Another week bites the dust. I am finally really doing the last read through of the last Outrunners Book. It is the next in-line for editing, somewhere towards the end of this month, first part of next month. I spent the extra time on another slow read through because it does produce a better quality book. It looks like Monday I will be hard at work on Fig Street.
It has been a very long, hot week in New York. I think the temps climbed into the 90’s, decided they liked it and called in the humidity. More than half the country had the same over hot/humid weather, so it is probably not a surprise to anyone reading this. I decided, because of the heat, to take off Tuesday and Wednesday and work outside as opposed to being stuck inside. I haven’t got a clue as to why I thought that would be better.
So I spent two days putting in a side garden and a paver walkway. In the 90 plus heat with high humidity, but I didn’t complain, and it was actually nice to stay away from the computer, telephone, etc. and just work with my hands. I also ended up doing the gutters on that side of the house (Finishing them up), and trimming the lower hanging tree limbs in the side yard as I was sick of them trying to poke my eyes out when I walk through, or ride through on the tractor. It was only two disconnected days, and when I came back everyone that is used to hearing from me, or being able to contact me whenever they wish, was upset that I had not pre-approved my plans with them, but, it was worth it. And, I did apologize for being incommunicado, but, as you can probably guess I was not the least bit sorry. Only wishing I was back at it, high humidity or not.
It’s always good to reset the old perspective. I love to write, but most of that is the subject matter. I have to like it, love it, want to write it. If not it is on the low end of my priority scale. As long as I have the feel for it I’ll write it. And I will bet you that one of my characters, somewhere, some day, will do a job setting pavers, building a nice pathway, as part of the story line. When you read it you’ll know where it came from.
I have a few writer … friends? Probably acquaintances is a better word. But, I have a few, and, like me, they write about the things they know about. That is not to say that occasionally we don’t jump out into I-dont-know-what-I-am-talking-about territory. We do. But, the writing is easier, better, flows faster, makes more sense, if you don’t have to stop every few seconds to look something up and make sure you are right about what you are writing. So, the true life experiences bleed through.
Am I going through a divorce? It’s a safe bet one of my characters will too. Been in a car wreck? That too. Built a house? Put on a roof? Wrote a song? And on it goes. I mentioned the divorce because one of my writer acquaintances went through a divorce, Sure enough the next book they wrote, the main character was rebounding from a divorce. And, it read good. You could feel it. And that is because they knew what they were writing about. I have read other writers who claim that is not true. I would just say, sure, okay. Of course, there has been no Zombie Apocalypse, so, you have to have a good imagination too.
I promised an excerpt from the first Outrunners book this week and it is here. The schedule still looks good. The last Outrunners book early in August. Fig street and then Hurricane. And, this winter, it will either be Eve or Yeshua or Broken.
With that, I will leave you to some legalese concerning the excerpt you are about to read. I hope your week was good, and I hope to see you back soon Meanwhile, if the world does end between now and then, head for Kentucky… I’ll meet you there…
Created by: Wendell Sweet
Wendell Sweet & independAntwriters Publishing
Copyright © 2010 – 2019 by Wendell Sweet & independAntwriters Publishing All rights reserved
This preview is free of charge for you. You may pass it along to others, friends, family, coworkers, so long as the text remains unchanged and the copyright notice remains intact. This preview is not meant to be charged for in any way and should be completely free to you. If you find that is not the case please contact the publisher at the provided link below.
*Note, this excerpt is not edited for content, and does contain rough language and violent situations. If you find that offensive, you should not read this excerpt.
Somewhere outside of Pennsylvania…
They came through the roof…
Bear was talking to Beth, leaned against the door frame, staring out at the night black parking lot, when the first Zombie dropped from the ceiling of the store behind them. There were four of them outside the vehicles talking or keeping watch on the parking lot. Bear and Beth, Mac and Billy. When the first one dropped Billy spun around and clubbed it to the ground. But the rest came so fast that they could not hope to easily and quickly pick them off.
Beth raised her machine pistol straight up and began firing into the roof. The light from the lanterns didn’t penetrate the darkness all the way to the ceiling, so there was no way to see how many there were or even where they were. She found herself wishing she still had the flashlight taped to the rifle barrel.
Six dropped and Bear had to wait for them to come at him so he could be sure of shooting them and not accidentally shooting into the trucks. Billy ran from truck to truck pounding on the doors and window glass, waking everyone up.
Bear reversed the stock of his rifle and ran at the Zombie in front of him. He clubbed his head flat and then reversed the rifle and shot him through the head once he was on the floor. Six more UN-dead dropped from the darkness above, one right after the other. Two landed on Bears truck, and he heard Cammy scream from inside. One stood from the roof, preparing to leap at Billy as he ran towards Don and Ginny’s truck, and Bear shot him off the roof of the truck. He fell right onto one of the kerosene lanterns and the flames shot up immediately, running under and up the side of Don and Ginny’s truck where the kerosene had splashed. It seemed like less than a second to Bear before the truck and the stock in the aisle behind that truck went up in flames. The line of flame rolled away into the store, catching the merchandise on the shelves as it went.
