SO-o, I missed my Wednesday post for "Short Attention Span Theater" (aka the 30 minute reader) and vow to be ready next week. Also, I was not able to get to Vinnie in time and so his appearance is also on hold. In the last few days, I have just been massively busy. The release of Dead: Confrontation came at the kickoff of the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2013. (Click on that link to get a free Smashwords book with samples from all the super talented writers on the tour bus this year!) It was perfect timing, but that meant spending time with some very fun interviews. Not only that, but since I have made this writing thing my full-time job, I had to get to work right away on the new DEAD book (Dead: Reborn). You will be pleased to know (if you are a fan of the series) that I am already three chapters in to the story and feeling good about where the tale is taking us.
Add in the fact that my new Zomblog book (Zomblog: Snoe's War) comes out in just a couple weeks, and the last edits need to be dealt with to have it ready for June 24th. (Vix, my beta reader and good friend, you will be getting an email shortly with a book to read!) Plus, (try not to be jealous here) I have the new Mark Tufo story in the Riley series to edit. Have I mentioned how much I love my life?!
I also had a surprise birthday party for a VERY good and dear friend where I was the designated cook. I had to prepare a "you serve" taco bar with tons of fixin's and my special, homemade guacamole. All I can say is that things got crazy with balloons...and everybody there has been clean and sober for years...lord only know how it would have gone had there been alcohol served.
So, sadly, the first thing that I neglect is my blog. All my regular features will be back next week, and as an added benefit, I have included a raw excerpt of the next book in the DEAD series--Dead: Reborn. I look forward to your comments on the excerpt and today's post in general if the mood strikes you (and hope that you will leave one), and one of you will be selected at random for a free audiobook version of Gruesomely Grimm Zombie Tales Volume 1. So...here is some raw, uncut DEAD...
The best thing about today is the fact that the damn rain finally seems to have stopped. Beyond that, everything is in the crapper. Thalia beat the snot out of Misty…again. Melissa is ready to pop she is so pregnant—I stay as far from her as possible for lots of reasons. Jake and Jon left three days ago without a word to ANYBODY! And Dr. Zahn is busy patching up the three new people that showed up last night.
I get to pull double duty on the watch rotation because of the flu that has pretty much everybody else spewing liquid out of one end or the other. The only other person not down with whatever this nasty bug is would be Shelly.
“Didn’t I relieve you?” Shelly asked.
“Yep,” I answered, hoping that I Didn’t sound like I was whining. “So, anything worth noting?”
This was the ritual. I had seen a few zombie movies back in the day; I don’t remember any long boring stretches of time where absolutely nothing happened. Reality is seldom as exciting as the movies.
“Actually, yes.” Shelly’s answer was such a departure from the norm that it took my brain a few seconds to register it. “I can’t be positive, but I am pretty sure that I have seen a single zombie walking our perimeter. It hasn’t tried to come in past the trees.”
Taking my binoculars, I scan the tree line slowly. A few times I pause, thinking that I saw something, but esch time, it turned out to be nothing but a bush or shadow.
By the time I finish my scan, Shelly had already slipped through the trap door and is gone. Settling in on the uncomfortable bench seat, I start my watch. Looking out, I can actually see patches of ground starting to show. Honestly, I didn’t think that the snow would ever melt. This is the main focus of our watch lately—the grounds sounding the area. It has been a while, but those first several days when it started to warm up, we began finding the first of the creepers. Who knows how many we discovered the first few days when the rains were coming down hard and washing away a majority of the snow that had to be at least eight feet deep—and that did not include the places where we dug the tunnels.
I still shudder thinking how many times we walked right over those things. It is a wonder that the only casualty that we suffered was that poor girl, Emily. And even worse, I was on the detail that dug most of those passages we made to allow us at least some limited access outside of the cabin. I was probably passing by dozens of them every single day.
Today, a steady and strong wind is coming out of the west. I can’t be sure, but I almost swear that I can smell something rotten. It has to be just me, otherwise I am sure Shelly would have mentioned it during turnover. Still, I will keep a majority of my concentration looking that direction. I don’t want to be daydreaming when a herd comes tromping into our camp.
That is just another reason that I hope folks hurry up and get over this flu or whatever it is that they are all down with at the moment. It would really be a good idea to send a few people out that direction to at least take a look.
Just as I drop my binoculars and pop open my canteen, I catch a glimpse of something moving just inside the darkest shadows of the trees. I bring the glasses back up and try to zero in on where I saw it.
If I didn’t know better, I would swear that, if this was in fact a zombie, it was screwing with me. Us…if I included Shelly. I searched for what felt like forever, but was really probably nothing more than ten minutes.
“I’m seeing things,” I muttered.
Picking up my canteen that I had forgotten about in those few minutes of mental fatigue, or whatever it was, I took a long drink. When I lowered it, I momentarily became a cartoon character. I say that because I am almost positive that, if you had been observing me, you would have seen my eyes pop out of my head about three feet. Oh yeah, and I spit out a mouthful of water.
Standing at the edge of the clearing was a walker. I knew it had to be a zombie because, while it had warmed up in the past few days enough to start melting and washing away the snow, it was still pretty dang cold and this figure was stark naked.
I had no idea how well it could see—or if zombies actually ‘saw’ anything with those white-filmed, bloodshot-with-black eyes. Still, even from this far away, I could swear that it was looking right at me. I don’t mean that it was looking around at the huge cabin welcome center that we called home. I mean that this thing was looking at me up in the crow’s nest. I felt a chill ripple through me and I was overcome with the urge to pee.
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