Archive for the ‘Zombie Talk Show’ Category

~~~

“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 47 chapters of Don’t Feed The Dark, as well as the most recent spin-off stories, The Scientist, the Salesman, and the Serpent, and Elsewhere, I strongly suggest that you don’t continue on with us until after you’ve caught up. Consider yourself warned.”

John stands up and addresses the crowd. “Welcome back ladies and gentlemen! It’s been a long while since our last episode and it’s great to be back!”

(The audience stands and applauds enthusiastically.)

“So much has happened in these first five books. I hardly know where to begin,” John says. “Let’s just start by bringing back one of our favorite guests… an original cast member who’s been with us for a very long time. Please, welcome once more, our own apocalyptic psychic-to-the-stars, Meredith Montgomery!”

(Meredith enters wearing a dark green sundress with blue flowers, her long dark hair with a few streaks of grey tied back into a tall bun atop her head. The crowd roars with delight as the older cast member blows them kisses and takes a seat next to John.)

John shakes his head and tries to calm the crowd. He turns to his guest and says, “I see your fans are still happy to see you around, young lady,” John teases. “Welcome back, Meredith.”

“Thank you, John. It’s good to be back.” Meredith crosses her legs and places her hands in her lap.

(The audience sits down and gets quiet.)

“Well, we have a lot of time to make up for, so… let’s get to it,” John says, picking up his note cards.

Meredith takes a sip of water from a glass placed on a low table beside her, and then nods. “Please… ask away. I’ll try to tell you what I can.”

“Let’s start with the obvious question. How are you fairing after the unfortunate departure of Doctor Cooper? And let me be the first to say, I believe many of us were upset that he didn’t make it. You know, we were all rooting for you two.”

(The audience claps to show their agreement.)

Meredith nods to the crowd and smiles. She turns back to John. “Thank you. Thank you all so much for your support. Yes… Coop’s death was a heavy blow, one that I’ll have a difficult time overcoming in the days ahead. He was such… he was such an incredible, wonderful man. When no one else was in my corner, he was always there.”

(The crowd falls silent.)

“Indeed,” John agrees. “I thought he was an excellent character added to the cast and I’m grateful that we had an opportunity to find out more about him after all of you relocated beneath the Wastelands for the long haul. Can you tell us what the good doctor’s death will mean for Meredith now? Will she be able to continue as the same woman we’ve come to love and cherish?”

Meredith lowers her head and stares toward the floor. “Let me just say that Coop’s death will have a permanent effect on me now. In some ways, he will always be with me as a constant source of strength. In other ways, his absence will be felt so deeply that I might question continuing on in this damaged world without him. Time will tell what the long-term effect will be. In the short term… it’s going to be a struggle.”

John nods patiently, then reaches over and places his hand on hers. “Well, we’re all with you, Meredith. It sucks that you two didn’t get to be together. I think your relationship with Cooper was a refreshing relief and a bit of light in a very dark place. Me will miss him.”

(The audience stands and respectfully applauds. Some, openly weep or nod to show their support.)

Meredith, overcome by the crowds’ emotions and support, begins to tear up. She quickly wipes her eyes with the back of her hand and nods appreciatively toward them. She turns to John. “They’re absolutely wonderful, too, aren’t they?” she teases.

(The crowd laughs. They slowly take their seats.)

“So, let’s move away from this subject, for everyone’s sake, before we run out of Kleenex,” John says with a smile.

Meredith laughs lightly and composes herself. “Alright, John. That sounds splendid.”

John leans back, pauses, then says, “Okay, since we last heard from you during the Shadow Dead attack at the beginning of Book Five, there’s been some interesting developments.”

Meredith eyes go wide in mock surprise. She smiles, rests her chin on her hands, leans in, and says, “Really? Do tell.”

(The audience laughs.)

“Apparently,” John says, smiling back, “you’ve been at the center of all this ‘Mother’ business for a good while. You… and that Candice Forrester doctor who took a keen interest in you back during your brief ‘orphanage’ stay.”

“You know… it’s not really an orphanage.”

“Got it. Been there. Done that. Let’s move on.” John adds a wink.

(The audience laughs.)

John continues, “So, we’ve discovered a bit more about your old scary friend, Clementine, at the back end of Book Five… and now we’ve got two additional spin-off stories that shed a little more light on the past. Can you connect any of these dots for us?”

