Okay, here is what I hope is the last big edit in this novel. Here’s the prologue, hope you enjoy, comments are welcome!
Zombies did not die pretty. Once you successfully killed one, the reanimated monster simultaneously vomited up green bile and released its bowels in one massive revolting mess. Cassie found herself gagging before quickly turning her head and covering her nose from the sight and smell of the dying, rather re-dying, zombie. They are the grossest things, she thought as she quickly walked away, gun pointed, alert and ready for another attack.
Cassie and her fellow paranormal hunters were surrounded by massive revolting messes, which would also be a test in gag reflexes for the supernatural hazardous matter crew coming to clean up the high school later. She didn’t have time to wonder what reanimator or necromancer had determined it was a good idea to wake up the dead at a nearby cemetery and have them attack students at their senior prom. Cassie did know one thing; nothing says goodbye childhood memories like a zombie massacre. Luckily only a few teenagers were hurt and, unlike in the movies, that did not mean that they were infected with some form of zombie making virus. They were infected with other things but that could be cured with a stay at the hospital. In the real world zombies were only formed when they were risen by magic from their graves and if the zombie killed you, you weren’t coming back to join in the undead fun.
“I hate, hate, hate zombies!” Cassie’s teammate Ana, shouted as she sliced through the neck of an oncoming zombie who looked a lot like a back up dancer from The Thriller video. The cut was not clean and she had to chop again, this time severing the head completely. Luckily for Ana, she avoided the green vomit, however, the brown liquid bowel seeping down the zombie’s tattered pants hit the bottom of her black boot and she jumped back in disgust. “When I find whoever set this up, I am punching them directly in their eyes. Several times. With knuckle rings on.” Ana’s eyes suddenly widened. “Duck, Cass!”
Cassie quickly bent down as Ana shot her military grade rifle at the zombie threatening to bite down on Cassie’s neck. Ana hit the female reanimated corpse in the center of her forehead and it went down while at the same time spraying a thick coating of green vomit all over Cassie’s hair and back. Ana cringed and said sorry.
However sorry wasn’t going to help the fact that Cassie was now wearing the cold chunky slime of a corpse’s insides. It was at that moment that full clarity hit her. “I quit,” she said in a low voice as she slowly stood up, trying to shake the gunk off her. It was pointless; the stuff was like paste and smelled worse than a skunk. She would need to bathe several times tonight.
“What?” Ana asked leaning in before quickly taking a step back as she inhaled Cassie’s putrid covering.
“I am taking an early damn retirement!” Cassie felt gross and all she wanted was a shower and a burger and of course her mother.
“We got ‘em all,” Tyson stated. He was joined by Marley as he walked over to the pair standing in the center of the gymnasium. He took one look at Cassie and frowned. “You need a towel.”
“I need to leave,” Cassie replied evenly.
“She’s quitting,” Ana said leaning over to Tyson who stood beside her.
Marley raised an eyebrow. “What happened? Besides getting vomited on?”
“What hasn’t happened!” Cassie yelled throwing up her hands, hand gun in the air. The pair ducked out of instinct and she brought her hands down, gun pointed to the ground. “I am still in my twenties. I should be partying, shopping and vacationing in Cancun. Instead I am getting beat up and thrown up on. My mother is dead…”
Tyson softened his face. “Cass, I know it’s hard but you can’t let this break you. You are a gifted hunter. We’ve all faced pain in this line of work but we use it to make us stronger.”
Ana nodded in agreement. “Your life doesn’t suck Cassie. You are protecting the world. Making it a better place to live.”
Cassie scrunched her face. “I’m cleaning up the mess of evil assholes!”
“You have a loving boyfriend,” Ana added.
Marley scoffed and Ana cut her eyes at her which the blond successfully ignored.
Cassie shrugged. “If you say so.”
“Something happen between you and Derek?” Tyson asked.
