The 2nd annual HallowRead will be held October 24th and 25th in Ellicott City, Maryland. On Saturday, Oct. 25th, I’ll be participating on a couple of panels, visiting with fans of urban fantasy, dark fantasy, horror, steampunk, ghosts, vampires, zombies, etc., and, of course, signing my books.
Leading up to this darkly wonderful con, I thought I’d share a few appropriate links, an excerpt from one of my stories, and other HallowReadish odds & ends.
As a fan of “The Walking Dead,” I couldn’t resist making my 1st themed post about zombies. Though I must admit, this season of the television show so far has creeped me out. The whole hunter or prey vibe, while it fits the Zombie Apocalypse, is more disturbing than last year’s Governor and crew.
To survive a Zombie Apocalypse, you might need a fortress like the one in this link.
If you’re thinking of making a zombie video, you’ll need to know about movie make-up and fake blood.
And here’s an excerpt of my zombie love story, “The Return of Gunner Kettilson,” 1st published in an issue of Cemetery Moon, then in the Elektrik Milk Bath Press charity anthology, Zombies for a Cure, and lastly, in my dark fantasy story collection, The Greener Forest.
If you’re interested in reading the whole tale, I’ll have copies of The Greener Forest, plus 1 copy of Zombies for a Cure, with me at HallowRead for purchase. Or, you can always go to Amazon and grab a copy.
The Return of Gunnar Kettilson (an excerpt)
‘Celia sat straight-backed on an oak bench in her moonlit kitchen with the long-handled ax stretched across her lap. She listened for the shambling footsteps of her husband, Gunnar Kettilson, comforted in small measure by the presence of her great aunt beside her on the bench.
“Do you think he will come?” Celia whispered as she rubbed the wooden ax handle with her thumb and wondered if there’d be maggots.
“We should light the welcome candle,” said Rona.
The white-haired woman set the butcher knife she’d been holding in her right hand on the floor, stood, propped the fire poker from her left hand against the bench, and walked to the fireplace. She withdrew a blazing splinter of wood from the fire.
“This night, one night, by full moon’s light,
we call you, Gunnar Kettilson.
Come home, cruel draugr.
Come home, bitter revenant,” chanted Rona as she lit a solitary white candle balanced in a silver candlestick, and placed it on the windowsill.
The elderly woman extinguished the splinter, returned to the bench, and patted Celia’s forearm before picking the butcher knife back up. “We should know before long if we sealed him in the grave or if he’ll return.”
“What more could we have done?”
Celia’s aunt answered her with a tilt of her head and a flutter of her heavily-veined hands.
As they sat in silence listening to the seawind in the trees, Celia recalled the somber funeral procession that carried Gunnar up the hill to the cemetery. She’d followed closely behind the casket beside Rona and Gunnar’s father, Lars. The whole village had marched after them. The whole village had to attend, because Lars owned the fish factory, cannery, and most of the fishing ships where the villagers worked. And Lars retaliated against anyone he suspected of not showing sufficient respect to the Kettilson family.
“Lift your chin up, woman,” Lars had growled as they’d followed the casket. “Be proud you were married to a Kettilson.” Then, he’d grabbed her upper arm, squeezed it hard, glared at her with his cold blue eyes. “And unless you’re carrying his child, I’ll have you out on the street within a year. And if you carry a babe…” He’d scowled, and added, “He’ll be mine at birth. You were never in love with my son, only interested in the Kettilson money.”
Celia had opened her mouth to argue, but before she could utter a word in her defense, Aunt Rona had stared the hulking patriarch of the Kettilson family in his pale, mean eyes, and hissed, “Shame on you, Lars. She’s lost a husband, and he’s not yet beneath the ground. The spirits of the dead remember such slander.”
Lars had pressed his thin lips together so tightly that they’d turned white, but he hadn’t argued with Rona – for Rona was Fae-Blessed. The old woman was known for her rune-reading, healing herbs, and blessing spells. And Lars would naturally suspect she knew darker magics, too.
Celia watched the welcome candle’s flame flicker. She wondered if Gunnar saw its light from the graveyard…’
And lastly, here’s the link to a post which discusses zombies from different world cultures. Enjoy!
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