The Three Zomb-Egos by Rebecca Besser

THE THREE ZOMB-EGOS

By Rebecca Besser

            It was an overcast afternoon when Shawn, Nathan, Cal, and Tim met at the local bar in a small town in Virginia. They’d become friends online and planned the get together so they could discuss their most common interest – zombies.

            The establishment was nothing short of pathetic on the outside, which almost made the men decide to traverse elsewhere, but Cal joked that it looked like his apocalyptic dream house, so they decided to stay.

            Inside the alcohol peddling abode, the men found a plethora of zombie and science fiction collectables, proudly displayed in lighted chrome and glass cases.

            “This place is sweet!” Shawn exclaimed, and the others agreed.

            They seated themselves at a round table toward the back of the empty deserted room, and took in the sight of the place for a couple of minutes.

            “Oh,” Tim said, jumping up and dashing over to the bar that ran almost the full length of the right side of the room, “light sabers!” He picked up one of the toy collectables and swung it to make the plastic cylinders extend from the base, just as he pushed the button on the hilt to make it light up; an electronic hum rent the air as he swung it.

            All the men’s faces lit up and they joined their friend at the bar to play with the sabers.

            “Could you imagine having a real one of these babies when the Z-poc happens?” Nathan asked with glee painted across his face, making him look like a kid.

            “That would be kick ass!” Cal said, but was disappointed when he noticed there were only two sabers.

            Shawn, having also arrived at the bar too late to have a saber of his own, frowned.

            “Let’s just see how well those things do against zombies…” he said, and moaned, lunging toward Tim like a zombie from hell.

            Tim, Cal, and Nathan laughed, and Tim swung his saber playfully at Shawn.

            Shawn didn’t give up his attack easily, though, and soon had Tim pinned against the bar, snarling like a raging hungry beast intent on having Tim for lunch.

            Cal, amused by Shawn’s actions, did the same to Nathan, and in seconds they were on the floor, rolling around.

            At that very moment, the proprietor of the establishment came in through the back door, heard the noise out by the bar, and called the police. He’d been outside, taking bags of trash to the dumpster, and when he’d returned, he found lunatics in his bar!

            The police told him to stay hidden, so he went into his office and locked the door behind him.

            The noise continued for a while, and was abruptly ended when something glass shattered.

            “Oh, shit!” Shawn exclaimed, noticing that they’d knocked a glass off the bar with their playful tussling; he looked around, but didn’t see anyone. “Hello?” he called, hoping someone would answer him.

            Cal and Nathan stopped wrestling and looked up, and around, to see what had broken and what Shawn was yelling about.

            “You’re probably going to have to pay for that,” Cal said, motioning to the broken glass on the floor.

            “I know…” Shawn said, still searching for someone who worked there, so he could do the right thing and offer to pay for the damage. “Where the hell is everyone?”

            Tim laughed. “Z-poc!” He started moaning, limping, and shuffling in circles.

            Shawn shook his head, and still trying to find someone, spotted a broom and dust pan behind the bar. He didn’t want to go back there, in case someone did finally appear – they might have a gun and think he was robbing the place – so he picked up the light saber Tim had put down and grabbed the other one out of Nathan’s hand.

            Nathan protested with a whine of, “Hey!” but Shawn ignored him.

            Cal nudged Nathan to distract him from losing his toy and started moaning and pawing at Nathan like he was a zombie; Nathan shoved him away, and did the same.

            Shawn, meanwhile, was using the sabers – one in each hand – to try to pinch the broom and dust pan together so he could pick them up and lift them over the counter; he kept getting frustrated because the cylinders kept folding down when he tilted the sabers at a certain angle.

            Tim, Cal, and Nathan got bored with aimlessly shuffling around the room and trying to bite each other, so they converged on Shawn in a horde of chomping teeth and (what they hoped sounded like) deadly moan.

            They were all around Shawn, clawing him with wild eyes – while he tried to shove them off, focused on his broom retrieval task – when the police came charging in with their guns drawn.

            “Freeze!” they yelled. “Put your hands up where we can see them!”

            All four men froze and spun to face the officers; Shawn accidently slapped Nathan and Tim in the head with the light sabers as he lifted his arms.

            “Sorry,” he muttered.

