Archive for the ‘Giveaways’ Category

Don’t Feed The Dark Updates: 12/5/16

Posted: December 5, 2016 in Apocalypse, books, creative writing, drama, Free Online Novel, free zombie books, Giveaways, Horror, horror fiction, killing zombies, living dead, monsters, mystery, novels, serial novels, Survival, suspense, talk show, thriller, Uncategorized, walking dead, zombie books, Zombie Talk Show, Zombies
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the living


Hello everyone,

Just wanted to check in a final time before the holidays to let you knew what’s brewing behind the scenes while we wait for Don’t Feed The Dark, Book Four: Phantoms to resume on Monday, January 2nd.

Sometime later this week, a new episode of After The Dark (The DFTD talk show) will be posted. Our host, John Ecko, will sit down with Gina, Tony, Diane and Nine to discuss where we are so far and perhaps get some further insights into this new story arc. Be sure to stop by with any burning questions you may have for any of our special guests and we will try to field them on the show, if possible.

Later this month, time permitting, I’m hoping to have my third spin-off story available, titled, Hangar Six. This short story will take us all the way back to Chapter 14 and give us some additional insights into the strange happenings surrounding Fairport Harbor Marina. This story will also tie in to the upcoming chapter due out in January.

As mentioned, Chapter 35: Deal Dolls (Part One), will start us off in January. It will be a Meredith centered chapter which will show us what she’s been up to in the present as well as delve into her mysterious past and hopefully shed some light on her connections to the notorious group known only as Mother.

Chapter 36: Uprising , will take us back beneath the Wasteland compound and will tell the story of what happens after a dissatisfied faction of survivors decide to take over leadership… and that’s all I’ll say about that.

Chapter 37: Through the Eyes of a Devil, will be the long awaited chapter that so many of you have been waiting for. That’s right, it will all be centered around our resident serial killer, Russell Bower… and yes, he survived the fall off the cliff. This chapter is already written and not only is it the longest chapter to date, I think it’s going to blow you away (how’s that for a teaser?).

Lastly, Chapter 38: Healing, will be the last chapter for this latest book and it will take place about three weeks after Chapter 36. And that’s all I can tell you about it without spoiling anything.

Just to add, I’ve already begun plotting for Book Five… and it’s going to be crazy as hell.

That’s all I have for now. I look forward to catching up with all of you again after the break. Hope you all have a great Christmas and an awesome New Year.




Don’t Feed The Dark Updates 10/29/16

Posted: October 29, 2016 in Apocalypse, books, creative writing, drama, Free Online Novel, free zombie books, Giveaways, Horror, horror fiction, killing zombies, living dead, monsters, mystery, novels, serial novels, Survival, suspense, thriller, Uncategorized, walking dead, zombie books, Zombies
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Hello Everyone,

Like many of you, November/December is already turning into a busy couple of months due to the upcoming holidays and that dreaded but necessary ‘day’ job that I loathe so much.

I originally had three weeks built into my posting schedule in an attempt to alleviate some of the busy, but have decided that I don’t won’t to interrupt my serial twice for the sake of one more chapter that I wanted to start in December, which may run longer than expected, causing me to stop mid-chapter and resume in January.

So… starting on Monday, October 31st, I will start Chapter 34: Secrets, a six episode chapter, which will run for the next three weeks through most of November, and then DFTD will be going on break for the remainder of the year. I’ve decided that this is the best way to approach my posting schedule with the least amount of interruptions in my serial. Also, the end of the next chapter makes a good pausing point in the story since Chapter 35: Dead Dolls (Part 1) will be delving into a new story line surrounding Meredith’s character.

So here’s the tentative breakdown for the remainder of Don’t Feed The Dark, Book Four – Phantoms:

Chapter 34: Secrets will begin on Halloween and finish on Friday, November 18th.

Holiday Hiatus: November 19th – January 1st.

Chapter 35: Dead Dolls (Part One) will start Monday, January 2nd.

So starting in January, the remainder of Book Four will resume and run without interruption until the conclusion of the arc. I’m estimating at least four more chapters carrying us well into April or May of 2017.

While on break (time permitting), I plan on posting a special episode or two of After The Dark, my DFTD talk show, to take a look of where we are so far. Also, I may have a new spin-off story available during the break… no promises though.

That’s all for now. See you on Monday for the final chapter of 2016 and I hope you all have a great Halloween!




I’m excited to announce that I will be participating for my second year in the October Frights Blog Hop, hosted by Clarissa Johal. It starts October 10th and finishes on the 15th. Please click the link above to find out more about this event.

This year I will be posting five creepy short stories (sorry, no zombies) to celebrate the Halloween season. You can read them starting on the 10th over at my DFTD Blogger site:

Here’s the line up:

Find out what happens when a man making a late-night run to the cash machine gets an unexpected guest.

My spin on the classic closet monster tale.

Sometimes the monsters within are much more terrifying than the imagined… especially when you’re trapped with them.

Previous Owner:
Ever fall asleep at the wheel for a few seconds and wake up wondering how you didn’t crash? This story looks at one possibility for those unaccounted seconds.

