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Authors: Shawn Chesser

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A Pound of Flesh: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

BOOK: A Pound of Flesh: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse
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A Pound of Flesh:
Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

 

By

Shawn Chesser

 

SMASHWORDS EDITION

 

***

 

A Pound of Flesh:

Surviving the Zombie

Apocalypse

 

Copyright 2012

Shawn Chesser

Smashwords Edition

 

Smashwords Edition, License

 

This eBook is licensed for your personal
enjoyment only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to
other people. If you would like to share this book with another
person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If
you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not
purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com
and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work
of this author. This is a work of fiction. Any similarities to real
persons, events, or places are purely coincidental; any references
to actual places, people, or brands are fictitious. All rights
reserved.

 

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***

Acknowledgements

For Mo, Raven, and Caden, you three mean the
world to me...love you. And thanks for putting up with me clacking
away at all hours... and then letting me sleep in a
little
.
I owe everything to my parents for bringing me up the right way.
Mom, thanks for reading… although it is not your genre. Dad, aka
Mountain Man Dan, thanks for your ear and influence. Cliff Kane,
RIP. Daymon, thanks for introducing me to Grand Targhee
and
Jackson Hole! Thanks to all of the men and women in the military,
past and present, especially those of you in harm’s way. Thanks to
all LE, and first responders for your service. To the people in the
U.K. who have been in touch, thanks for reading! Thanks to Craig
Jeffrey for help with military kit and loadouts! Thanks to Mark
Lyon and his wife Santana Lyon for their help with bowsers and
aviation refueling! Any missing facts or errors are solely my
fault. Beta readers, you rock and you know who you are. Thanks
George Romero for introducing me to zombies. Steve H. thanks for
listening. All of my friends and fellows at [email protected], thanks as well.
Lastly, thanks to Bill W. and Dr. Bob… you helped make this
possible. I am going to sign up for another 24.

My idea for the cover was interpreted and
designed by Craig Overbey to perfection. Thank you sir!
Contact Craig

Special thanks to Craig DiLouie, Gary
Mountjoy, John O’Brien, and Mark Tufo. One way or another all of
you have helped me and provided me with invaluable advice.

Once again, extra special thanks to Monique
Happy for taking “A Pound of Flesh” and giving it some special
attention and TLC while polishing its rough edges. I am glad to
have met you Mo! Working with you has been a seamless experience
and nothing but a pleasure. You are the best! If I have accidently
left anyone out... I am truly sorry.

*****

Edited by Monique Happy Editorial
Services

[email protected]

 

Prologue

Outbreak - Day 10

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

 

The trilling Iridium satellite phone nearly
failed to rouse Robert Christian from a black, two Ambien aided
sleep. With his head still banging from the night’s festivities, he
reached blindly, probing the nightstand for the annoyance. Upon
recognizing the glowing green numbers on the readout for what they
meant, a spike of adrenaline surged through his body. He stabbed
the talk button on the third ring, anxious for an update. “Yes,” he
said.

“Your man made it inside,” the male voice
said.

“Did you make contact?”

After a slight pause the disembodied voice
answered, “Affirmative.”


And!
” the President of New America
pressed.

“The man you sent
did not
follow your
orders. He
did not
wait for her.”

The billionaire king maker and self-appointed
New America President Robert Christian wasn’t used to dealing
directly with people. Usually his head of security Ian Bishop mined
the information first then presented
only
the useful
nuggets. Christian’s time was valuable, he always demanded bullet
points—information presented promptly and succinctly. He could feel
the first spikes of white hot rage forming behind his eyes.
Pull
it together Robert,
he silently told himself. He knew if he
lost it now the woman lying next to him would be the first victim
of his legendary temper, and there was no telling what the
unbridled rage would make him do. As President he had found had
many perks, but the major downfall was that no one was brave enough
to intervene when he went on a rampage.

His anger subsiding, Christian reluctantly
resumed the conversation. “Please tell me
exactly
what
Francis did.”

“At the agreed upon dead drop I left your man
a timeline detailing
every
one of the President’s visits. I
also sketched a map showing where her Osprey lands at the airbase.
When and where she typically went when she was here, as well as how
many secret service agents she traveled with, and what kind of
weaponry they were openly carrying...”


I didn’t ask you for a rundown of your
day!
” Christian bellowed. The blonde next to him rolled over
and mumbled something unintelligible. “I want to know
exactly
what happened last night. Start from the
beginning.”

“Instead of watching and waiting for her
return, your man went off on a tangent.”


A tangent
?” Christian screamed,
spittle flying. Then suddenly he went silent as he realized exactly
what had happened
. Oh no,
he thought to himself.
Pug had
shown up instead of Francis
.

“I guess
tangent
is a little bit of an
understatement. Your guy is a one man
wrecking crew
...
killed six or seven people and started a couple of fires. The
President
cannot
be touched now...
no way
. I did my
part. I
swear
it wasn’t me who dropped the ball, Mr.
Christian.”

“I want details. Not
blather
.”

“Two doctors were brought here from the CDC
in Atlanta...”

The veins snaking across Robert Christian’s
temple began to pulse. “I know where the
fucking
CDC is.
Stop waffling and get to the point.”

“The doctors apparently had engineered a drug
to counter the effects of the virus.”

