Archive for the ‘zombie art’ Category


“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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Don’t Feed The Dark, Book Three: Recruits Starts on Monday

Posted: March 5, 2016 in Apocalypse, books, creative writing, drama, Free Online Novel, free zombie books, Horror, horror fiction, killing zombies, living dead, monsters, mystery, novels, serial novels, Survival, suspense, thriller, Uncategorized, walking dead, zombie art, zombie books, Zombies
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DFTD Promo

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This is just a reminder for everyone following the serialized version of DFTD online that Chapter 23 will start on Monday, March 7th. Also, to kick off the new story arc, I will be posting five episodes next week (Monday through Friday). The following week, DFTD will go back to its Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule.

For those who want to jump ahead, Book Three is already available in paperback and it covers everything that will be posted online between March and June.

I’ve decided to continue running my 50% off the listing price deal on all three DFTD books over at Lulu.com until the end of March. It’s the best deal around. The direct link to my spotlight page is listed here: All DFTD Books 50% off!

A final update: I’m nearly completed with the first chapter of Book Four: Phantoms… it’s gonna be a wild ride.

See you all on Monday. I look forward to reading your comments as this long dark tale progresses.

-Scott

Unknown179

~~~

The rain chilled his bones within a few minutes. Tony was thankful for the maniac’s coat, which provided a little warmth since the sneakers were already soaked. Being out in the fresh air for the first time in a week was a shock to his system. He was fatigued after a few seconds of running; his body felt like dead weight.

Tony saw a dark-colored Chevy van parked along the side of the house and tried for that first. It was locked. His rational mind tried to remind him that the keys were probably inside the house but his desperation was causing him to react foolishly, wasting valuable time.

He stopped to catch his breath and took in his surroundings. The bad man’s property was vast. There were numerous fields in various stages of neglect surrounding the farmhouse—no, it was a ranch. Tony saw an old stable off to the right where he could hear the muffled sound of the generator.

I don’t even want to know what he’s doing in there.

He turned his attention toward a long gravel road which exited the property. It was too dark to see how far it went until reaching a main road. He would have to walk out.

Tony pulled the coat collar up over his neck and put one exhausted foot in front of the other, refusing to look back at his prison until he blended into the shadows up ahead.

He stopped again to catch his breath and looked back at the ranch. He could see faint artificial light escaping through the cracks in boarded up windows, but what alarmed him was the silhouette he saw standing in the open front doorway. Someone was staring out into the night.

Fuck! He’s not dead!

Tony turned and tried to move faster down the road. He estimated he was at least 500 yards away from the house. Hopefully, that was far enough to escape being seen. If not, the bad man could catch up to him quickly on foot, or worse, he could use the van.

Tony decided to get off the gravel road and cut directly across the field to his left. The grass was knee-high and offered some resistance but it also afforded concealment if he needed to lie down and hide quickly. He continued to look back at the house which was getting smaller.

The doorway still stood open but the silhouette was gone.

Shit! Keep moving, Tony! Just keep moving!

Tony turned back toward the dark field and tripped over an old bale of hay, landing face first in half a foot of water and mud. He got back up, and immediately squatted down as he saw the powerful beam of the bad man’s helmet light pierce the night from behind him. The bad man had already closed half the distance between himself and the house. Fortunately, he stood on the road aiming his light in the opposite field. Tony also noticed that the bad man was no longer carrying his trademark Taser or the meat cleaver. He was holding a rifle.

He finds you now, it’s all over.

Tony looked ahead and saw several larger bales of hay. He turned toward the bad man who was still preoccupied with the other field and systematically scanning the open area for his prey.

It’s now or never, Tony. There’s no more time.

He pushed sluggishly toward the closest bale and dived behind it.

The bad man turned his hellish light toward the hay bales, hearing something splashing through the water. “Come out now and I’ll put you down quickly!” the monster shouted. “If you make me pull you out of there, I’m going to roast you slowly, pig, and then feed you piece by piece to her while you’re still screaming!”

Tony didn’t doubt the threat for a minute. He considered running, but imagined hearing the sound of the rifle before registering the large hole entering his back and exiting his chest. He looked at the bale and discovered a small hollow at the base, probably burrowed by a critter trying to find a place to hide. It was just big enough for him to crawl into.

So this is what it comes down to: Tony Marcuchi reduced to hiding in a hole like a frightened little rabbit.

The remains of his pride had finally perished after discovering Lydia’s face being devoured by something which defied belief in that nightmarish bedroom.

Once inside the cramped hollow, Tony did his best to conceal the opening with loose straw. The space was warm if nothing else.

He could see the bad man’s light bouncing in the dark, getting brighter as he approached—the sound of his boots splashed in the muck. The monster made no effort to conceal his movements, daring Tony to come out and face him.

Tony closed his eyes and tried not to make a sound.

“Your friend put up quite a fight before I gutted her.” He sounded close. “Almost hit the artery… almost. She made it to the stairs before I caught her. I enjoyed watching her eyes fade when I cut her in half… priceless. I passed out from all that blood loss while patching myself up in the bathroom… missed seeing Helen enjoy the meal, too… God, I hate that. It’s the only time she’s calm… the only time she’s almost herself again. They’re all like that, you know. After they feed, they get all still for a while, like babies sleeping in a crib. I was saving you for a special occasion.”

Tony wanted to vomit.

“Figured a big man like yourself would satisfy her for a while. But you wouldn’t cooperate… had to be difficult… had to RUIN EVERYTHING!!!”

The bad man was almost to the bale.

Tony had no idea if he was just trying to flush him out, or if he knew exactly where he was and chose to toy with him first.

Tony silently prayed. He asked God for a merciful death.

“I wasn’t always like this.” The bad man was moving through the bales now. “This world’s made me do what I had to do… for her. Things got bad and then things got worse. Managed to chain her up, but she tore in to my side real good. I was never the same after that… started to change, but not like my Helen changed. Figured out real quick what she needed. Fed her the cats at first when she wouldn’t eat. Then I tried to feed her the dead ones who wandered into my fields. Helen didn’t care for them. Then I remembered our house guest… our fucking house guest who Helen made me promise to look after right before she… changed. Did my best to keep that damn promise… kept you alive when I wanted to beat you to death so many times… Then I found the others, like little lost sheep, and they did the trick. She ate them all and started feeling better. That’s when I knew my purpose was to find more sheep and keep her alive… so we could continue to be together. That’s what love does, pig. Love makes you do insane things for each other. She started talking to me… I could hear her… in my head. She said, ‘Save that big piggy for last’. That’s when I understood why she wanted me to take care of you! She knew! She always knew you would sustain her in the days to come! But you… you… made her sooooo upset!”

Tony couldn’t breathe. His heart was about to explode in his chest. He tried to calm down.

The bad man approached his hiding spot and turned off his head lamp.

Fuck me! He knows exactly where I’m at!

“You… you made my Helen a monster again,” the bad man whispered, cocking the rifle’s hammer. “You’re not worthy of her. You’re not worthy to feed the other pigs I kept locked in that cellar.”

Oh, God, let it be quick!

The rifle resounded five times in the night like thunder, drowning out Tony’s screams.

“Fuck!” the bad man yelled, struggling to turn his light back on. “Not now! Go on! Get out of here you nasty fucks!”

Something groaned miserably just outside Tony’s hole.

The bad man fired three more times as he rushed back toward the road, the sound of his boots splashing behind him.

I’m still alive!

Tony’s celebration was immediately cut short as he heard several moans and groans in the dark coming from all around him.

The monster was being pursued by new monsters, coming out of the night.

Tony thought of Helen, and remained still.

He counted at least twenty disfigured shadows passing his hole, all oblivious to the rabbit and preferring bigger game. The sound of the gunfire was making them wild.

Tony could do nothing but wait for these new devils to pass and hope he’d escape notice.

The sound of the bad man’s gun continued to reverberate across the night, but it sounded farther away now.

And then all at once, the field fell silent. The monsters had all passed.

He tried to move out of the hole, but collapsed instead, falling victim to a deep, dark sleep.

