The Pale Horse – Prologue

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The apocalypse began on a Tuesday.

In the heat and humidity of September in Mumbai, a small, white organism grew inside the walls of The Sahil Hotel on Behram Road. The walls were made to resist mold and most fungal growth, yet this persisted. It concentrated most heavily inside Room Two-Twenty-One which had gone unused and uncleaned for a week before being given to Joseph Patel, a business man out of New York in the United States. When he’d gotten the room, he complained that it smelled musty.

That morning, three cleaning women went in while he was out at a meeting and aired it out. They did not notice the spores that floated in the sunlight, mistaking them for dust. Laboring for nearly an hour, they managed to mask the smell that had offended Joseph Patel. When he returned that afternoon, the whole room smelled of lavender and pine and he slept soundly all night.

On the third morning of his stay, Joseph woke in the middle of the night with a headache and he felt like his sinuses was packed with cotton. He took an aspirin and went back to bed. He woke again before dawn and felt a cold coming on. Cursing his luck, he listed every person he met with this week and decided to lay the blame on Andil Vuschel, the salesman from Eramal. Andil had been sneezing through his entire presentation and didn’t cover his mouth once.

Joseph packed his bags and made an early start for the airport. Continue reading

The Pale Horse

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Three months ago a man got on a plane in India thinking he had a cold. What he carried inside of him was a disease that was highly infectious and resistant to most known forms of medication. Within weeks, the disease has spread across the globe and there is no cure.

The world calls it The Pale Horse.

For twenty year-old Meda Ahachik, her vacation should have been spent worrying about upcoming finals. Instead, the pandemic reaches the city of Baltimore, and Meda finds herself relying on the teachings of a family she’d left far behind.

Continue reading

Dark Winter: Book 2 – Chapter 25

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Lindsay lit the chemical light, closed the steel door, and sealed the lab. She stood in the hallway, at the center of a pale green circle of light, and felt utterly alone. Leah Collins was dead. Holden was dead. All those men and women were dead. Everyone was dead or dying.

But maybe not Katie.

She placed her hand over the pocket where the vials were stored. They felt heavy, so heavy that she wanted to take them out and give them to someone else to carry. They were too important for her, it needed to be someone else, anyone else.

I have a decision to make. Continue reading

The Space Cantina – A thank you to DGS and creating a zombie horror world of my own?

SpaceCantina_HeaderOver the past few months I’ve had a lot of fun creating Dark Winter, a novel set in the world of H1Z1. H1Z1, as you know, is owned and run by Daybreak Game Studios (formerly Sony Online Entertainment). Daybreak has been very good to me, going so far as to write an article about my story. I was flattered and amazed that this company, a company who I’ve followed and enjoyed since my days as a struggling wizard in EverQuest 1, would pay this little project any kind of attention. It was simply phenomenal. A dream come true.

And then you guys started reading it too.

Book One saw a couple hundred viewers each time a new chapter went up, a number I was blown away by. Hundreds of people wanted to read my stories. Wow. Holy shit. I had readers!

I’ve always wanted to be an author. I’ve been working on several novels and have had several short stories published in the past. I currently have a steampunk novella out for publication and if that sees any fruit, I’ll be sharing that news here.

But all of this got me thinking about doing a zombie apocalypse novel of my own. If a couple hundred people really enjoy Dark Winter, maybe they’d like to read about another world as well?

Maybe.

It’s safe to say a good deal of my readers come because they like H1Z1 but I also like to think they enjoy my writing. I have so many stories yet to tell long after Katie and Lindsay’s journey comes to an end. And it will come to an end in Book 2.

So what happens then? Well I could go back to working on other things, lurk about on the H1Z1 reddit like I always do (that will never change), or start telling some of those stories.

I have a few ideas about other worlds I’d like to write about. The most obvious is a very H1Z1-ish world where a virus has taken hold and destroyed civilization. Those stories are very common, and also very popular. I love them and have read many, many versions. Despite their shared concept, each story is unique, each apocalypse different.

Another concept I had was putting an apocalypse into a medieval setting. What happens when the walking dead, when the whole world, begins to die where your most advanced weaponry is a bow or longsword? Communication is very poor and a plague like that could spread unchecked for years. It opens up a great deal of ideas. What if the black death was a zombie plague? The End of Days feels a lot more powerful to people of that time period when men and women still feared the darkness.

Or perhaps there are other fantasy concepts out there? There is a setting I’ve mulled about in my mind for years. It has a little magic, a little deception and a whole lot of epic adventure against a dying world. Storms ravage the skies, the dead walk in the dark places and a dreaded queen holds the whole world in her grasp. They call her the Witch Queen in whispered conversation for she lives long past when a mortal should die.

And still others. What if a plague broke out on Europa, a far reaching colony in space? What if they were abandoned by Earth to their fate, not even worth a nuke for a quick death?

I have a lot of ideas and I’d love to tell them all. If anyone has any thoughts or want to voice an interest, let me know in the comments.

Don’t worry, Dark Winter will go on until its done. I have no plans to stop it before the end.

Thanks!

The Space Cantina – The Blood, 36 Hours, Editing and SciFi World Building

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Good news everyone! I’ve decided to post some more updates about my writing today and you know what that means?

Yeah… I’m behind again. It’s not my fault, I swear! Well, actually, that’s a lie. Sorry. As I sit here listening to “The Glass Prison” by Dream Theatre, I’m reminded how time can get away from us, closing in around us with its invisible, intangible walls until there’s hardly any room to breathe. That’s how I feel lately, but it’s all for the best. The wife and I are moving soon, in three weeks in fact, and a great deal of time lately is split between a ton of overtime at work and packing up the apartment. I’m very excited about this move because at our new place I will have my very own writing room! Right? How cool is that? I’ll have my own quiet space to work, plot and scheme.

But enough of that; time for the updates! Continue reading

The Blood – Part 13

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He hit her right between the ribs.

Aderyn stumbled backward, fighting for breath. She held out a hand, either to ward off the next blow or to submit. In her confused, desperate fight for air, she wasn’t sure which one she meant to do. Opposite her, Kendrick sighed and stood up straight, stretching his arms above his head.

“You know, if this had been a real fight, you’d be dead right now,” he said.

“I-“ Continue reading

The Space Cantina – Words written in blood

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So I wrote the first draft of The Blood – Part 12. It’s rough and it’s quick but at least it’s there. It was one of the hardest chapters to write, considering it was only 900 words. I aim to have a chapter for The Blood to be about 1,000 words, something that’s easily digestible on a blog. Still this one was like pulling teeth.

Sometimes, chapters are like that. Sometimes the words come so hard you have to drag each and every one of them out of the mud and shove them bodily into place. They hurt and leave you sore and panting but I’ve often found that later, when you look back on it, you can’t tell the difference in the writing from that hard-won victory to the one that “wrote itself.” It’s a fascinating sort of phenomenon that only writers can truly experience.

If you find yourself stuck and uninspired and unsure what to do, don’t worry. We’ve all been there. Almost every story I’ve ever written has one of these chapters/parts/whatever. Usually a longer piece like The Blood has several. So this won’t be the last chapter I write with a chisel.

I wrote this one in blood, but let’s hope it cleans away without too much smearing.