America The Dead episode five

Good Friday Morning…

Free eBook today only…

New Release! The Original Survivors: Bluechip. The story of how the apocalypse began #Apocalypse #Undead #Crime https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074YH3ZRG

That is for the Kindle reader download it at Amazon FREE…!


EARTH’S SURVIVOR’S AMERICA the DEAD: BOOK ONE

Based on the series by W. G. Sweet

Episode 5

PUBLISHED BY

independAntwriters Publishing

AMERICA the DEAD: BOOK ONE

Copyright © 2013 by independAntwriters All Rights Reserved

Writers: W.W. Watson, Geo Dell, W.G. Sweet, G.D. Smitty

This book, in this blog format, is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. If you would like to share this book with another person, please point them to this blog entry. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places or incidents depicted are products of the authors imagination. Any resemblance to actual living persons places, situations or events is purely coincidental.

This novel is Copyright © 2013 independAntwriters. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the authors permission.

Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print..


EARTH’S SURVIVOR’S – AMERICA the DEAD: BOOK ONE


CHAPTER FOUR

March 14th

Everyone was up early and ready to go before the sun was barely above the horizon.

“Yesterday,” Jake said to no one in particular. “Thirty two hours long.” Silence greeted his remark. Katie checked her own watch.

“So, like, that means things are slowing down,” Lana asked?

“You think,” Jake asked unkindly.

“Well, something like that,” Lana shot back defensively.

“Why would it go backwards,” James asked?

“Yeah. Wasn’t it supposed to stop, reverse and then start up again,” Lana asked?

“Maybe,” Conner agreed. “But that was all based on theory. No facts involved at all. I think they had some evidence that the poles had reversed at a few points in history before. And some legends that spoke about the Earth standing still for a day, something like that. But even so, that’s all theory. Not fact.”

“Yeah,” Jake chimed in. “It’s like an asshole. Everyone’s got one.”

“Don’t you mean opinion,” Lana asked sweetly?

“Whatever… We ready to go, or what,” Jake asked? Everyone followed him outside in the uncomfortable silence that fell.

~

“What’s up with those two,” Katie whispered as she followed Conner outside.

“Who knows,” Conner whispered back. James met his eyes and raised his eyebrows. Conner shrugged his shoulders and shook his head as if to say I don’t know.

“We may as well take all three trucks,” James suggested. “That way if we find stuff we want it’ll save us driving back to get them.”

“Easier if we get stuck too,” Katie suggested.

Jake shrugged his shoulders. “Fine by me,” he said. He headed for the Suburban with Lana right behind him. Jana and Katie headed for the pickup truck. James broke into a laugh and grinned at Conner. “Guess that leaves me and you in the old dinosaur… Want to drive?”

“After you,” Conner said laughing. James started the truck and pulled out last in line and followed the other two trucks as they picked their way along the edge of the ruined road.

~

“It was me that asked Jana to go with Katie,” James said as they followed slowly along behind the other trucks.

Conner nodded. His eyes following the sides of the road as James drove along. “I thought it was something like that,” he said. “What’s on your mind, James?”

“Well… A lot,” James said after a second or two. He hesitated a little longer. “I guess mainly to say Jana and I would like to go with you when you leave… And Katie, I assume.”

“Yeah,” Conner agreed. “I know that probably seemed kind of quick.”

“It’s a…”

“Quick world,” Conner finished. “Katie said the same thing. I don’t know how much better off we’ll be, but we’d be glad to have you two with us if you want to come.”

“We would. Jana and I talked it over. We talked all night long last night. I got nothing personal against Jake; he did alright by us, but he’s a little too…”

“Demanding…? Aggressive..?” Conner supplied.

James looked thoughtful. “I don’t know… Something like that. I just don’t see him being able to see this through. I feel like if we came back here in ten years we’d find him still holed up in that … He’s… I don’t know… Too immature to talk to about it. He has only one way of looking at things… That can’t work.”

“You’re probably right. He’d still be here with Lana… Probably with a couple of babies running around… But, maybe that’s not such a bad thing…Maybe that’s a good thing…” He shrugged. “The immaturity… I don’t know… It’s there though. Maybe he’ll move out of that. Maybe it’s just the situation.”

“Maybe,” James agreed. “But that’s exactly the time he should be mature, isn’t it?”

Conner nodded. James continued.

“So, maybe it’s a good thing, maybe it’s not. But not for me. I don’t want to stay here. Nor Jana either. I wouldn’t want to quit this unless I knew this was all there was. I mean, this couldn’t be worldwide, could it?”

“I don’t know,” Conner said softly. “But I agree. I know what you mean. Katie and I talked about it last night as well and came to the same opinion. It could be better elsewhere, and, whatever is right for Jake or Lana isn’t necessarily right for us. I was for going from the start. I have to know if this is really the end. If there’s anything else. If it is I’ll deal with it. Find a place to settle down. Thank God I have Katie, you and Jana… Maybe we’ll meet others on the way to… Well, where ever.”

“I think so,” James said. “There are people, other people around. We just got to find them… Or them us.”

“Yeah… We got to remember rifles or pistols… I hate to say it, James, but we may need them.”

“Yeah,” he nodded, “Yeah.”

They continued on in silence as the small caravan made its way past a collapsed building partially blocking what was left of the road.

“I think… It’s not my business,” James said, “But I think you made an enemy of Lana. She was thinking you would be with her…”

“Yeah… I could see that, James… I don’t think Jake was pleased either.”

James nodded. “Nope… None too… Him I wouldn’t worry about though. Her, she’s pretty spiteful. I’ve only known her for a week, but it’s enough. That child did pretty much what she wanted to I’ll bet… Used to having her own way… Getting what she wants… When she wants it.”

“Yeah… I can see that… But last night we talked about the journals; I’m keeping one, Katie is as well, Lana said she would… Something to leave when we leave…”

“It’s not a bad idea,” James agreed. “I’m not much for writing myself, but Jana might like it.”

Conner nodded. “Well, Lana liked the idea. She didn’t say she’d go, but she might… So, hate me or not, she might be with us.”

“Oh,” James said. “I see that. Maybe she’ll be okay… She’s a kid… Maybe she’ll change.”

“Guess we’ll have to see,” Conner agreed. “Guess we’ll have to see.”

James worked the truck up and over a huge slab of up-tilted asphalt and followed along behind the other two trucks as they made their way down the strip.

“What did you think of the idea that Jake had of fixing up one of the new trucks,” Conner ventured after a few minutes.”

“Won’t work. Or at least it won’t work without a lot of trouble. The new engines are computer dependent. We could probably find ourselves another motor, maybe even a new crate motor at a parts store somewhere around here,” James said.

“What’s a crate motor,” Conner asked?

“It just means a new motor, all crated up when it was sent from the factory. They sell them. Race cars. Old rebuilds… Like that. But even if we couldn’t find a crate motor, we could find enough parts to rebuild anything we would need to rebuild on nearly any vehicle. So really, when we’re done, we’d have what amounted to a new vehicle. Jake wants to oversimplify that. He thinks we can just find the parts and swap them out on the motor that’s in the truck. Maybe we can… I’m not that good though, and I don’t think he is. I think we should stick to what we can do for sure. Utilize what we have… The new parts.”

“That what you think we should do? Build a vehicle?”

“Yeah… Maybe two… Four wheel drive of course. Go right through them top to bottom. Everything new. It would take a few weeks, but we’ve got that and more. Meantime you could work on your Ham radio idea, “James finished.

“Can you get electric? Those big Ham radio outfits need regular power.”

“Yeah, that’s not a problem. We’ll just find a generator. That will give us all the power we need. We could even hook up a power inverter to give us one twenty in the vehicle,” James added.

Conner nodded. “So we’re going to jump right into this thing. Get ready to go?”

James nodded. “I’m with you. I’m not spending next winter in a cold factory building unless I have to. There’s a place in Tennessee… Maybe Kentucky.” He closed his eyes for a split second as if seeing something only he could see. He shook his head, frowned and then continued. “If not, I’m thinking the coast… Southern or western, either will do. Whichever one looks to be the better bet. And who knows how hard it’ll be to get there? So the sooner we’re ready to go the better.”

“I agree,” Conner said. “I’ll talk to Katie.

“And I’ll talk to, Jana. But we already talked…”

“So did we,” Conner agreed. They both laughed.

James angled the big truck around a final piece of asphalt and into a cracked and buckled parking lot. The two other vehicles sat silent; waiting for them.

As they left the truck Conner noticed that the store hadn’t seemed to incur any more damage since the last time that he had been there. The roof was bowed inward, it had been before, but there were plenty of upright pillars that supported the roof and they all appeared intact. At least the ones he could easily see. The supports were spaced about every sixteen or so feet.

“Safe,” Jake asked?

“Looks the same as it did the last time,” Conner allowed. Katie and James looked at him and he shrugged. “I’d say so. It looks the same as it did the last time I was here. It doesn’t even look as though anyone has been here.”

The scattered, powdered snow seemed undisturbed around the shattered doorway that lead into the building. Conner snapped his flashlight on and led the way inside.

The inside of the store told a different story. Someone had been there during the time Conner had last been there. Several of the glass display cases that held the weapons had been damaged. They were locked. Who ever had made the attempt had made it halfheartedly. The glass was safety glass of some sort. It had cracked, spider webbed, but it had not broken and caved in.

“Guess someone tried to get in,” James offered.

Jake held up a discarded crow bar. Even in the weak light they could see the streaks of scarlet on one end. Jake let it fall to the floor. The clatter was loud enough to make Lana draw in a quick breath in the broken silence that followed.

“Jesus, Jake,” She sputtered. Jake only grinned.

“Why does someone go through all of that when they could’ve taken a simple screw driver and just popped the locks,” Katie asked?

“Well,” Jake started.

Katie had walked behind the counter, taken a screw driver from her pocket and began to jimmy the lock mechanism. It was a cheap sliding set and easily bent to one side far enough to slide the glass door open. Katie smiled.

“Learn that up in the big city, Miss,” Conner asked with a smile.

Katie smiled back, reached inside the case, careful of the glass that had sprayed in small slivers from the spider webs in the top, and withdrew pistol after pistol, setting them on a wooden topped case next to the cash register.

“Forty five caliber… Nine millimeter, a cheap one though… Three eighty, kind of nice, though small… Here’s a much nicer Nine Millimeter…” She set several more guns on the wooden top, looked up with a crooked grin and asked, “Well, gentlemen…Lady… what will it be?”

“You really know about this kind of shit,” Lana asked in an awed voice.

“Obviously well enough to know what’s what,” Jake said.

“That’s right. Obviously well enough,” Katie agreed. She gave no further explanation.

“What do you think, Katie,” Jana asked?

“Yeah, what would be the best,” Conner asked?

Katie shrugged. “It depends on what you like. I like a three eighty myself. It’s small. Not as heavy as a Nine millimeter.” She pulled her own Nine Millimeter. “This was my Dads… A good gun, but I liked the Three Eighty I had… A Three Eighty won’t really knock somebody down, not like you see in the movies. But, a nine millimeter won’t always do that either. It’ll just make a bigger hole. If you want to knock somebody down you need this.” She held up the bigger forty five caliber pistol. She held the mostly black pistol easily in one hand. “This will knock somebody down and kill them… And, on the off chance that your aim was bad and you didn’t immediately kill them, believe me… They are not going to feel like getting back up.” She grinned. “It’s still not like the movies… You know, where you see them flying backwards through the air. But, it will knock them down and keep them there.”

“Jesus, Girl… I’m like in awe,” Lana said.

“Katie,” Katie said, “and thank you.”

“So how do you know all that…? Like for real? How do you know all that shit?”

“My dad was a cop… Not in New York, before we moved there. He had a thing for guns. I just caught it. When he knew I was going to be like him when it came to guns, he sent me for training… Safety stuff mostly, but I liked it so much I started buying my own weapons as well. I took the test… Eventually I would’ve had my foot in the door in New York. That’s a good department. I would’ve been in already if not for the economy. “

“The thing is I love to shoot. I’m good also,” she sighed.

“So… What will it be?” She let the smile return to her face, reached over and began to jimmy another of the locks on the sliding glass doors.

They spent the good part of two hours in the store. Camping gear; rifles, pistols and ammunition. Conner began to feel like they were equipping there own private army before they were done. Even so by the time they left everyone was carrying at least one pistol, and several rifles and boxes of ammunition had found their way into the back of the pickup truck. Katie, Conner noticed, had added a matte black forty five caliber pistol to the Nine Millimeter. She wore them in webbed holsters on a wide leather belt.

“I thought you preferred a Three Eighty,” Conner said half jokingly as he replaced the Nine Millimeter he had decided on back into the side holster he had chosen.

“I do,” she said. “For shooting… But like I said, a Three Eighty can’t knock somebody down.” Her eyes met his.

“Yeah… There is that,” Conner agreed quietly.

They spent a short amount of time looking through a small convenience store in the same parking lot. There was very little left. Most likely cleaned out, James voiced, by the same folks who had tried to take the guns. This was evidenced by smears of maroon on the counter tops. Even so they managed to find boxes of stuff in the storage area. They finished filling the backs of the trucks with basic First Aid stuff and several boxes full of Candy bars and junk food too.

The sun had been standing overhead for what seemed like hours. James Spoke.

“Hotter,” He said. “You can feel the heat. And,” He motioned with his hands, “the snow is melting faster too.”

“Got a theory on that,” Conner asked?

James shook his head.

“Maybe the whole process takes time,” Katie said.

“Maybe,” Jake agreed. “Maybe it’s not so easy to start something spinning in the other direction… And we don’t know if it really stopped or not. The sun’s coming up in the north, or it was, but that seems to be changing also. I don’t think it stopped all the way. I think it’s just got a different spin now. And maybe a different path.”

James nodded as did Conner. “I guess we’ll leave it for the scientists… Long as we don’t fall off the Earth.” He chuckled a little.

“Call it a day,” Conner asked?

“Yeah,” Jake agreed. “We still have to unload all of this.” There were a few halfhearted complaints, but everyone piled into the trucks and they made their way slowly back towards the heart of the city and the old factory that lay behind Old Town.

Jana March 14th

We are six people who have managed to stay alive through whatever it is that has happened to our planet. My husband James and I were fortunate enough to be protected by our spirits and brought through all of this.

I am Jana Adams; my husband is full blooded Blackfoot and a very proud man. A very good man as well. And not just to me. He treats all people well.

My mother was Cherokee and my father was French. I don’t mean French transplanted to this country. My mother met him in France. We are looking forward to whatever the Great spirits purpose is in this.

We have many young people with us. Conner Davis. He’s mixed race. Like many of us. He probably doesn’t realize it but he is in fact our leader. He’s in his early twenties. I guess the mixed race stuff doesn’t matter anymore, but I lived with it for so long that it’s hard for me to let it go.

James has suffered worse with those prejudices. Many other people besides me. Maybe the world is at that place where all of that stuff can be let go now? I hope so.

Katie Lee is a beautiful young woman. Her father is African American, her mother Asian. She has her father’s dark skin blended with her mothers features. Striking. I enjoy her company. She reminds me of my daughter. I don’t know how she fared in all of this. I suppose we’re all wondering similar things.

Jake Light. And, Lana, Marcia Lana Santos fill out our party. We are planning to leave here in a few months and head south, or west. The direction isn’t decided only the realization that we need to go. The thinking is that we should head south. Somewhere warmer. After all, there is no electricity here. And we are living in an old factory right down by the river. It’s not a bad , and we’re lucky to have it. Almost the entire city has been destroyed. Most buildings are unsafe to live in. This one was built up against the cliffs. It’s solid.

When we leave, we’ll leave all of that behind us. This is who we are. We will most likely continue to the south. We are currently looking for a Short Wave radio set to try to get in touch with others around the world. You, whoever you may be, may be able to reach us that way where ever we have gone to now.

James believes in the people. That the people will once again live on the earth the way they used to. James believes it, and so I believe it. I’ll continue to keep this book up while we’re here and include any useful information we can pass on to you before we go…

Katie March 14th

I guess I should start this the right way. I hadn’t thought about it when it was just me to think about. But it’s more than me. Or even those of us that are here now. It’s the ones who might come. Or will come after. So even if you figured out almost all of what I’m about to write I’ll write it anyway.

I read back over what I wrote and it doesn’t even seem like me. Like I wrote it. Like those things happened to me

My name is Katie Lee. I was living here when all of this happened. I’m not from here. I actually did live here for a while last year, but that’s a long story. The point is I’m not really from here like the others are.

My man is Conner Davis and we are with two other couples; Jana and James Adams, and Jake Light And Lana Santos. I came here with them; Conner was on his own then. I was too, even though I had people around me. I guess if you’ve read all of this diary you know what I’m talking about. I had Jana as my friend. This diary and my father’s gun. I Thank God for what I had, especially Jana.

