Monday, February 28, 2011

Regina the Zombie Slayer, Episode Five: Forget Those California Boys

Regina took a deep breath...and turned from the car. She was doing well on her own, and her gut told her to stay on her own for now.

The car peeled off into the darkness behind her. She spared a thought to wish them well.

They would need it.

Regina let go of all idle thought. She was ran straight back toward the path of zombies that now stood between her and the woods.

Regina picked up her speed as the lead zombie sauntered toward her. She swung her trusty pan and clocked it on the head . Blood, thick and black, sprayed in an arch as the zombie's head sailed to the ground and rolled across the pavement.

"Eww, eww, eww!"

She kept up her sprinting pace, even if the smell assaulting her nostrils made her want to hurl.

Two more zombies approached. The ribs of one were clearly exposed through its ripped clothing and flesh. The other's intestines fell from its stomach as it lumbered forward. It tripped on the tubular flesh and fell to the ground.

The one still on its feet reached Regina first. She clotheslined the ghoul just like the other one. Its head came off even easier. The head bounced and cracked open like a rotten egg. Dead brain matter spilled onto the concrete.

Regina didn't miss a beat as she stomped the other zombie that had tripped, reducing its head to a bloody pulp. The worst part was ruining her shoe.

That's when she saw the bicycle rack. Five bikes were there for the taking. All Regina had to do was pick one. And fortunately, no more zombies barred her path for the time being.

Regina skidded to a stop in front of the racks. She checked to see if they were chained.

Locked. Locked. Locked.

The fourth bike, a red and grey Mongoose, was not chained.

"Thank God!"

Regina's careless shout drew instant attention from nearby zombies.


She hopped on the bike and peddled toward the woods.

A line of zombies formed in her wake and chased her down.

Regina coasted into the trees. Navigating became difficult as concrete gave way to uneven gravel and dirt.

She stopped the bike and made herself think. The moans of the trail of undead were uncomfortably close.

She didn't know what to do. The highway was to the west. She could head for the road and ride alongside it to wherever the pavement took her. But surely there would be many horrible dangers there.

Her only other choice was to travel deeper into the woods. But there were trees, wild creatures, and almost complete darkness. These woods extended for miles and miles. Getting lost was a very real possibility, and encountering ghouls in this dark place was not an appealing idea.

Even though the risks of both decisions were high, she remained calm.

She hadn't expected an easy way out anyway.

The first few zombies now stumbled through the first line of trees. She had to get moving.

She looked down at her pan for a moment.

I'm gonna need to get an upgrade sometime.

Regina placed her foot on the bike pedals again. It was time to brave up or die.

What should Regina do?

Go deeper into the woods,
Head west for the highway?

Will Regina survive? It's up to you. Place your vote now and return Thursday for the next gory episode.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Regina the Zombie Slayer, Episode Four: Which Escape?

The zombies formed a half ring, constricting Regina toward the wall of the apartment. There was no way she could take on this many.

She had to run.

Regina spied a small opening between two of the ghouls on the right.

It was her only chance.

She darted forward as the zombies lunged toward her with snapping jaws. But Regina was fast. She ran between them, brushing shoulders and nearly getting bitten from their twin snaps. She ran past and broke free of the ring.

She ran around the apartment to find only more ghouls. Being the only living person outside meant that every zombie was homed in on her. A new circle formed, and once again tightened.

The unearthly moans were almost deafening, but through the din Regina could make out a car engine. Not too far she saw a small white car driving out of the parking lot.

"Hey! Wait!"

Regina sprinted toward the car. Thankfully, it slowed to a stop. Inside, two guys were yelling at each other. Apparently, the passenger didn't want the driver to make this stop. The driver, a goofy looking blonde with long hair who looked quintessentially California, made a desperate wave for Regina to join them.

As she was halfway to the car, Regina broke free of the undead ring enclosing her. But something made her pause. The streets were clogged with stalled cars and the ghouls were out in full force. Was it possible to survive in such a state? It was only a matter of time before the car crashed. Stalling out on a zombie-ridden street would not be the best of situations.

But the two were potential allies, and if Regina hesitated too long, they could get impatient and drive off.

But there were also some woods behind her apartment. Regina could try to shelter in them, and getting there would be relatively easy - the zombies had not yet entered that part of the parking lot.

Regina had two choices - to quickly jump in the car with the two guys, or to make her own way toward the forest.

What should Regina do:

Jump in the car,
Hide in the woods?

Place your vote in the comments section and return this Monday to see if Regina survives once again. And don't make this decision her last.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Regina the Zombie Slayer, Episode Three: Be Aggressive

Regina scraped away the jagged edges of glass that remained stuck to the window pane. She was going to jump.

It was a bit high, but Regina was used to heights. She had been a cheerleader in high school. Standing atop pyramids and being basket-tossed had totally prepared her for this moment.

Regina stepped back and mentally prepared herself for the jump. Behind her, the front door buckled and crashed to the floor. Four zombies shambled into the room, their every jerk and shudder fueled by wild hunger.

