Tag Archives: Excerpt

Author Jay Wilburn – The Dead Song Legend Dodecology (Book 4)

Excerpt from The Dead Song Legend Dodecology Book 4: April from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City by Jay Wilburn:

“Hey.” Satch walked out to the end of his chain near the open gate and extended his arms. “We’re stuck in here. Let us go, dick.”

The man did not turn his head and no other living men passed as the wall of the dead trudged through the mud after the fleeing guards.

Satch extended his foot and tried to hook a metal slat of the gate to pull the paddock closed. He did not come close. “Kidd, can you get it? We need to box ourselves in at least.”

Kidd’s stake speared the ground farthest from the gate with Tiny chained between the other two. He tried anyway, crossing over Satch’s and Tiny’s chains. Even being taller, he could not reach as close as Satch did to the gate. “We’re fucked.”

“Get down, both of you.” Satch squatted low to the ground. “Stay quiet.”

Kidd and Tiny dropped to their knees where they planted within the corral.

The first few zombies lumbered past without turning their heads to look. Tiny shifted his head slowly to track progress on both sides. One naked corpse staggered into a section of fence on the opposite side of the gate. It bounded into the crowd and the bodies jostled one another as their dead muscles negotiated the unforgiving mud.

Lightning flashed and weak thunder grumbled in the distance.

One of the bodies farther out impacted a door panel on one of the SUVs beyond the men’s line of sight in the rain. Another creature hit the fence closer to the gate. It turned its head. One blue eye and one solid red stared out over the tops of the men’s heads as the dead monster passed. A woman hit the gate with her shoulder. The gate turned inward only a few inches, but screamed on its hinges. She continued toward the house without reaction. Two others turned their heads at the sound. Their paces slowed, but they continued past the corral at an angle.

Something screamed diagonally from the paddock and every body stopped in mid stride. They all stared over the corral in the direction of the noise. The creature brayed again as a donkey with one ear and no eyes bounded through the mob. Three zombies hung off its back and sides with fingers and teeth dug into flesh between ribs. The blind, bloody donkey screamed and kicked in a circle, but could not shake loose. It collapsed and the dead fell on it in an insectile swarm.

The zombies crossed one another as they pushed past each other to get at the body and the noise. As the animal fell silent, the zombies circled in the storm, losing track of their targets. They moved around the fencing from all four sides, weaving in different directions.

One stumbled into the post of the open gate. It turned and backed up, knocking the gate open a few inches with another metal screech. The others stopped and turned toward the noise from all sides. They closed in on the corral.

The one inside turned in a circle before walking between Kidd and Satch on the ground. It stopped, tilted its head, and opened its jaws over Tiny.

Satch wrapped his chain around the zombie’s neck from behind and pulled it down to its back in the mud. It clawed at the air and gave two choked clicked. Kidd raised his cuffs and slammed them down, denting the monster’s forehead twice. The double crack echoed out through the yard. More bodies turned toward them. Kidd wrapped his chain around the thing’s skull and braced both feet of the side of its head as he pulled. The chain crinkled and then sheered through the scalp as the links pulled through. The arms collapsed to the mud as dark brain matter oozed out into the diluting rain.

The men stayed crouched around the still body as moving zombies circled the fenced enclosure. A few stared at the gate, but then turned away and walked into the rain.

As a mob writhed over the body of the donkey a few yards away, the stray undead spread out and moved wide around the corral. More filtered through the yard from the direction of the outside gate to the grounds, but passed the enclosure wide as well.

Gunshots rang out from the direction of the house. Glass shattered.

A few of the dead on the outside edge of the pile over the donkey peeled away and slogged toward the house and the gun shots. The others in the yard turned inward and angled toward the house in closing ranks.

Three bounced off the flat of the fence and pushed each other to get around. A fat man struck the gate, bouncing it off the post with a crash. It swung open wide with a series of pops. Two more knocked the swinging gate and bounced it again. It crashed and swung slowly open with a screeching drawl.

One slanted body in a tattered, soaked suit turned to face the corral. It stepped up against the fence a few feet from the open gate and reached over. The suited zombie’s bare feet dragged through the mud as it struggled to continue to walk despite the barrier. The sections of fence rattled against one another.

Two more creatures turned inward from the other side and pressed against the rattling fence, reaching over as well.

A woman in a wet, see through sundress lifted her claws and slinked through the opening in the gate with a grace that resembled dance. She unhinged her jaw in a throaty growl. Her dark wig and pillbox hat fell off behind her, revealing a nude nylon skull cap over her mangy scalp.

Satch stood, but pulled up short as his chain remain wrapped around the neck of the last body they took down. He wrestled to untangle with his wrists pulled down to knee level. “Kidd?”

Kidd Banjo whipped his chain out of the mud from his knees and jerked up against her ankles with both hands. She made a grab, but he ducked under and she landed on her face.

The suited zombie pumped his feet harder without realizing he stood next to the entrance. He slipped and rested his chin and armpits over the fence and growled at them.

The woman raised her head to stare Tiny in the face with her jaws packed with clods of mud. The dirt spewed out as she hissed at him.

Satch freed himself from the other body and lifted both cuffed hands above his head. He brought his double fists on her head, skimming off the back of the skull with the follow through. Her head split open from back to front and moist brain spilled out in chunks, but held inside her skull cap. She dropped her face into the mud again without closing her mouth.

The pair lowered to crouches once more. Kidd slid his chain out from under her legs.

The other zombies against the fencing open their mouths as they reached for the men inside and let up a moan. Others diverted and pressed against the fence on two sides. One of the connections buckled and the fence leaned in nearly to the point of spilling the pack of zombies in on top of them.

All three men stood.

