What next?

28 05 2012

The project that is the interactive zombie novel has come to an end but fear not, this is not the last you will hear of your favourite apocalypse survivors. Some of them will be back in the book of short stories that I am being put together, set in 2014 – 3 years after the initial infection. Who has survived? What is the world like now? The project is underway, I will keep the site updated with progress and, of course, teasers.

Until then, watch out for the zombie apocalypse…it might happen sooner than you think.





Marty O’Brien – Chapter 4

27 10 2011

Marty jumped down from the cab of the fire truck and took a swig from his water bottle. The sun was out but it was cold, and he buttoned up his jacket accordingly. James had already climbed out of the back and was walking across the road to the car dealership that had attracted their attention.

Julie stood alongside Marty as he gazed across the street.

‘He really hasn’t taken it well has he?’

Marty, who hadn’t really been listening, turned to look at her, thinking about how he had watched James become more and more distant during the last 3 days. The guilt surrounding the deaths of Todd and Gloria was slowly destroying him.

‘Err, what? Sorry.’

She smiled.

‘That’s ok, I don’t think it’s been easy for any of us. I think it’s hit him particularly hard though. He blames himself for Gloria and Todd dying.’

Marty shook his head. He knew his friend and he knew that Julie had summed up the situation perfectly. James had led the group to Walmart and that’s where two people died, and one ran away.

‘It was a group decision, it was a fair vote. I wish I could make him see that but he’s a stubborn asshole when he wants to be and he wants to save everyone.’

As he spoke the words he could see James wandering forlornly among the used cars that remain on the lot. Mike had also headed over the road and was looking through the window of an old Corvette. Marty sighed.

‘I guess we had better go over there and see what they’re up to.

Marty wandered across the tarmac forecourt, looking at the vehicles. He could imagine coming somewhere like this with his father, as he had done when he went out looking for his first car. He had not been able to contact his parents for quite some time. He realised that the chances of their survival were slim, but his Father was once a soldier, so he harboured a slight hope that he would have been resourceful enough to do something about the situation.

He snapped himself out of his daydream so he could analyse his surroundings. The forecourt was abandoned and the office was untouched. So often Marty had found empty buildings full of broken glass and streaks of blood; it was a pleasant change to find one that was just an empty building. His attention was grabbed by the smashing of glass. He froze momentarily before noticing that James had thrown a rock through the door of the office.

‘What the hell are you doing?’

His shout fell on deaf ears so he jogged over, joining Mike and Julie in the doorway. The three of them watched as James rifled through drawers, pulling out batches of car keys.

‘James. James!’

He stopped, hunched over a desk, and looked up at Marty. He said nothing.

‘What are you doing man?

‘Getting us some new wheels. We don’t need the fire truck anymore; it uses too much gas and draws too much attention to us.’

A fair point. We’re not rescuing folk anymore.

James continued looking at the labels on key rings, tossing several aside before dropping a whole bunch on to the desk, keeping hold of one particular key.

‘This is what I’m after!

He walked straight past the three concerned onlookers and out to the lot, heading for a brown SUV. He put the key in the lock and smiled in satisfaction as the locks flicked open. The group walked over to him as he opened the hood and examined inside. Marty put his hand on his shoulder, and his colleague straightened up and turned around. Marty looked him in the eye.

I don’t like this.

 

‘I’m going to Atlanta.’

Marty winced.

‘Atlanta? What the hell do you expect to find in Atlanta?’

‘There’s a medical centre there, there may be survivors. Medical professionals. There might be a cure for this thing.’

Julie chimed in.

‘That’s suicide dude.’

James pointed angrily at her.

‘Suicide? No more suicidal than going to Walmart!’

So that’s what this is about. This is crazy.

Marty shook his head mournfully.

‘You need to let go man, it wasn’t your fault!’

James slammed the hood down and stepped back.

‘That’s easy for you to say. It wasn’t your idea to go there!’

‘It was a vote, we all…’

‘There blood is on my hands Marty! My hands! Those people died because of me. We were supposed to protect them – they came to us for help!’

‘And do you think we would have helped them by sitting in the fire station waiting to die? Do you think they would have thanked us as they starved to death?’

James kicked out at the car behind him, setting off the alarm.

‘I’m not asking you to come with me this time! I’m going alone, that way I don’t have to worry about looking after anybody else.’

