Read Zombie High Chronicles (Book 1) Online

Authors: Amy Miles

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Zombie High Chronicles (Book 1)

BOOK: Zombie High Chronicles (Book 1)
3.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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Zombie High Chronicles

1

 

ALSO BY AMY MILES

The Rising Trilogy

Defiance Rising

Relinquish

Vengeance

 

The Arotas Trilogy

Forbidden

Reckoning

Redemption

Evermore

 

The Immortal Rose Trilogy

Desolate

 

The Withered Series

Wither

 

Waiting on Us

Obsidian Flames

Captivate

In Your Embrace

 

amy miles

 

 

 

zombie high cronicles

1

 

 

Copyright © 2016 by Amy Miles

http://www.AmyMilesBooks.com

ISBN
:
 9781310958236

 

This book is a work of fiction.  The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real.  Any resemblance to a person, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental.

 

All rights are reserved.  No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the author.

 

For my family, who sacrifice so much to allow me to follow my dreams…

zombie high chronicles

1

 

My name is Roan Sterling.
I am seventeen years old.
I am not infected.
Three months ago my world went to hell and never looked back. I knew long before the others that we were all officially screwed. Growing up as an army brat had taught me a few things. Like when the military enacted martial law and forced you to leave your home, a normal day would be anything but. 
Life in the Safe Zone sucked. The soldiers could poke us like lab rats, load us up on buses bound for school and pretend like everything was normal, but I knew fear when I saw it and the soldiers manning the gates were gripping their guns just a little too hard for comfort. This place used to be a typical “last place on earth anything would ever happen” slice of suburbia. Until they happened. 
Dead Heads. Stiffs. Lame Brains. We had a lot of names for them to replace dad, sister or son. Something flipped a switch in their brains and the lights went out, but I suspected that the blackout was only temporary. I’d seen things I wasn’t supposed to. The Dead Heads were starting to notice us for the first time.
Life at Zombie High was about to get a lot bloodier.

Prologue

 

My neighbor is a freakin’ zombie!

 

I hate my neighbor.

I’m sure a lot of guys in my situation would say the same thing, but as I lie smothering under my pillow during a freak Fall heat wave, I start making a list of all of the things that I’d like to do to get back at him for installing that damn security floodlight on his second floor roofline. The one that just happens to light up every square inch of my bedroom like a baseball field on game night, despite the freaking power shortage.

What sort of guy actually hooks up his flood light to a generator instead of his TV? But I already know the answer to that question. He’s a weak minded man who is fearful of the unknown.

From the moment we first moved in, I knew Mr. Pellagrino was an oddball. With a short stature, balding head and ginormous stomach that makes him waddle like a penguin, he reminds me of one half of the Tweedledee twins from Alice in Wonderland. As if that weren’t bad enough, he’s also my new principal. Take about a buzz kill.

I’m pretty sure after only three weeks into school he became tired of our little daily chats in his office. He even had my mom’s cell number memorized before the first week was done.

I can just picture what my student file says: Roan Sterling, a bright student with great potential but in serious need of anger management classes.

School just isn’t my thing. It has never been. With my dad always getting shipped from one Army base to the next I never saw any point in trying to make friends or put down roots. It wasn’t like we were going to be sticking around long anyways. A therapist might claim that my aggressive tendencies stem from an unspoken frustration that has been buried inside regarding being constantly being uprooted.

It isn’t unspoken frustration, I can guarantee you that.

To say that my Dad and I butt heads would be the understatement of the year. He is an ass. Everyone knows it but he is also a highly decorated ass so he gets by with more than he should. As a result, I’ve been in and out of my fair share of schools, both public and private, along with military training camps for the disturbed youth and I even spent a small stint in juvie.

I’m not exactly the poster child for good behavior. That might have something to do with why Mr. Pellagrino has become the neighbor from hell.

The only thing my principal has going for him, apart from what appears to be an extended break from work, is his smokin’ hot daughter, Susie. Watching her lay out next to their pool these past few weeks has literally been the only highlight of my year but even the image of her in a little black bikini isn’t enough to override my current anger.

“I could do something small that wouldn’t attract a lot of attention like toilet papering his house. Of course, then I’d have to use all of our rationed supplies, but I reckon it’d be worth using leaves for a few days just to see the look on his face,” I muse in a muffled voice as I tap my fingers against my feather pillow. “Egging is this heat would be too ripe and Mom would break a belt over my back if I wasted any food.”

