Archive for the ‘living dead’ Category

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Hello everyone! It’s almost time to embark on another horrific journey into the darkness (Now, doesn’t that sound inviting?). In just a few more weeks, Don’t Feed The Dark, Book Five: Remains, will commence. I can now release the premiere date: Monday, August 28th.

So, what can I share about the new story arc so far? I can tell you that the premiere chapter will pick up right where we left off at the end of Book Four, and that it’s going to be very intense right out of the gate. The Shadow Dead have come… and that is not good news for our survivors. The first chapter will be titled, Obituaries… and yes, there will be death… lots of death. The second chapter will be titled, Wick, and will tell a creepy little thriller of a tale. Sorry I can’t say more.

Looking at the new arc from a wider perspective, Book Five will take us back out into what’s left of Northeast Ohio, and give us a much bigger picture as far as what’s happened ‘out there’ since our survivors went into hiding beneath the Wasteland during the long winter. Book Five will take us into unfamiliar territory as we visit new places, meet new people, and of course, discover just what the hell the dead have been up to. Book Five will also bring us closer to understanding the mysterious forces at work in the world that led us to the horrific event, known as The Change. There will be two new additional flashback story chapters centered around the origin of the Shadow Dead, and a continuation of the strange happenings occurring at an orphanage (which is not an orphanage). We will find out what happened to Gina. We will hear strange words whispered like, ‘Alpha Zombie’ and ‘The Nomad’. There’s a lot more, but of course, I can’t talk about it… lol.

I had a lot of fun writing during the month of July, accelerating through more than 30,000 words. I intend to keep writing like a madman going into August to find out how far I can get before crashing into a highway horde… lol.

If you haven’t discovered them yet, I started a collection of stand-alone stories and poems of a dark nature that I will continue to post on occasion, located in the top tab under ‘Other Short Works’. So, if you want to read some other dark offerings I’ve written over the years, be sure to check those out.

Time permitting, I hope to have one more episode of After The Dark, my DFTD talk show, ready shortly before the premiere to help us kick off Book Five.

That’s it for now. I’ll tell you more when I can. I hope to hear from you all after the premiere.

-Scott

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Note: This short sci-fi horror story is unrelated to Don’t Feed The Dark.

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There’s no dawn. No sun. Just a panoramic view of the black, cold spaces that stretch from one end of oblivion to the other. Sprinkled with light- each speck- a brilliant lie of hope, like a lighthouse many miles distant before drowning.

All evidence of home, obliterated before an indifferent, red giant, is contained within this life pod’s memory banks. I am the sole caretaker of this knowledge, the last of an extinct species. Time is my undertaker, in partnership with Death, who has whispered a promise he intends to keep. All my thoughts are recorded and amplified within these long silences between stars.

We saw it coming, and raced against time, sacrificing all for technology that could outrun mankind’s fatal bullet. We made a machine powerful enough to shoot men into deep space, cryogenically frozen in a box the size of a school bus to preserve man’s arrogance, or perhaps his defiance toward the inevitable- a lasting testament carved into the void that reads, ‘Man was here’.

Well, mankind had it wrong, and since I am the first and the last, and all other life pods that were launched after mine never escaped our dying sun’s grasp, then my word is also the final authority on all matters.

I wasn’t supposed to wake until reaching Alpha Centauri, our closest star system, and I will succumb to madness long before then. I continue to hear Death knocking on the door to my capsule. He’s telling me, that my debt is long past due and he’s been waiting to collect. There are no celestial maps to gather my bearings upon this infinite, black sea, no distress beacons that will be heard, no prayers that I can offer to a long absent god.

I know that I haven’t crossed a fraction of the distance needed, and yet, I am over a thousand years old.

My body continues to function in this hellish sleep-state. My mind stays awake- just a ghost in the machine.

