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Yellowstone from author Dell Sweet

Copyright 2018 W. G. Sweet all rights reserved.

Cover Art © Copyright 2018 W. G. 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 person’s places, situations or events is purely coincidental.

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.


WARNING! This preview contains violence and explicit language


PROLOGUE

Somewhere in the World

Overclocking: SS-V2765

“Stay down next to the friggin’ bank, Hunter!” Beeker yelled. Beeker could see that Hunter probably wouldn’t be hanging around for much longer. He didn’t have the wits that Simpson had had. And a fire fight was no fuckin’ place to have to baby sit. Why was it that he always ended up with all the ass-holes any way? They had been pinned down in this particular position a sandy beachhead for four days. Sand and water in front of them, mountain and jungle behind them. They were on the other side of a river, and if the man upstairs the man that pulled all the friggin’ strings, Beeker liked to think, didn’t do something damn soon they might not see five.

The fire was just as heavy as it had been on the first day. Non-stop. Round after round of machine gun fire, and mortar rounds that came so fast it was hard to tell when one ended, and another began. Hunter crawled over, eating some dirt as he came. But at least he had crawled. The numb son-of-a-bitch had walked the first few times; like he was out on a goddamn Sunday stroll.

“Sergeant Beeker?” he whisper yelled over the sound of the gunfire. “Shouldn’t we maybe take the shit now, sir?”

“Hey, fuck you, if I say we lay low, we lay low. We take it like we’re supposed to, no deviations on my watch. Now, shut up and crawl your white-ass back over to your position, mister, NOW!”

The shit was V2765. The thing was, Hunter had already had it at least once, the rest of them hadn’t and never would. But Hunter had come with the vial clearly marked as a booster shot… He didn’t need that yet.

Hunter went, he didn’t have to be told twice. Beeker was one mean bastard, and he had absolutely no desire to mess with him. Even so this whole situation didn’t set well in his mind, and that was mainly due to the fact that it didn’t make any sense. And how in hell could it? he asked himself. There was no answer, because there could be no answer at all. Fifteen days ago he had been safe and sound in… In… It wouldn’t come. Someplace. He had been someplace, not here, and he had been… Whatever he had been, or where ever he had been it wouldn’t come. He could almost remember, like it was right there, just beyond memories…

He could remember waking up here with Beeker, Philips, and Ronson. In the middle of… Of… Where am I? He didn’t know that either, and they weren’t disposed to tell him. Other than waking up in the middle of this fire-fight, he couldn’t remember jack-shit. He made the outside perimeter, and curled up into a near ball as he pressed himself into the dirt embankment.

Jungle all around… Not the Middle East then… Where he had been… Had he been in the Middle East? Fighting… Fighting the… He couldn’t make the information come to him, but it seemed as though it was just barely out of reach like all the rest…

Bluechip… Volunteer? For? Thoughts floating around in his head… They had given him a shot… Some sort of booster? Yes, booster… Booster shot… For, what? He asked himself, but he had no idea.

“About fucking time,” Beeker yelled above the roar of gunfire… …They had been pinned down for the last several hours, with heavy fire. It had finally fallen off somewhat, and it was time to make a move: Beeker was no fool, he had every intention of getting his men the hell out, including that test case they had laid on him…

He’d already lost four good men on this mission. He couldn’t see losing any more. He looked across the short, smoky distance, directly into Ronson’s eyes, and signaled left, away from the sand, towards the jungle that pressed in from behind them. A quick sideways flick of his own eyes told him that Hunter and Phillips had caught it too. Beeker signaled Ronson out first, then Phillips, and then Hunter. It was a slow go; belly crawl for the first few hundred yards. The bullets continued to whine above them, but they all made it one piece. Two hundred yards in they were able to stand. The jungle finally offering some protection. Beeker led the way quickly yet carefully, through the lush greenery. The others fell in behind him silently. Two miles further through the dense jungle, and they finally lost the distant sounds of gunfire, and the jungle fell nearly silent. They fell silent themselves, moving as quietly as they could from tree to tree: Aware of the noises that surrounded them. A short while later when the gunfire had completely fallen off, the jungle seemed to come back to life. Bird calls, and the ever present monkey chatter. That was a good sign to Beeker, if the jungle was full of soldiers, the birds sure as fuck wouldn’t be singing. They pushed on through the night, and morning found them in a small village with a main trail running through the middle of it. They walked quietly through the village end to end… Burned out… Empty… A good place to rest-up.

“Oh, man,” Ronson complained. “Fuckin’ cra-zee,” Beeker agreed wearily. He was leaned back against the side of a burned out hut, smoking a cigarette he’d pulled from inside his jacket.

Hunter didn’t have the slightest idea where they were, let alone what they were talking about. Beeker had led them through the jungle and at first light they had come upon this village. They had crept in warily, ready for whatever lay before them. There had been no need, it was empty; a couple of dozen scattered bodies busy gathering flies: Burned out huts. The design wasn’t familiar to him. He had thought Beeker would move on. He hadn’t. They were still here. But where here was, and how Beeker had found it, eluded Hunter.

“Sure as fuck did thought we was done,” Phillips agreed.

“Yeah, well, we made it this far,” Ronson said. He grinned, and then the grin turned into a full fledged smile, and he began to laugh. Phillips joined him, and a second later, when Hunter was sure Beeker was going to open his mouth to tell them all to shut the fuck up, he started laughing too. “Oh… It’s good, look-at-him,” Ronson said, holding his side, and pointing at Hunter, “he don’t have a friggin’ clue.” That seemed to drive all of them into hysteria, Hunter saw. Including Beeker, who was usually hard-nosed and moody. He was doubled over too. Holding his sides. Tears squirting from his eyes.

“That true?” Beeker asked at last, once he had managed to get the laughter somewhat under control. “That your friggin’ problem is it, Hunter, you don’t have a clue?” he stopped laughing abruptly, and within seconds Ronson and Philips chuckled to a stop. “Do you have the slightest idea where your ass is?” Beeker asked seriously.

“No… Well, a jungle, I guess,” Hunter answered.

“No… Well, it could be a jungle, I guess,” Ronson mimicked in a high falsetto.