Moore’s Mountain:
Halloween and Christmas merge in this terrifying tale.

Bonus Story: Mr. Thompson’s Obsession:
Sometimes the latest horror is right next door…

I hope to see you all on October 10th. And don’t forget to visit all the other authors to find out what horrific offerings they have in store.



Special: Beyond Survival

Posted: February 15, 2016 in Apocalypse, books, contests, creative writing, drama, Free Online Novel, free zombie books, Giveaways, Horror, horror fiction, Interviews/Reviews, killing zombies, living dead, monsters, mystery, novels, serial novels, Survival, suspense, thriller, Uncategorized, walking dead, writer's blogs, zombie books, Zombies
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dark man


What I find most appealing about writing apocalyptic horror fiction is discovering what my cast of characters will do when faced with extreme circumstances, and finding out how survivors deal with one another in a world no longer fit for the living. I find myself struggling vicariously through them as these characters come to life on the pages and drag me along on a life-or-death rollercoaster of decisions, loaded with consequences.

In my book series, Don’t Feed The Dark, a virus known only as The Change, strikes randomly, turning roughly one in every five people into flesh-craving maniacs. Survivors do not understand how they were spared while so many were not, including loved ones, neighbors… the person sitting next to you. Over time, strangers forced to fight together for survival must face more than the living dead, they must face the monsters within themselves and find out what kind of people they truly are. Which brings about all sorts of interesting questions to explore:

Is it enough to simply survive… and at what cost is that survival worth? How much of our humanity must we give up in order to preserve our fragile claim on the human race? When the hard choices are presented, what can we live with at the end of the day to ward off the phantoms of guilt which rise up in the night to devour our sleep-deprived souls?

I suspect that we may never really know the answers to these questions until we are forced to face a real zombie epidemic. At best, we can speculate, based on our present beliefs and perceptions of ourselves. I am sure we would all love to say we would do the noble or decent thing in all circumstances. However, when we are forced into survival mode, what would we really do to save our own skins and the people we care about?

Bottom line: What decisions can we live with long after the dead have moved on to easier prey, leaving us alone to face the implications of those decisions?

The following scenarios are intended to explore difficult circumstances we might face in a zombie apocalypse and find out what we would do. Survival is a brutal affair, especially after the rules of normal living have been slaughtered in the streets on Day One. There are no longer right or wrong answers, only survival and the loads we must bear to continue to stay alive. In the end, the dead cannot judge the living… or can they?

Scenario #1:

You have had one hell of an exhausting work week. When Friday finally arrives, all you want to do is crawl into bed and sleep for a hundred years. Fortunately, your oldest son, Michael, is home from college for the weekend and has offered to entertain his younger siblings: Jessica, age nine, and Marcus, age five. After making plans for the following morning, you slither into bed early and refuse to set the alarm clock. By 11:30 pm your spouse has crawled into bed next to you. He or she mentions something about a strange News report talking about increased violence around town which you acknowledge with a sluggish grunt and then quickly fall back to sleep.

Four hours later, you wake abruptly to Jessica’s high-pitched screams coming from somewhere in the house. You hear what sounds like a bar-room brawl in progress in your living room as furniture is overturned and glass breaks. You look over and discover that your spouse is missing. Something terrible is happening. You immediately believe someone has broken into your home as you quickly retrieve your handgun from your gun safe in the closet. You exit the bedroom and rush toward the living room. The only light is coming from the snow displayed on your television. You discover a tall intruder hovering over your spouse who is scrambling to get into the closest corner while trying to shield your daughter from a maniac.

You yell at the intruder and point the gun at him. Something monstrous turns toward you and howls as you get a good look into its fierce yellow eyes boring into your flesh. Your blood turns to ice as recognition sets in.

It’s your oldest boy, Michael!

And then your spouse yells something strange:

“Shoot him! It’s not Michael… not after what he did!”

You then become aware of two things with dreadful clarity: You have no idea where your youngest boy is… and this thing resembling your oldest, has blood dripping from its mouth.

What would you do?


Scenario #2:

You are on the run for your life in a busy metropolitan area. The dead are everywhere. You somehow manage to escape notice long enough to reach a five-story apartment complex. You are exhausted and it is getting dark fast. You decide to hide out in the top floor of the complex for the night, hoping you can getter a better view of your situation from up above. You find an unlocked and unoccupied apartment with an emergency fire escape down into an adjacent alley. Good enough.

While foraging for supplies, you hear movement from behind a closed bedroom door. You swear at yourself for forgetting to check the room. You approach the door and slowly open it. Inside is an elderly woman lying in what looks like a hospital bed. She is hooked up to a complex machine with tubes running into various places on her body.

The woman turns to you and pleads in a weak voice, “Thank God. My nurse left me all alone and I can’t get a hold of anyone to help me.”

Before you can respond, you hear screams coming from just outside the apartment and down the hall. The dead have made their way into the building and are heading in your direction.

“Please… please… don’t leave me like this!” the old woman begs.

You have five minutes before the dead discover you… maybe less. You still have time to make it down the fire escape if you leave right now.

What would you do?


