on October 13th 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult, zombies
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Zombies aren’t mindless anymore.
Before the world fell into chaos, the undead existed only in the imagination. Now, more of them walk the earth than living. Zombies move about freely, while humans entomb themselves inside concrete barricades to stay alive.
All that, while the leader of a powerful cult – known only as Reverend – becomes the next threat to the rebuilding United States. Believing zombies to be God’s latest creation, making humanity obsolete, he wants to give every man, woman, and child the chance to become one. With his combined army of humans and zombies, he may well get his wish.
Best friends Holt and Ambrose went up against the Reverend once. Holt lost a foot and a zombie bit Ambrose…though he survived the virus, only to become a human-zombie hybrid, reviled by the living and unwelcome among the dead. When the Reverend kidnaps the woman Holt loves, the race is on to save her from a fate worse than death.
“Everyone save a bullet for yourselves.” Ambrose handed Ollie his pistol, giving him two to use. I pulled my own handgun out.
Despite the presence of the Reverend, or because of it, the zombies continued their pursuit. They were almost within fifty feet of what remained of our squad, and Ambrose was the only one still shooting.
“Ollie, build us a fire,” Ambrose said over his gunshots.
Ollie dove into his backpack and pulled out a firewall. He tore the plastic tube open and removed several feet of a putty-like substance. Stretching it out with his hands, he made a circle around us. He lit a match and tossed it at the firewall, igniting it.
The putty burst into a five-foot high flame that surrounded us. Zombies hated fire. They wouldn’t come anywhere near it. The firewall slowed the dead meat down, and we unloaded the rest of our ammunition into their heads, one by one. But we didn’t even make a dent; every time we killed one of them, two more appeared in its place.
“I’m out.” Ambrose dropped his M16.
“Out.” Ollie threw the two pistols to the ground.
“Down to one,” I said.
Ambrose and Ollie looked at me, surprised.
“You said to save one for ourselves.”
My friend laughed. The firewall kept the horde at bay, but it would only last so long. It was already losing strength. Once it died out, so would we.
The zombies’ red eyes got close enough to see. I hated those red eyes. Always did.
Ambrose pulled out a flare gun and fired it into the air. A last gasp effort for help. “Somebody’s got to see it. They’ve got to.”
“Are we close enough to Fort Bragg for anyone to see it?” I glanced at Ambrose.
He shook his head. “I hope so.” His face turned pale. Not that he could be blamed for being afraid at a time like this. If shock and adrenaline didn’t currently control my body, I’d have wet myself. Actually, for all I knew, I did wet myself.
I took off my helmet and put the pistol’s barrel against my temple. “You two make a run for it. They won’t take me alive.” More than anything, I wanted them to get away. Somebody needed to survive.
“He’s right. If he wants us to go, let’s go.” Ollie appeared more than ready to jump through the firewall and make a run for it.
Ambrose refused to listen to reason. “We’re not leaving him.”
“You want to be a hero, do it on your own time.” Ollie dashed through the firewall, leaving us alone.
“Go with him,” I said. “Please.”
Ambrose shook his head. “Give it up. I’m not going anywhere without you.”
Ollie let out a blood-curdling scream.
I turned my head, trying to get a glimpse of him, but the fire blocked my line of sight. Once the pained sounds coming from his voice faded away, Ambrose and I stared at each other. We were next. The zombies stood on the other side of the dying firewall. These were some brave corpses, standing so close to the fire. They could easily step over it.
What were they waiting for?
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