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Zombie Me: Patchwork and Pieces

Chapter 1: Part 1, Litany of Rot

Chapter 1: Part 2, Shattered

Chapter 1: Part 3, Growling with Hunger

Chapter 1: Part 4, Vion Rising

Chapter 1: Part 5, Stand Off

Chapter 1: Part 6, The Call

Chapter 1: Part 7, Free Association

Chapter 1: Part 8, First Taste

Chapter 1: Part 9, Bert and Ernie

Chapter 1: Part 10, Starting to Rain

Chapter 2: Part 1, "Me!"

Chapter 2: Part 2, C.A.B.L.E.T.V.

Chapter 2: Part 3, Raining

Chapter 2: Part 4, Sheltered Hunger

Chapter 2: Part 5, Clouded Eye Open

New short story "The Awakening"

Chapter 2: Part 6, Everything Yet Nothing

Chapter 2: Part 7, The Cheshire Smile

Chapter 2: Part 8, Cacophony of Fists

Chapter 2: Part 9, Still Born

Chapter 2: Part 10, Empty Nest

Chapter 3: Part 1, False Rescue, Hidden Hope

Chapter 3: Part 2, The Process

Review of Brainchild... A collection of Artifacts

Chapter 3: Part 3, Psuedo Life

Chapter 3: Part 4, Wayward Derelicts

Chapter 3: Part 5, The Cleaners

Chapter 3: Part 6 The Corridor

Chapter 3: Part 7, Echoes of Death

Chapter 3: Part 8, The Road Kill Machine

Chapter 3: Part 9, Fixed Lividity

New short story "Alone in the Woods"

Chapter 3: Part 10, Fire Within

Chapter 4: Part 1, Eye of the Beholder

Chapter 4: Part 2, Home

New - Character Sketches

Chapter 4: Part 3, Dead Inside

Chapter 4: Part 4, Dead Soldiers

Chapter 4: Part 5, Kill Switch

Chapter 4: Part 6, The Call Part 2

Chapter 4: Part 7, The Key

Chapter 4: Part 8, Reunion

Chapter 4: Part 9, Unleashed


2005/09/29

Chapter 2: Part 5, Clouded Eye Open





Andre and Corina rushed down the dim hallway to Jackson's room where Jen's screams had drawled into ragged gasps. Warped shadows spilled out of the doorway from a light somewhere within. Andre was the first to turn into the room and saw Jen kneeling beside Jackson's prostrate form. He lay on a mattress and box spring that rested on the floor without a frame. The lower half of the mattress was coated in streaks of blood from the gaping wound on Jackson's leg.

"Damn shit! He didn't look that bad when he came in twenty minutes ago." Andre moved out of the way as Corina pushed past him. "He... he looks like a ghost." Jackson lay there motionless, his dark skin had turned an ashen grey and glistened with perspiration.

Corina reached into her intern bag and pulled out a black stethoscope. She listened intently as she moved the horn down his chest checking on his respiration. Jackson's breathing was low and congested and his heart rate fluttered erratically. Putting away the stethoscope she grabbed a digital thermometer and took a measurement in his ear. "Ninety four point one at one forty six a.m." She said to herself as she returned the thermometer to her bag and started taking notes on his condition. Jackson started to wake due to all the activity around him. "Jackson. Can you hear me? Can you tell me what happened?" Corina questioned him as she continued her examination of the wound on his leg. She turned to Jen and Andre "I can tell you that no dog did this. I've seen half a dozen dog bites in the E.R. and none have looked like this. There are no puncture marks parallel to the wound from the animal's canine teeth." Jackson moaned as she gently lifted His leg. On either side of the bite were two dark bruises that looked curiously like hand prints. She moved back to his chest and placed her pointer and index fingers on his carotid artery "Jackson can you tell me what today's date is?"

Belying his condition Jackson's right arm shot up as he grabbed Corina's wrist. Shocked she tried in vain to pull away from his forceful grasp. Twisting her arm slightly he pulled her closer. Andre moved towards the two but halted when Jackson started to speak, "The body is alive, the body's alive..." Straining to force the words out through his rasping larynx he continued into Corina's ear. "It moved... came after me..." His pupils rapidly moved under closed eyelids as if in R.E.M. sleep.

Corina turned to Jen who had backed herself into a corner at Jackson's statements. "What the hell is he talking about? What body?" Jen just shook her head, pulled her long legs to her chest and hugged herself.

