Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Blogging A to Z, H is for Hound of Hell & Zombies

Today's Blogging A to Z : H is for Hound of Hell  (and zombies!)

  I finally convinced fellow author Marian Allen to talk about how she actually wrote about.yes, zombies, of course, in her collection of 10 short stories, LONNIE, ME AND THE HOUND OF HELL.

 ** Read her confession... (and the description in the last paragraph of the excerpt is worth reading!)

About LONNIE, ME AND THE HOUND OF HELL.:

Short stories of animals and oddities. A man's best friend believes he's called the devil's own dog. A little girl is terrorized, with only two little mice to help her. A vampire is sent to clean up a crooked horse race. 

Ten stories, some never before published, (95 pages) including:
Lonnie, Me and the Hound of Hell
Balance of Power
Mr. Farrell
The Damned Place Was Full Of Crocodiles
Dog Star
A Devouring Passion
Seeking Shadow
High Stakes
Sledgehammer
Mr. Sugar vs the Martians

A Zombie Confession
by Marian Allen

  I’m sorry, but I hate zombies. You know how some people are about roaches? That’s how I am about zombies. In fact, I’m more liable to dress a roach up in a little tutu and post pictures of it on Facebook than I am to embrace a zombie.

Nevertheless (or, as the cool kids put it these days, that being said), I occasionally write a zombie story. Sometimes a story comes along, and it just has a zombie in it. That’s just how that story rolls.

In the case of “Sledgehammer” in the zombie came first and the story came later.

The urge to create was upon me, but I didn’t have a quick project to play with. So I got on Facebook and, fool that I am, asked for story ideas. My #4 Daughter immediately suggested donkeys v zombies. Someone else suggested the lost colony of Roanoke. Fleeing across the frozen wastes of Russia, pursued by a pack of ravenous wolves got in there somehow. Another friend chose that day to post about a disturbing dream she had about her canary.

And “Sledgehammer” was born.

Excerpt:
            This was not the time to ask how I got here, how I came to be walking on this uneven path through the woods. An irregular strip of star-spackled gray stretched above, between the treetops’ silhouettes, like a river of milk polluted by coal dust. The chill wind that whipped along the path seemed to resent me for blocking its right of way, and clawed vainly at my fur-lined coat and hat.
            I had other things to think about.
            Shadows lighter than the dimness beneath the trees moved at the edge of sight, milling and murmuring. At first, all I could hear were the vowels: “—o—a—o—a. –o—a—o—a.” Then the hardest consonant came clear, and then the second, then all of it: “—o—a—to—a. C—o—a—to—a. Cro-a-to-an.”
            They—whatever “they” were—rustled through the underbrush, pacing me, waiting for some signal. Waiting for me to run? Waiting for one of their number to take the first decisive step?
            Since walking hadn’t triggered them yet, I kept it up. In the distance, a howl lifted like the hairs on the back of my neck, and the rustling to either side grew louder—more agitated. The howling meant good news for somebody, and I was guessing it wasn’t me.
            A sweet trill of song, so out of place it turned my stomach, drew my eyes to a branch above my head. My parakeet, Smudge, flickered down and gripped the shoulder of my coat.
            Oh, Smudge! Whatever brought me here, you don’t deserve to share my fate!
            Smudge pushed aside my earflap and foraged for seed in my ear. He had never found any there, but he never gave up hope.
            I picked up my pace a little, heartened to see a clear space ahead. The woods dropped behind me as I stepped out into a snow-covered landscape. The snow was deep—the tops of bushes stuck above the surface like the hair of drowning men—but the surface was crusted over. A thin powdery fall lay over the crust and whirled in the wind.
            It was impossible that I should not look back to see if my company would follow me into the open.
           They did: a troop of shambling, shuffling, gray-faced animated corpses—a rotting double-handful of zombies kicking through the snow powder like so many sullen toddlers. Their clothes hung from their meat-crusted bones in rags and tatters, but a shoe-buckle here and the ruins of an apron or cap there spoke of the sixteenth century.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for including me in this undead carnival, Chris. The zombies are pleased, too.

    Marian Allen, Author Lady
    Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

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