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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Just Another Zombie Love Story sample.


You wanted it (I doubt it), you asked for it (a flatout lie), so you've got it (aren't you just overjoyed?).  A little taste of Just Another Zombie Love Story.  I debated with myself for a long time trying to choose an excerpt to share.  At first I wanted to post the beginning to see if I could get a little feedback on how well I hooked you into the story.  Then I decided that you probably want a little zombie action as whet your appetite.  Am I right? So here you go.  Here is the first scene in the book with the walking dead in it.

 Sunday September 16, 2012  4:30am
If the circumstances weren't so fucked up I would be writing this with quite a bit of excitement right now.  Jessica is asleep in my bed next to me.  I told her I wouldn't sleep until she got up in a few hours.  This has really turned into a nightmare.  We are essentially barricaded in my apartment.  And I don't know what the fuck is going on outside.  Let me go back a bit.
I walked into my bedroom to lay down around one o’clock.  All of the TV stations had given away to the Emergency Broadcast system by then.  It was the same message being broadcast on every channel.  “Stay inside.  Avoid contact with others. Marshall Law has been instituted nationwide.  Stay tuned for further instructions.”  This message was even plastered up on the Discovery Channel.  I tried the radio and my ears were assaulted by this same message repeated over and over again up and down the tuner.  I found one station that was still on the air, unfortunately it was a Spanish station.  I could only make out one in twenty words or so.  Those words that I did make out weren’t encouraging either.  The DJ was talking so fast and he couldn’t keep the terror out of his voice.  I heard “muerto” and “apocalipsis” and I think I even heard “zombie”.  As entertaining as listening to the raving Mexican was, I decided to try to go to sleep. 
Jessica called around 1:30am.  I had been laying awake contemplating the events of the past thirty six hours when the phone made me just about jump out of my skin.  I grabbed my cell phone and accepted the call even though I didn’t recognize the number.  She was frantic.  It took me a minute to figure out who it was that was screaming at me though the phone.  She was ranting something about men trying to get in and the police not answering.  I told her to calm down and tell me what was happening.  She took a deep breath and started over a little calmer.  It was about this point that I recognized her voice.  She said there were some people trying to get into her apartment.  She used the word zombies.  That word flipped a switch in my brain.  Thousands dying, and now zombies?  I couldn't bring myself to believe it.  Jake and I had spent countless hours preparing for the “inevitable” zombie apocalypse when we were kids.  There could be no way it was actually happening.  I got her to tell me that her place was locked and that she was locked in the back bedroom.  I told her that I was coming to get her and that I would stay on the phone the entire way to her place.  Best laid plans right?
Well, it turns out that the word she and that terrified Mexican on the radio had used was indeed correct.  Everyone that had died?  Yeah, they were up and walking around now.  They are pretty slow moving.  Thank God (or whoever) for that small miracle.  I had grabbed my softball bat before leaving the apartment and I went out into the dark.  I gotta tell you that when faced with this event, no amount of disaster preparedness is enough.  There were ‘people’ walking around inside my apartment complex.  Inside the gate.  Shrouded in shadows I sensed movement from every direction.  Luckily, I parked close to my front door and there were none of them (are they really dead?) between the door and Xena, my Xterra.  Jess was either calmer or she was going into shock.  I got into my car and locked all the doors with the push of one button.  I turned the key and slammed the gear into reverse without pausing.  I hit the gas and backed up 15 feet, threw it into drive and sped through the complex avoiding the shambling figures as I went.  I got to the exit gate and stopped while the sensor detected me and the iron gate slowly slid out of my way.  The other side of the gate was illuminated by my headlights and the way was clear.  To my right however, I could see the apartment manager shuffling toward me.  At the rate he was moving, I would be out of the gate and it would be closed behind me before he got to where I was.
Thud, went the hand on my window to the left.  It wasn’t hard, but it was so sudden that I almost pissed myself.  I let out a girlie scream and depressed the gas pedal hard and shot out of the complex. My passenger side mirror clipped the gate on my way through and ripped it clean off.
