Zombie Plagues Podcast Episode 2

The second episode continues the story of Clayton Hunter, and brings us to Project Bluechip, buried deep beneath a northern New York city in a series of caves.

The secret begins to unravel, but only to a small group of people, and those people are more than willing to keep it silent…

A storyline written by George Dell and Narrated by Ami Adams. New episodes every Friday

Zombie Plague: Box Set One

Zombie Plague: Box Set One

By Geo Dell

A few weeks ago she had been… Been? But it did no good, she could not force the memory to come. A name came, Donita. She had been Donita; she knew that, but that was all she knew. And a name was not everything she had been. She had been something else… something more, but she could not get to whatever it was. Something that did not wander through the woods. Something that was not dead… 

He came awake in the darkness, but awake wasn’t precisely the term. Alive was precisely the term. He knew alive was precisely the term, because he could remember dying. He remembered that his heart had stopped in his chest. He had remembered wishing that it would start again. That bright moment or two of panic, and then he remembered beginning not to care. It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered. And he had drifted away. Now he had drifted back. But drifted was not exactly right. He had slammed back into himself where he lay on the cold subbasement floor where he had been murdered by a roving gang of thieves. And he knew those things were true because he remembered them. And he knew they were true because he was dead. He was still dead. His heart was not beating in his chest. His blood was cold and jelled in his veins. He could feel it. Some kind of new perception. He lay and watched the shadows deepen in the corners of the basement ceiling for a short time longer, and then he tried to move. His body did not want to move at first. It felt as though it weighed a ton, two tons, but with a little more effort it came away. He sat and then crawled to his knees…

Zombie Plague: Box Set 1. He came awake in the darkness, but awake wasn’t precisely the term. Alive was precisely the term. He knew alive was precisely the term, because he could remember dying.

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The Zombie Plague Book One

Zombie Plague: Book One

By Geo Dell

Rated 5.00/5 based on 1 reviews. What if the world ended tomorrow? What would you do? Would you be able to survive? The Zombie Plagues books follow a small group of men and women as they struggle to survive on a vastly changed earth, where the dead sometimes do not remain dead. Follow along as they try to rebuild their own lives as they rebuild their world. 

A great change was coming to the Earth. Catastrophe was about to change everything her people took for granted. It made some wish for death, but death was no longer a guarantee. For some death had become some other sort of life. A life they could not easily leave.

Several lone survivors live through what will become the dawn of a new world. The only thing these people had in common is that they all lived in the same small city in upstate New York. Before the week was out they would be thrust together in a struggle for survival. Before the month was out those that survived would begin to seek others who had lived through the catastrophe that had blighted the Earth. Looking for ways to stay alive…

The Zombie Plague Book One: What if polite society ended tomorrow? Would you survive? The Zombie Plagues books follow a small group of men and women as they struggle to survive on a vastly changed earth, where the dead sometimes do not remain dead.

APPLE: https://books.apple.com/us/book/zombie-plague-book-one/id712828059

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Zombie Plagues Podcast Episode 1

The first episode starts with a look behind the scenes at the military machine in the U.S. that drives the development of a virus compound that is designed to help soldiers deal better with combat: Lack of food supplies, hours without sleep, and bodies that wear down too fast.

The virus seems to work. By all accounts it has been perfected, but there is another truth to the compound. As that story plays itself out another begins to take center stage. A natural occurrence. A once in thousands of years occurrence. Combined with the virus situation, the world is about to be delivered a knockout punch.

