Undead Is Not An Option: Love Me Dead Or Alive

Love Me Dead or Alive is the touching… nay… poignant story of Mindy who is attempting to come to grips with her own mortality as her undead boyfriend pressures her to join him so they can be together forever. Titus has more to fear than just his girlfriend’s ticking mortal clock, though; an old school buddy is trying to force Titus’s hand in doing a little doctoring the dead. It’s the age old story of boy loves girl… girl loves boy… boy is dead and wants girl to be also but she isn’t sure if she is ready for that commitment… with zombie monkeys.

Please note because the characters are dealing with a zombie outbreak, this excerpt may have some strong language.


Love Me Dead or Alive
by Wendy Sparrow


The incessant dinging of the doorbell could either mean trouble or the neighbor kids. Titus opened the door just as Mindy dropped dead at his feet. Again. She needed to stop doing this. He snatched her up off the ground and carried her into his back room, laying her on the metal table. It looked like blood loss was the culprit this time. He lifted her shirt to see two stab wounds. Holy crap. She had to take more time off. Using the searing wand, he burnt the wounds closed while covering his nose. Burnt flesh smelled bad enough, but Mindy’s burnt flesh creeped him out like nothing else could.
     Finally, when he was certain she wasn’t just going to die all over again, he stabbed the hypodermic in her chest and flooded her heart with the solution before he hit her with the magnetic pulse.
     “C’mon, Mindy,” he whispered. He watched the monitors for her vital signs to spike.
     Crap. He hit her again with the magnetic pulse.
     The beat of her heart made him sigh. Her wounds started closing up as the enriched blood pumped through. Every time he did this he experienced a Dr. Frankenstein moment where he wanted to yell, “It’s alive,” but Mindy probably wouldn’t appreciate it… at all. Then again, he didn’t appreciate her dying on him.
     Her eyes fluttered open, and she smiled at him.
     “Hey, Beautiful.” Titus leaned over her and brushed some hair from her eyes. “You woke up just in time. I was starting to worry I was developing necrophilia. It turns out you look hotter alive than dead.”
     She laughed.
     “So, stop dying on me,” he said.
     She winced suddenly.
     “What? What’s wrong?” She really needed to stop the vigilante business.
     “My shoulder. I think that freak I took down knocked it out of its socket,” she said.
     His jaw tightened with disapproval as he leaned over and felt her shoulder. She just had to stop. If not for herself… for him….
     “Don’t, Titus.”
     “Don’t what, Mindy? Don’t worry about you?”
     “It’s not that bad.”
     He shoved down and pulled on her arm. She screamed in pain and curled into a ball. Tucking his frame around hers, Titus rubbed the muscles on her back. She already showed signs of healing, but that hurt them both every time.
     “I’m fine.”
     “You’re not, Mindy. This is getting ridiculous. Do you know how hard it is seeing you dead? No, you don’t because I don’t keep dying on you.”
     “It doesn’t KEEP happening,” she said, sitting up.
     “Fifth time, babe. Fifth time,” he said, cleaning up the crash kit he kept near the door for just such occasions. “What if I can’t get to you within eight minutes? You know how complicated it is to restore brain cells in someone with oxygenated blood and a beating heart. They don’t always work right. You could end up as a real zombie.” He threw the syringe in the disposal, and it shattered which actually seemed to help his mood. “Not to mention I’ve never done this more than nine times on anything. Chester might have had nine lives in him, but who knows if you do. You’re a lot more complicated than a freaking cat, Mindy.”
     She wrapped her arms around him from behind. “Shh, Titus,” she said. Her skin felt warm, and he tried to pretend it wasn’t nice… that he didn’t like the heat radiating off her. He rubbed his hands across her arms. If her skin was cold, it wouldn’t matter; he’d still love her… with all his cold, silent heart.


To read more and find out what happens to Mindy, Titus, and the zombie monkeys, check out Undead Is Not An Option.


For those of you who have been following the plight of Blue Brigade loyalist, Moira Jones, we received another communication from her last night. You may recall she sent the Zombie Survival Crew command a cry for help, and we are proud of our crew, because the response was immediate. Field reports came in and a rescue mission was mounted. Below is the communication record of a call received last night in the command center. While the situation seems dire for our brave crew member, we will not give up hope.

First Lieutenant SEAN FLANERY/Yellow Brigade
MOIRA JONES/Blue Brigade

Signal Acquired – 22:14

FLANERY: ZSC Command, Lieutenant Flanery. State your name and brigade.

JONES: Oh, my gosh! It works! THE PHONE WORKS!


JONES: Hello? Are you…


FLANERY: Name and brigade?


JONES: … me! It’s Moira!

FLANERY: Moira! Thank god. Are you alright?

JONES: I think so, but I need your help!

FLANERY: Commander Reedus and Rooker have put together a retrieval team. They’re on the way to you now. Just hang on.


FLANERY: Moira? Are you okay?


FLANERY: Have you been bitten or scratched?

JONES: No, but…


JONES: … scared.

FLANERY: Say again?

JONES: I said, I’m scared.

FLANERY: Oh kid. That’s okay. Hell, if you weren’t scared I’d be worried about you.

JONES: I wish Donut was here.


FLANERY: She says, “Stay Dixon strong.”

JONES: Will you stay on the phone with me until the rescue team gets here?

FLANERY: Of course, I will, kid. We just need to make sure you’re as safe as possible. Are you in a contained space? Can the walkers get to you where you are?

JONES: I don’t think so. The only way up to the sixth floor now is the stairs and I blocked the door. I don’t think they can get in.

FLANERY: Good. Now what we need to do is…

JONES: Oh no!

FLANERY: Oh no, what?




FLANERY: Moira? Can you hear me?

*smashing glass*



Loss of Signal – 22:30


Moira Rescue Mission: Part II

The mission to rescue Blue Brigade member Moira Jones continues…

A secret self-organized unit within the ZSC received the Urgent call for help from Moira Jones and sprang into action. Although the city is awash with walkers, these brave souls put together a mission plan on hearing Moira’s plight. Exactly what we expect from Zombie Survival Crew members. Below is a brief mission recap, then a continuation of the field reports pouring in.

