And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death? Dead Tossed Waves. Gabry lives a quiet life in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, hemmed in by the dead who hunger for the living, but her mother Mary's secrets, a cult of religious zealots who worship the dead, and a stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry, threaten to destroy her world. Gabry lives a quiet life, secure in her town next to the sea and behind the Barrier. She's content to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast--home is all she's ever known and all she needs for happiness.
But life after the Return is never safe. Gabry's mother thought she left her secrets behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth , but like the dead in their world, secrets don't stay buried. And now, Gabry's world is crumbling.
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In one reckless moment, half of Gabry's generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry knows only one thing: if she has any hope of a future, she must face the forest of her mother's past. Dark and Hollow Places. Alone and listening to the moaning of the Dark City dying around her, Annah wants to find her way back home, to her sister and family and their village in the Forest of Hands and Teeth.
There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters. Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her.
Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again. But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction? Selzer, Adam. Living in the post-human era when the undead are part of everyday life, high schooler Alley breaks her no-dating rule when Doug catches her eye, but classmate Will demands to turn her into a vampire and her zombie boyfriend may be unable to stop him.
He's a weird-looking guy-goth, but he seems sincere about it, like maybe he was into it back before it was cool. She introduces herself after the set, asking if he lives in Cornersville, and he replies, in his slow, quiet murmur, "Well, I don't really live there, exactly When Ali and Doug start dating, Ali is falling so hard she doesn't notice a few odd signs: he never changes clothes, his head is a funny shape, and he says practically nothing out loud. Finally Marie, the school paper's fashion editor, points out the obvious: Doug isn't just a really sincere goth.
He's a zombie. Horrified that her feelings could have allowed her to overlook such a flaw, Ali breaks up with Doug, but learns that zombies are awfully hard to get rid of-at the same time she learns that vampires, a group as tightly-knit as the mafia, don't think much of music critics who make fun of vampires in reviews. Shan, Darren. When the news starts reporting a zombie outbreak in Ireland, B's father thinks it's a hoax-but even if it isn't, the two of them joke, it's only the Irish, right?
That is, until zombies actually attack the school. B is forced on a mad dash through the serpentine corridors of high school, making allegiances with anyone with enough gall to fight off their pursuers. But when they come face-to-face with the ravenous, oozing corpses, all bets are off. There are no friends. No allies. Just whatever it takes to survive. Zom-B Underground. Waking up in a military complex, months after zombies attacked school, B has no memory of the last few months.
Life in the UK has turned tough since the outbreak, and B is woven into life- and battle- in the new military regime quickly. But as B learns more about the zombies held in the complex and the scientists keeping them captive, unease settles in. Why exactly was B saved? And is there anyone left in the world to trust?
Zom-B City. After escaping a secret military complex amid the zombie apocalypse, B roams the streets of a very changed London, dirty and dangerous and eerily quiet, except for the shuffling of the undead. Once again, B must find a way to survive against brain-eating zombies --and now also against those who have seized control of the city. With danger lurking around every corner and no one to trust, B must decide whether to join the creepy Mr. Dowling in exchange for his protection. When everyone around you is dead, where do you turn for help? Zom-B Angels. Book 4. After spending the last few months wandering around London--a city filled with the dead--B Smith has given up hope for any sign of normal human existence.
But then B finds strange signs all over the city--a "Z" plus red arrows. Following them, B finds The Angels-- a group gathered in the hopes of combating the evil dead and the forces that introduced them. But all is not as it seems and it's up to B to find out: what battle are they truly waging? Showalter, Gena. Alice in Zombieland. Alice Bell must learn to fight the undead to avenge her family and learn to trust Cole Holland. She won't rest until she's sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Had anyone told Alice that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed.
From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? But that's all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone. Her father was right. The monsters are real. To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland.
But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn't careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies. Skipp, John, Editor. Zombies: Encounters with the Hungry Dead. From a master of zombie fiction comes a mind-bending collection of 32 new and classic stories from both renowned writers and rising stars. This anthology is set in a world where the dead have risen from the grave to consume the living.
Brite; zombie stalwarts such as David J. Browne and will satisfy the insatiable hunger of zombie fans everywhere. A series of captivating essays about zombies in folklore and in popular culture by John Skipp, award-winning zombie anthologist and author, enrich an already extraordinary collection by discussing the past, present, and future of the living dead. And a resources section encompassing the best of long-form fiction, movies, websites, games is included for any reader interested in learning more about the wider world of the undead. Sure to sate the hungriest zombie fans with classic as well as contemporary servings of unspeakable meals.