You have to go now!

"Be aggressive! B-E aggressive!"

Regina leapt over the lip of the window and into the empty air. Her insides fluttered. It was a familiar feeling.

Regina pretended she was falling toward the arms of her trusted teammates. They would catch her at the bottom. She would be okay.

In reality, Regina was caressed by concrete at the end of her fall. She let gravity pull her upper body toward the ground. She folded herself inward and rolled.

Cement pebbles imbedded in her arms and legs. Her elbows and knees were scraped and bloodied in an instant. But, Regina somehow rolled to her feet, holding her skillet out in front of her.

Regina had survived her fall. And, she had done it with style.

If only her stupid boyfriend could see her now. Regina hoped that zombies were feeding on his intestines at that very moment.

"No more time for resentment." Regina backed toward the apartment building as ten zombies converged on her position. She had two choices.

She could fight: use her skillet to bash each and every one of those zombies heads in.

Or, she could run: let the zombies chase her around the apartment building until she found an escape route. The ghouls were slow - surely she could outrun them. But, what if some of them could secretly run? That wouldn't be good.

Yet, fighting wasn't the best option either. Ten zombies against a human with a skillet was definitely an unfair match up.

The zombies had Regina almost completely cornered now. She had to act now or be eaten.

What should Regina do?

Run from the zombies
Fight them?

Vote in the comments section to help Regina make her decision. Check back this Friday to see what happens next!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Regina the Zombie Slayer, Episode Two: A Skillet on the Skullet

Regina grabbed the skillet in a frenzy. She raised it above her head with both hands and swung as hard as she could.

She forced herself to keep her eyes open. If this didn't hit, she was dead.

The heavy skillet arced down and clipped the zombie on the jaw, knocking it onto the floor. It's jaw hung open, held up only by sallow skin. With a groan, it slithered toward Regina, unfeeling of pain.

Regina swung again, pummeling it on the head. Her hands rang from the impact, but she could not stop now. She hit it again and again, the dull thud of metal and splattering of blood meeting her ears.

At last, a disturbing snap of bone signified the skull had cracked. Blood and brains oozed from the crevice and onto the once pristine linoleum. The zombie's groans ceased as it moved its arms feebly.

Regina continued clobbering it. She panted from exertion as blood sprinkled her T-shirt and jeans.

Finally, the zombie ceased its twitching and grew still. A rotten smell that made her want to heave permeated the air.

The blood now on her face was a sobering reminder not to go too crazy. If that so much as entered her eye...

She dropped the skillet with a clang and ran to the sink. She turned on the faucet and washed her face. She then went to her bedroom and changed into a clean shirt and jeans before returning to the living room.

The zombie was still inert on the floor. Blood continued to pool under its misshapen head. Regina was afraid it would spring back to life. But how could it? Its skull was flattened as if an eighteen wheeler had run it over.

"I...actually did that...."

Regina wanted to fall down and cry, but she did not have that luxury. The zombies outside continued to beat against her door, desperate to make their entrance. The top hinge appeared to be loosening.

It could fall any second.

Regina had to think of something. But nothing came to mind. She was stuck here. There was nothing she could do.

She ran to the window and looked outside. Well, jumping was something. But a dozen zombies now wandered the parking lot, searching for their next meal.

But what else could she do? Wait in here until they broke in? Even if she were to die out there, she was as good as dead in here.

Regina walked to the kitchen and picked up the skillet, her arm shaking from its earlier effort. Unfortunately, the skillet was the best weapon she had. There was nothing else in the apartment with its skull-crushing capabilities.

Regina once more walked to the window. If she could just jump and run very fast, she might be able to break free of the zombies outside. But if she landed wrong, or got surrounded, or was just plain unlucky, she would be dead for sure.

Behind her, she heard the top hinge fall and clink to the floor.

She closed her eyes, trying to gain her focus.

It was time to make a decision.

What should Regina do:
Jump out the window,
Try to think of a better option?

Cast your vote and return next Tuesday to see if you made the right call.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Regina the Zombie Slayer, Episode One: The Undead Siege

The moans of the undead outside Regina's apartment were getting uncomfortably loud.

Not that any sound the undead make is comfortable. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

But they were out there in the parking lot now. Regina did not dare stand by the window. She did not want to be seen by those...things. Instead, she sat huddled in a corner, shivering, waiting, phone to her ear.

This phone call was her only hope.

An insurmountable dread had formed in her stomach, chilling her like a block of ice. Her stomach churned, and a whimper escaped her throat.

God, please let him answer...

Outside, screams sounded in the night. She fought with every fiber of her being not to join them, however much she wanted to give in. Her boyfriend needed to answer.

He would never leave me here.

Beastly snarls and the ripping and tearing of flesh from outside met her ears, followed by more bloodcurdling screams. She was thankfully on the second floor, and her door was locked tight.

But would it be enough?

At last, the rings went to voicemail - and Regina felt an all new coldness. She was being ingnored. She had been abandoned, betrayed; numbed to the point that she could not think or even feel angry.

