America the Dead: Alabama Island Podcast

The second leg of the America the Dead series; Alabama Island. When the survivors in Glennville discovered one another they began to do the same things survivors all over the world were doing; search for other survivors and better circumstances. This series follows the Glennville survivors as they first find one another, and then set out to find others… This series will be uploaded every Wednesday. Remember to like and subscribe, click notifications, so you never miss an episode, Dell…

Read by Ami Adams
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Saturday business

Posted by Dell

Happy Saturday!

What I’m doing:

#1: I caught up on Earth’s Survivors six, chapter five is there. I like getting writing in even when it is busy.

#2: Geo Dell writes well. I had a chance to look at some of his work, and we could work together and publish under the independAntwriters mantel. That has been what has helped the Earth’s Survivors series come to fruition quicker…

#3: Earth’s Survivors Book One, two, three, four and five are now offered pretty much anywhere on-line. Nook, I-Tunes, Amazon, Smashwords. Check this link for the places you can download from https://wendellsweet.com/?s=Earth%27s+Survivors .

#4: Dreamers two is in editing.

#6: You may think that because you see certain of our names on a regular basis that we own the place, or think we do. We don’t. We work on the creative projects we have wanted to work on. It works. It’s not broke to put it bluntly. Anyone can have a page here, it’s pretty simple.

That’s it for the news, news.

In other news; Fred: If you read by blogs you know my cat Fred turned out not to be a Fred at all. About the time she discovered the neighborhood Tom: I should have known, but I thought they were just friends. You know, two Toms. But, no, she’s about as pregnant as a cat can get, almost as wide as long. I said that last week and she just keeps getting bigger. It’s sort of like the little flat popcorn bag in the Microwave. Pop … pop … pop .pop pop Pop POP! And I can’t believe how big she is. So I placed her on Maternity leave. I expect a litter of Puppies. Yes Puppies, she’s certainly big enough and I’m not a cat person anyway: Which brings me to pets…

I have this constant Cat / Dog thing. I think of Cats as Female and Dogs as Males. I thought that was common. A no-brainer, but I mentioned it the other day and somebody looked at me like I was crazy. So I guess not everybody looks at it the same… Or that guy was weird and he may have been. But, pets…

Dogs and Begging… Cats and Begging…

Dogs beg and rarely will they turn down what they have begged for. The dog couldn’t care less. I have seen a dog eat potato chips, cheese curd, pudding, green beans, toast, and I once owned a Dog, Sammy, and she ate mice. Yes. Whole.

Cats? Yes on the mouse, but the cat will only eat parts of the mouse and you will have to clean up the rest, or, Like my Fred, they will bring the dead or alive mouse to you. Fred likes to bring them to me alive. I guess that is Fred’s way of making sure I get my exercise chasing the damn mouse/squirrel/bird through the house. But the rest? No. A cat will not eat any of the rest of it. But that does not mean the cat won’t beg for it anyway. Mine does. And every time I give her some, and every time she turns her nose up and walks away.

Dogs appreciate snacks, Cats feel you owe them. If a cat had a lawyer? You would never speak to the cat. If a dog had a lawyer he’d be having a conversation like this with the lawyer… “I don’t know, Bob. They’re pretty good people and if I sued them they might not give me anymore peanut butter sandwich bites and I like peanut butter sandwich bites and I… I… Excuse me Bob, I’ll be right back…” Zoom, the dog is off and into the office where I just happen to be eating a peanut butter sandwich. And, that only makes sense. Dogs are all about sniffing scents out of the air. They sniff everything, all the time. Chairs, Fire Hydrants, Butts, Crotches, Car tires, everything they do is about smell. If you’re eating a peanut butter sandwich in the attic, balanced on the window ledge with the heat of the house rushing past you and carrying the smell away they would know about it… It would go something like this…

There you are, hanging out the window, eating your peanut butter sandwich. No dog. And then suddenly, far away, the phone rings. You think nothing of it, but a few moments later the attic door bumps open and up the stairs trots your dog (Feel free to substitute Skippy or Lassie or Rover here), Bear. He trots up and does that sideways twisting his head thing that is so, well, Dog like.

“Hey,” he says, (If dogs could talk) “That was Brownie from two blocks over, you know, Mrs. Johnson’s dog. I pooped on her lawn last week and you went ballistic?” He just looks goofy while you nod. “Yeah, well Brownie says your up here hanging out the window eating Peanut Butter sandwiches…. Huh, I said to Brownie… What do you know about that.”

“I saved you a bite,” You say and toss him half the sandwich. And he eats it whole. No swallowing… No choking. No chewing. Jaws open. Jaws close (Except sometimes with Peanut Butter when it sticks to the roof of their mouth.) and the half sandwich is gone. I’d like to see a cat do that.

Fred sits their and begs with dignity. She doesn’t want to appear to be needy. Bear (My last dog who has passed) couldn’t care less about dignity. If you go around sniffing butts all day as a form of greeting then dignity is a pretty large gray area. If you look at Fred she looks away like, “I thought I saw a mouse.” or “I’m only here because I love you…” Nevertheless, she begs and she expects a payoff and it better not be peanut butter. I often try to present my side of it, “All I have is peanut butter, Fred. You’re wasting your time.” She looks like, “Well, there’s a kitchen full of Bologna and Sliced Ham.” (Her favorite foods). And of course I’m not going out there just to get her a damned piece of Bologna No. So I go out to get a damn glass of juice, she follows, and then, somehow, she hypnotizes me and I’m opening the Ham package to get her some…

Cats and Dogs. They don’t mix, most of the time anyway, and people who are Cat people are not usually Dog people and vice versa. I am a dog person and really, someone should break the news to Fred because Fred thinks I’m a cat person.

Someday… In a perfect world… I will once again possess a dog… And the world will be perfect… And we’ll stand on the porch at dusk and watch the sun go down… Geez… It’ll be great… Just me and my dog…

Of course I’ll have to start with a puppy… And It’ll probably poop all over the house… And knowing my luck it’ll make friends with a cat… A pregnant cat… A pregnant cat that I thought was a boy cat… and then the whole vicious cycle will start all over again…

Last News: Earth’s Survivors: Plague. I have included the links to get it.

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

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

Amazon U.S.: http://www.amazon.com/Earths-Survivors-Plague-Geo-Dell-ebook/dp/B0137DRAUY

Amazon U.K.: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Earths-Survivors-Plague-Geo-Dell-ebook/dp/B0137DRAUY

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

Hey, enjoy the week, Dell…

America the Dead Audio Podcast Episode 17

This is the audio only version of the America the Dead podcast… Episode 17

Audio on Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/dell-sotofo-com-wendell-sweet/id1496549819

https://americathedead.com/ATD-AUDIO/ATD-17.mp3

Earth’s Survivors America The Dead: Manhattan Apple Books

EARTH’S SURVIVORS AMERICA THE DEAD: MANHATTAN

Earth’s Survivors America the Dead: Manhattan is copyright © 2016 Dell Sweet. All rights foreign and domestic reserved in their entirety.

Cover Art © Copyright 2016 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 © 2016 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.

NOTICE: This material has not been edited for content


PROLOGUE

New York

12:30 am

Carl Evans watched from the mouth of a dark alley. It was one of the things he loved about this place. You could hang out in an alley, smoke cigarettes all day and night long if you wanted to, and nobody said a word to you. Where else, but New York could that be true, he asked himself.

He leaned back against the wall, one sneakered foot propped on the brick behind him to hold him, the other flat on the cobbled stones of the alley. Another thing about New York, he thought as he inhaled deeply of his cigarette, and then let the smoke roll slowly out of his mouth. Old things everywhere you looked. These cobblestones for instance. He wondered how old they truly were.

“Young man.” The deep voice startled him from his thoughts. He lifted his head to see an old, gray haired gentleman standing at the mouth of the alley a few feet away. His face was creased and seamed. His skin so dark it was nearly blue. A cane in one hand supported his weight.

“What’s up, Pops?” Carl asked politely.

The man placed his second hand on his cane and leaned forward. “That cigarette will kill you.“

“Pops…”

He held up one hand as Carl began to speak. “Just telling you. Don’t need an argument. It will kill you. The big tobaccos, they knew about it back in the day when I was a boy chasing that habit. And they knew about it when it was in commercials in magazines, and T.V. and what not. That cowboy died from it you know, they knew it and they still know it. It will kill you. In case you didn’t know it I wanted you to know it.” He straightened his back, lifted the second hand, nodded once, and moved across the mouth of the alley disappearing as though from some sort of magic.

Carl chuckled, lifted the cigarette to his mouth, took a deep drag and then found himself blowing the smoke out, dropping the cigarette, and crushing it. The old man had ruined it for him. He hadn’t smoked in ten years, but it tasted as good now as it had then. And he had figured with the way things were nobody had much time. Certainly not enough time to die from cancer or some other nasty surprise from cigarettes, but just the same the old man had ruined it for him.