“Is it?” Hunter ventured in a near whisper.

“Look…” Beeker waited for silence. “Take a break, it’s going to get worse. Why don’t you have a smoke and kick back… Enjoy the break?”

“Well, the thing is that I don’t smoke, bad for the lungs. I’m pretty careful about my health.”

“Really?” Beeker asked politely. He chuckled briefly, lit another of his own smokes, and then spoke softly. “I would like your complete attention, Hunter, do I have it?”

“Yeah, sure…”

He cut him off, his voice a roar. “In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a fuckin’ war goin’ on, you pansy mother-fucker. A fuckin’ war, Hunter, you understand that, you ain’t gonna live much fuckin’ longer anyway. Get with the program mister, now!”

Hunter’s eyes bugged out, but as Beeker finished he forced himself to speak. “I know that… I can see that… It don’t mean I have to die though, not necessarily.”

“Man, Beek, don’t waste your time, he hopeless, same old shit, like Simpson. Like all those friggin guys before Simpson,” Ronson said.

Beeker drew a deep breath, winked at Ronson, and then spoke. “Yes it does,” Beeker said calmly. “It does because you ain’t a regular. You ain’t been here long enough, and you don’t mean a fiddler’s fuck to anybody. And that sucks, but that’s life, Hunter,” he paused and looked over at Ronson. “How long was the last one, fourteen days, am I right?”

“As rain,” Ronson replied coolly.

“And where are we now?” Beeker asked.

“Seventeen?” Phillips asked.

“Uh uh,” Ronson corrected, “eighteen, man, remember? Simpson bought it eighteen days ago, and this ass-hole came into play. Replacement, supposedly.”

“Right!” Beeker said. “It is eighteen, and that’s why nobody gives a fuck about you, Hunter. Eighteen’s too far, you’ll be done at twenty, it never goes past that, and I’ll bet bullets to bodies you’ll buy the farm long before we’re done with eighteen, see?”

“No,” Hunter said slowly, “I don’t see.” Seventeen? Eighteen? What the hell was that all about? he wondered.

Ronson chuckled. “I think he’s confused, again, Beek.”

“I think he was fuckin’ born confused,” Phillips added.

“Seventeen? Eighteen?” Hunter asked aloud. He didn’t get it, not completely anyway.

“Have a cigarette,” Beeker told him.

“I told you, I don’t…”

“Yeah, right, fuck that noise, there’s a pack inside your jacket… Check it… See if I’m right.”

Hunter fumbled with the jacket snaps, and finally pulled the jacket open. A half pack of smokes resided in the inside pocket. A silver Zippo tucked in beside them. He looked up with amazement.

“So?” Beeker asked, smiling widely.

“One of you guys stuck them there, while I was sleeping, has to be,” Hunter said.

“And when was that?”

Hunter thought about it. He Looked over at Beeker. Beeker just smiled.

“Don’t you get it yet, Hunter? Don’t you feel like an extra in a play.”

“Bluechip? Volunteer for SS-V2765? … Wow, they must have zonked your brain, man…

“Look, it was hard for Simpson too. He was with us for twenty days, and you know, I liked that sucker. He was all right for a white dude. All you guys show up… Combat ready… Except you’re all fucked up in the head… No idea what to expect or even where you are… It aint supposed to be that way, so we always have to lay it out… You are one of them, Super Soldier, we call it over-clocked… You’re gonna get dead, and you know what? Then you’re coming back… Don’t ask me what the fuck is in that shit they give you, all I know is you’ll get dead and then you’ll come back from it and they’ll ship you out… That booster shot? It ain’t exactly a booster shot. I don’t know what exactly it is, but once you’re gone I know this, it’ll bring you back.”

“Yeah, back… In the beginning some didn’t come back, it don’t matter though, ‘cause they come and got them too… But the last several months they, all of you, come back… Dead and then you’re not… And then they’re here and you’re gone and then in a few days some other dick-wad shows up in a supply drop…”

“What? A supply drop?” Hunter asked.

“Oh yeah… Supply drop… Wrapped up like a… Like a douche, man..”

“Uh uh, Beek, man, that line was really Revved up like a Duece,” Ronson said.

“Okay, bad analogy… I hate that fuckin’ song anyways… Always did, but you guys come wrapped up, like a package, man. We unwrap you and you’re alive… We leave you be for awhile and next thing you know you’re sitting up… Walkin’ and talkin’.”

“Yeah, boy… Fuckin’ freaky shit,” Phillips said. “Mucho freaky!”

Hunter swallowed hard, lit up one of the smokes from his jacket, and leaned back against the side of the hut. The silence held.

“So,” Beeker finished quietly, “you gotta deal with it man… You just got too… It won’t be long…”

Yellowstone by W.G. Sweet “Super volcanoes… Earthquakes that modern civilization has never seen… The last super eruption was responsible for killing off the human population some seventy-four thousand years ago.” He paused in the silence.



Get it right now:

Yellowstone : For many years the Yellowstone Caldera was thought to be an extinct volcano: But it is not dormant, it is very much alive. Ready to blow at anytime as it has in the past. #ExtinctionEvent #Earthquake #Volcanoes https://books2read.com/u/3Gw8Oa



The Nation Chronicles Podcast

The Nation Chronicles Podcast: Follow the survivors of an extinction event as they search for other survivors and a way to rebuild society. #Survivors #TheNationChronicles https://anchor.fm/wendell-sweet

The Nation Chronicles By Wendell Sweet: The Nation Chronicles Podcast: The fall of civilization. A catastrophic extinction event wipes out most of Earth’s population. Those who remain face a hard road… #TheNationChronicles #Podcasthttps://www.breaker.audio/the-nation-chronicles

The Nation Chronicles. Follow a group of survivors from a catastrophic event as they search for others and safety.  #Survival #Podcast #Apocalypse  https://open.spotify.com/show/5EbjaNN4oEatuuj8JU7roa

The Nation Chronicles are based on the Earth’s Survivors books available at Amazon – Apple – Nook – KOBO – Angus & Robertson – Smashwords and other fine book sellers…

Rising from the Ashes: https://books2read.com/u/3GvRQ8

The Nation: https://books2read.com/u/bojln9

America the Dead: Survivors Stories One. Episode 5

America the Dead: Survivors Stories One

America the Dead Survivors Stories 1.

