Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?

BOOK: Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?
8.19Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub


Gallery Books
A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Text Copyright © 2011 by Max Brallier
Illustrations Copyright © 2011 by Christopher Mitten

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Gallery Books Subsidiary Rights Department, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020

First Gallery Books trade paperback edition February 2011

and colophon are trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

The Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau can bring authors to your live event. For more information or to book an event contact the Simon & Schuster Speakers Bureau at 1-866-248-3049 or visit our website at

Designed by Jaime Putorti

Manufactured in the United States of America

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Brallier, Max.
   Can you survive the zombie apocalypse? / Max Brallier.
        p. cm.
1. Zombies—Fiction. I. Title.
   PS3602.R344455C36 2011


ISBN 978-1-4516-0775-8
ISBN 978-1-4516-0880-9 (ebook)

, A
, B
, C
, M


Boy, where to start. My wonderful agent, Jason Allen Ashlock, for believing this could be a book. My brilliant and always patient editor, Jaime Costas, for not only editing the hell out of this thing, but for editing the hell out of it while on maternity leave. Genius illustrator Christopher Mitten, who I kind of hate now because his stuff here is so damn good that it far out-shines my writing. Jaime Putorti for being a constant pleasure to work with. Lily Kosner, for sending me the most important email of my life. And for their advice and guidance I must thank Katie McKim, Matthew Shear, Joe Goldschein, Michael Homler, Jill Sullivan, Tara Cibelli, Maggie Lam, Mike Amaru, Wes Ryan, Jess W. Brallier, and Nancy Trypuc. And, of course, Mom and Dad. Love ya. You too, Rube!


Every dead body that is not exterminated becomes one of them. It gets up and it kills. The people it kills get up and kill!


In the brain and not the chest.
Headshots are the very best.


I don't know what's going on, but I know it's not a prison break. No chemical I ever heard about can make a dead man walk. This is something that nobody has ever heard about or seen before.

This is hell on earth. This is pure hell on earth.



Beyond this page lies unspeakable horror. Bone-crunching, blood-splattering, brain-impaling horror—the horror of the zombie apocalypse.

If you're reading this, you've probably read your fair share of zombie stories and watched your fair share of zombie flicks. But this time it's different. No longer do you get to sit back idle as a bunch of fools make all the wrong moves. All hell is about to break loose—and this time
have a say in humanity's survival.

You're twenty-five years old. You live in a crappy, overpriced studio apartment in Manhattan. You work a corporate job that you're not particularly fond of. Up until now, your day-to-day life offered few surprises.

But today, on a hot and humid July morning, zombies have come to Manhattan.

You have choices to make now—lots of them. Moral dilemmas. Strategic decisions. Weapons. Vehicles. Will you be a hero? Or will you cover your own ass at all costs? Will you survive the coming hours, days, weeks, and months? Or will you die amidst the chaos and violence of a zombie uprising?

Or, worst of all, will you become one of them …?

The choice is yours. And hey, if you don't make it—you've got no one to blame but yourself.


Will this ever end? These Monday morning meetings always run long. Every damn time. God, in the history of man, has a morning meeting ever not run long?

As usual, you overslept, missed the subway, and arrived ten minutes late to work so you missed the Krispy Kremes and one of the good chairs. Now you're stuck in a tiny little plastic thing you're pretty sure you can hear bending underneath your weight—or maybe that's the sound of your stomach aching for a doughnut.

Your head's still hurting from Saturday night. Can't drink like you used to. College days: drink, puke, sleep, drink, puke, sleep, drink, puke, sleep, watch some basketball, drink, puke, sleep. Rinse. Repeat. Graduate three semesters late. Good times.

But you're a grown man now. An
-dult. An
-dult stuck in a miserable Monday morning meeting—with no Krispy Kreme.

