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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


2005/11/10

Chapter 2: Part 8, Cacophony of Fists

In the darkened hallway Corina could hear muffled sounds of activity coming from Jackson's room. What was going on? The sound reminded Corina of when her older brothers used to wrestle in the basement. Then, just as quickly as it began, it suddenly stopped. Shortly after, a large figure slowly appeared outside of the doorway to the room. From its size and shape it appeared to be Jackson. His outline framed by the faint illumination coming from the tap lights hanging on the wall. Walking towards them he stumbled but managed to remain standing. Andre and Corina stopped, "Andre, he shouldn't be able to walk, let alone stand. Not after that seizure he took and the wound on his leg." Jackson continued his approach, each time he started to come into the range of a tap light he grabbed the small fixture and violently tear it off the wall. Pieces of it spread across the floor as the cheap plastic explosively shattered.

"Jackson, what's wrong man!" Andre shouted as he started to walk down the hall. He stopped abruptly and jumped when Corina passed him. "Corina wait!"

Corina reached Jackson just as he stepped into the illumination of another tap light. She looked into his eyes and saw that the Jackson she knew was gone, what remained was just an animated shell. Jackson barred his teeth and forcefully grabbed her long curly hair. Like a date gone terribly wrong Jackson pulled her closer to his body, his mouth agape as his head leaned in. Drool dripped from his lips in anticipation of his first taste. Feeling as if she was being held by a statue, Corina wriggled in his cold arms as she struggled to be free. Jackson finally got the kiss both he and Andre had so longed for as his fever chapped lips brushed against hers as he continued pressing in. She could feel his teeth pressing against her upper lip as he opened his mouth for a taste. She was sick with dread as she thought about what was coming next.

Seconds seemed like an eternity before Andre came to her aid. Jumping on Jackson's back he managed to wrap an arm around his throat and pulled Jackson's threatening maw away from Corina's soft flesh. Andre forced his other arm between them like a crow bar and started prying Jackson's arms from around her. He finally managed to get to a point where she could free herself. They both fell backward as Jackson lost his grasp on Corina's shirt. Enraged at seeing his prey escape, Jackson turned his sights onto the next best thing. Tucking his chin under Andre's forearm Jackson's cold lips pressed hard against the taught muscle. Andre felt a burning pain far greater then when he'd been branded during the initiation into the frat. Jackson's jaws continued pressing harder and harder until his teeth struck bone. Blood welled up from around his mouth like a gothic fountain, it gushed down his throat in crimson torrents.

Andre continued holding back Jackson. The dead weight of Jackson's body pressed down onto Andre's small frame. Broken bits of metal and plastic cut thought Andre's shirt and bit into his back. Jackson twisted around in his arms and pushed down hard on Andre's chest. Andre's resolve began to fail him as he looked into the face of death. The two confronted each other and Andre helplessly watched as Jackson finished chewing the mouthful of meat. Bits of half eaten muscle fell onto his face. Andre tried to yell for help but couldn't gather enough air into his lungs under Jackson's immense weight. Cold fingers clasped tightly around Andre's windpipe. He could feel cartilage popping as it buckled under the strain as Jackson's grip tightened. The dim light of the hallway faded out as the pressure staunched the flow of blood to his oxygen deprived brain. He barely felt it when Jackson tore the side of his face off. Then the blackness turned to a brilliant white light as his body gave up the fight and shut down.

Frantically running in the dark Corina collided with the door jam that surrounded the entry to Jackson's room. An explosion of pain burst on her forehead as she fell backwards into the hallway and blacked out.

Jackson sat atop of Andre rocking contentedly as he enjoyed the meal he had caught. With each rock Andre's limp body exhaled a sickening wheeze that mimicked life. Within minutes, Jackson sensed the cooling of the meat and could no longer enjoy it. The fresh kill had begun to spoil.

Further down the hall a golden glow shimmered in the darkness. It was a glimmer that far outshined the fading light that lay below him. He fixated on its beauty as it drew him to it like a moth to a flame.

Fighting off a concussion she rolled onto her stomach and felt the world spin around as if she was riding some frightening carousel. She had no idea how long she had been unconscious, and in the dark she was having trouble locating her surroundings. Gradually she began to remember, "Andre!" she cried. There was no answer except for a quiet Click... Schickt... Click... Schickt... that was steadily growing louder. It was the same sound she heard earlier when Jackson walked towards her. Fear finally crystallized her thought as she remembered the assault. She sat upright and fought the natural tendency to faint by taking in two rapid breaths and then breathing deep and slowly exhaling. The sound was drawing nearer, and in the darkness she thought she could see movement.

Hurrying as fast as her contusion would allow she grabbed a hold of the steel door frame and pulled herself into the safety of Jackson's room. The footsteps were just outside now as she tried to slam it shut. The heavy door swung easily, stopped, and then sprung back slowly. She had tried it again with the same effect before she realized that a small throw rug was caught between the door and the jam. Corina could hear a moan from within the doorway. Working fast she removed the bunched up rug and slammed the door shut. Locking it behind her she could hear pounding as Jackson's large fists angrily rained against the door.

Trying to catch her breath Corina leaned against the hard steal of the door. It rattled with every assault but continued to hold. Just how long it would was a question Corina didn't want to think about. Off to her right a faint orange light protruded from under an overturned electrical heater. The room was a mess, everything had been overturned and books lay scattered across the tiled floor.

What was going on? Corina's mind raced with possible scenarios ranging from rabies to a humanized strain of mad cow disease. No matter what ideas entered her thought, she just couldn't make the symptoms fit anything she had learned at school or seen during her internship at the ER. Something wasn't adding up. Jen had said something about a break-in at some biotech. Corina tried to remember but the struggle with the door had exhausted her and the whole ordeal was slowly eroding her sanity. She refocused her concentration and was trying to remember when another sound distracted her from her thoughts. This one was coming from inside the room. It was a faint rustling that was barely audible over Jackson's cacophony of fists. Then she could see where the sound was located, it was coming from below Jackson's overturned mattress. The mound raised and lowered as if something from below it was trying to rise up. Corina could see the outline of a slender arm snake its way through the tangle of sheets and blankets. It was followed by a shoulder, and then a torso. Corina couldn't tell in the dark whom the shadow belonged to, but one thing she learned tonight was that things weren't what they appeared to be. Hesitantly she asked in a voice trembling with caution, "Jen is that you?"...

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