Z-Children have swarmed the country faster than anyone could have predicted. What were once quaint family towns are now zombie-infested hellholes. The country is on its knees.
Groups of survivors will divide and face separate horrors. Those with little hope will finally reconnect with loved ones, just to be ripped apart once again. And new characters with tragic stories and the hunger to survive will enter the picture.
In Z Children: The Rising, the red war continues to rage between Z-Children and the rest of mankind.
Title: Z Children: The Rising
Author: Eli Constant
I had done it again--listened to a noob and we'd ended up stuck.
The doctor had convinced me that the safest way out of the hospital was through the construction area. Sure, it was safe with not a Z kid in sight, but safety had ended at the cafeteria. And that was about as safe as razor blades in a birthday piñata. I should have asked more questions before taking Chris's word.
The fucking cafeteria was crawling with the monsters—short and tall.
Z adults were ambling about. One was knocking its head into the wall repeatedly as if trying to lodge something from memory. Maybe its living name or maybe some image that wouldn’t die along with its humanity. There was a cluster of Z kids on the serving counter. Two were straddling a tall woman—not a woman, a Z adult now—with rich brown skin and curly hair that was coated in a layer of, what looked like, whipped cream.
The monster kids were everywhere really, outnumbering the adults by a mile. They’d gathered here, apparently, for the junk food. Surprise, surprise. Kids will be kids, even when they're certifiably undead—like those creepy ass triplets outside the ice cream shop when I’d first seen Virginia. Just perched on the trunk of that car, enjoying scoops of quickly-melting chocolate in the sunshine.
Watching the Zs in the cafeteria—munching on candy bars, ding-dongs and moon pies—would have almost been comical except for the fact that these junk-food-loving monsters also craved human flesh and blood.
A mere two yards from the door that was protecting us from the chaos within the cafeteria, was a Z boy who was studying something on the floor intently. Following his (no, its…I had to keep reminding myself that they weren’t boys or girls or kids. They were ‘its’. Monsters. Creatures. Zombies. Undead.) gaze toward the pale industrial tile, I saw something miniscule and black rushing across the smooth surface. A bug of some type.
The Z kid followed the insect, eventually falling to all fours and moving like the animal it was. The bug’s trajectory took it further away from our position. I wondered how long the monster would chase the insect, how long it would be distracted.
I didn’t have to wonder for long.
Seconds later the Z pounced, slamming his fingers around the tiny bug’s body and screeching in triumph. Bringing his domed hands to his eyes, he peered into a small gap between his digits to admire his prize.
Then, in a lightning-fast motion, he slammed his hands against his mouth. When he brought them down again, they were no longer shaped into a small cage. And the insect was gone.
Now, I’d eaten worse—in the field, when wildlife gets into your food, you suck it up and swallow it down (roaches in brazil come to mind)—but watching the boy play hunter and eat his catch made bile rise inside my mouth. It was just a bug, just a damn bug, but I wanted to shoot the Z over it.
Maybe it was because watching the monster chase the bug was too lifelike. It was something I’d seen children do—so fascinated by ants on the sidewalk. I didn’t like it. If these Z kids were dead creatures, horrible and blood-thirsty, then they should not be allowed innocent actions and awareness.
It was just fucking wrong.
About the Eli Constant
Now, nearly four years later, she's never regretted the decision; not only are her kids the most amazing creatures, but writing fulfills her soul in a way science never did.
Her style is eclectic and she frequently produces true mash-ups of style and genre. Her characters are real—light and dark and everything in between—and her storylines, although sometimes convoluted, often hide deeper core meaning that makes her readers truly think.
Eli is the author of Dead Trees, Dead Trees 2, Mastic, The Water is Sweeter, Sleeping in the Forest of Shadows, DRAG.N & Z Children: Awakening. She is a contributing author to Let’s Scare Cancer to Death, State of Horror: New Jersey, State of Horror: Illinois, & Fading Hope. Her books are available in eBook, paperback, & audio formats.
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About B.V. Barr
for include people from various military branches, government agencies, and civilians from all different backgrounds. Members of the Rangers, Green Berets, Pararescue, Combat Control, Navy SEALs, Air Force Crew Members and MARSOC are just some who Ben has taught. Outside the military he has taught people from the DEA, Local Law Enforcement, Department of Natural Resources, the FBI and other Federal Agencies. Equally adept at teaching civilian groups, Ben has instructed various lessons and developed programs for groups such as the Girls Scouts of America, South Carolina public schools, Covenant Heights and others.
Unlike many Instructors in the “survival training” world, Ben brings to the table both experience from training as well as experience from some of the toughest streets and locations in the world. Ben has won Instructor of the Year three times, nominated for twelve outstanding Airman awards, awarded numerous decorations and developed some of the most complex and sophisticated training courses in the world. Based on this, Ben has created courses in Travel Safety, Hostage Survival, Field Survival and now exclusive to the Universal Survival Innovations World, “Street Smarts” and “Get of the X”, both of which have their bases in real training for highly specialized people.
Ben isn’t just another instructor. In many cases he wrote the book.
Z Children: Awakening was his first foray into fictional publishing.