Autumn: Disintegration (Autumn series 4)

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9780312570019: Autumn: Disintegration (Autumn series 4)

Autumn: Disintegration is the penultimate chapter in David Moody's riveting horror series!

Forty days have passed since the world died. Billions of corpses walk the Earth. Everything is disintegrating. . . .

A group of eleven men and women have survived against the odds. On an almost daily basis, they attack the dead with brutal ferocity, tearing through them with utter contempt.

Somewhere nearby, out of sight and out of earshot, is another group that has adopted a completely different survival strategy. Where the others have used brutality and strength, these people have demonstrated subtlety, planning, and tactics.

A series of horrific events force the two groups together. Backed into a corner and surrounded by hundreds of thousands of corpses, they all know that their final battle with the dead is about to begin.

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About the Author:

David Moody is the author of Hater, Dog Blood, Autumn and Autumn: The City. He grew up in Birmingham, England, on a diet of horror movies and post-apocalyptic fiction. He started his career working at a bank, but then decided to write the kind of fiction he loved. His first novel, Straight to You, had what Moody calls "microscopic sales," and so when he wrote Autumn, he decided to publish it online. The book became a sensation and has been downloaded by half a million readers. He started his own publishing company, Infected Books. He lives in Britain with his wife and a houseful of daughters, which may explain his preoccupation with Armageddon.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

