Reblog: Spotlight on Armand Rosamilia for #WinterZombie

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New Spotlight on Armand Rosamilia for the #WinterZombie blog tour 2016

http://www.jaywilburn.com/spotlight-armand-rosamilia-winterzombie/

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Guest Post: Mike Evans #WinterofZombie

zombies and chainsaws

Time

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!

 

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

 

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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!

Teaser: Rob E Boley #WinterofZombie

Boley_Box_Set_3D_White_Books1-4

TEASER

THAT RISEN SNOW: A SCARY TALE OF SNOW WHITE & ZOMBIES

By Rob E. Boley

 

 

THE CURSED GIRL NAMED Snow has slept for many moons, but it’s the dwarf renamed Grouchy who’s been dreaming. Today, he fears his dream will die.

He stands now at the bottom of the grassy hill with his six dwarf companions, yet he has never felt more alone—even when he was trapped in the bowels of Planchette Prison. He hides his anger in clenched fists. When he opens his hands, his fingernails have cut bloody crescent moons into his palms.

“Happily ever after, my hairy ass,” he says.

“Grouchy,” Merry whispers, “the Prince will hear you.”

Grouchy gestures rudely toward the Prince. “Balls.”

“That’s enough,” Bones says—his first words to Grouchy since the night before. Unlike the younger dwarfs’ high-pitched voices, the elder Bones’ deep voice commands respect, even from Grouchy.

Prince Mikael strides up the hill toward Snow’s bed, dead leaves crunching under his boots. Upon the hillside, birds twitter and woodland creatures chatter. The dew covering the grass sparkles like the diamonds in the mine.

Bones removes the Prince’s gloves from his shoulder where the young Prince draped them moments before. The ocean-blue gloves match the Prince’s cape and leather boots, so bright and clean compared to the dwarfs’ mining gear. About halfway between the hill and the dwarf Collective’s cottage, the Prince’s horse, also clad in blue finery, whinnies and tugs half-heartedly against its rope.

Atop the hill, the Prince leans over Snow’s silver bed. Grouchy can barely watch as the muscular human hoists the bed’s glass lid onto the ground.

Blushful lifts his pickaxe over his burly shoulder. “What think you, Dim? Is he really Snow’s true love?”

The mute Dim shrugs in response, rubs his palms together, and wiggles his fingers.

“What’d he say?” Grouchy says.

Bones nods. “He says our Snow has been asleep for too long.”

On the hillside, the Prince runs his fingers through Snow’s hair. He leans over to kiss her, to break her curse.

Grouchy spits. “He’s human. A swob. And a royal at that. How can we trust him with all that they’ve done to dwarfs? Don’t forget—that wench Queen Adara wants Snow dead. How do we know he isn’t in league with her?”

Merry smiles. When doesn’t he? “Well, the Prince struck me as a cordial gentleman.”

“Well, he struck me as a damn—”

An unmanly scream from the hill interrupts Grouchy’s insult. The Prince struggles with something atop Snow’s bed. Grouchy cranes his neck to see, but the bed topples to the ground, taking Snow and the Prince with it.

Grouchy yanks his rock chisel out of his boot and charges up the hill.

Above, birds fill the sky like a thick dash of pepper blocking the sun—all fleeing as if their feathery asses were on fire. In the periphery of Grouchy’s vision, the assembled foxes, chipmunks, raccoons, and other critters scamper into the woods.

When Grouchy reaches the hilltop, the Prince is straddling Snow and pinning her shoulders to the ground. She flails beneath him, her faded yellow dress and periwinkle corset now stained with grass.

“Well, I’ll be cored,” Bones says from behind Grouchy.

“Leave her be, ass-muffin.” Grouchy slams the blunt end of his chisel into the Prince’s head with a dull thump.

At the same time, Snow lunges upward and bites a generous hunk of flesh away from the Prince’s cheek. He jerks backward and clutches the wound, blood spilling between his fingers.

Grouchy’s broken heart trembles in his chest. He tackles the Prince onto the slippery grass, and the human gasps under his weight. When he looks to see if Snow is okay, Bones is standing over her with an outstretched hand. Except Bones’ bearded mouth falls open.

The Prince’s gloves spill from his hands and clap limply together in the grass.

Grouchy hoists himself to his feet to get an eyeful of his blood-splattered Snowflake. Her eyes—usually sky blue—are now black pupils floating in twin pools of blood. Her lips twist in a sneer. She spits out the Prince’s flesh, bares her teeth at them, and hisses. Without further warning, she lunges at Bones and buries her snarling face into the crook of his neck.

When Snow jerks her head away, strands of Bones’ beard stick to her blood-smeared face. The elder dwarf collapses with a grunt. Grouchy shakes his head. The old witch with the apple lied.

Snow came back, but she didn’t come back right.

 

Boley_Web

About the Author:

Rob E. Boley grew up in Enon, Ohio, a little town with a big Indian mound. He later earned a B.A. and M.A. in English from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

 

He’s the author of The Scary Tales series of dark fantasy novels featuring mash-ups of classic fairy tale characters and horror monsters. His fiction has appeared in several markets, including A cappella Zoo, Pseudopod, Clackamas Literary Review, and Best New Werewolf Tales. His stories have won Best in Show in the Sinclair Community College Creative Writing Contest and the Dayton Daily News/Antioch Writers’ Workshop Short Story Contest.

