Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Zombie Fighting Goodness: Chapter 1 of GRACE AMONG THE DEAD, Part 1

As of today I have a name for my forthcoming horror blog, which I’ll gladly reveal when I reveal the blog, whenever that is. I’m not rushing this process. 

Meanwhile, zombie fans, let’s tuck into another series of excerpts, this time from GRACE AMONG THE DEAD. This first chapter, “Drugstore Cowpunching,” opens with straight-up zombie-fighting action and carries on straight into the next complication. 

As Frank Zappa said in Joe’s Garage, “You’ll love it. It’s a way of life.”

I’m at the drugstore in Falcon, Colorado, when the thing grabs my arm. The squeeze hurts like a mother; a deader’s muscles don’t relax once they’ve got a hold. I jam my hunting knife into the woman’s eye, working the blade until it finds whatever part of her brain keeps her up, and she drops.

The woman’s grip pulls me to the floor with her as five of her office mates stumble up from outside. The first three struggle in the doorframe as either one tries to get in first. I stab into the woman’s wrist, severing the tendons. Through the tingling of reawakening nerves, I shoulder her remains into the ankles of her office mates, now through the door and nearly on top of me.

I run to the staff door beside the pharmacy. Locked. The service window is open so I hop on the counter and butt-slide over. After the damage I’ve taken, I need that Vicodin more than when I started this morning.

Which I see has been cleaned out.


Oxford shirts smeared brown and black, their ragged ties stiff with old blood, our first three office stooges get their numb, dead feet back under them. The two others behind them shuffle and growl for the delay. Now, all five are reaching for me over the counter, trying to work out how to get over it without falling face-forward and losing their footing again.

Their craving to chew into my warm, living flesh will soon overcome the matter of their undead dignity. Here, with their arms outstretched, their heads laid out across the counter, these ghouls are all but offering themselves to me.

I pull my panga from my belt. My beautiful panga, weapon of choice of the Rwandan genocide, and the most invaluable souvenir of my Kansas adventure. My left arm is hobbled from the woman’s crushing grip so it’s raw adrenaline driving its wide blade through the arms of the first two office stooges and the near hand of the third before sticking halfway through his other wrist.

I use the jammed blade to pull him towards me. I slip the claw hammer from my belt and swing it hard between his eyes. His wrist snaps away from the blade as he drops. The remaining two squall with rage, thumping their bleeding stumps uselessly on the counter as I deliver one, two hard taps and they fall. 

The last two approach the counter. I bend my knees slightly, drawing long breaths of hot, fetid air through my nose. I feel the crushing pain in my arm, the queasiness in my belly.

May I help the next customer, please?

NEXT: “As the corpse gravy begins to gurgle over his neck stump”

Grace Among the Dead Copyright © 2014-2015 by Lawrence Roy Aiken.
All rights reserved.