He looked down at the blackened mess he had made as he ground the cigarette into the cobbles. Just as well, he told himself, it was time. He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a small silver canister. He inhaled a sharp breath involuntarily. He knew what it was. Knew what he was doing, but he still couldn’t believe he was actually going to do it.

He fingered the small red button on the top of the silver canister, hesitated, and then pushed it down. Something inside clicked. There was no other sound in the stillness. He tossed it down the alley, turned, and walked out to the sidewalk.

ONE

Bear

August 4th

We were down along the river checking over some old buildings that are perched on the cliffs there, high above the water. Fall was not far away, and we knew we had to get moving, get out of this dead city. We had half the country to cross and find a place before winter came back around again.

We had struck out looking for food earlier that morning. With the park and its crowds so near to us, the shops and small stores for blocks around us were stripped clean. Another reason to get out of the city. It was time. I remember thinking that as I walked along.

I was thinking back to March as I walked. Not really paying attention to the walk, where I was going… March… Just a few months ago, but the world was still the world then. And for the next little while there, we didn’t even know about the dead. Dead was still dead. When you closed your eyes for the long eternal sleep you didn’t wake up a short minute later as something else. No. We were ignorant up until they decided to come after us. Ignorant. Stupid. Didn’t know a thing. Didn’t have a clue.

I had been in Central Park a few days after the first earthquakes hit. I had left Donita alone and went down on my own to see what the deal was. I found out nothing. No one knew any more than anyone else. There was a lot of speculation, but that was it. There had been earthquakes. It had rained hard for nearly twenty-four hours straight. The really freaky stuff hadn’t happened yet. We were just starting down our new path, but what was clear was that thousands of people had died in the city, maybe more than thousands, maybe a million or more. And certainly millions if the damage here was the same across the country… or worldwide.

And my initial estimate turned out to be a kind. In the city alone: collapsed buildings, fires, exposure to the elements because there was no shelter. There were millions of bodies. It was not so bad in those first few days, but a few days later, when the smell of the dead rotting under the rubble began, it was horrible. The diseases started then too. And the diseases took thousands more, and we thought that was the end of it, but it was not. The dead came next. The same dead, newly risen to some other sort of life. But that day in Central Park I did not know about the dead yet. I had no idea what was ahead; what was before me was bad enough.

At six foot three and nearly two hundred ninety pounds I don’t usually fear much. But that day I did. I realized there are some things you had better fear if you have half a brain in your head. It didn’t matter that I could walk through Central Park unmolested. Something was on the wind, something that didn’t care who it touched, did not respect physical size.

I walked through the park. There were hundreds there already. In the coming days those same people began to make the park home. But that day they wandered aimlessly, in shock. The subway was shut down, the buses. You could not find a cab. The same with the cops. Everything that was the same about the city, the things you could depend on to be the same day after day, were gone. A few short days, and they were gone. No more. And it had a feeling of permanence to it, a feeling of doom.

I sat down on a bench and watched the people shuffle by. No noisy kids. No babies bawling. No Joggers. No dog walkers. Hopeless people shuffling by. The occasional panicked whack job running around crazily. I saw no one shot that day, but in the coming days, they, the hopeless ones, began to shoot the crazies, chase them down and kill them. But that was later. That day I sat on the bench and wondered what had happened, and that was when the planes had overflown.

We all heard them from a long way off, military cargo planes. Slow, sometimes seeming to hang in the sky. That droning sound as they overflew, blocking the sun from the sky. This was no fly over to see how New York was, that much was evident immediately.

I was torn between running and needing to know what this was. Once you start down that path of just reacting to fear, it gets bad fast, so I sat there, as calm as I could be. ‘They will not drop bombs,’ was my thought. I remember it. And they didn’t. What they did was spray the entire city. Trails of blue-tinged vapor drifting down out of the sky. That was the first time.

I finally did give in to the fear and took off through the park, thinking, like nearly everyone else, that it must be some sort of poison. The government’s solution to whatever it was that was going on in the city.

We didn’t know what the blue shit the government planes sprayed us with right after everything went to hell was. And I am still not convinced I know all there is to know, but I suspect things. I have been told things. I met a guy a few weeks back that said he worked at the Army base over in Jersey. He said he knew what it was. He said the planes came from somewhere down south, but stopped there on the way back to re-fuel. What he told me was it was designed to strengthen us, keep us alive a little longer, and make us stronger somehow. Some dip shit scientist’s idea.

I suppose it was meant as a boost for us, a help. The world slowed down, fell apart; everything stopped working. They knew they couldn’t get to us. We would die. So they sprayed the blue shit on us, and I could suppose further that some of us survived the first few months because of it. I can’t prove it, but I suspect it did help us evolve into…

I don’t know. Whatever the hell we are now. I know we’re alive. I know our hearts beat. I still feel human, and I truly think I am still human. If it made changes to the living, they are very small changes… at least so far.

But the dead – oh, the dead. That’s a different story. It did something else to the dead.

I walked along now thinking my thoughts. I was lost in them – I’ll admit it – right back in March for a few seconds. But I came back fast.

We were right in front of a line of cliffs that overhung the river, spread out a little. At least I was. It’s funny how you can forget to be careful so goddamn fast. It was somewhere past midday when they came for us.

“Bear! Bear!”

Cammy from a hundred yards down. The panic and fear in her voice made my heart leap into my throat, and because of her fear, and probably some of my own, I did a really stupid thing right then that cost me time. I was so panicked, that I threw my rifle down and sprinted toward the sound of her voice. I got maybe twenty feet when the realization of what I had done hit me. It would have been comical to see the way I locked my legs up and tried to turn around before I had even come to a stop if it had not been so goddamned serious.

I had the rifle back in my hands, the safety off, just a fraction of a second later when Cammy and Madison opened up on the UN-dead closing in on them from the mouth of the narrow trail that lead up from the river. I added my fire to theirs before I had run another fifty feet, and their leader, a shambling wreck of a corpse, folded up, and then flopped over the side of the trail and down into the river. I continued to run as I fired, and I was shocked to realize that I was screaming at the top of my lungs as I closed in. I am big, but I can move when I have to.

“Goddamn-son-of-a-bitching-goddamn-bastards, dead-fuckers!” All strung together. Fear words. I did not hear them at first so I did not know when they started, and I could not shut them down once I did hear them. The panic and fear were just too hot.

I watched as, unseen by Cammy and Madison, a Zombie crouched on a narrow path above them swiveled his rotting head to me, seemed to take my measure with a wide, yellowed grin, and then dropped from the ledge on to Madison’s back.

“No! Goddamn-son-of-a-bitches-dead-bastards-bastards!” I could not say, ‘Madison Look Out!’ Or speed up my feet or any other damn thing. Time had slowed, become elastic, strange, too clearly seen. The Zombie hit her hard, and she folded like an accordion, driven into the ground, a few hundred pounds of animated corpse riding her down into the dirt, clawed hands clutching, mouth already angling to bite… to taste her.

I was still thirty or more yards away. I could not see how that could even be possible. I should have been closer, but I was not. I saw Cammy turn, panicked, take her eyes off the other UN-dead and start towards Madison. Unchallenged, the other Zombies closed ground far faster than they should have been able to.

I saw the Zombie on Madison take a mouthful of her back, just below the curve of her neck, and rip the flesh away from her spine. Cammy’s rifle came up and barked, and the zombie blew apart, raining down on Madison, a storm of black blood. Somehow, I managed to switch to full auto, get my rifle up, and spray an entire one hundred round clip into the other zombies where they rushed along the path towards Cammy and the fallen Madison.

Madison screamed. Time leapt back into its proper frame, and I found myself five feet away as Madison arched her back, screamed and tried to stand. Blood ran in a perfect river from her gaping wound, across the white of her T-Shirt and down to the waist of her jeans.

“I think… I think…” Madison tried.

“Baby… Baby,” Cammy sobbed. She dropped to her knees and pulled Madison to her. “Oh, Baby… Baby,” Cammy sobbed.

I looked back up at the trail. Empty. At least of moving UN-dead. Three or four, it was hard to tell with the tangle of legs and arms, lay dead on the pathway. Silence descended. I heard a bird in the trees above calling as if nothing was wrong with the world, Cammy sobbing, Madison crying hysterically, the wind moaning through the empty buildings that were set just back from the cliffs and the river on this side of the city.

I was thinking, ‘That wind is colder. Colder even than when we started out this morning. Maybe the weather will turn back to snow and cold. Maybe winter is not done after all… Or coming sooner… It could be. It’s all so screwed up. Maybe, if it does get cold, it will slow those bastards down. Maybe we will be okay… My, God… They bit Madison… They BIT Madison!!!’ I sagged to the ground, my mind full of confusion and numbness.

