Read Fall of the Seven Cities Saga (Book 1) Online

Authors: Jay Brenham

Tags: #Zombies

Fall of the Seven Cities Saga (Book 1) (3 page)

BOOK: Fall of the Seven Cities Saga (Book 1)
4.74Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

“In the head. I thought maybe I’d killed him because his head bounced off the coffee table but he didn’t seem to notice. He pushed himself onto his knees and lunged at me so I kicked him in the head again.”

“What happened next?”

“He stopped moving. I guess—I guess I killed him. I didn’t really have time to think about it though. I saw the guy in board shorts run around the corner.” Matt pointed to the second dead body. “He wasn’t attacking just one person like the first guy. He acted like he wanted to attack everyone in the room at the same time. He bit one woman’s ear and then went to the next person and bit them too. I was already pretty keyed up from the first guy so I picked up a chair. Board Shorts saw me and started running at me. We collided and he fell on the ground. That’s when Frank,” Matt nodded in Frank’s direction, “came over to help. We couldn’t restrain this guy. He bit Frank’s leg. I was afraid of what he’d do if he got away from us.”

“While all of this was happening, were you afraid that he was capable of killing you, Frank, or someone else in the waiting room?” Taylor’s expression was searching, as if he was weighing Matt’s words.

Matt shifted in his seat. What if this guy didn’t believe him? “The first attacker
bit a man’s nose off
,” he said, trying not to sound too defensive. “The second guy had already attacked several people. Then he bit Frank’s leg. He seemed capable of anything. I didn’t know if these guys had escaped from some sort of mental patient holding area.”

Behind Officer Taylor, the officers who’d been bitten and scratched were sitting down next to Frank. One of them leaned against the wall, slumped like a wilting plant. Frank didn’t look much better. He’d stopped responding to the officer who was questioning him. His face was pale and Matt could see the reflection of the fluorescent lights on his sweaty forehead. He looked nervous. Maybe he was clamming up, refusing to talk to the police.

Matt swallowed, wondering if he should do the same. Maybe he should demand a lawyer; that’s what people did on TV.
Just be honest
, he thought, trying to reassure himself.
You have nothing to hide. The police shot some people too and they were justified

The officer who’d been questioning Frank came over. “Taylor, I’m gonna grab a doctor,” he said in a low voice. “Somethings wrong with these guys.”

Taylor nodded and turned back to Matt as the officer left the room. “Alright Matt, after you—”

His words broke off at the sound of a gunshot. It was followed by two more in quick succession. Officer Taylor jumped to his feet, drawing his gun in one smooth movement.









Suddenly the nurse with the missing nose came barreling around the corner. His face was bandaged and his hands and forearms were smeared with blood. Taylor raised his gun and sent three rounds through the nurse’s chest. Matt’s gaze moved toward the hallway, half-expecting the other officer, or at least a doctor, to come chasing after the nurse. No one came.

“Come on,” Taylor said to Matt.

Matt sat still, shocked. The nurse without the nose had been a victim; now he was acting as crazy as the man who’d attacked him. It was almost as if insanity was being passed like a disease.

Frank and the other injured officers and patients had been sitting quietly, but the sound of Taylor’s gun seemed to flip a switch in their minds. As one, they jumped from their chairs and sprinted at Officer Taylor, their arms and legs pumping fast, like they were in a race. Even an old woman got to her feet. Pushing her walker to one side, she ran in Taylor’s direction. A few of the injured people stayed where they were, seemingly too ill to move.

Matt snapped out of his shock. Taylor was already halfway across the room and Matt didn’t want to be left behind.

The main exit, where the patrol car’s were parked, was blocked by the crazy people. It seemed like the insane outnumbered the sane.

Taylor and Matt ran past the dead nurse toward a stairwell with a large emergency exit sign.

A few of the uninjured people started after Matt and Taylor, fearing the crazies who now filled the room. One of the men tripped and the other fleeing stumbled over him. The crazies pounced, distracted for a few moments from their pursuit of Matt and Officer Taylor.

Taylor and Matt kept running, heading down the hall toward the emergency room. Matt pulled open the door to a stairwell but Taylor stopped him before he closed it.

“Here,” Taylor said, handing Matt a fire extinguisher that he’d grabbed from a wall.

“What do I do with this?” Matt asked, his words sharp with alarm.

“Hit the door handle on the outside. Once the handle’s gone, we can close the door and no one will be able to get inside. I’ll cover.”

Behind Taylor, the infected were attacking the remaining sane people. A man screamed, a drawn out shriek that made the hairs on the back of Matt’s neck rise. Before today he’d never heard a man scream like that. Now he’d heard it for the second time in an hour. He looked up just in time to see the screaming man’s stomach rip open like a burst sausage casing. Another man pawed at his abdomen, blood smeared on his hands and face.

Matt began beating frantically with the fire extinguisher, aiming for the place where the handle met the door. Taylor stood with a squared-off stance, his gun trained on the infected people—who were savagely assaulting their victims—but made no move to draw their attention.

Matt hit the door handle again, the sound of metal on metal rang through the hallway. The crazies looked up from their blood bath. As one, they sprang to their feet, leaving their victims behind, and ran toward the source of the noise. As soon as the infected were off of him, the man whose stomach had been ripped open rolled to his feet. Holding his intestines with both hands, he stumbled toward the exit, followed by anyone else who could still move.

“Fucking hit it!” Taylor yelled.

Two of the infected men running toward them were—or had been—police officers. Now their faces and uniforms were coated with blood and their eyes were wide. Taylor fired at them without hesitating. The bullets hit their target but the officers, safe behind their bullet proof vests, didn’t fall.

At that moment the door handle fell to the floor with a clank.

“Got it,” Matt said.

