The Dead Days Journal by Sandra R Campbell
Publication date: March 30th 2015
Genres: Dystopia, New Adult
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+
“Count like this: one Mississippi, two Mississippi, and so on until you reach one hundred and thirty. Then light it. I’ll be counting with you.”
If I ran fast enough, I’d make the front entrance before our distraction went sky high. Lincoln and I were finally using the fireworks he’d been hording, along with my father’s highly combustible concoction of extra fine sawdust and gunpowder. By no means was this a celebration, but an explosion, even of the sparkly variety, would draw everyone’s attention to the cave and away from the courtyard—away from Halloween. I just had to reach him before anyone noticed.
Once he gets a taste of my blood, he’ll be fine.
I double-checked the fuses I’d twisted together and the ignition line we’d run along the dirt floor. I wasn’t entirely sure the cave opening wouldn’t collapse; but if it did, well, it’d be one less entrance we’d have to worry about protecting.
“As soon as this sparks, head to the outlook room. You’re my eyes and backup if anything goes wrong. Are you sure you’re up for this, Linc?”
Lincoln re-adjusted the shoulder strap of his rifle. The gun was almost as tall as him. “Yeah.”
I ruffled the white-blond hair on the top of his head with the palm of my hand, fighting the urge to give him a bone-crushing hug. “Okay. Be careful, baby brother.”
Lincoln stumbled forward, reaching for my arm. “Leo, wait!”
“What is it?” Please do this for me. It’s Halloween’s only chance.
Lincoln’s pale green eyes pooled with tears. “I’m sorry…”
I snatched my arm out of his tender hands. “What?” Shit, it’s almost dark! We don’t have time for this.
Lincoln shuffled his feet and then watched as a small dirt cloud dispersed over his shoes. “I called you a liar. I only said it because I was mad. That vampire wasn’t a dream. He was real. The dream didn’t come back, he did. You never lied to me.”
I bent over, took his round chin in my hand, and raised his head. Looking him square in the eye, I gave a hard nod. “And I never will.”
Lincoln responded with a curt nod of his own and then swiped away a falling tear. He believed me. I was his big sister. I’d always be there for him. He’d never doubt me. We’d never have this misunderstanding again. And now I knew I’d never be able to leave him.
“Start now…” I slipped through the steel door.
Behind me, in a soft soprano voice, Lincoln began counting. “One Mississippi, two…”
The door clicked shut and I took off at a dead run, silently counting along with him.
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.