My new Halloween-themed novel, Trick or Zombie Treat is available on Amazon. You can always read a free sample of the beginning of the book there. But the story starts a bit slow, so I decided to post an excerpt from the middle of the book, once the action and horror has heated up.
To set up the scene, five boys have discovered that they turned into actual versions of their Halloween costumes after eating magical candy from a witch’s house.
Aaron is a giant. Rich has a machine gun. Tommy has a jetpack and laser gun. Brandon is a ghost. And Donny is a lizard.
The boys have decided to return to the witch’s house to get her to cure Donny. Then, while walking up the driveway to her house, they start hearing noises in the darkness…
Aaron, Rich, Tommy, and Brandon pried their eyes open in terror as they looked to the rustling bushes. The four boys huddled in a circle, back to back, with Aaron and Rich on the left side and Brandon and Tommy on the right.
Groan—Groan—Groan—Groan!!! The deep gravelly sounds grew louder, approaching the boys from all directions. They searched around but couldn’t see the source of the noise. They were trapped by walls of darkness.
“Where are they?” asked Aaron, trying to hide the fear in his voice.
“I can’t see crap,” said Rich, frantically aiming his machine gun around.
“Give us some light, Tommy,” said Aaron. “Fire your laser gun at the bushes.”
Tommy aimed his Super-Soaker-turned-laser-gun to the right of the driveway. He couldn’t see the bushes, even though they were less than ten feet away, but he could hear the branches rustling—ZAP! He fired his laser gun in the direction of the rustling sound.
Flash! A large overgrown bush erupted in flames as the laser beam hit its leaves—Crackle…The burning bush provided light to the right of the driveway, where two humanoid shadows appeared on the ground—Groan…But the source of the shadows was still hidden from the boys.
“Now the other side,” said Aaron.
Tommy aimed his laser gun to the left of the driveway and pulled the trigger—ZAP—Flash! Another bush lit on fire, providing a circle of light around the boys—Crackle…
Groan!!! The disturbing sounds continued over the crackling fire—Groan! Groan! Two more human-shaped shadows appeared to the left—Grooooan!!! The four human shadows grew larger as they moved toward the boys.
“There they are!” Brandon pointed to the burning bush to the right.
Groan…Groan…Two black silhouette figures limped toward the boys with their arms stretched out like zombies.
“What should we do?” asked Tommy, the laser gun shaking in his hands.
“Are you sure they’re real zombies?” asked Aaron.
“I don’t know,” said Brandon.
Groan…Groan…Two more silhouettes appeared by the burning bush to the left.
Groan!!!! The four human shadows yelped in a deep angry tone then limped toward the boys from both sides of the path.
“Should I shoot?” asked Rich, aiming his M-16 at one of the silhouettes to the left. Tommy was thinking the same thing as he aimed his laser gun at a silhouette to the right.
“No,” said Brandon. “It might just be Phil and his friends pranking us again.”
“Phil? Is that you?” asked Aaron. “If this is a joke, you better tell us right now.”
Groan!!! The figures stepped past the burning bushes into the light, and the boys could finally see their faces. It was definitely Phil, Max, and their two friends. And just as before, the teenage boys looked like zombies, with blood and guts on their faces and clothes. But this time, Tommy couldn’t tell whether the blood and guts were real, or just a part of their costumes. Were they pretending to be zombies, or had they turned into the real thing?
“Come on, Phil,” said Aaron. “This isn’t funny anymore.”
Zombie Phil limped toward Aaron with a blank expression. All he said was, “Groan!”
The zombies stared at the boys with blank white eyes—Groan!!! They were only ten feet from the boys and limping closer.
“Yo Butt-Face, go see if they’re real zombies,” said Aaron.
“What? No!” Brandon shouted with fright. “Are you crazy?”
“You’re a ghost, moron.” Aaron double-tap slapped Brandon—Whiff—Whiff! His giant hand floated straight through his back and head with no effect. “They can’t do anything to you. Remember?”
Groan!!! Brandon stared at the approaching teenage zombies, then at seven-foot Aaron and the lizard perched on his shoulder.
“Come on, fat…ty!” Aaron’s voice cracked, unable to hide his fear any longer.
Brandon had never seen his big brother so scared before. And he’d never heard Aaron ask him for help before. Brandon found himself in a completely new situation. He could actually do something that his big brother couldn’t.
“Okay,” said Brandon. “I’ll do it—but only if you promise to stop calling me Fatty.”
“What?!” Aaron trembled as he watched the zombies limp closer and closer. Groaning louder and louder. Reaching their bloody arms out toward him. “Okay!” Aaron shouted.
“And a Butt-Face,” added Brandon. “And a moron, and an idiot, and any other bad names.”
“Yes! Yes! Yes!” Aaron shouted. “I promise!”
“Good.” Brandon floated away from the boys, shouting, “Yo, zombies!”
Gro—The teenage zombies froze a few feet from Aaron, Rich, and Tommy, then turned their attention to Brandon.
“Over here, you dumb zombies!” Brandon stuck his hands inside his ghost head. “Fresh brains!”
Groan!!!! The zombies started limping toward Brandon, who was ten feet further down the driveway. Aaron, Rich, and Tommy stepped back and watched the zombies limp toward the glowing ghost—Clack-Clack! The zombies snapped their teeth, anticipating a fresh meal of flesh.
“Here goes nothing, Aaron…” Brandon sounded nervous. “You better be right about me not being able to get hurt.”
Groan!!!! The outstretched arms of the four teenage zombies were only a couple of feet away from Brandon’s translucent ghost body.
“Chill out,” said Aaron. “It will be just like getting hit by that Beetle—except with zombies.”
“Yeah…right,” said Brandon, unconvinced. “…No big deal.”
“Phil,” Aaron spoke to the limping zombies from behind. “If that’s still you, we’ll give all your candy back.”
Groooan!!! The zombies lurched forward and reached their gray blood-stained arms out toward Brandon’s face.
“…With interest!” added Aaron.
GROAN!!!! The four teenage zombies pounced on Brandon.
“Ah!” Brandon screamed as he disappeared under a pile of zombies on the ground.
“Brandon!” Tommy shouted.
“Are you okay?” asked Aaron.
Thrash! Clack! Chomp! The zombies dug their arms into Brandon’s ghost sheets, trying to bite the flesh beneath.
“Ah!” Brandon continued screaming as the zombies ripped their teeth into his body.
“Holy zombie guts…” Aaron looked on with dread.
“Brandon?” Tommy feared for his cousin’s life. “Are you—”
Swoosh! Ghost Brandon floated up through the pile of zombies, still in one piece—or zero pieces. His ghost body seemed just fine.
“I’m pretty sure they don’t want to eat their candy,” said Brandon. “…or our candy…” He looked back at the zombies who continued thrashing and biting at the ground where he had been laying. “…They want to eat our flesh!”