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.Dead City (Book One of the Zombie D. reproduced in any format. Zep PUBLISHED BY: JJ Zep Copyright © 2012 www. electronic or otherwise. No part of this publication may be copied.O. Series) by J.jjzep.J. by any means. without prior consent from the copyright owner and publisher of this book.A.com All rights reserved.
____________________________________________ Chapter One: Blue Monday Monday morning started like any other. And it paid well.30 for my usual run. All characters. the whole shebang. I enjoyed being out when the air is crisp and the city is quiet. which was what really mattered to me. TV coverage. I had a fight coming up in Atlantic City that my manager assured me was going to get me noticed. but I used to love it. Rosie was due any day now and even before the birth I was finding out just how much kids cost. places and events are the product of the author's imagination or used fictitiously. Stamina was an important part of my game plan because I’m not a big hitter. Low down on the bill. I left my apartment at 5. names. A lot of fighters I know hate roadwork. .This is a work of fiction. as he liked to say. but with a middleweight title fight as the main event.
there’s more. is what I gotta do. Rosie was still in bed. propped up with 4 pillows. “Hey Sugar. I just prefer not to. “No.” . “This guy. When I got back from my run. “What shit?” I said. a counter puncher and although I can take a beating as well as the next fighter. wait honey. gets attacked in Times Square. The TV was on. this Japanese guy.” “I gotta take a shower.” “Uh huh” I mumbled. thinking it must be a slow news day when a tourist getting mugged in New York makes the morning bulletin.” I said leaning over and planting a sweaty kiss on her cheek. “Sleeping in on a weekday?” “Can you believe this shit?” she answered.I’m a mover. her belly prominent beneath the covers. you gotta see this. stripping off my t-shirt and heading for the shower.
I turned towards the bathroom and momentarily caught a picture on the TV of a hospital parking lot crowded with police cruisers and emergency vehicles. before being interrupted by someone knocking at the door. “Do I look fat in this?” she giggled. “Probably Mrs.” Rosie said and waddled out of the room. we can’t have her seeing you half naked now. .” I said. pushed her hand into the small of her back and gave an undignified grunt. “At this time of the morning? You want me to get it?” “Nah” she said. The knocking at the door was louder. seriously. can we? Her old man has a bad back. more insistent. The news reporter was saying something about an unprovoked attack on hospital staff by a seemingly deranged patient. “What the hell. yeah. Her belly looked enormous under her nightdress.“No. keep your corset on Mrs. “Yeah.” She slid awkwardly out of bed. you’ve…” Rosie started.. K. Kranski.
It was Blaze.I pressed mute on the remote. but I just couldn’t help myself – it felt that good. I set the phone down on top of the john. just like Rosie always told me not to. at the sensation. . so I went back and picked it up. I’d apologized to him a number of times before. toweled myself dry and dressed. he could wait until after my shower. I walked into the cubicle and turned on the water. Well. The water felt good against my tensed muscles and I let it run that way for a minute before switching it to cold and letting out my usual “yee ha” rebel yell. the way I like it. thumping on the wall. my cell phone started ringing. fast and hot. who worked night shift. A few seconds of the cold water and I shut the jet off. stepped out of my sweat pants and headed for the shower. my manager. As I did. That little morning routine often had our neighbor Brad.
The old woman . you about ready. No reply. we gotta hustle.” I said this walking from the bedroom down the short passage towards the front room. better get shaking.Rosie was being awful quiet. Kranski. I figured she was watching in there. Normally at this time she was rustling up some breakfast and I was used to hearing the clatter of pans and plates and cutlery over her tuneless singing. and I recall wondering if Rosie had stepped out into the hall to speak with Mrs. which I remember thinking was unusual.” I shouted. The front door was open. Her favorite was “The Greatest Love of All”. she was definitely engrossed in the story. our appointment’s at 9 remember. We had a small counter top set in the kitchen. “Hey Rosie. But this morning it was quiet and I reckoned she was probably watching the news story she’d been following. “Hey Hon. and she used to enjoy belting it out with a spoon for a make believe microphone.
“Brad. then shouted out. Rosie”. That was when I saw Rosie lying on the floor. “You okay? Did you fall?“ But immediately I knew that this was no fall. the door. “Hang in babe. a hope. Mrs Kranski. not with that much blood. “Brad!” I screamed. get the fuck in here. the walls. nonetheless. ended. call 911. worked at Lenox Hill and might know what to do. we need help! Mrs Kranski!” I suddenly remembered that my neighbor.had some crazy ideas and phobias and it would be just like her to want to talk in the hall rather than come into our apartment. we need your help. Brad. “Jesus. a harsh jagged breath. It was on the floor. I said running to her. “Someone call an ambulance. And yet somehow Rosie was still breathing.” Rosie’s fingers tightened on my wrist and I looked at her and just knew she wasn’t going to make it. I’m gonna get you through this. not even if the ambulance . but a breath. and my life as I knew it.” I said. Her nightdress was soaked in it. hang in.
I started to speak. in a whisper. A knowing smile.” Inexplicably. you’re going to be okay. but she widened her eyes as if to tell me not to. Rosie smiled at me. She let out a breath that seemed to go on forever.” I said. I must have cried. I knelt there on the floor with my wife’s blood on my hands and held her like a broken toy.” “Yes hon. and she said. Then she lifted her hand and put a finger to my lips and her eyes glazed. You and the baby. “I’m going to pull you through this. that said she knew I was bullshitting. “My baby. dark emptiness in my heart and a maelstrom in my head as I tried to deal with both my loss and confusion at how this had happened. not even if the world’s best surgeon was cradling her head instead of me.arrived this very minute. . that seemed to sound in my ears even after it was gone. although all I can remember was a deep.
