Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth

Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth

Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth: Book One 

Series: Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth, Book 1. You set the price! Words: 62,850. Language: English.Published: September 22, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing.

“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: $3.99 USD. Words: 93,310. Language: English.Published: September 22, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing.
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: $3.99 USD. Words: 89,390. Language: English.Published: September 22, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing.
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…



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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THE ORIGINAL SURVIVORS FROM ASHES Free Preview

THE ORIGINAL SURVIVORS FROM ASHES Free Preview


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

Cover Art © Copyright 2017 Wendell Sweet

Some text copyright 2010, 2014, 2015 Wendell Sweet

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

 

LEGAL

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Kindle eBook: Click here

Amazon Paperback: Click here

THE ORIGINAL SURVIVORS FROM ASHES Free Preview

THE ORIGINAL SURVIVORS FROM ASHES Free Preview


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

Cover Art © Copyright 2017 Wendell Sweet

Some text copyright 2010, 2014, 2015 Wendell Sweet

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

 

LEGAL

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Kindle eBook: Click here

Amazon Paperback: Click here

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!

Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth

Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth

Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth: Book One 

Series: Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth, Book 1. You set the price! Words: 62,850. Language: English.Published: September 22, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing.

“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: $3.99 USD. Words: 93,310. Language: English.Published: September 22, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing.
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: $3.99 USD. Words: 89,390. Language: English.Published: September 22, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing.
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…



Zombie Kindle Edition by Dell Sweet

Zombie Kindle Edition


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…



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A free look at Zombie from Dell Sweet…

A free look at Zombie from Dell Sweet…


ZOMBIE

Copyright 2017 Dell Sweet all rights reserved.

Cover Art © Copyright 2017 Dell Sweet

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

LEGAL

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

No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the author’s permission. Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print.


This material is copyright protected and is used here with permission

This material is NOT edited for content



THREE

I flexed my hand and looked around the kitchen in the flickering candle light. Writing about it is bringing it all back, like I’m right back there. Lana’s rifle and two spare clips lay on the table top now. I haven’t needed it yet, but the night is young. Who can tell what it will be like in a few hours from now when the light is entirely gone: When all the dead wake in the old barn across the road. My rifle is also loaded, but I have less ammunition for it and it isn’t worth a damn up close. Lana was a lot smarter about weapons than I was… Much smarter.

It’s so goddamn quiet. I hate that. That quiet. These bastards don’t breath, they don’t trip and fall, they aren’t clumsy… You would never know they are there, never know it at all.  Jesus, I… Never mind. My mind wanders too much. Too goddamned much. I’ll be back…

I took a walk around. Upstairs I can still see a faint line of sunlight on the far horizon. The yard is dark. I can’t hear any more sounds. It’s unnerving. The boards are all in place, everything seems secure. I’m back at the table…

The cramping is gone from my hand. I guess in the digital age we just don’t write much, but when it’s all you got, it’s all you got. The whiskey is holding out. I’m being careful with it, don’t worry, not that it will make a bit of difference…

We had passed a sign and entered into Arizona. We made great time on the open road…

ARIZONA

The country had been turning more arid as they drove, the river was an oasis. Off to the north giant plumes of smoke blanketed the sky, seeming to spread across the entire length of the horizon. They had both wondered what it might be. Lana had checked the map and she though it could be Yellowstone or something close to Yellowstone.

Shops, stores, and even an RV park had sprung up around the interchange. They foraged for food in the late afternoon and gassed up the truck before evening began to take the sunlight. The air had a bitter, hot smell to it, the river flowed sluggishly, the water gray, and a scum of yellow white foam and ash rode the slow current. They sat in the truck and ate quietly while the map lay open across their legs and the seat top. Their eyes would drop to the map and then jump back up to scan the area. It had seemed too quiet, and there were no bodies anywhere. No sign of life either, and the stores and shops had not been looted. Some were still locked up. Empty RV’s in the park when they rolled slowly through it. Neither liked the feeling, the whole place felt wrong.

“Johnny,” Lana waited until his eyes left the map and met her own. He lifted them to follow her own gaze. “The silver building over to the right. The door just opened and then closed.”

