Reblog: Dying Days: Thanks to the Readers


Guest Post: Mike Evans #WinterofZombie

zombies and chainsaws


By Mike Evans


Do you think that it would be harder or easier to survive as the apocalypse went and went? I know some of you are saying, Christ as time goes by resources available would be so much harder to come by. But what I think is that it would get easier, given the zombies you are dealing with are like the rotting decaying type. My friend Rosa threw out this idea and I totally have never thought of this which makes me somewhat want to punch myself in the face, but in my defense I’ve never seen the point brought up in a book either which is nice.

Think of this, if you are like me you’ve probably never missed any of The Walking Dead series. Like me you’ve seen that originally they were plump or more fit looking zombies, with much nicer clothes as well. Remember and this has nothing to do with any of the rest of the article, make sure you dress in something you like because if you become a zombie you’re going to be wearing that shit for the rest of your existence. Anyways to the point. They get skinnier, they seem to get a bit slower in my opinion and one other thing that you would think is that overtime is would their senses and eye sight get worse overtime? I mean eventually would they be able to smell us, would they pick up on our blood trail? Would they be able to see us walking across the street or would their eyes rot out and they’d be blind and not be able to basically find anything? If that is my apocalypse then sign me up! Go underground for as long as you need to and then from there you are on easy street my friend.

The other thing that is hard to think about but makes sense is the fact that they are always hungry. This seems to be the only thing that their brain still does correctly. They don’t seem to feel pain, they don’t seem to be sad, depressed, motivated. They simply just know one thing and that is that they want to eat and they want to do it all the time. So even though that part might be working over time I would have to wonder, do they eventually stop caring about eating as well and starve themselves, can they starve? I hope so but oh the questions and debates one could have on this topic.

I know not having to fear for your life at every waking moment is something that would be horribly bad but if you think of it, do you want to spend a lifetime scared or secure in the fact that they are to deaf to hear you being noisy or to blind to see you walking around in broad daylight. The idea of them being able to see me and having to wait till nightfall when my chances of seeing them greatly increases does not make me want to sleep peacefully my friend. So give me the slow, give me the deaf, give me the blind and then give me a baseball bat and a bottle of booze because I’d happily go around cleaning up town knowing that they don’t stand a chance in hell!


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Mike Evans lives in Iowa with his wife and children. He writes for character depth because he wishes for you to love the character, regardless if they are the villain or the hero. He likes to write from a unique perspective, doing things with books that no one has done before. He keeps his characters realistic, there are no superhero like events that will happen. There are no perfect characters in his books, everyone has their flaws much like that of life.

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The stench of frozen flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 40+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#WinterofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

Guest Post: Jay Wilburn #WinterofZombie

Dead Song Book 2 front cover

Winter of Zombie 2015

Write What a Better Version of You Would like

by Jay Wilburn


Writing advice is everywhere. Most of it only works part of the time even if it is good. A lot of it isn’t good. When it is good, there is no sure fire way to know when the rules are supposed to be broken. You’re supposed to guess and either you will be seen as a genius for knowing when to break the rules or you will be the example for why the rules should be followed. You are told to write what you love. We are advised to write what we know. We are encouraged to expand our horizons by some or to find our niche by others. I would suggest that maybe you should strive to write what a better version of yourself would like.

The idea would not be to write for what a more pertinacious version of you would like. You can write high literary, but this doesn’t mean to apply flowery language to try to make a story more high-minded than it actually is. This does not mean to tackle the genre that you think the crowd would enjoy. These are the things we do when we get up inside our heads and try to write for acceptance in whatever form we happen to be seeking it. This is what we do when we are trying to appear better than we think we are while feeling that we are far worse than we actually are. In the process of trying to be this person, we lose the things about our writing that indicated we had potential to begin with.

When I say to write what a better version of you would like, I mean to try to write for the audience of you without the hang-ups and self doubt. What would that writer create without the fear of what the rule makers would think of the product? If you were writing for a version of yourself that was not second guessing your choices, what would that story look like? Which directions would those characters turn if they weren’t being held back by the author’s nagging doubts? I would have to imagine those stories written by that version of the author would be quite interesting to say the least.