Cammy was sobbing uncontrollably. Madison had lapsed into shock. I was sitting crossed legged, wondering where in Hell this would all end up, my rifle fallen from my hands and laying on the ground next to me. Time spun out, dragged, seemed elastic once more, sticking in places and jumping ahead from those places to where it should have been had it continued to run properly.

Cammy sobbing, holding Madison up, kissing her forehead, telling her how much she loved her… how she was her world…

Madison, eyes rolled back in her head… face pale… fine beads of sweat standing out on her forehead… her back a bright slick of red running across Cammy’s hands where she held her. Slowing… Slowing… Cammy mouthing words in such slow motion that I could not understand what she said. Madison’s body sagging, eyes rolled up to the whites… bright dots of blood speckled across Cammy’s cheeks. Then time jumped, staggered, came back to normal, and Cammy was screaming and screaming…

“No! … NO! … Not my… My, love, my Madison, my…” Collapsing to the ground with Madison, crying still… softer, but continuous.

“Cammy,” My voice, but I did not know it at first. I actually stopped speaking and looked around, startled, before I realized it was me speaking. I turned my attention back to Cammy. “Cammy… Cammy, it’ll be okay… It’ll be…”

“NO! … NO!” She scrambled backward, pulling Madison’s unconscious body with her. She wiped one hand across her eyes trying to stem the flow of tears… “NO! She’s… She’s okay… Okay… You can’t… You…” She broke down into sobs, pulled Madison to her and began dragging her away from me.

“Cammy… Cammy, it bit her… Bit her… Cammy… Cammy, it’s… It’s just you and me, Cammy… It bit her… It bit her…”

She let go of Madison and lunged for her rifle. I sat, still cross legged, stupidly, as she grabbed it and leveled it at me.

“Get out,” She said very calmly. Much more calmly than I thought she should have been capable of.

“Cammy… What are you doing… Cammy?”

“GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT!” She screamed. I reared back as the rifle barrel came up and then slashed down across my face. I jumped back, but not fast enough. The steel barrel smashed into my lower lip, through it, and then hit my teeth. I immediately tasted blood and machine oil. My tongue ran across my teeth unconsciously. I was sure she had smashed them out, but the barrel edge had come up short, or I had moved back far enough. One of those things.

The pain was delayed, but it came never-the-less. Hard, heavy, fast, down into my lower jaw and then ricocheted back up into the top of my head. I scrambled backwards, tripped over my own rifle, got it into my hands, and then time did that funny slowing, elastic thing again.

The blood dripped from my chin onto the ground. My rifle was pointed squarely at Cammy, safety off and an empty clip, but Cammy didn’t know that. The blood dripped slowly. Cammy’s eyes swam in and out of focus, but remained on me. Her rifle barrel dipped and then rose again, leveled on me once more.

She seemed to take a deep breath that went on forever, and then, once more, time sped up. “I’ll kill you,” Cammy told me. “If you touch her, I’ll kill you… I will,” She started out strong but ended in a doubtful, whining whisper.

I didn’t drop my rifle barrel, but held one hand out in front of me in a placating gesture. “Not touching anyone… Not,” I managed through my busted lip and aching jaw. The pain was a live, throbbing thing.

“You will… But… I know you will… You think… You think…” She seemed all at once to realize that she no longer held Madison in her arms. She took a deep shuddering breath and then dropped her rifle to the ground. She collapsed back down to the ground and crawled to Madison’s body.

I stood shocked, not knowing what to do. Time side-slipped again. The bird went back to calling out, if it had ever stopped. The wind came back, blowing cold against my face, pushing the flush of heat that the situation had brought with it away, cooling the sweat on my brow. The bird called. Another picked it up, and soon all the birds were talking as though nothing at all had happened. It became a perfect storm of noise after the deepness of the silence. Time slipped away again, clouds moving across the cold, blue of the sky.

Cammy sat, Madison pulled up into her lap, a large smear of maroon on her forehead, stroking Madison’s black hair. The birds called. The coldness of the wind seemed to bite at my bones. Nipping. Tasting. An un-dead thing of its own.

I can’t tell you why I did it, but I am glad I did. I pushed the button on the rifle butt, dropped the empty clip in to my waiting palm, and slid another up into the rifle where it socketed itself home with a solid click. I did it perfectly, like I had been doing it all of my life instead of just the last few months since the UN-dead disease, epidemic, disorder, plague, what-ever-the-fuck it is has happened. She never looked up. The birds didn’t stop singing their birdsong. Just in case, I told myself. Just in case.

I stood, my knees screaming, flexed experimentally and then walked a short distance away, leaning up against the cliff face. I reached into my jacket pocket, pulled out my pouch and rolled a cigarette. I felt at my lips, busted up, but it would heal. I had been in fights in my old life where I had been busted up much worse. I lit the cigarette, held it carefully between my lips, smoking as I watched the clouds slip across the sky. Letting the urgency of the situation float away on the wind like the smoke.

Cammy’s voice had fallen to a barely audible whisper as she stroked Madison’s hair and held her. Madison’s lips, blue tinged, moved, too quiet to hear her words. A private conversation. A private conversation in the wide open, which, thanks to the UN-dead, was a very private place. No one at all around, alive anyway, and the dead couldn’t care less about love, secrets, whispered promises, goodbyes. The UN-dead only cared about the hunger that seemed to drive them. Flesh, and more flesh. The time turned elastic once more and spun out of control for some unknown length. I only know that when I came back to myself the sun had moved across the sky. My thoughts were about darkness, Zombies, staying alive.

When I think back on it now, I realize a noise had brought me back. Had to be, otherwise there was no reason for me to come back at all, just stay gone. Let the sun go down and the UN-dead take the night, me, Cammy, Madison and whatever else they wanted. But it didn’t go that way.

A noise, a sliding foot, a pebble falling from above… I really don’t know. I know that this time I reacted fast. My rifle came up; my mind was clear. I focused; two of them dropping from the cliffs above… like cats… like dead, stinking, feral cats… dragging that stink of death with them. The stench of rotted flesh falling from the sky, enveloping me even as I fired into them.

I had a choice. I couldn’t get them both. One falling at me, one falling at Cammy where she sat with Madison cradled in her arms, oblivious to everything around her. My reaction chose for me. The rifle came straight up and spat short, little barks of noise and flame. The Zombie started to come apart before it hit me. A shower of cold, dead blood rained down on me, splattered against my face. The body hit the barrel of the rifle and took me down to the ground, clutching the rifle hard to keep from losing it as the full weight of the Zombie came down on it.

I kept it, but only by sheer determination. The Zombie had impaled herself onto the barrel. Her flesh so rotted that it had simply punched through her breast and out her back. I shoved her off as quickly as I could, one booted foot kicking against her chest, knocking her apart, pulling the barrel back through the soft flesh and hard bone.

I expected to see Cammy done for. I expected to see her dead or dying, but she had somehow ended up about twenty feet from where the Zombie had fallen. She looked herself, as if she had no real idea how that had happened, but when I raised my eyes and they took in the whole scene before them, I saw exactly how it had happened.

Madison must have still been awake. Laying there badly injured but not gone, taking the comfort from Cammy that she offered. When the Zombie fell, she saw it. She saw it and managed to push Cammy away from her and take the attack on herself.

The Zombie was no match for her, wounded though she was. She straddled the Zombie with a rock easily the size of her own head and brought it down hard: Once. Twice, and then I lost count, and the Zombie quit fighting. The undead, dead again. This time for good.

The silence came back hard. Like a curtain on the last act of a play, just when the audience isn’t expecting it. It crashed down.

Time did its elastic trick and then snapped back before I was ready for it. My senses were shot. At first I could not connect the dots of memory that I needed to connect to make sense of what my eyes were seeing.

Cammy rose to shaky legs and started toward Madison, sobbing once more. Madison’s eyes swiveled to me. A sick look in them, and pain riding there too. She slumped forward, one wrist flapping uselessly, and lunged for the rifle that Cammy had trained on me not so long ago. Time stopped its elastic trickery right around that time. I knew exactly what she intended to do before she did it.

Cammy stopped in mid stride and nearly fell backwards at the effort of stopping so quickly. I think she believed for a second that Madison intended to shoot her. I really believe she thought that. But that was not the plan, and I knew that was not the plan. Because the plan that had resurfaced in her mind was the one we had talked about, half seriously, half jokingly, for as long as we had been traveling together. Before she followed through on that plan, I heard her tell it to me in my mind once again, the way she had a week or so before, when she had been unmolested… whole… not about to join the ranks of the UN-dead herself.

“If I ever fuckin’ have to, I won’t hesitate,” Madison had said, “Once I’m dead, I don’t want to come back.” She shuddered and grimaced at the same time.

