Scott Shoyer is one of the many men looking to front the zombie charge. His Outbreak trilogy has already turned more than a single head, and he’s looking to keep that attention coming with the release of Outbreak: The Mutation Volume 2, which you can pick up right here.
We’ve got a little bit of information from the press release for you below, but we’ve also got a nice excerpt that should catch the eye of the zombie obsessed! Read on for your undead fix.
From the Press Release:
Austin, Texas – While nobody will deny zombie fiction’s huge surge in popularity, both readers and critics alike are currently crying out for wholly unique, mould-breaking narratives that don’t succumb to the recycling of the same old ideas. Thankfully, Scott Shoyer has stepped up to the plate with gusto.
Volume one of Shoyer’s Outbreak trilogy has already injected literally new blood into the market. In The Hunger, readers were captivated as a seemingly innocent day at the zoo led to a violent and world-threatening zombie apocalypse. In volume two, The Mutation, Shoyer further explores the world that he created in volume one and details how two groups of survivors are coping with their fight for survival. In true Shoyer style, he now explores new territory by taking the reader on a horrifying trip inside the minds of the deadly zombies themselves.
Synopsis: Zombies have overrun the world making human beings an endangered species. The zombies are getting stronger, smarter, and deadlier. The remaining human survivors are finding it more and more difficult to fight them off. Amidst this apocalyptic war, two separate groups of survivors are drawn to the small, seemingly dead town of Spicewood, Texas—but for very different reasons. There is Walt and his group of ex-addicts, and Wilder and Butsko, two of the only characters who made it out of The Hunger alive. Each group believes that what lies in Spicewood, Texas could alter the course of the war with the dead. But what they couldn’t know is that what also lies in Spicewood, Texas might be the source of the outbreak itself and the very end to all life on earth.
Outbreak: The Mutation
Arboretum Area, Austin, TX
Two Years Ago
Her lifeless corpse lay splayed on the bed. The coppery smell of dried blood filled the air, and the buzz of flies on and around the corpse was deafening. Her intestines cascaded down the side of the bed like some macabre waterfall. There were bite marks and deep gashes littered all over her tiny body, but these weren’t the marks of scavenger animals. Her body was ravaged by human teeth that had been altered as a result of the virus—a virus which affected, and altered, many aspects of whomever it infected. The virus was alive, and wanted only one thing: to survive. It created an insatiable need in its host to infect other people. It may have started in lesser life forms like animals and insects, but it now craved to occupy the top of the food chain.
That was what compelled John to do this to his little girl. The virus didn’t care about age, didn’t recognize family, and didn’t discriminate. Survival was its only goal.
John was now in the kitchen huddled over the corpse of his wife, Sarah. When Sarah had seen John attack their little girl, she’d been at first frozen in fear, but the screams coming from their daughter Fi had slapped her back to reality. Sarah had tried jumping on John, hitting him on the back and head, anything to get him to stop clawing and biting their daughter. Her strength, though, had been no match for his, and he’d effortlessly thrown her across the room with one arm.
The blood from Sarah’s head wound had flowed into her eyes, and she’d only heard the wet sounds coming from John’s mouth as he’d chewed on their young daughter. As dizzy as she’d been, Sarah cursed John as he’d pulled out Fi’s intestines and tore off bits in his mouth. She’d been glad that Fi no longer screamed. Her nightmare was over.
Sarah lay broken against the wall and had gently wept. Once John was through with their daughter, he’d turned his rabid, feral gaze toward Sarah.
No, John! Sarah had uselessly pleaded. What the hell are you doing? she’d screamed. Look what you did to your daughter… our little girl.
John had stopped and turned to look at the lifeless, desecrated body of his daughter. Something inside had recognized the tiny body on the bed. His tongue had danced across his bloody lips as he’d tried to remember. Images of animals and a zoo and a pretty girl with a knife sticking out of her belly had flashed through his mind, but they’d drifted away like steam from a boiling kettle.
My baby! Sarah cried out. Look what you did to my baby!
This had brought John back, and he’d turned violently toward the person on the floor. He’d been so hungry that it hurt. There’d been a searing pain in his stomach that had emanated out to the rest of his body. He’d felt he was on fire, and it had all been because of the hunger. He’d known the only thing that would satiate the pain was to feed.