Summers, Courtney. This is Not a Test. When six teens are trapped inside their high school during the zombie apocalypse, they quickly discover the line between the living and the dead isn't as clear as they think in this chilling story of survival. It's the end of the world. To be able to control the outcome of Wow, I must say this was surprisingly thrilling. To be able to control the outcome of a book, to actually make choices and live through an apocalypse! So funny and unusual! I'm looking forward to other books like it.
The only problem is I don't know any. View 2 comments. A pretty interesting book, but definitely a novelty item. It is pretty grim and gruesome in places, but it's not scary. What the book actually strives to do is serve as an homage to the "geek" side of zombie fandom. You know With that ambition to fulfil, the book does really well as a tribute. There are many references to zombie pop-culture throughout this book. The only time the book seems to go too far into "fanboy" sycopha A pretty interesting book, but definitely a novelty item. The only time the book seems to go too far into "fanboy" sycophantism is during the George Romero "cameo" sequence.
Otherwise, the book is nicely balanced and stays trendy with both the "camp" crowd and the "uber-gore" crowd. Another point of merit worth mentioning is in regards to the setting. The author lives in New York City and has made efforts to include many of the landmark features of that city in the novel. It adds realism to the story, and could actually serve as a cool "zombie-enhanced" tour guidebook to a visitor to New York City. I imagine the author had a lot of fun walking around the city imagining a zombie attack and using the sites and sights around him to develop his storylines.
This book does lose a few points for not living up to its promise.
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The cover suggests that you will make decisions and get feedback on those decisions, allowing you to determine if you would survive an actual zombie outbreak. Unfortunately, the main character in the book is rather stupid, and after you make a decision, the character usually makes another decisions on his own, so your choices are not alone to blame when you die at one of the 50 different endings.
Speaking of endings, you'll likely want to get to all of them eventually. Quite a few are actually endings in which you survive to fight on another day. I've copied out my simple record of the chapter titles and where they lead. This enabled me to read all of the possible storylines. Some were better than others, but it was nice to complete them all. It's a spoiler of sorts, so don't click without knowing that you've been warned. Super Sexy Samurai-Sword-Swinging Sorry Mom, Drinking - howdy neighbor - send me an angel Howdy Neighbor - actually, we're good Nov 24, Mehsi rated it it was amazing Shelves: away-laughing-on-a-fast-camel , omg-zombies-got-my-brain , twinkling-stars , don-t-turn-off-the-lights , cover-love , warning-english-books.
This is quite the original, creative book. You have choices to make now - lots of them. Will you survive the coming hours, days, weeks, and months? Or worse of all, will you become one of them? The choice is yours. And hey, if you don't make it - you've got no one to blame but yourself. I recently r 4. I recently read another book by Max Brallier, and I wanted to know if he wrote other stuff. Thus I stumbled upon this book, I was interested, zombies are one of my favourite scary monsters, and I just loved how the cover looked like a paperback from the 70s or 80s.
But then I saw something even more awesome than zombies, even better than the cover. I saw this was an choose-your-own-adventure book! I love those! I was curious as to how it would be done, how many bad endings there were, how many good endings, how many endings were we have to fill in the dots ourselves. But first I started reading it, I followed a route, but bumped into so many choices that I decided to make a chart. So I got my dear boyfriend, and we both started typing down all the possible endings, all the possible routes, and by Lord, it is BIG, HUGE, there are countless of routes, countless of endings.
Some routes are really small and are relatively easily reached and some of them don't have too many sideroads , but some take ages to go through before you hit the ending of that route. The biggest one is the military-based storyline. One I kind of enjoyed, but also kind of didn't. Yeah, I am conflicted. So yeah, I had a chart, and I decided to read it, since I want to reach most of the stories and the endings, and while I could do it blindly, I prefer a chart so I know exactly what line I followed, and which one I didn't. This book is terrific. Of course the whole You did this, and You did that, took some time to get used to, but after a while you don't even think it is weird or strange and you just get lost in the story.
The story about a guy, with a dead-end job, getting lost in the zombie apocalypse. Every choice you make leads to something, death, freedom, or something else. At times I really liked the guy, at other times I just wanted to shake him around. I know, I picked the choices, but dear Lord, that guy wasn't really the smartest even without me picking the choices. At times I was just laughing my butt off from various situations which were just super hilarious, or silly.
