In the mean time here is a draft first chapter. I hope you enjoy. I will release further sample chapters, book covers and blurb as it is ready. I am looking for beta readers as well.
The houses on the narrow terrace street looked familiar to her. But instead of the normally organised parking along each kerb, smashed and burnt out cars littered the road. The front car a twisted smouldering wreck; another had a bullet hole through a blood splattered windscreen. The houses carried similar violent scars of broken windows and smoke billowing out into the dark. The house on the corner had the entire first floor missing. Its debris swirled across the street, whipping about in the cold night air.
A breeze cut into her body and brought with it a rotten smell. She curled up her nose and tried not to breathe through it. She wrapped her arms around her body to keep warm. Her flesh on flesh squelched and alerted her eyes down to blood coated arms. She held them out in front. Her red hands trembled and pulse raced. Her naked body was soaked in blood. She screamed and bolted down the street to her house. As she ran, her blood matted hair slapped into her face and bare feet burned on the cold rough concrete.
Ahead, the body of a woman lay twisted with the torso facing the opposite way to her legs; her eyes and mouth stuck wide and hands held out as if to defend. On the other side of the street, a man lay face down, with blood pooled around his head and severed leg a few yards up the street. Bodies torn limb from limb littered the rest of the street, their rotten stench assaulting her nostrils.
She sprinted harder, but in her path, a middle-aged woman and pre-teen girl, with ripped and blackened blood splattered clothes, were crouched over a prone man. They sobbed over him, and his laboured breath steamed upwards. The woman placed her hand on his cheek, and his last breath blew out. The women broke into a stream of tears and slumped over the body, taking one last moment altogether.
Mary-Anne approached, bloodied hands held out. “Please, help me.”
They turned around; lines of tears marked down their dirty faces. The young girl screamed.
“Get away,” the woman shouted and hauled the girl onto her feet.
“Please, help me,” she said.
The woman yanked the young girl’s arm, and they ran down the street into darkness.
“Wait,” she shouted after them, but two screams echoed back from the darkness and then abruptly stopped. The dead man’s hand slipped off his stomach, showing his fatal injury, a stab wound through his gut.
Footsteps dragged along the street and groans echoed around. She twisted around as dark figures shuffled forwards. She spun to run away. But the twisted torso of the woman jerked into the light. Her body and head fixed at an angle to her legs. A man, with a bullet hole in his head and glass embedded into his face, lurched into reach. The dead man on the floor jerked limb by limb to his feet. His eyes veiled in a white cloud. The newly dead had arisen and closed in on every side. The whites of their undead eyes glared at her and hands groped inches away.
She curled up in her arms ready to die, but they stopped, recoiled and pointed. “You.”
She jumped awake, sitting bolt upright in bed, heart pounding. Her arms wet, blood? She twisted around and turned on the bedside light to check. Thankfully, sweat coated her arms instead. Her whole body was soaked from the night terrors. To her side, her husband, Thomas turned around. His muscular shoulders and chest uncovered. His black hair ruffled. He opened one eye. “Your nightmare?”
“Yeah,” she said, trying to control her breathing.
“How scary is being naked on the bus? You nearly hit the ceiling that time.”
“I know,” she replied, lying back down.
“Take a deep breath. It’s just a dream. Night,” he said and wrapped an arm around her.
“Night,” she replied and slid into his embrace.