Johnny frowned. “Not something the dead would do, is it?”

“We didn’t think they would come out in the daylight,” Lana said.

As Johnny watched he saw the door edge open slightly and then close just as slowly. “Saw it… I don’t like it. Dead or alive they know we’re here and they’re checking us out.” He dropped his eyes back to the map.

“Okay,” he said after a few moments. “Lets get off the road, run a ways out… Follow the highway. That takes us away from civilization to a degree, but eventually that will bring us into Phoenix.” He waited for her to nod her understanding. “There’s a lot of desolation between here and there, at least on the map.”

“Desolation is fine as long as the dead aren’t there.” Lana said quietly.

“Less likely to be,” Johnny agreed.

A few minutes later they were running through the desert that ran alongside I 10. There were not a great many cars or trucks there, but in several places there had been wrecks that closed lanes down. With no one to clear them they would have ended up in the desert anyway. And there seemed to be a dirt road that ran beside I 10 for as far as they could see.

The landscape in the distance had been changing as they drove the day away, but with the sun setting a few hours after they set out once more it was hard to tell what the surrounding countryside was like. Johnny dropped speed and flicked the trucks high beams on. A short while later Lana was sleeping, her head heavy against his arm. He drove through the night and into the early morning before she woke again.

August 14th

Johnny had eased the truck up onto I10 and the tires bouncing over the broken asphalt had awakened Lana.

“Not a big city… A town from the looks of it. Phoenix is close. Ten, fifteen miles maybe. Can’t really tell from the map,” Johnny said. A gas station loomed out of the early morning gray and Johnny wheeled the truck under the roof that covered the pumps intending to siphon some gas to top off the trucks tanks. He shut off the motor and they both listened to the tick of the hot metal for a few seconds as it cooled.

“Coffee would be really nice,” Lana said. “No way do we want to go into Phoenix… Too dangerous.” She yawned and then covered her mouth and laughed. “Mal aliento, dios… Morning breath.” She zipped open her knapsack, retrieved a bottle of water, her toothbrush and some toothpaste. She stepped down from the truck.

Johnny opened his door and settled his feet onto the pavement. It wasn’t just old pavement, he saw, it was gray, washed out, used up: There was no black left in it. Lana stood slightly in front of the truck, her gun in one hand, the toothbrush working around her mouth on its own. In a blur her free hand was reaching to catch the rifle which was just coming free of her shoulder. Johnny had his own rifle off his shoulder and into his hands before he even saw what had alarmed her. She spit out the toothbrush, pulled her gun and flicked the safety off. Three men stepped out of the shadows of the open garage bay.

They were kids, Johnny saw. Or at least not much more than kids. They walked slowly forward.

Lana raised the rifle and pointed it at the lead kid. “That’s it.” She said.

She didn’t scream it, softly spoke it, Johnny thought later, but the kids stopped in their tracks.

“What’s with the fuckin’ guns?” The lead kid asked.

“Ours weren’t aimed at you until you aimed yours at us,” Johnny said. He hoped he sounded as cool as Lana had.

“Bullshit,” one of the other kids said. “You had it in your hands when I looked at you. That’s why I got mine ready.”

“I don’t want to kill anyone today,” Lana said.

“It really don’t bother me,” The third kid said. His eyes were blood shot. They had interrupted him while he was sleeping, it seemed. He kept rubbing at his eyes, Lana saw.

“I think you’re right… Can’t matter if you’re dead,” Lana said.

“Hey,” the lead kid said, “Maybe all’s we want is to party a little.”

“Well I don’t know if Johnny swings that way,” Lana said.

“Pretty funny,” the kid responded. “Look… It’s our town. We ain’t the only ones here. You shoot there will be twenty more here in seconds. Then everybody dies.”

“Oh… I guess I didn’t see it right,” Lana said. “I can see where it might be preferable to get raped and then murdered instead of getting murdered outright.”