Meredith leans back in her chair and lets out a heavy sigh. “Okay, I’ll give you the abridged version of events so far in chronological order: Back in the Spring of 1970, Mother approached Dr. Forrester due to her breakthrough research related to a sleep study she was conducting, or at least, that was what the grant money was for. As it turned out, she was actually trying to bring back her brain-dead brother, Toby, through her research, believing she’d uncovered the key to reaching into the minds of the clinically ‘dead’ and retrieving them through a sort of dream state. She believed that our identity was being stored on a ‘back-up’, somewhere in the part of our minds that house dreams… and that she’d found a way to tap into that place. The rest… well, that’s way over my head. Anyway, Mother, with an entirely different agenda, and a project of their own that dates back a few years prior to meeting with Forrester and Finch, needed Candice’s research to further their own.”

“Fascinating,” John says. He turns to the crowd. “And this we learned in the spin-off story, The Scientist, the Salesman, and the Serpent.”

Meredith nods her head. “So Forrester and Finch took Mother’s offer, relocated to the orphanage, where they had been for three years until little old me showed up in the Summer of ’73.”

“And that’s were the Dead Dolls chapter from Book Four starts, right?”

“Correct. Well, we know how that went down. I was led to Candice’s secret lab in the basement, drugged, and then inserted into the Mother/Forrester collaborative project, which we’ll discover more about in Book Six.”

“And at this point,” John injects, “the girls had no idea what happened to you until Clementine saw Michael Finch attempting to smuggle Meredith away from the orphanage in the Fall of that same year.”

Meredith nods. “And that’s where the rest of Clementine’s story picks up. She challenged Finch, who resisted… and it ended very badly for him, as well as the rest of the orphan girls who decided to intervene.”

“And this results in the capture and imprisonment of Clementine,” John adds, “as well as the end of the orphanage project. Meredith is relocated to the island facility, as well as the four brain-dead patients, and she’s thrown back into the experiments.”

“That’s right,” Meredith says. “And that’s where the final spin-off story, Elsewhere, sits in the timeline. It’s now the Winter of 1974, a year after the orphanage is shut down. Forrester has lost control of the project and had discovered that Mother’s agenda runs contrary to her own. That story picks up at the tail end of everything going very wrong. She decided to help Meredith escape, which is a guaranteed death sentence for Forrester. And the strange events that occur near the end of the story are how I broke free from Mother, or so it seemed at the time.”

John shakes his head in bewilderment. “Now… let’s talk about that.”

Meredith laughs. “I had a feeling you might want to discuss it.”

“Let’s start with the girl, the fifth brain-dead patient, the one you and Finch kept secret. What the hell happened?”

Meredith nods. “Her name was Michelle. Michael was instrumental in the arrangements of keeping this mystery patient quiet from Mother during his recruiting periods at the orphanage. I believe Michelle was initially the ‘back-up’ plan if Mother intended to steal Candice’s research. As it turned out, this dead girl also became my escape from Mother.”

“Yes, let’s talk more about this ‘back-up plan’,” John says.

Meredith closes her eyes and sighs. “My mother used to use this expression, ‘putting the cookies on the bottom shelf’. Are you familiar with that?”

“I believe so,” John says. “It’s what people say right before they’re about to explain something complicated and over-the-head.”

“That’s right, John. She’d put the cookies within reach so I could understand something enough to get the meaning. So, that’s what I’m going to do, now.”

John laughs and turns to the audience. “All I know is that I’m suddenly hungry… and all I want is chocolate-chip cookies.”

(The audience laughs.)

Meredith laughs. “Okay. I’m only going to say this once… and before you ask… I’m not going to elaborate any further. Got it?”

John shakes his head and laughs. “Probably not. But please… proceed.”

“The organization we’ve come to know as Mother discovered something… something very old, and very, very dangerous. They discovered the ‘Where’ and they desperately needed a way to reach ‘it’. Dr. Forrester, discovered the ‘How’. And then there’s little old me… who turned out to be the ‘Who’. Dr. Forrester was attempting to reach her brother. Mother was attempting to reach someone else entirely. So… Forrester established a bridge between myself and-”

