Not too long ago, I wrote and published a story called Crossing Bedlam. Well, here is an excerpt from that and a reminder that you can grab the whole story for 99 cents. Just click on the cover below.
“We don’t mean you any harm! Seriously, we come in peace!” Lloyd announces over the megaphone from the zoo parking lot. Standing on top of a truck cab, he continues shouting while waving his paintball gun in the air. “Again, I have been asked to put your minds at ease. Please come to the front of the zoo, preferably on a rooftop, and listen to what I have to say. Best that you leave the guns behind because they can be a distraction. So, where was I? That’s right. We come in peace and don’t mean you any harm! Scouts honor. Though not the kind you’re thinking of. More of the kind that transforms with twirling and comes from space. They didn’t have many cartoon choices in Rikers.”
With dawn having only recently broken, most of the Guardians are groggy and confused thanks to the rude awakening. Those who were on the night watch are more aware of the situation, but remain quiet and quietly go back to their tents. As far as they are concerned, Lloyd is a harmless man with a megaphone that wants nothing more than attention. Nobody knows where Amur is hiding or if he knows about the disruption, his tigers having been roaring since the obnoxious noise began. Due to Lloyd firing paintballs around their feet, the animals that spent the night in the parking lot have run back into the zoo. The only living thing that he has managed to hit is one of the guards, the woman succumbing to the itching powder and ipecac combination within minutes.
The Guardians are beginning to lose interest in Lloyd when the roaring of an engine erupts from the eastern side of the zoo. Monkeys screech from their island while the remaining rhino charges toward the zebras and giraffes. Birds fill the sky as the reinforced fence is taken down by a heavily armored van. A pack of motorcycles and sports cars follow the larger vehicle through the wreckage, all of them honking horns to scare animals out of their path. Bullets ping off metal as the Guardians scramble to defend their territory, but they only manage to take down one of the bikers down before the invaders split into smaller groups. None of the defenders are sure what to do without their leader and they are not entirely dedicated to killing the Metal Minstrels. As the vehicles move further into the zoo, the gunshots become fewer and only one other gang member is struck through her car’s windshield. It is only a shoulder wound, which one of her passengers tends to with a bandana while the others continue firing into the air.
Moving without an escort, the van careens toward the entrance pavilion with the intention of bringing Lloyd into the fight. Tyler clambers onto the roof of the vehicle, knocking on the driver’s side window to let Rose know he is in position. The gang leader leaps onto the pavilion and rolls to avoid slipping into the falling rubble created by the van smashing through the structure. Four of the guards remain at their posts and are slow to react, only one of them fully clothed and ready for a fight. Tyler shoulder rushes the slowest of the Guardians and knocks the woman off the roof before she can react to his presence. The agile man whirls around to slam the butt of his shotgun into the face of another enemy, who crumples into a groaning heap. Cocking the weapon, Tyler hopes the noise scares off the other two enemies, but one of them raises their rifle. The boom of the pink shotgun echoes across the zoo and the blast has enough force to send the dead man toppling into the wreckage. The final Guardian drops his weapon and attempts to retreat, but the van returns to collapse the pavilion section his is standing on. Tyler leaps back onto the vehicle while the entire building crashes to the ground, those inside or on top trapped in the ruins.
“That was awesome!” Lloyd shouts while he hangs out of the sliding door.