“The Dying Days extreme zombie series began as the most ‘out there’ on the edge zombie fiction Armand Rosamilia could create. It has remained extreme and action-packed, but it grew into something more with great characters and insane changes to the people and the world which make book 8 a must read and makes me sad to think about the series ending. That being said, I can’t wait for book 9 to come out.” — Jay Wilburn #CaptainThreeKidneys
Excerpt from Dying Days 8 by Armand Rosamilia
The two women were hanging around too long and Terry was getting cold sitting waist-deep in the river. He kept looking around, fearful a zombie would appear or grab his ankle underwater and scare the shit out of him.
Terry needed to get out of the water and find dry clothes. Definitely a weapon.
Both women had a weapon but it was too risky to show his face. He needed to stay in the shadows and sneak into The Promised Land once it was dark. Hide out and see who was still around so he could figure out what had happened and who was still in his corner.
He’d heard quite a commotion and wondered if Mitch had actually pulled it off. Maybe The Lich Lord was dead or the smarter people had risen up to take him down.
Terry might be a fucking hero.
But he didn’t think so.
He turned and looked across the river. In this spot it was closer to the other side thanks to a few stunted trees and grass on a couple of small islands. He could easily swim out to one and hop across a few and get to the other side. What then?
The dark-haired chick had been with Tosha but refused to kill him. Now she was regretting her decision. Terry could pop out with his hands up and have the girls take him to Tosha, but the redhead bitch might finish what she wanted and kill him.
Terry thought it was better to catch a cold in the river than see what Tosha had in her head. She wasn’t going to let him walk away without retribution for what he’d tried to do to her.
When it was obvious they were going to keep talking and wander around the area looking for him, Terry knew he had to do something.
Once he was sure they had gone to the other side of the former restaurant he doggy-paddled into the river and hoped he could fight the pull so he didn’t end up in the ocean.
If he’d tried to run across the road and head up the road he was sure he’d be seen. Once it was dark tonight he’d try to find a boat or something to help get back across the water.
What the fuck are you doing? Terry hesitated. He didn’t know in which direction was certain death and which way to safety.
Neither is safe, you idiot.
“Fuck it. If I drown it’s my own damn fault,” Terry whispered and kept going, feeling the strong tug of the current but trying not to panic. If he splashed the women might see where he was and take a shot or two.
Drowning would suck but going under because you were also shot and bleeding would be even worse. He’d be a human chum salad for the sharks he knew were in the inlet and maybe in the river as well.
Terry got across to an island. Not the one he was aiming for but one about a hundred yards downstream by the time he pulled himself from the river.
It was good enough.
His legs and arms were throbbing with the exertion. He thought he was in great shape until now. Every muscle ached and he’d only had to swim for a few minutes.
Terry flopped down onto some marsh grass and sighed. He was hidden from the women, which was a good thing because he didn’t want to move right now.
Would it be so wrong to take a quick nap? Terry really didn’t care because that was exactly what his plan was.
He hoped he didn’t snore. Sometimes when he was really tired he snored loudly.
The breeze blowing through the grass and the sound of the river would mask anything. He hoped.
What’s the gameplan now? Just run away and put The Promised Land in the rearview mirror? See if there are other settlements out there? Terry decided worrying and planning right now wasn’t going to help him sleep so he tried to force his brain to shut the fuck up and take five.
Terry opened his eyes when he heard something approaching, expecting it to be a bird or some small animal.
It was a boy, maybe six, and he looked angry.
The rifle in his hand was steady and aimed at Terry’s head.
“Hey… hey, buddy. I’m Terry. Don’t shoot.”
An older man joined the boy, blocking the sun from Terry.
“What do we have here? Looks like a water rat. Let me see your hands, mister. Lukas will shoot you if you twitch wrong. He’s been bagging squirrel and geese for months. Best shot you will ever see,” the man said.
“I believe you,” Terry said and put his hands up. “I’m cool, Lukas. A little wet and hungry but cool. Just trying to get by.”
“We’re all trying to get by,” the man said. “My son is going to check your pockets while I cover. No funny stuff, got it?”
“I don’t have anything. I just swam across the river. Two women are trying to kill me. All I want is to get away before they see us. They’re armed and dangerous,” Terry said.
“We’ll worry about hags once we make sure you’re not the one armed and dangerous,” the man said.
“You already said that.” The man moved to his left so he still had a perfect shot at Terry’s head while Lukas went through his empty pockets.
“Just trying to make conversation while Lukas does what he’s doing,” Terry said. He really didn’t want this end badly or for the women to either see where he was or get into a shooting match with these two. As much as he didn’t really care about the women he didn’t want to see them taken out by these two.
“Stop talking. You’re giving me a headache,” the man said.
“Pa, he’s got nothing. Maybe he’s hiding it in his bung-hole like that man said they sometimes do,” Lukas said.
Terry shook his head. “There’s nothing weird in there.”
“Relax. Even if you filled your ass with bags of peanut M&Ms I’m not looking and wouldn’t eat them, either.” The man lifted his weapon up but Lukas went back to pointing his at Terry’s head.
“I don’t want a problem with the women so if we could get out of here, or better yet, let me go my own way, I’d be mighty grateful,” Terry said.
The man looked across the river. “We could use some women.”
“Not these women,” Terry said quickly. “They’re a nasty lot. Independent. Not good cooks. They’re sisters with bad genes.”
“Their jeans are bad? Like they don’t fit?” Lukas asked.
“Don’t talk to the prisoner, son,” the man said, still trying to see where April and Carlie were.
Terry had no great affection for either woman but she didn’t want this weird guy and his creepy little son getting their hands on them.
“If I’m your prisoner don’t you think you should secure me first? Take me back to wherever it is you need to take me? There’s an entire encampment on the other side, you know. Not just the two bitches. Lots of men with lots of guns. I barely got out alive. By now I’m sure they’ve left to get reinforcements. They’ll shoot first and ask questions later,” Terry said.
“What do you want to do, Pa?” Lukas asked, finger on the trigger. By the look in his eyes there would be no hesitation if his old man told him to kill Terry.
The man did one more sweeping gaze across the river before shaking his head. “Let’s get going. Stand up, mister. Slowly. Hands on your head. If you sneeze we’ll kill you and leave you for the wild things.”
Terry thought the wild things already had him.