Here is an excerpt from the novella Paynetown by yours truly. It’s a work in progress, and will be included in my Zombies? Zombies! anthology.
The following is the last few paragraphs of the introduction and a few pages of the protagonist’s recollection of the night of the first major zombie outbreak in the US.
This generation now experience zombies through TV and videos online, or at the freaking zoo. Most preteens have gone their whole lives without seeing one, outbreaks are so contained; most preteens in the West, that is. Some third world countries are still a mess; there are chunks of China, Russia and India that are like scenes straight out of hell, and much of Africa is a vast ruin. The world isn’t all peachy, like you’re told to believe. There is madness, so much madness that it’s hard not to give in to it if you think about it too long.
But most of you know all this. I’m just giving a retread. Anyone with an internet connection has knowledge and more of what I’ve said. Anyone can gain knowledge, but without experience knowledge is just words in your head. Most people haven’t experienced the true horror of an outbreak. I have. I was part of the first major outbreak.
I was in Bloomington on July 18, 2007. I was part of “America’s Zombie Wake-Up Call,” as the media dubbed it, when a category F-4 tornado bounced through the city, leaving a bobbing path of destruction and killing twelve hundred people as they slept. About eight hundred of those would rise up as murderous, rampaging zombies. Over fifteen thousand people eventually wound up dead; nearly a fifth of the population of a small city wiped out in just a nine-hour span.
I was there through most of it and my part in the “heroics” of that day were limited, but the media and government needed a hero to throw at the public. And, well, I’m just good-looking and smart enough to qualify for the part, and I came with a ready-made pedigree pronouncing me Hero with a capital H. But I’ll get to that later.
First came the storm.