In April of 2004, a zombie outbreak plagues the world. This novel follows the journey of a single high school student as he struggles to survive amidst the chaos and despair.
She stood outside, the stiff breeze billowing the lavender dress around her legs. She hunched down, scooped a shirt into her hands, stood, raised her arms, clipped the shirt upon the clothesline. She stood back for a moment and took a deep breath, her hands dropping down to her bulging stomach. Birds cried out in the distance, singing to one another, and she felt a slight thrust in her abdomen, and a smile crept over her worn lips.
The house’s back screen door flew open, and her son and another boy hopped across the concrete patio facing the swing-set. They shouted to one another as they ran towards the tree-line, and the woman watched with a faint grin as they disappeared down the wooded trail. She stared into those woods for the longest time, gazing at the black oaks and yellow poplars with their bright leaves, the red mulberry trees with their purple grace, and the pitch pines rising like quiet sentinels into the clear blue sky. She closed her eyes, and for a moment she became lost in the wind’s soft kisses.
The serenity shattered as she heard a voice coming from inside the house; she grunted, shook her head, and abandoned the clothesline. She entered the house and made her way into the living room. The boys’ PLAYSTATION sat unused before the large-screen HD TV. On the screen, a reporter stood amongst a chicken coup with clucking chickens, a microphone held in front of her wind-swept face: “…The people who have gotten sick, or died, from Avian Flu in Asia have had direct contact with birds. And though the Avian Flu, called H5N1, cannot be spread from person to person, scientists are concerned that the virus could undergo a genetic mutation that could spread from person to person.” The woman moved towards the television and hit the POWER button. The reporter’s last words echoed in her mind, but only for a moment, before she returned to hanging clothes upon the clothesline: “As of right now, there’s no vaccine for the bird flu, so scientists are worried that if it does mutate, it will be difficult to stop and could cause a pandemic… A global outbreak.”
She stood humming to herself quietly, a pair of khakis being clipped to the clothesline, when she heard the shout. She spun around, her heart lodged in her chest; her son came stumbling through the woods, staggering through the grass, tears crawling down rose-blotched cheeks. She left one pant leg dangling upon the line as she ran across the lawn, lower back aching. Her son threw himself upon her, wrapping his arms around her large waist, the tips of his fingers touching behind her back. She knelt down on one arm and hugged him tight. He buried his face into her shoulder, and she could feel him shaking in her arms. She pulled herself away to look at the boy: several deep scratches covered his face, fresh blood still smearing his cheeks; one of his eyes hung limp and swollen. She felt tears brimming in her own eyes.