 

He lives with his daughter in Dayton, where he works for his alma mater. Each morning and most nights, he enjoys making blank pages darker. You can get to know him better by visiting his website at www.robboley.com.

 

Website: http://www.robboley.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/robboley
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RobBoleyAuthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4097555.Rob_E_Boley

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rob-E.-Boley/e/B00FSM1AD6

*   *   *   *   *

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: John O’Brien #WinterofZombie

Untold Stories 2 - front - dead woman - FB

Teaser from A New World: Untold Stories 2

John O’Brien

 

Then, almost as if a switch had been thrown, everything went quiet. No one responded to queries, no one issued ongoing situational reports. The printers fell silent and no more messages arrived on the monitors. All heads stared at their screens and then, one by one, turned toward him. It was as if the world had drawn a deep breath, ready to unleash horror upon exhale. Joe heard startled screams that erupted in a chilling fashion down the hallways and from the adjacent rooms. The held breath was expelled, releasing terror upon on an unsuspecting world.

The heads that had been watching him following the sudden cessation of communications turned sharply toward an entrance situated in the middle of one wall. The two Marine guards posted there looked at the closed steel double doors, as if they could see what was happening on the other side.

Muffled shrieks continued to make their way into the sealed room, growing in intensity. Glancing toward a second entrance on the opposite side of the room, Joe noticed two additional guards gazing intently toward the screams, their hands resting on their sidearms. His heart began pounding from a rising fear. He felt trapped; the kind of feeling that some of the miners had reported after being rescued following a major tunnel collapse. Looking back to the first entrance, he was just in time to see the two Marines draw their weapons and, with a nod toward each other, open one of the doors.

The explosion of bodies into the room was unexpected, sending a jolt of electricity through his body from the sudden rush of adrenaline. Screams, once muffled by the walls and doors, erupted into the room. Ear-piercing shrieks filled the communication center, so loud that everything seemed to vibrate with the same intensity. Everyone seated quickly rose, sending chairs scooting across the tiled floor.

The two guards were instantly overwhelmed as a dozen or more figures poured into the room, each one trying to claw its way over those in front in their attempt to get inside. Joe watched the guards vanish beneath the onrush. Rising above the screams filling every inch of the room, he heard at least one gunshot, muffled by the crush of bodies. Even in the dimly lit room, he saw blood splash into the air. Droplets splattered on the attacker’s faces, sending them into a greater frenzy. He lost sight of some as they dove onto the fallen guards. Others surged past the growing pile and into the room, some tripping over bodies only to rise again with a speed that defied belief.

Joe stared at the onslaught, his mind unable to come to grips with what he was witnessing. The people storming into the room were mostly dressed in pressed khaki uniforms, a few in fatigues. Their faces were pale and their eyes—their eyes glowed silver when they faced him. Upon entering, the intruders eyed those in the room and charged toward them.

Hearing more gunshots, Joe turned to see the remaining guards rushing across the room with drawn handguns. Bright flashes filled the room as they fired into the crowd surging through the doorway. Several in the front line of rushing bodies went down with flowers of blood blossoming on their clothing. The forceful impact of the bullets caused them to spin to the side or stop in their tracks. However, those behind quickly pushed past the falling figures to pour into the room.

The gunshots woke Joe from his trance. It seemed like his mind had been pulled through a long tunnel and raced back into his body. Situational awareness returned with a snap. Half of the comm center staff was swarmed within moments, going down with screams to match the intruders’. In a flash, the room went from quiet suspense to one filled with chaos, confusion, and shrieks of such volume and intensity that they threatened to split Joe’s head.

The firing from the two remaining guards had failed to stem the surge, which quickly moved from a dozen or so to a seemingly endless flow. Joe had no idea there were that many people left in the building, and concluded that they must have come from outside. Escape became his first and foremost thought. However, if he did make it out, he might have to contend with other attackers.

Joe saw quickly that there wasn’t anything he could do to help. If he remained, he would soon join the others being swarmed. He had to do something… and quickly. With his evening having been filled with reports of attacks from within their own ranks, it didn’t take him long to put two and two together. With a shout of “Everyone out,” he turned toward the still-closed doors on the far side of the room and began beating cheeks out of the control center.

Racing into the hallway, the sound of screaming chasing him out of the doorway, panic began to take hold. Once he began running, his mind was finally able to comprehend what had just transpired. Stations had gone off the air; fleets had ceased reporting. The communication channels from the entire Pacific theater had gone silent; all had mentioned being attacked just prior to going off the air. And in the central command building, they had now undergone an attack of their own. Hearing screams of agony and shrieks of madness behind him, he felt like his life was measured in seconds. He would soon join the others whose voices had gone silent.

