What I want to be when I grow up…

Posted by Dell. Um, I’m in my sixties, isn’t that young?

It has been a busy week for me, and a week where I accomplished no writing at all. That seemed strange at first, but I got so much else done that I decided it wasn’t strange, just a temporary kind of new.

I worked all week on remodeling, smashed almost every finger and thumb that I have, wore myself out completely a few days in a row, and still felt grateful for it. It made me wish even harder to be living a life that models my books. I think that is why we find tales like that, a struggle to survive, impelling. It is a lifestyle we long for because it is completely different from what we have. No taxes, no $4.00 a gallon gasoline. No boss on your ass, and all the rest of it that would personalize it for each of us. That kind of life has pulled at me since someone bought it up to me at 18, and offered me a chance to live it.

I had an opportunity then to homestead in another country. It was serious. Isolated. Living completely off the land in a very wild place. No neighbors, cars, roads, telephones. Nothing at all. I was young. It sounded so great. My wife was pregnant and said no and that was that. She would not have a baby in the middle of nowhere. And that bought the realization that even if we stalled a few years, eventually she might have to have that baby in the middle of nowhere. It was a dead issue for her after that.

I understood it on two levels. First the reality of living that life or a life in the real world where my wife, child and family were. And just examining that on the surface made the decision for me. Second, even though the decision had been made, I was absolutely convinced that if I had gone I would have succeeded at it and loved it.

Because of that duality in me, I always pressed to learn as much as I could that would make me as self sufficient as possible, and I have. It allows me to write about things in my books with assurance. I can write it because I have done it. Learned it. Not because I read it in a book or Googled it. (Although Googling things is pretty damn impressive too, and I have used that a few times). My point is that for the past three weeks I have left the keyboard alone and turned back to working with my hands. And, as is usually the case with me, working alone too.

It’s been great, despite the broken finger, smashed truck and busted up thumb, blisters and dead tired, nothing-left-at-all, way I have felt most nights. That is my compromise for life. It’s like an uneasy truce I declared back there at 18. I have to have some of that sort of time.

It has seemed to work great most of the time. But I found the same unhappiness, missing something that many of us find in life. Marriage, success, money, it doesn’t matter. There is, and always has been, something missing for me, and it took a great deal of life to finally forge an uneasy truce, compromise, cease war with myself.

It takes real effort to keep it working, moving. But it can be done. Part of it is what I write. I say I don’t know where it comes from, but it’s obvious that it is strongly flavored by my desire to live that life I felt I should have lived.

Some people I know would leave this life to live that life in a heart beat. Others flat out say they would never do it. If given the opportunity I would go in a second, I say. And then I think of all the obligations I have. Things that I have said that I would see through, do, people I would be there for, and I know I could never do it.

What is my point? My point is that when I write about it. Or I take a few weeks off to really work hard with my hands, it’s just as good. It can be, just as good. Or as good as having feet in both worlds can be. I think the writing is the grand escape. A good story should be able to take you away. I hope mine take you away. I hope you enjoy it so that when all the crap you have to deal with in the real world comes along you can deal with that easier because you took a little breather in your head.

I like feedback. People do write to me and tell me their opinions, I enjoy that, whether it is people I know or people I am hearing from for the first time.

It’s a little cooler here in New York. My work on the house is progressing nicely, a little slower than I would have wished, but still progressing. Next week is electrical work, insulation, security system and all the other stuff that has to go in before the Sheetrock goes on the walls. I’m enjoying it, and in a few weeks it will be down to paint and carpet, finish work, and I will be back to being only a writer for the fall and winter. By the time that happens I will be grateful for it I’m sure.

There are just so many smashed fingers and tired limbs left for my future, I guess, and then I will be only writing. But I put a limit on that a few weeks back, kind of my own end of the world. It’s a long way away, but it is nice to be counting down the time to the third part of my life.

In the meantime I will publish everything I have written in all the series and then some. When I spent time last week going over the books and the outlines for the series, it amounts to 40 books for the Earth’s Survivors series. That probably seems very ambitious, maybe even unattainable But if you stop to consider that I have already written 20 of the main books and another 9 of the side books that fit the puzzle, it doesn’t seem so unattainable. Only 9 or so to go.

I hope you had a great week, where ever you are. Hello to my friends in the UK. I am glad I have friends there. My Mother’s parents were English and Irish. I have always felt that connection. My father on the other hand was African American and Native American, so I have always felt that pull too, and I am grateful to my friends here in the States and the UK that share that sort of heritage too.

I will leave you with a short story, the first short story from Rapid City. I’ll be back next week…

Rapid City #1

By

Wendell Sweet

BLOG EDITION

* * * * *

PUBLISHED BY:

Wendell Sweet & independantwriters All rights reserved

Rapid City

Copyright © 2013 by Wendell Sweet

If you would like to share this book with another person, please direct them to this blog entry. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

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

This 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.

DEDICATION

For Shell. Nothing else to say

Rapid City is Copyright © 2013 Wendell Sweet

All rights reserved


RAPID CITY

The Town At Twilight

It was late when I came into Rapid city. Though the buildings had been thrown up as temporary shelters some twenty years past, they still held sway over the main street. But they seemed empty, abandoned in the twilight.

A faded, crudely lettered, wooden sign nailed to one side of the bat wings of Blood and Breakfast made the street official. Or as official as anything ever got in Rapid city.

My horse didn’t seem especial nervous as she made her way along. If you ride a horse, and everyone did now, gasoline was long gone unless you were a part of the Nation, you got used to their moods… Perceptions, and you paid attention or you might wind up dead. Horses were still free and Zombies couldn’t chase them down and eat them. Not that they didn’t get one occasional, they did. But it was rare.

My own horse watched the shadows slide from alleyway to alleyway between the old buildings. Her large, liquid brown eyes watching careful like. She was no fool, but she also didn’t appear to be alarmed to me.

The zombies weren’t out. They rarely came near the city in my own experience. At least not before full dark came on. So I didn’t concern myself with them. But I didn’t slide either. My eyes automatically slid from shadow to shadow in the buildings alleyways as I tied my reins to the rail out front, made the steps and headed up to the bat wings. I Heard a pigs squeal suddenly cut off and hoped there’d be some meat to be had with the usual eggs and biscuits.

Rapid city had been thrown together by some survivors who had come out of the North looking for a warmer place to live. You might as well say driven out and not just by the cold, but the zombies. Zombies didn’t mind cold. You could come across one naked as a jaybird, seeming frozen at the side of the road in the middle of the winter and think it would be no trouble. But the minute you turned your back they’d be up and on you. Once bitten there was no turning back. Oh in the early years there had been talk of some kind of cure, but it had never come to anything. After a while all those Government mouthpieces that kept talking cure got bit themselves and you just didn’t hear from them anymore. Not too long after that the whole government structure fell apart and for all intents and purposes, excepting those of us who could fight, the world belonged to the Zombies.