All you can think about is five o'clock and getting home. Being enveloped by your well-worn but pretty-darn-comfortable-if-you-don't-say-so-yourself Craigslist couch. Ordering some Chinese. Sweet-and-sour chicken (sauce on the side), fried rice, an egg roll. Watching some
. Good stuff.

Oh yes—to be home…

You pull out your phone. 10:40 AM. Sigh, seven more hours to—

Suddenly—violently—Angela, the cute brunette receptionist, bursts through a set of double doors and explodes into the conference room.

Everyone turns. Someone giggles. Confused looks all around.

Eyes wide, Angela stands in the doorway, silent for a moment, then: “Um—sorry to interrupt—but I think you need to turn the TV on.”

Matthew Trypuc—head of marketing—glares from his usual spot at the head of the long conference table. Cool and condescending. “Angela, you're interrupting.”

Prick. The poor girl just ran in here looking like she was going to wet herself—she must have a decent reason.

Angela ignores the big boss's dirty look and runs the length of the long conference room to the fat old Mitsubishi TV in the corner, a leftover from the pre-PowerPoint days. The oversize TV sits on a banged-up TV cart—you're pretty sure your middle school had the same one.

Someone asks Angela to explain. She doesn't say anything. Continues to work on the TV.

A woman at the end of the table—you recognize her from around the office but don't know her name—gets up and hurries out of the conference room. A few people follow her, headed for their computers to check or or whatever their news site of choice is.

You think terrorists. So does everyone else, most likely. You picture the word—
bouncing around their collective, coffee-fueled brains, along with images of explosions, crumbling buildings, and out-of-control beards.

The TV hums to life. One of the local news guys sits at a desk:

Again, we don't want to alarm you unnecessarily, but our early reports say these patients are exhibiting bizarre, radical, and even violent behavior

The broadcast cuts to an aerial view of Mount Sinai Hospital. You know Mount Sinai. It's about twenty blocks north and
a few avenues east from your office. Went there a few years back when you had a hangnail that got infected and your mom convinced you that you were about two days away from needing full hand, and possible arm, amputation.

Now a shot from the ground: a pretty blond reporter, clearly not ready to be on live TV. A mass of ambulances, cop cars, fire engines, and workers stretches out behind and around her. The flashing red and blue lights strobe across her young, makeup-slathered face. You can make out the hospital about a hundred yards in the distance.

She reports:

Are we on? I'm on? Ahem. Yes, we've just received word that patients are rioting inside the hospital. At this moment, it's still not clear what the cause of the violence is—or how and even if hospital employees may be involved. Of course, any news we get we'll pass along immediately. Again, for those of you just tuning in, you're looking at Mount Sinai Hospital, where violence has reportedly broken out among a number of patients and possibly hospital staff

An aerial shot now:

A dozen police cars have formed a semicircle around the main emergency room entrance. More are arriving.

The big sliding doors beneath the
sign slide open and out stumbles a young doctor, bleeding from his face, neck, and shoulder. Blood pumps from his wounds, spilling out onto his scrubs. He takes a few shaky steps before collapsing onto the little green Mount Sinai carpet that lies in front of the door.

The office is silent for a split second—then a flurry of
ohmygods, Jesuschrists
, and
. The woman sitting next to you grabs on to your arm. It's weird.

The doctor begins convulsing. Blood streams onto the sidewalk
and pools at the curb. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, a female patient in a hospital gown bursts out from the ER and dives on top of him.

The entire conference room gasps.

The patient is biting the doctor. No, not just biting. Eating him—devouring the guy. Tearing into his flesh with her teeth and hands. Clawing at his body. Ripping skin from his limbs. As she tosses her head back to chew, stringy flesh hangs from her teeth.

The screen goes black.

For a second, no one says a word; no one is quite able to process what he or she is seeing. Then a large woman (copyediting department, you think) explodes into tears, hands cupped over her face, and rushes out of the room. More follow her, reaching for cell phones as they squeeze past one another and out into the hall.

BOOK: Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?
8.19Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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