We almost can’t be that version of the author entirely. The longer we write the more we become aware of our bad habits that require adjustments. We probably should make those changes to produce better work. The weight of all of those checklists of our shortcomings and bad habits will add up over time. There is a net effect that will sometimes stifle the work instead of being integrated into our styles seamlessly. There are trade offs to giving up that raw, unfettered writer that worked for the passion of it at the beginning. The better version of us would hold on to the edge while constructing a better sentence and action scene too.

We make choices about our writing career based on the self doubts of that burdened version of ourselves we become. This is the writer that makes choices we sometimes look back on and regret. This is the guy that stops writing about zombies not because he thinks he is meant to, but because he feels like that’s what real responsible writers would do. Moving into other areas of writing is not necessarily the wrong choice, but doing it because the self conscious voices in our heads advise it probably is the wrong motivation. When we sit down to write, we should try to access that unfettered version of ourselves even just for a little while.



Dead Song Legend Dodecology Book 1: January from Milwaukee to Muscle Shoals

Start the series here è

Dead Song Legend Dodecology Book 2: February from Vicksburg to Cherokee

Continue the series here è

Check out the first soundtrack to the series, The Sound May Suffer: Music from the Dead Song  here è

or on Spotify. The hard CD is also available on Amazon.



Author Jay Wilburn

Jay Wilburn lives with his wife and two sons in Conway, South Carolina near the Atlantic coast of the southern United States. He has a Masters Degree in education and he taught public school for sixteen years before becoming a full time writer. He is the author of many short stories including work in Best Horror of the Year volume 5, Zombies More Recent Dead, Shadows Over Mainstreet, and Truth or Dare. He is the author of the Dead Song Legend Dodecology and the music of the five song soundtrack recorded as if by the characters within the world of the novel The Sound May Suffer. He also wrote the novels Loose Ends and Time Eaters. He is one of the four authors behind the Hellmouth trilogy. Jay Wilburn is a regular columnist with Dark Moon Digest. Follow his many dark thoughts on Twitter, Instagram, and Periscope as @AmongTheZombies, his Facebook author page, and at

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The stench of frozen flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 40+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#WinterofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

Teaser: Greg P Ferrell #WinterofZombie


Hope looked out into the raining darkness and was amazed by how completely dark it really was.  Except when lightning flashed, there was almost a feeling that the world completely vanished a mere two feet from the edge of the tower wall.

“Man, I didn’t think it would be this bad out here tonight,” Hope said to her watch partner Rico.

“I don’t know how you talked me into this,” said Rico.  “I need my head examined being out here with you.  If the rain and wind don’t do me in, your dad is going to throw me to the slabs if he was as mad as you said he was.”

“Don’t worry about my dad.  He likes to talk tough, but he won’t do anything to you.  I’m 18, and he’s got to let me grow up eventually, whether he wants to admit it or not.  Besides, it’s not like we’re doing anything wrong up here,” Hope said to calm Rico down.

“Yeah, I know.  “But it’s just your dad has an aura about him that it wouldn’t take much to set him off when it comes to you three.  And I don’t want to be on the receiving end of whatever he decides to do to me if anything happens to you.  I mean he’s a big dude; and to be completely honest, he scares the crap out of me,” Rico said a little wearily.

“Well, if we’re being honest, I wouldn’t worry about my dad so much as Uncle Ron and Uncle David.  They do all his dirty work for him when it comes to guys around me.  You remember me telling you about Tony who was chasing after me for months?  Well when dad introduced him to David and Ron one night they stepped outside with him and he left shortly after and never called me again.  In fact, two weeks later, he withdrew from school; and nobody’s seen him since.”  Hope finished and waited until Rico turned almost pale as he soaked in what she just said.  Suddenly, she started to laugh at Rico when she realized that he believed her.  “I’m just kidding. You need to relax a little,” she said as she punched him in the arm.

“That was not funny, especially after I just admitted to being terrified of your dad,” Rico replied while letting out a slight sigh of relief.

“Shut up,” Hope said.

“I’m just saying . . .” Rico tried to respond as Hope’s hand cupped over his mouth.

“No.  Shut up and listen,” she whispered to him as she pointed out into the darkness.  “Something was out there.”

The two listened intently trying to hear through the pouring rain and the howling wind.  At first there was nothing to be heard.  “There. Did you hear that?” Hope whispered to Rico.

“I’m not hearing anything. You sure it’s not just the wind?”  Rico responded.

