Thursday, December 18, 2014

More from BLEEDING KANSAS: “In the Night Kitchen” Part I

This series of excerpts from Bleeding Kansas begins shortly after the last one ended. The Dark Resurrection is in full effect and nowhere outside this downtown Kansas City hotel is safe. Derek Grace has already lost his wife. His children are 600 miles away in Colorado Springs. He has no weapons, and his one companion is a smug, manipulative corporate hustler who nearly allowed Grace to be overcome by an undead woman, just to watch him struggle. 

Derek Grace has much to think about, and much more to do. First and foremost on the list: a transformation. From desperate middle-aged job seeker into the DEAD SILENCER.

“Like Mardi Gras”

On my way down the hall to my room I’m startled by the whump! of a body throwing itself at the other side of a door, roaring and snarling like a frustrated predator behind the glass at the zoo. Thank God that thing hasn’t figured out how to work the latch. Thanks again for being many doors down from mine. I don’t want to have to try and sleep with that thing’s angry, hungry yowling in my ears.

I open the door to my room, this same room I woke up in this morning. The same room on another planet, where the hotel staff is dead or food for the same. I close the door behind me and secure the latch.

The sun edges below the horizon, its orange-yellow beams blazing like a silent scream through the window. I look down onto streets that were completely empty this morning. Still no cars or trucks rolling about. Just…people?

It’s like Mardi Gras, wall-to-wall bodies, and not one of them walks a straight line. I see no cars or trucks, armored or otherwise. No muzzle flashes of rifles or sidearms. All you see are these erratic, atomized little blotches, every one a stone killer.

I could get a view of the park from the other side of the building, see if the National Guard vehicles are still there, what the police are doing, if anything. If I had the master key, that is. I might take a quick trip downstairs and look, maybe find a weapon I could use…no. I couldn’t find one in the lobby to save my life earlier.

But in the kitchen? All those knives and tools.

It’s a long way down. Why not wait for the morning? We’re leaving then, anyway. Tanner’s got that Glock…

…with how many bullets left in it? Besides, the blasts attract others.

When did I start trusting that smarmy bastard, Tanner, anyway?

I’m pounding down the fire stairs, the heavy base of a floor lamp cradled in one hand. Going around and down the concrete and steel flights, the reality slams home: I’m in a 20-story hotel with no staff on duty. Mobs of flesh-eating pedestrians fill the streets outside. Law enforcement and the military have been neutralized, if not eliminated altogether. There’s no one left alive but people with severely morbid Irish luck—like me—and smooth-talking psychopaths like Tanner. And I expect the rest are plain psychopaths who don’t have Word One to say whatsoever.

The 15 flights go quickly. I take deep breaths to steady myself at the door into the lobby.

I push it open.

NEXT: “This is a monster’s face.”

There's more where this came from in BLEEDING KANSAS, from SEVERED PRESS.

And THAT story continues in GRACE AMONG THE DEAD.

US Kindle and Paperback
UK Kindle and Paperback
Canadian Kindle and Paperback

Coming in 2017: THE WRONG KIND OF DEAD.