Imagination for Hire
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Necrophyte

Six days to redemption

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Necrophyte

Episode 1 “The Morning After”

James Riley doesn't believe in the urban myth of zombies. He would have no reason to, since the slow lumbering beasts are only ever seen in the slums and back alleys, attacking the city's down and outs, leaving nothing but a few more unsolved murders and missing person cases in their wake. Then how did Riley end up with a gruesome zombie bite on his arm? And how, as the City's Mayor, is he going to keep it a secret?

Despite most of his staff being alarmed by Mayor Riley's less than stellar appearance that morning, it's not long before Riley is diving straight into the business of the day. First up, how he will respond to the young protesters hounding his public appearances and demanding his admittance that the zombie epidemic is indeed real. Riley is willing to throw the “believers” a bone by meeting with Joe Zeffer, head of the controversial anti-zombie lobby. But, behind closed doors, he is far more interested in getting the backstory of the protesters young leader, a high spirited 15 year old girl named Chase. Leaving that task to Dean, his in-house council and long term friend, Riley tries to continue on with the day and keep up appearances, while ignoring the odd psychotropic visions that appear every time he closes his eyes.

Meanwhile, Chase gets a rude awakening as a building next to her squat house is demolished in the name of progress. With yesterday's protest seeming to have little effect on the Mayor and his continued support of private developers taking over what little housing is left for the poor, her friends are starting to lose hope. But Chase knows something about the Mayor that they don't, something she assures them will change everything in time. What exactly happened last night when Chase spotted Mayor Riley chasing tail at a seedy nightclub? And why won't she reveal her secret to her friends?

As another day in the city ticks away, Chase and her friends go about their daily task of finding enough food to keep them going, while Riley begrudgingly takes his meeting with Joe Zeffer. Appearing nothing short of zealous, Zeffer takes advantage of this opportunity, not to hound the Mayor for support, but to pose questions about the city's rising number of murders and missing persons, though it's just a drop in the bucket for this city. Riley leaves the office convinced of nothing more than Joe Zeffer's insanity.

Shaking off the odd events of the day, Riley heads to his obliged dinner with Dean and his wife Sasha. Finding out that Sasha, an emergency room nurse, is about to start shifts at a hospital supposedly frequented by zombie bite victims, Riley is willing to admit for the first time that the stories just might be true. And despite being finally relaxed amongst good friends, Riley's nightmare visions soon return. Dismissing his abrupt reactions to the disturbingly realistic illusions as a lack of sleep, he rushes home.

That night, as Chase silently contemplates her next move, Riley attempts to sleep away his fear. But memories soon flood back to him. Chase was there, the moment he was bitten, and she shared this warning; “Six days. That's all you have left. I hope you know how to use them.” These were words he could ignore until the moment he wakes up in his kitchen with his teeth sunk into a raw steak.

The clock is ticking…

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