Mike dashed over to the noisy vehicle, smashing the window with a rock and popping the hood so that he could shut off the alarm. Marty approached James.

‘This is insane man, we need to stick together.’

‘Sticking together didn’t do shit for Gloria, Todd or Katy did it?’

Julie slumped to the floor as Mike stepped forward.

‘I’m going with you.’

Marty glared at him.

Shit, we’re not all going to have to go are we? What the hell is happening?

‘Don’t be stupid, we should stick together.’

James shook his head.

‘And go where?’

Marty had no answer, there was just silence. James pointed at him.

‘Exactly.’

Marty pleaded with James some more as he loaded some supplies from the back of the fire truck into the SUV. Julie just sat cross legged on the floor, watching. Marty looked at her.

‘You don’t want to go to Atlanta do you?’

‘Hell no.’

There must be something I can say to stop this.

James looked at Mike, who was about to open the passenger door.

‘Are you sure you want to come with me?’

He nodded. Marty couldn’t help himself.

‘You idiots! This is crazy! You saw how many of those things we found in Athens; how many do you think  you’re going to find in Atlanta?’

James shook his head again.

I wish he’d stop that.

‘There might be more freaks, but there will be more survivors too. People that can help us – people that can help everyone.’

‘There’s no guarantee of that.’

‘Goodbye Martin.’

‘Please James! I know that you feel guilty but this really isn’t going to solve anything! Don’t go getting yourself killed just because you feel bad!’

James said nothing as he closed the door, put the car in drive and rolled on to the highway.

Shit.

Marty sat down on the floor next to Julie. She leaned her head on to his shoulder.

‘What now?’

He almost laughed

‘I have no idea.’





Let’s Recap!

12 10 2011

With the return of the online apocalypse serial imminent, it’s a good time to recap on the action so far.

After locking himself in the Wal-Mart supercentre in Athens, Georgia for four months, Colin Oliver was forced to depart due to an invasion of the living dead. After finding a cat called Sulu and escaping the building, he was saved from a gory zombie related death by Katy and they headed out in a supply truck. Last time we saw the pair, they were holed up in a comic book store, pondering the possibility that they may be the only people left.

After escaping the Atlanta Medical Centre with her remaining soldiers, Corporal Taylor Smith headed to Dekalb airport in the hope of finding aerial transport. After finding a girl named Cadence and helicopter, but losing Corporal Watkins, the group found themselves at Kings Dominion Theme Park. Here they commandeered a truck and continued their journey to Quantico.

Brentwood High School student Durant Okonje had to watch as his mother Nancy was killed by infected in New York. Alongside Lisa Morales, he headed deeper into the City to look for survivors. They were nearly killed during their efforts to recover an abandoned police vehicle when a voice over the radio drew attention to them.

After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the treacherous Danny in Williamsville, Michael and Hope Simmons headed East and found themselves being shot at on the highway. After recovering from the car accident, they sit in a cold chicken shed apparently waiting to be released so that they can be hunted like wild animals.

After escaping her chambers in Atlanta, Judge Anita Petersen headed east to Athens. Traumatised after accidentally shooting a young child on the University Campus, she wound up in Lumberton, North Carolina, sheltered in an abandoned house with only her thoughts and the infected outside for company.

After the death of her parents in Union Bridge, Lily Martin travelled to Liberty, Kentucky, with Jeremiah and Eli. Here she found a town seemingly under the control of Reverend Kelly. A security fence had been erected and men with guns were on guard. It seemed that the reverend was also in charge of discipline, as an eager local had reported a theft to him.

Fireman Marty O’Brien had been patrolling Athens, Georgia with his colleague James, making rescues and looking for survivors. The supplies in the Fire Station had run low, however, and the group went on a doomed expedition to the Wal-Mart supercentre. 3 members of the group died, Katy ran away and the group drove off, unsure of where to go next.

After spending several weeks locked in his apartment with his dead fiancee, Mike Morehan found himself running from a gang of hardcore metal punks before killing his first zombie and meeting the mysterious Adam Jones. Jones rescued him, and they took off in a truck.

Nikki Craine was in control of her life until she reached Lafayette. Crashing her car as she ran from a gang, she was soon taken hostage and it was revealed she was to be the property of a gang leader called Jake. She was being transported when the car in she was being carried in was crashed into by Tom Beckerman.

