Read Journal of the Undead (Book 1): Littleville Uprising Online

Authors: S.G. Lee

Tags: #Zombie Apocalypse

Journal of the Undead (Book 1): Littleville Uprising

Journal of the Undead:

Littleville Uprising

 

 

S.G. Lee

 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the publisher or author of this book except where permitted by law. This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously (or, in some instances names/places are used and/or depicted consensually). Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental. This book does not purport to provide accurate descriptions of any actual locations, things, or entities. This is an original work of fiction and all intellectual property rights are reserved by S.G. Lee, Author.

***

Edited by Monique Happy Editorial Services

www.indiebookauthors.com

Cover art by: Reyna Pryde—
http://reynapryde.com/

Parataxis Publishing

http://parataxispublishing.com

Copyright © 2014 S.G. Lee

All rights reserved.

ISBN:

ISBN-13

 

Acknowledgements

 

 

A special thank you to my family and friends, without you this would not have been possible.

For Andy, it was your obsession with zombies that started it all.

Brian, your persistence convinced me to turn a passion into a career.

Reyna, you pulled through in a tight spot and created a fantastic cover. I definitely owe you one.

Monique Happy, I am 100% convinced that you are the best editor ever!

My brother, Jim, not just in the story but in real life, you are my behind-the-scenes architect and builder. You are the ‘make it happen’ guy and the iconic big brother. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

 

CONTENTS

 

 

 

Regarding Zombies

i

1

July 31
st

Pg. 1

2

August

Pg. 4

3

Early September

Pg 11

4

Late September

Pg 37

5

Beginning of October

Pg 80

6

October’s End

Pg 140

7

November

Pg 274

8

Frank

Pg 286

9

Reunions

Pg 307

 

 

 

 

REGARDING ZOMBIES:

 

 

 

Each zombie story has its own particular style. Some are fast-moving, super human strength monsters and others are a slow, shambling, plague. In my version, the zombies shuffle along, always searching for a bite of warm and juicy living flesh.

In the deep, dark, recesses of my mind, I imagined a zombie apocalypse would begin gradually. The saturation of these flesh-eating fiends would be in direct correlation to the population of the area where the characters live. In the beginning, not every state or even every town has been infiltrated by infected walking corpses. Throughout the series, some areas are overrun in a short time while others, like Littleville, can take longer to be engulfed in a deluge of rotting flesh. Since each book within the
Journal of the Undead
series takes place in a different location, the outbreak may happen faster or slower depending on the population density.

In this type of scenario, traveling is a huge risk. There is no way to know if neighboring towns and states are clear or if they’ve been completely overrun. Ultimately, the choice arises whether to stay or go— it’s a gamble either way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 31
ST

 

 

“Hey, Rookie, just an FYI … if you push down on that long, thin pedal, it will make the car move faster.”

Sergeant Raines rolled his eyes at his young partner. Visibility was practically nonexistent through the dense fog and Officer Travis Kepler had slowed the police cruiser to a crawl. Still in his first week with the Collegeville Police Force, Kepler was too nervous to take any chances. While his veteran partner fiddled with the radio, in search of the baseball game, the rookie gingerly coaxed their vehicle around each bend.

“It figures. I can’t get this stupid thing tuned in and I’ll just bet Carla forgets to DVR the game for me.”

Raines, feeling the bitter sting of his misguided suggestion biting him squarely in the backside, regretted his offer to take the scenic route through their jurisdiction. Mentally kicking himself, he wished he had waited for a clear night; preferably when the Phillies weren’t playing.

“Why don’t we pop in at the diner? I desperately need more coffee.” Kepler held up his empty travel mug and smiled. “Who knows, we might even catch the end of the game.”

“Sounds like a plan to me. Let me show you a shortcut. And for crying out loud, Rookie, my grandmother
walks
faster than you drive. Step on it, would ya?”

Kepler was already weary of the endless ‘rookie’ cracks and he knew there were still plenty more to come. Smirking, he slammed his foot down on the gas pedal. His partner chuckled as the car lurched forward and the needle of the speedometer made a sharp rise. The tires squealed as their cruiser rounded a corner. The veteran was about to threaten Kepler with a speeding ticket but the words froze on his lips.

