Every epidemic begins with a relatively small group of people who’ve been exposed to an illness. The Centers for Disease Control believes that it is imperative to reach the site of an initial outbreak as quickly as possible in order to prevent further spread of the disease. Sometimes that isn’t always possible and events reach a catastrophic tipping point before the government can organize a response.
Origins of the Outbreak follows the chain of infection from one person to another after a university researcher in a small Texas town unwittingly develops a virus that threatens to destroy the world as we know it.
Told from the perspective of each victim as they experience their own version of hell while struggling to survive, Origins will leave you gasping in fear and wondering, “What if?”
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This book is different than any of the other books that I’ve written. I’d been reading a lot of serious zombie books and I wanted to write something that would be fun and not as gory as the stuff that was out there. I wanted it to be a light-hearted look at the zombie apocalypse and get inside the heads of people from a small town that was at the center of the initial outbreak. It’s a series of interrelated stories that build off of each other, with different characters in each story – although some characters reappear. The end result is a fun story that you can read in easily manageable “chunks” and not obsess about every little detail because the one clue that you likely missed was on page five and now the story doesn’t make any sense. Read it and enjoy yourself!
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I got the idea for the crazy Canadian plan of world domination for my book “The Collective Protocol” from a Canadian that I worked with who had a major desire to influence everything around him. But other than that, most of my characters are just made up as I go.
The Bible Thumper, 3:19 p.m.
Luanne Marie closed her worn leather bible and knelt beside her couch. She’d watched the news broadcast from just down the street in horror. What was happening in her small, God-fearing Christian community? The way the news described it, the dead were walking. That was just like in the Book of Revelation chapter twenty, verse thirteen when it said the dead would rise!
Was it finally time? After all these years – more than two thousand years – that the faithful had waited and prayed for, was the Rapture at hand? As a little girl, Luanne had been frightened of the prospect that one day every Christian would simply disappear and the heathens would be left to their own devices until the Good Lord destroyed the universe forever. But then when she was twelve, she’d heard that small voice tickling the back of her mind and she’d went forward to the preacher in front of everyone and confessed that Jesus Christ was her Lord and Savior.
Since then, she hadn’t been afraid of the end times. She knew that she’d be one of the ones taken to Heaven and then all those bad things that the Prophet John said would happen to the sinners would come to pass. She’d spent the morning rereading Revelation and when she got to chapter twenty, her blood chilled.
Clearly, the dead were walking, but that was supposed to happen after the Christians were called home to the New Jerusalem. She’d cried and prayed and cried again when she thought that Jesus had left her here until she called her pastor. The man had obviously been busy on the phone with more important members of the congregation, but he took the time to answer her questions and assure her that everything would be alright.
According to Pastor Allan, the Book of Revelation was meant as an illustrative essay to the members of the Church. John had been shown many things by God and a lot of the visions that he’d seen had come to pass over the course of history since the book was written two millennia ago. The Lord worked in mysterious ways and human beings – even those who are chosen and are as pious as John was – will never be able to fully interpret God’s will. John tried to interpret what he’d been shown, but obviously he’d gotten some things out of order.
The pastor also made a side reference to the fact that the King James Bible, the version that all good, God-fearing Christians should use, was translated and compiled by an earthly king in the 1600s. The Church at the time was losing followers because no one understood Latin so King James directed that the Bible be translated into English
for all the people to use. Pastor Allan said that it might have been a case of the king wanting the story to flow better by having the final, climactic scene at the end.
We’d never fully know the truth, but it was highly likely that the Lord intended the rise of the dead as a final test of his follower’s faith. Look at poor Job and all the things that the Lord allowed Satan to do to him, maybe this was a more widespread version of those trials and tribulations. In fact, the pastor told her, that’s where the term “tribulation” comes from; the faithful will have to endure terrible suffering to prove that they are worthy of passing through those Pearly Gates and seeing the face of the Almighty and his Son seated at his right hand.
Luanne had felt much better after talking to Pastor Allan. Everything he told her made perfect sense. She’d been brought up in the Church and lived her entire adult life as a Christian, so when the preacher told her that this is what the Lord told him, then by goodness, she would believe! He told her to stay in her home out of sight and pray for a few days until the heathens had been wiped off the face of the earth by the military and then meet at the church on Wednesday at noon. From there, the congregation would develop a plan to survive the coming apocalypse, if the Lord didn’t call them home before then.
It all sounded very prudent to Sister Luanne. So, she’d done as he’d directed and saved as much water as she could from the tap and took stock of her food situation. She was in very good shape; she had a garden in the back yard and canned her own vegetables. In fact, she had four boxes of the big mason jars of food sitting in the laundry room that she’d planned to deliver to the shelter after church on Sunday that added to her supply. When she went to the church next week, she’d be sure to load up all of her food in the trunk so others could share her good fortune.
