I probably should have posted this a lot earlier, but I’m new to self-publishing so you’ll have to bear with me. It’s the prologue of my first book, Glory. The whole story is my version of a zombie-like apocalypse. I say “zombie-like” because they aren’t actually the dead coming back to life. They are people that, for some reason, have become crazed maniacs. The book then follows a few of the people who haven’t changed.
If you like it, you can download my book on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CK8A4HE in the US. It is also on several of their International sites), Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/303795), or several other ebook sites like Kobo and B&N.
Also, if there is anything you’d like to share with me about it, I’d love to hear.
Thanks. And enjoy.
Jackson walked into the diner and sat down along the counter. It was around dinner time, but there weren’t many people in the place. He took a look around at a few of the faces. They were all deep in thought or conversation. No one looked back at him.
“What’ll I get ya?” the waitress asked.
Jackson almost laughed. The waitress looked like something he’d see on a television program. Hair pulled up into a curly bun on the top of her head. Yellow shirt with a white frilled collar. She even held out a pad and pencil.
“I guess I’ll have a coffee,” he said. “And some bacon and eggs.”
“How’d ya want your eggs?”
The waitress walked away.
Jackson took a deep breath. It had been a long day. Not that his job was important or anything. He didn’t have to make too many difficult decisions. But one of the other employees had called in sick and he had offered to cover the shift. Working over 12 hours in a video rental shop was hard; especially since people rarely came in anymore. There was no need to be open around-the-clock.
He put his head into his hands.
“Rough day?” someone asked.
Jackson turned his head and saw an old man sitting beside him. He must have just sit down.
“I’ve had better,” Jackson admitted. He didn’t really want to get into too much of a conversation with the newcomer. He hated these chance meetings. There was nothing that he could possibly talk about with him. Or with anyone else here for that matter.
“I hear ya,” the old man said.
Jackson turned back and looked at the counter top. There wasn’t any food there at the moment and his coffee had yet to arrive. He knew that it was obvious he was trying to avoid a conversation and felt a little bit bad about that.
He looked back at the old man. The old man had already turned away. He had taken the hint.
Jackson could be such an ass sometimes.
“Here’s your coffee,” the waitress said. She returned and placed the cup in front of him. Jackson watched the steam rise up. It swirled in a pretty pattern underneath his nose.
“Thank you,” he said.
“Your food’ll be along shortly.”
It was true. There was no rush. Jackson didn’t have anywhere to be. He had no reason to go home. There would be no one there to greet him. Of course, if he hadn’t of gotten in a fight with his girlfriend yesterday…no, he didn’t want to think about that right now.
Besides, the waitress had been right. The food hadn’t taken long to arrive. She placed it down in front of him and slid the bill underneath the plate. Jackson had to stop himself from laughing again.
Just like on TV.
He grabbed his knife and fork and started cutting up his food. He pressed the blade into the eggs and watched the yolk spill out of the cut. It slowly spread over the eggs and bacon.
For some reason, he found that he couldn’t take his eyes off of it.
“Everything okay?” a voice asked.
Jackson looked up, breaking his concentration. It was the waitress. She was talking to him.
“What?” he asked.
“Is everything okay?” she repeated. “It’s just that you’ve been staring at your food for awhile now.”
He looked around a little nervously. He hadn’t known that he was looking at his food for a long time. He hoped that no one else had noticed him doing it.
Unfortunately, the old man was looking at him again. He had seen. There was a skewed smile on his face as though he was concerned about Jackson’s lapse, not sure what to make of it.
“Are you all right?” the waitress asked once more.
He turned back to her. She was leaning on the countertop now, biting her lower lip. Her eyes had narrowed, but stayed focused on his own.
“Yes,” he said. “It’s just..just…”
Jackson couldn’t form his words. His thoughts were starting to get jumbled as well.
“How about some water?” another voice asked. This time it was the old man.
“Water. Would you like some water?”
“I…I…I don’t know.”
Jackson looked back at his plate. He couldn’t look at the old man or the waitress anymore. Something about their expressions bothered him. He focused on the yellow yolk instead. It had stopped moving, was hard now.
“Get him some water,” he heard a voice say. He knew it was the old man.
“Will do,” came the reply. The waitress.
Jackson heard feet scurrying off.
He kept looking at the egg yolk. He poked at it with his fork. It wouldn’t move. Something about that bothered him too.
He tried again. And again.