My scream apparently jarred something in Jess, as she began to barrage me with questions.  I spent the entire drive to her apartment trying to calm her down again.  Her complex wasn't gated.  I had been planning to go in and calm her down and maybe just hang out there for the night until we figured out what the hell was going on.  I immediately changed my mind.   First, her apartment complex wasn’t gated and mine was.  I needed to feel safe until I came up with a plan.  Bars and a gate seemed like a good start.  Second, my apartment was in a suburb and hers was downtown close to the hospital.  Two plus two  still equals 4 in my book and I don't want to be anywhere near a morgue if in fact this turns out to be Z-Day.  All of a sudden it was a rescue mission.  I tried to get all of this across to Jessica en route, but she didn't seem all that responsive to the idea of leaving her home. 
When I got to her place it was worse than I had feared.  They were everywhere.  And to top it off I heard breaking glass through the phone followed by Jess screaming that they were getting into her living room.  I told her to calm down and try to be quiet until I got to her.  The only good thing about this whole scenario was the fact that she lived on the bottom floor at the front of the complex.  Good and bad I suppose.  Good that I didn't have to spend much time finding it, and bad that it was stop number one for ‘them’.
I pulled into the parking lot and saw where her apartment was and saw about 20 of ‘them’ in front of her window pushing their way in.  A couple of them fell over forward into Jess’ apartment because they didn't have the wherewithal to step over the sill.  It seemed like we had the intellectual advantage at least.  One good thing.  My headlights lit them up and they took notice.  Almost as one, they all turned and started shambling toward my SUV.  I told Jess to be ready.  And when I honked my horn from right outside her living room, to come running.  She was frantic, and I had a hard time convincing her to agree to this.  In the end, she agreed and I had an idea.  I explained it to her and sat in my idling vehicle as the zombies made their slow way toward my SUV.  My heart was racing in my chest.  I'm sure it would have exploded right out if I had heard another thud on my window.  This time I kept an eye out both side windows and in my rear view.  Watching the zombies (okay, I fucking said it, they are zombies) shamble closer.  I counted down into the phone from ten to one.  While doing this I primed my nerves for what was next.  When I got to one, I slammed down on the gas and shot forward.  The first zombie went down without flinching as I approached and hit it with the front end of my car.  And the next did the same.  Several glanced off to either side and I hit the curb and bounced up onto the grass.  I almost lost control of Xena then and had to take my foot off the gas.  I slowed and bounced over a few more of them and slammed my foot down on the brake and skidded to a halt about two yards from Jess' broken living room window.  At the same time I laid on the horn and screamed into the phone for her to get out there NOW!!!
I expected this part to be more difficult.  She apparently hadn't waited for the horn.  She was out the window and reaching for the passenger handle mere seconds after I stopped.  I threw the phone down when I saw her.
“Get IN Jess!!!  GET IN!” I screamed at her as she tried the handle and I tried to look every direction at once.
“I can't!”, she screamed back at me.  “IT'S LOCKED!”
“FUCK!”, I reached for the button and the door unlocked and flew open at once.  She jumped in with one last look behind the vehicle.  She screamed and slammed the door shut behind her.
“You asshole!  Get us out of here!  GO!” and she slapped me in the shoulder.
All of this didn't really register at the time.  I was already putting the car in reverse and backing up as fast as I could.  A few zombies went under in the process and we got out of there.
There was no one on the road.  No vehicles at least.  Was it that there wasn’t anyone else alive?  Or was I the only one stupid enough to go out?  I’m guessing at this point that the latter is the more likely.  Damn my over inflated sense of chivalry.  That was the last time.  Jake and I always said, “Chivalry will get you killed.”  We got back to my apartment complex quickly and into the gate easily enough.  There were more zeds out and about but not nearly as many as at Jess'.  I pulled my car all the way up to my front door.  Fuck parking places now.  I didn't have to use the bat at all.  We got in the front door and went up the stairs to the left into my living room.  I have never been happier in my life to not live on the bottom floor.  I propped a dining room chair under the handle of the door just to make myself feel better.  A little bit anyway.
Now, I have a sleeping beauty, pun definitely intended, in bed next to me and an uncertain future ahead of me (us?).
Fuck, what a day! It is probably best not to think too much about the future right now.  I need to sleep.  One thing I know for certain though.  NO MORE CHIVALRY!

Thank you to any of you who actually read all that.  Please take a few moments to let me know what you think.

Stay scared my friends!

My Little Demon