The Undead That Saved Christmas Vol. 2

BOOK: The Undead That Saved Christmas Vol. 2
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The Undead That Saved Christmas Vol. 2

Edited by Lyle Perez-Tinics & Eloise J. Knapp

Rainstorm Press

POBOX 391038

Anza, Ca 92539

www.RainstormPress.com

The characters depicted in these short stories are completely fictitious, and any similarities to actual events, locations or people, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, in whole or in part, without written permission from the publisher, except for brief quotations in reviews. For information regarding permissions please contact the publisher
[email protected]

The Undead That Saved Christmas Vol. 2

Rainstorm Press
http://www.RainstormPress.com

Copyright © 2011 by Rainstorm Press

All rights reserved

Interior design by –

The Mad Formatter

www.TheMadFormatter.com

Cover illustration by David Naughton-Shires

http://www.TheImageDesigns.com

This book is dedicated to the foster kids at

Hugs Foster Family Agency

http://www.HugsFFA.org

Acknowledgment

Net proceeds from this book will be donated to Hugs Foster Family Agency. No author or illustrator has been compensated for their time and efforts. Our payment is to help provide their foster children with a wonderful Christmas

Table of Contents

Stories and Poems

Introduction

By John Olson and Bud Hanzel

Oh, Tannenbaum

By Rebecca Snow

How I Got My Sack Back

By Stephen Johnston

Death and the Magi

By Joe McKinney

‘Twas A Season of Zombies

By Rebecca Besser

Emergency Rescue

By Kelly Dunn

The Last Christmas

By Emma Ennis

Zombie Party Mix

By Beth Bartlett

Attack of the Zombie Toys

By Melissa Helwig

Zombies Don’t Jingle

By Rusty Fischer

Zombies We Have Heard on High

By Jamie Freeman

You Better Watch Out

By Scott Morris

Christmas of the Dead

By Timothy J. Collins

Daddy’s Angel

By Kevin Walsh

Dinner at Eight, Dead by Dawn

By Nathan Correll

With a Little Help from my Elves

By Suzanne Robb

Believe, Annie

By Eloise J. Knapp

The Gingerbreads 2: The Girl in the Christmas Pajamas

By Lyle Perez-Tinics

The Last Noel

By Craig W. Chenery

Zombies Don’t Pop

By Rusty Fischer

Survivor’s Christmas Carols

By Bud Hanzel and John Olson

Comics

A Zombie Christmas Story

By Robert Freese

Illustrated by Amanda Stoltz

Even Zombies Need a Christmas

By Brian S. Logan

Illustrated by Brian McCranie

Looking A Gift Dog in the Mouth

By Wm. Brian MacLean

Illustrated by Wm. Brian MacLean

All Sales Final

By Mike Schneider

Illustrated by Alex Kautz

Meet the Contributors

Introduction

By John Olson & Bud Hanzel, authors of “The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse.”

 

“Start watchin’ the news, and keep a sharp eye.

Start seeing the clues, I’m telling you why

The ZTA is coming to town!”

The
Zombie Transforming Agent
isn’t just coming, it seems to have arrived. And, just in time for Christmas! What better way to ring in the seasonal cheer, than to sip a piping mug of hot chocolate, wrap your feet in a snuggly blanket, lean back in your favorite chair, before a gently crackling fire (inside the fireplace, we hope), adjust your reading lamp, and enjoy a great book about... ZOMBIES!! Well my friend, this is the book for you.

Welcome to volume two of
The Undead That Saved Christmas
. Second of what we know will be an ongoing charitable Christmas tradition.

When we heard about Lyle Perez-Tinics’ first charity anthology it was already too late to submit anything, but we were sure to order a copy when it came out (it is for the kids after all). When Lyle called us and asked us to write this year’s introduction we were both honored and flattered, as we are relative newcomers to the whole zombie genre.

Still, we were also excited to hear that the first volume was a success, and that this year’s crop of stories was shaping up to be even better.

So, what can we say about Christmas, and zombies, that S. G. Browne didn’t already say last year? We too have imagined our favorite Christmas movies redone in Romeroesque tradition. Hordes of ravenous zombies dutifully marching the Macy’s balloons down 34
th
street, or Clarence zombifying all of Bedford Falls, just to show George that his life has purpose, or Scrooge being visited by three Christmas Zombies. But there is more to zombifying Christmas, than your favorite movies retold in gory glory, (besides Ted Turner kind of zombified them all with colorization a few years back anyway).

At first thought, you might consider the traditions of Christmas to sacred for zombification. But we encourage you to take a moment and think about what Christmas has become in modern culture; glowing neon Rudolphs, crepe paper snowmen and plastic Santas adorning every shopping mall, encouraging you to “BUY”. And worse in the world of retail this all begins around September. We don’t know about you, but as much as we like Christmas music, we really don’t want to listen to it from before Halloween, until well after New Years. With all that holiday cheer being shoved down our throats, by the time Christmas Eve actually arrives there is nothing left at the shopping malls but a bunch of last minute zomnabulating shoppers. Virtually gone is the tradition of giving, replaced by a commercial nightmare of frenzied purchases, and much regretted debt. So, is it really such a stretch to match Christmas and zombies?

