Maxine “Max” Compton is in detention when the outbreak starts; so are several other students when Max’s best friend Brie storms in – chomping on the thigh bone of their favorite Home Ec teacher, Ms. Watkins! Brie is a zombie, and quickly starts biting everyone in the room—even her best friend, Max! When the class realizes what happens, it’s too late; they are all zombies—and they’re no longer alone. Now a thin gray man in a white lab coat is testing them; making them read, and once they can no longer read, the zombies are led from the room, never to be seen again. One by one the zombies stop reading, all but a few of them, Max included. Oh, and that cute thug she’s been crushing on for years, Zander Cash! That’s when Max learns that there are good zombies, and bad zombies. And if she’s to survive, she has to pick a side. Who knew Detention could be this hard… or last forever?
“G-g-g,” the zombie sputters, black eyes focused intently on the page in front of her, tongue tied in an endless loop, frustration oozing out of every gray, decaying pore.
If she could still sweat, I know she would.
Her cold white hands grip the pages of the comic book like the edges of a life raft in a wild, raging sea.
If she could still cry, she’d already be bawling.
Instead she is locked in this endless loop, stammering, yammering, trying to find the keys to her lost humanity.
Her voice is raspy, like maybe her vocal chords have been sanded down, blow dried for days, and now look like strips of beef jerky hanging in the back of her throat, useless at his point except for her guttural scratching.
It’s like waiting for a stutterer to finish reading War & Peace, out loud, in one sitting, while you kneel on a bed of nails, with water dripping on your head, sitting next to your distant cousin from Alabama, with her whispering in your ears about her favorite catfish casserole recipe.
Torturous because I can see the word right in front of me and just want to finish it for her: “Gamma!” I want to scream. “Gamma! What you’ve been yammering for the last five minutes is ‘G-G-G-G-GAMMA,’ you freakin’ moron!”
Agonizing because this is no typical zombie; this is my best friend since third grade, Brie Cunningham.