 

Author Jay Wilburn
Author Jay Wilburn

Jay Wilburn lives with his wife and two sons in Conway, South Carolina near Myrtle Beach on the Atlantic coast of the southern United States. He has a Masters Degree in education and he taught public school for sixteen years before becoming a full time writer. He is the author of many short stories including work in Best Horror of the Year volume 5, Zombies More Recent Dead, Shadows Over Main Street, and Middletown Apocalypse. He is the author of the Dead Song Legend Dodecology and the music of the five song soundtrack recorded as if by the characters within the world of the novel The Sound May Suffer. He also wrote the novels The Great Interruption, Time Eaters, and co-authored The Enemy Held Near with Armand Rosamilia. Jay Wilburn is a regular columnist with Dark Moon Digest. Follow his many dark thoughts on Twitter as @AmongTheZombies, his Facebook author page, and at JayWilburn.com

©Jay Wilburn, 2016. All rights reserved.

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Author Jay Wilburn – The Dead Song Legend Dodecology (Book 3)

The Dead Song Legend Dodecology (Book 3) by Jay Wilburn

Excerpt from The Dead Song Legend Dodecology Book 3: March from Myrtle Beach to San Antonio by Jay Wilburn:

“This shouldn’t have happened again, Randy. We were counting on you.”

“I’m sorry,” he said and turned away from her. “Greg, go find Pete and figure out what the hell happened.”

People began filing out the door slowly trying to avoid the bodies and gore. Tiny counted only about a dozen zombies total. It did not look like anyone had gotten bitten and all the corpses were motionless on the floor.

Randy stepped up to their group. “We either have a breached fence or a sleeping guard. Either way, you should get inside your bunk. Sorry about the trouble.”

“Do you need help?” Satch asked.

Tiny sighed and rolled his eyes. We should be using this as our moment to escape.

“We have a system for searching and securing. You’ve already done more than your share here. It might be safer if you batten down and let us handle it. Sorry about the exciting evening, guys. I’ll see you in the morning.” Randy kicked one of the bodies on his way through the batwing doors.

“Looks like it’s bed time,” Kidd said.

“Or time to slip away,” Tiny said.

Kidd looked at Tiny and over at Satch. “Really?”

Satch shook his head. “We got jumpy guys with bows and arrows hunting for rogue zombies. We’ll end up speared, if we try to sneak around now. Let’s lock down like he said and stick with the original plan.”

They walked back along the facades until they reached their bunks. Shouts rose from different points of the camp in the distance. Satch opened the door and they went inside as two men with shotguns walked by behind them.

Satch pushed the door closed behind them. “We might want to set a guard schedule tonight or barricade the door maybe.”

The door burst open and slammed into Satch’s back knocking him a few steps away. The two men stepped in training their snub nosed shotguns on Satch and Kidd. The one aiming on Satch had a tight crew cut with patches of hair all along his neck and jaw. He wore black pants, boots, and a short sleeved shirt. The other man was dressed similarly, but was more bulky. He had thick, hairy arms and either had a shaved head or was bald. The darkness of the bunk didn’t allow for any better detail.

The man with the crew cut said, “I’d rather get the reward for bringing you in alive, but if you make it easier to kill you, I’ll do that and take the cut. If you make me shoot you, it will be in the gut, so that your faces aren’t messed up. You move; I shoot. Got it?”

“We got it,” Satch said.

“Stand guard outside until we’re ready to move.”

The bald man stepped back out and closed the door. The bounty hunter kept his gun on Satch with his finger inside the trigger guard. He reached down to his belt and pulled off three sets of handcuffs. He tossed one each at their feet with Tiny on the left, Satch in the middle, and Kidd on the right. His hand returned to the stock of the short shotgun.

“Behind your backs and then turn where I can see that you got them tight. Let’s go quick so you or your friends don’t end up hurt.”

None of them moved.

“Is this the moment where you test me to see if I’m serious, boys?” he asked. “You got your dicks up down in the valley with the others you killed and you think you’re dealing with someone like them. How about I shoot your dick off and take you in alive, but screaming? Would that convince you?”

He lowered his aim on Satch.

“I just didn’t want to move and get shot,” Satch said. “You seem like a jumpy sort.”

“I’m cool as a fucking cucumber, Satchelmouth Murderman. Now cuff yourselves.”

There was shouting outside and shots sounded off. One report from a shotgun outside seemed to vibrate the whole room.

The guy cocked his head over his shoulder to the left.

Kidd sprung from the right. He grabbed the gun and shoved up. One barrel went off into the ceiling filling the room with an eruption of sound and a rain of dust. The bounty hunter jerked his head to the side slamming Kidd’s face. Kidd grunted but still struggled for the gun. The hunter stomped Kidd’s knee dropping him to the floor.

He brought the gun down toward Kidd.

Satch launched and drove his helmet into the hunter’s face. Another shot roared blowing apart the side of one of the bunks in a hail of splinters. Satch and the hunter slammed into the closed door.

Gunfire continued outside muffled by the ringing in everyone’s ears in the closed space of the bunks.

Kidd came back up and grabbed the gun again. The hunter drove his knee into Satch’s gut twice. Kidd pulled the gun and the hunter shoved it driving the butt into Kidd’s jaw. Kidd Banjo staggered back, but had the shotgun in his hands.

Tiny drew his knife and charged from the left. The hunter twisted and pinned Tiny’s arm to the doorframe with his elbow short of the stab. He lifted off and slammed his elbow into Tiny’s wrist again causing him to drop the knife. The hunter twisted back still struggling with Satch but connecting with Tiny’s nose with his forearm. Tiny saw stars and held his face as he staggered and then fell.

Kidd rested the bore of the shotgun into the hunter’s ribs pulling back the hammers. Satch drew his knife. The hunter grabbed Satch’s knife hand in both of his and twisted it back toward Satch’s face. Kidd pulled the trigger and the gun clicked empty. Kidd reached for his own knife. The hunter lifted his right boot and side kicked driving his heel into Kidd’s chest. Kidd launched backward dropping the shotgun. He slammed into the damaged post of the bunk snapping through it and dropping the top bunk on top of himself.

