Zombie Apocalypse


By B. A. Frade

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A new entry in the frightfully fun series perfect for fans of Goosebumps.

Ryan and Tyler are obsessed with zombies-each year, they tie for first place at their school’s annual costume contest with their grosser than gross zombie costumes. When some seriously spooky looking zombies show up at the dance this year, the boys think someone has called in a Hollywood makeup artist to finally snag the trophy. Little do they know, this isn’t a case of special effects…it’s a Zombie Apocalypse, courtesy of the Scaremaster! Can they outwit the Scaremaster and save their classmates, or will their brains be on the menu?


Chapter One

"Tyler!" I called across the cramped and crowded costume shop to my brother. "You gotta see what I found!" I grabbed big boxes, small boxes, and thickly stuffed clear plastic envelopes in all sizes off the shelves until my arms were full.

A package of latex peeling skin got away from me and fell to the floor. There was no way I could pick it back up without dropping everything, so I left it where it landed.

"Where are you?" I shouted past frenzied shoppers looking for the best deals.

The costume shop was a small space. Tall display shelves formed mazelike aisles. Merchandise was so packed in that it made the already-tight store feel dark and mysterious. To me and Tyler that meant "extra-awesome"!

"Over here. In the makeup aisle." Tyler gave what we called the "family whistle." One sharp burst followed by three softer tweets.

I listened closely to pinpoint the sound, then headed toward it, hurrying down the first empty aisle I found. I didn't want to waste time dodging shoppers. I was moving so fast my straight brown bangs flopped down over one of my brown eyes. Mom wanted me to cut my hair, but I refused. I could use the other eye just fine.

"Excuse me." A pale-faced, pencil-thin young woman with long black hair appeared in the center of the aisle.

"Whoa!" I didn't see her until it was almost too late. I managed to stop in time, but it was a serious near miss that could have been a big crash. I fumbled the things in my hands, and I dropped another package of fake skin. Oh well. I'd picked up so many of them, losing one more wouldn't matter.

"No running," she said, pinning me with her bright blue eyes. Her voice wasn't raised, like whenever I get caught dashing around school by the principal; it was calm and firm, kind of like Mom's when she gets angry. The woman scooped up the fallen package of fake skin but didn't offer it back to me.

"We don't act like monsters in my shop." She handed me a plastic basket with two handles. "Put the items you wish to buy in here."

Heaving a sigh, I dumped everything I was carrying into the basket. I was in a hurry—couldn't she see that?

"Now can I go?" I asked, feeling impatient.

She held up a hand like a stop sign. "Let me see what you have."

The woman took her time going through the items I'd chosen. "Dirty, torn shorts, muddy, ripped T-shirts, red-colored contact lenses, artificial skin, bandages…" She neatly stacked it all, then handed the newly organized orange basket back to me, asking, "Zombie, right?"

"My brother and I are going to the school Halloween dance on Friday," I told her, feeling a surge of happiness. Halloween is my favorite holiday. "We're going to have the most amazing costumes!"

"I see." Her voice was now kind and soft. "You're certainly off to a good start." Her blue eyes seemed to shift to green when she told me, "You'll find your brother at the end of the next aisle to the left."

"How did you know—" I started to ask.

"Twins," she replied with a small smile that twinkled in her eyes, making them seem yellow. "He looks exactly like you." She added, "Except for the hair." Tyler's was cropped short, the way Mom wanted.

"Of course," I said with a small nod. Being a twin was both a good thing and a bad thing. It was annoying when people mixed us up. But on Friday night, it was going to be epic when we mixed ourselves up on purpose.

"Go on," the woman said, pointing the way. "I'm sure you two have a lot of planning to do." She paused, still blocking my way and staring into my one uncovered eye for a few heartbeats before stepping aside so I could pass.

I shivered. There was a spark of something in the woman's now-brown eyes that made me nervous. She was nice enough, so I didn't know what was giving me the chills.

Using my "best manners" just like Mom would expect of me, I said, "Thank you, ma'am," and walked away.

Of course, my manners faded when I was out of her sight. With a quick look behind me to make sure she wasn't following, I took off running again.

"What took you so long, Ryan?" Tyler asked when I found him, exactly where the woman had said.

Suddenly, I felt as if someone was staring at my back, which was odd because I'd just checked. Now I double-checked. No one was there.

Shaking off the feeling, I held out the basket, jamming it toward Tyler. "I found some cool stuff."

My brother was a turtle. He took his time, slowly inspecting each item before asking, "Do we have to match?"

"Absolutely," I said, bouncing on my toes. We'd agreed a long time ago. "You promised me that we could be scary matching zombies when we went to middle school… and now it's middle school!"

"Oh." Tyler turned his attention back to the makeup. "I was sorta thinking we'd both be zombies, but you could be a crawler and I'd be a boney."

Boneys and crawlers were the most frightening kinds of zombies.

Tyler had spent a lot of time on the Internet reading about the undead over the past few months. He'd been the one to find this store. We had to take a bus, but the online comments said the man who owned it was an expert in monsters and would have everything we needed. The review was right about the costumes but possibly wrong about the man who owned it. I was pretty positive that the woman with the strange eyes was the owner. I didn't have any proof—she just acted like someone who didn't want me to mess up her store.

"Fine. Let's both be crawlers," I said. Tyler had told me that those were the kind of zombies with bad injuries that made them hobble along. They were really common in movies, and Tyler and I had seen a lot of horror movies. I hadn't known exactly what they were called until Tyler did his costume research.

