Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014 – Christine Verstraete – Girl Z: My Life as a teenage zombie


SummerZombie Shirt Front

 

The stench of rotting flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 33 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of June.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #SummerZombie

https://www.facebook.com/events/286215754875261/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular&source=1

 

I am proud to host Christine Verstraete on this tour. Below are two excerpts from her novel. GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie

Enjoy

girlz-my-life-as-a-teenage-zombie (2)

 

Excerpt, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie

By C.A. Verstraete

 

Prologue

A virus. A freaking virus.

I’d been sick before, you know, measles, mumps…kid stuff…but not really sick.

Never like this.

This…this couldn’t be happening.

I tuned back in to the doctor’s explanation…new diet, pills, blah-blah-blah…and let his words fade again into the background.

Gone was the golden tan I’d nurtured over the summer with tanning cream and hours sunbathing by the pool with one of my cousins. My skin had a weird grayish tone, like I’d rubbed myself with fireplace ash.

I gazed at my legs, now mottled with strange gray blotches, and my pretty pink toenails peeking out from beneath the sheet.

The machine next to me made a frantic beep-beep.

I turned and caught my reflection in the metal canister sitting on the table next to the bed. Whimpering, I rubbed a hand over my cheek, wondering at the scaly texture, while at other times I felt almost nothing.

Large, deep brown eyes under ebony bangs stared back. I saw a decent nose.

I took in the pinkish patches and my uneven skin tone, which reminded me of those old battleships on the PBS show I’d watched with my aunt.

For the first time in my sixteen-year-old life I was…ugly.

I struck the bed frame over and over, the pain barely registering. The machine’s whir-click-whir turned into a wail almost louder than mine—beep-beep-beeeeeeep.

A nurse in blue scrubs rushed in and tried to reassure me, even as she attempted to keep me immobile on this slab they called a bed.

“Relax, it’ll be fine,” she said.

“No, it won’t,” I yelled, “it won’t!”

How could looking like freaking King Tut without his wrappings ever be fine?

 

Chapter One

Funny how the most important or memorable moments of your life are bookmarked between the ordinary.

That’s how it was the day my life changed—forever.

My cousin Carm—short for Carmella Sanchez—and I, Rebecca Herrera Hayes (Becca to my friends), hoped to go shopping and get in on the last of the sales for our final summer vacation trip. I was looking forward to visiting my mom’s friend in Lake Geneva, but fate, or something else, had other plans.

Instead, my ever-thrifty Aunt Imelda, whom I’d called Tia since I was little, told us to dig through the boxes of clothes she’d brought down from the attic before she committed to buying anything new. So, rather than sort through the racks at the store, we picked through our old wardrobes at home. Bummer.

But… maybe it was a good thing since we might not have heard the news otherwise.

To my delight, I grabbed another way-too-small pair of shorts from the box (that shopping trip becoming more real by the minute) when a staccato dee-dee-dee-dee signaling a news alert cut off Lady Gaga’s wails on the radio.

The announcer’s serious tone made Carm and I stop cold and stare at each other, our job, and the clothes, forgotten.

THIS IS AN URGENT NEWS BULLETIN: WINDALE POLICE AND WINDALE COUNTY SHERIFF DEPARTMENTS REPORTED A RASH OF ATTACKS BY UNKNOWN INDIVIDUALS. THE ATTACKERS ARE DESCRIBED AS DISEASED, WITH AN OFFENDING SMELL AND LIMITED VERBAL COMMUNICATION. THE SUSPECTS DO NOT RESPOND TO COMMANDS AND EXHIBIT NO EMOTIONS OR REACTIONS UNTIL THEY ENCOUNTER THOSE NOT INFECTED. THEY ARE CONSIDERED EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND WILL ATTACK FOR NO REASON. DO NOT APPROACH.

THE NATIONAL GUARD HAS BEEN CALLED IN AND LOCAL POLICE URGE CITIZENS TO LOCK THEIR DOORS AND STAY INSIDE.

REPEAT—USE EXTREME CAUTION—

My cousin’s face went white. “Bec, what do they mean?”

“I don’t know…”

Carm made a face like she’d bit into something bad. “Maybe it’s fake, you know like that War of the Worlds broadcast Tia told us about. I can’t believe all those people listening to the radio really thought they’d been invaded by aliens!”

“I-I don’t think so. Let’s see if there’s anything on TV about it.”

