For all my fans out there I wanted to give you a taste of what was to come later this week with the release of my first novella, RUINATION, Part One. Can’t wait to hear your opinions.
The gut wrenching screams from outside the door caused Marin to squeeze her eyes closed. She covered her ears, but try as she might, she could not shut out the noise of tearing flesh. Just moments ago, she and Samson were running down the hall as fast as they could. Their legs begging to rest, but the reality of what hunted them not allowing them to give in. Escape was the only thing on their minds.
The scene that led her to this moment, hiding in the darkness and praying for salvation, replayed in her mind. Samson was looking over his shoulder when they rounded the corner. He didn’t see the steps. All Marin could do was watch as he tumbled down them, painful shrieks as he hit each step. When Samson came to a stop Marin had run to his side, eager as any friend would be to help him back onto his feet. In an instant though her optimism faded away when she reached him, a bloody bone protruding from below his knee. Marin had never been squeamish, but even she felt her stomach twist at the amount of blood.
“Oh, God! No…” Samson’s screams were more than those of a person in pain. He knew what this kind of injury meant in the race to escape zombies. They could smell fresh blood like it was a steak dinner; and forget about running, an injury like his, with no hospitals to treat him, he could have easily been lame for life.
“Marin, please help me.” Samson had pleaded with her. She tried. In her heart she knew she should have left him, but she couldn’t stop herself. She needed to save him. She needed so badly not to be alone. She had dragged him down two more flights of stairs, him moaning the entire way. She simply avoided looking at the wound, but the blood trail behind them was practically like a breadcrumb trail.
Marin had checked each room on the floor as they went, desperately seeking an unlocked door. Eventually, Samson’s body weight was too much for her to compensate for. With the zombies closing in, Marin knew they were running out of time. Thinking quickly she devised a plan.
“Samson, you need to wait here while I check the doors on this floor.” she had instructed. His eyes looking up at her, full of fear and pain, were so haunting she couldn’t shake them from her mind. Marin had frantically run from door to door, checking each one for a source of refuge with no luck, until she reached the end of the hall. There was a small storage closet that wasn’t even equipped with a locking door, but she thought perhaps they would go unnoticed if they hid inside. Marin knew with Samson’s injuries chances were high they would be found, but she just couldn’t leave him like that.
“Samson!” she had cried out in excitement. “I found—” Marin remembered how her words trailed off as she turned, catching Samson in her sight, pulling himself closer. He had been dragging himself on his belly, bloody limb dragging behind him. That wasn’t all, just past him were a pack of wild eyed zombies. Marin could still hear the blood lustful, inhuman moans, that emerged from the group as they neared Samson.
It had only taken Marin a moment to realize there was no way she could make it to him before the brain munchers did. Even if she somehow managed to miraculously beat them there, it wasn’t possible to make it back to the closet in time to hide. They would be seen and an unlocked door would do neither of them any good at that point.
Marin squeezed her eyes even tighter, trying to erase the image burned in her mind of Samson reaching up his hand in her direction, one last effort to plead for her help. She hadn’t hesitated, in an instant she had fled to the precious utility closet. Listening to the zombies making a meal of Samson, all Marin could think was that she hoped more than anything, they didn’t see her come into this room. Covering her mouth, trying to keep her cries silenced, Marin had no doubt she did what she had to for survival. Though she continued to tell herself this it did not lessen the overwhelming sadness. Not just for Samson, and the fact he had lost his life, but for the fact that she was again alone in a very frightening world.
She had met Samson on the road in Atlanta only weeks before. He had been inquisitive from the start, asking where she was headed. Marin had been withdrawn at first. She had been trusting in the past, of unsavory characters who were simply after the goods she was carrying. She promised herself she would not be so naive again.
Samson was a persistent one however, at last she told him about a story she had heard. Word had spread among survivors of many places that were safe, either a military presence, or a cure had supposedly been found. All of the stories seemed far fetched except for one. One Marin had first heard on a news cast with her mother, that is when there still was news. Of course that was also back when she still had a mother.
