Age of the Dead

Gareth Wood

Published by Permuted Press at Smashwords.

Copyright 2012 Gareth Wood.

Cover art by Zach McCain.

Part One

The stench of the dead permeates everything. The smell of rotten flesh makes me gag, and my stomach heaves and churns. Even after all this time, I haven’t gotten used to it. I have nightmares when I sleep, so I don’t sleep much, and what rest I do get is tormented by the faces of the walking dead. The end we thought was coming hasn’t yet materialised. The living dead still walk, still hunt us, and still feed on our warm flesh. The living people who die either rise up to join them, or don’t, and we still have no idea how or why.

Our bastion of life has crumbled despite our best efforts, the effects of madness and entropy felt in all the remaining communities. The spring was good. We harvested food, gathered supplies, and coveted the illusion of safety. I learned to ride a motorcycle. Jess and I grew even closer. We felt normal again despite the fences, the weapons, and the ever present undead. The summer was bad. Outbreaks inside the fence had to be put down, supplies ran short and a few communities west and north of us were consumed in a wave of horror and rending that destroyed nearly five hundred lives.

What are we going to do? The corpses encroach in ever increasing numbers. It’s like they know we are here, and come from miles and miles away to find us. The number of guards on the fences is low, the ammunition short. We hear rumours that there is no more food to be had in the nearest towns, and I know this is true. I lead a salvage team, and we have had to go further and further afield to find food, medical supplies, and ammunition. The situation is getting worse every day, despite our efforts to hold on. The fences will soon fail without guards to hold them, and the crowded conditions here will soon result in an uncontainable outbreak, once someone dies and it isn’t reported. Soon the undead will consume us all. I see no choice but to leave…

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