It's better to die by the gun than die by the dead.
Nina’s life was irrevocably changed when humanity’s dead began to rise.
Now, she lives behind the walls.
The barricaded cities, erected by the government to protect the remnants of civilization, have become a brutal dictatorship- causing the inhabitants within to starve, steal and claw for survival. Life behind the walls has become as terrifying as roaming the zombie-ridden landscape beyond.
Citizens trade what they can to gain food, water, and shelter. Nina has only one currency—her body and she is tired of submitting herself to the greedy hands of the self-proclaimed leaders.
An opportunity to escape presents itself in the fate of a young girl named Emily-Rose. For the price of a stale piece of bread, she is set for banishment from the city, and most likely a horrific death at the hands of the deaders. Nina tells herself that it is sympathy and not self-preservation that makes her follow the young girl out of the walled metropolis, and into the overgrown world beyond.
Unused to fighting the deaders, Nina tries to scrounge for her survival and against her better judgment, begins to care for Emily-Rose. However, when you have a bread-stealing liability providing your only back up, survival seems even tougher. Nina is forced to fight for their lives, and with every zombie slain, she becomes fiercer, faster – a grim reaper with her not-so-sharp butcher’s knife.
Along the path to a safe-haven that might not exist, Nina and Emily-Rose meet Mikey who introduces them to a new life they could not imagine, a life above the ground. However, this new world brings new dangers, and darker shadows than she knew.
Nina finds out that the deaders aren’t the only thing to fear beyond the wall.
And that fear will not be ignored, or Forgotten.
“Let’s go.” JD moves off round the corner, and we follow him as one and without argument.
There are stains smeared along the walls, handprints and the words help us written in dried blood. I shudder and look at Duncan. He lowers his gaze away from me and away from the words, knowing only too well that he caused this. He could have saved some of these people if he wouldn’t have been such a coward. Instead he locked them all inside and sentenced them to death.
There are the remains of a body or two on the floor, but not enough of either of them remain to be reanimated, and so JD kicks the bloody bones to the side and out of our way. We can hear more growling coming from behind a closed door; we seemed to have riled them all up, by the sounds of it.
“That’s the medic’s room,” Duncan whispers.
I want to shout out no shit, Sherlock! since there’s a big red cross on the door, but JD turns the handle before I can get my words out. I swallow them down and ready myself as the door opens inwards and reveals to us the five zombies within.
They head straight for us with long, hungry growls, as if mamma didn’t give them their last meal before bedtime. Sludge hangs from their jaws and a cold blankness fills their eyes. Their lips peel back to reveal blackened and broken teeth and they push and shove to get past each other and to their meal. Us. I shiver and swallow down the stomach acid that has worked its way up my esophagus and into my mouth.
“I got this.” Crunch steps forward, and with her two knives, she decapitates the first two zombies with relative ease (if there can be such a thing when killing the living dead). JD follows her in, and when a zombie lunges for him, he deals with it with a quick swoop of his scythe down its middle. From skull to stomach it splits, and everything left inside tumbles into a pile on the floor along with its body.
Crunch laughs as she circles another, kicking it away with her foot until it falls on its back. She stands above it, placing a foot on its chest, and drives her blade through its face slowly and with a maniacal glee that sends shivers down my spine. There is something like contentment in her expression as she pulls the blade back out, gunk spewing out of the hole left by her knife.
The last deader has reached the doorway, and Duncan takes aim with his gun.
“I’m sorry,” he whispers as he pulls the trigger and the zombie hits the floor.
A review of Odium is coming soon from the ParaSuperNormalism review team!
Claire C Riley, is a mother first, a wife second, but a writer at heart. Her first novel Limerence is a dark paranormal romance for ages 17+ Claire likes to break boundaries with her writing, incorporating an old school style of horror and romance. Sexy and dark. (Think Bram Stokers Dracula, but for the 21st century!) Claire’s current novel is Odium. It is a dystopian post-apocalyptic zombie novel called- Odium, and it focuses on zombies, survival and how it would change us.
She has also written a short story, which is a prequel top Odium called Life Ever After. Nina’s story: Part one. It is in an anthology with some other great indie authors named Fusion. So if you enjoy Odium, go and pick up Fusion and get to know a little bit more about the main character.
She is currently working on the sequel to Limerence named Limerence II: Mia and a horror thriller novel titled Chance Encounters.
Claire is an avid reader of all genres, a book collector, general procrastinator and has a great zombie apocalypse plan in place thanks to a questionnaire she asked her readers to fill in for her.