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!

Guest Post: Sami Sands #WinterofZombie

Forgotten Samie Sands Cover

Haitian Holiday

A short story by Samie Sands

My mind…I’m sure my mind used to work a little better than this. Very occasionally I’ll get flashes of what’s going on around me. These moments are always very brief and painful – not enough for me to make sense of the world.

My arms. They hurt. My legs ache. My entire body feels like it’s been under a massively heavy weight for a very long time. Every time I’m aware, I’m doing something physically challenging – pushing, pulling, lifting. Too much for my small, frail body, but I can’t stop. It’s as if something is compelling me.

A face. A large face looms in front of me, sending an irrational jolt of fear through me – the first emotion I’ve felt in a very long time. Something inside of me is screaming ‘it’s him!’ He looks sick – I don’t know how I know that, I just do. He yells something at me, but my ears are buzzing, so I can’t hear him. I just carry on lugging, pulling, tugging…

My eyes flicker open. I quickly realise that I’m lying on the ground. What happened? Why am I asleep? I push my body into a sitting position, even though it hurts like mad. The light is so bright; it takes my eyes a long time to adjust. I’m in a field that’s full of plants – a place I don’t recognise at all – but that’s not the strangest thing about the scene I’m surveying. No, that’s the fact that there are loads of other bodies, beginning to stir around me.

“Wha…?” I try to ask, but my throat is dry, my voice is hoarse as if I haven’t used it for a very long time.

The others finally reach the same state of awareness as me, and they are all wearing the same utterly confused expression. What happened to us? None of this makes any sense.

I don’t know how much time passes, but one by one, we all begin to move away from here. It holds really horrible memories – I know that much, even if I don’t know what they are. I follow the crowd, noticing how we are all shuffling, shambling, as if we aren’t human. As if we’re monsters.

Eventually, after some time, we reach a tiny village. The first woman that sees the crowd descending on her screams and runs in the opposite direction. I finally hear the word “zombie” being yelled, and something about it sends recognition flooding through me. Zombie…why does that word strike a chord? Why do I feel like that’s something to do with me?

Others rush from random directions to come and see us. I guess we must look a sight – dirty, lumbering, unaware. Some of them laugh, some of them look afraid. I wish I could communicate. I want to be able to speak to someone, to find out what’s happened, what they know. They might be scared, but I am too!

“Deana!” A voice bursts through the rest, as a warm hand rests on my shoulder. My body wants to jump in shock, but I don’t have enough movements inside of me to be able to do so. Instead I turn to face the kindly looking woman who’s staring at me with tears in my eyes. “It’s you. It’s really you.”

I wake up in a soft, warm bed. My skin feels clean, my mind feels fresher, but there’s still something nagging at me. Something isn’t quite right. Not yet. I can now feel a few sporadic memories from my past, from before whatever happened to me here – I recall getting picked on in the rain, somewhere in England, when I was about eight years old. I can picture the time I had my first kiss, when I was 17. I can remember getting on a plane…but nothing that explains what’s going on now.

“How are you feeling?” The woman from the village enters the room I’m in, offering me a drink. I sup it down as if I haven’t drunk anything for years.

I nod as a reply, before trying my voice once more. “Wha…?” It hurts a little less to use, but it’s still very croaky.

“You must have lots of questions.” She sighs, looking at her hands in her lap. “I don’t know where to start.”

I stare at her, begging her to begin anywhere. I just need something.

“You arrived here in Haiti three years ago.” I hold my breath as she speaks. “You wanted to follow the work of Wade Davis – the man who exposed the witch doctors and their awful zombification tricks.” I have to remind myself that she’s talking about me – this all sounds like something that happened to someone else. “You came to stay with me for a while. You thought you’d found a sugar plantation where this awful practice was still taking place and you wanted to put a stop to it. I warned you to be careful, but you were so…ambitious. You wanted to succeed as a journalist so badly.”

A journalist? Me? A vague memory pops up of a desk in a fancy office, but it’s gone before I can get a solid grasp on it.

“You went missing not long after. They said you were dead – they even held a funeral for you, but I knew different. I knew he had you. You had mentioned Dr. Koane and your suspicions of him…”

I gasp at the mention of that name. That was him. That was the man I saw – the one that did this. Suddenly I recall going to see him on the pretence of needing some painkillers. I knew what he was up to and I wanted to prove it, I just needed evidence. I wanted a vial of the stuff he was giving to people. That appointment is when he must have started me on the tetrodotoxin drugs that rendered me a zombie. I can’t believe it, he fooled me, outsmarted me. I spent three years working for the man I was trying to overthrow.

