Yet again, it’s Sample Sunday. Here is a portion of Chapter 2, from my up-coming book “I Zombie I”. This book will hit the e-shelves in about a week and then, shortly after, will be available in paperback! Check back for more details.
I lived to write another day. I made it out of my hotel room and into the lobby. The initial shock of what I saw will probably be burned into my retinas until my death. The lobby was filled with bodies—motionless, lifeless bodies. To my knowledge, I was the only living being in the building.
I stood completely still and held my breath. It was as if time had come to an absolute stop. Other than my brain and lungs needing precious oxygen, I could have stood there, not breathing, forever. The moment was beyond anything I had ever experienced. Fortunately, my brain reminded my diaphragm that it had needs and my body continued with the less-than-subtle art of living.
Slowly, hoping to not wake anyone from what I wanted to be nothing more than a deep sleep, I made my way out of the lobby. Outside, I was met with the same view as in the lobby—dead bodies. Death and silence. And even though I could see the remains of what were thriving, bustling humans strewn about the streets, the silence that tickled the back of my neck with its cold, ghost-like fingers. The only thing more frightening than the silence was the cloud of gray dust hanging in the air, blocking out the sun. What I thought was nothing more than a fog was far more tangible, far more dangerous. It was dirty, warm snow falling from the sky. What little light that illuminated the morning—if it is even morning; my watch has stopped—is gray. It all smacked of a Hollywood fictional treatment of World War III or some eerie horror movie where some restless evil demon has risen to finally reign as supreme master of earth.
I wanted to breathe deeply of life-giving, clean air, but I breathed in nothing but cold, lonely fear. The heavy air filled my lungs but never seemed to charge my veins…choking me from the inside out.
I screamed, hoping to bring out some life from the surroundings. I received nothing in return. Even my voice was minus an echo. The air felt dead. Sounded dead. Smelled dead. From the sidewalks, to the buildings, to the sparse trees, I seemed to offer up to the celestial bodies the only beating heart.
The ravings of a madman? Surely sanity couldn’t be stripped from me this quickly. I’ve been awake for, what, thirty minutes, an hour? I’ve lost track. In that short time, I’m suffering from the over-dramatics of a teenage girl. Is that what madness is? A regression in absolute? Maybe I should write less and seek more. Keep my mind off of what seems to be the end.
I remember from my childhood the first time I ever got lost. I was four, maybe five, and my mother was dragging me through a crowd of shoppers. Somehow, we got separated. I remember the feeling of panic flooding my system, the frantic searching and yelling, ducking under the swinging arms of adults, pushing over-stuffed shopping bags out of my way, hoping to spot the familiar arms and legs of Mom. I remember that all too well. That same feeling had its chilly fingers wrapped around my heart again.
“Hello?” I thought I had seen someone.
“Hello?” Without a thought for my safety, I took off, hoping I wasn’t actually alone.
I was wrong. It was a mannequin in a store window. I was starting to feel some serious I Am Legend schtick here. Saw the movie. Read the book. Now I seem to be living it out in perfect post-apocalyptic glory. All I needed was a sound track to go along with my own personal hell. Truth be told, right now I would settle for any sound. Instead, all my ears were greeted with was silence. That was the eeriest part of the whole fucked-up situation—the lack of ambient noise. What in the hell is going on?
I let loose a primal ‘Hello.’ My voice bounced off of nothing. Not even an echo to keep me company.
“Hello?” I screamed louder, hoping someone, anyone, would return my call.
“Fuck!” Not even profanity gave me anything in return. I was left standing still in the middle of the street, gray ash beginning to cover the top of my head. What has happened? What in the hell has happened?
My eyes might have been playing tricks on me, but I thought I saw someone. “Hey! Over here!” My feet quickly carried me where my eyes led them.
Dead. Damn it, what was going on? Wait a minute. They were everywhere—bodies on the ground, nearly covered by the ash.
I wanted to believe I had fallen asleep and awakened thousands of years after the human race had ceased to exist—only remnants and remains tell a tale that something had previously inhabited this place.
But why did I survive? Is there some purpose for me continuing on? Is there an Eve to my Adam out there somewhere in all of this gloom? And do I really care to know?
All I really care to know is what in the fuck has happened, and where in the hell are the rest of the survivors? It couldn’t have been just me. I refuse to be the sole survivor on this planet. I can’t swallow the bitter irony of that pill. I’ve already lived the majority of my adult life alone. I don’t want to think that if there is a God, his sense of humor is that twisted.
But then again…