Jana and James are older. They are really good people. Jake and Lana are younger. Well, Lana is. Lana’s even younger than I am, but Jake is quite a lot older. I don’t think anyone cares about that anymore though. At least nobody here does.

We are going to leave here sometime in the next few months and try to make it down to the Gulf coast. We don’t know for sure how that will go. I’ll keep this updated though until then. We’re going to leave these behind us. Hopefully they will be useful to someone. But I think I’ll keep my little Notebook. It means something to me.

Things we know: You can get trucks and cars to start as long as they are older ones that don’t have electronic brain boxes, as James put it. That is how we intend to go before winter or just after winter really lets go. Otherwise we’d really have to wait for summer to settle in before we could chance travel.

There are several sporting goods stores in the area. We’re all carrying guns now. It seems smart to do. Maybe I should say it would be stupid not to. We think it only makes good sense.

This building we are in seems stable, but many of the other structures in the city aren’t safe to live in. We don’t know if it’s even all over with yet. Whether there is more to come. We hope not.

We’re going to try to reach others with Ham Radios. We’re also trying to find a battery powered television set just to see if anything’s on the air. We’re hopeful. We’re also going to pick up some hand held F.M. radios. Walkie Talkies James calls them. That way we can speak to each other when we’re separated.

The sun is rising in the north. Really the North West. The days were long, then short, now going back towards long again. We don’t know what that might mean. Where it will end or even where we will be when it does end. And maybe end is the wrong word to use. We don’t know what began or ended; might begin or end.

I re-read that, I guess it seems melodramatic, at least to me, but it’s honest.

I’ll write more as we go along.

March 15th

Early morning darkness held the road that fronted the old factory. The moonlight, sparse, reflected off the rapids of the river.

A shadow moved by one of the pickup trucks. Another moved by the Suburban. The sound of sand gritting beneath the sole of a shoe came clearly in the shadowy darkness. The door of the pickup squealed loudly as it was carefully opened. The shadow paused looking towards the Suburban. The shadow there appeared to be fighting with the door to no avail. The shadow next to the pickup gestured quickly with both hands and the shadow next to the Suburban gave up on the door, crossed to the pickup and quickly climbed inside. Once they were both inside silence returned to the small patch of asphalt that fronted the entrance to the building. A few seconds later the pickup roared to life. The headlights snapped on, the wheels turned hard left and the driver launched the truck down what was left of the shattered roadway.

Voices were raised in alarm from inside the building, and within just a few moments everyone inside was outside. Lana, gun in hand, unloaded a full clip at the fleeing pickup truck. Both Jake and Conner snapped off a single shot, more in startled response to Lana’s’ shots than with any real hope of hitting the retreating pickup truck.

“Jesus,” Lana said breathlessly. “They stole our truck!” She turned and looked at Conner with wide, frightened eyes. “They stole our Goddamn truck,” She repeated. “How could they steal our truck?”

Jake headed for the suburban, pulled the keys from his pocket, prepared to unlock the door.

“Jake,” Conner called. “Where are you going, Man?”

That’s our Goddamn truck. I’m going to get it.” His eyes were wild. The truck keys in one hand, a pistol in the other. No shirt. Sock-less shoes, laces trailing.

“It’s an old truck, Man,” Conner said.

“It’s my old truck,” Jake said defensively. “And if I catch that fucker…”

“Fuckers,” Lana said.

“Huh,” Jake asked?

“Fuckers as in I saw two heads. Two of them. Not one,” Lana said. Her voice held a breathless, excited quality to it that Conner didn’t like. She was dressed in jeans and a thin T-shirt. She shivered slightly, whether from the cold or the excitement Conner couldn’t tell.

“Either way. One, two, how would we catch them? … And then what? Are we going to shoot somebody for stealing an old truck? Is that what things have come to,” Conner asked?

“Look, don’t get moral on me,” Jake said. He leveled his eyes at Conner. “I do things my way. You take from me you pay for it.”

Conner just stared back at him.

“You’re soft,” Jake said. But his fists, still clenched, dropped from the truck door and he walked away from the Suburban and back into the building.

Lana threw Conner a nasty look, finally managed to fish a replacement clip from her overly tight front pocket. Ejected the empty one into her hand and slid the new one into the pistol with a solid click. “Soft,” She echoed as the clip clicked home. She turned and walked back inside the factory. In the distance the muffler of the truck began to fade. It was hard to tell where it had gone. Which direction.

James stepped up beside Conner where he stood with Katie and Jana. “I’m not going to kill anybody over an old truck,” he said.

“Me either” the other three said in near unison.

“Guess we better start making sure everything’s locked up tight,” Conner said.

“We’re going to have to start keeping a watch,” Jana said.

“We will,” Katie agreed. “What if the next thing they want is a woman?”

“That’s not funny,” Conner said.

She leveled her dark eyes on his. Silvery moonlight reflecting from them. “I wasn’t trying to be funny. Now that they know we’re around…” she shrugged. “Lana may have overreacted, but… Maybe not…Who the Hell would pull a stunt like that anyway? Everything’s just lying around… Want a truck? Go get one… No… It’s a mind set. Someone who takes like that doesn’t take because it’s easy. They take because they like it. Because they can…” She lowered her voice, “Truck… Woman…. Might all be the same to them.”

No one answered.

~

Jake and Lana sat talking in low tones as the others walked back into the building. They had rebuilt the fire and the warmth and light spread out, glowing on the brick walls. “Jake,” Conner started.

“Listen,” Jake said. “I shouldn’t have said that… I didn’t mean to say that. And, no, it would be stupid to go chasing after a goddamn truck in the middle of the night. And, no, I don’t want to kill someone over stealing a piece of shit truck,” Jake said. “But that kind of shit can’t happen… I mean, what’s next?”

“Yeah,” Conner agreed. “Yeah. I guess what’s next is locked up trucks. No keys left in them. And…” He looked over at Katie. “I guess a guard at night… Katie said… She thinks someone who would come to take a truck might come to take a woman also.”

The silence held only for a second.

“Fuckin’ A,” Lana spat.

She looks positively rabid, Katie thought. “What I mean,” Katie said, “A truck… Maybe one of us… Who steals a truck when everything’s just laying around free to anyone who wants to pick it up?”

Jake nodded his head.

“Well as soon as it’s light I say we follow the tracks. If we’re careful it should be no problem at all,” Conner said.

“Goddamn right,” Lana said.

“Should be armed… I’m sure they will be,” Katie said.

“Not you… You’re not going are you,” Conner asked?

“I’m the best shot we have,” Katie said. “It’s that simple. If we don’t go after them,” she shrugged and then shook her head. “No,” she said. “The more I think about it, they’ll probably come back. And they’ll probably come back armed as well. Hell, maybe they were this time.” She looked at Lana.

“Lana saw two in the truck, but how many more were there? Or back where ever they went to,” she finished seriously.

“So. The idea is to take it to them before they bring it to us,” James asked?

“Got a better idea,” Jake challenged?

“No… No… But I’m no killer. It’s still just a damn truck…”

James finished.

“Yeah, tonight it was a truck, tomorrow it might be me… Or Katie… Or Jana,” Lana said.

James stayed silent, thoughtful. He sighed. “What a damn mess,” he said at last.

“It’s that,” Jake agreed.

“I got to agree, James,” Conner said. “It’s not the same world. What if they do come back? Do we decide then to do something? It might be too late.”

“Honey. I think it’s best to go get them,” Jana said quietly, her eyes on James’s own. Those eyes looked frightened, Conner thought. He supposed a little of that fright was resting in every ones eyes right now.

“I don’t like to be bullied or pressured into anything,” James said.

“Hey,” Conner said. “It’s no pressure, Man. It’s real. It really just happened.”

James nodded his head yes but a frown remained stamped onto his mouth. Deep lines scared his forehead. His hands twisted restlessly in his lap. He suddenly bought his hands together firmly. “Okay,” he agreed. “Okay. I see the point. I’ve done a lot of hunting. I’m a good shot with a rifle… … I’ll go.”


Available from:

Barnes and Noble

Apple’s iTunes

Smashwords

Posted in America The Dead, Apocalypse, Blogging, Dell Sweet, Earth's Survivors, Geo Dell, Horror, iTunes, NOOK | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

EARTH’S SURVIVOR’S AMERICA the DEAD: BOOK ONE episode four

EARTH’S SURVIVOR’S AMERICA the DEAD: BOOK ONE


EARTH’S SURVIVOR’S AMERICA the DEAD: BOOK ONE

Based on the series by W. G. Sweet

Episode 4

PUBLISHED BY

independAntwriters Publishing

AMERICA the DEAD: BOOK ONE

Copyright © 2013 by independAntwriters All Rights Reserved

Writers: W.W. Watson, Geo Dell, W.G. Sweet, G.D. Smitty


This book, in this blog format, is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. If you would like to share this book with another person, please point them to this blog entry. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places or incidents depicted are products of the authors imagination. Any resemblance to actual living persons places, situations or events is purely coincidental.

This novel is Copyright © 2013 independAntwriters. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the authors permission.

Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print..


EARTH’S SURVIVOR’S – AMERICA the DEAD: BOOK ONE

This material is NOT edited for content and may contain 18+ content


CHAPTER THREE

March 12th

Conner closed his notebook and stuffed it down into his pack. Looking around the factory floor he was surprised how different a few more warm bodies could make it. It didn’t seem as cold, so oppressively quiet, so echo filled with any kind of sharp noise, so… so different. And it was different still. But different in a good way.

Katie had been watching from across the room where she had made a little area for herself. She hadn’t wanted to interrupt while Conner was writing, but now that he seemed finished she walked over to him.

“This was really nice of you,” she said as she walked up. “We were staying in that old school building. None to stable. Last night was the best sleep I’ve had in awhile.”

“Funny,” Conner replied, “I was thinking the same thing. For me it was just having others around. People.”

Katie smiled. She’s beautiful, Conner thought. He wasn’t normally a fan of tattoos, but she had some sort of tribal stuff that snaked up under her shirt sleeve. Just a hint of ink where her shirt didn’t quite meet the top of her Levies made him wonder just exactly where the ink ended. She caught his eyes and smiled again.

“Mind,” She asked, gesturing at the ground beside him.

“No. Sit down,” Conner smiled. “I have no manners at all. How

long does it take to devolve? I guess a little over a week.” He smiled again.

She laughed as she sat down. The silence stretched out for a few seconds, each of them looking around the factory floor as the others talked or settled in for the night. They both spoke at once.

“So…”

“Sorry,” Katie said and laughed.

“No, really. It’s that devolved thing again. Go ahead.”

She fixed her eyes on him. “I was just wondering what you were planning on doing. I mean, have you thought about leaving? I know you spoke a little bit about it yesterday when you were talking to Jake. But I could see you weren’t quite ready to fall in with the Jakeites yet.” She lowered her voice for the last.

Conner looked at her levelly. “Yeah… I guess it does show. I don’t dislike him. I don’t even disagree with what he said… I just… I just don’t know. We don’t click… Know what I mean?”

“Yeah, I do.” Katie answered. “It’s the same with me. I can think. I don’t need someone to do it for me.”

“Exactly,” Conner agreed. “But it’s a little more as well. Like Alpha male shit… This is my tribe… Me chief.” Conner finished in a near whisper.

Katie giggled but quickly clamped a hand over her mouth while nodding her head in agreement.

Conner continued. “I’m not really an Alpha male type of guy, but I’m not a dumb sheep either.”

“Me either,” Katie agreed, her giggles under control. She fixed him with her serious eyes once more. “So what will you do?”

“Probably like I said, like everyone else said, leave. But I don’t see why the south or the west wouldn’t be a good direction to go in. We’ll all see, I guess, as spring comes on, or as…”

“What,” Katie asked?

“Well. As this goes on. It might not be over yet. There might be more changes ahead. The days have slowed down, almost seemed to stop for awhile last week when the sun just hung in the sky. Maybe what was supposed to happen happened? Now the sun’s rising in the wrong place in the sky. Did the Earth’s spin reverse? That fast? Weren’t some people claiming we’d fall off the Earth? Something like that?” He took a deep breath.

“I guess I’m just waiting to see how this goes. What happens next… But in a few months, not far into spring, I’ll probably leave. Whatever has happened, is happening, should be over by then…” He smiled. “I guess that was a long drawn out answer.”

“No. Not really,” Katie answered. “I’m in the same place. I’m not sure what happened either, or if it’s all over. But I don’t think I want to live in a old factory forever either…” She looked around, “But who knows, maybe it’s come to that?”

Conner shrugged his shoulders.

“Anyway,” she continued. “I… I just wanted you to know I’m seeing it the same way as you. I mean… I mean I want to be on your side of it….” She locked her eyes on his and gave a firm nod, then flipped her short, black hair out of her eyes. She firmed her mouth, set her jaw, and spoke once more. “I’d like to go get my things… Move over here with you..” Her dark eyes settled on his own. “Be with you… I mean be together.”

“Quick,” Conner said.

She nodded and smiled, “Maybe it’s a quick world now. I’m taking you at face value, I guess. You don’t have a little harem locked away farther back in this old building do you?” She smiled.

Conner laughed. ‘Not hardly.”

“Well then,” she asked quietly, her eyes serious.

Conner nodded, which caused a huge smile to spread across her face. His own smile answered it. But, he thought, did she really mean…? He didn’t complete the thought as she stood and walked across the floor to where she had put her things and spent her first night. She turned and looked back at him. Conner stood and walked over to help her move her things over to his side of the factory.

Several pairs of eyes watched the move.

~

“Guess that settles that,“ James Adams said to his wife Jana.

His wife nodded, a slight smile on her face. For the last few days Jake had been pushing Katie. Jana had disapproved. Let the girl make up her own mind, she had thought.

“Maybe it’s for the best,” she said now. “That young man is much more likable, James.”

James nodded in agreement. The fly in the ointment might be Lana who had been making eyes at Jake since they’d first met, but who, for the last few days had only had eyes for Conner. James looked over just as a look passed between Jake and Lana. Oh oh, he thought.

Jana shook her head. She had noticed the look pass between them as well. “Maybe if those two get together it will level everything out,” she said softly. Jake had made it clear he was interested in Katie, not Lana, but the girl had made her choice. Jake would have to accept it. Jana felt Katie had made the better choice of the two. She turned her attention back to the conversation she had been having with James.

Jake watched as Katie moved her sleeping bags and back pack over to Conner’s side of the large room. He didn’t see what she saw in Conner, but it was her choice and she wouldn’t get a second chance with him. He frowned at his own thoughts. Don’t be an ass, he told himself. It’s not that serious. He looked over and caught Lana’s eyes, the question was right there. He nodded and she sprang to her feet like a rabbit. A mean look on her young face as she looked towards Katie. The look went unanswered by Katie. She turned her back to the girl as she walked back over to Conner’s side of the room.

~

Lana quickly gathered her things and moved them over to Jake’s area. Stupid, Bitch, she told herself. She can have the other dude. She’d only wanted Jake all along. Even the last few days, chasing after Conner had only been an attempt on her part to make Jake jealous. Jake would take her out of here. She hated this place and everything to do with it. Always had. Jake was tough. Tougher than the other guy. She didn’t think of it in terms of Alpha Male and territory, but it came down to the same thing. Jake was the top dog. Her top dog.

The fire burned lower as everyone settled in for the night. Some happy, some worried, some undecided, but everyone along for the ride.

March 13th

James leaned around the hood and looked through the windshield of the old truck. He nodded. “Try it, Jake.”

The motor turned over a half dozen times then suddenly fired and rumbled to life. Jake gave it a little more gas, pulled out the old fashioned choke. The motor smoothed out and began to run a little better.

James backed away from the engine compartment, a large smile on his face. “Know what this means,” he asked, raising his voice to be heard above the noisy truck.

Jake grinned and nodded back. “As long as they’re not electronically controlled they’ll run. We should find a few more.”

James nodded in agreement.

They had found the old truck in a lot out in back of one of the car dealerships out on the strip. The lot itself was wrecked; the buildings not much better, but hundreds of new cars and trucks sat on the cracked pavement, or pointed their noses or tails at the sky where they were half buried. The truck had been set up with a plow and they all agreed it was probably just used to plow the lot.

Before they had even gone looking for a vehicle Jake and James had gone hunting for a small gasoline powered engine. Lawn mower, Leaf blower. It didn’t matter, just something small without an electronic ignition or brain. They’d come up with a heavy duty chain saw. Several tugs and a little choke had got it running. That had convinced them that it would be worth finding an older, full size truck.

“We could convert one of these newer trucks. It would take some work but if we can find the right parts we could do it,” Jake said.