            “No talking!” one of the officer’s yelled – the tall, bald, skinny one. “Drop your weapons!”

            Shawn opened his hands and let go of the plastic toys, and as they fell, one hit Cal in the head, and the other bounced off the top of the bar and into a row of liquor bottles, knocking them to the floor. They all shattered with a tickling of glass and a splash of liquid.

            “Smooth move,” the other officer said – the short, slightly chubby one. “ All of you – turn slowly and put your hands on the bar.”

            “What’s going on?” Cal whispered to his friends.

            “I don’t know!” Shawn whispered harshly. “Shut up.”

            “Hey!” the tall officer said. “No talking!”

            The room went silent as the four men were patted down by the two officers.

            “Stand up, put your hands behind your heads, and turn around,” the short, chubby officer commended; the four did as they were told.

            “Where are you from, and what are you doing here?” the tall, bald officer asked.

            No one spoke for a moment, and then Nathan – who had experience with law enforcement – spoke up.

            “We’re friends who met online,” he said confidently. “We’re all writers, and we decided to meet for a drink, since we lived close together.”

            “Oh, really?” the tall officer asked, glancing at his partner. “Can we see some ID please?”

            Shawn produced his, and so did Tim.

            Cal and Nathan searched their pockets only to realize they’d left their wallets in their cars.

            The officers, getting aggravated, decided they would have to go and get them.

            “We’re going to take a small field trip outside together,” the short officer said. “I don’t want any fun business from any of you, understand?”

            The four men nodded and proceeded as they were instructed outside.

            Nathan and Cal were allowed into their cars to retrieve their wallets.

            The officers then had them walk to the rear of their vehicles and stand with their hands behind their heads while their IDs were examined.

            The chubby officer glanced up and noticed the license plate on the back of Shawn’s car. He did a double take and then looked at Cal’s…and Nathan’s. He couldn’t help but laugh.

            “What the hell?” he asked. “Are you zombie worshippers or something?”

            The four men frowned in confusion and shrugged.

            “We all write about zombies,” Nathan said, trying to understand the man’s meaning. “Why? Did you recognize one of our names? Have you read our books?”

            All four of the men’s eyes lit up as they looked hopefully at the officers, expecting at least one of them to be a fan of their work.

            “No,” the short, chubby officer said, and motioned to the license plates. “I was referring to those.” He glanced at Tim’s car. “Who doesn’t have one? Does he still need to be ‘initiated’ into the group or something?”

            Tim looked down at the ground and clenched his jaw; he didn’t want to admit he didn’t have a zombie license plate like his friends. He wanted one, but just hadn’t gotten one yet.

            Shawn stared off into the distance.

            Cal looked down at the ground and kicked at a small pebble that was lying in front of his foot.
Nathan shifted his weight from one foot to the other with nervous energy.

            “Not going to tell me, huh?” the chubby officer asked. “Fine, I have my own way of finding out. I’ll run the non-zombie plate.”

            He walked over to the police cruiser and opened the door. He slid into the driver’s seat and typed on the cars computer, pulling up the license plate that didn’t have anything to do with zombies.

            He climbed back out of the car and sauntered back over with a triumphant look on his face.

            “So, Tim,” he said, “are you just not zombie enough to have a zombie themed license plate? Or won’t your wife let you?”

            Shawn, Cal, and Nathan burst out laughing.

            “Shut up, you fucking wacktards!” Tim snarled.

            “He’s just jealous we’re better zombie men than him,” Cal joked.

            “His wife did say he moans like the dead…” Nathan said with a snicker.

            “He’s been known to prance around town screaming, ‘I’m a rainbow vampire! I’m a rainbow vampire!’” Shawn said, and doubled over laughing.

            “You’re all bastards,” Tim said, and sighed; he noticed the officers were laughing too.

            “Calm down, my friend,” Nathan said, trying to catch his breath.

            “Look at it from a zombie perspective…” Cal said, “…at least when the Z-poc happens, they won’t know you’re out to get them.”

            The officers were shaking their heads at the men and their antics.

            “Okay,” the tall, bald officer said, “let’s get back to business. What was going on in the bar?”

            The four men told them about finding the light sabers, pretending to be zombies, and the broken glass.

