Read Infected Freaks (Book 2): The Echo of Decay Online
Authors: Jason Borrego
Tags: #Zombie Apocalypse
THE ECHO OF DECAY
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Infected Freaks Volume Two: The Echo of Decay
Copyright © 2014 Jason Borrego
All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means –electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or another—except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
Broken Light Studios
First Edition: October 2014
Table of Contents
VOLUME 3: THE RED TOWER PART 1
INFECTED FREAKS isn’t your typical zombie apocalypse. The survival horror series brings to life the struggle of Abraham Heinz, his family, and the torment of a world facing extinction. The series, fused with emotion, will be delivered in a volume of novella-sized episodes that will make up a much larger tale of tragedy. Think of it as a favorite TV show or comic that will continue to build upon each breathtaking volume.
Dare to enter into the promise of heart-wrenching decisions? Make sure to leave the light on first.
The dark stains of the diseased freaks reminded Emme that soon the colors of fall would grace the landscape in a blend of yellow, orange, and brown. It was gross and disgusting. The dying bodies reminded her of her nightmares. Still, Emme knew death was the process of life. Everything had to die to be reborn. She loved the fall and the memories of candy corn and cooler weather. But she hated the winter. The bite of the wind was hard to be brave against. Winter was still months away, but she knew it was coming.
Her drowsy eyes rotated between the rustling creatures stirring inside and outside of the big red barn. The second-story addition to the barn was the only thing keeping her alive. Her little heart beat double time as she regretted her choice to stay behind. She was surrounded by corpses covered in mold and buzzing like crazy. She didn’t understand what was happening. The men, she should have left with the men in yellow chemical suits. They tried to warn her about the coming horde. But she wasn’t leaving without her grandpa.
Emme sat perched near the large loft doors that sat wide open and gave her a second-story view of the neighboring acreage. A terrible breathlessness stung at her lungs.
I don’t want to die.
Some of the diseased faces were neighbors. Behind the decay, it was hard to recognize them. Death had come for most of the world. At least that’s what the men in yellow chemical suits said. Emme overheard the men talking to her Uncle Peter about something they called the cordyceps fungus. It sounded like a bunch of rubbish. The men insisted the entire mountain range was being evacuated. She didn’t believe them.
Sweat and dust stained her clothes and burned the cuts and scrapes on her body. Yet, it was the large bruise on her back that scared her. Those men in yellow tore her blouse trying to snatch her up, and the icy touch of gloved fingers seemed to burn into her flesh.
I’m lucky I got away.
She shook her head, understanding her thoughts didn’t make sense. Had the men caught her, she would have been safe with the rest of her family. Denver was where she believed they were going.
Something wasn’t right about the men in yellow. They were mean and pushy. Why would they be so cruel? And so she ran from the men and waited. It wasn’t long after that the first infected crept over the mountain and chased her to the barn. The men in yellow hadn’t left yet, and when they saw the rush of infected pour into the barn, they quickly chained the doors closed.
They must have not seen me
, Emme thought.
Across the way, she watched them post evacuation notices at the farm house. The men sprayed some sort of foam inside. She heard them telling Uncle Peter it killed the human scent that attracted the infected. Getting to the farm house meant a fresh change of clothing. If the foam worked, she could hide out in the house for a while. The thought of cleaning herself up left her plotting different ways to make it across the frightening space. But there was little to no hope of actually making it.
He’s coming. Grandpa Abraham is coming.
How many times had she told herself that in the last hour? Was she trying to trick herself? Nobody was coming to save her. She needed to save herself. Her memory spun through the recollection of Grandma Beth calling her name, pleading for her to come with them. She heard one of the yellow men tell her grandma they would come back for her. Emme thought about screaming at that moment, but didn’t. She didn’t believe they were coming back. And now she remained trapped in the barn and running out of options.
The infected freaks sensed Emme. The men didn’t spray any of that foam on the barn. The only bit of luck was the fact that the infected couldn’t climb a ladder. The dead could smell her fresh blood or was it her tasty skin? Emme wasn’t sure. The only thing she knew for certain was that she was stuck. And if she didn’t figure out how to escape, she would die of starvation or something much worse. Emme shifted her focus to the shadowy tree line.
He has to come back.
The moans of the freaks sounded like a cross between a gurgling bell and a parent pleading with God for their lost child. She counted well over a dozen infected trapped inside the barn and just as many outside.
It wasn’t fair. Her family was gone. The feeling of being trapped dug its nasty claws into her mind. She listened to the monsters’ whimpers and groans for what must have been hours. It was as if the freaks were talking amongst themselves. It had to be. Of course, these nasty things didn’t make much sense. After a few seconds of listening, she was almost certain the creatures were singing a sad song. In her ears, she heard more than what her eyes saw. Emme could hear thousands of them.
