This past year has been brutal.
About three months of the time I was laid off - having been deemed "non-essential" - and as a result, I spent the majority of my time writing. Zombie Choices: An Interactive Story was the end result of that. It took me much longer than three months, but that's when it started.
After weeks' worth of editing and formatting what has proved to be the most difficult project of mine as of yet, I finally published on Amazon earlier this month. You can imagine my chagrin when at the end of Prepper Camp (where I had been selling the book all weekend) somebody pointed out to me that there was a glitch in the game at the very back.
The glitch is at node 25B. If you order the book on Amazon, the glitch will have been fixed, but if you bought a book from me in person with the glitch in it, here is the patch below:
You begin paddling out towards the island when the sudden sound of an airhorn to your right draws your attention. Both of you instinctively look, and find a small group of three people jumping up and down on the beach and waving trying to get your attention. You figure that if they’d wanted to kill you they would’ve shot you already, and curious, you turn your kayak around as Bruce follows behind you.
Upon reaching the beach, you’re introduced to Rachel, Austin and Michael. They tell you about how they have a small group that’s been living along the coast here for quite some time, but one of their group members has come down with some sort of infection – not a zombie infection they assure you. A normal infection. Curious – and not aware of any better decisions – the two of you follow the trio back to their base camp, where you’re shown their quarters.
The place has been shot to pieces, trash litters the ground, and inside a dark and musty room, you see a man laying on a cot – Tom – being tended to by another named Doc. Tom is unconscious as Doc introduces his self to you and fills you in on what the situation is. Things aren’t looking good, and the lack of proper medical supplies has only made things worse. Right now, it’s looking as if Tom will die.
The group has effectively been laid under siege by the Fallen Angels on one side and a large group of zombie wasteland on the other. As a result they haven’t been able to expand their search for medication outside of the bounds of their current geography. However, seeing that you two have kayaks – the only form of water transportation anywhere nearby – they wonder if you wouldn’t be willing to let them borrow them so that they can search surrounding areas for a medicine called Cipro. You’re not too keen on the idea of being stranded in a siege zone, and so you counteroffer with going to look for the medicine yourself.
The group is more than happy to acquiesce, and Doc suggests that you start your search at an island not too far from where you currently are. It’s about a mile out into the water, is relatively large, and is filled with vacation homes. There’s a very good chance that there’ll be some medicine there that’s readily accessible.
You agree, and in a few moments more Bruce and you are back out to sea, paddling in the direction of the island just up ahead in the distance.
As you approach the island, you’re startled to see somebody – a woman – come running out of the trees and onto the beach. “Oh, great,” you think to yourself, instantly assuming that this is just the first of many zombies that are coming to greet you. Your assumptions quickly disintegrate however, when the woman begins jumping up and down on the beach in an attempt to gain your attention.
It’s as you get closer that you can see somebody come out of the dunes, limping slowly in her direction. You paddle the kayaks ashore onto the beach about a hundred yards from where the woman is standing. You’re pulling the kayaks further up onto the sand when she comes sprinting up to you and falls on her knees at your feet.
She’s sobbing, and keeps saying “Oh help me, help me, please.”
You’re staring at the 20-something year old woman hugging your calves and sobbing, trying to figure out what exactly you’re supposed to do, when you hear Bruce yell, “Somebody else is coming.”
You look up to see the limping man coming your direction. The woman looks back and starts to grow even more hysterical. “Help me! Help me! Make him stop!” She’s screaming and hiding behind you, gripping both of your arms so hard that it hurts.
“Let GO!” you yell as you yank yourself away, but she’s still sobbing and crawling towards you in the sand.
“It’s a zombie!” Bruce yells, and sure enough, it’s close enough that you can tell that too. It’s a 20-something year old guy, crazy haired and with the same bloody and wild look to him that every other zombie you’ve seen has displayed. Bruce stands between you and the zombie, which is now about fifty yards away.
“Oh please, oh please, oh please,” begs the girl between sobs as she latches on to your ankles again.
“Will you STOP?” you yell, as you shake her away again.
Bruce raises his shotgun and blows off the zombie's head. The body collapses back onto the sand.
The woman lets out a loud shriek before collapsing in sobs again. She finally gets up off the ground and latches onto you in a hug and crying into your shoulder as Bruce guards the beach. You hug back as you look at Bruce. This is most certainly unexpected, but you understand that the world is filled with people of pain right now.
About a half hour later, the girl is finally able to talk. She tells you that back when this all started, the people on the island believed that they’d be safe. There were no bridges to where they lived, only the ferry service, and the men made sure that the ferry did not dock there. Somehow or another though, the zombies made it to the island. She still wasn’t sure how – whether one washed up there, or what. It didn’t matter though. Within a matter of hours, the whole island had turned. Only she and her boyfriend - Seth - had managed to survive, hiding in a pantry together with Seth’s single shot shotgun.
