Read Z Children (Book 1): Awakening Online

Authors: Eli Constant,B.V. Barr

Tags: #Zombie Apocalypse

Z Children (Book 1): Awakening

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Z

CHILDREN

AWAKENING

 

 

 

 

 

This book may not be reproduced
in whole or in part, by any means, without explicit permission from Eli
Constant & B.V. Barr. Eli Constant and B.V. Barr assert their right to hold
copyright of this work entitled “
Z Children: Awakening.”
The branding
Cosmo
Constant Books
© Eli Constant 2013 was created for the express purpose of
labeling ‘Eli Constant’ works; this includes the Z Children world, first
appearing in an original Eli Constant work in the anthology
“Let’s Scare
Cancer to Death”.
 

 

This is a work of fiction. Any
locations, characters and entities are products of the authors’ imaginations or
are used fictitiously; they should not be construed as real in any capacity.
Similarities to actual persons, living or deceased, organizations or locales
are purely coincidental.

 

Cover Design- Eli Constant, Cosmo
Constant Books. || Original Photo (Before manipulation) Foltolia.com
||
File:
#57789582 | Author/Artist:
stillkost

 

Z
Children: Awakening

1
st
Edition Print

eBook
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Copyright
© 2015 Eli Constant, B.V. Barr

Cover
Design © 2015 Eli Constant, CCB

All
rights reserved.

 

 

 

Z

CHILDREN

AWAKENING

 

Eli Constant

B.V. Barr

 

 

 

DEDICATIONS

E.C.

 

Let’s just go
ahead and put this out there- B.V. Barr is my father. In that Darth Vader meets
Luke Skywalker manner, he is absolutely, without a doubt, my father. In fact, I
have little doubt that, on the day I was born, B.V. Barr looked down at my
little, perfect, cherubic face and throatily whispered
“Elizabeth, I am your
father.”
 

We’re alike in
so many ways, yet decidedly different in so many ways too- not the least of
which is that I’m a girl and he’s a guy and we identify as those genders
respectively. We also put a keen value on acceptance, forgiveness, happiness,
and love.

Deciding to
write together wasn’t a quick decision made lightly. We were both aware that
going into ‘business’ with family could sour easily. The risks were acceptable,
though. Because, one day, my father won’t be around; and that’s not meant to be
morbid. It’s that circle of life that we cannot avoid. It’s mortality. This
book is not solely a way to preserve his expertise, his knowledge of survival,
his gift for writing realistic scenarios with technical details, this is a way
to make our relationship live past his death and my death.

It’s a way to
love each other forever.

So thank you,
Dad, for this opportunity to type out our own little piece of immortality.

I’d like to
thank my entire family- the ones who put up with us talking every day, stealing
spare minutes to write, to plot, to edit. Your support means the world. As
always, my husband ranks special among those people who suffered for my
writing- fewer cuddles and kisses, fewer movies watched on the couch together,
fewer home-cooked meals. I love you without reservation and forever.

Also, so much
love to my beta readers, my ARC readers, and my street team. You know who you
are- Shannon, San, Halima, Becky, & Melanie. When I hop on social media, I
see your support in action. I love that you care enough to tell the world that
I’m not just a wannabe, that I have a speck of true talent. I sometimes wonder
if I’m worthy of you all.

Shelly Cave,
you’re a goddess among women; I love you dearly and your opinion means so much.
Keep contributing, keep reading, keep being my friend.

And lastly,
OoooooooO (
just
for Claire C. Riley- you know why. Love, your Sow
White). Sorry. #notsorry.

 

 

B.V.B.

 

This book is for
all of the military men and women who spend their careers defending this great
nation. For working dogs and their handlers, who keep these streets safe, and
protect our troops around the world. For the Green Berets- many of whom are my
friends- thank you for the opportunity to serve and train with you. For our
first responders- police, medical, and fire. For everyone out there who has the
courage to stand up for what is right, prepare themselves for what lies ahead,
and protect the ones they love.

On a daily
basis, so many people risk their lives to ensure our safety.

A special
tribute to my wife and all of my family- thanks for the encouragement.

