Authors: Krystell Lake
DEADIES: RUN FOR YOUR LIFE
By Krystell Lake
Published by Krystell Lake
2012 by Krystell Lake
Cover Image by Fotolia
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This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.
This novel is dedicated to Brooklyn Baye and Braven Trae.
I would like to give a special thanks to all those readers who purchased my previous works.
Running, running and running, running. Running, running and running, running. Faster, faster, run faster. Move, move. Don’t stop. Don’t stop. Run, run, run. Run for your life. I don’t want to die. Not today, not this way.
My feet hit the pavement. Left right, left, right. Don’t stop running. I keep telling myself, don’t stop running. The aroma of death is chasing me, clogging my sense of smell. Rotting flesh has become a common pungent fragrance. My sweat has masked the soapy scent that once permeated my skin. I shouldn’t have taken a shower. It was dumb. It was stupid. It was careless. Now I’m going to die, a sweaty, clean dead body. Why me? Why now? I survived this long only to die running a marathon. No! No! No! I refuse to die this way, at the hands of the undead. If I leave this earth I want it to be by my own hands, on my own terms. I run and think of suicide, a word that never entered my thoughts before this day. I would slit my wrists, but I would be afraid the smell of my blood may bring the deadies to me. They may gnaw at me before I can take my last breath. Blowing my brains out would be the best way to die but I don’t have a gun. At this point it doesn’t matter. I will die right here on interstate fifty-five. There will be no one to mourn me. There are barely any real live people left, only a world full of deadies.
I don’t know how this started. I don’t know what we did to deserve this. If this is the end of the world, why did it have to happen this way? I would rather the earth just exploded, imploded or a good old fashioned biblical flood. The movies have turned into reality and I am running from deadies, zombies, the undead, whatever they have been dubbed. I run and I run and my life is at stake. My life, a gift I refuse to give away easily. There are at least fifteen dead monsters running behind me, just waiting for me to stumble, misstep or trip over my untied shoelaces. I cannot give up. I’ll just run and run until I cannot run anymore. I wish I would have gone to the gym or ran on a treadmill just once in my life. I ran track in high school. That was five years ago.
I have to think positive. I can outrun these undead assholes. Just block out the smell of decay and the incoherent moaning trailing behind me. I need a plan. I’m going to run off the highway at the next exit. That’s only half a mile by what the sign reads. A half a mile, I can make it. Just run, run. Run like the wind. I will not give up. I will run until I burst through the soles of these Nike’s and my feet blister and bleed. I will not be eaten alive. To hell with that. I will not die on this highway, in this scorching heat, in this nasty humidity, in a lavender bath towel and sneakers. I never got a chance to get married. I never got a chance to be a mom. Yes that may be true but I did travel the world. I’ve been to London, Paris, Japan, South Africa, Germany, Australia, China, Italy. Not many twenty three years olds can claim that. If I die here today I can say unequivocally that I did experience life. I lived a great life. I achieved more than I thought possible in the years of my existence and I am thankful for that much.
There’s something up ahead. I see it, a car driving straight toward me. Am I hallucinating? Is it a mirage? A figment of my overcooked imagination, the heat may be playing a deadly trick on me. Please no, let it be real. In my eyes it is real. There actually is a black car coming fast, right at me, speeding. Funny, there are no state troopers to pull you over in this new world. They are all dead. No flashing lights, no speeding tickets, no click it or ticket. I can talk on a cellphone and I can text and drive without any penalty. I will never hear the wail of sirens again. Everything is quiet in this new damaged deranged world.
The black car is getting closer and closer. Maybe it will run into me, kill me on impact and I will be dead and forever grateful. One thing I know for sure is, if you die before the deadies get you, you will not turn into one of them. Just a bit of deadie knowledge, something I picked up along the way.
The life of a bloodthirsty, flesh eating, and walking dead monster is not the life for me. I think the speeding car is going to hit me. I want to close my eyes but somehow I long to see my death. Morbid thoughts in a morbid world on a morbid planet.
Just before the car hits me it spins out, screeching to an abrupt halt. The door swings open and I hear the magic words.
Get in!” I push myself as hard as I can to the open car door. I fling my entire body into the passenger seat. The driver of the speeding car’s arm reaches over my body and helps me close the car door just as one of the undead dove in with the intent of pulling me out of the car and onto the freeway. No more running. I am safe. I am safe. Oh my god I am safe. In this haggard leather seat I felt like a comforted pacified infant. Divine intervention.
Finally I can breathe. I can think. I can grasp the reality that I am still alive. The stranger, my rescuer slammed on the gas and we spun out knocking a few of the crazed undead zombies flat on their backs and onto the smoldering hot pavement. The stranger peeled off and in seconds we were farther away from the reapers. Ha, ha, I cheated death. It was not my time to die. God had sent me an angel. An angel in a beat up black Camaro. An angel wearing a gray button up without sleeves and tattered blue jeans. A savior with a big black handgun lodged in between his legs.
