You may remember Maria Zannini from the Kensington/RT Writing With the Stars competition. This month the Zannini's newest tale of love and adventure, titled Apocalypse Rising, is releasing from Carina Press. Today the author gives readers a taste of her writing style with this special blog post!
I write post-apocalyptic fiction so naturally my mind goes into overdrive living out here in the middle of nowhere.
Because of my husband’s job, I’m alone a good deal of the time. But I don’t mind because I have bodyguards. Tank and Iko are two of the biggest rottweilers you’ll ever meet.
Unfortunately, I have to pay them off in dog cookies.
One night I heard a gravelly clucking sound coming from the chicken coop. Tank, the bigger of my two rotties lifted an eyelid and waved a paw at me. “You go”, he said. “I’ll catch up.” (Obviously, he knew I was out of dog cookies.)
I went without him, determined to find out what was making that weird noise.
Normally when predators roam, chickens go to radio silence lest they give away their position, but tonight they seemed unusually agitated.
Having had coyote trouble in the past, I couldn’t ignore my duty to home and hearth. I crept up on the hen house with as much stealth as I could muster. Wings were flapping, hens were squawking, and everyone, save for one chick were huddled in a corner. It was one of the new chicks, still fluffy and cute. But that was before she turned to glare at me with those pulsing red eyes. She licked the blood off her beak with a delicate tongue, then grinned.
A zombie chicken in my own backyard!
Was this the zombie apocalypse everyone was talking about? Was I next on the menu? And where was a coyote when you needed one? The other day they were racing through the woods like there was a sale at Macy’s, but loose one feathered ghoul into the mix and suddenly nobody has an appetite for poulet on the hoof.
I dashed back to the safety of the house, but Zombie Chicken had zeroed in on me. She was slow, as the walking dead are prone to be, but persistent, scraping a bum leg behind her. I slammed the door before she reached me and we stared at each other between a double-paned glass window.
Zombie Chicken clucked expletives at me, slapping her beak against the glass, moaning her frustration. That was enough to rouse Tank and Iko who now felt their dog-cookie support system might be in jeopardy. They sprang into action, slobbering and pounding against our side of the glass barrier.
I wrenched down the shade, then dragged them away. There was no way I was going to let them get near the walking dead. The only thing worse than a zombie chicken would be a zombie dog. And me without dog cookies.
I calmed the boys down and split the last of my Girl Scout cookies with them. That was when the door knob started to jiggle. Our heads turned in unison.
Iko growled, but Tank grabbed my car keys off the counter and bolted to the back door. “Woof”, he said, which translated to: Get your butt in gear and let’s blow this joint.
That Tank. He always was the smart one in the family.
- Maria Zannini
For more Maria Zannini, you can download your own copy of Apocalypse Rising from Carina Press today!