Beckerman himself had been holed up in his townhouse, waiting for everything to blow over while drinking champagne. He was interrupted by Jake Hanford, a kid who decided to hide the booze. Tom was not impressed by this and left for a joyride, crashing his Ferrari. After spending the night one night in the Indiannapolis courthouse and another in a bar, he commandeered a BMW and promptly crashed into the car carrying Nikki Craine.

Having escaped his prison transfer van, Rex Baker decided he would try to enjoy himself. Driving fast cars and enjoying the sights, he ended up stealing a big rig truck from a farm. After stopping to take a leak, he chased a dear and got lost in some woods, before being attacked and drugged by an unseen group of people.





Durant Okonje – Chapter 4

3 07 2011

Durant moved cautiously through the trees as he approached the expanse of the park. Lisa followed closely behind him. They had found themselves in New Jersey after spending their Sunday cautiously traversing New York. Their caution was well placed as during the previous day they had encountered several small groups of infected. Signs of human life had been scarce though, like the ‘help me’ banner they had seen scrawled on a bed sheet from an abandoned tower block or the collection of empty food cans they had found in the back of an abandoned ambulance. It had caused Durant to wonder on more than one occasion where everybody had gone.

‘Shhh.’

Durant turned around. Lisa had hunkered down beside a tree and was pointing out into the open space of the park. Durant followed her line of site. The park was littered with army and police hardware, and what used to be baseball pitches had been lined with sandbags. There were several bodies lying on the ground, perched against trees or hanging out of vehicles, and Durant could see, even from this distance, that the grass was covered in spent ammunition and discarded weaponry. Amongst the scene of devastation was a solitary infected, tearing away at the flesh of a corpse in the centre of the field. Durant turned back to Lisa.

‘There are loads of weapons out there, and those vehicles would offer some good protection.

‘Yeah, but we have to get rid of him first.’

Durant shrugged his shoulders.

‘I think we could probably sneak around him.’

‘As long as he doesn’t have any friends around.’

Durant smiled a rueful smile as he led the way, sticking to the edge of the open space, making sure to keep cover in the bushes. The two of them moved from tree to tree, keeping eyes on the lone figure as they did so. They had to stop as he climbed to his feet, blood smearing his face and what remained of his clothes, but he began to shuffle away in the opposite direction, albeit very slowly. Durant and Lisa followed their route until they were alongside one of the baseball pitches. Durant could imagine kids playing on the crudely marked out arena at the weekends, competing in friendly matches with other kids in the neighbourhood.

Man, I miss sports.

The baseball pitch now resembled the hastily evacuated army outpost that it was. Sandbags curved around it’s outline, with periodic gaps for mounted guns. Several dead soldiers littered the area, all of them hideously ravaged by the infected. The smell was terrible, and the sound of flies hovering above the corpses was incredibly loud. Durant looked back at Lisa who, for the first time, seemed to be more scared than he was. He whispered to her, mindful to keep a lookout for any infected that had decided to accompany the lone shuffler that was about 50 feet away.

‘Look, we’ll be ok. He hasn’t noticed that we’re here.’

Durant surveyed the options in front of him hastily. A small tank lay derelict just outside of the baseball pitch, but Durant knew he was unlikely to be able to drive it. There were two military Hummers parked by the batting plate, and a police 4×4 perched on top of the pitcher’s mound. The Hummers were smeared in blood and several bodies were nearby, but the police vehicle looked relatively untouched and Durant decided that this would be the best option.

‘You see that?’

He pointed out his intended target to Lisa.

‘We’re going to take that. We need to be quiet, it’s the most exposed.’

Durant led the way, cautiously stepping out into the open. He paused as the shuffling monster stopped, but the former human continued on his way and Durant made it to the vehicle. He quietly opened the door and looked in the ignition for keys. There were no keys there, nor were they in the glove compartment or tucked behind the sun visor. He turned to Lisa, who was beginning to look nervous.

‘Durant, what’s the hold up? Come on!’

‘No keys.’

