All Our Tomorrows (Z is for Zombie Book 2)

By: Peter Cawdron
Dedication



For Sarah



Reading is exploration,

an expedition of the heart.





Synopsis



Hazel is alone in a crowd. No one understands her, not even her father. The only people that ever really understood her were Steve, David and Jane. But they’re dead. If they’re not dead, they’re dying stranded outside the compound. Hazel can’t accept the bitter reality of life in the zombie apocalypse, she can’t accept that her friends are probably dead. She has to find them.





Chapter 01: Moonlight



I’m sitting in the lounge, listening as Steve creeps down the stairs. It’s late. Moonlight falls through the window, lighting the darkness. A cool breeze blows through the opening, causing the lace curtains to drift to one side. The last of the candles burns down, leaving barely a lick of flame as it fights against the night.

A shadowy figure appears in the hallway.

“Haze?”

I’m feeling playful, frisky. I get up and walk silently toward Steve.

“David said it was urgent.”

“Oh, it is,” I say, running my hands up over his chest and around his neck.

Our lips touch, but Steve is hesitant.

“Is everything OK?”

“Life,” I say, pausing for a moment. “Life is wonderful.”

I pull his thick flannel shirt from beneath his belt and slip my fingers under the warm material, touching at his skin. Our lips meet. My hands crumple his shirt as my fingernails run up over his bare chest.

“Wow,” he says, pulling away for a second. “What brought this on?”

“You’re surprised?” I ask, pushing him gently back into a dresser by the window.

“Delighted would be a better term,” he replies, smiling in the soft light of the candle flickering on the mantle. “It’s just, I thought...”

My fingers fumble with the buttons on his shirt. I’m ready to tear his shirt open in frustration.

“You thought what?” I ask, between kisses.

“Nothing,” he says, pulling his shirt off. There’s a bandage on the side of his neck and his right arm is wrapped from his elbow to his wrist.

“What if someone hears us?” he asks.

“Try not to squeal,” I reply, laughing playfully as he turns me around and lifts me up, sitting me on the dresser. I lean back on the polished wood and wrap my legs around his waist, holding him tight. His hands slip under my shirt and up over my back as we kiss. I can feel him fiddling with my bra strap. My skin tingles.

Fingers wrap around my wrist, holding me tight. At first, I think nothing of them until my bra clasp comes loose and I realize that unhooking the straps took both of Steve’s hands.

Bony fingers dig into my skin, pulling at my arm.

Fear strikes my heart.

I twist away from Steve as he continues kissing me passionately.

“No,” I cry, and Steve looks confused.

I try to pull my arm from the dresser only to hear Zee growl outside.

My heart races.

The breeze blows the curtains back for a moment, and I see dark eyes staring at me.

Rotten teeth snap at the air.

Sweat breaks out on my forehead.

Steve jumps back. He must see the terror in my eyes.

“HELP!” I scream, pushing off the dresser, but Zee has a firm grip. His head lunges through the open window. He snarls, growling as I try desperately to pull my arm from his grasp.

“He’s got me!” I cry, twisting and jerking against the zombie. I use the dresser for leverage, trying to wrestle my arm free. For his part, Zee is trying to pull me out the window. From outside, the window must be almost at head height, so I have an advantage in that I can use the height against Zee, forcing him off balance.

Steve punches at the zombie, but with no effect.

He grabs a picture frame and brings it down over the head of the zombie. The glass shatters and the frame breaks, but Zee isn’t fazed. I pry at the zombie’s fingers with my free hand, but his nails dig deeper into my skin, drawing blood.

“We need help,” Steve cries, leaving me by the window.

“Wait! No!” I yell, terrified at the thought of being abandoned.

Steve yells for help. He grabs the chain hanging from the dinner bell mounted by the kitchen. With a burst of vigor, he rings the bell, clanging the chain back and forth and raising the alarm.

Neither of us have our guns. With so many people in the home, and being so far from the fence, most survivors don’t bother carrying their handguns indoors. Guns are uncomfortable when sitting down, digging into the small of the back or the side of my hip. Right now, I’m regretting that habit.

“Steve, please!” I yell, pleading with him for help, but he darts into the kitchen. The two-way door swings violently on its hinges behind him.

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