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The Z Gas

Battle of the Somme
1916

“Shells incoming!” Captain Campbell shouted.[
**]“Everyone, keep your heads down!” That was Sergeant Thatcher.

Everywhere Lance Corporal William Taylor looked, he could see men scrabbling to action, even those that were asleep not a few seconds ago. This was not out of the ordinary for war he supposed.

He had joined the British Army in June 1914, just before The Great War started. At first he thought it would be glorious and somewhat fun, just like how he used to play soldiers with his friends when he was younger. That was until the actual fighting started. Now he wished he was dead, from what he had seen and the friends he had lost to gunfire, shelling and gas. This had made him question where all the poems glorifying war came from and why little children had such fun masquerading as real troops.

It was after the shells hit that it happened. William saw a thick red gas appear from where the shells landed, and got his gas mask on just in time, just as the gas reached him. Something was extremely odd about this gas. It spread way too quickly, several times faster than any other gas attacks he had seen. Several others were not so lucky in getting their gas masks on. When the gas hit them, they begin choking, coughing and retching, their skin beginning to turn a burnt black. Within seconds they were lying dead on the floor.

Sergeant Thatcher was one of several affected by the gas. William rushed to his side, seeing if there was something he could do to help. Looking over him, he realised there was nothing he could do.

“Taylor, I need help!” that was Captain Campbell’s voice. He was busy battling one of the soldiers who didn’t have his gas mask on. Wait…wasn’t he supposed to be dead then? William noticed his burnt skin just as the captain shot the soldier point-blank with his Webley revolver. The shots didn’t seem to faze the soldier at all. In fact, it only seemed to make him – or it – a lot angrier. Captain Campbell pulled out his bayonet with his free hand and stabbed the soldier straight up through the chin. The ‘thing’ dropped like a rock.

“Taylor, behind you!”

William turned just in time to see Sergeant Thatcher almost pounce him. Sidestepping, he stabbed the sergeant through the forehead, the entry wound oozing thick yellow blood. Pulling his gun away, thereby removing the bayonet at the same time, the sergeant fell to the ground, this time dead permanently. Looking around, he saw other men, friends and unknown alike, battling the undead, most of them losing.

He was being attacked by two of the things when a second round of shells hit. He just had time to see the two undead soldiers go flying before he lost consciousness himself, something telling him that this second set of shelling was from his side, presumably to wipe out the hellish soldiers.

William woke up in a field hospital a few hours later. He could not feel his legs, and when he looked down, he saw that they were horribly mangled he also was feeling nauseous, and saw there was others nearby who looked very much dead. He also noted that there weren’t any doctors or nurses around, and the hospital was oddly quiet. There was also something else that he noticed – his skin was turning black…


The Z Gas

Lance Corporal William Taylor is your average soldier in the bloody Great War (World War 1). He has seen horrors that he wishes no one would see, seen friends die, and wishes he himself were dead. Sometime in the Battle of the Somme, an enemy gas attack turns fellow soldiers into deadly undead, starting a bloody civil war against the British troops and the zombie soldiers.

  • ISBN: 9781370959839
  • Author: Duncan Prydderch
  • Published: 2017-05-15 03:35:08
  • Words: 576
The Z Gas The Z Gas