The console continues to record my bitter thoughts. I pray these words will be my last:

Man, in all his glory and achievements, has gone through extraordinary measures to send its last remaining descendent beyond the edge of known space… to be buried alive.

~~~

“The Black Sea” Copyright © 2010 Scott Scherr. All rights reserved.

If you’re new to my blog and want to read something a bit longer, feel free to check out my ongoing serial novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, and tell me what you think: DFTD Chapter 1-1: Demon Night

~~~

After the Dark1 (2)

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“Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of After The Dark. I’m your host, John Ecko, and this is the Don’t Feed The Dark after-show that will attempt to answer your burning questions while we shine a light into some of the darkest corners of this chilling apocalyptic serial to see what we can uncover.

Each episode we will explore a diverse range of topics as we sit down with our featured special guests who have come right out of the pages of this dark serial novel to enlighten us and hopefully give us some additional insights into their characters, as well as what we can expect in the days ahead.

***SPOILER ALERT***

At this time, I must advise you, avid readers, that from here on in, there will be major spoilers discussed. So in the event that you haven’t read the first 38 chapters of Don’t Feed The Dark, I strongly suggest that you don’t continue on with us until after you’ve caught up. Consider yourself warned.”

~~~

Both John and Marcus are seated before the audience. John gets up, hands raised, and begins. “Welcome back, ladies and gentleman. It’s now time for part two of our exciting, and a little unnerving, interview with our special guest, Marcus Dempsey, a.k.a. Russell Bower. Please put your hands together and let’s make Marcus feel welcome.”

(Most of the audience stand and put their hands together. The rest sink in their seats to escape notice.)

John sits. “Well, Marcus. Welcome back to the show. I’m looking forward in continuing our discussion to find out what’s in store for our resident serial killer.”

“You should probably stop calling me that, now,” Marcus says with a smile. “In this new environment, I’ve seen enough murder and mayhem by the rest of humanity to convince me that the term ‘Survivor’ is just another synonym for ‘Killer’.”

“That’s very true,” John says with a nod. “Hell, by the old standards, looking at what folks are getting away with after The Change, I guess anyone could be classified a ‘serial killer’.”

“Exactly,” Marcus says. “Besides, I think my purpose has evolved beyond the typical slice-and-dice murder crime scenes. All things considering, I think my character has shown consider restraint. Don’t you?”

“Yes, you’re right,” John says. “With the exception of catering to the savage, or The Other One, I was starting to think that you were done with killing. In fact, it really seemed like you were staring to become one among the community of survivors. They certainly value having you around.”

Marcus laughs. “Yes, no one minds having someone around who can keep them safe. Most people don’t even care how you do it, just as long as they can keep on breathing. I guess that puts me in a very unique position. I can be both protector and predator, dependent on the circumstances.”

“But… I started to sense, especially in your latest tale, that you even shared something more with this group, or at least, the core group that you traveled with. A sense of belonging, perhaps?”

Marcus rubs his chin and takes a moment to consider the question. “‘Attachment’ is probably a better word. I think I simply got used to operating within this group, functioning on some level to address the concerns of the whole, but ultimately, serving my own agenda… which is always… The Lady. As long as one does not come into conflict with the other, I could always serve both ends.”

“Meaning, you could be both Russell and Marcus. Embracing your new persona while still holding true to the former. Is that a correct assessment?”

“Yes, and no,” Marcus says. “I believe I could entertain an alternate existence as Marcus… if not for the savage who is constantly there to remind me that it’s all a farce. Believe me, that blood-thirsty maniac is constantly challenging the confines of are delicate arrangement. For that brute, I am holding him back, or, holding us both back from truly indulging in the apocalypse… and he despises me for it.”

“But you are the one in control, correct?”

“Most of the time,” Marcus says, and then sighs heavily. “Honestly, John, it’s becoming more and more difficult to deny the savage. I think he’s growing stronger within… and I sometimes wonder who will prevail in the end… and what that will mean?”

“That’s a truly disturbing thought,” John admits. “I think we are all bothered by your present character’s motives. But a Marcus Dempsey controlled by the savage… well… that would be disastrous.”

“Agreed,” Marcus says.

(For a moment everyone gets quiet.)

“Well, enough of that,” John says. “Let’s shift the topic, shall we?”

“Gladly.”

“Let’s talk about the mysterious Alysa. How does she make you feel?”

Marcus laughs. “You sound like a therapist I once killed.”

(The audience laughs.)

“Seriously though,” John continues, “that young woman seems very enamoured with you. Any thoughts?”

