Settlement Earth from W. W. Watson with Lindsey Rivers

Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth


Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth: Book One 

Series: Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 62,840. Language: English.Published: September 22, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » ApocalypticFiction » Horror » Undead

(3.50)

“It will kill you well enough,” Alice said as if reading his thoughts. “It’s a bad world. You need another shooter. Who knows what you’re going to run into between here and there.” She paused and then nodded at the pistol. “You can see I’m resourceful.” She met Johnny’s eyes when they swung suddenly up to her own. “I’m not dangerous unless someone is trying to hurt me,” she finished quietly…

Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth: Book Two 

Series: Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth, Book 2. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 93,310. Language: English.Published: September 22, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic,Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
The air lock cycled on and six soldiers stepped into the hall like space that was actually just an airlock between the control room, the autopsy room, the former patient ward and the outside world. Johns tensed, waiting for the door to their space to cycle on, but it didn’t. “You think they will outright kill us,” Kohlson asked after a few long minutes of silence. “Gabe… I think they will…”

Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth: Book Three 

Series: Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth, Book 3. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 89,390. Language: English.Published: September 22, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic,Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
A thin line of blood ran away from the wrist that had been encircled by the tie. Whether from the sharp metal she had used to escape the zip-tie, or the zip-tie itself she could not tell. A few more seconds of careful rubbing with the sharp metal edge and the other plastic cuff fell to the floor. She stood and rubbed feeling back into her hands…

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America the Dead. All books, All Links


America the Dead Book One: Begins the End.

Those closest to Project Bluechip begin to pick up the pieces of their world and look for safety. They have heard rumors of a place in the South that might offer safety, but getting there may require a price that is far too high to pay…

Full Chapter read: : https://thezombieplagues.com/atd-01/

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America the Dead Book Two: Los Angeles.

In the bigger cities the dead are growing quickly in numbers. Growing intelligent as they continue to change and mutate. They have one thought in their rotting brains, take over the world, and destroy those that live in the process.

Full Chapter read: : https://thezombieplagues.com/atd-02/

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America the Dead Book Three: Manhattan.

Donita sat on a stool writing in her notebook. Something was going on out in the world. Something, and the news was covering it up.

There were fires burning out of control in the projects. No firemen had come. No cops. Nobody at all. 

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America the Dead Book Four: War at Home 1. What they were doing here was bad,  you didn’t ever want the American public to know about. The incident report, would probably get buried deep under some program listing that no one would ever suspect to look into.

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America the Dead Book Five: War at Home 2.

It was about an hour and a half past sunset when Mike took over one of the perimeter guard posts from Susan. It was simply the far corner of the garage complex that overlooked a field and the highway beyond it.

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America the Dead Book Six: The Fold 1.

Jeremiah Edison sat on the tractor as it slipped and slid its way down the hill, he let out a sigh of relief once it reached the bottom. For a second there, he had been sure both he and the old tractor would end up in the creek…

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America the Dead Book Seven: The Fold  2

Jessie bent forward and pushed the hair out of Frank’s eyes. The train was stopped, Jeremiah thought they were somewhere inside Illinois. Frank had slept, helped by some morphine Jessie had given him.

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America the Dead Book Eight: Zombie Fall

It’s the night before the six will leave to go back to the outside. I think of it that way… The outside. This place is something I have never had. So much love, so much caring, it overwhelmed me for the first little while.

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America the Dead Book Nine: Zombie Plagues

Donita

New York

The fires smoldered but no longer burned.

Donita walked down Eighth Avenue towards Columbus Circle. Behind her a silent army followed…

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A free look at Mister Bob and the title story

A look at the title story, Mister Bob…


MISTER BOB

Collected Short Stories

Mister Bob: Collected Short Stories is Copyright © 2015 Dell Sweet

Copyright © 2015 by Dell Sweet All rights reserved

Cover Art © Copyright 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 © 2015 Wendell Sweet and his assignees. The Name Dell Sweet is a publishing construct used by Wendell Sweet. Portions of this text are copyright 2010, and 2011, all rights reserved by Wendell Sweet and his assignees. 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 or assignees permission.

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


MISTER BOB

The Middle of the night: Lisa

She awoke suddenly in the darkness of the bedroom. Panic rode tightly in her throat, but nothing in the silence told her anything she needed to know.

The clock read 2:38 AM, green numerals lighting the bedroom in eerie, fairy half light. Spooky light, she decided. It was adding to her sense of something wrong. Would red be better, she wondered. She would pick up a new clock… Make sure it had red numerals.

Don slept on beside her, apparently undisturbed, but the sense of panic, touch of fear, would not leave her.

“Mommy…!” Alandra, sobbing, calling her name. She threw the covers aside and nearly leapt up, out, and to her feet in one motion: The cotton night shirt fell to her knees as she ran for Alandra’s bedroom. Behind her, Don grunted in surprise, but she barely heard him: Her mind had kicked into a higher gear; suddenly working overtime.

…Nightmare?   … Kidnapping? …Killers? … Burglars? … My baby! …

And why is it, she thought, as her mind threw all the worst possibilities at her, that your mind does exactly that? Why?

She pushed it all away as she pushed the bedroom door open to find Alandra sitting up, staring at the closed window that looked out over the back yard.

She reached the bed and gathered Alandra in her arms… “What, baby? … Bad dream?”

“No,” Alandra sobbed. “Not a dream. You have to stop them, Mommy. They were killing Mister Bob… He told me.”

Lisa let her eyes fly quickly to the window, and then flit around the bedroom, alighting here and there, in case there was some wack-job standing in the shadows… Closed window… Tree limbs outlined outside it in moonlight… Closed closet door… She thrust one foot at the darkness under the bed.

“Baby, there’s no one here.” She pulled Alandra’s head away from her breast which was already wet from her tears.

“Honey, Alandra.” She waited until she turned her tear stained face up to her own. “Baby, there’s no one here… See?” She turned her eyes to the empty room.

“Mommy, Mister Bob,” Alandra said. “Look at the window.”

Lisa looked more closely at the window, but saw nothing more. “Honey, are you saying that Mister Bob was at the window?”

Alandra nodded solemnly.

Dan was supposed to take care of getting the tree outside the window trimmed. Lisa had been concerned of just this thing: Someone climbing that tree and having access to Alandra’s bedroom window. A spike of fear lodged directly in Lisa’s heart. “Stay here, baby, okay?”

Alandra nodded once more. Lisa gathered herself, rose from the bed, and went to the window, wishing she had thought to grab her pepper spray. Better yet, her mind supplied, Don’s 9 mm. The window was closed, but the thumb lock was off. She eased up next to the window, holding herself in the shadows, and scanned the back yard. … Nothing … The bedroom door opened suddenly and she turned quickly, her heart hammering hard against her rib-cage.

“Whatzit?” Dan asked.

“Jesus, Dan,” Lisa said. One hand went to her throat.

“Sorry…” He turned to Alandra. “What’s wrong, honey-pie?”

“She said someone was at the window,” Lisa supplied.

“Christ,” Dan muttered. He walked across to the window: A big man who moved fast. His eyes scanned the yard.

“Well… I don’t see anyone now,” he said.

“I don’t either, but I thought…”

He nodded. “Tomorrow morning, noon at the latest. It’s spring… He’s backed up.” Dan shrugged helplessly. “I’ve been on him, Lissy. I have.”

“Dan.”

He held up a hand. “Or I’ll take the day off and do it myself… Promise… I’ll call him in the morning before I leave.” He sighed.

Lisa yawned.

“Honey, you want to sleep with Mommy and Daddy,” Dan asked?

“Uh, uh. What if Mister Bob comes back?” Alandra asked.

“Mister Bob?” Dan asked.

“He told her that was his name,” Lisa said.

“Were you dreaming, honey?” Dan asked.

“She wasn’t dreaming, Dan,” Lisa warned.

“Well… Cops… Should we?”

“There’s nobody… What do you say exactly? No… Just make sure it can’t happen again,” Lisa finished.

“Okay… Okay.” He turned back to Alandra. “Come on, honey. Sleep with Mommy and Daddy tonight. Tomorrow we’ll make sure Mister Bob can’t wake you up in the middle of the night again.”