Or just because of puns, jokes yes, even in the apocalypse one makes jokes. We meet various people, depending on the choices you make. I didn't like all the of the characters we meet, but generally we do have some great characters. I especially liked Yakuma, and Chuck. They were fantastic and they really kicked ass. Well, especially Yakuma.
Yes, you heard that right. This book isn't for the kiddies. There is tons of gore, quite a few references to drugs and alcohol, a bit of swearing, and several other things. But this book made me feel a bit sick in the stomach. Guts, intestines, heads being blown off, zombies tucking in a human.
The book also gave me a lot of goosebumps. Even though the main character wasn't one I identify with I am a woman for starters , with the POV we have, we were just smack dab in the middle of all the horrible stuff that happened. It was at times really gruesome, normally you can distance yourself a bit, still feeling sorry for the character of course, but you aren't as close to the action as it was with this book. I still got some routes to finish, some endings to find, but I did most of them. My favourites would be Yakuma, Chuck and the apartment building story.
There was another thing I didn't like, but that didn't have to do with the book, and more to do with my ereader. I still want to mention it though, as this is a review, and I want to mention everything. You could click on the choices, but sadly my ereader hated doing that, often flipping out, it sometimes took quite a few tries before I could get my ereader to understand that I wanted to click a link, and not wanted it to open the menus. That was quite annoying, as I just wanted to continue the story, find out about stuff, and then my ereader would just be like: NOPE.
All in all, this is one book I would really recommend to everyone. Looking for a fun, creepy, scary book? A book in which you can decide what happens to characters, main character? Then this is one you should check out. Jul 30, Rei rated it did not like it Shelves: gave-up-on. Following the sad trend of cheesy zombies, this book, along with many of today's zombie-related literature and film, makes zombies seem like a made-for-kids genre, rather than an adult, grotesque, and frightening one.
I grew up watching zombie films and other horror films and thus have a high standard of what is scary. When I was younger, zombies were absolutely horrifying and disturbing. Now they are the latest novelty filled with "cheesiness". Zombies are just not scary anymore. They are comedic and trendy. And I hate trends with an utmost passion as they will just about kill anything and cheese anything out. This book, as I originally suspected would be, turned out to be another exercise in typical zombie cheesiness.
As a long-time fan of zombies, I was yet again disappointed to find yet another fine example of zombies-gone-cheesy. Clearly, just another author who decided to cash in the zombie craze of today. A 5-year old can create a zombie story with just as much scare factor as much of the zombie stories polluting our literature and film of today. I tried getting into this book. I really did.
Immediately it was just cheesy and I felt insulted that I was expected to buy this as a zombie story. More like a teen story or a kid's story, just with violence and gore. And anyone can write violence and gore into a story. It doesn't make you an author just because you can. I mean, c'mon, there's a zombie outbreak and the protagonist decides to go to a strip joint?! I was wondering when I in the story was going to stop being such a punk-ass and actually act like I was in a zombie outbreak and make more sensible choices or at least be given sensible choices to make.
Instead I found myself at a strip joint gawking in awe as some hot Asian stripper sliced zombies in half by the dozen! Fuck that. Not good writing. Try again. Don't try again. Some parts of the story were a bit more sensible and enjoyable than others but for the most part I just found myself grimacing and saying to myself; "Really?
That's what happens? Perhaps Mr. Maberry never saw zombie flicks as a kid and is like many who only know of today's cheesy novelty zombies and only has that as reference. I don't know. If you enjoy today's zombies, you may enjoy this book. It will only enrage you if you don't. Jan 07, Peep Pop! Yeah, I don't either. I was like 1 years old when they came out. If I had to guess at what they were, again - I was probably too young to know what they were, I'd say they were books where you starred as the main character and you got to choose what you could do next.
Your outcome could either be good or bad, based upon your decisions. I was surprised that they gave me a choice. Actually, I was quite happy! I got to test drive my zombie survival skills!! You'll be happy to know that I if it follows the path I took in the book will survive. I will survive! At first, I had my husband help me make decisions. Then, after a while and like any good zombie movie , I started to question his decisions really, traffic is gridlocked so he thought it would be a good idea to get a car, just in case.
In case of what???? I met up with someone and he was actually pretty cool. I'm glad that I decided to do the ridiculous. We fought a few zombies but eventually we were able to keep them out long enough for me to take a nap - which is something everyone needs in between zombie fights. After my nap we had a mini showdown and needless to say I made the best decisions because I survived.