MISSION: Rescue one Moira Jones from 6th floor of over run hospital.
OBJECTIVE: Search for and rescue Moira Jones and bring to safety.
STRATEGY: Rendezvous with fellow members of the ZSC and use skill sets to bring Moira Jones to safety.


Emma’s POV:

Purple Brigade

The cold wind cut through the thick hoodie, pea-coat, and flannel shirt I wore as I walked along the cracked and crumbled sidewalk. I shivered and ducked my head down in an effort to keep it at bay.
     It seemed I was always cold these days. The power in the abandoned library I lived in finally kicked the bucket and at night the cold became unbearable. The daytime wasn’t much better thanks to the heavy gray clouds covering the sky for miles in all directions.
     Another problem with clouds, they made everything feel so much more depressing. Sure, the city wasn’t deserted, not yet. Several apartment complexes and quite a few stores had been abandoned when the first outbreak occurred.
     But those who stayed…stayed put. No one ventured outside anymore, not for long anyway. The gray clouds were always a kind of symbol of that for me, in a weird way. They had this feeling of expectancy, of waiting. You knew the clouds wanted to break and shower the city with rain, sleet—whatever it was up there—but it kept itself contained. That’s kind of the way things were now.
     I touched the grip of my Colt 1911 as if expecting Hell to break out right there. It didn’t. I relaxed a bit and tried to concentrate on keeping my teeth from chattering.
     The first outbreak happened a little over three months ago. It sent everyone into a panic. There’d been smaller ones since. Whenever someone dropped dead it was only a matter of time before they began walking around again. Everyone came to expect this, but that didn’t make it any less frightening.
     I have it a bit easier than most, though, no family to take care of really. I have a sort of ‘family’ with the Zombie Survival Crew, but no one to be obligated to. I missed that.
     See, I’d been living with my little brother and my uncle. Then my brother, Todd, turned. He was one of the first to turn, actually. Just six years old… After that my uncle took off. I don’t know where, and I don’t really care.
     Everyone in our apartment building left to go find shelter deeper in the city or find their family and friends. I think we all knew the first outbreak was just the tip of the iceberg.
     I left too, taking as much food as I could and a few blankets, and moved into the public library.
     To be honest, I’m surprised no one else thought to go there. I mean, the doors are heavy wood, easy to barricade with bookshelves. There’s entertainment, and as a long as you have enough food and warmth, it’d be perfect.
     Oh well, guess I’m the only one to think of it.
     I headed to the abandoned supermarket just a few blocks down. My canned food supplies were low. If I was lucky, I’d be able to find a few cans that hadn’t been grabbed already.
     As I walked, I looked up, brushing back some of my windswept hair out of my face, and saw a group of four coming towards me. I stopped, my hand immediately going to my gun. They stopped. I saw that they were alive.
     They reached for their weapons too, and eyed me with suspicion and distrust. I dropped my hand to show them I wouldn’t draw my weapon if they weren’t. They started to move, but kept their hands close to their weapons as they crossed the street, watching me the whole time.
     I started walking again, making sure they wouldn’t try anything when I turned my back. Only after I rounded a corner did I relax.
     You couldn’t be too careful. It wasn’t just the dead you had to fear; you never knew what other people were planning, either.
     The Walkers aren’t really a huge threat in this area, not yet, anyway. It’s only a matter of time. Everyone knows that. You can’t stop people from dying, and you can’t keep them from coming back, either. No matter how many times you heard the broadcasts swearing up and down that a cure is right around the corner. That’s complete bull crap.
     Fear ruled the city now.
     I breathed a sigh of relief when I spotted the darkened windows of the supermarket up ahead. Half way done with the trip, but I didn’t feel safe. No one felt safe anymore.
     I slid my gun out from my belt and switched the safety off, chambering a round. Satisfied, I moved quickly up the sidewalk and to the broken automated doors. I peered inside, quieting my breathing so I could hear better. I didn’t hear anything at all, so I eased inside and waited for my eyes to adjust to the darkness.
     I didn’t want to use it the flashlight in my pocket, (a) because I didn’t know how long the batteries would last—and there was a shortage of batteries now ever since the power outages started happening more and more frequently—and (b) I didn’t know if a Walker lurked inside or not.
     My eyesight adjusted and I eased my way towards back wall. I’d been in here a few times with better lighting. If there were any canned goods left, they’d be back there.
     Trying my best not to make a sound, I started to make my way down the aisle.
     I should’ve checked the ground better, I know. My foot hit a basket in the middle of the aisle and it went clattering across the floor.
     Gasping, I froze and waited for the echo of metal clattering on the floor to cease. As it died away, another sound made my heart stop, then immediately begin hammering at my ribcage.
     Slow, shuffling footsteps came from somewhere in the store.
     I whirled around and inhaled deeply, hoping to smell it before it got too close, or I hear it. Whatever it was. I couldn’t stay put, it would be suicide. The smartest thing to do would be to keep moving. I did.
     When I estimated I reached the canned goods section, I reached out and started feeling for cans. It didn’t matter what I picked up, I’m not a picky eater. I was just happy when my hand touched the cold aluminum and started snatching up cans, shoving them into the canvas shoulder bag. I tried not to let them clink against the extra ammo clips in there.
     Satisfied I grabbed enough for another week or two, I started for the exit.
     The moan came from right at my elbow. I whirled. My arm smacked into cold, clammy, rotten flesh.
     How could I not notice a walker getting that close? The sound of cans clicking together probably distracted me but that was no excuse. I needed to do better than that.
     I aimed my gun at where my arm met dead flesh, then thought better of it. With my other hand I pulled free the Army Scout knife strapped to my leg and swung.