Scenario #3:

After a grueling escape from the initial panic that has swept through your town, you and a small group of survivors manage to make it to a rural area and away from the hordes of the undead which have hunted you. It has been four days since the initial outbreak when your group discovers a small out-of-the-way grocery store with a large apartment above it. The place seems secure and loaded with essential food stores your group needs. Since you are responsible for making some critical decisions that have resulted in your escape, everyone looks to you for decisions. You make the grocery store your group’s temporary haven while figuring out the next move.

Meanwhile, a middle-aged man, who has been nothing but confrontational and has put the group at risk on several occasions, has been caught hording supplies from the group. He is detained, and brought to your attention. This man has rubbed everyone the wrong way several times and has often threatened the group in fits of rage, promising to leave and return to kill everyone in their sleep. The man curses the day you were born, believing that you had no right becoming this group’s leader and that he should be calling the shots.

The rest of the group has had enough. Some believe he is dangerous and that he will follow through with his threats if he is simply kicked out of the group. Others think that he is just taking out his emotional grief on the group and that he will calm down now that they are safe. Regardless, they want something done about this crazy person and they all look to you for a solution.

What would you do?


Scenario #4:

You and your spouse are pursued relentlessly by a horde of the undead. You both manage to make it into a house, lock the doors, and hunker down while the monsters move through the neighborhood. You both believe you are safe as it seems that the horde is moving on and that you have escaped notice.

Suddenly, a baby begins to cry out from another room.

By the time you both reach the child, who is left helpless and alone in a crib, the dead have also heard the child and are now approaching the house.

You both hear the sound of shattered glass from another room. When you reach the location you discover a bedroom. The dead are beginning to breach a broken window. You both struggle to move furniture in an attempt to block the window.

Just then, you both hear the sound of another broken window coming from the baby’s room.

“I’ve got this. Save the baby!” your spouse screams.

You frantically race back toward the baby’s room in time to see the first monster breaching the window.

Before you can react, your spouse screams, “Help me! They’re inside! I can’t get out!”

You have time to save the baby. You have time to help your spouse. But you don’t have time to do both.

What would you do?


Yes… these circumstances suck. Each decision we make has many possible outcomes and their own set of consequences, short or long term. In all of these scenarios, no one gets to be the hero. The apocalypse is not suited for heroes. Heroes die… and then come back.

So whether you choose to tackle all these scenarios or pass on a couple (I don’t blame you) tell me what you think you might do and share your reasoning behind it. I would love to have an open discussion about the tough choices we may be forced to make during a zombie apocalypse.


Note: This discussion was originally posted as part of zOctober 2015 hosted by Tony Lesatz over at My Book Addiction. There was such an active discussion going on there that I thought it would be cool to continue it here, and find out what more of you thought on these tough scenarios.


Haven’t read Don’t Feed The Dark yet? You can start reading the serialized version for free by clicking HERE.

You can also read the first three books of the series in paperback. Click HERE to find out more.


Chapter 21-6: Goodbye Charlie

Posted: January 8, 2016 in Apocalypse, books, contests, creative writing, drama, Free Online Novel, free zombie books, Giveaways, Horror, horror fiction, killing zombies, living dead, monsters, mystery, novels, serial novels, Survival, suspense, thriller, Uncategorized, walking dead, zombie books, Zombies
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The crescent moon smiled down upon the vineyard like a lunatic, scaring off the nearby stars and dominating the black void above. On the ground beneath, Charlie’s smug smile was equally terrifying.

“Don’t you dare try anything,” he commanded her. He put his gun to her temple. “Put your hands together and place them on the fucking tractor wheel, or I swear I’ll let it loose on you. I speak, you obey. Do you understand the rules?”

Amanda nodded through tears, too terrified to open her mouth as she kept looking over at the old shed nearby. The dead thing inside continued to pound against the other side of the frail wooden door with such dreadful force. She thought it would break out at any moment. Its bone-chilling screams told of its maddening hunger and intense aggravation at being held back from reaching its meal, just a few short feet away.

She was forced to sit in the kneeling position and rested her hands, as instructed, on the lower part of the wheel.

Charlie tucked the gun in his armpit and quickly tied the old broken lamp cord he’d found in the shed around Amanda’s hands while using the rest of the cord to secure them to the rim of the large tire.

The back of her head felt wet and throbbed in pain. He’d come at her on the porch without warning, without a word, grabbed her by the hair and pulled her off the porch. Before she could call out, he’d hit her in the head with something hard. Then everything had gone dark.

“Ch… Charlie,” she finally managed. “You don’t have to do this. I’m sorry I didn’t-”

“Who owns you?” he asked.

She looked confused.

Charlie rolled his eyes as if dealing with a child. “As per our arrangement at the boathouse, who has control?”

“You do,” she said.

“That’s right! I do! So tell me, Amanda, when did you decide to break our arrangement and betray me? Did you just think you could keep hiding among the others and that I’d forget about you? Did you forget what I was capable of?”

“You… you scared the hell out of me, Charlie. I wasn’t thinking straight. Give me another chance and we can go back to the way it was. I can make you feel good… like before.” She wanted to vomit after saying the words.

