Read The Dead Series (Book 4): Dead End Online

Authors: Jon Schafer

Tags: #zombies

The Dead Series (Book 4): Dead End














Jon Schafer


Book Four of The Dead Series



2014 by


For Denise Paz



Cover Design by
: Victor L. Castro Jr

You can contact him at
[email protected]





Special Thanks to:

GWE for their mad editing skills and all of those that donated $$$ to their favorite charity in exchange for being in this book:

Girl Lisa
Z-Girl's Everything Zombie Apocalypse, 
Jennifer Bosquez-Morales
Lena Begnaud
, Megan Begnaud, Ethan Begnaud, and
Rick Rife
(AKA Commander Rick Styles)

And a big shout out to Pepper Akerfelds
, who gave her owner,
Džūlija Akerfelds
so much crap that she finally coughed up the cash.

, Pep…



Visit Jon Schafer’s website at

Friend, or follow, him on Facebook at

Watch the promo video
for The Dead Series on YouTube at




This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.


A point beyond which no movement or progress can be made; an impasse.





The Happy Hallow Insane Asylum


The fingernails of the dead made a screeching noise as they raked down the aluminum storm panels covering the first floor windows. The constant, nerve-racking din echoed through the first floor, making the same sound as if they were being dragged across a chalkboard. This interminable noise was intermixed with thumping and banging as hundreds of animated corpses tried to pound their way through the barricades on the windows and doors. Above it all, the whine of over a thousand dead voices cried out as they fought to bust inside to tear apart and devour the flesh of the living.

Steve Wendell
heard none of it as he looked down at the covered body of Mary lying on the couch. A large stain had soaked through the afghan he’d used to cover her, making a brownish-red blotch at her midsection. Leading down from this, a red trail traced where her blood had run to drip onto the floor and slowly congeal and form a tacky looking puddle. This was a dark reminder that in a world where the dead had come back to life to feed on the living, she had died from a gunshot wound rather than at the teeth and nails of the walking corpses that populated the Earth. Shaking his head in regret as a single tear emerged from his eye and flowed down his cheek, he knew that the scene in front of him would be burned into his memory forever.

Anger flowed through
him at the thought of Sean, the person who had murdered Mary. The weasel had panicked at the sight of the dead mobbing the fence surrounding the insane asylum and had attempted to flee in one of the minivans they were going to use to escape. When Mary tried to stop him, he shot her and rammed the gate, letting the dead flood into their compound and ruining their plans to take a majority of the dead out with dynamite and then make a break for it. After what was left of the group retreated into the mansion, Steve had tried to save Mary, but it was hopeless. She ended up being one more casualty in their fight to survive. They had lost so many people that their faces and names should only be a blur to him, but he remembered every one of them.

Shaking off his anger and sorrow, Steve turned
and headed for the roof, his mind working overtime on how to escape. They were surrounded by over a thousand dead, with tens of thousands more heading directly toward them, so it wasn’t looking good for the home team. This would be his third trip to assess the situation.

first plan was for them to use their rifles and pistols to thin out as many of the dead as possible before making a break for the remaining vehicles still parked in front of the mansion. After lining everyone up along the south side of the mansion roof, they fired into the mass of Zs pushing up against the side of the building. With seven rifles pouring fire down into the mass of dead, it was a turkey shoot. The animated corpses fell like tenpins under the onslaught of lead. At first elated by his success, Steve saw something that caused him make everyone cease fire.

They were creating a ramp
of flesh for the Zs to get into the second floor windows.

As the
dead fell, the ones behind them stepped onto their bodies to get as close to the food as possible. When these were shot in the head, others climbed on top of them. In just a few minutes, the morbid pile had reached three feet in height. Judging by the amount of dead they would have to kill to clear the area, Steve realized that they would only dispose of half of them before the rest could get in through the second floor windows.

, they tried to attract as many of the dead as possible to the north side of the mansion. With fewer Zs to deal with, they could get rid of the remaining ones and make a run for it. They were successful in getting most of them away from the front of the building, but as soon as they went back to the south side and opened fire, the dead returned. Whether they were attracted to the gunfire or the presence of food, no one knew. In the past, they seemed to avoid weapons, but with the huge number in this group, and more swarming into the compound by the minute, this seemed to make their urge to feed overcome their instinct for self-preservation.

The dead were getting aggravated at their presence, so everyone left the roof until they
could come up with a new plan. While some of them went to find something to eat and others to rest, Steve went down to pay his last respects to Mary and to try to figure out where he had failed and caused her death.

He came up blank.

He knew there was something he could have done, or not done, to save Mary, but he couldn’t figure out what it was. Shaking his feelings of failure off, his thoughts turned to the problem facing the living as he headed up the stairs to the second floor. Mulling over what would happen when the huge herd of the dead hit them from the east, he knew that the tens of thousands of bodies pushing up against the walls of the building would eventually burst them and the dead would flood in. There had to be a way out, he just needed to figure out what it was. He was so wrapped up in coming up with an escape plan that he almost ran into the group of people standing at the top of the stairs.

at their sudden presence, he raised his rifle to fire. Recognizing who it was, his finger tightened on the trigger for a brief second before relaxing. Unable to hide the disgust in his voice, he asked, “What the fuck do you all want now?”

Physically taken aback by this, it took a moment for the spokeswoman
for the others to recover and say, “We want to help.” She hesitated, and then added, “We want to fight.”

Now it was Steve’s turn to take a step back.

Slowly, he appraised the group. He could see they looked scared, but who didn’t? If there were a mirror around, he knew he’d look like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Dwelling on this, he realized that out of his whole group, only Tick-Tock never seemed to show fear. Whether he was facing a horde of the dead or sitting down to dinner, the ex-disc jockey always appeared to have a half-smile on his face, as if this were something he’d been looking forward to all day.