John points a finger at her and exclaims excitedly, “Toby!”

Meredith smiles. “At some point, Forrester realized that the bridge she established led to somewhere else entirely, somewhere very frightening… but Mother knew exactly where that bridge led. This is what triggers Doctor Forrester into implementing the secondary bridge, or link, between myself and the brain-dead Michelle, a girl roughly my own age at the time, that we read about at the end of that second spin-off story.”

John slaps his forehead. “Okay, so if I’m understanding this correctly, what you’re telling me is that you essentially became Michelle? That the woman we’re all staring at today is not really Meredith… but Michelle?”

“Physically, I am Michelle, but on the inside, I’m still me. I’ve adapted the appearance of this shell over time to resemble the girl I once was… a change in clothing, hairstyles, mannerisms… but after spending most of my life, in this body, I’ve come to accept that Michelle is what I look like, since I’ve looked like her a lot longer than I looked like me… are you following all this?”

(John is dumbfounded. He looks to the crowd and they are equally stunned.)

“So… you’ve literally been having an out-of-body experience since you were a teen, does that about sum it up?”

Meredith laughs. “That’s a funny way to put it… but in a way… you’re partially correct.

John shakes his head. “That is… well… that’s new.”

(The crowd laughs.)

“We should probably move on. We’re getting to that point where I can’t tell you anything else,” Meredith says with a wink. “Less might be more in this particular instance.”

John laughs. “This is crazy. But… I suppose we’ll find out more about you, or Michelle, or… whoever you are when we jump into Book Six.”

“That’s probably for the best,” Meredith agrees.

“This… place… that Mother has discovered, does it have anything to do with the apocalyptic situation our survivors find themselves in?”

“Yes,” Meredith says.

“And that’s it? That’s all you’re going to say?” John says.

“That’s all I’m going to say,” Meredith adds with a wink.

John shakes his head. “Of course.”

(The audience laughs.)

“What I can add,” Meredith says, “is that Book Six will delve much deeper into all this strangeness, including what happened to me once that bridge between my old self and Toby was established. And I will also add that when my character discovers this for herself, since much of that time period has been hidden from her own memories, it’s going to be quite a shock… for everyone.”

“Now that’s a damn teaser if I ever heard one,” John says.

(The audience laughs and nods in agreement.)

“So, let’s move on before my head explodes,” John says. “Can you tell us what else we can expect from Book Six?”

Meredith considers the question for a moment, then says, “The first arc is aptly titled ‘Revelations’. I think that speaks for itself. Myself, Stephen, Logan and Megan will be discovering all sorts of frightening things as we move forward beyond the mystery door into the heart of some of the disturbing events that have been occurring, both presently and in the past, that have contributed to the state of our deadly new world. I can’t speak for what happens in the next two arcs, but this one will connect a lot of events that we’ve previously read about throughout this series. That’s vague, I know, but that’s all I can say.”

“What about the premiere? Is there anything you can tell us about the first chapter? What can we expect from the first few episodes?”

Meredith laughs. “Well… it is a Halloween premiere. I think this first chapter is perfectly suited for it. We’re going to be dealing with quite a few ghosts right away.”

John’s eyes go wide. “Now… are we speaking literally or figuratively here?”

Meredith takes a sip from her glass and remains silent.

John shakes his head and turns toward the audience. “And I guess that’s our answer, folks.”

(The audience laughs.)

John turns back to Meredith. “Well, that’s it for time. I want to thank you for joining us once again, Meredith. We all look forward to reading what happens next.”

“Thanks for having me,” Meredith says.

John stands. “How about a hand for her, ladies and gentlemen.”

(The crowd stands and applauds.)

“As a final reminder, Don’t Feed The Dark, Book Six: Mother begins in just two short days for the Halloween premiere. I’m looking forward to it as I know all of you are, as well. Again, if anyone has any questions in regards to tonight’s topics or any other DFTD questions, please feel free to ask away and we’ll try to answer what we can. Also, I want to point out once more that after the premiere, DFTD will now be posted once a week on Wednesdays until the end of the year. Until then, I look forward to seeing all of you as we embark on another terrifying journey into The Dark! See you soon!”