     The blade ripped into soft tissue. An angry growl crept from the darkness before a heavy body stumbled against me.
     “Get off!” I shouted, shoving it back as hard as I could and swung again, aiming up towards the source of all the moaning.
     “GAH!” The walker moaned. The blade dug into thick bone. It hit the skull, but didn’t penetrate to the bone. I quickly jerked it free, a foot against the zombie as leverage, then brought the knife down as hard as I could.
     It plowed into the zombie’s skull. A disgusting, cold liquid squirted onto my hand, doubtless blood and brain.
     The zombie fell at my feet, dead once and for all. I pulled my knife free, wiped it clean on the nearby shelf, re-sheathed my weapons, and bolted for the door.
     I didn’t stop running until I was halfway down the sidewalk.
     That was close, I thought. Too close. Pay more attention next time.
     Still, it was satisfying to be alive in spite of the gray, gooey slime on my left hand. Best of all, at least seven cans were in my bag. I patted my haul appreciatively.
     As I walked, a noise off to my right made me stop. I reached for the blade once again—it’d be best to keep noise to a minimum. A terrier, very dirty looking, padded out of the alley up ahead. I stopped short.
     I hadn’t seen an animal in ages, except for crows of course. All of the pets disappeared; either locked in with their owners, run off, or eaten from what I could figure.
     “Hey, puppy,” I crooned, offering my hand in a sign of friendliness. “You all alone? Come on, I won’t hurt you.” I inched forward, careful not to look threatening. The dog stopped, ears lifted in alert.
     I smooched my lips, begging it come with me. “I won’t hurt you, I promise.”
     The dog whimpered then cautiously trotted forward, staying as far away as possible. He sniffed my hand. I tried my luck and slowly uncurled my fingers to touch the rough fur on his head. He backed away. I clicked my tongue. He approached again.
     I managed to gently stroke his fur. Slowly, his droopy tail began to sweep back and forth. That’s what I love about dogs. They can go through the worst things and still be willing to love if shown affection.
     “There we go,” I murmured approvingly, stroking under his chin when I saw it made his tail wag faster.
     “Now just come home with me and we’ll—”
     The dog’s head jerked towards the alley. He gave a startled yelp before turning and darting away.
     “No, wait!” I called, getting to my feet. “Don’t go!”
     A clattering from the alley grabbed my attention. I drew my knife. Doubtless the little dog heard something in the alley before I did.
     Another walker appeared from the mouth of the alley, shambling forward unsteadily.
     I pulled back and drove my knife into the side of its head, pushing over against the wall. It struggled for a moment, so I twisted the embedded knife, making sure I destroyed the brain, and then jerked it free. The zombie crumpled at my feet. I fought off a wave of nausea.
     A woman this time, with dirty, long blond hair. She couldn’t have been dead very long. Her color wasn’t as bad as I’d seen before, it was still a bit pink, though fast changing to gray.
     “Mwaaaaaaahh…” The moan came from the alley. I whirled, my knife ready to go into the head of another walker, but I stopped short.
     The alley overflowed with walkers. Their voices joined together in a grisly howl of the hunt.
     I bolted for the library. I charged through the front doors and slammed them shut and tipped the heavy bookcase barricade in front of them.
     In a few minutes the sound of their moans grew louder. The scratch of their nails raked against the wooden doors as they thumped against them in vain.
     I started towards my little sleeping spot in the back corner, a good vantage point from which I could see every entrance and exit. Suddenly my pocket vibrated. The musical jingle of a ring tone floated up to me.
     I scrambled for it. The phone only ever received calls from other Zombie Survival Crew members—all of which were formidable fighters. If they called, things were dire, indeed.
     We’d been lucky so far to maintain a stable connection.
     I pulled it free and looked at the caller ID. My eyebrows raised in surprise. Eve!
     “Hello?” The line was filled with static, but I could still hear her.
     “Emma!” she said in relief. “I thought you would never answer. Are you okay?”
     I glanced at the doors. The walkers continued to thump and moan outside.
     “Sure,” I said. “Nothing I can’t handle. What’s wrong?”
     She paused. I frowned. Whatever it was, it couldn’t be good.
     “Eve, what’s wrong?” I asked, a bit worried.
     “It—It’s Moira,” she said quietly. My heart skipped a beat.
     “What?” My voice rose in panic in spite of my efforts to control it, “What’s happened to Moira?”
     “She’s okay,” Eve said hurriedly. “For now. We just got word that her hospital has been overrun with walkers. She’s pinned down and needs help, fast.”
     I ran a hand through my hair.
     “Thank God.” True, her situation was less than appealing, but as long as she lived, I’d hold out hope.
     We agreed to meet at the abandoned hotel close by the hospital.
     “Be careful,” Eve said. I smiled. She’d become a surrogate mother and big sister rolled into one.
     “I will if you will,” I said. “I’ll be over in just a little while.”
     Over in my sleeping area, I reached under my pillow for the rest of the ammo I kept stashed there. And for something else—my sword. I loaded up with the extra ammo, bits of jerky, bandages, an extra knife, and some pain pills and antibiotic ointment I’d been lucky enough to find. I strapped on my sword and headed for the side door, hoping the walkers hadn’t gone around back.
     All clear.
     I took a deep breath and kept my sword at the ready, just in case. The bookshelf barricade slid out of the way. I slipped through the door and onto the sidewalk.
     Out of the multitude of buildings I picked out the one I knew to be the hospital. It stood quite a hike away and doubtless wouldn’t be an easy trip. But I didn’t care. This was Moira we were talking about, Moira. The strong one, the one we all looked up to and admired.
     The angel.
     I swallowed the lump in my throat at thought of how scared she must be. With Eve, Jess, Apryl, Tiffany and Rebecca helping me, there’s no way we’d let anything happen to her.
     Hang on, Moira, I thought. Breaking into a jog, I ran still clutching my sword. “Help is on the way.”

