Tag Archives: zombies

The Beast Bits of Halloween

See what I did there? The Beast Bits…
Posting a day early to celebrate the Spookiest Time of Year – Halloween.
Trigger Warning – There is (not real) Blood in this Post…

The Beast Bits of Halloween - The Last Krystallos

I love Magic and the Moon, and Pumpkins, and Blood and Gore (when it’s not real), and lacy Spider Webs, Bats and Potions, and Haunted Houses, and CatsI always love cats! And they all come together for October 31stHalloween.

So what is Halloween for you?

Bats flying free, Trick or Treat, or Hot Chocolate in a cosy coffee shop decorated with pumpkins. Do Dragons sparkle across your Autumn sky? Gargoyles and Demons slink about amid the curl of Death as flowers and leaves dry while the Fae hold court. Pumpkins, carved and soup, Potions and Poisons, beware and be careful!

Halloween - Trick-or-Treat, Demons, Pumpkins, Potions, Poisons - The Beast Bits of Halloween - The Last Krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

We’ve never shied away from blood and gore… Bekah’s make-up artist years have served us well with Guts and Zombies, and Slit Throats, Bullet Holes, and Pencil Protrusions. As a family we embraced our Halloween Evil. Do you fear Clowns, Darth Maul, or Vampires, or does the Grim Reaper haunt your soul?

Halloween - Zombies, Evil Clown, Darth Maul, The Grim Reaper - The Beast Bits of Halloween - The Last Krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook © Bekah Shambrook © Cait Shambrook  © Dan Shambrook 

We’ve also embraced the softer side of Halloween, I mean, who doesn’t love a Black Cat? We’ve rescued Bats, listened to Owls and kissed Toads! We love the Magic of Harry Potter, and any chance to Cosplay.

Halloween - Black Cats, Owl, Toad, Bats, Demon, Harry Potter - The Beast Bits of Halloween - The Last Krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook © Bekah Shambrook

And then there’s the Creepy side of Blood, and Skeletons, and Black Magic. Can you deal with Creepy Crawlies, and their fragile Webs? Full Moon and Darkness fill the Autumn night and take us into chilly Winter. Toadstools, Candles, and Cauldrons, and have you ever stayed in a Spooky Haunted House?

Halloween - Blood, Skeletons, Magic, Moon, Trees, Haunted House, Cauldrons - The Beast Bits of Halloween - The Last Krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

What makes Halloween for you?

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Author Feature – J. Whitworth Hazzard

Zombies – if you like stories about survival,
about beating the odds against the flesh-eating hordes,
then ‘Dead Sea Games’ is the book for you!
J. Whitworth Hazzard’s Deathwish will keep you biting your nails
as you urge him to outlive the forces against him…

dead sea games, j whitworth hazzard, losing is not an option, zombie book,James Hazzard resides in Illinois with his family and is another author I’ve known for a few years. His writing has enthralled me, and I seriously did bite my nails whilst reading ‘Dead Sea Games’! He has a PhD in molecular biophysics that he now uses to figure out how to scientifically justify the existence of mythical creatures. My kind of guy, I mean dragons – they exist, of course they do! It’s my pleasure to interview him in my latest Author Feature.

James Hazzard, J Whitworth Hazzard, Dead Sea Games,

J. Whitworth Hazzard

J. Whitworth Hazzard

I love the totally original Dead Sea of the title, you’ll have to buy the book to know why, but, with a fair amount of zombie television, movies and books already out there, what made you want to compete and write within this genre of horror?

The honest answer to this question is that I didn’t set out to write in this crowded space. I love the genre, but it’s a small niche in the overall horror space, and I was more interested in the action/adventure aspect of post-apocalyptic survival. Dead Sea Games started out as a flash fiction piece, and after I won the contest it was entered in, I couldn’t leave it alone. I kept coming back to the story and decided I had to know what happened to Jeremy. Thus the novel was born.

Dead Sea Games - J Whitworth Hazzard

Dead Sea Games – J Whitworth Hazzard

You appear to have quite a scientific/mathematical background, from where did you draw your inspiration?

