AN: Hey everyone. This is just a bit closer to what the final product for The Zombie Prophecies will look like. Everything up until this point is a rough draft.
I will NOT be posting anymore than this chapter as a finished product. I gotta keep most of it to myself so that people still feel compelled to buy the book someday, but since it's been forever since I've posted anything new, I thought I'd treat my readers just this once. :) I hope you enjoy.
I will still post new chapters, the story isn't finished yet, I just thought I'd give you guys something to read while you wait for me to get off my lazy bum and write some more.
Joseph's dark eyes looked down at his feet as he walked through his neighbourhood. It was old and full of tightly packed, beautiful victorian houses; even though their paint was chipped and some of them didn't stand quite straight. Most of them were split into flats full of students or low income families, but every once in a while a person walking along would notice a beautifully re-decorated home; new paint job, well groomed garden, or window boxes depending on what the small plots of property allowed for. These were the homes of young, successful families and wealthy young professionals who chose to live in the neighbourhood because it was trendy and they "Just love all the…'character!'"
By 'character' what they really meant was the nearly decrepit, hundred year old homes mingling with high end restaurants and low end starter businesses. 'Character' referred to the graffiti, the homeless men and women pushing carts full of discarded pieces of metal, hoping to recycle them for a bit of cash to buy their smokes, liquor or drugs.
'Character' also meant the vibrant art that was created in this neighbourhood where the sad and lonely met the rich and happy. There was an artist in nearly every flat of this end of the city; a musician here, a painter there, art was everywhere and it was the main reason people found themselves living in this neighbourhood.
Though space was limited and as more and more people found themselves moving into the beautiful, old buildings, they slowly started coming down, demolished to make room for 'progress' over 'character.' Huge condominiums were popping up all over the place, there was more space for the rich and successful to move in if you built up and charged an arm and a leg for each unit.
Most of the roads in the very old city Joseph lived in were put in around the houses as cars became the primary mode of transportation, so they didn't follow any sort of grid or pattern and many of them were uncomfortably narrow. As Joseph navigated through increasingly more complex and confusing intersections, which were the result of old roads meeting in high traffic areas, he thought about the things he’d been dealing with at work.
His boss had messed up the schedule again and had asked him to work an extra shift to cover for her, again. Joseph was so tired of waiting tables, but he needed the money! He thumbed the bills in his pocket, one hundred fifteen dollars in tips today.
He couldn’t stand smiling and making chit chat with most of the customers he saw throughout his day but he knew what the tips meant to his family. They were in this neighbourhood as one of the lower income families, they were just getting by; living in a flat on the top floor of one of the old houses because they didn't own a car and needed to be close to the city's core for work. His wife, Carmine, worked at one of the non-profit organizations that provided shelter for the homeless, he worked at one of those high end restaurants in the area. Matthew and Cynthia, their two children, attended the public school not far from their flat.
This thought brought his mind back to the present and then slowly into the future. He imagined what was waiting for him, his son was home sick again, that thought alone was enough to make Joseph dread going through the front door. Matthew had been lying about being sick to avoid being bullied at school.
While Joseph wanted so desperately to make his son go to school and face his bullies, his wife Carmine refused to let him put his foot down. That woman coddled their son and only Joseph could see it. He started to get angry as he began thinking about the kind of man his son would turn into if he wasn’t forced to grow up soon. The boy already wasn’t right, but Carmine refused to see it.