Here is another author that I have not read before, Tim Lebbon. “In the Dust”, taken from the zombie anthology The New Dead, is my first experience reading this writer’s work. This is another good thing about short stories, you can experience the writing of a new author in snippets and decide how you feel about their writing style. Back to the story.
I really enjoyed this story and like Lebbon’s writing. The story takes place in Usk, which I had to Google and found out is in Wales, following a zombie like outbreak that has erased the population of the town with exception of 3 people – Jamie, Bindy and Toby, with Toby as the narrator. The outbreak appears to have passed however the 3 survivors are quarantined, or more like imprisoned, in town by the military who have constructed miles of fence surrounding the village and keeping them there.
The trio have been recovering the bodies of those who died during the outbreak, the infected, and bringing them to the fence so that the scientists can do experiments. Has the virus just run its course and the zombies are dead, again? Or has it just gone dormant?
Lebbon evolves the characters as they struggle and adapt to their isolation and entrapment showing the increasing strain and hopelessness that is bred during this horrific and hopeless situation. You could believe what happens to these characters could very well happen to the average person trapped in a dead town with only 2 other companions. I highly recommend this story for a gloomy, not gore filled zombie tale.