Alice in zombieland, p.32

Alice in Zombieland, page 32

 part  #1 of  White Rabbit Chronicles Series


Alice in Zombieland

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Page 32


  How could I have forgotten it, even for a moment? It was the reason I’d known about spirit, soul and body before Cole had told me. And really, maybe this was where my dad had gotten his information.

  Anticipation danced through me. I cracked the spine and read from where I’d left off.

  I’ve been able to see the evil among us all of my life, but I didn’t learn how to fight it until much later, and then only by accident. I tried using a knife—nothing. I tried shooting—again nothing. Finally, when the monsters cornered me, I wanted so badly to destroy them, and deep down, I knew I could. I just didn’t know how. A split second later, my spirit was out of my body. (Later I would learn that the wonder known as faith was the cause of the separation. You can stumble upon it, and not realize until later. ) Suddenly I could touch the evil creatures I’d before only seen—and they could touch me.

  After that, they were more determined than ever to end me. They hunted me as if I were wild game. For a while, I ran. But always they followed me, their darkness drawn to my light.

  I had to teach myself how to ambush them.

  Teach me! I thought with a flare of excitement.

  If you possess the ability to see them, you should possess other abilities as well. A more highly developed sense of smell. An inward knowing of when evil approaches. A hand of heat.

  “Check, maybe check, can’t check yet,” I muttered.

  Those abilities should be common to all of us, but some slayers refuse to yield to the power that swirls inside them. Why? I always wonder. Fear?

  “Possible check. ”

  Oh, if only all of us would yield! There are even more abilities to be had, so many more.

  Like the visions Cole and I shared, perhaps.

  But all right. I can hear you now. You want to do something easy. Well, then. Speak. There is power in our words, when we wholly believe what we’re saying, and that power is available even in this natural realm. There is an energy that creates whatever is spoken without doubt, allowing our words to be a weapon for us—but if we aren’t careful, they’ll become a weapon against us.

  Like everything else, I had to learn the hard way.

  But I can hear you now. If there’s so much power in our words, we should be able to speak the end of the zombies, right? Wrong! The amount of power we wield with our words stems from the strength of our belief. Can you honestly tell me that you believe, from the bottom of your heart, that when you say something like, “All zombies are wiped out, gone,” that it will happen? No, you can’t. You don’t believe it’s possible.

  Cole had already told me about the speaking thing, and though I’d first doubted him, this acted as confirmation. I’d have to be more open-minded about this stuff.

  More than that, we can only believe for ourselves. We can’t believe for others. We can protect ourselves, but we can’t always protect others. And sometimes, what we speak takes time to manifest. How much patience do you have? How long can you believe before you begin to doubt? Doubt, even a little, and you’ve rendered your words powerless.

  As for the other abilities…

  I tried to read on, except, the rest of the words were written in some sort of code. A rumble of frustration left me and I barely curbed the urge to toss the journal against the wall. I knew nothing about codes and couldn’t believe my mother would have. So, who had written this journal, and how had she gotten it?

  Maybe Cole would have an idea, but then again, maybe he wouldn’t. I wasn’t going to ask him.

  He and his friends had not yet given me their full trust, and I wasn’t sure what they’d think of my find. Decide it was a fraud? A way to trick them? A way to distract them? Also, I had to wonder if they’d try to take it away from me.

  Okay, so I didn’t trust them fully, either.

  You’re still gonna say yes if Cole asks you out, right?

  Well, yeah. Something I’d learned: truly living required risk.

  My phone beeped. Like everyone else in the world, I dropped everything to check, setting the journal down and picking up the cell.

  Kat: U enjoy torture, I think. TELL ME NOW!

  I’d missed an earlier text, I saw.

  Justin: Sounds good. C U then.

  I dealt with Kat first. I told her that Cole and I had spent the night together, yes, but we hadn’t done more than talk. Now that was the full truth and nothing but the truth. She was disappointed to say the least. And when I told her that Cole had had car trouble and that Frosty had to come to our rescue, she stopped texting.

  I told Justin I was excited to see him, which was also true, but then I had to pray that he wouldn’t take the words the wrong way. My grandparents had me paranoid about leading him on.

  Then I had to ponder what Cole and his hell-razing boys and girls would think of my association with Justin. They were such an exclusive group. Outsiders were not welcome, and everyone knew it. Including me! By joining them, I would probably have to shove everyone else from my life. Justin I liked but wouldn’t cry about losing. But what about Kat? Would she eventually fade from my life? She had from Frosty’s.

