One wild crazy zombie ni.., p.1
One Wild, Crazy, Zombie Night, p.1Part #4 of Mystic Willow Bay, Witches series by Jessica Sorensen
One Wild, Crazy, Zombie Night
(Mystic Willow Bay Witches, #4)
About the Author
Also by Jessica Sorensen
One Wild, Crazy, Zombie Night
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Copyright © 2017 by Jessica Sorensen
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God, I’m so hungry. My stomach is burning, my hands are trembling, and my mouth is salivating. I swear, it feels like I haven’t eaten in weeks.
Well, okay, that’s probably because I haven’t eaten in weeks. You know, because I’ve been dead. And now I’m alive again. Sort of, anyway. The living dead. That’s what I am now. Also known as a zombie. A zombie who’s hungry. So damn hungry.
God, a brain sounds so delicious. A really bloody, gooey, big one. I wonder how one attains a big brain. Do I look for a smart person? Or someone with an overly large head?
A bit of drool drips off my chin as I stumble through the Victorian three-story house my sister Evalee rents. Well, I guess she’s technically not my real sister, but I’ve always thought of her as my real one. And I’ve felt terrible for lying to her all this time. But I made a promise to the Mystic Willow Bay Society that I would pretend to be Evalee’s sister until they told me not to, and that I’d never tell her the truth.
There were times when I wanted to tell her so damn badly, but I feared what the society would do to me. I guess I was just being a big scaredy witch, since Hunter was brave enough to spill the beans to Evalee. I wish it would’ve been me who’d been brave, but wishing I’d done something isn’t going to change the past. And it isn’t about to help me with the horrible thing I’m about to do.
“Shit, Evalee, stay behind me.” Hunter jumps to his feet from my bed, throwing his arms out as a shield.
“Hunter, stop,” I demand as I eyeball the zombie Ryleigh lingering in the doorway. Her skin is pale with a bluish, purple tint; her eyes are red and full of brain thirst; and drool drips from her blood red lips. Just because she looks hungry doesn’t mean she’s actually going to try to eat my brains, right? “It’s Ryleigh. She won’t hurt me.”
He gapes at me from over his shoulder. “Eva, I know you want to believe that’s Ryleigh, but that thing over there”—he points a finger at Ryleigh—“is just a zombie who looks like Ryleigh.”
“You’re wrong, and I’m going to prove it.” Standing tall on the bed, I hop off the other side and land on the floor.
Hunter grumbles out a string of curses as he hurriedly winds around the bed toward me. Before he can reach me, though, I make my way toward zombie Ryleigh.
“Ryleigh, it’s me. Evalee. Your sister … Or, well, your fake sister, anyway.” The floor is cold against my bare feet as I cautiously inch toward her. “We’re not going to hurt you.”
“Speak for yourself,” Hunter mutters, moving up behind me. “Because, when she tries to attack us to eat our brains—which she will—I’m not going to let her.”
Zombie Ryleigh’s blood red eyes wander toward Hunter, and her lips part to release a groan. I try to tell myself that the noise is just a groan, nothing more, though it sounds an awful lot like a hungry bear about to get some yummy grub.
Nervousness creeps up inside me, and I take a small step back. Hunter is standing closer than I anticipated, and I end up whacking my back into his chest and stomping on his toe. The impact throws me off balance.
“Sorry,” I sputter, tripping forward.
The hurried movement causes zombie Ryleigh’s eyes to flare. Blood drips from her pupils and trickles down her cheeks.
“What’s happening to her?” I whisper in horror. “Is she dying?”
“No, she can’t die, because she’s already dead.” Hunter envelopes his arms around me. “Her eyes are bleeding because she’s hungry. And guess what her number one food choice is?”
I’m pretty sure it’s a rhetorical question, but I still say, “Brains?”
He sighs heavily. “Yes, brains.”
My hand instinctively shoots toward my head.
Zombie Ryleigh eyeballs the movement, more blood trickling from her eyes. Her lips part, and she cries like a wild Banshee fighting with a werewolf. Then, she lunges for us.
Hunter shoves me aside and immediately starts to shout an immobilizing spell with his wand out, aimed at Ryleigh. But apparently, zombie Ryleigh is actually a witch zombie Ryleigh.
She makes her wand appear out of thin air, crying out a disarming spell.
Hunter’s wand goes soaring through the air as she grins. Or, well, lopsidedly grins since one side of her mouth is a bit droopy from a chunk of flesh hanging off the corner.
I don’t know if the glob of flesh is hers or someone else’s, but my gut twists with nausea.
Did she eat someone already? Or is she decaying? If so, will she completely decay soon? Is that how zombies work? Oh yeah, and the best question of all: how the hell did she become a zombie!