“Mommy will stay in here with you,” Lisa countered.

Alandra nodded.

Dan looked from Alandra to Lisa. Lisa shrugged.

Dan frowned and then turned and left the bedroom. A few minutes later he was back.

“Here,” he said as he handed Lisa her pillow. His own pillow and a wad of blankets were tucked under his other arm

“We’ll have a camp out,” Dan said. He looked at the floor, yawned deeply and then spread out the blankets and tossed the pillow to the floor.

Alandra giggled as Lisa climbed into the narrow bed and pulled her close.

~

Dan was already softly snoring and Lisa was sure that Alandra was sleeping too. Her own thoughts were getting farther and farther away from her. Her mind free falling into the spiral of sleep when Alandra whispered.

“Mister Bob is my friend, mommy.”

She came up from the edge of sleep just that fast.

“He talks to me every night.”

Lisa pulled her closer. “When, baby?” she whispered back.

“All kinds of times… Sometimes when I’m awake, sometimes he wakes me up. He’s not mean, mommy. He’s my friend.”

“But, baby, a man shouldn’t be climbing a tree to talk to you,” Lisa told her.

“But he doesn’t, mommy. He’s already there. Mister Bob is a tree. My tree.”

“Oh, baby… A tree? The tree in the back yard?”

Alandra yawned. “Uh huh. My friend, Mister Bob.”

Lisa nodded.

“He talks to me… He said… He said, they’re going to kill me, sissy. Don’t let them kill me.”

Lisa’s heart leapt in her chest. Sissy had been Alandra’s nickname until she had discovered that she liked her real name better in Kindergarten and had solemnly told she and Dan not to call her Sissy anymore. Lisa yawned in spite of herself. She pulled Alandra closer. Maybe it had been a dream after all.

“He calls you Sissy?”

“I told him I’m not a baby.” She yawned again and the rest of what she said was lost as she began to drift into sleep.

The fear that had been rising in Lisa’s heart bled out just that quick. Her own lack of sleep caught up to her. She yawned too, and a few seconds later she drifted down into sleep thinking about talking trees that spoke to little girls and called them by their nicknames.

Morning:

She heard the alarm from her own bedroom. Dan had turned over, pulled the covers over his head and balled the pillow up under his head. He slept on, oblivious. She recalled a dream of her own. Must have been after all that had happened, she thought. She had dreamed that she had awoken briefly to hear Alandra holding a conversation with Mister Bob. Something like, “I told her… She’ll make sure you’re okay.” And the impression of another voice. Deep, resonant. She couldn’t understand it. A weird dream provoked, no doubt, by what had happened earlier and what Alandra had told her. She looked down into Alandra’s sleep eyes.

“Want to sleep a little longer, honey?” Lisa asked her.

Alandra nodded.

Lisa kissed her forehead, got out of bed and then tucked her back in. She turned to Dan.

“Do you want to sleep in a little longer too, honey,” She asked.

The wad of blankets surrounding his head nodded.

“Well, you don’t get to sleep in. Come one. Get up.”

Dan groaned. He struggled briefly with the wad of tangled blankets that surrounded his head. Alandra looked over the edge of the bed and giggled. Lisa looked at her.

“You’re not going back to sleep are you.”

“Nope,” Alandra agreed.

“Well come on then. We’ll get breakfast and coffee going while Daddy gets his shower.”

Late Morning:

Lisa shifted through her email: Nothing too pressing. She closed the browser and popped open her scripting editor. She worked for the next three hours straight after she had gotten Alandra off to school. The website she was writing a script for was nearly done. She had written the site, incorporated the graphic elements, and was finishing up the scripting that would load the cart system for the site and control purchases. She had one small script to write yet, and a few graphics to tweak and that would be it. She reached for her coffee cup, found it was empty, and headed for the kitchen.

She had just poured the coffee when she heard the sudden roar of a chainsaw. She knew the sound. She heard it often enough in the spring and fall, but it was close. Much closer than it should be, and that rattled her. She took a deep sip from her coffee, set it down on the counter, and headed for the back door, glancing through the windows as she went: Two men she didn’t know were in her backyard.

At first it alarmed her and then she realized they must be there to trim the tree. She levered open the rear door and popped her head out anyway. They both looked over and nodded.

The bigger one held the chainsaw in his hand. A bigger saw than the models she had seen used for yard work. Somewhere, probably in the garage, they had one of the small ones tucked away for just-in-case themselves.

She smiled. “Here to trim the branch?” It made her blush. She felt a little foolish asking, but the saw was huge. Maybe they were at the wrong house… Wrong job… Something.

“The tree, miss,” the smaller man answered over the roar of the chainsaw.

The smile left her face. The words Alandra had said the night before surfaced on their own but she couldn’t quite get them. Something like, Mister Bob was her friend… A tree… This tree, in fact, and they were going to kill him… Trying to kill him

“The branch,” she said.

“Uh, uh,” the small one said. He pulled a notebook from his breast pocket, studied it. “Danny said… Danny said take the whole thing.”

“Well that just can’t be right,” Lisa informed him.

“Well, miss. I got it right here in black and white.” The big one was revving up the chainsaw and looking at the big tree with something like desire on his face.

“Well, see, I give Danny a good price, ’cause we’ll just cut this son-of-a-whore-tree…” He seemed to remember that he was talking to Lisa, met her eyes and blushed deep red. He turned away. He continued after a few seconds of silence.

“This ol’ tree, we’ll cut her up for firewood,” the bigger man continued. He had let the chainsaw fall to a rough, popping idle as they talked. From the kitchen came the ringing of the telephone.

“Excuse me,” Lisa said. She turned to go and then turned back just a quickly. “I’ll have to call Dan… Maybe that’s him. It’s only the limb though, not the tree.” She turned and headed for the back door.

The phone stopped ringing just before she reached it. She cursed under her breath, picked up her coffee, sipped at it, then picked up the handset, punched in Dan’s number.

The house phone was something that their friends considered an oddity and she considered a necessity. She liked it. She had a cellphone she rarely ever used. She had no real reason to. Her cell phone dislike wasn’t part of some strange phobia, it was just a habit she had never developed. She was a stay at home mom, what did she need a cellphone for, she asked her friends when the chided her about it. Secretly she hated it. More truthfully, she knew, she loathed it. It was something akin to being tracked everywhere you went. She had tried one for a year and that was how it made you feel. You didn’t have to slip it in your pocket, but you did. You didn’t have to answer it in the super market, but you did. While driving, while gardening, she had even tentatively answered it once when she had been in the bathroom.

That had been it for her. The cell phone had gone in a drawer, and the next time she had been at the big shopping center she had bought a wall phone with a built in answering machine. She had bugged Dan to get the house phone put in and things had been perfect. Calls went to the machine: If she felt like answering she did. But she didn’t rush to answer. She didn’t buy a portable phone to add to the line. She liked it the way it was.

Smooth silence greeted her on the line, then it clicked and a voice was in her ear.

“Hello? … Hello?”

“Hello?” Lisa answered.

“Miss Stevens?” A voice asked.

“Yes.”

“That’s so weird… It never rang… Just sounded as though a number was being punched in,” the voice said.

“You must have been there when I picked up to dial,” Lisa said. “Sorry.”

“No… No, it’s okay… Miss Stevens, this is Ms Edwards… Joan Edwards?” Alandra’s teacher.

“Is something wrong?” Lisa heard the panic as it jumped into her voice, but she couldn’t have stopped it if she had wanted to.

“No… No, but, well, Alandra’s upset… Very upset. I’ve honestly never seen her like this… She wants to talk to you… About Mister Bob? I know her father’s name is Daniel, and the explanation about Mister Bob is hard to understand… She”s upset of course, but whoever this Mister Bob is, she believes…”

“Someone is going to hurt him?” Lisa supplied.

“Well, yes… Her words were stronger.”

“Kill?” Lisa asked. Her words seemed forced, her heart hammered right at the back of her throat, fast, hot, her tongue was dry and hard to move.