 Copyright © 2018 W. G. Sweet. All rights foreign and domestic reserved in their entirety.

Cover Art © Copyright 2018 W. G. Sweet

Some text copyright 2010, 2014, 2015 W. G. 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.


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.


March 2nd

New York: Watertown

Joel and Haley

Morning

Joel Morrison awoke to the sounds of birds whistling in the early morning pre-dawn. Birds, he thought, usually the sounds from the mills drowned them out.

He had made it home around 6:00 PM the previous evening. He was working the midnight to eight shift and had stopped into the Rusty Nail after work to have a few drinks with some other guys from the paper mill.

He had wanted to leave before the bar began to fill up. The Rusty Nail had gotten more than a bit rowdy as of late. Two years before, one of Joel’s good friends, Moon Calloway, had been killed in the bar. That had seemed to turn the tide. After that point the bar had become much worse, a proving grounds of sorts for the young GI’s from the base. Joel often wondered why he even bothered to hang around there at all. Last night it had seemed as though the rowdy element was showing up even earlier than it usually did, when Johnny Barnes had offered the ride Joel had accepted.

The house on Linden Street wasn’t much, but it was paid for, and Joel knew a lot of guys at the mill who either rented or were damn close to losing their homes to the bank. Times were tough in the old U-S-of-A, and at least he had the place free and clear.

He had practically fallen into bed once he had gotten home. He hadn’t realized how tired he was.

He’d been working all the short shifts he could get, along with his normal evening shifts, saving the money after he’d paid off the house, and today would be the start of his first real vacation in over twelve years.

Joel had grown up in the small city of Watertown, and had never left. It suited him, he liked to think. Where else could you see the seasons change so vividly, or take a quiet stroll through the woods anytime you felt, he often wondered. The Adirondacks were close by. The southern tier, where he hoped to be in just a few hours, he reminded himself, stretched away for miles. Forever wild lands, Lake Ontario, wet lands. And if he wanted the big city it was just seventy miles away down route eighty-one.

This is going to be one great vacation, he thought, as he got out of bed. Despite the damn birds.

The vacation he had planned was a three week camp out in the State Forest Preserve that started only twenty miles to the east. The preserve was nestled up to the military reservation and stretched from there all the way into Central New York. Joel had no idea exactly where he would camp. He had decided to just hike until he found a spot that suited him.

As he headed for the bathroom he noticed that the clock on the dresser was off. Not blinking, but off, and he could vaguely recall dreaming of waking during the night to some loud noise.

It had seemed at first, when he had awakened within the dream, as though the entire house had been shaking. He had passed from that dream into another, but the noise and the shaking had seemed to accompany him into that dream as well. It had to have been the strangest dream he could ever recall having.

At first he had been in his bedroom; the walls shaking around him, and the next thing he knew he had been standing on a stone pathway that overlooked a wide and deep valley that stretched away for miles before it hooked to the right and disappeared. Its forward path blocked by even higher mountains, with others lifting even higher behind that. He turned to follow the ridge lines back to where he was and the scene had shifted to the bedroom once more. He had found himself sitting up in bed, breathing hard, frightened, the room silent, wondering if this was just more of the dream or an actual waking. As he began trying to figure it out, waiting for his head to clear, he had found himself sitting on a bar stool in the Rusty Nail, Moon Calloway beside him holding down the other stool.

He tried speaking to Moon, but he either couldn’t hear him, or he pretended not to. In his dream he had still known Moon was dead, so it made sense to him that he could not speak to him. He turned to Mort to order a beer and Moon had suddenly spoken.

“It was right here, Joel… Right here. Bad place to die… Used sawdust on the floor… Soaks up the beer… The blood…. You know….”

He tried to turn as soon as he heard the voice, but by the time he turned the scene had shifted again. Instantly the bar was gone and he found himself standing at the edge of what he took to be a lake at first. The water stretched away as far as he could see. There was a tang of salt on the air; red earth crumbled away as the waves came in, taking more land with it.  He could remember the salt smell from a trip to Florida as a kid with his grandparents. The smell of the sea.

“This is the place,” Moon said from beside him.

He turned expecting Moon to be gone, but he was standing a few feet away staring out over the water. He turned and looked at Joel. “You see it?” Moon asked.

“Yeah,” Joel managed. The word was barely audible, lost in the sounds of the sea as it worked to take the red dirt away. “Where,” Joel asked. “Where is it? What place is it?” He turned when Moon didn’t answer, but Moon was gone. He blinked and he was back in his bedroom, in bed in his own house on Linden Street, talking to a priest that was sitting on the edge of the bed. He remembered telling the priest that he just wanted to go back to sleep. That had apparently satisfied the priest, as he had shaken his head and seemed to float away.

Joel shook his head, recalling the dream as he entered the bathroom. He picked up his toothbrush from the small plastic cup that held it, squinted into the mirror, and turned on the cold water tap.

Nothing happened. No rattle of the old pipes in the wall. Nothing.

“What the hell,” Joel said aloud, “frigging water out too?” He dropped the brush back into the cup and headed into the kitchen to start the coffee.

“Shit,” he said as he entered the kitchen and remembered the power was off, and that there was no water with which to make the coffee. “Now what?” He walked back into the bedroom and tugged on the pair of jeans and shirt he had worn the day before; he walked through the house to the front door, shoving his feet into his sneakers as he went, and opened it to retrieve the paper that he knew would be there. The ends of the untied laces clicked and bounced against the old hardwood floors as he walked. At least he could read the paper, maybe even find out what the hell was going on.

The sun was just beginning to climb into the sky as the door swung open. He bent down.

“No damn paper either?” he muttered as he stood back up and began to search the lawn.

His eyes rose from the lawn and fell on the Hubert house across the Street.