I had taken to gun-fighting. First: you had to be good with a gun so you could get them bastardly Zombies before they got you. Second: For some reason those that were left alive seemed to be hell bent on killing one another. A man couldn’t hardly turn his back on no one lest a bullet find him between the shoulder blades. And women? Well, short of whores of one kind or another, I had no truck with them. A woman, a real woman, was in short supply and worth killing over: Even if she was an ugly woman. I’d seen a four way gun battle over a one legged Whore down by Texas a few years back. And I’d heard about a thirty two man shoot out over a woman out on Alabama Island. And she was a slatty slip of a woman, but they said she could breed and that was that. I’d come across that one when it was over and they was counting the bodies. But these were things that were in the past. Years ago.

Back then things of that like seemed a waste to me. Here these Goddamned Zombies were killing us by the thousands, millions and these dumb son-of-a-bitches were killing each other. No sir. I’d rather take me a whore in some town when I need one. You can keep those so called proper women. And I will tell you; in my experience a whore can be a perfectly good woman. Love just the same as one of those sulky, pale things I seen out on Alabama Island a few times.

They say the plains is free of Zombies. That’s what they say. They say the Zombies is smarter, they stay around the cities where they can find food. And from what I’ve seen I’d have to agree. They seem to be evolving. But, didn’t we kind of know that was gonna happen? And do you know what the bitch is? There ain’t no goddamn way to win. You got to die, and when you do they got you. Pisses me off just to think about it.

The Blood And Breakfast

I made my way careful up the balance of the splintery steps, through the bat wings and into the Blood and Breakfast. The Blood and Breakfast only served two things. Whiskey and Breakfast. You could order just about anything you had a mind to at any time of day. And they might even listen to you, let you ramble on ’til you was done, but in the end they would tell you. You could order eggs and biscuits, meat if it was to be had. And you could have your whiskey in a bottle or a glass if you considered yourself fancy. But that was what there was and no more to be had. I put my head back to thinking as I looked around the interior.

I’d heard a lot of things about the plains. There was land. There was food to eat. And they say there’s men that has run off with whores and made them proper women out there. I heard it enough that I got to go. This will be my last stop in Rapid City and then I’m going. I’m tired of looking over my shoulder waiting for a damn Zombie to get me. Or another gunfighter. There’s a broken up BlackWay, what we used to call a road. Ain’t many seen it, but probably ain’t many been looking for it. Not only have I seen it I know where it goes. Like I said, a short stop here. Load up on supplies and I’m on my way.

The original settlement had not been laid out to serve other travelers but as a refuge for those escapees from the North. Even so within a few months all the original settlers had been run off or killed by the Zombies. The ones that came later settled the city. After that Rapid city had become the main gateway to the southern states.

The name had come from the rapids in the nearby river. Well, the river had been near town. Things changed pretty quick back then. Dams a thousand miles away burst with no maintenance, rivers sprang up, died out. Nature did what nature wanted to do. Before the first coat of paint was drying on the church building, the river had spread out nearly a quarter mile wide and was no longer the fast moving body of water that it had once been.

These days it was more like an evil smelling swamp, with the actual river nearly a mile away. It was Hell in spring when the Mosquitoes hatched but the good side of that was the other residents of rapid city, the Zombies, didn’t like the Mosquitoes Something in their bite made them zombies drop like flies. Didn’t kill them outright but it knocked ’em down, gave them some kind of sickness, and a knocked down Zombie is one you can kill real easy. Most of the Zombies that found their way to Rapid City became residents of the swamp in just that way. Their bodies tossed unceremoniously to the alligators that had found the swamp a few years back. Alligators didn’t turn when they ate Zombie. They didn’t even seem to mind eating it. The residents, few as they were, breathed a little easier, and life went on.

The blood and breakfast was located in the old church building. The building had been gutted except the altar area which had been turned into a small dance floor for the whores and travelers. The ratio of whores to travelers was about 3 to 1, but the ratio of clean, disease free whores was about 1 to 5. You had to be real careful. If old Doc mulberry had rejected it, you should be smart enough not to check it out for yourself. If it could kill you you didn’t want it. But of course if the whores didn’t get you, the Zombies would. And some men liked to gamble.

The blood came anytime after the dinner meal. We’ll, after it had been served , not necessarily eaten and ended. It was kind of fluid so to speak, always had been. There was no violence while the serving was going on, and that was enforced by a shotgun wielding crew of about four employees who would show you some blood quick if you really needed it. In my experience it always turned out better to obey the rules and wait. No matter who you were. Even the gunfighters who visited knew the rules and obeyed them.

As I stood looking around I smelled coffee brewing too, probably thick as molasses and only black, but that was fine with me. I beat my hat against the doorpost, shook off as much dust as I was able to, caught the bartenders eyes, Smoky, was his name, and took the table his eyes had given me.

There was no fresh pork yet despite the screaming pig. But there was still bacon to be had, a better treat to my thinking. It seemed like the only meat I ever ate was venison or horse. And the zombies didn’t have it that way. They didn’t care what kind of meat they ate. But of course they preferred people. It just galled me that they was never having the problems with food that the rest of us had. I’d heard of a few places where the tables had been turned. Where hunting parties went out looking for Zombies. Shot them down. Bought them back to display them. But I also heard how them places went bad too. There was always one that stepped over the line and decided to eat what they shot. Don’t let that shock you. After all, isn’t it the same Goddamn thing the Zombies are doing to us? Sure it is. Except that old saying you are what you eat comes into play pretty damn quick. To me it made no sense. I couldn’t cypher how they had got to think to eat a Zombie. The things were dead. Stunk to high Heaven. And it only made sense that it would turn you. Just about every Goddamned thing you had to do with them frigging Zombies would turn you.

Like them idiots that thought you could mate with them. Breed the UN-dead right out of existence. That never turned out well neither. I guess men just thought strange thoughts sometimes when they set down to ponder this whole situation out and there wasn’t always someone there to talk sense into them. Anyway, I knew I was tired of horse and venison, and nowhere near ready to lunch on Zombie. But a little bacon would be a good treat. It’d been a few years since I had any, a little place down toward Texas where it had once met Mexico was the last time.

I took the bacon. A half dozen biscuits and as many eggs: When there’s fresh food you take it. Jerky and hard biscuits was the normal fare. Horse or Deer jerky. And once Turtle jerky. Jesus, that there was some bad stuff. I suppose you might get to thinking around the campfire late at night, belly rumbling, that a little Zombie might not be so bad after all.