Jessica’s POV:

Zombie Survival Crew

“We are going to need more supplies.” I said, looking at the nearly bare shelves.
     My mother, little sister, step-dad, and fiancé were staying in my house. All of the doors and windows barricaded.
     “I will drive to the store and see if there is anything left.” Unfortunately, people didn’t always take what they absolutely needed. Most of the stuff went whether it was needed or not.
     We were down to a few cans of vegetables, a box and a half of cereal, and five bottles of water. That wouldn’t last very long. A trip to the store was in high demand. Not to mention, we needed medical supplies. A couple of band-aids, not even half a tube of Antibiotic ointment, one wrap, and about twenty-five Ibuprofen pills.
     I put on my homemade weapons belt and grabbed my cast iron skillet, slipping it in the holster designed for it. Then I grabbed my twin Desert Eagles with silencers, army knife, and three daggers.
     As I put on my coat I said, “Come here, Luna”.
     Fortunately, I’d taken the time to have Luna properly trained by Sean Patrick Flanery and Donut. She was a zombie killing machine. With her, I felt calmer. I knew she had my back.
     Luna and I headed for the door. “Don’t forget your phone!” mom called out and tossed my phone to me.
     “Thanks!” I smirked and walked out the door.
     Luna and I got into the car and headed to the store. When we got there, there a group of living people stood outside.
     The group of men looked like they meant business. One guy held a baseball bat and thumped it against his hand. Another rested his hand on the handle of a machete. Two others stepped forward, holding crowbars. I stopped for a minute and looked over each one of them carefully. Didn’t see any guns. I moved toward the doors.
     “Don’t take another step,” the biggest guy warned. “We run this place, and if you want to come in, you’ll need to pay.”
     Pay? Right…we’ll see who will pay.
     I took another step. “I’m warning you,” he shouted. “You need to give us some weapons if you want to come in here!”
     I couldn’t help it. The giggles bubbled up in my stomach. I let out a huge roll of laughter. They were just amusing. Did they not know? Well, of course they had no idea that I was in the Purple Brigade of the Zombie Survival Crew and therefore properly trained to handle any and every situation that might arise.
     “What are you laughing at, ho?” asked the smallest guy of them all.
     I went from laughing to serious in a millisecond. Oh no he didn’t.
     Not taking my eyes off of them, I opened the car door. Luna stepped out. She bared her fangs. Her hackles rose down her back. She stood there and stared at them.
      “What was it that you said? I don’t think my dog heard you quite right,” I said taking a few steps closer. Luna stayed in step with me, not taking her eyes off of them.
     “I called you a ho,” the little guy said, emphasizing the word.
     “That’s what I thought you said.” I smiled.
     With one swoop, I pulled the three daggers from their holster and whipped them toward the men. They hit their mark, leaving the little guy standing.
     While the three clutched their legs, Luna lunged at the little guy and took him down to the ground.
     They writhed on the cold, wet concrete. I smiled and said, “I wouldn’t move if I were you. Luna doesn’t take jokes very well, and that’s all you guys are…a joke.”
     I walked into the store and grabbed a few more cans of food, some more medicine, and some dog food.
     When I walked back out, the four grown men were sitting with terrified looks on their faces. One of them actually peed himself.
     “Keep the daggers,” I said with a grin. “There’s plenty more where they came from. Come on, Luna.”
     We got in the car and headed back to the house.
     On the way home my phone rang. LK Gardner-Griffie, my commander, informed me that someone was in distress. A fellow member needed help. LK was safe, but couldn’t get out to help anyone at the time.
     “I’ll take care of it,” I assured her.
     “It’s Moira. She’s trapped in her hospital room, almost out of supplies. All of her caretakers are dead.”
     The words stung like a million bees.
     “I will get a group together to help her,” I promised.
     As soon as I hung up with my commander I called my sister, Eve.
     Without even saying hello she asked, “Are you safe? Is everything okay?”
     I assured her that I was fine, but told her that we had a problem.
     “What is it?” she asked, desperation in her voice.
     “It’s Moira, Eve. She sent out a distress call through ZSC. She’s stuck in her hospital, alone, barricaded on the sixth floor. She’s not injured but is running low on food. She needs our help.” Panic rose up inside my chest.
     “Alright, let’s meet up at my work then we can head out from there. We can’t leave Moira defenseless like that!” Eve’s voice cracked.
     “Okay, see you there.”
     I got to the house and unloaded everything and informed everyone that a very sweet young lady needed my help. I said goodbye to everyone and packed a few supplies, my weapons and Luna in the car.
     I headed to Eve’s work. She got in the car without a word. We were all business on the way to the hospital.
     Eve pulled out her phone to call Emma.
     I listened to the conversation. When Eve said we were pulling together a team to go help Moira and asked if Em was in, I gave my best “Hell Yeah, let’s do this’” grin to my sister.
     Eve hung up with Emma after telling her where to meet us. She looked over at me and gave me a soft punch in the arm. “You ready for this, Jess?”
     I smiled. Luna nudged me; I pat her on the head. “Those walkers don’t stand a chance. Let’s go save Moira.”
     We took off for the hospital.


The Rescue Team

We all gathered in room twelve upon arrival. The stench of death filled the air. The moans of walkers echoed in the distance. Apryl, Jessica, Rebecca, Emma, Eve and I stood discussing strategies. Jessica got a map of the hospital. She wouldn’t tell us how. A knock on the door made us jump. Walkers couldn’t knock! We draw our weapons, ready for a fight. Eve grabbed the door handle and yanked it open after a silent count of three.
     We lower our weapons. Michael and Norman stood in the hallway. They’d received our mission and coordinates. We laid out a plan—who’d go where and how we’d work our way through the hospital. The only option was to clear it out in order to reach Moira.
     Michael tossed his bag down on the bed and pulled out walkie talkies. We established a safe word when one of us clears a path, “Squirrel”. “Oreo” meant pretty much get your butt to my location I am in need of assistance. We’d reconvene on the sixth floor.
     The mission would be tricky but Moira was worth it. Her bravery is ZSC legend. She possesses the courage of an army of millions. We needed to draw on that and go get our girl.
     We headed out, ready to stomp walker butt and save our little chick-a-dee.
     Standing outside the hospital, the world became quiet—too quiet. Despite our nerves, we needed to go in there. Michael would lead the team of myself, Apryl and Emma. Norman had Eve, Rebecca and Jessica. Once we cleared the first level, we’d break apart once more; Norman and Eve, Michael and I, Apryl and Emma, and Jessica and Rebecca. We all look at each other, say a prayer and charge the hospital
     “To Moira!”
     This would be one hell of a night.

