Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter
Every family has its secrets…
One hot August morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden picked up an axe and murdered her father and stepmother. Newspapers claim she did it for the oldest of reasons: family conflicts, jealousy and greed. But what if her parents were already dead? What if Lizzie slaughtered them because they’d become zombies?
Thrust into a horrific world where the walking dead are part of a shocking conspiracy to infect not only Fall River, Massachusetts, but also the world beyond, Lizzie battles to protect her sister, Emma, and her hometown from nightmarish ghouls and the evil forces controlling them.
Lizzie reeled back in panic as her spine pressed against the fireplace. She pushed and fought in an attempt to keep this monster away, yet Mrs. Borden’s ugly face and snapping teeth edged closer and closer.
Then Lizzie spotted it: the worn hatchet Father had left behind after he’d last brought in the newly chopped wood. No, no! Her mind filled with horror, but when her stepmother came at her again, Lizzie whispered a prayer for forgiveness and grabbed the handle. She lifted the hatchet high overhead and swung as hard as she could. It hit her stepmother’s skull with a sickening thud.
As impossible as it seemed, Mrs. Borden snarled and continued her attack.
Lizzie hit her again and again and again. The blows raked her stepmother’s face and scraped deep furrows into tender flesh. The metal hatchet head pounded her stepmother’s shoulders and arms, the bones giving way with sickening crunches. Mrs. Borden’s broken arms dangled, hanging limp and ugly at her sides… and yet, dear God, she continued her attack.
With her last bit of strength, Lizzie raised the hatchet again, bringing it down on Mrs. Borden’s head. Only then did her stepmother crumple and fall into a pile at Lizzie’s feet. It took a few minutes for Lizzie to comprehend the horrible scene. It didn’t seem real, but it was.
With a cry, she threw the bloodied hatchet aside. She gagged as the weapon caught in the braided artificial hairpiece hanging from the back of Mrs. Borden’s gore-encrusted scalp.
Retching, Lizzie ran to the other side of the bed, bent over, and vomited into the chamber pot. She crossed the room and leaned against the wall, her shoulders shaking with each heart-rending sob.
Her hands trembled so hard she could barely hold them still, but she managed to cover her eyes in a feeble attempt to block out the carnage. It didn’t stop the horrific images that flashed in her mind, or the many questions. And it certainly did nothing for the soul-crushing guilt that filled her.
“Why?” she cried. “Why?” Dear God, what have I done? What have I done?
Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2
After being acquitted of brutally slaying her parents, Lizzie Borden thinks her nightmare is over—but it’s only just begun!
Now Lizzie and the citizens of Fall River must battle a new surge of flesh-eaters, this time with a heartbreaking twist: the infected creatures are friends and family, hidden away by their grief-stricken caregivers.
When her sister Emma becomes a pawn in the growing war against the undead, Lizzie has no choice but to pick up her axe again. With the help of her charming self-defense instructor, Pierre, she vows to end the horrific zombie menace, once and for all. But can she overcome her personal demons and the rampaging monsters, no matter the cost?
NOTE: The book does contain spoilers if you have not read the first book, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter.
A pounding on the front door made her move faster. “Lizzie, hurry, please, let me in,” Pierre called.
“Coming, I’m coming.”
She twisted the shiny gold lock and pulled the heavy oak door open. Her nose wrinkled at the sudden stench of rot and death that fouled the air. Pierre rushed in, pushed the door shut, and turned to embrace her. To her surprise, it felt like she’d seen him only yesterday instead of months ago.
“Pierre! I didn’t expect you.”
“Obviously, though I’m glad to see you had your fighting dress at the ready.”
The low moans from outside made further conversation impossible. She moved closer to the door and peered out the window, her heart pounding as she viewed the motley mob of ghouls clamoring at the gate. She counted eight, ten, fifteen of the decayed monsters and saw more approaching.
The bastion of quiet she’d enjoyed in the past few months since moving to the more prestigious section known as “The Hill” had been replaced by bedlam. She watched a group of men run into the street swinging axes, garden tools, and almost anything they could get, at the approaching foes. She turned away and wrung her hands, not daring to look at Pierre when he gave a snort of disgust.
“Why did you lead them here?” she asked. “Why? I don’t want to deal with it.”
“You think I do? A thank you might be more in order since I wanted to make sure you were safe. Sorry to say, they’re up and down not only this street, but the whole area. We have no choice but to help.”
“No, no, I-I can’t do it. I can’t.” She inhaled sharply when Pierre reached out and spun her around.
He tucked his finger under her chin and raised her head. “Look at me. You can’t, or you won’t?”
“No, I can’t.” She bit her lip and shook her head harder. “I can’t do it.”
Her resistance faded as he pulled her near. She breathed in his masculine scent and the lingering musky, ambergris shaving lotion on his skin, wishing this was any other time, any other place.
The horrific sounds of the undead made Lizzie’s skin crawl. Her first impulse, to let him and others take care of things, did battle with her innate sense of duty. She peered out the window again, relishing the satisfaction of seeing others out in the streets now, men with guns, women with garden tools. Even the neighbors who had turned their back on her were out doing their part to keep the monsters at bay.
Let them handle it, she thought.
Still, her feelings of obligation niggled at her. Yes, she’d trained for this. She had fought this fight before. She couldn’t let others do all the work for her.
With a deep sigh, Lizzie pushed herself from Pierre’s embrace and regarded him. “I guess I have no choice about getting involved, do I? I have to do it, for Emma, if nothing else.”
Christine (C.A.) Verstraete enjoys putting a little "scare" in her writing. She follows the murder trial and offers a twist on the infamous 1892 Borden murders in her book, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter. She also looks at the murders from the viewpoint of Lizzie's doctor in her latest, The Haunting of Dr. Bowen. Other books include a young adult novel, GIRL Z: My Life as a Teenage Zombie, and books on dollhouse collecting and crafting.
Christine's short stories have appeared in various anthologies including: Descent Into Darkness, Happy Homicides 3: Summertime Crime, Mystery Weekly, and Timeshares, Steampunk'd, and Hot & Steamy: Tales of Steampunk Romance, DAW Books.
She is an award-winning journalist published in daily to weekly newspapers, and in various magazines. Her stories have received awards from local and national newspaper associations, and the Dog Writer's Association of America.
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