We had been in an old house over in Harlem. That was before Harlem got crazy too. We’d had gas lanterns for light. The windows were boarded over. The UN-dead scratched and cried and pleaded, but they could not get in. The four of us – John had still been alive then, in fact he had died just two days later. Fell through a rotted section of floor in that same old house. Impaled himself on a pipe in the basement. Madison had shot him in the head nearly as soon as he had stopped his struggles. Cammy had bent double and vomited. I had held it in, but barely – but that night John had been alive, he had still been with us. With us as we listened to the sounds of the UN-dead that were trying to get to us. To kill us. To eat us. To satisfy their ceaseless hunger. In the flickering light from the gas lanterns, she had said it, and he had nodded his head, agreeing immediately with what she had said. And I had not. It had not been a real thing to me, despite what I had already gone through on my own, until two days later when John had died and she had wasted no time. None.

“He would have expected it,” she had said, and nothing more. But that night… that night she had said it straight out, like a mantra, like looking into the future and seeing this day.

“If they come for me, if they get me? I’ll put a bullet in my own head. I will. I swear I will. If I ever fuckin’ have to, I won’t hesitate,” Madison had said, “Once I’m dead, I don’t want to come back.”

And Cammy had begun to cry. “Don’t say it, Maddy. Don’t say it.” And she hadn’t said it again, but it didn’t matter. She had already spoke it into truth. I had heard it. I had heard it, and I knew she meant it.

And now, time stopped its trick. She jammed the rifle under her chin and squeezed the trigger. Her head exploded in a spray of red and gray. I swear I could hear the sounds of small bits of bone and drops of blood pattering down to the ground. And then the silence was roaring again.

I took a breath, another… And then Cammy began to scream once more.


Earth’s Survivors America The Dead: Manhattan. A small group tries to make their way out of New York… https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/earths-survivors-america-the-dead-manhattan/id1085902524?mt=11


White Trash. A fast paced crime thriller you won’t forget

WHITE TRASH

By Dell Sweet

Copyright © 2018 by Dell Sweet

PUBLISHED BY: Dell Sweet; all rights reserved

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. 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.

This novel is Copyright © 2018 Dell Sweet. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the authors permission. All rights are retained by the Author.

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

Cover art Copyright © 2018 Dell Sweet

WHITE TRASH

Copyright 2018 Dell Sweet, all rights Reserved


The Cops

Don managed to get the bedside phone on the third ring. By then it had awakened Jenny too.

“Goddamn cops,” Jennie muttered as she buried her head back under the blankets.

“Yeah?” Don managed.

“Sammy,” Sammy told him. “You have got to get down here, we’re out of here, like, 3 hours ago… You there, Donny?” Sammy asked.

Don set up in bed which caused Jennie to complain even more. “What the fuck are you talking about, Sammy. Say it slower. My brain has no caffeine yet.” He rubbed his face with one of his large hands.

“We’re going to Alabama… Mobile. Several tips put the Suburban on I-65 yesterday, just outside of Mobile: Nothing after that. The chief thinks they went to ground, and there are rumors of a big deal that’s going to happen there with an associate of the late Richard Dean. We don’t have names yet, but they’re working on it. The guy is a big drug dealer in that area. We’re going down on a flight out of Syracuse in 2 hours. We’re going to meet with the locals, it’s their ballgame, but the chief wants us to be there when the whole thing goes down. Sort of like the New York liaison,” Sammy said.

“That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” Don said. He reached for the night stand and got a cigarette. He lit it and then tossed the heavy silver Zippo back onto the table with a metallic clunk. Jenny raised her head.

“What is it?” she whispered.

“Fuck,” Don said.

“Fuck ain’t the half of it,” Sammy agreed. “You’re awake now?  I’ll be there in about twenty minutes, we have to hurry,” Sammy finished. He clicked off before Don answered.

Don slammed the phone down. “The chief, Mr. Political aspirations himself, has decided in all of his wisdom to send us to Mobile-Fucking-Alabama of all places, because some tips came in that placed the GMC on I-65 yesterday and nothing since then,” Don said as he worked his way out of bed and headed toward the shower.

He called from the shower. “Brilliant, over-react now to cover his ass for not reacting when he should have… Jen, could you get me out a suit of clothes?” He called as he turned on the shower. He kicked off his boxers and stepped under the spray which was still slightly cold, forgetting about the cigarette in his mouth. He caught the soggy mess in one hand and tossed it toward the toilet. It landed on the lid with a wet plop.

“Fuck,” he muttered. “That’s why the lid should be up.”

~

Jimmy stared at the TV. The weatherman was on now talking about the fall weather and the start of the hurricane season.

He had been out once to dispose of Ronnie Lee. It was a large shop, but a body couldn’t hang around too long without air conditioning and this place had none.

He had found a state park next to a swamp, they called them bogues here, according to the sign, but they were still swamps. He had tossed the body in. There were alligators all over down here. The body wouldn’t last long. He hadn’t wanted to wait that long to do it, but he had been afraid to leave: As the night wore on though he became convinced that they were not coming by. Maybe he had been wrong. Maybe what he would do wasn’t necessarily what a couple of green kids would do.

He wondered about the other kid. The paper boy, but he had no idea who he was or where he’d come from. And if he was honest with himself he didn’t care either. The kid was one of those anomalies: A fly in the ointment; a nothing, at least to him.

It bothered him that the cops had such a lock on the two vehicles. Every red neck with eyes would be calling every time they saw a Suburban of any kind. It would be a bad couple of days for anyone who owned a white suburban.

He wondered about Neo. He was positive that Neo was dead. Or he had been. If he was honest now there was more than a little doubt in his mind. It could have been anyone in that car. Neo could be smart enough to be behind this whole thing. He could be pulling the kids strings: Both of them. And if that was the case he himself would have to be very careful. Getting shot in the back of the head in a car chase was one thing. Facing Ben Neo in a one on one situation was not something he wanted to do. His phone rang. His own cell phone and he knew who it was before he answered it.

“Jimmy,” Tommy’s voice rasped. “I got a fuckin’ cold so bear with me… And now I’m getting a fuckin’ headache. I’m hearing Ben Neo might still be alive. My own, turned against me… You heard that shit, Jimmy?” Tommy asked.

“I just heard it,” Jimmy acknowledged.

“You think these cops are jerking our chains? You hear they’re talking organized crime ties? This is getting out of control, Jimmy. Out of control… I need the truth, Jimmy. If it is Neo, can you handle him? … Can you handle him? I need to know that, Jimmy. If this fucker has turned on me… Like… Like some fuckin’ dog that don’t know his master… Like that, Jimmy, I need to know that you can fix that, Jimmy… A thing like that has got to be fixed, and I need you to tell me that you can fix it,” Tommy said.

“I’ll get him,” Jimmy said. “I’ll be honest, Neo is no joke, but you know I’m not one either. I’ll get him,” Jimmy said.

“Or else?” Tommy asked.

“Or else he’ll have to fuckin’ kill me… I know my job. You know where my loyalties lay, Tommy. He’ll have to kill me, but he won’t. He won’t because he has nothing on me at all. I know him. I know how he operates: His methods. He’s a dead man, Tommy. He just don’t know it yet. When I get him, believe me, he’ll wish he did die in that car with the top of his head blown off,” Jimmy said.

“I don’t ever doubt you, Jimmy. I don’t. Get this done for me. Make it all work out and I’ll take care of you. You know that,” Tommy said.

“I know that,” Jimmy said.

“You need something, you call these people. They’re right there. They’ll help,” Tommy said. He rattled off two local phone numbers.

“Okay,” Jimmy said. He clicked off, tore off the square of paper with the two numbers on it from the pad. Folded it, and slipped it into his pocket. He wandered over to a long display of acoustic guitars, took one down and strummed the open strings. He had never learned. He couldn’t figure out how anyone could learn. It was killer on your fingers. He hung the guitar back up, walked back to the stool where he had been sitting and sat back down. There was nothing he could do, but wait.


Smashwords eBooks: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/902330


White Trash is available at Google Play

WHITE TRASH

By Dell Sweet

Copyright © 2018 by Dell Sweet

PUBLISHED BY: Dell Sweet; all rights reserved

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. 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.

This novel is Copyright © 2018 Dell Sweet. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the authors permission. All rights are retained by the Author.

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

Cover art Copyright © 2018 Dell Sweet

WHITE TRASH

Copyright 2018 Dell Sweet, all rights Reserved


Saturday morning

“Last one,” Sammy said.

It was 2:00 AM and they had just come back from 6 hours of sleep to get a jump on the day. The last half hour they had been interviewing the people who worked the same shifts as April Evans.

“Candace loi,” Sammy added.

Don looked up and stopped writing in his little notebook.  “How do you,” spell her name, he had meant to ask Sammy, but she was right in front of him.

“EL. OH. EYE,” she said with a smile.