When they emerged three days later, the entire island was empty. Not a soul remained. Everyone was just gone. From what she thought, the zombies must have swum back to the mainland in search of new prey. That’s what her boyfriend said anyway. They were out looking for people when Seth found a head laying in the sand beside one of the main roads. It was lying face down, but judging by the hair, he was afraid it might be his mom. So he reached down to rotate the thing, but when he did, he put his finger through a hidden hole in the cheek and into the mouth, and the thing bit him. It was a zombie head, and it was still alive.
Seth lost his finger, and soon fell to the ground in the characteristic convulsions you’ve become all too familiar with. He soon turned. She had grabbed the shotgun when he fell, knowing what was coming, but as he stood back up, she had a hard time finding the heart to shoot him. He attacked her, and she managed to throw him off, and shot him in the shin in the process. She threw the gun in the sand so that she could run quicker, and the tide must’ve taken it away later. He’d been chasing her around the island ever since.
Initially, she had a myriad of golf carts around the island that she could use to get away from him, but eventually, every last battery had died. She’d been riding a bicycle to get away from him for a stretch of about three hours at a time ever since then. That was how long it took Seth to limp across the entire island. That was about four days ago.
“Please stay! Please, please, please stay! Don’t leave me alone again! I can’t be left all alone again!” the girl finishes with as she breaks down in tears once more.
I just finished Lewis' Space Trilogy. It's been sitting on my shelf for years, and I finally got around to starting Out of the Silent Planet after finding the 3rd book in a local Little Free Library (I love those things).
Here's my thoughts:
Out of the Silent Planet
The first book of the series, this was straight up science fiction, something I found refreshing in a Lewis book. One of the reasons that JRR Tolkien often didn't wholeheartedly enjoy Lewis' fiction (they were friends - Tolkien actually led Lewis to Christ), was that Lewis is an allegory bomb. Everything he wrote tends to be dripping with in-your-face allegory where there is absolutely no mistaking what X is actually supposed to be.
Out of the Silent Planet wasn't that though. It was just sci-fi, and good sci-fi at that. Are there things within the story that are symbolic? Yeah, absolutely. But it wasn't as in your face as a Narnia story. It's just a really cool space adventure where the reader goes on a journey to discover different extraterrestrial species and cultures.
An incredible book well worth your time.
Lewis reverted to old form with this one. It's allegorical in the extreme. And though I tend to view things through Tolkien's lens with that topic, I still greatly enjoyed this one. Without giving too much away, this is basically a retelling of the Garden of Eden.
And it's absolutely fantastic. Lewis' language within this is beautiful. You get a taste of what Paradise must look like simply because of this man's imagination, and it sounds wonderful.
The conflict within this story will have you cheering on your side of the fight as well. The book actually had me routing the main character on after every other page (my wife thinks I'm a weirdo as a result), but it's the story. It draws you in that well. Causing you to see what could have been.
That Hideous Strength
This one was actually my least favorite within the trilogy. I just didn't think it was that special. Rather bleh, and it didn't seem to mesh as well with the other books to me. I can definitely see the influence this must have played on Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness. There's this evil corporation that has demonic backing fighting against the forces of Good.
Still an interesting story, but not as good as the rest.
So, all in all a good trilogy well worth your time reading. Perelandra is easily the best in the series, and if you're going to pick just one, I recommend choosing it.
The Faithful Prepper is going to be on sale for $12 at Prepper Camp 2019 this year! If you've been on the fence about picking it up, Prepper Camp is a great opportunity to check it out at a discounted price.
Whether you're a Christian or not, I still think TFP can prove beneficial to you. If you're a Christian, I think TFP will help to clear away any guilt or qualms you may have about prepping if you think it's incompatible with Christianity.
If you're not a Christian, you have a good chance of running into Christians in a post-disaster situation. Reading TFP will help you to better understand their mode of thought, and how they're likely to approach various issues that you may face. And in the end, you'll be better preparing yourself for post-disaster scenarios.
And finally, TFP contains a lot of useful information that is incredibly practical from a prepping standpoint. Proven formulas to help you know exactly how much food to prep per person in your family, innovative ways to use technology to prep, and thoughts on OPSEC that will further hone your prepping ability.
TFP really has something for everybody, and I trust that you will enjoy it. If that sounds like something of interest to you, and want to pick it up on sale, then sign up for Prepper Camp 2019!
Writer. News junkie. Personal Trainer. Farmer.