Marcus shifts uncomfortably in his chair, and everyone notices. “This… woman… finds me half dead after my unfortunate fall from the cliff, then pretends to be my savior as she nurses me back to health, all the while hoping to validate her worthless existence, hiding away from the world, by taking advantage of my injuries, knowing that I’m temporarily reliant upon her. Of course, this was what I thought at first… and then she pulled the rug right out from under me. My thoughts? I don’t think I’ve ever wanted someone dead more that that woman in the woods.”

“Clearly,” John says, sensing Marcus’ agitation. “So… she tries to belittle you, tries to seduce you, has been drugging you since the beginning, leading to all sorts of strange hallucinations… is there anything we can take at face value from this woman?”

“Absolutely not,” Marcus says. “If I’ve learned any one thing that is true about Alysa, it’s that she’s very dangerous.”

“You had a chance to kill her at the cabin. Why didn’t you attempt it?”

Marcus smiles. “I didn’t bother because it was a power-play. Alysa wanted me to know that she wasn’t afraid of me, so she put on a show of vulnerability to see what I’d do. Although I was no longer a prisoner in that bed, she was very much still in control. There was only one option… and that was leaving… as she intended.”

“Interesting,” John says. “How much do you think she knows about the real you?”

“I think she knows enough, and revealed just enough, to let me know that I was vulnerable.”

“Because of Gina?”

“Yes.”

“So what do you suppose she really wanted from you if everything else was an act?”

Marcus shook his head. “That’s a very good question. Truth is, I hope I never find out. I believe Alysa understands the value of information. Anyone can learn how and where to cut someone with a sharp enough weapon to do the most damage. It takes real skill to know how deep to cut to kill quickly and how shallow to prolong pain. But only a master knows how to do the most damage to someone with nothing but your tongue. Possessing and wielding information effectively is the most devastating weapon available.”

John nods. “And that’s what you’ve done a lot of, if I’m correct. How you devastated Tony before leaving the community seems like a perfect example of what you’re talking about.”

“Precisely. Knowledge waits, like a patient predator, for the most opportune time to strike.”

“And you’re saying that Alysa understands this as much as you do?”

Marcus sighs. “She may be more deadly with it than I could ever be. I wasn’t about to stick around and find out.”

“So, she let you go, then?”

“I believe she gave me a choice. A test. Whether I passed it or not is beyond me. But either way, she was prepared for whatever I chose.”

John shakes his head. “So, what was it about you that made her go through all this trouble? Why all the games and deception?”

“I believe she acquired enough information from the drugs to arouse her curiosity. The hell if I know for sure. She was able to hide herself from me… and that is not something most can do. I usually find a crack in most people, something to exploit… but not this woman.”

“So… has Marcus Dempsey met his match?”

Marcus smiled like the devil. “I certainly hope so.”

(The audience laughs.)

“We are almost out time,” John says. “I want to ask a few more questions before we finish. Near the end of the episode, Alysa opens a large chest, presumably full of her personal belongings. What’s described to us is a bow. Beneath the bow, a dark metallic suit, two gauntlets with razors for fingers, and a large cow-skull looking helmet. I don’t have to tell my audience what all that added together sounds like.”

Marcus laughs. “It is very interesting.”

“So I’ll just ask the million dollar question: Is Alysa a Shadow Dead?”

Marcus raises his arms and says, “I was long gone before that scene. Your guess is as good as mine.”

“Damn it!” John says. “I knew you were going to say something like that. Okay, next question. Will we see Alysa again in the near future?”

“Not if I kill her first,” Marcus says, and adds nothing else.

“Okay… okay… how about we just address the elephant in the room. What can you tell us about your next encounter with Gina… assuming, of course, that you find her?”

“All I’m permitted to say is that there’s a special kind of bond between myself and Gina… and a special kind of blood, which runs within us both. One way or the other, we’ll be exploring that blood in a very intimate way.”

“I don’t like the sound of that at all,” John admits. “Well, we’re just about out of time. Is there anything else you can tell us about the next story arc found in Don’t Feed The Dark, Book Five: Remains?”

Marcus consider this, and then says, “There’s going to be a lot of death… and you all know how excited that makes me.” He adds a wink.

(The audience laughs nervously.)

“Well, Marcus, it’s been great finally having you on the show. I sincerely hope you never find Gina… but if you do… I hope she’s a much faster runner than you.”

(The audience laughs.)

“It’s been a pleasure,” Marcus lies. He could really care less.

John turns to the audience. “And that’s a wrap for this episode of After The Dark. As always, if anyone has any additional questions they would like to ask Marcus about his character, story line, or anything else Don’t Feed The Dark related, we will endeavor to answer your questions, if possible. How about a big hand for our special guest!”

(The audience stands and applauds… ecstatic to see the serial killer depart.)

“Just a reminder: Don’t Feed The Dark, Book Five: Remains, will begin in August. If possible, the author has informed us that we may have one more episode of After The Dark to kick off the premiere. See you all next time!”