“Maybe,” James agreed. “Trouble is finding a block that’s still the same. Heads. Intake. It’s a lot to hope for. It would be easier to just fix the old stuff up. New tires, battery. We could even do the axles if we absolutely had to.”

Jake nodded his head. “Hmm,” he grumbled. “Guess so.”

James turned away. It was obvious to him that Jake didn’t like being disagreed with or second guessed. Yes, parts were parts, and if they were just parts, no problem. There were even kits to convert non-electronic ignition motors over to electronic ignition, but not the other way around. There were motors built mostly for racing applications that were designed to use carburetors and simple distributors. There were things they could do, but it wasn’t simple black and white.

He had been seeing more and more of this close minded attitude from Jake since they had moved into the . Jake had lost his place as leader. It didn’t matter that he had been nearly the only one who had seen himself that way. He had seen the situation that way, and now the situation had changed. He didn’t see himself as leader any longer and he didn’t like it. Oh well, James thought. He’d get over it or he wouldn’t. There was nothing for it except to watch it happen whatever way it happened.

Jake let the truck idle high for a few minutes then reset the choke dropping the idle down to normal.

“We got wheels,” Lana said happily. She, Conner, Katie and Jana had come walking back from further down the lot. Pulled by the sound of the truck starting from where they had been searching for other vehicle that would be good candidates for starting.

“We found three others that seem as though they might work out,” Conner said. “One’s an old crew cab state truck the other two are old pickups. All three are four wheel drives.” He grinned at James.

James laughed. “Well, let’s go get them,” he said. He turned and started away.

“Hey,” Jake said, leaning against the door of the truck, “Wouldn’t you rather drive?”

James laughed again. “Yeah,” he agreed. “Much rather.” Everybody piled into the Suburban. Jake pulled out of the back of the lot and headed back in the direction the others had come from.

Conner March 13th

Man, it’s been a long day. We walked out the strip to the car dealerships. Everything is torn up out there, but there are tons of cars and trucks. We found three trucks that we got running and we drove them back. So we have a pickup truck: A Suburban; and a big four door state work truck. One of those ones you always used to see along the highway when they were doing road repair. There were a few others we found that also ran, but they were in such bad shape that we left them.

Jake wanted to build one. I mean take one of the new trucks and put old parts on it. I got the idea from James that it probably wouldn’t work out the way Jake thought that it would. The right parts would be hard to find. I could see the idea. The appeal of a newer vehicle so we wouldn’t have to be concerned about break downs. But I could see James’s point of view too. I think it pissed Jake off though. But it seems that almost everything pisses Jake off.

I didn’t write this in here yet, but Katie and I are together. It just happened that fast. I was surprised in a way, but in another way I wasn’t all that surprised. Who knows how long this world will last? What it was that really happened? Maybe there is no time for slow anymore.

Katie said that and once I thought about it I agreed. Things are so different. And she’s right for me. Maybe it wouldn’t have happened this fast in the old world. Maybe it wouldn’t have happened at all. But everything’s changed. It’s all different and this seems right. It seems like the way it should have happened with her and me. The right way for it all to work.

It also seemed to work out for the others. By that I mean Jake ended up with Lana. She’s a lot younger than he is, but like I said it is a different world now. They seem to be happy together. I thought I felt some animosity from both of them at first. But either I imagined it or they’ve moved past it, got over it, something like that.

We haven’t discussed leaving again. It’ll come up. Katie and I want to go. I think James and Jana want to go. Jake and Lana seem to be against it. Lana keeps talking about how none of us know what it might be like anywhere else. Like she wants to throw that out before we even discuss leaving at all. Here we have food, shelter what’s so bad? I guess we have been talking about it without really talking about it at all.

Jake backs up everything she says with a nod of his head. He pointed out we have this old factory and we may not find that anywhere else. At least not easily. Maybe they’re right. Hell, they make sense, but it’s the attitude. The rest of us bend. They refuse to.

We decided to go out toward the mall tomorrow to the sporting goods stores, and also look at some of the markets out there. Something else I didn’t check out while I was out there.

Lastly: I’m glad Katie and I have each other. It makes all of this easier to deal with.

She asked me why I’m writing this journal. I felt kind of stupid. I told her why I started it though, and that I’m continuing it for someone in the future. Maybe a child? Someone to come later on?

I expected her to laugh that off, or look at me like I was crazy, but she only nodded as if that made perfectly good sense. She told me she has a journal as well. A diary, she said. Of course Lana jumped on that too. At first arguing against it, then saying she thought it might be okay. Jake said he wouldn’t do it. He said he’s not leaving to go anywhere and if someone shows up here he’ll be here, not some journal…. Okay.

It’s stuff like that that makes me wonder. And, anyway, I only mentioned it, it wasn’t like I wanted anyone else to do it or was trying to encourage someone else to do it. It’s that kind of a Jump on it attitude I don’t like. Like they think I’m looking to screw them over some how.

But it’s all good. I’m alive. I looked back at some of what I wrote in here. I had no one just a short time ago. I didn’t even know whether there was anyone else. Now I have Katie. We have some plans. Things we’ve begun to talk about. Agree about. A little ego trouble with Jake is really just bullshit in the scheme of things. I have to try harder to look past that. Maybe I’m too damn sensitive. And anyway things are good. This could be a lot worse…

A thing that bugs me and I can not figure out, where are all the bodies? I mean there don’t seem to be enough bodies to match all of those that were killed. It bothers me. Maybe they weren’t killed? But that makes no sense. Where would they be? I don’t have an answer, I only know it bugs me.

Lana March 13th

Hi! My name is Lana. I’ve never written a journal or kept a diary before. We’re all here in this . A , yes, we’re living in a dirty old abandoned factory. I can’t believe it! There are no showers. No toilets. No kitchen. Ha! We’re eating out of cans. It’s about as hard as it could be. I don’t know how it could be any worse than it is.

We’re all writing these journals to leave them behind in case someone comes after we, or some of us, leave. I might not ‘Cause I’m sort of with Jake right now and he doesn’t want to go. There are six of us; Conner, Jake, James, Jana, Me and a girl named Katie. We’re all stuck here until spring, I guess.

I guess that you know all about the world ending, or whatever it did. We don’t know. I don’t know. Not really anyway, but, hopefully we’ll get everything fixed up pretty soon. I mean, a lot of stuff is F’d up, you know? But, like, it could get fixed up eventually.

I had a boyfriend in the old world. His name was Paul, but I don’t know where he went. His apartment was gone. The whole street he lived on was gone. So I don’t know. It made me feel really bad. Hopefully this will be over really soon.

We have, like, some old trucks now to drive around. We used to have to walk everywhere. That sucked. The trucks are really old. Like Shit boxes as Paul would’ve said, but at least we’re not walking, right? Paul had an old shit box truck too. These trucks are even older. If we break down we can’t call Triple A. Ha Ha!

There are six of us and Jake thinks more will come to us; probably know we’re here and are just waiting. I guess that’s cool.

I don’t really know what else to write in here. I’ll write other stuff down as well though. … Oh, I’m almost nineteen…

Katie March 13th

I did it. I don’t know how I worked it out or where I found the courage to do it, but Conner and I are together. It’s like I wasn’t breathing; like I was waiting to breath. Something like that. All I know with absolute certainty is that tomorrow looks better. Isn’t that all that’s important?


Available from:

Barnes and Noble

Apple’s iTunes

Smashwords

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

EARTH’S SURVIVOR’S AMERICA the DEAD: BOOK ONE

EARTH’S SURVIVOR’S AMERICA the DEAD: BOOK ONE

Based on the series by W. G. Sweet

Episode 3

PUBLISHED BY

independAntwriters Publishing

AMERICA the DEAD: BOOK ONE

Copyright © 2013 by independAntwriters All Rights Reserved

Writers: W.W. Watson, Geo Dell, W.G. Sweet, G.D. Smitty


This book, in this blog format, is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. If you would like to share this book with another person, please point them to this blog entry. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places or incidents depicted are products of the authors imagination. Any resemblance to actual living persons places, situations or events is purely coincidental.

This novel is Copyright © 2013 independAntwriters. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the authors permission.

Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print..


EARTH’S SURVIVOR’S – AMERICA the DEAD: BOOK ONE


This material is not edited for content


CHAPTER TWO

Conner March 9th

Maybe it’s March ninth. I guess I really don’t know. But, that’s what I think it is so that’s what I’m going with.

It’s late. I spent today getting food. Canned stuff mostly. It was rough. Almost everything is flattened, and what isn’t flattened is badly damaged. I spent about five hours a few days ago digging my way into a market on the Park Street Road. The roof was down but held up by the tops of the aisle stacks, so I was able to make my way through. I just had to be really careful of broken glass. That was where I went back to today.

I had no flashlight at first, but I managed to get a small flashlight and batteries. I had to take so much stuff out of the front area of the store that all the impulse stuff they sell was right there, Candy, little radios, and of course flashlights and batteries also. I tried a small portable radio, nothing but static on the A.M. and F.M. bands both. I bought it back with me along with some extra batteries. I listened to it a short while ago; still nothing, maybe tomorrow.

I spent the day at the market digging out canned goods and bringing them back here.

Here, is an old factory. The factory is down in back of Old Town as it’s called. I knew about it from growing up here. It used to be some sort of a manufacturing plant and it had been closed up for years. The quake took care of that though. The doors that had once been closed and bricked up buckled and sprung open. I was worried about the building itself collapsing, but it seems to be fine.

It’s only about a mile and a half from here to the markets in the village but with no vehicle it’s slow going. I’ve been piling stuff up on a large sled and making trips back and forth.

I found several cars and trucks, snowmobiles, but none of them will run. Most of them have no juice but even the ones that do just turn over but won’t fire up. Maybe if I was a mechanic I could do something, but I’m not. So it’s the sled and a lot of muscle work.

I did notice today, after not going there for two days that no one else had been there either. No tracks in the fresh snow. It’s depressing. No way can I be the only freaking guy here, right? And that made me wonder, what the hell am I writing this for? I mean, if there’s no one left who will read it? I guess those are questions for another day. Another day because, truly, I don’t want to deal with them today.

So I spent my day getting food. There are maybe two dozen buildings still standing in Old Town. But that’s where I was when I left off writing yesterday, heading for Old Town, so I’ll pick it up from there.

When I got into Old Town there was no one there. Only the handful of buildings standing as I mentioned, and two of those went down a short time later from an aftershock. The Police department… Gone. The Fire department… Gone. I know I walked out there. Ditto the high school. All the old houses. The newspaper, museum. Really, it’s all gone.

There were some tracks, but how old were they? I couldn’t tell. And I couldn’t tell where they were headed either. I got pretty down about it and ended up walking back down to Old Town and then down towards the river in back of the buildings. There was a porn shop, still there. It seemed like the dirtiest place I’d ever seen. I mean, why would a place like that still be there, still be standing when almost nothing else was?

Is that a statement or what? Hey, maybe it is. But, since I was down that far I thought I’d take a look at the river, and that made me think about the old Factory down by the river. I remembered playing around that building as a kid. Solid back then. I could never figure out why it was abandoned. Maybe it was still solid.

It wasn’t hard to find it. It’s on an old abandoned road below the level of Old Town, but a good hundred feet or so above the level of the river. All of the brick work that had once closed off the entrance way had fallen. The building itself seemed okay. Some brick had come down, but not much. Most of the brick lying around looked pretty old. Like it had been there for some time. Given the buildings in Old Town, which were still falling, or this old factory that seemed pretty solid , I chose the old factory. It just seemed to make more sense.

It’s quite big. Lighted from the old wire reinforced windows all along the front. The front area is huge, and dry, more room than I could ever use, so there’s no need for me to go back into all that darkness where the light doesn’t reach and find out how deep it goes. And that’s funny, isn’t it? What is it that I’ll need? Might need? Could need? I don’t know. I do know I won’t be spending the rest of my life living in an abandoned factory, that’s for sure. But it’s winter. I have to stay somewhere for the next few months. Then maybe I’ll head south if no one shows up to rescue me. I guess it would be me, there’s no one else here. It shouldn’t be that way though. There has to be more than me.

I spent the rest of the day looking around. I walked all the way out to the strip, as well as out of Old Town toward the old rail yards. It’s all car dealerships and strip malls now. The South Town mall, or most of it, has collapsed. But I should be able to get some stuff out of it. The interstate is car wrecks and bodies everywhere. I could see it from the overpass. I didn’t feel a need to go down there to see it in person. I didn’t want to.

I hadn’t really seen many bodies. Some at the mall, some at the market, a few others here and there, but there is so much ground, houses, things missing, that I think the other people just got swallowed up by the quake. There is a lot of raw earth. Most of the streets are messed up. The interstate is like that in places, what I can see any way, but close to the mall it’s all wrecks and bodies. Wrecked and burned vehicles and it smells horrible. I could smell it long before I came up on the overpass. I’ve decided it will take a lot to get me to go back out there again.

The market has that smell. It’s just a small neighborhood market really. I found two people up by the checkouts when I first dug it out, but none since then, as I’ve dug out other parts of the store. Maybe it’s the meat department at the back of the store that smells like that.

I spent most of the next day wandering around. Trying to start cars and trucks. Calling out to the people I had hoped were there. Nothing. I heard something that sounded like an engine running, but it came and went on the wind and I couldn’t tell where it had come from. But I took that as a good sign. It has to be someone right?

I can’t imagine being alone.

I tried to start new cars, old cars, new trucks, you name it. None of them do anything except turn over. But at least their batteries are working.

That was the day I realized that the daylight seemed to last way to long. My watch wasn’t working, so I can’t say for sure, but the sun just seemed to hang in the sky all day, then it seemed to sink in the wrong direction once it did set. And I was sick all day. My stomach. And I was light headed.

The night lasted a long time and the sun came back up in the wrong place, unless my sense of direction is off. Maybe it is. In any case I don’t know what happened. Maybe it was the earthquakes? I don’t know. It could’ve been, but it doesn’t seem possible.

The end of the world books were saying the Earth would stop and then run backwards. Maybe it did, but I didn’t feel weightlessness if it did. Or at least I don’t think so. But I thought about the vehicles, magnetic poles, maybe because everything is electronic now they can’t work? I don’t know. It’s just an idea, but I’m thinking I’ll look for an older vehicle to try out my theory on. Like I said, I wish I were a mechanic and then I’d know.

Once I found the old factory my mind was pretty much made up. I spent a lot of time clearing out the glass and broken bricks. Bringing food in and even some chairs, blankets, things like that. I’ve collected a lot of firewood and every butane lighter I could find. Paper plates. Plastic forks and spoons. And, man oh man, coffee. I found a small metal coffee pot in an aisle with camping gear. It works pretty damn well. I got some heavy duty pots and pans there also.

All of that over the last few days, but still no other people. It makes me wonder about the tracks that went past my house. Where did they go? Where is there to go to? I turn the radio on every once in awhile but nothing. Even so I’m keeping my attitude upbeat. Positive. There has to be other people. Doesn’t that just make sense? Winter can’t last much past May, and then it will be time to get out of here. Hopefully with other people.

Katie March 9th

I saw him! I know there is this other person just across the river. It was while we were on the way back and I happened to look back across the river from the rail trestle and there he was by the river bank. Climbing it? I think so, but why? And how can I say it was the same man that belonged to the footprints? I can’t. I feel it though. I believe it was him. Who else could it have been?

I wanted to go back right then. Jake refused. There was no reason for him to refuse but he did. We argued about it. I mean really argued. I hadn’t realized or really even thought about what it is about Jake that I don’t like. Maybe a better way to say that is what keeps me away from him. Why didn’t I, in all this destruction, hopelessness, just fall into his arms, or love, or whatever would pass for love in this world. Isn’t that logical? Shouldn’t I have? But I didn’t and the reason is because he’s got this attitude about what place a woman has in his world. It came out today when we argued. I think I picked it up subconsciously before that though and it kept me away from him.

Anyway I’m not going to go there. I’m leaving in the morning to go over there and find the man that I saw. I know that sounds crazy. I know it does but I’m going. I’m getting up at sunrise and I’m going. Jana and James said they would go with me. If Jake doesn’t want to go he doesn’t have to. We’re not speaking at all. Lana seems upset by that. She wants him but not at my expense. I guess that makes me like her a little more than I did.

I was outside until way after dark looking for firelight on the other side of the river. I didn’t see any at all.

I don’t know that area though. Maybe I wouldn’t see a fire over there. Maybe he is being careful. I want to know so much. When will I know it?

March 10th ? (probably) Conner

Another long day, more trips back and forth to the market. The days are definitely longer, but so are the nights. I don’t see how that can be but it is. I have no real way to judge it; it’s just a gut feeling. I found several watches by the checkouts. None of them work either. But, I know its true. I feel the longer days. I feel the longer nights. That’s all I can say.

A few days back I became sure that the days were even longer and that’s changed. They’re not as long as that, but still longer than they used to be.

