Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Scenes from a Zombie Abortion VII: The CONFEDERATION Project

What I like about the following excerpt is how it exploits explores the poignancy of watching a loved one die, and then return from the dead to join the tribe of their killers. In my experience it’s a trope handled quickly and tritely or not at all.

The one exception to this rule I’ve seen was in the film Sean of the Dead, when the title character had to cope with dispatching his reanimated mother. That this scene was not played for laughs (in a comedy!) added depth to the narrative and dimension to the character. It also reinforced the important notion that, funny as the zombie apocalypse can be, it’s still a time of mortal threat and grievous loss. 

Here, I also tackle the issue of social class and how certain representatives of the various grades would react to the apocalypse. I’ve been kicking this same idea around in Bleeding Kansas. The hell of it is I think I do it better here than I do in that whole book. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Scenes from a Zombie Abortion VI: The CONFEDERATION Project


Finally! Some good old fashioned humans vs. zombies combat!  Let’s run the boilerplate and get on with the show:

In 2008 James Robert Smith and I collaborated on a project we hoped would turn out to be the Winesburg, Ohio of zombie epics, a mosaic tale describing the communities coming together (and squaring off against one another) in the wake of the zombie apocalypse. For various reasons the collaboration fell apart. Bob took his part of the narrative — which included his idea of a border collie manipulating the other abandoned dogs and zombies—and crafted The Living End. I scuffled around for a couple of more years until I came up with The Saga of the Dead Silencer.

For the benefit of those readers who have been following
Bleeding Kansas and miss having something nasty-mean to read, here’s the sixth installment I wrote for the Confederation project. Of course, if you like this, feel free to pick up Bob’s completed work. Support your local architects of the apocalypse....



DARYL

Only at the moment Daryl feared the glass would break with the insistent pounding of hungry once-people did Dozark deign to start cracking skulls. Even then Daryl feared the big stupid redneck would put one through the windshield, compromising the glass if not killing him too. Daryl was sure Dozark was thinking about it.

The dogs weren’t charging Dozark; they seemed to understand firearms. Enough dogs might have surrounded him and brought him down but they seemed content to bring the undead about Daryl’s minivan, barking and jumping at the rear of the vehicle and occasionally startling him and Chloe by jumping at the side windows. The children whimpered and squirmed under the quilt. It had to be hot as hell under there. It was all Daryl could do not to start the engine, turn on the air conditioning and make a break for it on the broken loop road to...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sunshine Daydream on a Frigid Gray April Afternoon

As part of my recent campaign to brighten my mood as an anodyne to the hours I spend writing frenetically violent fiction I’ve taken to listening to some more happy music. As in music not suited for a zombie apocalypse.

On a day like today in Colorado Springs, 31 degrees F. at 1 p.m., with the occasional flake of something drifting into the window well of my basement office, I need my Number One All-Time Favorite Grateful Dead Song, that invincible springtime sound of “Sugar Magnolia” from American Beauty. If you’re feeling down and Jerry Garcia’s otherworldly world-class pedal steel playing doesn’t sunbeam saturation-bomb the gloom in your heart, I don’t know what to tell you.
Sweet blossom, come on
Under the willow

We can have high times

If you’ll abide.

We can rediscover

The wonders of nature

Rolling in the rushes

Down by the riverside.
The world could benefit from more songs celebrating Ballin’ in the Great Outdoors. Oh hell yeah.


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Scenes from a Zombie Abortion V: The CONFEDERATION Project

We do a little Tarantino-esque time-shifting in the following three chapters. The dark side of New Bethany Church comes to the fore and by the time this is done we’re praying the Confederation is real, because it’s our last best hope for a middle-road sanctuary between the chaos of skin-of-the-teeth survival among the flesh-eaters and the stern tyranny of the church. It’s a hell of a lead in to a Really Big Night that I never got to write.

Maybe some other time. While I get back to work on my main project of the hour, let's run the boilerplate and get on with the show:

Monday, April 15, 2013

BLOWBACK OF THE DEAD

On Composing Violent and Disturbing Literature and Its Effects Upon One Man Who Writes It


I still don’t know if I should delete that scene.

When I wrote it I was flashing back on the teenage boys who lived across the street from me in Virginia. They weren’t so bad in and of themselves but they had a legion of a skate-trash slacker friends, with enough bad actors among them to make my life miserable. I was afraid to leave my house unattended for fear of what might happen to my property in my absence. Selling the house and leaving that neighborhood was a joyous relief.  

