While issues continue for publishing books I and II, I got bored and began writing book III…enjoy.
Diary of Sarah McClure: Time will tell
They’d been out three days now and Sarah was ready to go home. The batteries had died on their walkie talkies, the food was gone as of yesterday, and they only had a few sips of water left. They had to do something, and do it quick. She looked over at her sister, Michelle, and daughter, Skye. They were currently playing poker with a deck of cards that Skye had stashed in her backpack. Nothing seemed to bother them. Zombie holocaust be damned, they weren’t changing for anybody or anything.
Michelle looked suspiciously at Skye. “It’s just not possible to win six games in a row.”
“What? Are you saying I’m cheating?…Prove it!” Skye said, a bemused look on her face.
“Aha, see, that’s exactly what cheaters say!” Michelle said accusingly.
Skye gave a hearty “pfffft”, “And that’s what losers always say…it’s your turn loser”
If Michelle had changed in any way, it was adapting to the role of being a mother to Toby, a boy they had found in a car surrounded by zombies. And while she was slightly unconventional in her use of certain language during stressful parental situations, her love and care for the boy was apparent.
Sarah smiled. She wondered what Ian and the others were doing back at home?
Her husband, Ian, had adapted quite well to camp life. When they first arrived he joined the food producing group and in no time at all proved to be an invaluable asset by rigging up an irrigation system for their crops and by coming up with various other contraptions. In fact, Sarah jokingly called him “professor”, not only because it was his profession in the time before zombies, but with all of his inventions he reminded her of the professor on Gilligan’s Island. Maybe after this little incident, she should have him rig up some kind of coconut telephone system.
Frank (not his real name), Ian’s mid-eastern sidekick, assisted Ian and proved that he also had a knack for inventions. His lighthearted war of words with Lance, or “cowboy” as Frank liked to call him, was still on-going. Frank has lightened up considerably since joining our group. His mastery of sarcasm was much bemoaned by Lance.
Lance, who had been in nursing school, was now head of our medical team. He is also one of our two helicopter pilots, Chas, Skye’s high school sweetheart, being the other.
Sarah thought about all the changes she had gone through. From their roof top rescue, or hell, take it back even further to when all of this craziness first happened, she had went from a wife and mother, to survivor, and finally a sergeant at the semi-militaristic camp they currently called home. And that is why it was her fault that they were sitting in an abandoned city garage, surrounded by zombies, after a supply run gone-wrong. She closed her eyes and rubbed her forehead. Their fearless leader, aka Richard, had insisted that they go out, despite the fact that something had stirred up the zombies and there were literally thousands of them milling about the gates and town. She should have refused to put herself and the others in that kind of danger. But she said nothing, and now they were paying the price. Sarah silently promised the others that if they ever got out of this situation alive, she’d never make that mistake again. But if she were to be perfectly honest with herself, she loved challenges, and this sort of thing was right up her alley. And perhaps that was the biggest change that Sarah had gone through. She took chances. She pushed herself. Not that she didn’t value her life, hanging from the roof with a couple hundred ravenous zombies at your feet can give you an appreciation for that. She just loved to feel alive. Besides, losing was not an option. To lose meant that you would become the exact opposite of alive…the living dead.
Her thoughts were suddenly interrupted as a young man approached her, “Sergeant, you should come take a look at this.”
“Show me” Sarah said
She got up and followed him through a door that led to the back of the garage. Michelle and Skye trailed behind her.
The young man, affectionately known as “pup” (for his habit of following Sarah around like a puppy) led Sarah and the others out the back door into a fenced in area. Zombies pushed against the chain link, struggling to reach them as they ascended rusty, metal steps that led to the roof.
Sarah stood on the rooftop looking through binoculars, “Well, I’m looking, what the hell am I supposed to be seeing?”
Pup turned the binoculars to a point left of where she was looking. “The smoke, ma’am…isn’t that the direction of camp?”
“Oh shit, it is.” Sarah replied.
Michelle grabbed the binoculars, “Let me see”
Sarah looked at the zombies that surrounded the building they were in. “They’ve thinned out some, there’s a chance we could make it. An even better chance if there was some kind of distraction.”
“The only way to do that is to split the group. Have some stay behind while others go for help, or TO help, whatever the case may be.” Michelle said, placing the binoculars in Skye’s waiting hand.
Pup looked at Sarah, “Ma’am…orders?”
“Call the others together, we have a decision to make.” Sarah said.