I was thinking. Who are you? I know that’s kind of dumb but, you’re somebody, right? And you’re reading this, right? And, how far away is it in time? Place? Do you know who I am or did you just find this and begin reading it? Have you been through this too? Is it over and explained? For all I know no one is here to read this. I can’t really believe that though. Man, I really can’t… Won’t. It’s the only reason I’m writing this. So that someone, you, will know who I am. That I made it, at least so far, and as I go along I hope to get some answers. There must be some somewhere. Maybe you have them. Maybe.

So my name is Conner Davis. I’m a web site designer… Was, I guess. I guess there’s no more internet, right? Hopefully it’ll be back though.

I’m twenty three years old. I’m single and it looks like I might remain single for awhile. That’s not funny really. Hopefully I’ll find other people soon. I can’t be the only one left. But if I do or if I don’t, I’ll have this written record.

I dragged about fifty sled loads of stuff down here today. The inside of the market is really beginning to smell bad. No, really bad. And I found more bodies as well. Two today. I’ve been concentrating on canned stuff, trying to make sure I don’t get sick. There is a lot of it, and I have a lot of it here now.

I heard dogs today and not far away either. And there were paw prints in the market. And something had been at the bodies. The dogs, I suppose. I was kind of leery of going in but they weren’t there. And had they been they probably would’ve been as afraid of me as I was of them. But I was also wondering, were they dogs? Wolves? I mean, don’t they sound the same? Leave the same sort of tracks? Maybe not to someone who knows what to look for in the tracks, but to me they look like dog tracks. And the bodies I had found had been partially eaten. Something was eating them. Dogs? Wolves? I didn’t know but I knew I had to be careful. And what about the other tracks going into the market? Other People? Where are they?

That got me thinking about the zoo. What happened to all of the animals there? So I walked out to the park, but I couldn’t get all the way up to the park entrance. The road’s gone. The whole park area seems to be gone. No trees just raw earth. So I turned back around and came back. I don’t think anything could’ve lived through that. But lions, wolves, bear? There are a few new things to worry about, right? Can a lion survive in the winter? I don’t know. But I walked back from my trip to the park a whole lot faster than I walked up there.

But I heard dogs… Or wolves. I heard them, and if they lived other people had to live, right? And a few times now I’ve felt that I was being watched. You know that feeling you get? Well I’ve gotten it a few times in the last few days. I still haven’t seen anyone though. I’ve called out a few times; no one has answered.

I haven’t seen other footprints besides the market, but it’s been a little warmer and the snow has melted. Not all of it, but a lot of it. And they could also walk where I’ve been walking, in which case I wouldn’t see their tracks. But they should have no trouble finding me. I’m not try to hide… Be careful about the tracks I leave. I don’t know if that’s good or not. I’ve been thinking about that too.

I’m not much for guns. I’ve never shot a pistol or a rifle or gone hunting. But I’m thinking of walking back out to the strip. There were a few sporting goods stores out there. I even took a few things from one of them the other day, but I didn’t think about guns at the time. Maybe I’ll go tomorrow.

A weird thing did happen today. I was being careful, making sure there were no dogs or wolves, or whatever in the store. Looking around. I was up at the front where the payphones are, there was a time when people used things like payphones, these were still there from that time, and one of them rang. As soon as it did the other two there rang also. Only a little jangle. It didn’t last more than a second, but it scared the crap out of me. I thought I was dead right there. For some reason I thought the wolves had sneaked up on me. Come up behind me and were about to get me. Don’t ask me how I got wolves from a ringing phone but I did.

I calmed down after a few minutes and so I walked over and picked up the nearest receiver. Static. Scratchy static. Then it cleared for a second and, it was probably just my nerves, but I could swear I heard someone there. Maybe not heard, I don’t know if I heard anything at all, it was more like I knew someone was there: You know what I mean? Like when you get a crank call and the person doesn’t speak but you know that they are there anyway? Like that. Exactly like that. But, then it went right back to scratchy static and I felt stupid for even thinking it at all. Who could’ve been there? Who would know I was there? It was just nerves. I know it was.

After I got everything back to this building I organized it. I’ve bought back a lot of stuff. Meat, vegetables, bottled water. I have to work my way over to some of the other aisles. I need rice. Pasta. Maybe some instant potatoes. I started on that today. I got part way through the end cap, but the whole roof seems to be resting on that part of the aisle stands, and it’s the same way on the other end. That’s when I found the bodies. It was so bad I couldn’t tell what they had been.

I thought it might be better to go through the aisle dividers. They are solid steel though, and I can’t see any way through them, short of a set of torches. Maybe I could find a set, but it seems as though it would be easier to start from the checkouts and work my way through the piles of stuff until I hit another aisle. I have no idea what each aisle is though.

Yeah, I’ve been there about a thousand times, and I can tell you where the beer and chips would be, paper plates, disposable forks and spoons, but that’s about it. I’d hate to spend five hours or more of digging just to reach the toilet paper and sanitary napkins in aisle four. That would be my luck. But there’s nothing to do for it except to do it. Or go find a set of torches.

I know I need carbs. Canned meat and vegetables are good, but very low carbs. It’s funny but I need fat, things I’m burning heavy and need to replace. I have nearly constant exercise. My pants are hanging off me. Who knew it could be this easy to lose weight?

I’d also like to find supplements. A good selection of first aid stuff. Vitamins, band aids, disinfectant, things like that. I guess that’s my next little bit of time mapped out for me.

Other things I’m looking for: A wind up watch (Should work right?); an old car or truck without an electronic brain (My hope is that if it’s just a simple distributor/spark arrangement with a carburetor, I should be able to get it to work). I think electronics are shot. They don’t work that’s for sure. But I could be wrong. Maybe they will in time.

A battery powered T.V. ; maybe there will be a station on. I know it’s a long shot. Everything is digital. Do they even make battery powered digital televisions?

A C.B. or Ham radio. That would let me listen to the state, maybe the world. I should be able to reach someone. And, last; I’m going to check every phone I come across… Just in case.

It’s early but I’m tired… I wish I weren’t alone.

Katie March 10th

It’s late at night. What a difference a day makes. Conner is his name.

We went back today to see if he had been back to the store. I went there first. I hoped to catch him there early but he wasn’t there. Jake dragged his feet. Like he didn’t want to go at all. He didn’t say that but it seemed that way to me. Maybe things were just getting to me. Jake putting more and more pressure on me to be with him. Lana turning up the I hate you attitude. Maybe it’s just me, or just was me. Either way, by the time we did get there this morning the snow was melting and there was no real way to tell if he had been there at all. I thought about what I had decided yesterday, just going without Jake, but I waited.

We went back to the river and began looking along the banks on that side. I couldn’t figure where he had gone to.

I backtracked to the market up street, thinking I must have missed him, missed something anyway. On the way back I saw him crossing the end of Old Town. I practically screamed out loud but he didn’t hear me. By the time we got there he was gone.

Then the day just started to slide away. I began to think I wouldn’t find him at all. It depressed me.

It was James who smelled the smoke. All we had to do was follow the smoke and we found him. James found him. How do you follow smoke? Have you ever tried? I mean, if I could see it in the air? Sure. But I couldn’t. James knew how to follow it anyway. That man is smart.

I guess there’s a lot more that I could say about today but I’m not going to say it now. I’ll say this though, I want him. I want him and Jake knows it. It’s like Jake knew it would turn out this way. Jana knew how I felt, knew how it would be. She told me that today. She said she could see it in me last night. Like this is the way it’s supposed to be.

Lana knows as well. She’s happy about it. I saw her face when she figured it out. She looked from me to Conner and back. Then she did it again; this puzzled look on her face, and then she smiled, looked at me and nodded. I think she’s just biding her time now. I guess I am too.

Conner Davis. Conner. I think I already wrote his name. I don’t know what happens next. How to make it happen. I’m no good at that sort of thing. I’ve never done it. And my little notebook here, my only friend through all of this, along with Jana, can’t help me with that. I can write it here, look at it, but that doesn’t realize it.

I still have my father’s gun. That has also been my friend the last few days. But it can’t help me either, unless I shoot Jake. I guess that’s not funny. Jake never liked my gun. It bothered him Not ladylike? Something like that I think. Conner wasn’t shocked at all except to say he should have already gotten one and didn’t. It didn’t intimidate him in other words.

Tomorrow is March eleventh. I would have started a new life tomorrow. Maybe one I wasn’t meant to start. I feel like… I don’t know. To be honest I feel like I’m just a dumb girl pretending to be a woman, a grown up. Does nineteen know everything? No. I don’t want to pretend at this. I want to get things right. I don’t know what’s next. But does anybody?

Conner March 12th

Things have been really crazy the last few days. I’m not alone anymore. It’s funny because that’s the last thing I wrote, and two days later it’s like an answer to prayer. It happened later on the evening of the tenth. Oh, and it was the tenth. Jake has an old fashioned wind up watch. So does Katie. And they’ve both kept track. Kept them wound up too. But, in another way it isn’t the twelfth today at all because the days and nights, or the rotation of the Earth that makes the days and nights, isn’t the same at all. It’s much slower. It’s taking about twenty eight hours to cycle through. But last week it was up to almost thirty six hours. And, none of us knows why, except it slowed up and it’s now starting to get back to a normal length of time to cycle through a night and day. So, it’s not really the twelfth, and they’ve just been keeping track of the days as they pass. Same as I’ve been; except for the day I thought I’d lost.

Anyway, as usual, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start from start; I was organizing stuff. There is a warehouse down closer to the river full of wooden pallets. I went down there a few days ago. Box upon box upon box. I have no idea what’s in them. I figured sometime I’d just open a few up and see. Maybe it would be something useful, maybe not. What’s useful now is radically different from what used to be useful.

Anyway I noticed all of the pallets. Pallets everywhere. Some full, some piled high with stuff, but a lot of empty ones; so I went back down with the sled and made a few trips back and forth to the factory so I could stack the canned stuff on them, so they’re not sitting on the floor. I was putting them in the back of the building. I was so wrapped up in stacking the canned goods that I never even heard them until Katie cleared her throat. I guess to get my attention.

It scared me bad. I thought about the gun I had never bothered to go and get, and a lot of other bad stuff. It went through my mind so fast. The first thing in my head was. The wolves got me! They Sneaked up on me! Stupid, I know. I knew it was a person, but my head still insisted wolf. It didn’t last though, and my reaction scared them as well. Lana said I had a can of peas in my hand and she was sure I was going to bean Katie in the head with them. For some reason she found it funny that I would bean someone in the head with a can of peas and she giggled. I just felt embarrassed and glad I didn’t throw the can. I set it down on the stack and took a few deep breaths instead. We all ended up laughing our asses off. Nervous energy. Release, I guess, or something like that. And then we all began to talk at once.

They had known about me for two days. They had seen that someone was going in and out of the market. They were going out to one on the north side, the other side of the river from where I was. For some reason I hadn’t thought to cross the river, they had already been on the other side to begin with, and even though the main bridges seemed too damaged to be trusted, the railroad trestle seemed solid and unharmed to them, so they crossed over on that to get to my side. I was impressed; that is an open trestle. A long way down to the water.

Because the snow on the asphalt was melting they couldn’t figure out where I was going when I left the market. They were actually going back across the river when Katie happened to look over her shoulder toward the opposite bank and happened to catch me going into the factory. She had thought to yell, but over the sound of the rapids she couldn’t get anyone around her to hear her, let alone me.

Once they were across she talked to Jake, Jake pretty much was their leader (I don’t know if I like that. Do we need leaders?), and they decided to come back the next day, which was two days ago, and see if they could find me. They didn’t know about the . Katie had thought I was just climbing the rock above the river. They searched along the back of the Old Town, or what’s left of it, and down towards the strip. If they had come back down one more road towards the river, they would’ve found this old factory then. Maybe they hadn’t realized there was a road there at all; so they just followed the path of the river thinking I was living in one of the fallen down buildings closer along the banks of the river itself.

They had seen me from quite a way off crossing the square as they were heading back. It looked to them like I was heading for the north side, maybe crossing one of the bridges, but by the time they got there I was gone. They even began to wonder if I had seen them and hidden on purpose. Maybe out of fear. They had searched for awhile and then, just when they had been about to quit for the day, James realized that he could smell smoke. As soon as he said it, everyone else realized they had smelled it all along as well. After that it didn’t take long to find the old factory. They just followed the smell of smoke down to the lower road and found me.

So that was that and now we are six. Jake, Jake Light, he was their leader as I said. He’s an older guy. In his late thirties. Used to be a truck driver.

Katie Lee (don’t call her Honey. I don’t know why). She’s nineteen and was visiting her grandparents. She was from New York. I thought she was with Jake. I think Jake thought so as well.

James and Jana Adams. James is a little older than Jana. In his fifties, and he said he is a mechanic. Jana does, did, data processing. And Lana. Her real name is Marcia Santos. Lana is her middle name. She said she always liked Lana better. She was still in school, local college. I guess she’s the same age as Katie, nineteen. And last, but not least, me.

We spent all of yesterday getting their stuff from across the river and bringing it over to the factory. I thought that was weird. Why go get stuff anyway? You can have anything you want. It’s all free. But in another way I guess I understand. We’ve lost everything. We want to hang on to what little we still do have. We’re all going to stay here. And we talked about what’s next, and what we know about what happened.

I said I had been kind of planning to leave once spring came. Head south or west. Somewhere where I wouldn’t have to worry about winter. Jake said it may be that where it would normally have been warmer it won’t be any more. He said it depends on what happened. None of us really know. He thinks it might be smarter to stay here. We could stock up this building. We could even hunt. He said he’s sure there are deer around. James agreed with him, at least on there being Deer around.

I told them about the footprints by my house. They said they had seen footprints also. They had gone out toward the strip and seen the tracks of three or four people going in and out of a small store in a strip mall out there. They had called out, but no one had answered. They had had second thoughts about calling out as well. They weren’t armed. What if someone shot at them?

That bought my original thoughts to mind about a weapon. I mentioned the sporting goods store and we all agreed to make a trip out there soon.

We talked about cars and trucks and agreed it would be good to get an SUV or truck of some kind if we could find one that will run, as they might be the only vehicles that could drive around as bad as things are torn up. They have also tried starting a few vehicles with no success. I mentioned my electronic brain idea, and Jake said he had thought of the same thing. Turns out he’s also a mechanic. I guess I can see why they chose him to lead. I feel kind of useless around the guy though. We agreed to try finding an older vehicle. Jake thinks our chances of getting one running are good. We’ll see what we can find.

The first night together was good. The best I’ve slept since this thing started. Just not being alone, you know? I guess I’ll end on that note…


Available from:

Barnes and Noble

Apple’s iTunes

Smashwords



Posted in Apocalypse, Dell Sweet, Geo Dell, Horror, NOOK, Preppers, Undead, Zombies | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Twilight Zone Day and other yackity

Twilight Zone Day :

First thing this morning, I mean seven something, and that is early for me, mom dragged me to Walmart. Walmart before eight a.m. is the Twilight Zone. Including barely dressed people in night type clothing. What? I felt I was in a dream and actually dreaded turning down each aisle. I hate Walmart and although I liked the Twilight Zone series back in the sixties (Yes I really am that old) I don’t actually like being in a Twilight Zone setting. I struggled through Walmart. Did my surreal shopping and was back home before nine a.m. shopping done. Whoa… Also Twilight Zoneish…

I came into the Living room earlier in the day, about to cook brunch and mom was watching some show where they kept talking about Mothers Day. I was thinking, What? We already had Mothers Day, didn’t we? Is there another one that someone started and didn’t tell me about? A sneaky let’s screw up all the men sort of a second Mothers Day? No, but it had me for a few moments just the same. I made brunch and went back to work…

I finished work late afternoon and came out to start dinner and see if mom needed anything. I sat down on the couch for a moment. The heat has been crazy, oppressive, I hate it. So a weather update comes on and the woman shows seventies across the board. The the weather girl says “And if you are worried about the rain affecting your July 4th weekend, rest assured the rain will be gone before then.” I looked at mom and mom looked stunned too. I said.
“You know, this has been a Twilight Zone sort of day… Did she just say July 4th?”

“I believe she did,” sez mom.

“Huh,” I sez back. I looked around the room to make sure Stephen King wasn’t standing in a corner with a crooked smile upon his face. And I am listening to the weather girl at the same time, hoping she will say something like “Did I say July 4th? Silly me…” But she keeps on smiling and talking about seventies and rain. Finally it dawns on me we must be watching an old weather forecast they are showing for some unknown reason because it has been in the eighties and high humidity all week long. So at that moment I stepped out of the Twilight Zone for, I hope, the final time today…


Dinner; breakfast and dinner again…

I made this the last two nights. I often cook for mom and I, but on the weekends I cook whatever she wants and so I get the same treatment. This was my part of the meal I planned…

Ingredients:
1 Ramen soup.
1 can Pulpo
2 Chicken breast strips uncooked
1 hot pepper
1 can of black beans
2 tortillas
2 slices American cheese
2 eggs
2 pre cooked sausages

I made this last night and used the balance up tonight.