Tiny got to his hands and knees and crawled toward his knife on the floor. He couldn’t draw air through his nose.

The hunt swung his left leg around and swept Satch’s legs out from under him. Satch’s helmet rolled away. They slammed to the floor with the hunter on top pushing Satch’s knife slowly toward his face.

Kidd stumbled out from under the mattress with the assault rifle. He squared and aimed at the hunter’s side. The hunter rolled hard pulling Satch on top of him between him and Kidd’s aim.

Kidd lifted the rifle away. “Shit.”

Tiny got his knife and sat up on his knees.

Satch brought his knife around pointed at the hunter’s face. The hunter lifted his feet under Satch’s body and rabbit kicked his weight up into the air. He rolled hard to the side and threw Satch into Kidd knocking them both away.

Tiny made a stab at the hunter. The hunter came up and caught Tiny’s wrist. He twisted and took the knife away from Tiny. The hunter stood, pulling Tiny to his feet as he drew the knife up above Tiny’s skull.

The door swung open hitting the hunter’s shoulder and elbow knocking them both a few steps to the side. The hunter’s partner charged in backward aiming his shotgun out the door with an arrow in his left bicep. He bled from a bullet wound in the other shoulder.

The hunter backed out of his partner’s way and Tiny bolted out of the reach of the knife. The hunter reached around and grabbed the gun out of his partner’s hands. He whipped around on Kidd and Satch. The hunter sidestepped and when Kidd fired he hit the partner once in the side, once in the neck, and once in the head. The bigger man went down.

Tiny dropped to the floor to avoid being hit.

The hunter pulled the trigger and the gun clicked empty. “Shit.”

Kidd fired again, but missed. The hunter made a break for the door. One of his boots came down on a pair of handcuffs and slipped out from under him almost causing him to do a split. Kidd shot him in the thigh blasting open the muscle in a meaty mess.

The hunter grabbed his leg and drew back Tiny’s knife to throw it. Tiny grabbed the hunter’s wrist with both hands stopping the man’s motion with his hand cocked behind his back. The hunter turned his head and glared at Tiny with teeth gritted. Tiny couldn’t tell if it was pain or anger.

Kidd fired twice more hitting the man in the chest both times. Even in the darkness, Tiny thought he could see the color drain from the man’s face even though he could barely hear the gunshots anymore.

Tiny pulled his knife from the hunter’s grasp. “Enjoy your reward, Mary.”

Tiny stabbed the bounty hunter in the throat. Blood gushed from the wound down the front of his shirt. The man clawed at his own open throat and Tiny pulled the blade free letting the hunter fold to the bloody floor.

Author Jay Wilburn
Author Jay Wilburn

Jay Wilburn lives with his wife and two sons in Conway, South Carolina near Myrtle Beach on the Atlantic coast of the southern United States. He has a Masters Degree in education and he taught public school for sixteen years before becoming a full time writer. He is the author of many short stories including work in Best Horror of the Year volume 5, Zombies More Recent Dead, Shadows Over Main Street, and Middletown Apocalypse. He is the author of the Dead Song Legend Dodecology and the music of the five song soundtrack recorded as if by the characters within the world of the novel The Sound May Suffer. He also wrote the novels The Great Interruption, Time Eaters, and co-authored The Enemy Held Near with Armand Rosamilia. Jay Wilburn is a regular columnist with Dark Moon Digest. Follow his many dark thoughts on Twitter as @AmongTheZombies, his Facebook author page, and at JayWilburn.com

©Jay Wilburn, 2016. All rights reserved.

Author Jay Wilburn – The Dead Song Legend Dodecology (Book 2)

The Dead Song Legend Dodecology (Book 2) by Jay Wilburn

Excerpt from The Dead Song Legend Dodecology Book 2: February from Vicksburg to Cherokee by Jay Wilburn:

They scrambled out from under the remains of the shack and ran through the gap created by the dead chasing them over the top where they used to be. Satch was carrying his sister trying to hold her throat, but he still nearly outran Tiny. Blood dripped into the pine straw behind them and Tiny heard the dead following.

“How far, Satch?”

“Down by the river. Keep going.”

As they crossed the road, a zombie with green smeared in its beard whirled on them. Satch ducked away and Tiny stabbed into its head. Brackish water gurgled out of the wound and the grimy creature collapsed to the road.

Another dove teeth first at Satch’s leg and he had no free hand. Tiny stabbed into the forehead and stopped the undead attack short. He ran after and tried to get ahead to provide Satch cover, but Satch was not slowing down.

They reached the bank and Tiny saw the boat a few feet farther on. Satch jumped in. “Can you drive it?”

“I don’t know how.”

“Hold her wound.”

Tiny dropped the knives in the boat and covered her throat. Satch stepped out and leaned to push the boat off. A creature blasted through the pine branches with arms out.

“Satch.”

He turned with his hands still on the boat and thrust kicked heel first into the zombie’s jaw. The bottom teeth jammed back into its face. The creature folded backward and stumbled onto its back on the bank. It rolled over and scrambled to its feet again. More emerged from the trees and staggered toward the boat on both sides.

Satch splashed out into the water and then jumped in the boat. The dead splashed into the river after them. They’re going to flip the boat, Tiny thought. Satch engaged the motor and the boat lurched backward.

The zombie with the collapsed jaw dove where the boat had been and vanished below the water. The river water splashed up into the air like piranha are tearing apart a cow below the surface. Tiny turned away from them and watched Peck bleed below his hand.

Satch lowered the motor and let the current turn the boat. Tiny saw the dam stretch above them. One of the dead stumbled over the railing and dropped into the water. Satch blasted the motor and the boat tilted as it raced across the Tennessee toward the southern bank.