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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: Heath Stallcup #WinterofZombie

Caldera resized

Bob Jennings followed the trail of blood splatters as best he could. He cursed himself for not being more of an outdoorsman. He did take a lot of pride in his son, though. More often than not, when Bob missed a sign, Buck would pick up on it and get them both headed back in the right direction. He was amazed at just how adept Buck had become to the outdoors and when the two stopped to catch their breath and get a drink from their canteen, he had to ask him where he had picked up on these tricks. One can only imagine his shock when Buck replied, “The internet.” Bob chuckled to himself as he kept replaying that in his head. Buck looking up on the internet how to track, how to hunt, how to fish, even survival tips, all at your fingertips…because you never know when you might find yourself at Mother Nature’s mercy.

It became obvious after the first couple of miles that Lucky was making her way back down the mountain and toward the large source of noise. As the two approached the formal campgrounds, Bob slowed and turned to Buck, “You might want to put the crossbow away.”

“What if we run into more of those things?”

“You mean, what if we run into Mom?”

Buck paused and considered the question. “No, I don’t think I could shoot Mom. I mean, what if she bit someone and…you know, turned them.”

“What if you run into a ranger and he takes it away from you?” Bob asked. “Then what do you do?”

“Good point.” Buck pulled his backpack around and unzipped it. He shoved the pistol crossbow into it and zipped it back. “But first sign of someone being bit and I’m pulling it back out.”

“Your choice,” Bob said.

The two quietly made their way into the campgrounds and was shocked at how quiet the camps were considering the noise from the concert over the next hill. “How can anybody sleep with all that noise?” Bob asked.

“Are you kidding?” Buck said excitedly. “That sounds like Skinned Cats to me.”

“Me too.” Bob wrinkled his nose.

“You listen to them?” Buck was surprised his dad was into the same music.

Bob looked at him as if he’d lost his damned mind. “Seriously? That’s the name of a band? I thought you meant it sounded like someone skinning cats.”

“You’re not funny, Dad.”

“Neither are you.”

The two made their way through the different camps when they heard a scream and a multitude of curse words. Bob shot Buck a quick glance then the two took off in the general direction of the disturbance.

“Sounded like it came from over here.” Buck pointed as he ran.

Bob ran between two large tents and stopped to gather his bearings. He heard mumbled cursing coming from a tent and slowly approached the large canvas dwelling. “Hello?”

“What the…” a voice called and a haggard looking man crawled out. “What the hell do you want?”

“We heard someone scream,” Bob said.

“You heard right.” The man snapped at him. “You heard me!” He thrust out his bloody hand with a rag wrapped around it.

“Holy shit, mister!” Buck shouted. “Did she bite you?”

“What?” The man gave him a confounded look. “Hell no. My buddy fucking bit me!”

Bob and Buck both shot him a surprised look and the man finished crawling out from his tent. “Some crazy naked bitch came out of the woods and attacked him, then a little bit later, he went crazy and fucking bit me!”

“Oh no,” Buck groaned as he pulled his backpack from his shoulder. He began unzipping it.

Bob placed a hand on his shoulder and shook his head. “The crazy naked chick,” he asked the man, “what did she look like?”

“Huh?” He was confused. “What do you mean, what did she look like? She was naked and dirty. Like she had been stomping around in the woods.”

“No, I mean…” Bob searched for the best way to describe Lucky, “…what did she look like?”

The man sat back and studied him a moment. “What’s it to you?”

“My mom is missing.” Buck’s face turned hard.

The man cocked his head to the side and an evil grin spread across his face. “So you figure you’d just pick up the first crazy chick you see, clean her up, call her mom, and be done with it?” he chuckled.

Bob squared his chest and set his jaw. He was about to yell at the man when Buck pulled the crossbow out and pointed it at the man’s chest. “Just answer the goddamn question!” he yelled.

“Whoa! Easy there, squirt!”

“What did she look like?” Buck narrowed his eyes.

The man’s lip started to quiver into a snarl, but he held himself. “Stringy blonde hair, all dirty like. Big tits. Shaved snatch. Nice ass, though. Might make a nice piece if you cleaned her up and taught her not to bite!”

Bob placed his hand on top of the crossbow and gently pushed it down. “Yeah, that’s your mom,” he said quietly. “Which way did she go?”

The man tilted his head slightly and studied the two. He could feel his anger growing, but he wasn’t sure exactly why. He stared at the crossbow one more time then jerked his arm out, pointing down the hill. “She went that way.”

“Thank you.” Bob pulled Buck after him.

“If you catch up with that crazy bitch, kick her in the cooch for me!” the man yelled after the two.

 

*****

 

Dwayne slowly rolled the four-wheeler to a stop and pulled his flashlight from his belt. Clicking it on, he swung it in a slow arc and studied the ground in front and beside him. He could see where there had been a lot of foot traffic, but he’d lost the tracks he’d been following, and the blood smears had lessened to such a degree that he wasn’t sure which way the woman might have went. He shifted his large mass on the machine’s seat and looked behind him. Nothing looked different than what lay before him.

He turned off the four-wheeler, letting his ears adjust to the silence. He held his nose and pushed air slightly to force them to pop, allowing his hearing to be slightly more sensitive. He listened intently and could hear the music and the cheering crowd over the next rise. He allowed his mind to mentally block that like a white noise and concentrated on the other noises in the area. He could hear the sounds of the ambulance as it rolled through the campgrounds, the EMTs slamming doors and busying themselves with their job. He tried to force himself to block that noise as well.