In a 12″ pan combine half of the can of black beans, the can of pulpo and half the pepper sliced thinly and left in long pieces. Add the chicken in thin sliced strips. Cook on low heat covered.

In the microwave combine a cup of water and the Ramen in a bowl and cook to a boil, about 3 minutes. Cover the noodles and let set. Throw away the seasoning packet, that stuff will kill you.

Add salt and pepper to taste in the covered pan. Simmer until the chicken is completely cooked, about 7 minutes.

Drain the noodles and then stir them into the pan ingredients. Cover the pan once more and simmer an additional few minutes. Turn the flame off and leave the pan covered.

In a separate 12 inch pan add a tsp of Canola oil. Turn the flame to a medium heat and wait two minutes until water flicked into the pan sizzles. Cook the tortillas about thirty to forty five seconds on each side. Stuff the first one while the second is cooking.

Stuffing: Lay the tortilla flat, add the cheese slice first, then add one quarter of the cooked material. Fold the tortilla top and bottom and then roll it from the sides. You should have a sealed product that looks like a burrito when you are done. Do the second tortilla.

I made home made fries and a burger for mom…

Eat your first night dinner…

Breakfast the next morning:

In a 12 inch pan combine the other half of the can of black beans and leave space to cook two eggs. I also added two precooked sausages that I first microwaved for 1 minute to thaw. Let the beans and the sausages cook as long as it takes to cook the eggs.

In a second pan fry two tortillas, again 30 to 45 seconds per side. Load them up with the beans and one egg, one sausage each. Fold them into a burrito or leave them loose. Eat your breakfast.

I made eggs over easy and toast points for mom…

Dinner the second night. Reheat the other half of the beans, pulpo and Ramen. Serve it in a bowl or on a plate. Use a fork, don’t be an animal… 

I made Pizza for mom…

You can substitute rice instead of Ramen noodles, but I found Ramen fits nicer in the burritos, rice tends to fall out, at least if you are a slob like me. Also your mom might want something other than burgers, eggs and pizza…


A true story:
Back in the late seventies my brother Dave and I went for a ride one day. I saw a white Plymouth sitting in a field. It had been hit in the front and it looked as though it had been sitting a while. I was and still am a car fanatic. I have owned more muscle cars and plain fun to drive cars than anyone I know while I was growing up. And I grew up poor so I had to fall into deals as otherwise I would never have been able to afford any of those cars. We parked at the side of the road and went to the house. The woman that answered the door told us the sad tale of the car her son had bought new and wrecked with just a few hundred miles on it. For whatever reason it was parked in the mothers side yard and left for dead.
Over the years of sitting there the motor had set up. The back tires had been stolen or misappropriated for something too, but the interior and the entire car from the front doors back looked like new.
Dave and I worked on the car, but couldn’t get the motor to budge. I had a hundred bucks on me that was burning a hole in my pocket. On the way down this particular road I had seen a set of nice chrome rims for sale with tires that looked like they would fit the car. So we went back down the road to check them out. They looked right and so I bought them for twenty bucks and we went back to the wrecked Plymouth. I was a cheap guy so I offered the lady $60.00 for the car, even though it was worth a few thousand fixed. I pointed out that I might be buying junk as it wouldn’t even turn over and so she agreed.
I’m sure Dave thought I was stupid, but that probably wouldn’t have been the first time that sort of thought crossed his mind concerning me.
The rims fit. That was absolutely a fluke, or luck or something like that. We hooked up a chain to the back of my car and Dave began to tow me home. A mile down the road I thought… “Hey, what if I put it in gear and pop the clutch…? Maybe that would force the motor to turn over.”
I popped the clutch; the whole drive line held tight and then the motor let loose and a few seconds later the car coughed and began running.
I fixed the front fairly cheaply, I had some bodywork skills and sold the car for something like $800.00 dollars a week or so later. I made a good profit on the car. I tell the story because I took something that almost anyone who looked at it would have written off as junk and I made about a 600% profit.
I approach life that way and it almost always works out for me. It is a you-never-know-until-you-try situation. It builds skills and it teaches you to have faith and confidence in your own abilities…


Hope you enjoyed some of this. Come back often and check out my blog, Dell


New From Dell Sweet: Alabama Island Only on Kindle Paperback onAmazon

Posted in Blogging, Dell Sweet, The Original Survivors, Writing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Software you can get free or nearly free

MAKING MUSIC

I like to write lyrics and have done so for a very long time. There have been periods in my life where I was a serious musician and dedicated and then I shifted my attention to other things as time went by.
Even so, I never lost my love for music, or for writing songs and lyrics. That is where a great deal of the drive to build guitars comes from. An instrument I would like to use, something I will actually play and enjoy, and something that will make things easier for me or make creating music a better experience for me.
When it comes to an audio DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) I had no intention of investing huge amounts of time, effort and money into software if I didn’t have to. And, there I so much out there that it seemed impossible to me that I would be able to look it all over, download it, test it and come up with likes and dislikes, but over the last few years I have done that.
Most of what I chose to use comes from the Public domain in the form of Open Source or freeware. Let’s face it, if you want to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars there are plenty of places that will gladly take your money and sell you something. But if you are like me and you simply want to record your demos of your lyrics and music you can get by with a lot less. I won’t be the one to say that you might be able to squeak by all the way with this stuff, but there are some that do and I think maybe you could.



Audacity: Audacity is what I use to record with. It is free open source software you can download and use just as it is. Or, you can download it, search the Web for VST plug-ins, load it up and use it like that. There are hundreds of VST plug-ins that are free or open source that will work with Audacity. This software records from a Microphone input, Guitar cable to USB. It recognizes and takes audio feeds from your computers ports for Line In. When I am using this to record something from another piece of software I simply use a short patch cable and run my external front panel headphone jack straight into my front panel Microphone jack. I then start Audacity, find that input and I am set to record that audio. You can use a program called Jack that is supposed to be able to join other pieces of software to this audio interface, but I have never had luck with it, and an 1/8 inch stereo patch cord for less than a buck does the trick nicely. And, I am not recording more than one input at a time.
Once I have all of my audio recorded to Audacity I can open it in the window as above and blend or mix it. I can also try different filters on the audio, stretch it, shorten it, take care of latency issues, pretty much anything I want to do. When I am satisfied with it I can save that final render as a WAV or MP3 file, and of course I can store all the separate components as Audacity Project files so that I can do another, different re-mix at some future date.

Get it here: http://www.audacityteam.org/


Chord Pulse: Chord Pulse is a nice, easy to use piece of software. This is one of the tools I use to lay out my music. Every project I do starts here. If you have a basic knowledge of music structure, specifically chord structures, you can easily build your basic song here in just a few moments. I play out the song on one of my guitars, note the chords and changes, and then lay it out on the interface for chord pulse. I may have to play with it a bit, beats per minute, the style I want behind it, but once I have that locked down all I have to do is play it.
Chord Pulse adds a bass-line, drums and the basic chording, or complex chording if I take the time to lay it out. Whatever I lay out is what it will play, backed with a drum-line and a bass-line too.
Once I’m happy with it I can export it as a MIDI file, or save it as a project to use within Chord Pulse if I intend to add more pieces, lead, bass runs, that will be used within the song.
Once I have the basic file I can take the BPM into Hydrogen and beef up the drum beat, or save it as a MIDI and use it in LMMS and add more backing tracks to it, or swap out instruments via sound fonts or VST plugins. Really, the possibilities are endless. A note: Chord Pulse is not freeware, but in my opinion it is well worth the money at under $30.00 U.S.

Get Chord Pulse: http://www.chordpulse.com/


LMMS: LMMS is a full, open source, as in free, DAW. All the things I use different software to do it can do in different ways. I use it more and more as I learn its capabilities, and I suspect a day will come when I use only it to create a song from start to finish because it has those capabilities.
It can read and play sound-fonts. It can assign a MIDI part to its own file and it will allow you to assign different instruments to that file. Was it a piano piece? Well you can make it a Sax piece, or a bass run, or even a drum beat. Let your head take it where you want it. You could very easily spend days playing with your MIDI import file and sequencing it until you get it where you want it. Or, you could spend a few moments with it and be satisfied.
It uses VST and LADSPA plugins. It reads MIDI and it saves to a native format for your project files as well.
I often use layers in my writing and sequencing, and LMMS is perfect for that. It is also a perfect looping tool. I can do a quick guitar piece, loop it, and have an entire backing.
Once I am happy in LMMS I will send it to Audacity via the patch cable and save it as an Audacity file.
Get LMMS now: https://lmms.io/



Hydrogen: Hydrogen is Open Source Software. Free for all uses private and commercial. I use Hydrogen to supplement my drum beats, but it can be used for much more than that. For me it is easier to learn as I go, and so I stick to the features I want from the product and pick up the other bits and pieces as I go along.
Hydrogen is user friendly. You can put together a beat in just a few moments. For me, I bring my info over from Chord Pulse in the form of style and Beats Per Minute. That BPM is really all I need to get a beat going that will sync with my original beat nicely, and either supplant it completely or compliment it nicely. That’s it. When I am done I can save that beat as a MIDI and take it over to LMMS or chord patch it directly to Audacity. Either way I have want I want. I tend to save all the musical pieces I generate as MIDI files so that I can use the VST functions in LMMS and swap out instrumentation.

Get Hydrogen Drum Machine: http://www.hydrogen-music.org/hcms/


Songs I Made With This Software

    


Some eBooks I Have Written

            

Posted in Dell Sweet, Lyrics, Music, Software, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A free short zombie story and the Zombie Plagues links

Writing Earth’s Survivors

Posted 08-17-2013

A few words about the Earth’s Survivors Series of books:

This series was written by me several years ago and remained unpublished. I wrote the original books in longhand in bound composition notebooks. At the time that was what was available to me, at least for the first few books. After that it didn’t matter. I was hooked. The stories seemed to flow perfectly and I didn’t want to mess with the magic. Sounds crazy, maybe, but those stories come from some place that I don’t have access to, or at least access to any time I choose.

I can sit down and begin nearly any story that is suggested to me, but if it isn’t there, after the initial start, the story will just die. The words will come harder and harder and then the well will be dry. I have no idea where the characters are going to. And, most likely, that is because they are going no where. They are staying where ever I wrote them too. They will always be there, any time I care to reread what I wrote.

My point is, if it isn’t there it isn’t there. Beginning it or wishing it will not make it work. So, I did not want to mess up the magic. I left it alone and the books poured out.

From 2008 to 2010 I wrote twenty Earth’s survivors books. I also wrote four Dreamer’s Worlds books, but have only ever published one of them. I wrote eight America The Dead books. I wrote seven books about Earth’s Survivors characters before the world ended, loosely formed around a Weather Girl named Rebecca Monet. The first was about the Earth’s Survivors character Billy Jingo.

I wrote dozens or short stories. Space travel, Cowboys and Zombies, Crime Novels, Horror, Sci Fi, True, Historical and more. Some of it I personally like, some fans like, it’s has always been impossible for me to judge which way it will go. It surprises me when I write something and I don’t especially like it, yet others do.

Stephen King once said that The Stand was the book he got the most feedback about, the largest fan base, but it was not his favorite book. Even so he said that he knew he had written something special and he had.

So, I wrote in my composition notebooks and the stories came to me. Occasionally I would write lyrics in between. I spent my day today going through all of it so I could formulate an attack in my head. How to get it from point A (The Composition Notebook) to point B (My Word Processing software).

No one can read my handwriting, including me some days, so most of the time it is easier for me to type it into the word processor. I have tried hiring people, but invariably they can’t read my writing and so it becomes time consuming to both of us to get the words out. It’s just easier for me to do it on my own.

It gets done. It makes it from that Point A to Point B. The stories flow and that is because I listen to readers and other writers suggestions and change what needs to be changed. And with that many eyes on it there are less problems.


I took the weekend off from the home construction that is ongoing. I worked with two young guys most of the week. I mean young like seventeen. I thought they would kill me before we finished up. But they also got me in gear and I think we enjoyed working with each other. Even so I took the weekend of to heal. Monday I’ll jump back in.

I have been collecting public domain writing in the E Pub format. I have the reader as well as about 1000 books that are public domain. One of the things that I would like to see soon, probably fall, is that collection to be available for download. Once the push to start it is over, the rest, adding to it as books or stories become available, shouldn’t be too hard. That is ahead.

 

Well, I did not drop any trees on my truck this week. What a relief. I did get my truck returned from the garage, dead as I thought it would be. But a Huge U haul Van saw us through picking up the building materials and taking away debris. Pretty cheaply too I might add. This week coming up I hope to get all the Sheetrock up and then the rest is easy, paint, carpet, tile, etc.

I would like to thank Geo for the new Fan Fiction series and the new Guitar Works books too. They are awesome..

I am going to leave you with Zombie Fall a short story I was asked to write for a Zombie Anthology that I believe is due out this fall sometime. It may actually be out now. I hope you enjoy it… Because of language issues, readers must be over the age of seventeen.


ZOMBIE FALL

By

Wendell Sweet


FREE BLOG EDITION


PUBLISHED BY:

independAntwriters Publishing


Zombie Fall

Copyright © 2013 by Dell Sweet


This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please direct them to this blog. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


Zombie Fall

Copyright © 2013

Published by Wendell G. Sweet

All rights reserved.

This short story is Copyright © 2010 – 2013 Wendell Sweet. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the authors permission. Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print..


ZOMBIE FALL


Geo

October 29th

 

I buried Della this morning. I knew they’d find out, Hell, they probably knew immediately in that slow purposeful way that things come to them. I can hear them out there ripping and tearing… They know. Yeah, they know, I know it as well as I know my name, Geo, Georgie, Mother used to say. I… I get so goddamned distracted…. It’s working at me…

Bastards! If they could have only left Della alone I could have…. But it’s no good crying about it or wishing I had done this thing or that thing. I didn’t. I didn’t and I can’t go back and undo any of this, let alone the parts I did.

In August when the sun was so hot and the birds suddenly disappeared, and Della came around for what was nearly the last time I hadn’t known a thing about this. Nothing. It’s late fall now and I know too much. Enough to wish it were August once again and I was living in ignorant bliss once more.

Della. I didn’t want to do it. I told myself I would not do it and then I did it. Not bury her, that had to be done, I mean kill her. I told myself I wouldn’t kill her, and that’s a joke really. Really it is, because how do you kill something that is already dead?  No. I told myself that I wouldn’t cut her head off, put her in the ground upside down, drive a stake through her dead heart. Those are the things I told myself I wouldn’t do, couldn’t do, but I did them as best I could. I pushed the other things I thought, felt compelled to do, aside and did what I could for her.

The trouble is, did I do it right? It’s not like I have a goddamn manual to tell me how to do it. Does anybody? I doubt it, but I would say that it’s a safe bet that there are dozens of people in the world right now, people who have managed to stay alive, that could write that manual. I just don’t know them… I wish I did. And it won’t matter to me anyway. It’s a little too late.

So the books say take their heads off. The books also say, for Vampires, put a stake in their heart, and older legends say turn them around, upside down in the grave. Isn’t a vampire a kind of Zombie? Isn’t it? Probably not exactly, precisely, but, could it hurt to have done the stake thing just in case? To be sure? To put her at rest? I don’t think so.

They can come out during the daylight, you know. I thought they wouldn’t be able to. Every goddamn movie I ever saw, starting with the Night Of The Living Dead they couldn’t. You could get some relief. You could get some shit done. And you could if it were true, but it’s not. They rarely come out in the daylight, that’s the truth. It’s hard for them, tough somehow, but they can. It won’t kill them. They aren’t weaker than they are at night. They just don’t like the daylight. They don’t like it. And don’t you think writing that made me a little paranoid? Thinking it over once more? It did. I got up and checked the windows. Nothing I can see, but they’re out there. They’re right out there in the barn. Sleeping in the sweet hay up in the Haymow. I know it, so it doesn’t matter whether I can see them. I can hear them and I know where the rest of them are. And I know they know what I did and they’ll come tonight. They’ll come tonight because I’m afraid of the night. Not them. Me.  And they goddamn well know it! They know it! They think. They see. Did you think they were stupid? Blind? Running on empty? Well you’re the fool then. Listen to me, they’re not. They’re not and thinking they are will get you dead quick. And what about me? How will I feel tonight? What will I think about it then?

