The Last Town (Book 2): Preparing For The Dead

Free The Last Town (Book 2): Preparing For The Dead by Stephen Knight

Book: The Last Town (Book 2): Preparing For The Dead by Stephen Knight Read Free Book Online
Authors: Stephen Knight
Tags: thriller, Horror, Zombie
stutter, Hector. Sit quietly or leave. Your call.”
    Aguilar laughed mirthlessly. “I don’t believe you have much authority over me, Max. I’m a sitting member of the council, a representative of the town. You don’t tell me what to do!”
    “He does tonight,” Grady said. “Sit down, or I’ll escort you out.”
    A middle-aged woman named Gemma Washington took her seat beside Grady. She looked at Aguilar as she lowered her heavy frame into the chair, then nudged Grady with one pointy elbow.
    “If he resists, will you promise to shoot him?” she asked.
    Grady smiled. “We’ve had enough shooting in this town for one day.”
    “Well, get ready. There’s more coming.”
    Everyone looked to the door as Barry Corbett stalked through it like a hungry lion scouring the savanna for prey. Three men followed him, one carrying a box. Norton recognized them from the airport. Part of Corbett’s security detail. He wondered why old Barry had brought them inside. As he approached Norton’s seat, Corbett stopped short and looked down at him.
    “You read my e-mail?” he asked.
    “Yep. Quite the eye opener. Seen the news about New York?”
    “I have.”
    “Then I hope your guys are starting work, because LA’s starting to go the same route.”
    “Excuse me, just what is this about?” Aguilar said. He turned to Booker. “Do you mean to tell me that Corbett called this ‘special session’ tonight?”
    “No. I did,” Booker said. “But Mister Corbett has some specific agenda items that he’d like to discuss.”
    “What agenda might that be?” Grady asked. There was no trace of confrontation in the police chief’s voice, and Norton figured it was a fair question.
    “I’ll have that socialized in just a moment.” Norton turned to the man behind him holding the box, and he pointed at Norton. “Mister Norton will need one, then distribute a copy to everyone else in the room.”
    “Yes, sir,” the man said. He put the box on the floor, pulled off the lid, and handed Norton a thick, spiral-bound document before moving on. Norton paged through the heavy document. It was a printout of everything Corbett had sent him via e-mail, plus an executive summary titled PREPARING SINGLE TREE FOR THE APOCALYPSE. He chuckled quietly when he saw that.
    As the rest of the documents were being passed out, the door to the chamber opened again. Norton turned and watched as Victor Kuruk eased into the room. The leader of the Paiute-Shoshone reservation that sat between the town of Single Tree and the airport was a solid sort of guy, and he dressed the part: faded jeans, well-worn work boots, and a long-sleeved denim shirt rolled up at the elbows. He carried a leather jacket over one arm, and his long, silver-streaked hair was pulled back in a ponytail. He was maybe ten years younger than Corbett but he carried himself like a much younger man. Norton knew he was a favorite among the Hollywood elite when it came time to casting calls for older, wise-looking Native Americans, and Victor had made a good chunk of change appearing in everything from television commercials to feature films. He also had a magnificent speaking voice, a rich baritone that was as flexible as a yoga instructor. That gift had made him a millionaire. As if those accolades weren’t enough, Victor had written several nonfiction books about the regional Native American population that had been picked up by the University of California Press. But like everyone else who called the Single Tree vicinity home, success hadn’t been enough to dislodge Victor Kuruk. Even if home was a small reservation community with a population of less than four hundred.
    “Hello, Victor. Thanks for coming,” Max Brooks said with a wave.
    Corbett cracked a small smile. “Fashionably late as always, Vic.”
    “I had trouble deciding what to wear,” Victor replied.
    “What were the choices, denim and flannel?”
    Victor nodded. “It’s a bit nippy out tonight, but still not

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