~~~

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

~~~

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.”

~~~

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 considerable 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!”

~~~

Next Episode:
After The Dark (#14) – Remains

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

~~~

~~~

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

~~~

After The Dark (#10) – Confessions

Posted: December 29, 2016 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, talk show, thriller, Uncategorized, walking dead, zombie books, Zombie Talk Show, Zombies
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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 34 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 stands up before a live studio audience and is met with applause. Seated behind him on a large couch is Gina Melborn, Tony Marcuchi, Diane Conley and Nine Lives. He raises his arms to quiet the crowd. “Welcome back everyone to another informative episode of After The Dark! I’m excited to have all four of our special guests here today. How about another round of applause for Gina, Tony, Diane and Nine!”

(The crowd is on their feet as the studio erupts in another round of applause.)

John sits down in a chair across from his guests as the audience takes their seats. “Wow, it’s great to have all of you here… and what’s better is that you’re all still alive.”

(The audience laughs.)

“It’s been a wild run so far and we’re already twenty-four episodes into this new story arc. I’m going to just jump right in because I know we have a lot to cover.” John turns to Gina. “Welcome back, Gina. How’s my favorite bad ass doing?”

Gina laughs. “I’m doing okay, all things considering.”

“So… we’ve already discussed your current state-of-mind in a previous episode. I guess one of the big burning questions at the moment is, ‘What the hell is wrong with you?'”

Gina gives Tony a suspicious glance.

Tony sheepishly scoots a little farther away from her on the couch causing everyone to laugh.

“Why, John, whatever do you mean?” Gina jokes, feigning her restrained anger.

John shakes his head and says, “It’s confession time, Gina. You’ve suddenly gone from heroine to borderline villain since your time spent in the compound. Are we finally seeing your character pushed passed her limits?”

Gina nods. “As I’m sure you’ve already discussed, I’m at a very fragile place at the moment. I think what my character is experiencing is due in part to an accumulative amount of bullshit since the beginning of all this madness. I think losing Frank and Megan, as well as being betrayed by Meredith, has put me in a very volatile place, somewhere between wanting to go on an all-out killing spree and drowning in my own deep, dark self-loathing.”

“It seems very apparent that you murdered those two men who accidentally killed another community member who tried to break up their fight. Can you confirm this?” John asks.

Gina frowns. “Yes. I executed them. It was always my intent to do so. I just wanted them to give me a reason so I provoked their escape attempt, but they caught on to what I was doing, laid down their arms… and I shot them anyway.”

(The audience is unusually silent.)

John nods solemnly. “Ironically, it was Frank, the convict, who stopped you in the past from killing Megan, the pregnant girl. But now, his death has also set you back on a similar path, with no one to stay your shooting arm this time. Would you say that you’re having a tough time distinguishing who the enemy is?”

Gina folds her hands in her lap. “All is can say is that my character is in a very dark place. There’s a pain ripping away at her from the inside out and she’s losing a vital battle within. Tony is perhaps the only thing keeping her from plunging completely into the dark, but at the same time, my desperate need to keep him alive no matter what, is also contributing to some really bad decision making.”

John turns to Tony. “It would appear that you are also nearing a breaking point, Tony. You’ve been covering for her all winter long while the community has grown weary of Gina. And now we find out that you concealed her crime out in those frozen woods.”

“Yes,” Tony begins. “My frustration with Gina, and with myself, is reaching a boiling point. I think I’m starting to realize, as was evident near the end of the last chapter, that I can’t keep continuing to bail Gina out of her messes… not without losing myself. Something’s about to break within me if I don’t find a way to reach her.”

“Indeed,” John agrees. “So… Gina has essentially crossed the line with you, with the community, hell… even with Orosco, since he left the group early because of her. What’s all this going to mean when you all get back to the compound?”

Tony smiles and shares a secretive smile with Gina. “John, we’re just going to have to wait and see… and that’s all we’re allowed to say about it.”

“Fair enough,” John says. He turns to Diane. “And you, young lady, it’s nice to see another side to your character. All we knew of you from Book Three was that you were the good and faithful soldier character. Seemed like nothing could get to you, until that young man next to you came along.”

Diane looks to Nine and laughs. “What can I say? The heart wants what the heart friggin’ wants.”

(The audience laughs.)

“Seriously, though,” she continues, “I was delighted to find out that I would be playing a more central character in this story arc and I look forward to discovering, along with all the readers out there, just who Diane really is beneath all that armor.”

“Well, I’ve been enjoying how your relationship with Nine is developing. It’s good to see that young love can still find a place in this crazy, dark world.”

Nine puffs up and nods. “Yeah, she wants me.”

Diane gives him a playful jab to the ribs with her elbow.

(The audience laughs.)

John shakes his head with a smile. “So first off, Nine, welcome to The Dark. It’s great to meet new people in these storylines… hell… we’ve already lost too many.”

“Glad to be here,” he says. “I’d like to think that my character brings ‘cool’ back to the table.”

All four of them look to Nine disbelievingly, causing the crowd to laugh.

“So what’s with that crazy name?” John asks. “It’s because you’re real name is Bartholomew or something equally nerdish, isn’t it?”

(The audience laughs.)

Nine shakes his head. “No… nothing like that. It’s all about my luck with numbers, mostly.”

“Yeah… you say that,” John starts. “But I still think you’re just some kind of math nerd stuck in the 80’s.”

Nine lifts his hand. “No… I’m much too cool for math-”

“Math nerd. Just admit it,” John presses.

“Nope.”

The others nod their heads making the audience laugh. Nine turns to the others as they all turn away, trying not to laugh.

“You see what I have to put up with?” Nine says. “It’s a wonder how they’ve gotten by this long without me.”

