No, it’s because there’s only so much you can fit in a narrative before dragging it down. These passages provide added details regarding Derek Grace’s return and escape from his old Colorado Springs home after his adventures in BLEEDING KANSAS. If there’s a way I can integrate these scenes into a later edition of GRACE AMONG THE DEAD, I will. Meanwhile, enjoy these scraps from the unholy banquet that is the second novel in the SAGA OF THE DEAD SILENCER:
The master bedroom door stood open to an unmade bed. It wasn’t soiled but the smell of my wife’s sickness still darkened the thick, suffocating air. I didn’t bother going in to get my clothes. I’d picked up pretty much everything I needed in Kansas. A whole new wardrobe befitting my new position. My new life. I was just a stranger here. A ghost staring out the window of an empty house, his family long gone, the family pets lodged in their final Forever Home, beneath so much dirt, sand and rock….
I slashed and dropped Brent from across the way. Him and one of the kids from three doors down, I never got her name. More were coming up behind them. However distorted by death, hunger and rage I still recognized these faces from the sidewalk, the park, the nearby supermarket.
The door was nearly yanked from my hand as I tried to close it. Luckily, the bones of the old retired nurse from two houses over didn’t get any less brittle in death. I knocked down three more of my former neighbors backing out of the driveway, the truck rocking violently as I rolled over two of them with all four tires. After a hard initial thump I began ice-breaking my way through the bodies down the street. I braked suddenly at the bottom of the small hill where my street met the main outlet, throwing three hangers-on from the tailgate as I swerved to avoid a broad wall of surging bodies. Their collective moan rattled the glass in my door. I cut the wheel hard right, shaking the last of the carnivorous dead hanging on the edge of the flatbed.
I drove as fast as I dared along the western edge of the park abutting my son’s old elementary school. The park where we used to throw ball, the broad, steep hill we slid down in the winter. The wide green field was now dotted with jaundiced ex-humans, their arms swinging limply from their shoulders as they hiked one leg in front, then another. However damaged and mindless, they were locked in on the sound of my truck.
I swerved through the remains of my former neighbors as they piled out of their yards to send me off, through the thicket of dirty, grasping hands. It’s just as well I didn’t know these people. Like most good Americans, my family kept to themselves. I avoided my neighbors then; we’re definitely avoiding them now.
I blazed through the three-way stop at Austin Bluffs before skidding into the intersection at Woodmen Road, just missing the abandoned police car parked in the middle. A blue-green corona of shattered safety glass fanned out from the smeared and dented hulk like confectionary sugar garnishing a dessert. The front tires were flat, the front end caved in as if so many bodies had piled themselves atop. Which they likely had.
I steered into the eastbound lanes of Woodmen and gunned the truck up that last high, terraced ridge separating the foothills of the Rockies from the eastern Colorado plains. The hospital straddles the spine of this ridge, and I eased my foot from the pedal as I approached. The Life Flight helicopter was gone from its pad. Aside from a few scattered wads of blankets and some dark stains on the concrete there was no sign of all the people Sibyl reported laid out around the emergency room. No shattered glass, but I noticed the double glass doors standing wide open to darkness and God knows what else.
Jesus, Claire. All these years, everything we went through. Just to end up here. And for what?
To think maybe it began again for you here….
The grunt of an approaching walker brought me back to the present. I looked over, half-fearing it might be…no. Just some poor bastard who got caught on the job at the home improvement store down the hill and across the street. Pieces of his face stained his orange apron. I hit the gas and sped away.
I drove as far out as Falcon, turning on a side road a few blocks up from the intersection with US 24. Somehow I found Hidden Farm. How I caught that opening in the trees, the total lack of opposition from living or dead, I might have called it a gift from God, if I believed in that sort of thing. It was getting dark. I had just enough time to get my bags and some cans of food inside.
I slept on the floor that first night. When I got up the next day I discovered I had running water. I showered, washed my clothes. I walked around. I assessed security, and hid my truck in the barn. I set my living area up so I could grab everything quickly and go. Then I made my biggest mistake.
I got comfortable.
There’s more where this came from in GRACE AMONG THE DEAD from SEVERED PRESS!
For even more zombie-bustin’ action, check out Book 1, BLEEDING KANSAS. You don’t need to read this first to understand what’s going on in GRACE AMONG THE DEAD. But it would kick ass.