Carm and I fell silent. Scenes out of some horror movie come to life flashed across the screen—people running, others fighting off hordes of horrid creatures, their mouths bloody, their diseased hands tearing and ripping at human flesh. A staccato blast of gunshots ripped through the air. High-pitched screams and terrified yells erupted from the fleeing mob. The warnings scrolling across the bottom of the TV screen made the sweat break out on my upper lip—be alert… zombies… use caution… stay indoors…

I quickly shut it off. The images made me want to puke, or freak out, or both, but I still had trouble believing it was real. I mean, here? In our little Wisconsin town? We weren’t in some nowhere place, even if it felt like it sometimes. In an hour or so, I could be in Chicago or Milwaukee, or take an even quicker drive to Lake Geneva.

“It has to be phony, it has to be,” I insisted. “It’s too weird.”

Any further discussion had to wait when Carm’s cell phone dinged, signaling she’d received a text message. She pulled the phone from her pocket, and seeing her alarmed expression, I sidled next to her. “Carm? What is it?”

She didn’t say much before turning off the phone, her face creased in worry. “It’s my mom, she’s worried. She’s going to look for Spence. He texted he was sick and needed help. Now he doesn’t answer her calls or texts. ”

My eyebrows raised in question when my phone flashed and beeped like that little Star Wars movie robot. I tapped the screen and quickly read the message. “It’s my mom, she’s going with. She said to lock everything, something bad’s going on, and don’t go outside. She said they’ll be home as soon as they can.”

My fingers flew over the tiny keyboard in response, saying we’d heard the news. No way could I tell her Tia had gone to get some milk before all this happened and wasn’t back yet. I had a feeling she didn’t need more to worry about.

I gulped when the radio announcer repeated the warnings. Now martial law was being declared. Anyone caught out on the street past curfew would be detained or arrested. Looters would be shot.

It didn’t get more real than that.

Breathing deep, I prayed Tia would come back soon. I tried to smother my growing panic at my whole family being somewhere else. I had to pull myself together. The quiver of Carm’s bottom lip and the way she picked at the pile of clothes on the table concerned me. My cousin had always been kind of chicken, so I didn’t need her falling apart. There was too much to do.

Time for some other distractions. I had to keep Carm busy. “Carm, c’mon, help me. Let’s move the couch over in front of the door. Then we better check the bedroom windows upstairs. Make sure they’re locked and the shades are down. I’ll check the windows in mom’s bedroom and the bathroom.”

I crossed the room and stopped on the staircase when she didn’t answer. “Carm?”

My cousin stood in the living room and peered out the window, an odd expression on her face.

“Carm, you okay?”

No answer.

I retraced my steps, reached out and tapped her arm. “Carm? What is it?”

“I-I’m not sure,” she whispered.

A peek out the window alerted me to the problem—some guy staggering around in the distance. The way he wove back and forth made me uneasy. “I think it’s some drunk. I bet our neighbor drove his car into the ditch again.”

“Bec, I don’t think so.”

I gasped when she inched behind the loveseat, threw the lock, and opened the door. “Carm, wait! You can’t go out there! What about that stuff on the radio and TV?”

When she ignored me, I had no choice but to either hold her back or follow. Part of me wanted to tackle her, but I trailed behind her instead to the porch, my eyes still on the guy in the field. He’d come a little further, close enough that even from here, I could see his hair was black, not gray like my neighbor’s.

He staggered closer and began to wave. My alarm grew when Carm stumbled and gasped, hand on her chest.

“Carm-Carm! What’s wrong? Are you okay?”

“It’s him!” She pushed away my hand and ran down the steps.

I grabbed at her shirt and held on in an attempt to stop her.  “Carm, wait, no! You can’t go down there!”

She shook my grip loose and shoved past me. I ran in pursuit and tried to catch her, my heart pounding. “Carm, stop, please! Carm!”

I nearly ran her over when she came to a halt within a few feet of our visitor.

He stared, eyes like slits. He took another step.

As he came closer, I noticed several horrid raw sores and the sickening, pasty gray tone of his skin. I grimaced, grabbed Carm’s arm and backed up, stumbling over my feet, when he reached for me with a loud groan.

“No, no!” Carm screamed as his body crumpled and he fell into the grass in a heap. I tried to keep her from him, but she swore at me and pulled away before rushing to his side.

“No, leave me alone!” she yelled. “I have to help him!”

“Carm, no—don’t. Don’t touch him. He’s sick.”

“No, I have to help him,” she cried. “I have to.”

All I could do was stare at her, and then at him.

My cousin Spence had come home.

** Christine Verstraete likes to write slightly different stories, as with her book, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie, about a 16-year-old whose fate is worse than acne. Yeah, she turns part-zombie. Read/download the Prologue and Chapter 1 at http://www.cverstraete.com/girlz-teenage-zombie-book.html. Visit her blog http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com.

GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie:

Kindle and print, Amazon.com – http://tinyurl.com/mwjn6v3

Amazon.uk: http://tinyurl.com/ctyd9dz

Amazon Canada: http://tinyurl.com/d8jv9hu

Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/d889gzn

******

Excerpt, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie

By C.A. Verstraete

 

(From Chapter 11 – Back to School)

 

I shook my head, feeling even worse when I saw Jimmy Churlin stagger down the hall, heading our way. Holy cow, the virus seemed to have done a number on the guys around here.

Jimmy made one ugly being, all drool, and even fewer manners than before.

Grimacing, I watched him make a rude comment to one of the girls who sashayed by, hips wiggling in an attention-getting tight skirt. I’d have thought the virus would have toned down some of his less desirable traits. Day by day, I’d noticed most of my deadened senses had returned even though they stayed at more muted levels. Like I could taste food again (sometimes), but it usually didn’t taste like it once did (or stay with me) for long.

Sure I had the wandering eye problem and tripped over my own feet, but so far, most of my problems were somewhat tolerable, considering everything. Not so for most male Zs, I saw. Carm and I exchanged horrified glances as we watched the rude, obnoxious way several of them acted, hoping it was a rare occurrence. Hardly.

The main thing on most teenage Z’s brains (the little they had left, of course) these days was food, followed by sex, a horrific combination.

The virus amplified the endless eating cycle teenage boys usually had. Even with all the protein drinks, I watched several stagger down the hall slobbering over packages of raw meat when they weren’t slobbering over girls. Ugh. I wanted to laugh, and would’ve, if it wasn’t so revolting.

“You’d think they would’ve put those guys by themselves,” I whispered to Carm.

She glanced down the hall and nodded. “I know, they’re so gross. Maybe Principal Thomas got scared he’d be sued?”

I shrugged. “There’re more parents with non-infected kids. If he’s watching, and I bet he is, once he sees what’s going on he’ll have the guys reorganized this afternoon. I don’t know how that’ll affect the few girls I’ve seen like me.”

“All right, get moving,” a security guard ordered several guy Zs. “You there, let’s go.”

Another guard moved in and hurried the other Z boys along towards the end of the hall. A teacher peeked out from behind one of the doors, grimaced, and seeing me watching, gave a hateful glare before she ducked back into her room.

Wow. Whatever plans had been developed so far to address the new school makeup weren’t working so well. Carm pointed out several colored spots. “See, there’re Z food stations marked on the map.” She paused. “Hmm, there’s one in the main hall, the rest are down the other hall.”

I’d barely had time to dwell on this development when a voice called my name. I turned and groaned as Jimmy C. shuffled in our direction. Bad enough he kept texting me ever since we’d worked on that class science project together. Ignoring him hadn’t worked.

“Hey, Becca baby, looks like you and me got somethin’ in common after all,” he yelled.

As he zigzagged towards me, I watched the students in his path jump to either side with a curse or run in the other direction. Others gagged and threw their hands over their mouths. I thought the reactions rather exaggerated until he came closer.

Even I had trouble breathing and staggered backwards at the horrid stench of rotten eggs and spoiled meat wafting my way. Several long gashes on his arms, and probably elsewhere, explained the smell.

I kept my distance and urged Carm to hurry. As Jimmy edged closer, a litany of curses and lewd comments on his crooked lips, I finally had had enough. I threw my extra papers and stuff in the locker, slammed the door and spun the lock.

“You know what, Jimmy? Bite me. Go bother somebody else.”

Oops. Too late, I realized my mistake. Jimmy gave a weird, strange leer and crept nearer. “Be glad to,” he mumbled.

**

 

verstraete2Christine Verstraete likes to write slightly different stories, as with her book, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie, about a 16-year-old whose fate is worse than acne. Yeah, she turns part-zombie. Read/download the Prologue and Chapter 1 at http://www.cverstraete.com/girlz-teenage-zombie-book.html. Visit her blog http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com.

GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie:

Kindle and print, Amazon.com – http://tinyurl.com/mwjn6v3

Amazon.uk: http://tinyurl.com/ctyd9dz

Amazon Canada: http://tinyurl.com/d8jv9hu

Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/d889gzn

 

 

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~ by graemereynolds on June 2, 2014.

3 Responses to “Summer of Zombie Blog Tour 2014 – Christine Verstraete – Girl Z: My Life as a teenage zombie”

  1. Graeme thanks for the post! I have a giveaway going on too at the blog http://girlzombieauthors.blogspot.com

  2. […] Christine Verstraete (teaser) on Graeme Reynold’s Blog […]

  3. […] Christine Verstraete (teaser) on Graeme Reynold’s Blog […]

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