So many years of biophysics, biochemistry, and biomechanics gives you a lot of time on your hands to think about mythical creatures. My very first attempt at a novel used a similar scientific approach to justify how a dragon could survive into the modern world.  After I read World War Z, I came up with pages and pages of theories on how a “zombie” could evolve and survive realistically. There is a huge (and unsolvable) energy transport problem that I solved using…well, now I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you. You’ll find out how I solved the problem in the sequel Dead Sea Escape in 2016.

Your characters are diverse, strong, vulnerable and fully-rounded, and I willed them on right from the start. How much of yourself did you place in Deathwish, or was he drawn completely from your imagination?

Deathwish is an extremely wilful and difficult child that’s been forced to grow up extremely fast. He’s modelled after my own kids (sorry!) with a little more sass and bravado thrown into the mix. There’s a lot of me in Jeremy’s view on life and his situation, except for that part where he yells at his mother…which I would never, never do.

They're out to get you! Dead Sea Games

They’re out to get you! Dead Sea Games

I can really see Dead Sea Games on television or on the big screen; if it made it do you have any preferences for actors or actresses and what sort of soundtrack would you go for?

It’s funny you mention the sound track, because from the very beginning I put together a “DSG Playlist” and would fire it up every time I sat down to write. Some of the lyrics and songs even made it into the book in various forms.

If Jeremy ever makes it to the big screen, I’d like an unknown to get the role. I haven’t seen a teen actor lately that have the kind of physicality and screen presence Deathwish needs, and they grow up so fast anyone I picked today would be in their thirties by the time it was made. All the rest of the cast I have pretty clearly in my head as mainstream actors. All I want in life is to have Jason Statham cast as the Khan. Come on, Jason!

We often talk of the need to create or write because of an innate desire, what does writing do for you?

Writing, for me, is one of those compulsions that builds up over time, and if I don’t write something it starts to drive me nuts. I love writing but it’s difficult to keep up a steady pace, because once I finish a project I can feel empty for weeks. I’m slowly closing in on that 1,000,000 word mark, but I still feel like a novice. For me, that feeling like I have so much more to learn is what keeps me coming back to the process and reaching out to other writers.

Dead Sea Games - J Whitworth Hazzard

So, see if you can survive the Dead Sea Games… I’m not a horror reader in general, but I love The Walking Dead, and this book had me gripped! This is the best book I’ve read in the zombie genre, and with a few other unread zombie books now residing within my kindle, this is the standard they need to reach. Now I’m so excited for Dead Sea Escape!

Dead Sea Games is available on Amazon US and UK and your local Amazon store in both eBook and paperback. Find out more on his Amazon Author Page.

Like myself, James Hazzard works with Blue Harvest Creative, our Publishing Partner.

You can find him on Facebook TwitterGoodreads and Google+. Or feel free to stop by his blog for flash fiction and book reviews at Zombie Mechanics.

Zombie Apocalypse: Tunnel Vision

tunnel_steps_escape_the_last_krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

A chill breeze swept through the sewers, a relief from the heat and stench of the city above. Bodily fluids of all kinds ebbed gently through the labyrinth of tunnels, but the reek of stagnant water was preferable to the decay and decomposition of bodies above. The sewers were free, free from their original use with the loss of humanity, and free from the roaming, moaning bodies that feverishly sought the few survivors.

Helena shivered as her legs wobbled. She slid down the damp, dark wall, her fingers raking through her matted hair, and for the first time in two weeks she allowed tears to drip onto her grubby vest. Her feet dangled in shallow, murky water and she thumped her head with the base of her palm as the things she’d seen raced through her mind. She grabbed a fistful of hair and let out a clear, uncontrolled wail.

She keened, rocking on the edge of the rill, hitting her head against the wall until sticky, warm blood coated her hair.

Her mind blinked as she recalled moments of horror, but she failed to notice the whir above the whistle of the wind or the tiny, flashing green light peering out of the dark tunnel. Footsteps splashing through the water saw her leap to her feet in terror and run on loose legs, tripping and tumbling into the foetid water. For a moment she wondered if drowning was the better choice.