Fisher stepped away from the ticking of the engine as it cooled and listened for noises from the woods. He could hear something moving through the brush and dense foliage but he knew that it could be anything or anybody. The number of campers in this area was high and many would be preparing to settle in for the night once the noise from the concert died down.

He heard a quick rustling in the brush behind him and he spun the flashlight as he ducked low, peering deep into the dark and hidden world that lay beyond the walking paths. He thought he could see movement through the trees, but he also knew that in the dark of the night, the mind played tricks on you. He took a tentative step toward the thicket and reached out with his left hand to move a limb from his view. His hand brushed the dry wood and swept it slowly aside to reveal…nothing. He peered deeper into the darkness and saw nothing but more trees and brush on the other side. He stepped back and shook his head.

“This shit is starting to get to you,” he mumbled.

The sound of running feet through low limbs and leaves caught his attention. He snap-turned and brought the beam of the light low in hopes of catching the runner in action. He heard the snap of a twig just ahead and he adjusted his aim once more. Fisher stepped toward the noise when it stopped and paused in front of the four-wheeler, the heat from the engine rising up like a welcoming blanket in the quickly chilling night air.

“Hello?” he called out carefully. “I’m here to help you.”

The feet shifted in the woods but refused to come out. Fisher stepped to the side and flashed the light deeper into the darkness, hoping to catch a glimpse of who or what was out there. He knew that these woods were full of numerous nocturnal creatures and that just about any of them could be making the noise, but he also knew that most of Yellowstone’s nocturnal wildlife took off when faced with humans.

He stepped gingerly toward the source of the noise and lifted the light higher, hoping to bring it over the top of the brush this time. He peered through the dense foliage and thought he caught a glimpse of something moving, but it quickly passed from view. He grunted and shoved his hand into the bush and pulled the limb aside to get a better view. The light fell from above and illuminated the area below to reveal nothing but more brush and rocks. Fisher slowly let the limb slide back when the light reflected off something wet. He pulled the limb back again and angled the beam to the left to catch the reflection once more. He let his eyes linger on a cluster of leaves, a dark smear of reddish brown liquid pooled and dripped from them.

Dwayne leaned into the brush and ran his finger along the leaf, drawing it back and pulling his fingers to his nose. With a slight sniff he confirmed it as blood. He checked the viscosity by running his other finger across it to tell if it had begun to congeal. It was still runny and thin. Fresh.

His ears heard a pitter and patter and he quickly turned the light back to the cluster of leaves. More leaves were covered with the blood and he saw yet another leaf become covered, the blood splattering as it hit. His eyes scanned the area, then, slowly it dawned on him. Up. His eyes slowly rose with the light as it lit up the large tree behind the bush. He followed it up and into the branches. He saw not just one, but two branches with blood running across it and dripping down to the cluster of leaves below.

Fisher flashed the light higher into the tree and saw a slight movement…a shift of…something. He squinted in the darkness as he tried to make out just what he was looking at. As his eyes tried to make out what he was staring at, something launched itself with a hair-raising scream. Fisher jerked backwards as he startled and collapsed to the ground as he was tackled by a naked, filth-covered woman, her teeth clacking as she snapped and bit at him.

Dwayne’s arm came up automatically in a defensive move to ward off his attacker, his knee finding her softer middle. Her quick attack had knocked the wind from him, but the adrenaline pumping through his system was making for a quick recovery as his mind raced through possible actions. Fisher reached for his dropped flashlight, and his hand wrapped around the heavy barrel of the Maglite. With one hand braced against the woman’s throat and his knee pushing her further away, he kept her from reaching him with her bloody mouth. Her arms kept swishing at his face in angry swipes and he could feel the wind from each swing as she scratched for his face.

Dwayne brought the flashlight up as hard as he could and connected with the side of her head, at the same time pushing her as hard as he could with his legs, launching her to the side and away from him. Fisher rolled to the side and away from the crazed woman and got to his knees, sucking in air as he tried to recover from her surprise attack. As he sat there on the back of his heels, resting the majority of his weight on his knees, he studied the woman lying in the dirt. Her breathing came in quick and rapid pants, her fingers twitching as if she were somehow short circuiting.

He crawled to his feet and coughed, hacking the dust and dirt from the forest floor from his throat. Leaning against a tree, he forced himself to stand erect and cautiously approached the filthy woman sprawled across the pine needle strewn ground. He clicked his light a few more times and beat it against the palm of his hand until the light flickered back on. He flashed the beam toward her and assessed her as she lay prone.

She was covered in both fresh and dried blood, numerous scratches and abrasions covered her arms and legs and her exposed abdomen. She had very large breasts, and Fisher had to admit, had she been scrubbed clean, she would probably be very attractive. He noted a wedding ring on her left hand and somehow that struck him as odd. He moved closer and pulled a strand of muddy and matted hair from her face. He could tell that, even with all of the blood and dirt on her face, she had been quite the looker before she took her trip down acid lane.

As Dwayne’s hand hovered near her face, he could feel the heat radiating from her and he cautiously touched the back of two fingers to her forehead. My God, she’s burning up. He sat back a moment and wondered if possibly she was delirious from some kind of fever…when she stirred. Fisher felt panic start to rise in his chest and he reached for his flex cuffs. Better to keep her subdued than risk her getting away again…the cuffs weren’t on his belt!

