Update: The book’s still not up on Audible. We’re not sure what the holdup is, but we’d like to offer everyone something in the meantime, lest you all go after our brains! We have the first 3 chapters of I Left My Brains in San Francisco for you in audio. If you go to http://karinafabian.com/freezombiefiction/ and sign up, I”ll invite you to the shared drive and let you know when to book is live. PLUS, I’ll put you in for a drawing for a free audio copy of Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator.
We can’t control Audible, but we can control what we do about it. Let us show you this is worth waiting for.
We are thrilled to announced – just in time for Halloween – the audio version of I Left My Brains in San Francisco, the second hilarious zombie novel in the Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator series. You can get the print or ebook version from us or from Amazon, and the audio book from Audible. In the meantime, we’re posting Chapter one for your review:
Neeta stood with her back braced against the exterior wall of the haunted house, the rubber of her HazMat suit squeaking as it pressed against the canister she carried on her back. The spray wand was securely attached to her thigh; at the moment, the chainsaw in her hands provided the kind of protection she needed. Carefully, she eased her motorcycle-helmeted head around the entrance to the ride. A large room gaped in her vision, empty but for animated portraits, powered down for the crisis, and yards of red velvet cord breaking the area into manageable lines to the turnstiles. She’d always liked how they’d gone back to the classics with this ride, and the open area didn’t hurt her job at the moment, either.
“Entrance to the haunted house is clear,” she reported to the seven others searching the quickly-emptying amusement park. “Ted, what’s your ETA? I’m ready to check for spoor, but I have the feeling he’s moved on.”
“Be there in a minute!” came her partner’s cheery reply. “Princess Pea-sleeper lost her shoe, and I had to retrieve it. Told her to run barefoot, but keep those stilettos handy. Do you know the kind of heels the well-dressed princess is wearing nowadays?”
“I didn’t know you were interested in footwear,” she rejoined. As long as she was waiting, she’d make use of the time. She let the chainsaw hang by its strap and took hold of the wand. She walked the perimeter of the ride, spraying. The foam expanded in a gloppy line then sublimated. She calculated the cost of the repellent; she wouldn’t overdo it, but the park had already given her and her fellow exterminators permission to do whatever ensured the safety of its patrons.
If the zombie was in the haunted house, the spray would keep him there, and that was worth its exorbitant price.
“I never noticed shoes until I saw your closet, baby. Of course, you make rubber boots look good.”
“If the two of you could quit flirting before I vomit,” LaCenta’s acerbic and exasperated voice sounded over the headsets.
“Flirting? I wasn’t flirting. Ted, focus!”
“Sure, boss—but if I’m really good, can I pick out a pair for you to wear on our vacation?”
“Whatever, people. I think I saw some activity by the churros stand. Mac and I are going to check it out.”
“Wait!” Ted called. “I don’t think that’s our corpsickle.”
“How do you know?”
“Because I see it shambling toward the Owl and the Pussycat boat ride.”
“You’re kidding! Ted, teams of two–don’t take any chances!” That was three rides down from Neeta. She hurried to finish her entrapment line, just in case they had more than one walking undead, snatched up her chainsaw, and then Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator, ran to catch up with her business partner and boyfriend.
She found him following the zombie at a discreet distance, and felt her heart thundering more with relief than the effort of her sprint. She still had nightmares of that day in April when a zombie had nearly removed his helmet to bite him.
“Here, boss,” he waved to her. “Got to wonder about this one’s tastes in movies.”
She smirked, her fears as usual evaporating in the light of his banter and the need to concentrate on the zombie that was making its way through the weaving line with skill of long habit. Zombies lacked most higher functions, being little more than eating machines, but old habits and “instincts” born of how they lived their lives also influenced their actions. Suicides returned to the places of their deaths, faithful spouses headed home; almost all were drawn in by the TV or Internet videos. But to move with such determination toward a mediocre ride based on a movie that had set records for low attendance and bad reviews had her baffled, too.
“Maybe it’s the theme song?” she suggested, as together, they sped up their pace. “It is catchy.”
“Like a plague! Oh! Oh, now it’s stuck in my head.” Ted started humming the tune, which, despite the tanking of the film, had rocketed to the top ten and had grossed more than the movie lost. Of course, the rumors said that the singer, swingrapper Cold Liver Drawers, had recorded it in parts over several drunken sessions, only to kill himself when he heard the entire thing sober. She’d seen pictures of him on the Internet, hanging by his gold chains, a note scribbled over the sheet music: I’m Sorry. Rumors also said some collector had taken his body and put it under glass as part of a bizarre collection of tragic artists. At any rate, his name was blessed–and cursed–by anyone who heard the song.
The zombie had stopped and was bumping itself against the blocked turnstile. Neeta saw their chance. She turned to Ted, who was tapping the wand of his flamethrower against one hand in time to the song. “Ted, distract it, and I’ll chop it from behind.”
“Let me flame it from here,” he countered.