“It’s okay!” The voice startled Helena. The voice had cohesion, it uttered words, real words, and Helena lifted her head.

Two bodies hurried towards her and she scrabbled backwards in panic. When she realised the bodies neither ambled nor dragged, but headed direct and fast, she allowed herself to wait. Strong arms scooped her up and words, blessed words, accompanied the arms that cocooned her. She blacked out.

As the haze cleared, and her heavy eyelids opened, blue eyes stared back. “I wasn’t sure you’d wake up!” he said.

tunnel_dark_the_last_krystallos

© Lisa Shambrook

Having been alone for so long, Helena couldn’t form a single word, let alone a sentence. She gazed at her hand, at the crude drip set up and hanging from a rusty hook on the wall. Her rescuer lifted a torn curtain and her eyes trailed the room. It was huge, concrete and lit by dull fluorescent strips. People, equipment and supplies filled every corner.

“It’s okay,” he said. “You’re safe. Saw you on the video feed. Didn’t think we’d get to you in time!” He indicated a timer on the wall. Huge red, digital numbers rolled into single figures. “A few hours later and we’d never have got you all the way down here…and safe! You’re the last one from above, the last one ever!” he said.

A soft boom echoed, and dust fell from the ceiling. He squeezed her hand. “The President just hit the button – our last resort. Welcome to Armagedddon.”

(485 Words)

Written for J. Whitworth Hazzard’s Zombie Apocalypse Flash Fiction Contest. Go take a look at the other stunning entries…and add yours if you’ve time!

If you like this you need to read Dead Sea Games by J. Whitworth Hazzard.

Like my story? Kickstart the zombie apocalypse by publishing Dead Sea Games.

Want to write like me? Personal coaching and critiquing by Miranda Kate.

A Cherokee Rose Blog Hop: Rose

In the lead up to the US getting Season 4 of The Walking Dead, Ruth at Bullishink has joined with cohorts and massive Daryl Dixon fans, Lisa McCourt Hollar and Sarah Aisling to give us a Zombie/Daryl themed Blog Hop. The criteria: up to 1000 words, zombies and Daryl Dixon…not my comfort zone…but I’ve managed to create a piece with Daryl and zombies and cuteness…he he…

