Wednesday, January 25, 2012
I'll have a plate of zombies and my eggs sunny side up!
Alisha: Published authors get tons of writing tossed their way. Do you know how many people have sent me their work so I can read it and do what? Breathe magic into it so an editor will love it and offer the writer a big ass contract? We don't have the connections new writers think we do. I can hook you up with a kick ass editor and a kick ass cover artist. That's about it. But ever so often, I get something in my inbox that excites me. If I were an acquiring editor, I'd grab this dude by the collar and not let go! This guy can write!!! Very well! I love his voice, his humor and he needs no help from me or anyone else. Dialogue is his very best friend and I love that in a writer! Makes the story pump along at a fast, exciting pace! Please welcome...well, I'll let him introduce himself. Watch out world, here he comes! And if you're one of those people who don't "get" zombie books, don't fret..you soon will.
Name: Daniel "El Jefe" McElhaney (No one calls me "El Jefe")
Age: 21 (secretly ageless, like Cthulu)
Favorite Genre: Horror/Suspense
Favorite Books: John Dies At The End by David Wong and House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
I started writing about 5 years ago. I was heavily into zombie/horror movies, and I was sad that, aside from World War Z, there was very little zombie literature. I took it upon myself to write a little story about a guy walking through an airport, getting coughed on by a second guy, and starting the zombie outbreak in New York. I was happy with the work, so I posted it to Myspace. My friends and family all devoured it, and begged for more. I turned a short, 500 word excerpt into an 11,000 word work in progress, but I soon hit a wall, and couldn't overcome it. My current project, Zombie R&D, was inspired by a book I read called John Dies At The End by David Wong. I read this book and decided that I wanted to write a zombie based novel about these two best friends who are forced to face the zombie apocalypse from the confines of their workplace. I'm about 9000 words into this one, and a full head of steam to keep going. I hope you all enjoy the read.
I should have known something was up when I noticed the smell, but I was too caught up in thinking “damn fire extinguisher,” and “what the hell is this stuff anyway?” It wasn't a particularly unpleasant smell, but near the door, it did get slightly overwhelming and made me want to swear off Thai food for at least a month. I felt bad for the guy who had to pass that stuff though, and hoped it tasted better than it smelled coming out.
Upon entering the bathroom I was greeted with what was probably the most gruesome sight I had ever seen in a bathroom, and I had walked in on Devon shaving his nether-realm once. A strange liquid covered the floor. Too black to be poo, too red to not be blood. It looked like a color a goth-kid would wear to prom, if a goth-kid would ever go to prom. I'm not really sure if liquid is the best term to describe it. It ran like liquid, and it soaked into paper towels like liquid, but it was chunky, like Chinese food vomit, but it didn't smell anywhere near as good. I looked under the stall from which this liquid was expanding slowly.
Juan, the over-night janitor (this was Texas, I'm not being racist) was laying face down in the toilet while below him his entrails we hanging in the wind. The black liquid covered the front of the porcelain bowl with some chunks of gore littered here and there. His work boots were soaked with the stuff, and as I got closer, I could tell he had also soiled himself, but that was the least of his worries.
Suddenly, I had some tequila flashbacks, and that feeling where your tongue sinks back in your throat hit me. I had connected that Thai-food-not-so-happy-ending smell with the seemingly dead body and bloody expungement and my weak digestive system could hold it in no longer. I ran to the sink behind me and immediately regretted my choice of vomiting into a vessel with such a small drain. Just as I got done getting rid of the terrible food from the party the night before, I heard the last thing I wanted to hear. Terrified of what I would find, I turned around.
His feet shuffled slowly behind me, and I could hear him moaning as if he had just, well, thrown up after being disemboweled. Juan was fighting, trying to rise to his feet, but his body and the extremely slippery floor had made it one hell of a task. His legs and feet slid around in the muck on the floor as his hands tried in vain to grasp anything at all for leverage.
Like Juan had done hours before, I nearly evacuated my bowels when, from behind me yet again, Devon beckoned aloud, “Juan! Do you need an amberlamps?”
“Jesus Christ Dev, you would make a bad-ass ninja, but scare me like that again, and I will make sure you end up like Juan here. Also, why do you say that, amberlamps?”
“Well, jeez, Ricky, I don't know, maybe because Juan Delgado, our janitor, could use one right about now, seeing as he's face down in his own intestines!”
“Not that, jack ass, it's called an ambulance. Amber lamps are what you put in your car for turn signals.”
“How is that even important? He needs medical attention, and the fastest way to get him medical attention is, say it with me, an amberlamps!”
“Now I understand why you were in summer school for English class.”
“I told you once, you sonofabitch, I only failed so I could ogle Mrs. Whatsherface's perfectly round ass.”
“Mrs. Perkins? Dude, she was closer to 60 than she was to your age.”
“I don't care. You can't deny that that booty was on point.”
“Whatever, we need to get Juan some help. What should we do? Emergency Services won't be here until noon. He's going to die. Sweet zombie Jesus, Juan is going to die. Here. In the bathroom. At Fred's Electronics.”
“Could have been worse. We could have found him naked.”
“Devon, show some respect. Go get Brian. You know what, never mind, go announce that we're closing the store.”
“You are looking for every reason to ruin my day today, aren't you?”
“DEVON! GO! NOW!”
“Alright, jeez, calm your tits.” He finally left the rest room. My hand trembled as I reached for the walkie-talkie in my pocket. I didn't realize it then, but this was the second, I don't know exactly what to call them, that I would see. I would come into contact with about thirty of them on this particular day. They've got a list of names: Ghouls, Zombies, Zeds, Drones, Crazies, Freaks, Geeks. My preferred term for them at that time was, “those bitey assholes.”