Beth shot another Zombie as it dropped from the ceiling and landed nearly in front of her. Don’s truck started, and a second later Don’s eyes showed just above the dashboard as he dropped the truck into gear and lurched forward. Bear jumped at Billy knocking him out of the way as the truck roared by with scant inches to spare. They both rolled, came up and Billy fired low, taking the legs out from under one of the dead. Bear gained his feet, spun towards the front and watched Don’s truck smash dead center into one of the piles of pallets and tires. It was already burning, flames shooting from under the truck and up the sides, the flames had fanned when Don had dropped it in gear and driven from the store. The truck hit, bounced, and then came back down hard on the tires and pallets.
Sparks flew high into the sky. The truck bounced twice more, Bear saw Don’s head bounce off the side window, and then the truck veered sharply to the left and roared off into the parking lot covered in flames. A second later the sound of the crash came to them as the truck slammed into several cars in the lot and came to a fast halt. Bear forced himself to turn away. He couldn’t afford the luxury of watching something he could do nothing about.
As he turned, the gunfire inside the store picked up. The dead seemed to be dropping from the blackness of the ceiling in a flood. Thick, black smoke was lifting up to the ceiling, and billowing out into the store. Orange and yellow-blue flames danced everywhere. The ceiling was lit from the fires, and as Bear looked up he could see the dead crouching on the steel beams that made up the under pinnings of the roof and the ceiling above them; waiting to drop on the living below.
Bear swore under his breath, and then yelled aloud. “Take them out up at the ceiling… Just open up on ’em!”
A second after that the dead began coming down faster, shot, some dead, others full of holes but still moving. The four of them managed to get close to each other, and then backed into the inside store wall, putting the concrete block at their back and mowing down the dead as they dropped and tried to get to their feet. It seemed like only seconds later when the dead stopped dropping from the darkness.
There were two still moving and Beth took care of both of them with her long knife. She slammed one boot clad foot against their heads, one by one, held it tight to the ground and drove her long knife straight through it in one shot.
In the silence Bear could hear someone screaming in the parking lot and he remembered the truck. He turned and ran toward the door when Beth screamed his name.
“Bear!” Her shout was loud in the store. Bear stopped dead and turned back. Sure more of the dead had begun to drop from the ceiling once more. As he turned his rifle began to lift toward the ceiling.
“Where in fuck do you think you’re going?”
He stared stupidly at her for a moment. “The truck, Beth. The goddamn truck…”
“I know… I saw the same fucking thing you did… But where are you going? Because it looked to me like you were going to run right out there in the dark… Right to that truck.”
“She’s screaming, Beth… She’s…”
“Yeah, and that’s bad… I don’t want to hear it either, but if you run out there you’ll be dead too… Sure as shit. Dead and not a goddamn thing to show for it.”
The silence fell again and the screaming from the parking lot bled back in. Bear stood, torn, knowing Beth was right, but the screaming pulled at him like a physical thing. A second later something out there blew up and the screaming stopped. A second after that and the silence was hard and heavy. Bear heard a scratching, scrabbling noise from the other side of Billy’s truck and walked over quickly.
In the aisle behind the trucks, Mac and Billy were spraying down the fire with chemical fire extinguishers. Clouds of white rising now instead of the thick black.
Bear came up the side of Billy’s truck. One of the dead had managed to get itself crawling once more. A hole in the base of it’s skull. It was moving in jerks. Erratic, but it was moving. “Better come see this shit,” Bear called out.
The four of them stood and watched the jerky movements of the zombie as it tried to gain its feet.
“Very fuckin’ bad,” Mac said. He tossed the fire extinguisher and it clattered to the floor and rolled away.
Billy’s face was hard. He stepped forward, levered one single bullet into the chamber of his rifle, and fired point blank into the Zombies head. It blew apart and the zombie finally quit moving.
“I do not like that at all,” Beth said.
“Yeah… I’m guessing it missed the brain,” Billy said. “That’s the way it looks.” He bent down, rolled what was left of the Zombies head so he could see the bullet hole in the base of the skull. He shook his head. “Just can’t fuckin’ tell. Just can’t” He looked over where Bear and Beth stood together. They both walked over. Bear knelt and leaned in close. Beth squatted beside him.
“looks like the hole blew the base of the skull apart, but it didn’t actually get into the brain. There’s no hole.” Bear shrugged as he stood.
“Looks that way to me too,” Beth agreed. She leaned forward, looked around the floor, “Billy, throw me that stick.” Billy threw a short stick to her, what looked to have been the base to a small hand held flag at one time. Beth used the stick to tilt the head forward more. She leaned even closer. “No… There is no hole into the brain. It hit the base of the skull, busted the bone out, but it didn’t take out the brain. That’s why that bastard was still kicking.” She tossed the stick aside and rose from the squat she had been in.
“I hope so,”Mac said. “Or else…”
“No. There is no or else. I just looked at it. Take that goddamn stick and look at it up close like I just did if you don’t believe me. It didn’t die because it wasn’t a true head shot. That’s all,” Beth said. She turned and walked back toward the front of the store.
“Gimme a hand,” Bear said after a second or two of silence. He and Billy began dragging the dead out into the parking lot, staying close to the fires as they did. They both glanced over at Dons’ truck where it burned along with four or five other vehicles. They both turned quickly away, walked back inside and dragged another body out.
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