Undead Is Not An Option: Zombie Girl

Sadie is a normal girl living with her mother, well, as normal as a girl who collects zombies can be. She didn’t start out to collect zombies, it just sort of happened…starting with the zombie animals who sought her out, and then Jess, the little girl. Predictably, the neighbors do not understand why Sadie feels the need to take care of the zombies and, as with most things not understood, fear develops.


Zombie Girl
by Tasmin Bowerman


It started with pets. I woke one morning to a familiar scratching noise and found my dog on my front porch.
     The dog who died a month ago.
     Barney didn’t hurt anyone and he didn’t eat much, so we let him stay. Mom worried at first he might start dropping hunks of fur – or flesh – on the floor, but if possible, he shed less in undeath than he did in life.
     Barney was the first, but he wasn’t the last. We hadn’t buried any other pets, but our neighbours had. When the owners turned their deceased pets away, the animals ended up on my doorstep. I couldn’t bring myself to make them leave, but letting them in the house wasn’t an option. Mom put up with Barney. The other animals? Not so much.
     She did, however, let me keep our old shed open for them. I put food out sometimes, but they never ate it. Neither did any living animals. In fact, fewer live creatures came around our house every day. Mom and I didn’t mind much. The raccoons finally stopped getting into our garbage.
      The neighbours whispered about me when the fourth silent dog slipped into the shed. The whispers increased when two birds and a rabbit joined the other animals. They neared shouts when the horse showed up, but where else could he go?
     Eventually, I found an open-minded farm where the horse had room to run. Mostly because he kept kicking up Mom’s flower beds.
     It hurt a little when people started calling me “Zombie Girl,” but I ignored them. And after a while, they lost interest. A few dead animals, even ones still walking around, weren’t as interesting as the latest celebrity gossip.
     Until the girl appeared on our front step.
     She freaked me out. Seeing as I slept with a dead dog on the end of my bed, that said a lot. Not that there was anything wrong with her, per se. She had all her parts, no bits of skin dropping off or loose teeth. Even her light blonde hair stayed long and thick. Dull, not anything like the shiny hair children her age usually possessed, but long and thick nonetheless.
     But when I opened the door and those flat silver eyes stared at me, I shrieked and slammed the door shut. Five minutes later, when I worked up the courage to open the door, she hadn’t moved so much as an inch.
     Mom wasn’t happy about the girl. But Jess wouldn’t tell me anything about her parents. I couldn’t contact them about her. Like my animals, she had nowhere to go and I became responsible for her survival, much like I was for the animals. I mean, she couldn’t have been more than nine when she died. Where else could she go?


To read more, and find out what happens to Sadie and Jess, check out Undead Is Not An Option.

Zombie Survival Crew Rescue Mission

This file contains the mission objective for the members of a secret self-organized unit within the ZSC. These members received the Urgent call for help from Moira Jones and have sprung into action.

MISSION: Rescue one Moira Jones from 6th floor of over run hospital.
OBJECTIVE: Search for and rescue Moira Jones and bring to safety.
STRATEGY: Rendezvous with fellow members of the ZSC and use skill sets to bring Moira Jones to safety.


The Rescue Team

Tiffany’s POV:

I sat perched in an old chair inside an abandoned house. The cold evening air howled. Rain leaked through the roof. I faced the boarded up door, a black handled katana with an eleven-inch blade on my lap and another within reach. My eyes ached. My long black hair lay matted and dirty across my shoulders. The toe of my heavy black leather boot tapped on the floor as I stared at the door. I wasn’t expecting company, but I made sure I was ready should someone decide to “drop by.” I wore all black and my long leather duster jacket. I hid in the shadows, ready to pounce.

Orange Brigade

     I’m a member of the ZSC Orange Brigade. We are the ones always one step ahead. We are the oddballs lurking in the shadows. The ones you are unable to read because we are so full of surprises. We’re the thinkers—the ones who plan ahead, ready for anything. I’ve perfected moving without being seen. It’s how I stayed alive the day the world went crazy and the dead started walking. It’d been a normal day. I was restocking my go bag, you know, just in case. I spotted my neighbor, Ms. Newman wondering around my backyard. She looked beat up, bloody, and lost. I rushed outside to her side. When she turned around reality slapped me in the face. I thought, maybe I was dreaming. Maybe I was seeing things. When Ms. Newman lunged for me, I grabbed a nearby shovel and disposed of her.
     I ran for my house and went for my phone. Sure enough an alert text greeted me. D-Day arrived. I reacted quickly, contacting my fellow brigade members and my brigade buddy. I told them I was safe, alive and on my way to a designated location. A horde of walkers right outside of the city cut me off. They chased me to my present location. I set up camp to wait for them to clear. I contacted other ZSC members. Eve, Rebecca, Em, Jessica and Apryl. Sure they are from different brigades, but we are all fighting for the same cause.
     My phone echoed through darkness and I’m quick to grab it. I hit a couple buttons. It’s my first lieutenant David Della Rocco. He got an urgent message from Blue Commander, Norman Reedus pertaining to brigade member Moira Jones. She was trapped in a hospital over run by walkers. Blue brigade is rallying members for a rescue mission. He reached out to his good friend Rocco for help. Moira didn’t have much time. She was low on resources and needed help ASAP.
     I let Rocco know I’d help and bring reinforcements. Standing, I hurried to collect my supplies, holster my swords to my back. I look over my shoulder and motion to someone. From the shadows stepped another ZSC member, Apryl. I met her right inside the city, she’d been running from a walker. She found the house we hid in. I felt a connection to this girl; we were both oddballs, which made things perfect—we fought off the horde as a cohesive unit.
     “Moira’s in trouble.” I relayed the message to her.
     Apryl nodded and pulled out two Desert Eagle mark XIXs. “Let’s go save Moira!”
     We turned and took a deep breath. For Moira, we’d willingly face whatever waited on the other side of the door.
     I quickly contact Rebecca and tell her the dire situation. I send her the coordinates of where the hospital is and the nearest hotel to the hospital where we’d meet up with everyone else. Then I passed it down the chain to Eve, Em and Jessica.
     “You ready for this?!” I asked Apryl.
     “Heck Yeah! To Moira!”
     I had faith that with all our combined skills, Moira would be safe. One more alert went out to Special Forces—attention one Michael Rooker—we’d need him. I stuff my phone in my pocket and look at Apryl. We kicked the door open and ran into the darkness.