The plan was simple. Group one would stay behind and make as much racket as they could at the front of the building, while Group two, which included Sarah, Skye, Michelle, Pup and five others, exited from the back. As long as it thinned out the zombies in the back, they could take care of them and slip away.
Sarah looked over her group. She knew without question that Michelle and Skye could take care of themselves. Pup she was worried about. What the hell was she thinking, allowing him to come along for this trip? Although he was roughly the same age as Skye, his maturity level was sometimes not there. But he had been begging to come along on a supply run for ages and she had ran out of excuses, other than to tell him he needed to grow up. Of course, Skye would have had no problem telling him to buzz off, his awkward attempts to impress Sarah irritated her. As for Michelle, those awkward situations amused her, and she was constantly egging him on, and Sarah, in return, tried to “sic” him on Michelle. But most of the time she just felt bad for him, the zombies had made him an orphan and she was sure that she must remind him of his deceased mother.
Skye nudged her mother, breaking her train of thought, “Mom, they’ve started out front.”
Chas removed his cap and scratched his head. “No offense Mr. McClure, but this sucks.”
Ian closed his eyes, his face positioned upwards, as if he was praying for patience, “None taken Chas.”
Their current position was huddling behind some boxes in a storage area of the food mart. A rival survival group had invaded their camp, and Ian had rightly guessed that they would spare torching the food mart to raid it later. What he hadn’t counted on was that they would take the time to search the building and find them. A search that was taking place now.
“Do you think Frank and Lance made it?” asked Chas
A genuine smile broke over Ian’s face, despite the circumstances, “I don’t know, but if they did, and they’re together, let’s just say there will certianly be an interesting story to tell later.”
A gunshot reminded them of their situation and they held their breath as they heard footsteps fast approaching where they were hiding. Along with the gunfire there was the unmistakable sound of the undead and their shuffling gait.
A horrified look came over Ian’s face, “Oh my God, they’ve let the zombies inside the camp.”
“We are so dead.” Chas whispered.
The zombies were spread out enough that Sarah decided it was safe to leave. Any stray zombies would be easy to run past. Before setting out Sarah pulled Skye aside. “Keep an eye on Pup, he might freeze.”
“I’ll watch him…but don’t expect me to clean up after him.” Skye responded with a hint of annoyance.
They worked their way through the city. The air became thick with smoke as they closed the distance between them and the camp. The main gates were thrown open and zombies were free to wander in. Most of the shops that they had built-up were now consumed by the flames. Sarah looked upon the bodies that littered the ground, some were friends, some were acquaintances. And as horrifying as it was to see everybody dead, it was more horrific seeing the faces of her friends that had now joined the ranks of the undead.
Sarah’s eyes finally settled upon the body of a woman laying face down not more than ten feet from where they stood. The exit wound on the back of skull would indicate that the lady had been shot at close-range by a shotgun. There wasn’t one inch of her body that hadn’t been touched by the zombies. Her intestines were eaten and torn apart, strewn about on the ground beside her. Pieces of flesh clung to the shattered remains of her ribcage, which had been broken open and stripped clean of the organs it once protected. At first glance the corpse appeared to be lifeless, but then a gasp escaped from Skye as she noticed the body shifting to the left.
“That’s not possible!” Michelle said. “It’s been shot in the head!”
“Oh Jesus…” Sarah breathed, as she noticed a tiny arm jet out from beneath the body.
“It’s just a baby!” Skye stated.
“It can’t be any older than two years old.” Michelle added.
In disgust they watched as another arm followed the first one as it began clawing at the ground trying to free itself from its dead mother. When he was finally free, he turned towards them and it was not a toddler’s smile that greeted them, but the malevolent gaze of a predator that needed to feed. It made several attempts to get to its feet and then began staggering towards them. Just as it reached out its tiny hand to grab for Sarah, a shot rang out and a perfect circle of blood appeared on the boy’s forehead as he collapsed to the ground.
“What in the hell is wrong with you people?” They jumped from the sound of an unfamiliar voice, just as another gunshot cracked through the air and an unnoticed zombie collapsed to the ground right by them.
Everyone turned to see a young man with a rifle in his hands and an expression of disbelief. His eyes moved onto Sarah and immediately noticed the Sergeant patch. “You’re a Sergeant for Christ’s sake! Don’t you know how to use your gun?”
Without missing a beat, Sarah aimed her gun right at his forehead. “Yes, I do.”
“Mother!” Skye hissed.
The young man moved to aim his weapon, but then saw the odds were stacked against him and he grudgingly lowered his rifle.
