Alice in Zombieland, page 29part #1 of White Rabbit Chronicles Series
“Great, but I don’t understand any of that. ”
He sighed. “I told you that what manifests in your spirit will manifest in your body, right? That’s how your body ended up in this condition when it never actually threw or received a punch. That’s how what I injected into your spirit made it into your body. ”
Better. “All right, so how was a spiritual medicine created?” What was now running through my veins?
“The only way I know to describe it is to say it’s a type of holy water. Like I said, it doesn’t cure zombies, and it doesn’t kill them, but it does hurt them. However, it’s too valuable to waste that way unless absolutely necessary. ”
Overwhelmed, I rubbed my arms. There was so much more to learn than I’d ever realized. I mean, how could I have known being crazy would have been way easier?
He continued, “Going back to the timing thing. A dose has to be administered to a spirit within the first hour of infection. We have vials and syringes in my Jeep, and I carry one in my pocket like an EpiPen. You’ll need to do the same. Never leave home without it. ”
“I won’t,” I vowed.
“As for where they live, they create nests. They group together in caves, in basements, anywhere and everywhere away from the light. They sleep during the day, because their eyes and skin are too sensitive for the sun. Your spirit does better in the light, but you haven’t learned to hide yourself from prying eyes yet, so don’t try it. Plus, your senses haven’t been trained. ”
“I’m not even sure how I did it tonight!”
“We’ll work on that, I promise. ”
That, and about a thousand other things I hoped. Right now I was seriously handicapped.
“What was the first thing you noticed when you were in that form?” he asked.
“How cold I was,” I said, even the memory making me shiver.
“Exactly. Without the shield of our body, we experience extreme cold. We’re more sensitive. Also, you must never—and I mean never—speak while in that form, unless you want to have what you say. ”
Again I found myself mumbling, “I don’t understand. ”
“Just like there are rules in this natural realm, there are rules in the spirit realm. We’ve learned that whatever we speak while in spirit form happens, good or bad, as long as it doesn’t violate someone’s free will and as long as we believe it. So, if you say something like, ‘This zombie is killing me,’ and you’re convinced that he is, in fact, killing you, he absolutely will succeed in killing you, and there will be nothing more you can do to stop him. ”
After everything I’d seen, I shouldn’t doubt him, but that was just a little too out there. “So we just speak, and boom, it happens?”
“Yes. Sometimes it takes time, but yes. ” His hand tightened on my knee. “Trust me on that until I can prove it, okay?”
Rather than telling him he’d have to do a lot to convince me, I nodded.
“Good. Any other questions?”
How cute. Of course I had more questions! “How did you kill them? What was that light in your hand?”
“That was a purified fire. The zombies disintegrate when they come into prolonged contact with it. ”
Prolonged? “Seemed to only take a few seconds. ”
“You were out of it, so time wasn’t registering properly. That’s why we do everything we can to disable the zombies first. The less they fight us, the easier it is to get our hands on their chests without having our wrists chewed. ”
A spark of excitement zinged just under my skin. “Will I be able to produce that fire?” The thought of wielding such a potent weapon against the zombies…oh, yeah! Ali liked.
“With time you will. Now, I’ll give you one more question,” he said. “I don’t want to overwhelm you. ”
Too late. But I thought for a moment, trying to pick from an endless pit of potentials. “Why don’t the zombies enter our homes? Why do they only come out once every two weeks or so? Or, as with tonight, every few days?”
“Someone needs lessons in math, too. That was three questions. ”
I shrugged. “I like to round up. ”
A laugh escaped him, far hardier than his chuckle, yet rough also, as if he hadn’t experienced this much amusement in a long time. “If you’ve still got a sense of humor I guess you’re better off than I thought. ” This time he patted my knee in a sweet, brotherly gesture that kind of irritated me. “They don’t enter our homes because we create what’s called a Blood Line. ”
“And that is?”
“When we pour a specific mix of chemicals around the foundation of a home, the zombies cannot get in, no matter what they try. ”
Well, then. “I want—”
“The mixture has already been poured around your house. ”
“When?” The zombies had stayed outside my grandparents’ house all summer, before I’d met Cole.
“Since the day I met you. ”
See. The timing was off—and I wasn’t going to touch the realization that Cole had been looking out for me since day one. My dad had to have poured the mixture around my grandparents’ house during his high school days. But how had he known about it, whatever it was?