~~~

Next Episode 17-1

Previous Episode 16-4

~~~

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 :)

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__________________________________________
“Chapter 16-5: Prisoners” 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.

Unknown28

~~~

Each blood-soaked step was cold mush beneath his bare feet. Tony tried not to freak out. The steps moaned at his trespass toward the low-lit upper hallway leading into hell.

He reached the top, expecting to find the bad man waiting for him, but found a shadowy hallway filled with more unnerving silence. There were four closed doors; two up ahead on the right, one on the left, and one larger door straight ahead at the end of the hall. It stood there menacingly as if to say, Come, Tony. Come and play with the mad woman who lives in here.

Tony pushed himself forward to the first closed door on his left. He was nearly overwhelmed by a rancid smell coming from within. He reached out for the doorknob and then stopped when he heard a low muffled moan from the end of the hall.

She’s down there. God only knows what he’s doing to her right now. Make it quick, Tony.

He opened the first door quickly and nearly vomited as the stench struck him hard. He fell to a knee as he looked into the fly-infested room and saw the bloody remains of a large intestine lying across an old wooden workbench, next to a meat cleaver. There were various tools scattered around the floor in splatters of blood; a bloody hand axe and a traditional saw, to name a few. There were also… pieces… lots of human pieces…

Tony quickly closed the door and waited for the nausea to pass.

He forced himself to continue down the hall. He opened and looked through the first door on the right and discovered what looked like a mad scientist’s small laboratory. This was the only room he’d seen so far that resembled any sense of order. There were three bloody gurneys surrounding a central area where various surgical tools and syringes were neatly placed on top of a rolling cart.

That sick fuck’s been experimenting on us!

After verifying the room was empty, Tony approached the last door on the right. It was ajar. He peeked through the crack. It was a bathroom. He found the bad man lying face down in a pile of blood with a sharp piece of glass sticking out of his shoulder, near his neck. The bad man remained still.

She got him! Lydia nailed the fucker!

“Good riddance,” he said coldly, walking away from the bad man’s corpse.

But where was Lydia?

Tony already knew. He’d known all along that the end of this madness would place him before the door at the end of the hall… and that’s where the mad woman resided.

Probably some poor woman who’s been here longer than any of us. God only knows what that bastard’s been doing to her up here all this time—we would’ve ended up the same way.

Tony dreaded opening that final door more than confronting the bad man. But there was no way around it now. He had to find Lydia.

There was a sliding latch on the outside of the door. Tony slid it back and opened the door slowly. He was immediately assaulted by a smell more foul than the slaughter room down the hall.

The room was littered with the skeletal remains of his fellow basement tenants. Most of them were beyond recognition except for the old man whose head was still… fresh. There was blood splattered everywhere.

At the center of the room was a large canopy bed where a woman in a blood-soaked white nightgown was bound with a large metallic ring around her neck and two more around her wrists, which were fastened together by several chains connected to the thick bedposts at the head of the bed. The mad woman’s long blond hair was drenched in blood and hung over her face as she leaned over a body in her lap, continuing to devour the face of another victim.

Tony stared in horror as the arm of the body fell limp across the bed revealing a hand with only two fingers.

“Lydia,” he whispered, his blood turning to ice.

The mad woman heard him and turned her head up and gazed at Tony with a fierceness he’d never thought possible in another human being.

Tony was paralyzed by the mad woman’s fiery yellow eyes and bulging veins which ran across her flesh. The creature opened its bloody mouth and howled at him, immediately discarding Lydia’s body and tugging at its chains to get free.

“No fucking way!” Tony backed up into the hallway. “There’s no way I’m really seeing this!”

The yellow-eyed creature jumped up on its feet with incredible speed and started lunging toward Tony until the chains went tight against the bed posts. It howled in frustration, snapping its rotted, bloody teeth at him while it continued to yank against the chains with inhuman strength.

Tony turned away, dropping the kitchen knife, head spinning, his legs giving way beneath him as he fell to one knee.

The move saved his life as the meat cleaver swept the air in a wide side-to-side arc, where the back of his neck had been, and struck the door frame instead. The bad man growled in frustration, placing a heavy boot into Tony’s face and pushing him violently back into the mad woman’s room.

Tony fell backwards, landing on his hands, and started crawling away from the bad man until he struck the foot of the large bed.

The bad man removed the cleaver from the door frame and started descending on him with pure rage. “This is your fault!” he shouted at Tony. “You did this to her! We should have left you for dead on that fucking road! Even after she was attacked, she insisted on helping your worthless hide!”

With horror, Tony understood. The thing on the bed, though barely recognizable, was Helen, the nice woman who had saved his life.

Tony had just enough time to throw his arms up as the bad man raised the cleaver and brought it down toward the top of his skull.

Something stopped his swing.

“Let go!” the bad man shouted over the sound of snapping wood. He was struggling with two decrepit arms which had grabbed his forearm, causing the bad man to drop the cleaver.

That thing’s loose!

Tony watched the monster leap from the foot of the bed and land on the bad man’s chest, knocking him off-balance and forcing him back into a dresser. His thick, tinted glasses fell off his face when Helen went to bite his nose. The bad man turned away just in time and caught sight of Tony for a second. His mercury stare carried a promise of a slow and agonizing death when he got things under control.

His fucking eyes! Tony thought. There’s no white in them at all! They’re… metallic? This made him think the bad man was a demon.

“Stop it!” the bad man yelled as he grabbed Helen’s wrists and turned her around while falling directly on top of her. “Behave yourself!”

Get up you frightened little bitch! Tony rolled on his stomach and was tempted to crawl beneath the bed. Instead, he forced his shaking arms to cooperate and grabbed the bed posts, pulling himself up.

He was woozy from the effort and focused on the bedroom door which seemed miles away.

The bad man screamed nearby. Helen had taken a bite out of his arm.

Tony stumbled toward the door, striking the door frame with his shoulder.

Helen turned, blood dripping from her chin, and hissed at Tony. He’d never forget those insane eyes which fixed on his with such intense hatred—such savage hunger. Nothing remained of the kind woman behind those insane eyes.

Tony made it outside of the room, closed the door, and then latched it, just as Helen began pounding against it repeatedly. She was screaming that God-awful scream they had all heard in their nightmares ever since being locked in the cellar.