“That was it… I know it’s unusual, but I’m here in the principle’s office…, She’s quite upset.”

“Put her on? Put her on,” Lisa told her. “Baby? Alandra?” The sound of Alandra’s sobbing came to her. “Baby, what’s wrong…? What about Mister Bob?” She was getting more than a little freaked out. Two men had come to cut down her imaginary friend the tree. But there was no way she could know that, was there?

“Mommy, they came to kill Mister Bob.” Lisa only understood it because she was listening for it. Otherwise, it was just broken sobs and syllables. In the backyard the chainsaw revved up to a high whine.

“Honey, they won’t cut down Mister Bob.”

“Kill, mommy, kill.”

“Kill… They won’t kill Mister Bob. They won’t kill Mister Bob… I promise.”

“Mommy, I want to come home, mommy. I want to. I want to see Mister Bob!” She sobbed even harder. The phone clattered and the teacher was back on the line.

“Miss Steven’s, I don’t know…”

“Ms Edwards… Ms Edwards I’m coming to pick her up. I’ll explain when I get there, but I’ll come to pick her up.”

“Well if you think…”

“I do… Thank you so much, Ms Edwards.” The phone was back on the hook before the teacher answered, and Lisa was palming the back door open. The big guy was getting ready to cut a notch into the tree. She waved her arms and yelled at the smaller guy who tapped the bigger guy on the shoulder. He seemed to hesitate, then he turned to face Lisa. She motioned impatiently at the saw: Reluctantly he shut it off.

“Did I say you’re not cutting down my goddamn tree?”

“Miss… The mister said…”

“I don’t care what the mister said. The tree stays.”

“Miss,” the big one soothed. “It’ll be quick. I’m insured if that’s what you’re worried about. Let me take this ‘ol bitch down and get it over.”

“It’s a he,” Lisa said.

“What?”

“A… Never mind. You’re not cutting down my tree… Are you really standing here on my property arguing with me about my own goddamn tree?” She took a few steps toward him and he stepped back, flinching as he did, despite the fact that he was easily twice her size.

“Miss,” he started, but the smaller one patted him on the arm. He turned, paused, and finally seemed to realize he would not be cutting down the tree after all. “We’ll be going,” he said after a long period of silence.

Lisa didn’t wait. She walked back into the house and was backing her Honda out of the driveway before the two men had finished loading up their truck.

Late Evening:

Lisa popped her head into Alandra’s room, but she was fast asleep. Dan looked over the top of her head.

“Okay?” He asked.

Lisa nodded, closed the door a little farther and then followed Dan down the darkened hallway to their own room.

“A talking tree,” Dan said, not quite laughing as he changed for bed.

“She believed it… Believes it… I can’t cut down her tree.”

Dan shrugged. “Willy and Timmy were pissed off.”

“So was I.” Lisa said.

“I heard.” He held up his hands. “Not that you didn’t have a right to be… I should have told you. I made a deal to just take down the tree. I figured I’d just end up trimming the thing for years… It’s a bad place… But, if it stays, it stays.”

“I didn’t say the tree talked to me,” Lisa said.

“I know,” Dan agreed.

“I feel a little defensive.”

“Don’t.”

“Don’t?”

“Don’t… It’s over.”

“Would you have done the same thing?”

“Are you kidding? Nandie crying on the phone? I would have run them both out of the yard.” He sighed.

Lisa smiled. “Okay, that made me feel better.” She reached for the light, casting the bedroom in half light from the glow of the red numerals on the clock. Dan noticed but said nothing.

“I didn’t like the other clock,” Lisa said.

He pulled her close. “Okay,” he agreed. “Red’s good.”

“Baby,” Lisa pulled back and looked up into his eyes. “Do you think, well, do you think trees can …”

“Talk,” Dan supplied.

“No, I was going to say feel pain… Weird, right?”

“Well, they’re alive, aren’t they? But pain? I don’t know… Are you serious?”

“Well, Alandra was so upset… So hurt and…”

“It was a bad dream. You know how a dream can seem at that age. Like everything… Real. Completely real to a kid.”

“You think?”

“I think,” Dan soothed. He pulled her closer.

Lisa snuggled her head into his chest, meaning only to close her eyes for a few moments, but she drifted off into sleep instead.

Late Night:

“Sissy…” Softly on the wind…

Alandra’s eyes opened in the darkness of her bedroom.

“Mister Bob,” she whispered. She sat up and looked to the window, got out of bed and walked over quietly raising the window a little. She sat down on the floor and looked up at the branches that were only a few feet outside the window. The blue-gray moon floated above the limbs far above the tree. The name came again on the wind. Softly… Barely there.

“Sissy…”

She smiled. “Mister Bob,” she whispered once more…


Get Mister Bob from Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/mister-bob/id1197058839?mt=11



Trucks Stuck in 4 wheel low

Trucks Stuck in 4 wheel low

For you that don’t know, I live in the north, close to Canada, and this year we have seemed to get a lot more snow and cold than usual. Last week I went out to get the truck ready for a run into town. Normally not a big deal, but I had not started it in awhile, a big mistake, yes, and I had not driven it in the snow. My ten minute (My estimate) warm up the truck and get-it-ready-to-go trip turned into a few hours of jumping it, letting it warm up (It was like 2000 degrees below zero) and then getting in the thing to go. Since I don’t drive at all, except around the yard, you know, getting things ready to go, that meant my long suffering mother had to drive the truck into town. And she hates the truck.

I don’t mean to imply she doesn’t like the truck, I mean to imply she hates the truck. HATES the truck. So getting her in it to drive it is a big deal. But I did all I could. Jumped it, warmed it up, opened the door so she wouldn’t have to, after I pulled it right up to the door. The only thing I could’ve done better is park it on the porch.

Mom is slightly over four feet tall, and the truck is four wheel drive, not huge, but is is a step up into the cab. Her last truck was a two wheel drive and didn’t sit much farther off the ground than a car. That, that sitting-off-the-ground-further thing, is strike one against the truck as far as mom is concerned. She wanted to take the tires off her old truck and put them on the new one so it would sit lower. When I explained she couldn’t do that she began to hate the new truck even more. Strike two. The truck was almost out before she ever drove it. And since I steered her towards the new truck I will probably never hear the end of it.

But I pulled the truck up, all warmed up, opened the door for her and offered to help her in. Bad move. Mom does not acknowledge age or shortness. Nevertheless age and shortness do acknowledge her. She doesn’t give in, just ignores it. So she climbed up into the cab, on her own, and off we went… Off we went not too far.

I forgot to mention that while I was moving the truck to bring it up to the door I decided, “Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to test out the Four Wheel Drive?” … and … “Maybe we will need the Four Wheel Drive on the way into town so I should make sure it works!” I’m pretty sure I used an exclamation mark just like that too. I was that enthusiastic about it. So I turned the little knob on the dash from Two Wheel to Four Wheel Low. Nothing seemed to change. A little light did come on on the dash informing me that Yes, I was now in Four Wheel Low. So I dropped the truck in first and plowed through the two inches of loose powder on the driveway and fought my way out into the wilds of the out back (End of the driveway). I will say this, I never spun a wheel. That Four Wheel Low is phenomenal. So after my off-road adventure I turned the little knob back to Two Wheel drive.

So off we went… In Four Wheel Low. Which meant that the transmission was whining. The Motor racing, and we were doing all of twenty miles an hour. Creeping down the road. So, idiot that I am, I said to mom, “What are you doing?”

“I’m not doing anything,” Mom says. “It’s your stupid truck!” To illustrate this more clearly, in case I had missed something, she goosed the gas to try to make it go faster.

The other thing I forgot to mention is that I like to take a cup of coffee with me. I have a travel cup of course, but I don’t like it. If you close the top on the travel cup the coffee is too hot when it hits your lip. At least it is for me. So I don’t use it. No. I like a regular ceramic coffee cup filled right to the brim with hot, black coffee. This time was no exception, but, thank God, since it was about 2000 degrees below zero outside it had cooled off pretty quick.

