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Author: Claire C Riley
Title: Odium 0.5: Origin Stories (The Dead Saga)
Published On: December 4th 2015
Genres: Dystopian, Horror, Paranormal, Zombies
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Nina wasn’t always a bitch. But surviving an apocalypse has made her that way.

It’s the end of the world, and the dead have risen. Devastation reins and destruction lives. Mankind is holding on by bloody and desperate fingers. Death comes when you least expect it; in the quiet of the night or in the harsh light of day. It sneaks in and takes everyone and everything you ever loved, until you’re left with nothing at all. And the person standing in the aftermath is forever changed.

Even after finding a protective haven amongst the chaos, Nina learns that the worst monster is mankind itself. Hope is gone. A heart is broken and humanity is slipping away.

But for Nina, catastrophe has made her stronger. If she wants to keep breathing, she has to be.
After all, being hard is the only way to survive.

Odium 0.5 Excerpt

One year later.

The klaxon blares to life, making me jump. A shiver darts up and down my spine and I sit up and peer into the blackness surrounding me. The whispered voices of my sleeping companions tell me that everyone is feeling the same fear.


Goddamned deaders, they’re here, knocking at our door again.

“It’s okay, sweetie. Just cuddle into Mama and close your eyes.”

I listen to the mother to the left of me talking to her little boy. I can’t remember what he looks like or what his name is, though we have been living in the same bare bricked room for over a week now. The mother, again I have no clue what her name is, is on her own. Somewhere along the line they lost the father and husband. Somewhere along the line. The little boy is whimpering and she starts to hum to drown out the noise of the loud gunfire outside.

With every shot fired, I flinch. I flinch like I’m the one being shot. Like each bullet is driving its way into my body, tearing through my muscles and fat, bone and sinew, and killing me. Because yes, I want to die. I’m just too chickenshit to let it actually happen. Self-preservation is an annoying trait to have, and yet, as humans, we all seem to have it instilled in us. We hate what this world has become…that it now belongs to the undead. Because after a year, there has still been no sign of the tide turning, of mankind taking back what was stolen from it—life. No, there will be no coming back from it, and even if there is, things will never ever be the same again. Yet we can’t stop fighting the good fight. We can’t stop trying. And we can’t stop breathing.

None of this is a new revelation to me, and it also isn’t an old one. It just is. I don’t want to be in this world, a world where deaders rule. Where we lose loved ones to death only for them to come back to life and try to eat us alive. I don’t want to live this life of poverty and homelessness, and yes, I’m well aware that I sound like a spoiled rich bitch, but whatever.

I grip my blanket and pull it around myself—an attempt to block out all of the depressing thoughts that are currently rampaging through my aching, tired body, no doubt. But of course it’s impossible. You can’t block out what I’m feeling, what I’m experiencing. You can’t block out this life because it insists upon being heard, being known, and being felt.

Death insists on being lived.

© Copyright Claire C. Riley 2015

Claire C. Riley