Today on The Tattooed Book Geek I am pleased to be bringing to you all a book excerpt from All Roads Lead To Terror (Dreadland Chronicles #1) by Richard Schiver.
Inspired by Stephen King’s Dark Tower series.
If Roland Deschain was the last gunslinger, who was the first?
Which one of these boys will become the first gunslinger?
They are three, bound by a fourth, coming together in a post apocalyptic world to confront a growing evil that threatens to destroy mankind once and for all. But can they overcome their own differences in time to save their world, and the fate of all the others?
Fourteen years have passed since the dead walked, and obscurity means survival in an increasingly dangerous world. For the survivors compound at Bremo Bluff that obscurity is threatened when a group of children are abducted.
Four boys embark on a quest to rescue the children. A journey that will lead them into adulthood, with a brief detour through the Dreadlands, as they come face to face with the harsh realities of a brutal world beyond the barriers that had served to protect them.
In the dead city of Richmond they will face a savage cult who worship a creature of the night. They are not gods, nor are they demons. Born of despair these creatures lived along the shadowy edges of our well lit world. Where misery dwelt hand in hand with agony.
When the dead walked, and man fled the cities to the east, he left behind an offspring of his despair. Once viewed as the nightmare imaginings of a fevered mind, these creatures were now awake in a world where the population that served as their food source has been severely reduced.
Awake, and very, very, hungry.
Book Excerpt from All Roads Lead To Terror:
A side door stood open and Meat wandered over to take a peek inside. He found a block of hundred dollar bills still wrapped in heavy plastic lying on the floor. Protected from the elements, they looked as fresh as the day they had been printed. But that wouldn’t last. In time, even the plastic protecting the bills would surrender to the relentlessness of the elements, and the money inside, about as worthless as the paper it had been printed on, would soon be returned to its natural state.
Their heads on a swivel, they moved down the street, weaving among the traffic jam of the dead, their weapons at the ready. They were in enemy territory, not knowing if anyone other than the ever-present crows was watching their progress from the vacant windows that gazed out upon the dead street. For Meat, it was the most uncomfortable sensation he’d ever experienced, surrounded on all sides by the evidence of a world that had suddenly ceased to exist on the day of his birth.
He was better suited to the forest. He understood its voice, and the incessant sound of life that gurgled just beneath the surface of his consciousness. Here there was but the restless voice of the wind, an occasional cry somewhere in the distance, and the chatter of the birds that came and went in no discernable pattern. To Meat, the city was an alien world and the sooner he escaped its smothering embrace, the happier he would be.
To their left was a row of businesses, their windows shattered, doors torn from their hinges. It looked like a violent storm had passed down the street destroying everything in its path. Except for one section. Here, the glass in the single door was still intact, the drawn shade giving it the illusion that the owner had stepped out for a moment and would be back any minute. On the white wall to the right of the door someone had written a single word in heavy black paint.
Scattered around it, that single word was repeated in different languages, all written by hand in black paint, all he believed proclaiming the same simple sentiment.
This simple message had stood against all the violence that had gripped the city.
“What do you think it means?” Window said.
Meat shrugged, but he had a wide smile on his face. Like a beacon amid all the destruction, the message had stood untouched. And that simple fact filled him with a renewed optimism.
They would survive. All of them. The human race would overcome the despair that was now gripping it. In places like Bremo Bluff, and here amid all this destruction, hope would overcome the obstacles in their path. He rejoined the group, a spring in his step, comforted that he was not alone in his desire to see the human race succeed.
That feeling of hope was short-lived as they came upon several corpses hanging from the few remaining streetlights that lined the road. They were fresh, and as one of the corpses slowly turned at the end of its taut rope, he recognized it as the young man who had been kicked in the balls the day before as they watched from the roof of the apartment building. The other two were his friends, united in death, as they had been in life.
“We’re in their territory now,” the young boy said as they stopped and gazed up at the hanging corpses.
“One hell of a way to mark a boundary,” Gregory said.
“Where’s the old man?” Billie-Bob said.
“Maybe he got away,” Window said.
“Somehow I doubt that, keep an eye out,” Meat said. “They probably know we’re here.”
Gregory shrugged as he checked his pistol. The others followed suit, preparing for the worst, yet hoping for the best.
All Roads Lead To Terror
Short Story links
Meats Birthday: http://www.richardschiver.com/p/meats-birthday.html
Windows Birthday: http://www.richardschiver.com/p/windows-birthday.html
Billie-Bobs Birthday: http://www.richardschiver.com/p/billie-bobs-birthday.html
Einstein’s Birthday: Not Available at this time.
Blog post links for series
What are the Dreadlands:
Richard is the author of six novels, two novellas, and a collection of short stories with much more on the way. His short work has appeared in a diverse range of publications from Dark Moon Digest to The Backbone Mountain Review. His most recent works includes All Roads Lead To Terror. The Reaping, and Legion of the Damned. Books one through three in his post apocalyptic coming of age series, The Dreadland Chronicles.
Unlike other writers who knew they wanted to write the moment they became self aware, Richard’s path to taking up the pen followed a more leisurely route.
As a child he wanted to be a fighter pilot, later he thought it would be neat to be a rock star. Unfortunately, as an introvert, he was not suited for the stage. Once he gave up the guitar, much to the relief of his parents, he turned his attention to making movies.
Armed with an 8mm movie camera, several rolls of aluminum foil liberated from the kitchen, and the spare bed sheets, he filmed his first masterpiece. The story was about a space ship crash landing in the woods behind his house. His sister starred as the damsel in distress while his little brother, wrapped like a mummy in the spare bed sheets, chased her through the woods.
His career as a famous director ended before it even got off the ground when on opening night his mother recognized the missing bed sheets and aluminum foil resulting in his grounding for the remainder of that summer.
A voracious reader, he believes writing is the most intimate form of communication possible. The reader permits the writer access to their mind, and the readers reality dissolves as they focus on the narrative of the tale being spun.
His love of the macabre was sparked at an early age when he would sit on his grandmother’s porch listening to her tell ghost stories. During the summer he and his cousins would sleep in his grandmother’s back yard, within sight of the abandoned haunted house next door, and spend the night scaring one another with gruesome tales of shadowy creatures that went bump in the night.
During his life he has played a series of roles, husband, father, son, and lover, but his favorite by far is grandfather. He and his wife of twenty plus years have raised four children, and helped raise eight grandchildren. They provide a secure home to a yellow lab named Max and a cat who will answer to either Flame or Furball.
His loving wife, Dena has experienced first hand the exasperation of living with a writer whose mind has a tendency to wander at the most inappropriate times. Yet she manages to keep his feet firmly planted on terra firma.
Richard can be found online at:
Follow Richard on Twitter: @RichardSchiver
Written in Blood is Richard’s personal blog where he shares his writing, and whatever else might strike his fancy. http://www.richardschiver.com
He can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and would be delighted to hear from you.
Join Richard’s readers group and get two complete novels and a collection of short stories. Be among the first to learn of new and upcoming releases, check out excepts from works in progress, and follow along a serial novel being written just for the members of his readers group.
Reading group: http://www.eepurl.com/2bYSf
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