Genre: YA drama/action with zombies
Zombie I Am series: Stained (Book One)
"A different take to a zombie genre"
Blurb of Stained
A swift outbreak changed Lin Matthew's world forever.
A mysterious new student enrolled in Beaver High.
And a popular television show brought betrayal hence endangering Lin
and his friends' life.
Stained is a different take of a zombie tale like no other.
Excerpt of Stained
The Matthew Residence
At the base of the Chesterfield couch, Lin’s back slouched against it as he swayed from side to side, an aggressive look cast on his face. His hands viciously tapped on the buttons of the videogame controller. His eyes pierced at the large television screen at the parlor cabinet. He bit his lower lip in frustration. The macho game character named Mack Powers had lost another life. Lin had one more life left. He pressed a button and the word Pause spread across the screen.
Maybe a snack would fuel my strength to finish level five with only one life left, Lin thought. With his left hand, he reached into the family-size potato chips and slammed it right into his mouth. He clomped on it with great satisfaction, ignoring the crumbs that dripped from his lips onto his worn-out gray shirt. Grabbing the two-liter Mountain Dew soda from the corner of the coffee table, he guzzled it. He placed the two-liter back on the small coaster. He idly wiped his greasy hand against his rugged jeans. A slight burp escaped from his mouth before he unpaused the game and continued to play. His fingers jammed at the buttons more violently than before. He had to complete the level, failure was not an option. He didn’t want to start this level all over again, not since he’s gotten this far. He’d been playing his new videogame, The Fifth Forsaken, for three hours straight. He even decided to skip the church function for it. His little sister, father and mother had gone without him. It would be another hour before they returned.
From the corner of his eye Lin saw how messy the parlor was. He needed to finish level five and clean up the place before they arrived. He now wished he had played the game in his room instead of the parlor but the lure of playing the game on a big screen was too much. The small television in his room wouldn’t do the game justice. He had the rest of his life to play it up in his room; this was his only opportunity to play it in the parlor.
Lin’s body moved as Mack Powers moved. He pressed the buttons, hoping Mack Powers wouldn’t fall within the chasm on the ground. Lin smiled as Mack succeeded in passing through the obstacle without dying. The character entered the forest. Lin moved Mack ahead. Suddenly a sinister man with a sword cropped up from behind a thick bush and slashed Mack. He fell down while the evil character smirked. The large television screen spelled ‘GAME OVER’ across the screen with a countdown underneath. Lin dropped the video game controller carelessly, upset. He didn’t finish the level. He had to start all over again.
He struggled to stand. He yawned, stretching his body. He felt sluggish; sleepy even. He had so much to do before his parents came back, but he longed to get a good sleep in his bed. He covered his mouth as he yawned again. He hadn’t realized how much of a mess he’d made. He gazed at the crumbs sprinkled across the couch and coffee table. Both the Oreo and chocolate chips remained on the table, yet morsels of crumbs somehow reached the couch. He needed to vacuum the carpet. With a long sigh, he went to the cleaning pantry in the kitchen. He brought out the Spic and Span table cleaner and vacuum cleaner. He picked up each of the remaining cookies and placed them neatly into the box. He brushed the crumbs from the table and the couch onto the carpet. He sprayed the cleaner on the table and wiped it with a clean rag. His final task was the vacuuming; he did it as quickly as possible. Before long, his mouth opened extremely wide into another yawn. He was glad the cleaning was done and over with. Lin rushed to the pantry and put the cleaning supplies away. He cradled his video game equipment in his arms and climbed up the stairs to his room. He placed the system close to his television set and jumped into bed. He closed his eyes and dozed off.
A mixture of banging and distant screams caught his attention. Lin wasn’t sure if he was imagining them or not. He lifted his head and cracked his eyes open. A small yawn gushed out of his mouth as he stretched both arms in the air. He scratched his black, messy hair. Locks of hair slightly brushed his forehead. The indistinct banging continued. At first he thought it was coming from his room, but then he realized it was from the main door.
“Did they forget their keys or something?” Lin wondered but that on itself is a very unusual behavior from his parents. Perhaps it’s Mackenzie.
After all Mackenzie is stubborn and stubborn children usually do the most stupid things, Lin thought, smirking at his own words of wisdom. Maybe mom and dad dropped her off so they could some errands or something.
The banging was constant. If it got any louder, Lin predicted the door would break apart. He strode out of his room, wondering how his little sister could hit the door like that. Had he slept so deeply that he hadn’t heard her? Was she that angry? Even if she was angry, it occurred to him that Mackenzie didn’t have enough strength to make such an earsplitting noise. A hefty sumo wrestler would be more likely. Lin was now at the stairs and his eyes stared at the door, taken aback. It was broken, splintered through the center. Lin could hear constant screams coming from outside; he knew something must be wrong. Whoever was out there was trying to get in the house by force. It wasn’t his sister.
