Praise the Dead: A Zombie Novel [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Gina Ranalli
eBook Category: Horror/Young Adult
eBook Description: Young Andrew Perry has what he calls "The Power of Resurrection," and he wields it like a toy wand, reanimating animals and people as he sees fit, primarily for his own amusement. But when this strange power begins to amplify, he decides he must be destined for more than merely roadside parlor tricks.
In another part of the country, a girl named Lindy possesses a power of her own, a power that threatens both her health and her sanity. The ability to hear and speak to birds, at first terrifying, soon gives birth to insight that suggests there is more going on than she perceives.
Day by day and year by year, each child becomes more aware of the other and the inevitable confrontation that is fast approaching. Each must build their own army and prepare for the final showdown between Good and Evil. Caught in the middle, the rest of humanity must choose a side, especially when the dead begin to walk.
Who will honor the living . . . and who will Praise the Dead?
eBook Publisher: Coscom Entertainment, Published: 2010-07-30, 2010
Fictionwise Release Date: September 2010
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2 Reader Ratings:
He crushed the black beetle beneath his bare heel and bent over to examine his handiwork. The insect's guts were white and disgusting and made him laugh good and hard. He sat down on the sidewalk and prodded the dead insect with his small index finger. The creature didn't move of its own accord; the boy frowned, uncertain why this would be.
It seemed wrong to him somehow.
Little brow creased, the boy picked the bug off the pavement and rested the tiny corpse in the cup of his right hand. He placed his left hand over the right, hiding the beetle, and closed his eyes for a moment, a smile spreading across his face.
In his hand, the beetle twitched, tickling the boy's palm. More time ticked by and then the insect was alive again, scurrying out from between the boy's fingers and falling back to the sidewalk to limp away, its body still hobbled and broken, gone back to its mysterious beetle business.
The boy opened his blue eyes to the bright afternoon sunshine. He grinned and eventually the grin became a giggle, which in turn became a laugh.
He had discovered a new game and he looked around, anxious to play it again.
Much to his dismay, he couldn't see anything else to play with, but then he remembered the fish that lazily swam around in the tank his mother kept in the corner of the living room and he was happy again. He clumsily got to his feet and headed back inside.
The boy was four years old.
In another part of the country, a different child of the same age--this one a girl--was in the middle of a conversation with a crow. She sat at a picnic table in the backyard of her grandparents' house, her legs dangling two feet above the pine needles blanketing the ground. The crow cawed from the lowest branch of a nearby spruce.
The girl tilted her head quizzically, dark eyes raised to the bird. "Don't say that," she said. A moment later, she added, "Because it's scary."
Listening to the cawing crow, her nose wrinkled in distaste and she shook her head. "That stuff is make-believe."
"Lindy!" the girl's mother called from inside the house. Amelia James stood in the doorway, her figure blurred by the screens, drying her hands on a dishtowel. "Why don't you come inside and play with your cousins? It's getting cloudy out there. Aren't you cold?"
"No," Lindy replied, though in truth she was getting slightly chilled. A breeze ruffled her pixie hair and goosebumps sprang up on her naked forearms.
"Well, if it starts to rain, I want you in here pronto. Understand?"
Her mother disappeared back into the dimness of the kitchen and Lindy was almost sorry to see her go. She looked back up at the crow on its branch. The bird had remained silent throughout the girl's exchange with her mother. Now, it squawked loudly.
Lindy coughed, but didn't reply to the bird. Like the sky, her thoughts were filling up with dark clouds.
The bird continued to talk to her until Lindy shook her head. "No!" she almost shouted, then cast a worried glance in the direction of the backdoor. She waited to see if anyone in the house had heard her, but if they had, they weren't coming to investigate. Lowering her voice, she told the crow, "I can't do anything about that."
Cawing its reply, the crow bobbed its head up and down, its black bead eyes trained on Lindy.
"Maybe when I'm grown-up," she agreed. "But that's not for a long time."
She coughed again and felt the first twinges of a headache, but knew better than to mention it to her mother or father. She sometimes got headaches during or after a conversation like the one she was currently having, but when she'd complained to her parents, her father had laughed at her. He assumed she was making it up, parroting something she'd heard her mother say at some point.
"Kids don't get headaches," he'd say with a bit of a chuckle. "What would you get a headache for? You have nothing to worry about."
But, Lindy did get them. She'd just learned to keep it to herself after a while.
She looked away from the crow, studying the red-and-white-checked cloth that draped the picnic table. "When I'm grown-up," she said again. "If I still need to."
Even to the untrained ear, it was obvious the crow was protesting her statement.
Lindy's heartbeat increased. The bird made her nervous.
"Gonna rain," she said and abruptly rose from the table and raced for the backdoor, giving one final glance over her shoulder at the crow. Still on its branch, the crow watched the fleeing child, ruffled its sleek blue-black feathers and lifted its gaze to the crackling gray sky.
Despite her wishes, Lindy clearly heard the bird agree.