Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Jack Wallen, the author of “I Zombie I“, as well as a couple of other books, including one that I just happen to be reading at this time. (Watch for the review to be coming up soon.) “I Zombie I” is an apocalyptic horr novel featuring a primary character named Jacob Plummer. When I asked Jack to tell me something about the book, he said the book shows how “finding one’s truest strength often requires a dive into the pits of indescribable turmoil”.
Below is a sample from his book:
Chapter 1: It begins
The blast ripped through the air, stopping all time and thought. Even from within my hotel room, I felt the concussion deep within my cells. I felt it in my gut, my eyes, my brain. It rang in my skull and burned my skin. The sensation and sound were everywhere and everything. And then it was nothing…which was the strangest part of it all. I expected the sounds of chaos—alarms, cries, screams—but there was nothing. I was affronted with an all-encompassing nothing. For an instant, I felt as if someone had lowered me into a deprivation chamber, where all was lost save some scattered randomness in my brain. At first I thought maybe the concussion had blown out my hearing, but the sound of breathing and the rustling of sheets neatly tucked away the fear of going deaf.
The blast and the shaking room were enough to make me worry that something serious had happened. Against my personal moral code, I decided to turn on the television in hopes that it would have some explanation. Surely the local news would interrupt whatever reality-trash was broadcasting to instruct citizens on what to do in case of an emergency. The television brought me nothing—nothing but static and white noise. The snow-filled screen was hypnotic. I have no idea how long I sat and stared. It felt like forever, but with the fear that gripped my gut, the black and white of the static was soothing. I wanted to hear some fifties-era tones echo from the speaker informing me to get to my nearest bomb shelter, Anything that would give me some indication the world hadn’t finally managed to destroy itself. Instead, the noise of the static did its best to lull me into some semblance of comfort. I wanted to stare into the void until everything just disappeared.
After I managed to pull myself away from the hypnosis of the empty screen, I decided that maybe the front desk would have something to offer. I was wrong. I let the phone ring, and ring, and ring…nothing. No “Front desk, how may I help you?” Not even an answering machine.
I tried the radio. Static.
I checked the hallway. Empty.
I opened the curtains only to be greeted by a thick, grayish fog preventing me from seeing anything a foot beyond the glass.
Even without the fog, I was too high up to see the streets clearly, so I couldn’t even assume the city was awake and reacting to whatever had happened. Wonderful. I was in a strange city, I knew no one, and I couldn’t reach anyone. I was afraid the world had ended and left me behind. Me. Why me?
I think I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. I should probably fill you in on who I am before I write another page. At least then you can decide if you care enough to draw your own conclusions to the question ‘Why me?’. Of course, I’m being presumptuous in assuming there is still a ‘you’ left out there to be reading my words. After what shocked me out of bed…
Anyway. My name is Jacob Plummer. I’m a writer. Actually, I’m a reporter, which was probably even more fitting for someone trying to chronicle what might be a cataclysmic disaster. Another presumption. I keep writing as if I know for a fact that something tragic has happened. Maybe that’s the reporter in me desperately hoping for a story. Okay, okay…focus.
I work as a political, world news, and events correspondent for a newspaper owned by one of the largest media umbrella companies in the United States. It’s a good company, and I get to travel a lot. Unfortunately, most of my traveling places me right in the middle of war. This time around, however, I was assigned to Munich for an unveiling of an epic scale. Why me? Because I’m one of the few reporters on staff with absolutely zero family to keep me tied down. No wife, no girlfriend, parents dead, only child, and no real friends to speak of. All I have is my job. It defines me. It is me, in a sense. There really is no “Jacob”; there is only “Reporter.” Therefore, good old Jacob can roam the planet in search of the next great story for the paper. Speaking of which…
A physicist, Dr. Lindsay Godwin, allegedly developed a device that would solve the world energy crisis. The device was supposedly of the nuclear fission sort which would promise a “greener than solar” and “safer than standard nuclear” renewable energy source. No more dependency on oil, no more need for gasoline. No more OPEC. No more price gouging. No more pollution. The global economy would be salvaged and the epic depression, suffered world-wide, would disappear. These were bold promises at a time when any promise, no matter how small, brought about both hope and doubt in the same breath.
So on the day this salvation was to be handed to the planet, I planned to wake, lie in bed, gather my research, and write a few notes when, before I could even get started, something must have gone horribly wrong. Or so I presume.
So here I am, in a hotel room unable to make contact with another human being and surrounded by an implausible silence…a silence so consuming it seems there is nothing left outside the walls that stand between me and whatever lies beyond. But I will go. I have to go. And like a typical journalist, I will document everything I see and do. But I do hope my fear and musings are all for naught. I hope to step out of this room into some bizarre practical joke where the unveiling goes off without a hitch, and I can head back to the States to my loft in Manhattan, where the sounds of the city completely consume me.
© 2011, Steven R. Drennon. All rights reserved.
Filed under: Horror