John laughs and says, “Seriously, though, either you really have some understanding of how to use numbers in your favor, or, you’ve just been extremely lucky so far. Which is it?”

“I’ve always been good at the numbers game,” Nine says. “Without getting too much into it right now, let’s just say that the numbers are my character’s comfort zone. If I didn’t have them to rely upon, I’d probably be hiding under a bed until the apocalypse ended.”

(The audience laughs.)

“Fair enough,” John says. “I think we’d all be hiding under our beds if we each didn’t have something to fall back on. I’m looking forward to discovering how your character develops in the days ahead… and finding out a lot more about your ‘number system’.”

“Oh, well that’s easy,” Nine starts excitedly. “First you have-”

“Don’t get him going, John, or we’ll be here all night,” Gina interrupts, giving Nine a warning glance.

“Another time, then.” John looks through his notes and then turns to Tony. “So we’ve finally dealt with the Bad Man… and Helen. What was it like finding out that our favorite yellow-eyed monsters seemed to get smarter? Are the dead evolving over time like our characters or was Helen and her horde simply a fluke?”

“I believe we’re going to discover a whole lot of new things to deal with as we get farther out and away from our hole in the ground,” Tony says. “But it would definitely appear that at least some of the dead have… changed. What that will mean for us is still a mystery. But the implications are frightening.”

“Indeed. So did putting down Helen near the end of the last chapter give you some sense of closure, Tony?”

“I think so. It was rather sad… but in the end, Walter got what was coming to him and I think Helen and I both got a little retribution for the suffering we received from that evil man.”

“What’s really interesting about the last chapter,” Gina chimes in, “is that it was an unplanned chapter that came to the author late as he was nearing the completion of ‘Detour’. We were supposed to confront Walter at the end of the third chapter, but then the author saw an awesome opportunity to share with the readers what it was like being in Walter and Helen’s shoes before The Change happened. I think the bonus backstory between them really gave both those characters more depth and made events much more interesting by the time we confronted the Bad Man in the fourth chapter.”

“That is interesting,” John agrees. “I guess that’s why stories take on a life of their own and occasionally drift off course. Even writers can be caught off guard when a tale takes an unexpected ‘detour’ from the story line… pardon the pun.”

(The audience laughs.)

“So, we’re almost out of time,” John states. “I wanted to ask what we can expect from the next chapter. Gina?”

“Well… all I can say about it is that it’s Meredith’s turn to take the spotlight and Chapter 35 centers entirely around her storyline.”

“Fair enough,” John says. “I also understand that we have our third spin-off story that was posted on Monday, introducing us to a new character while taking us all the way back to the marina incident back in Chapter 14. Any additional comments on this, Tony?”

Tony smiles and says, “Again, we can’t say too much about it… but… it does tie in to the next chapter. Not only is it a Chapter 14 spin-off story, but it’s a Chapter 35 spin-off story as well… and it bit more than that.”

“That’s all you’re going to give us, isn’t it?”

“Yep,” Tony confirms.

“Damn it,” John shakes his head. “Well, on that note, we’ll just have to look forward to the next chapter and see where we land next.” John takes them all in and says, “I want to thank you all for joining us today and I’m sure we all hope to see you alive and kicking in the days to come.” He turns to the crowd. “How about a big hand for our guests!”

(The audience rises to their feet and applauds.)

Gina, Tony, Diane and Nine all wave and nod to the audience.

“And that’s all the time we have today,” John finishes. “If anyone wishes to ask any of our special guests a question about their characters or just about the story in general, we shall endeavor to answer your questions here… if possible.”

“Aside from that, be sure to check out the brand new spin-off story, Hangar Six and don’t forget that Don’t Feed The Dark returns on Monday, January 2nd for a brand new episode. As for us, I have been informed by the author that new episodes of After The Dark will now be posted at the conclusion of each new chapter. See you next time on After The Dark!”

~~~

Next Episode:
After The Dark (#11) – Outcast

~~~

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

~~~

Don’t Feed The Dark Updates: 12/5/16

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

the living