Mom goosed the gas, the truck jumped forward, I ended up wearing the coffee. All over me and the floorboards, a little on the dashboard too if I’m honest. That is when I realized, One: It’s not good to be a wise ass with your mom. Two: Hot coffee will go right through waterproof jackets. I guess waterproof does not mean hot coffee proof. And jeans? Ouch.

“Mom,” I said. “Better take it home. Something’s wrong with it.”

“Well,” mom says. “The gas station is just down here. I’ll stop there. Maybe we can fix it.”

Let me explain a little more. Mom grew up on a farm. The phrase ‘Right down there’ could mean ten miles down the road, or the next county over. I was calculating walk back distance to get the car should I have to. But the other thing about mom is that she raised us alone. She’s pretty used to making command decisions, and she doesn’t require a whole lot of input from her idiot son who picked the truck that she hates and is now screwing up her day. I think that’s a fair description, or assessment of the situation.

“Mom,” I said, while I tried to figure out where to put the now empty coffee cup, “I think we should go back.” Down the road she went.

When she reached the gas station she pulled in and right up to the pumps. “May as well get gas while we’re here,” she proclaimed. She shut of the truck, jumped down to the ground (Nearly) and called back, “Twenty” as she went inside.

I got my coffee soaked self out of the cab, pumped in the gas, I’m pretty sure that Twenty Bucks, which got me around Five Gallons, is what my first Muscle car (A 72 Plymouth Duster) I owned growing up used to burn to start it. She came out, apparently having considered my request to turn around, and said, “I guess we should probably take the truck home… Something seems to be wrong with it.”

Rather than say anything else dumb, I just nodded and got back in the truck. She climbed in, turned the switch and all it did was click twice and then nothing. The guy behind me tapped the horn on his truck. ‘#@$%^#,’ I thought. I climbed out of the truck and walked back to the guy.

“Truck’s dead,” I said. “Sorry.”

“@#$#@$,” The guy said.

“Uh huh,” I agreed. “But at least you’re not the one who has to walk three miles to get the car.”

“@@##$%,” the guy said

“You have a nice day too,” I told him.

So after the three mile walk back to the house to get the car, I arrived back at the gas station with my aunt as a driver now, jumped the truck and got it back home.

“I hate this truck,” mom said as she climbed out of the truck once it was home.

“I missed General Hospital,” my aunt told me.

‘@#$!.’ I thought.

I write this today because I went to my Tuesday night group meeting last week, after that happened, and asked a few of the guys there who are mechanically inclined what I did wrong, and lo and behold it’s Tuesday again. So it was on my mind.

Group…

“Oh, it’s the @#$#@@ sensor,” one guy said. “Those #@$%$%$# sensors always do that.”

“Thank you,” I said. I told myself to call a mechanic I knew and have him fix the sensor.

“No, no, no,” another guy said. “Those $#@#$@! sensors are pain in the ##@@#, but it was probably a fuse. Those #@@#$$@# fuses are almost as bad as those %$#@#$ sensors.”

“Uh huh,” I said. “The #@$$@ Fuses or the @##$$@# Sensors. Okay.” I made another mental note. ‘Note To Self: Check #$$#@ Fuses too.’

“Maybe,” another guy said, “But the last time that happened to me it turned out to be the #$$#@ motor on the (I have no idea what he called it).”

“Oh yeah,” The first guy said. “I forgot all about the #$@#@#$ motor on the (Apparently he knew what the thing was called and how to pronounce it).”

“Oh yeah… Forgot all about that,” The second guy said.

“What,” I asked, “No @#%$@#@?”

“Oh, sorry,” He said apparently taking me seriously. “The @#$%$@ motor on the (He knew the word too).”

About this time I realized a few things. First: I could ask all I wanted, it wasn’t going to fix the truck. Everybody had a different idea of what it was. Two: At least I could check those things they suggested or mention them to the mechanic. Three: Guys like to swear.. a lot.

I went home and worried about the truck most of the week. Once it rose to a balmy 12 below zero I went out and spent about four hours messing with the truck. The indicator on the dash said ‘Four Wheel Low’ in tiny red letters. ‘No #@#@#,” I thought. I found the sensor, seemed to be working. I found the fuse, not blown. Hmm, I thought, It just might be the Motor on the (Whatever the word was they used). Then I looked at the switch on the dashboard. Just in passing mind you. I was on the way out of the truck. I had conceded defeat. I flicked it back and forth and noticed it didn’t rest completely at Two Wheel Drive when I flicked it back. Meanwhile I’m running the truck, letting the battery charge, cleaning the coffee off the dashboard too, so I decided what the heck, I’ll look at the owners manual. (That probably gave you pause to laugh. I will only say I am not alone. Most men refuse directions or manuals. We’re too smart for that sort of help). I opened the index, found my problem, turned to the page, and read this,

“YOU MUST DEPRESS THE CLUTCH BEFORE SWITCHING OUT OF OR INTO FOUR WHEEL DRIVE.”

Hmm I thought. I did that… Didn’t I? Maybe… Yes… No… I was conflicted, and since the truck was running I pushed in the clutch, flipped the switch back and forth from Four Wheel Low to Two Wheel drive and … The light blinked out and Two wheel lit up.

“!@@#$%@,” I said aloud. “Sorry, God.” I added. “!#@$!,” I said again. I waited a few minuets to see if the truck would blow up or quit or something. It didn’t. I shifted into first and ran it up the driveway. No whining transmission. No Revving motor, it really was out of Four Wheel Low. I put everything together and went back into the house.

“Well,” Mom asked?

“All fixed,” I said cheerfully.

“Really?” She arched her eyebrows. “I hate that truck.”

“I know, Mom. I know,” I said.

“So what was it,” She asked?”

“Oh… Uh, well it was the @#$#@ Flux Capacitor,” I told her as I hunted around in the fridge for a bottle of juice.

“Really,” She asked? “I saw ‘Back to the Future’. I like Michael J. Fox. He probably never made his mother drive a truck she hates. What was it really?”

“Um… I had to press the clutch down to disengage it,” I admitted.

“I knew it!” Mom said.

“Hmm,” I said.

So tonight is group again. And the guys are gonna ask about the truck. I guess I’ll just admit I didn’t do it right. Or I could blame it on the @@##$$# Motor on the thing I can’t pronounce. I’ll play it by ear I guess…


__________________________________________________________________________________________

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Guitar Works: Eight – Building a custom, acoustic guitar

The work covered includes building a soundboard; gluing the soundboard to the body and all that entails. Building a custom rosewood bridge and string peg pod: Designing and building the top, installing Humbuckers, and more… https://books.apple.com/us/book/guitar-works-volume-eight-seven-string-jazz-acoustic/id1357866524

Zombie Plague Book One free previews 2

The Zombie Plague Book One

Created by Dell Sweet

PUBLISHED BY: Geo Dell and independAntwriters Publishing

The Zombie Plague Book One

Additional Copyrights 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2017 Wendell Sweet All rights reserved

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’re 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 © 2010 – 2013 George Dell & independAntwriters Publishing and all rights to this work have been reserved 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…


The silence seemed to go on forever as Mike and Janet waited. Sudden gunfire erupted in the distance again. Janet moaned and Mike pulled her closer to him. “Ssss alright,” Mike told her. “Alright.” He didn’t believe it anymore than he had the last time he’d said it. The burst of gunfire came and went just that quickly, and then silence fell hard on the still morning air.

Janet held herself rigidly. Mike could feel her tremble against him. He patted her head. A stupid, useless, meaningless thing to do, he told himself, but he continued nonetheless, patting her head and stroking her hair. Useless, but if nothing else, it seemed to help calm him.

He drew a deep breath, and the radio squawked. “Mike?” Bob asked.

Mike took a deep breath and swallowed hard before he trusted his voice to answer. Jan let go of her breath in a deep whoosh and drew in a long, deep shuddering breath. Mike stroked her hair once more.

“Yeah,” Mike answered quietly.

“It’s bad,” Bobs voice broke as he spoke. “It’s bad, Mike. It’s bad.”

In his head Mike could already hear the words he didn’t want to hear. He had heard everyone’s voice except Candace’s. It only stood to reason… Still, he didn’t want to hear it.