Well, me and my buddy! We were rescued. After that I got to thinking. I didn't want to survive. I wanted to be the stupid person in the movie that makes the dumb decisions. I wanted to be the dumb person that mocked someones fears only to get attacked while laughing at them. I wanted to trip while I was running away from a zombie! You know what? It was harder than I thought! I kept trying and trying but mostly I just prolonged pain. I really did pay for my dumb mistakes but not as fast as I thought I would. I should show my husband this as proof of how impossible it is for me to make stupid decisions.
So all in all a quick fun read Very nice twist on CYOA books. I like the way it started out and how everything was introduced. The only thing I didn't care for was that in the story I am a he and some of the decisions I had no control over. Oh goodness, does that sound like I'm nagging and that I want to control everything?? Oh well, better than a zombie apocalypse I'd say.
And don't you like how the cover even pays homage to the CYOA books? Jul 24, Joseph rated it really liked it. I got this book from a good friend of mine for my birthday a while back and have been too busy to read it. But, I've got the day off and I figured, why not? In this book You are a 25 year old male living in New York with a crappy job and an even crappier apartment with your day to day life being mundane and normal; but today theres a spanner in the works, by spanner I mean zombies.
So as you can tell from the title of this book, you need to use you wit, cunning and overall your page-guessing abilit I got this book from a good friend of mine for my birthday a while back and have been too busy to read it. So as you can tell from the title of this book, you need to use you wit, cunning and overall your page-guessing ability to awnser the question everyone has asked, thought about and even put into practical effect 'Can You Survive The Zombie Apocalypse? I love anything related to or to do with zombies. And this book was such a refreshing spin on the genre that I did feel like I was making these choices and these choices were ones I would make if such a thing ever happened.
I haven't technically finished it yet, but i've been reading it for a couple hours and have gotten maybe 5 endings, 2 of which I liked, 1 which I fucking adored and 2 which I just went back and changed my choice. The author of this book has written it so cleverly; the 'story' itself isn't scary as your normal zombie media piece, it's more of a thought provoking real-time chilling feeling. For instance theres a choice between jumping onto a train track to save a child or staying put and saving your own arse.
If you own this book, try reading it with a friend or a couple of friends as this book would probably work better in a reading group situation. To finish this review up, I'll quote my favourite part of this book: 'In front of you, the signing booths. Empty chairs, some knocked over. Every booth abandoned. Except for one. He sits there. Giant black horn-rimmed glasses.
A green fishing vest. White beard. Pen still in his hand. Jan 30, Lexie rated it really liked it Shelves: review-blog-pr , books-owned-read. If you're going to stick the word 'Zombie' into a title, and then leave it up to the let's face it, confused and unfortunate masses to save themselves, don't make the endings wimptastic. The basic endings breakdown in this: 30 Bad Ends: meaning you either die or become a zombie 10 Good Ends: You somehow manage to live relatively content 8 Questionable Ends: You survive, possibly, but the future looks bad 1 The End: The 'True' ending to the book This book is gruesome, a little horrifying and almost If you're going to stick the word 'Zombie' into a title, and then leave it up to the let's face it, confused and unfortunate masses to save themselves, don't make the endings wimptastic.
The basic endings breakdown in this: 30 Bad Ends: meaning you either die or become a zombie 10 Good Ends: You somehow manage to live relatively content 8 Questionable Ends: You survive, possibly, but the future looks bad 1 The End: The 'True' ending to the book This book is gruesome, a little horrifying and almost stomach turning. But if you're reading this to begin with I'm assuming you're not looking for gilded flowery writing.
Brallier writes tongue-in-cheek. A few of the questionable endings are him berating you for making the 'stupid' choice leaving the kids to die, telling the hottest girl ever to go away to save yourself. Personally I think it would make more sense not to trust a situation you have no control over. My sister and I were discussing some of the decisions and consequences Brallier has in his book and were doubted the wisdom more often than not. Interesting things can occur--you have a chance to join the Hell's Angels New York Chapter at one point in fact, but its very easy to let these things suddenly distract you.
There is only one path to take to reach the 'true' ending and navigating the treacherous waters of the choices isn't as easy as it may sound. It took me twenty tries to finally nail down how to puzzle out the path to the end, though it was worth it. If you are serious about finding it I suggest taking notes.
Make a note for each decision you make and the choice you could have made. Sounds like a lot of work, but heck those old Choose Your Own Adventure novels were a lot of work too! Inside jokes abound, especially when our lead character runs into a crowd dressed for the 'Undead Walk'. Their bad luck that their Zombie Walk was pre-empted by the undead.
