Zombies, Something New For Me by Sheri Velarde
Code Black is a departure for me in my writing. Until recently I wrote only romance of some shape or form, some spicier than others and usually with a paranormal twist. My previous release this past summer, Summer Interrupted started me down the path to horror, which I have now fully realized in Code Black. While there is a hint of a ‘could have been’ romance in this short, it is most definitely not a romance. This is me dipping my toe into the horror genre, a genre that I have loved since I was a kid. I tried to not make this story too gory or graphic, wanting to save that for when I am more comfortable in horror and am hopefully writing a full novel, but I did try to make you cry and squirm. I literally left my proof reader in tears and I am rather proud of that.
Psychological horror, over blood and gore, the creepiness of the unknown is much scarier to me as a reader anyhow. I grew up reading Stephen King and other horror masters, always wanting to write something spooky but not sure if I had it in me. That means I really had to gather up my courage and just jump in to the unknown for Code Black. Sure, I have been published before, but entering a new genre is scary. I have no idea how my readers will receive this piece, but I am hoping they enjoy a new direction and get a little scared in the process.
To try to get my zombies believable I did lots of research on how such an epidemic could ever possibly be real. A mutated form of rabies is what I found to be the most plausible and had some real medical type people supporting that theory (in a what if sense at least). I felt that I wanted my first horror piece to feel authentic right out of the gate, hence the all the research. Not that research was a bad thing. I also got some ideas for future zombie stories, so don’t be surprised of something involving voodoo crops up in the coming year from me. That is the great thing about writing, one thing gets you inspired and leads you to more inspiration. I sincerely think that this path is going to lead me into more genres and help me produce many more works in the future. Until then, enjoy some horror on me.
A disease that can destroy the entire fabric of society, how can one face down such odds?
Sara lives on Key Largo, a place she knows she should have left after the last hurricane, but she can’t quite walk away from it. When warning sirens go off, she fears for the safety of her home more than anything else. That is, until she realizes that something much more than severe weather is heading her way.
When her own government blows up the only escape to the mainland and her neighbors begin to attack one another, Sara learns she can only depend on herself. With the aid of her uncle and Cameron, a National Guard soldier helping her along the way, she is on the run for her life. Harsh realities she never thought she
would have to face are now part of her life. Can she do what it takes to survive, or will she always be on the run and wondering what might have been?
“What the hell do you mean ‘the bridge is closed’? Something odd is going on here. We’ve never had the National Guard here for an evacuation, and you are telling me that you just expect us to wait it out here on the island and not ask questions? I heard the warning sirens. We are supposed to be evacuating! Let us through!”
Sara demanded, trying to push past the mass of muscle in a National Guard uniform blocking her way.
“I’m sorry, ma’am. We have orders that no one is to cross the bridge. No one is allowed to enter Miami,” the officer said, not budging an inch.
“I just told you that the evacuation sounded, e-v-a-c-u-a-t-i-o-n, and you’re telling me that we can’t leave? It’s probably a late hurricane, and you expect us all just to hope we make it through that here in the Keys? We need to get to the mainland!” Sara threw up her hands in frustration. The memory of the last hurricane which destroyed her family home remained clear in her mind. She should have moved after her family had lost almost everything, but something held her in Key Largo.
“It is not a hurricane warning, ma’am. Please go back to your home and you will be fine.”
Just then, the officer’s walkie-talkie went off. “Miami has been lost. Move everyone away from the bridge. We must prevent the spread and contamination. This is a Code Black. Repeat, this is a Code Black. All civilians must be moved a safe distance from the bridge. You have five minutes.”
Sheri Velarde, lives in New Mexico with her husband and their two dogs.
Being an avid reader since an early age, she has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. She has been writing all her life, but only recently started to actually try to pursue her dream of writing for a living. She specializes in all things paranormal and that go bump in the night. Her heart truly lies in exploring unknown worlds or adding the supernatural to our world. If it goes bump in the night or has magical connotations, Sheri writes about it.
She is constantly putting out new material with various publishers, so it is best to keep up with her on her website www.sherivelarde.weebly.com.
In her spare time Sheri is an artist, jewelry designer, independent comic writer/artist and freelance non-fiction writer. Hiking in the mountains, going to live concerts, art openings, museums, and hosting intimate dinner parties.