She pointed at the artistically draped fabric of the entrance, and he groaned like a kid denied ice cream. Meanwhile, LaCenta reported finding a raccoon in the snack stand and that they were moving to back Neeta and Ted up.
She circled around at a light jog, keeping the zombie in her sights in case it decided to change its plan. But it only threw itself harder against the cylindrical arm blocking it from the ride. She could see flesh and fluids littering the metal and dripping into a puddle at its feet. Obviously, someone had done a cheap embalming job, or he’d turned before they’d had a chance to cremate him. She hoped there’d be enough to identify him to the authorities, so they could find the clods who let him get like this. Professional morticians weren’t just a comfort nowadays, they were necessary for human survival.
She moved to where she could rush in, chainsaw roaring, and end him quickly, and then looked around for Ted. He was sauntering toward the zombie, still slapping his flamethrower against one hand, whistling that stupid catchy song. How he had the guts to be so nonchalant, she never knew, but it made her worried and hot every time.
The zombie stopped whacking its midsection on the turnstile and faced Ted.
“Ride’s broken,” Ted hollered.
“Pea green,” the creature slurred and started to breakdance. “Take a ride…moneee…marriage…pussy…carriage!”
Neeta didn’t give herself a chance to freeze in surprise, but dashed forward and swung her chainsaw.
At the last minute, however, it crouched, and her blade missed its head by inches. Balancing on one hand, it moved its feet around it in a downrock move that took Neeta out at the ankles. With a squeal she fell back, flinging her chainsaw away from her. Even with the canister of repellent on her back, her helmet smacked hard against the concrete and she gasped.
“No flame! You’ll get me!”
Ted lunged forward, but rather than the flamethrower, he held his supersoaker. He sprayed a line between Neeta and the zombie. The zombie reared back.
“Don’t like that? C’mon Liver-boy!” Ted challenged.
“That’s Cold Liver Drawers?” Neeta bounced back to her feet as the undead dancer swung around again. It lost its momentum when it saw her, and then its balance, snapping its arm. It groaned, in anger rather than pain.
“In the rotting flesh. Two o’clock—my two o’clock!” Ted shouted, and she knew he wasn’t talking about time. She spun behind and to her left and found her chainsaw sitting between a severed metal fence. Now she’d have to get a new chain, and titanium wasn’t cheap. “My saw!”
She pressed the trigger, bringing it back to roaring life, and in a dizzying swirl she cut off the zombie’s outstretched arms and went for the neck. The dulled blades took a little longer than usual, but not much. Sawtooth made quality products; she’d have to thank them with her next order. The zombie vibrated with the pressure of the chainsaw teeth, but still tried to move toward her, forcing her to step back even as she applied pressure to the blade against its neck. With a snarl of effort, she twisted the blade, flinging the head up and away.
It was over.
She clicked off the chainsaw and braced a hand on her knee against the dizziness she now allowed herself to feel.
Ted hurried to her, examined the remains, and caught her up in a careful but enthusiastic hug. “That was awesome! He was b-boying and you were all spin and lethal ballet!”
“Ted! You’re getting spoor on you!” She was splattered in zombie remains, and of course, now he was, too.
“Ah, costs as much to decontaminate two as it does one–almost, anyway. I’m going to trace a contaminated zone. You okay?”
“Yeah. Hit my head a little hard, but I’m fine.”
“Glad you wore your chin strap.”
She returned his knowing smirk. “Glad you reminded me.”
Ted pulled out a can of biodegradable spray paint and stepped away, gaze now on the ground to pick out the smallest of splatters. Mac and LaCenta arrived, and Mac volunteered to get their company’s van for the clean-up. “We’re going to resupply tomorrow, anyway, and you’re off to San Francisco in the morning.”
“Thanks, Mac,” Neeta called out to his retreating back and turned to find Ted standing in one of the pea-green boats of the ride. “Ted, what are you doing in there?”
He laughed. “You didn’t realize where the head went? Of course not; you were in the zone.” He lifted the corpse’s head. “Cold Liver–how fuze is that? You just sort of cut and flicked and it went flying! We probably need to pour a lot of bleach into the water in case any bits got in. Hey! Get them to turn on the power, and let’s take a ride!”
“Like this?” She spread her arms to indicate her gore-spattered rubber HazMat suit.
“You look fine to me. Besides, we’d be alone.” And, zombie head held dramatically to one side and one hand over his heart, he began to sing, “Take a ride in a beautiful pea-green boat…”
“Be careful with that thing!” But she smiled. He made the job fun.
Still singing, he pulled out heavy trash bags and started to pick up the zombie detritus from the boat.
A throat clearing not over the mikes made her turn to LaCenta.
“When you gonna tell that boy you love him?” she asked.
Her mirth fled in a sudden pang of anxiety. “When I’m sure.”
LaCenta tossed her head as she often did when someone said or did something stupid. “Sure of what?”
That was what Neeta didn’t know.
…and it has its own theme song!
Check out the theme song used by TREE – Terrorism for Radical Environmental Enhancement. Lyrics by Karina and vocals by Becky, with music by Kevin MacLeod: