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November 4, 2013

Excerpt: Kai's Journey

Kai's Journey
Dirty and exhausted from his day’s travels Kai crested a barren hill. This year’s drought had taken its toll and the landscape around him was dulled to muted hues of brown.  A few trees scattered here and there clung to life with bare limbs stretching towards the sky. Fall had come early to this area. He shaded his eyes as the setting sun cast eerie shadows across the sky above, making it look like the ribs of a dead man. Kai spotted the bodies scattered in the field on the left side of the road. With a sigh, he walked over to investigate the scene. He knew from experience that there were worse things in this new world other than the living dead. Checking to see how they were put down could tell you who or what might be in the area. As Kai walked closer he could hear the buzzing of insects in the afternoon air. The sound intensified the closer he came to the bodies. The acrid, metallic smell of death reached him on the next breeze. Pulling a rag over his nose and mouth, Kai walked up to the nearest one, using his boot to turn it over. He then knelt down. It had once been human, but died as a zombie. There were bullet holes in the main part of the body as well as the arms and legs. He’d seen these kinds of wounds on the creatures before. Some, who called themselves the military, used them as target practice as if they were no more than animals. At one time though, every one of these beings had been a human; someone’s mother, father, brother, sister or friend. Now they were dead. Some call them zombies. Kai call them a burden that he alone felt responsible for.

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He didn’t need to see any more and headed back to the road in disgust. A cluster of buildings lie ahead. Only a few shadows moved among the buildings. Time and experience told Kai that they were the living dead. This town was just like every other place he came across since the accident seven years ago.  He hoped to find shelter for the night, maybe even a few supplies. From the town up ahead there was a sound he hadn’t heard in a long time. A single howl that reached down into his soul and stirred something he’d thought long since disappeared. Momentarily forgetting his exhaustion, he ran toward the town and the sound. Again the howl filled the air as he ran past dilapidated buildings with broken windows and sagging porches and front steps. A few of the creatures he’d seen earlier going from building to building were nowhere in sight. Kai heard the howl again, coming from around the corner of an old store front building. Noiselessly he crept along the wall to the corner and peered down the alley to see a crowd of zombies surrounding a beautiful white wolf trapped at the dead end, its hackles raised. A growl rumbled from its throat as it bared its teeth. Kai’s stomach tightened in fear as he watched as the living dead move in for the kill. It had been so long since he had seen any dogs or pets from the old world that he knew he had to do something.

“Hey!” Kai yelled.

They turned as one towards him when Kai charged around the corner, his sword raised. Deftly he severed the head of the nearest of the walking dead ones. Quickly he moved from one to the next, thrusting his sword or slashing to keep them at arm’s length. Soon he stood next to the wolf. The wolf’s eyes never left the dead as she bared her teeth. 

“I won’t hurt you. I just want to help,” Kai said. 

With their backs to the wall, Kai and the wolf kept the dead at bay as they fought. Soon bodies lay scattered and unmoving in the alley. He sank to his knees in exhaustion; he raised his head to look over at the wolf. Now that Kai was up close, he could see her white fur was well groomed and cared for. Slowly he eased himself into a sitting position so as not to frighten her away. The wolf’s startling blue eyes gazed at him steadily. ‘Wow, I’ve never seen a wolf with blue eyes before,’ he thought. Kai made a move to raise his hand towards her and the wolf gave a low warning growl. She didn’t run from him, but she didn’t let him touch her either. 

“Well, I guess we won this round huh, girl?” Kai asked. Suddenly her ears perked up and she looked back up the alley as if she heard something. Kai looked but at first didn’t see or hear anything. He felt his stomach drop as more of the dead came stumbling around the corner.  Without warning, something hard hit him in the head and he lost consciousness.

~About the Authors~

Charles Siefken (1992-present) is a recent graduate of high school. This is his first book of many to be published. He currently resides in rural central Iowa where he enjoys reading sci/fi books and playing video games among other things. He is currently enrolled in our local college for automotive technician as well as working part time at a local garage as a mechanic. We have found a publisher, MasterKoda Select Publishing! Christopher Paolini was his inspiration to become a writer.
Wendy Siefken (1966-Present) Currently working full time as a tier one tech at a local call center. Wendy lives on a farm with her family and enjoys reading, gardening and other activities with her family and friends.
This all started as a school project for her youngest son and business partner, Charles Siefken, which has grown into a desire to be published.
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