A Plague Upon Your Family, p.1Mark Tufo
Zombie Fallout: A Plague Upon Your Family
I swear I did not write this review myself but I definitely approve of the message!!!
Zombie Fallout 2 "A Plague Upon Your Family" not only picks up where the first book left off, it pretty much picks up the whole zombie fiction genre then drops it on its collective ass. I don't know which has more twists, the storyline or Mike Talbot's psyche. I read this book in one day, not because I had nothing better to do, but because once I started reading it, I felt like I was betraying every character in the book if I didn't stick it out with them for the duration. Mark Tufo's raw and real writing style makes you feel less like a reader of a story and more a participant who is being brought up to speed as to what they missed while out looking for Pop-Tarts. The strangest things creep into your mind during stressful times and Mark's exploration of these seemingly absurd things make me chuckle with "Okay, maybe I'm not the only guy that thinks about sex, sex, food, sex and sex" running through my frontal lobe. A damn good story from the most natural storyteller I have ever read.
Rich Baker – Zombie Fan Extraordinaire
Zombie Fallout 2 A Plague Upon Your Family
Copyright 2010 Mark Tufo
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First off I would like to dedicate this book to my wife and not merely because that seems the most prudent thing to do. She has spent countless hours listening to me ramble on about this story line or that character and how maybe I should have this happen instead of that. Her constant belief that I would stay sane long enough to pen this novel was of great inspiration for me. Thank you, my love.
Secondly, my brother Ron who devoted an endless amount of time reading and re-reading this book in an attempt to make it as sound as possible, both story wise and grammatically. THANK YOU! He has also told me numerous times of how proud of me he is, and coming from a big brother that means a lot.
Thirdly is the Tufo clan, for truly, how far can an errant nut fall from the tree. If not for their constant influence I might have actually written a love story.
Fourthly is Mo Happy who's attention to detail never ceases to amaze me. Thank you.
Fifthly is to the brave men and women of the armed services. Thank you for all you do.
Sixthly (but by no means lastly) are you my fans. I still cannot for the life of me get over the fact that I have fans. I so want to individually name each and every one of you but I am so fearful that I will leave someone out. But you know who you are, we have had dialog, we are friends on Facebook, you have been so kind as to share your thoughts and opinions and countless ways in which I could improve this second book. THANK YOU, you are the driving force that keeps me typing. Henry’s tail wags in your general direction!
This is Michael Talbot’s second journal. If you have not already read his first journal
you may be able to pick it up at amazon.com!
It started with a flu shot, there is no end in sight. At least not one that ends well.
Eliza’s Origin – Prologue One
The earth was dank, dark, deep and sweet. Its embrace was as comforting as a small child’s blanket. Eliza was hungry, so, so hungry. But something was not quite right. She had fed, deeply, less than twenty-four hours ago. She should be sated for at least another three days. The need within her grew by the moment. The huntress arose out of her earthen bed.
Eliza grew up in a time when being a child was not a protected status. Children were more of a disposable asset to be used and abused as their masters saw fit. As a child of a dirt farmer she was the lowest of the low in early 1550’s Germany. As the winds of war tore across the ravaged countryside she was swept along like so much chaff. She was no more than a slave to one master after another. It was in this harsh reality that her steel temperament was honed. On her 19th birthday she was finally able to remove the shackles that had her bound for the better part of ten years. It was a dark stranger that approached her and offered her the opportunity of freedom. She had not blanched in the least as he laid out what the future would hold for her. Her black mind was completely clouded with the thoughts of reeking revenge on all of those that had wronged her. The list was long and she knew exactly where she was going to start.
The pain was sharp as the stranger dragged his teeth across her dirty neck. She could not help but smell the scent of the man as he bit deeply into her carotid artery. The odor was all too familiar. Death clung to him, like a newborn to its mother, waiting for his next offering. The man was a harvester of misery and despair. What he saw in Eliza, she wasn’t sure. Maybe he realized that death to her would be a release, a freedom from the horrors of a war torn world. But she was wrong. He didn’t want to do her any favors. He wanted to drag her along into this new and unchartered realm of purgatory. She had survived the worst of what the world could offer. To turn her was to unleash a new hell upon the land.
For forty years she suffered under the severe tutelage of her new master. His cruelty, degenerative behavior and propensity for violence had far surpassed even the worst of her previous masters. So when she finally severed his corrupted skull from his depraved body it was more of a new beginning than an end. She was truly FREE. She was powerful and she was pissed off. Although most of those who had wronged her were dead and buried, no one was safe. She slid along the countryside, always in the shadows, always in the peripheral. Death didn’t just cling to her. It hung around expectantly. Why go out and reap the dying when it had a diligent purveyor that handed it out indiscriminately. Tremors of fear washed across those she passed by. Feelings of dread were quickly replaced by euphoria when a potential victim felt the talons of a gruesome demise pass on to another.