Peck coughed and lurched under Tiny’s hand. He was actually surprised she was still alive. He felt air pass wet through the wound under his hand and she stilled. Her eyes slid open and stared glazed up into the sky. Tiny saw the reflections of the clouds rolling across the wet curves of Peck’s eyes as Satch pressed the engine.

“Satch.” Tiny whispered, but the words were lost in the roar of the engine against the Tennessee River.

Peck heaved for air and fought against Tiny’s grip.

Satch called. “Hang on, Peck. We’re almost there.”

“Satch.”

Her teeth snapped and Tiny pulled his hand away. Peck sat up and clawed at her brother. Satch just stared as she reached for him. Tiny grabbed her braid and yanked her backward at the last moment rocking the boat.

Satch cut the engine. “Stop. You’re hurting her.”

Peck tried to roll over to bite Tiny. He pulled her braid again so that she fell back on his chest in the boat. Her skin had faded from the even brown that matched her brother’s to a sickly, gray hue. She snapped her teeth together loud enough to echo over the water. Her voice came as a hiss and gurgle from the deep cut in her throat. She thrashed bobbing the boat from side to side.

Tiny slid his hand through the wet gore under her chin and then locked her head tight in the crook of his elbow to pin her jaw closed. She hummed and struggled.

“I said, don’t hurt her, Tiny.”

Tiny came up with one of the knives and held the poit next to the opening of her ear. As he prepared to drive the blade into her skull he focused on Satch holding his own, dark knife positioned above Tiny’s head aimed at him instead of his sister.

“Satch, we have to …”

“Don’t do it, Tiny. Don’t.”

They turned dead in the water as Tiny clutched Peck’s cold throat and Satch stood above with the clouds drifting beyond him.

 

 

Author Jay Wilburn
Author Jay Wilburn

Jay Wilburn lives with his wife and two sons in Conway, South Carolina near Myrtle Beach on the Atlantic coast of the southern United States. He has a Masters Degree in education and he taught public school for sixteen years before becoming a full time writer. He is the author of many short stories including work in Best Horror of the Year volume 5, Zombies More Recent Dead, Shadows Over Main Street, and Middletown Apocalypse. He is the author of the Dead Song Legend Dodecology and the music of the five song soundtrack recorded as if by the characters within the world of the novel The Sound May Suffer. He also wrote the novels The Great Interruption, Time Eaters, and co-authored The Enemy Held Near with Armand Rosamilia. Jay Wilburn is a regular columnist with Dark Moon Digest. Follow his many dark thoughts on Twitter as @AmongTheZombies, his Facebook author page, and at JayWilburn.com

©Jay Wilburn, 2016. All rights reserved.

Author Jay Wilburn – The Dead Song Legend Dodecology

The Dead Song Legen Dodecology by Jay Wilburn

Excerpt from The Dead Song Legend Dodecology Book 1: January from Milwaukee to Muscle Shoals by Jay Wilburn:

Donna Cash tucked her dick away from the front of her sequined dress. She adjusted the wig she had borrowed from the box of supplies left unclaimed by previous drag queens, mostly eaten by zombies in the streets of Milwaukee.

She took the stage and stumbled on her left platform shoe which threatened to fold under and snap her ankle. Donna stood tall and sexy, but Timothy Janvier was short and had a growing belly. He wore a girdle and high platforms to make the transformation.

Donna straightened her back and slid her gloved hands down past the full curve of her hips. The fingertips showed through cuts in the satin gloves to reveal the shine of bright red nails against the sequins covering her body. She mixed wine color and slut red polish when she could find them in the ruins of beauty shops to get her signature hue that looked crackled and sexy under crappy propane lights. Beauty shops did not get hit like grocers, liquor stores, and gun shops. She slept in them some nights trying new make-ups until she felt drowsy.

The crowd did not turn her way right away, but a few went silent. She would take that as a recovery for now. The move was well practiced and required a little finesse to keep the satin from snagging on the sequins and ruining the sexy.

As she stood in front of the greenish metal of the microphone, Donna Cash decided to call an audible. The sultry tune of “True Folsom Blues” gave a good “come and bend me over” sort of jazz/blues vibe, but this crowd was already teetering. She leaned out toward the Asian fellow at the piano leading the band of guitars, drums, and horns. It wasn’t a bad ensemble for a post apocalyptic drag bar house band. She imagined it probably helped that nothing else was open for miles, so the surviving talent had pooled.

“Like Rome in the Renaissance,” Donna muttered.

“Florence,” the Asian fellow said. “We’re like Florence in the Renaissance.”

“Play something,” someone shouted. The titters of laughter and conversation followed.

Through it, someone else said, “Show us your pussy.”

The band leader tilted his head at Donna, but she shook her head at him.

Donna arched her back and gave her best swell of ass. Now she got some whistles and husky laughter. It was the kind of laughs straight dudes used to cover the tingles down under from a queen’s ass.

She whispered the chord progressions to the band leader. He nodded, but she still wasn’t certain. “True Folsom” was a safe opener because it was tough to fuck up. “Like a Ring of Fire” was a much harder mash-up, but if she wanted to play it safe, she could have stayed in Detroit.

Safe won’t earn you both toothpaste and dinner, bitches.

Donna stood back up straight and batted her eyes and pouted her lips in the flickering light from the lanterns. As she pulled a few more whistles, she tossed her head back and puffed out her chest which was mostly line illusion through make-up. A whiff of raw sewage wafted up from the grate just below the stage and she fought the urge to heave.

Tough to maintain a crowd of hard-ons over the smell of shit, but here goes everything.

“What the fuck were you looking at?” Donna Cash demanded. “You weren’t nearly so stiff when I went down. Did you have a heart attack and turn zombie on me, pumpkins?”

The crowd gave the first real cheer of the night. The crowd knew that you had to be bitten to turn into a zombie, but the joke still played. A mug flew past her head and shattered against the back wall. A pair of dirty, tightie-whities slingshot by her on the other side landing on top of the piano with the brown streak up. The fact that both missed her was a sign of respect in Donna’s book.