I rolled a smoke and sat watching twilight paint the dirt street golden as the sun sank. I spoke to a boy leaning on the wall watching me and sent him to do for my horse. He was off the wall as soon as I flipped a gold piece at him and out the door. I heard him lead my horse away, feet clomping in the early evening stillness. I sometimes worried about my horse. A zombie will eat a horse if that Horse is tied up and can’t get away from it. I seen a Zombie horse or two in my time too. Yes. A horse could be turned. Jesus. It’s a rough sight to see.

The kid would make sure the horse was inside but not penned. She could go if she needed to. I’d find her later. Wouldn’t be the first time. In this world your horse was everything. I’d known men who loved the company of their horse mor’n other people. There was something I understood, but dinner was coming so I put the horse out of my mind. The evening was nearly here and I was safe inside. And I felt good.

The Gunfighter Profession

I am Robert Evans, a gunfighter. I wear stitched leather gloves with no fingers. There is a man in Alabama City that makes them special for me and a few others that be in the life of gun fighting. They protect my palms. They give a good grip. And they leave my fingers clear so they do not get tripped up when I need them. Those gloves have always made people look twice, and a lot of what I am about is psychological. A painted picture. I want to be feared. Sometimes I think I am no better than the Zombies when it comes to that. If you fear me you stay away from me. But there was the other side of that too. You kill what you fear. Yes you do.

I don’t fight overly much anymore. That sort of occupation is dying out I guess. There was a time when the world was crazy though and we found ourselves in a different kind of life. The cities fell. The cops failed to keep us safe. Governments were all talk, and then they were no more. The dead were everywhere.

That was our time. Gunfighters. Gold on the nail and we could make death happen. I carried two fully automatic 45 caliber pistols with custom extended clips. Made my own ammo. Still do. Knock a Zombie down at 100 yards. Walk into a crowd of Zombies and take them all out before one could touch me. And although I was not special I was no slouch. There were only a few in my league. Jimmy Jenkins… Lila West… A few others. We were sent for from all over to take care of Zombie outbreaks. But the sheer numbers overcame us. And the shock wore off and those that were still alive began to fight back. And we, gunfighters, became outcasts. Social misfits. Hated almost as much as the Zombies we had once been hired to kill. The people felt we had taken advantage of them. Lied to them. And some even suspected that we ourselves had something to do with those Zombies. Some sort of bond. Like maybe we had spawned them so we could profit from them. I never made no Zombie any more than I’d ever be willing to eat one. But back in the beginning? We was feared. I could not tell you how many Zombies I put in the ground for permanent. Thousands. High numbers of thousands.

Now nobody gives a shit about us. There were so few people that lived that it looks like it would probably take about ten thousand years before anybody would need to be fighting over anything. Maybe the Zombies will take over. Maybe the earth is no longer for the living. But there is land everywhere. Gold everywhere. The women live longer than the men. Life is just harder for a man. Die sooner, except when the zombies get you then you don’t even get to die. And even if the women that are left are mostly Whores there are enough for everyone. No need to kill over them anymore, despite those things that still go on. Really, there are just a few of us left and every time I come around somewhere it seems there is a half dozen less faces that I had been used to seeing. The Zombies get a few, and we still kill each other too. Makes no sense to me at all.

There was and is speculation about that. Are we dying out? I think we are. Looks pretty clear to me. How can you kill something that’s dead? You can’t. Is this God’s judgment? Maybe. Government fuck-up? That’s what I think. We will never know for a fact what did happen, but I know this, I believe we’re done. I wouldn’t say it if I was you though unless you’re prepared to meet your God. It’s just that way. We may be dying out. And we may know we’re dying out. And the Zombies may be on the verge of inheriting the earth, but we don’t want to hear it. Saying it will usually get you dead fast.

The Good Old Days – Dinner and Conversation

When I was younger it was cockroaches. People believed that someday a nuclear missile would take all of us out and the earth would be left to the cockroaches. That’s funny because even when we are gone the Zombies will go on and the cockroach population will be kept in check, because, as it turns out, Zombies love cockroaches. Eat those little fuckers just like Popcorn. Like a treat. And, it applies to nearly every goddamn bug there is. If you study Zombies for a while, I killed them for a living for many years so I had to, you will see them do it. Just reach down and snatch a bug from the ground, or the floor, or the air and stuff it in their mouths. And they are fast. Gone are those early days when they were slow. No more. Only the mosquitoes are a different story. If we could have just found out what was in Mosquitoes we might have gotten someplace, but it’s too late for that now, truly it is.

I flicked my cigarette away as the food came. It’s been a good six months since I’ve eaten real meat. That had been on Alabama Island. The Nation. I was looking forward to the Bacon. Just seeing it on my plate made my mouth water.

The Nation is what has bought most of this country back under control. They control the communist whole, not just each and every little area but the whole of the continent. North, South, East and West. They’re there. I do trade with them. I could probably fall in with them and establish my own settlements, be myself again. Beef, Coffee, Sugar, Textiles, Electricity if you were in one of their settlements or one of their larger cities like Alabama Island you would think that nothing had ever happened.

But there were rumors about the nation. They were getting shaky, falling apart, and on my last trip to Alabama Island I saw that, that might be true. If they were shaking it might take some time before they shook themselves apart. They were so big that I couldn’t really see it. The only thing that made me really examine it at all was that America was big… The biggest… And it fell apart.

I mulled life over as I began to put away my dinner and listened to the surrounding conversation.

Concerns about the weather. Too much sun. The farming, crops. The Nation. Concerns about the Zombies, was it over? Was it done? Talk about a gunfighter who had been tracked down in a small town down near the Texas border and killed. That one I had heard about. Vigilantes, something like that. Tracked him down. Betsy, one of the whores, had caught something bad. Bad enough that Doc Mulberry didn’t know what to do about it. A zombie that had been acting strange, coming around the Blood and Breakfast and going through the trash. Even in the daylight. If it was like that with zombies now I guess it didn’t really surprise me. They’ve come around like that before. Zombies were adaptable… Changing… We all knew it. And then the conversation moved on and I lost interest as I ate my dinner.

The Challenger

It took me a few seconds to realize that it was quiet. All the conversation had fallen off. The roar of the silence broke through to me. It’s odd like that, ain’t it? How the absence of sound can call you up out of your thinking sometimes, faster than actual noises can. This was bad though. Stupid of me. The old me would not never had been caught like that.

I looked up following the directions of the stares and heard the low clacking of new boot heels as they made the wooden steps that came into the saloon.

