Survival - Rhonda Hopkins

(Survival Series, Book One)


When Sarah escapes from her brutal abductors, she promises to return to rescue her twin sister, but with the dead walking the earth she is forced to rely on a coworker who made her work life hell for years. With her coworker weakened by cancer treatments, her sister still imprisoned, and the dead looking for an easy meal, Sarah’s only plan, if she can pull it off, is Survival.

SURVIVAL is a 14,000 word short story – the first in my new zombie apocalypse series.




Excerpt for SURVIVAL (Survival Series, Book 1)



Sarah Jamison’s gaze met her twin’s fear-filled blue eyes. “I—”

“It’s no use. The cuff is too tight. You’re going to have to leave me.” Dana put her free hand on Sarah’s, stilling their frantic motions.

“No. I won’t leave you. Maybe I can . . .” She turned, taking in the empty basement—the cement walls, exposed pipes, and her sister handcuffed to one of the metal cylinders. A small amount of light trickled in through the one lone window, but there was nothing she could use as a weapon. Unless . . . . She strode over to the dangling pipe from which she had managed to extricate herself earlier. Grabbing the unattached end, she tried wresting it clear of its fittings, her own wrist dangling handcuffs which clinked against the metal with each pull. Rust and time made it impossible to remove.


“No.” Tears ran down her face. “I can’t leave you, Dana.”

“You have to. It’s the only way we’re both getting out of here. You have to go for help.”

Sarah knelt beside her sister who reached out and wiped her thumb across her cheek, brushing the tears aside.

“I’ll be okay until you get back. I won’t give them any excuse to throw me out to those . . . .” Dana choked back the word they had both been avoiding, choosing another instead. “Creatures.”

Realizing there was no way she could take on all three kidnappers without a weapon, Sarah accepted she had to have assistance to save Dana. Hugging her sister, Sarah kissed her cheek. “I love you, Dana. Be strong. I’ll be back just as soon as possible.”

Heavy footsteps reverberated on the stairs. Dana pushed Sarah away. “Go now. Before it’s too late.”

Stretching upwards, she tried to raise the window, but it wouldn’t budge. She took off her T-shirt, wrapped her hand, and knocked out the glass, ducking as shards rained down on her. Pain shot through her palm all the way to her shoulder, but adrenaline fueled her and minimized the hurt. She unwound the red fabric and smoothed it hurriedly across the sill.

The door crashed inward as one of the men who had captured them ran into the room. “What’s going on here?” He took in the situation and bee-lined for Sarah, grabbed her legs and pulled her down from the window. Grasping one arm, he backhanded her across the face. The edge of his ring ripped across her forehead; the pain almost blinding. Blood gushed from the wound.

She jerked away from him and took on the fighting stance she had been taught, feet set apart at shoulder width. Sarah grabbed the dangling cuff in her hand and put all her force in the punch to the man’s jaw. His head snapped backwards. Before he could react, she stepped back and struck out with her right foot, making contact with his left knee. The crunch of breaking bone and his scream told her she had done some major damage even before he fell to the floor.

The other two kidnappers pounded down the stairs.

“Sarah! Go!” Dana screamed.

She grabbed the window sill and pulled herself upward and through the opening; glass slivers cutting her where the shirt didn’t cover. She yanked her legs through, turned and gave one last look at her sister and saw her mouth, “I love you.”

Two men crashed through the open doorway. One ran for the window as the other stopped to check out their injured friend.

Sarah took off running around the abandoned building to the parking lot in front. Her black Expedition was one of three cars parked there. The abductors had taken their keys and cellphones, so she fell to her knees on the pavement beside the left rear tire and reached into the wheel well. Her fingers fumbled for the magnetic box and she issued a silent prayer of thanks when she found it. She got in the car and hit the locks just as the man they called Ron sprinted around the side of the building. The inside light illuminated the car’s interior, giving away her location.Her shaking fingers pulled the key from its container. She managed to insert it and start the car in one try. Ron banged on the passenger window with one hand, the other pulling on the handle. He yelled and hurled obscenities as she squealed away from him and onto the street.




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Survival (Survival Series #1)