Friday, February 19, 2010


I am sick and look DISGUSTING. (name that movie in the comments)

HERE'S AN EXCERPT. this is the first page of my WIP.

I only invented Zombie Tag three weeks ago, and we’ve already lost seven spatulas. For awhile, I stole my Mom’s, but now she’s out. I make my friends bring them now. Once our mothers find out where all their spatulas are going, they’re going to be so mad. They’re going to team up and form some kind of army against us, I swear. But we’d be totally prepared. Mothers can never be as scary as zombies.

I guess we could play Zombie Tag without the spatulas, but that doesn’t sound like nearly as much fun.

Today is Anthony’s birthday, so we should be sleeping over at his house. The problem is, Anthony has an awful house for Zombie Tag. His place is like a museum. There’s all this great stuff, but you can’t touch any of it. And there’s nowhere to sit.

But because it’s his birthday, we let him be Zombie God. That means he’s the one who writes the words on the post-it notes--BARRICADE, BARRICADE, BARRICADE, BARRICADE, ZOMBIE. It’s pitch black, so he’s using his cell phone. The air conditioning is on too high because my dad is always hot. It’s coldest here in the basement. We’re all jumping up and down and shivering while Anthony folds and shuffles the post-it notes.

Eben comes thumping down the stairs. “Dude, shut up,” I say. “My parents are sleeping.”

“All the lights are off,” he says. He’s panting from running through the entire house. He volunteered to do it. He should man up and stop acting like he just ran a marathon or something.

Anthony clears his throat dramatically. “Okay,“ he says, holding the post-it notes above his head.

“No trading, no showing, no sharing.” He passes them out. We peek at them and stuff the evidence into our pockets.

I can’t believe it. I’m Zombie. In our millions of games of Zombie Tag, this is my first time being the zombie. It’s like it’s my birthday.

But no one would know from my face. I am the world’s coolest cucumber right now.

“Okay, eyes closed,” our Zombie God orders. We snap our eyes closed, and I slowly open mine to make sure the other guys aren’t peeking. They have their fingers stuffed into their ears, just like they’re supposed to. I feel kind of proud that they’re following my rules so well. It’s not every guy who has a bunch of friends who really understand how sacred a thing like Zombie Tag is, you know?

Time to fulfill my first duty as Zombie. I walk away from the circle as quietly as I can. I put all my weight on my heels before I lean onto each toe. When I was a kid, my brother told me that hunters used to walk like this so they didn’t get eaten by tigers. I totally believed him and put it in early settlers history paper a few weeks ago, and Ms. Hoole gave me a C and wrote THERE ARE NO TIGERS IN THE UNITED STATES. And that wasn’t even the point. I hate when teachers don’t pay attention.

So I keep my tiger-sneak walk up until I’m well out of the circle, then I run to the table and pick up the dinosaur. It’s this plastic coin bank my dad got be as a souvenir when he went to Russia a few months ago. He was checking up how they’re doing on the development of Time-Based Travel. I think they’re beating us, because Dad was really depressed when he got home, and he had this whole stack of papers to work through and all these reports to file. I asked him if he was a spy, and he said “Quiet, Wil,” and gave me this bank. And, it’s like, I’m not six, Dad, but at least it comes in useful for Zombie Tag.

It’s our Key. The other guys need to find the Key, or else they’re stuck in the house forever, and I’ll eat their brains.


cat hellisen said...

awesome! I love it.

ChristaCarol Jones said...

Hahaha! This is great. Zombie Tag. How clever. Went a little long on the explanation of the back story with the dinosaur bank IMO (I was ready to see the game played!), but honestly, your voice rocks in this WIP so I really didn't care by "..and it's like, Dad, I'm not six" part. Haha. And the teacher's note is brilliant, as is his response. Very cool!

Unknown said...

Ha! Totally awesome! Perfect, in my opinion. ;-)

Cambria Dillon said...

Ha! This is awesome. I love the spatula opening. My mom would've freaked if all of hers went missing. And you nailed the voice. Can't wait to read more about Wil.

Steve MC said...

Never heard of Zombie tag, but a quick search brought it up. Still, what's with the spatulas? When I added that to the search, what came up wasn't Zombie rules, but Chocolate Voodoo Drunken Zombie Cake. Score!

But really, great voice and start to the story.

Jordyn said...

i want this book.

Vee said...

Voice = amazing, as always. Also, Zombie Tag seems like an awesome game. Loved this tease :D

Anonymous said...


Amy Lukavics said...

I can't even handle how well you nailed this voice.

hannah moskowitz said...

You guys are the

Zombie tag was actually invented by one of my fantastic muser friends. I asked them what they did when they were twelve year old boys, and he told me the used to play Zombie Tag and explained the rules to me. Basically, I freaked out and knew it had to be my opening scene.

Steve MC said...

I am sick and look DISGUSTING. (name that movie in the comments)

I know you love "Fight Club," so maybe it's in there, but all I can think of is "You've Got Mail."

hannah moskowitz said...

pssh, nah. It's Love Actually.

"I love you. Even when you're sick and look DISGUSTING."

Emilia Plater said...

This is great. Love how you strike the balance between a kid who probably can't wait to be a teen and a boy who still likes to run around and have fun. MG, YA, adult... whatchu gonna do next? :D

in which a girl reads said...

Amazing opening, I lovelovelove the voice! And zombie tag sounds awesome :D