The band leader poked at a key and the other musicians came close to matching. He swiped the stained drawers aside with one elbow.

He muttered. “I kind of wish I was back in Hong Kong at moments like this.”

“Someone has been saving those up for a while,” she said to more laughs. “Well, I’m Donna Cash and I’m here now, mother fuckers.” She swung her palm around and slapped her own right ass cheek with a loud smack. “Hit it hard, boys.”

The music blasted out from the band almost on tempo.

“I made it through the wilderness … like a burning flame …”

After a few lines and a few moves, the crowd broke down the middle between cheers and dropped jawed awe – the perfect split. As the chain link at the far end of the room near the door rattled, Donna thought she was building to a climax. When the tables nearest the door barked on the floor and chairs overturned with sharp crashes, she suspected something else might be going down. The shouts and growls confirmed it.

One fellow picked up his chair and slammed the fencing. He caught one of the posts and broke the legs loose. Another man charged and jammed a Bowie knife through the links three times. He missed twice snapping the wire with a screech from the knife’s edge. The third stab caught one of the shadowed figure’s shoulders. A spray of black mist exploded out from a boil as the blade exited the rotten body. The man with the knife bent over and gagged, wiping the smear of gore around his eyes and nostrils.

Donna Cash added “Oh, shit” to the end of the chorus.

The men in the room lifted guns and aimed across the club. A shotgun blew out pellets from too far away ringing off the chain link and the closest tables. The band faltered, although to his credit, the drummer kept the downbeat. Another impotent, ear-ringing shotgun blast and one man still sitting and staring at Donna grabbed his face with both hands and fell backward onto the floor screaming. His friends on both sides of him dove for the floor.

Donna pulled the greasy green microphone free of the stand and rolled her hand in a circle. “Keep playing, boys. I think we can still salvage this. I’ve had worse nights.”

The band obliged.

More shots rang out until the sparks flew off the lock. The gate swung open and the dripping bodies staggered through the gap into the club. The ones in the back of the horde settled for falling upon the lax security trapped between the cage and the front doors.

Donna stepped off the stage with a whistle of feedback and kept singing. “That’s until I found you as the flames kept getting higher …” During the bridge, she broke off to call over the cheap speakers. “Put your barrels away, Pumpkins, I’ll handle these stiffs.”

The men looked between Donna sauntering across from the stage and the corpses shambling through from the cage. They kept their guns up and ready, but backed up watching her close the distance on the dead.

Donna continued the song as she slapped the ass of the black fellow that wore the shiny, silver helmet. Tight as a fucking drum. Who the hell still does squats during all this? Damn. He let out a little yelp and a few guys laughed despite the peril.

“Firm,” she broke to say before resuming the lyrics. “Like a ring of fire … torched for the very first time …”

Donna closed her hand over his bat just above his grip on the handle. She tugged at it rhythmically until he let go. She rested it on her shoulder and turned back to wink at the crowd just as the colorless fingers reached for her back.

“Look out, baby.”

Donna heard and she thought it might have been the same asshole that yelled to see her pussy. She really was winning the crowd.

With a backward jab, she felt the fat head of the bat connect with the orb of an eye socket. A little distance was gained, but rough fingers crackled as they clawed at her sequined back. The gun barrels rose so the darkness in each one loomed at her. She remembered the bullet holes backstage and figured she was out of time and out of luck with drunk aim.

Donna crossed her ankles and gave an expert spin. Light dazzled off her dress and the dead weight of her arm whirled the sweet spot of the bat into the temple of the scratchy corpse behind her. Even as his skull caved nearly into two pieces, she saw that the others had honed in on her as well.

Donna rolled the bat behind her and up over her shoulder as she tried to make her retreat appear to be a shuffle step. The bat whistled as it plowed down onto the top of a saggy jowled zombie. His head turned into a canoe and he corkscrewed as he collapsed onto the floor.

“Oh, the twist. How retro.”

Over the laughter, a gruff voice through the backstage walls said, “On your left, watch it.”

Donna whirled the bat overhead, but the wispy mustached partner of the black fellow stepped into view before the strike and drove a dark blade into the zombie’s ear. A fan of armpit hair spread out from under his extended arm. The creature staggered before falling limp off the end of the blade. Not to waste the swing, Donna whirled the bat an additional loop over the man’s long blond hair before ripping through the face of the cadaver she had been aiming for the first time. Its eyeball popped loose and landed in someone’s World’s Greatest Boss mug with the gray end of the optic nerve hanging up out of the hooch.

“Don’t drink that, pumpkin,” Donna warned.

Her strike glanced off too much to bust the one-eyed zombie’s skull, but she did turn its head completely around the wrong way. The body swiped blindly at the air as it stumbled backward over a chair into the floor.

The black fellow dodged past Donna with his head down and connected his silver helmet to the forehead of the next beast reaching for them. Its brains exploded out the back of its head leaving a brown smear on the silver helmet. The man raised his fists and jammed two broken chair legs through the heads of two more zombies bringing them down.

“I need my bat back, bitch.” The black dude adjusted his stained helmet up higher above his brow before he turned to face her.

A skinny girl with sheered bone exposed where her knees should have been drug herself between the feet of the slobbering, leaking men shuffling through the gate into the club.

Donna flipped the bat in the air and caught it on one clean spot holding the handle back out to its owner with the tight ass. She wrapped the cord to her mic around the neck of the dead girl on the floor as she went for Donna’s calf with broken teeth. Donna pulled tight drawing feedback and static from the speakers and lifting the girl up high enough that her fingers barely grazed the floor.

“Jesus, will someone close the damn door?” Donna lifted her chin to speak into the raised mic. “Everyone is getting in without a cover now.”

