All that’s keeping Riley from the man he’s falling in love with
are the ruins of a city filled with half a million dead
Strangers, Riley and Graham sheltered together in a basement
storage unit when the zombie outbreak slammed into the world three months
ago. They lived through the first blast of the plague, but they may not last
much longer among survivors scrambling for dwindling resources. They agree
to hike from the city and to the safety of the mountains. They didn’t
count on the storm they hoped would cover their exit developing into
a Nor’easter, though, and they sure didn’t think their visibility
shrink so badly that they’d hike into the leading edge of a zombie
swarm, either. In the chaos of escaping the ravenous horde, they are
separated, with Graham racing toward feral dog packs to the east and Riley
sprinting to hostile survivors hunting them to the west.
finding and keeping a quality guy (alive) during the apocalypse would be
Zombies ARE Sexy (aka Dudes in Distress = Undead Canapes)
Why zombies? That’s a question I get asked. A lot. Why, why, WHY? Zombies aren’t sexy. Zombies are gruesome, gory, and gross. They are decaying, for the love of God. So not smexy.
Yep. You’re right.
Corpses don’t generally trip my happy switch, unless we’re talking vampires and hey, none of their dangly bits are rotting off, are they? Neither of my heroes are zombies, though. Their dangly bits are functioning just fine, LOL.
Why zombies then? Because zombies are the super destructo total package. Everyone you have ever met can become an undead killing machine. Depending on the world-building, corpses long dead in the grave can rise up, including your beloved Great Aunt Gertrude who passed away gently in her sleep ten years ago and will now efficiently dig your eyeballs from your skull for a tasty snack. Every person on the planet is a potential enemy. In some zombie worlds, animals can become undead, too. Some zom-infections are instant. You’re bit and WHAMMO! You’re now a mobile WMD. And in other worlds, the lag until reanimation is prolonged so you can savor the horror during that excruciating wait for the inevitable. Sometimes, when a virus drives the zombie infection, you must be bit to become undead, but other times, everybody is infected so dying of natural causes will transform you into a brain muncher. I’ve seen zombie fics in which you didn’t even need to be bitten; you just needed a scratch. Or be splashed with blood spatter.
Regardless of the world, the bottom line is you have to be 100% badass to last long in a zombie outbreak.
And THAT is the allure of zombies.
Damsels in Distress? Or in the case of M/M, Dudes in Distress? Oh, honey, that’s just not possible. Sheer dumb luck may carry you through an encounter or two, but when the horde is descending, any character that is TSTL is going down, baby, down. Above all else, survivors of the zombie plague need to be adaptable, quick, clever, resourceful, and capable. Oh, be still my heart. Heroes must be in prime physical condition because they’ll do tons of running and fighting. With the electrical grid gone and modern conveniences useless, characters become adept at scavenging for supplies or MacGyver a work-around. They learn new skills. Rudimentary first aid. How to filter and purify water. They forage solar panels off highways and then wire them to feed a bank of car batteries to use as a crude power supply. They get smarter or they get dead. Power is a good thing, very good, but light that could draw zombies to your location? Not so hot.
Survivors are the Best of the Best.
In Half a Million Dead Cannibals, both Riley and Graham are extremely capable men. They’ve survived three months into the zombie apocalypse, no small achievement considering they were forced from their shelter to forage for supplies on occasion and they are in an area with other survivors who are distinctly unfriendly toward competitors for dwindling supplies. Neither Riley nor Graham is a simpering, delicate flower. They don’t need to rescue each other. They are equals who have learned to rely on one another. Fate, circumstances, destiny, whatever you want to call it threw them together, but neither man needs a protector or a savior. They are fierce, strong, and proficient men.
Nothing is sexier to me than that.
Leave a comment below with your email address and what characteristic you think would be most important in surviving the zombie apocalypse (strength? intelligence? flexibility?) for a shot at a Zombie Outbreak Response Team car decal like so:
Commenters will also receive an entry into my Half a Million Dead Cannibals Zombie Survival Kit Contest (details about the prize and moar chances to win it here: http://www.karigregg.com/?p=1652).Zombies are coming, guys. Comment, comment, comment! While you still can...
Author bio & links:
Kari Gregg lives in the mountains of Wild and Wonderful West Virginia with
her Wonderful husband and three very Wild children. When Kari’s not
writing, she enjoys reading, coffee, zombie flicks, coffee, naked
mud-wrestling (not really), and . . . coffee!