The place was Portland. Supposedly something about the altitude of the small town then believed was keeping the zombies from reaching their area. None of it truly made sense, but it had been the early story she had latched her hope wagon to. Samson was quick to ask if he could come along. The fact that he didn’t burst out laughing when she first told him had been such a relief to Marin. Something about Samson put Marin at ease right away. She didn’t feel threatened and as much as she hated to admit it, she was happy to have him by her side.
Marin knew the chances of there actually being this safe haven was slim, but what else could she do? It wasn’t just the story on the news. The same story had been passed around, among survivors, that a place called Tribeca existed. It was also said that it was a gated community in the rocky hills that was supposedly well fortified. The town had everything they needed to be a self sustaining civilization and just in case the infection found them one day, word was that they were working on a cure.
Most people had given up on a cure and just wanted to survive at this point. The last report that Marin had seen broadcasted was that the government believed only one or two percent, at most, of the population was immune to the virus. There had been no explanation as to what caused some to be immune and not others, just simply a fact given. There was speculation that it was a virus engineered as a weapon and released on the United States, but of course nobody really knew the origins.
After about two thirds of the population had been infected, Marin and her mother lost phones and television. Some areas were able to maintain radio emergency broadcasting, but most of those messages were simply recorded statements warning people to stay away.
Samson had been three years older than Marin, but even at seventeen, she was the clear leader of their duo. She had the instincts of a survivor. By the end of the first week, on her own, Marin had already been through so many traumatic events that she was faced with a decision. Give up and let the world take her, or fight back. Marin always viewed herself as strong. She had practically raised herself and cared for her mother for as long as she could remember. Giving up was not an option.
Marin wasn’t one to open up, but Samson some how made it easier. He was the type who would share his life story within ten minutes of meeting someone. Every person he met was a potential best friend to him. Marin had warned him about his trusting attitude on several occasions, but Samson would dismiss her, insisting she was being paranoid.
By the second night Marin surprised herself and told him about her past. How it had just been her and her mom when the sickness hit. About how her mom had died, leaving her behind to deal with this hell. She never told him the whole truth about her mom, she was pretty sure she would never tell anyone. That was her secret to keep.
Samson was a natural born story teller. Marin loved to listen as he would retell his journey, up until they found one another. He had been away at college when the virus hit its peak. He had no idea if his parents or sister had survived. They lived in Chicago, which was one of the first cities to be evacuated. He wasn’t sure where to even begin searching for them.
It was when Marin had told him about Tribecca, she saw something unique in him. A hope most people had lost. His eyes had widened, and he hung on each word as she weaved her tale of the promise land. When as last she had finished he could barely contain his excitement. He was convinced that if Tribecca existed, than somehow his family had made it there.
Even though Marin believed Samson’s family was most likely dead she had envied him. At least he had something to hold on to hope about. She had nobody to look for and nobody was looking for her. One thing she was sure about was that she was alone in this world.
At least fifteen minutes had passed, maybe more, when Marin heard the zombies making their way down the hall in her direction. She placed her back against the small closet wall and pressed her feet firmly against the door. Marin knew the strength of the zombies could snap her legs like twigs, but it was the only thing she could think to do. She watched, holding her breath as she saw the monsters’ shadows approach under the door. The zombies hesitated for a moment and Marin grew anxious they might smell her living flesh. Perhaps to them people smell like a delicious strip of bacon, she worried.
At last they continued on their way, paying no further attention to the hiding place, as they dragged their battered bodies down the hall. Marin let out a sigh of relief, but still felt an overwhelming urge to keep her legs locked tight against the door. She closed her eyes, trying to push the image of Samson’s last look out of her mind again. Marin mentality replayed the second Harry Potter film. She had learned this trick a while ago to help keep the bad dreams from entering her head. She had about ten of her favorite films loaded in her mind. When she didn’t want the fear of being eaten in her sleep to creep in, she would replay them.
She had just gotten to the point where Harry almost fell out of the flying car when at last she slipped into sleep.