So this is the prologue for my newest novel I’ve been working on tentatively named, The New World. I’ve uploaded excerpts from it before but I figured I’d show you guys the first bit of the novel. The novel opening starts mid-way through the first stages of the outbreak when society starts breaking down and the city becomes a war-zone. Roving bands of people are robbing and killing members of other, smaller bands inside the city. A search party made up of some of the main characters are attempting to reach a hospital for supplies to bring back to the larger group who include some people who are seriously injured. This scene is repeated about 30 pages into the story but “he”, “the blonde man”, “she”, and the “redheaded woman” are all talked about using their real names. I made it purposely ambiguous so that you won’t know which of the main characters correspond with whom until you read it again 30 pages in. I hope you like the opening to “The New World”. Please let me know what you think.
He could see the hospital in front of him from his place amid the charred casings of what had once been cars. Rubble and other random debris lay strewn about, ejected from buildings that surrounded the city street. Festering bodies layered the street so completely that in places it was hard to make out the black asphalt underneath.
It was incredibly eerie to be surrounded by so much death. Although, no, it wasn’t so much the death – he was used to that by now – but the sheer concentration of it.
Something is very wrong here. He realized, huddled behind the nearest blackened shell of what may have at one point been a Honda Civic.
“What are we waiting for?” A blonde man behind him fidgeted impatiently, “The hospital is right there, why don’t we just-“
“Wait,” He brought a hand up to silence the man, “I don’t like this.”
“Who put you in charge anyway?” The blonde man stood up and walked further into the street.
He called after the man but he was already halfway to the lobby.
The blonde man stepped gingerly through the mass of dead bodies that blanketed the city street. After he’d gone more than thirty steps, the man turned to wave the other members of the party to join him.
A woman with a pale sickly face leaned against the blackened car frame, looking as though she was constantly fighting sleep. She was putting pressure on a wound somewhere on her stomach and her blood soaked clothes around her torso denoted the urgency with which she needed treatment. He looked past the injured woman and into the eyes of the redhead beside him; the final member of their expedition party.
“Don’t,” He shook his head, sternly.
Her face was covered in dirt, and her once lustrous, fiery red hair was dull and matted. Her piercing grey eyes, which had once shone with a brilliant exuberance, were now murky and listless. Experiencing what they had, and seeing what they’d seen, He knew that his eyes had also lost whatever semblance of soul they may have once had.
“Are you coming or what?” The blonde man yelled to them.
He turned to glare at the man.
Didn’t he know that there were others out here? He gritted his teeth. Others who won’t hesitate to murder us for whatever supplies they think we have on us? Had he so soon forgotten the man at the convenience store, naked and decapitated with his meager belongings strewn out beside him?
Is that what he wants to happen to us?
The redheaded woman stepped out from behind the Honda Civic and carefully navigated through the morbid obstacle course towards the blonde man who had almost reached the other side.
“Come back,” He whispered sternly.
She kept stepping closer to the blonde man, closer to the Hospital and, hopefully, the medicine her husband so desperately needed. She felt a weird, uneven consistency underneath her feet and realized that she was standing on one of the bodies’ hands. She could feel the clamminess of the upwards facing palm on her bare foot and it made her entire body erupt in a violent shudder. As she anxiously tried to reposition herself, she caught her ankle in the crook of a heavily decomposed elbow and she fell face down into the heap of rotting flesh and exposed entrails. She touched the gore with her slender fingers and a foul sensation tore through her. She moved her arm, but wherever else she put it she still made contact with cold, dead skin and wet, gooey innards.
She screamed and flailed around, madly.
He called over at the blonde man as quietly, yet forceful, as he could, “Go help her.”
The blonde man scoffed and turned away, continuing towards the hospital.
“You fucking asshole,” He muttered under his breath. Standing up, he readied himself to go out and assist her.
She tried to calm herself down. She took in deep breaths and tried not to think of the dead bodies as having once been alive.
Mannequins. She tried to make herself believe. Yes, these were only mannequins.
Something in her brain clicked over and she was suddenly able to see everything at once. All the bodies, all the wounds, and then it became instantly obvious to her; painfully, horridly obvious.
“Go back,” She shouted.
The bullet tore through her head snapping it forward with a force that threw her to the ground. Bits of bone, brain and clumps of matted red hair spayed the bodies behind her as she landed; another body added to the collection amassed in front of the Hospital.