There's several arguments about this or that zombie mythos versus each other. Standard trivia things, but still amusing for a Zombie Enthusiast. Is this a book for everyone? Heck no. Those with weak stomachs when watching horror films should never touch this book. Kids under the age of 14 should not touch this book. This does seem like something that would be a fun party game or dinner discussion--pop out the book and then discuss with friends and loved ones whether preemptively killing your friend is a wise choice or will ultimately lead to your death.
Mar 16, Brad rated it did not like it. Can You Survive the Zombie Apocolypse? The hunter shook her head violently and then bit herself in the arm. The pain ripped through her and make her scream… but it helped her fight the effects of the sedative a little longer. Candyman stood up and laughed. Both were still feeling no effects from their injections. Tony set his murderous gaze on Candyman. The big man managed to sit up, let loose a frustrated cry, and then yanked against his restraints so hard that it looked like the ring on the wall was about to come loose.
Candyman waved them off. Now I understand how you became the Champion of New Cleveland! The extra exertion on his system was catching up with him as the sedative started to win. Sergeant Hash nearly fell forward on his face. Candyman nodded with satisfaction. I want them to be able to reach each other… especially when the lucky one turns.
The Lunatic moved over to a winch along the wall and unlocked a lever. The sound of chains running slack through the rings behind them roused them all back to the edge of consciousness. Once you all go under, we should find out which one of you feels the effects of something much stronger than the sedative.
But in all cases, the infection eventually wins. Just know that I will be here to watch the look of shock and fear cross your faces when one of your own comes to end your pitiful existences. Either way, I shall enjoy this moment.
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And as you betrayed my trust… I will watch as your trust in each other is equally betrayed. Just then, Briana burst into the room, looking terrified and out of breath. She was about to speak and then noticed the four prisoners on the floor. She gave the leader of New Cleveland a disbelieving look. Candyman sighed and glared at her.
Previous Episode This will help increase its visibility and draw in more potential readers. No registration is required. Thanks for your support and for reading :. Vote for DFTD at topwebfiction. All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission by the author.
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. Tony opened his eyes in the darkness. He was sitting. The hood over his head made him feel like he was suffocating, and he immediately tensed up, yanking on the handcuffs that secured his arms behind his back and through the tight chain that was attached to a metallic ring mounted into the wall. It was Diane, whispering from his right side. The shame was immediate. She was there because of his impulsive, stupid plan.
They all were.
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Hash laughed. They could all hear his pain in doing so. This last one was the worst. I pissed off Mr. Candy-pants last time we had a chat. All I ever heard was screaming coming from somewhere nearby. After their arrest in the parking garage, Tony, Wendy, Diane and Herbie had all been hooded and escorted to this room. The lights had been on long enough for the Lunatics to secure them to the wall, but afterwards, the lights had remained off. The hoods had remained on. Aside from Herbie being violently escorted from the room a few hours ago, no one else had visited them.
Tony hated the long silences in the dark. I was wrong to trust him. He used us to distract the Lunatics long enough to blow up that theater… with everyone in it. He never wanted us to succeed. Taven was infected. Taven came along at the perfect time, when I was about to give up hope… and I foolishly fell right into his trap. Diane was furious. Hash shifted in the dark. Anyway, when he comes… and he will… I suggest you all make your peace with God and be prepared to die. Tony wanted to object but stopped himself. Who am I kidding?
Hash continued. The sergeant was just trying to prepare us for the worst-case-scenario. Anyway, Herbie set it all up. Herbie arranged for us to do to Mr. He watched Mark die. He told us everything, but we hurt him… we hurt him and made that man scream and scream until he did. No one, not even Mr. Silver, deserved what we did to him… the amount of suffering we inflicted. When that evil man started telling us everything… I was so… so enraged! After he told us all the horrible things that Mark suffered and how long he was kept him alive just so it could happen again… I… I lost it!
Herbie was going to make Sheila put that monster down, but I stopped him. I wanted him to suffer… like Mark suffered… so, I let Sheila torture him. And… and I watched! What happened to Mark was wrong… but what I did was no different than what was done to him! Candyman sat in a fold up chair along the opposite wall with his legs crossed.
