Omega Days (Volume 1) - By John L. Campbell



John L. Campbell

These are works of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

OMEGA DAYS Copyright © 2013 by John L. Campbell

Wild Highlander Press ® is a registered trademark.

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publishers, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review to be printed in a newspaper, magazine or periodical.

Cover design and illustration by Keith Haney / [email protected]

This is for my boys; Harrison, Fletcher and Daniel.

And for all those relentless, ravenous and wonderful fans who continue to devour zombie fiction with an insatiable appetite. Many thanks.


San Francisco - The Tenderloin

Xavier Church sat on a bowed, second-hand sofa while a window fan pulled evening air into the tiny living room. The apartment was small and furnished from thrift shops, but it was clean. Jesus stared down from every wall, featured in the last supper, his moment of crisis in the garden and many other scenes. Crucifixes and ceramic Virgin Mary’s were everywhere.

He sipped at a glass of lemonade, listening to Mrs. Robles puttering and stalling in the kitchen. Across from him an 80’s era television sat silently on a metal stand, reflecting his image in shadow tones. Staring back at him was a once-handsome man in his middle forties with

close-cut, graying hair, wearing the black suit and white collar of a priest. The collar seemed at odds with his boxer’s build, and the cruel pink scar which split his dark brown face. It started above his left eyebrow, snaking down the side of his nose and across his cheek before hooking back in to end at his chin. Not handsome anymore. Not since he was seventeen, when LaRay Johns caught him outside an Oakland 7-11.

Mrs. Robles finally returned to the living room carrying something wrapped in a dish towel, cradling it in both hands and setting it gently on the coffee table in front of the priest. Only in her thirties, she looked twenty years older, worn down from a hard life here in the Tenderloin. She was still in her work clothes, the uniform of a cleaning company, one of her three jobs.

“I find this in his room, Padre.” She perched on the edge of a chair and clasped her hands tightly in her lap, watching him with eyes red from crying.

Xavier lifted the edge of the towel, revealing a black, short-barreled revolver. “Did you ask him where he got it?”

Mrs. Robles nodded. “But he no tell me. He curse at me, tell me to mind my business. But I know he get it from those boys.”

The woman didn’t need to tell him who those boys were. It could only be 690K, the Latin gang which controlled this part of San Francisco. The 690 represented an address, supposedly where their founding member – a gangster now long dead himself – had made his first kill, an apartment building which his followers had turned into a shrine and where no one dared live. The K stood for killers. They were as ruthless as MS-13, and dreamed of one day rivaling the size and reach of that infamous gang. Recruiting young was their specialty, the random murder of an innocent their initiation. Xavier knew them well.

“Has he been going to school?”

She shook her head.

Xavier let the dish towel fall back over the pistol. Years of running the parish youth center and providing counseling for inner city families had taught him many things. One was that by the time a gun came into the house, it was usually too late. He hated the idea, hated the pessimism which had steadily crept into his life, tainting his views on everything and souring his belief in the goodness of people. He prayed for strength, but the thought that mankind as a whole was happy in its race towards damnation, content to abuse and destroy one another, had taken hold and grown in him. He hated his own weakness most of all, his inability to fight back against this cancerous attitude.

He forced a smile at Mrs. Robles. “Let me talk to him.”

She smiled back and came to him, taking his hands in hers and squeezing them, and then left the room. Xavier saw the gratitude in her eyes, the belief