“Stop hitting the door or I’ll call the police,” Lin shouted at the door. The banging stopped. Lin calmed down, happy whoever it was obeyed him. However, Lin thought he still needed to call 9-1-1. He ran down the stairs and picked up the phone near the couch. Reaching it, he noticed his cell phone lying next to it. Lin had forgotten he’d left it there. His stomach growled, he needed something to eat.
Lin proceeded into the kitchen while dialing 9-1-1. He held the cell on his left ear while opening the refrigerator with his right. He heard the constant beeping sound from the other end. The phone line was busy. Lin narrowed his eyes, wondering why. His stomach grouched again as he decided to stow his cell inside his jean’s pocket. He needed solid food. Lin’s hand reached for the lasagna in a plastic container when a loud crash caught his attention. Lin rushed out of the kitchen to see what the ruckus was in the parlor.
A stone boulder stood on the carpet, surrounded by shards of glass. On the other side of the broken window, three pale, sickly-looking people fought to get into the house. Lin stared in horror, frozen. Their skins were pale gray, their mouths smeared with some sort of thick, red slime. They moaned and growled incoherently. Outside, the bone-chilling screams filled the air, making Lin realize the seriousness of the situation. Lin shook off his state of shock and raced toward the stairs. The intruders rushed after him. Lin climbed the stairs two at a time, stopping only when he reached the safety of his room. He slammed the door shut, panting. His heart beat rapidly. He hadn’t run with such haste in his life. He couldn’t calm his heart down, fear had made it worse.
Seconds later, there was pounding on the door. Lin didn’t know if it would stay secure for long. Lin pulled out his cell phone and dialed 9-1-1 again, staring at the door. This time the phone line was dead. This wasn’t good. Lin called his friend, Jerry. It rang for a long time. The thunderous banging at the door made Lin flinch with each blow. The center of the door cracked, the wood splintered. It wouldn’t be long before they would break through. Lin couldn’t process what was happening. He remembered how they surged fiercely at him. The way their dead, bloodshot eyes gazed at him, like he was some kind of entrée to devour. Jerry didn’t answer, so Lin hung up and placed his phone back in his pocket. He examined the window; maybe he could jump and escape. He shoved the curtains aside and stopped, stunned at what lay below. The neighborhood was in total chaos. Scattered cars blocked the drive ways. Sickly children chased after an elderly man and began to bite him. A woman in her business attire pointed a gun and shot a man rushing toward her. Sickly, raging people outnumbered the normal, terrified individuals.
“This must be some kind of dream,” he concluded, his eyes still glued at the bedlam below. Lin pinched his arms and cried out. This was reality, not a dream. His face was drenched with fear. What in the world was going on here? The banging of the door never ceased. With all his strength, he raised the window up. The balmy wind pushed past him into the room. Lin hunched his back, about to lift his left leg over the window when a sickly, red-haired woman burst through the broken door, her mouth gushing thick spittle along with blood. Her thin face was a pallid gray. Her carnivorous gaze sent chills all over Lin’s body, wiring his body to get out of the room, pronto. The others sickly individuals came right after her. Lin was about to fall out of the window when someone caught his right elbow, it was the red-haired sickly woman. Lin dangled upside down from the window. Lin screamed in horror and shook his body violently, fighting her hold. The woman lowered down to his ankle, eager to bite it. Lin wriggled himself so hard his right foot slipped out of his shoe. His body fell and landed with a thud on top of the side porch roof. He lay there for a moment as a spasm of pain overtook his body. His face tilted up to the window; the three sickly people gawked at his him. They struggled onward in unison, attempting to get out of the window for his flesh.
They certainly know how to use their brain, Lin thought as he watched their stupid attempt. He slowly lifted himself up, his body ached a bit from the fall, but he was glad that that the side porch roof was built last year. His cell phone rang. Lin retrieved it from his pocket and answered.
“Hello, 9-1-1? Ther—” Lin shouted but was cut off.
“No, this isn’t 9-1-1, this is your mother,” his mother’s worried voice said from the cell receiver.
“Mom,” Lin cried. Somehow hearing her voice felt better than a 9-1-1 operator.
“Something weird is going on in our neighborhood, you need to hurry here—,”
“I know baby,” his mother said sobbing. “They attacked the church function.”
“Are you guys safe?” Lin asked. He glanced at the chaos in his neighborhood.
“Yes, we are boarded inside the church basement. The door is pretty strong here. How are you doing?”
“Not so good, Mom, Please send help, I need to get out of here,” Lin cried.
“Where are you?”
“Outside, on top of the porch roof,” Lin said. “Mom, you’ve to get some help.”
“Look for a weapon, honey, find something to defend yourself,” Lin’s mother replied tearfully. Lin looked wildly on top of the porch roof. Only a stranger’s yellow Frisbee lay at the edge.