I tried to remember where I’d left my cell. It was then that I noticed the flatness of her belly. but even so I could clearly see the terrible injuries. Jesus Christ. how was this possible? Someone knocks on the door of my apartment at 7 o’ clock on a Monday morning and rips my unborn child from my wife’s womb? How could such a thing happen? How? Outside I could hear sirens and suddenly realized I had to call the cops. There was a lot of blood. My baby. Rosie’s stomach had been ripped open leaving a jagged wound. were those bite marks? Holy mother of God.I saw that Rosie’s nightdress had hitched up and out of some sense of modesty. but for a moment I blanked. Had she miscarried? Is that what she’d meant? Where? How? What had happened here? I slowly lifted the nightdress. There were deep gashes on her thighs where it appeared chunks of flesh had been ripped from her. I guess. . The phone in the front room was dead. I straightened it. she’d said.
The ring tone was set to vibrate. and I noticed something that looked like blood on the doorframe and handle. The door was ajar. it’s Chris Collins. on top of the john. and dropped into the bowl. “Fucking old witch. “Fuuuckkk!” I screamed at the top of my voice and ran back down the passage and across the hall to the Kranski’s. I sprinted for the bathroom. I need to use your phone. “Mrs Kranski. I need help. Or I could try Brad. she wasn’t answering. . there’s been an accident!” If Kranski was there. and as I reached for the phone it slid across the porcelain. I was going to have to try and find Rosie’s cell. there’s been an accident. or go down to the call box on the corner. I reached his apartment door in four long strides. call 911. getting there just as the phone started to ring.Then it came to me. I banged on the door. Mrs Kranski! Please.” I spat.
This is an emergency. This is a fucking emergency. My wife. it wasn’t letting go just yet. “I need help. I’m gonna need your cell. so I’m just going to do that. I need to call the cops. man. But if this was a nightmare. but at the time I was frantic and the reality of the situation was starting to cut through the haze of shock and adrenalin. Brad. “Hey Brad!” I shouted. like the way you feel when you waken from a nightmare and realize it isn’t real. okay!” I picked up the phone. Dead. you understand!” . I entered Brad’s apartment. For a brief moment I totally convinced myself that this was all a dream and a sensation of calmness swept over me. “Hey.I realize now that it should have struck me as strange. “Brad. without bothering to knock. There’s been an accident!“ There was no answer. I need to use your phone. I need your help.
Next to it. His mouth was curled into an insane grin. Again I heard the distinctive bubbling sound from the kitchen. Brad was standing with his back pressed up against the counter. I headed in that direction. On the stove. “I need your cell”. There’s a moment when you feel like a puppet. Now you need to understand what goes on in a person’s mind at a time like this. A cigarette hung between bloodstained teeth. The front of his shirt was blood stained and there was blood on his hands. a pot of water bubbled merrily away. a faint bubbling sound. which seemed impossibly large. also dripping blood. The puppet master has just yanked you in a .There was a sound from the kitchen. He wore his Hospital Security Guard uniform. “You in there Brad. lay the tiny corpse of my unborn daughter.” I shouted. one of which dangled a large kitchen knife. on a cutting board. suspended on strings.
It felt like an hour. I’ve fought lots .direction you don’t want to go. I’m not sure how long I faced off against Brad across his kitchen. But you go anyway. I should have been heading across town with my wife for her obstetrician appointment. Butchered them both for some insane idea that I didn’t understand. into something more primal. He allowed the cigarette to drop from his lips. He made a gagging sound as though trying to clear something unpleasant from his throat and then he charged me. It could have been a second. my wife was dead. It was he who broke the standoff. into rage. because you have no choice. my daughter was dead and I was standing just feet away from the man who had killed them both. Then the grin seemed to charge. He crossed the eight feet or so that separated us in an instant. and it was only my fighter’s instincts that saved me. then looked up at me and grinned. stubbed it out with his shoe. to morph into anger. Instead.
his arm bent back at an improbable angle. The kitchen knife lay a few feet from him. I heard a sound behind me and turned to see Brad getting up from the rubble of his coffee table. I sprinted down the passage to fetch a towel for wrapping the baby’s body in. where he crashed face first into a glass topped table. bull-necked guys. shuffling out of the way at the last moment and catching him with a solid. Big.of guys like Brad in my career. and for a moment I had an almost uncontrollable urge to pick it up and plunge in into his back until there wasn’t an inch of skin on him without a knife wound. I used his momentum to my advantage. dangling his shattered arm. The only reason I didn’t. He stumbled down the passage towards me. fight-ending right behind the ear. He lay there in a crumpled heap. is because I had more important business to take care of. Brad plowed on past. his impetus carrying him into the living room. who think their power makes up for a lack of skill. There were .
He crashed into the door. Brad charged the door again and it just held. By the forth charge the door started to splinter. stepped back and attacked it again. the largest of which protruded from an eye socket. This guy was going to take some stopping and I needed a minute to think. but I’ve heard of guys on drugs like PPC who take an incredible beating and still kept going. I pulled down the plastic shower curtain with the idea of throwing it over him to disorientate him while I made my escape.shards of glass in his face. to find a weapon. but found nothing except a plumber’s mate and a tube of Drano crystals. It seemed impossible that he should be walking. let alone be alive. The next hit would surely bring him through. Is that what had happened? Had Brad killed my wife and daughter in a drug induced frenzy? He was only a few feet away when I closed the bathroom door on him. . I searched hurriedly for something I could use as a weapon.
. The minute his feet hit the shampoo patch they slid from under him and he was thrown into the air.There was a large bottle of Avalon shampoo on the rim of the bathtub. using my hands to spread it around. I grabbed the bottle and quickly emptied it on the tiles in front of the door. his impetus carrying him into the bathroom. Brad made his final charge and the door gave. landing on his back like a character in a cartoon.
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