The Voting Dead
The only thing Sheriff’s Deputy Dick Crimes hates more than politics is the plague of stupidity that has zombified American society. Hounded by bloodthirsty activists and wacko survivors, he struggles to stay alive and keep his sense of humor.
Until he uncovers the diabolical cause of the Apocalypse and everything he knows goes out the window...
Release date: October 22nd, 2017
Sheriff’s Deputy Dick Crimes woke up screaming and covered in sweat. In his nightmare, he had been elected President of the United States.
As his eyes adjusted to the gloom of the room, he calmed down to a mild panic. The podium had vanished, along with the microphones and cheering crowds. He lay in a bed with gray covers. The lights were off, the air dry and dusty, and, although he had never set foot in the room before, the place painted a familiar scene. A heart monitor and empty IV bag towered over him, a small dark TV screen sat in a corner, and a luminous exit sign hung over the door. An analog wall clock read 2:16.
Phew! He breathed a deep sigh of relief. He was not president; he had been shot. Thank goodness for small mercies. He’d take a hospital room over the Oval Office any day of the year.
As he shifted on the bed, tubes pulled at the skin on the back of his hand and tugged at his nostrils. He yanked the tube from his nose and his fingers brushed against an inch of fur on his chin.
How long had he been out cold? Had he slept through the elections? Sure hope so. He’d had a bellyful of politics the past eighteen months, and the darned elections had almost cost him his life.
He sniffed the air. What was that God-awful smell? The room stank like a filthy latrine and he regretted removing the tube from his nose.
The room was quiet—too quiet—and his mouth tasted like the Mojave Desert. He needed a drink.
“Nurse,” he called, but his parched throat produced only a dry rasp.
He glanced around for an emergency button. A vase of flowers sat on the bedside table beside a TV remote and a scattering of dried-out petals. When he leaned forward, bits of dried plaster trickled from the sheets. The hospital cleaning service had very low standards.
With no emergency button in sight, he reached for the remote, hoping to lasso the nurses’ attention with MTV at full-volume, but the TV remained dark and silent in the corner. Just as well. Politics had choked every television station for months, and he didn’t need any more election propaganda.
The ECG machine stood blank and silent on its stand. The wall clock still read 2:16. The lights, the TV, the clock—nothing seemed to work. What the hell is going on here?
Had Leery come to visit him? Not recently, judging by the flowers. Had they let little Curly into the hospital?
Thirst hit him again like a hot desert wind. OK. If the bar was closed, he’d have to serve himself. He rolled onto his side, his muscles weak and achy from disuse, pulled the electric pads from his chest and detached the IV needle from his hand.
Swinging his legs over the side of the bed, his head swimming, he edged onto his bare feet… and collapsed. He squirmed on the floor for a while, then reached for the bedframe and sheets, and pulled his thin body onto the bed.
His lower back itched, and his fingers found the bandage where the bullet had snuck between the folds of his bulletproof vest. The wound didn’t hurt too much. Doc had sewn him up real good.
Dick hadn’t seen the shooter, but he hoped that his partner, Shame, had shot the bastard. A stupid kid, probably. By the look of things, the kids were getting stupider every day, and more violent.
His fingers moved to the pressure in his rump, and he extracted the rectal catheter with an audible plop. Don’t look down. He looked anyway and groaned. The catheter tube led to a plastic collector bag on the floor, which had overflowed into a puddle of brown fluid. Dear Lord. He blocked his nose with one hand. That explained the smell.
He limped to the room’s bathroom, his ass exposed through the flap of the hospital gown, feeling a hundred years old. Inside, he leaned against the wall, peed into the toilet bowl, and flushed. He turned on the tap but no water flowed. The toilet bowl didn’t refill either. No service. No electricity. No water. Perfect.
He limped out of the bathroom and opened the door of his room. Papers and medical supplies littered the linoleum corridor.
“Hello?” he croaked. “Anybody here?”
Silence. Not even crickets. Where is everyone?
He continued down the corridor. On the floor lay a woman, or what was left of her. Her abdomen ended in a mess of guts. Jeez. Was the morgue full? He must be in another nightmare. Wake up, Dick. Wake up!
Patches of red spatter marked the nurses’ counter, the walls, and floors. Dried blood. The place looked like the set of a Tarantino movie, not a medical center. The flowers on the nurses’ desk had dried out too. He extracted the flowers and gulped down the murky water until he reached the muddy silt at the bottom. That’s better.
He called out again and his voice echoed down the hallway.
Then he heard a distant commotion—the groan of hungry, needy beasts, and the scratch of clumsy paws on a door. The sounds haunted his dreams and woke him in the middle of the night. Dick was definitely not a dog person.
Seeing that this was not a veterinary clinic, he stumbled ahead into the gloom to investigate. He took the pack of matches on the nurses’ counter and lit one to light the hallway. When that burned out, he lit another, making his way down the corridor.
The moans and scratches rose in answer, but he couldn’t make out the words. The voices were human, but thick and twisted. Unnatural. Monstrous.
Rounding the corner, he saw the doorway. A heavy iron chain wrapped the handles of the twin doors, locking them shut. Bullet holes dotted the walls. A graffito artist—not a very talented artist at that—had scrawled words on the doors in red paint, or was that more blood? The words read “Stay Out” and “Dead Here.” Or was that “Stay Dead Out Here?” Dick shook his head. Talentless and probably dyslexic.
While he pondered the meaning of the urban poetry, the doors shuddered outward and the chains stretched but held fast. Pale hands reached through the gap toward him and Dick almost jumped out of his skin.
The filthy nails and grimy, groping fingers of the rabble disgusted him. So did their red angry eyes, and toothy snarls. But what really filled Dick with horror was what the creatures wore on their heads.
“This book is just great. In fact, it’s huge! It’s bigger and better than any other book you’ve ever read.”
THE WASHED OUT TIMES
“This book is a winner. All those other books are losers. They’re stupid. Don’t waste your time. Believe me. You’ll never get bored with this book. You’ll never get bored!”
THE NEW PORK TOAST
“This author has done a terrific job. Terrific! We’re very proud. All those other authors are out of control. They have zero talent. I hope this book makes this author a tremendous amount of money.”
THE FAKE NEWS