~~~

Please show your support for Don’t Feed The Dark by voting for it at topwebfiction Just click and vote. Nothing else required. You can vote every seven days to help me keep this series listed.

Thank you,
-Scott

~~~

~~~

Just checking in with the latest news.

I’ve been busy working on the premiere chapter to the fifth book in this epic series. I now have a title for the book: Don’t Feed The Dark, Book Five: Remains. When I looked up the definition for this word on my phone and read: Remains – the parts left over after other parts have been removed, used, or destroyed I knew immediately that this was going to be a strong primary theme for the next arc of this series.

The first chapter will tentatively be titled: Obituaries. Considering where we left off at the end of Book Four, that doesn’t sound very hopeful… lol. This has been a challenging premiere chapter to write in that this is the first time I’ve written a premiere that will also feel like a finale… and that’s all I can say about it.

Here’s a tidbit about Book Five that I can mention. For all you Northeast Ohio readers out there getting a kick out of the various local settings that I’ve been writing in, Geauga Lake will be one of the locations featured in Book Five. That chapter’s going to be a blast to get into. For those unfamiliar, Geauga Lake was a popular amusement park that was closed down back in 2007, but its remains are still there today… looking very much like the perfect post-apocalyptic setting.

As far as what lies ahead, I am now seeing the eventual finish line of this long, long tale and can tell you that Don’t Feed The Dark will conclude with Book Eight. So I guess you can say we’re a little past the half-way mark. I am already neck-deep into three separate plot lines that will span the next two book in this series, setting up, in part, the last two books. It’s going to be a wild ride to the end. Here are the title teasers for the next three books:

Don’t Feed The Dark, Book Five: Remains
Don’t Feed The Dark, Book Six: Mother
Don’t Feed The Dark, Book Seven: The Prophet

I, of course, will not spoil anything, but there’s a lot going on and I’ve been waiting a very long time to tell various stories found in the next three novels. It’s exciting!

On to other news: The editing of Book Four: Phantoms has been postponed while I’m writing new material, but I’ll try to get it in print as soon as possible. Also, later this month, I’ll have the second part of the two-part interview with Russell Bower for the next After The Dark episode.

As mentioned last month, I’ve started a separate tab at the top of the page for other various dark stories, poems, etc., that I’ve been posting over the month of June. Just click on the “Other Short Works” tab to read any of it. I’ve included all three DFTD spin-off stories there as well.