Rose

“Shhhhh…” Carol whispered.
“Like hell!” Merle scowled, “Let ‘em come!”
Carol ran her fingers through her short hair and glared. Daryl glanced back from the clearing and motioned lifting his crossbow into the air.
“See, nuthin’ there, just your imagination lady!” Merle quipped striding to his brother.
Carol sighed and followed, stepping lightly through the long grass, casting watchful looks over her shoulder despite the all clear.
She cautiously backed up to the brothers, squinting at the trees, until she reached Daryl’s shoulder.
Merle swung his knife.  “So, what we doin’ out here? Can’t see nuthin’.”
“Something in the far trees. Maggie said something glinted,” Carol whispered.
Merle’s voice raised a pitch. “And she saw that glinting somethin’ from the lookout did she? Wild goose chase, if you ask me!”
“No one asked you…” muttered Carol.
“Still gotta look, even if it’s nuthin’.” Daryl kept to the line of trees. Carol followed, grasping the knife at her hip. Only Merle, wandered out into the sunlight, ignoring his brother’s warnings. “It’s quicker to go across, quicker there and quicker back again!”
“He’s gonna get us killed one of these days,” hissed Carol.
Daryl paused, glancing back. “Get hi’ self killed, not us.”
Merle continued across the grass. Daryl bent forward hurrying along the edge, muscles taut, ready, ears listening and eyes darting. Carol followed close.
The breeze sang through the canopy and Merle’s boots thumped across the dry field. “Wait!” Carol hissed, “Listen…”
Daryl and Carol stopped. “You hear that?” she whispered.
A mewling whine rose over the wind and Carol grabbed Daryl’s arm. “Something’s hurt.”
“It’ll attract attention…” murmured Daryl.
“Coming from over there…” Carol pointed. They moved towards the whimper.
“Oh, joining me now are you?” Merle chuckled and ducked as Daryl swatted at him. “Shut it Merle!”
They ran guardedly into the shadowy trees. “Fan out…” said Daryl, clutching his bow to his chest.
They moved slowly apart, stopping as the whine began again. “This way…”
They trod carefully, until Carol released a cry of surprise. “Down here!”
She crouched in the long grass.
“Dinner!” cried Merle ignoring Carol’s glare.
“So tiny!” cooed Carol, “No…” Tears welled as she parted the grass revealing a forgotten hunter’s trap. The puppy whined and Daryl sank to the grass. “Keep watch,” he muttered, “blood will attract walkers…” He pulled out his knife and worked on the trap, until the metal jaws snapped open and Carol moved the pup’s hind leg. Fresh blood spurted and Carol tore a strip of her shirt to bind around the pup’s wound.
“Too small for dinner anyways…” said Merle.
“We’re not leaving it.” Carol tucked the tiny creature into the crook of her arm. “Maggie must’ve seen the trap glinting…” She backed away from the twisted metal.
“All this for a dog!” Merle waved his arms. “Thought we’d get a real fight out here!”
“Let’s just get back,” said Daryl.
Midday sun glared through the dappled shade, and they began to run through the undergrowth. Carol stayed close to Daryl, until he pulled up suddenly and wrenched up his bow. An arrow flew, swift and straight, hitting a walker between the eyes.
Rattling moans rode on the wind and the putrid stench of rotting flesh filled the air. Zombies emerged from the trees, stimulated by the metallic aroma of fresh blood…and wild, dark eyes fixed on the living.
Merle swung, lifting his newly equipped right arm, thrusting his blade up through a walker’s chin. Satisfaction blazed in his eyes and he whirled towards another zombie, driving the knife cleanly into its skull. Daryl fixed another arrow taking out a decrepit creature and immediately moved to a third walker lumbering close, slamming his knife through its throat and up into its brain.
Carol held the puppy close, brandishing her hunting blade, her eyes wild and alert. No one spoke. Merle’s brow furrowed in determination as walkers leached from the woods, and Daryl grabbed his spent arrows, tearing them out of the finished walkers’ brains.
The three moved close together, dodging walkers, bolting through trees and out into the clearing. They ran, pounding across the dry earth, until a cry lodged in Daryl’s brain.
His breath caught in his throat as he turned. Carol was down on the ground, a zombie clawing at her. She held it off, kicking and thrusting with her knife, but more lumbered out of the trees, and the puppy lay at her side. “Leave her, it’s the dog they want, we’re good!” cried Merle.
Daryl cast Merle a withering look and raced towards Carol.
Merle threw up his arms and launched back into the fray. Arrows whizzed past Carol’s ear and the walker fell at her side, blood and ichor splattering down upon her and the pup. She twisted and was felled by another unwieldy walker. She screamed and seized the pup, tucking it down inside her shirt. The walker grabbed her leg and hungry moans assaulted her.
Daryl strode forward, arrows flying from his bow, until the walkers lay totally dead and finished. Merle let out a whoop and thrust his blood spattered fake arm in the air. Daryl moved to Carol.
His eyes roamed up and down her body. “It’s alright, I’m not bitten,” she assured him as he dropped beside her.
A wry smile played on his lips as he caught her eye and his hand lingered, brushing against her thigh. She stared into his eyes, and as his brother whooped, he relaxed. He dropped his crossbow and Carol rose on her elbows. Daryl lifted his hand and gently touched her face, wiping a splash of black ichor from her chin. He glanced away, his eyes trailing down her neck, across her torn shirt and down to her breast. She giggled, an usual sound in the eerie silence, and he rested his hand on her wriggling stomach.
“So what you gonna call him?” he asked stroking the puppy through the thin cloth.
“Rose,” she answered, “I’m gonna call her Rose.”