Confident the cord would hold, Charlie stepped away, tucked the gun in his belt near his belly, and placed his hands behind his back. He began to pace behind her. “Yeah… I have to admit, you were ‘enthusiastic’ at the beginning. How long did that last again? That’s right, three nights. You were an amazing, if not brief, distraction from dealing with those other idiots… and then you started pulling away, distancing yourself from me. At first, I thought it was your addiction that was fucking you up. I was patient with you, waited for you to get your head on straight, but you only got worse.”

“You were right. I was sick. The withdrawal… I couldn’t stop shaking at night.” She was telling partial truths. “I wanted to get better so I didn’t disappoint you… sexually. You can understand that, can’t you?”

Charlie shook his head and laughed. “You are a talented whore, not very good a lying though. What happened in Painesville?”

Amanda remained silent.

“That’s right,” Charlie continued. “I heard what you did. You tried to talk them into leaving me there. Do you deny it?”

There was only one answer he would accept. “No, Charlie. I don’t deny it.”

He raised his hand. “That’s okay. I let that one slide, too. You were only trying to save your own skin when the Painesville horde was coming. I get it. I would’ve certainly left you there in an instant if the situation had been reversed.”

“I’m glad you understand, Charlie. You’re a great guy-”

“Shut your condescending pie-hole! You’re not fooling anyone, whore!”

The monster was getting more aggressive, responding to the sounds of their voices and screaming louder.

Charlie covered his ears and turned toward the shed. “For the love of God! I can’t think with all that damn noise. SIT AND BE STILL!”

The shed was immediately quiet.

I’m so fucking dead, Amanda thought. She tried to free her hands but the more she struggled, the more it hurt her wrists.

“There, that’s better. Where was I… oh yeah, your fucking disobedient attitude.” He began to pace again. “What the hell am I supposed to do with you now? I gave you every chance to turn it around and come back to your senses. But then you humiliated me in front of the group and left me hanging when I expected your support for my leadership. Now that—Amanda—that I can’t forgive! You punked me out in front of the red-headed bitch and made me look weak!”

“What do you want me to say, Charlie? I fucked-up… I admit it. I’ll do whatever you want. Just tell me what it is that you want.”

He ignored her. “Has it occurred to you why I haven’t come right out and displayed my ‘power’ to the group yet? Does your puny little mind even think about things like that?”

Amanda did not trust answering.

“I’ll tell you why, dear… it’s because of you! If I couldn’t get a frightened whore to obey me, even after you knew what I could do, what chance did I have of getting the others to follow me? That’s when I realized that their fear of me would make them as insolent as you. Fear is a powerful master to usurp, and all of you scare-babies reek of it! You look at me like another monster, not your master, and react accordingly. Therein lies the problem. As long as my power is misunderstood by the sheep, the shepherd can’t maintain control.”

He’s insane. Amanda wanted to drink… and drink… and drink… until she could just forget everything and pass peaceably into the hell that awaited her.

“You were my pilot program, Amanda. My test run. If I could keep you in line, then I could reveal myself to the others and take over… but you screwed that all up!”

“I’m sorry,” she said weakly.

“It’s not your fault… really, it’s not. Fear has been your master for years. It’s hard to break away from that one. I used to be like you, scared shitless all the time. But not now. I was destined for this time, and I now understand what it requires to make you all obedient to me. I should’ve seen it sooner.”

“What do you mean?”

“Let me show you.” Charlie smiled like the devil, got up, and walked toward the shed.

“What are you doing, Charlie? Please… don’t do that.”

Charlie reached for a wooden latch across the shed door and tossed it aside. The door came open with a slow agonizing creak until the pale naked woman, covered in tattoos, was revealed standing in the doorway.

Oh, my God! What sick fucking madness is this? Amanda thought.

The dead woman with blond braided hair and a nose ring, lifted its head and spotted Amanda. It came alarmingly to life as it pushed its way out of the shed and began to move toward her.

“NO!” Charlie commanded. “STILL… BE STILL!”

It cocked its head toward Charlie and barred its teeth at him. The woman hissed in frustration and clawed at the air in front of Charlie’s face. But it moved no farther.

“My goodness,” Charlie laughed. “You are a feisty one. SIT DOWN!”

The woman fell clumsily to the ground as if its bones had just turned to jelly.

Charlie laughed at it and turned toward Amanda. “I’ve been playing ‘Simon Says’ with this thing all day long, working out how to command it better. It seems that shorter words and phrases work the best. It’s almost like training a dog… almost. I’m starting to get the hang of it now.”

“What the fuck, Charlie? Kill it!” Amanda was pulling hard on the cord. She no longer cared if she broke her wrists in the process.

“Now stop that, whore, or I’ll let my new friend have a go at you.”

Amanda stopped. She started weeping as the dead woman turned its dark lifeless gaze on her again and opened its mouth. It was actually snapping its jaws at the air.

“Celine?” Charlie said. “Hello… Celine… are you still in there?”

The creature did not respond.