Tony pushed himself down the hall, motivated by the persistent attack on the thick door. He nearly fell down the stairs in a panic, convinced that the mad woman would break through and wrap its hideous dead flesh around his neck and devour him.

He made it back to the dining room table and went around it toward the door with the bar across it. He noticed a pair of sneakers beside the door and frantically began to put them on.

They were two sizes too big, but better than being bare foot.

He heard screams from upstairs. It was the bad man.

“Get moving, Marcuchi,” he scolded himself.

Tony pushed the metal bar up and let it fall to the floor. He reached for the knob, turned it, and opened the sturdy door, letting in the cool night air. It was raining outside.

He spotted an old trench coat hanging on a hook near the door and put it on.

He hesitated long enough to hear the haunted words of Lydia freeze his heart:

“I don’t want what’s outside… because there’s nothing outside but more of the same… monsters… monsters waiting to feed on me like that slice of cake… Don’t feed the dark, Tony! Don’t you ever feed the dark!”

For the first time, Tony believed. Lydia had been telling the truth. Was this truly the portal to freedom, or just another entrance into a larger hell that would make the cellar seem a paradise?

“You run, Marcuchi. Run until you can’t run anymore. Don’t look back. Don’t ever look back! You run until the monsters in here and out there are a thousand fucking miles behind you!”

Tony suddenly thought of Gina out there somewhere in a world full of yellow-eyed beasts. This was enough to push out the fear.

He took a deep breath and stepped outside into the dark… and started to run.

~~~

Next Episode 16-5

Previous Episode 16-3

~~~

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 :)

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__________________________________________
“Chapter 16-4: Prisoners” 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.

Unknown172

~~~

She sat in the love seat near the fireplace as the bad man fired up the radio. Lydia couldn’t take her eyes away from the dried up blood splattered on the hearth. She’d almost died right there when he’d removed her thumb. Her hand began to throb again now that the morphine was wearing off. She already knew that he wouldn’t give her any more until after the broadcast.

The bad man seemed much more anxious now. Something was wrong.

He finished adjusting the CB radio and handed Lydia the crumbled up paper with new blood stains on it.

“Read it,” he ordered, holding the microphone near her mouth. He keyed the receiver.

Lydia’s one good hand shook as she looked over the words, trying to gather the nerve to do what came next.

“Read it… now.” His tone was calm but firm, and did little to mask the hurricane which was barely contained beneath.

Lydia took a deep breath and surprised herself. “No.”

The bad man lowered the microphone and studied her from behind his thick shades as if trying to decide if he really heard her refusal. He raised the microphone again. “Read it.”

She shook her head this time. The ‘no’ was undeniable.

The bad man calmly placed the microphone back on the cradle. He retrieved the knife, growled and slit the side of her right cheek faster than she had time to register what happened.

Lydia’s face felt wet. She reached up and touched her cheek with her bad hand. She looked at the bloody hand and then back at the dripping knife in the bad man’s hand. She placed both hands over the deep vertical slit to try to stop the bleeding. She was too much in shock to scream out at the pain which had finally caught up.

“You read or you bleed out,” he said. “No more morphine.”

“I… said… no!” she managed to say through gritting teeth. The intense pain in her cheek acted as fuel for her resolve to blaze up into anger. “Fuck you and your lies… I won’t help you hurt anyone else!”

The bad man just stared at her, as if trying to figure out what new species of animal this was. After a moment, he understood. “I should go down and cut his balls off. Then, come back and slice your ears off for listening to him. How does that sound?”

She started laughing uncontrollably, the pain pushing her to the brink. “Just kill me already. I don’t care if you cut the rest of my fingers off, my face, or anything else… I’m not reading another fucking thing!”

He stopped himself from ripping her tongue out. She still needed that to read the messages. He tried something else, remembering how he found her earlier. “The rest of that cake is still in the fridge. It’s yours if you cooperate. If you don’t, I’ll hurt you in ways you can’t imagine… and I’ll make sure you don’t die.”

Lydia’s mouth watered at the prospect of the cake. She was so damn hungry. All she had to do was read the message…

You’re fucking disgusting! she scolded herself. Why don’t you just sell your soul for pastries and help him kill some more people!

She caught a glimpse of the moldy slice of cake from just beyond the bad man’s right shoulder. It was still lying on the floor beside the broken china plate.

Then she had a desperate idea.

“I’ll… I’ll have a piece of cake now… please,” she said. “I’m just… so damn hungry that I can’t think straight. If I could have just a piece… then I could read the message… and do it right this time.”

The bad man considered her a moment longer. He clapped his hands together once and said, “Why not? I’m hungry anyway.” He got up to head for the kitchen. “I’ll get something for your face.”

After he was out of sight, Lydia headed for the broken plate. She scooped up the moldy slice of cake and devoured it in two quick bites. She then grabbed the largest shard from the plate pieces and placed it in the crack of the loveseat, closest to her good hand.

She could still hear him in the kitchen. He was whistling that God-awful song again… the one she didn’t remember. Lydia was about to sit back down but had a grim thought:

If I fail, he’s still not going to kill me. He’ll just keep taking pieces of me until I finally die of blood loss… and he will eventually find someone else to take my place.

She considered using the shard to slit her own wrists, but as much as she wanted to die she was too much of a coward to do it herself. There was only one thing left to do to insure her death. Something that would diminish her value permanently as well as saving the next poor soul that would suffer in her position.

Lydia walked over to the CB radio and noticed how the various components were stacked on top of each other. She lifted her foot and kicked the entire radio system off the table. Several pieces shattered instantly. It was enough damage to make the lights go out on the front. The steady hum of the radio went silent.

The bad man stormed out of the kitchen just as Lydia made it back to the loveseat.

He entered the room, noticed the fallen radio, and then ran to it as though she had just slain his child. “What have you done?!” He bent down to pick up the radio parts.

She lunged toward his back with the shard up over her head, screaming like the mad woman from upstairs.

~~~

Tony dropped the key ring when he heard Lydia screaming. This was followed by a few more loud sounds reminding him of a bar room brawl. She was in trouble.

“Get it together, Marcuchi,” he scolded himself and picked up the key ring. He’d have to start over since he couldn’t see the keys in the dark. If he could only keep his hands from shaking he’d be free by now. He’d already removed the leg shackles.

Tony methodically went through the keys until finding the one for the left wrist. He unlocked it.

One more. Hurry the fuck up!

There were more sounds from upstairs. Someone crossed directly over his head, followed by another set of heavier steps as the floorboards creaked with urgency toward the second floor landing.

Lydia’s free! She couldn’t make it outside so now he’s forcing her up.

“Come on! Come on!” Tony continued through the keys as fast as he could, being mindful not to lose his place along the ring.

There were more erratic sounds now. It sounded like something or someone had fallen down the stairs.

He tried not to think the worst, focusing on the keys which started to slip from his sweaty hands.

Click

The last lock fell to the concrete. Tony almost thought he’d imagined it. He checked his bare wrists. He was free.

