We'll find Black Beard and try to end this!" said Ryan
* * * * *
Sawyer flexed his paws as he waited with his gun pointed at the door to their position. Suddenly, a zombie pirate peaked inside. Sawyer fired a single shot at him and took him out. Phil glanced over his shoulder and saw that the zombie pirates had arrived.
"They're here, Slapshot." said Phil "Have you found Black Beard?"
"We're in the Toyota Center." said Ryan "Try to hold them off."
Where would he be?" said Mike "This place is huge!"
"If you were a pirate who had been dead for hundreds of years, where would you go?" asked Brad
"The bar." said Mike
"Let's check out all the alcohol vendors in this place. He's probably there." said Ryan
* * * * *
Jacob and Jim ran frantically across the street and into an apartment complex.
"Let's hide in here!" said Jim
He and Jacob found a vacant apartment and closed the door behind them.
"I think we lost them." said Jacob as he leaned on the door trying to catch his breath.
Then, without warning, a shot was fired through the door, just missing Jacob's head. He peaked through the hole and saw the eye of a grinning zombie pirate.
"Guess not!" said Jacob as he and Jim ran to the window and out the fire escape.
"They're chasing us!" said Jim into the radio "What's the hold up!?"
"We're close." said Mike "Hang in there, Team West Texas."
"Let's split up." said Ryan "Brad, take the north wing, Mike, check the east wing. I'll check south, then swing west."
* * * * *
Sawyer fired at another group of zombie pirates as they tried to enter the room. He threw and empty mag towards Phil to get his attention. Phil looked back at Sawyer as he reloaded his gun and signaled that he was loading his last mag. Phil slung the sniper rifle over his back and tied a rope to a beam inside the room.
"We're leaving, Sawyer!" said Phil
Sawyer held on to Phil as he lowered himself down the side of the building. The next room down was crawling with zombie pirates, so Phil swung to the side and checked another room. This one was clear, so he broke the window and got inside with Sawyer. Phil setup the sniper rifle and Sawyer barricaded the door shut as best he could.
"Slapshot, we had to move." said Phil
"Can you still see the Toyota Center?" said Ryan
"We're still able to see the western wing of the building." said Phil
"I'm headed there now." said Ryan "Brad, Mike... see anything?"
"A few drunk zombie pirates, but no Black Beard." said Mike
"Nothing on the east wing." said Brad
"South was clear too." said Ryan "Meet me on the west side."
Ryan checked a few rooms on the
"Seems to be clear." said Ryan "You sure they said he was here, Team West Texas?"
"Positive!" said Jacob "I'm also sure that there are about 50 of them chasing us and getting closer! Hurry up!"
Just then, Ryan noticed an empty rum bottle. Then the door slammed shut behind him and he spun to see Black Beard hiding behind three zombie pirates.
"We meet again, landlubber." said Black Beard "And I don't see your freak dog to save you this time."
"Why don't you step out from behind your meat shields." said Ryan
"Yer in no position to give orders." said the captain
"Let me cut 'im in two, Cap'n." said one of the zombie pirates "I'll give you his head as a---."
Ryan blew the zombie pirates head off.
"Anyone else feel like cutting me in two?" he said
The other two hesitated.
"Ye be killed by him or me." said Black Beard to the remaining two zombie pirates
The last two looked at each other then charged Ryan. He fired quickly, killing one as the other ran to his side. Ryan aimed at Black Beard but he had ducked behind a chair. Ryan kicked over a desk and called to Mike and Brad.
"I found him!" said Ryan "Hurry up and get over here!"
"We're trying!" said Brad "We ran into a bunch of zombie pirates ourselves!"
Ryan could hear gunfire over the radio. He peaked over the desk and ducked back down as a shot was fired at him. He saw a long TV cable and tied one end to the desk and the other end around his waste. If he had to make a quick exit, he'd jump and hope for the best. Suddenly, Ryan heard footsteps running towards him. He pointed his shotgun past the side of the desk and waited until the last moment and fired. The last zombie pirate fell forward and cried out in pain. Ryan broke the window overlooking the street with the butt of his gun. He dragged the pirate over to it and pushed him out. The pirate held onto the ledge with all his might.
