Below is a sample chapter taken from Among the Dead Part 3: Dwell in Unity. I cannot say how far into the novel it takes place as it may spoil elements of the first or second novel.

The Airplane

 

 

“Uh, he doesn’t look so good,” Samantha, the air steward said to her friend and colleague, Lee. Lee looked from behind the curtain at the passenger she was referring too, and couldn’t help but gasp. Samantha was right, he didn’t look good. He didn’t even look alive.

The flight had taken off from Ireland in such a hurry, they didn’t even have time to make sure everyone was sat down properly. Of course, the plane wasn’t even meant to be taking off to begin with. After the infection had spread, no one was meant to be flying within the United Kingdom. Naturally, when there were signs of infection in Ireland, people wanted out. That wasn’t permitted though, so the flights were done in secret – in ‘secret’ meant paying off the right people. Despite a crisis, most people could be bought off.

 

A few of the richer folk and families of the flight crew had boarded the plane without permission and right under the noses of the military who were meant to be guarding the airport. The only reason they were allowed to take off was that the military had to deal with the undead who had been drawn in by the sound of the engine starting up. One of the soldiers even smiled as the plane got lift-off and wished them luck on their escape.

Due to the fact that everything had been done very off the books, no one had even checked who was getting on the plane. As far as everyone was concerned, the money had gone into the right hands and that was that. Samantha only got a place on the plane because she had been blowing Steve the pilot. Lee only got a place on the plane for the same reason. Naturally, Mrs ‘Steve the pilot’ didn’t know about either of these indiscretions. Steve the pilot had the fate of two-hundred people in his hands, three of which were his lovers. Steve had contacted the right people to allow this to happen – namely bribing people with the money he had been paid. He didn’t care about anyone on the plane, even his ‘lovers’ were low on his priority list. What he did care about was saving himself. He only had one useable talent, and that was flying a plane. So, he worked out some numbers with the influential people who would give him access to a plane. He didn’t have the money to pay for it. However, he knew extremely wealthy people who would pay to get out of Ireland. They had paid for his escape, and he had given them theirs. It was a great deal. He planned to continue all the way to France, or somewhere far away. He would force his way into one of the countries and land. Screw quarantine. Screw regulations. He was scared. Of course he was scared of the consequences, but he was more scared of the walking corpses back in Ireland. It was the lesser of two evils for him and, apparently, the two-hundred people with him felt the same.

 

“What are we gonna do?” Lee whispered to Samantha, both still staring at the passenger.

“We should tell Steve,” she answered, her voice breaking ever so slightly.

“I’ll tell him!” Lee replied, a little too enthusiastically, and thought to himself, “And I’ll have a mouthful of the captain while I’m in there.”

Samantha didn’t think anything of it as Lee left and started knocking on the door of the cockpit. Samantha had always thought of herself as proactive and decided that, while Lee was busy with the captain, she would go and see the passenger.

 

She approached him cautiously, terrified of the grey form that sat there. If it wasn’t for the colour, she would have assumed the man was sleeping. She approached the elderly woman next to him first.

“Do you know this gentleman?” Samantha asked the elderly woman next to him in a calming voice, which only years of being an air steward had helped her master.

“Not at all!” the old woman croaked in the best Queen’s English that she could muster. “He came on alone.”

“Ah, thank you,” Samantha said with a sweet smile. While talking to the woman, she had taken the time to touch the overweight and grey gentlemen. He was icy cold. No pulse either. He was, without a doubt, dead. He was belted in, so that would keep him in place at least. There weren’t any visible wounds either – no bite marks to be specific. Wasn’t that what the movies and the news said to look out for? He shouldn’t turn if that was the case, right?

 

“So, what did you actually need?” Steve asked Lee as he pulled up his trouser zipper. “I’m sure it wasn’t just to help me relax.”

Lee couldn’t help but smile at that, but he replied with, “Samantha thinks there’s something up with one of the passengers. He did look … dead. I don’t think he’s been bit though.”

Steve chewed his lip and mulled this over. The news did say to look out for bites, because that spread infection, but he had also known people who hadn’t been bitten for definite come back too. Steve knew they had to be extra cautious.

“I want you to use the flex-cuffs on his arms and legs,” Steve replied carefully. “If anyone asks why just … just tell them that he had acted aggressively towards you or Samantha before passing out drunk. Just something believable.”

Lee nodded and took some of the flex-cuffs. Although there’d been questions about the legality of their use, flex-cuffs had saved so much trouble for people on planes. They were basically plastic handcuffs in the style of zip ties. They were used to restrain unruly passengers – perfect for their current situation.

 

The plane hit some turbulence, which Samantha attributed as the reason for the dead passengers head rolling towards the elderly woman and resting on her shoulder.

“He’s out for the count,” the woman giggled. She touched his head and said, “He needs a blanket. He’s very cold.”

Samantha reached out, almost instinctually, to pull the woman’s hand away from him – she was scared enough for everyone. Then the plane hit some more turbulence and, with the jolt, the man opened his eyes. They were glassy. They were dead.

“Oh dear, I’m sorry,” the woman said with embarrassment, thinking she had been caught touching him. He leaned forward, mouth agape, and bit her hand.

 

The woman screamed, and the undead man snarled. With one tug, he tore her fingers off and chewed them slowly, staring at all the people around him. He was looking for his next meal. Samantha screamed and backed away. Lee, just witnessing the assault and filled with adrenaline, ran forward with the flex-cuffs. He was going to be a hero, he would suppress and cuff him and – but it was too late. The man had grabbed Lee by the neck and pulled him in, tearing out his throat with his teeth. Lee bled out and died in seconds. The old woman also died – old age and shock did not mix well. There were a few moments of silence before all hell broke loose.

The other passengers began screaming and getting out of their seats. They scrambled over each other, trying to get to the back of the plane. They knew it was the infection, and it was on the plane! A child was crushed and killed in the stampede. That was three dead, and one zombie. Before long, it was four zombies. The dead had risen and were now making their way to the other passengers. The zombie which used to be Lee had turned and saw Samantha. He walked to her slowly and mechanically. She backed away as quickly as she could, never taking her eyes off of him, and started hammering on the cockpit door.

“Steve, let me in!” she screamed, looking between the door and Lee.

“Oh, jog on,” Steve shouted through the door. He heard the screams and, with the information Lee had given him … it didn’t take a genius to work out what had happened. Samantha was screaming through the door and Steve couldn’t stand it.

 

It didn’t take long before Lee was on Samantha and clawing her eyes out. She was still alive whilst they rend the flesh from her and was devoured by her former friend. The undead Lee almost began to make its way to the passengers cowering at the back, until he heard a voice on the other side of the wall.

Steve shouted again, “I said jog on!”

That was all the encouragement the zombie needed and began pounding on the door. It drew the attention of other zombies, who turned back and began to help in the assault on the cockpit. Steve couldn’t concentrate, and the sudden displacement of so many passengers caused the plane to shift slightly and begin a descent. Normally, simple adjustments could fix this, but Steve couldn’t even begin to think about how to address the situation. They were falling fast.

 

The door to the cockpit was designed to withstand angry people, not hordes of relentless undead. It collapsed eventually and the undead got in. Steve forgot he was the pilot as he stared in abject horror at his approaching doom. Samantha was leading the small band of undead. He held out his hand to keep her away, which she touched tenderly before sinking her teeth into him and tearing away the flesh. Steve opened his mouth to scream as the group of zombies fell forward onto him, but no sound came out.

If you enjoyed that and would like to see more of it, try the full novel!

T