The stench of frozen rotted meat is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog
Tour 2014, with 10 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.
(Editor’s Note: NSFW words to follow in the excerpt, so you may not want to read it aloud at the office…)
Excerpt from A New World: Storm
As we make our way along, several exits lead into darkened interior hallways. Each of
the wall corners are rounded and house nurses’ stations. I look behind one to find a figure on
the floor, clad in the torn remains of scrubs. Dried blood covers the floor and is splattered on the
walls. Staring at the sight, I’m confused. The building entrances and perimeter didn’t show any
evidence of night runners, but the bodies and the other evidence points to the fact that we may
not be alone. I’m not sure how they are getting in and out of the building.
I peel away an escape route plan taped to one of the walls. Sending Red Team to the
next intersection of hallways, I motion Jan forward.
“Where is the lab?” I ask.
She studies the map, and points to a large room in the interior.
Taking the map, I advance to the next hall, where Red Team is standing guard. Looking
down the corridor, I see that it intersects other hallways. The ambient light doesn’t reach far,
leaving the corridors and rooms beyond in a deep gloom. The interior halls will be in the dark.
“Looks like this won’t be the walk in the park it seemed,” I state to Lynn.
“What do you think?” she asks.
“I don’t know. We’ll have to assume that we aren’t alone. We have a safe corridor along
the outer halls, but who knows what we’ll face in the darkened hallways.”
“Do you think the equipment is worth the risk?” Lynn asks.
“I have no idea. Seems that is happening more frequently. I mean, what if we get her
equipment and she finds an answer to the night runners? If she does, then yes, it’s worth almost
any risk. However, I sadly lack the ability to see into the future. Sitting here staring at darkened
halls, and knowing how much I love hospitals, I would say we turn around. But, it’s about the
chance, isn’t it? If we don’t go, then there is zero chance,” I comment.
“Are you having a nice conversation with yourself?”
“No, not really,” I answer.
I stand at the intersection, pondering. It seems that I always knew what to do in the past,
was able to see the right choice. I momentarily wonder if the move hasn’t altered my ability
to choose clearly. I may be thinking too far ahead, to finding a truly safe haven in the midst of
all this chaos. And with that looming possibility, I may be taking the easy route instead of the
right one. If that is truly the case, then I’m in no condition to be making decisions. I’ve second-
guessed decisions in the past, but not my whole reasoning ability.
Shit, even these thoughts bring more doubts.
Taking a deep breath, I shake my head. “Okay, fuck it. We’re going in. Red Team, you’re
at the next intersection covering our six. Lynn, you’re with me. Have Black Team cover Jan like
At the next intersection of hallways, Red Team covers the corners. Although there is a
faint amount of illumination, the area is still cast in a deep gloom. There may be enough residual
light to keep the night runners away from this position. Only a couple of feet into each branching
corridor, the light ends completely, leaving only darkness.
Lynn and I turn the corner. Assuring that my carbine is set to auto, I raise it and creep
into the hall leading to the lab. I sidle near the wall, stepping silently. Slowly, I make my way
down the hallway, Lynn keeping pace on the opposite wall. My heart feels like it’s in my throat
and I slow my breathing to calm my heart rate. Once again, I find myself snaking down a
hospital hallway. The air within is stuffy and cold.
All of the doors along the hall are closed. I pause at the first one, listening. Reaching
down, I slowly push on the handle. It’s unlocked. I’m not sure that night runners have mastered
the art of doors, but I’m not chancing it. It would be my luck that I run into a pack that can
saunter in and out of them with nary a thought. After all, they must be entering and exiting the
building somehow. That is, if they are leaving at all. Perhaps they are feasting on the food within
the hospital. Of course, the evidence I’ve seen could be from weeks ago.
I nod at Lynn, open the door, and step silently into the room. I’m not sure what the room
is used for, as curtains are pulled in places. No shrieks or sudden movements accompany my
entry. I exit and slowly close the door. Lynn checks a door on her side with the same result;
there’s no one inside. We creep down the corridor, checking the rooms but never leaving the
doorways. Black Team follows quietly behind.