“She can’t remember a damn thing about her life, as far as I could tell. She’s completely obsessed with feeding. I think that’s all these pitiful things want to do anymore is eat. I let her have the other dead one she’d killed earlier. It was rather difficult to stomach watching… but a bit entertaining, too.”

“Please get it… get it to stop looking at me, Charlie. It’s unnerving.”

“What’s the matter with me,” Charlie said as if coming out of a trance. “Introductions are in order. Celine, this is Amanda. Amanda¸ meet what used to be Celine. I never caught her last name. She’d died rather suddenly.”

“You… you killed her?” Amanda was stunned.

“No… no… of course not. She was already on her way when I found her. She’d been bitten and died about where you’re sitting. I waited until she reanimated and then made her follow me deeper into the vineyard. I thought she was going to bite me a couple of times… apparently the recently reanimated ones are much more stubborn than the rotted ones. I thought Celine was still in there for a while. I conducted some… experiments just to find out. She never showed a hint of self-awareness, not even after I stripped the fucking thing… and then not even after I took it a bit further…”

“You didn’t! Please tell me you didn’t!” Amanda didn’t think Charlie was capable of something so heinous—or anyone. Her mind couldn’t even conceive of something so foul.

Charlie didn’t appreciate the accusation. “Oh, you would think that, you fucking whore! You must think I’m a complete idiot! There’s a big difference between a little foreplay and… you have dirty mind, Amanda. It’s still an infected carcass, for crying out loud!”

She wasn’t convinced.

“Are you done stabbing at me with your devilish tongue and sneering eyes? Or should I feed them to Celine?”

“You wouldn’t dare,” she whispered. Amanda looked into Charlie’s disturbingly vacant eyes, as dead to compassion as Celine’s now were, and then she knew what his end-game was. She looked at the dead thing lying naked on the ground. Celine, the shell of a woman no longer present, save for a name attached to slowly rotting flesh. She almost felt sorry for it—humiliated, violated, desecrated, and now reduced to a pet on a verbal leash.

He wants to turn me into that thing!

Charlie smiled at the recognition painted across her horrified face. “Shall I tell you what I learned about my gift today, Amanda? Shall I share the grand revelation which came to me when I found this worthless girl begging me to stab her in the head and end her life?”

“Charlie… please… don’t do this. If you go through with it, there’s no turning back. Believe me, I know all about major mistakes… you won’t get another chance to come back after you’ve crossed the line.”

Charlie dismissed her with his hand. “Don’t speak to me about boundaries as if you could stand on any moral high ground, you fucking hypocrite! You were a waste of a life before this all happened. Dead marriage. Dead daughter. Dead to your own emotions and thoughts as the fucking bottle controlled you like a puppet. You let your world collapse all around you and then had the audacity to continue sucking on the air and sucking down the booze as if your drunk ass deserved to still be here. Look around you, Amanda. Your world is long… DEAD… and so are you. You’re just too stupid to lie down and accept it. It’s time to move on… don’t you think? I’m going to make your death mean something after you’re gone. I promise you.”

Charlie looked to Celine and said, “COME. FOLLOW.”

The dead thing got up and followed Charlie over to Amanda.

“Wait… Charlie! Don’t fucking touch me!” Amanda yanked hard on the wire. The pain shot up her arms. She frantically started turning her wrists. The wire sawed into them as fresh blood helped lubricate her right wrist. She almost had it free.

“STOP,” Charlie commanded Celine. It stood there like a viper over Amanda’s head.

Amanda refused to look up at it. She could hear it panting with anticipation.

Charlie bent down to her right ear and said, “I can make this quick and painless for you, Amanda. One bite on the arm and it’s over. If you struggle, this is going to get messy. It’s easier to control her if you remain calm. If you get excited, she will get excited, and it might take off your whole damn arm before I regain control.”

“Charlie,” she begged, “please stop this.”

“It’s almost over. Afterwards, I’ll cut you loose and make you comfortable… before the end comes.”

Do something! Anything!

“Hold still now.”

Do something you piece of dirt!


Dirt… dirty? Yes! Oh, my God… FUCK! Just do it! Do it NOW!

“Charlie wait a minute!” Amanda nearly yelled. “It’s important! Hear me out… and then I’ll go quietly… I promise!”

Charlie sighed heavily. “BACK. I said, GET… BACK!”

Celine growled its unhappiness at the command, so close to tasting flesh. The monster stepped back.

“What is it?” Charlie barked impatiently.

Amanda turned her head toward Charlie, quickly locating the gun still in his waist, and put on the performance of her life. Forsaking any attempt at feigning seductive, she settled for desperate and needy (the desperate part was already there). “Fuck me,” she commanded.

“What?” Charlie was immediately confused.

“Do it right now! Get behind me and fuck the shit out of me!”

“Are you for real?”

“Come on! Last chance for a real piece of ass. I want to feel you inside of me one more time. I want to die remembering something good!”

Charlie felt his blood rise. Feeling self-conscious, he looked over at Celine and felt stupid for doing so.

“Come on, Charlie! What are you waiting for? Let it watch!”


“You heard me.”

“You’re fucking nuts!”

“No, I’m fucking horny!”