Lastly, to my
co-author. Without her help, the readers would be bored out of their minds with
technical
references
instead of a cool zombie story!

.

 

 

 

 

You can’t save Z
children.

They used to say
the children were our future. That’s what they used to say. I remember songs, advertisements,
Presidents talking about the next generation and how they’d get it right, make
the world better. They were all fools. Our children weren’t our future.

They were our
damnation. And we deserved the punishment they served.

 

 

 

 

STEPHEN T. DANIELS,
MD

Pensacola,
Florida, USA

 

 

“You just got home, Stephen.
Can’t they get another doctor to go in?”

 

Miranda Daniels
looked at her husband; she found it hard to focus, her eyes still caked with the
few hours of sleep she’d snagged after finally getting Tanya- their 4 year old
daughter- to bed. She’d been sick for a few days and nothing seemed to be
making her better- not the mothering, the antibiotics, or the watchful eye of
her doctor father. Stephen kept saying it was a bug, something she’d get over
soon, but Miranda knew better. Her mother’s intuition would not leave her be,
it nagged at her incessantly.

“Tom’s on
vacation. Loren’s on maternity leave. Everyone else is already there.”

“They still have
plenty of people; they can manage. You’re exhausted, Stephen. I mean, I knew
the hours would be difficult once you became department head, but this is
ridiculous. Sometimes I wonder if you even want to be home. Maybe that’s why
you work so much!” Miranda’s voice had raised an octave, congruent with her
swelling emotions.

“Miranda, you’re
overtired. You know how much I love you and Tanya. I have to go in though. Why
don’t you try to get a bit more sleep before Tanya wakes up?”

“I don’t feel
like sleeping.” Miranda tried to stifle a yawn as she spoke the untrue words,
but she didn’t quite manage and a muffled moan of exhaustion slipped through
her parted lips.

“Now you’re just
being stubborn.” Stephen smiled; a crooked and endearing action that always
made his wife give in. “Come here, Silly.” He pulled her to him, gently pushing
her tousled brown hair against his blue dress shirt.

“I’m not being
silly,” was his wife’s whispered response right before she yawned again, this
time just giving into her tired body instead of fighting it. With some effort,
she lifted her head and pulled away from her husband’s warm, inviting body. His
blue dress shirt now bore a tiny drool stain. She wiped at it, embarrassed.

“Sorry. Want me
to get you a new one?”

“No time to
change; besides, I’ll be wearing a lab coat and sick people don’t care how
their doctors are dressed. Now, I really have to go, Honey.” Stephen smiled
again, knowing he’d busted through Miranda’s indignation and would not be
facing a night on the couch… whenever he was able to come back home. From the
sound of it, the ER was wall-to-wall families with an hour-long wait time. If
he were lucky, he might be able to catch a few minutes of rest on his office
couch before jumping into the chaos. He wasn’t betting on it though.

“Just get home
as soon as you can. Tanya needs you.”

Stephen’s brow
crinkled in worry, but the feeling was fleeting. Tanya just had a bug. She had
a great immune system, was fully-vaccinated, and rarely got sick. There was no reason
to worry. “I’ll get home as soon as possible, I promise. And Tanya will be
fine. If she does get worse, or you’re just worried, give me a call.”

 

Miranda and
Stephen Daniels embraced once more and a quick kiss followed, a flutter really,
barely a brush against the lips.

Not a proper
goodbye at all.

 

***

 

Stephen liked
his Lexus; it made the 20-minute commute to work fly by, but today, the comfy
car was threatening to put him to sleep. The sun had crept over the horizon,
littering the sky with orange and gold. Stephen shook his head vigorously and
put down his sun visor; he wished he hadn’t left his sunglasses on the kitchen
island.

It was close to
7 AM, only four short hours since he’d left work. It had been busy then- twenty
or thirty people waiting in the ER- most of them sick children. The staff had
assured him they could handle it; otherwise, he’d not have gone home to rest
and take a hot shower. Miranda had been more upset than he had about his quick
return to work; sometimes being a doctor at a big hospital meant long hours and
an unpredictable schedule. He did hate leaving Tanya again…

But she would be
fine.