Emme fought the suffocating thoughts of being trapped.
Where are you, Grandpa?
Abraham made several trips to the abandoned gas station up the road. He said he wanted answers to what was happening in the rest of the world. However, this was the first time he hadn’t come home. Emme was growing desperate. Thoughts of jumping out of the barn played in her mind. She looked down at the long drop.
I won’t survive the fall.
Rubbing her palms together, she stared back at the tree line. Seconds seemed to tick loudly in her head.
I have to survive on my own
. The truth of jumping from a second-story barn door into a pack of infected monsters ate at her guts. She looked to the left and then the right. Biting her lip she looked back down.
You can do it.
Grandpa Abraham took her older brother with him to the gas station. She wished she would have gone with them. Her brother was a pain in the rear. Still, she wanted her brother, Hunter, with her, even if meant he bossed her around. Hunter would know what to do and how to do it. He was tough and made for this kind of world.
At that moment, something stole her attention. Something was coming over the ridge. She shot up and bought her feet to the edge of the wide-open, second-level loft doors. Whatever it was, it was coming quick and straight for the farm. Her imagination was running wild as she believed Grandpa Abraham had come to save the day. As the staggering shadows emerged, she realized it was only another gang of infected. Her heart sunk.
She studied the bloated corpses as they joined a few of the others at the sealed barn door right below her. The dead things moved along the timbers of the barn, trying to join the others locked inside.
It was difficult for a young girl to understand. The infected freaks appeared mutant and outlandish. The creatures still kind of looked like the people she used to know, yet she knew they weren’t human. They walked on two feet and were of a normal height and weight. But the way they walked, and the sounds that escaped from their mouths reminded her of zombies. But if she was going to get out of here, she had to do something.
Grandpa would fight.
Pulling back a rebellious curl, she cursed under her breath, thinking how childish she was acting. “Go away, you nasty pieces of…” The wind carried off the last of her bellow. For a twelve-year-old, Emme had developed quite the potty mouth. She knew where she had learned such foul words—Grandpa Abraham. He was always cursing when things went south.
The buzz chimed in bursts of static in her rechargeable hearing aids louder than before. “Stop!” Holding an arch to her brow, she plunked out her giraffe-patterned hearing aids.
Why is it different?
She bit into her lower lip with a snarl. Why did the infected freaks sound different when her hearing aids were on?
The wails of the two dozen in the area were loud and clear without the device. Yet, when she plugged them back into her ear, she heard thousands more out in the forest. She may have only been twelve, but she wasn’t stupid. Again she pressed the aids back into her ears. The peculiar sound gave a different frequency to their putrid buzzing song. She realized she must have been able to hear the infected freaks much farther away. It echoed for what seemed like miles upon miles.
A snapping sound drew her attention to the big doors below. One of the planks splintered against the force of the monsters. The chain securing the door wouldn’t last much longer. She couldn’t remember ever feeling so exhausted. Emme swayed back and forth, her legs becoming weaker. Still, she obsessed at the static tone of the dead. It was like listening to the ghosts of all her neighbors.
At that time, something sounded like a dam breaking over the mountain peaks. The wall of sound shook a hundred birds into a frenzied flight as the forest came alive in piercing sounds. A small flare of orange detonated on the horizon, but why? The sudden sound tossed the infected freaks in the area into a demonic frenzy. The ones outside tore away from the barn doors and staggered toward the burning glow. The only thing over the mountain was the old mill, and beyond that was the little gas station town. This made her think of Grandpa Abraham.
A forceful scratch forced her to turn around. The infected freaks below were scratching at the walls with their decaying flesh. When one fell, another climbed up on its back and took its place. Soon enough a pile of corpses formed a makeshift ramp of mold and mush. This allowed one to inch his icy fingers to the base of the second floor. Emme’s heart pounded and her eyes bulged.
“Damn,” she muttered, crippled in fear. She heard a snap and the diseased freak fell down with a wet, crashing sound. Yet, another one rose to take its place. The infected in the barn frantically tried to reach the second floor. Was it her or was the sound calling them? Or was it because they already devoured all the animals?
At the top of the decaying pile of corpses, a tall shape streaked in puss and fungus clawed its way up. The monster had an elongated neck oozing in puss-filled sores. Its swollen belly looked like a pregnant lady’s, ready to rupture. It buzzed at her like a chainsaw motor, and it rang in her ears, distorted and too loud for comfort.
Then and there, its moldy hand snatched at her arms. She cried out, then twisted and turned. The momentum change brought the tall creature out of the loft doors in a hurry. The slurping sound of it crushing below did little to settle her nerves.
A heavy, red tint strangled her face as she picked up a rifle resting against the wall and exhaled.
Where are you, Grandpa?
She wouldn’t survive for much longer if she didn’t start fighting back.