ALICE THROUGH BLOODSTAINED GLASS
by Dan Adams
Alice is minding her younger sister when the Zombie apocalypse hits. She has to find safety but is thwarted at every turn - by a strange man, by two stoners. The world has gone mad and she doesn't know who to trust.
She took off racing down Seacrest Road, hoping that if she caught up with the soldiers, their rifles would seriously even the odds. Her feet smacked against the road, the shoulder holster slapped against the side of her breast — she would need to tighten it up when she got to safety.
Ali pulled up, oxygen flooding her lungs as she inhaled deeply, her eyes wide with disbelief. The undead were climbing over the jeep to get to the lone remaining soldier – his rifle firing in small bursts as he turned in small circles. He let out a yelp when a hand grabbed his ankle and took his legs from under him. Within seconds they were devouring him and his panicked cries faded to the sound of chewing.
A single shot broke her from her stupefaction and she looked straight to the left, where the man in the waistcoat had the rifle pressed against his shoulder and was standing above the fallen body of a zombie that had gotten too close. The noise however, had alerted the rest of the undead to his presence and they all had looked up from their meals to find him. Only they saw Ali first.
Ali looked from the undead to him, their eyes meeting for an instant before he turned the rifle on the horde and sprayed them with a quick burst, clipping their legs from underneath them and sending them back onto the ground.
He turned and bolted, running straight for the construction site of new apartments, through the open gate.
Ali had little choice. She couldn’t go back now, the zombies in pursuit were closing in and the ones that had killed the soldiers were coming straight for her.
The construction site it was.
She bolted after Waistcoat, passing the pallets of bricks and cement bags and looking for somewhere that they wouldn’t be able to reach her. Stairs. The moment she spotted them she cursed under her breath. She hoped they couldn’t climb stairs; going up was her only ticket to safety.
Ali ignored the creeping suspicion that up also meant she would be trapped.
She tore up the first set of stairs she came across and immediately went to the fourth floor — the highest she could. But there wasn’t a door. She had no way of keeping them out. Panicking, she raced around the space looking for something to barricade the entrance with but there was nothing. Construction wasn’t as far along on this block as it was the one adjacent.
‘Shit’ she screamed, and raced back to the stairs.
She stopped at the doorway, her plan to head back down foiled when she heard them coming. Ali peered down over the edge; they were almost up to level three. She couldn’t go back down now and there wasn’t enough time to find something to block the door with.
She pulled the .45 from the holster and pressed her back into the door frame to help counter the recoil. If she survived she would be sore in the morning.
Waiting an eternity for the first one to make it onto the landing beneath her caused her heart to pound a million beats a minute.
It had been a man, early 20s, short brown hair. He’d been in jeans and a white t-shirt, but the white had turned to a dirty red and the bloodstains were centralised down the centre of his chest.
Ali raised the .45 and gripped it in both hands. She closed her left eye and lined up the shot.
Exhaling slowly, her finger slowly squeezed the trigger — the tension designed to make firing deliberate — and slammed into the doorframe as the blast echoed in the stairwell.
The zombie lurched back, a bleeding hole appearing in his chest. The shot had gone too low.
Ali re-aimed. Fired again.
This time she clipped the side of his neck.
The man didn’t have the chance to move before Ali fired a third time, successfully blowing his brains across the wall. She lowered the gun in her trembling hands, her heart still racing as she congratulated herself on the kill.
Unfortunately he wasn’t the only one. Arriving on the landing were another three standing abreast and attempting to maneuver around the fallen corpse. It had taken three shots to destroy the first one, taken what felt like forever. There was no way she could turn back a wave of undead on her own with the .45 — she didn’t even know how many bullets she had left in the clip.
Racing around the outside of the floor, she realised she had nowhere to go. There was no crossover to the other apartment building, no crane that she could leap to. She was fucked.
Looking over her shoulder the first zombie had made it to the doorway. She turned and fired, somehow managing to hit him in the face and he fell back against the others. Ali ran around again, seeing a blue tunnel shimmering at the far corner of the floor.
They hadn’t followed her so far, but she was running out of options. A quick look inside revealed it went almost straight down. Ali didn’t have an option, not anymore. She put the .45 back in the holster and threw herself into the tunnel, hoping that she wouldn’t break her neck when she landed.
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Dan Adams is a Sydney-based writer. When he’s not penning kick ass war stories, he’s working on his guns - the arm variety, rather than the weapons featured so prominently in his books. He loves slushies and always finds himself climbing too many stairs on Wednesdays. Follow him on Twitter at @DanAdamsWriter.
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Dan will be awarding an eCopy of Alice Through the Bloodstained Glass to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour, and choice of 5 digital books from the Impulse line to a randomly drawn host.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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