Excerpt from Zombie Park by Mark Cusco Ailes
I’ve included one of my favorite scenes from Zombie Park. Imagine being surrounded by mirrors in a fun house when the threat of being attacked by a zombie was emanate. I visualized the whole scene in one of my dreams and wrote it the moment I woke up.
Donnie Jorsen tore up the restraining order and tossed it in the garbage once he got back to his house. He had to take a cab once he had been freed from jail, and he was happy to be there. All he had thought about while he was incarcerated was getting revenge on the people who put him in there and also finding a way to stop the park from opening. He knew it was too late to keep it from opening, but he did have time to find a way to keep it from making any profits. If he could accomplish that, maybe he could force the park to close due to poor profits. He had thought long and hard about it. He had a couple ideas that could accomplish his goals, plus he had one backup idea that could ruin the park altogether. It was risky, and some people could be hurt, but in the end, it could have the desired results he was shooting for. The first thing he needed to do was find a way to get in the park without being recognized. Everybody would be on the lookout for him. He remembered something about the park he read in the paper while in jail about a costume party the park was going to host. It was going to be held on a Saturday in two weeks and the community was invited. He had the perfect idea. He could dress as a zombie. If he used a bunch of makeup and prosthetics, he could possibly slip by without anybody recognizing him. He was positive it was the perfect plan. Now he had to search for a costume shop online to find the perfect costume. He went for his computer and turned it on. He then went to his room to find his credit card he kept hidden in a dresser drawer.
He found several costumes online he liked and sat there thinking which one would be the perfect choice. Ten minutes later he found the perfect costume. He placed the order and paid for overnight delivery. He didn’t want to take the chance of it arriving too late for the event. He had two short weeks to figure out what he was going to do. He knew security would be tight, so whatever he planned on doing, he knew he would have to be careful. He sat back in his chair and let his mind wander into the dream world. He was exhausted by all the prepping and now all he wanted to do was relax away his worries.
He found himself walking alone inside the zombie park with the wind blowing the stench of rotting meat around him. The air was alive with hunger and nothing else. The shuffling of dead feet breaking the silence alerted him he wasn’t alone. He looked around, and he could see he was surrounded by shambling hordes of hungry horrors staggering toward him, as if they were alerted to their living dinner. He saw an alley to the right of him that was free of gore-guzzling ghouls and made haste to find a safe place to hide. He saw a building in front of him with a sign proclaiming it was a house of mirrors. He knew this was the perfect place to elude the hungry hordes until he could find a way out of the predicament he was in. He entered the building and immediately heard the slow, soft shuffle of dragging feet on broken glass. He looked straight ahead and the image of a zombie engulfed the glass barrier. Its clothes were badly torn like a pack of wild dogs had been at him. He knew proceeding forward wasn’t an option. He was at a loss for what course of action to take next. There were hordes of zombies behind him and at least one in front of him. He didn’t like the chance of finding the zombie hidden within the maze of glass. He decided his only course of action would be to leave the building and find another safe place to hide that didn’t involve mirrors. He turned and immediately came face to face with a ghoul with blood drooling from its mangled lips. It moaned and moved toward him. Donnie turned to run but it grabbed his arm and forcibly turned him around in one quick motion. His flesh tore with a wet, sucking sound. Donnie awoke with sweat dripping down his face. He now knew what he was going to do.
Jay Wilburn lives with his wife and two sons in Conway, South Carolina near the Atlantic coast of the southern United States. He has a Masters Degree in education and he taught public school for sixteen years before becoming a full time writer. He is the author of many short stories including work in Best Horror of the Year volume 5, Zombies More Recent Dead, Shadows Over Mainstreet, and Truth or Dare. He is the author of the Dead Song Legend Dodecology and the music of the five song soundtrack recorded as if by the characters within the world of the novel The Sound May Suffer. He also wrote the novels Loose Ends and Time Eaters. He is one of the four authors behind the Hellmouth trilogy. He cowrote The Enemy Held Near with Armand Rosamilia. Jay Wilburn is a regular columnist with Dark Moon Digest. Follow his many dark thoughts on Twitter, Instagram, and Periscope as @AmongTheZombies, his Facebook author page, and at JayWilburn.com