I held up the shorts I'd found. "We can put fake blood all over our legs." I pointed at some tubes of blood on the shelf behind his shoulder.

"I really wanted to be a boney," Tyler countered. Boneys had their skin peeling off so that the bones showed through. He showed me these soft fake bones that you stuck to your skin to make it look like your bones were on the outside. There were leg bones and arms bones. They were kind of expensive, but I had to admit, they were really, really cool.

"Sure, great," I said. It didn't matter what kind of zombie we were, as long as we were the same kind.

For two and a half months, we'd kept our plans a secret. No one would be expecting what we were going to do. In fact, and just to really freak everyone out, Tyler was going to cut my hair short to match his right before the dance. We were going to shock everyone by appearing in two places at once! It was going to be a historic Halloween, one that would be remembered forever.

"Pick the makeup," I told Tyler. I really didn't care as long as it was scary. "I'll be whatever kind of zombie you want."

Tyler turned back to the makeup display. "Boneys," he said, more to himself than to me. "We need white and red and black.…" He surveyed the selection. "Liquid latex, eyeliner, green slime, a lot of these fake bone pieces, and dark purple paint for bruises." All that went neatly into my basket.

I tried to be patient, but it was hard. Tyler wasn't just neatly organizing the things he found—he was organizing them alphabetically! When he finally took a pause, I snatched the heavy basket away before he could add anything else and fled to the register.

The woman with the changing eyes was at the counter. Without speaking, she nodded at each item as she rang up our choices. She didn't say a word until she told us the price.

Tyler looked at me with a horrified expression. "We don't have enough money."

"Are you sure?" I fished a combination of dollar bills and coins from my pocket. "We have all this!" I dumped our stash on the counter. It was every cent of our allowance and money we'd found in the couch since July. I'd even added two quarters I'd found on the sidewalk last week.

"I counted it last night," Tyler said, pinching his lips together while contemplating the glowing digits on the cash register display. "We're going to have to put a lot of stuff back."

I sighed as Tyler started separating the items into two piles. Most of the things I'd picked were ending up in the put-back pile.

"Can't we keep any of it?" I moaned.

"I don't think so." Tyler was distracted, adding totals in his head. "Makeup is the most important thing. Plus, it was my idea to come here.…" he reminded me, as if that meant he got first dibs on what we bought.

"But—" I started to argue, when the woman at the counter cut in, saying, "I have a solution to your problem."

I'd honestly forgotten she was still standing there.

We looked up at her.

She crooked a finger. "Follow me." It was more of a command than a request.

Tyler glanced at me. We didn't just look alike; sometimes it was as if I could hear his thoughts. He wasn't scared, but he was more cautious than me. I knew he'd come along, but at his own pace after carefully considering her odd invitation. In the meantime, I wasn't waiting. I took off after her. Seriously, she owned the most amazing shop on the planet. What could go wrong?

I could feel Tyler's eyes burning into my back and knew he was scowling. But as I predicted, a second later I heard his footsteps behind me.

The woman led us through the store, down a narrow hallway, to the most incredible storage room I'd ever seen. The door was made of intricately carved heavy wood with a polished brass handle. It was awesome—perfectly spooky for a costume shop!

The hinges creaked as she twisted the knob and stepped inside.

"This is where I keep the discount items," she told us. "Only special customers get to come back here."

Leaning over to my brother, I said, "This is soooo cool."

It was like we'd won the costume shop lottery. The room was creepy. The woman was creepy. I couldn't wait to see what she had hidden here.

I pushed past Tyler and ran over to a shelf filled with items. There was a sign posted. "Seventy-five percent off," I exclaimed. "Check it, Ty!"

"That's a huge discount!" Tyler hurried over. We excitedly started searching through the items. "Forget what we picked outside. Everything we need is right here," he told me.

I expected the woman would leave us and go back out to her other customers, but instead, she moved to the side of the room and sat down in a chair that I hadn't noticed at first. This wasn't just a discount room. It was also her office, which confirmed to me that the online forums had been wrong. For sure, she was the owner.

The large throne chair, carved in a pattern similar to the door's, had interwoven circles and strange squiggled patterns along the back. It sat behind a clean, polished desk. The smooth surface reminded me of Tyler's desk at home. I hadn't seen the top of my desk in a long time.

I felt like we should hurry so she could go back into the busy shop, but the woman didn't appear to be in a rush. I looked at Tyler. He shrugged, and we silently agreed to take our time.

We started picking things off the discount shelf. Tyler organized what we wanted to buy into a neat pile, adding up the prices.


On Sale
Apr 18, 2017
Page Count
160 pages

B. A. Frade

About the Author

Growing up on the edge of a graveyard, in a house rumored to be haunted, B.A. Frade seemed destined to write spooky stories. B.A. spent years investigating haunted attics, mysterious creatures, and things that go “boo” in the night to become an authority on all things creepy and scary. B.A. lives and writes in a location we promised to keep a secret (in case any ghouls come asking with mischief in mind).

New York Times bestselling author Stacia Deutsch has written more than a hundred children’s books. In addition to her award-winning chapter book series Blast to the Past, Stacia ghostwrites stories in many popular series and has written junior movie novels for blockbusters such as Batman and Ghostbusters. She has an MFA from Western State Colorado University, where she currently teaches fiction writing.

Learn more about this author