Rob M. Miller
Fifty Shades of Decay, an anthology with 50 (plus one) stories—of zombie erotica! That number alone was daunting. How to come up with something recognizable, but not derivative? How to have something fun, hyperviolent, hypersexualized (dare I say erotic?), and yet not rife with blue material, or plumbing diagrams? After all, were I to come up with a piece, I had to understand that my story wouldn’t exist in a vacuum. On the contrary, it would be nestled amongst two-score-plus other tales. That’s potentially a lot of horny undead to wade through before coming to my work.
Fortunately, “S.P.Q.R.” was born, the letters, of course, standing as the abbreviation for Senātus Populusque Rōmānus, or the Senate and People of Rome.
In war, the biggest factor to cause one side to lose is fear. Yet with zombies, there’s no such animal. Instead, one is faced with a relentless opponent, an eating machine. What better force to stand against zombie hordes than a fearless—or nearly so—military society … a modern legio or legion, a disciplined force that could stop the undead in their tracks, bruisers that could hold the line!
As initial story drafts were completed, it became apparent that the story’s goal was to aspire for something larger than anticipated. S.P.Q.R. wasn’t satisfied being a simple short. Instead, it dared to be a world rendered in miniature, something I’d yet to read amongst the nearly endless barrage of zombie tales assaulting the market. It also became obvious that I needed help, a woman’s perspective to give the lionesses of my legio their needed verisimilitude. That assistance came in the form of author Jill S. Behe, and I couldn’t have been happier.
Was the end-result a winner? I look forward to readers’ answers. After all, they can relate … because for quality story, they’re always hungry!
Buckwheats, a finger-bite of teasing flash
by Rob M. Miller
The boy asks: Aren’t you ever afraid of the—?
The what? The Zulus? **** them. I’m afraid of failing the man to my right and left. Them, or incurring the wrath of Cesarina’s furies. But the Zulus? They’re buckwheats.
First Bruiser, Bellona’s Wolves, Legio XXXX Americus
After two years of freelance work for a military newspaper, Rob tired of nonfiction and decided to use his love of the dark, personal terrors, and talent with words, to do something more beneficial for his fellow man:
Scare the hell out of him.
Living in the Pacific Northwest, Rob’s continuing his quest to write tales of dark woe. His work can be found archived at The Harrow (www.theharrow.com), as well as in various American and U.K. anthologies. Give him a visit at www.jaggeddarkness.com.
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Jill S. Behe
When Rob first contacted me, I was like: are you kidding? Zombies? Erotica? Do those things even belong in the same sentence? Needless to say, this project was out of my comfort zone. But, once Rob laid out the floor plan of his vision—a post-apocalyptic-type setting, yes, but within a Roman Legionnaire-esque army compound, led by Cesarina, a female, former Roman History professor, a coed encampment with a contingent of kick-ass female warriors called furies.
And a bad guy.
He also promised that the sex would be minimal and not gratuitous, yet a necessary element. In the end, the sex was a scene stealer.
We wanted our piece to be unique, and I have to say, we did it. The more we worked at it, the more the background, the people, the commune within the perimeter, came alive. Though I’m still not a fan of zombies or erotica, S.P.Q.R. isn’t finished. Their world is undiscovered, and I feel compelled to explore it. Tagging along with Rob on this expedition, delving deeper into the S.P.Q.R. world, will be a challenge, but a rewarding one.
Beginners, a finger-bite of teasing flash
By Jill S. Behe
The fury laughed. The bruiser, young, barely blooded, stood with shield and gladius down, futilely trying to wrestle his armored left forearm from the Zulu’s mouth, the fingers of his freehand fumbling for his pugio.
“No,” the woman said, dismounting her barded mare, and quickly kicking the cannibal free. “You’ve got to trust your padding and plates.” She moved toward the monster which had regained its feet and was stammering her way. “When you’re caught,” she slammed her own forearm into the beast’s mouth, “you’ve got to drive forward.” Demonstrating, her arm rammed in again. “Pulling away only lets ’em tear and rip.” She shoved again, harder, driving the single-minded creature to the ground, spreading teeth across the field of gore. “Gotta force your arm in deep, without fear.”
She withdrew a rod from her hair and speared it through the Zulu’s ocular cavity, permanently stilling its form. “Got it?”
“Drive on, trooper.”
Jill began her writing career while still in elementary school, but it took several more years, and surmounting many obstacles, to realize her dream … to see her work in print.
In 2009, Triskaideka Books published her breakout novel Mossy Creek. At the beginning of 2013, her first short story: How do you do it, Mr. Sullivan? was picked up by May December Publications for their anthology “Midnight Movie Creature Feature, Vol. II.” A few months later, Angelic Knight Press, accepted S.P.Q.R., her collaborative effort with horror fan, fellow writer, and friend Rob M. Miller, for the anthology “Fifty Shades of Decay.”
Living in Pennsylvania, Jill continues to hone her craft. Stop by her Website, (www.rebelwriter.spruz.com) and say: Hello.
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