Food rationing sucked. After there was a run on the stores when the first reports of the outbreak started hitting the news, the military had to step in and take control.  

Atlanta quickly became a hub of activity as tourists were stranded when the friendly skies prove to no longer be friendly. Streets became a gridlock and schools were shut down to conserve energy. At times like these, who cares about Physics or a trigonometry test when you had “zombies” roaming the streets?

I didn’t believe the rumors.

Let’s face it, after watching hordes of them mindlessly walking around chewing on TV character’s innards each week, reading comics because they have a cult following and splattering brains across a digital wall in a video game, it is easy to become desensitized to the possibility.  Although they still sit firmly on my epic scale, I am old enough to know fact from fantasy.  Zombies are nothing more than fictionalized awesomeness.

Sure, there have been a few weird illnesses reported and the hospitals are definitely overrun with flu patients but germs always run rampant this time of year. Especially when people cough into their hands and then walk right out of a bathroom without washing their hands. It makes me want to scream, “Hygiene people! It wouldn’t kill you!”

Just this morning I saw three of our neighbors packing up their cars with supplies. I have no idea where they plan to go. Maybe to the mountains or toward the coast but I prefer to stay right here in my bed until it all blows over.  After scares like Ebola, swine flu or flu pandemics, I’m sure this too will pass.

At the sound of a lawn chair stuttering across the paver patio next door, I decide that perhaps hating my neighbor is a bit of an understatement. Loathing might be a better fit. As I pull my pillow off my face and find that the floodlight is on again, I toss my pillow across the room. This is the fourth time in twenty minutes.

“That is it!” I yell out of the window as I rise up in bed. “If that light comes back on one more time I swear I’m going to start cutting some tires!”

A responding clattering from below makes me push to the edge of my bed.

“If that’s your cat I’m going to be making kitty stew for dinner!”

My sheet tangles around my legs as I hop several times on the carpet to free my feet.

Kicking it away, I yank my blinds all of the way up and stare into my neighbors back yard. It is laid out in a large rectangle with a kidney shaped pool in the middle, a wide wrap-around deck and eight-foot-high fencing.

“Where are you, you little bastard?” I search the lawn for any signs of the tabby cat that has been known to set the lights off in the past when it leaps over into our side yard to take a crap.

That is when I see movement skirting along the edge of the floodlight and reach toward the wall beside me, using my fingers to feel around for my BB gun. The accuracy from this range will be utter shit but my mom would throw a fit if I used my crossbow. She’s a cat person.

“Here, kitty,” I whisper as I bring the gun up and nestle it into my shoulder.  “Come into the light.”

After several minutes of watching, I begin to suspect that whatever is skirting along the light may far bigger than a cat. Glancing up at the sky, I see that the clouds from yesterday’s storms have finally begun to break apart. Soon the full moon will shed some light on the dark parts of the yard and I’ll be waiting.

Time passes slowly as I wait for the clouds. There is very little breeze in the air to ease the sweltering heat as I search for movement again but it has disappeared. Just as I’m about to give up and return to bed, I hear a loud thud. Swiveling my gun to the left, I listen as the same sound comes again.

“What is that?” The sound repeats itself as if one a loop with only a few seconds between thuds.

Narrowing my eyes, I try to peer through the darkness and think that I see something dark near the far fence.

“Come on.”  Glancing at the sky I see that the clouds have thinned and the moonlight has begun to peek through.

Then all light in the backyard vanishes when the floodlight turns off.

“Son of a—”

I duck down low when I hear glass breaking and turn back toward the house. Smoke billows out of the back windows and flames can be seen rising along the walls of Mr. Pellagrino’s kitchen cabinets, eating away at the wood as it following a trail of lighter fluid.

“Shit.”  Tossing my gun aside, I race across my room and shout for my mom as I thunder down the stairs. The front door slams against the wall as I run barefoot across the yard. I pause only long enough to wipe cat poop from between my toes and run right up to the front door.

“Mr. Pellagrino, wake up! Your house is on fire!”

My shouts go unanswered and I rush from window to window, peering in to see if I can see movement.

“Roan? What’s going on?”

