The horrors of the past meet the brutality of the present.
Synopsis: On the day of his birth the dead walked and society crumbled. His mother took one look at him and pronounced him Meat. He survived, she didn’t.
Fourteen years have passed and obscurity means survival in an increasingly dangerous world. For the survivors compound at Bremo Bluff that obscurity is threatened when a savage band abduct a group of children from the compound.
Accompanied by his three friends Window, Einstein, and Billie-Bob, Meat embarks on a quest to rescue the children. A journey that will lead them into adulthood, with a brief detour through the Dreadlands, as they confront the harsh reality of a brutal world beyond the barriers that had served to protect them.
In the dead city of Richmond they will confront that savage cult of children who worship a creature of the night. These creatures, once considered the nightmare imaginings of a fevered mind, are now awake in a world where the population that once served as their food source has been reduced.
Awake and very, very, hungry.
From the shadowy depths of the cooler came the sound of someone moving, the rustle of fabric, the thump of flesh against steel. Halting footsteps approached through the shadows as a shape slowly materialized like a ghost emerging from the night. Maria staggered into view, her flesh had become mottled and gray, cataracts filled her eyes, lending them a silvery glow, and her mouth was twisted into a grimace as she worked it in anticipation. She was nude, but none of them felt any longing or desire for the twisted form that presented itself .
The four boys stepped back as she staggered out of the cooler, her gaze fixed on Einstein as she reached for him with hands that had been twisted into claws.
“You know what you have to do,” Meat said as he handed Einstein his pistol, “give her peace.”
Einstein looked from the pistol in his hand to Maria, and back again as tears slid down his cheeks. “I can’t,” he said.
“It has to be you,” Window said as he took another step back, opening the distance between them.
Maria had stopped and stood staring at Einstein, her head tilted to one side much like a dog will tilt its head when its owner speaks to it. Her expression smoothed for a moment, it was as if even in her state she recognized Einstein, and was waiting for him to do what he must.
“I can’t,” Einstein said, handing the pistol to Meat and turning his back on Maria as he took several steps away. She staggered towards him, jerkily placing one foot in front of the other, her hands working in anticipation of tearing into warm, living, flesh. At the last moment she turned towards Window.
Without hesitation Window drew his revolver, his thumb pulling back the hammer with practiced ease, so fast that to the naked eye his hand moved in a blur. From the hip he fired, it was a shot he had worked on throughout his short life, and the round stayed true to his aim, striking Maria on the bridge of her nose and plowing into her brains to end the mockery that was her life.
Later, with time to reflect, they would wonder if in those final moments a small spark of what remained of Maria had not turned her towards the only one she knew who would put an end to the miserable existence that lay before her.
For the time though three of them watched as she crumpled to the floor, the fourth having done the only thing he could in that situation. Turning his back to let those who were more capable, finish a task he could never complete.
All Roads Lead to Terror is available at the following online retailers.
“There was a flavor of “Lord of the Flies” expressed through the savage tribe of kids who kidnapped the children in the first place. They were viscous, brutal creatures grown from the cycle of abuse this book explores. And the religious practices they had cultivated in the absence of love and protection is truly horrifying. It’s the kind of horror that at once makes your stomach churn and your hand itch to draw it.” — Jeanette Andromeda: Horror Made
“All Roads is frankly Stephen King’s Stand By Me, with zombies. But not too many. To call this a zombie novel would be a misnomer. First and foremost this is a coming-of-age drama, written by a man with a deft hand for characterization, set within a dystopian backdrop.” — Mark Taylor, author of Witches: Tea Party
“With mesmerizing descriptions, prose so rich it curls your toes and a well- crafted plot chocked full of surprises, Richard Schiver pulls you into a shadowy dystopia that tests the mettle of each of his characters and makes you think about life. The boys fight to survive physically and emotionally and their shared experience strengthens their ties.”– Jo-Ann Carson, author of the Mata Hari series
“It is tough to scare readers that are looking to be scared. ALL ROADS LEAD TO TERROR has characters with dimensions, flaws, and flawed relationships. The threat is fed well and builds fear in the characters that transfers to the reader. This story is a credit to the genre and worth your time.” — Jay Wilburn, author of The Dead Song Legend Dodecology.