Tony struggled to get to his feet and immediately felt dizzy. This was the first time he’d been able to stand up for days. His legs began to shake from the effort as he pushed his feet forward until he struck a wall. He used the wall to orient himself in the darkness and then aimed for where he thought the staircase was. He found the railing and used it to keep himself upright. Then he found the first step. His emotions were about to burst as he picked up his feet and started up the staircase.

One at a time, Tony. And don’t you dare fall. Don’t you dare!

He was trying not to think about the unnerving silence from above his head.

What if he’s just waiting by the door? What if he heard you down here and he’s toying with you? What if the door’s locked and you don’t have the key? What if there’s more than one of them…

He immediately thought of the mad woman, shuddered, and then forced himself to the top of the landing. He took a deep breath before the large door, found the doorknob and turned it.

The door opened outward, letting in a crack of dull light.

Tony waited for his heart to stop pounding in his ears. He couldn’t see anyone through the small crack and decided to chance it. He opened the door wide enough to slip through and entered a dimly-lit small hallway. He crouched down and let his eyes adjust to the light. To his left were two closed doors. To his right the hallway opened up into a larger room.

Tony was breathing rapidly. He was sweating profusely and felt faint from the exertion of climbing the stairs.

Don’t give up on me yet. I need just a little more!

His malnourished body made every step a challenge. He was extremely thirsty and famished. If not for the dread which shook him to the core—the fear of being caught and thrown back into that hellish nightmare below—Tony would’ve passed out. The fear-prompted adrenaline coursing through his system kept him moving. He got back up, using the wall for support, and entered the larger room.

More silence greeted him in what appeared to be a living room. Furniture had been tipped over. He found the CB radio on the floor in pieces near a fireplace. There were bloody hand prints on the walls, on the backside of a couch, and a pool of it near the radio.

He stepped further into the living room, feeling completely exposed, and noticed a syrupy trail of blood which wound its way from the living room and off to his left past what looked like a kitchen.

Tony felt ill. There was so much blood.

He forced himself toward the kitchen, trying not to step in the blood. He could hear the faint sound of a generator outside. The kitchen was empty. There was half a cake and a glass of water sitting on a counter, along with a large kitchen knife. Tony took the knife and then scooped up a handful of the cake and devoured it. He then sucked down the glass of water.

He turned and looked directly across the kitchen and saw a small dining room. Beyond that—the door with the large bar placed across it, just as Lydia had described.

That’s it, Tony. Run. Don’t look back. Just… run. She’s probably dead—hell, that’s what she wanted!

Tony started for the door and then crouched down when he caught movement off to his left from down the hall. He saw a horrid looking man in filthy jeans and a ripped black t-shirt, which once fit snugly, hanging on a thinner version of himself. The hallway mirror revealed a man he almost didn’t recognize. His face was covered in blood, hair stubble and bruises. His black short-cropped hair was a tangled mess. But what disturbed him most was seeing his own desperation reflected in sunken eyes; dark rings surrounded them and spoke of his haunted sleep. His skin was too pale. Tony was looking at a man who had courted Death, and up until now, he hadn’t quite realized just how far that relationship had taken him. He had the look of a victim—a frightened little boy kept in the cellar for being bad, and then left there with no supper until he learned the bad man’s rules. He could see the fresh cake crumbs on his chin and around his collar.

Tony frowned at the savage who looked back at him.

He looked away from the mirror in disgust only to find a second mirror in the form of an exit door with a bar across it. That one revealed his cowardice.

You can’t leave her here. Better to die trying to save her than die of shame out there.

Tony looked away from the door and proceeded down the hall toward the second floor landing. The blood trail curved at the stairs and continued up to the second floor.

He waited by the stairs for what felt like hours, trying to hear anything that would clue him in on what to expect. Again, more silence.

Tony took a final deep breath, held the kitchen knife out front, and then started up the blood-stained carpeted steps.

Dear, God, he silently prayed, just let me get one good crack at this maniac before he jumps out of the shadows and finishes me off… just one.

He started up the stairs.

~~~

Next Episode 16-4

Previous Episode 16-2

~~~

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 :)

http://topwebfiction.com/
http://www.top-site-list.com/zombie/vote/457627

__________________________________________
“Chapter 16-3: Prisoners” 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.

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~~~

He tries to stay conscious but the drugs are powerful. He’s moving out of the house—no, he’s being escorted outside by two men on either side. He’s fading in and out, in and out. He has to hang on. Something is wrong. Why can’t he remember?

They reach his Camaro. One of them opens his rear car door and they place him in the backseat.

“Nighty-night,” one of them says.

The other laughs as he closes the door. “He probably won’t remember a damn thing by morning.”

“Amateur,” the other says.

“Tell me again why we’re dragging his sorry ass out here?”

“Boss doesn’t like the looks he’s been giving everyone. Says he’s the type who would frown on our little party and spoil the fun. Boss says that the girl’s important in the ceremony and he doesn’t want this over-protective prick to end the night prematurely by taking the girl away.”

“We could just throw him in the lake. That would solve everything.”

“No. Boss isn’t trying to kill ‘em, you dumb ass! That would just leave too many questions and then he’d have to kill the girl, too.”

“I was just throwing it out there.”

“Let’s go before you have any more lame ideas.”

Both men laugh and walk away.

His head is spinning. The whole back seat is spinning. He needs to get up before he passes out again. He hears the part about ‘killing the girl’ and it’s enough to get him up.

He manages to open the car door on the opposite side and get to his feet. He sees a light and thinks it’s the beach house porch light.

He’s moving now… faster… faster…

He thinks he’s headed back toward the house but he’s actually running off into the dunes toward a lone street light on the other side of the property.

He keeps moving forward, stumbling in the sand, but it keeps him conscious. He tries to concentrate and maneuver around vegetation partially obscured by the night. The light is much closer. He doesn’t understand that the beach house is in the opposite direction. The drugs have severely distorted his perception.

He falls forward as the dunes drop suddenly. He rolls to a stop at the edge of a two-lane road and can’t see the light anymore because he doesn’t realize that it’s directly above him now.

He sees another light approaching. He’s confused because he can’t tell if he’s moving toward it or if it’s moving toward him. Finally, he comprehends as the light separates and becomes two. He jumps to the side just as the fast-moving car drives past him, clipping his shoulder with the passenger side rear view mirror. He is spun around and lands on the road, striking his head against the asphalt.

The car never stops. It’s gone.

He is staring up at the full moon now. There is another light approaching but he doesn’t see it. The sound of a car door slams nearby but he doesn’t hear it.

A shadowed face blocks his view of the moon. “Oh my God! Are you alright?” a woman asks.

He tries to speak but can’t move his mouth.

“He’s hurt. Help me get him in the car,” she says to someone.

“What if he’s… sick like the others?” It’s a man’s voice from behind him.

“He’s fine!” she says. “Didn’t you just see what that asshole did? He hit him and just kept going!”

“We can’t take him to the hospital. I’m not going back to the city! You saw what’s happening there! Everyone’s going crazy!”

“We’re not leaving him! Help me get him in the car and we’ll take him home. I can patch him up there.”

He sees her face now. She has a kind, older face with long blond hair. The woman reminds him of his mother.