“Vietnamese?” Don asked. She was obviously mixed race, African American and Asian, he questioned himself.

“Japanese,” she told him.

“Nice name,” Sammy said, “Candace.”

Beautiful girl, Don thought. “Did you know April Evans?  Sometimes works this shift?” he asked.

“Not really,” she answered. “I mean I met her, but only in passing… I just started here myself.”

She really was beautiful, Don thought. “You wouldn’t know if she had a boyfriend… Other friends?” he asked.

Candace shook her head. “Sorry,” she said… “What has she done?”

“Nothing: She’s gone missing,” Sammy supplied.

“She was an eye witness to a serious case and then went missing,” Don said. “She’s not in trouble we just want to ask her a few questions… And, really make sure she’s okay.”

Candace shook her head. “I just started here a few weeks back, and like I said, I don’t really know her… but I heard it might be a girlfriend not a boyfriend though.”

Don looked at her. “You wouldn’t know who?”

“No. It’s just a rumor. Someone said to me… I don’t even remember who… but I’ve never seen her with a guy. And I have seen her with other girls… Maybe also the way she looked at me a few times… That’s all I know. I hope you find her though. She seems like a nice girl,” Candace said.

“You don’t seem the type for this… Bagging groceries at 2:00 am,” Don said.

Candace laughed. “I had this idea of dancing… Tough to get a foot in a door though.”

“Any good,” Sammy asked.

“Excuse mister smooth there,” Don told her. Sammy feigned a hurt look and Candace laughed. “He meant have you done some dancing? I know somebody… Might be interested.”

Candace arched her eyebrows. “I can dance. I just need to prove it to the right person.”

“Probably start out serving drinks… Dance a little… Then if he likes you he’ll put you in.”

“I can do that,” she said slowly.

Sammy passed her a white business card with his own name scrawled across the back. “Tell him I sent you… That’s my name on the back.”

“Jimmy Vincioni,” Candace asked.

“Just V… Jimmy V. Good guy,” Sammy said.

Candace nodded and tucked the card into her front jean pocket. “I’ll call him… Thanks. Look…” Her voice dropped to a near whisper. “I’m pretty sure she had a girlfriend here… I just don’t know who,” Candace added quietly.

Don finished writing in his notebook, nodded once he met her eyes and then shook the hand she offered. She walked away.

“Beautiful,” Sammy said.

“Absolutely,” Don agreed. “You ain’t getting none of that though.”

“Yeah? Well if Jimmy V hires her? It’ll be the next best thing.”

Don shook his head, but smiled. His eyes rose and watched as Candace walked away. “Guess I’ll have to have a few drinks at the club if that happens.”

Sammy chuckled low. “You and me both,” he agreed.

They had spent most of the previous night at David Cross’s trailer. The techs hadn’t picked up much, but what they had picked up was telling. Blood stains under the bed and beside one wall in the bedroom. A splatter of small pink stains that had tested positive for blood in the kitchen sink. Two rolled up socks drenched in blood in the kitchen garbage. Blood spatters in the bathroom sink too. All his clothes seemed to be gone, or at least there were none in the battered dresser in the bedroom. The forensic team had come up with two sets of fingerprints in the bedroom, his and someone else. Hair samples from the bed, from the couch in the living room. Foot prints out back and in the soft dirt of the front yard. And best of all, a tech that had been sent back to get pictures put the girl in the trailer yesterday afternoon.

The tech said the girl had seemed quiet, subdued, standing behind Cross, like Cross didn’t want her to be seen.

Questioning her friends was fill-in work while they waited on the warrant for her place. The tech that had put her at Cross’s trailer would probably clinch that. There had been bits of bone and brain matter along with the bloodstains under the bed and by the wall too. That bothered Don. It probably meant that something had happened. He didn’t have a lot of hope of seeing April Evans alive again.

He circled the word gay that he had written on his note pad.  Maybe he had been asking the wrong questions.

“This girl,” Don said and underlined the name Alice Chambers in his notebook. “Knew her well. Or at least better than anyone else here. Why didn’t she mention a possible lesbian thing?”

“They were in high school together… She’s still here, maybe we should have a conversation with her again?” Sammy said.

“Maybe,” Don agreed. He looked up, spotted the girl working one of the checkouts and walked over to the manager; a young kid who didn’t even look old enough to shave yet. The manager himself went over and relieved her and sent her over to Don and Sammy.

It was clear as she made her way over to them that she was worried. “You be the bad guy,” Don whispered to Sammy, “I’ll be the understanding father figure.” Sammy nodded almost imperceptibly.

Alice Chambers smiled weakly as she walked up. Sammy scowled at her and her smile melted.

“Don’t worry,” Don said. “I’m sure we’ll get this cleared right up. Sit down, Alice.”

“Why is he so upset?” she asked looking at Sammy who continued to scowl. 

“Because I don’t like being lied too, missy,” Sammy told her.  “Pisses me off.”

“I didn’t lie,” Alice said, going on the defensive. 

“Yes you did,” Sammy said, as he leaned toward her across the table. “You lied, and now you’re lying about having lied.”

She cringed away from him, looking ready to cry.

“Alice, I’m sure Sam here will be fine,” Don told her. “We work around hardened criminals all the time. I guess he forgot you’re a young lady, not a criminal.” Don sent Sammy a potent stare, and Sammy sighed and turned away. “It’s this lesbian thing… It’s understandable that you wouldn’t want to mention it, but this girl’s life could be at stake…” He made eye contact with her and made her hold it. Her eyes filled up and began to overflow. “Alice?” Don asked. She looked back toward the front of the store where she had been working and then looked back at them, swiping at the tears with the back of her hand and she did. “You want to tell me?”Don asked. She nodded.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered. She took a few seconds, seeming to fight to gain control. Don left and came back with some tissues that he handed to her. She thanked him, blew her nose, and then took several deep breaths.

Don mentally looked her over as she got herself under control. Alice Chambers was on the skinny side. Almost no breasts. A body like a boy, no hips, short, bobbed blonde hair. Nose ring, tongue ring, probably a dozen other piercings in her ears and who knew where else. He had taken her look for punk, not gay, but now that he was really looking at her she seemed more boyish than girlish. It seemed like maybe it was more than just a subtle statement, and he had overlooked it: Seen it wrong. It wasn’t just that she didn’t look all that attractive as a woman, she just looked more like a boy. And it looked like most of it was by choice.

“We were together in high school,” Alice said in a near whisper.

Don nodded like he’d known it all along. “Here at work too?” he asked.

“No… Of course not. April isn’t… April’s not… She likes boys…  It was… It was just a thing for a little while… This guy…” She took a deep breath and swiped at her eyes. “This guy forced her, you know and so she stayed away from guys after that for awhile.” She focused on Don, refusing to look at Sammy.

“This guy… Know his name? The one who raped her?” Don asked.

“She didn’t say raped, she said forced,” Alice corrected.

“Okay, forced… but you can see, Alice, that even if you don’t say it’s rape, it’s still rape, right? Are you saying there was no intercourse?” Don asked.

“No… There was,” she admitted.

“Then its rape, Alice. Let’s not cut the guy any slack at all on that, okay?” Don asked.

“Okay,” Alice agreed.

“So, his name?”

“He’s dead,” Alice said. “Tyler Matthews. Died in a car crash a few months back, remember?”

“Yeah… The local football star,” Sammy said.

Don just nodded. “So it was just the two of you. What came between you?” he asked.

“I told you, guys. She’s not like me,” she looked down at the table and then back up. “But I don’t know this David. I never heard her say anything about him. Maybe a cute guy that lived at the end of the road. And two guys on either side of the trailer who have been bothering her,” Alice said.

Sometimes you failed to ask the right questions, Don thought.  Sometimes the answers were right there. “Okay… Tell me about this cute guy who lived at the end of the road? You mean the trailer park road or Lott road?” he asked.

“Lott road. I don’t know about him. She said she saw him a few times. She thought he was cute, but she couldn’t get him to notice her,” Alice said. She blew her nose once more. The tears seemed to be dried up, Don thought: At least for now.

“Anything else about him… Anything at all?” Don asked.

“She said he worked nights… Drove a truck back and forth to work… That’s all I know, honest,” she looked over at Sammy who nodded. Done with his bad cop routine.

“Did you know David Cross at all… I can’t remember if I asked you that before,” Don said. He knew he had asked her; he simply wanted her to answer again.

“No,” Alice said.

“Didn’t know he lived at the end of Lott road… All the way at the end?” don asked.

She looked surprised. “No. I didn’t know that. I guess that means it was him she thought was cute… Did he do something to her…? Is that it? Did he?” her voice rose slightly and panic crept into it.

“I don’t know… I certainly hope not, Alice, but I don’t know,” Don said. “He’s a bad guy though… I can tell you that. Did time… If there’s any other thing you remember I could use the help. He may have done something to her… We just don’t know yet,” Don finished. Actually he was pretty sure that David Cross had killed April Evans in the back bedroom of the trailer at the end of Lott road that he called home: All, but positive.