“That doesn’t look good. We’d better stop.”

The cruiser screeched to a halt next to an abandoned minivan with a smiling, stick-figure family on the rear window. Thick smoke spewed from the van’s crumpled hood. Chunks of shattered grille and shards of headlight littered the ground around the offending telephone pole. It was the large, bloody handprint smeared across the window that gave the rookie cause for concern. Proving he was still a fledgling, Kepler had his weapon drawn and ready as soon as he stepped out of the cruiser while Raines directed the beam of his flashlight into the driver’s side of the minivan.

“There’s no one in there but, geez, there’s blood everywhere. Hmm, they must’ve gotten out and walked for help.”

Raines radioed for a tow truck and Kepler set off flares before they drove off in the cruiser to search for the driver. Squinting against the refracted glare from their headlights, it wasn’t long before Raines spotted a clumsy shadow staggering along the side of the road.

***

John Campbell propped his wife’s mangled body up against the guardrail and gingerly stroked his son’s bloody cheek.

“Hang in there, Buddy, we’ll be safe soon.”

John waved his free hand to signal the oncoming vehicle before flopping down on the gravel next to his dead wife. He rocked the lifeless body of his five-year-old son and prayed to a God in whom he’d sworn he didn’t believe. The blood weeping from his own wounds no longer mattered; he knew it was only a matter of time before he joined his family in death. John hoped he could hold out long enough to tell someone what happened.
I just have to stay alive long enough to warn them
.

His thoughts drifted from past to present. He remembered childhood Christmases, kick-ball on the playground after school, and summers at the Jersey shore. His first kiss, his wedding day, and his son’s birth flitted across his mind’s eye. A garbled sound, like an unfamiliar   voice calling to him, briefly interrupted John’s memories. The distant past was lost and his recollection fast-forwarded to their frantic escape from the savage hands tearing at their flesh. His GPS had shown he was a mere twenty minutes from Littleville Memorial Hospital when, temporarily blinded by fog, he’d slammed into a telephone pole. John wanted to tell his family he was sorry but he was unable to push the words through his lips …

***

“Sir, are you okay? Can you tell us what happened?”

Officer Kepler shouted a second time to the unresponsive man. Instinctively his hand hovered over the holster of his sidearm, as if expecting the unresponsive man to attack.

“The ambulance should be here any second,” Raines announced as he joined his partner. “Holy crap! What the heck happened to them? Those wounds aren’t from a car wreck.”

“Dunno, but the ambulance will be too late. I’m pretty sure they’re dead.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August

 

 

It was just past 10:30 p.m. when Major Frank Stone slipped quietly into bed next to his wife, Kate.
He marveled how, even after twenty years of marriage, she looked just as beautiful as the day they’d met. In the darkened room, Frank could just barely make out the outline of Kate’s sleeping form and her long hair fanned out over the pillows. He loved the soft sound of her breathing; not exactly a snore, it reminded him of a kitten’s purr. Watching her sleep, Frank debated whether or not to wake her.
No, it can wait until morning
. Almost on cue, Kate rolled over and rested her head on Frank’s chest.

“You’re home late. Is everything okay?” she yawned, still half-asleep.

Frank exhaled sharply, his trademark that he had bad news. Through the years, Kate had come to learn that Frank’s body language often spoke more than he did.

“We’re moving again, aren’t we?” Kate tried to keep the disappointment from her voice. She knew before they wed that a military life was never stationary; nevertheless, relocating was always hard on their children. She had hoped their son, Evan, would graduate before the next reassignment but he was just about to begin his junior year in high school. Lucy, the youngest, was painfully shy. She had only just started to make friends; the move would be devastating. Although Kate’s heart broke for her children, she buried her pain as always and put on a brave smile. She clicked on the bedside lamp and asked where they were going.

“Littleville, Pennsylvania,” Frank answered as he brushed a kiss on her cheek, “It’s a small suburb, about an hour outside of Philadelphia. I did some research and they have an excellent school system. I’ve already bought a house. In fact, your brother has been adding some personal touches to it. This way, if I have to relocate again, you and the kids can stay. At least until Evan graduates. I made a promise, Kate, and I mean to keep it. Evan will have a chance to graduate with friends. I know that’s important to you.”

