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Welcome to Fiction Fridays! We aim to give you a short bite of fiction every week–something you can enjoy during your lunch hour–but with a twist: You pick the idea for the next installment! It was my turn to write this week’s segment, but I don’t know a thing about zombies.  So, I did what I always do when […]

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Fiction Fridays: Pray for Night — Part 2

Posted by on Sep 28 2012, 12:00 am Posted in ,

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Welcome to Fiction Fridays! We aim to give you a short bite of fiction every week–something you can enjoy during your lunch hour–but with a twist: You pick the idea for the next installment!

It was my turn to write this week’s segment, but I don’t know a thing about zombies.  So, I did what I always do when in a writing bind, I turned to my trusty CP, the RITA-award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Darynda Jones, author of First Grave on the Right, Second Grave on the Left, Third Grave Dead Ahead, and (coming Oct. 30) Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet! Because she loves a good zombie tale and always has my back, she offered to step in for me.

Enjoy this special second installment of Pray for Night, and let us know where we should take Marly next!

To get caught up, read Part 1 here.


Pray for Night – Part 2

By Darynda Jones

An ear-splitting scream shattered the thick silence of night, and it took Marly a moment to realize it had been wrenched from her own throat.

She barely had time to register the fact that the woman standing before her wasn’t quite alive when one decaying hand reached for her. She scrambled back, her palms scraping against the sidewalk, but the nun lumbered forward in pursuit. In what little lamplight filtered her way, Marly could just make out the nun’s face. Or what was left of it. Part of her mouth and cheek had rotted away, exposing a row of yellowing teeth. Most of her nose had fallen off. And her lids had shrunk back into her skull, making her eyes look huge.

A hollow moan escaped the woman as she reached out again, and before Marly could react, the nun was over her. Eyes empty. Teeth bared.

Marly twisted and tried to struggle out from under her, but the woman proved faster than she looked. Decomposing fingers curled into a handful of hair, entangling the chestnut locks in scratchy flesh and gnarled bone. She jerked Marly’s head back and bent forward, her mouth open in preparation for a feast.

Panic rocketed through every molecule in Marly’s body. Lunging forward with all her might, she pulled the woman off balance then regretted her decision when the woman pitched forward and landed right on top of her. The force crushed her ribs and emptied her lungs. But surely the fall wouldn’t account for the fact that the woman’s head came clean off. It bounced on the ground in front of Marly’s face and rolled to the curb, falling into the gutter with a soft thud.

Then the weight of the nun’s body lifted and Marly turned to see Chase Montgomery standing over her, machete in hand. He hefted the remains to the side and scanned the area, his body taught, his eyes alert.

Unable to stop the world from spinning, Marly stayed put.

“You okay?” Chase asked when he looked back at her. She tried to answer but couldn’t quite remember how to speak. He nodded toward the severed head. “That was close. Even you don’t want one of those things taking a bite.”

Marly blinked. Gaped unapologetically. And her hair couldn’t possibly look good.

“Chase Montgomery,” he said, wiping his blade on the nun’s habit. The fluid lines of his biceps flexed with each movement. He looked at her from underneath his lashes. “We met earlier.”

“Yes,” she said, nodding absently. She had his number on a napkin in her pocket. “I remember, but what are you doing here?”

“Oh, right, sorry about this.” He lifted the machete for her to see before sheathing it in a holster on the side of a military style knapsack. “I work for the CDC. Kind of. It’s a long story.”

“I thought you worked at the Squishy Suds car wash.”

He sucked in a soft breath through his teeth, busying himself with checking what looked like an arsenal in his knapsack. “Yeah, I lied.”

“You lied?”

“Are you okay?” he asked, eyeing her with concern. He bent to help her up then steadied her when she almost crumbled back to the concrete.

Locking her knees, Marly pointed at the nun’s head. “What—? What was—?”

“That?” He studied his handy work a moment. “That was a zombie nun.” When he chuckled, Marly sank into a deeper state of surrealism. “Don’t hear that everyday. Zombie nun. Oh, here.” He pulled a red clutch from the back of his waistband. “You left this at the Tipsy Pig.”

Marly could only stare at it in wonder. “What did you mean, even me?”

When she didn’t take the clutch, he shrugged and put it with his weapons. “Sorry?”

“You said, even I don’t want one of those things taking a bite.”

He paused and looked over his shoulder, letting his gaze travel the length of her with slow, deliberate precision. “You really don’t know?” he asked, his brows cinching together. When she only shook her head, proving the full effects of shock had finally gotten a good foothold on her central nervous system, he said, “That’s weird. And while I’d love to stand here and explain the intricacies of your rather incredible blood, we have company.”

She looked back and gasped at the lumbering bodies headed toward them with way more speed than they seemed capable of. One of the shorter ones took off in a full sprint, a gleam of determination in her eyes.

