Love in the Time of Zombies

Time of Zombies, Book 1

First influenza, then virus Z decimated the population. Now, Emily Gray is just trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. When she meets and falls for Seth Ripley she learns that just surviving isn’t enough if you don’t have someone to share the danger, your life, and your love.

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Excerpt:

Chapter One

Guess you never know. Who would have thought something as terrible as the zombie apocalypse would bring me something as wonderful as Seth Ripley?

Of course, the zombies got my mother and my father, and my husband, Carl. Pretty much, they got my whole family. Okay, my husband Carl had been an asshole so he was no great loss. Never could keep it in his pants, if I may be so crude. If he could’ve kept it in his pants, he may have kept that appendage altogether. But, it was the early days of the Z virus mutation and how could he know the hooker he took to the cheap by-the-hour motel had the sickness? I’m sure he didn’t realize anything until the woman chewed it off, to be honestly blunt. He never was a great one for paying attention during sex as it was. Oh, maybe in the early days of our marriage, but he’d changed in the last few years, just before the end of the world.

Five years of him spreading it far and wide to prove his virility and all I was left with was a one-sheet police report and a blurred photo of Carl with one between the opaque, dead eyes. The police had stopped trying to take sickies to the hospital a couple of weeks before. By the time Carl was attacked it was kill ‘em, identify ‘em, and burn ‘em in a pile. KIB was the order of the day. A few weeks after that and they skipped the identify part of the acronym too. A few weeks more and there weren’t enough police or bullets for the killing part either.

Six months had passed and the police were all gone, along with the military. Now it was survival of the fittest. Never in a million years would I have pictured myself; neglected society, trophy-wife, Emily Gray, in that category. Guess you never know.

Your day could start so shitty and end so… well, not great, because there weren’t too many great days anymore. The only definition to divide the monotony of the days were get bitten by a zombie day and not get bitten by a zombie day. But that day would turn out better than most. At least it would with a great deal of hindsight and distance from the event. Adding a whole hell of a lot of seeing a silver-lining after the fact helped too.

As with most days, I had zombie patrol for the morning, which was so not my best time of the day. But zombies don’t have an off switch so we had to hunt first thing in the morning to clear the perimeter around the giant mall.

Did you know shopping centers are the best defense against zombies? Me neither, until I got shipped out of what was left of San Francisco to the middle of nowhere—Brentwood. I’d never even heard of the town before I got sent there. Shopping centers are like medieval castles. Brick up the front doors and small back doors and the roof is like the battlements of a castle. Zombies can’t climb. Thank God for any small favor we could get. It’s about the only advantage we have. Because we have to sleep and the zombies don’t.

We were the last escapees of the city by the bay. Pre-Z the city had a population of more than 850, 000. In the end, San Francisco had 5,000 living beings to round up and ship to other communities to the east. The lieutenant governor (the governor had turned on live television and been put down) declared San Francisco the land of the undead, and blew up the bridges connecting it to the rest of the state and collapsed the Caldecott Tunnel for good measure. A bunch of massive explosions of entire city blocks to the south and San Francisco was pretty much an island of zombies.

My skin had burned lobster-red my first week of roof living here. San Francisco is more known for fog and chilly days than for getting a suntan. Once I tanned, it was the burnished copper of my ancestors—Native Americans of some unknown tribe, according to my mother. Way back in our ancestry, she had always been sure to add. The long hair my husband had insisted on was gone—happily. Long hair and zombies did not mix. My first day there I’d seen a young, blonde girl pulled back by her long braid and devoured in a dirt field. Long hair gone. Also happily gone, the extra thirty pounds I had carried through my unhappy marriage years. Running from zombies was the best aerobic exercise around. The penalty for missing a day of exercise was death—or nondeath in our case.

No one knew for sure back then if the animals were susceptible to the mutation, and what eating them would do to us, so breakfast was lots of fruits, vegetables, and soy patties. After six months of eating the food and drinking the water, either we were going to turn undead or not as far as I was concerned. I looked at it like this, if we were going to turn, we would have already done so. Scientific types were still testing cows and pigs to see if they just had the flu vaccine in them or if it would mutate in them too. Hadn’t seen any pigs or cows running amok yet.

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