I was thinking about those dead-eyed smirking shits when my hero Derek Grace hacked this kid’s hand off and used the arterial spray to douse a fire before pushing the kid’s body upon the smoldering ashes to smother it. Then I had my hero pick the scrawny pale little bastard up, jog the blocks between him and the advancing horde of zombies the little shit and his friends drew to the neighborhood. And I bodily threw his screaming, crying, begging remains into the horde to be ripped apart and eaten alive.

On one hand, it’s all eminently justified: these are destructive young men, who, even 50 miles away, could start a fire on the prairie to threaten survivors for hundreds of miles. Keep in mind they’ve already driven a fire truck with its air horn blasting to draw the dead into the neighborhood with the grand old houses—and that’s after setting some of those yards on fire.

On the other hand we’ve deliberately and with malice aforethought thrown teenage boys to flesh-eating predators with the intent of causing great terror and pain upon said boys. Yes, boys. Derek was just turning to get the rest of the junior arsonists when I stopped writing. He’s supposed to put them in the back of his pickup and throw them to the horde one at a time. The horde’s preoccupation with tearing and stuffing pieces of those boys into their dry dead mouths will buy the residents of the threatened neighborhood the time they need to get the fire hose hooked up to the hydrant.

I kept looking at that last sentence I’d written:
 His scream barely cuts through the “ooooooh!” and “mmmmm!” of the mob as they take his arms, his legs, and as many clawed scoops into his ghost-white belly until the packaging breaks and they can get to the good stuff.

After a while I grabbed my jacket and my hat. I left the clammy cool of the basement and ascended the stairs into the warm, sunlit house. I walked out the door and into the late afternoon light.

It was a short walk. But I resolved many things in the course of it, to wit:


  • The fact I’m bothered by what I’m writing means two very good things, one being that I haven’t degenerated into psychopathy. The other is that fans of gory, brutal fiction are in for a real treat with Bleeding Kansas. Shit gets mean in this book. Real mean.
  • I don’t believe in God but the All-Father of Zombie Apocalypses, George Romero, was onto something in his 1985 film Day of the Dead when one of his characters described zombies as God wanting “to show us what hate looks like.” That’s what zombie apocalypses are altogether, when you think about it. Showing us what hate looks like.
  • Man, it’s been some time since I’ve walked. My legs were stiff the entire way, as if I’d just swung them out of bed in the morning. I’ve really got to get out more. In fact, I’ll guaran-goddamn-tee that’s the root of all my angst right there. I’m getting sludgy spending all this time in this chair and not getting exercise.

So. Much better now. The more I think about it, it could be a supremely macabre station in my Hero’s Journey. He should recognize the rage that gave him the strength to carry a teenage boy several blocks (if only for the sake of realism, anyway). Yet he’s also making a stone cold command decision that will save a neighborhood.

It’s also a lead into a major thematic point I want to drive home at the climax. First, I’ve got to finish off those boys and get that fire hose hooked up. Then I’ve got to confront the man who gave those boys the booze and told them to burn down the Old Families’ neighborhood.

So. Back to the zombie mines, then. I’ll try to remember to schedule some exercise in the morning so I don’t get so damn emo over what I’m writing. I’ve got to really finesse this if  I’m going to pull it off.

Speaking of pulling things off, I’ve got this great image in my mind of one of these kids having the skin pulled from his face. Yeah, I’m gonna put that in there. Little bastard has it coming. Looking forward to making you cry when you realize you’re done for, you little piece of shit!

Yeah. Like that.
The fuck you lookin’ at, asshole?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

State of the Apocalypse, Stardate Four-Thirteen-Thirteen

One month to the day after I finalized my contract with Severed Press I have the cover to my first book. 


Now with zombies!

My son assembled and added in the figures, carefully blending them into the background. I re-did the cover copy.

So. This is it. The cover to my first book.

I can’t stop looking at the goddamned thing. It looks so real.

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Scenes from a Zombie Abortion IV: The CONFEDERATION Project

WARNING: Although the following installment features two more zombies than the last one, you only see them towards the very end after a Bible lesson. 

I’m running this chapter because I’m establishing the complex personality of the antagonist church in Confederation through Deacon Dare, a composite of those sharp old men I’d meet on rare occasion in my home state of South Carolina. These men could leave you walking away feeling beat-up or exalted, depending on how you approached them and their appetite for busting balls at the time. James Dickey is a once-famous example I was proud to have known. I all but cast him in the role in my mind.

