This is a free fiction I wrote after running a zombie apocalypse RPG. The whole first chapter and the beginning of the second is live on Jackeduptales.com . Yes, this is a zombie apocalypse in Atlanta. NO, this is not WALKING DEAD fan fiction.
CHAPTER ONE: RACHEL
She had come much to far to die now.
But, the further she went into downtown Atlanta, the more she was surrounded by death itself. Bodies lined the road in all sorts of conditions; mostly torn apart. Others, the heads taken off or shot through. Grizzly to say the least. She had heard the stories; seen the television reports. That is before the networks stopped broadcasting.
Her husband had seen this coming somehow. He was always the fatalist; always the doomsday survivalist sort. She never took it seriously, but she loved him and thought surely it wouldn't hurt anything to be prepared. It set his mind at ease. And, considering how things turned out, she was the better because of it. Too bad she couldn't say the same for him.
“My Bo!” She caught herself sobbing suddenly in her broken Louisiana Cajun.
She stifled that thought; that emotion. Shoved it back down deep inside; far enough to keep her composure and, maybe her sanity. She had to keep her head about her. These streets were dangerous even though she hadn't seen anything move since arriving.
No, her and her love had a place by the lake out in the middle of nowhere just for this kind of occasion. A place prepared for the apocalypse. She always thought of it as her vacation home; a place to go to relax and gather thoughts while Bo made preparations. Rachel had no idea, at the time, that they would need this place and its provisions. But they did.
The Wave hit hard in downtown Atlanta. It was a contagion without remorse, sympathy or prejudice. They had headed out to the lake house at the first sign of epidemic. You see, the WAVE was a virus that struck down young and old alike. It ravaged the body and created a mass run on every hospital in the region. Suddenly, the tent cities appeared and the Government stepped in. When the Center for Disease Control took over, that's when Bo made the decision to move. They had only come to Atlanta to deliver some canned goods. They had no idea that they would never leave together.
Tears began to roll down Rachel's face as she toured the body littered streets. It was as if some war had broken out and nobody won. She shouldn't have come here, but she had no choice. She had family still in Atlanta. They had refused to listen; refused to come with them to safety. SAFETY, that was a laugh. Nowhere was safe for long; not in this horrible new world.
She knew her sister and cousins, Jack and Hyde, were here when the bomb hit. At least, that's what she was told by the people on the HAM radio. She had seen the flash over Atlanta. Felt the wave of warmth and energy pulsate through the air. She knew something happened, but it sure didn't look like anybody had dropped a bomb here. There were no buildings destroyed; nothing burned. She had thought radiation, but one of the guys on the radio had said that his Geiger counter registered nothing. No, this was all just too odd for words.
It was almost dusk. Best find somewhere to spend the night. She looked up and saw a hotel towering to the sky.
“The higher; the better..” She muttered as she pushed her motorcycle on.
She was navigating the streets well when, suddenly, she turned the wrong corner. It was getting dark fast, but she could see a group of shadows moving in the street ahead.
“Best to go around...” Rachel told herself as she turned to see a mass of shadows moving down the other street as well. “Damn!”
She gunned the engine and raced straight down the side street. Before she encountered the silent mob ahead, she slid to turn into an alleyway. Racing the engine, she was going much too fast down this narrow access way, but she knew she had to move.
“You not gonna get me like you got BO!” She whispered to herself.
Suddenly, in the opening ahead, she could see more shadows rambling along. Instinctively, she popped the front wheel off the ground and came roaring out of the alley; knocking bodies out of her way. Coming to a halt in the middle of the street, she realized they were everywhere. Rachel quickly pulled out her Bo's favorite shotgun and leveled it at the mob ahead. As she spun out, racing toward the mass of bodies, she fired both barrels, clearing a way for her to shoot through. She was getting closer to the hotel as she was in its shadow, even now. But the sun was almost down and the streets were coming alive with movement.
“Alive...” She thought in amusement.
Taking her eyes off the road, she hit the curb and launched over a couple of shadows ahead only to crash into the alley just to her left. As her motorcycle shut off and she pulled up off the ground, Rachel realized that she was surrounded. Without thought or remorse, she reloaded her shotgun. Before the shadows descended upon her, she flipped her shotgun out and took down a couple of the skulking shadows. Putting the gun away, she reached into the bag on her motorcycle and pulled out an aluminum baseball bat.
Choking up on the bat like a big league slugger, Rachel grinned and announced, “BATTER UP!”
That didn't deter the shadows from coming closer and, although it was getting dark, she could see their grizzly features all too well. For, you see, not long after the bomb blast (whatever it was), the dead returned to life fostering a real problem with the living. The news reports called it a hunger, but, although they had no reservations biting you, they never seemed all that interested in actually devouring the dead remains. The apocalypse her Bo had seen coming had turned out to be a zombie one. And she was riding through ground zero.
As she slugged away, she knew there were too many of them. But, there was no giving up, not as long as family was still out there. She had to get them to safety; had to get them to the lake house. Funny thing is she knew deep down that even that place wasn't the safest place. After all, it wasn't for Bo.
Suddenly, she was knocked to the ground. The dead rotting bodies clamored onto her; striking her with their many fists. Their attacks were brutal and subduing. She was losing ground at every turn. Finally, one the walking corpses jumped onto her and clutched onto to her throat. The ghoulish thing opening its gaping maw; screaming an unearthly scream. It reared its right fist back in the air and brought it down upon her sternum with a crushing blow. As the dead fist made contact, it hit a metal plate she had rigged for just such an occasion.
You see, Rachel tinkers and she tinkers well. And traps were her forte. As the metal plate made a clicking noise, she closed her eyes; squinting in anticipation. The ensuing explosion sent the dead attacker flying into pieces all over the place. Unfortunately, the backlash hit her with more of a concussive blast than she had anticipated. Suddenly, hitting the ground hard, the world was growing even darker, as the shadows descended upon her prone body.