Dead Girl: A Romantic Zombie Tale of Revenge
Written by Stavros
Illustrated by Charles Hearn
Publisher: Crazy Duck Press (CDP)
Date of Publication: August 2011
Number of pages: 266
Cover Artist and Illustrator: Charles Hearn
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/KThnGvCrijU
Jamie didn’t hear the splash when her body hit the water. She didn’t feel the cold grip of swirling liquid engulf her or lift her back up to the surface minutes later. She never noticed a murder of crows perched on the railings of the dilapidated concrete bridge. Or the way moonlight reflected off their coal black wings, shimmered in the rippling river and her wet hair. Jamie didn’t see, feel, or hear much of anything anymore. Because at twenty-two… Jamie Lund was dead.
The water carried her like a baby and birthed her to the grassy bank on the other side of the bridge. A branch grabbed the black mini-skirt that she had worn that night and held it against the tug. A thousand ebon eyes watched her body drift and moor like a boat. A
cold wind bent the tall grass on the river’s edge and filled the night with wings. Against the churning bubble and the damp lights of the city in the distance, a cacophony of beaks erupted. Caws like locusts fell from the sky.
As if struck by a hammer to the chest, breath fueled Jamie’s lungs. An awakening gasp burst through icy, cold lips and teeth that were filled with muddy leaves and liquid. Jamie’s back arched and her head rose from the water with a jolt. Her eyes were milky white and distant. She sucked in a gulp of air with the grate of a straw searching for that last drop of soda under the ice; raspy like thorns – broken as the wind in the hollow of a tree. Her arms pushed up and drove her hands deep into riverbank mud. The chips and cracks in her red- polished nails were covered with dirt. Crows swarmed above her as a single mood. She coughed the river from her throat and pulled her shaking body from the frigid wet.
Ebon eyes glared at the wretched girl from the sky, from the trees, and their concrete perch on the dilapidated bridge as she struggled with stiff limbs to drag her sore and aching body through the tall weeds to the road. Jamie sat at the edge of the busted tarmac and looked around as her vision slowly tuned into her surroundings. The moon smiled down on her, a faint yellow, illuminating a patch of earth that she had never been to before. Nothing was familiar. Everything felt wrong. Fog peeled back from her memory like Russian nesting dolls, opening into themselves, getting smaller and smaller with the same effect, revealing nothing. She didn’t know how or why she was here. Worry blossomed inside her chest like a fruit basket.
She tried to call out. To simply speak, to utter a sound, to work her feeble voice, but her throat burned hot nails all the way down her windpipe. A tiny squeak parted from her icy blue lips and she placed a hand to her throat. It was fraught with pain. She struggled. She worked her jaw to loosen her voice box, wind the organ up to play, but a flash of memory slammed into the back of her skull. It shook her shoulders awake, repeating on a loop.
Scorching Jamie’s cerebral cortex, her eyelids fluttered.
She was looking at herself in a freestanding mirror - getting dressed. A column of jet-black hair fell past bare shoulders, framing her pretty face. She had a lithe, curvy shape, sensual lips, and thin fingers that pulled the zipper of her skirt up the side of her hip. She turned the cute little black number around so that the fastener was in the back. She straightened her black lace bra, smiled, and then did her make up. She was going out...
Suddenly, Jamie felt wet and shivered. Fear crept past her damp clothes and crawled under her skin as she lifted herself onto the road. Every muscle rebelled. Her knees argued at the thought of bending. The joints in her fingers and elbows ached, popping with movement. Her back felt as if someone had surgically implanted a slab of concrete, and a blinding pain ran from her neck down her spine. Her shoes were missing, toes numb, the sides of her feet scrapped along the busted edge of the tarmac as she rose crooked and wobbly onto two weak legs.
It was a horrible dream, unspooling limbs for the audience of the blackbirds. Nothing was clear, nothing was familiar. A dull ringing filled Jamie’s ears and she felt cold. Bitter and deep, that sprang from her center. Jamie Lund felt the cold that no one ever feels but which we’re all made to visit. Somewhere vaguely in the coils of her mind the little lost dead girl was reminded that it was July. Its not supposed to be this cold out! Slowly, Jamie wrapped her arms across her chest and lumbered toward the distant lights of the city.
About the Author- Stavros:
Notorious Poet. Fool. Born in Washington DC. Stavros was a writer and editor for The Independent Underground Magazine. Raised in Southern Maryland, he fled the Chesapeake Bay to the wilds of the New Mexican desert. He is a single father of two, whose poetic works have been published in several online and print publications, including Central Avenue, The Sword That Cuts Through Stone, Poets Against The War, Conceptions Southwest, The Mynd, Imagine: Creative Arts Journal, and Bartleby, where he won a specialty award for his poem, Blackbird.
In 1999, he won an Official Selection into the Writer’s on the Edge Festival for his play, The Redline. In 2001, he created the Poetry Television Project for public cable access in Albuquerque, NM. All eight volumes of Ptv’s ground-breaking show were broadcast to over 100,000 viewers on a network of regional PAC channels throughout the Southwest and Baltimore. He helped to launch Unpublished Magazine, sponsored the monthly poetry series, The Word Café, in the Duke city, and produced a political compilation, Poetic Democracy. In 2007, he released the award-winning documentary film, Committing Poetry in Times of War.
In 2010, he launched the production management company, Organic Ghetto, and released its first imprint, Crazy Duck Press, with his first novel, Blood Junky. Blood Junky received exceptional praise and review, even being called "one of the best vampire novels ever written," by Living Dead Media. The following year he helped to launch BioGamer Girl, undertook a bigger East coast tour where he began selling his original photographic art, and released two new novels through Crazy Duck Press. Dead Girl: A Romantic Zombie Tale of Revenge features a stunning full-color cover and twelve black and white illustrations from tattoo artist, Charles Hearn. Blood Junky’s sequel, Love in Vein, cemented the One Blood series with its continuation of the story, garnering such review as to claim that the book and the series is "comparable with, and at times surpasses, the 'Vampire Chronicles' by Anne Rice."
In 2012, Stavros joined forces with the Vampire Professor, Bertena Varney, M.A.M.Ed, to co-create the nonfiction annual anthology, Vampire News, and officially became a Fangsmith with the creation of Organic Ghetto's second imprint, Kaos Kustom Fangs. He rounded out the year by writing and editing screenplays for the One Blood Transmedia Project, recording Dead Girl as an audio book, and undertaking his biggest national marketing campaign, The Book & Fang Tour.
In 2013, he and the Vampire Professor released the second volume of Vampire News: The (not so) End Times Edition and is currently working on writing and growing his imprints. Stavros is also a musician who has scored commercials, film shorts, documentaries, and television programs.
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