A storyline written by George Dell and Narrated by Ami Adams. New episodes every Friday

Google Play book links author Dell Sweet

Google Book Links

Star Dancer book one: Star Dancer is an inner galaxy cruiser, transporting inmates and materials between the penal colonies on the Moon and Mars, as well as supplies and people to the bases scattered throughout the Solar System.  https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Dell_Sweet_Star_Dancer?id=214yDwAAQBAJ


Star Dancer Book Two: On Hay Vida we might not have to retreat to our DNA at all. It might be possible to go forward and adapt as we age. But even if we did retreat it would not be world ending. It would only mean beginning anew in a more basic way… https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Dell_Sweet_Star_Dancer_Book_Two_Hay_Vida?id=1PFUDwAAQBAJ


SINGLE BOOKS


The Forest closed in around me quickly. Even as a spiritual presence I could feel it: I began to worry about my body where it lay at the edge of the woods. Hidden, but hidden well enough? I could only hope that it was. #Mythology #SciFi #GooglePlay https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Dell_Sweet_Dreamers?id=0lxZDwAAQBAJ


The trunk had popped open and all manner of stuff that had been inside now lay scattered across the ground. Hot oil and antifreeze dripped from under the hood onto the concrete. The front roof line was crushed flat… #CrimeFiction #GooglePlay #eBooks https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Dell_Sweet_Crime_Time?id=sFxZDwAAQBAJ


Seventeen collected short stories from Author Dell Sweet… A minute or two after I heard the man, I saw a fast blur to my right and I blazed that whole building, dropped my clips, reloaded… #WesternFiction #ZombieFiction #GooglePlay

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Dell_Sweet_Mister_Bob?id=ulxZDwAAQBAJ



Settlement Earth from W. W. Watson with Lindsey Rivers

  By W W Watson Lindsey Rivers The end has come. In an effort to help, the government has destroyed most of humanity. The few survivors are on their own… Looking for others… Trying to avoid the dead… Free Previews…

Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth


Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth: Book One by W W Watson Lindsey Rivers Series: Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth, Book 1.

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…  

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Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth: Book Two by W W Watson Lindsey Rivers Series: Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth, Book 2. P

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…”  

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Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth: Book Three by W W Watson Lindsey Rivers Series: Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth, Book 3.

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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Zombie Killers: Origins Dell Sweet

Zombie Killers: Origins Dell Sweet

The Zombie Killers: Origins

Dell Sweet Wendell Sweet April 25, 2018

Wendell Sweet


Pearl heard the approaching vehicle as she was stepping around a mound of melting snow and ice. It was late and there had been no traffic on this side street when she had stepped into the street at the cross walk three blocks down. The alternative was the foot deep snow and ice thrown onto the sidewalk from the plows. She would never get through that and make it to the mission on time.

The Mission was on upper Franklin street, a short walk in a straight line, or even if you had to walk around the square and start up, as she usually did, but tonight the square was packed with traffic and so she had chosen the shortcut instead. Unfortunately it was not well lit: A four block wasteland of parking lots and alleyways.

She had almost turned completely around to make sure the car had seen her when the horn blared and startled her. A second later she finished the turn, hand clasped to her throat, and watched as the car skidded to a stop and three men piled out of the back seat slipping and sliding in the slush, laughing.

“What’s up, bitch,” one asked as he found his feet and stood staring her down. The laughter died away.

“Nice ass,” another said as he moved toward her.

She turned to the second man, the one who had just spoken, as she shrugged her purse from her shoulder, caught the bottom of it in one hand, and slipped her other hand inside. The third man, really just a boy, looked frightened as his eyes slipped from his two companions and then flitted to her.

The driver leaned out the window, “Get the bitch!” He was looking over the roof-line, sitting on the windowsill of the driver’s door, a smirk on his too-white little-boy face.

“Yeah… How about a ride, baby,” the nearest one said. The other had finally found his feet, stopped slipping and was skidding his feet across the slush heading in her direction. She pulled her hand from her pocket and aimed the mace canister at them. They both skidded to a stop.

The closer one, the one that had made the remark about her ass cocked his head sideways, shrugged his shoulders and then pulled a gun from his waist band. “Yeah… Kind of changes the whole situation, don’t it?” He asked.