The one in the back, the one with the sleepy eyes, stiffed a yawn and reflexively raised one hand to his mouth as his eyes slipped shut for a split second. Lana shot the lead kid in that split second, Johnny had the second guy a moment later. The third kid opened his eyes to a changed situation.

“Just give me a reason,” Lana said. “Any reason.” The kid released the rifle he held and it dropped from his hands to the pavement.

“Can’t shoot me I ain’t got no gun… Can’t… Can’t shoot me…” He spun and looked off toward a rag tag collection of trailers that lined a dirt road in back of the station. “James!” he screamed. “James! Killers!” he turned back to Johnny and Lana. “Can’t shoot me… I ain’t armed… Can’t…” Johnny shot him…



Zombie: Two survivors set out looking for others during the apocalypse

 

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0759TD7XK

 

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Zombie-Dell-Sweet/dp/1549650246



 

A free look at Zombie from Dell Sweet…

A free look at Zombie from Dell Sweet…


ZOMBIE

Copyright 2017 Dell Sweet all rights reserved.

Cover Art © Copyright 2017 Dell Sweet

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

LEGAL

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

No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the author’s permission. Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print.


This material is copyright protected and is used here with permission

This material is NOT edited for content



THREE

I flexed my hand and looked around the kitchen in the flickering candle light. Writing about it is bringing it all back, like I’m right back there. Lana’s rifle and two spare clips lay on the table top now. I haven’t needed it yet, but the night is young. Who can tell what it will be like in a few hours from now when the light is entirely gone: When all the dead wake in the old barn across the road. My rifle is also loaded, but I have less ammunition for it and it isn’t worth a damn up close. Lana was a lot smarter about weapons than I was… Much smarter.

It’s so goddamn quiet. I hate that. That quiet. These bastards don’t breath, they don’t trip and fall, they aren’t clumsy… You would never know they are there, never know it at all.  Jesus, I… Never mind. My mind wanders too much. Too goddamned much. I’ll be back…

I took a walk around. Upstairs I can still see a faint line of sunlight on the far horizon. The yard is dark. I can’t hear any more sounds. It’s unnerving. The boards are all in place, everything seems secure. I’m back at the table…

The cramping is gone from my hand. I guess in the digital age we just don’t write much, but when it’s all you got, it’s all you got. The whiskey is holding out. I’m being careful with it, don’t worry, not that it will make a bit of difference…

We had passed a sign and entered into Arizona. We made great time on the open road…

ARIZONA

The country had been turning more arid as they drove, the river was an oasis. Off to the north giant plumes of smoke blanketed the sky, seeming to spread across the entire length of the horizon. They had both wondered what it might be. Lana had checked the map and she though it could be Yellowstone or something close to Yellowstone.

Shops, stores, and even an RV park had sprung up around the interchange. They foraged for food in the late afternoon and gassed up the truck before evening began to take the sunlight. The air had a bitter, hot smell to it, the river flowed sluggishly, the water gray, and a scum of yellow white foam and ash rode the slow current. They sat in the truck and ate quietly while the map lay open across their legs and the seat top. Their eyes would drop to the map and then jump back up to scan the area. It had seemed too quiet, and there were no bodies anywhere. No sign of life either, and the stores and shops had not been looted. Some were still locked up. Empty RV’s in the park when they rolled slowly through it. Neither liked the feeling, the whole place felt wrong.

“Johnny,” Lana waited until his eyes left the map and met her own. He lifted them to follow her own gaze. “The silver building over to the right. The door just opened and then closed.”

Johnny frowned. “Not something the dead would do, is it?”

“We didn’t think they would come out in the daylight,” Lana said.

As Johnny watched he saw the door edge open slightly and then close just as slowly. “Saw it… I don’t like it. Dead or alive they know we’re here and they’re checking us out.” He dropped his eyes back to the map.

“Okay,” he said after a few moments. “Lets get off the road, run a ways out… Follow the highway. That takes us away from civilization to a degree, but eventually that will bring us into Phoenix.” He waited for her to nod her understanding. “There’s a lot of desolation between here and there, at least on the map.”

“Desolation is fine as long as the dead aren’t there.” Lana said quietly.

“Less likely to be,” Johnny agreed.