He’s slipping. Losing consciousness.

There’s someone else there now, standing above the woman. He thinks it’s the man, but he is very wrong.

“Helen!” the man from behind him yells. “Helen, look out!”

The woman is ripped from view, replaced by the moon.

He hears screaming right before passing out…

~~~

…Screams from above roused him from the dream, returning him to his prison of darkness. He tried to scurry away but the chains around his wrists and ankles held him fast as the sharp pain cleared his disoriented thoughts. It wasn’t the woman in the dream screaming this time. It was the mad woman from upstairs. He covered his ears to block out the wretched sound and rolled into the fetal position.

Please… just stop! Just stop.

The door opened at the top of the stairs, letting in dull light. The bad man was coming back down with the woman he used for his radio messages. He could tell she was in great pain as she held a bloody bandage over her hand.

“What did you do to her you son-of-a-bitch!” he yelled.

The bad man reached the bottom of the stairs and pushed the woman into her corner.

The woman fell limp and cried silently.

The bad man stormed over to him and began kicking him in the stomach. “Be silent!” he shouted. “Can’t you hear her up there? Can’t you see that I’m trying to do my best to help her? But you! You should shut your damn mouth! You’ve no right to…” The bad man continued to kick him, using his spotlight to keep him blinded.

He whimpered in pain.

The bad man stopped and caught his breath. His rage was almost unstoppable this time. He had to be careful not to kill him yet. The bad man walked over to the woman, secured her chains and then noticed that the old man was dead. “When did that happen?” he asked the woman.

She trembled in the dark, too afraid to say anything.

The bad man shook his head, removed his Taser from his belt and then shocked the woman until she was still. He then unlocked the old man’s chains. He tossed the corpse over his shoulder and took it upstairs, slamming the door shut behind him and leaving his two remaining prisoners to cower in the darkness.

“Hey,” he said to the woman, “are you… okay?”

The woman didn’t answer.

“Can you hear me over there? It’s me, Tony. Are you going to be alright?”

The woman didn’t answer.

“Please don’t die,” Tony whispered.

~~~

There were moments in the dark when Tony Marcuchi felt his mind slipping into the cracks on cold concrete and never to return; moments filled with long silences when he began to doubt that anyone remained down here with him other than Death, who sat beside him and could no longer be ignored. There was no night, no day, just lapses of sluggish wakefulness, surrounded by blackness that became tangible, thick, suffocating.

Alone was terrifying in this place. He didn’t think he could stand it if he was the last one.

Tony would often think of Gina in the dark when his skin started to crawl as the isolation crept around his throat and slowly choked the life out of him. He wondered where she was and what happened the night of the strange dinner party. They’d both smoked from Malcolm’s pipe. He could remember very little after dinner. Only that he’d been taken outside, tossed in his car, and that he’d tried to find her but failed. He’d been hurt. His shoulder still felt the effects of the car that had hit him. He’d been helped by a mystery woman… and that was all he remembered. When the drugs had worn off, Tony had found himself chained up in a pitch-black basement full of frightened souls who were as confused as he was.

They had been terrorized, drugged, starved, tortured and taken away one at a time to never see the basement again. And never once were any of them provided an explanation.

He wondered if Gina was out looking for him. Had she called the police? Did she think he bailed on her that night? Where the hell were they?

No answers. Just questions.

“I only thought of the cake,” uttered a weak voice from across the darkness.

She was still there… the woman who would not tell him her name.

I’m not alone!

Tony crawled as close to the woman as his three feet of chain would allow. “Are you okay? I thought I lost you… I couldn’t hear you breathing.”

The woman laughed. It was an uncomfortable laugh. “Oh, I’ve lost plenty. Been losing a little more each day, long before he started with the fingers. Took the whole thumb clean off this time.”

Tony yanked on his chain in anger. “Mother-fucker! He has no right!”

“Right. Wrong. Doesn’t matter anymore. He’s got control and that’s what matters. He’s the god of this little universe and we are far from home. I thought you would’ve realized that by now.”

She sounded lucid. Tony could tell when the morphine was talking. It was the only time the woman said more than a few words at a time. “How’s the pain?”

“Pain? I think we’re well past the point of pain and suffering,” she said. “It’s when the pain stops, that’s when we need to worry. That’s when we join our friends upstairs in the hall of horrors.”

Tony needed to change the subject. “What did you mean when you spoke of the cake?”

Silence.

The woman took a deep breath. “He put my hand on the stove burner when he finished… disciplining me… stopped the bleeding… filled me up with so much morphine just so I’d stop screaming, too… I thought I could float out the chimney… high as a fucking kite… He ran upstairs to… deal with the mad woman… He left me on the kitchen floor… forgot to handcuff me… Don’t know how I stayed conscious, but I… managed to get up and move… past the room where the hell radio was.”

“The one he’s been using to trick people into coming here, right?”

“That’s right… That’s right… He makes me tell lies… makes me read his messages because he says that I sound like someone you could trust.” She laughed and said, “Don’t trust her, Tony… whatever you do, don’t listen to that bitch on the radio! It’s a one-way invitation to hell wrapped in hope-filled lies… Don’t listen to her Tony!” She started to weep.

“It’s not your fault. You need to keep remembering that, alright? It’s not your fault. He’s going to have to leave soon and check his trap. That’s why you need to keep fighting and get us a weapon. Even a fucking fork would be enough. I’ll jab it in his fucking throat when he comes at me again. But you have to keep fighting.”

“I’m done fighting. No more messages… Not doing it… anymore.”

“Don’t give up on me. You know you have to keep doing it! Those messages are keeping you alive, keeping us alive! As long as he thinks you’re cooperating, he lets you live. And that gives us eyes up there to find a way to beat this.”

She laughed again. “Oh, Tony… you poor, sweet man… still holding on to hope… still talking about fighting… when there’s nothing left to fight for.”

Tony sighed. “Don’t start that again. Please.”

“Still don’t believe it? Still think it’s the drugs talking? Still clinging to hope that I’m wrong?”

“You don’t know what you’re saying. He’s hurt you real bad and filled you up with so much morphine that you’re not thinking clearly.”

“Even when the others tried to tell you, too… poor, poor, man… no one’s going to make you believe in the monsters… but they’re still out there… still out there anyway…”

Tony shook his head in the dark. “No. No, that was you. You… you kept talking about it around all those frightened people and got them believing it. Some kind of mass hysteria thing.”

“They’re all dead… everyone is dead. Wish the others had been around long enough to tell you their stories… but they were already half gone when he found them… too damn terrified trying not to remember. I still remember… I was there when the monsters came… when the monsters came and killed them all in their sleep… heard them scream… ran out of the house and could still hear them screaming… the whole neighborhood was screaming… only thing I hear in my head now is all that screaming…”

Tony wanted to cover his ears. He couldn’t listen to her mad ramblings again. The woman was sick in the head, probably beaten one too many times. She kept repeating the horror stories of the monsters which had taken over the world… or something. He tried to turn the conversation again. “You called me by my name.”

The woman laughed. “Yes, I guess I did… Doesn’t matter anymore because I’m on the way out… ready to catch the fastest train away from this crazy world and finally be at peace.”