~~~

Hello everyone,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Scott

~~~

“Something malevolent has awoken in Northeast Ohio. Former acquaintances, neighbors, loved ones—all at random—transform into flesh-craving monsters hell bent on devouring the living. Corpses are rising from their places of unrest. Nocturnal animal-man hybrids hunt in packs. The dead are awakening from within the living…

By morning, the sun weeps over streets splattered blood-red as an unsettling silence soon follows, lulling the broken remains of society into believing the blood bath is over.

As a second wave approaches, a handful of survivors from all walks of life must put aside their differences and band together to escape the pending slaughter while storm clouds begin to gather from within their fragile community. Some who were once respectable in the eyes of society will devolve into madness while the despicable rise to the occasion in a world no longer respecting of persons.

It is their world now. The dead are hungry and do not discriminate.”

-From Don’t Feed The Dark, Book One: Southbound Nightmares

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hello,

My name is Scott Scherr, part-time poet and fiction writer. I want to welcome all of you and thank you for giving my story a read.

Don’t Feed The Dark is an apocalyptic serial novel that I started posting back in February, 2014. It has since grown into a rather long work consisting of six completed novels (seventh one in progress). DFTD has broken the one million word mark, currently at 1,245,000 words with 351 episodes posted online. In addition, there are five spin-off tales and an online talk show titled, After The Dark.

Some might call this a zombie story. But I assure you, it’s a lot more than that. I prefer to think of this as a character-driven survival story with all sorts of mysteries and monsters both within and without.

For as long as it takes for me to complete this dark saga, I will always make it available to read for free online. You can click right here to start reading from the beginning, or simply refer to my sidebar or the tab at the top of the page for chapter links, spin-off stories, online interviews, reviews, etc. Also, to find out more about me, my various publications, or the latest DFTD updates, please refer to this sticky page or the tabs at the top of the home page.

For readers who are returning and want a refresher synopsis of the first five books in the series you can refer to the tab at the top of the homepage or just click Returning Readers (Refresher).

If you’ve been enjoying Don’t Feed The Dark, please help support the cause by liking it on facebook, following along on twitter, and voting for it once a week on Top Web Fiction. You can also write reviews for it on Web Fiction Guide and Royal Road, or just help spread the word via social media. Every little bit helps in getting this long dark tale known.

As always, thanks for reading. I hope to hear from you in the comments and that I might find some of you with me when this story eventually comes to an end.

-Scott

~~~

Don’t Feed The Dark, Book Seven: The Prophet, will start spring 2020.

Afterwards by the Author (Book Six: Mother) 12/3/19

Don’t Feed The Dark Updates: 10/9/19

Don’t Feed The Dark Updates: 9/24/19

Don’t Feed The Dark Updates: 7/23/19

Don’t Feed The Dark Updates: 6/24/19

Don’t Feed The Dark Updates: 5/21/19

~~~

Don’t Feed The Dark Updates: 9/29/16

Posted: September 28, 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, talk show, thriller, Uncategorized, walking dead, zombie books, Zombie Talk Show, Zombies
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

the dead

~~~

Hello Everyone,

I hope you have been enjoying the new story arc so far. Now that the first two chapters are complete, I thought this would be a good time to make a few adjustments to the schedule.

Effective immediately, my DFTD talk show, After The Dark, will be going on hiatus for a little while so I can focus on finishing Book Four. Will go ahead and call it a 9 episode first season. But not to worry, ATD will be returning at a later date.

Also, as of Monday, October 3rd, I will be posting new episodes of Don’t Feed The Dark on Mondays and Thursdays.

As far as what’s ahead, here’s what the remainder of the year looks like:

Chapter 33: Detour, will be starting on Monday, October 3rd and will run for eight episodes, finishing out the month of October.

Chapter 34: Secrets, will begin on Halloween and run for another six episodes followed by a week off for Thanksgiving Break.

Chapter 35: Dead Dolls, will start on Monday, November 28th and will run until completed, shortly before Christmas, and will close out the year.

Chapter 36: Uprising, will start in January followed by Chapter 37: Through the Eyes of a Devil (and that’s going to be a long, long chapter). And then finally, Chapter 38: Healing , will complete Book Four sometime, I’m guessing, in early April of 2017.

As far as chapter specifics, Chapter 33: Detour, will begin on Monday and pick up where we left off with Gina and company as they continue their pursuit of the bad man while continuing to discover terrifying new changes in the world around them.

And that’s about all I can tell you about the plot for now.

~~~

For my old readers who are just returning, I know it’s been a while since you completed Book Three. I’ve posted a refresher course, highlighting some of the main points leading up to the premiere of Book Four: The Living and the Dead (A Look Back at Where We’ve Been)

And here’s a direct link to the beginning of the new arc: Chapter 31-1: Marvin’s Day

For new readers, feel free to start at the beginning: Chapter 1-1: Demon Night

And for those of you not yet familiar with my DFTD talk show, After The Dark, you can find out more about it here: After The Dark

Also, I’ve created a new facebook group called Spider’s Web Fiction dedicated to serial novel writers and their readers. You can find out more about it here: Spider’s Web Fiction

And finally, please continue to support the cause by spreading the word about Don’t Feed The Dark through your social media pages and by voting weekly for it on topwebfiction.

More to come,
-Scott

~~~

After The Dark (#9) – Trauma

Posted: September 23, 2016 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, talk show, thriller, Uncategorized, walking dead, zombie books, Zombie Talk Show, Zombies
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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 weekly DFTD 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 week 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 up to Chapter 32-3, I strongly suggest that you don’t continue on with us until after you’ve caught up. Consider yourself warned.

