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Zomopolis

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Blurb

Aloha Armstrong, The Woman from L.I.P.S. returns in an exciting new adventure. Her mission: to go undercover as sheriff of Zomopolis, a domed town where incurable zombies are kept until a cure can be found, to discover the fate of the previous sheriff who went missing under mysterious circumstances.

She soon discovers a town filled with secrets, people who might not be who they claim to be, and a deadly conspiracy than threatens to destroy humanity. Handsome diner owner Hanson Braddock, a man with his own secrets, offers his help but can she trust him?

Surrounded by possible enemies Aloha must face a decision that will change her life forever.

Will Aloha save the world from certain doom or is this her final mission?

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Chapter 1
Chapter One He looks hungry. Suddenly the lurching zombie snatched the ham steak off the plate on the lunch counter then, with its gray fingers, stuffed the dripping piece of meat whole into its mouth. It chewed noisily as a line of drool ran from the side of its mouth then down its cheek. Yup, he’s hungry alright. Sheriff Aloha Armstrong’s brow wrinkled in a wince of revulsion. She took a single cautious step closer to the zombie. What was he doing in here? Then again here I am a California girl stuck in the great wet North West. Is it to late to go home now? Everyone knows brain eaters eat at Cerebellum Station, the Brain-Eater-Only cafe that specializes in brain food. Joe’s Family Diner doesn’t serve their kind. Aloha winced and immediately chastised herself. What am I saying? Their kind? Some of her best friends were zombies. Like too many times before the memory of her ex-boyfriend, handsome former-zombie, Matt Butcher, popped into her mind. Man, I wish I could get that guy outta my hair, and my subconscious. Her stomach muscles tightened and she took in a deep breath and held it causing her ample bosom to swell. Out of the corner of one eye she spied ninety-year-old Mr. McDok seated in a booth with red leather bench seats staring at her. His weathered features were split by a salacious grin. Not that this surprised her, since the form fitting sheriff’s uniform did little to hide her voluptuous figure. She scowled at him. He was a dirty old man. She decided she had to make time to fix her uniform. Shifting her attention back to the ham-munching zombie she released the air from her lungs as quietly as possible so as not to alert the brain-eater to her presence. Her deputy, Elvis Bushwood, had already herded the diner’s customers, except McDok, who refused to leave the booth he was sitting in, through the kitchen and out the backdoor of the diner. Elvis’ round, nut-brown hairless head, beady brown eyes, and bushy blond eyebrows filled the small window of the swinging door that separated the counter area from the kitchen. From the way Aloha’s spiked heels slipped with each step she took she knew the floor tiles checker board pattern had been freshly waxed this morning. Disregarding her own safety she ever so slowly edged closer and closer to the zombie. She didn’t want to have to kill a local one week into the job, but he had to be stopped before he ate the brain of a live human. The undead living amongst the not dead still irked her as wrong, but the town of Zomopolis was what it was. At her job interview the mayor had been adamant about not shooting the town’s zombie residents. Mayor Sharona Fieger explained the local economy is dependant on good relations between the living and the undead. Aloha tipped her head to the side as a signal to Elvis to come through the door. He blinked twice and swiveled his neck as if to get out a kink, but didn’t move to enter. Elvis had the Legal Investigative Protection Service net gun she’d given him earlier. The gun was made by the brilliant Dr. Oh, Chief R&D Scientist at the LIPS weapons laboratory. According to Doctor Oh the gun had an effective range of five feet and unless Elvis came through the door she would have to face the zombie alone. Which meant, of course, she’d have to shoot it. According to her plan, she would block the zombie escape out the front door while Elvis trapped him with the net gun. Aloha would provide the frontal assault and scare the brain-eater toward Elvis. It was the classic pincher strategy perfected by Napoleon over three hundred years ago. Com’on, Elvis. Move! But he stayed behind the door staring uncomprehendingly at her through the tiny window in the door. She hoped he understood SWAT-talk. She raised one arm and used it to signal he was to come into the counter area. He shook his head. She sighed. He didn’t understand SWAT-talk? Where did he receive his police training, the school for small town cops? Next, she pointed at him then at herself, then at the zombie. Finally she showed three fingers hoping to indicate on the count three they would make their move on the zombie. This time Elvis smiled and nodded. Good, he finally gets it. Suddenly her left foot slipped on the tiles making a loud scrapping noise like fingernails on a chalk board. She froze with her legs wide apart trying to keep from falling. Her upper body swayed back and forth like a willow tree in a stiff breeze while she waved her arms like wings in an attempt to stabilize herself. Whoa! That was too close. Her heart rate increased as the zombie turned around to face her. A sliver of drool ran from the left side of his undead mouth and his ink-black staring eyes were free of any trace human emotion. His straw blond hair was cut jaggedly as if someone used a warped bowl on his head. The zombie must see her as one big delicious brain. Her eyes flitted to Elvis still on the kitchen side of the door. She mouthed for him to hurry. He nodded and finally came through the swinging door. Since Hanson Braddock kept his restaurant in good repair the door has been oiled recently and made no noise when it eased open. She thanked the heavens for small mercies. Elvis held the net gun in both hands the barrel pointed slightly down his beady eyes narrow and focused on the grunting zombie. As the zombie shuffled toward her Elvis raised the gun and took aim. It had a wide barrel like an oversized double barreled shotgun so it was not easy to raise the heavy weapon in order to fire it. Once Elvis pulled the trigger the net would deploy and snare the zombie in a net big enough to envelope his entire body. The zombie would be unable to move. No fuss. No muss. After he’d been subdued they’d put it in the pen out back of the town hall where they kept the whacked out zombie’s until a decision could be made what to do with them. So far there were only three in the pen, but Aloha’s instincts told her something is very rotten in Zomopolis and there would be more, maybe a lot more. Elvis stepped to within the range recommended in the user manual then raised the gun and pulled the trigger. A loud click was followed by silence. A dud? Oh. Oh. Wayta go, Doctor Oh! I better get outta here. Aloha moved her feet but they slipped out from under her and suddenly she was airborne. She landed hard on her tailbone the shock traveling up her spine and forcing the air from her lungs. Spots danced before her now teary eyes and she blinked due to the sharp pain at the base of her spine. Her chest hurt as she struggled to take in a breath. Man that hurts. Through hazy vision she saw the zombie shuffling closer and closer. Her nose wrinkled. He reeked of rotting garbage. She tried to move but her legs were too weak. Panic rose in her as she realized she was unable to move. She tried again to take a breath but her chest still hurt too much to draw in any air. In her oxygen deprived mind it suddenly dawned on her what would happen next if she was unable to move. Oh, crap he’s gonna eat my brain.

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