He was known to me, but that didn’t mean I was known to him. I had seen him fight more than once. Perhaps four times total if I recalled correctly. Gunfighters were so rare now as to draw attention. I drew my share of sideways glances and small murmurings as I said. And handling my own business was nothing new for me. I did it when I had to. My guns talked for me.

John Baxter, that was the gunfighters name, walked in and straight to the bar. I would have liked to have thought that he had not seen me but I knew he had. He was working way too hard to not look my way. He had used his peripheral vision to check me out same as I would’ve. And I was caught completely off guard. I had not heard him soon enough. Not his horse coming, nor whatever it had been that had tipped off the bar crowd and caused them to fall silent. The only edge that I had if there was trouble, and in my world there always was, was that he did not know I was unprepared. And even as I thought those thoughts I prepared myself. And as far as I was concerned we were back on even ground just that fast.

In those seconds I had freed up my pistols, changed my leg position and looked over the room completely. I ended by moving my body slightly to present a smaller target. Seconds spun out. John ordered a whiskey and kept his back to me. I considered shooting him dead right in the back. I’m not above it. Better dead, no matter whether you were right or wrong in the way you got it done.

The crowd was absolutely silent and drawn back away from us. Making room. They had seen a few gunfights in the Blood and Breakfast. Even so two gunfighters in the Blood and Breakfast at the same time had to be something unheard of in a while. Most likely the whole town had been aware that something might be up, maybe from the second I come into town. Certainly before I knew.

I looked at my plate regretting that I’d saved the bacon for last as it now sat untouched on my plate along with the biscuits sopped in egg yolks. There were at least three flies having a feast. It pissed me off, but it would not keep me from eating it later. I told myself I should have shot him in the back just for the pure fact that he was making me miss my breakfast. And I would have to eat it cold later with fly shit that looked an awful lot like black pepper after we were done with our business. John turned slow from the bar. Dinner in the Blood and Breakfast was done being served.

“Come to kill you, Robert,” he said easy. His eyes were gray, hard and flat. A tight smile played at his small mouth. His lips were pursed. His hat sat upon the bar where he had thrown it.

“So I thought,” I said aloud. I moved not at all. My own blue eyes gave away nothing of my emotions. My hands did not shake.

Silence fell and held. Just the sliding and shuffling of the feet of the townsmen, the whores and the travelers alike sliding backwards from what they considered to be the fighting zone. I was thinking I had waited too long, that I should have shot him in the back, when a twitch of his shoulder told me he was going for his gun.

The noise was deafening. I emptied half a clip into him from under the table top. Half a modified clip was fifteen bullets. And the first four or five took the bottom edge of the table off as they flew at John.

The thing about a gunfight is that it slows down time somehow. You ask any gunfighter and they will tell you that’s true. I watched as my first bullet plucked at his shirt front before his own gun had completely cleared leather. My second bullet blew his collarbone apart just a few inches from where it joined with his neck, but his gun was out and spitting fire. It was about then that two things happened.

The first was, I felt a sudden heaviness in my chest. I didn’t have time to puzzle that before one more bullet found its mark and I saw John become dead. This one midway in his chest. Showing only as a tiny hole but it was like the light went out of his eyes all at once: When those two things were done it finally registered in my thoughts that I had been shot too. Hit, not killed. I was pretty sure not dead or dying. To prove it I forced myself to move and I was able to move just fine.

The smoke hung like a curtain in the air. The smell of hot metal, gunpowder expired, hung in that same air.

Someone said… “They is both hit… Lookit!” Real low… Like a whisper.

In the Alley By The Door

John finally had the sense to fall down. His gun clattered to the floor just before John himself did.

Time slipped by. I wanted to see how bad I was hit. I had no real idea. I finally stood from the table and looked down at myself. A small neat hole just below my shoulder in my upper chest. Red blooming around it like a small, spring flower. I was hurt, but not bad. I had been shot worse.

“Get the Doc,” I said to some skinny, slat-sided whore crouching in the shadows. She looked scared to death or almost. She lit out, seeming glad to, and I walked over to John where he lay sprawled on the floor and put one more bullet right between his eyes. Best to do it soon. I’ve seen a body start turning before the life is really even done leaving it. Those bastard Zombies can’t wait… Or the Dead disease. Whatever it is that turns them. A little dog hiding under a nearby table yelped when I fired and scrambled, nails clicking on the wood floor, trying to secret itself better. I reached down and took John’s guns and personals, gold mostly, set them on the table, grabbed one booted foot and dragged him towards the back door.

I kicked the rear screen door open, dragged him bumping down the steps and rolled him over towards the trash cans. I’d done my part and now my chest was beginning to hurt. I felt like sitting down all at once. There was a little bubbling in the lung on that side. I could both feel and hear it. It was an odd thing. And I could feel the bullet in there, wedged tight, burning. I didn’t relish Doc. Mulberry operating but the alternative was unacceptable. And I had come through much worse. Much worse.

I was turned to go back in when the Zombie got me. He must have been crouched down by the garbage cans in the shadows and I hadn’t seen him. He had me by the wrist growling and snarling before I could shoot him. I got my gun up and put one through his head as fast as I could, hoping the ricochet didn’t take off my hand. He let go and laid down with one leg twitching and his back arched stiff for a second. Then he was dead for good, Amen.

I stood for a few seconds wondering what the hell had just happened. But, I knew what had just happened. I had lived through a goddamned gunfight at the old age of fifty-two just to get bitten by an ever-lovin’ friggin’ Zombie. I stood a few seconds longer thinking of how unfair that was, remembering the conversation from inside while I had been eating. A Zombie had been coming around… Going through the trash… but then the craziness of the situation hit me and I had to laugh. And laughing was how old Doc Mulberry found me.

He looked from the Zombie to my wrist dripping blood on the dirt of the back alley.

“That from the fight or the Zombie,” he asked me.

“Zombie,” I answered . I tapped lightly at the bullet hole in my upper chest. He nodded.

“Ain’t that a bitch,” he said.

I laughed. “Ain’t it… Ain’t it just…”


I hope you enjoyed the story. Check out the Earth’s Survivors book Apocalypse, still a free download for you.