That’s it for now. I’ll post more updates as we get closer to the premiere.

-Scott

~~~


“The Flying Dutchman” Copyright © 2010 John Ecko. All rights reserved.

If you’re new to my blog and want to read something a bit longer, feel free to check out my ongoing serial novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, and tell me what you think: DFTD Chapter 1-1: Demon Night

~~~


“The Blood” Copyright © 2010 John Ecko. All rights reserved.

If you’re new to my blog and want to read something a bit longer, feel free to check out my ongoing serial novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, and tell me what you think: DFTD Chapter 1-1: Demon Night

~~~


“The Cure” Copyright © 2010 John Ecko.  All rights reserved.

If you’re new to my blog and want to read something a bit longer, feel free to check out my ongoing serial novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, and tell me what you think: DFTD Chapter 1-1: Demon Night

~~~

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Hello Everyone,

Just a quick update from behind the scenes.

I’m slowly working on the first chapter for DFTD Book 5 (currently untitled), while enjoying some much needed rest. I’m also planning on editing Book 4 over the summer, time permitting.

If you haven’t found out already, I’ve removed the “Updates” tab on the top of the main page and replaced it with the “Other Short Works” tab. This will now be the place where I post links to additional short stories I’ve written that aren’t DFTD related, as well as some dark poetry, etc., that I will update as I post more material.

Also, the newest episode of After The Dark is now available, titled: The Killer Cut (Part One). This is part one of a two part episode featuring our latest special guest, Marcus Dempsey (a.k.a. Russell Bower). I’ll be posting the second part of this intriguing interview as soon as it becomes available.

In case you missed it on the main sticky page, a special thanks goes out to author, Michael Fitzgerald (Rev. Fitz), for featuring Don’t Feed The Dark on his, 31 Days of First Impressions Challenge, which he has now completed. I encourage you all to come on over to Michael’s website and read all about it. Also, Michael is currently writing a fascinating serial novel, titled, Existential Terror and Breakfast. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far and it’s definitely worth a read.

Lastly, the latest update link, as well as any additional news, will be posted on the bottom of the sticky post on the main page from now on.

That’s all for now. I’ll check back in a little later.

-Scott

~~~

After the Dark1 (2)

~~~

“Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of After The Dark. I’m your host, John Ecko, and this is the Don’t Feed The Dark after-show that will attempt to answer your burning questions while we shine a light into some of the darkest corners of this chilling apocalyptic serial to see what we can uncover.

Each episode we will explore a diverse range of topics as we sit down with our featured special guests who have come right out of the pages of this dark serial novel to enlighten us and hopefully give us some additional insights into their characters, as well as what we can expect in the days ahead.

***SPOILER ALERT***

At this time, I must advise you, avid readers, that from here on in, there will be major spoilers discussed. So in the event that you haven’t read the first 38 chapters of Don’t Feed The Dark, I strongly suggest that you don’t continue on with us until after you’ve caught up. Consider yourself warned.”

John enters with his arms wide as the audience rises to their feet and makes a lot of noise.

“So how about that, ladies and gentlemen!” John begins. “We’ve reached the end of another exciting volume in this long, dark saga. Don’t Feed The Dark, Book Four: Phantoms has broken the record for longest book in the series so far, clocking in at over 225,000 words and 62 more online episodes. And I have to say, this book really took a departure from the norm and opened up a lot of new developments to think about.”

(The audience voices their approval.)

“Well, let me waste no time introducing our next guest. It’s been a long time coming… but hell yes! We finally have none other than Marcus Dempsey, a.k.a. Russell Bower, here on our show today. Please put your hands together and welcome our favorite serial killer!”

(Most of the crowd roars their approval. Some boo. Others wisely choose to sit back down, hoping to escape notice.)

Marcus walks across the platform dressed in an un-tucked black button-down shirt, jeans, and wearing a pair of dark sunglasses. He ignores the audience as John motions for him to sit in the open chair. Marcus sits and John immediately follows.