Zombies: I thought Haiti, Horror flicks…? What else is there? Dead people come back to life, or raised from the dead to be made into slaves. Those are the two things I knew and nothing else. Well, it’s wrong. Completely wrong. No. I can’t tell you how they come to be Zombies initially, but I can tell you that the bite of a Zombie will make you a Zombie. The movies got that much right.

I can’t tell you why they haunt the fields across from my house. Why they have taken up residence in my old barn. But I can tell you that it might be you they come for next and if they do you goddamn well better realize that everything you thought you knew is bullshit. See, Della didn’t believe it and look what happened to her! I know, I know I didn’t tell you but I will. That’s the whole point of writing this down before they get me too.

See in a little while I’m going to walk out the kitchen door and right out to the barn. I’ll leave this here on the kitchen table. First for my Son Joe, I haven’t heard from him since September, before things got really crazy. So, if he makes it here somehow this will be here for him. Second, it’s for you, whoever you are who happened along into my kitchen.

Goddamn Zombies. Ever lovin’ Bastards! …

I am losing control, I know I am But… Anyway, it was August. Hot. Hotter, they said, than it had been in recorded time. There was no wind. No rain. Seemed like no air to breath.

It was on a Tuesday. I went to get the mail and there were six or seven dead crows by the box. I thought those Goddamn Clark boys have been shootin’ their B.B guns again. So I resolved to call Old Man Clark and give him a piece of my mind except I forgot. That happens when you get old. It’s not unusual. I remembered about four o’clock the next morning when I got up. Well, I told myself, Mail comes at ten, I’ll get that, then I’ll call up and have that talk.

I make deals like that with myself all the time. Sometimes it works out fine sometimes it doesn’t. It didn’t.

Ten came and I forgot to get the mail. I remembered at eleven thirty, cursed myself and went for my walk to the box.

I live alone. I have since Kate died. That was another hot summer. I used to farm. I retired a few years back. I rent out the fields. The barn did set empty up until late September or Early October when the Zombies moved in. Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself.

I walked to the mail box cursing my creaky brain as I went. When I got there I realized the Clark boys had either turned to eating crows or they had nothing to do with the dead crows in the first place. There were dozens of dead Crows, Barn Swallows, Gulls. The dirt road leading up to my place was scattered with dead birds, dark sand where the blood had seeped in. Feathers everywhere, caught in the trees, bushes, and the ditches at the side of the road. There were three fat, black Crows sticking out of my mailbox. Feet first. Half eaten.

Some noise in the woods had made me turn but I can’t turn as fast as I used to. Whatever had made the noise was gone when I got turned in that direction. But, there were bare footprints in the dry roadbed next to the box. They were not clear, draggy, as though the person had had a bad leg. He had, of course, but I had yet to meet the owner.

Hold on…

The day’s getting away from me. My ears are playing tricks on me too. I thought I heard something upstairs but there’s nothing. I have the bottom floor boarded up. Those Zombies may be far from stupid but it’s goddamn hard to get dead limbs to help you climb up the side of a house and we took everything down they could hold onto…

Where was I? The mailbox. The mail never came that day. In fact the mail never came again. Already Emma Watson, our local Mail carrier, was a Zombie. I just didn’t know it.

I tried Clark but got no answer. Later that day I heard a few shots but we’re country folks. There’s Deer wandering all over the place. Wouldn’t be the first time one got shot without a tag or a proper season. Della came later, upset, her boyfriend had run off somewhere she thought. It’ll be okay I told her.

I seen him a week later.

Della usually came at the ends of the month to help me with shopping, bills, she’s a… She was a good girl. A good one. A good Zombie fearing girl. She was… She didn’t come and August turned to September and I was sitting by the stove that night and heard the scrape on the porch.

His leg was bad. Somebody had shot him. But her fella had worse things going on than that. He was dead. What was a bum leg when you were dead? Small problem. But it made him drag that leg. I’m getting ahead of myself again though.

I picked up my old shot gun where it sat next to the door, eased the door open and flicked on the porch light. He jumped back into the shadows.

“Step out into the light,” I tried not to sound like the old man I was.

“No,” he rasped

“Step out here or I’ll shoot,” I tried again.

“Della,” he whispered. His voice was gravelly.

That stopped me cold. I squinted but it was too dark to make out much. Still I had the idea it might be her boyfriend. Maybe he’d got himself into something bad. I couldn’t get the name to come to me. “You Della’s boyfriend that went missing…?”

Nothing but silence, and in that silence I got a bad feeling. Something was wrong. It came to me about the same time that he stepped into the light. There was no sound of breathing. It was dead quiet. My own panicked breathing was the only sound until he stepped into the light dragging his leg.

My heart staggered and nearly stopped.

“Della,” he rasped once more. He cocked his head sideways, the way a dog will when it’s not sure of something. One eye was bright but milky white, the other was a gooey mess hanging from the socket on the left side of his face.

I found my old shot gun rising in my hands. I saw the alarm jump into his eyes and he was gone just that fast.

I stood blinking, convinced that I had somehow dreamed the whole encounter, but I knew I didn’t. The smell of rotting flesh still hung heavy in the air. In the distance I heard the rustle of bushes and then silence. Zombies are not stupid, and they are not slow.

The next day it seemed ridiculous. What an old fool I thought. What had I imagined? But the days leading up to October told me a different story.

I drove into Watertown around the middle of October. I passed maybe two cars on the way but neither driver would meet my eyes. That was wrong. Trash blew through the streets as I drove. The traffic lights were out  on the square and no one was on the streets. I didn’t see a single police car.

The mall was closed. The road into it barricaded. I found a little Mom and Pop place open on the way back but there was next to nothing on the shelves. I got a jar of Peanut Butter that I didn’t want. A package of crackers, there was no bread, and paid with the last of my cash.

The store owner wore deep socketed eyes on a lined face. His attitude said, I will not speak to you. And he wouldn’t. After a brief attempt I went home. I never went back. By that next night I knew what the deal was when Della showed up.

She came around noon. I heard the sound of her engine revving long before she came into sight. She took out the mailbox and crashed into the porch and that was that. We were up most of the night talking about how much the world had changed. She knew more than I did. She knew there were no more police. She knew there were roving gangs of Zombies on the streets of Watertown. She had met a man who had come from Rochester. Rochester was a ruin. Another from Buffalo, the same story there. The Zombies, it seemed, owned the world.

She stayed until three days ago. I wouldn’t have been able to get this house closed up on my own. Della worked side by side with me. That was early, before we knew they would come out into the sunlight. Johnny, that was her fellas name, came for her in the daylight when we were closing up the house. If not for the bad leg he would have got her. If not for the fact that we were close to the living room door he might have got her. He might have got her because we both froze. And, when I realized I had to move she was still froze, just looking at his ruined, rotted face.

I got the shot gun and blew his head off. I thought she was going to kill me, then I thought he was going to manage to get back to his feet even without his head and kill me. He finally stopped and I managed to drag her inside and shut the door.

After that we watched when we worked. I had gone back out a short time later, after I got her laid down and sleeping off the shock, to take a closer look at the body. There were five of them eating him where he lay, and two watching the door. When I started out they were on me just that fast. I shot them both as fast as I could pull the trigger. My shot gun only holds four shells. Two were gone and they were slowed but they were not deterred. I made it back inside, bolted the door and began to wonder if my heart was going to explode.

Later, before dusk, I went back outside. Johnny’s body was gone along with the other zombies.

Since then it’s been a war, and then we decided, I decided that Della had to try to get out. Drive out and find help. She was carrying a child after all, the Zombie fellas baby I suppose. Maybe there was a place outside of New York where things were normal, okay, Zombie free.

We planned it. I got my truck, drained the gas from her car and my old tractor. That gave her a full tank in the truck and almost ten gallons in cans strapped into the back of the cab. There wasn’t much in the way of food but we split what we had. She promised to send help but we both knew that was a long shot. She left early morning and I thought she was away and free.

I don’t know what happened. I’ll never know. Did she get ten miles down the road before they got her somehow? Only a mile? How did they do it? I’ll never know. I only know she came back to me last night. Dead already. A zombie. Already reeking of death

“Geo!” In the night. Her calling my name and it pulled me up from sleep with dread, fear, but hope that there was some sort of plausible reason why she was out there calling my name in the night.

“Geo! Please… Help me!”

I had thrown the bolt on the door and had it halfway to open before I realized what an old fool I was. It was too late then. She was on me before I could close the door. She was strong. So goddamned strong, and she knew where the gun was and tried to stop me from getting to it.

I got it but I hesitated too long for the last time and she got me. She lunged and took a chuck of flesh out of my shoulder. I got her in the stomach with two shots, and then one more, after I reloaded, in the head.

I buried her this morning. Even when I did I had this strange urge to taste her. Just a small bite. Who would know? I was shocked that I had had the thought. Shocked that I had continued with the burial and had not eaten her. I’ve been sitting here since then. They’ve come around. I can hear them. It was the noise of them digging her up earlier that I heard and thought had come from upstairs.  I suppose they dug her up. I just bet they did. I should have kept her for myself, I think. But, God, What am I thinking? What?

I can feel it working its poison in my body. My sense of smell is incredible. My eyesight sharp. I’m hungry. It’s like something that is trying to drive me… Own me… I can’t stand it. I can’t. I…


I hope you enjoyed the story. If you enjoyed Zombie Fall you might like the Zombie Plagues series from Geo Dell. Give a look at Nook…


The Zombie Plagues Book One

What if the world ended tomorrow? What would you do? Would you be able to survive?

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-zombie-plagues-book-one-geo-dell/1116974111?ean=9781492798668


The Zombie Plagues Book Two

The Zombie Plagues books follow a small group of men and women as they struggle to survive on a vastly changed earth

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-zombie-plagues-book-two-geo-dell/1116974114?ean=9781492798743


The Zombie Plagues Book Three

Life is good for those who are lucky, but out in the real world it’s a different story…

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-zombie-plagues-book-three-geo-dell/1117027340?ean=9781492798798


The Zombie Plagues Book Four

I saw the Zombie on Madison take a mouthful of her back, just below the curve of her neck…

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-zombie-plagues-book-four-geo-dell/1117475716?ean=2940045439084


The Zombie Plagues: Book Five

The Fifth Book picks up the Story of Billy and Beth and their flight out of the ruins of L. A.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-zombie-plagues-geo-dell/1121785682?ean=2940151878876

 


The Zombie Plagues Dead Road: The Collected books.

Contains books 1 thru 6. Books One through five were published, book six was not…

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-zombie-plagues-dead-road-geo-dell/1124233945?ean=2940153142777


The Zombie Plagues Box Set.  The entire series in one set. \https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-zombie-plagues-box-set-geo-dell/1126709209


 

Posted in Dell Sweet, Earth's Survivors, Geo Dell, Horror, iTunes, The Zombie Plagues, Undead, Zombies | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

THE ORIGINAL SURVIVORS FROM ASHES Free Preview

THE ORIGINAL SURVIVORS FROM ASHES Free Preview


The Original Survivors: From Ashes is copyright © 2017 Dell Sweet. All rights foreign and domestic reserved in their entirety.

Cover Art © Copyright 2017 Wendell Sweet

Some text copyright 2010, 2014, 2015 Wendell Sweet

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your bookseller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

 

LEGAL

This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places or incidents depicted are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual living persons places, situations or events is purely coincidental.

This novel is Copyright © 2017 Wendell Sweet and his assignees. Dell Sweet and Geo Dell are publishing constructs owned by Wendell Sweet. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the author’s permission.

Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print.


This work is posted here with full permission of the publisher. This material has not been edited for content and is rated 18+


The next twenty minutes went by slowly. Occasional squawks of directions came from the radio, and in the distance the sound of both trucks could still be heard. The silence broke all at once.

The radio squealed in Mike’s hand. One word jumped clearly from the static… “Jesus!”… Mike couldn’t tell from whom. A crashing sound accompanied it, and in the far distance gunfire erupted in the still, previously quiet morning air.

The squeal from the radio abruptly cut off and it fell back to low static. In the distance the sound of gunfire continued for what seemed like ten minutes, but was probably no more than thirty or forty seconds in reality. Mike keyed the radio, “Candace,” he screamed. “Candace?”

Gunfire broke out again in the distance. The fast… POP, POP, POP of semi automatic gunfire, but the sharp crack of a heavy rifle too. No answer came back over the radio. Janet Dove made a small strangled sound in the back of her throat and a low sob slipped from her mouth. “No, God, no,” she whispered.

“It’s alright, Jan,” Mike told her. He didn’t believe it himself, but it was what you said. It was how you lied to yourself when you were pretty sure that things were far from fine. Life didn’t work that way in his experience. The gunfire had stopped, but the radio maintained its teasing static as his mind continued to assure him that nothing at all was right and nothing ever would be again. Just as he had the thought, the radio in his hand squawked once again.

“You guys okay?” a panicked sounding Bob asked.

“We’re good… We’re good, base. We’re all good. Everything’s okay,” Tom answered.

Beside Mike, Janet broke into a sob. He reached over and pulled her close to him. “It’s okay,” he soothed. “They said they’re all okay,” Mike repeated dumbly, like the words were some magic mantra.

“I need you to come over here,” Bob said over the radio in a tight, controlled voice. Fear quickly spiked in Mike’s heart.

“Yeah… Uh, you need… Uh, yeah… Okay… We’re coming… We’re on the way,” Tom replied.

Mike pressed his button down. “What is it?” he asked. He spoke with more calm than he felt. “What’s going on?”

“Mike… Mike, we got a little problem here… Give me a second and I’ll get right back to you,” Tom told him.

“Standing by.” Mike forced himself to say. Now Janet was hugging him and the fear gripped his heart hard, refusing to let go.

~

“I’ll kill you. I will,” The kid said. He held his gun sideways like some banger kid from a bad Hollywood movie. Blood trickled slowly from one nostril, as well as from several deep cuts up the left side of his face. His eyes were focused and hard.

“No,” Candace said quietly. Her own forty-five was held in both hands aimed at the kid’s chest. He looks like he is only about thirteen… Fourteen, she corrected.

The kid’s lip curled at her. “You think I won’t do it, bitch? I will… I will, bitch… I’ll do it.”

“No,” Candace repeated quietly. “I drop it and you shoot anyway. No way, kid. No way.” She watched as Bob shifted to his right, drawing farther away from Candace so the kid couldn’t keep both of them in sight.

“Stop fuckin’ movin’! Stop fuckin’ movin’!” the kid suddenly screamed. The gun barrel wavered a little, nervously jittering up and down, the kid’s finger lightly, compulsively caressing the trigger as Candace watched.

Tom and Lydia worked their way up silently behind the kid, past the bodies that lay on the ground, one a young girl.

Behind Tom, Lydia dropped the barrel of her gun and sighted on the kid’s back. Tom stared at her dumbly for a second and then followed suit.

The seconds played out as the blood continued to slowly leak from the kids face. His tongue darted out and tasted it where it ran from his nose. He tried to push it away from his lips where it ran and dripped down onto his chin.

“Last chance, Bitch,” he said. He brought the barrel of his gun down towards her. At the same time Bob took another step sideways. The kid’s eyes darted to Bob. The gun dipped and swiveled towards him. “I told you…” he began.

All four guns spoke at once and the kid seemed to do a quick tap dance before the gun fell from his hand without firing. He tried to suck in a breath but collapsed onto the dirty asphalt instead…


I hope you enjoyed this free preview. Check out the link below at Amazon to get an additional free preview!

Kindle eBook: Click here

Amazon Paperback: Click here

Posted in Apocalypse, Dell Sweet, Earth's Survivors, Geo Dell, Horror, Preppers, Undead, Zombies | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A free look at Earth’s Survivors: Rising From The Ashes

A free look at Earth’s Survivors: Rising From The Ashes


March 16th

Conner and Katie

Conner sat quietly on a small pile of brick outside of the factory entrance and watched the sun come up. Forty-three hours from sunrise to sunrise. It made no sense at all, at least not to him.

The air was warm, not warming, but warm, and a heavy haze hung on the horizon where the sun was beginning to rise. Northwest still, but it didn’t seem as far to the west as it had been just a few days before.

We need something to track that, he thought. And then, maybe not. After all, what good would it do to know if it was a little more to the East or the West or whatever?

His thoughts were broken by a soft step beside him. He turned as Katie came up beside him carrying two mugs of hot coffee. She handed him one of the mugs and then settled beside him.

“Thank you,” Conner said. She smiled back and then blew lightly at the hot coffee in her mug. Steam lifted off the rim of the cup as she did.

“How long?” She asked finally, and then took a small sip.

“Forty-three… Give or take a few minutes.” He kissed her lightly on one cheek.

“What was that for?” She asked with a smile.

“Because I wanted to,” Conner told her. He blew on his own coffee and then took a small sip.

“You okay?” she asked in a more serious tone. Her eyes met his.