“It’s down at the base of the wall right in front of us.  Hand me the light,” Hope said as she snatched the flashlight from Rico.  She shined the light over the edge of the tower.  But from the angle of where she was at, she couldn’t see the location of the noise.

“I’m going down to ground level to see what I can find,” she said as she headed down the ladder.

Rico decided to follow, and after a few slippery steps down the ladder, he was on the ground with her.  Hope was standing directly in front of the watch tower at the wall trying to peer through the holes in the wall out into the darkness beyond.

“You see anything?” Rico asked.

“Nope, just keep quiet and listen,” Hope instructed.  “Oh, and watch your step.  There’s a huge stream of water between us.  I just stepped into it, and water flowed over the top of my boots.”

Suddenly, the noise which was quite muffled from up in the tower, reappeared.  It’s was as if something was rubbing up on the wall, like the sound of a limb or bush brushing against a house in a slight breeze.

“There. Did you hear it that time?” Hope asked as she peered through the hole again in the direction toward the sound.

“Yeah, it just sounds like something has blown up against the tin on the other side of the wall,” Rico replied with a little bit of relief.  “You see anything?” he asked.

But just as he finished, Hope lets out a startled scream.

“What’s wrong?” he blurted out.

He found Hope trying to leap back from the wall.  But instead, she fell straight down.  She landed flat into the stream of water flowing behind her and, immediately, became submerged over her head.  Rico threw down his gear and lunged forward to grab her and lift her out of the water.  Hope exploded out of the water spitting and choking, but managed to get out a phrase. “My foot!  It’s got my foot!” she screamed.

Rico looked down toward her foot, which was submerged into the stream at the edge of the wall.  He leaped over and started to extract it from the water.  But her foot was not the only thing that came out of the flowing stream.  A badly decomposed hand, also, came up with it.  He reached down and yanked her foot free of the hand and pulled Hope back to safety.

As the two fell backward to a safe distance, they both looked to the location of the hand and watched as the rest of the body started to wiggle and emerge from the ground.  The small stream of escaping water had created a washout under the wall and a slab had found the hole.  As the muddy rain washed away the mud from its eyes and face, the slab recognized the two targets in front of it as food.  Suddenly, it exploded out of the hole the rest of the way and in a flash; it clamped its teeth onto a some part of Hope’s leg.

Continued in Humanity’s Hope: Camp H

2015-05-09 15.04.05_resized

*   *   *   *   *

The stench of frozen flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 40+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#WinterofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!

Guest Post: Gerald Rice #WinterofZombie

Anything But Zombies Cover

They’ve done it. Despite your best safeguards; your potholes, your traps, and all your weapons, the dead have gotten into your house.

You take the high ground, the stairs, and their swelling numbers still drive you backward. One of your comrades falls and he is immediately snatched into the mass of knotted limbs. There comes a nervous intake of breath where he disappeared just before the pealing of flesh and the cracking of bone. He had no real opportunity to scream. The rest of your group redoubles their efforts, fighting even harder, more than enough to make up for the fallen man. They surge forward and you retreat deeper into your home. When the doors broke open half of the group chose to flee into the basement, counting on that as a last stronghold, although you’ve already stated your case that this is a deathtrap. Although your own situation hardly seems any better with the sheer numbers you are confronted with.

You stumble, but shrug away the flash of the entirety of your life as you fight back to your feet, thrashing a lone zombie reaching for you. With each head that is bashed in or lopped off it becomes apparent you are not fighting a mob or even a hord, you are fighting a hydra. The dead come at you as one massive body, their numbers becoming greater by the second.

“Get back,” you say, the reason why as obvious to anyone else with eyes and ears. The situation is hopeless at present and even though giving up this high ground would seem the worst possible move an idea has struck you. “We have to get to the roof.”

As you crest the top of the stairs one of your compatriots chances a sideward glance at you.

“The roof?” he says incredulously. He doesn’t question as you break away from the fight, though, and dash down the hall, merely following just as the rest of the group and the dead shortly behind. The last person in doesn’t bother locking the door as dead hands won’t bother with the knob. In milliseconds after they reach the door it will be torn apart as they crowd in. Instead, you go for the window, shoving at it to get it open. Then you see the latch and flip it.