Charlie was shaking. He’d never felt so… aroused. He quickly stepped behind Amanda.

She pushed her ass up into the air and spread her legs.

Charlie looked to Celine and said, “SIT DOWN.”

The dead thing fell to the ground.

And then for no reason other than fueling his twisted new fantasy, he commanded, “WATCH!”

He reached around, unbuttoned her pants and pulled them down to her knees.

She could feel the cold steel of the gun on her bare ass as he leaned forward.

Amanda pulled down with all her might on the cord, trying to free the right hand. Blood dripped down her forearms. She was beyond the pain.

Come on, let me go!

Charlie removed the gun from his waist to get to his belt. He watched Celine, placing the gun on the ground within backwards reach of Amanda, if she could get her arm free.

He unbuckled his belt. Unbuttoned his pants.

“LOOK HERE!” he said to it.

The dead thing looked at him.

Charlie’s heart was pounding a thousand miles per second.

He focused on Amanda’s ass. Began to pull down his pants…

“Charlie! What are you… doing? Get away from her!” came the strained voice from behind him.

He immediately pulled up his pants and turned.

It was Stephen, standing at the end of the row.

“Help me!” Amanda cried out. “Kill him! He’s fucking insane!”

Charlie was furious. “Celine, KILL. KILL. KILL!” he commanded.

The creature went for Amanda.

“Hey!” Stephen called out, stepping dangerously close to the dead thing. “Come on! Here’s your lunch!”

The dead thing turned and charged after Stephen.

He back peddled and fell.

Charlie turned and noticed a large shadow coming out from around the back of the shed. He went for his gun, forgetting it was on the ground.

Amanda beat Charlie by inches. She managed to get her legs over the gun.

“Give it back, bitch!” he shouted.

“FUCK YOU!” she shouted.

Charlie got to his feet and watched Frank tackle Celine. “No! Leave her be! She’s mine!” he shouted.

Frank ignored him, pulled out a large knife and buried it into the back of her skull.

Celine ceased to move.

“You fucker! You’ve no right…” Charlie shouted.

“Hey!” came the female’s voice from behind him.

Charlie turned around. “You!”

“Yeah… me,” Gina said. She slammed the butt of the shotgun hard into Charlie’s nose and broke it.
He fell to the ground as his sick world went dark.


Next Episode 21-7

Previous Episode 21-5


If you’re enjoying Don’t Feed The Dark so far, please consider voting for it on Top Web Fiction and Top Site List by clicking the links below. This will help increase its visibility and draw in more potential readers. No registration is required. Thanks for your support and for reading :)

“Chapter 21-6: Goodbye Charlie” Copyright © 2014, 2015 Scott Scherr. From the Novel “Don’t Feed The Dark, Book One: Southbound Nightmares”.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission by the author.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Chapter 21-5: Goodbye Charlie

Posted: January 6, 2016 in Apocalypse, books, contests, creative writing, drama, Free Online Novel, free zombie books, Giveaways, Horror, horror fiction, killing zombies, living dead, monsters, mystery, novels, serial novels, Survival, suspense, thriller, Uncategorized, walking dead, zombie books, Zombies
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Evening came early as darkness swallowed up the remains of the beautiful day.

After Charlie’s sudden departure, there remained an unspoken restlessness claiming his vacant spot in the group. When Gina and Frank had returned before sunset without him, Gina had called them together and said, “Without getting into a long discussion about it, I just wanted to let you all know that it seems Charlie has decided to leave us. I discovered earlier that he’d packed his things and left quietly. We believe he’s trying for the Ashtabula group like he wanted. We searched for him a good long while but found nothing. He either didn’t want to be found or he’s long gone.”

No one had said anything.

Gina had concluded, “Now, we will be here until the morning, Charlie knows that, so if he wants to come back, he has until then to do so. But for now, we need to keep our heads on straight and get through the night safely.”

She’d worked out a four-hour watch schedule: Two-person groups; one group on the front porch to watch the road and one group patrolling the back to monitor the vineyard.

Stephen sat beside Amanda on the front porch. They each had a flashlight and their handguns out. The moon provided suitable ambient light as they could observe anything approaching from the front, while remaining hidden in the shadowed alcove of the porch.

Stephen watched as Amanda took a drag off of her cigarette. She’d found a stale pack of menthols earlier. The bright cherry lit them both up momentarily as Stephen got a good look at her.

To Stephen, Amanda appeared more relaxed than she’d been in days. She contently reclined in her chair, wrapped in a blanket, and staring off into the sky. She still seemed distant, but no longer tense and watching over her shoulder for something horrible to happen.

“Like what you see?” she kidded, catching his sideway glances.

“Do you have a spare one of those?” he asked.

“I thought I was the only one here with any vices.” She smiled, handing him a cigarette and a lighter. “I didn’t know you smoked.”

“I don’t,” he said. “Thought I might try one tonight since the ‘bad for your health’ lectures against them seem pretty pointless right now.”

Amanda laughed. “Yeah, now might be the perfect time to try just about anything… since tomorrow’s a crap shoot.”

Stephen lit the lighter and looked at her again.