What made him stop?

His face – he was ill. He was dying, I realise. He couldn’t give us the drugs anymore, that’s why we returned to our normal state. I’m sure we will keep on becoming ourselves again for a very long time.

As I glance around the room, I accidentally catch a glimpse of my reflection in a small mirror and vomit instantly rushes through me and splatters on the ground below me. What the hell? I’ve gone from a petite, fairly attractive 23 year old, to someone who looks closer to 70.  I’ve never been particularly vain, but this is something else! This is unbearable. I’m hideous!

I stare for a while, just thinking. My life is over. I thought I’d just gotten it back, but I was wrong. This man, this zombie drug, this trip to Haiti…it’s ruined my life. I may be back in mind, but I’ll never be able to be me again….

 

Samie Sands Author Pic

Samie Sands is a 29 year old freelance graphic designer who has recently decided to follow her lifelong dream and use her creativity in a new way by writing. Lockdown is her debut novel, published by Triplicity Publishing, with Forgotten following soon after. She has also had a number of short stories included in successful anthologies.

She has a degree in Media Studies and PR and has already had articles published in a number of e-zines, including one of the most popular pieces at Zombie Guide Magazine. She lives in a small seaside town in the UK, but loves to travel to gain inspiration from new places and different cultures. To follow Samie’s work, please check out her website http://samiesands.com.

Other Links: http://thelockdown.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/SamieSandsLockdown

http://www.twitter.com/SamieSands

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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: Mike Evans #WinterofZombie

zombies and chainsaws

SMALL BUDGET

 

I don’t know that this is so much of an article as it is a grief. One that many of you probably feel each and every time that you turn on your television or sit down with you iPad or smart tv or however you decide to stream your favorite shows and movies.

What is this guy going to whine about you say? No worries I’ll be getting there I promise. Budgets, I don’t understand them. Can you imagine how good of a zombie movie they could make if they sunk the kind of money into one consistently that something like The Terminator, or Titanic got to have.

I mean think of the epic scale movie they could do if you got someone like James Cameron behind a zombie film, it’d make people get butterflies in their stomachs at the shear thought of it. I love movies like Dawn of the Dead, Zombieland, Twenty Eight Days Later, and World War Z.               You love them to? Of course you do why because they were granted a big ass budgets to get actors that could act, that they knew these films were actually going to be viewed in a theater and not thrown into a five dollar bin at Wal-Mart where they would randomly be picked up or if they were very lucky be placed on Netflix only to be called a complete piece of crap in the rating system.

The idea of having your book turned into a movie is such a epically cool idea but fearful at the same time to think it could be a B or C god forbid piece of crap forever to be made fun of. If you look at The Walking Dead which let me say I’m a fan it’s great it’s freaking awesome and I’m one of the many who like you has yet to miss any episode. They had something going for it a great cast, bought by a great budget, great zombie make up and creations brought to you by, yes you know it as well as sets, and every other thing that a big budget brings you. If these movies make so much money and the indie market for zombie books is so hot right now are they blatantly trying to keep awesome movies that in their own respect are huge series and could be franchises like no other? I question does it need to have a ring, or a boy on a broom to be something that people want to see more than one movie about?

Zombie films are not portrayed in the right like in my opinion. They would be movies about hope, about survival, about looking out for more than just yourself, they are filled with so much emotion when done right that I think the larger scale corporations who produce these are not giving them the respect that they deserve. The walking dead isn’t great because it has slow zombies it’s because you care about the characters which is because they have great writing, great actors, and yes a big budget, I don’t know specifically what they earn on that show, but you would think that someone somewhere in the industry might recognize this little show and think maybe I could get a slice of that pie. Is it that important that we don’t leave any movie from the 80’s and 90’s as original and not make a remake out of it?

 

http://www.amazon.com/Zombies-Chainsaws-Dead-Rise-Book-ebook/dp/B013NMYJYY/ref=la_B00IQ9Z75A_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1441373061&sr=1-8

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Mike-Evans/e/B00IQ9Z75A/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/pages/M-Evans-Author/1438259789750360

My author page http://tinyurl.com/mikesauthorpage

Twitter @mikee1123

FB_IMG_1441373068917

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: Dunne Brothers #WinterofZombie

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G’day Everyone,
Comedy in horror writing? How do you do it? It’s not easy, but i think it makes for a better story. Especially in horror stories. It’s the ying to the yang, the calm in the storm, the flash of light in the dark, the held back smile in the face of fear and the kung to the fu.