His eyes scanned the area where they scuffled and couldn’t see the white plastic cuffs anywhere. He glanced to the four-wheeler and the black plastic saddle bags attached to the rear. He quickly got to his feet and made for the all-terrain vehicle. He shoved the flashlight under his arm and lifted the lid on the nearest bag. Rifling through the plastic container he found some fishing line, some light twine and pliers. He made for the other side and quickly double-checked the naked woman lying on the ground. She still appeared out of it, and he quickly lifted the lid on the other bag. Digging through the contents, he pulled out a first aid kit, a rain poncho, and assorted odds and ends. He couldn’t find any flex cuffs.

Dwayne sighed and quickly went back to the site of the scuffle. He searched the area in and around where he found the blood but the cuffs weren’t to be found.

“Dammit,” he muttered. “I’ll just have to use twine or—”

A shuffling sound cut him off mid-thought. He turned quickly to find the woman standing right behind him. Her blood red eyes staring directly at his throat. Fisher’s eyes settled on her face and he couldn’t quite believe what he was seeing when he gazed at her eyes. She opened her mouth, and the primitive scream that erupted sent the hair on the back of his neck on end. His hand went to his holster just as she launched herself for his neck.

 

*****

 

“Understood,” Hatcher said into his radio. He waved his arm to direct the other EMS unit around some of the parked cars and helped them to navigate through the cramped parking areas in order to assist the first unit sent to the campgrounds. As the second unit rolled off scene, Hatcher turned to Shelly, “I don’t know if all those campers were hurt by the same person or a group of people, but this is getting out of hand.”

“Didn’t Fisher go after her?” Shelly asked.

“Yeah, but I haven’t heard from him.” Hatcher marched toward the vehicle lockup. “He’s not answering his radio either.”

Shelly stepped ahead of Hatcher and stood in front of the locked gate. “Hold on, Hatch.” She held him short of the locked gate. “Tell me you aren’t leaving this fuster cluck to go look for Dwayne?”

“Somebody or a group of somebodies is out there hurting campers, Shell. We’ve got two groups of EMTs up there trying to help them, and that still may not be enough.” He pointed to the concert. “These idiots are either too drunk or too stoned to cause much more trouble, and we have enough support from the other stations and the county boys to make sure it’s in hand.” He turned back to face her and caught her eye, “Mitch is here, and he can handle anything this crowd can throw at him. Besides, nobody knows those woods like I do.”

She studied him for a moment before sighing and stepping aside. “I’m coming with you.” she drawled as she pulled out her own keys to unlock the padlock to the vehicles. “If it’s a crowd, you may need backup.”

“I’ll be fine.”

“Famous last words.” Shelly swung the gate open. “You said Fisher didn’t answer the radio, and we both know that he’s too anal and eager to please to let anything with his gear go wrong. He’s either in trouble, or his gear failed.” She turned and hiked a brow at him. “And our gear doesn’t fail.”

Hatcher considered her logic and then nodded. “Okay, but stay on my tail. The way we’re going, it will be too easy to get lost if we’re separated.”

They both mounted their ATVs and pulled them from the lockup. Hatcher shut the gate and locked it to prevent any of the passersby from getting the wild idea to go for a joyride in the wild. He mounted again and pulled his gloves on, staring one last time at the crowd and the mix of law enforcement patrolling the perimeter.

He turned to Shelly once more, “Remember, stay on my tail. If you lose sight of me, lay on the horn or something to get my attention. The trail we’re taking isn’t easy, and it isn’t marked well. There are spots where…well, just stay close.”

“Got it.” She nodded and revved her engine.

Hatcher kicked the ATV into gear and turned along the backside of the buildings, cutting through the woods in a way that Shelly had never gone. She had always wondered how he could simply appear and then disappear on them when they were in different areas of the park. She had often joked that he was like a ghost, he could simply show up without a sound, then disappear again without notice. Rumors had been whispered among the other rangers that he had once been a special forces operative or that he had special training with the CIA, but she was now beginning to think that he had just been at the park so long and had been so bored that he had explored every inch of it that he could, discovering shortcuts through the place to different areas that he could use to maximize his energy and time.

True to her word, she stayed on his tail and, within heartbeats, they emerged through the thick woods on the lower end of the campground. As he pulled his ATV through the brush, he slowed and pulled to the side of what was obviously a clearing beyond the edge of the campsites. Shelly pulled alongside and they drove side by side, using their mounted lights to search for the injured and for any sign of the attackers.

Hatcher rolled forward and slowed when he saw two people approaching. “Have there been any campers injured down this way?” he asked.

The two looked at each other and shrugged. “Not that I know of, Ranger,” the taller man said, shifting firewood in his arms.

The shorter man hooked his jaw behind them, “I thought I saw some flashing lights up the hill a bit. Maybe there was trouble up that way.”

Hatcher nodded to the two and mumbled a ‘thanks’ as he thumbed the accelerator. Shelly fell in behind him and came up along his side.

“The road branches up here,” Hatcher yelled above the sound of the engines. “Take the fork to the right and run it about a quarter mile. If you see anything, radio me.”

