Excerpt of Time of Death Book 2: Asylum
Daphne stood on the seat next to me and let loose with a growl. The fur on her back was raised and she looked toward the dock. We were on our feet in an instant and turned to see what was going on.
“Shit!” swore Jake, running for the helm. “Get the poles!”
A muffled bump and scrape sounded as the boat butted up to the dock. My eyes widened with fear and disbelief when I leaned over to see three undead close enough to step onto the lower deck. Vinny, Meg, and I grabbed our poles and flew down the stairs to push them back while Jake got the boat fired up and out of the danger zone.
“What the fuck happened?” shouted Vinny as we reached the bottom.
There was no time to answer, because two of the zombies had found their way onto the deck and the third was right behind them. We came out of the stairwell in between them. Meg and I struggled with the long poles to push the closest one to the edge and at the same time block the opening with its body so the other couldn’t board.
That left Vinny cut off behind us, dealing with the one that had traveled farther on deck. The end of Meg’s pole was a narrow point, not sharp enough to do any damage to living tissue, but when it pressed into the dead flesh of the zombie it slid through like butter. It made a popping sound, like a hardcover book slamming shut, as the point protruded from the zombie’s back. While the zombie continued forward, the pole slid through its torso and rustled like two pieces of paper rubbing together.
I renewed my efforts to drive it backwards with the net at the end of my pole, regaining a few precious steps at a time, until it finally reached the edge of the decking and lost its footing. With the pressure of the final zombie at its back, it remained upright, and the resistance on the pole grew forceful enough to bend the net downward.
The zombie had reclaimed only a foot when the engine caught and Jake put the boat in reverse. When the momentum hung up on the starboard anchor, the boat jerked, working in our favor. We plunged forward, off balance, and the two zombies disappeared into the water below. I heard the anchor winches work as they rose up from the sea bed, and the boat jolted back into motion.
“Get it off me!” screamed Vinny. It was the shriek of a terrified man.
The movement caused him to fall backwards to the deck, and the third zombie landed on his legs. Meg froze in place, screaming wordlessly, and I ran to him. Nearly there, I heard Vinny scream again, but this wasn’t a scream of terror; it was one of pain.
“No!” I bellowed.
Grabbing the zombie by its ankles I dragged it off him and as close to the opening as I dared. Meg was paralyzed, crying hysterically at the site of her brother lying on his back and screaming profanities. The zombie clutched at the smooth fiberglass for purchase. Finding none, it turned on me, and I kicked its midsection off the boat. Too big for the opening, the zombie folded in half, bending at an unnatural angle, and fell from view.
The rev of the engine lessened and the boat slowed to an idle a few hundred feet away from the dock. I was still bent over, hands on my knees, trying to force air into my burning lungs when Jake bounded from the stairs leading to the upper deck. His sudden appearance brought me back to the moment and I remembered Vinny.
I passed Meg, wide eyed and begging God to not take her brother, and reached my brother-in-law.
“Oh Jesus, oh Jesus,” he was babbling, struggling with trembling hands to get his pants off and kicking off his boots at the same time.
Jake grabbed him beneath the armpits and, with superhuman strength, lifted the huge man to his feet. Vinny tore at the button on his waistband and it popped off, hard enough to whiz by me and clank against the far railing.
“Where did it get you?” yelled a frantic Jake, inspecting his bare legs in a frenzy. “Fuck, I can’t find it. Where are you bit?”
“My shin, the left one.” He pointed at his leg, but couldn’t bring himself to look down.
Jake breathed out something I couldn’t understand and sat back against the wall, laughing in relief.
“Thank fucking Christ, Vin, it didn’t break the skin.” Jake marveled, his laugh turning to cries as the adrenaline rushed out of him. A collective sigh escaped us all, the moment too heavy to form words.
Meg, who had been the first to lose control of her emotions, was also the first one to bounce back.
“So, Vin, Tuesday, huh?” Her voice had a playful tone.
I had no idea what she was talking about and was about chock it up to temporary insanity, but Vinny turned away from me to face her with a questioning look, and I burst with laughter when I figured it out. Jake caught it too, and was bellowing with me.
“What the fuck is wrong with you three? Have you lost your fucking minds?”
“Nice…” Jake started, needing to catch his breath before continuing. “Nice underwear, bro.”
Vinny was wearing day-of-the-week underwear. In big letters around his ass, read Tuesday.
“You do know today is Saturday, right?” stated Meg.
“Yeah, well, I put ’em on Tuesday.” His statement made us laugh even harder and step away from the five-day old underwear-clad Vinny.
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