If done properly it can add to the story in a big way. Done incorrectly it just seems amateurish. One of my best lines I ever wrote was when we were still in school: The devastation was overwhelming, my heart sank and I softly farted. – See? Amateurish.

My favourite type of humour is the awkward, everyday, relatable humour. You know those awkward moments that we all encounter but most of us ignore. e.g. you drive down the freeway on the way to work, all alone on your own version of auto pilot. Not thinking of anything, maybe you don’t even notice the grin on your head listening to the morning crew chatting and laughing. Maybe you don’t realize your wearing your resting bitch face because you hate the world and everything on it because you shouldn’t be up, yet let alone driving to work. But for some unknown, unexplainable reason you look out your window, not the front window, but the side window. It may be fate, it may be dumb luck or it could be the force, because for one brief second you look out the side window at that exact same time the driver in the car next to you looks out their window and you lock eyes for a few brief awkward seconds. You both see each other’s dumb grins or resting bitch faces. For a brief few seconds you see into the other persons little niche but neither of you admit it’s awkward and both parties continue on their ways.

It’s hard to explain awkward humour in writing. On screen, in a movie or on TV it would only take a few seconds to build the awkward humour, however when writing it, it takes a lot more explanation and can often lose the subtlety of the situation. For instance I find great humour in that little patch of awkwardness that can come not following the unspoken life rules. An example would be not following the rules on the required distance that is acceptable to hold the door open for the person following you. If you’re standing there looking like an idiot for to long because missed judged how long the next person will take to get through said door it can be very awkward. You can’t just close the door behind you and enter the room alone that would just be rude. Do you pretend that you weren’t ready to go through the door yet and close the door and wait for this person to catch up a little bit? And then there is the ordeal of letting the person in, do you walk through and hold it behind you, or do you sort of stand half in the door way half in front of the door struggling to hold it open, but pretending it’s easy while the person has to slide to closely past you.

Another example can be as simple as saying “You too”

Take-a-way employee: “Enjoy your burger Sir.”
You: “You too.”

You expect the take a way employee to say enjoy your day, instead he says something else, but you already have your answer in the chamber and you accidentally discharge before knowing what your doing. Of course you don’t want the take a way employee to also enjoy your burger. You didn’t order enough for you to both share because you weren’t intending on sharing. You’re only logical course of action is to find another burger joint and never speak of this again.

There is also the ‘set up and knock down’ type of humour. I have an example below that I made for a friend as a novelty wine label.

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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: Duncan P. Bradshaw #WinterofZombie

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Great Bitten – Apocalypse in the UK

Let’s get this out of the way now, only two of my top five favourite zombie films are based in the UK, (Shaun of the Dead and Zombie Diaries if you’re interested), which I think is probably two more than most people’s. The reasons for this are many, but to be brutally head-smashingly obvious, American based films, with copius amounts of firearms and gusto, will always out. If you’re after a popcorn chewing film with some gore, the odd one liner and plenty of action, you’re gonna settle with something a bit more tried and trusted.

However…one of my main aims when I started writing was to shine a light on the UK, our little quirks, ism’s and habits, to show how the zombie apocalypse on these fair isles would be a little different.

For one, there is the notion that nothing should be tackled without at least one cup of tea, and possibly a biscuit or two, maybe even a slice of cake? In the first days of the outbreak, this would be 100% true. Only when our nearest and dearest are lying in dismembered heaps of bloodied appendages in the corner of the living room, with a dented cricket bat resting on your lap, telling yourself over and over again that ‘it’ll be alright, honest’, would you decide to focus on the practicalities of putting tea and nibbles lower down the daily to-do list.

In many parts of the country, getting to know your neighbours is considered heresy. In the end days though, you will be busting a gut to know how the old girl next door is doing, when you hear screaming and patting at the walls. Hoping that she’s just uncovered a secret stash of Custard Creams, whilst really, the daft woman has opened the door, thinking it’s the postman, instead it’s a hungry zombie looking for some well cured meat.

Our stiff upper lip will be in full effect though, of that I am certain. Regardless of which family member you’ve had to take care of, probably in front of everyone else, should you deign to show any hint of emotion, well…that’s just not the done thing. Best to suppress it all, and shed a solitary tear when no one else has seen you. If at all possible, many years in the future.

Lack of firearms would pose a problem though, with no benefit of keeping the shambling undead horde at a safe distance, survivors are naturally inclined to meet them in hand to hand combat. Knowing which implement to use would, for the uninitiated, be a deadly game of trial and error in the early days. Working up the courage to smash in the skull of the bloke you’ve seen come back from rugby every week, with a golf club or rubbish bin, is going to end up with you bleeding to death, whilst being eaten alive and shouting for mummy pretty quickly.