Something seemed oddly out of place, and he puzzled over it for a few seconds before his mind told him what it was. The entire house was leaning to one side. That wasn’t all though, the street in between dipped and rose in places, and the lawn over there had large patches of brown dirt. The snow that had been everywhere the night before was nearly gone. His eyes had skipped over it, lending an illusion of straight lines until he had looked closely. His eyes rose to the Hubert house once more and he realized what else was wrong, the lot looked too big: He could see more of the Hubert house because the houses on either side were gone. No trace. Jumbled dirt and clumps of grass filled those lots. A leaning Oak that had been in front of the Schuyler house for two hundred years: Uprooted and on the verge of toppling onto the fresh soil.

As he left his doorway and started across the street to get a better look, his eyes took in the devastation that had changed most of the street overnight.

Broken cobbles from the old streets poked through the pavement in places, and the broken pipes below street level bought him the sound of running water somewhere deep below. The reality of it hit him and he stopped and turned to look back at his own house. His mouth fell open wide as he stared. The entire house was leaning from foundation to roof, the gutters had detached and snaked down to meet the ground. Almost seeming as though they were holding the house upright. Small sparrows where pecking through the debris that had fallen from the gutters, and singing in the warming morning air. Joel’s mouth snapped shut as he stumbled back into the street and sat down hard.

“What the hell is this?” he asked aloud to the street.

“What the hell is going on?”

Joel believed in the tangible. If it could be touched it must be real, and so believing, he reached down to feel one of the cracks beside him in the road. The road tipped, tilted, had separated, and the other surface had dropped lower. His fingers came away with small chunks of asphalt.

“Feels real,” he declared aloud, as he stared at the road. He pulled at it and a small piece of the asphalt he held snapped off into his hand. He bought it up to his face to examine it closely; threw it back to the ground, and got up from the street.

He looked slowly off in both directions down the length of Linden Street. As far as he could see in either direction the roads and houses were similar. In fact, he thought, the street doesn’t even look like a street anymore. It was still a street because he thought of it as a street. His street. There was now more gravel, dirt and broken asphalt chunks than there was actual street. And in several places it was gone completely. No sign. Wide spots that were wholly devastated.

Joel closed his eyes and then reopened them. It was all still there. Nothing had changed. He stood and stared for a few minutes longer before he started to walk off down the street in the direction of the downtown area, three blocks to the south.

He looked over the houses he passed. Most were partly, and some were completely destroyed. He felt as though he were in a bad dream. He knew he wasn’t though, as he had closed his eyes to blink away the sights several times to no avail. He had also pinched his left cheek until his eye had begun to water. No good. It was still there. He had done acid once, but only once, back in the seventies, and he had heard about flashbacks, and this could maybe be one, and he had been drinking pretty damn heavily yesterday, and…

He spotted a young woman sitting on the curb three houses down and walked up to her. She tilted her tear streaked and puffy face up to him as he approached.

“Is this a dream?” he asked when he stopped.

“No, it’s no dream,” she replied as she slowly shook her head.

“Where have you been since last night? Didn’t you hear the noise? Didn’t you feel it?”

Joel recalled the noise that had awakened him during the night. The noise he had thought was only an extension of the strange dream.

“Well, I thought it was a dream, you know, but I did hear a storm, or something, but I didn’t think it was a big deal… you know, they can get loud sometimes, but… What happened?”

“Yellowstone blew up,” she said simply. “Didn’t you see the TV?”

Joel shook his head.

“Well,” the young woman continued, “anyhow that’s what happened. They cut in to the TV last night; I was watching… you know, and they cut in and said that the Yellowstone caldera was going to fracture because of how close the meteor came. I came outside to see, and, well there was nothing to see at first, and then the ground started shaking, so I ran to get back inside. But the whole bottom floor of the building was gone.” She shrugged.

The young woman broke into fresh tears, and buried her face back into her hands.

Joel sat down beside her and put his arm around her in an attempt to comfort her.

“Is your husband here?”

“Not married,” she said, “There was a guy… A few years back. He’s stationed somewhere in the Middle East,” she finished, as she looked at Joel.

“Sorry,” Joel said, “how long have you been out here?”

“I called this cop that had given me his card… He said the police would come so I came back out to wait, but they never showed up, so I just sat here. I didn’t know where else to go or what to do! I’ve been here ever since, just watching the street crack.”

Joel looked around at the street.

“It happened all at once?”

“I don’t know,” she replied, also staring at the street. “One second it was still whole, the next it wasn’t. But it’s still going on. Every little while a crack will just appear and then another section will tilt or drop a little. Sometimes there’s no noise, other times it’s this horrible groaning sound… Like it’s alive or something.”

“Is your power on?” Joel asked changing the subject.

“No,” she replied, “went off right after the ground started shaking.”

“Mine’s off too,” Joel replied.

“The power lines fell while I was out here, arcing all over the place. Scared the shit out of me too, and then they just quit… Went dead,” She said.

“Listen… I’m going to walk downtown… see if the police department is open, or see maybe if everyone is there somewhere. You’re the only person I’ve seen so far… do you want to come with me?”

“Sure,” she said, as she stood and brushed at her jeans, “no use sticking around here I guess, is there?”

“I don’t think so,” Joel said. “I think… you know that everyone else is probably downtown. Getting organized or something,” his eyes betrayed the worry he felt. He hoped that everyone was downtown as he had said, but he wasn’t convinced himself. We have to find someone though, he thought, don’t we?

He stood up and they both walked off down the street toward downtown Watertown.

“Joel,“ he told her. Talking to you for an hour and didn’t even know your name.”

She laughed, halfhearted, but it instantly lifted the mood. “More like fifteen minutes if that… Haley.” She told him.

They exchanged small talk as they walked and it seemed to help quell the fear they both felt.

They wondered about the rising temperature as they walked.

“I wonder if it’s some sort of fall out from the earthquakes? Can it be radiation, Joel?” Haley questioned.

“Maybe. I flunked science, so I really don’t know. I don’t think so though. I mean, if it was, wouldn’t we be sick? I think ash is a possibility, maybe if they triggered volcanoes? Makes me wish I had paid attention in science class, or physics, history, one of those.” Joel said.

She laughed again, this time a little more fully. “No,” she replied. “I don’t think so either… I mean the earth shook… like an earthquake. I didn’t know we could get an earthquake up here.”

“Oh yeah… Lived here all of my life. It’s more than possible, happens all the time… You from here?”

“No… Syracuse, before that Texas.”