Marly jumped back and stumbled against her rescuer.

“They look hungry,” Chase said as though commenting on the weather. He took hold of Marly’s arm and pushed her behind him. Relief washed through her. He wasn’t going to leave her there to be eaten by an angry mob of nuns.

“Then again,” he said, sliding the machete out of its sheath as the first one charged toward them, “when don’t they look hungry?”


What happens next? You decide!
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54 responses to “Fiction Fridays: Pray for Night — Part 2”

  1. Terri Osburn says:

    Bwahahahahaha!!! I LOVE this. I’m totally confused about the blood thing and I want to keep reading to find out what the heck that means. Dragging this out for weeks is going to kill me. (But not with zombies, so that’s okay.)

    I couldn’t help it. I had to go with the boy band. LOL! Great job, Darynda! Thanks so much for taking part in this.

  2. What a great story! Can’t wait for the next installment. I write historical, not paranormal so it is great fun reading these installments. Great Work!

  3. Kat Cantrell says:

    I’m rolling – this is hilarious and so well done. Love it!! I had to go with boy band too. Who thinks of these things? I guess that’s why I’m not on the bestseller list yet. 🙂 Thanks Darynda. So awesome.

  4. I’m hooked! And a sucker for romance so I voted for the hotel room–even if they’re discussing blood. 🙂

    Great job, Darynda and thanks for guest writing!!!!

  5. Nikki McIntosh says:

    I’m loving this!!! And I love that we get to choose the action!! Great post Darynda!

  6. robena grant says:

    Oh yeah! No time for snuggling and blood discussions, let’s have another fight. : )
    Wonderful post Darynda. Thanks so much for playing along. Can’t wait for the next installment.

  7. Darynda says:

    Thank you guys so much! This was too fun and A.J. really set that bar high with her first installment. I hope I did her story justice and I’m honored to be here.

  8. Elisa Beatty says:

    Awesome, awesome job, Darynda!!!

    This is so fabulous….I can’t wait to find out about her incredible blood, but I too couldn’t resist the boy band (who’s up for next week?? better get ready to talk about zombies with adorably swoopy hair…)

  9. Great job! A worthy follow-up to AJ’s awesome zombie nun opener.

    I confess, the thought of boy band zombies made me laugh aloud but I voted for the Chase gets hurt option. I love when the tables are turned and the hero and heroine take turn rescuing each other. And wounded/nursing? Always fraught.

  10. So fun! Great job with Chase, Darynda! You managed to get us to fall in love with him in under 800 words. Sheesh. No wonder you’re a bestseller! 😉

    Can’t wait until next week!

  11. Gwyn says:

    Too cute. And D, you do damned fine work, girlfriend!

  12. Also, I loved “I thought you worked at the Squishy Suds car wash.” !!!

  13. Kay Hudson says:

    Great installment, Darynda. I want to know how Chase “kind of” works for the CDC, but who can resist a zombie boy band?

  14. Karen says:

    Oh my goodness. Darynda you rock! This is so awesome. My eyes were going faster than my brain to keep up with the tension.

    Terrific segment and thank you so much for sharing your amazing talent with us.

    • Darynda says:

      Okay, Karen, you are now officially hired to boost my self-esteem on a regular basis. Hahaha. Thank you so so much!! This was just too fun and I am so very honored to have been invited. What a great group you have here!

  15. Tamra baumann says:

    Dude! That was soooo much better than anything I could have come up with. Loving the boy band!

    Thanks for coming to my rescue as always. This is why I love you more than my iPad. ;0)

  16. HI-LAR-I-OUS! I love this! OMG! I’m hurting myself laughing here–at zombie nuns!

    Love how you got Chase right into the mix and made us love him immediately. Also loved the Squishy Suds car wash thing. Awesome!

    As much as I want them to get to that hotel room and find out about her blodd, I voted boy band zombies, too. I couldn’t resist.

    Love this!!

  17. Carol Post says:

    Great installment, Darynda. I loved it! Thanks so much for kicking this one off for us.

    I’m voting for number 2, escaping to a motel room to discuss her incredible blood.

  18. Jean Willett says:

    Love it!! Intriguing tidbits to draw the reader to the next installment. Too funny about the zombie boy band!

    Way to go, Darynda!

  19. Viki S. says:

    That was fun. I’m old school. I have them fighting for their lives :).

  20. June Love says:

    Darynda, great story, but you never write anything but. I had to read last week’s installment, which was also wonderful.

    What a fun idea for Friday blogging! Thanks, Elisa, for announcing this on the Ruby loop.

  21. […] they face the zombie nuns in the graveyard…………..  visit if you dare!!!!! Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted on […]

  22. LorendaC says:

    Boy Band here we come!

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