Only the stoutest will survive, those who think fast. We are blessed with an array of countryside and tricky terrain (see Wales and/or Scotland), so providing you have packed your loved ones, and ample supplies into the back of your people carrier at the first whiff of putrified flesh, you should be okay. Likewise, those who still view their home as their castle and steadfastly refuse to leave, in case Dave from across the street, breaks in and steals their toaster, should make it through the first few weeks at least. Providing they can scavenge for supplies, amply barricade the entrances/windows and close the bloody curtains.

The oft discussed weather will also help more than hinder. We don’t experience extremities such as your blood boiling within your own body, or your toes cracking off due to frostbite. The rather clement weather means that getting around the place, even when the infection is full-on brown underwear mode, you could still cycle around the place without fear of dying from dehydration, or being lost in a snow drift. The rain will help get rid of all that morale sapping blood and guts laying around the place too. There is no greater mood killer than seeing puddles of blood, or stringy intestines in the street, especially if you’ve just managed to find some lunch.

Our sense of humour will also help to lighten the mood when you’ve spent half an hour trying to get into a haberdashery shop, only to find it overrun with the zombified staff. A typically British quip, a scathing putdown, and you’ll be off down the road, onto the next place with a smile in your heart and the next barbed witticism forming in your brain.

Yes, we don’t have guns, shun most kinds of tactile contact and drink way too much tea, but life in the UK, overrun by the undead, wouldn’t be too bad a place at all. Our never say die attitude and general distrust of people we haven’t known for at least twelve years will stand the survivors in good stead. So when the last of the zombies is dealt with, and the Union Jack is hoisted up over town squares the length and breadth of the country, we can get back to what we do best. Drinking tea and wishing that everyone would keep it down a bit.

 

Duncan is allowed to remain, unfettered and free, within the town of Chippenham, in the south-west of the United Kingdom. Having taken a wife a few years ago, he must now divide his free time between household chores and writing about the undead. His least favourite job is removing the mould from the bread, as he is forced to do this in a darkened cupboard and using only his toothbrush.

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Hit him up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/duncanpbradshaw

Or his website right here http://duncanpbradshaw.co.uk/

 

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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: Michael Robertson #WinterofZombie

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Why Zombie Tales Resonate With Me

 

 

I’m always interested to hear what it is about zombie stories that captures the attention of so many people. Like vampires, they may peak and trough in their popularity, but the love for them never seems to die.

 

What zombies represent for me is the fragility of our socially constructed existence. Every big society or system in human history has failed, so there’s no reason for me to believe that the one I live in won’t. Be it the collapse of capitalism through revolution, a natural disaster, a disease like ebola, or even riots from dissatisfied members of society; when our world falls, I expect it to be violent, rapid, and damn scary.

 

This is why zombie stories resonate with me. They’re the tipping point realised. Unlike a natural disaster, the collapse of civilisation takes on a human form in zombie yarns. This seems a lot closer to the reality of our world. At any one time, many people on this planet are on the move as they run away from a very real threat to their existence caused by other human beings. Chaos happens on a grand scale already. Be it a change of government brought about by revolution, or something like a new regime enforced on people like what happened in Cambodia with the Khmer Rouge. Civil war in Syria has displaced more than eleven million people and seen the death or around two hundred thousand (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-26116868). The image all over British media this week has been of a three-year-old Syrian boy, limp and lifeless as he lies, face down, in the sand on a Greek beach. His bid for a better life failed when he couldn’t remain on an overcrowded raft. As a parent to young children, that tragic image has hit me hard and will stay in my mind forever. In some way, zombie fiction can tap into that pure fear that seems to be a reality for so many people, and a worry for many others. It shows that moment when the bullshit’s been stripped away. Playstations, the local sports team, and how big your house is suddenly doesn’t matter anymore. Survival is all that’s left. You either do it, or you don’t.