Taylor stepped into the stairwell and slammed the door, just in time to see the crazed officers smash into it on the other side. They slammed their bodies against the door in a frenzied effort to open it. One of them actually used his head, hitting it against the small window in the door until the glass was smeared with blood. They seemed to feel no pain or fear. Matt wasn’t worried about the door—it was heavy and metal and now there was no handle—but the sight of people using their bodies like battering rams, with no regard for their own well-being, was disturbing.

“The maternity unit is always locked up tight,” Taylor said. “Let’s get up there.”

Matt turned in silent agreement and followed Taylor to a set of heavy metal doors on the third floor landing. Taylor rang the buzzer.

A woman’s voice crackled over the intercom. “Who are you here to see?”

“This is Officer Taylor with the Virginia Beach Police Department. Open the door.”










The doors swung inward and Matt and Taylor entered. They didn’t relax until the doors swished closed behind them. Taylor went straight to the nurse’s station. A young blond stood behind the counter. “Jenna” was printed in large letters on her name tag.

“What can I help you with, Officer?” she asked, not taking her eyes from the gun in Taylor’s hand. Matt recognized her voice from the intercom.

Taylor saw Jenna’s look of fear and immediately holstered his weapon.

“Listen to me,” Taylor said. His voice was calm, like he was instructing a young child. “There’s something terrible happening out there. I think it’s some sort of infection. People are getting bitten and then they’re going crazy and attacking anyone who’s not infected. I saw it happen downstairs with the other officers on my squad. You can’t let
inside the maternity unit, do you understand? I don’t care who they are. This place needs to stay sealed off.”

Jenna looked at Taylor with big eyes, as if she couldn’t quite believe what he was saying.

Taylor read the look of disbelief on her face. “Listen to what’s happening on my radio if you don’t believe me,” Taylor said.

Taylor was wearing a plastic ear piece, the kind that the Secret Service wore in action movies. Matt had never realized police officers used the same thing. Methodically, as if he’d done it a million times, Taylor unscrewed the ear piece from his radio. The sounds of the Virginia Beach Police dispatch blared into the maternity ward.

The radio was busy with radio traffic detailing similar problems throughout the city.

“I scanned Norfolk’s radio frequency,” Taylor said. “The same thing is happening there.”

“What should we do?” Jenna’s voice quivered when she spoke.

Matt couldn’t help but roll his eyes. Taylor had already explained what needed to be done. Did she need to be told a second time?

“Keep this place locked down,” Taylor said again. “Don’t let anybody inside. People that are infected move fast and they’re in this building. Even if you open the doors for a person who’s not infected, you run the risk of letting the infected in right behind them.”

Jenna took a breath. “Okay. Let me page the other staff.”

Once everyone had gathered, Officer Taylor repeated his instructions, including a brief description of what was happening downstairs.

“We need to change the pass code to get into the maternity ward,” he said when he was finished.

An overweight woman with an ID card identifying her as Cheryl spoke up. “I can change the code. I do it every month.”

“The most important thing is that the door can’t be opened for anybody. Not me, not another officer, and not any other doctor in the hospital. I don’t care if you know them. I don’t care if they look healthy as a horse. If they’ve been infected they will change within the hour. It happened to a few of the officers I came here with. Matt will tell you that I treated them just the same as if a complete stranger had become infected. I shot them, and if you want to survive you’ll act the same.”

Some of the women gasped but most nodded silently, their faces masks of shock.

“You can decide whether or not to tell your patients—the mothers and their families—but I want someone posted at every exit to make sure nobody is let in.””

The nurses agreed and began to divide themselves into groups to make sure somebody was watching each exit just as Taylor had instructed.

Taylor and Matt walked to the waiting area of the maternity ward, each slumping into a chair. Matt didn’t know what needed to be done—and he wasn’t sure Taylor did either, beyond posting nurses at the entrances to the maternity ward—but this seemed like the safest place they’d be able to find for the time being.

Voices were still coming out of Taylor’s radio but they were nearly unintelligible to Matt.

“Can you actually understand any of that?” Matt asked.

“I can now, but when I first started it sounded like a different language.”

“So…from what you said to the nurses, it sounds like you think this is a virus?”

“That’s what I figure. It’s the only thing that makes sense. Those officers who came after us near the stairwell? I’ve known one of them for nearly twenty years. We went to the academy together. He was one of the most even-tempered people I’ve ever met. If there was ever a situation that needed to be deescalated
was the man you wanted. Even the worst criminals calmed down and let him put handcuffs on them. He had a real gift for verbal judo. Absolutely out of character to see him like that. When I saw him attack those people and then charge us, I knew all bets were off.”

“When I first entered the emergency room one of those infected men was biting the nose off a nurse,” Matt said slowly. “Then that same nurse came back a little while later and started attacking people.” He glanced at Taylor. “That was the man you shot, the one with the bandage on his face. An infection makes sense.”

Taylor nodded but got to his feet instead of continuing the conversation. “I’ve gotta call my wife and let her know what’s happening.””

After Taylor left the room, Matt got up as well. He’d never felt the need to own a gun, but suddenly the idea of not having a weapon made him nervous. He wandered the maternity ward and found a hallway that led to a group of offices. The first two doors were locked, but the third opened when he turned the handle.

There was a reason the office wasn’t locked. There was nothing inside but sheets of drywall and a few paint cans. As he was leaving, he caught sight of a black handle sticking out of a five gallon bucket. Matt walked toward the bucket and pulled out a large claw framing hammer. It was one of the nice ones, metal with a rubber grip and an offset handle.

He walked back through the maternity ward and stopped at the nursery window. Inside, a dozen newborns lay in bassinets, all wearing little pink and blue hats. It amazed Matt how small they were. He’d never even held a newborn.

BOOK: Fall of the Seven Cities Saga (Book 1)
4.74Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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