His gun was aimed at the ground, close to her feet. She had only a split second to decide. He was less than five feet away the gun rising from the ground when she pushed the trigger and watched the stream leap at him. His face went from sarcastic smirk to alarm just before the stream of mace hit his nose and splattered across his face and into his eyes. A second later he was screaming. She had just turned to aim at the second guy when the world turned upside down.

She found herself tumbling sideways. Somewhere, close by, a roar began and rose in pitch as the ground below her feet began to jump and shake. She found her knees after she fell and skidded across the roadway as she tried to hold herself, but the shaking was just too hard. She collapsed back to the roadway and the relative softness of the slush and snow, her body jumping and shaking as she seemed almost to bounce across the short expanse and into the snowbank on the opposite side of the road.

The roar went on for what seemed like minutes as she tried to catch her breath and steady herself at the same time. Both seemed impossible to do, but almost as soon as she had the thought the trembling of the earth became less and a split second after that the roaring stopped. There was no silence. The sound of breaking glass, tumbling brick, blaring horns and screams in the dark night replaced the roar. Sounds that had probably been there, she decided, she had just been unable to hear them.

Pearl made her feet and stared back down the street where the car had been. The car was still there, the nose tilted upward, the back seemingly buried in the street itself. She blinked, but nothing changed. She noted the broken asphalt and churned up dirt, and realized the car had broken through the street. There was no sign of the men, including the driver that had been hanging halfway out of the window.

She drew a breath, another and suddenly the noise and smells of the world rushed back in completely. The screams became louder. Horns blared. The ground trembled under her feet as if restless. She could smell sewage on the air. Broken lines below the pavement, her mind reasoned. She swayed on her feet as the earth trembled once more, lurching as it did. She waited, but the tremble was not repeated. She sucked in another deep breath and then began to walk, slipping on the broken pavement and slush as she did.

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Zombie Kindle Edition by Dell Sweet (Author)

Zombie Kindle Edition



by Dell Sweet  (Author)   Johnny:
I am here in this farm house that Lana and I found a few weeks back. By myself. Lana is gone. I sat down here to write this story out before I am gone too. Maybe that sounds melodramatic, but it isn’t. I know exactly what my situation is.
We have been to Manhattan, outside of it, you can’t go in any longer, and we came from Los Angeles, so we know: It’s all gone, destroyed, there’s nothing left.

The Graveyard:
The moon rode high in the sky. Moonlight gleamed from bits of gravel in the dirt road that lead into the barn. 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, no air in his lungs to move his words. The noises came once again from the earth and the four fell silent… waiting…
A hand broke through into the moonlight. A few minutes later a young woman’s 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 black 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,” the young woman mumbled in agreement through her too cold lips.
“It will… It will,” the other woman repeated.

Johnny:
I got up a second ago just to move around. The silence is killing me. How can it be so quiet? I made the circuit, nothing. The whiskey is gone and no effect left from it either. Maybe my body just can’t respond to it any longer. Maybe there is nothing left that can shock it. I don’t know. I DON’T KNOW!
Sorry… I should just say to hell with writing this out. I mean it’s like some sort of penance, isn’t it? Feels like it is. I hate it, but it is so real in my head, and I don’t really know that it can’t help someone else if it’s down on paper… Maybe it can, maybe it can’t. Where was I at… Arizona…
I remember that night in Arizona… I thought Lana was dead…


Get a FREE preview right now! https://www.amazon.com/Zombie-Dell-Sweet-ebook/dp/B0759TD7XK


More from Dell Sweet



THE ORIGINAL SURVIVORS FROM ASHES Free Preview

THE ORIGINAL SURVIVORS FROM ASHES Free Preview


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

Cover Art © Copyright 2017 Wendell Sweet

Some text copyright 2010, 2014, 2015 Wendell Sweet

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

LEGAL

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


March 16th

Conner and Katie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She nodded.

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

“What was it?” She asked softly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~

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

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

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

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

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

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

~

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

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

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

West of Mexico NY: Mike

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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