When the crowd settles down, John says, “Welcome to the show, Marcus… or would you prefer Russell?”

Marcus half smiles and answers, “Marcus is fine.”

“I think I can speak for all of us here and say that we’re finally glad to snag you for the show. You are certainly a hard man to get a hold of.”

“I’ve had years of practice escaping notice… John.”

“Indeed.” John scoots his chair to the side, creating a little distance between himself and his guest. “You’ll understand if I’d like a little more… space… between us, right Marcus? It’s not everyday I get a chance to interview a serial killer.”

(John’s overdramatic motions of discomfort cause the crowd to laugh.)

Marcus adds a laugh of his own, which feels more contemptuous than accommodating.

John shifts uncomfortably. “Anyway, it’s good to have you with us, Marcus. I have a shit-load of questions to ask you, so why don’t we just jump right in. Okay?”

“Certainly,” Marcus adds, adjusting his glasses to hide his eyes.

“Is your… friend… with you today?” John asks.

“No. I gave that savage the day off,” Marcus starts. “It probably wouldn’t go well to have him here with all these fine people in attendance.”

(The audience laughs… nervously.)

John laughs and says, “Well, that puts me at ease. I’m not afraid to admit it. So, let me ask the most obvious question. Why the hell did the author choose to keep you under wraps for so damn long?”

Marcus nods. “That’s a good one. I suspect the author didn’t want me killing off most of the main cast in the first book by leaving me out in the open… especially in this new free-for-all environment.”

“That’s a good point,” John says. “But seriously, why so long?”

“From the author’s perspective, when my story started all the way back in Chapter 1, with the hunting of Janet Schuler, I was one of many characters introduced. At that time, the author wanted to create an impression with the characters, leaving the readers a glimpse into their lives before The Change in the form of mini-stories, and then he wanted to leave us all in a state of uncertainty as to ‘when’ and ‘if’ any of us would return later on. In my case, the author told and completed the story of what happened between predator and prey during that insane night the dead came to visit. With the death of Janet Schuler, the author finished that particular tale, and then wanted the readers to forget about me by getting them engrossed in other character stories, especially when some of them started finding each other, while hiding me in plain sight. The author knew that some readers would forget about me, others wouldn’t suspect the ruse but would still be waiting for me to return, and then still others would have me pegged right away… but would never really know for sure, until the author revealed who I was and how. In all cases, he wanted an insider threat within the group, sitting patiently like a timed explosion, and only the author knew when that bomb would go off.”

“Very interesting,” John says. “And with everything else going on, I can easily see how you’ve been able to escape the reader’s notice for so long. And then what? That bomb goes off with the death of Frank Carman at the end of Book Three?”

“Exactly. Even the readers who long suspected who I was by then, couldn’t see that coming.”

“And so after waiting through three volumes to finally discover who you really were, we get this one long damn chapter which is loaded with… well… everything.”

Marcus laughs. “The author calls Chapter 37, a ‘novella within a novel’. He wanted to reward the patience of the readers by giving them ample make-up time with yours truly… and one hell of a story to go with it. Through the Eyes of a Devil was the very first chapter the author wrote for Book Four, long before the premiere, and he put a lot of thought and time into it, based in part, on things he’s been seeding for a while now… and things yet to come.”

“Fascinating,” John says with a nod. “Before we dig into that awesome tale, I have to ask: How far in advance did the author know when you would be returning? Was your reveal coinciding with Frank’s death planned well in advance?”

“In many instances, the author is just as surprised by events as the readers are since the outline can change rather suddenly. But in this case, yes, Frank’s death was in the works since Marcus was born. Several times, as that moment came closer, the author entertained changing the script to keep Frank alive, only because, like so many readers, the author also fell in love with that character. But it couldn’t be changed. The author had gone through great lengths to keep my character and Frank apart, and for good reason, because Frank always suspected there was something ‘off’ about me. The closer are moment came, the more the author understood that for me to continue to exist with these survivors, one of us had to go. The author knew that keeping Frank alive would have been a betrayal to the story’s intended course, much like if he had chosen to keep Janet Schuler alive, which he debated doing for a while, just to give the readers that predictable plot dynamic between predator and prey teaming up in the apocalypse. So, we had our destined dance together by that river, and I prevailed.”