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U.K. Link:

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Enjoy the rest of the week! I’ll be back next week, Dell…

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Earth’s Survivors Home in the Valley

Small bands of survivors are joining together, making their way across the devastation of America…
The morning turned to early afternoon before the four trucks pulled up out of the field together, followed the service roadway back onto route 3 and headed toward Clifton. Cammy studied a map as Bear drove.
“It’s hard to believe this is as far as we have got in over a month together,” she said as she studied the map.
“We had no real direction,” Bear supplied. “It’s not like we had decided on a place and headed toward it.” Bear watched the sides of the road. They were traveling along at less than twenty miles an hour, weaving down into the median, and off onto the service roads that paralleled the highway when they had too.
There were too many cars abandoned next to the road, in the road, even across the road, to be able to keep track of all of them at one time. A large mall came up on the right and Bear slowed at the interchange to look it over. Billy’s truck rolled up, the window dropped and Beth leaned out.
“Looks okay,” she said, breaking the silence of the quiet afternoon.
“Except it’s quiet,” Bear agreed. “That’s always been bad news.”
Beth held up her machine pistol. “We need what we need.”
Bear nodded. “Let’s go then… We stay together though.”
Beth nodded, Billy shifted back into drive and waited for Bear to pull away. He pulled in behind him and followed.
There was a thick line of trees behind the shops that Bear didn’t like. It seemed like the perfect place for the dead to hide away. He drove slowly into the first Mall area, past the trees and into the second lot. The trees were not as thick up close, but he could still not see through them, and it bothered him. Anything, or one, could be hidden within them. He turned the truck and pointed it back toward the entrance road and shut it down.
Billy, and then Mac, pulled down, turned around, and stopped next to Bear’s truck. They shut down too and the ticking of cooling motors filled the silence of the parking lot. Bear looked around the lot, but saw nothing that seemed out of place.
Abandoned cars and trucks. The front doors to a discount store were shattered, the aluminum frames twisted, pushed open wide and pinned against the faux brick front with carts. Bear had left the windows up. He didn’t like the idea of having to start the truck to roll them back up. It was better to roll them up before he shut down. He levered the door open, and stepped down to the pavement. Beside him, Billy, Beth, and Mac stepped out of their own vehicles too. The doors chuffed closed, and the silence came back heavy.
Bear scanned the parking lot but saw nothing. He looked over at Beth. She shrugged and looked back over at the wood line Bear turned away and started toward the shattered front entrance, the others fell in behind him.
The front of the store was destroyed. They stayed together, walking aisle to aisle looking for the dead.
The smell had hit all of them when they crossed the threshold into the store. The dead were there: Where they did not know. They walked slowly forward into the huge building. Silent. Safeties off their rifles, waiting.

Earth’s Survivors Home in the Valley: The front of the store was destroyed. They stayed together, walking aisle to aisle looking for the dead: Safeties off their rifles, waiting.

Randomness

Posted by Ami

These are random thoughts I wrote out and then left: As a writer there are somewhere around three million thoughts streaming into your brain at the speed of light all the time unless you are sleeping…

Lasting Legacy:

What if you knew that the last image of you in death, like Elvis sitting on the toilet seat, would be seen by everyone? Would it make you live your life differently if you knew at the very last breath that everyone would know who you are, what you were in life, see a clear picture, see a picture of you, dead, reduced to an inanimate corpse. No magic. You can’t fly. You didn’t miss the bullet. You are no longer a star, bigger than life, you died, just like everyone else. And all the things you covered up during that lifetime, all the times when you could have bent, changed, helped, are gone. And everybody knows what you did and didn’t do. Would it change you? Would it mean anything to you to know that, or would you continue to be the person you are right now? (I went searching for a picture of Elvis. I found a picture of Elvis dead, sitting on the toilet. I was sort of shocked. I felt as though it made who he was kind of small. In the end there he was, dead, sitting on his toilet.)…

Coffee:

Did you know there are places in this world where people start their day without coffee? Like a refugee. A refugee doesn’t get the chance to have coffee in the morning. If I was a refugee I’d be like, “Hold your ass! I’m having my coffee here! You rebels are starting to piss me off!” (One of those mornings, any morning really, when I have to do things before I have had my coffee.)…

The Litter box zone:

If you have a cat you have a litter box, unless you’re one of those aliens that teach their cats to use the toilet (They’re probably alien cats. I tried to teach mine and it nearly drowned… Twice). We scoop cat crap, get embarrassed when our friends come over and the cat suddenly decides that fancy fish dinner has settled enough and blows up the house, but if your friend Bob came over, walked into the corner of one of your rooms and took a crap, and then threw some sand over it, would that be okay?

“Whew,” says Bob as you are trying to decide what in hell just happened. “That fancy fish dinner had to go.”

Of course it wouldn’t be okay, so why do we allow cats to do the very same thing and then calmly take a scoop and cover it or remove it? And what about litter that absorbs odor? Doesn’t work. You could blindfold me, walk me around my house and I guarantee I could tell you when I hit the liter box zone. “Yep… Right here. Smells like wet sand/clay and cat sh*t,” I would say. (Do you have a cat? Enough said then.)…

Bad ideas:

Cat Trials: To determine whether cats truly do have nine lives.

Closed after one test… No, Cats do not have nine lives.

Excuses for why the cat is gone.

It was past it’s expiration date so I had to chuck it.

There was a terrible showdown between the cat and three mice. I think the mice were carrying knives. It was bad. Yes, they may have been blind mice, but they were friggin’ mean blind mice.

I traded that cat for a Volkswagen

What cat? We had a cat?

Other Cat Stuff…

Used cats: You never see ads for used cats, you know, “Gently used cat. Very low miles. Will trade for good dog, beaver or camping tent.”

One of the things I have against cats: They have fur all over them, and since I am in denial about having evolved from some sort of monkey or other animal, it bothers me to know they may rise and take over the world some day. Funny? I’ll bet that’s what the other monkeys thought about 25,000 years ago when Bob the different monkey shocked them all by fixing a hamburger and fries for dinner instead of insects and grass.

Whistling: If you whistle to a dog they’re coming. He or she will be right there. Whistle to a cat and they may flip you off, but they’re not coming.

Things you never hear… “Brother, can you spare a cat?”

Famous Quotes:

“Give a man a potato he can eat for a day. Teach a man how to grow a potato and a cat will probably come along, dig up his garden and crap in it.”

Things I have not seen:

Three legged cats. Cats with their suitcases packed (Do they have suitcases?). Cats with a drivers license. Talking cats. Unpretentious cats.