He’d taken her
temperature when he’d first gotten home; she’d been sound asleep, tucked
against Miranda’s body, her light brown hair plastered around her face from
sweating. 102 degrees. Her body was fighting something and it was best to let
the body do its thing. She’d be fine.

 

He was close to
the hospital now and, after a brief hesitation, pulled into the coffee joint he
frequented-
Secret Life of Beans “Get your buzz on!”
They had the best,
fresh-brewed dark roast in town. When Stephen walked through the door, Larry
waved hello and quickly set about filling two large to-go cups with steaming
joe. Stephen set three dollars down on the counter. He didn’t even check the
coffee after Larry gave it to him. He knew that there’d be two sugars and a
splash of cream in each cup, just like he liked it. Larry was good like that;
he didn’t even try to strike up a conversation since he knew Stephen was likely
on the way to the hospital with no time to shoot the shit.

Before Stephen
even hit the next traffic light, he’d finished his first coffee. What he really
needed today was an IV line, endless bags of coffee, and a shot of adrenaline.
That was about the only concoction that was going to keep him awake.

Waiting at the
light, Stephen looked around. The traffic pattern was strange today, almost
non-existent, like the Department of Transportation was on holiday. Wait… was
it a holiday? He was too tired to remember. It had to be though… usually by 7
AM, the roads were gridlocked, bumper-to-bumper traffic with at least one
accident or two. Pensacola was no Miami, of course, but it still had its fair
share of commuters.

There really
should be more cars. Even for a holiday.

Stephen sleepily
pulled into his designated parking spot and tipped the second coffee cup sky
high, desperately hoping there were a few drops left. He should have gotten
three coffees. Sighing, he pulled inward on the release handle and began to
push outward, but realized in an instant how close he’d parked to the adjacent
car and abruptly stopped opening his driver’s door. He was so tired and he
hadn’t really been paying attention when he’d parked. He didn’t even know if he
was inside the lines. Looking down to see the ground through the small gap
created by his partially-opened door, Stephen saw that he was well within the
spot’s boundaries. It was the other car in error- parked nearly on top of the
white line.

There shouldn’t be
a car in that parking spot at all, Stephen realized. That was Tom’s spot and he
was on vacation. Surely he hadn’t flown back from Maui early? If it was Tom
though, he’d be getting an earful on proper parking.

Stephen
carefully opened his door a fraction more and squeezed out of the narrow gap,
afraid to ding his pristine paint on Tom’s poorly parked car. Stepping out into
the muggy morning air, he stretched, rising onto the balls of his feet and
reaching toward the sky in a desperate bid to revive his sleep-deprived body.
He was getting too old for hours like this. As he began to walk towards the
employee entrance, he realized that something was off here too.

Every space was
taken. This was the employee parking lot, but these weren’t employee cars for the
most part. Only a few had the designated sticker in their rear glass. There
were five ambulances in the ER drop-off zone and cars parked on the sidewalk,
the grass… everywhere. He looked back at his own car and realized that it
wasn’t Tom’s car parked beside him. Tom drove a black Infiniti. This was a
black Altima. 

“What the hell
is going on?” He breathed the words out, the sound of them carrying further
than he expected. They seemed to resonate in the strangeness of the scene. The
ER was pretty busy last night, but this is ridiculous.

Stephen was
awake now, fully alert, as if someone had indeed shocked his system with
adrenaline and intravenous caffeine. He was pissed that some patient had parked
in the employee parking lot, crowding his space, and he wanted to know who it
was so he could make sure they didn’t damage his Lexus when they left.

Sliding his key
card, he entered the hospital and was almost immediately assaulted by the
newest resident doctor.

“Dr. Daniels,
I’m so glad you’re—”

Stephen cut him
off mid-sentence. “Doctor Gates, I just walked through the door, at least have
the decency to let me unlock my office before you bombard me.”

“I’m sorry, Dr.
Daniels, but it’s complete chaos. I’m not kidding. Really. There are so many—”
Stephen cut him off again.

“It’s an ER, Dr.
Gates. Perhaps if you do not feel emotionally equipped to handle the climate of
multiple emergencies, then you are in the wrong career field.”

