Read Dead Hunger III: The Chatsworth Chronicles Online

Authors: Eric A. Shelman

Tags: #zombie apocalypse

Dead Hunger III: The Chatsworth Chronicles

BOOK: Dead Hunger III: The Chatsworth Chronicles
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BOOK
THREE
OF THE DEAD HUNGER SERIES

 

 

 

Dead Hunger II
I

The Chatsworth
Chronicle
s

 

A Flex
Sheridan
Adventure

 

 

By Eric A. Shelman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dead Hunger II
I
: The
Chatsworth
Chronicle
s

 

is a work of fiction by

 

Eric A. Shelman

 

All characters contained herein are fictional, and all similarities to actual persons, living or dead, are purely coincidental.

 

No portion of this text
may
be copied or duplicated without author or publisher written permission, except for use in professional reviews.

 

©2012 Dolphin Moon Publishing

 

(
TP
Print Version)

ISBN 978-0-9669400-
9-1

 

Cover Art By Gary McCluskey

 

Edited By Suzanne Anderson

 

 

 

 

DEDICATIONS

 

 

 

To my wife, Linda – thank you for your sacrifices through the years as
I have
pursued this goal of writing books that thirty or so people are very interested in reading. 
You have
always understood this passion I have for writing
, and you’ve always been the first ear to hear the tales. 
I love you.

 

 

And … to my brother, Don – thanks for letting me bounce ideas off your highly sophisticated reader’s mind – one that can comprehend authors much more complex than myself.  The brainstorming sessions
we have
had over this zombie series have been priceless, and it allowed me to spend some unique, crazy time with my only remaining brother.

 

 

And
finally … to my late brother, Gary.  Dude, you are the very reason I fired up
my
computer back in the 1990s and began to write again. 
I have known that to be true since you walked in with your short story, The Gift. 
I love and miss you,
brother
.  Hope it’s not too hot there.
(
Just fuckin’ with you,
man
.
)

 

 

 

 

PROLOGUE

 

 

 

People seem nicer these days.  Most of them, anyway.  It’s as though anyone who doesn’t see you as a threat or a meal is immediately accepted as a friend.

I suppose that’s the way it should be.  Perhaps the way it should have always been, minus the meal bit.  That’s something that should never have entered the
equation
.

Oh, but it has. 

It
certainly
has.

My name is Hemphill Chatsworth.  My friends call me Hemp.  And pretty much everyone who hasn’t given me reason to feel otherwise, is my friend these days.

These days of zombies.   We avoided saying the word as long as we could, but these are reanimated corpses and deteriorating human beings without pulmonary functions or any other vital signs
, who are actively seeking us for a food source
.  And isn’t that the very definition of the once fictional zombie?  Of course it is.  It works.

The one piece of their anatomy that still functions in any way is the brain.  And it’s making frightening judgments that affect those of us who are still alive in a horrid way.  It tells them they are ravenously hungry, and that flesh is the solution
to their craving
.

Human flesh.  Our flesh.

We’ve discovered, over time, there are two types of zombies, as I alluded to.  The ones who contracted the disease while
living
and those who were
buried and
exposed to an element coming out of what I believe to be the earth’s core.  I’ve
come up with a hypothesis
, through my observations and subsequent testing, that a fissure formed in the very nucleus of the planet, and
a gaseous element of
unknown origin has begun to emit
from nearly ever surface of the planet
.

You may ask why I say it’s of unkno
wn origin when I also stated it
s
most likely source is
the earth’s core.  Because as the planet formed, any number of things could’ve happened to insert or create this vapor.  The fact is we’ll never know.  It will remain
a mystery to mankind
.

But we know what we have to do.  We all realize what is necessary to put this planet right again, if it’s even possible.

We have to kill them all.  Each and every one of them.
  And
because
I’ve made
a well-
educated guess as to how many of them there are versus how many of us there are, I can tell you
with some level of certainty
that there are ten of them to every one of us. 

That
directly translates t
o the odds against us in no uncertain terms.  And that’s why people say
ten to one
this
, and ten to one
that
.
  Ten to one odds suck if you’re on the one side.  You’re very sure of yourself if you’re on the ten side.

Let me interrupt myself for a brief moment to tell you this:  Don’t
dare
bet against us, because every time we run into a large group of them, each of us takes
down
our
ten. 