“It’ll be okay,” Jan told him. She pulled him tight. Her own hands trying to pull his head against her breast. “Mike… It’ll be okay.”

“It’s Lydia,” Bob said. His voice choked with emotion.

“Candace?” Mike asked. He hated himself for asking. He hated the weakness in his voice. How could it be Lydia, he asked himself. I just heard her voice. How could it be?

“I’m here, Babe,” Candace said through the crackle of static. Behind her voice they could hear what sounded like sobbing. The sobbing came across clearly as she stopped talking. “We’re on our way back… We’re coming back… It’s over,” Candace said. She held on to the button for a split second longer, the smooth silence spitting quietly, then the radio in Mike’s hand went back to solid static once more.

~

“Be careful, Honey. Be careful.” Mike’s voice came through the radio in her hand. She nodded, and then keyed the button, “I will. We’re coming back.” She looked around her.

Tom sat cradling Lydia in his arms. Bright, thick blood covered the ground under her chest and the side of Tom’s pant leg. The three other bodies lay close by. Bob stood, ashen faced, his gun still held tightly in one hand.

The pickup truck idled noisily about a hundred yards away from where Candace stood. The doors hung open. The Suburban and the State truck rumbled from behind her. Maybe, she thought, five minutes had passed since they had spotted the truck and stopped behind them. The kids had come out shooting. Just like in the movies, Candace thought. Exactly that. Hell! They had acted like it was a movie. Five minutes and four people dead. She shook her head slowly.

Tom looked up from the ground and met Candace’s eyes.

“Let’s get her in the truck, okay, Tom,” She said softly.

Tom’s head slowly nodded.

“What… what about these… these others?” Bob asked.

“Fuck them,” Tom rasped. “Fuck them! They can rot right there. They’re not going in the truck!” He looked at Candace defiantly.

“Okay,” Candace agreed. “Okay… Bob?” She waited until Bob’s eyes left Lydia’s body. “Help Tom with Lydia?”

Bob nodded and started towards Tom

“No,” Tom said quietly. “Don’t need help.” He swiped a blood covered hand across his eyes, leaving a bright smear of scarlet across his forehead as he did. “I’ll do it. I’ll take care of her.” His voice shook at the last, but he got to his feet, carefully holding Lydia in his arms, and headed for the pickup truck.

“Bob,” Candace said, motioning to the bodies.

Bob looked at her questioningly.

“In the river. We can’t just leave them here.”

Bob nodded, and together they bent to pick up the first body.

A few minutes later Candace let the last body slip from her hands and plunge over the cliffs and into the river far below. She turned her palms upright and stared at them for a second.

“Candace,” Bob said. She nodded, and followed Bob to the truck.

Tom sat behind the wheel, Lydia slumped on the passenger seat, her head resting against Tom’s shoulder. “You okay to drive?” she asked.

Tom nodded. His eyes met her own. They were red, and tears perched on the bottom lids waiting to spill down his cheeks. He cleared his throat, started to speak and then cleared his throat once more. “I’m going to drive out of the city. There’s a small little place out by Huntingtonville. My parents were raised there. There’s a cemetery there…” He trailed off, and Candace saw the tears that had been perched on his lower lid begin to course their way down his cheeks. He started to speak again, shook his head and gave up momentarily. Candace turned her eyes up to the clear blue morning sky and waited. Tom’s voice came to her quietly a few minutes later as she watched the empty sky.

“There’s a shed… In the Cemetery… I thought.” His voice choked up again.

“Yeah. Yeah,” Candace said softly. “You go. We’ll stop and get Jan and Mike. They’ll want to be there.”

Tom nodded. His hand fell to the shift lever on the steering column. His eyes, tear-filled and overflowing, swept up to her once more.

“You’ll be okay to get there?” Candace asked.

Tom nodded, not trusting his voice to speak. He turned his eyes back to the road.

Candace nodded. “We’ll meet you there.” She stepped away from the truck and watched as Tom pulled slowly away.

Mike ~ March 15th

It’s been a very long day in more ways than one. We are five now. Lydia is gone. It’s crazy, but true. Tom is in bad shape, sitting by the fire reading Lydia’s diary.

We buried her today in Huntingtonville, a little place outside of the city. There’s a cemetery there right by the river. Tom’s parents are buried there. Now Lydia is too. It took a lot of work; the ground is still frozen a few feet down. It could’ve been worse. If everything wasn’t melting, we would’ve had a much harder time digging the hole. Tom couldn’t bring himself to do it. Bob and I did it.

To make the explanation short, we were ambushed. I shouldn’t say we. I wasn’t even there. Neither was Jan. We were left behind to watch the cave.

It started in the night; these kids came and stole one of our trucks. We didn’t know they were kids of course. It turned into mess. Three kids are dead. Young kids. What a waste. We don’t even know why they did it, why they chose to shoot at the others. None of it.

Everyone is messed up, me included. Jan too, because we weren’t there. But it’s over. This part’s over, but really it’s not over at all. I don’t know what’s next. None of us do. The day has already lasted fifteen hours so far. The sun doesn’t seem to be moving at all. We don’t know what to make of it. Everyone just wants to get past this day, for it to be over.

Lydia ~ March 15th

Lydia is gone. They took her. I can’t believe it, it’s like a nightmare. I can’t deal with it. I won’t forget it. Tom.

~Huntingtonville~

The moon rode high in the sky. Frost gleamed from the freshly turned dirt that lay scattered across the gravel of the road that lead into the cemetery. Silence held, and then a scraping came from the ground, muffled, deep.

At the edge of the woods, eyes flashed dully in the over-bright moonlight. Shapes shifted among the trees and then emerged from the shadows onto the gravel roadway. One dragged a leg as he walked, clothes already rotted and hanging in tatters. A second seemed almost untouched, a young woman, maybe a little too pale in the wash of moonlight. She walked as easily as any woman, stepping lightly as she went. The third and fourth moved slower, purposefully, as they made their way to the freshly turned soil. They stopped beside the grave, and silence once again took the night, no sounds of breathing, no puffs of steam on the cold night air.

“Do you think…?” The young woman asked in a whisper.

“Shut up,” the one with the dragging leg rasped. His words were almost unintelligible. His vocal cords rotted and stringy. The noises came once again from the earth and the four fell silent… waiting…

Her hand broke through into the moonlight. A few minutes later her head pushed up, and then she levered her arms upward and began to strain to pull herself up and out of the hole. She noticed the four and stopped, her pale skin nearly translucent, her blond hair tangled and matted against her face and neck. Her lips parted, a question seeming to ride on them.
“It’s okay,” the young woman whispered, “it’s okay.” She and one of the older ones moved forward, fell to their knees and began to scoop the dirt away from her with their hands.

“It’ll be okay,” Lydia mumbled through her too cold lips.

“It will. It will,” the young woman repeated.


Kindle | Paperbacks



Updates and a free story, book links and download Apocalypse free

Posted 07-15-2017

Happy Saturday. It feels like August here, muggy, over-hot. The fifth Earth’s Survivors book is now available to download from, Nook, I-Tunes and Smashwords. Thanks to all who pre-registered for the book.

iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/earths-survivors-plague/id1015630497?mt=11

Nook:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/earths-survivors-dell-sweet/1122252296?ean=2940152010350

Smashwords Publishing:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/555784

It has been a crazy week. The next Outrunners book is still with the editor, but may arrive tomorrow (Yes we work weekends too) or early next week. It is a long book. Bigger takes longer. It’s worth waiting for though, I think.

I did a small amount of work on Hurricane this past week. I also UN-published all the short stories and I will compile them into longer works over this winter. A few places will not let digital publishers give away books, so I have to charge the minimum of 0.99 cents per short story. To me it makes more sense to compile all the short stories into a few books and publish them that way. Which would be cheaper overall for you the reader. I also like the idea that if I want to treat you to a short story here in my Blog it isn’t a problem with one of the vendors. Some places have rules against offering up anything for free if they are selling it. Sort of makes sense, except sometimes I want to do it and I own the work, so…?

I also worked on the house this week. Man, what a deal that has turned into. Let me explain a little so you will understand what I am dealing with.