Reading Dare’s dialogue takes me back to a time and place when I knew people who talked exactly like him. Southern accents are usually a necessary accessory to mean, evil, stupid or maybe sweet-but-stupid characters in movies and TV, but for my travels I’ve yet to meet a regional accent more poetic in its expression. That’s because it’s more than an accent. Old-school Southern speech draws on a large, shared vocabulary based on a rich, shared culture, the very same that gave the greater U.S. its distinctive culture, from country music, to jazz, to rock and roll; from Poe to Faulkner to Cormac McCarthy. 

Or, as I like to tell smirking Yankees, at least we don’t talk like we have dicks in our mouths.

Deacon Dare appears under another name in The Resilient, Book Two of The Saga of the Dead SilencerHere, Dare sets up the offscreen Big Bad, Deacon Sparks, who we know is fearsome-awful bad by the terror of the boys when Dare offers to send them to him. I love the tension between Dare and the boys, and how Dare is not the stereotypical evil Christing bastard, but a decent man with a sense of mission, and a strong mind to back it up. A lot of the world of Confederation is set up here—for instance, Dare’s story about the camp jibes with Ranger McCracken’s story in the previous chapter, and we learn what the church does with those that just won’t do right.

At the end of the day New Bethany Church is all the more formidable an antagonist to our titular Confederation of villages in the mountains because it has such diverse personalities and agendas as Dare, Sparks, Dr. Mark and others I’ll introduce later. 

All this and a Bible lesson. Hang in there, faithful readers, I’ve got some more grisly chapters for you gore fans coming down the pike. Meanwhile, there are treasures beyond the boilerplate for those who know how — not merely where — to look:

Monday, April 08, 2013

State of the Apocalypse, Stardate Four-Eight-Thirteen

This is one of those scenarios that at once makes you proud for your own dedication to your work while making you question your overall mental health. That is, I awoke at 7:15 a.m. on Friday with this weird sense of urgency: I haven’t updated my hero’s name in the chapters online! And that goddamn hot-pink sunrise cover is fucking worthless, I need something else! And, shit, while I’m here...!

So I spent the weekend retrofitting the novel. It’s helped tremendously in bringing unity to my overall narrative, especially as I’m about to bring everything to a head at the Boss Fight (my preferred term for the Final Confrontation).

I got a better looking cover out of it, too. I still need to add zombies, but it’s on the right track.


Just add zombies!
Of course, I had to put this everywhere my old cover art was, including the chapters I’d taken down and reverted to Draft mode because looking at the Drafts in Preview mode helps me edit the Word document. Which enabled me to further tighten the laces on the narrative leading up to my Boss Fight. I’m a little twitchy for not having written any new scenes, but it’s nice knowing where the hell I am. And damned if that new cover isn’t a kick in the psychic pants!

This is good, because I had issues getting up this morning and it helped looking at it again. I’ve got to finish this thing up and soon. Too much of this good thing is gonna kill me.

Oh, and did I mention I changed name of the town in Act Two from Salina to Natalia? There was too much in the real-life Salina I wasn’t using (e.g., a frozen pizza processing plant, a military school, an old Air Force base turned into a municipal airport, etc.) and I was making up everything in the town anyway.

One more week, I tell myself. Just one more week. And then I'm fighting zombies in Colorado in The Resilient. A change of scenery should do me good.


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Scenes from a Zombie Abortion III: The CONFEDERATION Project

In 2008 James Robert Smith and I collaborated on a project we hoped would turn out to be the Winesburg, Ohio of zombie epics, a mosaic tale describing the communities coming together (and squaring off against one another) in the wake of the zombie apocalypse. For various reasons the collaboration fell apart. Bob took his part of the narrative—which included his idea of a border collie manipulating the other abandoned dogs and zombies—and crafted The Living End. I scuffled around for a couple of more years until I came up with The Saga of the Dead Silencer.

For the benefit of those readers who were following the first part of my saga, Bleeding Kansas, and miss having something nasty-mean to read, here’s the third installment I wrote for the project. Of course, if you like this, feel free to pick up Bob’s completed work. Support your local architects of the apocalypse....