 

Author Jay Wilbun
Author Jay Wilburn

Jay Wilburn lives with his wife and two sons in Conway, South Carolina near Myrtle Beach on the Atlantic coast of the southern United States. He has a Masters Degree in education and he taught public school for sixteen years before becoming a full time writer. He is the author of many short stories including work in Best Horror of the Year volume 5, Zombies More Recent Dead, Shadows Over Main Street, and Middletown Apocalypse. He is the author of the Dead Song Legend Dodecology and the music of the five song soundtrack recorded as if by the characters within the world of the novel The Sound May Suffer. He also wrote the novels The Great Interruption, Time Eaters, and co-authored The Enemy Held Near with Armand Rosamilia. Jay Wilburn is a regular columnist with Dark Moon Digest. Follow his many dark thoughts on Twitter as @AmongTheZombies, his Facebook author page, and at JayWilburn.com

©Jay Wilburn, 2016. All rights reserved.

Official Release Day – Nurse Blood by Rebecca Besser

It’s officially release day of Nurse Blood!

Nurse Blood by Rebecca Besser

Sonya Garret roams the bar scene hoping to steal the heart of an unsuspecting victim—literally…

Sonya, better known as Nurse Blood, is part of a team of lethal organ harvesters who seek out the weak to seduce, kill, and part out for profit on the black market. When Sonya meets Daniel McCoy, a young man recovering from a broken engagement, he’s just another kill to line her pockets with quick cash.

Agent David McCoy vows to find out how and why his twin brother Daniel disappeared…

Daniel’s body hasn’t been found, and the leads are slim to none, but it won’t stop David from dedicating his life to solving his brother’s case. When the evidence finally uncovers the shocking truth that Daniel’s disappearance is linked to organ harvesters, David knows his brother is most likely dead. But he’s determined to stop the villains’ killing spree before they strike again.

One last harvest is all Sonya and her team need to put their murderous past behind them…

A family with the rarest blood type in the world is the only thing standing between Sonya and retirement. David McCoy and the FBI are hot on their trail, though, and multiple targets make this the most complicated harvest yet. Will David unravel Sonya’s wicked plans in time to avenge his brother and save an innocent family? Or will Sonya cash in her final kill and escape for good?

Murder for profit stops for no man when you’re Nurse Blood.

An excerpt from Nurse Blood:

Prologue

     The air inside the nightclub was hazy from smoke machines. Flashes of colored light cut through the swirls in beat with the pulsing music that shook the walls and the floor. The atmosphere was alive with movement―a mass of hot, swaying bodies bent on enjoying the moment. A monster waited in the depths of the darkness to bat her pretty eyes at someone and make them her prey.
     The door of the establishment swung open to give way to three eager young men looking to have a good time and celebrate. The trio was instantly surrounded by dancing women. They made their way through the press of bodies to reach the bar.
     Daniel forced himself not to scan the crowd for his ex-fiancée, April. But she was the least of his worries, as the real danger was a face he wouldn’t recognize.
     Roy got their drinks while Hank and Daniel stood at a balcony that overlooked an even larger dance floor below. The smoke was thicker down there, and there were more lights. The dancers looked like they were paying sensual homage to their deity. The air was tainted with the aroma of perfume and alcohol; it burned the men’s nostrils and fueled their excitement for the revelry to come.
     Daniel took a moment to text his twin brother, David, to let him know where they would be celebrating their shared birthday. He received a text back from David saying he was still an hour away.
     Roy joined them with three shots and three cold bottles of beer, passing one of each to his friends. They downed the shots in one swallow before turning their attention to their beers.
     “Dave will be here in an hour or so,” Daniel announced after downing his shot.
     “Awesome—we’re gonna have a great time!” Hank yelled over the music.
     As Roy took a drink of his beer, a petite, slim blonde grabbed his waist from behind. He jumped in surprise and turned, recognizing the young woman.
     She tucked a finger into the front of his jeans, smiled at him, and tugged him away from his friends toward a table with another girl.
     Roy looked back over his shoulder at his friends and shrugged.
     “That’s Lynn,” Hank yelled to Daniel. “They’ve been seeing each other for a while. And that’s her cousin Trisha—you don’t want to go there.”
     Daniel nodded and looked around. The warming effect of the shot was spreading through his body, relaxing him. He felt less paranoid about running into April.
     While he was looking over the crowd, a woman caught his eye. She was a tall, slim brunette, and she was beautiful. She was standing alone at the end of the bar. He watched her for a few moments, and when she looked around, their eyes met.
     He smiled and looked away.
     Hank noticed Daniel’s mild interest. He knew what his friend had been through recently and why he was gun-shy with women.
     “Go for it!” he yelled, nudging Daniel. “Have some fun!”
     Daniel looked at his friend, took another swallow of beer, glanced at the woman—noticing she was still alone—and shrugged.
     Hank laughed and gave Daniel a shove toward the bar, causing him to slam into two people who happened to be walking past. When he turned to them to apologize, he came face to face
with the very woman he was hoping not to run into: April. The man she was with was leaning on her with all his weight while she struggled to hold him up.
     Daniel’s heart clenched in his chest and his lungs seized up for a moment. He felt his hand tighten around the neck of his beer bottle. He wanted to slam it over the other man’s head, but he managed to restrain himself. He didn’t want her to know how much the sight of her with another man hurt him, so he put on a brave front.
     “Excuse the fuck out of me,” he said with a sadistic smile, raised the bottle in the air like he was toasting them, and then took a big swig of the brew. He was pleased with the shocked expression that spread across April’s face at his harsh greeting.
     They didn’t say anything to Daniel, but focused back on each other and moved around him and deeper into the establishment.
     Daniel glanced over to Hank, who was grinning from ear to ear.
     He smiled at his friend, nodded, and forced himself to put one foot in front of the other until he made it over to the woman at the bar. While he walked he pretended not to notice that April had glanced back at him several times as she guided her drunken man to a table where he could sit down. He was determined to show April she wasn’t the only woman in the world. He was going to prove to himself and her that he was over the breakup.
     “Hi, I’m Daniel!” he yelled when he reached the woman, leaning toward her a little so she could hear him as a new song started to play.
     “Grace!” she yelled back.
     They smiled at each other.
     The couple chatted for a while about nothing important, since it was too loud to carry on a serious conversation, and ordered drink after drink as they stood at the bar. Daniel’s emotional tension eased little by little with every drink. He became more and more relaxed, and friendlier and friendlier with Grace. Before he knew what was happening, they were pressed up against each other while they conversed so they could hear each other better.
     “Let’s get out of here,” Grace said. She kissed him and reached down between them to rub his crotch.
     Normally Daniel would be shocked and uneasy by such a gesture so soon after meeting a woman, but he’d had enough drinks not to care about how respectable she was or wasn’t being.
     He nodded in agreement and looked around for his friends, frowning.
     “I have to tell my friends I’m leaving,” he said, taking a step away from Grace.
     “Oh, don’t worry about it,” Grace said, rubbing his crotch again. “They’ll figure it out. Besides, you can call them later and they can pick you up from my place.”
     That sounded reasonable so he followed her out to the parking lot. The night was clear and felt cool after the heat from the population of patrons inside the nightclub.
     They stumbled together through the parking lot and paused to make out, pressed against the side of her car for a couple minutes before they finally separated their bodies to get in.
     Daniel had the passenger’s side door open and was about to climb inside when his cell phone beeped, notifying him of a text. He stopped, stood up straight beside the car, and pulled his wallet out of his back pocket by mistake. He reached into his other back pocket and extracted his cell phone. He frowned and squinted to focus on the tiny, bright screen that said David was only a block away.
     “What are you doing?” Grace asked.
     “I can’t go with you,” he said with a sigh. “Sorry. I—”
     He felt a sharp pain in the side of his neck. He reached up to figure out what had hurt him and spun around at the same time, dropping his cell phone and wallet to the asphalt parking lot.
     Grace was standing behind him holding an empty syringe.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “but you have to come with me.”
     He tried to shove her away, but his limbs wouldn’t do what he wanted them to. His legs gave out from beneath him as the world blurred into a black blob of nothing.
***
     Grace shoved Daniel’s tall frame into the passenger seat when he started to fall, smacking his head on the door frame. She quickly picked his feet up from the ground and spun him so she could get him all the way into the car.
     She heard laughing as a couple made their way through the parking lot a few rows over, so she didn’t take the time to pick up what Daniel had dropped.
     Grace shut the passenger door and ran around to the driver’s side of her car. She scanned the parking lot as she pulled out, not seeing anyone close-by. She’d been careful, watching for people as they’d headed outside, but the distant couple had snuck up on them. Luckily they hadn’t come close enough to see what she was up to. She tensed slightly when she had to pass another vehicle as she pulled from the lot out onto the street, but the man was looking in the opposite direction and didn’t even glance their way.
     Once she was out of the parking lot and a couple blocks away, she pulled out her cell phone and called Roger.
     “Hey,” she said into the phone. “I have fresh meat…”
Nurse Blood is available at:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