John shakes his head. “And does our author have your death planned well in advance?”

Marcus smiles. “Nice try. I won’t bite on that one.”

“Well… no offense… but I hope the author puts an end to you soon. I don’t like the thought of you killing any more of my favorite characters.”

(The audience laughs.)

“I understand completely,” Marcus says. “At least I’m nowhere near any of them right now… well… maybe just one.”

“And we’ll get into that,” John injects. “But first, let’s talk about your story. I found it interesting that we got to revisit specific chapters from back in the first book to get your perspective on events. And then we even got to go back further and find out how you ended up at the Percy Power Plant, and how you came up with your new name. Also, I found it intriguing how you met Amanda Howard, who we might not have met at all if a certain savage had been in charge.”

Marcus nods. “Yes, Amanda was the latest mission, up until my character started having doubts. And then, of course, I met Gina… and that changed everything.”

“Why Gina? What made her so special?”

“I knew right away that there was tremendous potential in her to become something beautiful born of darkness.”

John scowls. “And what the hell does that mean?”

Marcus raises an eyebrow and answers, “I could tell you… but then I’d have to kill you.”

“Next question.”

(The audience laughs.)

“So, answer me this one: Obviously, you attacked the three scientists because they boasted they could cure the epidemic. And nice twist, by the way, discovering that the woman in the ravine was your handiwork. I guess I’m trying to figure out if you really love this new zombie-infested world, or you just hate the old world more. I get the impression that you might do anything to sabotage efforts in restoring law and order, or anything associated with ‘civilized’. So which is it?”

Marcus sighs. “My character appreciates what this new hostile world has given to everyone still breathing. And that is, a second chance to live without pretense, without fear, and without dipping into the stagnant pool of dead living. Everything else related to the past… all irrelevant now. My character firmly believes that everything that’s happened since The Change is progress… maybe even an evolution of a sort. In any case, he will do his best to interfere with anything attempting to put people back to sleep, content in their automatic lives.”

John nods. “So, we’ll get more into Chapter 37 in our next segment. But let’s talk about your childhood. That was some warped shit. Were you… the serial killer… caused by your awful parents, or were you always a bit… ‘off’?”

Marcus raises an eyebrow. “Yes, I suppose my lovely home life had a little to do with my blood lust. But in truth, I think I was like this long before all that. If anything, my wonderful parents simply accelerated the process.”

“And what process is that?”

“My understanding of the liberating power of death, first for myself, and then for others.”

“And… is that who you mean when you refer to The Lady?

Marcus smiles. “She is my destiny. She is Death… but not in the limited sense that the rest of you see her as.”

John shakes his head and smiles. “Well… I guess we’ll just have to take your word on that one.” He turns and addresses the audience. “And on that note, we’ll have to conclude for the day, folks. But not to worry, our second part of this interview will continue our discussion.” He turns back to Marcus. “I want to thank you for joining us today, Marcus… and for not killing anyone… especially me.”

(The audience laughs.)

“It was my pleasure,” Marcus says. “And I look forward to sharing more with your lovely audience.” He turns and scans the crowd with a menacing stare.

(Many cower down a bit lower in their seats.)

John laughs. “Well, we’ll definitely be talking more next time.” He turns to the audience. “For now, if anyone has any burning questions they’d like to ask, please feel free to ask away and we’ll try to answer them, if possible. If not, we’ll see you next time for part two of this discussion. How about a big hand for our special guest.”

(The crowd reluctantly puts their hands together.)

