"Blood of the Dead isn't what you think it is. Sure, it starts out as a zombie jamboree that drags you through Hell on Earth, but then it goes further ... a lot further ... and takes you straight to Hell and back again. This is the stuff of nightmares, boys and girls, with some unnerving and frightening action scenes that will have you on the edge of your seat and haunt your dreams."--Rick Hautala, author of The Wildman and Occasional Demons
"A satisfying addition to the ever-growing zombie subgenre ... non-stop action and flesh-eating mayhem ... Blood of the Dead will be enjoyed by any zombie fan."--The Horror Fiction Review
"Frantically paced and never predictable, Blood of the Dead takes the usual staples of the zombie-genre--blood, guts, guns and action--and mixes them with the bizarre to create a unique story. It's a formidable mix--think Night of the Living Dead with a healthy dash of Dante's Inferno! Fuchs leads his cast through a nightmare world filled with relentless pain, constant fear and never-ending waves of dead flesh, then takes them some place worse ... You've never read a zombie story like this before!"--David Moody, author of the Autumn series
"Talented author A.P. Fuchs has woven a bloody tapestry out of human flesh, the dark ruins of a decimated earth and the raw fear and uncertainty of the few remaining survivors. Richly drawn characters face loss, isolation, hunger and, of course, hordes of the living dead in this post-apocalyptic gem. Zombie fans will do themselves well by picking up a copy of Blood of the Dead. Scary, heartbreaking and imaginative, this book sits near the top of my very short list of zombie favorites. An absolute blast!"--Gina Ranalli, author of Chemical Gardens and Wall of Kiss
"Fuchs presents a hellish apocalypse underneath poisoned skies in Blood of the Dead. Well drawn characters navigate the very edge of a meat grinder powered by Fuchs's twisted imagination. The Undead World Trilogy looks to be a promising addition to the genre."--Gregory Solis, author of Rise and Walk
"Unrelenting and unnerving, Fuchs crafts an apocalyptic tale of empty humanity among a world overrun by the living dead. A world uniquely envisioned and vividly crafted by the imagination of A.P Fuchs. Blood of the Dead offers a rich blend of guns and gore that is sure to please the most diehard of zombie fans."--Geoff Bough, Editor of Revenant Magazine
Joe Bailey: Zombie Hunter
"Whattsa matter, baby? Never made love to a zombie before?"
The man's voice was filled with sarcasm but, looking on from the shadows, Joe Bailey couldn't help but think the guy meant every word and that he truly did want the girl to mess around with the dead man in front of her.
The girl, a blonde of probably seventeen or eighteen, frantically tugged at the iron collar around her neck. Joe knew that getting it off would be impossible. The collar was attached to a long iron rod. On the other end was the guy who wanted to see her come apart at the prospect of defiling herself with the undead.
Who knew what they had already done to her before now. What was once an off-yellow dress was mere tatters sagging off her frame like a torn shower curtain. Her cries were muffled by the band of silver duct tape across her mouth. From where Joe lurked off to the side, he could see how her long blonde hair had been pulled forward across her cheeks and stuffed into her mouth to help keep her quiet.
The air stank with booze and dope and the funk of the dead.
The man holding the rod jerked it to the right and left, whipping the girl side to side as he steered her toward the dead man across the basement floor. Four of his friends looked on, yipping and cheering. All five men were eager for what was about to happen. Three were on one side of the room, including the man holding the pole; two were across the way, both gripping a similar iron pole. This one was attached to another collar, one clamped around the neck of an overweight gray-skinned man with a blood-stained white shirt, brown dress pants and only one shoe. The fat man, Joe supposed, had probably been a hard worker when he was alive. Though he was now dead but somehow back to life, he still carried a look of innocence in his eyes, a look of pleading behind the rage and mindless hunger that consumed him.
The jerks cackled and cheered and stepped closer as their buddy forced the girl toward the monster, the dead man trying to step forward with arms outstretched, wanting to grab her. The two guys holding the zombie at bay fought with each tug against the pole. It was a wonder the zombie didn't spin around and take those guys out in an effort to break free. Then again, intelligence was never in a zombie's favor. Joe had been around them long enough to know that much.
Joe remained in the shadows behind an old furnace off to the side. The creeps holding the girl hadn't heard him break in through the first floor window of the house and sneak down the stairs into the shadows, each too consumed with the idea of bringing this girl to the edge of torment and despair before, finally, shoving her off the edge.
"Oh come on, girlie-girlie. It ain't so bad," her captor said. "The dude's just hungry, that's all. You know as well as I do that they need to eat now and then, just like anyone else."
The girl's muffled screams, grunts and heavy breathing through her nose sent a shockwave of apprehension through the air.