            “Well,” the chubby officer said, “as long as you pay for the damages, and promise to leave, we won’t take you in.”

            “Thank you,” Shawn said, even though he now had to pay for multiple bottles of liquor because the cops made him drop the light saber and knock them over.

            The officers escorted Shawn back inside the bar and let the owner know what had happened. He paid for the glass and the alcohol, and then made his way back outside where his friends were waiting.

            “I guess we survived that,” Shawn said.

            “Well, we are all survivors!” Nathan said, grinned, and winked.

            The four men said goodbye and headed their separate ways, knowing that their story would someday be told online…

 

 

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©Rebecca Besser. All rights reserved.

Newly Released – Fading Hope: Humanity Unbound

Now Available on Amazon!

Fading Hope: Humanity Unbound

Containing my story, “When Plans Fail!”

Fading Hope: Humanity Unbound - When Plans Fail by Rebecca Besser

It’s the end of the world and we are not feeling fine.

What happens when you ask seven of the most notorious writers in apocalyptic fiction to craft stories where a happily ever after doesn’t exist?

You get Fading Hope.

Bleak landscapes, fading faith, the loss of humanity and the struggle to simply make it to the end of the day, are just some of the elements that come together within this boundary-pushing anthology.

Dive into a world of hopelessness as rendered by award-winning authors like: Rebecca Besser, Eli Constant, Morgan Garcia, Thea Gregory, Claire C. Riley, Armand Rosamila, and Jack Wallen

A short excerpt from, “When Plans Fail,” by Rebecca Besser:

Her hand instantly rose to her mouth as a gasp escaped her lips. She’d found the nursery…and wished she hadn’t.

            Everything was coated with dark dried blood, and little bones lay everywhere with thin, dried scraps of meat still clinging to them. There were enough of them to be all three of the babies who had once slept in the room.

            Rachel gagged and tried to blink away the tears that sprang to her eyes. She backed toward the door with her eyes darting about in panic and horror; they fell on a shelf in the far corner with five large cans of powdered baby formula. She paused. She needed it. Troy needed it.

            She schooled her emotions the very best she could and willed herself to step over the haunts of carnage and move toward what she’d come for. With shaking hands, she lifted and inserted the cans into the empty bag she carried.

            There was a slight creak behind her, which she assumed was the door in the breeze from the hallway, so she paid it no mind. Once she turned, she realized the mistake she’d made in her complacency and grief.

            In the doorway, swaying slightly from side to side were the forms of the slain triplets’ parents. Rachel only knew it was them by the ripped and stained clothing that hung from their forms; it was familiar. They faces were decayed to the point of being unrecognizable.

            “Oh, God,” Rachel breathed, struggling around the bag’s shoulder strap to reach the pistol she had strapped to her side.

            Upon her utterance, they growled and darted toward her with their arms outstretched.

            Rachel dropped the bag of formula, raised the pistol, and discharged a round into the head of the male zombie.

 

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©Rebecca Besser & Jack Wallen, 2014. All rights reserved.

Honesty – People Can’t Handle It

The other day we were visiting some family friends. While we were sitting and talking, one of the women (in her 90s) brought up how she didn’t think sex had a place in books. She told me she wrote to an author and complained about the way she put sex scenes in her stories. Her main argument was: What if children read it?

My response: Adult books aren’t written for children. They’re written for adults. If children are reading them, their parents are at fault for not paying enough attention to what their children are getting their hands on and reading.

I also made if very clear that people who write ADULT books don’t have children in mind when they’re writing them, because the books are for adults.

Later, I was informed that the woman thought I was “opinionated.”

This didn’t offend me in the least. I know I am. I’m proud that I know myself well enough to stand up against something I don’t like or believe in just because it might upset someone else. I can’t live with the what-ifs of others and be true to myself.

People have to be responsible for themselves. This goes along with people getting offended, and the thinking that the author is ultimately responsible for who gets their hands on their books, regardless of the genre or age group.

I can’t be responsible for a child getting a hold of one of my stories or books that isn’t written for their age group. That child and their parents are responsible for regulating their intake of literature. That’s the truth. Take it or leave it.

Stop blaming everything on the authors. If you don’t like what they write, find an author you like better. God knows there are plenty of authors out there and they could use real fans.