“Hurry, they’re coming!” someone says as if you already didn’t know. You tug on the window again and it still doesn’t budge. You quickly look around the window frame and see that it has been painted shut.

Then you take a step back, not bothering to announce what you are about to do and everyone follows suit as you smash the glass and quickly yank out as many of the tiny shards at the edges as possible before ushering the others out ahead of you.

Just then the moans grow loud, the door seeming to bulge before it splinters in the center and folds open. The dead pour through the door like angry bees from a hive. You look back at the last person wiggling her way through the window and you tap her back, hurrying her along.

You toss pillows, knickknacks, a television to trip them up, slow them down before turning to the window, practically diving through as undead stink fills your nose again.

Steady hands grab hold of you, help you to your feet. Your body automatically reorients to the slanted roof as you look around.

“Where’s <insert name here>?” you ask, noting your group is now a second body short.

“He fell over,” the thin woman whose name you never bothered remembering says. Sometime during all this chaos, names became superfluous, faces interchangeable, the people surrounding you transient.

<insert name here> wasn’t your friend, a neighbor before the apocalypse you knew well enough to say good morning to you by name, but not a friend. Even the ache you feel at the loss has grown cooler.

You nod and turn to face the window as the first one of the undead pops its head out. The skinny woman lops it off with one fell of the meaty sword she said she scavenged from a flea market and it falls away. Two more replace it and the other woman and a teenage boy move in and begin swatting at them with hammers, the woman’s blows falling with pinprick precision until her zombie drops hanging halfway out, the boy’s falling all over the place on its neck, arms, head and back.

An arm reaches out and grabs his wrist, the boy squealing and dropping the hammer inside the house. He had been full of piss and ready to take on the world until his best friend was torn open right in front of him and you had to step in to save him and what was left of Darren.

That name and that particular pale face begging for sweet death you wish you could forget.

You step in and pump a bullet into the brain of the zombie that has a hold of Darren’s friend. It lets go and you force the boy to allow you to examine his arm. By some wicked irony, God has allowed a slim miracle to slip free–the boy is unbitten. His flesh must have passed near at least three or four hungry mouths like a hot ear of buttered corn on the cob and all missed the opportunity.

The boy snatches away and retreats close to the edge. You want to tell him to watch his step and with one glance at the street below your breath is taken away.

There are thousands of them.

If you had any hope of getting past the zombies in the house and outside it dies. There is nowhere to go. The dead are packed tightly together, butts to nuts as someone might have said a year ago, before this nightmare, and to leap from this roof would be like leaping into a live blender.

Dry-mouthed, you turn back to the work at the window. The skinny woman is actively attempting to extract her sword from the skull of a thick-bodied, male zombie. It must be even thicker-skulled as it is still reaching for her, mere inches away with its jagged, talon-like hands. You step forward again and rather than wasting another precious bullet, grab it by its tattered collar and yank it the rest of the way through the window. The sword is pulled from the woman’s hands and as the zombie stands you casually step forward and deliver a Leonidas-style kick to the its chest, pitching it backward and into the sea of dead flesh awaiting below.

You briefly wonder how the people in the basement are faring, no doubt the five who decided on an opposite route from you must have been pushed back just as you were. One advantage the basement has that the upstairs doesn’t is actual hardwood doors. They won’t hold up forever, but perhaps they may fare a bit longer than you.

You don’t know which option to prefer.

“C’mon, let’s keep this up,” the other woman says, tucking her hammer into her pants. They begin grabbing zombie arms and pulling them out the window, propelling them toward the edge and either falling or taking no more than a gentle nudge to finish the job. Even the teenager joins in. After about ten minutes the bigger woman is beginning to tire and you switch with her. The skinny woman is a workhorse and is either not tiring or not interested in complaining.

“I’m ready,” the other woman says after a while, but the skinny one shakes her head. “C’mon, I’m ready.” Another shake. You give the waiting woman a look as if to say ‘What can you do?’ And continue your grueling work.

Shortly after, your rhythm is thrown horribly off. A tall and fat zombie jams its way into the window, big enough to crowd out all others. If you could just kill it and let it hang there you just may be able to get a breather for a while. You take a small step back and reach for your gun, holding out your hand to ward off the skinny woman. But she is set on her work and has not noticed you.