She smiled, winked, and then blew him a kiss.

Stephen shook his head. “You are impossible,” he said with a smile. He let the lighter go out and turned on his flashlight, keeping the bright beam cupped in his hands. “If you don’t mind me saying, you look… better,” he dared. “You’ve seemed very withdrawn since Painesville.”

After a few moments, Amanda looked over and said, “I’ve had a lot of time to think clearly today for the first time in… I don’t know… forever, I guess.”

“What about?”

“I’m just thinking… thinking about a lot of things. Usually I do whatever it takes to avoid any thinking at all… but not today. Today feels really good, really… clear… like I said.”

Stephen considered this. He was just amazed that Amanda was talking to him at all, and not yelling at him for once. He liked this new, sober side to Amanda. It was refreshing. “I get what you’re saying. I’ve had days like that when everything just falls into place.”

“Exactly! That’s a good way to sum it up, Stephen.”

“So… what brought you back? Are you finally coming out from under the withdrawal?”

She laughed. “Oh, no, that never goes away… not entirely. It’s much fainter now though, easier to deal with. I guess in some strange fucked-up way, being on the run without much rest in between to stop and entertain those demons, has become the fastest detox program I know. Been too busy with new monsters to listen to the old ones right now.”

Stephen laughed. “Maybe you can go with that after things get back to normal. You know, hit up all the popular A.A. meetings, stand up and say, ‘Hi, I’m Amanda Howard and I’ve been sober and bite free for fifty days.’”

Amanda laughed hard, and then caught herself. “Shit, Stephen,” she whispered. “You never told me you were funny! I wish I’d seen this side sooner. All you ever did was try to smother me with all that sadness you carry around… no offense.”

“None taken.” Stephen surprised himself. When was the last time I cracked a joke? “Maybe I’m finally relaxing a little, too.”

Amanda smiled. “You know, if this was any other time, I’d suggest we share a bottle of whiskey, talk about high school days, and then run around butt-ass naked and howl at the moon.”

“God, that would be ghastly,” Stephen said.

Amanda raised her eyebrows.

“Oh, no, I’m not talking about you… I mean… I’ve always been as pale as a ghost. My naked ass would probably blind somebody.”

Amanda laughed. “Stephen… Stephen… we would have had a hoot of a time back in my younger days. I’m sure of it. I’ll leave it up to your imagination to fill in the blanks.”

Stephen swallowed hard. “It doesn’t matter anyway, there’s no booze around here. You’d think a bottle of wine at least… but no. Hell, I looked.”

“Laundry room. Lower cupboard. Behind the bleach. Damn whiskey was hiding.” Amanda winked.

Stephen looked surprised.

“Hey… I didn’t drink it,” she defended. “Old habits are hard to break. It always makes me feel a little better knowing where the stuff is… that’s all.”

Stephen smiled. “I believe you. Really, I do. It… it shows.”

“In a good way or a bad way?”

“Very good. I like the new you.”

Amanda smiled and looked out toward the road. “Last time I took a sip was before we hit the tracks… at the house. No one believes it, but it’s true.”

Stephen said nothing.

“I wanted it all the time when we hit those fucking tracks. It made me one mean bitch… and then everything changed at the junkyard.” She turned to Stephen. “Do you remember that shit Frank pulled… what he made us do to that thing?”

“Yeah… I still have nightmares about it.” Stephen closed his eyes as he remembered himself, Amanda and Charlie covered in blood as they savagely plummeted the yellow-eyed monster into a bloody pulp. “It makes me sick to my stomach realizing that I could do something so… primal. I actually started to enjoy it.”

Amanda’s face mirrored his shame. “That was the day I woke up, Stephen. That was the day I knew the party was fucking over. When I looked into that thing’s eyes and saw how much it despised me and wanted to devour me, all I could think about was my Marie and how something like that looked at her before it tore her to pieces… it must have been awful.”

Stephen shifted uncomfortably.

“Anyway,” she said wiping the corners of her eyes, “that’s when I was done with the bottle. When we… lost our fucking minds and destroyed that thing, all I could think about was all that blood everywhere; on my hands, on my clothes, on my face, beneath my feet… everywhere. I started to enjoy it, just like you said. I felt empowered and strangely… satisfied. I told myself later it was payback, but it felt like I’d briefly turned into one of those fucking things. Know what I mean?”

Stephen simply nodded.

“When I was scrubbing that blood off of my hands, I thought… This is what it felt like when they slayed my girl… God, I must have vomited every time I pictured the blood all over my hands. Just knowing Marie died like that… and I felt it… enjoyed it…” She left the thought unfinished. “Like I said, that was when I knew I was done with the bottle, even when I wanted to drown those bloody thoughts out of my brain every night, I still fought off those fucking demons.”

“Good for you, Amanda.” Stephen could say nothing else. He wanted the bottle behind the bleach more than he would ever admit. He desperately needed to change the subject. “What do you think happened to Charlie?”

Amanda’s face immediately turned to stone. “I hope he’s dead,” she said coldly.

Stephen was unprepared for the strong response. He decided to push further. “Did… something happen between you two?”