 

I heard an interview with an artist the other day who told of how her Jewish mother left Hitler’s Germany with very few possessions. But among those possessions were the pictures the artist herself had drawn. At the time, the artist was an eight-year-old child. Fearful for her life, when it came down to it, one of the most important things to that artist’s mother, were the doodles she’d done for her. If ever a child needed an inspiration to follow her dreams…

 

For me, the greatest zombie tales capture the human spirit to survive; the willingness to keep going. They show us the sheer grit that sees people lose everything, and often become the subjects of intense trauma, yet they still find the courage to push on. The love and need to protect that burns bright in many of us, and when called upon can turn the most average person into a hero. Be it in refugee camps, or hiding out in places away from the chaos, it seems that people are driven to find other survivors like themselves. We find strength and support in others. It seems that in humanity’s worst moments, we also see its greatness. Although not a zombie tale, The Road by Cormac McCarthy captures this perfectly and is one of my favourite novels. Despite the dark and bleak setting where many people have turned into cannibals and rapists, the father of the story keeps hope alive for his son. He keeps ‘carrying the flame’. It’s a love letter to fatherhood and a commentary on humanity and morality. It’s heartbreaking and beautiful because it shows the one thing that keeps us going. It shows how the main characters ‘carry the flame’. It shows us one of our greatest qualities as a species. It shows us hope.

 

Author Profile Photo

 

Michael Robertson is a writer of dark post-apocalyptic fiction, horror, and science fiction. He’s been writing for over fifteen years and has been published in several anthologies and magazines, as well as being published by HarperCollins.

 

His series of books entitled The Alpha Plague, is a post-apocalyptic world inspired by 28 Days Later.

 

He has plans for several science fiction books and is currently writing the first draft of New Reality 3: Fear, which will finish off his New Reality series.

 

As a father of two young children, he writes when he can, which is mostly before they get up and after they’ve gone to bed.

 

He loves reading, writing, watching movies, and spending time with his family.

 

To see more of Michael’s work, go to his website at:

http://www.michaelrobertson.co.uk

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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

Middletown

Winter of Zombie 2015

All the Zombies in Middletown

by Jay Wilburn

 

First, it is important to understand that Jack Wallen may be insane. I think his writing is brilliant and he has the soul of an artist, but he’s packed full of crazy ideas. Middletown Apocalypse may not be his craziest idea, but it is on up there. Jack took a single story idea and gathered a number of authors together to retell it each in a different way. This then became the zombie outbreak in Middletown over and over again.

That anthology is available here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0161KA5FW

The eleven authors that took on this challenge were Joe McKinney, Mark Tufo, Armand Rosamilia, Shawn Chesser, Brent Abell, Mike Evans, John O’Brien, Eric A. Shellman, Heath Stallcup, Jack Wallen, and Jay Wilburn. I am easily the tenth best author in this list – maybe even ninth when the others are drunk. Which means I am ninth on the list most of the time. This is all beside the point.

Jack Wallen is crazy. He set out the story parameters. Charlie Noble is a shared character that has the unfortunate distinction of being the recipient of a misdelivery of a deadly virus. As happens with most misdelivered viruses, zombies ensue. The stories share the character and the university where the virus arrives. They share the fictional town of Middletown, Indiana. One of the keys to this insanity is that the stories are not eleven stories that take place in the same universe during the same outbreak. No, they each take these same story details and retell eleven different versions of the story with these and a few other story details in common.

What we end up with then is eleven very different stories even though in theory they share the same premise. Some stories follow Charlie Noble. Others follow different characters fighting to survive in Charlie’s wake. Jack chose the authors for their diversity of story telling using the zombie trope and the dystopian landscape in their various works. Some took a military focus. Others were highly character driven explorations. Some characters make it while others don’t.

Each story, though essentially built from the same framework, demonstrates in a very real way how much potential is in the zombie story. Really every zombie story is building off a common framework. The rules and settings change, but all zombie authors are building with some recognized construction materials. Jack Wallen, who is insane, took this to a new level to show how truly great and diverse the potential of the zombie really is. By making more common within the story lines, he went a long way to make it even clearer how different each zombie story can be under those conditions.

Jack recognized something essential in the appeal and potential of the zombie story. There are limitless divergence points upon which this trope can explore themes, characters, society, and action. A zombie story can run the range from horror to literary. The creature has the power to transcend the genre and outgrow the story outline in the hands of the right author.

The Middletown Apocalypse anthology does a lot for the zombie sub genre and zombie authors seeking to make great stories with this trope. It delivers for readers and serves the fans that believe there is still something great to be discovered with zombies. Charlie Noble and Middletown, Indiana are going to have a real bad day and they are going to relive that day eleven times. Spoiler: Jack Wallen is out of his mind.

 

 

 

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

Start the series here è http://amzn.to/1CvxbST

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

Continue the series here è http://jaywilburn.com/book-2/

Check out the first soundtrack to the series, The Sound May Suffer: Music from the Dead Song  here è http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/thesoundmaysuffer6

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

 

Visit:

http://jaywilburn.com/

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 JayWilburn.com

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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!