Authors: TW Gallier
Tags: #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Science Fiction, #Dystopian, #Post-Apocalyptic, #Teen & Young Adult
DAWN OF THE APOCALYPSE
A Zombie Apocalypse Novel #1
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Rowdy Rooster Publishing
Copyright 2016 by Thomas W. Gallier, Jr.
This is a work of fiction. The names, characters, and locations within either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, or locales is entirely coincidental.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Dawn of the Apocalypse
A Zombie Apocalypse Novel
Sirens woke me. I flipped, pulled the pillow over my head, and tried to go back to sleep. It wasn't even daylight yet. My flight back home to Atlanta didn't leave until 1 PM.
"Are those the city's Emergency Alert sirens?"
I sat up and looked at the window. It was dark out, so I got nothing. So I found the remote and turned on the TV. I got a news show, with News Alert in big red letters across the bottom of the screen. My jaw dropped when I saw the news footage they were showing.
It was a local Washington DC station showing riots in the streets. Police were battling rioters in riot gear, using those big clear shields and batons. Then it switched to more police fighting behind riot gear, but shooting into the crowd.
Shooting people. Just slaughtering them.
That was the fiercest firefight I'd ever seen on TV, and rivaled some of the ones I got into in Iraq and Afghanistan. For a second, I thought I was back in the Army, deployed to Afghanistan.
Then the Emergency Alert System went off on the TV. That startled me back to reality. When the alert broadcast was finished, the news show, special alert returned and the anchor was in mid-sentence as if talking to someone off screen.
"… infected are out of their diseased minds," the anchor said, sounding hysterical. He looked into the camera. I thought he looked on the verge of losing it. "Some of them got inside the studio half an hour ago. They are insane with rage. It's almost impossible to stop them. You literally have to kill them before they stop."
They went back to live coverage of the live-fire police battle. That's when I saw heavily armed Special Tactics officers dressed like combat troops. They were firing automatic weapons into the crowd. Never in my wildest nightmares did I believe a scene like that could happen in America.
"Infected, my ass. They're
, Harrison," another voice said. "I swear, man, they are fucking undead killers. Zombies. That bio-weapon has killed them and turned them into zombies."
I froze. That didn't make sense to me. There was no such thing as zombies. That would require magic, not a bio-agent, and there was no such thing as magic. Unless God cast a curse down upon the world, there could not be any zombies.
The scene on the TV begged to differ.
The screen shot switched back to the studio. The anchor, a nicely suited man sat there alone. He looked even more rattled. Another man walked over, in a darker suit. The newcomer had the most intent look on his face.
"Don't scare our viewers with such wild speculation, Carl," Harrison said.
"They feel nothing. They can only be killed with a bullet to the head or heart," Carl said. "And they only want to kill, kill, kill. In my book that is the definition of a zombie." He turned to the camera. "Everyone, lock yourselves in your homes and don't open the door for anyone! If someone breaks in, kill them. Don't let them bite you…or else."
"No, it has to be said. This is the end of the world. It's a fucking zombie apocalypse!" Carl cried. He turned and strode away with purpose. "Good-bye, Harrison, and good luck. I have to go home to defend my family."
Was my family okay back in Atlanta? Was this just happening in the nation's capital?
"What's happening across the nation, god-damn you," I growled.
I changed the channel. It was another local channel. Same thing. Death. Chaos in the streets of Washington. Infected, which I now thought of as zombies, running amok. Since my hotel room had cable, I changed it to a cable news channel.
"…source in the Pentagon believes the Intercontinental Missiles came from either Iraq or Iran. Maybe both," a man identified at the bottom of the screen as a retired admiral, turned network advisor, said. "At least two dozen missiles have struck the US, at least that many have hit Western Europe, and even more spread across Russia and China."
"Russia and China, Admiral Forrest?" the anchor asked.
The admiral nodded with a grim face. "Yes. It's odd, but the only reason I can figure is Islamic Extremists are out to kill any and all non-Muslims."
A world map went up, with little mushroom cloud graphics over most of the major cities of Europe and North America. Including Atlanta, Georgia. My heart sank. Was it already too late for Jenny and the boys?
"Where did they get a bio-agent like this?"
"There's no way to know, Frank," Admiral Forrest said. "At least most of the ICMBs were intercepted and destroyed by our missile shield."
"Yes, that Star Wars system finally paid off, but not enough to save us. But I heard that we've played our hand, and there is no more shield if they fire off another round," Frank said while tapping frantically on his laptop, not even bothering to look at the camera once. "Did your source say anythin – " He stopped to look off to his left, then stood up pointing. "Is that one of the infected? Oh my god, there are more of them! Watch out, Paul!"