Shelly gave him a curt nod and accelerated past him, veering off at the fork. Hatcher watched her lights fade for a moment then continued up the path. As he slowly approached the next set of campers he could make out the red and blue lights reflecting off the trees and tents as he slowed the ATV. He continued to search the area and looked for any signs of more injured.

Hatcher stopped the ATV and dismounted at the ambulance. He peeked inside the tent next to the rig and saw a body sprawled across the floor and blood sprayed across the interior of the tent. He quickly pulled his head back and stifled the bile that rose in the back of his throat. He leaned over and spit, pulling air through his nostrils to clear the smell of blood and death. When he felt that he had control again, he slowly rose up and nearly stumbled as he stepped to the rear of the ambulance.

“What the hell happened back…”

His eyes settled on a scene of gore in the rear of the ambulance that left him speechless. One of the EMTs had obviously been torn apart, the dark blue jumpsuit-covered body lay broken and twisted, hanging out the rear of the ambulance, blood dripping from the stainless steel step bumper. Hatcher stepped back and drew his weapon as his eyes scanned the surrounding area. He quickly scanned the tents and the campsites and only then realized the lack of people at the sites.

Daniel slowly worked his way to the front of the ambulance and checked the inside of the unit. Empty. He gingerly stepped back toward the ATV and kept slowly making circles as his eyes scanned the surrounding woods.

“Where are all the people?” he muttered to himself.

His radio hissed to life and he jumped. “Hatch, come in!” Shelly’s voice barked urgently.

He pulled the radio up and keyed the mic, “Go for Hatcher.”

“You better get over here quick.” There was a touch of panic in her voice. “I found Fisher’s four-wheeler, but he’s nowhere to be found.”

Hatcher moved toward the ATV and mounted it, “Are there tracks? Maybe he went out on foot?” He started the ATV again.

“There’s too much blood, Hatch.” Shelly sounded like she was about to lose it as Hatcher kicked the ATV into gear and spun the machine around.

“I’m on my way, Shell. Hold tight.”

Hatcher clipped his radio back on his belt then paused, glancing back at the ambulance. Shaking his head at the memory of the carnage, he pulled his radio once more and switched frequencies, calling for the sheriff’s deputies. He waited for a callback that didn’t come. He assumed they would have earbuds in place to compensate for the noise of the concert and muttered a curse when they didn’t respond.

Hatcher changed frequencies once more and keyed the radio, “County Mobile Unit, come in,” he called and waited, hoping for a response.

A static-filled hiss keyed up and a female voice responded. Hatcher sighed and quickly filled the dispatcher in on what he discovered with the ambulance and requested that a deputy be dispatched to the location while he went in search of his missing ranger. After receiving an affirmative, Hatcher started the ATV again and pushed the unit to its limit as he slid across the rocks and gravel back to the fork in the road. He slid the little all-terrain vehicle around the corner and opened it back up full throttle, jumping small hills and sliding through curves until he saw the light from Shelly’s ATV ahead. He kept the throttle wide open until he knew he’d have to start braking or risk shooting past her. He slid the ATV to a stop and was off the machine before the engine even came to a complete stop.

“Show me!” he barked as he brought his flashlight to bear.

Shelly waved him over to where Fisher’s four-wheeler sat idle and illuminated the area with her own flashlight. “This is what freaked me out,” she said softly.

Daniel hunkered low and used a stick to stir through the blood, trying to gauge the amount by how thick it soaked into the earth. Shelly stood behind him and observed. “It looks like a lot, Hatch.”

Hatcher nodded. “It is.” He rested his arm across his knee and stared at the ground surrounding the large blood stain. “Looks like there was a hell of a struggle, or a fight or…”

He squinted in the low light and brought his flashlight back up. He stood up and walked around the blood pool to the other side. Using his toe, he poked at something just under the dead pine needles, then bent down and picked up a pistol.

“Is this Fisher’s?” he asked disbelievingly.

Shelly gasped as he lifted it into the air and blew the dirt and pine needles away from it. Hatcher lifted it to his nose and sniffed. No smell of burnt powder, so it hadn’t been fired. “He didn’t shoot it if it’s his.”

“It’s his,” she said softly. “He carries a 1911. I’ve admired it more than once.” She turned away and stepped back to the four-wheelers, visibly shaken.

“Just because his gun is out here doesn’t mean this blood is his.” Hatcher tried to put her at ease.

Shelly turned and set a stern gaze at him. “Don’t,” she said bluntly. “Just…don’t.”

“Shelly, I—”

“Hatch, he was very proud of that weapon, and he’d never let it stay if he…” Her eyes drifted back to the dark spot on the ground. “If he were able, he’d still have it on him.”

Hatcher knew she was right, he just didn’t know how else to put her mind at ease. He pulled the magazine from the weapon and put it in his pocket, then cleared the chamber. “Well, I’m not giving up on him just yet.” He set his jaw firmly. “Fish is a good ranger and a savvy fella. Just because we found his weapon doesn’t mean that he’s out of the picture.” He flipped open the plastic hard case on the back of his ATV and set the weapon in it. “When he shows up looking all ragged and worn out, he’ll be happy we found this.”

