Read Zombified (Book 1): Hudson Place Online

Authors: Char Robinson

Tags: #zombies

Zombified (Book 1): Hudson Place

BOOK: Zombified (Book 1): Hudson Place
3.95Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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Dedication

 

I dedicate this novel to my family. With your support and encouragement, my dream to write a novel became a reality. Steve, John, Daniel, and Erin - thank you and I love you all!

 

Chapter 1

 

 

 

Mick Carter was almost ready to leave for work on an ordinary Monday morning when the phone rang. Before he could say hello, he heard his boss and lifelong friend Dave Martin, shouting. Mick held out the receiver, grimaced, then placed it back against his ear.

 


Mick! You there!”

 


Yeah Dave, what’s up,” Mick asked with a puzzled expression on his face. What in the world had Dave so excited?

 


Mick! Thank God I got hold of you before you left for work!” Dave sounded almost frantic. “Have you heard what’s happening?”

 


Um, no, haven’t heard anything. What’s going on?” Mick asked somewhat absently as he looked up to see Brooke pass by. She looked ready for school, but he heard her complaining to Cindy that she couldn’t find her cell phone.

 


Remember that story we were talking about at lunch yesterday? About all those people getting sick?”

 

Mick had told Dave about a small story in the paper that caught his attention. A group of Boy Scouts took a field trip to a popular salt plain bird refuge and lake. Besides bird watching and fishing, the salt plains area produced selenite crystals, and people came from all over to dig them up. While digging, one of the scouts found several glass vials full of liquid and put them in his small plastic bucket to take home. The bucket was placed in the back of the Scout leader’s van and another child dumped his crystals into the bucket, breaking most of the vials.

 

During the trip home, the van full of children and adults unknowingly inhaled the noxious fumes. By the next morning, most of the children and one adult were in the hospital. They were looking for the other two adults who had been in the vehicle, one was reportedly on a plane to Europe and the other had left for a vacation with his family. The article also mentioned that the Army had gotten involved. During World War II the Army had used the area for training and although they denied the vials contained anything truly harmful, the salt plains were immediately closed off.

 


I remember,” Mick replied. “What about it?”

 


That stuff they were exposed to, it’s lethal Mick. I just finished talking to a friend of mine from the CDC. He was telling me that the Army sent them tissue samples from two of the victims, and they have no idea what it is they’re looking at.”

 


That’s awful,” Mick said, trying to think. “So what exactly are you saying here?”

 

Mick could hear Dave take a deep breath before replying. “If what Bill told me is true, we’re all in deep shit,” Dave said bluntly. “I know this is going to be hard to believe, but the Army started quarantining everyone who was exposed after two of the kids and the adult died. Mick...they didn’t stay dead! Anywhere from two to six hours after death, the bodies - I can’t believe I’m saying this - but they reanimated and started attacking people.”

 


Huh?” It was all Mick could think of to say, and then he grinned. “Ah, I get it. You almost had me going there Dave, good one!” They were always pulling pranks on each other and Mick had to admit, this was one of Dave’s best so far.

 


Dammit Mick, I’m not joking! This is deadly serious. Bill was telling me this virus spreads like wildfire through any type of contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids. He said this thing is already out of control in our area. They’re starting to get new reports in other areas of people exhibiting bizarre or violent behavior.”

 

Mick’s grin faded as he heard the earnestness in his friend’s voice. He also knew Dave wouldn’t take a joke this far. “Ok, say I believe you,” he said with a sigh. “How can something like this spread so fast?”

 


Bill said when the first victims died, the Army got involved. They set up at the hospital and sent samples out to various labs, including the CDC. When these
things
came back, several people were attacked and bitten, sounds like there was utter chaos.”

 

As Mick tried to process what Dave was saying he asked, “So what does all this mean?”

 


Bill told me the only way he could describe what was happening to people was that they were turning into...” he paused and whispered so softly Mick wasn’t sure he heard right. “Zombies.”

 


Zombies? You did say zombies?” Mick was stunned. Zombies were movie characters, not real creatures. He was beginning to think Dave was pulling his leg again; something like this was too fantastic to believe. He shook his head and said, “So what are we going to do?”

 


I’d tell you to go watch the news on TV, but trust me, there is NO TIME!” Dave shouted, becoming excited again as he spoke rapidly. “You need to call the twins, have them get their families together and all of you get over to Hudson Place pronto. Try to pack as much as you can, but get over here within the hour. You might have that much time, but the way things are going, who knows. Whatever you do, please don’t delay!”

 

The phone disconnected on Dave’s end and Mick held onto the receiver with a dumbfounded look on his face. What in the hell was really happening? He looked up as Cindy came through the kitchen doorway with a somewhat confused look on her face.

 


Mick, something weird is going on, all the TV stations are running warnings for people to stay inside, sounds like there’s some kind of riot or disturbance or something going on. Do you have any idea what it’s about?”