From a real Social Website Commentary

The following conversation contains bad remarks about cats and cat like creatures. If bad remarks about cats or cat like creatures offend you, you should not read this. Also, no cats were harmed in the making of this commentary, nor do any of the participants wish any cats to be harmed for any reason… Except the ones trying to take over the world…

(The conversation started in response to an Article about Cat Allergies)…

Geo Dell: I am not going to read it. I don’t want to learn how to get along with cats… Here’s my theory of how cat allergies happen. I think the ACD Gene detects their presence and alerts you. Of course we should pay attention, but we don’t. I also have another theory. There is a pheromone cats send out. This enters the brain through our olfactory organs and then is, unfortunately, absorbed into the blood stream. Suddenly, usually within hours, you find yourself liking cats. WHAT? you think, How in heck did that happen? Easy, that pheromone carried a destructive gene sequence that attacked and overcame the ACD gene. After that contaminated people are screwed. Those people will continue to like cats, and, unfortunately again, the cats will take over the world and make us their enslaved race of human pets… Or… When the ‘Fridge is empty… Pet Food…

(Name Changed for protection): I had a dream like that once where cats had taken over the world and people had to worship them or be killed. lol

Geo Dell: True, sad, but true. It will happen. It’s inevitable…

Geo Dell: Oh… ACD = A**hole Cat Detector

Geo Dell: Reasons to not like cats… They used to be ten feet tall at the shoulder… They used to catch us and take us back for the kits to chase around and learn to hunt… They are only tolerant of us… THEY WANT TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!

Geo Dell: Every year thousands of people die in their homes and are eaten by cats. You never hear of cats dying in their homes and being eaten by us, do you?

(Name Changed for protection): lol

Geo Dell: Old people are forced to eat dog food. Well, cats are cheaper.

(Name Changed for protection): Hey, I think people forget they are living with animals. if you die, they will eat you. You’re meat at that point

Geo Dell: Yes, but I believe cats have secretly learned how to use the phone and call their friends over. Sort of like a… Fancy Feast

(Name Changed for protection): “Hey Oscar, this is Simon, my food supply died. you wanna come over and help me eat him? Tell whiskers and the crew that dinner’s on me this weekend.”

Geo Dell: Exactly. Now you are thinking. Rise up! Rise up, I say. And… Uh, well, I really don’t have a plan, but I would say start installing video cameras, keep track of these cats, especially the radical Pink Panther cats. And then, well, we’ll do something. Start a revolution or something. Sit around smoke pot, drink and say really deep things that nobody remembers the next day. At least that’s the way it was in the Seventies when we used to talk about revolution…

(Name Changed for protection): lol…

Okay, enough foolishness…

On other fronts….

I don’t know why I should be surprised when Monday shows up and I am no further ahead to catching up on things than I was the week before. Yet every Monday here I am, surprised again. And that would be funny except it’s true, which sort of makes it even funnier.

There was progress last week of course, just not as much as I would like to see. I always want mega progress, the whole board wiped clean, and of course that is not going to happen because as the board empties on one end it fills on the other. That is life for most of us I would bet.

The fifth Earth’s Survivors book Plague, the last book for the series until next year (maybe).

Free Preview and links: https://books.apple.com/us/book/earths-survivors-plague/id1015630497

This blog is where you will find information from me every Monday. Dell will do informational blogs as well, usually on Fridays or the weekend. Ami will do blogs throughout the week and load blogs for others.

That’s it for this Monday. I hope your week was a good one, I’ll be back next week, Geo Dell

Happy Sunday to you…

A wolf track through my backyard last winter

Posted by Ami

Happy May, almost June. It still feels like March here, but I am always hopeful summer will finally move in. The fifth Earth’s Survivors book is now available to download from Amazon, Nook, I-Tunes and Smashwords. Thanks to all who pre-registered for the book.

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

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

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

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

Smashwords Publishing:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is a story of childhood that is a thinly disguised story about myself and my friends. I think it’s a good story. The children in this story are the main characters in the forth coming Fig Street. I hope you like it. Have a great week and I’ll be back next week…

The Great Go-Cart Race

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

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please point them to this Blog Entry. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

The Great Go-Cart Race by Wendell Sweet

This short story is Copyright © 1982 – 2015 Wendell Sweet No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the author’s permission. Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print

The Great Go-Cart Race

~1~

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

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

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

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

“Well, I knew that,” Moon lied.

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

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

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

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

“Of course you did,” Bobby agreed.

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

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

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

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

“Watch for me too?” John asked.

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

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

“Why, are you?”

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

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

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

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

“Yeah, but if someone see’s me…”

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

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

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

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

~2~

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

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

“Scared?”

“Uh uh… Well, a little.”

“Me too… Ready?”

“For real?”

“For real,” Bobby said solemnly.

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

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

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

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

And if a car came? he asked himself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“We did it! We freakin’ did it!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“For real. Uh uh. No way. Not ever.”

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

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

“No way,” John said softly.

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

“You think so?”

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

“Hey, maybe fifty,” Moon assured them.

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

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

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

“Really scary,” John added.

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

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

“Can’t,” John said, “no money.

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

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

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


Free Book for the Weekend:

Earth’s Survivors: Apocalypse.

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

U.K. Link: Kindle, Amazon Digital


U.S. Link: Kindle, Amazon Digital

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

Gaming for pennies! Those old Dos games still work!

Gaming on the cheap. Geo Dell

So it is Sunday and I thought I would share yesterdays project. I used to do a lot of selling on eBay before all the changes killed off many of us who had been around for a while, or forced us into a position where we had to pay too much for the privilege of selling on that service: So when I pulled the plug I had a lot of stuff left over that I had to re-purpose.

I had a Dell USFF 745 machine, an HP monitor, about fifty hard drives, memory modules, hundreds of games from the 80s and 90s. A dozen keyboards, mice, and the list goes on and on.

The Dell USFF 745 was one of a half dozen I had bought, the only one remaining. I had done nothing with it myself because it was old, under-powered, and I had a few other projects that came first. But yesterday I took another look at it.

First, all the files to rebuild this as it was from the factory and even better, are right on the Dell website. I decided to see what it would do. I downloaded the bios upgrade and flashed it. Sounds hard but it isn’t, it’s an executable and does the work for you, not like the old days of working from a command prompt and hoping you didn’t trash your machine for good when you flashed the BIOS.

It has built in video, built in sound, no room for a second hard drive, no card slots either. A purpose built machine that wasn’t going to be much in the upgrade department. But, that said, I wanted to see what it would do.

I bumped the memory up to the max of 2 gig (Newer USFF machines allow 4 gig). I left the 160 gig HD alone, flashed the bios as I mentioned, downloaded every driver Dell offered and installed them one by one.

Before I did all of that I had tested it with some old games and other software. That configuration was 1 gig ram, the same 160 gig HD with a new XP install and, of course none of the original drivers at all.

I installed and tried: GTA 3, Track Mania Sunrise, 3D Rad version 6.50, 7.19, 7.22. Track Mania the first version. Test Drive Off Road three. Midnight Club (Another Rock Star game that is highly addictive). Open Office 4 and the Spelling and Language add-ons’. Photoscape, Gimp, Audacity, AIMP 3, D-Fend Reloaded (The Dos Box front end to play the old DOS games. Open FX (An open Source 3D Modeler). I tried a few other things too, but I’ll stick to those because for me those are my basic programs to test a machine.