Michelle took a few steps towards the man and poked him in the chest. “Who the hell are you and why shouldn’t we shoot your ass right now?”
“Gabriel.” He said through gritted teeth, his glare meeting hers before he continued, “And seeing as I just saved your asses, I think you owe me one.”
Sarah walked up to him and patted him sarcastically upon the cheek. “Put it on my tab, sweetie.” She emphasized the word before brushing past him and began barking orders at the others to secure the gate, while she busied herself shooting zombies that wandered into view.
Having not moved from their positions, Michelle folded her arms across her chest as she continued staring at the new comer. “So, what’s it gonna be Hotdog?” She asked. “Are you going to stay or are you going to leave? Once those gates are sealed no one is getting out for a while.”
Gabriel looked away from her as he seemed to ponder this. Skye took this time to notice just how rugged and yet defined his features were. The man had short dirty blonde hair and fierce hazel eyes. He wore a simple black t-shirt that fitted well against his toned body, and a pair of tan khaki pants with some boots. A sense of guilt washed over her as she slowly came to realize she was checking this young man out. She desperately tried to think of Chas but the struggle was pointless as she kept staring into Gabriel’s face. However, she finally managed to look away from him only to find Michelle smirking at her.
His response didn’t come in a way of words at first, as he raised his rifle to put down another zombie in the distance. After a moment he lowered his weapon and looked Michelle in the eyes. “Guess I’m stayin.” He stated before walking off to hunt zombies, Skye’s gaze following him as he did so.
Skye felt a soft pat on her back as Michelle said, “Let’s go find Chas, I bet you’re worried sick about him.”
TO BE CONTNIUED
Due to unforeseen events, the book didn’t come out in December, like I had planned. Life happens. But soon the editing will be complete and the final revisions and final touches added. I’m estimating another month. So hopefully by this time next month you’ll be reading your hard copy (and for some of you signed) version of Diary of Sarah McClure. Again, I’ll keep you updated.
We have a kind of decision making game going on at my regular blog, pertaining to a zombie apocalypse. What would you do? Play along if you like…
Diary of Sarah McClure will soon be available in book form. Editing is nearly finished, and the cover is being created. Also Books I and II will be combined into one book. I will keep you updated on the date it will be available, where to purchase it and the price as soon as I know the details. If anyone would like a signed copy, let me know here, as the ordering procedure will obviously be different.
Sarah McClure is an ancestor name and was also a name I considered when I was planning on legally changing my name. The Sarah character is me.
The Michelle character is modeled after my sister Jeri, but is named for one of the most avid readers of my old blog, The Dragon’s Den.
The Ian character is my husband.
Hunter was the name of my black lab, when I began writing.
Our family (the McClures) belonged to the MacCleod clan in Scotland, which has a branch off of it called the MacLeod’s of Skye. We are of the Harris branch.
Skye is my youngest daughter Tess, who can indeed sword fight a bit and knows some self-defense.
My oldest daughter was the model for the Allie character, but wanted her killed off because I got the name and boyfriend’s name wrong. So the Melissa character was born.
Lance and Amy attended the same University as I did, we took Anthropology together.
Here’s a short story I started a while back and just now remembered to finish up. Enjoy!
May 14th, 1890
Her family was gone, her neighbors were gone too, and for all she knew the whole world was gone except for her. All of them were dead. Well, dead wasn’t exactly the word. They were still up and about, but their hearts had stopped beating long ago. She and her family had boarded themselves up inside the house when it became apparent that the dead were walking, but what they hadn’t realized was that one of them had been bitten. And even if they had known, at that time they didn’t understand that one little bite could seal their doom. So one by one her family had been taken out, and now she was the only one left. And now it looked as if she had survived only to starve to death, or die from dehydration. She eased herself down onto the bed. What was she going to do?? She needed to come up with some course of action but she couldn’t think properly. How long can a person survive without food? Water? As bad as the food situation was, the water problem was even more dangerous. It had run out yesterday. It was best not to think about it. It only made matters worse. And it was so cold. The fire had gone out and the confusion in her brain wouldn’t allow her to remember how to start another one. Once placing the wood in the fireplace, she had stood there desperately trying to remember the next step. Cursing, she’d finally given up. But it was best not to think of that either. She shifted her position on the bed and closed her eyes to get some sleep.