And the camera went wild, with screaming and shouting, before they switched to another anchor, in another studio. The thirty-something brunette blinked at the screen. She opened her mouth, let out a sob, and ran off the stage with a wail of terror. A second later a trio of shambling men came into the shot, paused to look around, and continued after her.
"Holy crap," I whispered.
Those three "infected" had the wildest, most rage-filled stares I'd ever seen. All three were covered in blood. One had his right ear and part of his cheek ripped away and hanging like a flap. Zombie was the first thing to cross my mind.
"This is fucking impossible!"
I stood up. My first thought was my family back in Atlanta. I fumbled with my smartphone, finally able to call the house number. My wife and two young sons filled my thoughts while it rang and rang. After four rings the answering machine picked up.
"Jenny! It's Roger! Pick up! Pick up!" I waited a second. Nothing. "Timmy? Harlan? Anyone?"
I ended the call, before calling Jenny's cell number. She picked up after two rings.
"Roger!" she screamed. "Where are you?"
"I'm still in DC," I said. "Are you okay? What about the boys?"
I could hear the kids arguing into the background, with car horns and angry shouts as well. My heart raced at a mile a minute. Pacing, I tried to calm my nerves.
"We fine. We're fine," she gasped out. "Kinda. I had to get out of town. I loaded up the car and I'm on way to Blue Ridge. Is that okay?"
"Are there zombies there?"
"Zombies? You mean infected? Yes! I saw them on the news," Jenny said. "They're everywhere, but I haven't seen any yet. The news guys say to lock ourselves in the house, but I didn't like that idea."
She wouldn't. Jenny came from a military family. Her father, uncles, and grandfather were all Army NCO lifers. They didn't raise her to sit around and wait for someone to do things for her. If she saw a problem, Jenny just fixed it.
"Are you in the SUV?" Dumb question on my part. My pickup was at the airport. Her vehicle was the SUV. The fact she didn't call me out on that showed how rattled Jenny was by all of the crap going down. "Never mind. How far north are you? Are you out of Atlanta yet?"
"Yes. I just passed through Marietta," she said, sounding a little distracted. I heard her hit the horn and cuss under her breath. "Um, sorry, some jackwad… I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm on I-585 now."
A sense of relieve washed through me. She was past the worst part. In another hour, maybe hour and a half, she'd be at the cabin.
"It's four wheel drive, so don't be afraid to drive around traffic if it bogs down. Get up to the cabin as fast as you can," I said. "Whatever you do, no matter how much you want to, do not stop and help anyone. Don't trust anyone until the situation is under control. You should be safe at the cabin."
"Great. That was my first thought," she said. "I grabbed some clothes, canned goods, and then I loaded up all of our fishing stuff, as well as the 30-30, 30-06, and the shotgun. Anything else?"
I remembered how well stocked we kept our little two-bedroom mountaintop log cabin. It wasn't much, but its log construction made it like a little fortress. We could hunt and fish for our food. Jenny was at least as good a hunter as me. I was really more of a fisherman.
"You're doing great, Jenny. I'm proud of you," I said. "When you get to the cabin, I want you to board up the windows and doors. Don't let anyone in until I get there."
"Oh God, Roger, I'm so scared."
"I know. So am I," I said. "Just get to the cabin. It'll be okay there. I'm on my way."
"I promise. Nothing will keep me from you and the boys." I grimaced, sick to my stomach. I didn't want to, but I had to get moving. "Baby, I'm going to hang up now. I have to head out. I'm on my way. I love you and the boys."
She started crying. I started crying.
"I love you," she whispered hoarsely, and ended the call.
I never felt such rage and despair. How could the shit hit the fan without any warning like that? Who dropped the ball? I needed someone to blame. I hated not having someone to vent my fury at. Instead, I started dressing. Jeans, t-shirt, and running shoes. I grabbed the keys to my rental car, which was a Ford Mustang. Oh, I had fun driving it around, but now I wished I'd picked the SUV instead.
"Dammit," I snarled, glancing back at the TV. "Now I just have to get through six hundred miles of zombies."
"What's the matter, Momma?" Timmy asked.
I wiped the tears away, face heating up. The boys had quieted down when I started crying. They looked so uncertain.
"It's okay, Harlan," I said, trying to sound reassuring. Dropping the phone in a cup holder, I took a deep breath, looked at him in the rearview mirror, and smiled. "I just talked to Daddy. He's going to meet us at the cabin in the mountains."
They cried out in joy. It's only been three days since he left on that business trip, but it felt like an eternity. Everything went wrong as soon as he left. The central air stopped working, and then the stove. And the night before the neighbors had a loud party until 3 AM.