T Francis Sharp would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Second Dead

By T Francis Sharp All Rights Reserved ©

Horror / Adventure

Blurb

Sometimes, dead just isn’t dead enough. Seventeen-year-old Annabel Wallis and her family have survived six months of the zombie apocalypse by stealth and cunning. However, Dad has a plan. Annabel has far bigger problems than zombies. Souls deprived of the ‘good death’ torment Annabel to help them move on. Release, they demand. They demand it of her. Annabel’s mom has a secret, and an antidote, sans one important measurement. Annabel doesn’t know it, but her nightmares hold the key to deciphering the medicine’s ‘wanting measure’. Annabel must complete the remedy if the infected are to have any chance of surviving. To do that she must stay alive. Worse still, she discovers death is not the exit it once was. Annabel must reopen the path to the afterlife before they all face the horror of becoming second dead.

Chapter 1: Home

First frost. The very event anticipated by us inhabitants of number 7 Lucky Lane. Crouched in front of the gate, I waited for the word to go. I pinched a frozen blade of grass and watched my warmth melt the ice.

Life among the undead wasn’t bad enough for my father today. A smart man would have said, just off the damn thing and move on. But no, today he wanted to capture one. Goddamnit.

Chris, my older brother by two years, crept along the fence toward me. I turned to talk to Dad but he faced the other way. Theo, Chris’s best friend since, well, forever, ran along the fence headed toward us.

“Dad, what’s the point? It’s dead,” I said.

“Anna, the point is,” he whispered while he peered through the fence slats, “it’s Calvin.”

“I don’t think--”

“And,” he cut across me. His breath fogged the space between us in the chill morning air. “I owe it to him. Besides, I need to know.”

Theo reached the gate, climbed the apple tree, and peered into the street and churchyard beyond. “All clear,” he whispered.

“Right,” Dad said. “We all know what to do. So let’s go, and be quiet.”

My sister Susan fitted an arrow to her bow and stood over me. I glanced up and for a brief moment our eyes met. Bitch. The word floated through my mind. Time, that cure for all hurts, rendered hazy my memory of the events which caused our rift. Silly, but the anger remained.

Dad unlocked the gate. Mindful of the squeak, he pushed forward, careful to hold the door just right. We filed out and proceeded down the street.

“There he is.” Chris nodded toward Calvin.

My heart pounded as I stared at the beast, which had once been our neighbor. Pallid skin hung loosely over an emaciated frame. No longer a rich ebony, its skin had begun the transformation to moaner grey. Shit, that means it’s at least three months dead. How the hell did it find its way back here?

“Damn, I can smell it from here,” Theo whispered as an ammonia rich stench of decay wafted over us.

It’d fed recently. I shuddered.

“Shhh, there’s two more in the churchyard,” Dad said.

Far away, but uncomfortably close. We had three minutes tops, to collect our quarry and get back under cover. “Okay, let’s do this,” I said.

I handed Dad our fireplace tongs when we entered Calvin’s yard. The moaner that had once been Calvin had its back to us. Theo stomped past me and leaped in front of the beast.

Theo used his machete to cut off one, then the other of its outstretched hands. Dad and Chris seized its arms. Theo ran forward and grabbed its head by the ears.

“Quick, Anna,” Dad grunted.

I wrapped my dog’s runner chain around its chest, slipped the clasp into the eyelet and drew the chain taut.

“Pull,” Theo yelled when his hands began to slip off its head.

I heaved with all my strength. Too hard, I realized after the fact. The moaner toppled onto me. I slammed to the ground. “Ooof,” escaped my lips. My lungs seized. I struggled to inhale, but breath eluded me.

Dad fell on top of us, his face inches from the beast’s mouth. Chris lifted his foot, smashed down, and crushed the moaner’s jaw. Dad rolled off. Theo grabbed it by the legs and pulled it off me.

Theo and Chris seized the moaner’s arms and yanked it upright. Dad took the chain from me while I fought to breathe. I flailed on the ground, desperate to draw a lungful of air. At last, I pulled a ragged gasp, seized the tongs from the grass and staggered to my feet. Lungs on fire, I circled in front of the moaner and grabbed it by the neck.

“Two on the road,” Theo said. He dropped its arm, and followed by Chris, went after the new threat.

Dad and I worked the beast toward the road. Its handless arms, stripped of menace, flailed to no purpose. The monster snapped its jaws and thrust its neck forward in a vain attempt to reach me. I pushed it backward with the tongs while Dad pulled on the chain.

