Undead Is Not An Option: We Take Care of Our Own

To ZSC Brigade leaders and 1st Lieutenants:
I’m sending this from a tiny town outside Moab called End of The Line. I’ve holed up in an Old West museum with a Navajo named Joe Holiday. The walkers have thinned out, but that won’t last long. I’ve had a lot of time on my hands, so—
We Take Care of Our Own is about a tight-knit family dealing with survival amidst the Zombie Apocalypse in a small Midwestern town and was inspired by the The Walking Dead. The treatment of both the graphic novel and the TV series inspired this tale because it’s brilliantly complex, poignant, and shockingly real. We Take Care Of Our Own examines the human reaction in the shadow of the Zombie Apocalypse.
I’ll be moving on in the morning with Joe. We’ll be heading to Monument Valley, where his people are. In the meantime, keep up the good fight…I know I will.

Please note because the characters are dealing with a zombie outbreak, this excerpt may have some strong language.


We Take Care of Our Own
by EC


My brother and I are the only two left in Churchville, Illinois, population once 112. I’d say last two alive, but that’s not really right. I’m alive, but my brother, Tom Nolan, is very dead. He’s a zombie now. An undead man walking. Tom used to call them flesh-heads, like the towel-heads he fought over in Iraq, but that was before he got bit. I know I’m supposed to put him down, but he’s my brother, and we promised Dad that we’d take care of each other no matter what.
     Dad always said, “Us Nolans, we take care of our own.”
     It’s the six hundred and sixty-sixth day since we stopped using calendars. I only know because 665 is written on the little chalkboard I keep up here. Beneath it are the thin remnants of all the numbers that have been written and erased. I take up the nub of chalk, erase the 5 with my finger, and draw a 6 in a looping motion.
     666…the number of the beast. I think of the Iron Maiden song. It was one of my brother’s favorites. I remember their mascot, Eddie; tight dead skin pulled over his skull face. In one of their posters Eddie was dressed like Uncle Sam, grinning and pointing his rotten knife of finger. That’s right; UNCLE EDDIE WANTS TO EAT YOU! Welcome to The Zombified States of America!
     I lie still for a minute, breathing in the warm attic air; wood and dust, mixed with my own stink. I’ve long taken to sleeping in my clothes. Tom used to say they’d stand up on their own if I bothered to take them off. I don’t sleep very well anymore. Mostly because my mind always goes back over all the things that have happened, and partly because of the Metallica that plays all night long. I play it for Tom, and for me. They were his favorite band, and it helps to drown out the racket he makes the minute darkness falls. I don’t know what it is with flesh-heads, but the night wakes them up, like rats or coyotes; gets their zombie engines runnin’ full throttle and sharpens their senses. Even though Tom is walled up in Grandpa’s bomb shelter, he always knows when night has come.
     I sit up on my mattress. My butt sinks down through whiny, shot springs to the wooden floor beneath. The emptiness in my stomach howls. Man, I’m hungry. Maybe I’ll find some food today in town. Maybe.
     The lone window in the attic glows white hot with sunlight that blots out Illinois farm country below and beyond.
     I pull on my boots, and remember buying them with Dad and my brother. I reach for my brother’s belt and stand up, careful not to whack my head on the low eaves thick with shadows and cobwebs. I thread the belt into my jean loops, and pulling it tight, see I’ve punched six new holes in its cracked leather. My brother used to say I looked like one of those starving children on TV.
     I take up my shotgun that stands against the wall like a cowboy leaning on a post. It’s a Remington 870 express pump action. Dad gave it to me when I turned thirteen. I’m seventeen now, and I miss being thirteen something terrible.
     I start down the attic steps, each one creaking its own note like piano keys.
     The basement is cool and dark as a moonless field. Morning quiets my brother, and all the Metallica albums on the mp3 player usually run out about four in the morning.
     I snatch the mp3 player, with its cracked plastic face, out of the speakers it spends the nights docked in. Mom gave us the mp3 player and the speakers. She bought them right after she got herself a eBook reader. Mom said we shouldn’t be afraid of technology, especially if it helped a person appreciate the arts. I guess Metallica, Tom Petty, and Bruce Springsteen are as much art as Mom’s books.
     I stare for a moment at the thick steel door that keeps my brother safe. I touch my hand to it, wishing I could still touch my brother. I wish I could still muss his hair, or try and make him flinch. He stirs behind the door. I hear the slow clicking and clacking of his teeth, tired from gnashing all night, followed by a low, growling grunt, then silence. I slip the mp3 player into the front pocket of my jeans and bound up the steps, thinking of Mom instead of my zombie brother.
     The sunlight leaks into the kitchen around the edges of the ply boards that cover every window on the first and second floor. I hate it because it makes the whole house feel like a cardboard box, lit by seams and cracks, but without them, there’d only be a pane of glass between you and death. Not that plywood keeps death out, ‘cause it doesn’t, but it’s a good first line of defense.
     I set my rifle on the kitchen table, next to the boxes of shells, and go to my bike angled against the counter. I check its chain and return to the table. Man, I’m tired. I sit down. Just for a minute.