Where, you may ask is the real magic of Christmas, the love of our neighbors and the genuine selfless spirit of giving? Well, for our part, we think you find it right here in the pages of this very book, and its predecessor, volume one. Remember, this is a charitable endeavor, not one of the contributing authors, artists, or Lyle himself receives any compensation for the time and effort that it has taken to produce this tome. All of the profit goes directly to provide a brighter holiday for the kids of
Hugs Foster Family Agency
. If that’s not a Christmas gift, we don’t know what is.

The stories in this volume will make you think, scare you a little and feed your love of zoms. Volume one was a great effort, and we honestly believe that Volume two is better. So we thank you on behalf of all the contributors for joining in this literary feast of Christmas giving by purchasing your copy of this book.

As we’ve learned, last year and this, there are many stories to be told melding zoms with the holidays, and this book has brought a slew of them together for your reading pleasure. So, grab your favorite holiday drink, be it Hot Chocolate, Egg Nog, a cup of mulled wine, or even a hot, Dr. Pepper Toddy, relax, and sink your teeth into Volume two of
The Undead That Saved Christmas
. We know you will enjoy it. (PS: it makes a great stocking stuffer)

“Bloody sidewalks panicked crosswalks

Zombies crowding the scene

In the air, there's a feeling of chaos”

 

 

 

John Olson & Bud Hanzel

Hanson Press, Inc.

Red Wing, MN

September, 22 2011

Story Art Cover

By Lindsay Babroski

www.Facebook.com/TheHideyHole

Dedication

Oh, Tannenbaum is dedicated to my parents. There's nothing like a brisk walk through the woods searching for the perfect tree while dodging branches and carrying a splitting maul. Thanks for all the lights and tinsel.

Author Bio

Rebecca Snow
lives in Virginia with her husband in house described as haunted with a bit of crazy cat lady on the side. Her short fiction has been published in a number of recent anthologies. At Christmastime, she enjoys making Santa roadkill cookies. Adore her on Facebook (look for the bloody hand print) or stalk her on Twitter @cemeteryflower.

Oh, Tannenbaum

By Rebecca Snow

Snowflakes swirled to the ground beyond the steamed glass. Ed swiped his sleeve across the pane to stare into the storm.

“Get away from there,” Betty whispered. “You don’t want them to find us, do you?”

Ed exhaled a deep breath resteaming the window before stepping back into the shadowy room. They’d been cooped up for weeks, and tomorrow was Christmas. He didn’t believe in Santa, but Betty had always liked to pretend.

“It’s snowing enough that I don’t think it would matter if I were running around in my birthday suit. They’re not going to be hunting now,” Ed said, dropping onto the braided rug, rolling onto his back, and crossing his arms behind his head.

“You’d be frozen solid if you did that,” Betty said with wide eyes.

Ed turned his head and stared at his wife. Sitting up, he smirked. He propped himself up on one arm as a full grin ripened across his broad face.

“I think you’ve just given me an idea.” Ed kissed the woman on her rosy cheek and scrambled to his feet, dusting his hands on his thighs. “What do you think the temperature is out there?”

Betty shrugged and yanked a loose thread hanging from her jeans.

“It’s got to be close to freezing,” she said rubbing her hands up and down her flannel-clad arms. “Look at that snow piling up. We could build an igloo if it weren’t for those murderers. If you want to know the exact temperature, I think there’s a thermometer hanging on the porch.”

Ed stepped toward the door. Shooting to her feet, Betty grabbed her husband’s arm almost toppling him back onto the floor.

“Don’t go out there,” she said. “You can’t go out there.”

After regaining his balance, Ed forced his wife’s hands from his wrist.

“Don’t worry,” he said. “If it’s as cold as I think it is, nothing’s going to get me.”

As Ed unlocked the three dead bolts and turned the knob, Betty climbed into the closet, closed the door, and squatted behind the hanging coats. Ed shook his head in disbelief, opened the front door, and turned to peer into the blanketed yard.

Snow covered the carnage like cemetery dirt covered a casket. None of the month-long slaughter had seeped in and marred its whiteness. Ed didn’t know if month old blood could seep, but the yard looked nicer than it had since the killings began. He could almost make himself forget about the dead guys that wanted to eat his brains.

Ed took a few tentative steps across the porch and squinted at the mercury in the thermometer. Twenty-eight degrees. He blew out a puff of air and watched it condense into a cloud of opaque fog. Wiping his feet on the black, rubber welcome mat, he crossed the threshold and closed the door behind him.

Ed knocked on the closet and heard a muted scream.

“It’s only me,” he said. “Can I come in?”

The doorknob turned, and the hinges squeaked. Betty’s back remained stuffed in the corner as Ed grabbed his heavy coat and snow boots. His wife stared up at him like a child lost in an amusement park.

“Where are you going?” she asked.

“It’s a surprise,” Ed said zipping up the down parka.

“You can’t leave me here,” she squeaked. “You won’t come back.”

Ed leaned into the closet and tucked a stray curl behind his wife’s ear.

“I will come back,” he said grinning. “I promise.”

Betty whimpered as Ed shut her in the closet. He knew she wouldn’t mind.

BOOK: The Undead That Saved Christmas Vol. 2
7.78Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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