“What?” Cole asked.
“Nothing,” I replied, not yet ready to voice my thoughts.
He eyed me with suspicion, but let the subject drop. “All right then, back to your barrage of questions. I think I have only one left. The zombies come out so infrequently because they need to rest and rebuild their energy. Also, it takes them a while to digest what they ate. ”
They digested goodness. What a lovely image.
“Now I have a question for you. ” He waited until I nodded before he continued. “Do you want to fight them? You made it sound like you did, but I have to be sure. ”
“Yes, I do. ” Very much. The more I learned, the more sure I was.
“Good. I want to get you on rotation as soon as possible. On any given night, some of us are patrolling the city, just in case they emerge. Some of us are training. Some of us are relaxing. On the nights they emerge, we all fight. ”
So organized. So precise. But I couldn’t see my grandparents going for that.
“The zombies are growing in number while we are dwindling, and we need all the help we can get. ”
“You would trust me to help?” None of his friends had, and he’d avoided that question when they’d issued it.
“I’m willing to give you a chance. ”
Another avoidance. Whatever. I wanted this; I’d take it. “I’ll find a way to make it work,” I vowed.
“If you have problems…”
He’d kick me out, whether he needed me or not. Well, time for a little reminder. “In our visions, we saw ourselves kissing each other, and now we have. We saw ourselves fighting zombies together, and now we have. That has to mean something. ”
He severed contact and leaned as far away from me as he could get. “Are you saying we’ve had glimpses of the future? Even though what we saw wasn’t exactly what happened to us?”
Why the distance? “Why not? Stranger things have happened. ”
Violet eyes piercing me to my soul (or spirit), he said, “I guess time will tell. Now, I think I’ve given you enough to think about. Why don’t you get some sleep and we’ll reconvene in the morning. ”
* * *
Bad news: we weren’t able to reconvene in the morning because Cole had already taken off. No one would tell me why. Worse news: I got stuck with Frosty the Hater for my ride home and oh, baby, did he have a lot to gripe about.
The drive began in silence. I should have enjoyed that silence while I had the chance. Instead, I used the time to study the sky. I saw a long stretch of blue, a softly glowing sun, one cloud, shaped like a teapot, a second, shaped like a rocking chair, and a third, shaped like a—
No. No, no, no. Not now. Not today. Not with Cole’s best friend and Kat
Logic told me to remain calm, but fear said Frosty was about to crash and die. “Drive slower!” I shrieked. Inside, I began to pray. Dear heavenly Father, I know I haven’t always lived the best life.
“Burst my eardrums why don’t you?” he grumbled.
And I’m real sorry about that, Lord, I really am. “I’m serious. Slow down or I’ll jump out. I swear I’ll jump out. ” Save us today, and I’ll do better.
“Like I’d care. ”
“Then I’ll talk nonstop until your ears try to detach just to escape the sound of my voice. And that’s totally possible. My ears have tried it. ” I’ll be forever grateful, Lord. No one will ever be as grateful as me. Amen.
Frosty tossed me a scowl that perfectly fit his name, but he also decelerated. “There. Happy now?”
“Thank you,” I said, though I failed to relax. But what do you know? We reached my house a short while later. Alive. Thank You, Lord. Thank You, thank You.
Parked down the street from my grandparents’ house, Frosty faced me. “Cole says we can’t yell at you, so I want you to note the calmness of my voice. ”
“Are you kidding me?”
“I don’t kid. ”
Words taken straight out of Cole’s mouth. And wow. I couldn’t believe Cole had gone to so much trouble for me. He’d skipped out on me without a word, probably to avoid answering any more questions; like he really cared what happened to me. But I had to admit I was curious what he would do if his friends actually yelled at me…and awed that his friends were that deferential to him.
“So have you noted my tone or not?” Frosty insisted.
Thus began the threats that if I told anyone about what had happened, even Kat, I’d be bloody toast. Yawn. I’d just survived a car ride after a rabbit-sighting. More than that, Frosty was human, not zombie, and hindered by Cole. No way he’d really follow through.
GENA SHOWALTER SERIES:
Other author's books:
- Wicked NightsThe Darkest PleasureThe Darkest NightThrough the Zombie GlassAlice in ZombielandAwaken Me DarklyThe Darkest FireThe Darkest Seduction
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