Review – Locked In
Today I would like to review Locked In, the first book in Thea Gregory’s horror series, The Zombie Bedtime Stories. You can find her book on Smashwords as well as all of the major E-Book retailers.
This short story offers a fairly typical zombie apocalypse setting and begins at the first signs of infection. The main character is a new paramedic who then suffers through the disease. The story describes the onset of symptoms through to the death of the character in detail.
The beginning of the story did a pretty good job of grabbing your attention with an ambulance ride and a physical struggle. However, I didn’t feel the description of the diseases onset moved the story along with the same speed. I think the reader is quickly rewarded though when the character discovers their condition. The description of the rest of the story from inside the zombie’s point of view is fantastic.
I feel this story needed to be a little bit longer. It went too quickly by leaving out the mental anguish that was available but it is hard to say that it wouldn’t have actually slowed the action down too much. This is a judgment call that I would have probably made in the other direction. Besides this, I felt it was a very enjoyable read and would recommend that you give it a try.
One note, I have downloaded it in both a rich text format and the kindle mobi format. The RTF is full of formatting errors that do not exist in the other files.
As always, here is a little flash fiction to go along with the post. I decided to step up to the challenge of writing a vampire story for @MichelleHughes_ . I hope you all enjoy it.
L. E. White
Her breath came in ragged gasps and shallow puffs as the pain in her side forced her to hold her arm across her middle. She tried to be quiet but it had been years since she had run and doing it now with the cane was impossible. At her age she wasn’t out of shape, she was just old and this was not how she had intended to spend her evening.
Her daughter Amber had taken her to dinner so that she could meet her grand-daughter’s new boyfriend. Amber had told her that he was an “Old fashioned boy with real manners.” Her heart had nearly stopped when she was introduced to Peter. He was indeed an old-fashioned boy. He had courted her nearly 50 years ago.
When their eyes had met he had stopped smiling. “Nana, I want you to meet Peter.” Her grand-daughter Amy had said. Then there had been an uncomfortable silence as the two young women realized that Peter was frowning and Nana Margret was staring at him with her jaw hanging open.
“Is it really you?” She had asked him. It couldn’t be; that wasn’t possible.
“Well, this puts quite an end to an otherwise enjoyable evening.” He had said. Then he had simply disappeared.
The ladies had left right after that, Margret trying to explain to her family that she had known him before meeting Allen, God rest his soul, and Amber telling her that it just couldn’t be the same man. “That was fifty years ago Mother.”
Then Peter had stepped out of the shadows and torn Amber’s throat out. Margret had stood frozen as he drained the life from her oldest daughter while Amy screamed. Peter’s hand shot out and grabbed Amy around the throat, silencing her screams so that Margret could hear him slurping on Amber’s neck.
She turned and ran as Peter dropped the body of her daughter on the ground before biting poor Amy. She struggled and punched but it didn’t do anything to the monster that Margret had once laid naked beside while counting stars above a meadow.
As Margret tried to catch her breath Peter stepped out of the shadows, blood covered from the meal that he had just made of her family.
“I wish I had known that Amy was your granddaughter.” Peter said, “I should have known, she had your eyes and she did the same thing in bed that you always did. I would have left her before now if I had known.”
“Why did you kill them?” Margret asked, “We couldn’t have hurt you.”
“You know what I am now.” He answered, “I can’t allow anyone to know.”
He stepped closer, sliding her purse out of the way with his foot and spilling its contents on the ground. He chuckled at the crossword puzzle book that still rested between her feet as he put his fingers into her hair and gently tilted her head to give him access to her throat. She remembered the last time he had done this, on a clear night under a harvest moon as she gave herself to him one last time before he left to visit his family. He had never returned and she had always wondered what had happened to him. He kissed her neck as he had that night, again sending her skin into a fury of goose-flesh before pulling away and opening his jaws wide, a soft comment to his fond memories of her before he took her life.
As his head started forward Margret dropped the cane and jabbed her crossword pencil into his side. The thin wooden rod slipped between his ribs and touched his aged heart. She couldn’t see his wide-eyed expression as multiple lifetimes flashed before his black eyes. All she could do was cry and cough as she slid down the wall in a cloud of dust.