"Watchdog." said Ryan "You see the zombie pirate hanging from the window?"
Phil and Sawyer searched the side of the building until they found him."
"Yeah, I see him." said Phil
"That's the room I'm in." said Ryan
"Got it." said Phil
Ryan slammed his shotgun onto the zombie pirates hands like a hammer. Phil and Sawyer watched as he dropped, then heard zombie pirates outside banging on the door.
"There must be a lot of them!" said Phil "They're breaking the door down!"
Phil ran to the door and wedged a board under the door nob.
"Watch the room Ryan is in!" said Phil "I'll try to hold them off here."
Sawyer nodded and watched the room through the scope of the sniper rifle.
Ryan checked his shotgun. He was out of ammo. He picked up a sword and called out to Black Beard.
"Why are you hiding?" said Ryan "I've never used a sword in my life. I'm no match for you."
Black Beard emerged from behind the chair he had been hiding behind and drew his sword.
"Hard to believe you could get uglier than the first time I saw you." said Ryan
"When I be done with you and your filthy dog, you'll be wishin you looked like me." Black Beard growled back
Ryan backed all the way up to the window where the zombie pirate had fallen. Black Beard inched closer with his sword drawn. No way Ryan could beat him in a sword fight, so he thought of a plan as fast as he could.
"Mind if I say a few last words?" said Ryan
"Make it quick." said Black Beard "You have about 20 seconds before I reach ye and cut ye down.
Ryan pressed the talk button on his radio.
"I would like to say good bye to this world..." said Ryan as Black Beard got closer
"We're about to say good bye ourselves!" said Jim as he and Jacob huddled in a corner surrounded by drooling zombie pirates.
"My back is to the wall and I am about to fall..." said Ryan
"Poetic." sneered Black Beard
"Hurry up, Ryan!" said Brad "We're low on ammo!"
"When I fall I pray that if anyone is watching over me, please slay this monster..." said Ryan
Sawyer's ears perked up as he listened through the radio.
"I can't hold them off much longer, Sawyer!" cried Phil as he tried to hold the door shut.
"Anything else?" said Black Beard as he stood face to face with Ryan and raised his sword above his head.
"Just... bye!" said Ryan
Ryan threw himself backwards and out the window. He grabbed the cabled and held on for dear life just as it tightened. Shocked, Black Beard approached the window and looked down.
"Yer daring escape seems to have failed, landlubber!" he laughed
Black Beard raised his sword up to cut the cable.
"Take the shot!" Ryan yelled into the radio.
Sawyer held his breath and squeezed the trigger. The butt of the sniper rifle recoiled into Sawyer's shoulder. Ryan swung to the side as Black Beard's lifeless corpse fell past him.
* * * * *
Brad and Mike were back to back, firing frantically.
"I'm out!" said Brad
"Me too!" said Mike
They dropped their weapons and prepared themselves to fight hand to hand when all of the zombie pirates fell over, dead. All the zombies they had turned fell to their knees and started to change back to normal.
* * * * *
Jacob and Jim held each other as the zombie pirates closed in.
"I love you, man!" said Jacob
"I love you, too, dude!" said Jim
Suddenly the zombie pirates fell over dead. Jacob and Jim quickly let go of each other.
"Sooo... This never happened?" said Jim
"I don't even know what you're talking about?" said Jacob
"Good." said Jim
* * * * *
Everyone met back up and congratulated each other.
"Good job, everyone." said Ryan "And thanks for coming. Couldn't have done this without every last one of you."
"What time is it?" asked Phil
"10:45." said Jim
"Well, it's still the 25th so Merry Christmas, guys." said Phil
"Did you get Annie anything?" said Jacob
"Starbucks gift certificate." said Ryan "And a coupon for a free night of Ryan Lovin."
"She still hasn't used the one I gave her." said Brad
"Shut up, Brad." Ryan laughed
"You think Black Beard is dead for good now?" said Mike
"I don't really care right now." said Ryan "Merry Christmas!"
* * * * *
And Merry Christmas to my readers.