Charlie came flying out of the nest entrance and slammed right into the back of Chuck, who had stopped just outside the entrance, Maya following closely behind.
She turned in the direction that Brody’s tunnel was at and saw him standing just outside of it, paw raised in the air.
The pup’s head flew sideways with the impact, and it took a second for Maya to realize that its body was no longer attached. He had severed its entire head at the neck with his claws. A spray of blood and fluids followed, spewing out of the gaping hole that was the pup’s neck. The rat’s body fell limp to the ground in front of him, sliding a short ways before coming to a stop.
Maya stood there stunned for a moment watching the crimson pool form around the body, and one of its back legs twitch involuntarily.
That’s when they heard the screams.
Charlie’s eyes got huge and he slowly turned his head in the direction of the sound.
On the crest they had come down from the night before was a group of infected running full speed down the hill towards them.
Maya’s eyes widened and she screamed, ‘RUUUN!!!!
This excerpt of Rabid Lands lays the groundwork for how this novel reads. From the moment this book begins, it’s a relentless struggle to survive the infection-riddled woods for a rat named Maya, and two guinea pigs, Chuck and Charlie. The pace of this story barely leaves time to breath. One reader said, “It’s like if George Romero had written Watership Down…”
“I don’t know. The idea kind of came to me one day. I was going to write a children’s story, but as I got writing, I kinda realized that wasn’t going to happen any more. I got to thinking about it, and realized, ‘hey… There’s no zombie stories written from the perspective of the animals…’ Yeah, there are dogs in Resident Evil, and animals that are mentioned in zombie stories, and books. But no one has ever taken the time to write about them. Then the idea came to me out of nowhere…. Rabies! ‘I’m gonna write a story, about animals, dealing with an advanced from of the rabies virus, just like we would deal with a zombie outbreak. After all, zombie behavior has been modeled after rabies, and many writers embellish on the rabies symptoms to give mannerisms and actions to the zombies. I just figured I’d cut to the core of that, and now we have Rabid Lands.” – Donald Morrison
The author, Donald Morrison, lives in Pasadena, California. Rabid Lands is his debut novel, with book 2 well over halfway in the works. He has managed to create a new subgenre, called, Animal Horror, that promises to be quite a turn away from the style of zombie stories that have been coming out.