The Dead Days Journal by Sandra R Campbell
Publication Date: March 30th 2015
The daughter of a radical doomsday prepper, Leo Marrok spent her entire life preparing for the end. A skilled fighter and perfect marksman, Leo is her father’s second-in-command when Armageddon comes to pass. Together, they lead a group of survivors to a secure bunker deep in the Appalachian Mountains.
Vincent Marrok is willing to take extreme measures to repopulate their broken world. Leo’s refusal marks her as a traitor. With father and daughter at odds for the first time, their frail community is thrust into turmoil. Until the unthinkable happens, a blood-thirsty horde arrives. The impending attack will destroy all that they have worked for.
To protect her home and everything she believes in, Leo puts her faith in the arms of the enemy—a creature only rumored to exist—the one she calls Halloween. An alliance born out of necessity evolves into feelings Leo is ill-equipped to handle.
The Dead Days Journal is a post-apocalyptic story of love and family told through Leo Marrok’s first-hand account and the pages of Vincent’s personal journal, giving two very different perspectives on what it takes to survive.
Mature themes, adult language, sexual situations, violence and gore. 18+
Genres: Dystopia, New Adult
I lifted my head when the closet door opened. Halloween slipped inside with a stack of blankets and a pillow tucked under one arm. The slim ray of candlelight went out again when the door latched shut. I listened as the lock slid slowly into place.
Halloween made almost no noise; there was just a faint rustle of fabric as he readied a makeshift bed. I strained my eyes, wanting so badly to see some movement in the pitch-black space of the closet. But without a speck of light in this small space, I saw nothing.
I clamped my eyes shut and fine-tuned my ears to his movements, and I pictured him adjusting the pillow under his head. Shutting the dark out behind closed lids made it easier for me to relax. I took a deep cleansing breath, and then another and another, while working up the courage to speak.
Don’t let your fear keep you in the dark. Say something!
“Are you hyperventilating?” Halloween’s gruff voice touched my face just before his fingers brushed loose strands of hair from my forehead. I jumped to my feet swallowing a scream—his bright eyes were so close.
After several more gulps of air, I forced my vocal cords into action. “I wasn’t before, but now I am!”
Halloween’s eyes rose above me. He made an unfamiliar sound, but if a grin crossed his lips, it wasn’t for me to see. “I brought blankets and a pillow. Get some rest.”
The last thing I wanted to do was sleep. Every muscle in my body ached from sitting too long on the concrete floor. Flicking my arms and legs around to get the blood circulating again, I circled around the two orange orbs in the closet using the walls as a guide, and I steeled my nerves for the conversation we were about to have.
“I know what’s wrong with me,” I said, taking another lap.
I managed three more steps before a barricade suddenly dropped, stopping me short. Assuming the invisible barrier was Halloween’s arm, I ducked to get around it.
“Do you?” he said mockingly.
Smug bastard! Of course I do!
I shot him a dirty look in the direction of his voice and hoped with all my heart that he saw the rage I’d flung his way. “Yeah, I do. Call it instinct or a woman’s intuition… Besides, Ben’s terrified for me, and there’d be no other reason…” My pacing grew more frantic. I was terrified, too, but I knew better than to let fear plant its meat hooks in me.
Panic leads to bad decisions, which will always end in stupid mistakes. “Rule your fear.” That’s what my father always told me. “It’s good to be scared. Fear will keep you sharp. But never, under any circumstances, give in to that fear.”
Funny thing—my father had done just that. Digging my boot heels into the concrete floor, I stopped in front of the only thing I could see: Halloween’s eyes. “Why did you tell them and not me? This is happening to me, not them!”
Sandra R Campbell
lives along the tranquil waters of the Chesapeake Bay with her husband and weight challenged cat. She can trace her passion for the macabre back to reading Edgar Allen Poe as a child, with her pet crow, Big Fellow, by her side. She has since submerged herself in a wide range of dark literature. An avid thrill seeker, Sandra is always looking for her next big adrenaline rush, and when spelunking, diving and monster hunting fails to deliver, she turns to the creation of through-the-rabbit-hole worlds and sends her characters on their own adventures. Sandra also writes children's stories, is a member of the Maryland Writers' Association, the head of a M.W.A. critique group, and the founder and co-author of Waterfrontwriters.com.
Ecopy of The Dead Days Journal