Eve’s POV:

Lt Blue Brigade

The world went to hell so quickly and I was so unprepared. As a member of the ZSC Light Blue brigade I should have known better but I never expected the worst disaster in history to take place so soon! When the call came in from my commander, Anthony, I stood there staring at my phone for a long while.
     A few shots fired close to my house and broke my paralysis.
     I quickly strapped my double thigh holsters on and the calf sheath for my hunting knife. I slid the knife in place and loaded clips into my twin 9mm Taurus 917Cs and fitted silencers onto the end of each barrel.
     I got my daughter and grandma into the car with essential supplies in a matter of minutes. I set my compound bow and quiver on the front passenger seat and moved to open the garage door, one of my silenced twin 9s in hand. I gave grandma a thumbs-up. She nodded and watched me in the rear-view mirror. My grandmother made fun of me on many occasions for what she felt were ridiculous preparations. As I looked into her fear-filled eyes I knew she finally understood.
     I pulled the garage door open in one quick movement and took down the three walkers loitering in front of our house. Grandma pulled out and I hopped in the car. I told her to head to my uncle’s house.
     I spoke with my uncle about supplies and how long we could ration out food before a run would become necessary. Suddenly my phone rang. My sister, Jess. I was relieved to hear her voice.
     “Are you safe? Is everything okay?” Jessica promised she was fine but that we had a problem.
     “It’s Moira, Eve. She sent out a distress call through ZSC. She needs our help.” Jess ran down the situation. Her voice cracked with worry.
     “Alright, let’s meet up at my work then we can head out from there. We can’t leave Moira defenseless like that!” I fought back tears, thinking of her stuck in the hospital alone.
     “Okay, see you there.”
     I explained to my daughter that I needed to go and she’d be safe, asked her to keep an eye on grandma and make sure she stayed out of trouble.
     She gave me a stiff nod, a serious expression on her face. I pulled her into a hug, my tough little girl, and kissed her on the forehead before grabbing my go bag and leaving the house.
     Jessica and I met up, quickly planning a route to the abandoned hotel.
     I put in a call to the last member of our small group…and listened to it ring. And ring. I began to worry she hadn’t received her warning in time.
     “Hello?” Emma’s voice sounded on the other end.
     Oh thank God.
     “Emma! I thought you’d never answer. Are you okay?” My voice trembled. I looked over at Jess who watched the parking lot with focused intensity.
     “Sure.” She hesitated for a moment before adding, “Nothing I can’t handle. What’s wrong?”
     Again the thought of Moira—who’d been through so much and was tougher and sweeter than any young girl I’d ever known—alone and scared brought tears to my eyes. My throat tightened as I tried not to cry.
     “It…” I took a deep breath to steady my voice. “It’s Moira.”
     “What?” Panic came through the phone loud and clear. “What’s happened to Moira?”
     “She’s okay, for now,” I said before Emma could work her way into a full panic. “We just got word that her hospital has been overrun with walkers. She needs help, fast.”
     “Thank God.” I could picture her standing there with a hand over her heart, relieved that Moira lived.
     “Jess, Rebecca, Tiffany, Apryl and I are putting together a rescue team.” Jess threw me a quick glance, a “hell yeah” grin on her face. “We’re going to get her. You in?”
     “You know I am,” she said. I could so hear the implied “DUH!”
     “Good,” I said, smirking at her eagerness. “We’re meeting at the abandoned hotel close by the hospital and formulate a plan of action from there, okay?”
     “Okay.” She paused. “Just give me a minute to take care of something and I’ll be right over.”
     “Be careful.” My chest constricted again at the thought of Emma making her way to our rendezvous by herself. I wished I were there to make sure she stayed safe.
     “I will if you will.” She sounded like she smiled at my overprotective mother hen statement. “I’ll be over in just a little while.”
     We hung up. Jess turned to me. I inhaled deeply and gave her a soft punch on the arm. “You ready for this, Jess?”
     She smiled and patted her dog, Luna on the head. “Those walkers don’t stand a chance. Let’s go.”
     We took off to meet up with the others who’d help us save that brave little girl.

….To Be Continued

URGENT: Letter From Moira

In the Command Center, we’ve been completely wowed by the strength and courage of Moira Jones—a Blue Brigade member who fights daily to survive… just not usually against the undead. Not until now.

We received this letter from her yesterday evening. Stay strong and use your smarts, Moira! Those are the best two weapons one can use to defeat all opponents. ::salutes with crossbow::

