Humanity’s advancements in medicine, meant to eliminate disease and extend life, have led to a macabre reality of childhood vaccinations gone terribly wrong.
Kids have transformed, changed into ravenous beasts that are nightmarishly quick, disproportionally strong, and void of empathy.
No amount of planning or preparation could have saved the human race against this unexpected attack, centralized in the heart of every human home, and the U.S. is quickly thrown into a chaos of Z Children. By the end of the first day, the entire world is jolted into a veritable hell on earth.
Yet, there are survivors- individuals who, by luck, skill, or circumstance, lived through the initial wave of destruction. These ‘lucky’ ones will join together, bonded in their quest for survival. They will try to maintain their humanity in a world where children have graduated from bubble baths to blood baths.
And they will try to find an answer to the only question that matters now: What will tomorrow bring?
The second scream did nothing to calm Grandma’s nerves. I patted her arm, all the while searching the store for the source of the agonizing yells. “It’s okay, Grandma. It’s okay.” I murmured; trying to soothe my own brittle nerves as much as those of the little, white-haired lady beside me.
“Clary, Clary, it’s Momma. Sweetie, Baby, stop. Please stop.” The voice was desperate, full of fear. “Please, Baby. I know you aren’t feeling well. I’ll let you pick out any kind of ice cream you want, Baby. Just please stop.”
A woman in dark wash jeans and a burgundy blouse stumbled out of aisle five. Pasta-Sauce-Canned Vegetables. Her jeans and shirt were damp, but the dark coloring made it hard to discern the liquid on her clothes. Just marinara or maybe olive oil. Bonnie assumed. Some jar must have broken. Maybe her daughter threw a fit and tossed some things around. Brat needs a spanking. Daddy would never let me act like that, let alone offer me ice cream. No wonder so many little kids act like animals.
I was about to comfort Grandma and turn back to the bacon, when a small girl came stomping out of the same aisle. Her mouth was painted red and her face was contorted in pure hatred. I wasn’t the only person staring now. The belligerent, bloody child had attracted a crowd of store clerks, shoppers, and cashiers. “Clary, Clary… please, Baby. Baby, what’s wrong with you?”
The woman’s body was pressed up against the beef display now; her hands were behind her, pushing into packages of ground chuck as she desperately tried to get further away from her own offspring. I wasn’t sure why, but the thought inappropriately popped into my head that I could understand a mother leaving a child who behaved like that… I mean… if I had been like that, I could understand my own mother leaving.
The woman’s shrieks sliced into my thoughts, bringing me back to an unreal reality where the brunette girl Clary was mounting her mother’s body, her small face buried against delicate neck. The squelching sound that accompanied the girl ripping away a dripping chunk of flesh turned my stomach like a tilt-a-whirl on acid.
“Grandma, I think we need to go home.” I pulled on her hand roughly. She was still calling for Grandpa. I wanted to slap her, scream at her, but that wouldn’t help. For a split second, I debated leaving her. She’d lived a good long life and… well, I hadn’t! I wanted to get out of this town, do something big with my life, not get attacked in the pork aisle with a demented senior citizen.
About the Authors
Eli attended USC-L, Columbia College, Texas A&M, & George Mason University. She studied everything from Mariculture to Differential Equations. Settling on Biology, Eli participated in research fellowships in Texas and at NIH, worked a few random jobs, and finally settled into a Virginia lab where she focused on mastering diagnosis procedures and implementations of histology and pathology.
Choosing to be a dedicated homemaker after the birth of her first child, Eli rediscovered her passion for writing. She’s never regretted the decision; not only are her kids the most amazing creatures, but writing fulfills her soul in a way science never did.
Eli is the author of Dead Trees, Dead Trees 2, Mastic, DRAG.N & Z Children: Awakening. She is a contributing author to Let’s Scare Cancer to Death, State of Horror: New Jersey, State of Horror: Illinois, & Fading Hope. Her books are available in eBook, paperback, & audio formats.
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Ben has been teaching Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) continually since 1981 when he joined the USAF as a “Survival Instructor”. In that Thirty+ year period, he has taught all aspects of SERE, trained at both domestic and international schools, written SERE doctrine and instruction, researched and developed cutting edge programs for dealing with both the psychological and physical challenges of survival, tested new equipment, written numerous papers on equipment and SERE-related disorders, and taught thousands of classes. Ben’s research and program development is the basis for many of the national and international survival schools in operation today. He is a USAF Master SERE Instructor.
Members of the Rangers, Green Berets, Para-rescue, Combat Control, Navy SEALs, Air Force Crew Members and MARSOC have all been his students. Outside the military, he has taught people from the DEA, Local Law Enforcement, Department of Natural Resources, the FBI, and other Federal Agencies. With over 12 years in the disaster mitigation and security fields, his advice on the development of advanced survival systems is irreplaceable and his knowledge of the physical and psychological aspects of both manmade and natural disasters is unparalleled in the survival world.
Z Children: Awakening, written with Eli Constant, is Ben’s first official foray into fictional writing. His technical expertise has proven a valuable asset in the development of plausible situations, appropriate survival responses, and how the world would really operate at the ‘awakening’ of an apocalypse.
Check out Ben’s survival company: www.usiusa.com