Lisa looked around them, and pointed to the body of a police officer about 20 feet away; directly between the vehicle and the man shuffling across the park. She put a finger to her lips to signify silence and began to creep over to the body. Durant watched, keeping an eye on the shuffler, and found that he was holding his breath. Lisa reached the dead policeman and crouched over him, searching his pockets for keys. Durant bit his lip as the shuffler once again paused, but let out a lung full of breath in relief as he continued his hunt for flesh. Lisa reached deep down into one the pockets and looked up to Durant with a smile as she pulled out a set of jingling keys. Durant smiled back as a burst of static crackled from the vehicle behind him. Then there was a loud, distorted voice;

‘Hello? Hello! Is there anybody anywhere? Please!’

Lisa looked up, panicked and her eyes met Durant’s. Durant tried to hide his fear but he could see behind her that the shuffler had stopped and was looking at Lisa intently. Not only that, but several more figures were appearing behind the shuffler, standing up slowly and coming out of the undergrowth.

‘Lisa, hurry!’

Lisa did not need a second invitation, and she got up to run. She confused Durant, however, when she froze.

‘What are you doing Lisa? Get over here!’

‘Behind you!’

Durant turned and stepped back sharply as several former members of the armed forces lurched towards him, snarling and spitting.

Oh shit.

Durant picked up a discarded baton and clenched it as hard as he could.

‘Lisa, I think we need to leave, right now.’

She sprinted over to him as he tried to fend off the infected with the baton as they forced him towards the vehicle, narrowly ducking a violently swung arm.  He dropped to the ground and rolled underneath the truck, climbing into the open door on the other side as Lisa put her foot down. They ploughed through several infected, and the vehicle jumped up and down wildly as it rode over the many corpses that littered the park floor. Durant looked over to Lisa, who was crying, as the radio once again crackled with the voice of a stranger.

‘Hello? Hello? Am I the only one left?’

Lisa looked at Durant as they rejoined the highway. She wiped a tear from her eye and nodded. He picked up the transmitter.

‘This is Durant Okonje. You’re not alone.’

 





Colin Oliver – Chapter 4

3 06 2011

Colin winced as Katy rolled the decaying corpse on to its front.

‘You know that’s really gross right?’

Katy looked up at him and grinned.

‘And you know you’re a real wimp, right?

Colin couldn’t argue. Despite his years of experience in destroying zombie hoards on his games console, he was disappointed with his reaction to seeing the real thing. During the time he was camped out in the Wal-Mart store, watching the undead patrol the parking lot, tearing his evil boss to shreds and generally ruining everything, he had convinced himself that he was at home in post-apocalyptic Georgia. When his defences were breached, however, it was a different story. Zombies were scary and dead bodies were gross. Those were the facts of the matter and Colin was struggling to adjust.

Nearly 3 days ago now Colin had found himself being saved by this teenage girl, and what little pride he had in himself had taken a beating. Their slow progress West had been largely without incident; the only sightings of anything were distant and vague enough to warrant caution. They had scavenged various tinned goods, a couple of bits of wood for self defence and some kitchen knives in case the situation required aggression; Colin hoped that it would not. Now he found himself standing outside the closed metal shutters of a store known only as ‘Mike’s’ with a teenage girl who was searching a corpse for keys. Colin looked at her as Sulu shifted around in the rucksack on his back.

‘How do you know you’re going to find any?’

Katy said nothing; she merely pointed to the door behind him. Hanging grimly from the door handle was a severed hand. Upon further inspection, and what felt like throwing up in his mouth, Colin noticed that the corpse was missing one of its hands.

‘That’s twisted.’

Katy looked up, holding a set of keys triumphantly in her hands.

‘I’d guess that he was either locking up to make a run for it, or trying to get in when they got him. Either way, it didn’t work out for him.’

She threw the keys to Colin and he caught them awkwardly. He headed over to the door and tried his best to get to the lock without touching the severed hand. Katy brushed him out of the way and yanked hard, breaking the dead mans grip. She threw the hand out into the street.

‘Seriously, you are a wimp.’

‘I’m a little concerned about how at home you are with scattered body parts.’

‘Body parts of motionless corpses can’t hurt you dude. You need to man up.’

Damn it, she’s got me pegged.

Colin opened the door and made sure to lock it behind them as soon as Katy had followed inside. He turned to face into the store and could feel the smile creep across his face. Katy looked around the room and turned back to Colin with an unimpressed look on her face.

