White Trash Zombie Gone Wild

Free White Trash Zombie Gone Wild by Diana Rowland

Book: White Trash Zombie Gone Wild by Diana Rowland Read Free Book Online
Authors: Diana Rowland
skipped down the corridor to the Head Room. In an hour, maybe less, I’d be done with work and safely out with the vials. An odd cinnamon scent wafted over me as I made my way with a spring in my step, but I didn’t see a source and put it out of my mind as I reached my destination.
    The Head Room was, hands down, the creepy-coolest place in the lab. Within, four stainless steel vats the size of big crockpots held zombie heads, grim remains of Ed Quinn’s zombie hunting rampage. A lifelong friend of Marcus, Ed was another victim of Dr. Charish’s manipulation. She’d molded him into a murdering zombie hunter by playing on his belief that a zombie had killed his parents, all so he’d collect the zombie heads she wanted for research. And, of course, she’d let him take the full rap once the cops identified him as a serial killer. Cold-blooded bitch.
    The good news was that the Tribe managed to recover the heads, and five currently survived in stasis—a form of parasite hibernation. The bad news was that the nutrient stuff they floated in wasn’t quite right yet, which was why only one of them had started regrowing. Dr. Nikas had said that if he could determine the missing factor, he’d also be a step closer to creating fake brains, and zombies wouldn’t have to rely on human brains anymore.
    Despite the not-quite-right nutrient, one head had made significant progress. Over the past six months, a fetus-like body had budded from his severed neck and developed rapidly. John Kang, the first zombie I met after I was turned. In the short time I’d known him, we had several rocky interactions, including one where I tried to warn him that the serial killer was targeting zombies. He hadn’t listened and ended up decapitated. Still, I learned a lot about being a zombie from him, and I liked the idea that he might not be permanently dead.
    He’d grown out of the crockpot and now lay suspended in slug snot within a glass coffin-like tank. It wasn’t actually slug snot. Or any kind of snot. Dr. Nikas called it Nutrient Medium 42, but it looked and felt like a bucket of slug slime mixed into a barrel of cloudy mucus with a cup of blood thrown in to give it a gross pink tinge. Barf.
    Changing Kang’s gloop was one of my regular duties, but as I entered I noted snot already blop-blopping into the floor drain from a hose attached to the spigot of his tank. No complaints from me. That meant I’d be out of here that much faster.
    I put on a plastic apron, then hosed water into the tank, thinning the snot to help it drain quicker. Soon Kang lay exposed, naked, grey-skinned, and as still as a corpse. I skimmed a gaze over him. He’d grown. Last week he’d been a good half a foot shorter and a lot more wrinkled. Now his body looked full-size, no longer too small for his head.
    The lab had tablets to track data, and an app especially for Kang. I dutifully took and entered all forty-four measurements—everything from overall length to circumference of his chest to size of his boy parts. I smiled as I noted that he’d made significant growth on all counts.
    The door clicked, and Jacques Leroux entered, pushing a cart loaded down with a giant crockpot, a bucket, and a case of gauze bandage rolls. He was one of Dr. Nikas’s live-in lab assistants—slender and with skin so pale it was as if he hadn’t set foot outside for a century. He had the most amazingly expressive hazel eyes, though they always held a faintly haunted look as if he’d just woken up from a nightmare.
    The cinnamon scent came with him and seemed to originate from the crockpot.
    â€œLength?” he asked.
    I didn’t take his brusque manner personally. He wasn’t much of a talker. I checked the tablet entry. “Up sixteen point five one centimeters.”
    Jacques set the tray on the counter then snatched the tablet from me. “Length, one seventy-three point

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