The young
resident, fresh out of school, looked at Stephen like he’d just stomped on his
dream and flushed it down the toilet. That look was worse than Tanya’s puppy
eyes whenever she really wanted something. “I’m sorry, Dr. Gates. I’m exhausted
and haven’t slept in nearly 48 hours. I know the ER was busy when I left. I’m
assuming it’s even busier now?”

“Busier would be
an understatement.” The resident started moving away from Stephen, waving his
hand to follow. He was headed towards the ER waiting room. A few minutes and
several turns later, they were both looking through the slim windows of the ER
double doors that led back to the exam rooms.

“This place is a
damn mad house, Dr. Gates. What have you people been doing while I was gone?
Sitting on your asses watching late night infomercials?”  There was no organization,
no parents sitting calmly filling out paperwork, just a destructive hurricane
of wild children, scolding parents, and red-faced nurses.

Gates’ voice now
sounded almost as exhausted as Stephen felt. “We’re doing our best, Dr.
Daniels. We’ve had 46 emergency walk-ins, all experiencing the same symptoms.
That’s on top of the 10 kids we had come in from 2 to 3 AM before you left.
Whatever it is seems to onset rapidly. These kids are all around the same ages
and the only thing their parents keep telling us is that they’ve recently been
vaccinated.
But all the timelines are different.
Some a few weeks ago, some a few days ago. It doesn’t make sense.”

“Recently
vaccinated?” Stephen frowned. Tanya had been to the doctor 3 days ago; she’d
received her 4 year schedule of vaccines. He felt his insides mangle,
tightening together until he had difficulty breathing.

“Yes. That seems
to be the only connective thread.”

“Vaccines…”
Stephen’s voice trailed off.
I have to stay clear-headed. I have to stay
focused. Tanya’s fine.
He pushed away the uncomfortable pressure in his
chest and he sucked in a deep, steadying breath.

“We don’t know.
It could be the vaccines, or it could be something viral, something that’s
mutating rapidly. I mean, these kids come in here barely able to function,
lethargic, feverish, glassy-eyed and then their fevers really spike and they…
well, they get aggressive. Highly aggressive. We have one strapped down in exam
room 4. We had to give him Pheno to keep him from trying to bite us, but it
didn’t have any effect. He got Suzie on the arm, left a nasty teeth impression,
even drew some blood. We irrigated it like crazy; she was freaking out.”

“Jesus, Gates.
You gave a kid Phenobarbitol? And Suzan got bit?” In his surprise, Stephen
dropped the designation of Doctor for the young resident.

“You don’t
understand, Dr. Daniels.” With those words, a blood-curdling scream cut into
the conversation. It wasn’t just a yelling parent, unhappy with the ER wait
time. No, this was pain. Real. Excruciating. Pain.

Stephen looked
back through the thin window pane.

Two children
were clinging to a nurse whose face he could not see, but he did not need to
see her hazel eyes or Jewish nose to know her name. The waist-long,
silver-white hair- no longer tamed into a neat bun- was a giveaway. It was
Helen. She’d been with the hospital for nearly twenty years. The kids’ mouths
seemed to be burrowed against her body as she stumbled backwards. One was
latched to her left shoulder; the other seeming to suckle on her right, still
clothed, breast.

From where their
mouths worked hungrily, waterfalls of red began to soak Helen’s pale pink scrub
top. Frozen, Stephen watched in horror. He could not pull himself away from the
carnage. It was… It was unlike anything he’d ever witnessed. Helen was sliding
down the wall now, the children still attacking, her screams dying out as her
body went into shock.  

It was Gates’
stifled sob that brought him back to reality and back to action.

Both of
Stephen’s hands found their way to the door release, the metal of the long bar
was cool beneath his fingers; he didn’t even think, he just began to push. The
door could only be opened from the exam room side; it was the barrier keeping
the waiting room craziness from expanding like kudzu. Stephen didn’t care
though; his focus was Helen. He couldn’t let a woman like her- someone who’d
selflessly healed and served humanity her entire life- die at the hand of such
brutality.

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