If you missed the other reviews of the previous short stories in The Mike Beem Chronicles. You can check it out in the the following links:
By: Anthony Renfro
Part 1: Mike and Captain
On the Coast, Mike runs into an old Sea Captain and they form an instant bond. Mike learns of Captain’s boat, his son and daughter-in-law. Captain is desperate to get off Carolina Beach, but there is a problem (and it is a big problem) the town is swarming with zombies. Mike decides to help the old man fight his way through the hordes in order to gain safe passage on his boat.
Part 2: Mike and Myrtle Beach
Alone again. Mike finds an old motel on the South Carolina coast and decides to call it home. While rebuilding his life and motel he meets some new friends, fights off countless numbers of zombies, and settles into his new life by the sea.
Mike Beem lowered his rifle, put his right eye on the scope, and closed his left eye. The zombie he was about to shoot was an ugly sucker. He was currently hanging ten on a tall gigantic wave. The zombie surfer was riding a long board, wearing red flowered swimming trunks, and a tee shirt with a dirty smiley face on it. His shirt and shorts along with his thin long blonde hair were flapping in the breeze as he sailed down the wave at top speed.
The zombies head exploded leaving only a ragged stump shooting blood up into the air. The headless body surfed for a moment or two before tumbling into the crashing wave.
“Why’d you do that?” A voice behind Mike asked, an older voice full of age and salty wisdom. He sounded like a man who had sailed the sea for most of his adult life.
Mike turned around to face him, lowering his rifle.
“Just saying, he wasn’t hurting anybody,” the old guy replied, leaning on a wooden cane with a silver metal ball on the top of it. His long white hair and soft white beard reminded Mike of his own granddad who had died when he was just a boy.
“I found this silencer, and I just wanted to try it out,” Mike replied, reloading his gun. “Besides, one dead zombie is one less zombie in this world as far as I’m concerned. Don’t care if it’s a threat or not.’”
“Got a name, son?”
“Mike Beem, you?”
“Most folks call me Captain, and I’m fine with it,” the old guy replied, as a cool blast of air pushed back his long hair. “Storm’s moving in. Going to be a nasty one.”
“I had the same feeling,” Mike replied, scanning the late afternoon sky filling up with grey storm clouds.
“That your truck?” Captain asked, nodding towards the 1955 Chevy.
“It was,” Mike replied, turning to face the machine, which was currently sitting perfectly positioned in a parking spot. Pieces of zombies where sticking out of the smoldering radiator, including one complete head with the eyes still looking around, mouth chomping away. “Parking lot was full of corpses. I had to get down to the beach somehow.”
“Guess so,” Captain replied, thinking this Mike guy wasn’t exactly all there. “How about a hot meal and a place to rest your head?”
Mike looked up and down the empty beach, across the decaying splintered boardwalk and the buildings now falling into disrepair. His decision was a quick easy one to make. “Sure, lead the way, Captain,” he replied, climbing down off the bench he’d been standing on. He slung the rifle over his shoulder, picked up his small bag of personal items, and then set off after the old man.
If you haven’t read Mike Beem stories before, it usually adds a much more hopeful twist to the grim zombie apocalypse world. Mike Beem has lost a lot over the last few stories however he is a survival. His character is the pillar of these novels and he is written always as someone who is not only a hero but also very human and relatable. It is why its so engaging to read these stories. While Zombie Beach expands on the location with two parts and still has some charming characters, its hard to feel that that at some parts, it falls a little flat. Of course, those moments are never long, especially seeing as this is a short story however, with the comparison of the previous stories, this one lacks a little more depth perhaps its the fact that the circumstances are little more docile for the most part with only a few more action-packed moments. However, for the well-written characters especially the badass Mike Beem, this story (and all the previous ones) are totally worth your time.
The Mike Beem Chronicles
If you want to check out all the Mike Beem stories in one book, this is the collection of the 6 stories.