“You broke his rules. That means there’s still some part of you left that he hasn’t sliced off yet! Something solid that can’t be broken. Do you hear me, girl?”

“Cake, Tony… I only thought of the fucking cake…” She started crying again.

Tony waited.

“I had a chance… had what you’re always calling a fucking chance… He went upstairs after he took my thumb. I got up and walked to the hall… saw it… right there. Only damn door or window that wasn’t all boarded up… just one bar across the frame… and I knew… fucking knew that I could open that door… go outside… but I couldn’t do it, Tony.”

“It’s a wonder you even made it out of the kitchen. You are in no condition-”

“I’m in no damn condition for living anymore!” she said. “I thought about what was out there… those monsters waiting out in the dark… and I knew… fucking knew… that I was done! All I wanted was that stale, moldy slice of cake… saw it on the table and thought, ‘It would be nice to taste that before I die here’. That’s it… don’t you see? We have nothing left but stale and moldy crumbs… That’s what’s left of this world. No one’s coming to save us… no one’s out there looking for us… no one’s praying for us to come home safely… all dead. All of it’s dead. I wanted one more taste of something… from before… something for the pangs in my stomach and in my heart. I don’t want what’s outside… there’s nothing outside but more of the same… monsters… monsters waiting to feed on me like that slice of cake… Don’t go out there, Tony! Don’t feed the dark, Tony! Don’t you ever feed the dark! Promise me you’ll stop all this fighting… and let Death take you before then…”

“Calm down!” Tony hissed. “You’ll bring that asshole down here!”

“Promise me!”

Tony was convinced that the woman had lost her mind. She’d suffered too much and now he shared the darkness with insanity. “I promise,” he whispered, wanting only for her to be silent forever rather than snuff out the little bit of hope he held on to. Tony broke down and began to weep in the dark. His tears felt like an admission of defeat… but he wept anyway.

The woman heard him and calmed down. “Tony… Tony… you just don’t know… just don’t know what’s waiting out there. If you did… you’d understand that dying here is for the best.”

“How can you say that? How can you sit here and say such an awful thing? Nothing is so bad that I’d sit here and beg for the end to come. Even if I believed your incredible stories about monsters eating the living, I’d still not crave a coffin! You’ve let the fucker upstairs poison your mind!”

“Death’s inevitable, Tony… I only want it to come now… Later will be much worse… much, much worse.”

“I don’t care if what you’re saying is the truth, the drugs, or the fucking devil spewing forth from your lips—doesn’t matter. If I can only get one more day outside this fucking hell-hole, then I want it! You should, too.”

“Death is better,” she whispered. “You just don’t know… you just haven’t seen it… out there.”

“I’m not giving up,” Tony said stubbornly. “I’m not giving up on you, either.”

The woman laughed. “You a God-fearing man, Tony?”

“I’ve been coming around as of late.”

“Maybe that slice of cake was meant for you, too.”

“I suddenly hate cake,” Tony said defiantly. “I’ll probably never touch that shit again when we get out of here.”

The woman laughed. “I never had a chance to eat that cake… The whole plate fell on the floor when I lunged for it… knocked the spare key ring on the floor, too… I was so obsessed with the cake I almost failed to see them… tucked them in my pants right before the bad man came back… never got the cake though.”

Tony heard the woman jiggling keys in the dark. No fucking way!

Hope’s payoff had finally arrived.

“Wasn’t going to tell you, Tony… Didn’t want to let you die out there in your ignorance… but you want to live as much as I want to die… maybe God knew… maybe God knew what we both needed… maybe now, I can die because I did right in His eyes… maybe now he’ll show me mercy… take me away from here.”

They both stopped talking as the old wood above their heads began to creak. The bad man was back on the first floor.

“Quick! Throw me the keys!” Tony said.

“I… I can’t see you.”

“Just listen to my voice and toss them.”

The woman threw the keys. They landed somewhere to Tony’s right. He heard them hit the concrete and tried to follow the sound in the blackness.

“Better hurry,” she said. “He’s coming back to make me do the radio messages… I didn’t finish the last one.”

They could hear the sound of the bad man’s work boots crossing the area above them.

“He’ll stop in the kitchen to make more tea… and play his devil music… then he’ll come.”

“Shit!” Tony frantically felt around in the dark, hoping the keys hadn’t landed just out of his chain’s reach.

They could hear the bad man turn toward the kitchen. They had a few minutes at best.

Tony stretched out as far as all four chains would allow and finally brushed against a small ring. “Got them!”

The bad man was moving again.

Tony had no time to fumble through the numerous keys, especially in the dark. He stuffed the keys down the front of his pants and prayed for one more opportunity.

“Out of time,” she said. “Goodbye, Tony. I don’t expect to be coming back down here… not if I can help it.”

Tony turned toward the woman’s voice and said, “Tell me your name.”

“The dead don’t have names anymore… Let’s just leave it alone.”

“No, you have a name and I want to know what it is. My full name’s Tony Marcuchi and I’m still alive. Now, you tell me your fucking name!”

The bad man was nearing the basement door.

“My name’s Lydia,” the woman finally said. “Lydia Jones.”

“Nice to meet you, Lydia Jones. Now you say the rest or he’s going to beat me up again when I call out your name.”

“Don’t!” she hissed. “Don’t be foolish!”

“Then you say the rest!”

“Why?”

“Because you need to hear yourself say it!”

Lydia sighed and said, “My name’s Lydia Jones… and I’m still alive. Happy now?”

“Yes. Now you remember that upstairs. Just play along and I’ll get up there and kill that son-of-a-bitch. Then we’ll walk out of here together.”

The door opened wide with a horrible groan as light invaded the basement, causing them both to cover their eyes.

Tony and Lydia looked at each other across the shadows separated by a sliver of pale light.

He smiled at her and whispered, “Together.”

She offered a weak smile in return, and then shook her head. Her thoughts were clearly written across her faraway eyes. No, Tony. I am decided. I want death.

He continued to stare into her haunted eyes as the bad man closed the door behind him, causing the stream of light from the doorway to fade away to black.

The bad man turned on the bright spotlight at the top of his hard-hat and descended the stairs quickly. He immediately blinded Tony, who tried to shield his eyes. The bad man retrieved his Taser and shocked him until Tony fell limp to the concrete.

He turned and went for Lydia.

~~~

Next Episode 16-3

Previous Episode 16-1

~~~

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__________________________________________
“Chapter 16-2: Prisoners” 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.

Don’t Feed The Dark, the serial novel edition, will resume today!

Posted: November 2, 2015 in Apocalypse, books, creative writing, drama, Free Online Novel, free zombie books, Horror, horror fiction, Interviews/Reviews, killing zombies, living dead, monsters, mystery, novels, serial novels, Survival, suspense, thriller, Uncategorized, walking dead, writer's blogs, zombie art, zombie books, Zombies
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~~~

Just a quick update: Don’t Feed The Dark, the serial novel, will be starting back up later this afternoon, kicking off a five episode week! Next week, we will be back to our three episode a week schedule with new episodes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

And if you can’t wait to read the next episode and want to skip ahead, Southbound Nightmares and Almost Dead, the first two books in this series are available to purchase in paperback! Just check out my sticky announcement on the homepage for more information.