I turn to see my Mom hurrying across our adjoining yard as she ties a knot in her robe.

“The house is on fire.”

My mom rushes up to the door and begins beating on the door, shouting for Mr. Pellagrino as I lean over the railing. From there I can see smoke filling the space between our two houses.  If Mr. Pellagrino is still inside he could already be passed out from the smoke.  

“I’m going around back!”

Before my mom can stop me, I hop over the railing and race between the hedge line and the house. I have nothing to cover my face or nose with as I yank on the latch and swing the fence door open. The backyard is hazy and brilliantly lit by the growing flames. They reflect off the smooth surface of the water.

Glancing up into the blinding floodlight that I set off as I hurry around the side of the house, I try to search the second-floor windows but I don’t see any movement. I take the back deck stairs two at a time with the intent of bursting in to search for Mr. Pellagrino and Susie but the wall of heat singes the hairs on my arms and I’m forced backward. The vinyl siding has already begun to melt and twist under the heat.

That’s when I see movement off to my right and turn.  “Susie?”

I recognize the girl’s white-blond hair and skimpy black nightgown that she’s been known to flaunt on the back deck when she caught me watching.

“Are you hurt?”

She doesn’t respond as I move back down the steps and across the grass. The earth is cool and moist, a beautiful contrast to the heat pouring from the house.

“I need you to tell me if your Dad is still inside.”

I cough twice as the smoke fills my lungs. Reaching out to take hold of her shoulder, I turn her to face me, but the instant that I do, I cry out and throw myself back onto the ground.

Susie’s eyes are pure white and part of her scalp and hair has been ripped out. has Her nose is a mangled mess and I realize that she has broken it from repeatedly hitting the fence.

“Oh god,” I whisper and crawl backward on my hands and knees. She is what I heard earlier. She is what was setting the floodlight off.

Her feet are bare and dirty. Her nightgown rides far too low to be decent but she seems unaware. Patches of her skin have been peeled back, leaving flaps of flesh to dangle. The long legs that I once used to fantasize about are riddled with blue veins that stand out against her unnaturally pale skin.

“Susie?”

She doesn’t respond to hearing her name. Instead, she walks toward me without blinking and that’s when I see something white stuck to the bottom of her foot. I reach out to grab hold of the piece of paper before I roll to the side to narrowly miss her stepping down on my leg.  When I come back to a seated position, I push up to my feet and stand watching she as limps forward on a twisted ankle that has swollen twice its normal size.

She moves out of the grass and slams into the deck chair then turns and veers straight for the deep end of the pool.

“Roan, stop her! She’s going to fall in!”

“Don’t” I cry out and tackle my mom to the grass before she can touch Suzie.

“Have you gone insane?” My mom beats against my chest as I hold tightly to her and close my eyes at the sound of a loud splash behind us. “She’s going to drown!”

“Mom,” I choke out. There must have been something in my voice that makes her stop fighting me because she falls still in my arms. “There’s something really wrong with her.”

“You mean she’s sick?”

I swallow as part of my dinner starts to rise up into my throat. “No. I can’t believe I’m going to say this but I think she’s one of them. The ones we hear about on the news.”

“A zombie?” My mom scoffs and rolls her eyes. “That is absurd.”

“It’s true.” I cling to her arm as she makes another attempt to go to Susie’s aid but she goes stiff when she turns to look at the pool. Suzie does not paddle or attempt to swim. Instead, she lies on her back in the water and slowly sinks to the pool floor.

In the light of the fire behind us, I see the whites of Susie’s eyes against the dark depths and know that I will never get that image out of my mind.

“Did you just see—”

With shaking hands, I lift the note that I snatched off of her just before she walked by me and instantly recognize Mr. Pellagrino’s handwriting.

The outbreak has taken my daughter. I can’t be next.

Lifting my arm to block the heat from the house fire I know that he set the fire. Fear may have driven him to run that floodlight but it offered no protection against this nameless enemy.

As I walk my mom back to our house I have no way of knowing that our lives will never be the same. That this will be the final night we spend in our home and that my world is about to get a hell of a lot more complicated.

This is also the day that I vow to swear off of daydreams of Susie Pellagrino and say hello to insomnia.

BOOK: Zombie High Chronicles (Book 1)
3.93Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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