1
 

Webb kicked his way through the litter behind the counter of the petrol station kiosk. They’d been here several times before and had cleared the place out, but maybe today he’d find one last packet of cigarettes that he’d missed last time, or a previously overlooked bottle of drink. It was always worth a look. Christ, what he’d give for a can of lager right now.
Wait ... he could hear an engine. More than that, he could hear three engines—the bike and both the vans. Bloody hell, they were going without him! The fucking idiots were leaving him behind! No time to think. He scrambled back over the counter, stepped through the mess of twisted metal and broken glass where the entrance door used to be, then ran out into the middle of the forecourt.
“Wait!” he screamed, his voice quickly deteriorating from a strong yell to a strained smoker’s rasp. Bent over double coughing, he glanced up and caught a glimpse of the roof of one of the vans as it raced back toward the flats. It was just a momentary flash of sunlight on metal, gone in a second but visible long enough to leave him in no doubt that he was now completely alone. Alone, that was, apart from a fractious mob of more than two hundred dead bodies closing in on him. The whine of the engines faded away into echoes. Still coughing, Webb covered his mouth, desperate to stifle the noise but knowing it was already too late.
What are my options? Can’t go back into the store, the back door’s blocked. They’ll follow me in and I’ll be trapped.
He glanced across the forecourt at the green and yellow liveried tanker they’d been siphoning fuel from. Could he climb on top of it and sit and wait until something else distracted them? It might well have worked, but it would have taken time. Although clear and blue immediately above him, the skies all around had been filling with threatening gray rain clouds all afternoon. It would be dark soon. He didn’t relish the prospect of being stranded on top of the tanker all night, soaked through and surrounded by rotting flesh.
Only one option left. Run.
Webb surveyed the opposition and gripped his weapon tight. A baseball bat with four six-inch nails hammered through its end, it was a rudimentary but undeniably effective, modern-day variation on the medieval mace. Basic or not, over the weeks he’d used it to get rid of literally hundreds of these vile, germ-infested bastards and he was thankful for it.
With vast swathes of disintegrating corpses advancing from all sides it didn’t seem to matter which direction he chose. Hoping to buy himself a few precious seconds’ breathing space he yanked the loose helmet off the withered head of a dead motorcyclist which lay at his feet. Like an Olympic hammer thrower he spun around through almost a full circle before letting go of the helmet. It flew toward the store, smashing through what was left of an already broken window and filling the air with ugly noise. The nearest of the shambling cadavers began to shuffle toward the building, their movements in turn causing more and more of the dumb fuckers to follow like sheep. Webb held his position as the crowd surged predictably, then ran the other way.
He could still just about hear the bike in the distance. Its powerful engine was louder than the two vans combined and he knew he’d probably be able to hear it until it reached the flats. It was only just over a mile. If the streets were clear he’d probably be able to run there in around ten minutes. Problem was, the streets were never clear anymore. Between here and home were thousands upon thousands of corpses, crammed together shoulder to shoulder, and one of the nearest had just lifted its bony arms and begun lurching forward in his direction. With a grunt of effort Webb lifted the baseball bat and swung it in a loose arc above his head. He thumped it down into the side of the creature’s chest, sweeping it off its already unsteady feet. Another swing, this time in the opposite direction, and two more swaying corpses were hacked down. Three gone, he thought to himself as he started running again, just a few thousand more to go.
Christ, he hated the smell of these bloody things. It was always there, hanging in the air like an ever-present fug, but it was a thousand times worse at close quarters. With his shoulder dropped he charged into the middle of the crowd straight ahead. Most of the bodies were too slow to react and they toppled like dominos, each one causing more of them to fall. Webb kept moving, leaping over their slow, grabbing hands and holding his weapon out in front of him like a battering ram, using its rounded end to smash them out of the way. A sudden unexpected gap in the crowd opened up, allowing him to slow momentarily and get his bearings. He was running away from the petrol station, but he was heading back toward the center of town. He needed to be moving in the opposite direction. Forced to make an instant decision, he changed direction and headed back toward the main road, the way the others would have gone.
The repulsive remains of a forty-eight-day dead traffic warden angrily threw itself at him. Still dressed in the ragged scraps of its black uniform it moved with a sudden burst of unexpected speed and ferocity. Webb had seen more and more of them attacking like this recently and he didn’t like it. The faster ones scared the hell out of him, although he’d never admit it to any of the other survivors. He couldn’t understand how something which had been dead for weeks could be getting stronger. For a split second he looked up into what was left of the traffic warden’s hideously decomposed face before swinging the baseball bat around again and burying the points of two six-inch nails deep in the side of its skull.
Stuck.
Shit. He’d hit the body with such force that he couldn’t get his weapon out. The sharp metal spikes were wedged tight into bone. He yanked hard, but only succeeded in pulling the thrashing body over onto the ground. It lay squirming at his feet as more and more of them closed in on him. He could feel their fingers on his back now, clawing and scratching as he tried to free the nails from the skull. Still stuck. Stay calm, he thought to himself, struggling to keep himself from panicking. They’re dead. I’m alive. I can do this ...
Webb stamped his boot down across the throat of the writhing corpse. The dead traffic warden, now flat on its back with its arms and legs flailing wildly, glared up at him with a single dark eye, the other having been gouged out of its socket by the force of the baseball bat impact. Webb began to twist the handle of his bat in his hands, still keeping the pressure on the corpse under his foot. Moving with frantic, frightened speed as the other corpses pressed against him, Webb twisted the bat backward and forward, from side to side and around and around in a desperate attempt to sever the head. Long-dead flesh, muscle and cartilage began to tear and brittle bone snapped. The body finally lay still and he stomped angrily on its neck until the final few troublesome connecting sinews gave way. Relieved, he took a deep breath of dirty, germ-filled air, then lifted the bat (with dead head still intact) and swung it out in front of him as he ran on.
Pushing his way through an impenetrable forest of cadavers, Webb forced himself to keep moving. He’d overheard a conversation between Hollis and Lorna on their way out to the petrol station less than an hour earlier. Much as Hollis annoyed him, he knew he’d been right and the other man’s words now rattled around his head. “If you’re surrounded,” he’d said, “do anything but stop. Stand still and you’ll have a hundred of them onto you in seconds. Keep moving and they can’t get you. You’ve got speed, strength and control on your side; you can be gone before they’ve even realized you’re there.” Panicking again, Webb tried to work out how he was supposed to keep moving when suddenly all he could see in front of him was a brick wall. He changed direction and dived to his left, circling around the back of the petrol station now. Just keep moving, he told himself again, willing his already tired legs to continue working. Another swipe of the baseball bat (and impaled head) knocked a trio of bodies off their feet and down onto the concrete. Those immediately behind fell over the fallen corpses in their hopelessly uncoordinated attempt to get to Webb. Stupid fuckers, he thought as he pushed another two of them away with a determined hand-off before dropping his shoulder, increasing his speed and scrambling up a slippery grass bank toward the road. He cursed as he pulled himself upright and started to sprint again, muscles burning with effort. The wide carriageway ahead was packed solid with corpses. Maybe it’s not as bad as it looks, he tried to assure himself as he barged into the nearest few. The dead had such a lack of color about them that it was sometimes difficult to make out any detail. Weeks of decomposition had eliminated almost all their distinguishing features. Different skin tones and colorings had been bleached away by decay so that the endless crowds now seemed to have mutated into a single dead race. Their ragged clothing was stained with so much dirt, dust, mold and seepage that they all now appeared to be wearing a kind of gray-green uniform. The upshot of all this, Webb decided as he threw a pretty decent punch at another one which had shown a little control and lashed out at him with gnarled, twisted hands, was that he couldn’t tell whether there were a hundred of them up ahead or a thousand.
Just keep moving.
Webb found himself in a narrow sliver of space, just room enough to be able to swing the baseball bat around again. He struck out in an aimless arc, not knowing what, if anything, he’d hit. He ma...

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Book Description Griffin. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 352 pages. Dimensions: 8.2in. x 5.5in. x 1.0in.The penultimate chapter in the riveting horror series!Forty days have passed since the world died. Billions of corpses walk the Earth. Everything is disintegrating. . . . A group of eleven men and women have survived against the odds. On an almost daily basis, they attack the dead with brutal ferocity, tearing through them with utter contempt. Somewhere nearby, out of sight and out of earshot, is another group that has adopted a completely different survival strategy. Where the others have used brutality and strength, these people have demonstrated subtlety, planning, and tactics. A series of horrific events force the two groups together. Backed into a corner and surrounded by hundreds of thousands of corpses, they all know that their final battle with the dead is about to begin. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780312570019

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