She pulls on the slovenly arm, a good deal of greasy, sallow skin slicking back in her hands, exposing rotted grey-brown muscle and yellowish tendons. She digs in at the wrist, pulling so hard she actually lifts the zombie herself. Then the foul creature’s arm detaches from the shoulder with an audible, sloppy –pop- and she stumbles back a step or two in surprise. She steps forward and in front of you just as you’ve drawn your gun when it springs its legs and comes out of the window like a jack-in-the-box from hell and lands squarely on top of her. Your shot isn’t clean and the other woman is struggling to get her hammer out. The boy is squealing and you seem paralyzed in the interminably long few seconds it takes for the zombie to dip its head and tear out a significant chunk of the skinny woman’s neck like it was putting its lips to a cool river for a drink.

A single kick rolls it off of her and she struggles to her feet, clutching her throat. Her eyes roll but she manages to power through it and saunter to the window again. A zombie about half her size slides through and stands, maybe a child of about eight when it had been living. She shoves it by the face and it rolls off the roof then she punches another in the chin, dislocating something vital enough that it collapses.

The skinny woman pauses, shutters, readjusts her grip on her own throat and seems to be attempting to swallow. Blood pours off her fingers like a waterfall. She sits heavily, barely out of reach of zombies half out the window. You take your mallet and break the arms closest before smashing three heads in quick, efficient blows, effectively stoppering the open window for the moment.

You and the others rush to her side and it is clear she is dying. The woman’s eyes roll slowly around to all three of you. She opens her mouth to speak and a gob of blood spurts out. Her face contorts in frustration and for one brief moment seems to lose control, arms and legs kicking as if they could fight off the inevitable.

With tremendous effort etched in her features she brings herself under control. You get it. She wants to die with her own measure of dignity. You don’t know from where or how she summons the strength but she calms her rapidly failing body until she looks serene.

She looks to you and nods. Before you can process what she means, she takes her hand away, the ragged hole at the side of her neck showering your shirtsleeve in red. It is quick and her eyes remain on you the whole time.

“I wanna go,” the teenager says. You look at him, still in awe of what you have just witnessed. He’s crossing his legs and hugging himself like he needs to pee, the way a three-year old would do.

“So go,” you say flatly. He rattles his head up and down and turns, walking toward the peak of the roof.

“That’s not going to last much longer,” the other woman says. You agree, thinking about much more than the window full of zombies. You’re tired and hungry and the thought of the boy relieving himself makes your burgeoning bladder squeeze. You wonder what’s the point and consider flinging yourself over the edge. It would be quicker and much less torturous.

“Don’t even think about it,” the woman says, fixing you with a hard stare. “We didn’t come this far to quit. I don’t care what the odds.”

“But where do we go?” You gesture to the waiting dead below. “How?”

“God will find a way.”

You grumble something about how The Man Upstairs has had over three hundred days of absenteeism since the dead arose and you doubt He’ll show up for work today.

“Hey, guys, I think I’m gonna jump,” the boy says.

“Todd, no!” the woman says. You don’t bother looking, let him.

“No, I mean across. Mike Powell has the world record at twenty-nine feet, four-and-a quarter inches. I’m about the same height and build as he was, I could do it, probably.”

“You’re just a teenager, Todd, that was a grown man!”

“I know, but what is that, about nineteen feet from edge to edge?”

She turns to you, eyes pleading as you lay the skinny woman’s body gently down, careful not to let it roll.

“I don’t have the strength to fight him and them if he wants to do it.”

No,” she says and is about to go to him when you hook her by the arm.

“What’s the harm?” you say. “Look at us–look at where we are. Where are we gonna go? What are we gonna do?”

She sags in your grip and the groans of the multitude refills the air in the silence between the two of you.

“Go, son,” you say. The teen nods again and jogs lightly back and forth until he finally settles at the other side of the roof. He stretches his hamstrings and back, rotates his upper body left then right. The whole exercise looks ridiculous given the circumstance, although the last thing any of you need is him tearing an Achilles’ tendon and pitching helplessly into the awaiting dead below.

He kneels and plants the thumb, index and middle fingers on the roof. He sucks air rapidly in and blows it out, his lips in a cartoonish ‘O’. Then he explodes from his crouch, arms like blades, stabbing into the air in front of him as if he is cutting it out of his way, legs thrusting his body forward like he is kicking into higher and higher gears.

