Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

They've survived the apocalypse, yet shouldn't have - Game Changers of the Apocalypse by Mark Kirkbride

It’s always the end of the world when you break up with someone. This time it really is... Everyone on the planet has mysteriously disappeared, leaving exes Greg and Polly.


Published: January 7th, 2019

It’s always the end of the world when you break up with someone. This time it really is... Everyone on the planet has mysteriously disappeared, leaving exes Greg and Polly. 

They've survived the apocalypse, yet shouldn't have. Battling each other and a malevolent entity that teases them with their fate, how long can they remain ahead? Even more terrifying than everyone else on the planet disappearing is what’s about to take their place… 


They descended stone steps to the Thames Path. Black water shimmered in the light from globular lamps, which recast the world in black and white. Water lapped the wall below. A pair of shadow-giants stalked the buildings above.
Their footsteps echoed in the lonely night.
Furry moths clustered thickly around the lamps.
A dog barked on the other side of the river. Running feral or spooked by something?
Greg shivered.
The breeze caught him side on, making him wish he’d taken Polly’s advice and put something on over his GANT short-sleeved shirt.
He reached for her hand.
She grasped his.
“Where do you think they went?” he said.
In her Joules dress, on her Ravel wedges, she looked round. “What?”
“Everybody.” He glanced at some charcoaly flowerbeds. “I mean, where are they?”
“The Mardi Gras?”
Laughter erupted from him.
She smiled.
Then the smile fled her face. “Think it was another Chernobyl?”
He held his other hand out, turned it over. “How come we’re alright?”
“What’s that bomb that gets rid of people but leaves buildings intact?”
“Oh, the neutron bomb, yes, yeah, that’s a good one. Surely we’d have heard it, though. And there’d have had to have been lots.”
“I guess.”
“What about a gamma-ray burst from a hypernova?”
“Come again?”
“Oh.” A gentle snuff.
He swallowed. “Maybe the chosen rose and we… didn’t.”
Her head jerked back. “What are you saying? We overslept on Judgement Day?”
He coughed. “Well, the thing we need to try and work out is…” A moth blundered against his lips. Swiping it out of his face, he dry-spat.
Bloody things.
Her hand slipped through his and out. “Oh, my God.”
He stopped, whirled around. “What, baby?” Her hand cupped her mouth. “Baby, what?”
He followed her line of sight. High up on the brickwork above, something small, pale and round protruded from the mortar.
She pointed, transfixed.
He placed his hand on her shoulder. “It’s just fungus, love.”
“No it’s not, it’s…”
“It’s a…”
He could feel her trembling.
“What, love?”
He couldn’t have heard right. “What?”
“An ear.”
He positioned himself in line with it, a few feet away from the wall, stared up and had to concede that it did have the convolutions, flutes, knobbles and fleshy coloring of an ear. Yet it couldn’t be. Could it?
It waggled.
“Fuck.” He jumped back.
Polly let out a moan. “You know what it’s doing, don’t you?”
“What?” He shifted his weight from foot to foot.
She turned. “Oh, no…”
“What?” He spun round. “Oh, shit.”
The lights along the river went out one by one. Blocks of darkness caught up with them.
A click from her throat as cavernous night swallowed them. “Oh, God… It’s all starting again.”

About the author:
Mark Kirkbride lives in Shepperton, England. He is the author of two novels, Game Changers of the Apocalypse and Satan's Fan Club, both published by Omnium Gatherum. His short stories can be found in Under the Bed, Sci Phi Journal, Disclaimer Magazine and Flash Fiction Magazine. His poetry has appeared in the Big Issue, the Morning Star, the Mirror and Horror Writers Association chapbooks.

Author's Giveaway
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Bea LaRocca said...

Intriguing excerpt. This sounds like a must read for me.

Mark Kirkbride said...

Thanks ever so much, CCAM and GZM. And thank you very much, too, Bea. Really hope you enjoy it.

Anna Josefin Bergman said...

Looks good.

lildevilgirl22 said...

I think the cover is cool

Jennifer L. said...

What a great story idea. I want to know what happens!

bison61 said...

I like the cover thanks for the giveaway

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

Bernie Wallace said...

I like the birds on the cover. They look spooky. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

Mark Kirkbride said...

Thanks very much, Anna, Lildevilgirl, Jennifer, Bison61 and Joseph/Bernie. Hope it entices you to give the book a try, and I'd love to hear your thoughts if you do.

Laura said...

I read a lot of books in this genre and I'd love to read this. Great title and cover art too!

Mark Kirkbride said...

That's great! Thank you very much, Laura. There's more info on the book at http://markkirkbride.com/game-changers-of-the-apocalypse/ and clicking on the cover there takes you through to Amazon. The ebook's out now and the print version will be out on the 17th.

CCAM said...

I think that our true nature can be seen in challenging times so Greg and Polly could be alright together in this apocalypse... but I wonder at the significance of the title that added to the description... hmmm... so many interesting books and so little free time...
I like to think that I'll read this book sooner than later.