For close to five hundred years she had gone on like this, occasionally turning a companion to share in her vengeance. But she remembered all too well the elation when she had liberated herself and would never let any of her fledgling offspring live more than a decade or two. The frozen etch of betrayal on their faces as she killed them never ceased to amaze or humor her.
Eliza, like many great predators, was nomadic. She moved to where the prey was. As whispers of demons and monsters passed throughout the villages and towns she preyed upon, food became scarce. Townsfolk were less and less likely to go out into the hidden evils of the night. She did not fear retribution. She only feared the gnawing hunger that tore at her soul, the hunger to rip, rend, to destroy and to tear asunder all that the world had taken from her. So when she finally made it to the ‘New World’ in the early 18th century, Eliza knew that she had found home. The wide open sparsely populated country helped foster her legend. The Native Americans mistakenly labeled her as the Wendigo; mountain men and some of the smaller towns were quick to dismiss the Indians’ accounts of a dark stranger that bled the soul dry. As more of their own began to disappear, it seemed more than just chance happenstance. Her legend grew, and to
Love was not an emotion she had ever harbored, even as a child. Love was extravagant, a waste of time. Survival, now there was something you could hang on to. Eliza did not feel pity, or remorse; she did not possess the capacity for mercy. She had needs. She had hunger. Everything she did in her life was to try and sate those two insatiable attributes.
When she awoke that cold early day in December in the year 2010, she had no reason to believe that this day would not be like the myriad of others she had endured over the millennia of her existence. She was hungry. It was feeding time. Time to thin the human herd. Eliza stayed away from the old. Their blood had become insipid. It had turned to an inedible watery stew of prescription drugs and cheap TV dinners. Healthy adults were a satisfactory meal, but unless she planned on draining them dry she shied away so as not to leave any witnesses. She also didn’t like teens, as more times than not their blood would be proliferated with drugs and alcohol. No, Eliza’s meal of choice were infants. The new rich scent of them stirred something deep within her instinctually. Was it the lost legacy of motherhood that stimulated her senses or was it the closeness to creation that the baby’s blood brought to her? These were questions she asked herself on occasion, but dwelling on her own idiosyncrasies was not one of Eliza’s personality behaviors. Action best fit her persona.
All legends tend to have a kernel of truth to them no matter how much Hollywood tries to distort them. As for the old wives’ tale that a vampire cannot come into your house until it is invited, this has very strong ties to reality. It’s just that this is only half the story. Vampires can go into anyone’s home unless they are expressly forbidden to do so. In this day and age when magic is more of the playing card variety, what is the incentive to bless one’s abode against vampires (and witches by the way)? It is an ancient custom that the druids knew how to perform and passed down to countless European cultures. Unfortunately though, this knowledge never crossed the ocean. Once an entrance-blocking ritual was performed, the vanquished vampire could then only enter when invited to do so. Why at that point would one invite the vampire inside is open to debate. Vampires do have the ability for mind control, but it is generally within a limited distance and eye contact must be maintained. As for vampires being invisible in mirrors, this also is a half-truth. While it is true they cannot be seen in a mirror it is not due to their soullessness. It has to do with their innate ability to bend light. This is not something they do consciously but it can be controlled. It is their predatory version of camouflage, like the lion’s color which matches the savannah grass or the tiger’s stripes which break up its profile in the jungles of India. This refraction makes it very difficult for humans to ‘see’ a vampire. Usually a vampire is only seen in the peripheral, as a black shadow passing by. If a vampire was spotted, it was because they wanted to be, quite probably to instill fear in their victims. It is said that the adrenaline that pours through a human during times of fear is like ambrosia that makes the blood all that much sweeter.
There were times when Eliza thrilled in the hunt, the taste of the max-stressed blood, the scent of terror as it trailed behind her intended victim. The panic, the horror, she craved these feelings from her stock. Those emotions out of her chattel proved her superiority, her place of dominion in this world of man. The derisiveness of the word ‘man’ was used as both the hatred for mankind as a whole and especially for the lesser of the two sexes. She would feed on whatever was available if need be, but she took a cruel sort of satisfaction in feeding a little deeper in the arteries of a man, tearing the walls of the blood vessel more savagely than necessary. Of another important note, vampires do not leave puncture wounds (unless they want to). Unless a vampire is trying to make a point (usually ‘Don’t fuck with me!’), they will scarcely leave a mark. Most times a vampire bite will be attributed to bug bites. These also have the added benefits of healing fast and diminishing to a red spot no bigger than the tip of a pencil lead. This aids in the hunter’s ability to stay hidden, to make her prey less wary. An unsuspecting victim is an easy fruit to pick.
Eliza Present Day– Prologue Two
It was 6:30 in the morning when Eric Hoto traveled down the length of his extensive driveway, wrapped only in an ill-fitting jacket, pajama bottoms and snow boots, to grab the morning paper.
“How many times have I told that kid to bring the paper up to the house?” Mr. Hoto said aloud, mainly to keep his teeth from chattering together in the frigid arctic-blasted air. As he stood, a sense of immense apprehension tugged at his essence. The paper and the paperboy nearly forgotten, he redoubled his efforts to close the jacket against the preternaturally chilly air that surrounded him. The sense of something dancing in and out of his vision made him nearly run. Vertigo threatened to drop him where he stood. As suddenly as it started, it stopped. The air around him warmed considerably, even though it was only ten degrees out. His thrashing heart beat a little easier against his near battered rib cage. His breath came a little more evenly. His shaking legs almost once again stilled.
“I feel like a rabbit looking down the snout of a fox.” Eric could not even fathom how absolutely close to reality those feelings were. But like most humans he was quick to ignore his baser instincts and use higher reasoning to completely gloss over the unthinkable. “I think I need a vacation, if I wasn’t 34 I would think that I had just suffered a stroke. That’s it! That boy either brings the paper up to the door or I’m switching to USAToday.”
Eric’s steps faltered once again half way up the steep grade to his front door. His storm door opened slowly before him without the benefit of any apparent human locomotion. That unpleasant sensation of being stalked greasily crept across his scalp and was whipped away with a stiff breeze. He was left feeling oddly unclean, unhealthy.
“Wind must be stronger than I thought,” Eric said, now not so willing to get out of the elements and into the ‘safety’ of his home. His eyebrows drew closer as he questioned his new unwillingness to enter the ‘lion’s den.’ “Now why did I think that? And why do I keep talking to my damn self?” as if in answer.
“Because it’s what you do when you’re mad…or scared.”
“Something’s in your house!”
“You’re an engineer, Eric. Think rationally. The wind opened that door. That’s all.”
“Then why aren’t you hurrying up to get out of this cold weather?”
“What about your wife and baby?”
“It’s too late,” he moaned.
The sound of heartless laughter would be the last thing Eric heard. It would be two more days before his frozen body was found, but by then there were much bigger happenings going on.
Eliza’s Transformation – Prologue Three
Eliza hadn’t intended on killing the mother and her child, but the impudent animal had somehow sensed the invasion and gone to do what any good mother would, protect her offspring. Eliza was reveling in the freshness, the newness of the baby’s blood, its closeness to the source of life, when the woman had come in. Eliza stood there in all her startling cruelty. She was surprised when the woman, instead of cowering and shrieking and running away, stood her ground. Not only stood her ground, but against all of her instincts advanced on the predator. This was the same as the gazelle turning on the lion and charging. The lion might be momentarily stunned, more from the shock of something so unusual happening than from any perceived threat. But still, the impertinent bitch, who did she think she was? With one lightning fast movement, Eliza wrapped her ungodly strong hand around the slender woman’s throat. Instead of immediately crushing the worthless life out of her, Eliza held her at bay as she drank the baby’s essence into the netherworlds. The mother watched wide-eyed with dismay as her child was taken from her. By the time Eliza was finished with the baby, crushing the wind out of the mother was almost unneces
Unbeknownst to Eliza she may have actually done the Hoto family a favor, although none of the Hotos were around to appreciate that fact. Eileen Hoto R.N. had secretly stolen three of the very difficult to find H1N1 vaccinations. As a caregiver she would be given preferential treatment, as would her baby, but her husband who constantly got sick due to the stresses he placed on himself would most likely never be in a position to get the sought after shot. So in her head, she was only stealing one shot and she rationalized it by telling herself that her husband, a well respected engineer and an involved member of the community, was more deserving than some crack baby down at the clinic where she worked. An hour before her husband had made his death march to get the newspaper, she had administered the shots to all three of them. She did it early in the morning in the hopes that their baby might not even realize what was happening. True to her cherubic nature, Gilly Hoto never once protested as her mother gave her the vaccination.
The tainted inoculation had already begun to overcome what little resistance the beleaguered white blood cells could muster when Eliza had drunk her fill.
A Plague Upon Your Family by Mark Tufo / Horror have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes