Read The Infected (Book 2): Karen's First Day Online

Authors: Joseph Zuko

Tags: #Zombie Apocalypse

The Infected (Book 2): Karen's First Day

BOOK: The Infected (Book 2): Karen's First Day
4.75Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

The Infected: Karen’s First Day


By Joseph “Zombie” Zuko











This book is a
work of fiction.

Names and
characters are fictitious, and any resemblance to a actual persons,

 living or
dead, is entirely coincidental.


Text copyright © 2015
Joseph Zuko

All Rights Reserved


Thank you to
Josh McCullough, Kim Scheese, Linda Kim, Katie Zuko and Pam Anderson for
helping me edit my book.

Thank you to my Mom and Dad for always being so

Thank you to Sam for the idea to start writing this

Thank you to my wife Katie Zuko. She cheers me on
like I am her local sports team and thank you for not letting me give up on my

Dedicated to all three of my zombie loving

Thank you to the fans of
Jim’s First Day

Without your support I wouldn’t have had the guts
to attempt to finish Karen’s First Day. You have all changed my life for the
better. Your positive reviews and comments kept me motivated to finish the
book. Thank you again.

In order to expand the world of The Infected I tweaked
the style slightly from the first book so that it would allow us to see this
nightmare unfold from multiple angles. I hope that you enjoy this ride as much
as you enjoyed the first book.

Cover art by Paul Copeland

[email protected]


How this whole damn thing started.

A short story about Joe Zuko.


In 1997 I was a freshman in college, had a full time job
and just turned nineteen. I still lived at home with my folks and they told me
that if I wanted to start building credit I should go to Sears and get a
credit card. I was a man now so I needed to have credit in order to buy
things in the future, right? No one wants to marry a man that isn't up to his
eyeballs in soul crushing debt. At least that's what I thought back then. I ran
down to Sears, applied for a card and got approved for about three hundred
dollars. I didn’t need a Kenmore washer and dryer. I didn’t need Craftsman
tools. I owned a TV already and computers cost too much. I did the manliest
thing I could do and bought a Playstation and the game Resident Evil 2.
The game scared the poopoo out of me. I played late at night in my dark room
and jumped at every scare. After that I was hooked. Zombies terrified me and I
loved it. The idea that anyone can get infected and be turned into a lethal
killing machine thrilled me to the bone. Grandma gets bit on the hand and now
she can’t be trusted. She wants to eat your face. That’s really, really scary.
I don’t care who you are. If Grandma wants to tear out your guts and chew on
them, that’s scarier than sharks, chainsaws, dying in your dreams or camping with
a maniac. I hope you enjoy reading my nightmare.





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know what happens next, sign up.

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Karen moved quickly into her small apartment kitchen. The
crisp morning sun poked through the pink colored curtain that covered the back
sliding glass door. It gave the room a soft glow. Her eyes were cloudy, full of
sleep and blurred. Her hair was a wild mane in desperate need of a good
brushing. She moved with purpose for the silverware drawer. Her hands fumbled
as she dug for the correct tool. The hard resin handle told her fingertips that
she had found what she was looking for. The mirrored finish of the razor sharp
kitchen knife caught the light from the cheap fluorescent bulbs above.

The blade sliced easily through the cold meat.

A noise from the bathroom startled her. The door opened
and steam escaped. Her husband, Jim, stepped from the bathroom with a towel
wrapped around his waist and his skin was lobster red from the hot shower.

He spoke with a singsong tone, “I’m running late.”

Her eyes moved over Jim’s body. In the last year he had
dropped twenty pounds from his midsection and finally had some good-sized
shoulders. He looked so much better since he had worked that beer belly

“You’re always late,” Karen sighed as she stabbed the tip
of her knife into a cooked chicken breast.

“Because I never want to leave you.” Jim stepped from the
bathroom and moved behind her at the kitchen counter. She could feel the heat
radiating off his skin and the dampness of his towel. Jim kissed her gently on
the neck. He hadn’t shaved yet and his stubble was rough against her skin.

“Thank you for date night. It was a ton of fun.” 

“Me sleepy.” Karen struggled to use proper English that
early in the morning. Especially after the night she had, taking care of their
two-year-old until one thirty in the morning. After the child fell asleep she
stayed wide-awake until well past three. It was the same old whirlwind of
doubts and fears that crept into her mind late at night when the house was
finally quiet. The closing of her beautiful boutique of which she had once been
the proud owner. The short sale of their first home. She loved that house. Both
of her children were born in the bedroom they had been conceived in. The
shrinking paychecks that Jim brought home every month. She laid in bed next to
her husband with the claustrophobic feeling that the walls of their eight
hundred square foot apartment were slowly closing in on her and crushing her to

When she woke up in the morning and had to get back into
Mama/wife mode, the thoughts would diminish, but they were always there, always
present in the back of her mind.