Authors don’t sit and think about how everything in there work will offend people, or make them like their work better. We sit down and we tell a story. Maybe it’s a happy story. Maybe it’s an ugly story. Maybe the characters are messed up. Maybe everyone in the story is completely sane. Who knows! At the end of the day (unless it’s nonfiction) it’s all made up and not real anyway; it’s just a story for entertainment. If the stories authors write happen to push your comfort zone and make you think beyond you’re own experience, so be it! But don’t blame the authors for what you like or don’t like. We didn’t write the story to personally piss you off.

Read and be enlighten, and stop pointing fingers at authors who have no control over each reader’s likes and dislikes. Because, if you continue to do so, you might just run into a writer like me who will straight up tell you you’re wrong.

 

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©Rebecca Besser, 2013. All rights reserved.

Lashing out VS Encouragement

People are human – an obvious fact. They tend to work more on emotions than on logic; it’s the nature of the beast, so to speak. This in turn leads to hurt feeling and tantrums. They come in a vast array of intensity and causes. But, two of the most prominent “lashing out” emotions are jealousy and anger. This is true for various aspects of life; I’m going to talk about the toll taken on creative people.

On social media there are rants posted every day by people who have had their feelings hurt, or are jealous as hell of anyone who has more talent, has more success, or is smarter, etc. All this does is make the person ranting look less credible and more like a petulant child than the intelligent voice of reason they seem to think they’re being. Ranting doesn’t get you anywhere. If you want to make your point, do it in a concise, informed, calm way. You can’t make others listen to your voice, especially when you’re yelling. That pushes people away and makes them close their minds.

I saw a link and comments posted in a group I’m in on Facebook today about someone discrediting and complaining about Indie Authors. I read the discussion on the posted link, but didn’t go to the blog and read it. Because, I feel, that’s exactly what the writer of the blog (who was an anonymous blogger) wants people to do. They want a witness for their tearing down of others in a blind rage. A rant against the masses that should be directed at a few. It was pointed out in the discussion that there were a few valid points in the blog post, but that they would get ignored because of the nature of the delivery. This makes my point exactly, which is why I bothered to mention it, even though I didn’t go read the blog post myself.

Side note: I feel that if you can’t write something openly and state your opinion using your name, especially when there’s no political danger or anything involved (only time it’s reasonable), then you’re wasting my time. If you can’t claim your own views and beliefs, I’m not interested in them at all.

I believe that if you have a point you should address it in an informed, helpful way. If you don’t think someone is doing something the right way, then do a post about how to do something the right way and lead people to that knowledge rather than lash out blindly and repel people. Encouragement to grow or expand what people know is going to get your point across and keep people coming back for more information. At that point, you have an opportunity to change the things that you dislike.

Don’t like how people edit or don’t edit? Do a post about the need for editing with information leading to where people can find a good and decent editor. Don’t like people’s cover art? Do a post explaining the value of catching the buyer’s eye and where people can go to get professional grade covers. Don’t like self-publishing? Post links to presses that are taking submissions.

Those are the posts and blogs people will follow and read, and will keep them coming back for more.

Creative people get enough tearing down from others in their everyday lives who are jealous of their gifts. Be honest, we all face it in one way or another from someone. Whether it’s a spouse or significant other that doesn’t give the needed encouragement and support or just random people who feel threatened because they don’t feel they measure up against you. They’re out there.

If you have talent, share your talent. If you have a point to make, do it by encouraging others to make a change and a difference. Don’t lash out like a two-year-old and discredit yourself.

 

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©Rebecca Besser, 2013. All rights reserved.

Pre-Order Fading Hope at Sale Price!

Fading Hope: Humanity Unbound

It’s the end of the world and we are not feeling fine.

What happens when you ask seven of the most notorious writers in apocalyptic fiction to craft stories where a happily ever after doesn’t exist?

You get Fading Hope.

Bleak landscapes, fading faith, the loss of humanity and the struggle to simply make it to the end of the day, are just some of the elements that come together within this boundary-pushing anthology.

