by Neil John Buchanan
Mayor shuffles in circles; his reins hang from his butchered mouth. His clothes have disintegrated, and his swollen legs have been reduced to black stumps. Doc sways in his saddle, gives a gentle sigh, and slips from his mount.
Doc is already half-turned. We can’t have him go wild. Captain orders Mayor for dispatch, and Sarge steps up for the job.
Mayor looks to the middle distance with cataract eyes, oblivious to his impending ‘second’ death. Sarge unclips Mayor’s head and without preamble removes his brain. Mayor looks confused as if he’s just been told a joke he half-understands and pitches forward to lie dead in the dirt. Captain sets about the body with his ‘taming’ knife, stripping free skin with a practiced hand. When finished, he and Sarge roll Doc in fat so only his face can be seen. He looks like a giant maggot. The wild won’t smell him that way.
About the Author
Neil John Buchanan lives in the south west of England with two manic cats, two small children and a long-suffering, sympathetic wife. He is a horror fiction writer with work published in various online and print venues, including Pseudopod, Drabblecast, Necrotic Tissue, and the Terminal Earth anthology.
In 2010 he was nominated for the pushcart prize for his short story, ‘Waiting on the Road to Palladium’, and when not thinking up inventive ways to describe dead folk can be found interviewing famous people at Starburst magazine. They give him free stuff which is rather cool, and he hangs around pretending to look busy. He’s rather fond of this Julian Glover interview.
Neil was first drawn to the paranormal and all things that go bump in the night when his father let him watch Zombie Flesh Eaters at the tender age of eight. He has a Zombie Contingency Plan for each home he has ever lived in and advises you to do the same.
About the Narrator
Alasdair Stuart is a professional enthusiast, pop culture analyst, and writer. He is a Hugo Finalist for Best Fan Writer, and a British Fantasy Society Best Non-fiction finalist for his weekly pop culture newsletter The Full Lid.
His nonfiction can be found at numerous genre and pop culture venues, including regular columns at the Hugo Award-winning Ditch Diggers and Fox Spirit Books. His game writing includes ENie-nominated work on the Doctor Who RPG and After The War from Genesis of Legend.
He co-owns the Escape Artists Podcast Network and hosts their horror podcast, PseudoPod, along with the Hugo Award nominated science fiction podcast, Escape Pod. He is a frequent guest and presenter on podcasts, with voice acting credits including the 2019 AudioVerse Award-winning The Magnus Archives.
His second collection of expanded essays from PseudoPod, The PseudoPod Tapes Volume 2: Approach with Caution, is available from Fox Spirit Books.