Amanda turned to him and said, “He’s one of the real monsters, Stephen. Charlie makes those dead things look tame by comparison.”

“That’s harsh. Did you two have a falling out? It was apparent you both were… together… for a little while along the river.”

Amanda was about to speak, then remained still. After a heavy sigh, she said, “Doesn’t matter now… he’s gone. Good riddance. Could we stop talking about it, Stephen… please? Some things are better left alone.”

“Okay. We can let it go,” Stephen said gently.

Amanda wrapped her arms around her shoulders, feeling a sudden chill talking about Charlie. She quickly changed the subject. “Are you going to smoke that thing or just look at it?” she asked, referring to the unlit cigarette in Stephen’s hand.

Stephen smiled and confessed, “I never wanted one… they smell like shit. I just needed an icebreaker.”

Amanda laughed.

“I do, however, need to visit the men’s room for a minute,” he said. “Want to step inside with me for a moment?”

“What for? You need me to hold it for you?” Amanda teased. “Go on and take care of your business. I’ll be alright for a few minutes.”

“But we need to stay together. Gina said-”

“Don’t you dare ruin our night with your ‘Gina said’ bullshit! I’ve just started liking you, and I like that red-headed bitch a whole hell-of-a-lot less. I’m a big girl, and I’m armed. Go pee, for Christ’s sake.”

“Yes, Ma’am,” Stephen said with a mock salute.

As he reached for the front door, Amanda said, “Stephen, thanks for believing me.”

Stephen smiled. “No problem. We’re all we have now. I’d like to think that means something.”

“Maybe so,” Amanda said. “Just for the record, I know I took out a lot of my frustrations on you and it wasn’t right. I treated you like shit. For what it’s worth, I’m sorry, and I’m trying to… change.”

“You have changed, Amanda,” Stephen said. “We all have.”

He stepped into the dark house with his flashlight aimed low. He made it to the small bathroom near the garage, stepped inside and closed the door.

Maybe I’ve changed, too, he thought. Maybe there’s still a chance to make things right and I’ll be able to tell her everything. Amanda will understand… eventually. Maybe even… forgive me? For the first time since this nightmare began, Stephen felt a shred of hope.

He turned toward the mirror and froze as his flashlight beam revealed Nicole’s refection staring back at him through the glass. She was a bloody apparition with a knife sticking out of her eye.

“No!” Stephen pleaded, stepping back against the wall and shaking the image from his mind. “You’re not real! This is all me!”

He opened his eyes and watched the murdered girl write words on the glass in thick blood:


Stephen turned off the flashlight, believing the darkness would hide him from his own madness.

Please, God, no more! I can’t take this anymore!

He lifted the flashlight in his shaking hand and turned it back on.

The bloody one-eyed girl was standing directly in front of him, arms outstretched, hideous. “Stephen,” it moaned. “Why are you killing me all over again? You know she’s responsible! You know it’s all because of her! It’s always HEEERRR!”

Stephen turned off the flashlight and fell to the floor, covering his ears. “Please… stop… please!” He felt an incredible weight coming down from the ceiling, crushing him in the darkness and destroying his sanity.

“Don’t… let… her… come… between us… my love,” Nicole whispered in the dark. “She wants… to hurt you… she wants… to hurt… US!”

And then it was over.

Stephen felt the heaviness depart. He reached for the doorknob, opened the door, and crawled out of the bathroom. He kept the flashlight off, unwilling to trust the light ever again, as he slowly rose to his feet.

He needed air. He needed to get outside. He needed to see Amanda and have her verify that he was still real, still there, and not in some hellish realm where the dead played games and tormented the living.

Stephen made it to the front porch and stopped. Something was wrong. “Amanda?”

There was a freshly lit menthol cigarette lying on the ground beside Amanda’s firearm. Her blanket was lying on the steps. Farther out, into the front yard, Amanda’s lit flashlight lay aiming downward, illuminating a large patch of tall grass stained with what looked like fresh blood.

Amanda was gone.


Next Episode 21-6

Previous Episode 21-4


If you’re enjoying Don’t Feed The Dark so far, please consider voting for it on Top Web Fiction and Top Site List by clicking the links below. This will help increase its visibility and draw in more potential readers. No registration is required. Thanks for your support and for reading :)

“Chapter 21-5: Goodbye Charlie” Copyright © 2014, 2015 Scott Scherr. From the Novel “Don’t Feed The Dark, Book One: Southbound Nightmares”.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission by the author.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Winners of the Don’t Feed The Dark Christmas Giveaway

Posted: December 31, 2015 in Apocalypse, books, contests, creative writing, drama, Free Online Novel, free zombie books, Giveaways, Horror, horror fiction, killing zombies, living dead, monsters, mystery, novels, serial novels, Survival, suspense, thriller, Uncategorized, walking dead, writer's blogs, zombie books, Zombies
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I am happy to announce the winners of the Christmas Giveaway:

Traci Loya
Sean Conners
Maria Os

Congratulations! I will be contacting each of you via email shortly. Thanks to everyone who participated and I hope you all have a great New Year.