This whole area is right next to the largest U.S. Army Base for Winter Training in the world. It has always been a big base back to the early part of the century.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s the people that lived around the base were mostly poor people who managed to afford the couple of bucks for an acre of land, but had no money left to take to the lumber mill for the lumber to build a house.

The base used to sell scrap lumber on the weekends. Ammunition boxes, leftover wood from barrack building or tear downs. The base also displaced an entire town so there were (Still are in places) houses standing empty. The base would sell truckloads of lumber for a dollar or two. As a result, many of the houses that were built in this area were built that way.

I knew that coming in to this work. I looked over the house and had a pretty good idea that it was that sort of build back when it was built in the 1950’s. But the price was great, I couldn’t resist it. Resist, should be spelled Idiot!

I stripped out the living room ceiling first. It was a dropped ceiling, I assumed there would be a sagging old plaster type ceiling up underneath it and there was. I pulled that down along with a couple of young guys I hired for the week. Let me say this about that. Hire a young guy to do those hard jobs. They will work like crazy for you.

So down came the ceiling, but underneath the ceiling was a surprise. The entire ceiling was made of two by four lumber pieced together. And going further, the rafters and cross pieces for the roof itself were also made of two by four pieces of lumber. I actually stopped and wondered why in hell the guy did that. Then I remembered this was back in the fifties, there were no building inspectors, codes, etc.

I decided to go ahead and strip out the walls. They appeared weak, flimsy, they were. Turns out, behind the wallboard someone had added in later years, were walls made of cardboard from a refrigerator box with a label from 1954. The cardboard had been nailed to the studs, taped just like wallboard would have been, and then wallpapered. It looked like finished wallboard/Sheetrock to me.

So that was where I was  a few weeks back when I started this: Since then I have strung all new rafters, crosspieces and built a vaulted ceiling; while I was there I had the wiring replaced too. I mean, why not, the walls were open.

It has been interesting. I had intended it to be a project that lasted a few weeks tops, and I am far past that. But all the serious stuff is done now. A few more weeks, maybe the end of September and I should be done with all the major stuff. In the mean time, it is fun to once again work with my hands, and once it’s done I probably won’t be doing that again so I am enjoying it.

The week has been crazy hot. I will be glad when things cool off. This week I will give you the Great Go-Cart Race. No, it is not a horror story. There are no Zombies in it. I wrote this story back in the early 1980’s. I only recently got it back.

It is a story of childhood that is a thinly disguised story about myself and my friends. I think it’s a good story. I hope you like it. Have a great week and I’ll be back next week…


The Great Go-Cart Race

© Wendell Sweet, all rights reserved. Published by: independAntwriters Publishing

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 point them to this Blog Entry. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


The Great Go-Cart Race by Wendell Sweet


This short story is Copyright © 1982 – 2015 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


The Great Go-Cart Race

1

The summer of 1969 in Glennville New York had settled in full tilt. The July morning was cool and peaceful, but the afternoon promised nothing but sticky heat. Bobby Weston and Moon Calloway worked furiously on the go-cart they had been planning to race down Sinton Park hill, in the old garage behind Bobby’s house. Both boys had grown up in Glennville. Bobby on upper Fig, Moon on lower Fig. And even though they had gone to the same schools and grown up just a block apart, they had only recently become friends. The Go-cart was a project they had devoted the last two weeks to, and it looked as though today would finally see it finished.

By eleven thirty that morning they had the wheels on the go cart, and had dragged it up Sinton Park hill. An old piece of clothesline tied to each side of the two by four the wheels were nailed to served as the steering. One nail pounded through the center board and into the two by four allowed it to turn. It was the best go cart either of them had ever built, and it rolled just fine. The plan was for bobby to give Moon a ten minute head start down the hill. That way he should be at the intersection by the time Bobby got there, they figured, and able to make sure that Bobby got through it in one piece. Just exactly what Moon was supposed to do to stop a car, or Bobby-the go cart had no brakes, except Bobby’s Keds-he didn’t know. They hadn’t figured that part of it out.

“So, how am I supposed to stop a car?” Moon asked. He didn’t want to sound stupid. Most probably Bobby had it all figured out, but Moon couldn’t see it.

“Easy,” Bobby told him, “you don’t. You’d get freakin’ killed.”

“Well, I knew that,” Moon lied.

“See, you’ll be on your bike. You’ll be sittin’ up higher. You’ll see if there’s a car coming, I won’t, on account of how low to the ground I’ll be.”

“I knew that too.” Well, and then what? Moon asked himself.

“So easy. You just yell to me before I get to the intersection, and I cut off to the left and go into the sledding hill instead. You see that way I’ll be going up, instead of down, see?”

“Oh yeah!” Moon said, as it dawned on him. The sledding hill was there. Of course it wasn’t a sledding hill in the summer, but it was a hill, and he could see exactly how it would work. “I knew that too. I just wasn’t sure if that was what you were goin’ to do, or not,” Moon finished.

“Of course you did,” Bobby agreed.

Moon was just getting ready to bike back down to the bottom of the hill, when John Belcher showed up. John Belcher lived on West avenue, and his dad raced stock car out in Lafargville.

As a consequence, John Belcher had the coolest go-cart around. His dad had helped build it. Real tires-they even had air in them-with a real metal axle running from side to side to hold them. That was the best way to do it, Moon had said, when he’d first seen John’s go-cart. That way you didn’t have to worry about the tires falling off when the spikes pulled out, and the spikes always pulled out. It also had a real steering wheel, a real one. Moon had exclaimed over that. His dad, John had told him, had gotten it out of an old boat out at the junk yard.

“Hey,” John said, as he walked up, dragging his go-cart behind him. “Goin’ down?”

“Bobby is,” Moon said respectfully. You had to show a lot of respect to someone who owned a go-cart that cool. “I’m watchin’… At the bottom. So he don’t get killed, or nothin’,” Moon finished.

“Watch for me too?” John asked.

“Sure, man, a course I will. Bobby don’t care, do ya?”

“Uh uh,” Bobby said. “You gonna try for the whole thing?”

“Why, are you?”

“Yeah… Right through the intersection, and if I can all the way downtown. Probly won’t roll enough on the flat part to do that though, but at least through the intersection and as far past it as I can get.”

Sinton Park Hill began at the extreme western end of Glennville, and continued-though somewhat reduced-as State Street Hill all the way to the Public Square three miles from its start.

“Cool!” John said. Now it was his turn to sound respectful. “I dunno, man. If I do it and my dad finds out, he’ll kill me.”

“Well, who’s gonna tell him?” Moon asked. “I won’t, and neither will Bobby.”

“Yeah, but if someone see’s me…”

“Yeah… I’m gonna though,” Bobby said. He could see John was aching to do it.

“Okay… I’m gonna,” John said decidedly.

“Cool!” Moon exclaimed. “Really frickin’ cool!”

John grinned, as did Bobby. “Well,” Bobby said, “guess you better head down, Moony. Moon didn’t need to be told twice. He stood on the pedals, and fairly flew down the hill.

2

“Think he’s down the bottom yet?” Bobby asked John quietly. They were both sitting at the side of Sinton Park hill. Their sneakers wedged firmly against the black top to hold them. John had allowed ten minutes to tick off, keeping faithful track of the time with his Timex.

“Oughta be,” John said in a whisper, licking his lips.

“Scared?”

“Uh uh… Well, a little.”

“Me too… Ready?”

“For real?”

“For real,” Bobby said solemnly.

John didn’t answer, he simply pulled his feet from the pavement, turned and grinned at Bobby, and began to roll away. Bobby followed, both of them hugging the side of the road, as close to the curbing as possible.

It was a slow build up for the first few hundred feet. Sinton park hill didn’t begin to get really steep until you were better than half way down, it was gradual up until that point. Even so, within that first few hundred feet, Bobby realized that everything had changed. John was already a good fifty feet ahead of him, and pulling away fast enough that it was noticeable. They were not going to hit the bottom of the hill at even close to the same time. Moon would have to watch for both of them separately.

