Authors: Rhonda Hopkins
Tags: #horror, #zombies, #post apocalyptic, #apocalyptic, #walking dead, #horror action zombie, #rhonda hopkins
SURVIVAL (Survival Series Book One)
When Sarah escapes from her brutal abductors,
she promises to return to rescue her twin sister, but with the dead
walking the earth she is forced to rely on a coworker who made her
work life hell for years. With her coworker weakened by cancer
treatments, her sister still imprisoned, and the dead looking for
an easy meal, Sarah's only plan, if she can pull it off, is
This book is a work of fiction. Names,
characters, places, and incidents either are products of the
author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to
actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely
Survival was originally published in the
LET'S SCARE CANCER TO DEATH Anthology, March 2014. All proceeds for
the anthology go to The V Foundation for Cancer Research.
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Cover Design by Jeffrey Kosh Graphics
For my grandmother, Lavada Moore
Nanny, thank you for watching all those classic
horror movies with me when I was a child and for giving me my love
of the genre. Cancer took you away far too soon and I miss you
arah Jamison's gaze
met her twin's fear-filled blue eyes. "I—"
"It's no use. The cuff is too tight. You're
going to have to leave me." Dana put her free hand on Sarah's,
stilling their frantic motions.
"No. I won't leave you. Maybe I can . . ."
She turned, taking in the empty basement—the cement walls, exposed
pipes, and her sister handcuffed to one of the metal cylinders. A
small amount of light trickled in through the one lone window, but
there was nothing she could use as a weapon. Unless . . . .
She strode over to the dangling pipe from
which she had managed to extricate herself earlier. Grabbing the
unattached end, she tried wresting it clear of its fittings, her
own wrist dangling handcuffs which clinked against the metal with
each pull. Rust and time made it impossible to remove.
"No." Tears ran down her face. "I can't
leave you, Dana."
"You have to. It's the only way we're both
getting out of here. You have to go for help."
Sarah knelt beside her sister who reached
out and wiped her thumb across her cheek, brushing the tears
"I'll be okay until you get back. I won't
give them any excuse to throw me out to those . . . ." Dana choked
back the word they had both been avoiding, choosing another
Realizing there was no way she could take on
all three kidnappers without a weapon, Sarah accepted she had to
have assistance to save Dana. Hugging her sister, Sarah kissed her
cheek. "I love you, Dana. Be strong. I'll be back just as soon as
Heavy footsteps reverberated on the stairs.
Dana pushed Sarah away. "Go now. Before it's too late."
Stretching upwards, she tried to raise the
window, but it wouldn't budge. She took off her T-shirt, wrapped
her hand, and knocked out the glass, ducking as shards rained down
on her. Pain shot through her palm all the way to her shoulder, but
adrenaline fueled her and minimized the hurt. She unwound the red
fabric and smoothed it hurriedly across the sill.
The door crashed inward as one of the men
who had captured them ran into the room. "What's going on here?" He
took in the situation and bee-lined for Sarah, grabbed her legs and
pulled her down from the window. Grasping one arm, he backhanded
her across the face. The edge of his ring ripped across her
forehead; the pain almost blinding. Blood gushed from the
She jerked away from him and took on the
fighting stance she had been taught, feet set apart at shoulder
width. Sarah grabbed the dangling cuff in her hand and put all her
force in the punch to the man's jaw. His head snapped backwards.
Before he could react, she stepped back and struck out with her
right foot, making contact with his left knee. The crunch of
breaking bone and his scream told her she had done some major
damage even before he fell to the floor.
The other two kidnappers pounded down the
"Sarah! Go!" Dana screamed.
She grabbed the window sill and pulled
herself upward and through the opening; glass slivers cutting her
where the shirt didn't cover. She yanked her legs through, turned
and gave one last look at her sister and saw her mouth, "I love
Two men crashed through the open doorway.