“Ah, the big city… Well up here we don’t have a hell of a lot to do so they teach us about fault lines, earthquakes. We have a huge fault line that bisects this entire region and continues on south to the Gulf.”

“All the way to the Gulf?” Haley asked. She patted his arm. “Big city my ass,” She laughed. “ You should see Houston you want to see big city, buster.”

Joel laughed and nodded. “Seen Houston once… I mean, a long time ago. And then only the Greyhound station downtown.”

She stopped. “Get out, really?”

“Really.” Joel told her. “Very bad place too,” he seemed apologetic.

“Yeah.” her eyes had suddenly gone sad. “Very.” She started her feet moving again. She had come close to telling him just how well she knew that area of Houston, and had nearly bitten her tongue to stop the words. Emotional situations… You never knew the things that would just jump right out of your mouth, she thought. Leaving you all kinds of vulnerable too.

They talked back and forth as they continued down the street. When they reached Fourth Street they turned and walked the short block to Main, turned left this time, and headed into the downtown area.


Get it now:

America the Dead Survivors Stories 1.



America the Dead: Survivors Stories One. Episode 4

America the Dead: Survivors Stories One

America the Dead Survivors Stories 1.

 Copyright © 2018 W. G. Sweet. All rights foreign and domestic reserved in their entirety.

Cover Art © Copyright 2018 W. G. Sweet

Some text copyright 2010, 2014, 2015 W. G. 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.


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.


Watertown New York

Project Bluechip

Pearl

She came awake with a start. In her dreaming she had been leaning, leaning, holding the window sill and staring down at the street below. The heat, the cold dishrag freezing her tiny fingers. She had leaned back, shifted hands, placed the rag against the base of her neck once more, leaned forward and braced herself against the window frame and her fingers, slicked and unfeeling from the ice had slipped. She had plunged suddenly forward, falling, faster, panicked, and she had awakened as she had slammed into the surface of the bed, a scream right on the edge of her tongue waiting to leap.

“Here.” A woman’s voice. A soft hand at the base of her neck, holding her, easing her back down to the bed. “It’s okay now.” She held Pearl’s head up and bought a water glass to her lips. Cold, ice clinked together in the glass, she took the straw between her lips and drank deeply. She collapsed back against the bed.

“Where?” She managed at last. “Where is this place?” The ceiling was florescent lights in a panel ceiling. Dropped ceiling, her mind supplied. An Americanism.

“Blue,” the woman told her as Pearl’s eyes focused on her.  She was short, slim, dressed in fatigues, a pistol in a holster at her side.

“Blue?” Pearl sounded as doubtful as she felt. She must have misheard. “Drum?” She asked. It was the closest military base.

“Blue,” the young woman shook her head. “The new base… Blue.” She smiled, but it was a tired smile. “You remember anything at all?”

Pearl shook her head, but then spoke. “A car… A boy with a gun… An earthquake?”

“English?” The woman asked.

Pearl nodded. “Was it then? An earthquake?”

“More than one,” The young woman sighed. “It’s bad up there. You’re lucky they found you, Jeffers and the others. Lucky.”

Pearl nodded and then moved her legs and nearly fainted. She looked down, both were bandaged. She recalled the gun. “Shot?” She asked.

“No… No, just scraped up, banged up maybe” The woman told her.

“Badly scraped up?” Pearl asked.

“No… A few cuts, but they are swollen. A day or two and you’ll be fine.”

Pearl didn’t hear the rest as she sagged back against the bed and fell away back into the dream once more…

Watertown

Franklin Street

Roux

The roadway was tilted crazily, the snow was gone. Cold persisted, but it didn’t bother him in the slightest. A small, silver canister lay just a few feet away. Inhaler, his mind supplied. Maybe his other self agreed, but something inside him didn’t seem to want to agree. He ignored the canister and the line of thought for the briefest of seconds and it was gone completely. Slipped away from him to where ever thought ended up.

He had been lying half in, half out of the gutter for the last several hours that he knew of. He had no idea how long before that. Days? Weeks? Weeks seemed wrong. Days, he decided. He turned his attention back to the roadway before him. Was it a roadway? When he thought roadway, he thought highway, something like that. From what he could see this was more like a city street.

It had never occurred to him in the passing hours to move his head, but the thought of it being a street in a city had caused him to move his head slightly so he could look around to be sure. Slightly, but enough to know he could move it. And he had moved it enough to know it was a city street. And if he could move it that much…

His face came away from the asphalt with a wet sucking noise and he nearly stopped. Expecting pain to come. Expecting the sky to fall. Expecting something, but nothing happened. The sucking sound stopped when his face finally pulled free and he pushed off with his hands and found himself in a sitting position. He flexed his jaw, it worked, tended to click when he moved it quickly, but perhaps it was just residual of… Of?

He didn’t know what it might be residual of. There was something he had had in mind when the thought had popped into his head but he couldn’t get it back now. His mind seemed slow. Not slow as in stupid though. He considered. It was slow like a computer he had once owned. The damn thing took forever to boot. That was what this felt like. A slow boot. He laughed at the thought, but all that came from his throat was a low buzzing sound that frightened him back into silence. He nearly laid back down on the cold road right then, but caught himself. Whatever this was it seemed real. Not a dream and if he could just get his mind to work right he could probably roll with it. Roll right with it. Whatever that might mean. He lost himself for a time again. Sitting at the side of the road, starring into the dim, gray afternoon sunlight.

He heard the noise before he saw the little boy. The noise was more persistent: Crying, weeping, something like that. Something he understood, had known, did know… He wasn’t sure. His head came around and he watched the little boy walking along the opposite side of the road, his face was dirty, tear streaked, one arm swollen, infection, he knew, he understood infection. He had sen it somewhere. Infection was… Bad, he decided.