A few minutes later they were running through the desert that ran alongside I 10. There were not a great many cars or trucks there, but in several places there had been wrecks that closed lanes down. With no one to clear them they would have ended up in the desert anyway. And there seemed to be a dirt road that ran beside I 10 for as far as they could see.

The landscape in the distance had been changing as they drove the day away, but with the sun setting a few hours after they set out once more it was hard to tell what the surrounding countryside was like. Johnny dropped speed and flicked the trucks high beams on. A short while later Lana was sleeping, her head heavy against his arm. He drove through the night and into the early morning before she woke again.

August 14th

Johnny had eased the truck up onto I10 and the tires bouncing over the broken asphalt had awakened Lana.

“Not a big city… A town from the looks of it. Phoenix is close. Ten, fifteen miles maybe. Can’t really tell from the map,” Johnny said. A gas station loomed out of the early morning gray and Johnny wheeled the truck under the roof that covered the pumps intending to siphon some gas to top off the trucks tanks. He shut off the motor and they both listened to the tick of the hot metal for a few seconds as it cooled.

“Coffee would be really nice,” Lana said. “No way do we want to go into Phoenix… Too dangerous.” She yawned and then covered her mouth and laughed. “Mal aliento, dios… Morning breath.” She zipped open her knapsack, retrieved a bottle of water, her toothbrush and some toothpaste. She stepped down from the truck.

Johnny opened his door and settled his feet onto the pavement. It wasn’t just old pavement, he saw, it was gray, washed out, used up: There was no black left in it. Lana stood slightly in front of the truck, her gun in one hand, the toothbrush working around her mouth on its own. In a blur her free hand was reaching to catch the rifle which was just coming free of her shoulder. Johnny had his own rifle off his shoulder and into his hands before he even saw what had alarmed her. She spit out the toothbrush, pulled her gun and flicked the safety off. Three men stepped out of the shadows of the open garage bay.

They were kids, Johnny saw. Or at least not much more than kids. They walked slowly forward.

Lana raised the rifle and pointed it at the lead kid. “That’s it.” She said.

She didn’t scream it, softly spoke it, Johnny thought later, but the kids stopped in their tracks.

“What’s with the fuckin’ guns?” The lead kid asked.

“Ours weren’t aimed at you until you aimed yours at us,” Johnny said. He hoped he sounded as cool as Lana had.

“Bullshit,” one of the other kids said. “You had it in your hands when I looked at you. That’s why I got mine ready.”

“I don’t want to kill anyone today,” Lana said.

“It really don’t bother me,” The third kid said. His eyes were blood shot. They had interrupted him while he was sleeping, it seemed. He kept rubbing at his eyes, Lana saw.

“I think you’re right… Can’t matter if you’re dead,” Lana said.

“Hey,” the lead kid said, “Maybe all’s we want is to party a little.”

“Well I don’t know if Johnny swings that way,” Lana said.

“Pretty funny,” the kid responded. “Look… It’s our town. We ain’t the only ones here. You shoot there will be twenty more here in seconds. Then everybody dies.”

“Oh… I guess I didn’t see it right,” Lana said. “I can see where it might be preferable to get raped and then murdered instead of getting murdered outright.”

The one in the back, the one with the sleepy eyes, stiffed a yawn and reflexively raised one hand to his mouth as his eyes slipped shut for a split second. Lana shot the lead kid in that split second, Johnny had the second guy a moment later. The third kid opened his eyes to a changed situation.

“Just give me a reason,” Lana said. “Any reason.” The kid released the rifle he held and it dropped from his hands to the pavement.

“Can’t shoot me I ain’t got no gun… Can’t… Can’t shoot me…” He spun and looked off toward a rag tag collection of trailers that lined a dirt road in back of the station. “James!” he screamed. “James! Killers!” he turned back to Johnny and Lana. “Can’t shoot me… I ain’t armed… Can’t…” Johnny shot him…



Zombie: Two survivors set out looking for others during the apocalypse

 

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0759TD7XK

 

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Zombie-Dell-Sweet/dp/1549650246



 

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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