Her husband’s affection and soft kisses helped her feel
better in the morning. Jim held her by the hips and pressed his groin into the
back of her yoga pants.

“Maybe I should call in sick,” he said as he continued to
kiss her neck.

If she weren’t so sleepy this kind of affection would have
totally worked on her, “Mah,”

“Was that a yeah? Or a nah?”

“Mah!” She chopped at the chicken breast like she took
lessons from The Swedish Chef. Fast, furious and not paying attention to what
she was doing. She closed her eyes and acted like she was still asleep. 

“I love it when you talk dirty,” he kissed her on the
neck again. Jim let his towel fall from his hips and into a heap on the kitchen
floor. “Oh, no. I’m nude,” he continued to press his hips against her cute

With her free hand she reached back and touched Jim
between his legs.

She tapped at it like a cat playing with a string. She
could feel the blood flowing down from one head to the other.

“I’m making your lunch and I’m not gonna wash this hand,”
she teased.

“It’s clean down there, but if you have five minutes we
can make it dirty.”

“You’re gonna be late.”

“I thought I was calling in sick.”


“I love a sleepy Mama.”

“Get ready for work. You gotta bring me home some bacon.”
Her hand patted Jim a little harder. It raised him to his tippy toes.

“All right I’m going. Please wash that hand. I won’t eat
it if I know my wiener skin has touched it.”

“That’s a double standard.”


“I’ve had it in my mouth and you won’t eat food that was
prepared by a hand that touched it?”

“I…I don’t know.”

Karen took back her hand and held it an inch above the

“Please don’t touch that chicken with my penis powder on
your hand,” he said as he moved to her side, the palms of his hands pressed
together in prayer.

They enter into a staring contest.

After a minute he won.

“Fine. No dick dust for you today.” She dropped the knife
and turned around to the sink. Her hands were forced to negotiate around the
sink full of dishes. 

“Thank you my merciful queen,” Jim noticed the sink full
of dishes, “Did you call the handyman to fix the dishwasher?”

“Yep, they are coming to fix it today.”

Jim picked up his towel and wrapped it around his head
and tied it up into a knot. He set it like a lady would wrap her hair up into a
towel. His nude body was still bright red. “Did I tell you that I love you?” he
asked as if he was not nude in the center of the kitchen.

“Yes, you did last night.”

“I still love you,” Jim stole one last kiss as he exited
the kitchen. Karen finished drying her hands and then twisted the towel and zapped
Jim on the butt with a hard SNAP.

“Holy MOLY!” he yelped as he jumped in the air and
clutched his ass with both hands.

“Love you too.” She plucked the knife from the countertop
and continued to dice the chicken.


Jim rushed out of the bedroom. “Damn it’s seven forty,
I’m really running late now.” He fought to straighten his tie. Karen handed him
his lunch bag and went to work helping him fix the mess he had made.

“Sell lots today.” Her hair still needed a brush run
through it but Jim always loved her thick wild hair. It was one of the first
things he noticed about her when they met seventeen years ago.

“I will. I promise.” He stood up straight so she had a
good angle to work on his faux-silk tie. He watched her eyes as she focused
intently on the task at hand. They were pale blue, almost gray. In his whole
life he had never seen eyes like those before. She got the knot sorted out and
cinched it so tight that it choked him.

Jim’s eyes went crossed and his tongue stuck out.

“This is the new way to wear your tie,” she grunted as
she fought to make it tighter around his neck.

He choked out the words, “Do I look good?”


“Thank you, baby.”

“Tongue touches,” she stuck out her tongue and he matched
her. The wet tips smacked against each other as they performed the weirdest
French kiss ever. “Get going you’re late.” She gave him one last peck on the
lips and then pushed him toward the front door. He rushed out and gave her a
quick wave bye. He pulled the door shut behind himself and it clicked loudly
into place.

Seconds later Robin cried from the bedroom. Karen made an
“I am going crazy” face and her arms shook in the air. Her hands took the form
of an eagle claw. Tight and intense. She fought the urge to scream at the top
of her lungs. Her face calmed and with the sweetest voice she said, “Mama’s


An hour later Karen was fighting with the coffee maker
for the second time. Mama needed a ton of caffeine after the night she had. It
was an espresso maker Jim bought and spent a lot on five years ago when he was
making more money. For the last six months it had only worked half the time. Sometimes
she would get a piping hot cup of very strong coffee. The other half of the
time the machine bogged down and did nothing but waste the grounds. She cranked
the knob at the top of the machine and it worked.


She would not have to kill anyone that morning. A little
voice called her. It wafted up to her ears from about three feet off the

 "Mama, Mama, Mama."

Karen stared down at the child. The child won't stop
saying her name until she said, "Yes, Robin." Ninety-nine times out
of a hundred it was to tell her something she already knew. This time the
two-year-old pointed at the dog.