The hand was mangled. It looked chewed, a finger missing, maybe an accident with a dog, his mind supplied. Accidents with dogs happened. He watched the little boy stumble along. The arm a grotesque parody of a real arm, swinging freely from its shoulder socket. Their eyes met a moment later, but it was already too late for the little boy. Roux had used his hands to prop his knees so he could stand. A second of standing had told him he could walk, and a single limping step had told him he could walk well enough. It had probably been the standing, his mind supplied now. His feet scraping on the loose gravel at the side of the street. His one ruined leg dragging slightly

He held the boys eyes with his own. Large, frightened, transfixed by the odd glow in his own eyes. He had closed the gap quickly, limp or no. Long before the boy had ever thought to call out. A second of standing and looking down into those, large, sad eyes and he had reached forward quickly and pulled the boy into the air with both hands wrapped around his neck, cutting off his startled squawk. A second later and he had dashed him onto the street surface and fallen once more to the asphalt himself. He pulled the still warm body to him.


Get it now:

America the Dead Survivors Stories 1.



2020

Dell Sweet

Good early morning from New York. I live next to the largest winter military training base in the world, Fort Drum N.Y. I literally live less than a half mile from what used to be the main gate. I went through that gate all the time as a kid to sell newspapers to G.I.’s in the old wooden barracks that used to be there; later as an adult I drove cab, delivering thousands of soldiers back to the base in the early morning hours.

The road out front of my house is a pet killer. So much traffic uses that road that they have been repaving every few years. Cats, stray dogs, skunks, raccoons, deer, turkeys, woodchucks and all other manner of animals cross that road. I personally have lost two cats to that road. It is busy all the time; except now. That made this virus scare real to me, when the near constant explosions from war games, and the steady traffic all stopped over a few days.

I have reasons to stay home and not chance contact with someone infected. I have a compromised immune system from an open heart surgery that went wrong. Eventually that will kill me, but even the regular old flu could do me in, so I actually never leave the house ever unless I absolutely have to: That means doctor/cardiologist/ER. I have no wish to speed it up by getting sick, and it’s funny but, I have a pretty good life on-line, with my writing, computer builds, game builds. We all live the best we can.

I wrote my first book about the collapse of society in 1974. It was never published. I was unsure of my abilities, I shelved it. I then got involved in life and forgot about it.

I remembered in about 1986, dug it out, sent it to someone to edit and proof it, submitted it, was accepted tentatively (They wanted some changes, easy enough for me to do), but I got cold feet, pulled it and really pissed off that publisher.

I eventually lost that copy, or so I thought. In any case I moved on, and a few years later found myself working online. The internet was brand new. I learned HTML, JAVA, some C and began to do work building websites. In my down time, since I was working at home, I began writing. Hoping to replace that long lost story/book about the collapse of society.

Eventually I turned that into dozens and dozens of stories about survivors left after the collapse of society, and over time I published many of those stories into novels, Earth’s Survivors / America the Dead / Zombie .

I read Stephen King’s The Stand A story about the Super Flu, released by or own government and then wiping out most of the world’s population. I also read Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children A story about the dawn of great change for mankind, and a little girl named Ayla who became a woman in those novels and also became known worldwide.

But, those stories, although good reads, are stories, not reality. We see some governments doing a better job than others during this crisis. Our own government, with all its political infighting loves to point fingers and cast blame, but during this serious crisis they actually are working together.

Perfect? No. No one entity or person can be perfect except of course God, or whatever higher power you believe in. But they are doing well. Sincerely, I write end of the world fiction for a living, and I am telling you we’ll be fine. I think we just have to keep the alarmists at arms-length and listen with our whole head and heart. Take care of your loved ones. Don’t panic. Find things to do if you are stuck at home. Read books, watch those ten seasons of Friends you always intended to. Play cards, board games, reacquaint yourself with God, and try to be kind to others, more so that you usually would because some people will continue to be afraid: It is Human nature.

If you would like to read some of my books and you can’t afford them or don’t want to spend money, drop me an eMail and I’ll send you what you want for free: authordellsweet@gmail.com. Smashwords, D2D, Amazon are my publishers, they distribute to Apple, Kobo, Scribd, Nook, Walmart. etc. So if you see a book there that you want, tell me and I’ll send it in the format you tell me you need.

Meanwhile, take things slow. Love the people who matter to you and spread some kindness around, Dell

You can be an author instantly

Have you wanted to be a published author, but you just can’t seem to get the words flowing?

You could take classes, learn what some writers might be convinced is the proper way to get your brain working and the writing flowing. It may work, but the chances are not absolute that it will. And, it takes a lot of time.

Maybe you have the ability to work on a writing project, add your own ideas to it and make it yours. Why not take that a step further, purchase a written manuscript, make those changes and call it your own. It isn’t cheating, not really, many authors, maybe some you read, and some very successful ones use this method to develop their brand name. You have, more than likely read some of these works without even knowing it.

What am I offering: I am offering either live or ready made manuscripts, blog posts, short stories that you can use as your own. I sell only my own work.

Live writing, what does it mean?

By live writing I mean projects you pay me to write from scratch. A blog post, a short story, an instructional manual or a full blown novel. This way you get exactly what you want. I write the piece you need, you approve it, pay off the balance (There is a fee for the hours I put into producing it for you, and a percentage of that is up front, non refundable, unless I fail to produce the product you ask for. That percentage also is deducted from the final fee.)

What kind of a finished manuscript are you getting: You are getting a completely written story, start to finish. You are not getting an edited manuscript when I am live writing. Yes, I will do a light edit to remove spelling and grammar issues of a very low priority. So there will still be light errors in the manuscript. I leave it that way because getting into editing is very time consuming. First: Editing substantially changes the style and even the story line. If that is going to happen it should be you doing that editing so that your imprint/style is on the written material, not my own style superimposed on the manuscript. If you write, you understand that. Doing those edits yourself makes the manuscript your own, imposes your style upon it. Price: 10 cents per word. Price is negotiable for larger projects.

Ready-made Manuscripts: These are anything from Blog-Posts to Short Stories to written manuscripts, to stock series, written, published, but UN-advertised. I publish my work because we are in an age where it can easily be stolen. It’s that simple. Anything I offer with an actual name (Book name or series name) has been published at some time to retain my copyright. Some has been published online, some in traditional manner yet unpublished as far as advertising it or circulating it. And some handwritten within a dateline. In any case, I can absolutely prove ownership of anything you purchase from me.