She looked at him and her eyes began to spill over again. “I couldn’t stand that,” Alice whispered. “I couldn’t.”

He nodded. “You want me to talk to your boss, get you the rest of the day off, Alice?” Don asked.

“No, no,” she said. “I think I’ll go have a cigarette… Then I’ll be fine.”

“You know, I was thinking of having one too,” Don said. He reached out and took her hand and she came to her feet, “Come on.” He made his way to the front door taking her with him. Everyone in the store watched them walk out. The manager raised his hands slightly and looked at Sammy.

Sammy made a calm-down gesture with both hands. “It’s fine,” he said. “It’s fine.”


Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=VyKzDwAAQBAJ


BLACKNESS OF THE SOUL

“I know… You know, Paul, people sometimes think I don’t listen to prayer anymore… If I ever did. They tell themselves that and then they begin to believe it. I do listen though. I do. Every prayer. Every time. Do you believe that, Paul?”

Blackness Of The Soul

This material is copyright protected. It has not been edited for content. This material can not be used without the express permission of Wendell Sweet or his Assignee.


Paul Brown settled the barrel of the nine Millimeter pistol against his left palm, curled his hand around it as if to hold it forever, and then released it finger by finger. A sob escaped his throat and a fat tear drop rolled down his left cheek and splashed against the butt of the pistols grip where the clip protruded slightly. He took his free hand, wiped the tear away and then reached for the beer that sat beside him.

He raised the can to his mouth, drank deeply, and then continued to stare at the black pistol that rested in his right hand. Once again his left hand closed around the barrel, but lightly. Stroking it. Caressing it. He fished a cigarette from the pack beside him on the floor, thumbed the wheel of his old Zippo and pulled the harsh tobacco smoke into his lungs.

The smoke, or the beer, or both seemed to calm him, at least momentarily. His chest hitched but he stifled the sob this time. The sobs frightened him more than the gun. The sobs came on their own and there seemed to be no way to fight or stop them. They were a life unto themselves. The gun on the other hand only had to speak once. And technically he would never hear it.

“Probably never hear it,” he whispered into the semi darkness of the living room. He had pulled the curtains on the outside world. Blocked it away from him.

Probably never hear it. He wondered about the truth of the statement for what seemed to be an excessive amount of time to him, caught himself, and took another deep drink of the cold beer followed by a near frenzied pull from the cigarette. He waited on the sob but it came when he didn’t expect it. A flood of tears came with it, falling from his eyes, staining his reddened cheeks before he could think to try and stop it.

“Oh, God,” he moaned. He sucked in a deep breath, lifted the pistol to his mouth and bumped the barrel across his teeth and into his mouth.

Everything seemed to freeze. The taste of oiled metal flooded his mouth He gagged, and then nearly squeezed the trigger too hard because of it. Panicked, he ripped the gun from his mouth tearing open his upper lip on the gun site as he did.

He was breathing hard. He needed to calm down. The tears just continued to fall. His cheeks felt raw. His eyes full of sand. His head began to pound harder. It had begun to pound earlier. He thought about that too. No more headaches. None. No more worries. No more anything at all. He sighed and returned the gun to his lips. He could taste the oil and metal once more, mixed with the blood from the torn lip.

His lips did not seem to want to part. He eased the gun away, took a deep drag off the cigarette, his breath shuddered in and out. He tipped the can and took a deep drink to rinse his mouth of the tastes that had made him gag, then upended the can and drained it. He reached over and pulled another beer from the bag on the carpeted floor, took another deep drink to rinse the tastes from his mouth and then lit a new cigarette from the butt of the old one. He dropped the old butt into the freshly emptied can beside him. He pulled the smoke deeply into his lungs and then let it drift from his nose as he slowly exhaled, trying to calm himself. If he could only think this out, his mind jabbered. He took another deep drink from the can.

In a way it would be nice to sit down and think this through, but in another way he didn’t care if he ever had another thought in his life. He didn’t want to take the time to think it out at all. He had made up his mind earlier. In a few minutes, when he finished the cigarette and the beer he’d do it, he decided.

He didn’t want to die with a lit cigarette in his mouth and burn down the house. Anne had to live here… Well, maybe not, but even so she’d have to sell it or something… If she didn’t lose it…

He pulled hard on the cigarette as if rushing it to its end so he could rush his own end. He took a deep drink from the beer and felt the headache ease back a little.

He could feel the buzz from the beer. Maybe it would knock down the headache after all. Either way the headache was not long for this world, he decided.

Calm seemed to come over him all at once. The sob that he had been waiting for didn’t come. His chest didn’t hitch. His cheeks still felt irritated, his eyes full of sand, his mind weary and removed from him to a degree, but the hysteria he had been sure was going to grab him didn’t make another appearance.

Through the curtains he could see the late afternoon sunlight. Still gold in the sky. Heating up his part of the south. There was no noise except the steady rumble of the air conditioner. Whatever heat the sun held was lost on him today.

He pulled on the cigarette, noticed that it was all but dead and dropped it into the can with the last one. He upended the beer can and drained it. He waited, expecting the sobs to come back but the calm remained. He sighed once, was surprised to find that the gun was only inches from his lips, opened his mouth and slid the barrel in. The hysteria stayed at bay. He adjusted the barrel so it would be more comfortable, sighed at the absurdity of that thought, and then squinted his eyes down as his finger tightened on the trigger.

~2~

“How do you feel, Paul?”

Paul blinked and tried to look around him. He found that it was not entirely possible. He couldn’t really turn around to where the voice had come from no matter how he tried.

“It doesn’t matter though,” the same voice said.

And it didn’t. It became completely unimportant right then. Just like that.

“How do you feel?”

“I’m pretty upset. I…” He stopped. He had been pretty upset, but he wasn’t now. Now he felt… Well, at peace.

“That’s good, Paul. You should feel at peace.”

“It feels good,” he said. It seemed entirely normal that whoever was behind him could read his mind… Am I dead?

“I wanted to talk to you about how you got here, Paul.”

“How?”

“How.”

The time spun out.

“I stole about… I guess I don’t even know how much… I kept stealing and it kept adding up. And I knew they’d catch it… And they did… My boss must have called the cops,“ Paul said.

“Actually the company accountant… But I meant how you got here… To this point.”

“I… … I don’t know what you mean.”

“To kill yourself, Paul. I mean how did you get to this point where you decided to kill yourself… Take your own life… How did you reach that point, Paul?”

“Oh… I thought about it… I…” He stopped and thought about it. “I see… It’s just tough to understand… I don’t really know exactly… Are you God?”

“Do you think of me as God?”

Paul thought about it. “I think I do… I think so… I believe you are God.”

“Then I am.”

“You are? … Really? You really are God?”

“I really am, Paul…”

His voice was soft. Reassuring.

“I… I thought you would sound different… I… Am I dead?”

“No… Not yet… You have some little time left… I thought, since you asked, that before you do something that will change everything we should talk.”

Paul nodded. “I prayed… Earlier I prayed.”

“I know… You know, Paul, people sometimes think I don’t listen to prayer anymore… If I ever did. They tell themselves that and then they begin to believe it. I do listen though. I do. Every prayer. Every time. Do you believe that, Paul?”

“I do… I mean I do now. I do know that now. I’m ashamed to say that.”

“Don’t be. There is no shame here. You are used to saying words that really don’t mean anything true. They are there, you say them… In this case you say that you are ashamed when you are not ashamed.”

Paul examined himself. “You’re right… I don’t feel ashamed. I feel good still. At peace still.”

“So how did you get here. How did you come to be here? Who told you that suicide was a solution?”

“I… It was painful… My wife will leave me. We’ll lose everything… The kids… I can’t imagine what the kids will do… Feel… It seemed… It seemed right.”

“Did it?”

Paul thought about it. “Maybe not… It felt like the only choice I had.”

“Yet you called out to me. Why?”

“Because… Because I used to believe in you… I…”

He laughed. “And I am still here. Did you think I had died? Did you think I had stopped believing in you?”

“Some people think so… That you died.”

“You?”

“No… I guess the truth is I just stopped believing… I believed in other things… Taxes… Bills… Mortgage payments… Summer… Fall…”

“The things you see every day.”

“That’s a good way to put it.”

“I have a way with words.”

Paul laughed and then stopped. “I thought maybe that was a joke.”

”It was… Do you wish you had not stopped believing? Do you see how things could have been different?”

“I can see that now, but what good is it after the fact? I pulled the trigger… I remember that.”

“Did you? I think you asked me to help… Sometimes I help in unexpected ways… Thomas needed to see… To place his hand in my side… Peter needed to see me risen… Sometimes my people ask me for help and then don’t recognize the help when it comes.”