Chris and Theo made it to the gate. After I passed through, Chris shut the gate and snapped the lock closed with a reassuring click.

“Anna, the tree.” Dad nodded to the gumball tree in our front yard.

Theo and Chris took hold of the arms and helped push it across the yard. I shoved it against the tree. Dad proceeded to wrap the chain around both the tree and moaner. Finished, he stepped back and we all let go. Its arms thrashed about and it snapped its jaws at us, but it wasn’t going anywhere.

Dad duct taped the moaner’s neck to the tree. Much too loud, the sound of tape ripping from the roll echoed across the yard. Satisfied the head was secure, he cut the tape.

He turned to me and in between pants said, “Well, that was easy.” He took off his cap to reveal a shock of greasy, dirt blond hair and wiped perspiration from his forehead and neck.

“I sure hope it’s fucking worth it,” I said while I fought the urge to vomit.

Theo flashed a smile. “Oh ho, quite the potty mouth today. I like it. Kinda turns me on.”

“Park that thing before I cut it off,” Dad said with a warning glance to Theo. “And, Anna, watch your language.”

“I just don’t see--”

“We’re not done yet,” Dad cut across me. Again. “We have to make sure it’s not gonna walk if it breaks free.”

“Got it.” Theo ran toward the front door.

“Chris,” Dad called to my brother, who stood behind the beast and held its wallet. Dad’s brow furrowed in bemusement. “What are you doing, son?”

Chris opened the wallet and sighed. He glanced up to see Dad and me staring at him. “He owed me and Chet fifty bucks for his lawn.”

Dad gazed at me, his mouth open. I gaped at Dad, and we both turned to Chris.

Theo emerged from the house and burst into laughter. Dad and I joined in. Chris, Calvin’s wallet in hand, appeared perplexed for a moment before realization crept over his face. He too joined in the laughter, which seemed as infectious as the plague that had engulfed our world.

Theo struggled to speak. “What a moron.” He stopped laughing, aware of the danger. “Only you.”

“Okay, let’s wrap this up,” Dad said. “Theo, you know what to do?”

“Yes sir.” He hefted a sledgehammer over his shoulder.

Dad and Chris headed for the front door. I had the unfortunate task of being Theo’s, as Dad called it, outdoors buddy. I turned away and put my fingers in my ears, having no desire to witness the gruesome job Theo had to perform.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Hikari_Unmei : I really enjoy reading this story! I love the unexpected plot twists and the wild characters!!

lowevickieann: So far I really like this book. The feelings are very real. I want Sadie gone before she harms the pack. I love the whole story. Can't wait to read the rest.I love the way Jake is all Alpha and then is able to be kind of dorky for Avery. Liam and David and everyone have great storylines. The plot...

PINKZ: It is an interesting story. Rrally appreciate the way each scenario is described in detail.

Menna Wael Balbaa: great story go ahead 😃😃😃

Sarah Gibbs: Great so far

Michela Tran: This story is great so far, I hope the author will continue it. The main characters have so much life and the descriptions of their back stories really give you a connection. The main conflict with Jesus actually gave the beginning a good amount of suspense... Or maybe it was just me. Keep writi...

juana resendiz: This has got to be one of the best books I’ve read so far. I loved all the characters. The lessons and stories behind all the characters gave me happiness.

Tejendra Pratap: It is a great novel... But a litter bit of too shortness is there

Vikas Chauhan: Story telling is fantastic

More Recommendations

Brandy Vazquez: Interesting..kept me intriguedI did not enjoy the recaps..or the ending, very disheartening! No happy ending here! Would like to read more of the authors work

Camarie: So far the novel has been interesting, entertaining and unique. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is new to the fantasy genre or the plot of sorcery! 9/10 would recommend👍🏻😁

kjpeiffer: I really like this story a lot. I love how it’s setup and how realistic her reactions are. There were a couple things grammatically where I had to go back and think about what you meant rather than what was there, like with the wording. But again I really like this story. It’s entertaining and lo...

Danielle Gill: I absolutely loved this book, it was amazing and I hope you decide to do another book that's with Asher and axel because you did a good job with this one and I'm sure you'll do an excellent one on the kids

Renee Villamorel: Very good plot. Can't stop myself from reading the story. Minor spelling issues. No biggie. I really really like how the author explained the essence of death in our life. So, I hope the author continues to be passionate in writing this story. You have my congratulations!

zitherus: This was an awsome story. There needs to be more like this. The descriptions were awsome.My imagination was running wild. I did not want the story to end. It needs to continue now that she is able to be a Dom.

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.