Excerpt from Zombie World
by Mark Cusco Ailes
Zombie Park has gone global…
The guards followed Cheng to the back area and unlocked the cage and let him inside. The muscular man was heavily sedated so he didn’t pose much of a threat as he was injected with the newly created serum. Cheng and the guards left the cage and the guards locked it behind them. All three of them stood there waiting for something to happen. Cheng stood impatiently for twenty minutes wondering if the serum was going to work. He knew the transformation should have already occurred leading him to believe he had suffered another failure. He glanced at the clock on the wall. Another twenty minutes had passed and there still hadn’t been any changes.
An hour passed and Cheng hung his head low and left the back area followed by the guards. He was at a loss why it hadn’t worked. All of his research led him to conclude that the serum should have worked. He turned to head for the lab door to find Ted to inform him the test was negative when he heard a loud growl coming from the back area. He looked at the guards. “Follow me.”
He made his way to the back area not knowing what he was going to find. He couldn’t believe it would take over an hour for the serum to work. He kept running the numbers in his head. His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of clanking chains. He stopped dead in his tracks and looked at the guards. “You better go in first.”
He followed them into the back area and his eyes widened. Locked inside the cage was the main attraction for the park. He now had achieved a very tall and muscular zombie. It was inside the cage fighting against its restraints and trying to free itself. It glared at Cheng with hungry eyes and a thirst for his blood. Cheng looked at the guards. “Don’t go near the cage; you’ll only aggravate it. I’m going to go find Ted and inform him of my new pet. Don’t let anybody get near it.” He took another look at the zombie before leaving the lab. Now all he had to do was figure out a way move it to another location inside the park.
The guards were left alone with the muscular zombie. Neither of them considered the zombie a threat since it was secured in restraints. They let down their guard and relaxed by going into the lab to take a break and sit down. Both of them had been standing on their feet all day and their feet hurt. One of them pulled out a deck of cards from his cargo pants and sat down at a desk and prepared to play Solitaire. The other guard decided he would get a cold soda from the vending machine at the end of the hall. While he was gone, the other guard took out a cigarette and lit it and pushed himself away from the desk to have a look around the lab. It was the first time he had been alone inside it, and he was curious about what other secret work was being developed there. He walked around like he belonged there, shuffling through several manila folders on top of a desk. He was about to move to another area when he heard something crash in the back area. He stopped, frozen in place, unsure if he should go investigate it or not. Another crash echoed from the back area. He took the cigarette dangling from his mouth and tossed it on the floor, crushing it with his foot. He stood staring toward the back of the lab, imagining the worst. The sound of a cabinet being overturned made him realize what the problem was. The only thing that could be making the ruckus in the back area was the zombie locked in the cage. He wasn’t sure what he should do. His partner had left to fetch a soda and left him alone. He felt ice shiver down his spine. He raised his weapon and slowly made his way to the back area with shaky hands. He didn’t know what to expect, but something was telling him in the back of his mind he was heading into trouble. He stopped momentarily to check his weapon to make sure the safety was off before he entered the back area. Another crash from the back area made him think twice about continuing. He thought about turning around and leaving the lab. He wasn’t being paid enough to risk his life. He thought about his daughter and how badly he needed this job. His daughter needed new glasses, and she needed to get braces because of her crooked teeth. If he turned and ran away from his duties, he knew he would get fired. It was something he couldn’t risk. He continued on while saying a silent prayer. He stopped once again to listen. Everything had suddenly gone silent. Maybe whatever was making all the noise is gone now. He felt a little more relaxed and continued into the back area thinking everything was going to be all right. He made his way around the corner and was immediately punched in the face by a large fist, causing him to topple over backward, knocking over a metal shelf filled with glass beakers. The taste of copper filled his mouth as small shards of glass penetrated his lips. He didn’t have time to think about the pain he felt. He was raised to his feet and tossed to the side like a rag doll. He crashed hard into a pile of boxes containing test tubes. He felt a wave of nausea overwhelm him. Once again he was forced to his feet by one massive hand pushing against his throat threatening to snap his neck like a twig. His face purpled under the relentless assault as the zombie glared at him and tightened his grip. The guard struggled to free himself until his struggles subsided as the air ran out and his brain cells died. He fell limp in the zombie’s grasp. It tossed him aside like discarded trash and stood looking around the room as the second guard walked in drinking from his can of soda.
The guard stood there, eyes bulging with fright. He dropped the can of soda and went to raise his weapon, but he wasn’t quick enough to stop the swift advance of the zombie. It grabbed the weapon from his hand and tossed it aside, hitting the wall on the opposite side of the room. It then turned its attention to the guard. It brought one of its hands up with razor sharp fingernails and swiped at his eyes. He screamed as his eyes were punctured and bleeding. They were a raw ruin oozing down his cheeks like a runny egg. The zombie then grabbed the guard’s ruined head and twisted it until it snapped free from his neck spewing a bloody mist into the air. It tossed the head aside. The room was filled with the sound of banjo music echoing from the speakers of the radio playing in the lab. It finished devouring its meal and left the back area and headed into the lab.
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