Reaching the doors that Jan indicated as housing the lab, Lynn and I stack against the
wall. It would really suck if night runners were inside and we had to start shooting. Knowing my
day, I would put a round into every piece of equipment she needed. Of course, if there are truly
night runners within, we’ll just turn and run for the light.
We check the door and verify that it’s unlocked. On a nod from me, Lynn swings the
door open and I dart in. The room is large, with long counters and stations along the walls and
in the center. I check the dead corner as I make my way along the right hand wall. Lynn follows,
sweeping left. We pause half way down. There’s nothing inside except beakers, vials, and
equipment. We head back to the entrance and motion Black Team forward.
“The room is clear. This has to be done quietly. Don’t disturb anything, and gather the
equipment Jan indicates,” Lynn tells them.
They enter. As Jan passes, I grab her arm. “Do this quickly?”
She nods and enters with the rest of the team. Lynn and I station ourselves in the
corridor. She holds the door open and we both cover farther down the hallway. Even though I’m
on the opposite side of the hall, I still hear very faint whispering coming from inside the room.
Other faint sounds emit as they gather equipment.
Fucking keep it down, I think, hoping there aren’t any night runners nearby that can hear
A little way down is another intersection of hallways. For some reason, the ambient light
that reaches the intersection behind us doesn’t reach there. It could be that the hall doesn’t
reach the outer corridor. Minutes pass that seem like hours. I hear the clang of something
metallic come from within the room. It’s a soft sound and not very loud, but to my ears, it sounds
like a train crashing into a semi. Lynn turns her head sharply to the interior. Shrieks erupt,
coming from a side hallway; they sound close.
Fuck, that doesn’t sound like a night runner shriek, that’s more like a kid screaming, I
think, tightening and pulling my M-4 tight.
“Lynn, get Jan and the equipment out, now!” I sharply whisper. “Head for Red Team and
get to the outer corridor where there’s light. I have our six.”
Lynn calls inside, softly yet sharply. Black Team exits, surrounding Jan, who is pushing a
steel cart loaded with gear.
What the fuck?!
“Go, go, go.”
As they quickly retreat down the corridor, I rise and being backpedaling. Lynn stays with
“Go,” I say, rising. She shakes her head.
“Dammit,” I mutter.
Screams fill the interior, echoing down the hallways. Amongst the din, I hear feet
slapping on the linoleum. As I step backward, I have my carbine aimed near the corner where
the night runners should appear. My aimpoint is aimed where their heads should be. They round
the bend in a hurry. As they come into sight, my reticle is above their heads. I lower my barrel a
touch and begin squeezing the trigger. Their ghostly pale faces register.
Fuck, they’re kids.
There are six of them, all dressed in torn and deeply stained hospital gowns, looking to
be about ten or twelve years old. I feel sick to my stomach as I watch, unable to pull the trigger
as they streak down the hall. I am backing up as fast as I can, but they are rapidly closing. For a
split second, I tightly shut my eyes.
Placing my glowing crosshair on the nearest one, I fire, almost point blank. The child’s
head snaps to the side as my bullets strike. Blood sprays from the multiple impacts. With
feet flipping into the air, its head hits the hard floor with a whack. Strobes fill the scream-filled
hallway. More kids fall to the ground under the torrent of rounds fired by Lynn and me. In
seconds, six small figures lie bleeding in the hallway. Another shriek rises and a larger night
runner female, dressed in scrubs, appears at the intersection. Upon spotting the young ones
down, she pauses, then screams like I’ve never heard a night runner shriek. Other smaller
figures appear behind her.
Screw this, I think. Lynn and I turn and run.
Racing down the darkened hall, with shrieks sounding behind, I’m reminded of a similar
chase with Lynn. This time though, friends await at hallway intersections. Black Team is
nowhere in sight. I yell to Red Team to pack up and go. Rounding the corner, hard on the heels
of Gonzalez and company, we reach the full light. Behind, the night runners continue shrieking
I feel incredibly sick. The sight of those small faces, pale or not, will haunt me to the end
of my days. My legs feel weak and I sink to my knees.
“That was messed up…I mean, really messed up,” I say, panting.