All of them installed, none of them fully worked. The 3D Rad programs failed to start. Test drive off road worked but crashed, neither Rock Star game worked. Open Office installed but could not load the language module. The newest version of Audacity would not load, and the list went on like that. All programs that are advertised to work with XP but would not work correctly.

The key was the drivers. It’s a straight forward process. Enter your model number and search for the drivers. It will warn you that they will not work on the machine you are downloading them too, or will not work with Windows 10, in my case.

I downloaded them, burned them to a DVD and then installed them on the USFF machine. The video drivers were key in getting the video games working, and 3D Rad too. The sound drivers fixed some problems with Audacity, and some games too. I also downloaded and burned to DVD the latest JAVA, DirectX and Chrome, because XP does not like you to use Chrome for some reason, so I downloaded the full version and installed it from DVD, there by by-passing Explorer and XP.

Before I had installed the drivers, I had wiped the drive once more and re-installed XP. I have dozens of OS discs, XP, Win 7, even Win 98, DOS, Geos, Ubuntu, more. The point is that I was once again leveling the playing field and starting with a clean slate. I installed all the drivers and files, even flashed the DVD bios, and then installed software piece by piece.

3D Rad shocked me. It not only ran 6.5 but also 7.19 and 7.22. Granted, large renders dragged it down fast. It is totally unsuitable for that, but even a small racing game demo played flawlessly and rendered well. I ran my own model in 7.22 with my own landscape, textures, and it played fairly well. It did lag a few times, but this is a piece I am designing on a machine with 16 gig of RAM and Win 10. No way did I expect it to even load on XP on the little USFF machine.

Open Office loaded and the language tool and the spelling dictionaries as well. I loaded one of my novels and ran through it, no problems at all. I loaded a working novel that had not been proofed and the language tool began finding all on the mistakes that are common to me immediately. Worked flawlessly even with very large files.

Audacity worked perfectly too, I went ahead and installed LAME for Audacity (To save to and read from MP3 files), no problem. Jack (Software that connects other bits of your recording software together), no problem, my Midi keyboard and my USB guitar input. No problem.

Gimp and Photoscape (Photo editors and more) worked well. Photoscape and gimp did well opening 4 and 5 mg photos to edit and save. I use the pair to do Book Cover and Ad illustrations.

Then I moved on to the games. Both RockStar games, Midnight Club and GTA 3 worked perfectly. I had a blast and had to force myself to stop playing. Test Drive Off Road, also perfect. Track Main Sunrise and the original version were also perfect. So, I went ahead and installed DOS BOX with the D-Fend Reloaded front end. NASCAR Racing, Need For Speed, Stunts and a few other games went in and played flawlessly, including LeadFoot an old RatBag game I picked up on eBay for about 6 bucks.. By then it was four AM and so I quit for the day.

Prognosis: This is an excellent machine, once set-up, to play all those great games from the 80’s and 90’s that are so cheap now or even public domain in many cases. It is also fine for 3D RAD with a light duty game build. I also tested assembling and making an executable, no problem. I had thirty bucks in the USFF Dell 745. Memory, a keyboard and mouse and the monitor kicked it up a couple bucks, all used stuff I picked up online, except the keyboard which I had new. The games and software were Open Source, Public Domain or original DVD or CD that I picked up on-line for cheap, like a buck or less per game. All in all I have a back up writing machine that I can also work on my games with, and play old games on too. It’s stable, I have CLAM Anti Virus on-board to protect it, and I have about $60.00 bucks in it and a few hours of downloading files. I see a future for this machine all set up to do everything I do as my backup and a gaming machine on the cheap filled with all those cool games from the 80’s and 90’s, and even some newer software too.

I hope you got something from this. Enjoy your Sunday, Geo…

SOFTWARE MENTIONED

  1. Open Office: https://www.openoffice.org/ Free Open Source. I have written ten novels with it. Get the Language add on for it.
  2. 3D RAD: I love this program. I have been playing around with it since about 2001. I paid for it back then, before it became freeware. Worth your time. The site is down, but I have copies of 3D RAD. eMail me dell@sotofo.com subject 3D RAD and I’ll send it as an attachment.
  3. D-Fend Reloaded: http://dfendreloaded.sourceforge.net/ Open Source and a must have for setting up those old DOS games that are mostly Public Domain now.
  4. Audacity: http://audacityteam.org/ If you want to record music, tracks, check this out. It works great. Free, Open Source.
  5. PhotoScape: http://www.photoscape.org/ps/main/index.php A great editor, viewer, and more. I use it constantly.
  6. GIMP: http://www.gimp.org/ This is a fantastic Photo manipulation tool. Filters, too much to list. Between This and PhotoScape I need to use nothing else.
  7. Old DOS Games: https://www.myabandonware.com/ That is one link. I would say be careful what you download. This site is safe, but I have noticed many are not. So think, check the link first, make sure you are getting what is advertised. I spend much more time searching than downloading. I never use a site that offers a download tool. I don’t need it, and nine times out of ten it is a way for them to sneak crap in that will end up in your browser or worse. I hover over the link if it says anything other than the file name I skip it. On to the next place that is playing straight. I downloaded Need for Speed SE 2 and all the support files from here, scanned them, no problems.

That’s it for me. Hope you got something out of this. I enjoyed it and writing the article too. I’m going to go play GTA 3, Geo Dell…

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

Outrunners

Posted by Geo

I have been absorbed in the world of the Outrunners, when I write that is the way it is for me. I jump in and it is as good as a movie for me; in many ways even better. The craft, or art, of writing is like that for me.

I imagine it is like that for other writers, I know several, but I have never really asked. So, for all I know, it is only me. That sort of brings me to my topic for this week. Writing and writers.

I thought about this the other day. I do not have any non-writer friends. And I realized the other day that I live in a bubble. I don’t purposely live in a bubble, but a bubble is a bubble, purpose built or not.

Some of it is unavoidable, because of the way I am, the rest is how it becomes because of that same thing. My time is my own, there is no one at all to put designs on it, make me feel guilty about how I spend it, and I have lived that way for so long that I am pretty sure I could not be housebroken now.