©Rebecca Besser and Limitless Publishing, 2016. All rights reserved.

 

Author Courtney Rene – The Full Moon Rises

The Full Moon Rises by Courtney Rene

Excerpt from The Full Moon Rises by Courtney Rene:

Fear trickled down my spine. How close were they? I needed to run. I needed to get inside. I turned my head to see how far to the house it really was. It was a long way. Could I run it fast enough? Could I out pace the danger?

I decided to take the chance. I jumped to my feet and in the same breath, bolted for the house and the back door I had come out. I ran like I was being chased and for all I knew I was. I ran so hard my chest hurt. I pumped my arms as I ran. I ran so fast I hardly felt the cool grass on my bare feet. I hurled up the stairs and in the same motion threw open the door and fell inside. I slammed the big door closed and bolted it.

I dropped flat on my back on the floor and gasped for breath. My heart beating like it was trying to get out of my chest. I settled a hand on my chest and tried to slow my breathing and my heart.

I was almost back to normal when the overhead light winked on and blinded me.

“What the hell is going on? Abigail? What are you doing down here?”

My father, of course, towered over me. It had to be him, of all people. My eyes slowly adjusted to the light and I squinted up at him. I didn’t get a chance to answer as his eyes were focused on my feet. My mud and grass covered feet. Oh crap, I was in trouble. My slowing heart picked up speed again.

“You were not just outside, right?” he said. It was not a question. It was a statement said with deadly calm. He already knew the answer. He just needed to say it out loud.

Since I was happy to have made it back inside alive, I wasn’t all that afraid. Well maybe a little, because who wouldn’t be? He was a big man, with a bit of an animal temper. I answered him, “Yes.”

He bent over me, grabbed my shoulders and hauled me up to my feet in a single motion. He didn’t let go of me though, oh no, instead he pulled me up off the floor where my feet were no longer touching and up to his face, where he asked with that same calm, that was completely contradictory to his actions at the time, “Why were you out side, Abigail?”

I swear I about peed myself. I half wanted to run back outside. At least the danger out there would have probably killed me quickly. “I…I wanted to run in the forest. I couldn’t sleep. I thought the run would wear me out.”

It was the truth, the whole truth and yet, I doubted he believed me. There was something in his eyes that told me he didn’t.

With extreme gentleness he set me back down on my feet. He turned away from me and said, “Go to bed. I don’t want to look at your right now.”

“I’m not lying to you,” I said.

“We will discuss it in the morning,” was his only reply.

“Fine, don’t believe me,” I said. I held my head up and proudly left the room. Yes, maybe going out in the middle of the night hadn’t been all that smart, but it wasn’t for any bad reason. I wasn’t sneaking to meet anyone.