“Go,” you hear yourself chanting, fists clenched. The woman’s nails dig into your arm. At first it doesn’t appear as if he is going fast enough. And then he kicks into another gear in the last ten feet and when he leaps your heart sinks. His arms and legs are pinwheeling like he’s falling and then you realize he is. He’s poured all his energy into the jump and he is now at the mercy of Newton’s Law and gravity.

As he descends in a maddening arc your eyes are locked on him. You are convinced he is dead at the same time praying to that absentee God that his feet find purchase on the other side. And then, the slim miracle occurs: he lands. But his forward motion stumbles him several feet farther and he loses his feet.

“Oh no!” you scream and the woman screams too, her nails piercing your skin. You watch him flip butt-over-teakettle before rolling helplessly toward the roof. His legs fall over before his momentum is suddenly stopped. You aren’t breathing and for a second can hear only the throbbing pulse in your ears. The boy seems hurt, but definitely alive. Carefully, he touches everything around him, orienting himself.

“Careful,” the woman says, more for her own ears than Todd’s.

“Get up, Todd. C’mon,” you say. You find yourself believing in something for the first time in what seems like months. The boy rolls over, his shorts snagged on the gutter and tearing, revealing a butt cheek. The woman and you both laugh nervously as he rises and examines himself. He does his best to cover up and as he walks closer to the edge, your heart falls again.

So he’s on the other side. So what?

“Are you okay?” the woman asks. Todd nods.

“See if they’ve made it inside,” the woman says. The boy nods again and walks over to a window.

“I don’t think so,” he says.

“Good. Break the window.”

“What are you doing?” you ask.

“Trust me,” Carol says. You remember her name for some reason. Carol.

“Todd, you’re going to find your way to the master bedroom, maybe an adjacent bedroom, look in the closet and find the attic access. There may be insulation up there and a lot of times that’s made with fiberglass. Try not to touch it too much, but once you’re up there find the garage access. There may be a ladder in there.”

“A ladder?” you say, astonished.

“Yes.” Carol looks at you. “I’m not a high school track star. I can’t jump across.”

You nod furiously, remembering your bum knee and wave to Todd. “Go on, hurry up.”

Todd disappears inside as soon as he’s busted open the window. You wait for what seems like ten, then twenty minutes before his head pops out.

“I can’t find it,” he says.

“Check all the bedrooms then, honey,” she says.

“Okay.” He ducks back inside.

The dead have finally dislodged from the window and two have come out. They stand unsteadily and Carol calmly walks over, ducks a lunge and gives the creature a light shove that sends it down and off the roof. The second takes a step and falls of its own accord. Others begin coming out and instead of attacking she allows them to come. Two, then three, then four.

You open your mouth to ask if she’s lost her mind when you get it. The dead already balance precariously, on a slanted surface they may as well be babies just learning to walk. More than half fall before they reach either of you and others require minimal effort to push off the roof. The two of you take the high ground and see the windows on the back of the house have been broken and waving arms and heads hanging out. As you stand with your feet to either side of the roof’s ridge you easily fend off the dead no matter their increasing numbers.

You lose track of time and the sun is near setting when a voice calls out to you.

“I found it!” Todd says, smiling. Carol looks over and so do you. The boy lacerated his scalp at some point, dried blood has tracked down the center of his face.

“Careful with that,” Carol says as he brings out the ladder, but it slides out of his grip and halfway off the roof before he catches it. It is made of aluminum and you’re not sure how much weight it can support the way you’ll be using it.

“We’ll go one at a time–you first,” you say to Carol.

She nods and makes her way toward the edge, stepping over the chimney delicately. A zombie that has been rooted to one spot for the last half hour finally makes its move and dives for her leg. Carol lifts it out of the dead man’s path and it crashes into the roof, bouncing harmlessly away and to the ground below.

You keep the zombies clear as Todd steadies the ladder and Carol attempts a few tentative steps.

“As silly as this sounds,” she says, “I’m afraid of heights a little.”

You grunt in assent, growing impatient as the sun sets. You aren’t sure how well you can move in the dark up here, what you might trip over or what you might not see. As she crosses you continue to fend off the dead and realize yet another problem. How will you cross and prevent them from disturbing the ladder?