Shelly lowered her eyes to the ground and fought not to cry. Dwayne was a friend and a coworker. She’d known that he had a crush on her, but she just wouldn’t allow him to get that close. She had other interests that prevented her from allowing him to get close to her. She glanced at Hatcher and reminded herself why.

“So what do we do now?”

Hatcher glanced back at the dark spot, then at her. “We stick to the plan. We have to find whoever it is that is attacking the campers and get them into custody.”

Shelly paused at her ATV and looked back at Hatcher. “Do you think that she might be the one who attacked Fisher?”

Hatcher climbed back onto his ATV and turned the key. “Do you really think that a naked woman…any naked woman could get the best of Fisher? Dwayne Fisher? OUR Dwayne Fisher?” he asked almost jokingly, hoping to ease her mind slightly. “The man is a walking mountain. The only person I know bigger than Fisher is Mitch Richardson, and he’s just a freak of nature.” He chuckled. “That guy should have been a linebacker with the NFL, but they wouldn’t take him. He kept scaring the other players!” he joked as he started the ATV.

 

*****

 

“I think we missed something,” Bill said as he stopped and looked back where they had just come. They had passed at least seven tents and four RVs, and none had seen or heard anything from the woman, nor had they any clue what he was talking about when he asked if anyone was hurt. “I think she must have cut through the woods or something.”

Richard glanced back at the woods and shook his head. “I don’t know, Bill. Those woods are pretty thick with underbrush.” He scratched at his chin and glanced ahead. “She’d have sliced herself to ribbons if she tried something like that. And with no clothes? I just don’t see it.”

Bill set down the first aid kit and stretched his back. The case was starting to get too heavy on him, and the pain in his knees let him know that he wasn’t a young man anymore. He stared down the path they were on and shook his head.

“There’s just too many side paths and…” he paused and looked toward the large hill where the noise from the concert was still playing, “…noise going on.”

Richard patted his shoulder. “I know, it’s frustrating,” he sighed. “Look, why don’t we work our way back up toward your camp. If we can pick up her trail again, we go after her, if not, then we sit tight at your camp. I’ll contact the ranger station and see if maybe they can send someone to search for her? They have all kinds of specialized gear just for finding lost people.”

Bill considered what he was saying and finally nodded. He had to quit this. He wasn’t a lawman anymore, and he wasn’t a first responder either. He was RETIRED. He had to quit fooling himself. Finally he snorted a short laugh. “You’re right.” He bent to retrieve the kit. “This is work for younger men.”

“There ya go,” Richard said as the two turned back and headed back toward Bill’s camp. “I think if we take this Y up here, we can make it back to your camp quicker.”

“You sure?” Bill studied him. “I’d really rather not get lost out here at night.”

“Pretty sure.” Richard smiled and patted his shoulder. “Brought my grandson camping up here a couple times. We camped right over that way and used to cut across over there to get to the lake faster.”

“Lead the way.” Bill extended an arm and let Rich take the lead.

The two made off through the woods and cut back at the Y that Richard mentioned. The path was a bit steeper, but Bill soon recognized some of the RVs and a few of the more colorful tents that were his ‘view’ as they crested the hill. He shook his head as his Jeep and tent came into view.

“Who’d have thought we were that close?” Bill panted as the road leveled out.

Richard chuckled. “They twist and turn and cut back on themselves so much, it’s easy to get turned around.”

Although Bill could see his campsite, it was still a bit further away than he thought. He was winded from the climb by the time they arrived and he tucked away the first aid kit. He knew he would sleep well tonight if that blasted noise would ever end.

The two assumed their positions around the dying campfire and Bill exhaled hard. “What a night, eh?”

“Oh yeah,” Richard agreed as he stole a glance at his watch. “In all the excitement, I’d about forgotten about Harriet and Jake coming back.”

Bill’s face dropped for just a fleeting moment, but he masked it quickly. “I guess you have to go.”

Richard stared off toward the hill where the concert still went on and shook his head. “I don’t know if I could get out through all of that.”

“Well, you’re more than welcome to stay the night here,” Bill offered. “It is a seven-man tent.” He shrugged when Richard’s brows went up. “What can I say? I like my room. Besides, it was on sale.”

Rich smiled and pulled his phone out. “Let me text Harriet and let her know I’ll be late. And why. Wouldn’t want her to think I was out dancing with another woman.”

“I’m a terrible dancer.” Bill stretched and yawned.

“So am I,” Richard said, “But then, so is Harriet, so she thinks I’m a good dancer.” He grinned. As soon as he sent the text, he looked up the number for the ranger station. “I’ll give the rangers a call and let them know about the woman…” He trailed off as he listened to the phone ring. After a while, he punched the end call button and simply stared at Bill. “No answer.”

“They probably couldn’t hear it for all of that.” He hooked a thumb toward the concert.

Richard simply nodded, but still found it odd that somebody wasn’t manning the station. They normally kept someone near the phones in case of emergency at all hours. “It could be possible that they are already tied up…what, with the ambulances being out.” He stared out at the other campsites.

“You don’t look convinced,” Bill said.

Richard smirked and shook his head. “I’m not.” He continued to stare out into the darkness and both men turned when a scream echoed in the distance.

“That didn’t sound good.” Bill muttered.