TO: ZSC Command

I’m not supposed to be here.
     I’m supposed to be doing normal stuff like sitting in math learning things I will never ever need again and wondering if Griffin is ever going to notice me. I’m not supposed to be hiding on ward six, silent, terrified, with ‘is this the day I get eaten?’ running on a loop through my mind.
     I’m not supposed to be here.
     Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind being in the hospital. Well, not that much. Everyone’s nice here. My doctor takes good care of me. Everything smells like oranges and there’s a endless supply of popsicles. Things are quiet.
     But there’s nothing normal about this. Not anymore.
     The busloads came five days ago. Someone had collapsed at a hockey game and the entire arena had been exposed to something. Sure it was meningitis, Doctor Bell told me not to worry. And I didn’t worry. Until people started dying.
     Lunchtime. The hospital loudspeaker came on with a hiss and a pop. “Good day. This is Doctor Harris, the dean of medicine. It is hospital policy that in case of unknown contagion, no patients, visitors or staff will be permitted to enter or exit the building until the outbreak has been contained.”
     At this, every person in the building came to a stop. Total silence. The entire lobby watched as a man walked up to the door and carefully tried to open it. Then not so carefully. He pounded on the glass. He turned and I saw his face. He looked like a scared animal.
     “It’s locked. We can’t leave.”
     Panic. Shouting.
     I slid down behind the door and tried not to listen to the noise. Screams. Thuds and crunches as people tried to get out.
     Nurse Shane came to get me when the fighting started.
     “All right Moira. Time to go.”
     Nurse Shane grabbed my hand, pulled me to my feet and hauled me out the door. We hit the hallway at a run.
     “Stay with me Moira.”
     “Where are we going?”
     “Up to the sixth floor.”
     We headed down the corridor toward the stairs—and the smell hit us. No more oranges. Just vomit and pennies. I gagged.
     “What is that SMELL?”
     Shane didn’t answer, just stood still staring in shock into the ICU.
     “Stay back.”
     The screaming started. Screaming and howling. I ran to the window and saw it. The people who had died were coming back to life and eating the hospital staff. I couldn’t even see Doctor Bell anymore. Just blood. So much blood.
     Sorry I couldn’t help you Doctor Bell.
     “MOIRA RUN!”
     I turned and bolted for the stairs trying not to listen to what was happening behind me. I made it. Shane didn’t.
     I’m so sorry Shane.
     I made it to the sixth floor and blocked off the stairs. Cabinets and beds. They don’t seem to be able to push through. I’m out of oreos and the vending machine’s almost out of food. I’m going to have to go look for more food soon but I’ll wait as long as I can. There’s too many of them to go out until I have to.
     I’m not supposed to be here.
     Please send help.

~ Blue Brigade

Commander Monday – Blue Brigade Commander Norman Reedus

Blue Brigade, meet your commander Norman Reedus. This multi-talented actor, filmmaker, photographer, writer and artist has played an Irish vigilante, a sociopathic murderer, street gang leader, a conspirator, the unfortunate snack of cannibalistic humanoids on a deep-space vessel, and – of course- fan favorite redneck zombie killer Daryl Dixon on AMC’s The Walking Dead.

Norman Reedus has described himself as “a total wimp,” a “dork,” and denies that he would do anything other than run when threatened by a shuffling zombie horde. He also recently revealed that he has stuffed animals on his bed and enjoys cuddling kitties in his spare time. Don’t be fooled! This is clearly a clever ruse of some sort, a diversion tactic to keep us all guessing… or perhaps he simply is too humble to willingly admit how completely badass he truly is. Whatever the case, Norman did not rise to the rank of Commander by being a total wimp. The motorcycle alone is all the evidence we need.

Norman started making ripples in the film industry in 1997, appearing very briefly in the film Mimic and then taking the starring role in the coming of age tale Floating. Three years later, The Boondock Saints delivered a pair of Irish vigilante twin brothers for our consideration, and the general consensus was clear. Norman’s work as an artist, photographer and filmmaker shows yet another branch of talent for a man who has been described as one of the hardest-working actors in the business.

Norman lives in New York City sharing space with a host of stuffed animals, action figures and toys… and the occasional snake. He recently hosted a photography exhibit in New York through Wired magazine, during which canvas prints of several stunning pieces collected during his travels by motorcycle on the back roads of Georgia were autographed and auctioned to the public with all proceeds going to Oxfam. We also learned a little bit about photographic taxidermy during this exhibit. Many of his photographic works are available for purchase on his film production company’s website, and the short films collection 3 Films by Norman Reedus are available for download as well.

We’re sure we don’t need to inform anyone that The Walking Dead resumed its second season last night after an anxious mid-season break, returning our favorite squirrel-tossing, zombie-killing redneck to our living rooms and DVRs. During the Walking Dead break, Norman filmed Sunlight Jr on location in Florida with Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon. Be sure to also keep an eye on the horizon for indie dramas Hello Herman and Night of the Templar. In a recent interview with Metropolis, Norman spoke briefly of his ties to the artist community in New York and gave his mom full credit for his tough-guy exterior on screen. Last week, USA Today no doubt saw a spike in newsstand sales as fans bought up multiple copies of Thursday’s edition with Daryl Dixon standing strong on the front page.


In conclusion, no matter how much Norman cries “wimp” and “dork,” we think the man doth protest too much. Norman is one of those rare breeds who leads with the heart and makes a difference simply because knows he should, and because he can. In short, when the chips are down and all hope seems lost, don’t give up. Reedus’ Blue Brigade will be there… as soon as they get that blasted GPS to work properly…

GO BAG – Absurdity or Perspicacity

There are times when we receive coded messages from brigadiers that are both awesome and important. We received one such message last week. After deciphering it, Juliette realized that it needed to be shared with the rest of the ZSC ranks.

So with a salute to the Blue Brigade, here’s one of your own, Judy, with a note about the importance of go bag preparation.

* * * * *

Ok, so maybe my family and I take this whole Go Bag thing too seriously, though I did love their presence in those hurricane commercials last summer. I get it, preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse isn’t at the top of everyone’s list. Maybe even I don’t take it as seriously as needed. After all, when asked what I would include, I was quick to mention Oreos for my beloved Brigade Leader, Norm. But then again, if the world has ended and Norm has survived, who wouldn’t want to offer him Oreos… Ok, I am focused again.

Sure, I’ve noticed the strange looks when asked why my daughter is buying that very sharp, oddly shaped, knife. But there are only so many ways to explain that it is perfectly shaped for chopping off zombie heads. I realize some people might question the Zombie Survival Crew brigade color-coordinated duck tape, but there is no reason to be unfashionable at the End of Times. We have, after all, also included camouflage tape for more practical applications. And really, those bright blue non-latex gloves, inspired by Daryl’s messy gutting techniques, are a much bigger concern than a little yellow or light blue duct tape.