“Run,” Hunter demands, tearing me out of my thoughts. He laces his fingers through mine and makes a mad dash toward the bed, hauling me with him. “We need to get out of here.”
I follow after him, stumbling as he leaps onto the bed and pulls me with him. The mattress bounces beneath my feet and the impact about sends me flat on my ass. Somehow, though, I manage to keep my balance. A tripping curse later, and I nearly fall again as Hunter bounces off the bed and onto the floor, still grasping my hand. Then he rushes toward the window, but I tighten my hold on his hand, stopping him.
“I thought I couldn’t go out of the house,” I say as he glances at me from over his shoulder. “Because the demons will get me.”
He yanks his free hand through his chin-length blond hair, making the strands go askew. “Fuck, I forgot about that.”
“How the hell did you forget about that”—I gape at him—“when that’s all you’ve been telling me over and over again.”
“Sorry, but the zombie got me a little distracted.” He gives me a tolerant look. Then his eyes promptly widen as his gaze strays over my shoulder. “Shit.” He glances left then right before rushing into the closet and dragging me with him.
Once we’re inside and the door is shut, he releases my hand and holds onto the doorknob. Darkness encases us, and I reach above our heads to pull the string.
The light clicks on.
“Why? What’re you going to do?”
“Take care of the problem.”
“You won’t hurt her.” I cross my arms and stare him down defiantly. “I won’t let you.”
“You think you can stop me?” he questions with a glimmer in his eyes. “Because, honestly, I’d love to see you try. I bet it would be really, really interesting having you try to pin me down.”
The heated look he gives me makes me blush. Then the door jostles again, reminding me that now isn’t the time to get all flustered.
“Who said I was going to pin you down?” I quip. “Maybe I’ll just …” That’s about as far as I get before my mind blanks out on me.
Hunter sighs, his eyes softening. “Eva, I know this is hard to deal with, but you have to understand that that’s a zombie out there, not Ryleigh. And the last thing we need to deal with right now is a crazy, brain-hungry zombie—”
Silvery sparks shoot from underneath the door and spritz across our feet.
I hop around like a klutzy wannabe ninja while cursing like a sailor. “Holy evil witch zombies, that burns.”
Hunter stomps on a spark with his sock covered feet. “I take back what I said. The last thing we need is to deal with a crazy, bloodthirsty, zombie who can apparently cast spells.”
I stare down at the lingering sparks of magic on the floor. “I didn’t even realize there was a thing as a zombie witch.”
Worry floods his eyes as his gaze collides with mine. “That’s because there’s never been one before.”
Do you ever get the feeling that the whole world has gone wonky and you’re smack dab in the middle of the wonkiness? Well, if you haven’t, trust me when I say a wonky-filled world can be a very confusing place to live in.
“So, you’re saying there’s no such thing as a zombie witch?” I gesture at the door. “Because if so, then what the hell is that out there?”
“Well, I’m pretty sure that’s a zombie witch.” His lean muscles flex as he grasps the doorknob. “But I think she might be the first of her kind.”
Great. Another first of their kind, like me. Just what we need right now.
“Who created her?” I kick some clothes out of the way to make more room in my tiny closet. “She didn’t just appear out of nowhere. Zombies are created by other zombies biting them. Or by someone putting a zombie virus in them.”
Hunter lifts a shoulder, shrugging. “I have no idea who could’ve done it, especially since they would’ve had to have gotten into the house to either bite Ryleigh or inject her with the virus. And this house is one big, magical charm booby trap.” Concern creases his forehead. “We need to find out who did it and why, in case they’re planning on making more. The last thing Mystic Willow Bay needs is a bunch of magically juiced-up zombies running around town.”
I wonder if he feels the same way about me. Perhaps that’s the real reason why he said that the Mystic Willow Bay Society was finding a safe place for me to hide. Maybe they’re just getting rid of me.
“Stop it,” Hunter warns. “I’m not thinking that.”
“Thinking what?” I ask, wondering if he somehow read my mind.
“That this town doesn’t need you around,” he says. “And don’t try to deny it. I could see the thought written all over your face.
I frown. Mother of all transparent witches, am I that obvious? If so, just how much has Hunter seen through my expression? Did he know I was once in love with him? Does he know I’m confused about my feelings for him now? Does he know I pulled a succubus last night and tried to seduce him in a dream?
“Eva, quit worrying,” Hunter says, his voice softening. “Everything will be okay.”
“Really? Huh.” I give a stressing glance at the door. “Can you promise me that?”
He nods, his gaze welded to mine. “I won’t let anything hurt you.”
“Well, I’ll gladly hold you to that promise.” I fold my arms across my chest. “Starting with you not harming Ryleigh. Because, if you do hurt her, then you’ll hurt me.”
“Eva, I can’t just let her go and eat everyone’s brains in the entire town.”
