I hope this gives you a little taste of the new project. I’m not terribly certain of an exact release date (I don’t even have a title yet), but probably late summer or early fall for the first book of the trilogy. Keep in mind, this is only a draft so forgive any typos or weird grammar.
Prologue – The Unexpected
I work in a funeral home. I’m used to seeing dead bodies. I’m used to bodies ranging from young to old, fat to thin, dark to pale. I’m used to the peacefully deceased to the horrifically killed. I’m used to them laying there still, silent, and slowly decomposing.
What I am not used to, is them getting up and walking away.
Which is why when Mr. Boswick — he of the untimely coronary embolism — started drumming his fingers against the cold surface of the metal table as I was adding the final touches to his make-up job, well I’d like to tell you I kept my cool, that I maintained my composure, but I’d be lying. Nope, I screamed like a baby boomer who’s just lost every dime in her 401K, then promptly upended my tray of cosmetics as I jumped three feet back. THREE (TIMELINE) months and two walking bodies later, and I am still scraping beige powder out of the oddest places.
As the cloud of talcum soft haze filled the small, chilly room, Mr. Boswick sat up with a grunt, put his hands to his ears, and gave me the dirtiest would-you-shut-the-hell-up look I’ve ever seen on a guy — dead or alive.
Still giving me The Look and moving with uncertain slowness, Mr. Boswick eased himself off the table. His legs wobbled a little as his feet and legs took their owner’s weight for the first time in several days. I could have taken him then, just pushed him over, but let me tell you, no matter how many zombie movies you’ve seen or novels you’ve read, no matter how well you can suspend belief, you still go around living your life assuming the zombie apocalypse is something that happens to other people.
And so, rather than attack, double tap, or even run, I stood there getting coated in Dewy Chiffon dust while Mr. Boswick took two clumsy steps with his hands held out like an unsteady toddler.
He looked back and forth between the workroom’s two doorways in his field of view. First one, then the other, then back to the first, then he headed toward Door Number Two. Unfortunately, this first effort at post-mortem decision making landed him in our storage closet, but we here at Wood’s Funeral Home don’t deduct points for guessing. Standing amongst a year’s supply of paper towels and bottles of extra-strength cleaning solution, Mr. Boswick turned to me with a question on his heavily made-up face.
I suppose I should have rushed over, slammed the closet door, locked him in, and burned the place down to save humanity, but at this point my neurons were more than a little numb with shock and refused to chat with one another. Instead of being the hero, I pointed to Door Number One above which shone the green glow of an exit sign. Mr Boswick gave a little nod of thanks then shuffled to and out the door.
My brain operating about as quickly as a dial-up modem from 1992, I glanced down at the metal work table. It appeared empty, but I reached out and patted it just to make certain all the chemicals I work around weren’t giving me hallucinations. With a grimace, my hand landed on a cold, smooth surface that was definitely lacking the corporeal remains of Mr. Boswick. Then my eyes caught the photo of him I’d been working from. The photo his family had loaned us.
His family! If he tried to get to his family—
And there we have it, folks. Miracle of all miracles. Cassie Black can think again.