"Oh God," Regina said, the tears starting to come. "Oh God..."

She looked toward the front door. It was locked, chained. She thought that maybe she should also move something in front of it.

But she couldn't even move herself.

I'm dead. I'm going to die...

She curled into the corner, paralyzed. She didn't move for a few minutes - not even daring to lift a finger.

Outside, it had quieted. There was nothing but the wind and the crackling of a fire outside.

Slowly, Regina stood and looked through the window. A fire engulfed a car across the parking lot - she had heard it explode earlier, had seen its fierce light paint the walls in the hues of the sun for a moment. Behind the fence, the trees were dark, indifferent to the chaos that had unfolded.

There were none of the horrible creatures, however. At least, none in sight.

Perhaps they moved on. Perhaps this wasn't real - just a dream.

She pinched herself, even though she already knew the pointlessness of such an act. Somehow, someway, zombies were attacking her apartment complex, and she was going to die.

Don't think like that. It's not over yet. They don't know you're in here. They haven't seen you.

She suddenly went cold when she realized she had just stood in front of the window. It was a stupid, careless thing to do. She might even die for it.

Then, realizing nothing could be done about it, she forced herself to move. She stood and began pacing the room. She paused a moment, thinking of who else might help her.

She shook her head. If her boyfriend would not come for her, who would?

She only had herself.

The room darkened a bit, and Regina frowned. There was a heavy stillness.

Then behind her, the window shattered. She screamed as shards rained down on her neck, causing sharp, stinging pain. Adrenaline and fear coursed through her veins as she stumbled onto the floor.

A bloodthirsty snarl sounded from behind her, and she gave another futile scream.

She crawled away madly, screaming and whimpering, oblivious to the broken bits of glass cutting into her hands and knees. She crawled toward the door, not daring to look back at the zombie behind her.

She put a hand on the knob and started to turn it, but then she heard the scuffling. The sound of another zombie - right outside her apartment door.

She was cornered.

She could hear the zombie crawling toward her on all fours, grunting, groaning, bent on its goal. Regina sobbed as she leaned into the door.

She could not get out.

Regina finally looked at the zombie. It wore a tattered black suit. Red clumps of dirt fell from its shoulders, its skin gray and peeling. Long, gray hair descended in a skullet, green with slime. The large, baleful eyes stared at Regina: ghostlike, vacant, hungry.

It groaned louder as it neared, and the zombies outside her door echoed its call. Regina pressed her back against the front door. She could hear fingernails scraping down the wood.

Then, as if of its own volition, the panic subsided. She knew she had to do something - anything - because doing nothing would get her killed.

She looked around the ktichen for something to defend herself with. It was hard to see through the tears in her eyes. The zombie on the floor was pulling its way toward her, like a slug.

At last, she saw an iron skillet sitting on the stove. That could work. She could use that, right on the head, and knock the zombie out.

But maybe I'll miss...and then I'm good as dead. And I'll have to swing it really hard.

Or I could go outside, but there is at least one zombie out there, maybe even more waiting for me. If I could just take this one out now...

These thoughts raced through her mind as the zombie crawled toward her, as slow and inevitable as a glacier.

Regina knew she could not move from her place. It was too close now. It could snap at her. One bite, and it was all over.

She only had two options - use the skillet, or try to force her way out the front door and into the horror-filled night.

The zombie was now only mere feet away...

If I'm going to leave the apartment now, this is my only chance.

Regina looked once more at the skillet. The zombie reached for her...

What should Regina do:
Fight the zombie with the skillet,
Get out her apartment?

Place your vote in the comments section, and come back Friday to discover Regina's fate.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Regina the Zombie Slayer

You know her as the perpetual whiner and annoying girlfriend in Night of the Necromancer - but what if things had been different?

What if Regina was never rescued by her boyfriend, who thought she would only hurt his chances of escape?

So much chivaly. And now, with zombies pressing in on every side, Regina is alone, afraid, and abandoned. The ghoulish monsters outside her apartment are just waiting to tear her apart.

And you, readers, will decide her fate.

How it will work:

Regina the Zombie Slayer will feature 250-500 word posts written from Regina's point of view, released at a rate of about three times per week.

At the end of each post, one of two decisions will need to be made. Readers will vote on each decision in the comments section, and whichever gets the most votes is the course the story will take - for better or for worse.

This is not a sequel, so no prior knowledge is needed. Just read and have fun!

When will it start?

Tomorrow, the first part of Regina the Zombie Slayer will be posted. Readers will immediately have the chance to read and vote on her next choice.

Will Regina survive? Will she become the greatest zombie slayer of all time? Will she have the chance to confront her cruel boyfriend, for either vengeance or mercy's sake?

Her fate awaits you in Regina the Zombie Slayer.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Night of the Necromancer now available on paperback!

I'm pleased to announce that Night of the Necromancer is now available on paperback!

The cover looks pretty sweet, done by Jelani's uncle, Gary Phillips. The book looks very professional (in my opinion).

Get yourself a copy today, and continue to support your favorite indie zombie authors!