-Scott

~~~

unknown13

~~~

The sound of the screaming tea kettle from the kitchen woke her. She could smell the dirty burlap sack stained with blood, sweat and tears, which remained over her head. She was still in the chair. That wasn’t good. The dark, damp basement was better—farther away. She tried to move her hands but the pain in her lacerated wrists shot up her arms like lightning until she relaxed the pressure on the handcuffs, which secured her arms to the back of the chair. She tried not to cry out as the morphine started to wear off. The new wound on her left hand began to throb intensely.

The bad man didn’t like it when they screamed. It always riled him up—made him mad… made him crazy mad. Then he’d hurt them or worse… sometimes he took them upstairs. No one ever came back from there.

Footsteps now. Heading toward the kitchen. As soon as the kettle stopped she could hear him whistling that God-awful song again, which would haunt her dreams forever. She couldn’t remember the name of the song. She could hardly remember her own name now since he’d increased her dosage.

The bad man never let them use names in this place. Just yesterday he’d caught one of the last new girls speaking to that nice guy downstairs, the big guy who always tried to make them laugh and remind them that they were still human… that there was still hope. The woman also knew his name but wouldn’t dare think it. The girl—she’d been there less than a day—she’d called out to the nice man in the dark. Foolish, foolish girl!

The bad man had come down and heard her speaking the nice man’s name. He came at her like a storm, pulled out the Taser and shocked her again and again until she passed out. Then he’d taken her upstairs to the second floor where the mad woman lived. Everyone knew what it meant to visit the mad woman. No matter where you were in this prison, you could hear the mad woman screaming at least twice a day.

They’d never seen that new girl again.

Afterwards, the bad man had come back down and beat the nice man up again. The nice man refused to break. It was probably the only thing keeping him alive. As for herself, it was her voice that made her valuable.

The woman thought about who remained: the nice guy, the old man who’d stopped eating two days ago, and herself. There were five others at first—late arrivals who the bad man had snatched up when the world went to shit. They were desperate people who thought they’d found shelter, only to exit one nightmare and enter another. She and the nice man had been there the longest. They’d survived the whole week chained to the concrete slab in the dark and being fed just enough to stay healthy, but offer little resistance. And if that wasn’t enough, there was always an abundance of drugs to dull the pain or just to keep them compliant. The bad man was clearly in control.

“I see you’re finally awake,” the bad man said¸ pulling out a chair to sit across the small dining room table where she remained handcuffed.

The woman flinched at the close proximity of his voice. She pretended to pass out.

Too late. He pulled the sack off the woman’s head. The dim overhanging light stung her eyes.

He studied the woman for a moment. The left side of her face had swollen up. He’d had to discipline her again. “Look at me.”

The woman lifted her head to meet his gaze. She could barely keep her eyes open.

He was wearing a thick visor which hid his eyes, the ones old people wore when driving in the rain to cut down the glare. He always wore them. The bad man was also wearing his yellow hard hat with the built-in spotlight. The blood on his leather apron looked fresh. She tried to ignore it.

The bad man looked unhappy. “Wake up!” He snapped his fingers in front of her face. “I have another message for you to read.”

No! Dear, God, I can’t survive another mistake! The woman started crying.

“Don’t start that again. You’ll do fine. Third time’s the charm. Which reminds me, how’s the hand?”

“Hu… hurts,” she said.

“I can’t give you any more painkillers until after I’m finished with you.” He stood up and unlocked her handcuffs. “Put your arms on the table.”

She placed her numb arms on the cool wood surface.

He carefully removed the bloody bandage around her left hand, revealing the stumps where her pinky and ring finger used to be. He went to the kitchen and returned with water, a sponge, and some gauze. He washed the hand and wrapped it back up in a fresh bandage. “There. All better now.” He took a sip of his tea, and stared at his watch.

The woman always found that comical considering the state of the world outside but she was careful never to show her amusement.

“Come to the living room. It’s time.”

The woman slowly got up, catching her reflection in a hallway mirror. She looked hideous. Her stained, pink jogging outfit, the very one she’d wore to bed that first hellish night after a five-mile run, hung loosely on her frail frame. She could still remember waking to the screams when the dead took over her neighborhood—but that seemed so long ago now. She was as pale as a ghost and her short-cropped blond hair looked filthy. She barely recognized herself behind the mask of bruises, blood stains, and dried up tears. What horrified her most was the sight of her defeated brown eyes which stared back at her, boring into her soul. In that moment, the woman wanted to be dead.

“Come on now,” the bad man said impatiently. He helped her to her feet.

The woman followed him to the living room. She could hear the dull hum of the generator outside. He used it sparingly in the evenings, mainly during the broadcasts or when he spent time upstairs. The house remained very dark with just enough light to reveal that no one had cared for this place in quite some time. There was trash all over the floor, dirty dishes which were abandoned in place, a smashed television in the living room—blood stains on the hardwood floors in various locations. She glanced at the boarded up windows, wondering if they were originally intended to keep the dead out, or to keep the living in.

This was her fourth trip to the living room in two days and her third time reading for the bad man. He liked the sound of her voice when she read his lies out loud. He’d told her that she sounded harmless and sincere and that she had the kind of voice which made you want to believe the messages… and come.

“Sit,” he commanded, motioning toward the dirty love seat he’d positioned near the fireplace.

The woman sat down and watched the bad man remove the tarp from the radio equipment, which sat on top of a coffee table. An abundance of wires ran to and from the equipment with a large cable which ran from the receiver and into the fireplace where it continued to span the length of the chimney. From there, it connected to a large antennae on the roof. He’d explained how it all worked on her first visit. The bad man was very proud of his radio.

By the end of the second visit, he’d sliced off her first finger with the large hunting knife he always wore on his side.

The bad man sat down in front of his fancy gadgets and began powering up the CB radio and turning various dials to find the appropriate channel. He reached into his pants pocket and retrieved the latest hand-written message. He unfolded it, looked it over, and then handed it to the woman.

She reached out her shaking hand, the good one, and accepted the transcript.

He waited while she read it over, as was the routine.

“Are you ready?”

“Could I please have a glass of water?” The woman needed a moment to calm down. She couldn’t afford to screw up again.

The bad man’s face twisted, and then relaxed. “Wait here.” He headed for the kitchen.

The woman looked around for anything she could eat later. She saw a slice of moldy angel-food cake on an abandoned plate near the edge of a smaller table hugging a sectional couch. Her mouth began to water. All they’d had to eat was dry cat food since day one.

None of them had ever seen a single cat.

She could hear the bad man opening a squeaking cabinet in the kitchen. She started to move.

“Don’t try anything stupid in there,” he said. “Last girl who tried on stupid got a trip upstairs. She’s not been the same since… what’s left of her, anyway.”

The woman immediately gave up on the cake.

The bad man returned with a glass of water and the woman consumed it in seconds.

“Ready now?”

She nodded. “Thank… thank you.”

He ignored her, removing the CB microphone from the cradle. He hit the button twice to verify it was transmitting, and then handed it to the woman. “Read exactly what it says. No more, no less. We’ll be repeating this message three times. Are we clear?”