Carol bobbles on her first step and you are certain she is about to fall. Then she rights herself, puts her arms out, and quickly manages her way across without incident.

Your turn.

It comes to you how you get across without the dead bothering you, literally falling on your head. At first the rain is a light drizzle, then it picks up, quickly soaking you. The walking corpses that have so far managed to keep their feet on the slanted roof suddenly find the job impossible.

You find yourself sliding some and have to adjust your footing to keep from sliding right into them. But one by one they all begin falling and then falling off the roof.

“Come on!” Carol says, laughing and you laugh too, whether it’s the entire ridiculousness of the whole situation or that you may have found a pinhole sized pathway out of Hell, you don’t know. You turn toward the ladder, ready to crawl across on hands and knees if you have to when you hear the chalky moan.

The corpse of the skinny woman seizes you by the wrist and it is by pure luck alone that you snatch your hand away in time before she bites you. The two of you topple over, her on top, teeth gnashing, reaching for your throat just as the fat zombie did hers. You get your forearm under her chin in time, although it is a struggle. Whereas she was strong in life, she appears even stronger in now. You know this is not true, that actually the single-mindedness off the dead allows them to focus their energy more intensely than the living, ignoring all else around them. This is of absolutely no comfort for you in this moment.

Add to your dilemma you’ve begun sliding to the edge and it feels like you may have broken a rib when you fell. Carol and Todd are shouting and you do your best to ignore them, wishing they would be quiet so you could figure out what to do. You try to dig your gun out but the corpse is pressed so firmly atop you it grinds the weapon painfully into your hip.

This is it, either fight or die. You set your mind, mentally laying out a short list of tasks to survive the next few moments. You have to stop sliding. You aren’t in a position to dig your heels in, your shoes would just be pulled off your feet. So you decide to do something even riskier and let the zombie’s face come closer to yours. It takes some effort but you manage to turn its head away and wrap your arms around its shoulder and neck, tucking your shoulder beneath its chin as you hug it tightly. It scratches at your clothes and the roof, tearing out tiles futilely. You take a deep breath, bend your knees and slap the soles of your shoes onto the roof and pump your hips as hard as you can, throwing the zombie’s lower body off yours.

Its legs sail into view, its neck cracking a second later. The body slackens and collapses and you let go, turning over to watch it tumble onto the sea of still moving bodies below. You’ve come close enough that your head and arms hang over the edge and you take a moment to look at them as they absently pull apart the woman who had been Sheila.

Sheila had been her name. And she had been the strongest woman–person–you had ever met.

You hear Carol’s voice over the rain like a million drumming fingers on the roof. You rise from your reverie and carefully trudge back to the ridge. You are beyond exhausted and simply watch as more zombies pour out of the window and immediately slip and fall off the roof. It would be comical if you hadn’t lost so many today.

“Are you okay?” Carol asks. You look at her, give her a weak thumbs up and collapse to your hands and knees. The crawl across the ladder is slow, but intentional. You are certain not to miss a rung, grasping each fully with either hand and centering it on your knees as your traverse to the other side, all the while looking down at the mass of writhing bodies and reaching hands until you feel Todd and Carol pulling you to your feet.

“Dad, we made it,” Todd says, smiling broadly at you. You look at him as if you need a moment to translate what those four words mean. Carol gently squeezes your arm and points out something in the distance in the dying light. It takes a moment, but you see the fence, still intact, and know what that means.

“They can’t smell us in the rain. They can’t hear us, either, honey.” Carol speaks as if she knows a secret. She pulls your face close and kisses you passionately, unintentionally scratching you with the downturned diamond of her wedding ring. Her positive energy slowly energizes you until you can stand on your own. Todd slaps you on the shoulder and smiles.

There are a dozen houses between the three of you and that fence and the dead appear to be thinner there.

“Well, if the ladder holds,” you say, sounding weak still but stronger than you felt five minutes ago.

It’s probably impossible, you think. We’ll probably die. Carol will fall off the roof, I’ll probably fall with the ladder and Todd will try to jump again and fall short. Despite these dark and doubtful thoughts, you find a wellspring of something inside you have long been in short supply: hope.


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The stench of frozen flesh is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2015, with 40+ of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser…and pick up some great swag as well!

Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them!

#WinterofZombie is the hashtag for Twitter, too!