His eyes had narrowed as he’d leapt onto the screaming woman. Sarah had no longer been his wife, no longer the woman he loved. The virus had no need for love. Sarah had been nothing but a pile of meat on the ground, and with an animalistic scream, he’d jumped on top of her and heard her thighbone snap at the force of his landing. He’d grabbed her hair and pulled backward. The last thing Sarah had felt or saw was his bloodstained teeth closing around her throat. John had thrashed his head and tore her throat out.
He’d spit the bloody mass out and started ripping into her chest. He’d snapped her sternum in half as he went for her heart. The blood had made it impossible to tell where his body ended and hers began.
Sarah’s body had slid to the ground. John had then straddled her corpse and began to feed the hunger inside. It’d felt good to eat, and the pain went away for a while, but in the back of his mind he’d known the hunger would return. It always returned, and he always obeyed it.
Fi’s eyes opened, and she was confused. She looked around and vaguely recognized where she was, but wasn’t concerned about that so much as what she felt. She felt nothing. It was as though there was nothing below her neck. She tried to lean forward, but her arms wouldn’t obey her.
From across the room she heard strange, wet noises with the occasional grunt. Her curiosity got the best of her and she willed her arms to move. Her left arm flopped onto her chest and she felt the large hole in her abdomen. Her hand followed the trail out of the hole and realized what she felt were her own insides. Fi thought it was weird that she wasn’t panicking, but a warm sense of serenity washed over her body.
Finding her balance, she tried to focus on the noise across the room. She could see someone huddled down on the floor doing something, but details escaped her unfocused eyes. She gently grabbed the longest piece of her intestines hanging out of her and tucked it back in the hole. After it popped out twice, she tucked it under one of the bones she felt inside the hole.
She again focused her attention to the thing on the floor. Her feet shuffled as she made her way across the room, as she didn’t trust her balance to pick her feet off the floor and walk. As she got closer, she could see a man covered in blood eating something. In the back of her mind she thought she recognized him, but couldn’t form a concrete enough memory to finish the thought.
A dull pain started to grow in what was left of her belly. Fi could feel the pain as it urged her on to fulfill some kind of task. Instinct took over, and she began to walk normally as she got closer to the person on the ground. The man was focused on his meal and didn’t hear or even notice the person standing behind him.
Then she remembered. “Daddy?” the question hissed out of her mouth. “What are you doing, Daddy?”
The thing in front of her didn’t acknowledge her, and anger began to rise from where the pain in her belly was. She didn’t know why she was angry, but she clenched her fists and asked once more: “Daddy?”
The anger welled up in her and her arm shot out and landed on her father’s head, pulling it back in a deadly angle. She heard the snap as the head went limp in her hand. When she looked past the dad-thing on the floor, she could see that he’d been eating her mom.
Fi’s head tilted to the side and she tried to understand what was going on. Before she realized what she was doing, she bent down and tore into her father. She loved the sensation of the flesh ripping underneath her fingers as blood poured from the wounds she created. She brought a crimson finger up to her lips and sucked on it. It was tepid and salty, but she didn’t really like the flavor. Fi wiped the bloody finger on her already-blood-splattered shirt and returned to tearing up the body. To an onlooker, Fi would’ve looked like a child who just discovered the fun of playing with Legos or Play-Doh. There was innocence in her play as she shredded her father to pieces.
As she sifted through the remains of her father’s body, she played with the organs and bones. She drew patterns in the blood as it pooled on the ground beside her. Tearing the body apart lessened her anger. It felt like water slowly running down a drain. Fi couldn’t even remember what had made her so angry just a few moments ago as she played in the gore.
Nothing seemed to matter as she played. Fi didn’t like that feeling of anger. She didn’t like the pain it caused her. One thing was for sure: she’d do anything to alleviate the pain.
Fi stood up and brushed the unrecognizable remains of her father aside with her toes and smiled gruesomely at the squeaky noise her foot made in the blood. From the corner of her eye, she saw her mother’s body begin to stir.
I must keep the anger away, Fi thought. Anger brings the pain.
Just before her mother rose, Fi jumped on her and began tearing at the newly reanimated body.
Her giggles became laughs as she played with her mommy.