Prices: Time really is money, but I am semi retired and so my time is not as expensive as you might think. I can give you 5 days a week, 8 to 12 hours of writing a day. So, between 40 – 60 hours at $18.00 per hour. I’ll give you a total for what you want, if it is stock, as I know already what I have in it, or I can bill you for hours, after a deposit has been made.

For example: The Zombie Plagues book 1: 40 hours x 18.00= $720.00

That is a weeks work. It’s a price you can not beat. If I invest in editing and so on, the price will rise dramatically. But, as I said, if you do a light edit yourself, you are putting your style on the manuscript. Then send it on the a deep edit, or write some of your own scenes, or both.

Blogs: I have written hundreds of blog posts. Some I have used, others I have sold and adjusted to the buyers needs. I also have many mainstream/published and selling books that I have and can split into blog posts. Typically I like to remain between 1200 to 4000 words on books split into blog posts. It leaves you many, many posts from one book. Available: Space Scifi, Horror, apocalyptic, Zombies, How to write, How to build a guitar, self help, addiction, prison life, fiction articles and non fiction, fantasy, more.

Short Stories: I have a few dozen short stories I can offer you. Western, Space Scifi, Horror, Fantasy ghost, many, many more, ask or give me an idea of what you need.

Manuscripts: Crime, Zombie, Survival after a catastrophe, Guitar builds, Addiction (Based on true life; the names will be altered.), Ask for others. Approximately 60 manuscripts ready.

Series: I have written and published several series under pen names. I have also protected myself with these series by originally publishing them as I wrote them in my own name, and then simply UN-publishing that result.

Available series:

America the Dead:

So, there are ten series books, and then five collections, so 15 manuscripts total. There are covers pre-made and two pen names involved. Although I did not intend to actually sell copies, I have. The name, the story line does that without trying hard. The Pen names Are W. G. Sweet and Dell Sweet. You can keep them or change to your own.

I also own the domain name www.americathedead.com (There is no SSL certificate as the domain is unused.), and it can come with the purchase if you want it, or you can purchase the series without the domain name.

America the Dead: Example: book 1

America the Dead: Begins the end.

When a catastrophic natural disaster looms on the near horizon, the government releases an airborne virus designed to make the human race better able to survive. Those that do survive are picking up the pieces of their world, and those that have died lay in their death sleep, but in their bodies the virus works on, mutating, setting the stage for a second catastrophe far worse that the first.


65 hours x $18.00 per hour= $1,170.00


Earth’s Survivors:

Three books published, and ready. There are other books in this series, all UN-published that will also be included.

That makes 8 series books total, 5 collections plus a box set 14 manuscripts total, and a few collections of scenes that were edited out, or pieces I worked on but did not finish.

Earth’s Survivors: Example book 2

Earth’s Survivors: The Nation.

This part of the story really concentrates on the formation of The Nation and the people who will build it and carry it forward, but it also brings along the side story of The Fold and the people who will build that haven. It gives a more complete picture of Adam and Cammy, and picks up the Tale of Billy and Beth, Mike and Candace, Conner and Katie as they work to sort out their lives.


72 hours x $16.00 per hour= $1152.00


There is also written material, enough to turn into several more digital books. It is hand written, and can be included or not. I also do own the domain www.theearthssurvivors.com you can have that included with your purchase, or not. 1 Pen name that can be purchased with it, or left out.

As well there is a podcast based on the series that is in its second season (52 podcasts published as of this writing, and raw material to publish for several more seasons.) The Nation Chronicles. Check it out at: https://anchor.fm/wendell-sweet and a domain www.thenationchronicles.com There are also three Nation Chronicles books written.

The Pen Name Wendell Sweet is available, and the domain name www.wendellsweet.com is available. Unfortunately this material can not be split up as it is based on the same story line. So a sale would include all the Earth’s Survivors series, the Special editions, The Life Stories additions, The Nation Chronicles, Graphics, Covers, The Nation Chronicles Podcast and the three domains.


The Zombie Plagues:

7 Manuscripts in DOC or ODT. PDF, ePub, Mobi; all graphics, book covers.

I own the domain www.thezombieplagues.com which can be purchased with the series or not. The pen name is associated with another couple of series. If it is purchased with another series will no longer be available; and of course you can delete the covers, or pen name, and use your own material.

The Zombie Plagues: Example Book 3

The Zombie Plagues: Southland

The skin was spit open for a few inches he saw, but the bullet had only grazed the upper thigh. He breathed a sigh of relief turned and walked towards the store. He took his rifle with him and glancing back at the road listened carefully before he entered the store. Nothing.

“Well I made it this far” he said aloud. He shook his head lowered his face into his hands and began to weep…


94 hours x $18.00 per hour = $1692.00


Guitar Works:

This series has manuscripts, images (Lo quality, and some hi quality) it was published to retain ownership/copyright, and unfortunately did sell some copies without advertising. This resulted in bad reviews because the editing was not done and the PDF format was not set well.

There is a backup directory with some hi quality original images and some projects that were not turned into books that could be. There are 11 manuscripts. None have been edited. All have covers. The Pen name is the Geo Dell Pen name that could be retained. I own the domain name www.geodell.com (Comes up with a security risk as there is no SSL certificate) which can be purchased with it.


Star Dancer:

I have various names/covers formatted. There are two books, many cover designs. The Dell Sweet pen name was used for this series. I do own the dell sweet domain, www.dellsweet.com you can purchase with it or not. I have used that Pen Name for other series, so first come first served, I will simply reformat the remaining series in another pen name.


Dead Road:

2 books and a 3rd book written and not edited. Covers, graphics, manuscripts for all three books, PDF and ePub, Mobi if you need it. The James Whyte pen name is available. No domain.


Connected:

There are three short novels; Short Stories, Dello Green and Sanger Road. The manuscripts have been lightly edited. The are also ePub, Mobie, ODT and DOC versions. The covers, graphics and manuscripts are included. The Pen name is W W Watson and is included. There are no associated domains.


Glennville:

There are seven manuscripts written, short to long. All are unedited, story-lines are complete. The individual books are loosely connected and feature the fictitious town of Glennville. They range from horror, fantasy, to apocalyptic fiction, two short manuscripts are young teen based. The Dell Sweet pen name is used, and the www.DellSweet.com domain as well as the www.theGlennvillebooks.com .


