Tag Archives: zombies

Monday Morsel: Locked In – An Excerpt from IN THE COMPANY OF THE DEAD

Wagon Ride

Welcome to the Monday Morsel feature, where I share short excerpts from the first draft of whatever I’m working on – currently my adult epic fantasy, In the Company of the Dead.

* * *

Gripping the door handle, she braced herself and tugged hard. The door gave a few inches, scraping along the rough ground. Nothing but darkness met her gaze. She hauled on the door again, the hinges protesting with a squeal. It moved an inch and stuck fast.

Ellaeva paused, breathing hard through the pain in her back, and leaning on her own knees.

Something struck the door, though it remained stuck fast. She sucked in a breath, and stumbled back a few steps. Another impact shuddered the door in its frame, this time knocking it free of the jam. She reached for her sword.

A hand slammed into the edge of the door, the fingers curling around the wood, and a face appeared in the gap.

‘Ahura’s blade.’ She let the sword drop back into the scabbard. ‘You scared the life out of me. How did you get yourself locked in there?’

The man turned his head, revealing a bloodless rent down the other side of his face. On eye socket gaped emptily, and teeth grinned at her though the wound.

* * *

Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this is a first draft, and as such won’t be perfect – while the bones of the story are there, enough to give you a glimpse into the tale of these characters, I typically do at least eight drafts so you can expect the final version to bear little resemblance to what I post here.

If you like what you read, and are so inclined, show your support by leaving a comment. If you’d like to sample more of my writing, check out the free short stories available on this site, or subscribe to the newsletter to receive my novella, Confronting the Demon, and short story, A Magical Melody, free.

More about In the Company of the Dead

Wagon Ride

Lyram already crossed a prince – now he finds himself on the brink of crossing a god.

Son of a duke and third in line for the throne, Lyram is exiled to a lonely castle after striking his prince – but when the castle is besieged, he fears the prince means to remove him more permanently.

Hope arrives in the form of the Left Hand of Death, the woman bound to serve the goddess Ahura in battle. But the priestess has not come for the siege – instead she hunts the castle for a hidden necromancer dedicated to the god of decay.

Within his stone prison, Lyram must fight to save himself from both political machinations and clashing gods. But as the siege lengthens, his greatest threat comes from an unexpected quarter.

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Thanks for stopping by and visiting!

Why I Originally Liked Falling Skies Better Than The Walking Dead



Don’t shoot me! I always liked The Walking Dead, but my fondness for the show grew rapidly at the beginning of Season 3.

Before that, while I enjoyed the storylines, watching it was sometimes an exercise in frustration for me. So many people doing so many stupid things. Mostly characters who are dead now. And you know why they are dead now? Because they did stupid things!

Well, that’s natural selection for you, but with my disposition and low tolerance for stupidity, it wasn’t my idea of entertainment. My long-suffering husband had to endure hours of my rants, or screaming at the TV.

‘Take someone with you!’

‘Don’t wander off in the dark alone – I don’t care if you need to pee.’

‘Where is your gun? Where the hellis your gun, moron?’

‘Oh my god, why are you letting that kid wander off alone? This isn’t a playground!’

Eventually these explosions evolved into a reorganisation of the survivors by yours truly – if only Rick had listened to me sooner, he might have made it out with more people alive.

Of course, then my husband had to listen to me wax lyrical about how I’d be running my band of zombie survivors.

I may not be able to fight. I’ve never shot a gun. I’m short, so I probably can’t run that fast, and god forbid I would have to ditch my heels – a sacrifice I grudgingly admit I would make in the interests of survival. God dammit, why can’t one be an efficient zombie survivor and look stylish?

But assuming I managed to survive the initial zombie onslaught using my brain, I’d be organising the hell out of my band of survivors, and you bet I’d be the one running the show. There’d be a buddy system. No wandering off alone, especially at night. In fact, no wandering around at all without a good reason. Everyone would be armed with something. There’d be guards posted.

Ah hell, I forget now a lot of the stuff I said. I’d have to watch it all again.

I know that people were getting used to the idea that humanity was no longer top dog, but hell, we are the mostadaptable species on the planet. That’s why we survive. And most of Rick’s little group weren’t doing a good job of demonstrating that – although they were doing a good job of demonstrating what happens if you don’t adapt.

You die.

At the time, Falling Skies appealed to me more because the characters in that show got it. They immediately understood they were no longer top of the food chain, and they were organising themselves to deal with that situation as best they could. They were mounting guards. They were armed. They expected something to jump out of the shadows and try and kill them at any moment. They were treating life like a hostile situation, not a jaunt in the woods, and consequently far fewer of them died.

They were smart. I liked them.

Then of course at the end of Season 2 of The Walking Dead, Rick basically declared it was his way or the highway, and that’s when things got better. At the opening of Season 3, the survivors were finally behaving the way I thought they should have been from the beginning. Better late than never, I guess, although for some of the original characters late was too late…

Season 4 has started, and I’m still waiting to watch it because my husband is working long hours out at the Sydney bushfires, and we’ve had no time together to catch up on TV. So the episodes just stack up on the DVR… eventually I’ll get to watch them.

What do you like about The Walking Deador Falling Skies, or how do they compare for you if you watch both of them? Yes I know they are different things, zombies, aliens, blah blah blah. It’s all sci-fi, and both these shows are post-apocalyptic dystopian stories.

Just, don’t talk to me about Season 4 of The Walking Dead.