“Yeah. It… I don’t think it’s sunk in yet.”

She nodded.

“It’s like,” he continued, “when my parents were killed. I knew it. I accepted it as well as I could, but there was really no time to process it… or maybe I refused to process it. Anyway, it was years later before I ever really dealt with it. That’s what this reminds me of. Someday, once this all settles down, we’ll process it, until then I think we’re just on cruise control.”

“What was it?” She asked softly.

“Car accident. It was fast… for them anyway.” He seemed sad thinking about it.

“My mother died a few years ago my dad right after her. They were older when they had me. Hard life… Bad genes: Heart attacks for both of them,” she finished quietly.

“I’m sorry,” Conner said. “It must have been hard.”

Katie nodded. “So I know about the taking the time to process it later thing. I don’t think I’ve dealt with all of it yet. And this,” She lifted her eyes and swept them across the sky, the river, the rocks, the road that ran past the factory and the cliffs that rose on the other side of the river. Her eyes settled on the sunrise. “This isn’t over by a long shot. Who knows how or when it will end? I guess we’ll deal with what we can and keep the rest moving, you know?”

“Yeah. They were just kids though… even Lydia,” Conner said.

Katie nodded. “They weren’t sweet little innocent kids. I’ve seen gang bangers all of my life. I grew up with that. It’s really a way of life. Sometimes, for some kids, it’s the only way of life there is. I ran myself for a while.” She frowned.

“All I’m saying is they weren’t sweet little innocent kids. And believe me, nothing you could’ve said, had you been there, would’ve changed anything. Believe me. I tried to talk to one of them. No good. And the other one I shot didn’t even bother to try talking.”

Conner nodded, took an experimental sip from his mug, then a longer satisfying drink. “I see it,” he said. “This city has a lot of drug trade and with the base over in Jersey so close by, even more, but I had never been in a gang or knew what one was really about until I was introduced to that life in Rochester as a kid. When I came back here, I saw more and more of it. Now it’s everywhere you look.” He seemed startled for a moment. “Was… Was everywhere you looked,” he added thoughtfully.

“There is still good in the world. This didn’t just take the good people and leave the bad,” Katie said. She took another long sip from her coffee. Her eyes met Conner’s own; he leaned over and kissed her lips softly. She smiled and took the coffee mug from his hands, set it down, took his hands and pulled him to his feet.

“Come on,” she said and kissed him once more. Conner kissed her back and pulled her body closer to him. His hands encircled her waist and rested on her hips. Her tongue probed gently as her own hands found the back of his head. She drew back, giggled and then pulled him toward the river and the screening growth of trees, and bushes farther down the road.

~

March sixteenth, Conner thought, would always be remembered as the day that didn’t quite happen. The sun never really rose. A half light lit the sky for the next forty-two hours, but the sun itself never made an appearance through the thick, black clouds that blocked off the sky from horizon to horizon, dark and moving swiftly across the skies.

The sun seemed to creep around the perimeter of the horizon from the West where it first appeared, to the East where it finally sank, setting the sky on fire with its pink-red light only to fade away without ever actually rising.

The air became warmer throughout the day, and what little snow remained melted away. Everyone noticed a queasy feeling in their stomachs, and a few commented on feeling something similar a few weeks back right after the first earthquakes had hit.

As the day wore on a fine gray ash began to fall from the skies. The skies grew even darker as the ash fell down faster, like dirty snow.

After several hours, the landscape around the factory looked as though everything was covered with a thick coat of dust. Everyone fashioned cloths around their mouths to avoid breathing in the thick haze of ash.

The ash was followed by a slow dirty rain that turned the piles of ash into a slushy, runny kind of mud, and just before the sun finally fell in the East, the rain began to fall harder, the air turned cold, then colder still, and lightening began to stab at the gray and sullen skies above the factory.

~

Everyone huddled around the fire on the factory floor, talking very little. They shared a meal of canned beef stew and crackers. The stew was hot and drove away the cold that had returned, but it did nothing to lift their spirits.

James offered to take the first watch, Conner volunteered for the next and Jake offered to take it from there if the sun wasn’t up.

Conner held Katie in his arms and drifted off to sleep, thinking about what the day might mean and what the morning down by the river with her had been like.

West of Mexico NY: Mike

Things had gone bad fast. There had been two significant earthquakes, the first time he had nearly wrecked the truck, and the second one came as he was pulled to the side of the road trying to ease the pain that had come back full tilt in his head. The truck leapt forward, and then darted sideways; Mike managed to get his hand out to stop his head from smashing into the dashboard, but only barely. The truck had finally stopped rocking and the world came back into focus. He pulled the truck back onto the roadway, careful of all the new cracks and devastation, and found his way to a small roadside strip mall a few miles farther down.

The lot was deserted. Half the store at the opposite end was collapsed. A small mini mart, a drug store and a pawn shop were still standing; untouched. He had made his way into the small store, found the drug aisle and was surprised to see it intact. The one back in Rochester had been emptied of drugs.

The leg was swollen against the pants material; the rags he had wrapped around it had stopped the blood flow, but had done nothing for infection. He peeled the rags away now, taking a good part of his skin with it, and looked the wound over.

Something had punched a deep hole into his leg. The area that had pulled away was oozing puss now, the skin around it red and swollen. He had helped himself to a bottle of peroxide, some antibiotic cream, iodine and some bandage. He scrounged up a fast meal while he worked up the nerve to work on the leg. He probably wouldn’t feel like eating afterwards.

He had no fever, and he counted that as a good thing. He finished some energy bars and three bottles of water before he limped off to find what he still needed. Two aisles over he found a small knitting needle. The point was sharp. It was wide enough to allow him to push it in to get to the abscess he was sure was there. He carried it back to the aisle then decided maybe something to help with the pain might help. He searched, but there was nothing stronger than beer in the now warm coolers, and that was covered with a gray moss he didn’t want to chance touching. The drug store nearby probably had some pain pills he could take, but he wouldn’t know how much would be safe. It probably wasn’t a good idea to be out of it in this world any longer. Maybe later, he decided. He would have to visit to get antibiotics anyway. Reluctantly he limped back to the aisle and sat with his back against the shelving as he arranged the items he needed around him.

The peroxide came first. He broke the seal and poured half the bottle over the wound. There was some pain, but the bubbling and foam that appeared told him what he had already guessed, the infection was bad.

He spun the top off the iodine, spilled a little into the dimple of the puncture wound and then inserted the knitting needle into the bottle and left it to soak in the iodine. He wasn’t positive if it could disinfect it, but he was reasonably sure it could. The pain was intense when the iodine hit the raw wound, but it abated after a few moments. He picked up the needle, but just touching the wound with it sent shock waves of pain up his leg.

He stopped, stretched backwards against the shelving, bracing himself firmly. His breathing was hard and fast, tears had squirted from his eyes and stained his dirty cheeks as they rolled away to his jaw line. Sweat had instantly broken out on his brow. He couldn’t stop at a mere touch. He had to shove the needle down far enough to be sure he punctured the abscess so it could drain. He steeled himself, took a deep breath, centered the needle over the dimple and drove it down into his leg before he could think anymore about it. The pain came fast, but his mind shut down just as quickly.

He had awakened hours later, the sunlight lower in the front windows. The leg was draining freely, fresh blood now, but he could see that the poison had also drained. His head felt better, his stomach more settled. He took his time and grimaced only slightly as he poured first the remaining peroxide into the wound, and then the balance of the iodine. Both hurt, but the pain was nothing like it had been. Antibiotic cream and some bandage and he was finished. He sat, staring down at his hands: Dirt, blood, who knew what else. He made his feet and limped off into the store looking for supplies for the road. A few moments later he was loading them into the passenger side of the truck. A quick search through the drug store turned up antibiotics, an ace bandage that might help, and some vitamins. He didn’t know if the vitamins could help, but he was sure they couldn’t hurt. A few minutes later he had bent the pawnshop’s steel mesh, protective door open and smashed out the front door glass with a jack handle from the truck. The exercise was making his leg hurt, but the skies were turning dark and he wanted to hurry before nightfall came.

The pawn shop was a nightmare inside. Every single cabinet was locked. Even so he found a gun cabinet, managed to pry it open and left with two semi automatic nine mm pistols and a dozen boxes of ammunition. He got to the truck, debated on the ammunition, and went back to see if he could find more. The problem was he didn’t know where to look. He found nothing, but he did liberate a shotgun and a whole case of slugs for it. He made his way back to the truck tired out, sweating and his leg aching deep inside. The bandage was soaked through with blood so he changed it as he sat in the truck and gathered his strength.

The leg of the jeans he had been wearing was a tattered wreck. Blood and gore streaked the leg to his boot top. The once white sock stained deep red and black in places. He needed clothes. His shirt stank, and was stuck to him with sweat. His boots, he hadn’t really noticed until he had just taken a hard look at them, were melted in places. The leather looked sandblasted and ratty. He took two of the pills, washed it down with water. Next big town, he told himself, he would get clothes.

A light rain had begun as he pulled the truck back out on to the roadway, heading for Mexico as the rain bounced up from the pavement and covered the surface with a gray mist.


I hope you enjoyed the free preview. Check out the full book at the following links:

Kindle | Paperback | iTunes | NookSmashwords

Posted in Apocalypse, Dell Sweet, Earth's Survivors, iTunes, Preppers, Undead, Zombies | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How did you write that

Dell Sweet 07-24-17

I recently published a story in a magazine, and had a conversation with the editor about writing and how it works for me. I said that what I do is take a mental outline of what I want and go from there. I usually commit those same ideas to paper. I don’t usually publish short stories in magazines, but the process was interesting and made me put some real thought into the interview answers.

It is pretty simple to have an idea, or a story-line; we all get them, but that doesn’t write the story, you have to do that and the first thing that you have to do is believe in what you are writing. If you do not believe in it no one else will, because you will not be able to convince them it is real or viable. For instance; if you want to write a zombie story, but you have no faith that you can, you more than likely will not ever write the story, because no matter what you do write you will not feel it, believe in it and so you will continue to reject it until you hit upon something you do believe in; or give up entirely.

I do not know how you write, but the writer friends that I have talked to have all been in that place where the words stopped, or the phrasing won’t come. The thing is it does not matter. And the reason it does not matter is that you are allowing yourself to get caught up in all the trivial things of your proposed story, so much so that you have frozen your creativity. You have no story because you are not allowing yourself to write it. You have dammed up that stream. Stopped the flow of information. What you need to do is just write, and there are a few reasons for that.

First: Write it because writing moves you past that initial word on paper place. Just write. It doesn’t matter if it is misspelled, it doesn’t matter if the punctuation is incorrect, it doesn’t even matter if you have no idea where you are going with the story, even if it seems that it is not adhering to your outline: Just write it; let it flow. You can fix all the other stuff later: And you wrote the idea down so if this story coming to you is not the story you wanted, write it anyway: It is a gift; take it write the other story some other day.

Second: Write it because the words will disappear if you don’t get them down on paper. I have heard many writers say, “I had better write this stuff in my head down on paper before I lose it.” or “I had this story in my head, I should have written it down, I did not and now it is gone.” I have never heard a writer say, “I guess I will write this story down that I have stored in my head from two days ago.” They don’t say that because it is gone, so write it down.

Yes a story idea can get in your head and be there for months. Drive you crazy, but that is the idea for a story, not the story itself. The idea without direction, and that is not what I am talking about. I am talking about sitting on the couch watching TV, or driving to work in your car, and suddenly an idea hits you and goes past that and starts to formulate into a story, and you know that it is ready to be written out…

So here is this guy and one day the world as he knows it ends. The Earth stops being predictable, if it ever really was. The buildings, houses and roads buckle and are consumed by the Earth in places. Earthquakes hit and destroy nearly everything he knows. And just like that his life is completely changed forever. I wonder what he would do?

It took me several tries and forty years to write that story out. Most of that was because I left for the streets at fourteen and spent the next two years living there. From there I went into the service. From there I became married, and then life took over; but the need to write that story never stopped. I wrote three books about it that no one ever saw, and then I lost those books for almost 30 years.

The notes above were written in 2009, me rethinking the earlier books I had lost. It made me write it out again, and it became another book. As I followed that need to write that story out of me it turned into dozens of composition notebooks full of other manuscripts, short stories, plays, lyrics, millions of words that I finally realized I could write out of me.

You see, writing is not about anyone but you. Sure, the popular authors will say things like “I wrote this one for the fans.” And in some ways that is true, but in all the ways that matter it Is not true at all. You wrote it because it was in you and it needed to be out of you so you opened up that doorway between your mind and your form of expression and you wrote it out of you. Gave it a life. It does not matter if ten thousand people hate it. If one likes it? That will make it all worthwhile. So it was for no one except you. It was because it was there and it was time for it to be birthed and you birthed it. The fans just gave you the ability to have an audience to read it.

That story I spoke of above became the original unpublished version of Earth’s Survivors. Not the story that became a series about the rise of the dead. This is a story about people struggling to survive. There was not one Zombie in that story. The dead, in fact, were not part of the story at all until far into the series, and even then they had only one book.

When I was in the process of publishing that book, it was the first thing I had published in more than thirty years, someone said, “You know, publishing has changed. This is a good book, but it probably will never sell a single copy, because it doesn’t have zombies or vampires or werewolves in it.” That bugged me. I slipped back into that anxiety mode most writers find themselves in when they first publish… The editors are cutting out this and that, changing this scene, deleting this character, it is not what I wrote any longer… That sort of stuff.

I should have known better, because I had already published years before and gone through all of that, and never published again because I hated the process so much. I saw this new self publishing as an opportunity to publish something my way: The way I wrote it.

All well and good, but the thing is that some editors, friends, people in your circle really do know better than you do. So I yanked that book, went back, wrote zombies into the plot line: Had a blast doing it, and then published the Zombie Plagues.

It took off, and I hated it. I felt like I had succumbed to the temptation to go for the cash, lost faith in myself that I had a written a good book that could have made it without zombies/vampires/werewolves and sold out. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed writing a zombie series, but the series of books I had written in all of those composition notebooks was not written as a zombie vehicle. It was written as a series about people picking up the pieces of their world and starting over.

It was my need to get that story out of me that made me finish the original story when there was no market for it: When The Zombie Plagues was a going series with the un-dead center stage.

Does that mean it will be liked the original way? Maybe. If you like good characters and a good story-line you may. It is up to you. I wrote it because it was in me and it needed it to be out of me. I wrote it because it was what was given to me to write by whatever Gods were up there passing out stories, all those years ago: And I will continue with that series publishing all the books that were written for it, and then never published. Yes, even if it is just for myself.

That is the kind of faith you need. Remember, this is really about you and what you can sustain.

So you have your idea written down; write it out now. See where it is going…

This is an exercise writing about a Zombie with very few facts, just letting the story build on itself. A zombie in a kitchen… Just a zombie scene…

The zombie shambled into the kitchen and looked around.

When I wrote it, I mean when I just let the words go, it went where it wanted to go which is where I wanted it to go in my head. The brain has a pretty good idea of what it wants to do. When I did this earlier today, this exercise with my friend, that is what I wrote: The zombie shambled into the kitchen and looked around.

“So what is that zombie doing in that kitchen?” my friend asked.

Good question. What is that zombie doing in that kitchen? Where is that kitchen? How did the zombie get there? Who did it used to be? Question upon question if you allow yourself to ask them.


… The zombie lurched into the kitchen from it’s hiding place in the garage. It had heard something… Some noise that had drawn it…


If I ask a question my mind tends to want to answer it. (Notice I re-wrote that first sentence. That happened because the story began to flow. When that happens you sometimes end up on autopilot, along for the ride.) Now I know where the zombie came from, the garage. Why was it in the garage? Where did it come from before that? Does it even know? And I don’t stop to ask these questions, I just let the stream flow from me and I follow it as it flows: Because that is the other thing about this process. These stories come to you. I could not say where they come from either. Sometimes it feels like theft. They come so fast. So complete. So well formed. The characters all seem to be looking at me and asking, Don’t you know me?” And I realize I do know them. I don’t know from where, or how, or why, but I know them. They came with the story and they are products of my imagination, but my imagination wants them to live, and so it creates them and I am only the vessel with opposable thumbs that writes them out. And that is writing too. Acknowledging that this miracle came through you and you don’t have a clue how it did that. Still, take that gift, write it out and follow it…


The zombie stared around at the disorder of the kitchen. It’s vision was not the vision it had once had. The crystal clear vision that the living enjoyed. This vision was more of a knowing, supplemented with shadows, blurred movements, and something else… Light, it decided, and it did not like the light… The light caused its head to ache… The light was… The light was bad, it decided. The noise came again causing the zombie to tilt its head and stare down at the movement it had felt from the floor. Something squirmed there, moving with a purpose that suggested life.


