It may surprise you to know that I don’t really like horror, gore or any type of scary type movies or books.
Then why did you write a zombie story, Jaxx? Well I’m glad you asked.
I wanted to write a story where love would conquer all no matter the situation.
I let a friend of mine read this story just before I subbed it. He is a fan of zombie stories and has a longtime lover who is also into creatures of the night type stories. He shared the story with his lover and they both enjoyed it however they had issue with it. The loved the camaraderie between the characters, the mayhem they endured and even the twist I did with the zombies, but they disagreed with the ending. This couple has an apocalypse clause in their relationship. If one is bitten by a zombie, werewolf or vampire the other has permission to kill the other and go on with their life.
I laughed so hard my stomach hurt for a time afterwards. I had never heard of such a thing, but it made me think. I didn’t want my characters to have such a clause. To me forever means forever. If that’s the commitment you are entering into then you must honor it. That’s why you must be very careful AND picky with who you enter a lifetime relationship with.:)
To start their lives anew, Mike and Bill are leaving the chill winters of Chicago behind for the warm breezes of San Fernando Valley. On their cross country road trip they experience different foods, cozy country towns and…zombies??
Bill stared at the food in front of Mike. Though he couldn’t tell what the ingredients really were, the dark brown, lumpy piece of meat wrapped in pastry didn’t look like any pie he had ever seen. It also didn’t have the same effect on his olfactory senses. Instead of the sweet smell that tickled your nose and made you smile when one came in proximity with pies that were considered desserts, the aroma of this pie made him want to hurl.
When Mike’s fork scraped the tip away, the food made a sick squishy sound. Bill’s breath caught as he watched in awe as the utensil rose to Mike’s mouth without hesitation. Mike ate the foul smelling dessert with gusto then swallowed.
“Well,” Bill asked eagerly.
Mike pushed the plate away. “Oh, yeah, that tastes gross.”
“This surprises you?” Bill asked on a chuckle.
He shrugged. “Not really. I figured it would, but I didn’t want to assume,” Mike admitted with a laughing grin.
Bill rolled his eyes and his arms relaxed. “Can we just get out of here now?”
“Oh yeah, I’m done.” Mike looked around. “What the— Where did everyone go?”
“Folk started leaving just before you started in on that delicious pie of yours. Only the two bubbas are left at the counter. I guess these little country hicks are afraid of the dark,” he added in a lower tone.
“So how do we pay for the food?”
“Okay, you boys ready?” Mabel said returning to their table.
Bill jumped at her sudden appearance.
“We’re closing right now. It’s past time.”
“I’ll wait in the car,” Bill said hurrying away from her.
Mike chuckled and followed Mabel.
The sky darkened quickly as the sun settled behind the mountains in the distance. Bill lingered a moment to take a picture of the beautiful colors in the sky. Grinning at the image on his phone, he continued across the parking lot to the car. Before pulling the door open, he caught sight of a man coming toward him. Dressed in dark blue with a wide brim hat, the man had a large intimidating presence like the cops Bill knew in Chicago. A dull golden star on his shirt pocket glinted in the dwindling light as he came closer. Bill turned to intercept.
“Hello Sheriff. We just ate in the diner and were wondering if you could tell us how far the next town is. We need to get some gas.”
The officer didn’t answer but continued to close the distance between them. Bill stopped walking and his brows furrowed. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end.
“Sir, is everything all right?”
The sheriff reached Bill, grabbed him by the shoulders and yanked him forward. Bill gasped, trying to pull away, but couldn’t break the strong grip.
“Hey! What are you doing? Let me go!”
The man’s pale skin and vacant stare was horrifying. He continued to pull on Bill trying to bring him even closer, but Bill jerked himself from side to side struggling. The cop gave no explanation as he leaned down to bite Bill on the shoulder.
Shock shot through his system followed by pain. Swinging wildly, he beat the man on the head. Finally, the sheriff reeled backward, tearing a chunk of Bill’s shoulder away. Bill screamed again. His assailant’s grip loosened momentarily as he chewed Bill’s flesh. He took the opportunity to jerk away and make a run for the car. As Mike came from the diner, Bill waved frantically to get his attention.
“Mike, get in the car quick!”
Bill swung the door open, then slammed it shut behind him. He reached toward the backseat to grab his jacket. Balling up one of the sleeves, he pressed the material to his shoulder. He looked out the window. To his horror the sheriff walked slowly toward the car. Other people appeared in the street gathering behind him. He pushed the lever down to lock his door. The driver’s door swung open and he shrieked.
“What the hell is going on?” Mike shouted, sliding behind the wheel. “Oh my God! Baby, what happened to your arm?”
“Drive, Mike! Just get us out of here!”
I Love You to Death is available now. All links to buy are available at Secret Cravings Publishing.