In THE COMPLEX, Cali Anglin learns the hard way that nothing stays the way we want it. The mom, wife and nurse had a simple life - and now she must fight to save her family after a virus goes awry and a plague of zombies takes over. The survivors must make a safe zone in their gated apartment complex but how can they survive with their humanity intact?
In THE HIGHWAY, survivors driven from their California home by marauders head to family in Idaho. Their hope is to survive on the way to that next safe area, but they find that safety comes at a cost. How much would you be willing to pay for the chance to begin again?
An excerpt from THE COMPLEX:
Oh. My. God. That was exactly what they were saying, wasn’t it? The patient died. It was after they died that they came back, without a heartbeat, moving and violent. They were talking about real life zombies
I sat unmoving. While I faced the television I couldn’t see it. All I could see was my son sprawled across the bed. All I could see was walking towards Trent on our wedding day. How would I tell them that there were zombies happening? How could I destroy the world as they knew it?
I walked softly down the hall into the pitch dark of the master bedroom. It didn’t often occur to me how dark it gets in there with the extra window coverings I had up to block out the sun in there. Night shifters like me tend to have a cave for a room. That morning it hit me how truly dark it got. I climbed into my side of the king sized bed and just lied there. What do I say? I put my hand on my husband’s arm and he stirred.
An Interview with Cali:
My name is J and I'll be meeting with Cali Anglin in just a few moments. I'm standing on one side of a gated fence right now, as they can't allow me in unless I can prove that I am not infected. Instead they have set up an area for me to meet with her.
As she gets closer to the gate I notice her right hand had disappeared behind her back as she searches the surrounding area. When she seems satisfied she takes her hand out from behind her back and shakes my hand through the gate. She stands with confidence, strong and content. She slides the sunglasses off her face and onto her head like a headband. Her hazel eyes are sparkling and the smile on her lips match the smile in her eyes. We introduce ourselves before I get to asking questions. Cali reminds me that the question/answer thing has to be quick, there is only so much time she can spend on this interview.
J: With the zombie apocalypse in full swing, I imagine your priorities in life have changed. What is the most important thing to you?
Cali: Actually J., the things that were most important then are still the most important now. Family. I fought to keep them safe and happy before, what mom hasn't! Though, I have to admit, things were easier in the before. We taught Drew all about the stranger danger lessons—don't take candy from people you don't know, etc. It is a bit harder now, I have to admit. Before, safe was easy. Now? Safe means to literally keep them from being eaten alive by predators.
J: If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?
Cali: A very, very big wall. Actually, I'd want a bio-dome, a nice huge one that covers a small city so we can have farming in it, a few livestock, and absolute protection from the monsters.
J: Has being a nurse come in handy with the apocalypse?
Cali: Yes, and no. I was a heart nurse. Give me chest pain and I could patch you up with some nitro and an aspirin until the doc came to clear out the blockage. If your blood pressure was up, I could give you meds for that and get you stable. If I had truly expected that the zombie apocalypse was knocking at our door any day, I'd have chosen emergency med as my specialty.
J: How do you trust strangers in your area?
Cali: It's the end of the world. Only a few of us survived. I had this delusion that everybody would be on the same page as my group, that we all need to work together to make the whole of the group stronger. We wanted to be this shiny mecca. Some people that knocked at our gate seemed to be on the same page. Others, not so much. We had one group of people with the gall to be aggressive towards us. So, to answer your question, it's all in the approach.
J: Ok, I know you have to get back to your life, so I have just one more question for you. How long do you think you'll be able to last here in the complex?
Cali: (Cali pauses here. She looks thoughtful, turns her head to look at the apartments behind her and her eyes rest on a small group of children playing freeze tag. She sits motionless, wordless, for a short time, then turns her head towards me.)
I have no idea. I wish for forever, but I know better than that. all I can hope for now is for just one more day. One more safe day at a time. The idea that it could all end at any moment keeps me awake most every night. The enormity of it all scares the crap out of me so all I can hope for is just one more day.
J: Thank you so much, Cali!
Cali: No problem!
Cali, who never took even a moment to sit down despite the second chair on her side of the fence, shakes my hand again and urges me to get back to my group and to be safe. She then turns around and softly jogs back.
Now that her back is turned, I can see why she had put her hand behind her. Tucked into her waist band is a gun. She was prepared for the worst, but in her eyes I saw hope for the best.
Another member of her group, one I hadn't even noticed being there, lowered the gate for me. I crossed it quickly and got in my car. As I pulled away, I glanced into my rear view mirror where I saw Cali standing on a roof with several other people. I have a good feeling about these guys. They have stayed human and I think that of everyone I had seen, her group will be the most likely to make it.