“Like now?”

“Like now, yes. It’s time to think. To breath… To make a decision… A different decision.”

“Then what?” Paul asked.

“Then? … What comes, comes… I know what it is to live. I have felt what you feel. Struggled with the same temptations. We take it as it comes to us, Paul.”

“So the problems would still be there?”

“Yes.”

“That’s help?” Paul asked.

“I will help you all that you will allow.”

Paul thought about it and realized it was true.

“So… How did you end up here?”

“I guess I just walked away… I guess I chose to do that.”

You still choose words that are untrue. Do you guess or do you know?”

“I know. I walked away.”

“You know, it’s a split second decision… Many times if you take the time to think you can get through whatever comes at you.”

Paul nodded, took a deep breath. “I see.”

~3~

The finger stopped. He remembered something… Something… Summer. A thousand years ago it seemed… Anne… When they had first met… The picture in his mind was so perfect, so intense. So real, and a flood of images followed it… But… There had been something else there for a moment, hadn’t there? He had been focusing on the trigger… The pressure… And there had been something else there… Just for a moment… It seemed so. It seemed as though he had been ready to pull the trigger and… And someone…


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White Trash. A free peek at one hell of a crime thriller

WHITE TRASH

By Dell Sweet

Copyright © 2018 by Dell Sweet

PUBLISHED BY: Dell Sweet; all rights reserved

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. 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.

This novel is Copyright © 2018 Dell Sweet. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the authors permission. All rights are retained by the Author.

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

Cover art Copyright © 2018 Dell Sweet

WHITE TRASH

Copyright 2018 Dell Sweet, all rights Reserved


Jimmy

He had her tied to the top of the picnic table, nude, but he had to wrap things up, the sun was coming up.

She hadn’t known anything. Nothing at all. If she had, she would’ve told him, Jimmy knew, but he had enjoyed discovering what she didn’t know.

He finished his cigarette, one of hers actually, and crushed it out on the table top. He wore latex gloves on his hands. A plastic slip over suit covered his clothes. He put the butt in a plastic bag that also held the condoms he had used.

He walked back over to the table and Alice’s frightened eyes met his. Pleaded with him. He reached down and pushed the hair away from her eyes. Her mouth was gagged and wrapped with duct tape. She tried to talk as he walked around behind her.

“I’m sorry, Alice, I can’t understand you,” he said. He reached into his pocket, pulled out a switchblade and held it close to his leg. She was already familiar with the switchblade. “It’s time,” he told her. He bought the switchblade up and showed it to her. Her eyes seemed to bulge from their sockets, but before she could more than barely react he bought the knife down into her throat and ran it from side to side in one quick, practiced motion.

He watched her eyes as the light flickered and then went out.  Finally he let her head go and walked away. He stripped off the gloves, the plastic suit, and stuffed it all in the black plastic bag. He lit one more cigarette and looked over his handiwork as he smoked. Perfect he thought. He finally crushed out the last cigarette, dropped the butt into the bag and walked away.

He wondered how soon they would find her, or if the birds and other wildlife would find her first. He would love to stick around and watch, but he had to be moving.

He thought about what Alice had told him about being April Evans lover. He could use that. He could use that when he caught up to April Evans. Now they both had something in common. They had both been Alice’s lover. He chuckled at the thought. He reached his car, climbed in and started it up. He picked up the cell phone and dialed Tommy’s number as he pulled out of the parking lot and passed the empty toll booths.

“It’s Jimmy,” he said when the phone was answered. “Here’s the license number of the vehicle were looking for.” He ran off the license number, make and model of the Jeep that David and April had purchased from Bob’s Easy Auto. He gave their names and descriptions, and then went into an explanation of what he believed had happened. Tommy assured him that he would have the vehicle looked for and let Jimmy know if it was spotted.

“They have the drugs. All of them. The cops have part of Carlos. I imagine the rest of him is at Neo’s… I’ll take care of that,” Jimmy told him.

“I’ll let Jefferson know about Carlos. I’m sure he’ll be happy.  I’ll fill him in on the rest too… What else is there?” Tommy asked.

“Nothing for now,” Jimmy told him. “I’ll be in Liberty in a few hours. I’ll let you know later in the day what I find.” He hung up and concentrated on driving. A few miles down the road he called Vinny back.

“Yeah… I appreciate it… Tommy appreciates it… Listen, those two kids got a large amount of… Let’s say product on them.  I’m talking huge, pounds. Up into the millions, high multiples of them… There can’t be too many people that could handle a buy like that, still… I thought you would… No… No… Yeah, keep your nose to the ground. Let me know… Tommy will be very generous… Thank you,” he hung up and concentrated on driving. He glanced down at his watch, almost 6:00 AM.

The Cops

The sun was up and Don circled carefully round the picnic table looking down at Alice. The gulls had been at her, but only for a little while. The rest of the cuts and missing pieces had been done by somebody with a sharp knife.

He was still in shock. He had been at the trailer park; April’s trailer had held nothing: Missing clothes, same as David’s place, when he and Don had been called to respond to the public beach which was only 10 miles down the road. They had only told him that it might be his missing female. He and Sammy had made it in less than ten minutes.

He had been shocked when he had seen it was Alice tied to the table. And the torture marks on her body had been an even bigger shock. He had just left her at work a few hours before. How could it be her? A call to the young kid, her boss, had revealed that someone he believed to be another cop had walked her to his car shortly after Don and Sammy had left. He had gotten to the bottom of that, and the description, tall, short cropped black hair, the gray at the temples, hard looking, casual clothes, pullover sweater in a dark colored coat had hit home: The guy who had walked into the store. He had replayed it two dozen times and the guy’s description was now out on the radio. The car had been a gray sedan, and he had remembered the first three digits of the license plate number. It was the best he could do. The whole ID would get pushed statewide in a short while.

The techs arriving even now were shocked. It was a small area, crime happened, even murder, but not like this, not usually. They set about doing their jobs though. Don stepped back to where Sammy was, lit a cigarette and watched.

Sammy looked up at him.

“Sorry,” Don said. Without offering to snuff the cigarette.

“Don’t be,” Sammy said. “This shit keeps up, I might take up smoking again myself.” Sammy looked down at his watch. “Only seven. It’s going to be a long god damn day,” he said.

Mobile

“Why would you tell them something like that?” Ronnie Lee asked.

“Listen,” Rich said. “It’s a couple of kids. The one kid used to work for me. Not the brightest…” He sighed “They have some shit that’s hot. I mean real hot. I don’t know where they came by it, but I know where it came from, and all those guys are dead. All you got to do is take it off their hands. Sell it, you and I split the profit,” he said.

“And how does that work. Take it off their hands? Steal it? Is that what you mean?” Ronnie Lee asked.

“Yeah, well, yeah, you’ll have to. I mean you deal on a big level. You’ve done some shit same as me… Don’t tell me you haven’t… Look, I’ll be blunt. I can send them right to you; right to you. They will walk right in to where ever you need them to walk in to. Put a bullet in both of their heads and dump them in the nearest swamp. Take the shit off their hands. It’s that simple, Ronnie lee. That simple,” Rich told him. 

“You are crazy, Rich. You want me to kill a couple of kids for a few pounds a weed? A little coke? How much H? Even if it’s an ounce I’m not killing any one for it. Your fuckin’ crazy, Rich,” Ronnie Lee told him.

“Listen, goddamn it! Do you know who Tommy Murphy is?  Huh? Or Jefferson Prescott? Eh? Names ring some bells? Those are the guys who got ripped off. I’m talking serious, large amounts of money. It’s out there that they want it back, and how much it is too. You just haven’t heard about it yet,” Rich said.

“And I don’t want to hear about it if they’re involved. It would be like stealing from them. They’ll send someone to take care of me. Make me dead. No fuckin’ thanks. How much, if it’s so much, how much? I know I wouldn’t touch it if it was a half million bucks. No fuckin’ way. No way. It wouldn’t be worth it,” Ronnie lee said over the phone.

Rich held the phone away from his ear. When Ronnie was done he spoke. “Neither would I. How much would you do it for Ronnie? How much?” Richard asked.

“Don’t be stupid, Rich. Don’t be.”

Rich cut him off. “How much? Just say it so I know where we’re at,” Rich said.

“I’m serious, man, you’re talking shit. Just bullshit,” Ronnie lee said. “I don’t know man… I guess I probably would do it for a half a mil.. That means a real mil. split between us,” he said at last.

“Fifteen to twenty” Rich said.

“Time?” Ronnie lee asked.

“No. I mean fifteen to twenty million dollars of product.  Those two kids are carrying it around the fuckin’ country. Fuck the shit right out of half a mil. each. Do you think I’d fuck around with turning on Jefferson for any reason? I wouldn’t, so you know it’s got to be big. Fifty, fifty. Seven  to ten mil. each,” Rich said. “It’s fucking incredible just to say it like that.”

