Wake the Dead (Chapter 1)

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When Alex's idyllic life becomes hell on earth in the face of a zombie apocalypse, his survival skills keep him one step ahead of danger. With the companionship of a lone wolf, Alex begins to accept this cruel existence, struggling at times to keep a moral compass, and setting out on a new quest of hope where he not only wants to survive, but also seeks to thrive in a world besieged by the living dead.

Warning: This book contains graphic sexual content, strong language, and violence. It is intended for mature audiences.

Chapter 1

Alex opened his eyes that day just like most others these past few months. A warm tongue lathered his face with saliva, forcing him to push the adolescent wolf away.

“Okay, Shadow! Jeez!” he bellowed, rolling over and staring at the wolf, which’d seemed to be growing notably with each day that passed. When he’d come across the wolf, a month or so ago by now he guessed, Shadow was just a pup. They’d grown attached to each other right away and this wolf reminded him of his Siberian husky, Timber, from his childhood, although Timber and Shadow bore dissimilar coats.

Alex had known of a wolf shelter nearby, and had planned to take his boy or girl there sometime in the conceivable future, before the zombie infection happened. He assumed that perhaps this fella had gotten out. He’d never even considered it when he found Shadow those few months ago. And there were probably more wolves in the woods here and even further north.

It was at least a month after the world had gone to shit when Alex, alone, and frustrated, stumbled upon this cabin in the woods. It was cold and getting colder. When the infection occurred, it was early November and so winter was well on its way.

Alex was an occasional hunter and a gun owner in the days of civilization. He owned a composite bow and dozens of carbon arrows—with which he’d downed a buck or three in his day—a Beretta Px4 Storm handgun, a gift from a very good friend, which he had for home defense. And now, he had a shotgun which he found a few doors down in a neighbor’s home, along with a box of twelve gauge rounds.

As the wolf nuzzled against him, he allowed himself a lengthy contemplation of what had occurred in recent months, including the unimaginable sequence of events that placed him here.

His thoughts, as always these past months, were of his beloved Sara.

***

Alex and his wife Sara were two regular folks, trying to make their way in the world. Sara was pregnant, only recently discovered, and the two of them were euphoric when they heard the news. They hadn’t even discovered the sex of the child yet.

That was when reports of the plague hit the airwaves.

Their world crumbled.

After the news of the infection hit, Alex and Sara spent the next few hours in a panic, watching neighbors gather up their belongings and make their way to friends and families. They discussed doing the same thing, going to visit relatives and loved ones, but ultimately, they watched the news and never moved from the TV. It was riveting and hardly believable.

Reports of government-based shelters and their locations were announced with regularity as chaotic reports of the infection, or plague, as the broadcasters were calling it, were at their height.

The news claimed that people should remain in their homes at first, then reports filtered in hours later that they should go to the main cities where vaccines were being worked to stem the infection. Nothing much came through after that, but there were conflicting reports.

It was not long after that Sara turned ill. It was maybe within twenty-four hours of the reports, Alex recalled. She presented with a fever of unimaginable proportions, but he could do nothing about it except apply cold compresses and treat it with fever-reducers. He recalled running a hand through her sweat soaked auburn hair and staring back at him concernedly. He also recalled vividly that red lines surrounded the hazel color of her pupils, the white of the eye barely visible.

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