Wondering if his friend might be a sociopath,
Steve made a mental note to ask him.

Turning his attention back to the others, he asked, “How many of you are willing to use a weapon?”

All hands were raised, followed by numerous calls of, “I will,” “I want to learn,” and “I’m in.”

Not really shocked that this was happening, but regretting that it hadn’t happened earlier,
Steve had known all along that sooner or later the survival instinct would kick in with these people. It was only a matter of time until they saw that they would have to fight to save their own lives. When he’d first boarded The Battleship Texas, he’d seen how Denise had treated the others so poorly but had said nothing. The others needed to learn that there was no one out there to save them and that they needed to take personal responsibility for themselves. Some people caught on to this quickly, but others needed to go through a really life-threatening event to understand this.

Being surrounded by
thousands of the living dead with no way out seemed to be the catalyst they needed, Steve thought to himself.

nstead of berating the group for taking so long to come around, he asked, “Is this everyone from your group?”

A voice from in back
replied quietly, “All ten of us. Everyone who’s left.” Steve started to say something but was cut off by the same voice saying, slightly louder and stronger, “We didn’t really realize how bad things were. We were scared. It was confusing at first, but now we realize we were following Sean and he was…“ The voice trailed off before regaining strength to continue, “Things are different now. The old way we did things are gone. I want to apologize for being a burden, but I’m ready to do my part now.”

More voices chimed in agreement to this.

“The past is the past,” Steve told them. “If you’re really going to step up, then you need to do a few things.”

He was cut off by the spokeswoman
interjecting, “Like if you tell us to do something, we do it. Just like you told us after we froze up at the railroad bridge. Only now, we’re ready to do it.”

The voice from the back
added, “And we’re also going to keep up. No more letting you carry our weight. We know that if we fall behind or run off that we’re on our own.”

Steve nodded as the spokeswoman said
with a half-laugh, “And just to let you know, we got together in a committee and decided that there are no more committees except on how to survive.”

Slightly elated by the turnaround
in the others, but knowing that even with the added firepower their chances were still slim, Steve said, “I’ve got to get you organized and armed, but I’ve got a lot going on right now so that’s going to take a while.” Stopping for a moment to gather his thoughts, he continued, “For right now, I want you all to stay here.”

Seeing the
crestfallen looks on their faces, he added, “Don’t worry, you’ll get your chance to prove yourselves soon enough.”

As he made his way through the group in front of him, Steve’s mind spun with everything he needed to deal with
, but the most important was finding a way to get through the dead. Unless he could do this, they were screwed.

Entering the radio room, he found Brain and Connie talking quietly in the corner. When he entered, they both
fell silent and looked up at him with huge question marks on their face.

Steve stopped in his tracks at this.

After the dead started coming to life, he had led his group through their time barricaded in the radio station, through a cruise ship adrift in the Gulf of Mexico filled with religious nuts and the dead, and through a shattered landscape full of even more dead when they reached shore. Through all of this, whether he liked it or not, he was their leader and they counted on him to keep them alive. But standing here looking at the searching, hopeful look on the faces of two of his people dragged him down. Knowing that they were waiting for him to tell them that everything would be fine and that he had a plan filled him with exhaustion and made his heart sank. Where before he’d always seen a way out of whatever situation they’d found themselves in, this time he was drawing a blank. Everything he came up with so far seemed to fall apart before they could even start. It was like everywhere he turned, he was met by a wall of the dead.

Almost laughing aloud at the pun
that came to mind, he thought, This time we ran into a dead end.

He sobered immediately as the reality of the situation
came back to the forefront of his thoughts. With everything they were facing weighing on him, he knew he had to try something different before he let the situation overwhelm him. Realizing that in the past, while he had never outright lied about how bad things were, he had withheld the truth from most of his group to keep panic from spreading, he decided to change that. He had only relied on Heather, Tick-Tock and himself to steer their course while using the rest of the group for only whatever specific knowledge they had that fit in with their overall plan. They did what they were told, and that was that. But now, with sudden insight and a spark of hope, he thought that maybe it was time to try something new. With so many of his group gone and with the others finally stepping up, it was time to be blunt. After all they’d gone through, the remains of his core group were experienced in the ways of the dead, so why not use that? In a crazy world where they needed to think outside the box, it was time to stop just utilizing a few resources and see what was outside everyone else’s box.

“Things are sucking swamp water,”
Steve told them in an even tone. “You’re not deaf, dumb, blind or stupid, so you know how bad things are. I’m basically out of ideas. What have you got?”

Seeing fear spread across Connie’s face
at his statement, he thought for a second that he had made the wrong decision. His eyes switched to Brain, and he could see the tech’s brow furrowed as his friend thought through the problem. Brain was an engineer, so Steve expected mostly linear thinking from him, but the man knew what they were up against and might come up with an idea. Maybe not an entire plan, but something they could use as a basis of a plan.

Although Brain was deep in thought, he was still aware enough of his surroundings to put a reassuring hand on Connie’s shoulder when he
sensed her starting to panic. He murmured, “Don’t worry, babe,” before turning his full concentration onto task.

A full minute passed as Brain tilted his head
from one side to the other as he mouthed words that Steve couldn’t hear.

Suddenly, he looked up and said in a clear voice, “
I think I have something, but we need to talk it through. We had a good plan before, but it got shot to shit. First off, do you think that the explosives would have done the trick in clearing a path to escape?”

“Yeah,” Steve said, “that blast you set off damn near did the trick
all by itself. If we could have set off the other mines, we would have been home free. But between us and the detonator are a lot of Zs, so setting the rest of the dynamite off is pretty much a dead subject. Besides, from what you told me earlier, there’s no way we’ll find the wires, so there’s no way we can use them.”

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