The guy holding the iron rod shook off his beaten leather jacket, first his right arm then, after switching his hold on the rod to the other hand, his left. He wore a blue T-shirt, one which reminded Joe of what the sky used to look like before it had permanently clouded over in a sickly mix of gray and brown.
"Whoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!" Blue T-shirt sang. "One, two, the dead's coming for you!"
The girl screeched behind her gag. Blue's friends howled. They shoved each other playfully like drunks.
"Ready, Betty?" Blue asked.
If "Betty" was the girl's real name or not, Joe didn't know nor, right now, care.
He cursed himself for sitting in the shadows so long, having to watch as Betty inched toward her doom, but if he didn't time this just right, neither he nor she would make it out of here alive. You didn't have to be paranoid to know that each of the men were packing heat, something that had become commonplace once the dead had taken over.
The zombie snarled and a gob of bloody-spit spilled from the corner of its mouth. It violently lurched forward, catching the men holding the iron rod off guard. A muffled pop came from the zombie's neck. It had broken it from the force of the pull.
And it still kept moving.
The men holding it at bay yanked back on the rod, jerking the dead man back a step. The zombie grunted, but kept its feet firmly planted so it only leaned back against the air at an impossible angle before tugging itself upright again. The dudes holding the rod lost their grip and the second the iron rod clanged against the concrete floor, the girl screamed, muffled and scared.
"You idiots!" Blue shouted. Indecisiveness flashed across his eyes. He wasn't sure what to do.
Joe pulled the large X-09 to shoulder height, cocked the enormous hammer, and got ready. As was his custom, he counted to three then kissed the tip of the thick barrel before settling his finger around the trigger. One cock of the hammer was good for two shots. He had designed the X-09 himself, a large handgun, black and smooth with a Western flare that packed more punch than a double-barreled shotgun. He could have made a fortune off it if the world was the way it used to be.
But those days were gone.
The zombie scrambled toward the girl. She veered to the side and breathed a shrill wheeze when the collar stopped her stride.
Blue yanked her back then threw her and the pole into the zombie. He and his buddies spun around and ran for the long flight of basement stairs.
Joe jumped out from behind the furnace, aimed at the two yahoos scrambling up the steps in front of Blue and sent a bullet into each of their backs. The sounds of the double gunshot froze Blue in his tracks and by the time he turned around to see the source of fire, Joe had already cocked the hammer again and had the barrel aimed between Blue's eyes.
"What the--" Blue started. He was cut off when the girl shrieked and the zombie, who was now on top of her, growled. "Me or her. What's it gonna be, hero man?"
"Both," Joe said and pulled the trigger.
A blood-red hole the size of a quarter sprang to life at the center of Blue's forehead, the back of his head spraying outward in a rain of flesh and bone. Eyes still gazing at Joe, the dude dropped to his knees then toppled face first onto the floor.
Joe turned and dove to the side as the two guys who had earlier held the zombie at bay aimed their pistols at him and fired. He pulled the trigger in mid air, sending a bullet into the zombie's back, the impact forceful enough to send the dead man rolling off the girl and to the side.
A numby bang rocked Joe's shoulder when he hit the ground. Fortunately the long, brown rain-ruined suede trench coat he wore was padded top to bottom so the pain wasn't as sharp as it should have been. He cocked the hammer.
The girl rolled onto her side and tried to get up, but the awkwardness of the neck collar and attached pole screwed up her balance and she fell back down, landing on her stomach and face.
The two men with the pistols opened fire.
Joe sent off two shots, tagging each of them in the heart. Their chests exploded almost simultaneously in a burst of blood and they hit the floor.
The zombie rushed on all fours and tackled the girl, slamming its forehead into the back of her skull. She lay there, still.
Joe got to his feet, cocked the hammer, and took three huge strides over to it. He yanked the dead man up by the collar. The creature turned its head toward him, its bloodshot eyes filled with malice. It reached for Joe's arm.
Joe pulled the trigger.
The shot took off the top of the dead man's head, everything from the eyebrows up. The syrupy splash of brain matter and the soft sound of bone hitting the concrete followed right behind.
Now no longer moving, the dead man's body suddenly weighed a ton and Joe needed both hands to dump it off to the side.
He got down on his knees beside the girl and checked her neck for a pulse. It was there, still frantic from the ordeal.
He turned her over and grimaced at the sight of her bloody face, a deep gouge caused by teeth on her left cheekbone.
"Crap," he muttered.
Her tearstained eyes opened slowly then rolled back in their sockets. When they rolled forward again, a soft smile rose on her face.
"Thanks," she whispered.
Joe stood, sighed, and aimed the gun between her eyes. "You're welcome."