Perseverance: A Zombie Tale
Publisher: 23 House Publishing
It didn't happen the way it was supposed to...
I am a teacher. At least, I was before it all happened, before I was forced to survive. I taught social studies at the high school. I was also the coach of the school's successful debate team. It was a cold Saturday in January when I heard the first rumor of trouble...
You know, pop culture had defined the zombie apocalypse time and time again, all coming from the minds of horror writers, film producers, and video game designers. Who knew that when it really happened, it wouldn't be anything like they all predicted. Oh sure, the dead reanimated, and they were certainly hungry for living flesh...but what were the mysterious red-eyes, zombies that moved faster than their stumbling counterparts and seemed to not only communicate, but to exert some kind of control over the others.
"James Lacey takes the classic zombie story that we all know and love, and then twists it off into the new directions and unexplored territory. Perseverance is fresh, exciting, and edge-of-the-seat spell-binding."
- Samantha Murphy, 13 Nights of Blood: Legends of the Vampire
About the Author:
James Lacey lives in the Pocono Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania. When not writing, he works with disabled adults and children as a paraprofessional and Special Olympics coach. James also enjoys hiking, camping and watching football.
It's a Zombie Baby video spoofhttp://youtu.be/ZQhG2GC9xbY
It is close at hand...
Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain:
let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;
A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness,
as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.
A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth:
the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
When it happened I was excited – at first. I was a fan of the movies, the books, the games...all of it. So when those first reports came on the television and hit the net I was probably the most excited person on the planet. I mean, you always wonder “what if” when you see it in films, but then to have it actually happen, it really gets you going. That is, until they’re banging on your front door. Or the door of someone you really, truly care about. Someone you love.
That is when the excitement fades to fear. The fear can turn to horror. But right before that there is a brief moment where human instinct takes over and you choose to either fight or run. You don’t think, you just act. That is how I’m still alive. And it is probably why she is dead.
My story is not a happy one. It is not about heroics or unity or the fight to persevere. It is the story of survival. The only thing a person could really do during the crisis. It is the story of trying to protect someone you love and failing. It is a story of love, friendship and ultimately death. I’m not holding back. I am going to tell you everything. For some, this story will be harder to read then it was to write. For others, it won’t. Either way, this is my story. This is my account of the zombie apocalypse.
I was trying to be reassuring and bring my students back to the mood they were in before we stopped to eat, which not many were doing. But I knew there was something big going on.
I could hear the words “bioterrorism,” “widespread” and “thousands dead.” I could hear people talking about countries all over the world. CNN had this gorgeous new anchor,
Rebecca Mailey and I had a sort of boyhood crush on her. I was 29 and still entitled to fantasize about celebrities. So when she was the one who sent a chill down my spine, I thought it was sort of ironic and could not help but laugh. I’ll never forget the colorless look on her face when she uttered, “We are now getting scattered reports of incidents here in the United States.”
I never finished booting up my laptop. My instincts told me to get everyone out of the rest area and back on the bus. It was a quiet on the way home. I told everyone to call their parents and let them know that they were okay and would be home soon. As we boarded the bus two police cruisers went speeding in the opposite direction, sirens blaring. It was unnerving, given what we just heard. The rest of the ride home was dead quiet.
“It’s happening everywhere.”
“This...thing. People are dying. Riots happening everywhere. They said that there are drugs in the water supply that makes you want to hurt others. Then they said it wasn’t drugs, but a massive psychological event caused by a solar flare or something. Another guy said it’s been happening for a few weeks, but until now the government had it bottled up. And then...”
“Keith.” I had to stop him. The talking heads on TV had him all turned around.
“Take a breath. Clearly they don’t really know what is happening. So the question remains. Now, what do you know for sure? What do they know for certain? Think simple, Keith.”
“I don’t know. People are killing each other, I guess. They haven’t really said why or how, just that it’s happening.”
That part bothered me. If it were a terrorist event, then someone would be taking credit by now. If it were a disaster, then they would know the cause. Not knowing information...that is when I became hooked. That is when it became...interesting.
I looked up at the clock on the microwave. It was almost 10 AM. I really slept in late. I went and checked my cell phone. Seven missed calls? I realized then that I still had the phone on silent from the tournament. One call from Keith’s mom. Two from my parents? That was odd. Four from Ashley. Damn...I had promised to go over early this morning. She’s probably pissed right now. I went back into the bedroom and turned the TV on as I checked my voicemail.
“Hi, it’s Keith’s Mom. Sorry I’m home so late. Thanks for watching him.”
All over the country people are fighting against...
“It’s mom. Calling to see if you’re okay. Call me back.”
Military response is beginning to organize...
“I need you! Now! Please hurry! Call me back!”
We have confirmed video reports of...
“Why aren’t you answering?! Oh good...I hope...call me back...”
Rising from the dead and attacking...
“They’re outside! Help me! I need you! I need to hear your voice!”
All over the world people are coming back from the dead and killing others.
“I love you...Mom! Look out!” There’s a crash of glass on the phone.
Stay indoors. Lock your doors. Board up your windows. Do not go outside.
No words on the last message...just another crash and the sound of a scream.
I was paralyzed.