Now let me introduce are next special guest, he’s another original from the series, and still alive… which is a good thing… please put your hands together for Stephen Eddington!”

(Stephen sheepishly crosses the studio stage and waves to the audience. They stand and give him a big round of applause. Stephen makes it to his seat and sits beside our host.)

“Welcome to the show, Stephen,” John begins. “It’s great to get another living cast member here with us. So many have fallen along the way.”

Stephen fidgets nervously and says, “Wow, this is something else. I’m not much for crowds but it’s great to be made to feel welcome.”

“Nothing but the best for our survivors here on After The Dark. We didn’t get a chance last week to discuss the beginning of the second chapter so let me get right to it.”

“Alright.”

“You covered quite a lot of ground in your historical narrative. It seems you all did alright for yourselves taking over the compound. Lot’s of supplies and ‘creature comforts’, as you described. So with what amounts to a survivalist’s ‘wet dream’ as far as a refuge to hold out through the winter and avoid the dead, what the hell went wrong?”

Stephen laughs, adjusts his glasses on his face, and says, “I think we all underestimated the effects of the trauma introduced into our lives when The Change wiped out everything and everyone we knew. None of us, up until relocating into that place, has had any length of time to process all these horrors. We’ve been too busy running. But moving below the wilderness preserve allowed that tidal wave of emotions to finally hit us dead on. And we were certainly not prepared for the outcome.”

“So, essentially, constantly running from the dead and moving from place to place made it easier to avoid the trauma. Is that your assessment?”

“Absolutely. When you’re sleeping with one eye open all the time, and jumping at every sound around you, you’re not thinking about everything you’ve lost. You’re only thinking about how close you are to becoming a ghost yourself. Out in the wild, You’re living moment to moment; the person next to you could be ripped apart right in front of you, and you still have no time to grieve or register the shock of witnessing such brutality. Now imagine getting used to living that way, becoming hardened by it, and then you reach a place of so-called safety where all that suddenly goes away. It’s not an easy adjustment, as we’ve discovered. Then multiply all that violence, all that savagery, by however many people are forced to suddenly live together, and you have one hell of a problem on your hands by the time everyone now has to collectively deal with all that shit finally catching up to them.”

“You make some excellent points, Stephen. It almost sounds preferable to stay out in the wild rather then deal with all that built up trauma.”

“If you said that to Gina, and folks like her, they would quickly agree with you.”

“I imagine so.” John shifts in his seat. “Of all our characters so far, you seem to be handling all that emotional baggage reasonably well. Do you think that has a lot to do with the fact that you, more than most, seemed to be dealing with your issues along the way? Of the original ten, you were constantly struggling with the guilt caused by your actions, or inaction, did that build a sort of tolerance to it by the time everyone else had to catch up and face it, too?”

Stephen raises his eyebrows.  “You bring up some great questions.  In part, I think you’re correct.  Because of all my baggage and all my suffering with it leading up to now, I think I might be better suited to handle this internal storm better than most.”

John nods. “Well, it sure seems like you have a handle on things. Probably doesn’t hurt that you have a bit of ‘help’ as well. Which leads me to the elephant in the room. Stephen, what the hell is going on with you and Nicole? I think many of us have been wondering… is he hallucinating? Is he talking to a ghost? After that last episode, I don’t know what to believe anymore.”

Stephen laughs. “Well, I can only tell you that my character has moved on to a place where he doesn’t question Nicole anymore. He simply accepts whatever she is, and because he does so, this allows Nicole to have a bit more freedom in his life.”

“You mean, like, ‘Invasion of the Fucking Body Snatchers’ type of freedom that we discovered last episode? Are you even aware that she’s taking your body out for midnight strolls when you’re sleeping?”

“No, I most certainly am not. But I think the real question might be, ‘Is it her, or is it really me pretending to still be her?'”

John shakes his head. “I can’t wrap my mind around this relationship that you two share. If it is really you, and Nicole is simply a personification of your insanity, than I have to say, Stephen, that you have some serious issues to still work out.”