My chest heaved up and down. I had to catch my breath. I had been running for miles. Maybe not miles but it sure seemed that way. My thighs were wet with sweat. My legs itched and burned. My feet were on fire. I could feel his eyes on me but I was too exhausted to talk. I have proper manners but I couldn’t even muster up a thank you. The Camaro smelled like stale cigarettes and humidity. Mr. Camaro smelled the same. He was dirty, very dirty. I think he hadn’t showered in days, maybe weeks. He was greasy and under the circumstances I couldn’t blame him. Before the world went to shit he lived in a trailer park. That’s my best guess. He was white trash, that was abundantly clear. I wasn’t being judgmental. It was just a fact that anyone with two eyes could make.
He looked over and caught me sizing him up and that’s when I noticed his blue eyes with subtle specs of gray. They were crystal clear under all the dirt, piercing blue under all the grease.
What?” His voice was deeper than I could have ever imagined, different from when he shouted ‘get in’.
I opened my mouth and nothing came out. He noticed my speechlessness.
Here’s some water.” He removed a fresh bottle of water from the middle console. He handed it to me and with a little struggle I opened it and take in as many gulps as I could without choking. I didn’t know that I was so unbelievably parched. The best room temperature water I had ever tasted. That was definitely not an exaggeration.
Thank you.” I finally could speak. The sound of my voice startled me. I hadn’t spoken a word in over two weeks. There was no one to talk to.
He ignored me and kept his eyes on the road. Then I could feel him in my peripheral vision. “What the hell were you doing in the middle of the road, naked, with twenty freaks running after you?”
I took another sip of the water. “I was taking a shower in this townhome.” I decided not to continue for fear of sounding stupid.
He smirked. “A shower, you women kill me.” He kind of chuckled but it was more like a shattering hiss.
I just was going to get in and get out. It didn’t work out in my favor.”
Shit yeah. You almost got zombified. If I hadn’t come along you would have been zombie buffet.” He half smiled at his words. Words that although true, didn’t seem smile worthy if you ask me.
I guess I was at the right place at the right time. Or you were at the right place at the right time.”
He shook his head. He agreed. “You know I’m a have to check you for bites.” He said this like checking for bites was akin to checking a car’s oil. I completely understood his request. If you get bit, you are infected and you will turn into a deadie.
I was wearing only the lavender bath towel. The towel closed with Velcro. I removed my towel and it made that annoying sound that only Velcro makes. I sat naked in his passenger seat. He took his eyes off the road and looked over at me. He was in shock. His mouth gaped open for as long as his eyes. It hadn’t dawned on me that being nude was a normal part of my previous life and maybe not so normal for most people.
Cover yourself.” He choked out the words like vomit. “Jesus.”
I grabbed the towel and tossed it over me. “You said--”
Yeah but Jesus.”
I’m sorry. It was a habit.”
He chuckled. “A habit where you strip your clothes off.”
I didn’t know how to respond. He had made me feel embarrassed of my body. Something no one had ever done before. I was known for my body and my figure. My face wasn’t too shabby either but my body is what paid the bills. That is when money and bills mattered. “I wasn’t bitten. I just wanted you to see for sure.”
I can see that much. You don’t have one mark on you.” He chewed on the inside of his mouth. Was he nervous or something? “Where were you held up?”
I was in this subdivision a few miles back, for about two weeks. Before that I was in a big house with someone that took me in.”
What happened to them?”
I didn’t feel the need to answer. I just looked over at him. He read in my face the answer to his question.
You were alone in the townhouse?”
Not at first.” I thought about the people I had lost and held back my tears. I have been alone for a while now. You can’t trust anybody. In this world it is every man for his self. “Thanks for saving me back there. I thought I was deadies bait.”
Deadies bait. I like that. You call them deadies?”
Yeah, they’re dead. Dead people that have come back to life.” He looked over at me and half smiled. Maybe he half smiles a lot. I’m sure that’s all he could do. A full-fledged smile was something I didn’t think I’ll ever see again. Not in this world full of animated corpses. “Thanks again. Say what’s your name? I could just call you Superman. You did fly in and save me.”
So Nick, where we headed?”
I’m going back to Eola.”
Back past Aurora, in the country, unincorporated farmland. Do you want me to drop you off somewhere?”
I don’t have anywhere to go. I figured I could just go where you go, if that’s okay with you?”
Yeah I guess. I got some clothes in the trunk and some food if you’re hungry.”
I would like some clothes.” After all I was in a bath towel, clothes were a welcomed treat.
What about food?” He asked.
Sure, I didn’t have breakfast.” I wasn’t sure what time it was. It could be lunch time. In this new cruel world there was no need for me to keep up with the date or the time. So many things mattered then that don’t matter now.
I think we’re far enough from the freaks. I’ll pull over and get you something to eat and some clothes.”