Afternoon! I haven't had time to post an interview this week, so here's a preview of my new short story, Day of the Living Pizza. It was written for The Gage Project book in aid of children's charities. This is free on Smashwords and $1.24 on Amazon.com, where all proceeds are going to charity.
Day of the Living Pizza: a zombie story to get your teeth into!
“Can I have a large, deep-pan pizza with chicken, bacon, peppers, mushroom and olives... well just a few olives?”
“Sure,” replied the pizza delivery guy. “Hold on... we’re out of chicken. Do you want a different topping instead?”
“Ahhh,” sighed Andy. Chicken was his favourite. He always had chicken. Should he ring his old, usual pizza company? But then he’d heard that this new place served the best pizza in Crazy Name Town, and he was really hungry. He smiled to himself. He’d take a chance. “Ok, can I have pepperoni instead and no bacon. I don’t think they go together.”
“Sure. Sorry about that. Your pizza will arrive in about 45 minutes. Thanks for your order. Bye.”
The line went dead. “Bye,” mumbled Andy, and put his mobile phone into his pocket. Now it was time to dig out a good DVD to watch. But, first things first. With a grin, he opened the fridge and took out a beer. Leaning against the door, he clicked open the can and took a sip. Ahhh. Some things were better than chicken. Well, some things. Not many, but some. Now, to find that perfect DVD, he thought.
“I’m on a highway to hell,” sang AC/DC from the speakers as Andy headed into the lounge. Perfect accompaniment, he thought, smiling.
“So what’s the problem, Mr F-F-Farter?” asked Doctor Boring, peering up from under his glasses. They always slid down his nose slightly when he looked down. He pushed them up with his finger.
Andy sighed. He wished people would only use his first name. Whenever he heard his surname, he grimaced. If only he’d changed it when he reached 18, but then you had to keep the family name going, and the doctor’s name was pretty silly too.
“I’m not sure,” said Andy, sitting down opposite the doctor. “I’ve been feeling a bit weird. Since yesterday, Sunday, I’ve had blinding headaches and I feel really hot all of the time. I can’t eat. Food makes me feel sick. And then there’s this really weird rash...”
“I’ll take your t-temperature f-first,” said the doctor, sticking a thermometer into Andy’s mouth. He tapped his pencil against his desk as he waited. “Yes, mmm, that’s very high. I think you should be resting. It’s probably flu.”
“And the rash?”
“Yes, yes, let me see...”
Andy took off his jacket and pulled up his T-shirt.
The doctor peered closer. A bright red rash spread across the whole width of Andy’s stomach, from the waistband of his jeans up to his neck. “That’s a big rash. Does it hurt or itch?”
“It doesn’t hurt or itch really, but it feels really hot. My head feels hot too. It’s also on my back and my arms.”
“It could be excema or it could be an allergic reaction to something,” said the doctor. “I’ll prescribe you a histamine – that’s basically hayfever tablets – to take the reaction down. If it doesn’t improve in a few days just come back. I don’t think it’s anything to worry about. Perhaps you ate something unusual .”
“But why do I feel so hot, and have headaches...” asked Andy. It must be something. He felt so weird.
“I think you may have flu as well. There’s a bug going round at the moment. Quite a few people have been here today with the same symptoms. Go home and rest.”
“Ok,” said Andy, pulling down his jumper and putting on his jacket.
The doctor handed him a prescription and Andy left. Flu? He wasn’t so sure. Still, he headed home, collecting the histamine from the chemist on the way. At home, he grabbed his duvet and pillow from the bedroom and made the settee his new bed, so that he could watch TV. He had a funny feeling he wouldn’t be going to work the next day. He really didn’t feel good.
The next day, Andy woke feeling like seven shades of drippy pooh. It took him all of his power to raise himself from the settee. His head pounded. The light from the window made him squint. Sitting up, he brushed his hair back from his face. Ah. He didn’t feel good. The TV was showing trailers. He must have fallen asleep while watching something. Oh well, he definitely must need sleep then. He rubbed his eyes and stumbled towards the bathroom. Ah, the first wee of the day was the best, he thought. He started to whistle but stopped. His throat felt dry and tight. He flushed the chain and washed his hands. Opening the bathroom cupboard he glanced around for his headache tablets. What? What was that? He’d seen something red behind him, looking in the mirror...
He closed the door of the cupboard and looked at the mirror again. Andy jumped. The face that stared back at him was bright red. The horrendous rash had spread to his face. He pushed back his hair. It was even along his scalp. Yuk. He looked disgusting. And he felt really hot. His eyes seemed smaller and squinted back at him. His lips were dry and cracked. His nose was bright red. It reminded him of a big tomato.
Thanks for reading! :)