Dive into a world of hopelessness as rendered by award-winning authors like: Rebecca Besser, Eli Constant, Morgan Garcia, Thea Gregory, Claire C. Riley, Armand Rosamila, and Jack Wallen

The sale price will only last for 48 hours after the book’s release,

so why not order your copy now to ensure you take advantage of the sale price?

Pre-order your ecopy of Fading Hope: Humanity Unbound now!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MS2FWEM

Mark Malatesta – Who?

Yesterday I told you about a former book agent that’s now helping me get my work out there, so I can get a top agent, publisher, and book deal. But I didn’t tell you about his background.

You’re going to love this…

The only reason that Mark became an agent was to learn how to get his own books published. That’s why he calls his author consulting company Literary Agent Undercover. As the former President & Owner of New Brand Agency Group, Mark helped many authors launch their publishing careers, including: thriller author Jim Brown (24/7, Random House), award-winning young adult author Carol Plum-Ucci (The Body of Christopher Creed, Harcourt), nonfiction self-help author Aggie Jordan (The Marriage Plan, Doubleday-Broadway), and best-selling gift book author Harry Harrison (Father to Daughter, Workman).

Other publishers Mark has secured contracts with include Simon & Schuster, St. Martin’s, Hyperion, Prentice-Hall, Workman, Andrews-McMeel, Entrepreneur, Barron’s, Amacom, and many more… resulting in millions of books being sold, as well as works being picked up for TV, stage, and feature film (with companies like Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks). Authors that Mark Malatesta has worked with have gotten 6-figure advances, been on the NY Times bestseller list, been licensed in more than 30 countries, and won countless national and international awards and honors.

Mark is also a former member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives (AAR). Less than one third of all active publishing agents are members, because you have to qualify to apply. Mark also spent several years as Marketing & Licensing Manager of Blue Mountain Arts (the book and gift publisher that invented e-greetings, and then sold their e-card division for close to $1 billion at the height of the dot com bubble). Mark has been invited to write feature articles for publications like The Guide to Literary Agents, a column for WritersDigest.com, and he’s delivered keynote addresses and seminars at some of the most prominent writers’ conferences in the United States and abroad.

If you haven’t already done so, check out this special page on this website that he just posted for my friends and followers: http://literary-agents.com/becca

When you click on the link above you’ll get instant access to Mark’s:

• Complete article library (tons of great information and it’s often entertaining)

• Audio/mp3 library (make sure you listen to his main mp3 about 7 insider secrets)

• Directory of Literary Agents (the best book agent directory anywhere)

• Webpage where you can ask questions about literary agents and publishing (make sure you post questions because Mark will be answering some of them right here on my blog – I’ll be asking Mark some questions as well).

Here’s the link one more time: http://literary-agents.com/becca

Got a Book? – Want an Agent?

As you guys know, or should know by now, I take care of my writer folk and let them know if there’s information that will benefit them floating around out in the abyss of the internet. So, guess what?! I have some great information for those of you who are interested in getting an agent, like I am!

If you have a book – or book idea – that you’d like to see published by a traditional publisher (like Random House or Simon & Schuster), I have something special for you. I’ve talked to a former NY Times bestselling literary agent recently and he has a great website that you need to check out. His name is Mark Malatesta and he’s now an author consultant/book marketing coach.

It’s been nice chatting with Mark, getting to know him while gleaning from his insights (he has a lot of them). He’s a truly genuine, up front, and honest person and those are the people I adore most in this world. That’s why I’m going to be working with Mark 1-on-1 to pitch one of my books to agents. That’s also why I told Mark that I’d be happy to share his website with you. So he just set up a special webpage on his website for you at http://literary-agents.com/becca

When you click on the link above you’ll get instant access to Mark’s:

• Complete article library (tons of great information and it’s often entertaining – he’s HILARIOUS!)

• Audio/mp3 library (make sure you listen to his main mp3 about 7 insider secrets)

• Directory of Literary Agents (the best book agent directory anywhere)

• Webpage where you can ask questions about literary agents and publishing (make sure you post questions because Mark will be answering some of them right here on my blog – I’ll be asking Mark some questions as well).

Here’s the link again: http://literary-agents.com/becca

If you’re an author (or aspiring author) who wants to get a real publisher (they pay you instead of you paying them), make sure you go to Mark’s site. You have nothing to lose and a LOT of information to gain.