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He had his reading glasses on and was writing something in his notebook. He ignored the heated gazes of his four chained-up prisoners, who now had their hoods off. Both Tony and Diane were covered in blood with their Lunatic face paint smeared by sweat. Sergeant Hash looked the worst of all of them. He was much thinner and paler, wearing what looked like bloody hospital pajamas. The rest of the room was bare. Two large luminescent lights hung down from the ceiling. The leader of New Cleveland stopped scribbling in his notebook, looked up, and gazed at the young woman over his reading glasses.
He smiled at her, took a deep breath, then closed his notebook. He then purposefully dropped it on the floor, letting the snapping sound bring them all to attention. He scanned their tired faces then rested his gaze on Tony. Candyman looked impatient. His usual jovial demeanor was absent. Ask me how many people you killed when you blew up my theater? Plus the twenty this morning… and five of my men from the parking garage. You know what that would make you back in the old world? A fucking mass-murderer! Perhaps a domestic terrorist, even! Are they trying to sabotage my efforts to keep the peace?
He set this whole thing up… and set us up in the process. You should be out looking for him. I find it hard to believe that one man, dressed in a bath robe and sunglasses has the means to pull something like this off… not without a lot of help on the inside. He leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms over his chest. He stared at each of them and shook his head.
He started pacing in front of them. How do you feel about that? Tony smiled. We are long past the point of questions. Too much to do today. There were four loaded syringes placed on the tray. The dark fluid within them resembled blood. Hash sighed heavily at the sight of the syringes. I thought we were buds and all. Candyman smiled at him. I had not intended for you to die in this fashion… but your friends have brought me to this.
The good sergeant frowned at him. Perhaps my new batch will take much longer to earn a reaction than previous ones. Candyman dismissed the insult and turned toward the Lunatic with the tray. He picked up a syringe. I too, can create monsters down here. Tony listened to his friends shift uncomfortably but he continued to stare at Candyman. This is the end… I assure you. All that remains is finding out which ending will occur. But what good is a game without the elements of surprise and suspense?
Candyman turned to the Lunatic holding the rifle. One of them contains a very potent dose of the infection.
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The other three syringes contain a very strong sedative. For our next game, I shall have all four contestants injected randomly… just like The Change. One will start to turn while the other three begin to get sleepy and start to lose all motor function and cognitive abilities. What will happen first? Can our contestants fight off the effects of the sedative before one of them turns on the others? Will they all go nighty-night before one of their own changes and feeds on them in their sleep? Will the others be able to kill their infected friend before they are killed? Candyman wrapped his arms around his chest and smiled at himself.
To Tony, he looked like a sadistic school kid about to set a bag of cats on fire. Next Episode Chapter Sodom will run eleven episodes. Working on the last episode now. You can vote for DFTD every seven days to help keep it listed.
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Be sure to spread the word on all your social media sites as well. Nine woke beneath an overturned rusted merry-go-round buried in tall weeds near the eastern shore of Geauga Lake, somewhere to the southeast of the fight pits. He felt sluggish, disoriented, and every muscle in his body ached from pushing hard to avoid being captured before dawn.
The morning light stung his eyes. He lifted his muck-covered hands to cover his face. The smell of the heavily polluted lake made his stomach turn. Get up… and move! He reluctantly crawled out from beneath the merry-go-round, expecting to be shot the moment he was exposed. Nothing happened. Nine sat up and scanned his surroundings. On the far east side of New Cleveland, between the shoreline and the perimeter wall about fifty yards farther east, there was nothing but swamp and a small forest where the tree canopy above concealed all beneath.
Mother Nature had reclaimed this small strip of land, not worth developing due to flooding during the winter months. It was probably the most remote section of town, and unfortunately for Nine, the farthest away from where he needed to be.
Nine sat on a small sand dune surrounded by knee-high water and tall grass. He could see other pieces of old playground equipment half submerged in water and weeds. Behind him, beneath the trees, a few rotted out picnic tables lay in ruins, scattered about the area. Clearly, this was once some beachside oasis placed in a remote corner of the former amusement park where families could get away from the more congested areas and enjoy swimming in the lake, perhaps have a picnic and regain their sanity before returning to the main hub of continuous activity and noise that had once dominated the rest of the park.
Nine had followed an old trail around the north side of the lake, which brought him here. He peeked out between the tall reeds swaying in a light breeze and gazed at the old lake. Despite the smell, the view from where he sat seemed serene and out of place. He felt like a man viewing a forgotten paradise, out of sync with time, hidden in between two worlds—the former amusement park of the past, and the notorious post-apocalyptic New Cleveland of today. It made him smile, despite his grim circumstances, giving him a much-needed boost.