Dreamer’s Worlds.

Dreamers has been published in different formats, as two novels, or as a single novel under different titles. All manuscripts, ePub, PDF, MOBI, ODT, DOC and all covers, names are included. No domain included, but the Pen Name W. G. Sweet can be included, although it is also attached to other series and may not be available for purchase if it was purchased by another buyer: If it is sold I will provide covers with a different pen name.


And there is more:

My current directory with dozens and dozens of projects, some finished, some not, and series, etc.
Blogs, very many blogs. Some edited, some not.
Videos for nearly every book or series, including YouTube published material for series: Guitar builds, short stories, more.

Music:

I write music and lyrics:

Original Music by Dell Sweet

A minor Acoustic

Live A minor

Studio Electric

Frequent Walker

Letter Home

Rode the Limited

Solution Six

War at Home

These songs and the copyrights can be purchased, or the entire catalogue of lyrics and songs along with the Dell Sweet domain name is also available.

I have more than a thousand sets of lyrics I have written.

If you need something different, specialty writing, let me know.

Contact: authordellsweet@gmail.com

Find me on social media:

Google BusinessTwitterFaceBook: Wendell Sweet – FaceBook Geo Dell – Pinterest

If you need phone or messenger conversations, I will comply with interested purchasers. Whatever you buy will be zipped up on my hard drive and sent to your eMail you provide to me. I won’t do Drop Box, I have been used with that process more than once. After payment I will zip the folder or folders, destroy the remains on my drive and UN-publish any of the individual books and or series you buy. In the case of live writing I will require a 10% deposit of an agreed upon price. If you fail to pay the balance the work I created becomes solely mine. Deposits are not refundable. Multiple purchases are welcomed, individual series books can not be broken down and offered separately. You can explore more content that can be purchased on https://read.netreadz.com and of course I am always open to offers.

Knock free preview and link

Copyright 2015 all rights reserved. This short story, became the book Knock…

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, who 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 makes me a little paranoid? Thinking it over once more? It does. I just 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 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 seems to be 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, somehow airless.

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 one good eye and he was gone just that fast.

I stood blinking, convinced that I had somehow dreamed the whole encounter, but I knew I hadn’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 public 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, but 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 frozen, 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.

After that it became 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 chunk 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 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…



Read the full story…

Knock : Whoever you are, consider this: One of the things we noticed as time passed was that those bastards got smarter… Faster… Like… Okay, Crazy-Town, as Lana would say, like they were evolving. There I said it… #Undead #Apocalyptic  https://books2read.com/u/m0BY0A



 

James Whyte’s Dead Road

Dead Road: Trigger: Book 1. A group a rich men, looking for the fountain of youth, unleash a plague upon the world that destroys civilization as we know it. #Undead #Zombie #Crime #Horror https://books2read.com/u/49NedM

The Dead Road series follows a group of Zombie Killers as they make their way through a dangerously changed world, where the dead do not die… #Undead #Apocalyptic #Survival Dead Road: Bang https://books2read.com/u/brPlNe

Glennville Books from W. G. Sweet

W. G. Sweet Glennville

APPLE

Fig Street

W. G. Sweet

The year is 1969: In the small city of Glennville people tend to stay to themselves. Neighbors matter. The streets, even in the poorest of neighborhoods are safe for children to travel on their own: Play kick the can after dark. But the city has its secrets, and those secrets have their dangers. #Crime #Horror #Adventure #Fantasy https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1574089488

Alabama Island

W. G. Sweet

Once the Suburban reached the roadway it pulled slowly up to the stop sign at Route 250 and once again sat idling its lights still off. Joel tried squinting his eyes tighter to see into the darkened side windows, but they were pitch black like a limousine he thought… #Horror #Apocalyptic https://books.apple.com/us/book/alabama-island/id1574178063

NOOK

Fig Street (Glennville, #1)

by W. G. Sweet

The year is 1969: In the small city of Glennville people tend to stay to themselves. Neighbors matter. The streets, even in the poorest of neighborhoods are safe for children to travel on their own: Play kick the can after dark. But the city has its secrets, and those secrets have their dangers. #Crime #Horror #Adventure #Fantasy https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fig-street-w-g-sweet/1137720709?ean=2940165329364

Alabama Island (Glennville, #2)

by W. G. Sweet

Once the Suburban reached the roadway it pulled slowly up to the stop sign at Route 250 and once again sat idling its lights still off. Joel tried squinting his eyes tighter to see into the darkened side windows, but they were pitch black like a limousine he thought… #Horror #Apocalyptic https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/alabama-island-wg-sweet/1129599569?ean=2940165589157

KOBO

Fig Street

Glennville, #1 by W. G. Sweet series Glennville #1

The year is 1969: In the small city of Glennville people tend to stay to themselves. Neighbors matter. The streets, even in the poorest of neighborhoods are safe for children to travel on their own: Play kick the can after dark. But the city has its secrets, and those secrets have their dangers. https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/fig-street-1

Alabama Island

Glennville, #2 by W. G. Sweet series Glennville #2

Once the Suburban reached the roadway it pulled slowly up to the stop sign at Route 250 and once again sat idling its lights still off. Joel tried squinting his eyes tighter to see into the darkened side windows, but they were pitch black like a limousine he thought. https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/alabama-island-1

Angus & Robertson

Fig Street

Glennville, #1 by W. G. Sweet series Glennville

The year is 1969: In the small city of Glennville people tend to stay to themselves. Neighbors matter. The streets, even in the poorest of neighborhoods are safe for children to travel on their own: Play kick the can after dark. But the city has its secrets, and those secrets have their dangers. https://www.angusrobertson.com.au/ebooks/fig-street-w-g-sweet/p/9798201287184

Alabama Island

Glennville, #2 by W. G. Sweet series Glennville

Once the Suburban reached the roadway it pulled slowly up to the stop sign at Route 250 and once again sat idling its lights still off. Joel tried squinting his eyes tighter to see into the darkened side windows, but they were pitch black like a limousine he thought. https://www.angusrobertson.com.au/ebooks/alabama-w-g-sweet/p/9781005173494



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