“Yeah… Yeah, I’m down with that shit, man… Why didn’t you just say so, man? Holy fuck. Yeah… Yeah… Okay, what do I got to know?” Ronnie lee asked.

Rich laughed and began to explain the situation and describe David and April. He looked at his watch, 8:00 AM he saw. “They’ll be to you in about twenty five hours or so if they drive straight through,” he said. “I’ll let you know as I know.”


Barnes & Noble (Nook): https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/white-trash-dell-sweet/1129773737?ean=2940155853428


Books and a free story

Posted by Dell 08-03-2015

This week: I have a true story from, “TRUE: True stories from a small town #1”. These stories are from my past. I have three volumes published and I will probably add a few more this winter when I have the time.

Last week had been a long hot week here, but the humidity, despite the rain, fell over the weekend… Finally!

Earth’s Survivors Plague has been released. Click below to get it or read a free preview.

Amazon U.S.:
http://www.amazon.com/Earths-Survivors-Plague-Geo-Dell-ebook/dp/B0137DRAUY

Amazon U.K.:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Earths-Survivors-Plague-Geo-Dell-ebook/dp/B0137DRAUY

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

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

Things are going to continue to be absolutely crazy here as I adapt to the changes with my health, but so far I am doing that well. I am going to be working on publishing Fig street in the next few weeks. It is out for test reads right now, then I will comb through it again, make the rest of the changes, send it back and wait for the editing to finish. It is finished and needs a run through for context before it goes off to the editor (Geo Dell). Geo and I are doing that book together. I really enjoyed writing it, taking it from a small serialized story to a novel.

I will leave you with this true story…

Back in the eighties I drove taxi for a few years. That time of my life has provided tons of written material, but this is the only true story I wrote about that time period. I hope you enjoy it, and I will be back next week…

The Last ride By Dell Sweet

Single Edition Licensed for SOTOFO Blog

PUBLISHED BY: independAntwriters All Rights Reserved

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. 

This short story is Copyright © 2013 – 2015 Wendell Sweet & independAntwriters. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the author’s permission. Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print

The Last Ride is Copyright © 2013 – 2015 Dell Sweet. All rights reserved

________________________________

THE LAST RIDE

It was early in my shift. I owned my own taxi so I could pretty much pick which 12 hour shift I wanted to drive. I drove nights so that I could be home with my son during the day while my wife worked. I had told myself for most of the last year that I should stop driving taxi, settle down to a real job and be more responsible, but then a Conrail contract came along, and then the opportunity to work with another driver who handled the Airport contract: Suddenly I was making more money than I could have reasonably expected from what I would have considered a straight job.

The hours were long, but there was something that attracted me to the night work. Always had been. Like my internal clock was Set to PM. It just seemed to work and after a few failed attempts to work day shift work, I gave it up and went to work full time nights.

I was never bored. The nights kept me awake and interested. They supplied their own entertainment. Conrail crews, regulars that called only for me, the assorted funny drunks late at night when the bars were closing. Soldiers on their way back to the nearby base, and a dancer at a small club just off downtown that had been calling for me personally for the last few weeks: Using my cab as a dressing room on the way back to her hotel. It was always something different.

Days, the few times I’d driven days, couldn’t compare. Sure, there was violence at night too, but it rarely came my way and never turned into a big deal when it did.

It was Friday night, one of my big money nights, about 7:00 P.M. and my favorite dispatcher, Smitty, had just come on. He sent me on a call out State street that would terminate downtown. Once I was downtown, I could easily pick up a GI heading back to the base for a nice fat fare and usually a pretty good tip. My mind was on that. My mind was also on that dancer who would be calling sometime after 2:00 AM, and who had made it clear that I was more than welcome to come up to her room. It was tempting, I’ll admit it, and each time she called, she tempted me more. I figured it was just a matter of time before I went with her.

I really didn’t see the lady when she got into my car, but when it took her three times to get out the name of the bar downtown that she wanted to go to, I paid attention. Drunk. It was early too. Sometimes drunks were okay, but most times they weren’t. This one kept slumping over, slurring her words, nearly dropping her cigarette: I owed the bank a pile of money on the car and didn’t need burn holes in my back seat.

I dropped the flag on the meter, pulled away from the curbing and eased into traffic. Traffic was heavy at that time and I pissed off more than a few other drivers as I forced my way into the traffic flow. I had just settled into the traffic flow when a glance into the rear view mirror told me my passenger had fallen over. I couldn’t see the cigarette, but I could still smell it. I made the same drivers even angrier as I swept out of the traffic flow and angled up onto the sidewalk at the edge of the street. I got as far out of the traffic flow as I could get so I could get out to see what was up with the woman in the back seat.

I was thinking drunk at the time, but the thought that it could be something more serious crept into my head as I made the curb, bumped over it, set my four way flashers and climbed out and went around to the back door.

She was slumped over into the wheel well, the cigarette smoldering next to her pooled, black hair. In her hair, I realized, as the smell of burning hair came to me. I snatched the cigarette and threw it out then shook her shoulder to try to bring her around, but it was obvious to me, just that fast, that the whole situation had changed. She wasn’t breathing.

I reached in, caught her under the arms, and then suddenly someone else was there with me.

He was a short, thin man, wearing a worried look upon his face. Dark eyes sat deeply in their sockets. His hair hung limply across his forehead. He squeezed past me and looked down at the woman. He pushed her eyelids up quickly, one by one, and then held his fingers to her lips. He frowned deeply and flipped the hair away from his forehead.

“Paramedic”, he told me as he took her other arm and helped me pull her from the back seat.

We laid her out on the sloping front lawn of the insurance company I had stopped in front of and he put his head to her chest.

He lifted his head, shaking it as he did. “Call an ambulance,” he said tersely.

I could feel the shift in his demeanor. He wasn’t letting me know he could handle the situation, like when he told me he was a paramedic, he was handling it. I got on the radio and made the call.

The ambulance got there pretty quickly. I stood back out of the way and let them work on her, raising my eyes to the backed up traffic on occasion. The paramedic had torn open her shirt. Her nudity seemed so out of place on the city sidewalk. Watching the traffic took the unreal quality of it away from me. I watched the ambulance pull away, eased my car down off the curb and back into the sluggish traffic and went back to work.

I got the story on her about midnight once things slowed down and I stopped into the cab stand to talk to the dispatcher for a short while. His daughter knew someone, who knew someone, who knew someone at the hospital. The woman had taken an overdose. Some kind of pills. It was going to be touch and go. He also had a friend in the police department too. She did it because of a boyfriend who had cheated on her. It seemed so out of proportion to me. I went back to work, but I asked him to let me know when he heard more.

2:30 AM

The night had passed me by. The business of the evening hours catching me up for a time and taking me away from the earlier events. I was sitting downtown in my cab watching the traffic roll by me. It was a beautifully warm early morning for Northern New York. I had my window down letting the smell of the city soak into me, when I got the call to pick up my dancer with the club gig.

“And,” Smitty told me over the static filled radio, “your lady friend didn’t make it.”

It was just a few blocks to the club. I left the window down enjoying the feeling of the air flowing past my face. The radio played Steely Dan’s Do It Again, and I kind of half heard it as I checked out the back seat to see if the ghost from the woman earlier might suddenly pop up there.

The dancer got in and smiled at me. I smiled back, but I was thinking about the other woman, the woman who was now dead, sitting in that same place a few hours before. The dancer began to change clothes as I drove to her hotel.

“You know,” she said, catching my eyes in the mirror. “I should charge you a cover. You’re seeing more than those GI’S in the club.” She shifted slightly, her breasts rising and falling in the rear view mirror. We both laughed. It was a game that was not a game. She said it to me every time. But my laugh was hollow: Despite her beauty, I was still hung up on someone being alive in my back seat just a few hours before and dead now. Probably being wheeled down to the morgue were my friend Pete worked. I made myself look away and concentrate on the driving. She finished dressing as I stopped at her hotel’s front entrance.

“You could come up… If you wanted to,” she said. She said it lightly, but her eyes held serious promise.

“I’d like to… But I better not,” I said.

She smiled, but I could tell I had hurt her feelings. It was a real offer, but I couldn’t really explain how I felt. Why I couldn’t. Not just because I was married, that was already troubled, but because of something that happened earlier.

I drove slowly away after she got out of the cab and wound up back downtown for the next few hours sitting in an abandoned buildings parking lot thinking… “I was only concerned about her cigarette burning the seats.”

I smoked while I sat, dropping my own cigarettes out the window and onto the pavement. A short while later Smitty called me with a Conrail trip. I started the cab and drove out to Massey yard to pick up my crew. The dancer never called me again…


I hope you enjoyed the story. I will be back again next week. Enjoy your week, Dell.