 


I’m not sure, but Dave is certain he knows,” Mick replied with a shake of his head as he replaced the receiver. “That was him on the phone. He wants us to load up as much as we can and get over to Hudson Place immediately.”

 

Cindy’s mouth dropped open and her eyes widened in surprise. “What in the world?
Dave
said that?”

 

Mick nodded, his lips pursed together in a thin line as he tried to think it all through. He glanced at Cindy, who was nervously playing with her wedding ring. “From what Dave was telling me, it sounds like whatever is happening might be serious enough to take his advice and do what he’s asking.”

 

Before she could answer, the phone rang again and Mick snatched it up. “Hello,” he began, but immediately realized he was getting a recorded message. He listened for a moment before hanging up. “That was one of those recorded messages from the high school, advising all students to stay indoors and away from the school and any other public area,” he told Cindy as he frowned and ran his fingers through his short, wavy brown hair. He didn’t like this, not at all. Something was going on and he had no idea for sure what it was. But he did know one thing. He trusted Dave, who was more than a boss; he was also a lifelong friend. He made up his mind right then and there. Better to be safe than sorry.

 


Call the boys, tell them to get everyone over to Dave’s, make sure they have the address,” he said firmly. “Tell them to
hurry
and meet us there in an hour. Let’s get Brooke before she heads out the door and get packed as fast as we can.”

 

To Mick, whenever he looked back, that was the beginning of the end of life as he knew it. They made it to Dave’s safely although the trip had been a little surreal. The drive took them fifteen minutes and in that time they heard the constant wail of sirens and Mick was certain he’d heard sporadic gunfire. There were few people out, most seemed to have heeded the warnings to stay inside. The people they saw were behaving strangely, most were staggering around as though drunk and they even saw a few lying on the sidewalks or slumped against buildings. Brooke was asking rapid-fire questions and Cindy kept trying to answer them in a calm and quiet voice, although Mick could tell she was doing everything in her power to remain calm herself. He reached over once and gently squeezed her hand; she rewarded him with a small smile.

 

As he drove, Mick thought back to when Dave first told him about Hudson Place. Dave had been convinced there would be a massive bird flu epidemic, and he purchased a large warehouse to the south and just inside the city limits. He had the building fortified against intruders, then stocked it to the rafters with anything and everything he could think of. He had a high cinder block wall built around the back and actually kept a cow and two calves, chickens, rabbits, and a few pigs there. He also started a rooftop garden overflowing with vegetables and some small fruit-bearing trees. He had the money and he spared no expense. Mick had thought it was just another project for Dave and Lilly, his wife, to do together. Mick didn’t realize it at the time, but because of Dave’s fears, his foresight would save many lives over the coming days.

 

Once at their destination, Dave waved as he leaned over a balcony on the fourth floor and shouted down to them. “Garage on the other side - hurry!” He disappeared from view and Mick drove around the building and into a massive garage. Dave had added it on just a few months ago; it would easily hold several vehicles. Mick was relieved to see that Sean and Denise had already arrived, but Scott’s car was not there yet, although there were also three black SUV’s, a blue sedan, and a white minivan inside.

 

Mick turned around in his seat after he had parked to look at Brooke. “Call Scott, see where they are.”

 

Brooke nodded and flipped her phone open as they got out of the car. She looked out toward the street and pointed. “Hey, isn’t that them now?”

 

Sure enough, there was Scott with Sarah, and their little granddaughters, Heather and Sally. Mick breathed a sigh of relief as he waved them toward the garage. As soon as Scott pulled in, the door began to shut and several lights came on. Dave entered through a side door with Sean and two other men and Mick immediately recognized one of them. Jeff Caldwell worked with Mick and Dave and he gave Mick a solemn nod as they shook hands. Jeff and his wife Lindsey had two young children, if Mick remembered correctly, Rory was about seven and Stacey, four; perfect playmates for Heather and Sally. Mick finally remembered the other man’s name was Darrell Johnson, but didn’t really know him. All Mick knew was he run in the same business circles as Dave. As the men helped unload the cars, everyone began asking questions all at once and Dave held up a hand.

 


Let’s get inside and we’ll talk,” Dave said. He gave them a slight, sad smile. “I’m glad you all made it, I was so worried.”

 

Everyone followed Dave into the building. “Once we get your luggage upstairs and we’ve had a chance to talk, Lilly and I will give you all a tour of the place,” he said with a good-natured smile. “I think you’ll be surprised.”

 

Dave continued to lead them upstairs to the third floor, where they entered a door that Mick noticed could be locked and bolted from the inside. Dave directed them toward which rooms their luggage went in, and once they were together in hall again, he went back out the door and they followed him up another flight of stairs into another large room split up into two main areas. They walked through a kitchen/dining area as Dave led them toward the opposite end, which appeared to be a living room. Mick saw Sean and Denise sitting on a large couch talking to Lindsey.

BOOK: Zombified (Book 1): Hudson Place
3.95Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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