The Un­dead: The First Seven Days

THE AU­THOR

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Promotion - By RR Hay­wood

RR Hay­wood show­cases a thrilling scene in this grip­ping ex­cerpt from the best- sell­ing Bri­tish

episodic zom­bie hor­ror se­ries The Un­dead.

RR Hay­wood is the au­thor and cre­ator of The Un­dead which, since its con­cep­tion in 2012, has be­come one of the UK’s best­selling zom­bie hor­ror se­ries, top­ping the charts on Ama­zon and Au­di­ble in the UK and the US. He works a full­time job in law en­force­ment and lives in the south of Eng­land with his four Ger­man Shep­herds.

“ As the de­struc­tion of the zom­bie apoca­lypse con­tin­ues, a small group of sur­vivors lead a dar­ing plan to take fuel from an oil re­fin­ery. But a stray bul­let has them run­ning for their lives…

My name is Howie. I was named af­ter my fa­ther Howard, but it be­came too con­fus­ing to have two Howards, so I be­came Howie. I am twenty- seven years old and I work as a night manager in a su­per­mar­ket. This is my ac­count. We reach the en­trance we came in from, Nick driv­ing straight over the bod­ies of the men we shot down. He aims well, scoot­ing straight through the ru­ined gate and onto the ac­cess road.

The flames grow larger, a dull roar that reaches us de­spite the in­creas­ing dis­tance and the sound of the en­gine. Then they stop. Gone. “Close the door,” Dave or­ders calmly. “Why’s it stopped?” Cookey asks. “It hasn’t.” His words are flat and life­less but strike a chord in all of us. Cookey stares in hor­ror for a sec­ond, un­able to tear his eyes away from the patch of sky where the flames were.

That same patch of sky erupts as a huge fire­ball det­o­nates into the air, fol­lowed a split sec­ond later by a deaf­en­ing bass­filled roar.

The fire­ball grows larger and larger, reach­ing high into the sky. A solid wall of flame that seems con­tained and al­most spher­i­cal, like a twist­ing tor­nado. The sight is awe­some, mes­meris­ing even. Then an­other one goes. I say an­other one as I have no idea what it is, but what­ever is next to the fire­ball goes up, adding an­other mas­sive ex­plo­sion that rocks the ground. We all feel the vi­bra­tion that shud­ders the ve­hi­cle, the heat wave from the first one hits us as dry charged air blasts against the ve­hi­cle.

The sec­ond fire­ball just melts into the first one, cre­at­ing a wider, twist­ing wall of flame that dances hun­dreds of feet into the air.

The Saxon is go­ing flat out now with the chas­sis vibrating nois­ily, caus­ing us to trem­ble and jud­der. Cookey hangs on tight as he and the oth­ers stare out the still open rear door. I’m hang­ing on for dear life too, un­able to stop watch­ing the flames scorch­ing the sky.

They grow larger ev­ery sec­ond as more dull thuds and smaller ex­plo­sions reach us. Dark solid frag­ments fly high into the air to go spin­ning off deeper into the re­fin­ery. Those frag­ments will be su­per- hot and judg­ing from the height they reach; they’ll plum­met down with in­cred­i­ble force and cause even more dam­age as they land.

One of the si­los goes up next, and it dwarfs the pre­vi­ous ex­plo­sion. Mak­ing it look like a match head in com­par­i­son. A huge, thick, broil­ing plume of deep red and yel­low flames soars up and up, the sound reaches us a sec­ond later. A sound so deep it res­onates through my bones.

An­other one goes, fol­lowed an in­stant later by an­other. The peo­ple in the re­fin­ery must be dead al­ready. Noth­ing could sur­vive what we’re see­ing. The heat would melt them in their boots, the lack of oxy­gen would suf­fo­cate them.

Still we climb the hill, get­ting higher and higher and with ev­ery me­tre we climb the view of the re­fin­ery opens up. The sight sick­ens me, for the few fires un­der­way are tiny in re­la­tion to the whole of the site. What we saw, the team­ing huge flames reach­ing into the sky, were just a taste of what’s to come.

The oth­ers re­alise it too. Lani look­ing at me in­tensely, Cookey and Blow­ers star­ing at each other qui­etly. Only Dave seems un­both­ered as he watches out the front win­dow. “Are we far enough?” Lani asks, “Dave… are we far enough?” He turns slowly, star­ing first out the back door then at her. He shakes his head, “not yet…”

An­other silo goes and this time we see the det­o­na­tion from

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