I can’t resist sampling this scene from the first in the “I Zombie” trilogy. This is from Chapter 5 — the first time Jacob comes across a screamer (vs. a moaner). Zombie fans should love this scene. This was one of those chapters I really enjoyed writing. Have fun! To purchase I Zombie I, check out the links in the right navigation. If you don’t want to bother moving the mouse over there, click one of these links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords. And, if you’re curious, don’t hesitate to read the stellar review given to I Zombie I by kindleobsessed.com.
The slurping sounds continued. I just wanted to either hand this man a spoon or poke out my ear drums. Fortunately, the slurp-fest didn’t last long. The thing finished his meal and stood up. Gore rained down from above and splashed at his feet. The smell was caustic. I could have really used a good ol’ fashioned puke.
The beast let out a truck-shaking roar. I wasn’t sure if he was howling in triumph or if his meal failed to sate his appetite. It didn’t matter because the feet finally lumbered away from the truck. I was left staring at the hollowed-out skull of the woman in the heels. A frightened, child-like part of me wanted to reach out and touch the woman, put my fingertip to her cerebral cortex. I wanted to confirm that what had just happened was real, and not some sick nightmare.
I didn’t reach out. Either fear or revulsion stopped my arm from stretching to meet the woman’s cold flesh. I was glad for that. That puke most certainly would have manifested had I done so. And in the puking, I would have certainly called the beast back to the truck for another course of brain.
I remained in silence, hidden, hopefully, under the truck. I closed my eyes and tried to get the image of the broken woman out of my mind. It didn’t work. That image would remain, most likely forever.
The buzz of my phone brought me out of my trance.
My damsel in distress. The horror show had momentarily blocked her cries for help from my mind.
Jacob> On my way!
My trembling finger pecked out the message before I pulled myself out from under the truck. The woman had been carrying a purse and, as much as it sickened me, I knew I had to check the confines of the handbag to see if there was anything that might save a life or help me, in any way, get out of this hell.
Bingo! The bag was holding a phone, not a smartphone, but it had a full charge. It also contained a can of pepper spray, a wallet with some cash, a compact mirror, a pair of nail trimmers, and a couple of tampons, which I figured would be good for bloody noses in a pinch. I left the various items that I deemed useless to my cause.
With a silent ‘thank you’ to the fallen lady, I quickly sped off in search of the Munich Marriott Hotel. It couldn’t be that difficult to find. Seriously, wasn’t one Marriott the same as another—even if spelled with an umlaut? The language barrier was nothing, and considering most of the city’s inhabitants were dead, or whatever state you could call it, I shouldn’t have a problem wending my way through the throngs.
But then there was the fact that I had no idea where I was. So truth be told, finding a particular Marriott that housed a perfect stranger who was communicating with me through a micro-blogging phone application made this mission seem more than impossible.
I looked around to see if there were any tell-tale signs of hotels. I saw nothing. The cloud of ash hanging in the air didn’t help my cause. I was in a city that resembled any other big city in the world—only the language was unfamiliar. I was sure that after some searching I could find the hotel, but would it be too late?
To expedite the process, I pulled my phone back out and launched the application I had used to communicate with Susan. Why not do a little testing to find out just how close the girl is? Within the application’s settings, I could configure it to only follow users within a certain radius. Initially, I had set the application for a ten-mile radius so I could see as many people as possible. I decided to change that to a smaller radius so I could narrow down just how close Susan was.
5 mile radius. Still there.
2 mile radius. Still there.
1 mile radius. Still there.
So somewhere within a mile radius was the Marriott in question. If I had the address, I could look it up with the Maps application. Before I could ask Susan to get me an address, she sent:
Susan> hurry plez!
Susan didn’t need to further describe her plight. If her nightmare was anything close to what I had just witnessed, there was probably little time to waste.
I chose a direction based on the layout of the city. One way led to a higher concentration of buildings. The probability of a corporate favorite like Marriott being located in the middle of a high-traffic zone made perfect sense. I followed my instincts and took off in that direction.
It should have been easy, but with the streets lined with stopped cars and the sidewalks covered with dead bodies, navigation, especially of the rushed kind, was no easy feat.
After about fifteen minutes I stopped and checked my phone. If I hadn’t seen the hotel, and Susan was still within a one-mile range, I would have narrowed my search down to two directions. There was no hotel in the immediate vicinity, and Susan was still within one mile. I knew I had to circle back to the left or to the right. Without pausing to think, I turned to the right.
After walking for about two minutes, I heard a crashing sound followed by a large cloud of dust just ahead of where I had stopped. The dust wasn’t so much a cloud as it was an artificial funnel of falling ash swirled about by something.
When the cloud finally dissipated, there were several of the sour-milk-skinned people swaying side-to-side in the street. They were all moaning in unison. It was surreal. Romero meets Alvin Ailey.