An excerpt from DAY OF THE ZOMBIE coming soon:
Chapter One: The Pending Threat
THOSE GATHERED WERE WEARING RED ROBES and hooded cowls that covered their heads, concealing their faces, leaving only mouths visible. When everyone was accounted for by the self-appointed Sergeant-at-Arms, the Exalted Leader took the podium and banged a gavel on a wooden table in the center of the low stage. He addressed the Sergeant-at-Arms, “Is everyone accounted for, and there are no outsiders present?”
“Sir, all present and accounted for. There are no bleeding heart University professors, no members of the press, and no…(here he paused dramatically)…zombies in the room.”
At his remark there was a smattering of nervous laughter.
“In that case,” the Exalted Leader said, “you may all now remove your hoods.”
Cyrus Ray, the leader, was the first to uncover his face. He was a tall blond man, ruggedly handsome with piercing blue eyes. He was large boned with powerful arms, large hands, and a thick neck visible from the top of his red robe. Some were reluctant to reveal their faces until it became apparent that everyone was doing so.
Berkley Jefferson, the Sergeant-at-Arms, was the second to remove the hood. Like Cyrus, he was a large man with an iron grip when he shook hands with anyone. His robe, however, disguised a rather large beer belly. His head was completely shaved which made his ears appear to stick straight out from his head. His eyes were hazel and very close together making him look like Mr. Potato Head except for the heavy black beard and moustache he carefully groomed every day.
They waited for everyone to show their faces before Cyrus continued.
“Gentlemen…(there were no women in the group)…we have one other item of business before we open the meeting for discussion,” Cyrus began, “Here on the table you can see this here large jar with a hunting knife inside. The clear liquid is one-hundred proof pure grain alcohol. Now, since you come from all over the country, there’s no way we could know all your faces, so just to be sure, we’re gonna have all of you come up here and use this razor sharp knife to make a little slice across your arm. If you bleed, we know you’re not one of them.”
“What’s the grain alcohol for, Cyrus? For those who don’t have the stomach to nick themselves?” someone in the group asked.
There was a bit of laughter at that remark.
“Hell, no, Eugene, that’s there to sterilize the knife after use. We don’t have an idea about what you’ve been puttin’ your pecker in, so we don’t want to take chances,” Cyrus retorted and the room burst out with guffaws.
The blood letting ceremony proceeded with all the solemnity of a High Mass as one by one the Klansmen approached the table, picked up the knife, and made a small slice on their arms.
Cyrus, an inveterate showman, went first, cutting the back of his forearm with a flourish and allowing everyone to see the droplets of blood that fell into a brass paten he had bought especially for this night. Berkley Jefferson was the second in line, struggling not to cry out as the blade pierced his skin.
The fifteenth man, another tall blond fellow, quickly sliced his arm and let Cyrus see the blood that dripped into the paten. He rapidly pulled down the sleeve of his red robe to hide the wound. Cyrus Ray and the other Klan members were unaware that what they saw him drip from his arm was pigeon blood.
When the blood letting ceremony was over, Berkley went around to each attendee and had them sign in a book that also recorded their email addresses and other contact information. Cyrus explained to the gathering that the book would be heavily guarded but the information was necessary as they organized cells of the Klan all over the United States.
“Eventually, we’ll go international with this,” he announced, “because those accursed zombies are everywhere and we must make sure we get them all!”
There was loud applause, whistles, and shouts from the gathering—all, that is, except for the fifteenth man whose lips formed a grim line over his square jaw.
“Before we hear from our historian, I want to thank Sheriff Mack Young for allowing us to use this room in the basement of the Barts county courthouse for our meeting tonight. As far as we know, the only zombie ever in this town was destroyed by fire through the good work of Mack and his deputies. I won’t go into the details here about how they managed to do that, but I have something here you may be interested in,” Cyrus said dramatically.
Lifting the lid from a glass bell jar, Cyrus stepped aside as the gathered Klansmen leaned forward to see the mound of dust it contained.
“Damn, Cyrus! That smells to high heaven! Put the lid back on!” one of the locals shouted to murmurs of agreement.
“That,” Cyrus said, returning the lid to the jar, “is what is left of the zombie Mack and his boys got rid of last week. When they are destroyed, that putrid dust is all that remains of them. You’ve all seen those Hollywood movies about zombies rising up out of graves with their decaying flesh hanging loosely on their bones. Well, the truth is that a real zombie looks just like you or me. The difference is that the decay is inside them. You notice I didn’t say that Mack and his boys killed the zombie. You can’t kill something that’s already dead. But they destroyed the bastard, and that’s what we’re organized to do whenever and where ever we find them.”
See othe first book at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/58636