Ranger Richard McCracken of the United States Park Service strode through a campsite in the middle of the loop that comprised Wildwood Holler National Forest Campgrounds. The occupants had already run on ahead, leaving four dogs and three deaders to draw flies.

As if these grounds didn’t stink enough with the breakdown in sanitary practices. The racket of honking automobile horns and cheering people told the ranger it would be a while before he could talk anyone into cleaning this particular mess up.

Ranger McCracken emerged on the other side to see that Mark Danzler and Joe Corey had returned with their trucks—and another two trucks besides. Judging by the shine on them it was safe to say they weren’t more refugees. The ranger saw the tailgate of the last truck bumping along the broken asphalt of the loop, five-gallon jerry cans loaded into its flatbed, two men sitting with them. He didn’t see their rifles but the ranger knew they were there. Someone two trucks ahead was throwing packages to the cheering campers.

So Danzler and his boys found New Bethany. Good for them. The church could have these people. Assuming the church would take them. And assuming they would all go—zombie-stupid as most of these dirtbags were, a few were canny enough to know there would be trade-offs.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Zombie Apocalypse Jukebox, Friday Edition: Monster Magnet Will SEE YOU IN HELL!

It’s a tense, twitchy time, bringing all the elements together for the Grand Apocalyptic Ending for Bleeding Kansas, which curiously seems to have scheduled itself for the weekend. Goddamn, I know, I should have had this done two weeks ago. Shit keeps getting complicated, though. 

There are worse ways to do a spring weekend. I’d like to roll into it with this spirited little moral tale of the consequences of throwing your infanticide into a Jersey landfill. The creature is waiting for a battle in the ancient swamp, we talk to Jesus through a hole in the floor. All this and a mean walking bass line. You hear the organ and think “The Doors Meet The Munsters!” This song is so full of win it’s not goddamned funny. 

The operative quote of my next 24-hour writing period: “Fifty thousand people doesn’t sound like a lot of people but when they all dead, man, believe me that’s more’n you need. We’re fuckin’ outnumbered here!” Let’s turn this mother up and get paid....




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Scenes from a Zombie Abortion II: More from the CONFEDERATION Project

In 2008 James Robert Smith and I collaborated on a project we hoped would turn out to be the Winesburg, Ohio of zombie epics, a mosaic tale describing the communities coming together (and squaring off against one another) in the wake of the zombie apocalypse. For various reasons the collaboration fell apart. Bob took his part of the narrative—which included his idea of a border collie manipulating the other abandoned dogs and zombies—and crafted The Living End. I scuffled around for a couple of more years until I came up with The Saga of the Dead Silencer.

For the benefit of those readers who were following the first part of my saga, Bleeding Kansas, and miss having something nasty-mean to read, here’s the second installment I wrote for the project. Of course, if you like this, feel free to pick up Bob’s completed work. Support your local architects of the apocalypse....


Greg Copeland emptied his magazine with just enough time to duck into his car, the German shepherd and the Doberman colliding so hard with his door they nearly took his foot off at the ankle closing it for him.

He blinked away the pain and brought his foot in, the door clicking shut under the weight of the dogs. With the dogs all but shouting into his left ear, a thumping at the passenger side window alerted Greg to a once-young man with leathery, blue-green flesh hammering to get in. Greg slapped at the lock before remembering the universal switch.

Amid the thumping and barking Greg spared a moment to check his ankle. It would bruise and swell but at least the skin wasn’t broken. Greg opened the console and drew out his spare mag. He made sure it was loaded before springing the empty from the Glock. A second deader had already joined the one on the passenger side, canceling his plans to thumb fresh shells into the empty magazine.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Stranger Danger Gets Stranger on Facebook

No shit, a school nurse from New Jersey I’ve never met before in my life sent me a Friend request today. I go to her page, and she’s your fairly generic type, likes dogs, etc. No photos of herself, not even a headshot, mainly pretty pictures with motivational and encouraging text on them, which of course screams “overweight” and “single.” 

And my thought is not merely “How the hell did you find me, stranger?” but “Have you no idea WHO I AM, lady?”

That two days ago I wrote a scene in which a man had to pry one-half of a dead five-year-old girl from his boot with a claw hammer? And that was before my hero took down the sick zombie with the yellowy zombie puke down its front, and then dispatched the morbidly obese woman with the yellow-red fatty tissue dripping like rancid alien cottage cheese from her numerous bite wounds? 