Cassie rolled her eyes. “He wants me to quit because this work is too dangerous. He said because my mom was killed because of some freak seeking revenge on my father for hunting bad guys, I could put someone I love in danger too.”
Ana shook her head. A voice came over her communicator in her ear saying the rest of the school was clear and they were ready to head out. “Let’s get out of here,” she said and the group turned to leave the gym heading through the back double doors near the bleachers. “You know Cass, you’re dating an alpha werewolf; I don’t think you have to worry about him being vulnerable but I understand where you’re coming from.”
Cassie stopped frowning and looked to Ana as they walked. “I didn’t mean to sound insensitive. I know you’ve been though a lot too.”
Ana nodded. “And I’m still in this business. Running away doesn’t help. Fighting back does.”
“Besides, what else are you going to do?” Marley asked. “You were made for this.”
“And I have some big plans that I need you guys for,” Tyson joined in.
“Well I am in law-“ Cassie suddenly stopped next to the bleachers and tilted her head. “You hear that?”
The others stopped as well and shook their heads. “What’s it sound like?” Marley asked.
Cassie stood back and pointed her gun at the bleachers. “Like the little shit that caused this fuss. Get out from under there!” she ordered.
Seconds passed as the group waited for the teenager to appear but instead of a scrawny kid appearing a drooling, decayed Rottweiler crawled from under the bleachers. Its dark hair was matted with blood and dirt and pieces of its fur and skin were missing in places, exposing raw muscle and bone. Its eyes, like that of most zombies, were clouded in white with greenish crust at the corners.
“Who took him out of the Pet Cemetery?” Ana whispered.
“Not me,” Cassie replied before shooting the creature in the head. Cassie missed its usual song and dance of death as she dove under the bleachers in time to see a body move from under the other side. “He’s out!” she cried, backing up.
They ran from the side of the bleachers in time to see what appeared to be a tall teenage boy run to the other exit doors leading to the interior of the school. “Let me handle this,” Marley shouted.
“No, hon, I got this,” Cassie called running past them in full racer form.
“Don’t kill him!” Tyson yelled to her. “That’s an order!”
“Stop or I will shoot!” she said to the back of the running boy’s head.
He did not slow down as she chased him. Something was not right. She sniffed the air. Something was definitely not right. The boy was almost at the doors. She didn’t feel like running all through the three level high school chasing him down. She pulled another small handgun from her hip holster and fired. The magic laced bullet entered the boys back and he fell to the floor just as his hand hit the exit doors.
“Cassie!” Tyson yelled as they reached her side.
Cassie shrugged. “I didn’t kill him.” She walked over to the boy who appeared unmoving and nudged him with her boot, turning him over. “He’s already dead.”
The group looked down at the familiar gray zombie face, except the eyes were not clouded and he had not reached much decay yet. He was only recently dead. The boy looked up at the group with fearful eyes. “I’m sorry,” he whimpered. “I’m so sorry.
I just wanted to get them back. They were so mean. I just wanted some revenge.”
“He’s a talking zombie, kay, I’ve seen everything. I really think it’s only appropriate for me to retire now,” Cassie commented, gun still aimed at the undead boy.
“He’s a necromancer who reanimated himself,” Marley surmised. “Probably did a reanimation spell right before he died. Probably by suicide.”
“That’s new. You couldn’t just haunt them? You had to bring friends?” Ana asked the zombie boy.
Marley shook her head. “Duh, Ana, it was obviously a group of people he was seeking revenge against and he had to bring a posse so he wouldn’t be outnumbered.”
Ana opened her mouth with an angry comeback but the boy nodded his head slowly in agreement.
Marley tilted her head. “See?”
Cassie looked to Tyson. “Under the circumstances I don’t think I really need to give two week’s notice, right?” She turned and walked around the boy and opened the exit doors. “It’s been real guys but me and the paranormal are officially parting ways!”
“We’ll see you again!” Tyson called. He looked to Ana and Marley. “We’ll see her again.”
“No you won’t!” Cassie shouted back.