"Yes, dear. That's Botchy."

The toddler zipped out of the living room to go play. The
dog’s name was Paris. Named after the place in Las Vegas where she and Jim had
gotten married. For eleven years the little Yorkshire Terrier was called Paris
and about a year ago Robin started talking and the dog's name changed to
Botchy. Karen got about twenty Botchy updates a day. There were also the older
sister updates. All day long it was Aler updates, as the two-year-old called
her older sister Valerie, Aler did this and Aler did that.

Who needs Facebook?

Karen got all of the updates a Mom could possibly want.
Valerie was home sick from kindergarten. She had a bad cough and a slight
fever. The little sickie was laid out on the couch watching
She was only a little sick. Not bad enough to see a doctor, but bad enough to
stay home and play hookie. During the flashy commercial breaks she let her mom
know what toys she wanted. That was how Karen knew she was not that sick. If it
were a bad cold she would be asleep.

"I want that," a soft voice called out.

"What was it honey?"

"I don't know." She didn't even know what kind
of toy she wanted. That was good advertising. I don't know what it is, but I
want it.

Kudos to you Mattel. Whatever you pay your marketing
team, it’s worth every penny.

Karen took a knee in front of the couch and placed a hand
on the hot little forehead. Valerie let out a bad cough.

"Please cover your mouth when you cough."

"Sorry Mama," she coughed again and this time
her little hand covered her mouth.

"Thank you, baby."

"Mama, I love you."

"I love you, too."

Robin emerged from the toy room. The toy room was really
the apartment’s dining room. The place was small and a toy room was needed more
than a place to sit and eat.

"I gotta poop," Robin said as she held her

"Thanks for the update."

“I gotta poop!” She ran out of the living room and back
toward the toilet. She walked around the place like Winnie the Poo. T-shirt and
no bottoms. She stayed bottomless because as a two-year-old you will play right
up to the second you have to go. Pulling off your pants was a big waste of playtime.
It was best to keep them off. Pants were for chumps. Jim used to fight it, but
Karen realized a long time ago that it was futile. An hour after wrestling them
on she would have them back off. It is a very short period of time that it is
okay to not have to wear any pants or underwear. Might as well live it up for
as long as she could.

"Mama?" She called Karen from the bathroom. She
was ready for a cleaning. Karen was in charge of everyone’s buns except Jim’s.
She often thought to herself that she needed to write a book for expecting mothers.
She would call it "Now You Get to Clean Someone's Butt for Five Years: The
Joy of Motherhood."

"Mama? I need pop water."

This was how it would go all day long for Karen. Helping
one child and then the next.

"Be right there. I'm busy with Robin."

Pop water was what the kids called pop. Karen got the
littlest butt clean, washed her hands and headed to the kitchen. She poured a
cup of ginger ale.

Thank God Jim isn't sick too.

Talk about a baby. He was the walking talking definition
of "Man Cold" as if no one had ever been sick before him. The first
day was okay. He was sick, she gets it, but by day two Karen wished he would
either get over it or die. Not really die, but go away and leave her alone was
a better way to say it.

She took the fresh glass of pop to the sick girl and helped
her drink it.

"Mama, Mama, Mama?"


"Pop wanga."

"I'll be right there." Robin called water
"wanga." She saw that her sister had a glass and now wanted one too.

"Mama? Pop wanga?"

"I'm coming. Be patient," she said as she headed
back to the kitchen and poured another glass.

"Here you go."

"Tank you." Robin gulped it down.


"What now Valerie?"

"I spilled it."

She picked up an old kitchen towel and a glass of hot
water to clean up the mess. Karen needed to get the girl a fresh drink too.
This was how it would go till Jim got home from work.

This is Karen’s silly, loving family.


There was a knock at Karen’s front door. She checked the
peephole and recognized the apartment complex’s maintenance man. He was a
good-looking young man in his late twenties with a stylish haircut and beard.
Karen had him over before to work on the electric range. She totally forgot
that he was coming over to look at the dishwasher.

Shit balls!

Her brain had been in a foggy haze all morning. He
knocked again. Karen realized that she had not brushed her hair or teeth. She
had dragon breath so bad it could melt faces. She took a quick sniff of her armpit.
The smell of musty ham hit her like a ton of bricks. Her food stained yoga
pants showed off every nook and cranny of her mom hips and butt. Her brand new
designer jeans that made her butt look incredible were wet in the washer. She
had a mini panic attack.

Why God, why?

How could she possibly forget he was coming over? How
could she possibly let this handsome man in when she and the apartment looked
like such a disaster? The third knock at the door made the nightmare even more

The bass in his deep voice bounced through the door and
hit her hard in her lady parts, “Miss Blackmore? It’s me, Steve? I said I would
be here at nine to fix the dishwasher?”

BOOK: The Infected (Book 2): Karen's First Day
4.75Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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