Sample Sunday: I Zombie I

I want to tie this sample sunday into my Zombie Radio podcast today. So, in effect, you get a two-for-one out of the deal (don’t you love a good deal?)! First, hear me read a snippet from this sample sunday (as the Zombie Radio deejay), hear a good tune, and then come back and finish reading the sample here on Get Jack’d.

Chapter 29: A lost mind

I woke up on the train. Everyone was asleep. I didn’t want to wake them. Something inside of me wasn’t right. This time the change had a real, lasting effect. I felt…I don’t know…restless, like I wasn’t right in my own skin, agitated, angry, hungry…too many things. But above all, I felt dangerous. I was a danger to the girls, to everyone. Something inside of me was bad. I’d come unraveled, like the human core inside of me had come unglued and I needed to be stitched back together. I had become some version of Frankenstein’s monster. Yes. That was it. I was a monster. And yet, underneath all of the tingling rage, there were still bits and secrets lying in wait. Or were those secrets hiding in horror? What was left of me was growing afraid of what I was becoming.

What I was becoming…that was a joke. We all knew what I was becoming. It was no secret. I was becoming a zombie. I had little humanity left in me and little time left. I was scared and confused, tired and hungry. But the hunger I suffered went far deeper than a longing for sustenance. I hungered for peace. I longed for my brain to find silence within my skull.

I shouldn’t be here. I shouldn’t be on this train with these women at this moment or any moment from here on out. I was a danger to them. Any moment I would fall victim to the final transformation and who knew who would die first. I couldn’t take that chance, not with Bethany so close to getting out of this nightmare. She had what might be the key to a cure, and she had to survive. At all costs, Bethany had to survive.

My wife.

Why had she suddenly popped into my mind? Sadly, I didn’t want my last coherent thoughts to be of my dead wife. I’d rather leave this earth thinking of Bethany and the few moments we had shared.

I couldn’t stop thinking. Thoughts were buzzing in my head like a million microscopic bees. I wanted to open up my brain and let them fly away. Maybe one of those thought-bees would find purchase on another soul and stand as inspiration for something great.

That would be ideal. I could crack open my skull and let loose onto the world my very thoughts, hopes, dreams, desires…let them fly.

The sound of the train was hypnotic. It almost matched the oscillations in my ears. I know what those oscillations meant. I was getting close. I knew the next attack would see the very last of my humanity seep from my pores.

I didn’t want this. I didn’t want to die like this. What dignity was there in a slow decent into madness? None. The only dignity I could think of was taking my own life so that the women who had become so important to me did not have to bear witness to, or be responsible for, my death.

The only problem was I had given my gun to Bethany, and I didn’t think she would be amenable to giving it back. I would be completely shocked if she did.

God, I had really hoped this wouldn’t happen.

What was really pathetic was that my first and most pressing thought was wondering what would become of my journal. Originally, I had hoped I would complete it and hand it over to some publisher who would rush the words to print, making me an overnight sensation—and a millionaire to boot, Sally was right after all. It looked like that wasn’t going to happen. And it seemed that what was bound between the covers of this notebook would wind up being the sum total of my life’s work. Funny…I was sure a work like this would finally land me that Pulitzer. If it was to be, it would be posthumously.

Oh, well. C’est la vie, as they say.

I could search the train for Bethany, steal the gun, find a closed-off train car, and blow open my brain pan. It could work. There was only one problem. I was too damned tired to move. Maybe I would just take a nap. Maybe I would wake up to find all of this had been nothing more than a horrible nightmare.

Yes, that sounded wonderful. I would awaken in a few hours to find everything back to normal. Back to my lonely life where the only love I knew was words. The only romantic moments I had would come from books and films. A life where I lived vicariously through the passages of brilliant minds and visionary cinematographers.

Hmmm… I decided I’d rather continue with what little life I had now. At least I now knew what life was really about. At least now I knew the only purpose for shutting yourself away from emotions was to avoid the fear of loss.

As much as it hurt to say it, I would rather die a zombie than live a zombie.

I didn’t even know if that made sense. I could feel myself falling ever-deeper into some chasm. This could be a desperate need for sleep or the final kiss goodbye. I wasn’t sure which…but…