Exclusive: Read an Excerpt From Gone With the Dead’s Cristina and the Virus

Are you a voracious reader, one that finishes a book and immediately picks up another one? If so, then you might be interested in Riverdale Avenue Book’s romance/horror anthology book Gone With the Dead, “…where Gone with the Wind meets The Walking Dead!” The book was edited by erotic romance anthologist Lori Perkins.

To give you a taste of what kinds of stories this anthology features, we’ve got an excerpt from Sarah Bale’s story “Cristina and the Virus”, which you can read below.

If you want to pick up either a digital or physical copy of Gone With the Dead, you can do so via Riverdale Avenue Books.


“Cristina and the Virus”
by Sarah Bale

“Hey,” I said, breathless.
“Hey,” he echoed back in a similar tone.
We smiled stupidly at each other for a moment before he shook his head.
“We should start our rounds.”
As we walked, we checked in with the leaders of each section and Jeff made sure everything was in order.
“In the past they used to have night battles, but it’s too much of a liability nowadays,” he said, making idle chitchat.
I nodded. “I imagine people firing cannons and running around with rifles with bayonets in the dark is dangerous.”
He chuckled. “Dangerous, but fun. So I have to know… how does the owner of an alternative dance studio end up here? I’m sure there are more entertaining things you could be doing.”
If he only knew how boring my life was. Since my last breakup I’d definitely become a homebody.
“Well, Patrick can be pretty convincing. And I’ve always had an infatuation with Gone with the Wind.” I paused. “And then there was you.”
“Me?” His eyebrows lifted.
“Yeah. I saw you the first time I did a reenactment and you kind of make it fun to come back.”
“It’s the soldier’s uniform, isn’t it?”
I laughed. “Totally. You wear those blue trousers quite well, sir.”
“Well, if I might be so bold to say this–you look sexy in your dress.”
I doubted that, since I’d been sweating all day, but it was sweet of him to say.
I spun. “This old thing? I made it from some curtains.”
He laughed and pulled me into his arms. “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn where it came from. You are what makes it sexy. Your smile. Your beautiful hair. And your eyes.” He stared down at me. “And, for the record, I noticed you the first time you were here.”
Wow. My senses were on high alert as the wind gently caressed my skin. Cicadas hummed around us. Jeff’s masculine scent teased my nostrils as I inhaled and I felt myself getting closer to him.
I peered at him through my eyelashes. “Are you going to kiss me?”
“My, that’s awfully forward of you, miss.” His face was serious, but his eyes were teasing as he brushed my dark hair behind my ear.
Reaching up, I grasped his coat lapel and tugged. His head lowered and he pressed his lips against mine. I smiled and he nipped my bottom lip. I nipped him back, shocked at my own eager response, and deepened the kiss. His tongue thrust against mine leaving my mouth burning with fire. I couldn’t help but to rub against his chest, which earned a throaty moan from him. His hand cupped the back of my neck and he pulled me closer. Holy hell. There was a dreamy intimacy to our kiss now and my knees threatened to give out.
He pulled away. “How have we never talked before today?”
“I wondered the same thing.”
I ached for another kiss and his eyes darkened as he stared down at me. Crushing me against him, his mouth covered mine as someone screamed in the distance. We both jumped and bumped our heads against each other.
“Ouch!” I said, rubbing my forehead.
“Sorry. We should check that out.”
He grabbed me by the hand and my stomach fluttered at the contact. I felt like Scarlett O’Hara as I grabbed my skirt with my free hand and ran with Jeff across the field.
A woman stood near the infirmary with blood gushing from her neck. Even in the dark I could tell her injury was serious. She screamed again and pointed toward the tent.
“He… he bit me. Oh my God. Why did he bite me?”
Jeff ran inside of the tent calling out for Ron. I went to the woman to try to help her. Blood poured from the wound and there was a hole where the man had ripped the skin from her neck. With each beat of her heart more blood squirted out. I didn’t want to alarm her, but I was fairly certain her artery had been nicked.
“Ma’am, sit down. I’ll help you apply pressure.”
She shook her head. “No. I’ve got to get out of here. ”
Her words abruptly ended as her eyes rolled back into her head and she fell to the ground. Blood gushed from the wound until her dress was soaked. I checked for a pulse, but couldn’t find one.
“Jeff! I need you out here!”
There was a commotion from the tent and Jeff ran out. His eyes were bright with fear and his jacket had fresh blood smeared on it.
“Christina, we need to get help. I… this can’t be happening. That man… Oh my god.”
“Calm down, Jeff. Here, use my phone.”
I pulled my cell from my dress, ignoring the wet blood on my own hand, and handed the phone to him. He dialed 911 and cursed.
“It’s busy. I don’t know what to do–they’re all dead and that man…” He ran his fingers through his hair. “That man… he attacked all of them!”
“I think this woman is dead. There was so much blood.”

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Jonathan Barkan

Lifelong horror fan with a love of music on the side.

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