She nodded.

“If anyone answers you, stop transmitting immediately.”

She nodded again.

“Proceed.”

The woman pushed the button on the microphone and began reading:

“Hello. Hello. Hello. My name is Sonja Williams, calling in behalf of the Ashtabula County group of survivors, just off Route 11, ten miles north of I-90. We are held up in a small medical building. We are forty strong with a full medical staff and militia to keep the building secure. We’re able to accommodate survivors at this time. We can provide food, water, medical care, and warm beds to sleep in. We will send someone each day, at noon, to pick up survivors at the local Waffle House located at 8177 Terrance Road, just east of Ashtabula, Ohio. Again that’s 8177 Terrance Road just east of Ashtabula, Ohio. Good luck. We hope to see you soon. God bless.”

She stopped transmitting. The woman always wanted to throw up after that last part. She had no idea who Sonja Williams was; it was the name the bad man made her use.

“Very good,” he said. “You’re getting the hang of it now.”

She looked down at her dirty bare feet and silently prayed that no one heard the message.

He played around with a few more dials and handed her back the microphone. “Okay, let’s do it again. I think we have a range of about forty miles now.”

The woman took a deep breath and started again. “Hello. Hello. Hello. My name is Sonja Williams, calling in behalf of the Ashtabula County-”

The mad woman from upstairs started screaming.

She jumped and dropped the microphone.

The bad man stood up and started pacing the room. He looked toward the ceiling and yelled, “It’s not time yet! Damn it! Damn it! DAMN IT!”

The woman cowered in her chair, trying her best to turn invisible.

The mad woman continued to howl, chilling her bones with each horrible, gut-wrenching cry.

He put his hands over his ears and stomped on the floor. “Be quiet! It’s not time!” He turned his attention toward the woman. “And you! Why can’t you just get it right?” He picked up her chair and overturned it, tossing the woman to the floor.

The bad man pulled out his hunting knife.

The woman raised her arms. “Please… please don’t!”

He grabbed her bandaged hand. “Perhaps the thumb will get the point across… hmm?”

The woman screamed until she passed out from the pain.

~~~

Next Episode 16-2

Previous Episode 15-5

~~~

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 :)

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__________________________________________
“Chapter 16-1: Prisoners” Copyright © 2014, 2015 Scott Scherr. From the Novel “Don’t Feed The Dark, Book Two: Almost Dead”.

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.

zOctober 2015: Fallback by Lori Whitwam

Posted: October 31, 2015 in Apocalypse, books, creative writing, drama, Free Online Novel, free zombie books, Horror, horror fiction, Interviews/Reviews, killing zombies, living dead, monsters, mystery, novels, serial novels, Survival, suspense, thriller, Uncategorized, walking dead, writer's blogs, zombie art, zombie books, Zombies
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fallback

After being rescued from a brutal band of marauders, Ellen Hale rebuilt her life in the fortified neighborhood that became her home. A heartbreaking decision and devastating loss pushed her to become a fierce fighter, because weakness only got you and those you loved killed.

Now her community is facing a deadly threat, and Ellen has another choice to make.

Ellen volunteers as a member of fallback team three, tasked with establishing a temporary refuge for their citizens in the event their community is overrun by the enemy. As the danger intensifies, she and her adopted sister, Melissa, set off with the rest of their team on the road trip from hell.

Their mission is cloaked in secrecy, but suspicions of a traitor arise.

Something is affecting the zombies’ migration patterns, and when blacksmith Tyler Garrett is discovered trapped in a farmhouse, the team refuses to trust him. But Ellen believes his story, and it’s not just because of his rugged, blond good looks and soft-spoken manner—his skills can greatly benefit their team.

As the team struggles to reach the fallback, previously secure locations are overrun, and their chances of success seem remote. With the likelihood of a traitor nearly certain, and the lives of everyone she loves at risk, Ellen must figure out who to trust before the traitor—or the zombies—destroy them all.

Is there a spy among the fallback team,
or is there another threat lurking in the Kentucky hills?

~~~

You can purchase at: Amazon

Happy Halloween! Lori Whitwam is the featured author for day 31 of zOctober 2015 hosted by Toni Lesatz at My Book Addiction. Come support this author and find out what she has in store for the event.

zOctober is an annual event hosted on My Book Addiction for all of Toni’s fellow zombie fanatics, authors, bloggers, readers, and fans of the undead! Every day of the month of October there will be awesome zombie related posts including videos, reviews, guest posts, interviews, and more!

Please come and find out more about this amazing event and meet a horde of extraordinary zombie writers.

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~~~

zOctober 2015: Odium by Claire C. Riley

Posted: October 30, 2015 in Apocalypse, books, creative writing, drama, Free Online Novel, free zombie books, Horror, horror fiction, Interviews/Reviews, killing zombies, living dead, monsters, mystery, novels, serial novels, Survival, suspense, thriller, Uncategorized, walking dead, writer's blogs, zombie art, zombie books, Zombies
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Odium

It’s better to die by the gun than die by the dead.

Nina’s life was irrevocably changed when humanity’s dead began to rise.
Now, she lives behind the walls.

The barricaded cities, erected by the government to protect the remnants of civilization, have become a brutal dictatorship- causing the inhabitants within to starve, steal and claw for survival. Life behind the walls has become as terrifying as roaming the zombie-ridden landscape beyond.

Citizens trade what they can to gain food, water, and shelter. Nina has only one currency—her body and she is tired of submitting herself to the greedy hands of the self-proclaimed leaders.

An opportunity to escape presents itself in the fate of a young girl named Emily-Rose. For the price of a stale piece of bread, she is set for banishment from the city, and most likely a horrific death at the hands of the deaders. Nina tells herself that it is sympathy and not self-preservation that makes her follow the young girl out of the walled metropolis, and into the overgrown world beyond.

Unused to fighting the deaders, Nina tries to scrounge for her survival and against her better judgment, begins to care for Emily-Rose. However, when you have a bread-stealing liability providing your only back up, survival seems even tougher. Nina is forced to fight for their lives, and with every zombie slain, she becomes fiercer, faster – a grim reaper with her not-so-sharp butcher’s knife.

Along the path to a safe-haven that might not exist, Nina and Emily-Rose meet Mikey who introduces them to a new life they could not imagine, a life above the ground. However, this new world brings new dangers, and darker shadows than she knew.
Nina finds out that the deaders aren’t the only thing to fear beyond the wall.

And that fear will not be ignored, or Forgotten.

~~~

You can purchase at: Amazon

Claire C. Riley is the featured author for day 30 of zOctober 2015 hosted by Toni Lesatz at My Book Addiction. Come support this author and find out what she has in store for the event.

zOctober is an annual event hosted on My Book Addiction for all of Toni’s fellow zombie fanatics, authors, bloggers, readers, and fans of the undead! Every day of the month of October there will be awesome zombie related posts including videos, reviews, guest posts, interviews, and more!

Please come and find out more about this amazing event and meet a horde of extraordinary zombie writers.

11903810_10152991025945877_6462341625161462193_n

~~~