Andre walked over to her to try and comfort the distraught woman. "Jen, your boy is messed up but he'll be alright. Corina's gonna fix'em up real good!" Jen leaned into the warmth of Andre's arm. "Hey, did I ever tell you that his name isn't Jackson?" Both Corina and Jen turned their attention to Andre. "Well Jackson is his name, it's just his last name. That's what he wants us to call him because he doesn't like the name his mom gave him. You see she was a big fan of the Jackson Five especially Michael, so she named him Michael... Michael Tito Jackson." Corina burst out laughing and Jen started to smile. Catching the infectious laugh from Corina, Andre and Jen started to laugh also. The deep baritone of Andre's laugh complimented the sopranos of the girls.

The melodic character of Jen's light laugh trailed off and Andre felt her body go rigid. She inhaled sharply as if to scream but instead raised her arm and pointed towards the body lying on the mattress. Andre followed her arm to the motionless form. Jackson remained in the position which Corina had left him except his eyes were now wide open. Corina look down at Jackson to see why everyone had gone quiet. His eyes had a ghostly appearance and were no longer the deep sable which she had admired. The iris seemed to have become one giant cataract and now the entire orb was the off-white color of the sclera. Corina quickly reached for her medical bag and withdrew a pen light. Pulling back Jackson's eyelids she flicked the pen light on and off and moved it left to right trying to get a tracking response. Jackson's only reaction was a slight tremor that started in his right hand. The spasm gradually grew until his entire arm twitched violently like a freshly caught trout.

"We have to get him to a hospital... now!" Corina, grabbing her equipment, started to head for the door. "We don't have time to wait for an ambulance, we'll have to get some help to move him. Longwood medical center is about a five minute drive from here, we can take my car."

The fever raged within Jackson as his heart feverishly pushed the virus further into the deepest recesses of his circulatory system. The virazyme corrupted each host cell as it encountered them with diabolic precision. As the alien protein coat of the virus entered a new cell it tricked Jackson's immune system into thinking it was his own by using the siRNA from Hans' Immunomix-9. After successfully defending against an interferon response the virazyme quickly went to work dismantling the host cell and reanimating it as a drone. A shadow of its former self this new cell would create and maintain more virazymes while continuing its prior cellular function at a decreased capacity.

Corina and Andre ran out into the dark corridor in the search for another brother to help carry Jackson's large build from the subterranean dwelling he called home. Jen sat there in the corner and helplessly watched as Jackson suffered from their secret. "I'm so sorry Jackson." She sobbed into her folded arms as she rocked back and forth. Suddenly the room went quiet as the tremors in his arm stopped. The deafening silence blanketed Jen in fear. Slowly she crept along the tiled floor where Jackson lay. "Corina.... Andre...." Jen's cries for help came out as whispers. Reaching out her hand she was inches away from his face when suddenly his whole body started to spasm as if undergoing electroconvulsive therapy. She fell away from the bed and the seizure stopped just as abruptly as it had begun.

A loud click from the corner grabbed her attention. It was followed by the low hum of a fan. A dim orange glow by the door started to get brighter as a portable heater began to cycle. Then the light over the bed went out, it's surge protector tripped by the draw of the heater. The glow intensified as she could feel the warmth radiate towards her. After a minute or so it began to fade. The hum of the fan came to a stop and Jen was left in the dark. She fumbled feeling across the floor for the surge protector. Finally she found it behind a stack of milk crates that Jackson had used as a makeshift book shelf. She winced as the light came back on. Jackson lay on the bed motionless, he wasn't breathing and his eyes were closed. She rushed to his side and felt his wrist for a pulse. She could find none and his skin was clammy. Fighting to keep her calm she grabbed his shoulder and started to shake him. From behind her she could hear the heater cycle on again. She was loosing him and something needed to be done quickly. Where was Corina, she would know what to do. Loosing her last ounce of composure she pulled her arm back and slapped Jackson across his stubbled cheek.

His eyes opened wide just as the surge protector tripped again. As the darkness swallowed her for the second time she could feel Jackson begin to sit up...

...Miles away, on the other side of Boston, a clouded eye opened. It was a blind eye in all classical senses. Nerves too damaged by a lack of oxygen to function properly now stared sightlessly into the rain. Although the particular wavelength of visible light could no longer penetrate the milky iris's depths a shorter frequency stimulated the remaining rods and cones that lined the ocular cavity. Another world came into view. It was a world of dark inanimate objects speckled with the bright spots giving off by the warmth of the living. Just as he had stumbled out of the rain earlier that evening, Nick Daniels stood up slowly and shambled back into the dark cold night uncaring of the rain... and hungry.




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