‘Oh God, here comes the geekasm.’

Colin completely ignored her as he gazed upon his new treasure; this was a comic book store. There were shelves and shelves of recent comics lining the walls, but the good stuff was in glass cases in the centre of the room and by the payment desk. He ran over and blew the dust off of one of the cabinet, peering down through the glass. He turned excitedly to Katy.

‘Do you know what this is?’

She shrugged.

‘A geeky virgin’s paradise?’

Colin couldn’t really debate the legitimacy of her answer, so he carried on regardless.

‘This is a first edition of the very first Spiderman comic! And it’s in the same case as Wonderwoman number three! Do you have any idea what these are worth?’

‘I’m guessing a whole bunch of lonely people would pay a lot of money for these?’

‘I’m talking thousands of dollars man!’

Katy smiled as she wandered over to peer into the cabinet for herself.

‘If only the world hadn’t ended, you could be rich.’

‘Morbid.’

Katy spun around and headed behind the counter, ducking her head around the corner and looking into the back of the shop as Colin continued to browse the comics, touching some of the cellophane covers and remembering what it was like to get home and tear it open. He missed that kind of excitement in his life. He lost interest in comics as he grew older, preferring instead the entertainment offered by games consoles. He made the decision that he would take some comics with when they moved on. He took off his rucksack and let Sulu down. The cat peered at his dimly lit surroundings suspiciously before trotting off slowly to explore.

Katy returned from the back of the store with a bag of chips that were still in date and stood at the counter as she tore them open. Colin headed over and joined in the snack.

‘Any other food back there?’

‘Not really. A couple of bottles of water though, I’ll put some down in a bowl for Sulu.’

‘Did you have pets before all of this went down?’

‘I had a couple of fish. My dad was allergic to cats and dogs.’

Colin shrugged and tried to smile at the comment as Katy headed to the back of the store again. Katy had spoken fondly of her father over the previous 3 days, and it was more than obvious that she had not yet begun to come to terms with his death. Colin had listened intently as she had spoken about him and their life together and had become genuinely interested in the story. Colin had never known his father. The result of a one night stand, Colin’s research into the whereabouts of his father had turned up the information that he was dead; killed in a bar fight six years after Colin’s birth. His mother was an abrasive drunk, and ill-equipped to cope with raising a child. Colin had been removed from her care when he was two years old and her only attempt to contact him had been 13 years later, in search of money. Colin rebuffed the approach however, and had not seen her since. Spending his youth transferring from children’s home to foster family and back again, he had not bonded with any kind of father figure, and although his latest set of foster parents had represented his most stable living environment of all of them, he was ultimately unmoved at their likely demise. He had always viewed his foster parents as wardens of a sort, and tried to maintain a pleasant relationship with them, but kept his distance in almost business-like fashion, well aware that his next move could be right around the corner.

Colin withdrew from his daydream as Katy re-appeared behind the desk.

‘I have something for you.’

He looked up at her as she threw a pillow at him. Colin thrust out an arm and caught it with cat-like reactions.

‘Err, thank you?’

‘We need to get some sleep dude. We’ve had hardly any in the last few days. I’ve checked all of the possible exits and this place is sealed up pretty well. We’ll be safe here.’

‘Ok. In that case I have something for you too.’

Colin pulled a candy bar from his rucksack.

‘I’ve got a limited supply of these.’

Katy smiled as Colin handed it to her. She stretched out on the floor and rested her head on her pillow as Colin did the same. As they rested on their backs, staring up at the ceiling and eating chocolate, Katy sighed.

‘What if we end up being the only ones left?’





Quick Update

12 05 2011

The votes have been counted and the poll is closed.

I will be taking a short break from writing as I am going away. Chapter 4 will begin at the end of May!

See you then.





Chapter 3 is over – it’s voting time!

30 04 2011

Ok, so our bedraggled survivors have now lasted for 3 whole chapters and are maybe getting a little too comfortable. But oh no! A giant horde of zombified crazies has appeared to make things just that little bit worse!

The question is, where is this giant throng of walking dead?

This poll is based upon the locations of the characters, so look at the map and decide who will be the unfortunate victims of the zombie gore fest!

You are allowed 2 votes, and the poll will expire at 23:59 GMT on Saturday April 7th.

Happy voting!








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