Kate smiled for a moment before her brow furrowed and she pointed an accusing finger at him.

“Wait, Jimmy knows? Now you listen to me, Frank Stone, I’ve come to accept that there are countless individuals who know where I’m going before I do, but telling my brother before me …” Kate’s sentence trailed off as she bit back her anger.

Chuckling, Frank pulled her close. “I’m sorry, sweetheart. It’ll be our first real home off base. I just wanted it to be perfect before you saw it. Besides, your brother is the best contractor I know and I’m not just saying that because of the family discount either.”

“Be serious, Frank! So, when do we leave?”

“Not until September.”

***

In the morning, Frank and Kate told the kids about the move. Evan accepted the news without a trace of concern; he was used to the drill. He shrugged and poured himself another bowl of cereal.

“No big deal, right, Lucy?” Evan reached over and tousled his sister’s hair.

Lucy smiled weakly, trying to be brave like her big brother. Instead, she dissolved into tears, spilling milk all over the table.

***

That same morning in Littleville, a U-Haul rolled into town and parked alongside a sprawling home with a SOLD realtor sign staked in the yard. Dr. Alan Wexley slid out of the driver’s seat and stretched. His wife, Jillian, had fallen asleep during the trip and was taking her time getting out of the truck. Alan noticed his son, Matthew, had already arrived in the family’s SUV. Matt and his twin sister, Emma, were unloading the last of the boxes from the back. It appeared as though the twins had arrived far ahead of schedule so Dr. Wexley made a mental note to speak with his son about the importance of obeying speed limits. While Jillian went inside to ‘freshen up,’ Alan joined his children at the U-haul. As their father approached, the twins halted their conversation mid-sentence and he assumed they had been grumbling about their stepmother. Moving was always stressful, but for weeks the tension between his children and Jillian had been palpable. Driving separately had offered them all a brief and peaceful reprieve.

Grabbing a stack of boxes, Dr. Wexley was amazed by all the stuff they’d accumulated over the years. It seemed like a lifetime ago when he’d bought his very first home. Back then, he was able to cram their meager belongings into a buddy’s pickup. His first wife had been in her second trimester with the twins and Alan had just completed his doctorate. With a new job and a family on the way, it seemed they had their whole lives ahead of them. Though it had been several years since she’d passed, not a day went by that Alan didn’t miss his late wife. He was jolted from his reverie when Matt dashed out from the U-haul shouting profanities.

“Football tryouts,” Emma explained to her bewildered dad. “He’s running late.”

Shaking his head, Dr. Wexley wrestled with the furniture and wondered aloud why he hadn’t hired professional movers. Together, he and Emma managed to empty most of the U-haul, leaving only the heaviest furniture and appliances for Matt’s return.

Faking a migraine, Jillian had excused herself from all of the manual labor. Instead, she lounged in the air conditioning while the truck was unloaded and boxes unpacked. Her sole contribution of the day was to call a local pizza shop for delivery after Matt had returned. Safely out of earshot, Emma and Matt fumed about Jillian’s laziness.

“I can’t believe she didn’t help at all. I’m sorry, Em, I shouldn’t have bailed on you to go to football practice.”

“Don’t be stupid, you had to go. Still, I can’t believe you actually thought she’d help. You know she has to stay indoors. She’s probably afraid someone will drop a house on her!”

Simultaneously, the twins hummed the Wicked Witch of the West theme from
The Wizard of Oz
and laughed.

***

Sleep eluded Travis Kepler. Every time he closed his eyes, he saw the mangled Campbell family, propped against the guardrail like a budding serial killer’s doll collection. Despite the chilly air pumping full-force from his air conditioner, beads of sweat speckled his brow and trickled down his back.

“Get a grip!” he growled to himself.

Travis refused to admit to anyone that he’d been struggling to sleep for the past few weeks. Ever since they had encountered the gruesome Campbell family, he had been plagued with insomnia. On the odd chance he managed to fall asleep, nightmares shocked him awake. Even while he was conscious, it seemed that he couldn’t get them out of his mind. It was both infuriating and embarrassing. Seeing dead people was part of the job. Rookie or not, that kind of behavior made him look weak, and cops weren’t supposed to be weak.