One ran for the window as the other stopped to check out their
Sarah took off running around the abandoned
building to the parking lot in front. Her black Expedition was one
of three cars parked there. The abductors had taken their keys and
cellphones, so she fell to her knees on the pavement beside the
left rear tire and reached into the wheel well. Her fingers fumbled
for the magnetic box and she issued a silent prayer of thanks when
she found it. She got in the car and hit the locks just as the man
they called Ron sprinted around the side of the building. The
inside light illuminated the car's interior, giving away her
Her shaking fingers pulled the key from its
container. She managed to insert it and start the car in one try.
Ron banged on the passenger window with one hand, the other pulling
on the handle. He yelled and hurled obscenities as she squealed
away from him and onto the street.
n the few hours
they had been held captive, things had deteriorated drastically in
the city of Fort Worth. A smattering of abandoned cars littered the
streets along with the dead. Bodies savagely torn open and covered
in blood had fallen along the roadway, across cars and railings.
But even worse . . . some of them walked. Some of them walked with
hideous gashes and missing appendages. Some of them walked with
their guts hanging on the outside as they shambled along the dark
streets. Some of them walked—while dead.
. There was no other word for
them. People had joked about this kind of thing happening, but
that's all it was - jokes.
It wasn't supposed to really happen.
She jumped as something crashed into the
back of her car. Sarah shook off the disbelief. Well, however it
happened, it was real and there was no time to try to figure it out
Sarah maneuvered around the unmoving
vehicles, searching for police or anyone who could help. The blue
and red flashing lights from police cruisers and ambulances
indicated an emergency personnel presence. But they were
overwhelmed. Those she saw either fought the dead or assisted the
wounded. Some were injured themselves or had become one of the
reanimated corpses. She would find no help there.
Her body shook from shock and cold.
Goosebumps peppered her flesh. But she drove on until she came to a
dark side road and pulled into a group of trees, cutting the engine
and the lights. She listened carefully for a few precious moments,
but heard nothing.
Blood dripped down her face from the gash at
her hairline. Sarah reached for the injury with a trembling hand.
Warm wetness coated her fingers and she jerked them back, startled
by the amount. The coppery smell filled the car.
"It's okay. It's okay," she whispered to
herself. "Even minor head wounds bleed a lot."
Lightning flashed and thunder boomed
instantaneously. Startled, Sarah screamed. She clamped a hand over
her mouth, cutting off the sound. "Got to get a grip. Dana's
counting on me." Her breath caught in her throat as she thought of
her twin still in the hands of lunatics. "I can't fall apart
Turning on the overhead light, she stretched
around to the back seat and pulled her gym bag into her lap. She
unzipped it and dug out the towel she had packed that morning.
How could things have gone to hell in such a
She pressed the towel against the laceration
and held it there, while turning off the light with the other hand.
She looked out at the darkness. Other than the rain, wind, and
other forces of nature, there was nothing moving. But that could
change in the space of a breath; she knew only too well.
The area looked familiar. She was just on
the outskirts of Fort Worth and knew someone who lived a couple of
blocks away. Hopefully she would be able to get some help. But
considering the animosity between them, she was just as likely to
be turned away.
"Not gonna freakin' happen."
Her skin prickled with the low temperatures.
She hadn't dressed for the cold front which came in while being
held inside the building. She had expected to be home well before
it hit. She threw the towel in the back seat, grabbed a T-shirt
from the gym bag and pulled it over her head, ignoring the smell of
dried sweat from her workout earlier in the day. The handcuff
snagged in the armhole, halting its descent. Sarah jerked it loose
and pulled her arm through. The black tee was better than nothing,
but she still shivered.
She started the engine, jacked up the heat,
and slammed the car into gear. She drove with the lights off,
hoping to avoid any unwanted attention.
Some areas were completely dark. Electricity
seemed to be out in some places, but not all. And some people
appeared to have backup generators as there were lone spots of
brightness against the darkness.
She found the street she was looking for,
although it was difficult to distinguish one house from another.
The electricity still functioned here, but many of the street lamps
had been broken with only a few to illuminate the affluent
community. However, the pretentiousness of the home she sought
stood out, even in the dark. She slowed to a stop and checked the
surrounding area before turning off the Expedition. Upon exiting
the vehicle, she let the door close with a barely audible