To read more and find out the depths to which Lord Henry Abercrombie falls, check out Undead Is Not An Option.

Book Trailer: Undead Is Not An Option

Happy Monday!!! We’re excited to present the Zombie Survival CrewTM anthology: Undead Is Not An Option!!! The anthology contributors are: IronE Singleton, Juliette Terzieff, Kelene Toups, Anthony Guajardo, Jim Bronyaur, RC Murphy, Maria Kelly, Sonya May, Chris Philbrook, Neil Brown, Jr., Austin Wulf, Tasmin Bowerman, Jessica Capelle, Natalie Cutrufello, Wendy Sparrow, Andrew Jack, Gary James, EC, and LK Gardner-Griffie. Enjoy!!!!!


The Zombie’s Are Coming!! – Part II

This is a little something we cooked up today to enhance our site… we’re so happy with how it turned out, that we had to share. Now… where was I… Oh yes… the Zombie Survival CrewTM Anthology, Undead Is Not An Option. I need to finish telling everyone what you will find inside.

Love is in the air… Zombie-style and yes, Undead Is Not An Option has its share of love stories. Sadie is a normal girl living with her mother, well, as normal as a girl who collects zombies can be. She didn’t start out to collect zombies, it just sort of happened…. Zombie Girl by Tasmin Bowerman weaves a tender tale of a girl who doesn’t have the heart to turn the zombies away and the town-folk who don’t understand. Jessica Capelle gives us a different twist with her story, But I Do Love Your For Your Brain. Erik and Jaimy have a relationship that’s filled with love and commitment. There’s just one problem… she wants to eat him. Will Jaimy’s love save him or will she embrace her true nature and destroy him?

Wendy Sparrow follows with Love Me Dead Or Alive which is the touching… nay… poignant story of Mindy who is attempting to come to grips with her own mortality as her undead boyfriend pressures her to join him so they can be together forever. Titus has more to fear than just his girlfriend’s ticking mortal clock, though; an old school buddy is trying to force Titus’s hand in doing a little doctoring the dead. With Dead Man’s Shoes by Andrew Jack we take a turn into the macabre. Dead Man’s Shoes follows a young man named Carlo when he wakes on the autopsy slab at his local hospital to find that the world has ended and zombies have taken the place of almost every human on the planet….Almost.

Gary James pens a chilling tale with his Never Say Die. A gentleman’s club becomes a refuge for the well-to-do when the dead rise, through one member has a dark secret hanging over his head which threatens all who discover it. One by one the group’s number dwindles, until there is nothing left to do but the unthinkable. This alternate history zombie tale recounts the final days in the life of one of the survivors, as his time – and the 1930s – draws to a dark close. And the finale of the book is We Take Care Of Our Own by EC. We Take Care of Our Own is about a tight-knit family dealing with survival admidst the Zombie Apocalypse in a small Midwestern town and was inspired by the The Walking Dead. The treatment of both the graphic novel and the TV series inspired this tale because it’s brilliantly complex, poignant, and shockingly real. We Take Care Of Our Own examines the human reaction in the shadow of the Zombie Apocalypse.

And there you have it… a little snippet of the wonderful stories you will find between the covers of Undead Is Not An Option which is available for preorder at our special introductory price of $10 now on our Merchandise page


Undead is Not an Option: The Contributors

This past week was certainly… interesting. Some of my fellow Commanders decided it was necessary to duct tape me to a chair in command to keep me from publicly releasing the contents of the Zombie Survival Crew Anthology: Undead Is Not An Option.

I was more than a little peeved. I mean, come on, I managed to keep the exciting news private for months what made them think I couldn’t keep my yap shut for a few more days?

To make it worse, while I was busy gnawing through three layers of industrial strength duct tape so I could put out this little missive, Purple Brigade Commander LK went ahead and revealed the cover art!

Well now it’s finally my turn and I am honored to announce some of the talented contributors to Undead is Not an Option.

The following authors and artists have crafted some truly haunting material examining the many terrifying facets of a zombiepocalypse and what survival will ask of all of us:

Tasmin Bowerman, Jim Bronyaur, EC, Jessica Capelle, Natalie Cutrufello, Andrew Jack, Gary James, Maria Kelly, Samantha Lahue, Sonya May, RC Murphy, Chris Philbrook, Wendy Sparrow, Kelene Toups and Austin Wulf.

We are also absolutely thrilled to announce that cast members from AMC’s hit television show The Walking Dead have graciously agreed to increase Undead Is Not An Option’s creep factor with contributions of their own!! Huge thanks to IronE Singleton, Neil Brown Jr., Anthony Guajardo, and everyone else for their participation.

Make sure you leave space for Undead Is Not An Option in your go bags – because this is one guide you won’t want to be without!

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