John stands. “In case anyone missed it. Book Five will be starting August 2017. We hope to see you all back then!”

~~~

Next Episode:
After The Dark (#13) – The Killer Cut (Part 2)

Please show your support for Don’t Feed The Dark by voting for it at topwebfiction Just click and vote. Nothing else required. You can vote every seven days to help me keep this series listed.

Thank you,
-Scott

~~~

~~~

***SPOILER ALERT: IF YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED READING DON’T FEED THE DARK, BOOK 4: PHANTOMS, THEN I ENCOURAGE YOU TO STOP READING NOW***

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We’ve reached the end of another crazy story arc. After 227,000 more words and another 62 episodes online (and a 9,000 word finale), Don’t Feed The Dark has moved much closer toward the eventual conclusion of this long tale.

We’ve learned many new things from our various characters by visiting the past quite often in Book Four, but hopefully we’ve uncovered some answers while discovering new questions. As with each book in this series so far, I have always strived to dig deeper and give each volume in this series its own character, making it stand out from the previous books. This one was aptly titled “Phantoms” since it dealt strongly with the ghosts from several of our characters’ pasts.

We’ve traveled back in time to discover more about Meredith Montgomery’s involvement with the ever-present mysterious group known as Mother, visiting her as a child at a very special orphanage (which is not an orphanage). We’ve had a glimpse behind the mask of Russell Bower and had a chance to travel with him as we relived various moments right out of Book One, not to mention, we’ve seen more from his estranged childhood. We’ve even had a chance to go back and discover what the infamous “Bad Man”, a.k.a. Walter, and his wife, Helen, were like long before we first met them as Tony Marcuchi’s captors from Book Two (And that chapter was a big surprise on my end for it was never part of the original outline… lol). We’ve had some disturbing glimpses into Gina’s dark actions during the long winter beneath the Wasteland and have experienced her struggles. We even got to read a little about one of our new characters, Logan McCalister, an unorthodox preacher and former gang member.

We’ve met some new people, and we will continue to find out more about them in the days ahead, as well as explore existing storylines surrounding veteran characters… and of course… we will find out what happened when the Shadow Dead returned. Sorry about the cliffhanger ending, but it had to be done. You can count on the very first chapter of Book Five (currently not titled) to pick up right where we’ve left off… and it’s going to be intense. I’ll just throw this one spoiler out there right now: People are going to die in the very first chapter… a lot of people.

So, what can I tell you about Book Five?

Speaking generally (and speculatively), Book Five will be taking place in several new locations throughout Northeast Ohio and it will be giving us a much wider view into the apocalypse since the winter. I’m well aware that Phantoms spent a lot more time delving into our character’s stories, placing the dead, for the most part, in stand-by mode. Book Five will remedy this. I already have a very extensive outline, looking into three different story arcs, that will span the next two books. Everything I’m seeing so far tells me that Book Five’s going to be another huge book. Of course, there’s so much I can’t talk about right now, but I will say that there will be two flashback stories included in the next arc. One will be Dead Dolls (Part 2), which will finish that particular tale. The other, will be looking into the origin of the Shadow Dead (now doesn’t that sound intriguing?). That’s all I can say about that one.

As far as the next couple of months before the premiere, I’ll be posting updates and various other surprises related to our tale. I’ll also be posting some non-DFTD short stories for your enjoyment and whatever else comes to mind. After The Dark will also return during the break and I may have an additional spin-off tale up my sleeve. Time will tell. I will also be using the down time over the summer to edit Book Four in the hopes of having it out in paperback as soon as possible. So if you find any pesky typos I’ve missed, please feel free to point them out.

I want to thank all of you for reading and for encouraging me to keep on with this long tale. If you have any questions about Book Four, or anything else I can clarify or that you’re just curious about, please ask. If it’s within my power to answer your questions, without spoiling stories that haven’t been told yet, I’ll try to do so.

I’ll talk more about the new story arc as we get closer. I hope to see you all back here in August.

-Scott

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