We are the United Kingdom Zombie Defence League – a group of writers and fans that have teamed up to give you, the discerning horror aficionado, new twists and takes on the zombie apocalypse tale. There’s a lot of fun stuff in here, and even a cautionary nursery rhyme!
I’m especially excited because of course, I’m a part of the group and my novella, The Key To The Gates Of Hell, is the finale of the whole book. It’s a tale of adventure and electrical zombies set five hundred years after Z-Day, in a world that’s very different. I think it’s sci-fi horror with a difference, and I really hope you enjoy it. Here’s an extract, just to give you an idea of what to expect.
They were silent, for they no longer had a use for God’s breath in their lungs. The torrent that raged in their blood was something other, born of man. In our shame, we tried to indict the old enemy. The man in red, the one with flames for eyes who poured his spirit into the dead, bringing them out of the earth to despoil God’s good works.
Lies, of course. A poor attempt to disguise our guilt that no-one truly believed. The Red Man may have guided our hands, but we had crafted the satanae spiritus and set it loose on the world. A bottle filled with woe that, once uncorked, had taken 300 years to plug. 300 years, and the dead outnumbered the living by hundreds to one. Peace, when it had finally arrived, had come with a terrible price. Our world, once so vibrant with life, was an empty place now, a pale shadow.
Haunted with the constant fear that the dead would rise again.
They were silent, and frighteningly fast, and they would have taken us all if Daekin had not abandoned his post to take a piss. Sheriff Carborne had set a watch, fearful of the attacks that had torn several of our sheep and broodmares to shreds. The flesh had been scattered. None of it had been taken for food.
But our watchmen were lazy and skeptical, and they often brought ale up to the watch-houses. Carric, whose post was the northern approach facing the woods, had dropped into a dreamless drunken coma within an hour of sunset. Daekin, nodding in the south tower, was only roused by the need to ease the pressure of the six pints of dark ale swelling inside him.
Most of that volume of liquid came out of him at the first sight of the zombei swarming over the north wall. Daekin was fat and slow, but fear gave him an admirable turn of speed. And his voice, the loudest alto in the church choir, was raised as he ran for the alarum.
It was his dying scream that woke me. An awful, ragged thing, rising with the clang of the alarum bell. He clung to the rope even as the first of the undead reached him, latching its sharp-tooted maw into the soft flesh of his throat and biting down.
A dark figure loomed over me, and I flinched back, reaching under my pillow for a blade that wasn’t there and wouldn’t have done me any good if it had been.
“Up, boy,” Father Daniel said. “The Mortuis. Quickly.” His narrow features were set in an awful expression—half terror, half rage.
Screams and the clang of weapons and armour from outside my door now. The men who watched our perimeter may have failed, but praise God that our Guard were well-trained. They would be setting a cordon, giving me the time I needed to run for the chancellery and wake the mortuis.
In seconds, I had slipped on a robe and slippers. Shadows danced on the walls. Firelight, painting awful shapes in red and gold. Daniel was beside me. He slipped something cold and heavy into my hand. A dagger. I looked up. His eyes blazed, fury and excitement melting together in the furnace.
“What are you waiting for?” he spat, and shoved me out of the door.
Would you like to read more? Well, of course you would, and of course you can, you lucky people. The Dead Files, Vol. 1 is now on sale for Kindle for £2.99. And we are actively seeking submissions for volume 2, so if you’re interested drop me or Sarge a line.
Remember: Survival Of The League Is Paramount.