Nine closed his eyes and listened to the wind rustle the surrounding leaves and tall grasses. A part of him wanted to do just that. The prospect of returning to the chaos that awaited, terrified him. He opened his eyes and sighed heavily. The Lunatics had been quietly moving in and surrounding the area. Nine had come in behind them, watching everything play out from a distance.
The Lunatics had hidden patrols near the station and at every approach toward the parking garage. There was no way Nine could get close. Instead, he was forced to watch the whole scene play out. He remembered being spotted trying to backtrack and get to Joe. The Lunatics had chased him all over the place, forcing him to run down alleys, through fields, and finally pinning him in toward the lake.
Nine attributed that to the theater explosion and the rush to get patrols over on the west side to put out the fire and police the area. It was midmorning. He had no idea where Wendy, Sergeant Hash, or Joe were, or what awaited him once he started back west. If I can get to the marketplace district without being seen, maybe I can hide in plain sight among the crowds. The young man, momentarily displaced from time, departed the ancient summer picnic area from a deceased world and reentered the danger zone of New Cleveland—a world about to be ripped apart.
The marketplace district of New Cleveland was in chaos. Everywhere, people were gathering in groups, like gangs, suspiciously guarding their territories after the explosion of the theater. Tempers flared, fights ignited in the streets, and most businesses refused to open in fear of looters and the sudden increase in violent activities.
Lunatic patrols, usually monitoring daily affairs from a distance, now penetrated the crowds in force, adding more fuel to the fire by arresting citizens for the slightest offences. In some cases, the Lunatics even provoked confrontations just to have an excuse to make more arrests. No one was whispering any longer. Dark rumors ran wild around town concerning the leader of New Cleveland losing control of his town and no longer able to maintain order.
This caused a fresh surge of fear and panic, as citizens started packing up their few belongings, looking to depart New Cleveland and lining up outside the front gates with wagons and carts, like a medieval traffic jam. Nine maneuvered through the fearful crowd, avoiding all skirmishes between the Lunatics and the people, and taking advantage of the distractions to escape notice. Finally, he arrived at the casino pavilion, looking for a reprieve from the madness that had taken hold of the town, only to discover more disruption in the flow of normal business activities.
Nine glanced into the faces of frightened and confused citizens in passing who saw him approach and immediately tensed up, got quiet, and tried not to make eye-contact. He lowered his hood over her face, hoping to avoid being recognized, and scanned tired faces for his friends, especially Joe.
Wendy and Herbie had either been arrested or they were already in hiding after discovering what had happened. And if the Lunatics wanted to set another trap, the Oasis was the perfect place to hide a patrol waiting inside. Nine arrived at the crowded Black Jack tables, but no one was playing cards. He searched everywhere he could think of, excluding his own small trailer, which was surely another trap. Still, no Joe. Where the hell are you? No one would be racing today. He stopped and stared up at the course. Could she already be in there? Maybe she had no choice but to make a run for that door by herself?
The thought scared him senseless, like a parent concerned for his child left all alone. Nine tensed up at the voice coming from behind him, then rolled his eyes. Not now. He turned around. Nine flashed him a crooked smile. I thought Black Jack was small potatoes to you. Shit… you really do smell horrendous! No one wants to play cards. They all just want to bitch and cry like babies.
Mike raised his hands. I understand. Mike laughed. Mike looked around nervously, then leaned in. Anyway, the story goes, he made a deal with those freaks to keep them from attacking New Cleveland. He sends them trucks full of people and in exchange, the monsters stay away from here. Not that I believe any of that shit, of course. Do I have to spell it out for you? Nine felt dizzy. Fucking Taven! And we heard them! Me and Joe fucking heard them moaning from that fucking hole! Not that anyone would believe your sorry ass. The girl… dumb ass.
Then he remembered. Yeah… with all this crazy shit happening today, I totally forgot. Mike shook his head, his face filled with mock concern. We had a deal, and I intended on keeping it. Would he arrest me, too? Nine took another threatening step toward the man. What have you done to Joe? Mike took a step back.
Turned her in myself after I ran into her early this morning. I get to finally rid myself of that little runt… and get back at you, too! And I never breached our agreement. She was still mine this morning, and it was within my rights to protect myself. Everyone knows that when a runner starts a streak of bad luck for the owner, that streak continues. So, I took care of it. He took another step back, losing all motivation to gloat.