The waitress returned with a glass of water. She placed it in front of Jackson. He didn’t see it. He was too busy looking at the yolk. The yellow yolk.
“Are you okay?” a voice asked. It sounded familiar, but this time Jackson couldn’t place it.
“Maybe we should call an ambulance,” another voice said. He couldn’t tell who this one belonged to, either. “Mister, are you okay?”
Jackson couldn’t really hear the voice anymore. It sounded far away, like he had fallen down into a deep well and someone was screaming to him from above.
The word bounced around in Jackson’s head, not making any sense.
What did that word mean? Mister.
Then there was a hand on his arm. Jackson felt the fingers tighten around it. Squeezing him, trying to get his attention.
Jackson finally looked away from the yolk. His eyes fell upon a man sitting beside him. An old man.
“Are you all right?” he asked.
By now, the words meant nothing to Jackson. He could only hear sounds coming out of the old man’s mouth. He didn’t know what they meant. The concept of language had left him moments ago.
He didn’t respond.
“Are you all right?” the man asked again. Slower this time.
Jackson continued to look at the old man, but still didn’t say anything.
He looked down at the fingers touching him. He could make out the white hair on the knuckles. Grabbed him. Squeezed him. He didn’t know why this old man was touching him, but he did know that he didn’t like it. He felt anger well up inside of him.
He looked up again at the old man. The old man was smiling his skewed smile, trying to make light of the situation and find out what was wrong. To Jackson, his face caused his anger to turn to rage.
The old man. Smiling. Looking. Staring.
Then he took his knife, grasped it tightly and stabbed it into the old man’s throat. The old man’s eyes opened wide with surprise. He tried to grab at the knife as Jackson pulled it away. Blood spurted from the wound and covered the table.
Jackson struck again.
This time he stabbed the knife into the old man’s face. The knife hit bone and ricochetted off. The old man’s face was cut open severely, exposing part of his skull.
Finally, the old man began to scream. So did the waitress.
None of that mattered to Jackson. He continued to stab at the old man’s face and neck. And, though the old man put up his hands to stop the attack, there wasn’t much that he could do. The knife struck over and over until the old man fell out of his chair and slumped onto the floor. His body twitched in the last throes of life.
Jackson didn’t pay him any more attention.
He turned away from the old man and looked directly at the waitress. She was standing behind the counter. She was in shock and had stopped screaming. She couldn’t move, either.
Jackson howled again and approached her. The knife still in his hand. Dripping with blood.
There was some of the old man’s cheek attached to it too.
The waitress let out a tiny whimper. Still, she couldn’t move.
Jackson climbed onto the counter with the knife held high above his head. He was growling now, saying something incoherent.
The waitress pulled her hands into her chest as though that would protect her.
Jackson roared again.
Then, before he attacked, there was a loud blast.
Jackson felt something slam into the back of his shoulder. He didn’t know what it was, but it had nearly knocked him off of the countertop.
He turned around.
Standing before him was a man dressed in blue. He was holding something in his hand. A black thing. Jackson wasn’t sure what it was. He screamed.
The police officer flinched. He didn’t know what was happening. He had been eating at one of the tables when he had heard the commotion and hadn’t reacted quickly enough. Now he was standing before a man with a bloody knife in his hand. A man he had shot.
“Drop the knife!” the police officer commanded.
Jackson screamed again and took a step toward the officer. This time, the police officer didn’t wait. He shot Jackson in the chest.
Jackson stumbled back, but didn’t fall off of the counter. He felt something go into him, something powerful. He was able to block out most of the pain.
At this, the waitress found her voice once more and screamed.
Jackson turned back toward her. He wanted to kill her – needed to.
He raised his knife again and prepared to attack. He took one step toward her, and another. He let out a deep bellow.
There was another blast.
The bullet slammed into Jackson’s head and drove him off of the countertop. He swirled in mid-air, saw the woman screaming, the food underneath him, and fell to the floor with a thud.
He looked up at the ceiling. There was a bright light overhead. Something spinning underneath it.
Until everything went black.
The waitress stood there with pieces of Jackson’s skull and blood all over her. She continued to scream hysterically.
The police officer walked over to the counter and looked over it. He could see the man he had shot lying there. He wasn’t moving. He was dead.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” the waitress said in a high-pitched whine. It was all that she could manage with all that had happened in the last three minutes.
The police officer looked at her. He didn’t say anything. He couldn’t. He only felt anger.
He raised his gun.
Then he shot her in the face.