Tonight I sit down with a glass of wine cackling to myself as I come up with ways to top all that because, shoot, a boot-biting five-year-old undead girl with her viscera removed and presumably eaten is how I warm up, baby!

I wonder about these people I hardly know who want to Friend me. I’ve got five of ‘em now. At least the first four are people I’ve sorta-kinda met or who know me from other people and simply want to add another name to their Friends list. But this is a total stranger. We have zip in common. Either this is this some kind of Facebook phishing scam, or a seriously lonely and naive person who has no idea there’s so many psychotic freaks out there on the Internet. 

I happen to be someone who imagines horrific scenes for horror aficionados, current assignment: Zombie Apocalypse Division. There are others who like their gore less virtual, and more IRL. I don’t know these people, mind you. I don’t want to know them. But neither do you, and you damn sure will if you keep hittin’ up strangers on the goddamned Internet.

Of course, if this is some kind of phishing op I hope they cross with someone with mad hacker skills who cyber-eviscerates them and ruins them forever. Some people really do have it coming.

Any way you slice it, anonymous Friend requests are freakin’ creepy. Nothing like a little real-life creepshow to send one back to work. I’ve got one long, ugly evening ahead that I can’t wait to get to....
Let’s be FRIENDS!

###






Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Scenes from a Zombie Abortion, Part I: The CONFEDERATION Project

In 2008 James Robert Smith and I collaborated on a project we hoped would turn out to be the Winesburg, Ohio of zombie epics, a mosaic tale describing the communities coming together (and squaring off against one another) in the wake of the zombie apocalypse. For various reasons the collaboration fell apart. Bob took his part of the narrative—which included his idea of a border collie manipulating the other abandoned dogs and zombies—and crafted The Living End. I scuffled around for a couple of more years until I came up with The Saga of the DeadSilencer.

For the benefit of those readers who were following the first part of my saga, Bleeding Kansas, and miss having something nasty-mean to read, here’s the first installment I wrote for the project, and my very first foray into writing the living dead. This is some delightfully brutal stuff for a beginner. Of course, if you like this, feel free to pick up Bob’s completed work. Support your local architects of the apocalypse....

Jake Patterson was squatting by his breakfast fire when the thing in the tattered business suit spun him at the shoulder and bit down on his face. On cue with Jake’s scream the dogs charged from the brush, their barking and snapping covering for the other figures crashing in from the treeline.


Jake’s youngest daughter Carly was caught by a hulking gray mass of torn flesh in a dirty t-shirt and jeans. Daryl started towards her but the dogs cut him off. Swinging the poker he’d used to tend his own fire he cracked the skull of one dog as the other backed off. Something in that dog’s eyes made Daryl turn. Daryl swung blindly and caught a large Rottweiler mix across its jaw. He hadn’t swung hard enough. And the dog he’d turned his back on was...

...backing down from the sound of gunfire coming from the direction of Jim Dozark’s campsite. Daryl might have felt grateful for that obnoxious blowhard being good for something but Carly’s shrieking had found a new pitch. Daryl had just enough time to quail at the sight of the thing tearing at the soft meat on her six-year-old shoulder when he was knocked from behind. He regained his feet, thrusting his fire poker into the Rottweiler’s mouth as it charged. The dog bit down on the metal and growled.

Daryl heard someone scream his name—Chloe?—and slipped as he adjusted his hold on the poker. He heard the bark behind him and straightened, forcing the poker into the back of the Rottweiler’s mouth and twisting upwards into its brain. The falling weight of the Rottweiler helped Daryl tear the poker from the dog’s head in time to swing and graze the chest of the other dog as it leapt to take him down from behind.

The screams were all over the campsite now. He heard Nylon hissing over falling, clanking aluminum poles as late sleepers got caught in their tents. The quicker ones started the engines of their vehicles, undead fists thumping at their doors. From the corner of his eye Daryl saw a truck roar past his campsite, the large, yellowish-purple body of a woman clinging to the hood. It slid off and crunched beneath the right-side tires.

Daryl turned away in time to see a man in a torn flannel shirt reaching for him. Mud caked its beard, white dust coated the dried black gore clotted around its lips. He was missing an eye. Daryl froze. A bullet hummed by his ear, driving into the ghoul’s empty eye socket and exploding the back of its skull.

“Woo!” Dozark yelped. “That’s what I call a lucky shot!” Daryl turned to Dozark. “Lucky for both of us you froze up there,” Dozark said, smirking.