However, a Go Bag really does have practical applications, if you aren’t one to embrace the possibility of zombies. It could mean the difference of comfort versus chaos or even survival versus death. There are many real world reasons to prepare. With that in mind, my family and I want to share our choices so far.

Our strategy is not quantity but rather variety. Hopefully “refills” can be acquired, free of charge, after the end. I have already mentioned duct tape, non-latex gloves (prolonged exposure to latex can result in allergies), sharp weapons, and Oreos. Here are a few more things you might want to consider for your bag:

  1. A comfortable pillow that rolls up small — how sharp will you be if you are completely sleep deprived?
  2. The expensive water filter bottle. This is not the time to cut corners. There is only one bottle on the market right now that filters out bacteria. And don’t forget extra filters, but not too many. Remember, free “refills”.
  3. A sewing kit, complete with needles, scissors, thread – good for mending clothes and bodies
  4. Rope
  5. A shakable flashlight — would you want the batteries to go dead at the wrong time?
  6. Bandanas — preferably official, color-coordinated ZSC buffs (just a little plug, there) and goggles. It wouldn’t do to get anything in your eyes or mouth
  7. Flint and striker
  8. Wilderness survival manual – Bear Grills is a favorite in our house.
  9. First aid kit
  10. Camping utensils and cookware — the kind that all fold up and lock together to save space and weight on your back.

Which leads me to the most important part, the bag itself. I am a fan of backpacks. While many people find it more comfortable to run with a bag in the hand, it doesn’t leave both hands free for fighting the undead, climbing, or other activities vital to survival. Keep an eye on the weight also. Excess weight will slow you down. That pretty much rules out gallons of water, a heavy arsenal, and extra Oreo’s. There will be just enough for you and me, Norm.

Undead Is Not An Option: Crunch Time

Four high-school friends have educated themselves on zombie lore by playing a RPG game they’ve invented. They never dreamed they’d have to put their skills developed in the game to use, but an outbreak of the zombie virus forces their hand. While the town runs amok, they decide to meet in one of their game’s locations and make a final stand. The creator of the rule book, Jimmy, goes to retrieve it, Danny is sent to buy weapons, items a teenager could legally buy, while the ringleader, Joey, and Travis, whose father has fallen victim, stay behind to plan their defense and eventual escape.

Crunch Time brings you into the world of RPG and twitter, something near and dear to the Zombie Survival Crew’s heart, and takes you through the chilling choices which have to be made during a zombie attack.

Please note because the characters are dealing with a zombie outbreak, this excerpt has some strong language.


Crunch Time
by Maria Kelly


Joey Costello wiped the dust from the cheddar puffs onto his jeans and leaned forward to stare at the brightly lit computer monitor. It was his older brother David’s hand-me-down computer: the one that looked like some fucked-up futuristic space-lamp.

He waited for his tweeps to respond. He watched as line upon line in the stream scrolled past, none of them from his crew.

“C’mon, dudes, damn!” he yelled, banging his fist down on the desk.

He cursed again as a whole load of tweets went sailing by, and he had to scroll down to make sure he didn’t miss one from his friends.

“Oh, man, we SO need our own hashtag.” He made a mental note to spring this bit of brilliant wisdom on his tweeps when they got on line. Where the hell where they, anyway?

He was half-way through the tweets when the auto-refresh kicked in and zoomed a hundred more tweets past his eyes.

“Aw, goddammit!” He swore again, but not too loudly. His mom had begun tolerating him dropping the ‘F-bomb’ but she’d tear his ass up if she heard him using that word. Not that his mother was particularly religious, but Aunt Lois was, and Aunt Lois was always over at their place these days since Uncle Reggie passed.

Finally, his trembling finger stilled on the scroll button as he read the message:

2ndTimeDead: RT @ZombieHuntR666 holla back mah boyz when u online.|| I’m on, Z.

“Yes!” Joey whispered as he typed and waited for his message to appear onscreen:

ZombieHuntR666: @2ndTimeDead it is as we feared, brotha!!!

He waited for 2ndTimeDead’s reply:

2ndTimeDead: @ZombieHuntR666 I know that’s right, bro! Saw 2 on way home from Crosswalk. Scared the fuck outta me. What do we do?

ZombieHuntR666: @2ndTimeDead don’t fuckin panic. that’s the most important thing. don’t fuckin panic. u been readin these other tweets?

2ndTimeDead: @ZombieHuntR666 4realz! Both #zombieapocalypsenow and #realzombiegeddon are TT’ing! WTF? They’re all over the world! WTF? #whatthefuck

ZombieHuntR666: @2ndTimeDead i said don’t panic dude. oh shit! SHIT! brb…

2ndTimeDead: @ZombieHuntR666 Joey! WTF? Joey???????

2ndTimeDead: @ZombieHuntR666 Joey i’m fuckin comin over there in about 3 minutes if you don’t tweet me the fuck back!!!!

2ndTimeDead: @ZombieHuntR666 4realz mofo! I aint playin! Are you ok? Joey i swear to god you better not be playin!!!!!!!!!

ZombieHuntR666: @2ndTimeDead damn dude it was just my mom.

2ndTimeDead: @ZombieHuntR666 You scared the fuck outta me asshole!!! I thought one of them got you.

ZombieHuntR666: @2ndTimeDead LOL sorry dude 😛 dude, we need our own hashtag. going thru these tweets is bullshit.

2ndTimeDead: @ZombieHuntR666 Dude, how about #oakleafHSzombies?

Sometimes Danny surprised Joey with a flash of brilliance. Since the zombie virus outbreak in their town seemed to have started at their school, #oakleafHSzombies was the perfect hash.

ZombieHuntR666: @2ndTimeDead Danny Patton you’re a fuckin genius! that’s brilliant i swear to god.

At the thought of his school, Joey’s hands dropped off the keyboard. How many Oak Leaf High School students had already been turned?


To read more, and find out what happens to Joey, Danny and the rest of their friends, check out Undead Is Not An Option.

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