A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters 6 | Page 9

me get to the bottom of this?” “Certainly!” I agreed. We moved through the car, slowly. I think Missus Mister was observing things, but I can't be sure, because I was mostly preoccupied with trying to look like I was contributing. I was nodding gravely and making broad, hawk-like scans of the room. We both heard a rustling coming from the luggage car at the same time! Of that I can be sure. We opened the door and looked in. Someone was standing over one of the open trunks, rifling through other people's possessions. I was outraged! I may be a modern and adventurous woman, but let me tell you, I never thought for a moment I would ever see someone rifling through the personal effects of mourning British ladies and gentleman! No how! “Now, you see!” I cried, while Missus Mister grabbed ahold of my arm. “You thief ! You did not board this train with us, and I think that you should leave at once!” Missus Mister's grip was quite strong, then, and she said lowly, “They didn't board the train with us, Philomena, because they were already on board...” The raider turned towards us. It was a zombie! One of the undead! Missus Mister slowly raised her gun, and I'm glad there was no one to see me then for I must have been pulling the most outrageous and un-lady-like faces. Can you believe it was dead AND it was rifling through somebody’s luggage? Dear Aunt would not be hearing this story when I returned! Oh, the scandal! The creature's jaw was vile and grotesque, held on or enhanced by some horrible mechanical contraption. It bit at us, moving our way, slowly. Just as Missus Mister aimed for the biter, the zombie lunged at us and I yanked on Missus Mister so hard, the Mister missed her shot! “Don't let it bite you!” she shouted, ably slicing the restraints on the trunks nearest, which toppled to the ground, blocking the biter! She kicked the trunk open and pulled out various guns, handing one to me! Now, I have attended a grouse shoot, but I have never been expected to run and gun! We ran back through the train car of the dead as each corpse began to rise from their coffins along the sides! Goodness gracious, me! “Aim for the head!” shouted Mister, blowing off zombie heads left and right, leaving me quite bewildered. She shot around me, I say! As if I was a tree branch or some leaf blowing by on the wind, only minorly obstructing her view! I, myself, was struggling with whether or not I should actually shoot at a person's head, reanimated or no! We burst through to the passenger car where the tour members were sleeping only to find a towering monster of a zombie, something akin to a circus Strong Man, ripped apart at the jaw and reorganized with a gun—I might say a mortar— for a mouth! The monster charged at us, his mouth cannon firing! This woke the passengers just in time to find zombies bursting from the car behind. One passenger who I did not know—he was not part of this particular tour—was grabbed and bitten. I did not know whether I should shoot towards the person who was being attacked. I was not prepared for this event! I went to some tennis lessons once! I saw a person’s leg get run over by a wagon once. None of my experiences were helping! We were trapped between a brutish monster on one side and a horde on the other! Hammerhorn rose behind the gun-mouth and toppled it, allowing Mister, some passengers, and I to struggle past. “Why are there zombies on the train?” he asked. Oh, Lord, a zombie was approaching from behind him as well!