Carly’s shrieks were silenced now, but the cries of other children across the long flat ellipse of the campsite rose to pierce Daryl’s heart. Dogs barked. Screams, muffled beneath tent fabric or loud and clear in the open air, competed with the sounds of engines starting and the occasional pop of gunfire.

Daryl looked about for his wife and children. He saw the foliage about the clearing swaying with the approach of more—zombies? It actually sounded a lot less cheesy than “the reanimated,” as the early radio reports had described them.
Good God, how many were still coming in from out there? They were supposed to be safe up here in the campgrounds! 

Dozark had stepped down from his camper trailer towards Daryl. “They’re over there in the car, dumbass,” he said.

Daryl looked towards his minivan. The side windows were smeared by rotting flesh pawing for the living meat within. He could just see twelve-year-old Danielle and ten-year-old Josh through the windshield, waving frantically at him from the middle seats. Chloe was in the front passenger seat. She was deliberately looking away from Daryl, glowering at an imaginary point somewhere across the camp trail.

Lord, thought Daryl, what on earth could she be pissed off about at a time like— 

“Hey!” Dozark had shoved Daryl roughly by the shoulder. “You goin’ over to ‘em or what? You ain’t no good to nobody here with that stupid-ass fire poker.”

Daryl was about indicate the bodies of the dogs he’d taken down when Dozark shoved him again, this time nearly knocking him into the dirt. “Go on, fool. We got another wave comin’. I got shootin’ to do.”

Daryl stumbled away from the burly, bearded good ol’ boy, reflexively raising his poker against being shoved again. Dozark responded by lifting his thirty-ought rifle. Daryl’s eyes widened. Then Dozark shifted his aim just a little to Daryl’s left—then abruptly moved the rifle to his right and squeezed the trigger.

Daryl turned to see the zombie devouring Carly drop his meal and fall backward into the dirt. Carly twitched where she’d landed, then lay still.

Dozark glowered at Daryl. “Well?”

Daryl backed away slowly, then jogged towards his minivan.

The door was locked. Daryl could hear his children screaming as he fumbled for his keys. Daryl saw another zombie coming straight at him through the brush. A dog seemed to be nudging and guiding it along. Then the dog caught sight of Daryl and charged.

Chloe popped the lock. Daryl opened the door and threw himself into the driver’s side. He hit the universal lock and checked to see if all the pins were flush with their frames. The dog was on his door, paws on the sill, barking furiously at Daryl through the glass.

“Thanks, Chlo’,” said Daryl. “Not a moment too soon.”

“You’ll want to talk to your daughter,” his wife said flatly. “She was about to open the side door.”

“Dad, Mommy wasn’t going to let you in.”

Daryl looked at his wife as he said, “Danielle, you could have put everyone in danger. You know how slowly these automatic doors close.”

“But Mommy—!” Danielle looked at her mother as if she were a ghoul herself and couldn’t believe no one else would see it.

“It’s all right,” Daryl told Danielle. “I’m here now.”

“We were beginning to wonder,” Chloe said.

“What, you didn’t see me fighting for my life with the dogs?”

“I thought these things weren’t supposed to come up here,” said Chloe. The accusatory tone in her voice made Daryl wonder if he’d really heard her call his name after all.

“Well, think about it! They’ve always followed the path of least resistance. No one’s ever seen one stumble uphill unless there was...something there they were interested in.” He looked over at Josh, whose eyes were every bit as wide as his sister’s. “We weren’t the only ones who noticed this,” Daryl said, a little more defensively than he would have liked.

“Well, they’re here now.”

“Yes. I see that.”

“So what’re we going to do?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, that’s just wonderful, Daryl. Real smart. Way to think ahead.”

Actually, along with a dozen or so others across the camp, Daryl did have a plan. But Chloe couldn’t know. And they had yet to survive this....

The zombie Daryl had seen prodded along by the dog fell heavily on Daryl’s side of the van. It pushed at the window and moaned. The dog was still barking murderously at Daryl. Daryl looked up into the rearview mirror and saw that the racket was drawing other undead to the van.

“Kids,” said Daryl, “get under the quilt.”

“Dad—”

“Now.”
Never mind “Who Let the Dogs Out”! Who let these things in?


Copyright © 2008, 2013 by Lawrence Roy Aiken

The Living End © 2013 by James Robert Smith

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