She knew for a fact that the Wilson’s probably only had enough food to last a couple of days. Hillary was her best friend in the world, but that woman would not listen to common sense. The family made a point that they always went to the organic food market so all their food was fresh and Luanne thought that there was no way that they could have a stockpile of groceries. She harrumphed at the silliness. The only preservatives that she used in her canning were salt and water – that was as natural as you could get.
After she was done with the little things like closing the blinds and making sure her doors were locked, she sat on the couch with her bible and turned on the news. It was terrible, but mesmerizing at the same time. All those people were being killed in the most horrifying way. She couldn’t even imagine being eaten alive. How disgusting. She wondered if any of the people who were killed were Christians but then she went
back to Pastor Allan’s comments that this was the final test for humanity. Maybe every person who was now one of those creatures had taken God’s test and failed. What if all the Christians who’d not back-slid into Satan’s grasp were at home or work, safe and only the sinners were attacked?
It made sense to Sister Luanne. She’d done everything that the Lord had asked her throughout her life, including remaining abstinent until God delivered the right man for her to marry and possibly have children with. She felt a pang of sorrow at that thought. With the way the world was and the Rapture surely to be close behind it, she’d never experience the joy of having a child. But it was God’s will that it happen this way, so she’d accept the role she’d been given.
She was the church’s Sunday school instructor for all the children under five and loved every minute of her work for the Lord. She was still young enough that the kids didn’t view her as an old lady; they saw her as more of a mature older sister who taught them about God through games and songs. Luanne had another thought and wondered if any of her kids were in trouble. Surely the Lord wouldn’t allow the innocent children, who hadn’t yet reached the Age of Accountability, to suffer. Would He?
The woman slapped herself mentally and panicked for a moment. Those were the thoughts that the Silver-Tongued Beast had placed in her head. “Get thee behind me, Satan!” she shouted into her living room. The Devil was trying to corrupt her thoughts and introduce doubt, just like he did to Job.
“You’re going to have to try harder than that. I love the Lord and would never question his will. I know that he called those kids home to Heaven before the bad things happened to them. Those things on the television are just their earthly shells, left here to torture the wicked. Now, get thee behind me, Satan!” She practically screamed the last sentence and then glanced at her screen door.
Had it been a mistake to leave it open? She hadn’t anticipated this attack from the Devil or that she would have such a violent reaction to his tampering. What if someone heard her shouts? She had an eight-foot wooden fence completely around her yard, but that didn’t stop the sound from carrying. Then, a calm settled over her and she knew that Jesus was there with her.
“If it’s Your will, Lord, then let them come. I have lived my life for you. You are my Savior, the Lord, my God. I love you.”
She bowed her head in prayer and asked fervently for forgiveness of all of her sins, both physically and mentally. Sister Luanne prayed for hours until great drops of sweat poured from her forehead. Logically, she knew that it was because the Texas day
was heating up and from the physical exertion of kneeling for so long, but she also attributed it to the fervent offering of herself to the Lord.
The sound of splintering wood in her back yard made her look up towards the door in apprehension. She stood painfully and hobbled over to close the back door. The Sunday school teacher was only three feet away when a bloody woman appeared in the doorframe.
Sister Luanne recoiled in shock at the absolute immodesty and disgusting thing before her. The woman wore a leather mini skirt, tall boots and nothing else. Her bare breasts stood out firm, like nothing the smaller chested woman had ever seen. Men must have lusted after her greatly. Then it hit her, Satan was attacking her with the pure embodiment of lust! She’d never even seen another woman’s bosom before and this was his evil plan, to throw it in her face that she’d never gotten married and had a husband to lust after her the way that men did for the woman before her. The Evil Beast was trying to make her doubt her faith.
“I cast you out, Satan! You’re not welcome here!” she shouted at the nude hell-spawn in front of her. Trisha turned her head slightly to regard the meal in front of her and then lunged forward to ease the never-ending hunger.
A veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan war, Brian Parker was born and raised as an Army brat. He moved all over the country as a child before his father retired from the service and they settled in a small Missouri town where the family purchased a farm. It was on the farm that he learned the rewards of a hard day’s work and enjoyed the escapism that books could provide.
He’s currently an Active Duty Army soldier who enjoys spending time with his family in Texas, hiking, obstacle course racing, writing and Texas Longhorns football. His wife is also an Active Duty soldier and the pairing brings its own unique set of circumstances that keep both of them on their toes. He’s an unashamed Star Wars fan, but prefers to disregard the entire Episode I and II debacle.
Brian self-published four books before signing a 4-book contract with Permuted Press. His novels GNASH and Enduring Armageddon were previously self-published and will be re-released by Permuted beginning in May 2015 along with two previously unpublished works, REND and SEVER.
He is also the author of Origins of the Outbreak, a zombie apocalypse thriller; The Collective Protocol, a paranormal thriller that shows how far people will go to gain power; Zombie in the Basement is a children’s picture book written to help children overcome the perceived stigma of being different than others; and his how-to guide Self-Publishing the Hard Way is for writers looking for pointers to self-publish their manuscript.
Have you read this book or others by this author? Tell us in the comments how you liked it!