The Dead Song Legend is about music collectors traveling zombie infested America, recording the songs and music of the survivors. As the people change, the music changes with them and Dead World Records believes the music and its history will matter for better days in the future. Tiny Jones, Satchelmouth Murderman, and Kidd Banjo reshape the world through their travels. Tiny Jones will eventually become a legend during and after the apocalypse, but the reality of their lives was far more powerful than the stories told about them.
Excerpt from The Dead Song Legend Dodecology book 4: April from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City by Jay Wilburn
Shackles locked over the trio’s wrists connected to chains and large metal poles speared into the ground. Lincoln’s men hustled out and left the gate of the circular paddock hanging open. In the haze of driving rain, Tiny watched them run toward the house.
Over the howl of the wind and the splatter of drops against his own body and clothes, Tiny shouted, “Do you think anyone is watching us?”
Kidd backed up and pulled his chain out taut against the stake. He gripped the chain and continued to pull with both hands, his back bent and cheeks puffed.
“These poles are probably used for breaking wild horses,” Satch said. “We won’t be pulling them up, I don’t think.”
“Rain has washed out the street and half of San Antonio.” Kidd let out the slack on his chain and grabbed the pole itself on his knees in the mud. He wretched from side to side, but the metal stake showed no give. “It’s bound to loosen these stakes eventually.”
“If anyone was watching, they would have shot Kidd by now.” Tiny turned to face away from the house toward the outside gate. The weather obscured the perimeter of the property from view.
Kidd tried to twist the lock pin through the top of the stake, but the padlock holding the chain remained fastened in place. He kicked at it three times with no result.
“What was it like punching Valentine in the dick?” Satch stepped backward until he slogged up beside Tiny, but facing the house.
“Smaller than I expected.” Tiny shrugged, splashing water off the grooves of wet cloth over his shoulders. He blinked against the oils from his skin burning his eyes. “Very disappointed, but it explains his overcompensation.”
Kidd wrapped the chain around one knee and pulled upward as he tried to collapse his fingers and hands through the bracelets of the shackles. “What was it like being kicked in the dick, Satch?”
“About like you would imagine. I should have hit him one last time and took my chances on Lincoln’s men shooting me.”
“They don’t seem too keen on cops.” Kidd stood straight and turned his face up into the storm as lightning flashed. “Valentine picked the wrong costume for this crowd. If you did murder him, they’d probably have let it go.”
No lives matter … Didn’t we know that? Can’t help them all. Just reach out and hope they grab on, girls.
Thunder punctuated Satch’s answer, rolling out through the sky above them. Three pops and then four more cracks split the air on the tailend of the roll of thunder. Tiny wasn’t sure if it was gunfire or not. He turned to see that Kidd still stood. Satch faced out to the main gate they had passed through on the edge of the ranch property. “Did you hear that?”
Three more shots followed.
“Bronco’s men making a move?” Kidd took a step closer to the other two, dragging his chain through the mud.
Shadowy figures ran through the property on both sides of the corral with guns drawn. The men chained inside crouched as the runners in ponchos passed them without stopping.
Hands up or down? Give me instructions here, assholes. I’m open to suggestions … usually during sex and only upon request.
One man stopped and turned near the gate to the corral. He fired shots through the rain toward the outside world, cutting his aim from left to right.
First, a few shapes formed slow shadows. More filled the gaps between those. The groans grew louder than the rain. The shooter went empty as lightning blistered over their heads and thunder cracked almost on top of the flash. The man shouldered his rifle and ran for the house as shadows grew into colorless features of walking corpses.
“Hey.” Satch walked out to the end of his chain near the open gate and extended his arms. “We’re stuck in here. Let us go, Dick.”
The man did not turn his head and no other living men passed as the wall of the dead trudged through the mud after the fleeing guards.
Satch extended his foot and tried to hook a metal slat of the gate to pull the paddock closed. He did not come close. If the gate opened inward instead of swinging outward, he might have stood a chance. “Kidd, can you get it? We need to box ourselves in at least.”
Kidd’s stake speared the ground farthest from the gate with Tiny chained between the other two. He tried anyway, crossing over Satch’s and Tiny’s chains. Even being taller, he could not reach as close as Satch did to the gate. “We’re fucked.”
“Get down, both of you.” Satch squatted low to the ground. “Stay quiet.”
Kidd and Tiny dropped to their knees where they planted within the corral.
The first few zombies lumbered past without turning their heads to look. Tiny turned his head slowly to track progress on both sides. One naked corpse staggered into a section of fence on the opposite side of the gate. It bounded into the crowd and the bodies jostled one another as their dead muscles negotiated the unforgiving mud.
Lightning flashed and weak thunder grumbled in the distance.
One of the bodies farther out impacted a door panel on one of the SUVs beyond the men’s range of sight in the rain. Another creature hit the fence closer to the gate. It turned its head. One blue eye and one solid red stared out over the tops of the men’s heads as the dead monster passed. A woman hit the gate with her shoulder. The gate turned inward only a few inches, but screamed on its hinges. She continued toward the house without reaction. Two others turned their heads at the sound. Their paces slowed, but they continued past the corral at an angle.
Something screamed diagonally from the paddock and every corpse stopped in mid stride. They all stared over the corral in the direction of the noise. The creature brayed again as a donkey with one ear and no eyes bounded through the mob. Three zombies hung off its back and sides with fingers and teeth dug into flesh between ribs. The blind, bloody donkey screamed and kicked in a circle, but could not shake loose. It collapsed and the dead fell on it in an insectile swarm.
The zombies crossed one another as they pushed past each other to get at the body and the noise. As the animal fell silent, the zombies circled in the storm, losing track of their targets. They moved around the fencing from all four sides, weaving in different directions.
One stumbled into the post of the open gate. It turned and backed up into the corral, knocking the gate open a few inches with another metal screech. The others stopped and turned toward the noise from all sides. They closed in on the corral.
The one inside turned in a circle before walking between Kidd and Satch on the ground. It stopped, tilted its head, and opened its jaws over Tiny.
Satch wrapped his chain around the zombie’s neck from behind and pulled it down to its back in the mud. It clawed at the air and gave two choked clicks. Kidd raised his cuffs and slammed them down, denting the monster’s forehead twice. The double crack echoed out through the yard. More bodies turned toward them. Kidd wrapped his chain around the thing’s skull and braced both feet on the side of its head as he pulled. The chain crinkled and then sheered through the scalp as the links pulled apart bone and brain. The arms collapsed to the mud as dark brain matter oozed out into the diluting rain.
The men stayed crouched around the still body as moving zombies circled the fenced enclosure.