The dream was brutal. In it she was walking around the house, desperate in her need for food. She yanked the cushions from the sofa, hoping to find a few crumbs hidden there, or anything really. The hunger was unbearable. She walked to the pantry and pulled the shelves over, cursing the lack of food. Then she heard the sound of singing. A sweet, child-like voice drifted to her from down the hall. She walked in the direction of the singing, into the hallway until she came to her daughter’s room and then opened the door. Sally sat on the floor, playing with the doll she had made for her birthday. The pain in her stomach howled. She crept forward and pulled her daughter to her mouth, ripping away her throat with her teeth. Warm blood trickled down her throat, quenching her thirst and making her stomach growl in anticipation of a feast. The little girl struggled against her for a few seconds and then as her body went limp she began to eat. Looking over she became aware of Mary sleeping on the bed by the window. She dropped the younger girls body and went to Mary, biting and chewing until there was not much left except ripped clothing and bones. Then the dream moved on and she was walking through the kitchen and into the sitting room. She stopped to look at her reflection in a full-length mirror. Vacant eyes stared back at her. The side of her face was gone, revealing muscle and bone. Strips of flesh hung from the wound. Her foot was broken and turned sideways, which meant she had been walking on a bloody stub. In her hand she held the forearm of her daughter. Suddenly there was movement in the shadows behind her, in the mirror. Her daughter stepped into the light. Sally’s rosy complexion had gone white, her eyes were full of malice and evil. Her left arm was missing, as well as her throat. Sally’s eyes met her mother’s and she managed to hiss out, “Mama”. The woman opened her mouth and attempted to respond but nothing came out, for her own throat was missing as well. Then from somewhere down the hallway she could hear her husband screaming, “NO!” upon discovering what was left of his oldest child.
Jolted awake, she opened her eyes and the hunger hit her. A deep, gut wrenching pain that made her hiss through clenched teeth. She slowly stumbled to her feet and walked into the kitchen, looking at the pantry. No food. In a fit of anger she spun around and cleared the counter of its contents, shoving everything onto the floor. A clawing sound came from the hallway and she knew that her husband had woken up from the noise. He was trying to get out, and she knew it was only a matter of time. A deep moan of desperation left her lips. Outside she could hear the moans of the undead, matching her own. They wanted food, and she wanted food. A common goal of sorts. A fresh set of hunger pangs hit her and she howled in pain. Through pain clouded vision she aimlessly walked into the living room, then to the bedrooms and through the sitting room. A gunshot rang out somewhere in the yard. Someone was alive! Maybe she would be saved after all. Her stomach growled at the prospect of food. Pounding against the window she attempted to yell at the man carrying the gun. He was on horseback, along with two other men. But when she opened her mouth to yell all her dehydrated vocal chords could produce was a whispering sort of hiss. She pounded the window in frustration as the men rode away. Her husband began clawing at the door again, making inhuman noises as he tried to break free. If she had any tears left in her she would have cried. But her tears, as well as her voice, had dried up long ago. She slumped down against the wall with a sigh. Dead hands shoved and clawed at the front door. They remembered she was here. She understood how they felt. The craving for food had become an animal inside of her that was trying to claw its way out. Maybe she should just open the door and let them in so she could put an end to everyone’s pain. Anything to stop the cold and hunger. Shivering, she tried to rise to a standing position and fell back down. The word fever echoed in her head, but the word sounded so foreign and the voice distant, that it lost all meaning to her. Then like a scene from a play, a memory came forward….
“Your husband has a fever Mrs. Jennings, the bite is infected.” The doctor closed his black bag, “That dog that bit him might have been rabid.”
“Is there anything I can do?” She had asked.
“Just try and keep his fever down and hope for the best.” He replied.
“Will it kill him?” Her voice shook.
“If it’s rabies, possibly. Some make it, most don’t.” And upon seeing the look on her face, “Pray Mrs. Jennings, that I KNOW will help.”
But it didn’t help. Her husband had went mad and she had been forced to lock him inside the back bedroom, and had told the girls to shut their bedroom door and stay inside. Then the others had come. One or two at first and then by the dozens. They were all rabid, foam and blood trickled out of their mouths. Who’s blood, she did not know, but she was pretty sure it wasn’t their own.
And then she heard gunshots once again and as she desperately tried to pull herself back up to the window, her fingernails broke off and her fingertips began to bleed. Whimpering, animal noises came from her throat as she struggled and eventually made it to her feet. Her head swam with excitement as she saw the latch on the door begin to lift. The door creaked open slowly.
The man didn’t have a chance. She was on him the instant he stepped through the door. Her teeth ripped through his throat as he screamed, then gurgled in surprise. And for a little while, her hunger was gone.