More is more. The vision sequence came because I asked myself, How do zombies see? The zombie was in the garage. Some noise made it come to the kitchen. The kitchen is a wreck. Why? What is in the kitchen? What was in the kitchen? Remember, it doesn’t matter if there are misspellings, if it is missing descriptive content, we are simply getting the story out. We can come back later and flesh it out.


The cat stared up at the woman where she stood, head cocked, stopped halfway through the garage doorway, as if listening. The woman was different. Her stance: The way she moved. Even her smell was different. And she had not fed the cat in the past two days. Why, the cat wondered, was there no food when there was always food?

She sniffed at the air. The smell was wrong. And something deeper than that was wrong, the cat decided. And just as the cat had made up its mind to spring away from the woman and leap for the front door that lay shattered and open to the elements, the woman bent quickly, snatched the cat up, and brought it to her face. The cat snarled and clawed, but the woman paid no mind. Her strange eyes locked with the cat’s own, and then the woman leaned forward and bit one of the cat’s paws off.

The cat yowled in pain, squirming desperately in the woman’s hands, trying to free itself as the woman turned, shuffled back into the garage and slammed the heavy door behind her. The door rattled in its frame and then the kitchen fell silent.


And there is my story. The zombie came, it was explained, and then it left.

A few last remarks: If you are capable of writing you already know it; it is something inside of you, some drive that will never let you be. Not a wish to make a lot of money, because I can tell you that rarely happens. Not a desire to be famous, another thing that happens to only a few and something some of us do not want at all. In fact I have always longed for a writing partner who likes that public attention and will handle all of that public face time so I can simply write, but we writers are all nuts, and so that is something that probably won’t happen because we would probably kill each other.

So it isn’t those things. It is another thing that eats away at you. It is the sometimes bizarre train of thoughts that parade through your head every hour of every day. Yes, you might think of something else for twenty five minutes, or even fifty, but it’s coming back. Somewhere in that hour your mind will turn back to…

If you are a writer, don’t let people scare you away from it. I have seen many writers who lived parts of their lives in misery because they truly believed they sucked at writing because some dipshit pencil pusher told them that. Hey, screw that guy or girl. Are they in your head? Do they see the ideas you see? No. They are the kind of people that like to judge people. Thank God that many of our writers went through that process and passed by it to become the writers we know and love or else the world would be a poorer place for not having them as writers we know and love. Three of my favorite writers, Mark Twain, Stephen King and Jean Auel, all received bad advice that told them they shouldn’t write. Some of that came after they wrote, some before. Some mild, some horrific, you suck, stop writing, etc.

The thing is that, that can not matter too deeply to you. Yes you hear it, but don’t let it own you, drive you, don’t invest in it. What has to matter deeply to you is writing. That sounds selfish and it is. Lovers will hate you. Kids will feel neglected. Life will pass by and you will wonder where the hell it went to. Other writers will feel jealous, even hate you, or love you or a million other things… Write the stuff that is in your head and demands to be written or else all the bad shit that could happen to you in your life will happen anyway and you will find yourself at the end of your life, a miserable person who never wrote those things and figured out what this world or that world that existed entirely in your head was about.

I have been many things in my life. A drug addict, a prisoner, a bad guy, a carpenter, a father, a husband, a friend, a lover, and through every one of those things that I was, I was also a writer, except it wasn’t always also: Sometimes it was everything. Because being a writer and having these things inside of you that need to be written out can be a curse too. It can cause you to neglect the things you shouldn’t neglect. It can cause you to need that drink to cap those thoughts, that drug, that distraction. It is a blessing and it is a curse. And many writers have handled it poorly in public. I don’t handle it in public anymore, but I did, what a mess I made too. Same as many other writers with the same predilections and addictions to sort through. The same obligations they ignored. All to chase that thought to its conclusion. So forewarned is forearmed, isn’t it? Don’t say you didn’t hear the truth from me. And yet, for me, I will still chase that story to wherever the hell it is leading. I’ll open that door, go into that room that I shouldn’t go into, I don’t care.

I was told in my career as a writer that I would not make it. Too much of my past would hurt me. I would not be able to control the bottle, the drugs, the world, the thoughts. And besides, you suck as a writer too. It all makes me laugh now, but it used to make me mad, yet eventually, when I learned to look at it for what it was it had to make me laugh. It made me laugh because there is not a choice here. It is what I do. I get up every day and do it. I know when I do it that there are people who will hate what I write, hate me, and I know there are those who will read it, love it. That is life. It is the way the world has always worked and nothing that you and I can do will change it. Except you must ignore it if you want to write. Remember two things: One: Only you can say whether what you wrote is worth something. Two: Opinions really are like assholes, everyone has one and some people seem to have more than one.

I can assure you that I care what readers of my novels think, but I can also tell you that a few weeks back I pulled the plug on the most popular series I wrote. I have not looked back, and I wont. This is personal and public, heart wrenching and soul quenching. I write. It’s what I do: Until I die it is what I will do. That is the passion you need to have to write. If all of those things I just wrote are true about you to any degree? You should stop fighting it and write.

What follows is the balance of the exercise, the little story I wrote. I liked it. I did not ask anyone else…


ZOMBIE GRANDMA

Copyright 2014 Dell Sweet. All rights reserved.

THE HUNTINGTON RETIREMENT COMMUNITY

Day Three of the Zombie Apocalypse:

“Shush… Shut the hell up!” Danny hissed loudly.

“Don’t be telling me to Shush… Or to shut the hell up either,” Tamara said.

Danny turned around and stared at her bug eyed. “What? Are you frickin’ kidding me? A zombie frickin’ apocalypse happening, and you know those frickin’ zombies come right to the goddamn noise…”

“That’s true. They do come right to the noise,” Agnes agreed.

“Girl! What the hell?” Tamara said. She stared at Agnes hard.

“Well they do!” Agnes thrust her hands on her hips, jutted one hip out and tried to look older than her twelve years.

“Both of you all shut the hell up,” Danny said. “Shush” He placed one finger over his lips to illustrate. Just then a sliding, shuffling of feet came to them from the door that led into the garage.

“Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus,” Agnes said in a whisper moan. “That is a goddamn zombie right there… A goddamn zombie… Already ate grandma and now it is gonna open that…” Her words broke off suddenly as Tamara’s hand clamped across her mouth.

“Ain’t no zombie… It ain’t… It is grandma…. We came here to find her, right? Well she has just been waiting back in the garage for us… Only place safe,” Tamara whispered in a squeaky, scared voice. Agnes frightened eyes looked up to her own.

“Mooser?” Agnes asked in a muffled whisper.

“I’m sure,” Tamara agreed.

They had stolen a car in the city and drove themselves out to the Huntington Retirement Community where grandma still lived to make sure she was all right.

The apocalypse had started two days before. Slow at first, just a murmur of problems, but yesterday it had gone full tilt crazy. The zombies were everywhere, taking over the city, but most likely there had not been too many dead rising out this way yet, Tamara thought. The problem was that grandma’s front door had been splintered apart. Someones leg, hairy, so it wasn’t Grandma’s, probably, Tamara thought, had lain just inside the door.

“That’s a mans leg,” Danny had said.

“’Cause it is hairy,” Agnes asked?

“No, ’cause it has got half a…” Tamara had slapped him in the back of the head.

“Don’t you be saying things like that in front of this child,” Tamara said.

“I ain’t no child,” Agnes had said loudly. And that had been when something had crashed in the garage.

“Son-of-a-bitch,” Danny had said, and jumped about a foot off the floor. Now the shuffling of feet came to them again, followed by a low growling sound.

“Oh, Jesus, Oh Jesus,” Agnes said before Tamara clamped her hand back across her mouth.

“Grandma never growled like that,” Tamara said.

“Yeah?” Danny turned and looked at her. “Well maybe that is Grandma’s cat… Probably been locked out there in the garage with nothing to eat for two days ’cause grandma done passed out in one of them dialectic comas, or whatever the hell you call them, so the cat is hungry… I would growl too if I was hungry… What we better do is open the goddamn door up before that cat decides to eat grandma!”

“Are you stupid?” Tamara hissed. “Grandma ain’t got no goddamn cat… Never had no goddamn cat… Hated cats… Idiot.”

“Thasafwukinzwombi,” Agnes said in her muffled voice.

“It’s not a frickin’ zombie,” Danny told her. “See what you done? Scared a little child.”

The garage door rattled in its frame.

“Gwamoo?” Agnes asked.

Danny cleared his throat. He was carrying a huge shovel with a pointed tip that he had found laying in grandma’s garden when they arrived. He tapped at the door with the shovel end. “Grandma?” he asked.

A low snarl came from behind the door, a rustling busy sort of sound and then a solid weight hit the door, rattling it in the frame.

“Stay behind me,” Tamara said as she released Agnes mouth and quickly looked around the kitchen. The door rattled a little harder; her eyes fell on the coffee carafe sitting on the counter. She snatched it up and turned back to the door. The door rattled once more and then stopped.

“I told you it was the frickin’ cat,” Danny said.

“It’s not a…” Tamara began, but just then the door slammed open, bounced off the wall and then closed once more on itself. It had been just long enough to show grandma standing in the doorway, eyes glowing red, something like foam dripping from her jaws, her hands clasping some unrecognizable thing tightly.

“That wasn’t no cat,” Danny said. “That was grandma… Dead… Shit comin’ out of her mouth an…”

The door slammed open once more and grandma lurched into the room. She dropped the stiffened cat she had been holding in her hands onto the floor, and lurched after Danny who stood still, mouth open in shock. His eyes fell to the cat and then flew back up to grandma.

“We came to save you grandma… we came to save you! What the hell you been into grandma…” She lurched forward and fixed him with her yellow-red eyes. “Wha… What the hell you been doing… Eatin’ that cat? What did you eat the cat for, grandma. What the…” Grandma lurched forward again and Danny finally realized that she was coming after him. He turned and jumped backwards as Tamara stepped forward and slammed the nearly full coffee carafe into the side of grandma’s head. The glass shattered, coffee sprayed across the kitchen and poured down grandma’s face in a brown river, shards of glass protruded from her temple. Her face began to twitch and shudder.

They all quickly sidestepped as grandma let loose a snarl and tried to claw Danny with one hand. Agnes began to scream, grandma’s rotting head swiveled toward her and she took a step in that direction. Tamara gripped the handle of the carafe tightly, looked at the sharp curve of glass still attached, and then stepped forward and drove it into grandma’s temple. Grandma collapsed in a heap, her head jerking and twitching, and then silence descended all at once.

Agnes sucked in a deep breath and started to sob in a muffled voice, her face pressed into the crook of her arm.

“I told you grandma had a cat,” Danny said. He stepped forward and toed the cat with one boot. The cat suddenly flopped around and fastened its teeth into Danny’s boot. “The frickin’ cat,” Danny screamed. “Grandma’s cat’s got me!” He remembered at the same second that he had the shovel clasped tightly in his hands and thrust it down, knocking the cat’s head away from his boot. A second after that he bought the shovel down hard, and the cat’s head rolled of into the corner where it snapped and snarled at grandma’s flowered wallpaper. Danny tried to backpedal, slipped and sat down hard.

“Oh for Christ’s sake,” Tamara growled. She stepped forward quickly and crushed the cat’s head with one booted foot. Danny looked up at her.

“I told you she had a cat,” Danny said.

“Oh, Jesus, Oh Jesus,” Agnes said. “This is worse than when Billy Parkin’s showed me his woo who.”

“What?” Danny asked. “Billy Parkin’s showed you his woo who? What the hell?”

Agnes peeked out from the crook of her arm and nodded.

“So what,” Tamara said. She fixed Danny with a hard look, reached down one hand and tugged him to his feet. “Showed me too. Don’t worry, they aren’t all that small.”

“Yeah. Showed me too,” Danny agreed as he dusted his hands against his jeans.

“You were looking at Billy’s Woo who?” Agnes asked.

“Well I wasn’t looking at it… It sort of,” Danny began. Grandma suddenly groaned from the floor and began to squirm around once more. Danny jumped forward and slammed the shovel down on her head over and over again until she stopped. The silence fell once more.

“We had better go,” Tamara said as she stared down at the smashed ruin of grandma’s head. “Find a safe place.”

Danny lifted his eyes up from the floor. Started to toss the shovel away and then decided to keep it. He nodded.

Agnes came forward and threaded one arm into Tamara’s own.

“Ready, punkin?” Tamara asked her. She nodded. The three turned and began to walk from the kitchen.

“What were you looking at Billy Parkin’s Woo who for?” Tamara asked Danny.

“I did not say I was looking at Billy Parkin’s Woo Who,” Danny started as they walked out onto the front walk. The day was fading fast, dark clouds moving in.

“We have to find a place, don’t we?” Agnes asked.

“We do,” Tamara agreed. She looked off down the street to a cluster of buildings that looked promising. Community Center, a sign hanging over the nearest buildings entrance said. She thought for a moment and then moved off toward the building, the others following.

“You did say it,” Tamara said as they walked.

“I didn’t say it,” Danny replied with a shake of his head. “I didn’t.”

The three moved off down the street toward the community center building, their voices a soft hum on the cooling air as they walked.


I hope you got something out of this. I read Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain (Samuel Clemons), it made me want to be a writer, I thought. Except that bug was in me already. I read The Stand (Stephen King) and I realized that people really did write things that mattered. I read Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean Auel) and realized that the past was a real place, alive and breathing.

I mention those books because I want you to read the feedback if you check them out. I’d really wish for you to read those books if they are your speed. Some people didn’t like those books. In fact some hated them. You have to internalize that. Do you want to write? Then write something. Stephen king has a great book on the art of writing, but he loves to talk about writing in the introductions to nearly every book he has written. Samuel Clemons talked about it as well. Jean Auel has given insight several times on what it took to write her book series. Be encouraged. Write. I would love to read it. Dell Sweet

Posted in Dell Sweet, How To Write, Writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Walmart jokes and Zombie Plague links

Posted by Geo  07-21-17

Another weekend is here. I spent this past week working on a manuscript and taking care of guitar build updates.

I want to throw some congratulations to Andrea Scroggs. Her Graphic Novel, Invariant is doing well. She is working on another graphic story. Her artwork is as good as her writing and she knows how to bring both things together. Amazon: Invariant

The zombie Plagues books are doing very well.  https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/5280

What’s on the burner: I am working on a new novel right now. I have also completed one other novel, editing work for that one now. The fifth Zombie Plagues novel is now available on Nook too: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-zombie-plagues-geo-dell/1121785682

 

Free Books Today and tomorrow:

Guitar Works One for the Kindle on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Works-One-Finish-Work/dp/1502825678

Earth’s Survivors Life Stories: Jack & Maria: https://www.amazon.com/Earths-Survivors-Life-Stories-Maria-ebook/dp/B06XQFV63D

 

Writers and their websites:

Sotofo: http://www.sotofo.com/

Dell Sweet on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DellSweet

Geo Dell on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/George-Dell/e/B00T94K198

What else is going on: Summer is passing. It is hot here in northern New York but I’m sure back in the day the woolly mammoths thought it was warm enough too and then wham! They froze to death right in their fields… So, you know, maybe hit the winter coat aisle at Walmart before the prices go up…

Some absolute facts…

Absolute Fact:

Q: Who discovered America?

A: Richard Plambouise.

Huh? Richard was working at the local Walmart in 2011 when he was assigned to move some shelving during inventory. Behind the shelving he noticed a continent that had fallen from the shelf and lay dusty and disused. He recognized it for what it was, America.

Congratulations Richard Plambouise.

Absolute Fact:

Q: Is the Earth really round?

A: No.

Think about it, you’d fall off of it. The earth is flat. Been flat since I was a kid, I know ’cause I ran in my new sneakers, fast as hell and I didn’t fall of. The Earth is flat.

Absolute Fact:

Q: Is what mom feeds me actually good for me?

A: Yes.

Everything mom feeds you is good for you, now shut up and eat.

Absolute Fact:

Q: When a man loves a woman can he keep his mind on anything else?

A: No.

Just ask Percy Sledge who not only told us a man can not keep his mind on anything else, but that he would Sleep out in the rain if she says that’s the way it ought to be. Thanks Percy.

Absolute Fact:

Q: If my wife asks, should I tell her, Yes., her butt does look big?

A: Absolutely.

Relationships are built on respect, truth and honesty. Go ahead, tell her. You can even tell her I said to. In fact, Percy didn’t say otherwise either.

You can usually find myself or Dell on twitter throughout the day, Dell: @SweetDell or me, Geo: @GeorgeDell01

That is me for your Friday. I hope your weekend is good and the coming week is a good one for you. Check out the free books for the week and the websites. I’ll be back next Monday, Geo.

Posted in Geo Dell, Horror, Preppers, The Zombie Plagues, Zombies | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment