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|Blood Forever(Blood Coven Vampire,book 8) by Mari Mancusi|
“Looks like you already have one to spare.”
“Har har. Now less banter, more battering!” I scold, pushing the chair into place. Not that it’s going to do much good.
“Okay, okay.” Spider reaches into her pocket and pulls out her fire stick.
“Wait!” I cry. “That’s not a good—”
But I’m too late. Spider aims and fires at the zombie’s arm. I squeeze my eyes shut, imaging the plane going up in a ball of flames. And us with it.
“Spider!” I cry, opening my eyes again. “Why did you…?” I trail off, staring at the zombie arm. It’s whitish blue and frozen in place. In fact, not just frozen in place, but literally frozen. “What the…?”
Spider looks at me. “What?” she says. “You thought I was going to use fire mode?” She snorts, as if that were the most ridiculous thing in the world. “Oh ye of little faith.”
“Oh ye of little track record.”
Jareth smashes the door on the frozen arm. It shatters into a million pieces and the door slams shut. All three of us breathe a sigh of relief.
“So that thing shoots ice as well as fire?” I ask, staring at the stick in my friend’s hands. It is so not fair that she scored such a powerful toy when becoming a slayer and all I got was a lousy chunk of unfinished wood. Not that I’m complaining. With her kick-ass weapon at our disposal, maybe we’ll actually have a chance.
Spider frowns at the stick, banging it against her thigh. “Crap,” she says. “I knew I should have charged it before we left…”
Or maybe not.
At that moment, three zombies crash through the door like an undead battering ram and burst into the room. There’s the dapper old gent who drooled on Spider, now looking red-eyed and rabid. There’s Charlie, who’s growling and baring his rotten teeth in my direction. And then there’s Meredith, who, well, just walked into a wall. Poor thing—it’s tough to effectively maim and murder with only one eye.
I grab a bottle off the bar and slam it down on the granite countertop like I’ve seen people do in movies, to create a sharp weapon. It takes two tries, but I finally get it to break. Just in time for Charlie to lunge at me. I whirl around, thrusting the jagged glass at his throat. Bright green blood geysers from the wound and I leap back to avoid being sprayed. It looks pretty bad, but I guess for Charlie it’s only a flesh wound, because he keeps coming, seemingly unfazed by the fact that he’s hemorrhaging from his trachea.
Out of the corner of my eye I can see Spider kick her own zombie hard in the gut, grimacing at the gooshy sound her foot makes, caving into his rotting flesh. The zombie now has a combat boot–shaped hole in his abdomen, but just like Charlie, it’s not slowing him down in the slightest.
“It’s no use,” Jareth cries over the din as he takes on Meredith. “These are no ordinary zombies!”
“Um, there’s such a thing as ordinary zombies?” I ask, ducking to avoid Charlie’s attack. He slams into the bar instead, shrieking in anger as he’s thrown off balance.
“What I mean is these zombies aren’t created by a plague or nuclear waste or some other man-made disaster like you see in the movies,” Jareth explains, grabbing Meredith by the shoulders and pointing her in the direction of the bathroom. The senile old zombie stumbles inside and he closes the door behind her. Well, at least that’s one down. “They’ve been brought back to life by Glenda—meaning she’s the only one who can put them back in the ground. That’s what made them so attractive to Lucifent in the first place,” he adds. “They literally can’t be killed.”
“Oh, that’s just wonderful,” I mutter as Charlie finally manages to right himself and starts following me around the cabin again. I flip over a table and yank off the leg. Then I whack him as hard as I can in the head, somehow managing to spin it about 360 degrees. He stumbles and falls again. “What a great plan you guys had getting these things in the first place. Real A-plus.” I suddenly notice Spider sprinting toward the main cabin door, where the rest of the undead are waiting.
“Where are you going?” I demand. “Are you crazy?”
“Are you a complete noob?” she asks. “I’m off to take out Glenda, of course.” She turns to Jareth. “Are you cool keeping these ones out of the action?”
He nods and I realize exactly what her plan must be. And yes, I do admittedly feel like kind of a noob not to have thought of it first. I mean, hello, video game 101. Take out the boss monster and all the little creatures under her control will die, too, unable to survive without her.
Charlie grabs at my ankle, desperate for a bite. I slam my foot down on his head, crushing his skull. That ought to give me a minute or two. I jump over his writhing frame and follow Spider out to the main cabin to assess the scene.
While several zombies do appear to be milling about, others are still sitting in their seats, evidently not quite with it enough to figure out how to undo their seatbelts. Which is something, I suppose. But we’ve still got plenty to contend with.
Glenda stands at the far end of the plane, her face in her hands. Wait—is she crying? I feel an involuntary twinge of pity as I realize that though this woman did send an army of brain-eating zombies after me, I kind of started it by kissing her boyfriend. Or the man she thought was her boyfriend, but had been using her to gain access to her menagerie. I tried to imagine how I’d feel in the same situation. If I found Jareth kissing her and learned that he’d never loved me. I think if I had a gaggle of zombies at my disposal, I might unleash them on the guy as well.