The Murder Plague, a novel

 

The Murder Plague is a zombie apocalypse story without the zombies. It explores the great terror emerging in our time: what if mass murder really is a growing problem?

It’s a terrifying tale about an engineered virus that emerges from a medical research laboratory and spreads quickly as an epidemic. Infected people devolve into psychotic, homicidal rages until civilization breaks down into a shuttered society and black-market economy. Any venture outside could mean an unfortunate encounter with a killer or, worse, infection. Yet a desperate and courageous band of researchers and others defying scientific protocol race to find a solution before there is nothing left to save.

 

excerpt, from Chapter 1:

Yellow Dog gave the cop another burst. He collapsed to his left knee, and then his right. He looked back at Guy as if he suddenly had run out of energy. His power to lift trucks was gone now, and he realized he was about to die. All emotion seemed to drain from his face and he looked innocent, curious, childlike and terrified. He laid down the gun.

“Least I stopped him, eh?”

“You’ll make it,” Guy assured him.

“Bull shit.”

“The paramedics will be here soon. We’ll be all right.”

“Bull shit.”

The sirens had disappeared. Word had gone back and through the dispatcher: Scene was not secure. No one else dared come. Not for a while.

Guy took a long look around and listened. Nothing was coming. Nothing was moving. Nobody else was crawling, or even moaning. He looked back at the man with the Yellow Dog shirt. He was lying down now in a fetal position, holding his gut and grunting.

“Huh!” was all he said. “Huh.”

Guy grasped the table, dragged his leg and managed to hobble. He put his bag over the same shoulder as his shotgun and headed away from the carnage, with no shoes or socks, just his long, striped shirt covering his boxers, and his pants tied around his right leg. He lurch-stepped across the rest of the parking lot. He crossed the empty street, stopping once in the middle to pull the pants knot tighter. He headed toward the Little Saigon district, which started on the next block. Slowly. Awkwardly. Painfully. His head was swooning. He sat down on a bus bench about a block away and called a cab, requesting a ride to the Florida Hospital emergency room.

The dispatcher said she could have a taxi there in a few minutes. He adjusted the pants again, tightening the pull. Then Guy laid down on the bus bench. He had to lie down. He closed his eyes. He had to close his eyes.

When the taxi pulled up beside the bench, the driver, a Haitian man in his 60s, honked his horn but Guy didn’t get up. Carefully, the driver got out and yelled to him. Guy didn’t move. The driver went over to the bus bench and relieved Guy of his shotgun. He untied the pants and fished through the pockets. He found Guy’s handgun. He found Guy’s wallet and removed the cash. He picked up Guy’s bag and put it on the front seat of the taxi with the guns. He stuffed the cash in his shirt pocket.

The cabbie was not about to be stiffed on a fare. The rest was tip.

Pre Savain was no thief though. So he put the wallet back into Guy’s pants and retied them, better than Guy himself had done. He picked up the bare-legged and bloody Guy, who looked still to be alive, and shoved him into the backseat of the cab.

Right on Mills, left on Rollins, Pre arrived at the emergency room driveway in less than three minutes. There he dragged Guy onto the pavement. He got back into his cab, and drove off as two security guards emerged from the hospital to see what had just been delivered.

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