Hi Readers! I have been working on the sequel to “Dead Soil” for about half a year now. Truth be told, I haven’t been working as hard as I should, but thanks to my New Year’s resolution of writing Monday-Friday, 5 days a week, it’s really coming along now!
Beware: The chapter below has spoilers to the end of “Dead Soil”!
DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU HAVE NOT READ “DEAD SOIL” AND DO NOT WISH TO SPOIL IT! LAST WARNING!
Hello again Readers,
Now that the warnings and spoiler alerts are out of the way, let me give you a little refresher to where we left off in “Dead Soil”. Zack was out looking for his beloved Anita (again), so all that were left to defend their home was Liam, Christine, and Jerry. While Liam and Jerry try to save the perimeter fence that’s threatening to cave in, Christine gathers supplies from one of the apartments being used as a store-room. But the fence falls, the zombie horde pours in, and Liam and Jerry have to make a run for it. Jerry, being the old out of shape man he is does not make it. As the zombies spread out, Liam makes it back to Christine and they race upstairs to their own apartment. Before they can make it up the stairs, a zombie grabs hold of Liam’s ankle and Christine fights frantically to free him. It isn’t until they’re safe in the apartment that they find out Liam has been bitten. The wound festers quickly and Liam falls into a his descent, leaving Christine with a choice; does she kill the love of her life before he can turn? Or does she let him become one of those monsters and inevitably turn her into one as well?
Zack makes his way back to the apartment complex with the wandering group with him after Anita is mistakenly taken for a zombie and shot. He brings them back to the apartment to find Christine next to a dead Liam.
Everything falls back on the mysterious journal Liam nicked from his work at the univeristy labs, the journal that belonged to his boss, Dr. Hyde, the man presumed responsible in Liam’s eyes for the downfall of humanity. It’s not up to Christine, Zack, and the rest of the new group to get that journal into the right hands so maybe the human race won’t become extinct.
I hope you enjoy this first chapter of “Dead Road” (Dead Soil book 2)! It still may undergo some edits, but nothing major.
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
-Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
“You’re not really here,” Christine Moore said in a hushed voice. “You’re not real.”
“What makes you say that?”
“I saw you…I killed…you died,” she stumbled over her words.
“Does that mean everything about me ceases to exist? My being, my knowledge, my soul?”
Christine let her eyes drop to her hands in her lap as she sat perfectly still on the side of the bed. She wanted to give him the answers he sought. After all, she still loved him. Death would never change that. But she couldn’t find the words. Instead, she shrugged her shoulders and wouldn’t meet his gaze.
“Only you know why I’m here, love,” he responded.
She forced her blue eyes to meet his. “I didn’t ask for this, Liam. You showed up at my bedside while I cried over you just days after I shoved that knife into your temple to spare you the empty life of one of those things!” She realized she had raised her voice and immediately snapped her lips shut tight. When she opened them again she barely spoke above a whisper. “These are just grief-stricken hallucinations. I’m seeing things because my brain can’t handle the sadness of your death and of the state of the world. I’m only seeing you, talking to you,” she placed her hand on top of his, “…touching you, because I’m scared. You’re my comfort. You always were.”
Liam’s hazel eyes softened as Christine took in every detail of his face. A part of her was terrified that she was seeing her dead fiancé over and over again for the last four months, while another part was thankful. She took every opportunity to impress his being into her brain, worried that every time he came to see her would be the last time.
“I miss you so much,” she said softly as she leaned into him.
He put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her in close. “I know, love. I miss you, too. But someday we will be together again.”
A chill ran through Christine’s body, raising goosebumps on her arms. She didn’t want to think about it, about any of it. She didn’t want to consider the fact that she was going crazy, that she had to kill to survive and even that didn’t do much good because her days were limited. Everyone’s were. There was no guarantee any of the people sleeping in the next room would live to see the next sunrise, to see the snow melt and the flowers bloom. Every day, more and more zombies found their way into the gated apartment complex. One day, they would come banging on their door. Their chance to leave would be gone forever.
Christine sat up and eyed the brown leather journal sitting on her nightstand.
“You thought this journal was important for a reason, didn’t you?” she asked Liam.
He nodded his head once in agreement.
“You knew that it could hold the key to a cure for this plague?”
Again he nodded once and released his soft grip from her shoulder.
“Then, we need to get it into the right hands. We’ve waited too long already here in this tiny apartment. We should have left months ago. This could have been taken care of already.”
Christine looked over, but found that she was sitting alone now. There was a small indentation where Liam had been. She put her hand down and felt that it was ice cold, as if he hadn’t been there at all. She threw herself back onto the bed and sprawled out, stretching her arms high above her head.
“This is bull,” she said with no concern for hiding the fact that she was talking to herself from the others.
She curled up into a ball, hugging her knees to her chest, taking in the comfort and warmth of the bed. She tugged at Liam’s oversized knitted sweater and wrapped it tightly around her thin body, blanketing her in familiarity and lost love.
“Need to leave,” she mumbled to herself as she fought to keep her eyelids open. “Need to go now…”
Her long, wavy blonde hair fell over her face, veiling her vision from the white moonlight streaming in through the large window opposite the bed. Her breathing slowed, heavy and deep. The mumbling stopped as her eyes finally shut.