(1000 Words)

Zombie Flash: Time is Up…

Governor Stirland was irritated. “Put him on hold,” he said curtly and lifted his finger off the comm button. He growled and leaned back in his shiny chrome, padded leather chair. From the sixty first floor he had a commanding view, he linked his hands behind his head, and surveyed his domed and air-conditioned, stainless steel city.

The city centre was clear of the undead…completely clear.

Professor Turnbull’s concoction had changed the world and made the young Governor a rich man, a very rich man, and he was grateful, really he was, but the professor’s whiny voice was now causing him a great deal of stress.
The airborne ZV39sT had worked and the undead had vacated the cities of their own accord, and now lived peaceably in the countryside, just as it was so across the planet. As a result the rest of mankind, now of no interest to the zombified, lived beneath domed cities, and were free to come and go as they pleased with no fear of the undead.

The Governor ran his fingers through his greying hair, sighed and picked up the phone. “So what’s the problem?”

Professor Turnbull cleared his throat at the other end. “Co2 levels are critically high and we’ve already lost huge land mass due to rising sea levels.” He paused for effect, “We may have turned the zombies vegetarian, but zombie deforestation has hit ninety-five percent and we’re about to run out of oxygen!”

(242 Words)

This was written for a fun Zombie Flash Fiction Competition hosted by Holly at Confessions of a Stuffed Olive. Must be written in under 250 words and contain humerous references to zombies! Go take a look at the rest on Holly’s page…they’re great!

Zombie Run: Something Strange

Photograph and Prosthetic by Bekah Shamrbook (Please do not use without permission)
Getting really fed up with local kids now…running past the house and yelling, up the path, knocking on windows, throwing stones, eggs, knocking on the door…you name it, fed up now. 
It’s all the more annoying with Mum so poorly, literally on her last legs and had been for a while and it frightened her when these louts tried to be cool, daring each other to run up our path. 
Well, not tonight, I’d had enough! 
This time, when the lad knocked on the window, I was ready. Mum whimpered as the boy peered into the room, and I leapt to my feet, grabbed the door handle, flung the front door open, and gave chase. The lad saw me and his face drained. Scare him, just a bit, and he wouldn’t come roaming our neighbourhood anymore, not him or his mates. 
He turned and ran, but seized by adrenalin I was on my feet and after him. 
He stumbled, fell, I caught up and snatched him. His mates were hidden in the shadows and the boy mumbled, so I told him to shut up and put up as I grabbed his wrist. I wasn’t gonna hurt him, just scare him…
Running up the road came a woman, old enough to be his mother, her reaction proved that’s just who she actually was. 
She asked what was wrong with a face as pale as the lad’s, so I explained, whilst still gripping his wrist.
Mum’s ill and I just want her last few months to be carefree, worry free, just want to sit indoors on a Saturday night and watch rubbish on telly. We’re half way through X-Factor’s new series, Mum’s favourite show, just let us indulge her!
She stared at me, looking like she was trying to gather courage; I wasn’t trying to scare her, just the delinquent son, so I released the boy who ran, whimpering, to his mother. 
I shrugged my shoulders and shook my head, the youth these days… 
She took a deep breath and spoke, warily but calmly. “X-Factor finished years ago…and after Simon Cowell’s law suit, repeats are forbidden, all recordings were destroyed, so it’s not on TV anymore, not ever. So could you please leave my boy, and the others, alone…”
I shrugged again…if they leave me alone, fine.
I returned home to comfort mother. 
Simon Cowell was sharing his opinion, and I frowned. The screen flickered, we were losing the picture again, electricity was iffy, digital signal was iffy, everything was iffy. I turned to mum again, she smiled, a blank smile, with a mouth missing many teeth. I stroked her cheek, ignoring the blood that coursed down her face…something wasn’t right, but I — her eye slipped out of its socket, and I reached across to put it back in — couldn’t quite put my finger on it… 
(475 Words)
Written for Lisa McCourt Hollar’s Zombie Run over at Jezri’s Nightmares. Take a peek, if you’re brave enough, at the other entries!