The following is a sample from my new novel Cemetery Earth. This is a story that details the beginning of the end of society and the rise of the dead.
If you’d like to read the full book it is available as an e-book for $5 here.
Maybe it started with rain. Like the beginning of the world. Like the beginning of Man. And like, perhaps, the end.
Maybe it all started with the rain.
In the end, they were meaningless signs. But then, so many signs had been ignored, for so long, that this should have been no surprise. No surprise at all.
It was morning but it had already been a long day. The world was changing quickly and it was hard to keep up with it, and harder to keep up with your own thoughts. The protesters march, despite the rain, despite the exhaustion, and despite the growing fear that lay in all of them. They march, their arms raised high, their mouths wide, and moving in a wide circle in front of a government building that had already been closed when the news of the invasion hit but still they were here, the message greater than the target. There were a hundred of them from young to old, and all of each of them were there for their own reasons. A day before there had been fifty people marching, and in a week there might be a thousand. There was a movement that had been building in America, a wave rising, and given time, it would drown the nation. A wave that had begun with the first shootings that had started to shake the nation and which was reaching its crescendo with word of the great shadow that was about to stretch across the world.
There would be no time for that wave to become more than a nuisance though.
There would be no time.
The protesters march around and around, chanting to the cars leaving the city, to the people abandoning their homes, to the families fleeing in terror, and the very point of the march was quickly lost in rhetoric and chant. Each person’s voice rising to drown the person beside them, the One Message lost to the messages of many. And as they march, around them form their opposition, their twisted mirror image. Those for the war.
But this was not like any other war America had seen for more years than most could count. Since America had warred amongst its own it had taken its wars to its enemies but now, now the blood would wash on its shores. This time the war was on this soil, not some distant land with a name few could pronounce. No, this time the blood would wash upon American soil, this time it was America that had been issued the ultimatum, this time it was America that would be invaded. This time it was America itself that might be lost.
And in the end the words meant nothing. The government did nothing as the invaders landed and stepped foot on American shore. And in the end all the words and signs were so much dust to scatter to the winds.
As the Eastern Seaboard was soaked in the blood of a trench war the rest of the nation watched, helpless, hopeless, and scared. So some ran. Others fought. After an accident in Kansas the warheads were exploded and the Bible Belt was lost. The nation was in chaos and during it all some marched, for or against, it mattered little. Some just marched because it was all they could do.
More and more people gathered, some for the war, some against, but all of them having nowhere else to go, nothing else to do, and eventually there were enough that the traffic slowed, and then stopped. Suddenly the downtown of this small city was filled with hundreds of people gathered together and not quite certain why.
There were too many people, too many voices, too much fear, too much rage, and a new war broke out in the streets. Everything becomes a blur of fists and bodies. Blood spatters the signs. Screams fill the air like heavy clouds. Someone has a knife, another a gun. The rain begins again, and harder this time, washing the blood away even as more of it spills.
The police join the fray but fall quickly beneath the mixed blows of both sides. A man drops his sign, grabs his daughter by the hand and spins around, looking for an exit but finds none. There was no escape.
Hands reach in and take the girl. A bat smashes down onto the man’s head and the world goes black as around him all went red in the city.
Then, a scream.
Not like the screams that had come before. This was different.
The first scream was followed by another, and another.
A woman feels a hand fall upon her shoulder and turns in time to see something inhuman push its face into her throat and pull her vocal chords free, her scream stretching and fading into arterial spray. The woman’s husband, seeing what was happening, pulls the thing away from his wife and, in pulling, tears its head from its shoulders before feeling more hands on him, pulling him in several directions at once and finally pulling him apart.
There was one, another, several of the things appearing in the crowd until they were part of it and then outnumbering the crowd.
The dead spread like a stain through the crowd and in a matter of moments everyone was on the same side, their petty dispute forgotten and fighting these monsters with anything they had as they try to escape. Two men who had had one another by the throats saw one of the creatures approaching them and pick up fallen protest signs and beat the thing with them but are surrounded by more of its kind before they could destroy it.
And so they fell, one by one, protester and foe alike.
All falling before enemies they couldn’t even imagine in nightmares.
Blood stains the streets and as the last of the people fall, the things move away, looking for more meat. The city a vast cemetery whose coffins were yawning wide as the dead crawled back into the light to take revenge for their Mother.
And in the end they were meaningless signs.
In then end it was just rain, like there was at the beginning, like there was in the trenches, and like there would be in the end.
It was the end of the world.