John made a sharp curve up ahead, and disappeared from view. Everything, Bobby knew, was sharp curves from here on out, and that would not change until they were well past the halfway point. And, this was much faster than he had thought it would be. Much faster.

He fought with the rope through the curve, but he could no longer keep to the side. He was going to need the entire road.

And if a car came? he asked himself.

He had thought of that, but he had thought he would be able to stay to the side. No time to think. Another curve just ahead, and he had only barely glimpsed John as he had flown around the curve. Just the back tires really. He probably wouldn’t see any more of him at all until they were down at the bottom.

The second curve was not as bad as the first had been. He didn’t try to fight this time, he simply let the go-cart drift as far as it wanted too. He came off the curve and dropped both sneakers to the pavement. Instant heat, and the left one flipped backwards nearly under the two by four that held the rear tires, before he was able to drag it back in.

“Jesus,” he moaned. It was lost in the fast rush of wind that surrounded him. Torn from his throat and flung backwards. He hadn’t even heard it. Another curve, and the Indian trail flashed by on his right.

The Indian trail was just that. An old Indian trail that cut down through the thick trees that surrounded Sinton park. He and Moon had carefully negotiated it several times. The Indian trail was just before the halfway point, he knew. There was a really sharp curve coming up, just before Lookout Point. You could see nearly all of Glennville from there.

He fought the curve. Harder this time. It felt as if he were going at least a million miles an hour. Two million maybe, he corrected himself. And the go-cart was beginning to do a lot more than drift. It was beginning to shake. And, his mind told him, you ain’t even at the fast part yet! Lookout Point flashed by, and he fought his way around the sharp curve, going nearly completely to the other side in order to do it…. Yes I am, he told himself.

The road opened up. A full quarter mile of steep hill lay before him, before the next curve. It would be a sharp one too, but not as bad as the one he’d just come around. John was nowhere to be seen ahead of him. Presumably at and around the next curve already. No cars yet, and hopefully there wouldn’t be any at all. It was Monday, Sinton Park saw most of its business on the weekends, if they’d tried this then…

The quarter mile was gone that quick. This curve, and one more, and the rest was all straight-away. He gritted his teeth, and flashed into the curve.

Halfway through, nearly at the extreme edge of the opposite side of the road, the first raindrop hit him. A small splat, or it would have been. The speed with which he was moving had made it sting. Splat, splat. The tires were nearly rubbing the curbing when he finally came out the other side of the curve and hit a small straight-away. And now fat drops were hitting the pavement.

He sped into the last curve, and this time the wheels didn’t skim the curbing, they seemed glued to it. Screaming in protest as he tore through the wide curve and made the other side. The rain came in a rush. Turning the hot pavement glossy black as it pelted down. He used the rope carefully to guide himself back towards the side of the road. Slipping as he went, but making it. His hands were clinched tightly, absolutely white from the force with which he held the rope.

Straight-away, slightly less than a mile, and far ahead, where the stone pillars marked the entrance to Sinton Park, he watched John fly through the intersection. Nothing… No car. Nothing. He made it. He could make out Moon sitting on his bike at the side of the road. Leaned up against one of the pillars. Moon turned towards him, and then quickly looked away. The hill was flashing by fast. Too fast. He’d never be able to cut into the sledding hill. Not in a million years, and especially not with the road wet like it was.

Halfway. Moon was turning back, waving his arms frantically. Bobby slammed his Keds into the slick surface of the road. Useless, and he dragged them back inside after only a split second. Nothing for it, nothing at all. The intersection was still empty, however, so maybe…

Moon scrambled away from his bike letting it fall, and sprinted for the middle of the road, but he was far too late. And even if he hadn’t been, Bobby told himself as he flashed by him, the go-cart probably would’ve run him over.

“Truck!” Moon screamed as Bobby flew past him. He stumbled, fell, picked himself up, and ran back towards the stone entrance post, watching the intersection as he went.

The truck, one of the lumber trucks from Jackson’s Lumber on Fig street, made the intersection in a gear grinding, agonizingly, slow shuffle, before Bobby did. Bobby laid flat, and skimmed under the front tires.

Moon stopped dead, the handlebars in one rain slicked hand, and his mouth flew open as he watched. The undercarriage was just above his head, and if he hadn’t laid down…

Moon watched, frozen, as Bobby shot out the other side as neatly as if he had planned it, the back tires missing him by mere inches, and suddenly Bobby was well on his way towards State street hill, and…

Moon grabbed the handle bars tighter, flipped the bike sideways and around, and pedaled off after him as fast as he could.

Bobby raised his head quickly. He had truly believed it was over. He’d been praying, in fact. He hadn’t expected to make it all. He fought his way to the side of the road, and watched as far ahead, John slipped over the top of State Street Hill, and headed towards Public Square.

There were cars here, and more than a few blew their horns as he slipped slowly by on the side of them. He dragged his feet. Pushing as hard as he could, but managing to slow down very little. The top of the hill came and went, and reluctantly he pulled his feet back once more, and hugged the curbing. The only problem would be from cars cutting off the side streets.

The rain began to slack off, as he started down the hill-a brief summer down pour, they had them all the time, but the road was still wet-at least he could see better. The rear of the go-cart suddenly began to shimmy. He risked a quick backwards glance. Very quick, but it was enough to show him that the rubber was shredding from the tire on the outside, and it was also beginning to wobble. The spikes were coming out, and if that happened…

He pushed it away, and began to concentrate on the side streets that seemed to be flashing by every couple of seconds. Oak, Elm, Sutter, Hamilton. Nothing and nothing, and thank God. The rubber went a few seconds later. He could hear the metal rim ringing as it bit the wet pavement. The hill began to flatten. State Street Hill was nowhere near as long as Sinton Park Hill, and thank God for that too. Finally, he slipped past Mechanic street, and the hill flattened out. He could see John ahead, coasting slowly to a stop nearly in front of the First Baptist Church that held a commanding presence of the Public Square. He watched as John finally stopped, got out, and looked back. Moon whizzed past, standing on the pedals, screaming as he went.

“We did it! We freakin’ did it!”

Bobby smiled, a small smile, but it spread to a wide grin. So wide that it felt as though his whole lower jaw was going to fall off. His stuck out his much abused Keds for the last time, and coasted to a stop behind John’s go-cart.

“Man, did’ya see it? When ya went under th’ truck, Holy cow, for real, did ya see it? I thought you were, like, dead, man, for real!” Moon said as he ran up, John along with him.

John looked pale, really pale, Bobby saw. He supposed he looked the same.

“Under a truck?” John asked. “A freaking truck? A real one?”

“For real. Scout’s honor,” Moon told him. “It almost ripped his head off. I saw it! For real! Next time I do it,” Moon declared as he finished.

“Next time?” John asked. He looked at Bobby.

“Uh uh,” Bobby said. “There ain’t ever gonna be a next time, Moony, right, John?”

“For real. Uh uh. No way. Not ever.”

Moon smiled. “Well, too bad, cause I woulda… For real.”

Bobby looked at John. “Did you know it would go so fast? How fast were we going, Moony?”

“No way,” John said softly.

“Probly… Forty, at least forty.” Moon said confidently.

“You think so?”

“Could be,” John agreed, “cause like the speed limit is thirty five, and we were passing cars, and that was on State Street Hill, not Sinton,” he opened his eyes wide as he finished.

“Hey, maybe fifty,” Moon assured them.

“Did it look scary to you?” Bobby asked.

“Scary? Uh… Yeah, it did. I thought you guys were dead, for real. I was pedalin’ as fast as I could, but it took a long time to catch you. Was it?”

Bobby looked at John. “Yeah,” they said, nearly at the same time.

“Really scary,” John added.

They all fell silent. John, Bobby noticed, seemed to be getting some color back in his face.

“Wanna go buy some Cokes?” Moon asked at last.

“Can’t,” John said, “no money.

“We’ll buy,” Moon said, smiling once more. He helped drag both go-carts up over the curbing, and turn them around. Moon rode his bike, as Bobby and John pulled the go-carts behind them.

They rehashed the entire ride as they walked towards Jacob’s Superette. Laughing, the terror already behind them.