“Huh. I never thought I’d hear that sentence come out of your mouth …” I trail off as he gives me a we-so-don’t-have-time-for-this look. “Fine, I’ll stop. But I still don’t want you to hurt Ryleigh. There’s got to be another way to handle this situation.”
He heaves a weighted sigh. “Fine, then what do you propose we do? Because all of my ideas require some form of hurt.”
“Well, we could just let her nibble on a few brains that belong to some not-so-nice witches,” I suggest. “Or vampires.”
He shakes his head. “While I can think of a few people who might deserve that sort of punishment, once a zombie gets a taste for brains, they become even more brain-hungry. And stronger. So, eventually the problem will only escalate.”
“Do you think she hasn’t eaten a brain yet?”
“I’m hoping so, since the only other people in the house are Opal and Peyton. And I doubt she went outside, and then came back.”
“She could’ve eaten Peyton’s bat’s brain and Opal’s brownie’s brain.”
“I’m not sure bat and brownie brains are on a zombie’s menu.”
I shrug. “You never know.”
“Yeah, I guess so.” He muses over something. “I guess we could find out. Use one of them as bait. And my vote is for the brownie.”
I swat his arm. “No way. That’s cruel. Besides, you just declined my similar offer to let her feed off evil witches.”
“Brownies and bats aren’t the same as witches,” he says. “Especially perverted brownies that stalk witches unknowingly.”
I roll my eyes. “Is that what this is about? You think because Opal’s brownie has been licking your face and watching you change, she should get her brain eaten? First off, you kind of let it lick and watch you. And second, I don’t think the proper punishment for that is getting its brain eaten.”
“I only let it lick my face and watch me change because I thought brownies didn’t have sexual feelings,” he gripes, frustrated. “If I’d known, I never would’ve let it.”
“Sure you wouldn’t have.” I lean against the wall beside the door with my arms crossed. Something about his words remind me of a conversation I overheard—well, more like eavesdropped on—between Opal and him, right before all zombie brains hit the fan. “Just like you don’t make out and do who knows what—but it probably requires the removal of your shirt—with every pretty witch that bats her pretty, little eyelashes at you.”
Shaking his head, he reaches over, snags my arm, pulls me toward him, and places his hand against the door beside my head, trapping me in place. Somehow, he manages to hold onto the doorknob with his free hand with zombie Ryleigh still trying to bust inside.
The door smacks against my back and repeatedly jostles me forward, making my chest bump into Hunter’s. But he doesn’t move back.
“First of all, how many times have I told you that you’re the only witch I call pretty.” His gaze is intense, but his tone carries a drop of playfulness. “And secondly, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think you sound a little jealous.”
“Yeah, so what?” I retort stupidly. “It kind of sucks that you swap spit with almost everyone.”
“Almost everyone?” he challenges with an arch of his brow. “You’re making me sound like a manwhore.”
“Maybe you are a manwhore,” I quip. “You have done a lot of stuff with a lot of witches.”
“No, I haven’t.” He slants his body closer to mine. “You just think I have.”
“I think you have because I’ve seen you with a ton of different girls. And I really doubt you’ve just been friends with them all,” I remind him, my heart aching.
I tell it shut the evil dancing leprechauns up, that it s
Way to be original, heart.
“You’ve only seen what I wanted you to see.” He leans even closer, his chest aligning with mine.
“So, you’re saying that you haven’t hooked up with a bunch of girls?” I ask with cynicism. “That you’re a virgin or something?”
“I wouldn’t go that far. But I haven’t hooked up nearly as many times as you think I have.”
A week ago, I wouldn’t have doubted him because, a week ago, I didn’t think Hunter would ever lie to me. But this dressed in black jeans, a matching shirt, and leather studded bracelets Hunter standing in front of me just might be a big, stinking liar.
Okay, okay, he really doesn’t stink. In fact, he smells very nice, like cologne and soap. But he still could be a liar!
“You think I’m lying to you?” he questions, his eyes flashing with hurt. Then, as quickly as the hurt appeared, his expression turns neutral.
I shrug as the door bangs against the back of my head. “I don’t know … I don’t really know you. And you’ve lied a lot, so who’s to say you’re not lying now?”
He shakes his head, his lips twitching in irritation, which only makes me more agitated.
“I’m not lying,” he says in a low voice. “And I’ll prove it.”
I roll my eyes. “You can’t possibly—”
He seals his lips to mine, kissing the words right from my mouth.
I suck in a huge breath through my nose and press back against the door, trying to break our mouths apart.
He doesn’t really want to kiss me. I’m a succubus! I’m seducing him right now!
One Wild, Crazy, Zombie Night by Jessica Sorensen / Fantasy / Young Adult have rating 3.6 out of 5 / Based on25 votes