Sitting on the edge of his bed, he rubbed his bloodshot eyes and sighed. It was there, in the dark, that his inner demons unleashed their torments. The cruel and relentless taunts of his oppressors echoed on a never-ending loop in his head. A ‘late bloomer’ was what his sympathetic mother called him. His father had not been so gentle and neither had the bigger kids at school. ‘Sissy,’ ‘wimp,’ ‘baby,’ ‘fag,’ and so many other names had left deeper wounds than the fists and feet that pounded his flesh on a daily basis.

He stalked to the bathroom and splashed water on his face. Glaring at his reflection in the mirror, he paused and then nodded in acceptance. He had left that scrawny, timid boy in the past. The man in the mirror looking back at him was strong and muscular.

Since trying to sleep had proven futile, the rookie pulled a bottle of beer from his fridge. He popped the cap and collapsed onto his secondhand sofa. Hoping for a distraction, he mindlessly flipped through the channels on his enormous, flat-screen TV. Instead, every channel seemed to be part of a secret conspiracy, hell-bent on torturing insomniacs. As if the infomercials weren’t bad enough, the late night talk shows were all re-runs.

“I have over two hundred channels and there’s still nothing on,” he grumbled to himself.

With his mind numbed by tedious programming and fermented grains, Travis Kepler grew weary of flipping channels. Yet his thumb continued pressing buttons until a savage shark attack on a nature program caught his attention. He watched, captivated, until nothing was left of the unlucky seal but bloody shreds of flesh floating in the water. Inadvertently, his mind wandered back to the bloody Campbell family. For reasons he couldn’t explain, something just didn’t feel right about the wounds they had suffered.

“I’d sooner believe a great white sprouted legs and lungs than think they’d been chewed up like that because of a car accident … Great, now I’m talking to the television.”

Frustrated, he clicked off the TV, opened another beer, and grabbed his laptop. After scrolling through pages of animal attack victims, Officer Kepler was convinced that the Campbell family’s attacker was not of the typical four-legged variety. An ad for the latest zombie flick popped up on his screen and he rolled his eyes.

“Pfft, maybe it was zombies ….”

 

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, the alarm shrilled. He stretched out to smack the snooze button but his clock wasn’t within arm’s reach. Still sprawled on the couch, with his laptop resting across his legs, Travis Kepler hadn’t even opened his eyes when blinding pain hit. He tried to stretch the kink out of his neck. Groaning, he vigorously massaged the knots from his sore muscles before shuffling to his bedroom to kill the alarm. After a hot shower and a mug of coffee, he felt just good enough to say he felt like crap.

When he arrived at the station, his partner, Officer Scott Raines, commented on the rookie’s appearance.

“Geez, you look like death warmed over, kid. What were you doing last night?”

“Your mom,” Kepler blurted without thinking and instantly regretted it.

While that kind of response might have been funny to his buddies back home, it was less than prudent to spout off to his new partner and a veteran of the force. He stammered, wanting to apologize but not managing to find the right words. For a moment there was silence. Their fellow officers stopped dead, waiting for the drama to unfold. Raines, shocked at first, burst out laughing. He playfully punched his new partner’s shoulder and their friendship was cemented. Disappointed there would be no action, the others went back to work.

“Okay, my mother is old, fat, and presently visiting my aunt in Connecticut. So, what were you
really
doing last night?” Raines asked.

“Sadly, I was doing some research—at home and all alone. I just can’t figure out what could have happened to that Campbell family. It looked like something chewed them up and spit ‘em back out again. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“That’s what the autopsy is for, kid. This isn’t like those cop shows on television.” Laughing, Officer Raines shook his head in disbelief and walked away thinking,
Rookies are so naive.

Other books

Endgame (Agent 21) by Chris Ryan
5 Murder by Syllabub by Kathleen Delaney
The Fire Child by Tremayne, S. K.
Teaching Kids to Think by Darlene Sweetland
Owned Forever by Willa Edwards
The Immigrants by Fast, Howard.
A Place at the Table by Susan Rebecca White
The Hanging Hill by Chris Grabenstein
Weird Tales volume 31 number 03 by Wright, Farnsworth, 1888–1940


readsbookonline.com Copyright 2016 - 2022