It is 4k and growing, my little zombie thing. Not sure how big it will be in the end, not sure if it will stay a short or a novella or what. Right now I am just trying to get it written and of course I have this hideous urge to make it a romancish thing. With zombies as the backdrop. WTF?
Anyways here is the opening section, thought I’d share for snippet saturday. Enjoy;
The front door lay in the yard, water collected in the grooves with little boats of peeling green paint on a mini-sea. Broken glass on the walkway reflected the clouds and patches of bright blue sky overhead. The screens hung at odd angles, bumping against the house with the wind. A teddy bear sat on the front porch, the thread that made up its mouth; unraveling and bleeding down its front. Its large button eyes watched him smoking his cancer stick on its front lawn.
Beyond the teddy bear, doll parts littered the foyer, Plaster and drywall, papers and wood covered the stairs and floor. Chris inhaled, dragging the stale cigarette smoke deep into his lungs and exhaled, flicking the butt into the muddy grass. Button eyes stared accusingly at him. He shook himself, it was just some old toy. The deep rumble of an engine announced the arrival of other survivors he was with.
“Hey man, I thought you was gonna investigate!” O yelled.
Chris ignored him, swearing under his breath. If there were any Zs around, they knew they were there now, noise always brought even stragglers. He shouldered his gun, said a silent prayer to the pepsi god, and stepped over the door onto the bottom step of the porch.
“We’ll be next door.” O called.
Chris waved, letting O know he’d heard, staring up at the house. It bothered him since they drove by a few days before. Once a tight knit community of fairly well-to-do folks, this little town had been devastated by the plague. After the initial outbreak many of the Z’s had headed south, towards the bigger cities in the south. Since arriving, no Z’s had been spotted. Chris wasn’t going to hold his breath. They always found Zs, eventually.
He stepped around the teddy bear into the foyer. Musty, moldy, it smelled of old abandoned house. And death. Old, dried out death. His boots crunched as he walked into what might have been a parlor. Bones littered the floor. A crushed skull and a whole collection of porcelain dolls were heaped by one of the walls. An old cuckoo clock, the hands broken off, stood out against the wallpaper. Chris felt the skin on the back of his neck tighten, prickling when he caught sight of the writing on the wall.
Help Never Came!
He swallowed, mouth dry. Brown paint. Gods, he hoped it was paint. He’d hate to think… He scanned the rest of the room. Broken furniture, a busted lamp. Nothing they could use in the compound. His eyes kept going back to the sign. Those last days, the radio dj’s were telling people to stay in their homes. Help was coming, just hang on.
Help Never Came!
The cool evening wind rustled papers in the next room, drawing his mind back from the chaos of the past. No point in worrying about it, nothing he could do now. He stepped through the far door into a small room It might have been an office, he couldn’t be sure, part of the roof had caved in. On the shelf, near the door, was a small book. A child’s diary.
A memory surfaced, buying his stepdaughter a similar diary. The kind with the little cheap locks that broke if pulled on too hard. He took it, shoving it into his shirt. Outside the truck pulled up, the engine thumping. They’d have to find a mechanic shop and soon if they were going to keep it going. He heard the heavy boot falls and crunching glass in the front yard.
“Hey man, you ok?” O called from the front door.
“Fine, clear on this side.”
“You go upstairs yet?”
“No.” Chris strode past the sign, trying not to look at the dried drips on the peeling, pale yellow wallpaper. “You get the rest of the downstairs, be careful, looks like the roof back there caved in.”
There were signs of fighting, more bones, another skull, and children’s clothing down the narrow hallway. A room, looking like it might have been barricaded by furniture, beckoned. He shuddered and went, unable to refuse the urge. He stepped through the broken doorway, staring at the room with a sinking heart. A child’s room. A little girl, eight maybe? Ten? Dolls, horse toys, books and lots of pink ruffles filled what must have been a little girl’s dream room. The floor was littered with papers and there was a brown stained baseball bat.
He picked it up. A child’s bat, cheap wood, probably from some dollar store.
“Man did you see that sign downstairs? On the wall?” O was standing on the landing. “Shit musta been scary up here.”
“Yeah.” Chris tossed the baseball bat on the fancy bed with the faded pink comforter. He pulled out the pack of smokes, shook one out and gripped it with his lips while tucking the pack back into his pocket. He lit it, inhaled, and considered the room. Nothing they could use, nothing they needed. He exhaled, welcoming the smell of the smoke over the stale dead smell. He left the room, sliding past O without another word.
“Hey man, you ok?” O was one of those people, always trying to get down in other people’s business. Must have been a therapist before it all came crashing down.
“I’m fine.” Liar. Chris halted on the porch. The teddy bear was on its side. He inhaled, staring at the old stuffing. There were little bugs, black beetles of some kind crawling through the matted faux fur. He stepped to one side to let O slide by him.
“We found an auto shop, Kas says there ain’t anything left here.”
“Headin out then?”
“Yeah, I wanna look at the Golden Gate Bridge. Finish that smoke man, and come on.”
“Tell Kas I wanna see Hollywood.”
O laughed and trotted across the front door and back to the truck. Chris took his time, ignoring the calls from his fellow ‘friends’ to hurry up. They could kiss his ass. He flicked the butt into the grass, and started down the steps. He turned when he reached the door, going back to the porch and set the bear back upright before making his way to the truck.