Sunday, September 30, 2012

Undead Ahead Preview

The following is a sample from In The Cold and Dark, just one of the dozen stories to be found in Undead Ahead: Zombies.  Undead Ahead: Zombies will be out no later than Halloween and marks the first collaboration between my wife Lisa McCourt Hollar and myself. 

It is now but an hour before it will be dark enough for them. With each passing day, the winds blowing down from the hills are colder with the unmistakable kiss of winter. The chill that settles into our hearts is more unshakable than that in our bodies. All hope of aid is gone.

Waldren and the men who rode to Castletown have not returned. Granted, it is a hard two days' ride each way, but they have been gone now for six. It is clear, to us, that they did not travel either far enough or fast enough before stopping to rest. It is not an error they need fear making again. If they return here now, it will be as part of the menace. That much we know.

At first, there were but a few dozen of them. Their skin as grey and hard as stone, they came at us. Their eyes were dull and glassy with no spark of life behind them. Their breath misted in the night air and stank of things long dead. They were the harbingers of death and so that was fitting.

They came at first full dark, without warning and without any restraint. They tore apart the pens and barns and dragged away the livestock. They vanished into the black of the forest without hesitation or stealth. None dared follow them that night. Looking back now, it seems unlikely it would have helped if we had.

With each night, they returned, more numerous and more voracious. We fought them, for we are a hearty people and proud. Those who seek grudge with us find it met in kind. We do not fear easily or submit at all. We defend that which is ours as we must. Fought them we did...and lost.

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