Mad World Book One
Genre: YA Paranormal Dystopian
Number of pages: 160
Word Count: 44,700
The Black Plague is ancient history. It killed 100 million people nearly seven centuries ago, halfway around the world from the technologically advanced research center at Stanford University. Scientists there have recently begun examining samples of bone marrow from plague-infected corpses unearthed in Europe. All the necessary safeguards are in place. What could go wrong?
Alyssa and Jake are away with their class on a highly anticipated year-end trip to Broadway with their senior acting class when all hell breaks loose at home. Traveling back, and trying to find their families, they encounter deadly results. Riots are breaking out. People are being evacuated. And they have no idea what's happening to their families.
Horrific ordeals, heart-pounding tragedy, and chance encounters harden them for what lies ahead. Faced with tormenting decisions, they're forced to follow their instinct for survival at any cost - even when the cost is a heart-wrenching decision of life or death.
A harrowing adventure of frightening discoveries, horrifying confrontations and narrow escapes in Epidemic, the first installment of the Mad World series.
Find out what's got everyone so terrified.
The seven of us made a scraggly group as we walked across the parking lot and through the double doors of the hospital. The inside of the hospital seemed deserted. I led us down the corridor calling out, “hello’s” every dozen feet or so. Finally, a haggard-looking nurse peeked out at us from behind a mostly closed door.
“Are they gone?” she asked, looking up and down the corridor. At this, I began to feel a prickly sensation as the hairs on the back of my neck rose.
“What do you mean?” I asked. “We just drove down from Fresno. We have an injured little girl with us. What’s been going on here?”
“Alyssa, I don’t think we should be here, it doesn’t feel safe,” Jacob said. “I’d like to at least go get the shotgun,” he looked around as he spoke.
Before I could respond, my thoughts were jolted by the sound of screaming. It was coming from the end of the corridor, where we had come in. Whipping around to look, we saw another nurse running. Behind her were three people. They were running after her, but staggering as they ran. One was a man in a business suit with what looked like half his face covered in blood. One was a woman in a torn blouse who was dragging her left leg, which was also bloody. The third I couldn’t make out clearly until I looked again. Then I gasped in horror. The man’s scalp was torn half off, and it hung down over the side of his face and flapped as he ran after the nurse. They all had the same dark grey skin color as the others had had, and they were coming toward us. Fast. The nurse they were chasing screamed as the man in the business suit caught up to her and grabbed at her. She fell heavily to the ground and skidded a few yards, then scrambled to her feet as the zombies reached for her. She was fast and although they grabbed for her, and got hold of her sweater, she ran on and peeled the sweater off as she ran. It came off of her and the zombies tore it apart with their teeth, but that gave the nurse the seconds she need to sprint away.
The nurse who had opened the door to talk to us cried out, “Stacy!” and screamed, “Run! They’re coming again!” as the three crazed zombies took up the chase once more. As the nurse called Stacy ran toward us, the other nurse who had called out to her gasped and disappeared behind the door again. We heard a growl very close to us, and as we watched as a zombie with yellow pus running down her face grabbed the nurse from behind. She had been in the room with her all along. This all happened in less than a minute.
Jacob grabbed my arm and yelled, “Come on, guys!” then began to run down the length of the other corridor. DeAndre scooped up Risa, and we all ran together away from the chaos behind us. The corridor swerved to the right, and we soon came upon a bank of elevators. There was another corridor off to the left that looked deserted.
“Which way?” I cried. As if in answer, we heard a growl coming from the left corridor and what sounded like someone slapping against a wall. Not waiting to see what had made that noise, I pulled us all into the alcove and punched the elevator buttons repeatedly. Nothing happened. Elevators always took so long. My heart raced, and adrenaline flooded my system. The nurse running from the three crazed zombies had nearly reached us, but the creature that had once been a businessman was right behind her. As she ran up to us, he grabbed her hair from behind and yanked her off her feet. Screaming, she flipped backward just as the elevator doors opened. We piled inside as she screamed, the man clawing at her face. Blood was everywhere. Making sure we were all inside, I frantically punched the floor buttons, but it seemed to take an eternity for the doors to close.
Meanwhile, the zombie had lowered his face to the nurse called Stacy and began to bite her. The other two zombies ran up right then; one fell beside the man and started biting the nurse’s arm. She screamed again and struggled all the more frantically. The businessman jumped on top of her knees first and held her down, and her screams began to sound liquidy. The third zombie ran up and tried to grab one of her flailing legs, but she kicked him. Dazed, he looked up at us just as the doors to the elevator began to close. He seemed to sense prey – to sense us – and lunged at the doors. His arm came through as the elevator doors finished closing, but the sensor detected an obstacle, and they began to open again. Risa screamed, and Jacob kicked at the intruder. My breath caught in my throat. DeAndre landed a kick at the zombie’s midsection which threw him off balance. He fell backward, landing across the threshold. Jacob grabbed his legs and flung them out as I pressed the floor button again. Suddenly the zombie, flailing on his back as he tried to right himself, let out a scream so piercing it seemed almost supersonic. I gasped. I had never heard such a sound issue forth from a human being before. The doors began to close again just as the thing rolled over and got to its feet. As he turned toward us again, the doors closed on the sight of him reaching out in our direction, grasping and flailing at the air. But this time, he was an inch too far away, and the doors closed before he managed to reach us. As we began to ascend, we heard him screaming in frustration and pounding on the metal doors that had just closed.
Breathing hard, we checked each other for wounds.
“My God!” cried Holly, clutching her round belly, “Oh my God!!”
About the Author:
Samaire Provost lives in California with her husband and son.
Her love of paranormal stories, odd plots, and unique tales as well as the works of Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Susan Cooper, Madeleine L'Engle and Stephen King has deeply influenced her writing.
Mad World : EPIDEMIC her first novel. The second in the series is entitled "Mad World: SANCTUARY"