Robert Christian’s heart fluttered. “Can you
confirm
that?”

“Not with firm, eyes-on intelligence. The
point is moot though... your man
killed
the doctors. I’ve
overheard base personnel; your man did a good job destroying their
lab. Took them an hour just to put out the fire.”

A wide, Grinchlike smile blossomed on Robert
Christian’s face as he caressed the woman under the sheets with his
free hand. “What happened to
Pug
?”

“You mean
Francis
?” the man said,
sounding confused.

Silence.

“No, I misspoke,” Christian lied.

Somehow
...
Pug
showed up instead of
Francis
.”

“At any rate,” the voice on the other end
stated, “they rolled someone up.”

“So he’s in custody,” Robert Christian said,
thinking out loud. He pondered this for a moment before adding,
“The question is...
will he talk
? And the answer... if I
know Pug like I think I do. Mums the word.”

“I hope so, because they have him locked up
in an area which is off limits to civilians.”


Valerie Clay
has to make an
appearance at the base,” Christian said, hopeful sounding words
spilling forth. “She has got to come and see the damage first hand
with her own eyes.”

“There is
no
chance of the President
coming here now. I presume she’s inside of Cheyenne Mountain just
in case the wind shifts...”

“Wait a moment,” Christian said slowly. “What
do you mean, in case the wind shifts?”

The blonde rolled over onto her back causing
the sheer silk sheet to cascade from her body, leaving her pert
breasts fully exposed. She was seemingly too out of it to care.

Christian took advantage as he listened to
the man explain himself.

“A klaxon sounded last night... long... like
a warning, and then a few minutes later I heard a very loud
explosion... rumbled my bones like thunder. I even felt the ground
move... like an earthquake. Rumor that’s flying around is they set
off a couple of nukes to kill a huge herd of those creatures.”

Christian tightened his grip on the blonde’s
breast, waking her abruptly from her drugged stupor. His mind spun
as he disseminated the information. If Valerie Clay would be so
cavalier as to use nuclear weapons so close to home, he reasoned,
what would stop her from using them against him?

“What do you want me to do now?” the voice
asked.

“Carry on with your task.” Then, unsure how
to channel his conflicted emotions, he killed the connection,
rolled over and turned his full attention to the blonde.

 

Chapter 1

Outbreak - Day 10

Schriever Air Force Base

Colorado Springs, Colorado

 

The seconds seemingly turned to hours as
everything around her slowed. The last few feet seemed like a
marathon, but to survive she had to keep running. With a burst of
newfound energy, Brook wrenched the screen door open, her free hand
propelling Raven ahead of her and into the room. Acrid gunpowder
clung to their clothes; the smell of death was close behind. Mother
and daughter reached the shadows as the zombie stopped and abruptly
aboutfaced. The young woman wavered on unsteady bare feet, rheumy
eyes searching for prey. She had obviously endured a horrible death
at the hands and teeth of the infected. Scraps of blood-soaked
clothing hung from her gaunt form, while the fistful of flesh
absent between her jawbone and clavicle told of the viciousness of
her attackers. Like silken stockings fluttering on a clothesline,
thin ribbons of alabaster dermis dangled where her carotid used to
reside.

Brook ejected the magazine from the carbine,
confirmed it held thirty rounds, then deliberately replaced it in
the well where it seated with a soft
snick.
Next, she pulled
the M4’s charging handle. The military rifle was now hot—its safety
off.

“Why didn’t the bombs work?” Raven whimpered.
“Daddy said he would keep us safe.”

“Shhh... you
have
to be quiet,” Brook
whispered, backpedaling deeper into the shadowy room and pulling
Raven along with her.
Go away. Go away. Go away,
Brook
chanted in her head, hoping somehow the creature would
telepathically get the message and move along.

As if in response to the absurd notion, a
rasp, like wind weaving through dry corn stalks, emanated from the
creature’s azure lips.

Brook risked another quick look, peering
around the bunk with one eye. The monster was one of the
first
turns
as the soldiers had taken to calling the living dead that
were more than a week old. Mottled ashen skin, distended gas-filled
abdomen, and maggot infestation—all telltale signs of the age of
the walking corpse.
The only good thing about the first
turns
, Brook reminded herself,
was that they usually didn’t
moan the same as the newly reanimated
. The newer turns moaned
incessantly at the first sight of the living, their eerie call
inviting other dead, thus creating a daisy chain of followers in
pursuit of the warm meat.

Although Brook was a nurse and not a medical
examiner, she did have her own theory. She guessed the differing
sounds had something to do with the first turns’ vocal cords having
dried up over time, and her one hope was that this walker at the
door didn’t already have a following. That hope was quashed as the
shambling throng of dead collided with the first turn, forcing her
through the flimsy screen door; the surge of carrion followed,
pouring into the barracks in search of their quarry.


Run Raven. Run and don’t you dare look
back!
” Brook cried as the first rounds erupted from her M4
carbine. She had already sprayed a quick full auto burst at the
leering white faces before Cade’s words filtered into her head.

Controlled single shots
.
You must make every round
count
.” His voice calmed her. Brook switched the rifle’s
selector from full auto to single shot. Then, using the remaining
ten rounds much more effectively, she dropped eight of the walkers
just inside the entrance.

BOOK: A Pound of Flesh: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse
5.42Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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