Later that day when Bobby and Moon finally made it back to Fig street. They stuck the go-cart in the old garage behind Bobby’s house. They talked about it from time to time, even went in the garage and looked at it occasionally, but they never rode down Sinton Park Hill, or any other hill, with it again. It sat there until the fall of 1982 when Bobby himself dragged it out to the curb and left it with the weekly garbage.


Free Book for the Week:

Earth’s Survivors: Apocalypse.

Earth’s Survivors Apocalypse follows survivors of a worldwide catastrophe. A meteorite that was supposed to miss the earth completely, hits and becomes the cap to a series of events that destroy the world as we know it. Hopes, dreams, tomorrows: All buried in a desperate struggle to survive. Small groups band together for safety, leaving the ravaged cities behind in search of a new future…

Get it: iTunes | Nook | Kobo | Smashwords

 

I hope you enjoyed the story. Have a great weekend and I’ll look forward to your company next week, Dell Sweet.

Working on the house, chickens and the zombie plagues

Posted by Dell 07-18-2017

Happy Tuesday.

I spent my day doing the last compound coats on the new drywall, and then trimming out all the new windows. The day before I finished the kitchen and then painted the walls there. Tomorrow (Monday) I will paint the balance of the new work and then I will spend the next several days putting in all the flooring and moldings. Then I can sit back and say ‘Am I done?’ … ‘Yes,’ I will answer myself, ‘You are done.’

It has only been a few months since I started this but it seems like forever. During the process my aunt went from sick to worse, and then passed away. In less than a year I have lost, first my uncle, now my aunt. I look at my mother every day and hope she feels fine. It’s humbling and also sobering. Life does end. One day you can be talking to someone you love. Everything may seem okay. They may be talking, laughing, and then a few days later you find yourself at their funeral. It seems impossible, but I have dealt with it twice in less than a year.

It seemed odd to me that I would be the one to deal so closely with it, but that is the way it worked out with my uncle. Not that I am somehow above having to deal with death, I certainly am not. I spent two years living on the streets from fourteen to sixteen. I saw death up close. I spent ten years in prison, I saw more. Despite that I had only lost a very few people who were close to me. My father and another uncle, both several years ago. I hated my father and loved my uncle. That really means I loved them both, I was just too damned young to understand what hate was, where it came from. When you are young it is very easy to look critically at the world around you and make snap decisions on your feelings, judge others, feel justified, righteous. Of course as we age our character is tempered. We are not so quick to judge, act, hate, love. I was a kid, I hated and I felt completely justified.

So I saw those deaths and they affected me, but I didn’t fully understand death any more than I understood my own motivations, drives, feelings. This time I spent two weeks with my Uncle as the end came. We talked, I changed and bathed him, and in the end I gave him the morphine that the nurses had told me he would want at the end. Rough. I felt it, and when my aunt came to the same point I was surprised that I wouldn’t have to be in the same position. Relieved, but depressed about it too. Of course I was doing all the work on the house, so my mind was busy. But she came to see me a few days before she died and she seemed fine. Tired, yes, but fine.

My mother is left. For the last twelve years the three of them lived on opposite sides of this house that I built for them so that they would be able to be close. It worked. They had family reunions, big picnics, large family gatherings. There is a door between the two kitchens. They would simply open that door and the two houses became one. This summer passed and there was no Fourth of July celebration. Everyone was still reeling from the loss of my uncle from bone cancer, and of course my aunt had gotten very sick, very fast, and was just as quickly diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. No get together. We had seen each other at the funeral, it was tough to think of anything else.

This past week we saw each other at the second funeral and promised ourselves we would stop seeing each other only at funerals. I doubt that though. It seems when these things start they obtain a life of their own and they feed off the things that are going on and just continue to exist when all of us wish they wouldn’t. I agreed a few days ago to build a huge double deck on the side of the house for family reunions next year. Everyone seems to think we will have all recovered from our shock enough by then to want to gather together again. Maybe. Maybe not.

For me it is simply life. It is hard to do, but it’s supposed to be hard. Life isn’t coasting and letting someone else do all the hard work. In my younger days that was the way I looked at life though, I am ashamed to say. Life is sharing the load. Being compassionate, understanding, practicing empathy. It’s not about owning the baddest car, the biggest house, the most toys. Maybe it’s tied into your feelings about the people you love. Hopefully it is, otherwise you’ll be coasting, and all of us have done that before. Anyway, I’ll move on. It has been a very rough year, but a very good growth year.

The house will soon be done and I will be able to sit on my couch and look around at the walls and remember when this wall gave me trouble, or how it took myself and two young nephews to get the new roof beams up, why I decided to build in a sound system, replace all the windows instead of just the few I had earmarked. Things like that. But I will be back to writing, sitting on my couch after a day of writing and relaxing, probably petting the damn cat that has made me its friend. Excuse me, damn cats.  There are two. Can’t pet one without petting the other either. Still, I will be on the couch. No more house construction for me.

Let’s shift gears:

I like the Geico commercials, especially the Old MacDonald was a bad speller one. The Owl one was good too. Occasionally things do catch my attention. A few years back it was the HLN song. They were looking for people to write an HLN song, so I wrote one. I liked it, but I didn’t send it in: Instead I rolled it into a real song. But the other morning I had a thought. The thought was, ‘What would the next Great Geico commercial based on the same line be if I got to write it?’

Well, it isn’t written, and no one’s coming to ask me to write it. But even so, the idea would not leave my head, so at six A.M. I found my self writing it out. I’m telling you that so that you know what the writing bug is like. Things like that happen all the time. A good part of the reason I am single. Find a woman that would put up with that and the other oddball writer behaviors. That is what I will leave you with this week. Maybe it will make you laugh a little. Hard to do in this world sometimes. Meantime have a great week! I’ll be back Friday morning…


Geico Commercial Idea: Copyright Dell Sweet 09-14-2015

Begin:

Two women working in a cubicle. The first woman just had an Email that tells about Geico. The monitor is in the background showing the Geico Gecko.

First Woman: “Huh… Fifteen minutes can save you fifteen percent on car insurance.”

Second Woman: “Yeah… Everybody knows that.”

First woman, taken aback a little: “Yeah? Well, do you know  why the chicken crossed the road?”

Second Woman looks confused:

Scene shifts:

A group of chickens hanging around at the side of the road. They are all goofing around, pushing each other playfully, like grade school friends. Clucking and talking.

Chicken One: “I don’t know… I don’t see anything over there that looks any different to me.” He glances up and down the road nervously. Smiles at the other chickens. Glances across the road where everything appears lush and green.

Chicken two, kind of nerdy: “They say the barnyard over there is lush and green… Filled with grain and water troughs everywhere.” Gets excited as he talks. All the other chickens look at him and begin nodding in agreement. “And no one ever disappears,” he adds. Everyone clucks nervously, bobbing their heads.

Chicken One licks his lips: “Gee, I don’t know fellas.”

Chicken Three: “They say you never know ’til you try.” Glances across the road.

Silence holds for a beat.

Chicken One Laughs nervously. Smiles: “Yeah… Okay.” He looks up and down the empty road. Nothing but silence greets him. “Well, here goes.” He smiles and darts out into the road.

The other chickens stare in wonder, but their faces change fast as the sound of an automobile engine building comes to them. Their eyes widen in fear. A wind whips their feathers as a vehicle roars by, and they close their eyes. A split second later Chicken Two opens his eyes.

Chicken Three: “Oooohh… That looks bad.”

The other chickens are all nodding and clucking.

Scene shifts to black screen with announcer over:

Announcer: “Fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent on car insurance.”

Out:


Well there you go. The reason I got up in the middle of the early morning and wrote it. I complain, but I love the gift of writing, especially when it is like that.

Take a look at Geo Dell’s The Zombie Plagues Book One…

The Zombie Plagues Book One… The end begins, who will survive…?

Geo Dell: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-zombie-plagues-book-one/id712828059?mt=11


A free eBook for your Tuesday… Earth’s Survivors Apocalypse…

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/earths-survivors-apocalypse/id963866999?mt=11

Have a great week!