I snorted at that thought. Heck, if I wanted a guy right then, all I had to do was crook my little finger in their direction and I figured they would come running to me. I didn’t have to do any running, not with the way I smelled. That thought made me crinkle my nose. Smell, such a simple thing, but it grossed me out. I wanted to smell good in a conventional way, not a hormonal way.

I didn’t really want a guy anyway. Did I? Derek’s face flashed in my mind. No, no. I didn’t want him. He was a controlling ass and heck he didn’t even believe in love. I didn’t want him. Even telling myself that, I knew I was lying. Maybe what I should remind myself was that I didn’t want to want him.

I flopped back into my bed, dirty feet and all. I didn’t care. I’d get the sheets changed in the morning. Part of the reason I didn’t want Derek was that my parents wanted me too. It was a stupid reason, but that was a big one. I was the keeper of my own destiny. Plus he doesn’t believe in love. No, he was not suitable. Just no.

Stupid Derek and his stupid gorgeous face were my last thoughts before I finally allowed sleep to claim me.

Author Courtney Rene
Author Courtney Rene

Courtney Rene lives in the State of Ohio with her husband and two children.  She is a graduate and member of the Institute of Children’s Literature.  Her writings include magazine articles, short fiction stories, several anthologies, as well as her young adult novels, A Howl in the Night, and new release, The Full Moon Rises, as well as the Shadow Dancer series (Shadow Dancer, Shadow Warrior, Shadow’s End, and a break away novel, Shadow Fire), published through Rogue Phoenix Press.  For a complete listing, visit www.ctnyrene.blogspot com or feel free to contact her at ctnyrene@aol.com.

©Courtney Rene, 2016. All rights reserved.

Author Courtney Rene – A Howl In The Night

A Howl In The Night by Courtney Rene

Excerpt from A Howl In The Night by Courtney Rene:

Then a new thought crashed into my brain.  “Wait a sec.  If my father is a werewolf . . .,”

“Not a werewolf, just a wolf,” my mom said interrupting me.

“Okay fine,” I said.  If her story was true though, I had to wonder, what did that make me?  It was my turn to pop up off the bed and pace around.  What about me?  Was I going to grow hair and fangs and run around trying to bite people?  “Oh, God.”

It felt as if my life was over.  How was I supposed to finish school if I turned into a wolf every time the moon was full?

Would it hurt to change?  It always looked like it did in the movies.  I had seen that werewolf movie where the guy runs around London eating people.  The change was always accompanied with screaming and pain.  Was I going to hunt down my friends and family and eat them?

I didn’t know if that was really how it worked or not, but before I could work myself up into a real freak fest, my mom said, “I have watched you all your life Abby, and I have never seen anything wolf-like about of you.  I promise.  That worry has always been in the back of my mind, but nothing has ever come of it.  You’re fine.  Come on, you don’t even like meat.”

I had to admit, thankfully, that she did have a point there.

She gave me a sideways look then said, “How do you think I felt?  There were times that I was worried that I was going to give birth to a puppy.  How would I have explained that to my doctors?”  My mom said this with a raise of her eyebrows and a grin.

This threw me for a moment.  She was actually teasing me?  At a time like this, she was cracking jokes?  “That’s not funny,” I said.

“Oh, come on.  Yes it is.”

Maybe it was a little funny, but there was no way in the world I was going to admit it then.

“Whatever,” I said with a shake of my head.  “So, now what?”  I was still holding onto the hope that she had just hit her head that night and thought she saw what she saw.

“I don’t know, honey.  I just thought with your dad finally getting in contact with us well, that you should be prepared.  That it was time.  You know?”

No, I didn’t know.  In that moment, I felt a little lost.  That day was supposed to be a great day.  It was my sixteenth birthday.  My world was supposed to have been great.  Instead, I may have lost my best friend and found out that I not only had a father, but one who may or may not be a wolf.  It was not a fabulous day after all.  In fact, I decided that birthdays kinda sucked.  “No.  He may be my father, but he’s not my dad.”

“Abby.”

I shook my head at her and left to go to my own room.  I needed to think, and I couldn’t do that in her room with her looking at me with her sad eyes.

Mine was just your average teen room.  It had a bed, dresser, desk, and full mirror.  There were clothes thrown about, but that was to be expected.  I was a teenager, after all.

I dropped down on my bed with a huff.  I had so much swirling around in my head that I was getting a headache.  I felt it coming behind my eyes.  It figured.  It was just one more thing to go wrong that day.

I looked longingly out my window at Brian’s little yellow house and wished that I could go over and talk to him.  I could see that he was home.  The light from his room was spilling out into the night.  Maybe he would laugh at me and tell me I needed to go have my mom checked out.  I would have agreed.  Maybe he would just help me do some research and we could figure it out for ourselves.  Instead, I felt so alone and lost and overwhelmed.

My mom was not the loony type.  She always had her feet firmly on the ground.  She never lied to me and always tried to tell me the truth.  I didn’t know if I should believe her now or not.  I know I didn’t want to believe her.  Who would?

I looked down at my hands.  They looked like just normal hands.  No claws, or hair.  They were just small, thin, girly hands.

Author Courtney Rene
Author Courtney Rene

Courtney Rene lives in the State of Ohio with her husband and two children.  She is a graduate and member of the Institute of Children’s Literature.  Her writings include magazine articles, short fiction stories, several anthologies, as well as her young adult novels, A Howl in the Night, and new release, The Full Moon Rises, as well as the Shadow Dancer series (Shadow Dancer, Shadow Warrior, Shadow’s End, and a break away novel, Shadow Fire), published through Rogue Phoenix Press.  For a complete listing, visit www.ctnyrene.blogspot com or feel free to contact her at ctnyrene@aol.com.

©Courtney Rene, 2016. All rights reserved.