Stephen laughs and says, “Of course, you can’t work out issues you’re unaware of, right?”

“Shit, like I said, I can’t wrap my mind around this,” John says. “So did you… excuse me… did Nicole talk that poor woman into killing herself?”

“It would appear so,” Stephen says.

“That’s fucked up, Stephen. There was mentioning of other suicides, seven total I believe. Did Nicole have anything to do with those as well?”

Stephen shakes his head and says, “Well… John… I don’t really know. I suppose it’s very possible.”

“Okay… so let’s recap this: While you’re awake, you see visions of Nicole. But when you’re sleeping, she’s moving around inside your body… and having visions of ‘you’. What the hell is that all about?”

“I would say that our relationship is a lot more complex than any of us realized. And that’s all I can really say.”

“Fair enough,” John finishes. “So let me go back to Chapter 25, when you burned Nicole’s diary, and I’ll add that it’s pretty creepy that she’s started a new one that you’re unaware of. What happened after that when Nicole appeared? It seems like that was a real pivotal point for you when things started to change.”

Stephen leans back, considers the question, and says, “I believe Nicole represents a lot of things for me, whether I’ve concocted her or she’s something else entirely, it doesn’t matter. What I’m certain of is that, in part, she was my guilt personified. What I believe is that in order to move on with our relationship, I had to accept her… all of her… which meant the good that she described us as in her journal, the parts I was inspired by, as well as the bad… the fact that I cheated on my wife with a minor and than killed her. Until I was ready to accept all of it… all of her… I would never be able to move out from under that oppressive dark cloud. She helped me get there. And that was what that moment at Amanda’s grave was all about. I think I was finally ready to move past it all and take our relationship to the next level.”

John laughs. “Stephen, my man, you have the strangest damn relationship… you know that, right?”

“I’ve seen the dead come back to life and try to eat me,” Stephen says. “What’s so strange about our relationship after that?”

(The audience laughs.)

“You got me there,” John concedes. “Well, we’re almost out of time. I wanted to ask you more about events that happened in that laundry room, but I’m guessing there’s not much more you can say, is there?”

“Correct.”

“I figured as much. Well, it’s great to see your character coming out from under that dark place of guilt. I have to confess, I never thought you’d make it into the final four from the original ten who left the power plant. But here you are.”

“Like you said, I had help. Not only from Nicole, but from the others in the group. I think we all leaned heavily on one another to get this far.”

“Man, there’s so much in these first three episodes that I just want to dig my teeth into,” John says. “Let me touch on your scene with Logan. There was a moment there where it seemed like he was aware of Nicole on some level. Can you elaborate on that?”

Stephen shifts uncomfortably. “Well, I seemed to think so. But Logan could have been addressing something else entirely. It’s far too early to say. But I think that scene if very revealing in where my character is now. Back when I was first struggling with Nicole’s visitations, I would have loved it if someone else had seen her… you know… to validate that I wasn’t crazy. But now, that’s the last thing I want, as you all saw in how protective I became with Logan, and how I ripped that page out of the book after I wrote about her. So I am in a whole new place with all of it.”

“That’s interesting. Last question before you go: Since Marcus is the only one who knows the truth about what happened between yourself and Nicole, and considering how protective you are about her now, does that pose a problem between you two?”

Stephen shakes his head. “Well, obviously none of us know who Marcus truly is, but because he’s no stranger to secrets… or to murder… I imagine that man might be pretty bored with it by now.”

(The audience laughs.)

“However,” Stephen continues, “Marcus is very intelligent. I wouldn’t put it past him to exploit what he knows if it would work to his advantage.”

“Indeed,” John agrees. “Stephen, is there anything else you can tell us looking ahead? What’s in store for our group’s historian in the future?”

“I think by the end of this chapter you might get a sense of that,” Stephen says. “What we’re going to discover in this arc, as far as my character is concerned, is that I finally have a chance to find my role, my place in this new world… whatever that means. And that’s all I can tell you at this time.”

“Alright then. Well, it’s been a pleasure talking to you, Stephen, and thanks for appearing on the show.” He turns to the audience. “How about a big hand for our special guest.”

(the audience stands up and applauds.)

Stephen waves back and says, “Thanks for having me.”

John concludes, “And that’s a wrap for today. If anyone out there wants to ask Stephen anything about his character, the story itself, or about anything else we’ve covered today, please feel free to ask away, and we will try to answer what we can. If not, then I’ll see you next week for another exciting episode of After The Dark!”

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Next Episode:
After The Dark (#10) – Confessions

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Thank you,
-Scott