Whittling away.  That’s how it’s going to have to be done.  The odds get better for us with every dead ghoul and digger. 

I have no idea, nor do Flex, Gem or Charlie, how well
other survivors
are doing out there bringing them down.  I hope our
belief
that
they’re
figuring
out how to defend against the creatures and how to eradicate them is accurate
, because unless they do, the aforementioned ratio of zombies to
uninfecteds
isn’t going to move in our favor very quickly.

So as
Flex and Gem did in
their chronicles, I’ll begin by telling you a bit about me
and how I got to where they found me, in that jail cell in Tallahassee. 
I believe Flex mentioned what I said about heading down from
Atlanta
to see
Kennedy
Space
Center
for the first time, and it’s on that trip that I became permanently sidetracked.

I suppose I’m lucky I ended up where I did.  Had I not, I never would’ve met my best friends in the
world, w
hich means I never would’ve met my wife
.

Charlie
Sanders was her name before she married me in that little
Alabama
church
.
  She still cringes
at the combination of her name and my last
.  Charlene Chatsworth reminds one a bit less of the
late
sil
ent film actor Charlie Chaplin
, but that’s not her.

Charlie has changed me.  Not only my outlook on
this new,
very strange life
we’re living
, but my hope for the future.  She’s a firecracker with a lit fuse, and I’m the happiest
expat
you’
ll ever meet.

That woman transformed my heart and made me smile more in the last few months than I had since my first wife died in childbirth with my newborn son.

I won’t get into that part of my life because it’s not relevant.  If you’re reading this, then you want to know, I believe, what we did and how we survived.  How we interacted and how we dealt with this apocalypse. 

Apocalypse.  I’ve never called it that before.  And yet, that’s what it is.  A
bloody
apocalypse if there ever was one.

The more I write, the more I wonder how Flex and Gem got through
their
chronicles
.  There’s so much to share with you that I almost don’t know where to begin
, because my mind keeps skipping to other parts of the story
.  I might have a touch of the Attention Deficit Disorder (I’d have just written ADD, but in print it just appears I wrote the word
add
with the caps lock key stuck on,) but when there is so much to consider and so many things to analyze, I think a bit of ADD is good.  (See?) 

Well, I suppose I’ll tell you a bit about myself.  I know you probably feel as though you know me, but here’s the thing.  I lied to Flex and Gem.  Charlie’s the only one who knows the truth.

Let me start a bit farther back, before the lie. 

There are some things you might wonder about.  It’s true that when I was six years old, my father used to pick up broken handguns from pawn shops in and around the area I lived, South Yorkshire, in the northern part of
England
.

While it is true that pawn shops in
England
do not sell firearms of any kind – at least not over the front counter, there is a black market, far beneath the visible one.  One should not believe for a moment that pawnbrokers are not approached with merchandise, both legal and illegal, of every kind.  And some of this merchandise could clearly use the assistance of a curious, and I’ll admit,
talented
boy.  My father realized right away that funds accumulated in this manner could build quickly, and would be a nice turnabout of money for
our
family.

He
initially
had some
great
difficulty in this regard, as guns are practically nonexistent in normal English society, and even many criminals have never actually seen or owned one.  So when a man
– my father –
who was not known for his underworld reputation or
control over hired
muscle began contacting the very men who ran in that shadowed world, saying his genius son could
take one look at the weapons and
know exactly what needed to be done to either convert or repair them, he was turned away.

It literally took over a year of effort before one crook named John Ahrens agreed to let my father take six replica guns made in
Germany
to
convert into workable handguns.

It was the most fun I’d ever had at seven years old.  They’d had to provide a special grinder, but with that tool, I was engrossed, both before and after my school day was done
, and the first guns were all successes
.
  The best part was, when they saw the results, they let me keep the grinder.

It
wasn’t long before several CS gas firing guns were brought to me for conversion
, after which
,
each was capable of accurately firing
9mm bulleted ammo.
  Even in an area the size of Rotherham in
South Yorkshire
, people knew one another.  My father had taken me into the pawn shops many times to buy this or that, always negotiating everything down for me.  When he went in the back, well, that’s when I got most excited.

BOOK: Dead Hunger III: The Chatsworth Chronicles
7.37Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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