Richard’s eyes reflected his concern. “That didn’t sound human.”

bulldog writer

*   *   *   *   *

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: Michael Robertson #WinterofZombie

alpha_plague_cover_art_revised_ebook

The Alpha Plague – Teaser

 

Chapter One

 

 

 

Alice pressed her fork down on her steak. The soft meat leaked a pool of blood that spread over her white plate. It soaked into the potatoes and broccoli.

A slow heave lifted in her throat, and she gulped several times to combat the excess saliva that gushed into her mouth. She could almost taste the metallic tang of blood. “How was the–” another heave rose up and she cleared it with a cough that echoed through the sparse room. She tried again. “How was the lab today, John?”

A thick frown furrowed John’s brow. This was his usual response to most questions. Everything was an irritation. Such banal conversations couldn’t hold a flame to his vast intellect. He ejected the word as if giving a reply was below him. “Stressful.”

The rejection sent a sharp stab through Alice’s stomach. It didn’t matter how many times he knocked her down, she got back up and continued to look for his approval. Fire spread beneath her cheeks and she chewed on her bottom lip.

John flashed a grin of wonky teeth. It took all of Alice’s strength not to flinch at the ghastly sight. “I must say though, it’s been made a little easier by Wilfred having to make me this meal.”

A deep breath filled Alice’s sinuses with the smell of disinfectant; the smell she associated with John. Decades immersed in the study of bacteria and disease had driven his level of cleanliness to the point where it bordered on obsessive-compulsive. A frown darkened her view of the room. “What did you say the bet was?”

“I didn’t.”

Alice looked into his sharp blue eyes and waited for him to say more.

He didn’t.

A look first at the man, dressed in his white lab coat, she then looked around at his white, minimalist penthouse apartment. Everything had a place, and everything was necessary. Beakers and test tubes littered the sides like ornaments. She hadn’t ever seen a photograph on display, despite this being his personal space… no room for sentimentality here.

Alice squirmed in her seat as the silence swelled.

John watched her.

No matter how long she’d known the man for, John always made her itch in her own skin. As if pressured to break the overwhelming void between them, she said, “So, what was the bet about?”

“An experiment. I predicted the correct result.”

A machine would have been better company. Alice frowned at him again and sighed.

“Oh, do pull yourself together, woman,” John said. “You’ve got to learn to stop being so bloody sensitive.”

Despite his obnoxious behaviour, the man did have redeeming qualities. When he worked, his creativity and passion flowed from him. Science drove him like a heartbeat, but Alice couldn’t excuse him time and again. She couldn’t ignore every time he’d humiliated her during a lecture; every time he’d not let her finish her point; every time he’d selected her to clean the lab at the end of the day while he let his other students leave. “How about you learn to stop being so bloody insensitive?”

A flick of his bony hand at her and he said, “This is what I mean. It’s these emotional fluctuations that take away your ability to be objective. That’s why men make better scientists.”

“And terrible companions.”

He lowered his head and peered over his glasses at her. “We can leave our baggage at the door,” he continued.

For the second time, her face smouldered. “You left your baggage in the delivery ward, John. Maybe your sociopathic detachment serves you well in the world of science, but it doesn’t equip you to deal with the real world. Without science, you’d be stranded.” Her vision blurred. Great! Tears again. They only strengthened the man’s argument.

John sighed and shook his head.

A glance down at her dinner, and Alice prodded the soft steak. Maybe a scalpel would be more appropriate than the wooden-handled knife in her hand. In the bright glare of John’s scrutiny, Alice cut into the steak and lifted a piece to her mouth.

The soft meat sat like jelly on her tongue. Unable to chew it, she took a deep gulp and tried to swallow. The piece of steak stuck in her throat like it was barbed. Her heart raced as a metallic rush of juices slithered down her oesophagus and clogged her throat.

John watched on, his expression unchanged. The cold detachment of a scientist rather than the compassion of a human being stared through his beady eyes.

Alice’s pulse boomed inside her skull. She held her neck and wheezed, “Help me.”

He didn’t. He believed in natural selection. Sink or swim. How many cavemen had choked on their dinner? The ones who had been saved only weakened the gene pool. Weakness should never be rewarded.

After several heavy gulps, Alice swallowed the meat, leaned on the table, and gasped. Adrenaline surged through her. Her pulse pounded in her ears. She dabbed her eyes with the back of her hand to stop her mascara from running and looked up to see John watching her with his usual blank expression. A barrage of abuse rose and died on her tongue; there was no point.

Alice retuned her focus to her dinner and flinched every time her cutlery hit the porcelain plate. The sharp chinks bounced around the quiet room. After she’d cut everything up, she stared at her food. A tightness remained in her throat from when she’d choked; another sip of warm red wine did little to ease her trepidation.

When she looked back up, John still watched her.

She cleared her throat. “So, when will you tell me about your work, John?”

His dinner remained untouched; his scrawny frame and pallid skin served as a visual representation of his poor diet. Thirty years her senior at sixty-three, he looked fifty years older. He consulted his wristwatch as if their meal had a deadline and sighed. “I can’t. You know that.”

 

To read more of The Alpha Plague follow this link – http://smarturl.it/thealphaplague

Author Profile Photo

*   *   *   *   *

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!