  I really really liked her. She was fun and fresh and exciting. She knew her worth and wasn’t afraid to tell others all about it.

  Don’t worry about this now. Tonight I would enjoy myself, as if I was a normal girl, just like any other. After all, I no longer had to question Cole; I already had the answers. I could hang out with Justin and get to know him better. I could see Kat and laugh with her. I would see Cole, too, and…who knew? Tomorrow, everything would change.

  I’d deal with the consequences then.


  Red Roses, White Roses…Black Roses

  Justin arrived right on time. In other words, grilling time. To my utter mortification, my grandparents questioned him as if they were cops and he a hardened criminal. All I could do was watch in horror and apologize profusely.

  Here’s how it went down:

  Pops: Plans for the future?

  Justin: Not sure yet.

  Pops: Well, why not? You don’t got much longer in school, boy. Now’s the time to figure things out, not later. Didn’t anyone ever tell you that you can’t spell later without the word late?

  Justin: I promise you, I’m doing my best to figure things out.

  Pops: “Doing my best” is a phrase failures use. Why don’t you buy a man card and finish figuring?

  Me: Pops! That’s so rude. Justin, I’m so sorry.

  I knew this was for my benefit, for my protection, that my grandparents were concerned about me, and didn’t want me to end up with a guy like my dad, that they wanted Justin to be so intimidated by them that he wouldn’t try anything he shouldn’t, but oh, my goodness, it was too much.

  Pops: What? How is a valid question rude? But all right, fine, I’ll move on since baby boy can’t take the heat. How about you finish this sentence for me, Jason? When a girl says no, she means…

  Justin, looking desperately at me: No?

  Nana: Are you not sure?

  Justin, shifting uncomfortably: I’m sure. No means no.

  Nana: Well, look at you. You got one right. Now here’s another, even tougher sentence for you to finish. Premarital sex is…

  Me: Nana! I’m so sorry, Justin.

  Nana: Unlike Pops, I’m not moving on. Justin?

  Pops: His name is Jason.

  Justin: Uh…uh…

  Pops: While you think about that, why don’t you tell me how you feel about drinking and driving?

  Justin: I’m totally against it, I swear!

  Nana: Methinks he protests too much.

  They finally let us leave, and I apologized all over again.

  “That was brutal,” he gritted out.

  “I know, I’m sorry. They aren’t normally like that, I promise. They just want to make sure I’m safe with you. ”

  “Don’t worry about it,” he said as he slid into the driver’s side of his truck, but his voice was still as tight as it had been inside the house, and I knew he was going to worry about it for weeks.

  I searched the sky as I buckled into the passenger seat. It was dark, a handful of clouds evident. Please be gone. Please don’t be—

  The rabbit was there.

  Cold fingers of dread crawled down my spine. “Drive slowly, okay?” I said to Justin. Frosty had slowed down and survived. Justin would, too. Surely. Please.

  “Whatever your grandparents told you, I’m not drunk!”

  Yeah. He was still worrying.

  “I have a car phobia, that’s all. ”

  He kept things at a smooth jog. It was enough to prevent a freak-out.

  I closed my eyes and retreated to the back of my mind. At least I didn’t have to worry about the zombies. Because they’d come out last night they now needed time to rest and—here was an increasingly sickening thought—digest their food.

  “We’re here,” Justin said.

  “How? Only a minute or two—” I blinked and saw that he’d already parked. Cars were lined up all over Reeve’s driveway, in the grass and along the street. “Wow. We really are here. ” I must have lost track of time.

  He’d survived. I’d survived. What a fantastic day! Being forewarned must be forearmed. And you know what? I could live with that. Literally.

  We walked to the front door side by side. The moon was a mere sliver of gold now, the clouds gone and the sky dark though peppered with hundreds of pinpricks of light.

  I was surprised when I noticed that Justin was scanning the bushes, cars and trees as we approached the porch. I was doing the same thing.

  He missed a step, righted himself and snarled out, “Cole. ”

  “What? Where?”

  I found him a second later. Cole was on the porch, leaning against the brick wall beside the door, a beam of light raining over him. He popped his jaw when he spotted Justin.

  He wouldn’t meet my gaze, was too busy glaring at Justin. Had he been waiting for me?
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