With the explosion last night, and then the replenishing detail with all the arrests, Candyman knew he needed to deal with all the unrest in town. At least twenty people. Nine was boiling over with anger… no… rage. He could see twenty indistinguishable bodies, swaying from lines suspended down from the top of the Big Dipper.
I never even noticed, he thought. I came in from the lake, on the opposite side of the coaster… I was so afraid of getting caught… I never even looked up! A chill seized him as he maneuvered around citizens to get a closer view, reminded of one his first impressions of New Cleveland, sitting in the back of a truck with Diane when they were first escorted into town. Nine stopped in the center of a busy street. He stared upward and could make them all out now—men and women, suspended upside down from the coaster like an offering to the beast above.
He quickly looked away, closing his eyes and shaking his head. Nine took a deep breath, opened his eyes, and started scanning the suspended bodies from left to right. Relief mixed with guilt started to slowly fill him as he glanced into each dead and unfamiliar face. Nine gasped as he neared the end of the horrific display and gazed into the face of a familiar overweight man, spinning upside down in the breeze. Then his eyes went wide as he noticed a much smaller form initially obscured by the dead bartender. As Herbie spun and swayed to the left, a young girl wearing a camo jacket appeared.
Her shoulder-length blue hair blew wildly in the wind, mercifully covering most of her pale, dead face. Nine dropped to his knees and put his hands over his mouth. But his heart was way ahead of him. Nine felt something break within as he lost control, fell forward in the dirt, and starting sobbing in the middle of the street. The leader of the patrol looked annoyed but ordered the others to follow him and check on this newest disturbance. The patrol could see the young man now.
To them, Nine appeared to be praying in the middle of the damn roadway. Four face-painted men rudely pushed their way through the crowd as they moved in to arrest the grieving man. That was when the sky erupted with the most horrific sound anyone in New Cleveland had ever heard. Tony watched two of the face-painted Lunatics near the back of the trucks walk off toward the upper level ramp. The other three were separated, the trucks sitting between them. That leaves three.
He turned to Diane and pointed toward the two that were rotating. Tony took the lead, stepping out from behind the pylon with his crowbar down along his side. Diane followed, single file, using the big man as concealment. They approached the first Lunatic at the front of the trucks. A man in a leather vest, wearing a Yankees ball cap was leaning against the grill, his assault rifle lying on the hood beside him.
As Tony approached, trying to appear bored, the man looked up and did a double-take, almost knocking his rifle off the truck rushing to reach for it. For a moment, the Lunatic looked confused. He raised his rifle, then lowered it slightly. Tony laughed, trying to play the part.
But the Boss sent us to relieve you. The young Lunatic lowered the gun a little more and sighed. Another Lunatic, a woman with dark hair tied to the sides in ponytails, stepped around one side of the trucks to join the Yankees fan. The face-painted ponytail girl gasped. He tried not to think about how young both these Lunatics were. They clearly were just following orders and not happy about it. He tightened his grip around the crowbar. They were close enough now.
She was quick… and accurate. The Ponytail Girl dropped her rifle. The crossbow bolt struck her right between the eyes. She managed to scream once before falling forward. He collapsed to the ground, beside the girl. They could hear footfalls echoing across the concrete, coming from farther off. The other two were coming back. Tony had just enough time to spot the third Lunatic, an older man with balding hair. His face paint made him look like a retired clown.
The man was peering out from the back of the first truck, trying to get a clear shot. Tony dropped to the ground as the sound of automatic rifle fire ripped across the garage, missing Tony and striking a concrete pylon in the dark. The balding man moved around the side of the first truck, trying to get a clear shot on the big man. The balding man caught up to him. Diane rolled out from beneath the truck and immediately followed the sound of the approaching Lunatics coming up from one side of the trucks. From the prone position, and with no way to brace the front of the rifle, she tucked the butt stock into her shoulder and opened fire on two fast-moving Lunatics, making them scatter back toward the rear of the convoy.
Tony was already moving along the other side of the trucks. He surprised one Lunatic, a tall man with long hair, who nearly collided with him. Diane was up and moving along the other side of the trucks, trying to make herself as small as possible. The second man, a chubby out-of-shape Lunatic, was trying to catch his breath. Diane rushed toward the gasping man who attempted to blindly shoot from around the back of the convoy. She stabbed him in the arm, causing him to drop the weapon.
The man stumbled back away from the trucks as Diane retracted the blade. The man yelled out in pain as Diane stepped in under his arms and sent the hunting knife up into his rib cage. The man collapsed, falling on his back.