Training Day

Chris Van Deelen

This was the first of three short stories that I wrote to go with my Zombie Trilogy. It was written for my best friend as a Christmas gift back in 2011.

I have presented this short story as is. It has already gone through two edits, but there will be bits and pieces that I missed here and there, so sorry about that.

I hope you enjoy it!

Chris Van Deelen is the author of the Skirmisher Publishing LLC sourcebook Creatures of the Tropical Wastes sourcebook and co-author of its Wisdom from the Wastelands game supplement.


Dry-scrubbing his face, Jack looked out across the vast expanse of the Wainwright military base. The sky was completely black, broken only by the diamond-like twinkling of the distant stars that shone in the early morning sky.

The burly man stretched and heard the familiar snapping of tendons stretched to their limits. It was a feeling that he enjoyed and the cold, crisp April air helped bring him to full wakefulness. He glanced down at the watch and noticed that it was only a scant few minutes past 5 AM. He couldn’t help but smile. Back before the Rising began, he was used to waking up early to get to his former job. Since the fall of civilization and the race to escape the city, he found that he was getting up earlier and earlier each day.

Normally on a day like this he and his new friends would be heading out into the ‘wilds’ as they were now known as. The land beyond the gate and patrolled fences that kept the walking dead at bay. He and his friends were just one of many teams that scrounged the outlying communities, farms and highways for food and other necessities that kept the huge and overcrowded base alive.

Today was different though. A man he had only met about a month before, and had become close friends with named Mike Harris had been wounded only a few days before. He barely escaped being shot in the face with his life. Fortunately for him, the wound was nothing more than a graze. Unsightly and painful to be certain, but thankfully not life threatening.

As a result, the team was given downtime. It was something that they all needed, as they had been hitting the ‘wilds’ almost every day. The downtime didn’t last long however. One