“There’s nothing, absolutely nothing,” Lin said. Lin glanced at the ground again and wondered if he could make it down. Soon he realized it wasn’t a good idea. Five sharp-toothed, drooling dogs barked at him: two golden retrievers, a bull terrier, a German shepherd and a poodle. Their eyes had the same look as the sickly people at the window; they wanted to tear him apart. Lin backed away. His only chance was to get to the rooftop.
“I’m gonna go,” Lin said, “I’ll call you later.”
“No, don’t han—” his mother said but Lin cut it off and placed the phone in his pocket.
With one shoe on, he limped toward the trellis beside the porch. Filled with vines, it reached all the way to the top of the house. He was happy his mother planted those over the side of the house. To make his climb easier, Lin removed his remaining shoe and tossed it to the ground. Lin was afraid the trellis wouldn’t hold his weight. The dogs rushed toward his direction, their paws against the trellis as they attempted to make Lin fall. With nerves of steel, he climbed upward, struggling to keep his mind focused on his goal. The wind whizzed by him, making him more uneasy. Yet with extra caution, he kept climbing and to his surprised he made it close to the roof. Then he lifted his body over the top. Lying on his back on the roof, he puffed out a long breathe, thankful he didn’t fall. The dogs continued to bark. A small smile formed on Lin’s face. He got to his feet and removed his cell phone. He went to the last number.
“I’m on the rooftop, Mom,” Lin said with great happiness.
“This is your dad,” Lin’s father said, concerned. “Are you sure you’re alone?” Lin rushed at the edge of the roof and peeked at his bedroom window. They hadn’t jumped out of the window, in fact it sounded like they were no longer there. The dogs remained at the trellis, barking at him. Lin was sure he was alone.
“Yes, Dad. I don’t think they can climb up here,” Lin replied.
“Thank God, okay, just stay put, okay?” he said. The cell receiver became quiet. Lin heard little whispers from the other end; he guessed his father was explaining the situation to his mother and sister. Maybe he was reporting to them that everything is fine. With the phone still at his ear, Lin squatted down, sitting on the roof. Lin ignored the constant barking of the dogs.
“Honey, stay there okay? We just heard the news that Special Forces are handling the matter,” Lin’s mother said, “A couple of them are coming to our neighborhood.”
“Finally,” Lin said. He stood back up and looked straight ahead. He went at the front of the house and from a far distance, beyond the wandering masses, was the incoming line of army tanks along with a hefty truck. He was relieved.
“I’ve seen—” Lin said, but a clamorous crash interrupted his conversation. Lin spun around and gasped at the thin, sickly arms. The sickly people had punched the top of the roof, creating a hole. They had made it into the attic. More hands protruded, making the hole larger than before. Lin screamed at the phone, “They’re coming! They’re on the rooftop.”
“No, oh no,” Lin’s mother cried. Removing the cell phone from his ear, he checked whether he could jump from the front of the house. It was too high and there was nothing to break his fall. Lin held his cell phone tightly in his right hand as he raced around the hole. He checked the backyard. It was empty and quiet. It seemed eerie in that everything appeared normal while the front yard was a battle field. The backyard aluminum awning could break his fall. Lin glanced at the gap in the roof; a man was halfway through the rooftop. Saliva gushed out of his mouth as he groaned. Lin looked away and jumped. He landed on the backyard awning, making a huge dent. He forced himself back up. He took a peek from the roof to the ground and smiled. It wasn’t too far of a jump. Lin jumped trying not to land on his feet. Rather his body rolled on the grass until it stopped. A sudden pain attacked his body, but Lin shook it off and got to his feet.
He hurried onward, gazing at the distant trees over the paling fence. Without warning, someone plunged through the side fence and tackled him. His cell phone flew out of his right hand, his mother’s worried voice barely audible. Lin shoved the sickly, elderly man away from his body as he attempted to bite him. He struggled to get back up but the sickly man was right behind him. Lin sprinted, but tripped over a hidden rock. He fell facedown and the sickly man bit his upper arm, digging through his flesh like a pit bull. Lin screamed. He’s never felt so much pain in his life. With all his energy, he shoved the man away from him. Blood streamed out of his arm. He felt weak. Lin turned to face the man, but for some reason the man was now disinterested in Lin. He spun away and headed elsewhere. Lin’s eyes blinked slowly, his body was drained out of energy. His brain felt clogged up. His mouth felt watery. He noticed the cell phone and crawled toward it. He picked it up and stared at it. His brain didn’t know what he was holding. His body craved food. He stared at the cell for a moment, trying to remember why it was so important. He barely heard his mother cry, asking if he was all right, asking if he escaped. The craving in his mind and body won as his eyes became dazed. He flung the phone against the paling fence, breaking it. Lin was gone; he was now one of the sickly people.