Not all of my writer friends do that to the same extreme that I do, but nearly all of them do it to at least a lesser degree. To me eighteen hours of writing is no big deal. To me pounding out a novel in fourteen days, also no big deal, but ask me what day it is? That isn’t a joke. I can not tell you how many times one of my friends has said, ‘Hey, it’s Friday,’ and I’ll look at them like they’re speaking Russian. ‘What do you mean Friday? Ha, ha.’ ‘No, it really is Friday, or Tuesday, or the 28th, or whatever.’ Of course I’ll look at a calendar, watch, something, like they would really take the time to lie to me. They’re writers but their imagination isn’t that good is it? Nope. It is me. I fell into this world or that one and the time slipped away. It is that simple.

What is pretty cool, what makes it so addictive, as a writer, is watching something come from nothing at all. No, I do not know where it comes from. I can not force it to come if it isn’t there. I have rarely been able to write exactly what I choose to write either, but when it shows up and it is right there at the tips of your fingers, pouring out onto the page, and you are reading it, getting to know it intimately as it is also being born, it is amazing: When that happens you don’t want to stop. You are afraid that if you do the words will go someplace else: To someone else, and they will write your story, only it will no longer be your story, it will be their story. So you hang in there, type, let the magic pour out of your fingers, and then someone says, ‘Uh, you do know it’s Friday, right?’

That is writing for me. And there are times when it has to stop, when sleep has to take over. And in the old days I would come back from that break for sleep, slouch back to my chair, stare at my monitor and think: Well, that’s that, my head is empty; the story is gone, shouldn’t have gone to sleep. Two seconds later the words are pouring out. The story is back from where ever it went to and I am along for the ride again. So when my other writer friends ask me about how I wrote this or that I really have no answer. In fact, usually I’ll look at them like, well, where do you get your stuff? Walmart Writers Aisle? Or I’ll get the writer I don’t understand who will give me the song and dance about how he or she plotted this out, and then did this and then pulled teeth to write it, and then… I have no idea what he or she means. The process is not that way for me at all and I have tried it, writing on demand, the same way they do it, and I turn out stuff that seems like cardboard.

That is not to say I can not write something off the cuff. I can, but it works this way: Someone says, ‘Hey, could you write me a story about a three legged dog that stops to sniff at a dead cat on the interstate during rush hour traffic, gets run over by a semi-truck and comes back as a vampire dog that sleeps in the woods, flags down semi-trucks on the highway and kills the drivers as retribution?’ … ‘Uh, no… Sorry. And, if you can find someone who can, well, you should hire them.’ But I will go back and think… Hmm a three legged dog… Dead cat… What the hell happened with that cat anyway? And why didn’t the semi-truck driver stop?… Hmm… Maybe he didn’t stop because he was distracted by the truck stop cutie he had picked up… Right, and the cat… The cat had been on the way to its kittens which were across the highway… Hidden in the woods… And I’ll work it out in my head like that. So then I’ll set down and the story just shows up. It ends up being about the truck driver and his drug addicted daughter, and it turns out the cat and the dog were simple distractions. Huh, I’ll think as I write it, I’ll be damned. Then, just at the end, the damn cat comes back, abetted by her three legged dog friend, and kills the trucker, and I’ll think ‘Son of a bitch, Never saw that coming.’

Let me give you an example: In one of the Earth’s Survivors books, Molly and Nellie, major characters, are along on a resupply trip, and Nellie gets shot and killed.

I am shocked as I write it. I stop writing and think, ‘Wow, that sucks.’ I wonder about undoing it. In the old days I would have highlighted the whole scene and then deleted it. Kill a major character? No way. So I would then spent hours, days, weeks, re-writing it. And all to no avail because after that period I’ll see it had to happen that way because that was the story. Now, I may stop, look, but then I’m back at it. I am curious to know where it is going now. What will Molly do? Well, if you read it you know; Molly could not deal with it. She turned her own gun on herself before anyone could react fast enough to stop her. Another shock to me, but that is writing to me. That is the gift God gave to me, and the way it comes out of me.

I suppose people will read that and think, bull. But it really is the process for me. And for all the writers I know too, at least the ones I hang out with. And hang out is a loose term for me. I don’t hang out with anyone at all, not really. Hanging out to me is giving up that time I was talking about earlier, and I don’t like to give that up. So hanging out might be a 3:00 AM FB conversation. No, no camera, just chat. If the conversation lasts more than ten minutes before it lags, then something is really wrong, and that is not just me talking.

The other person has some sort of project open on their desktop, same as I do, and they are either writing as we talk or thinking about writing as we talk, or actively wishing I would shut up or get to the point, so they can go back to writing. I know that because after the ten minute mark that is what I am doing, and the few times I have asked a writer friend honestly what they are doing they say those things, or, they are not as diplomatic as I am and just tell me to get the point or shut up. No, that doesn’t offend me.

That is the craft of writing to me with all the mystery and magic stripped off. I guess it is about as attractive as that dead cat in the road, huh? I wonder how that cat got there…

What else. We are working on next years books, or at least trying to look into the crystal ball and see what might be there. I believe that Dell will finish Hurricane, and that will clear the table into fall and leave us working on separate projects for spring 2016.


Apple Books SE-3 The Outrunners: https://books.apple.com/us/book/earths-survivors-se-3-the-outrunner-books/id1081677032


Free Book this weekend:

Earth’s Survivors: Apocalypse.

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/515457

U.K. Link: Kindle, Amazon Digital: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Earths-Survivors-Apocalypse-George-Dell-ebook/dp/B00YDAXFLE

U.S. Link: Kindle, Amazon Digital: http://www.amazon.com/Earths-Survivors-Apocalypse-George-Dell-ebook/dp/B00YDAXFLE

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/earths-survivors-apocalypse-dell-sweet/1121153067?ean=9781507793053

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

That’s it for me, I hope you have a good week, and I will see you next Friday, Geo…

Unused Diary Entries: Earth’s Survivors-12

Candace ~ March 2nd

This is not a diary. I have never kept a diary. They say, never say never, but I doubt I will. I have never been this scared. The whole world is messed up. Is it ending? I don’t know, but it seems like it’s ending here. Earthquakes, explosions. I’ve seen no Police, Fire or emergency people all day. It’s nearly night. I think that’s a bad sign. I have the Nine Millimeter that used to be my Father’s. I’ve got extra ammo too. I’m staying inside.

Candace ~ March 3rd

I lost this yesterday; my little notebook. I left it by the window so I could see to write, but I swear it wasn’t there when I went to get it; then I found it again later on by the window right where I left it. Maybe I’m losing it.

There are no Police, no Firemen, phones, electric. The real world is falling apart. Two days and nothing that I thought I knew is still here. Do you see? The whole world has changed.

I got my guitar out and played it today. I played for almost three hours. I played my stuff. I played some blues. Usually blues will bring me out of blues, but it didn’t work. It sounded so loud, so out of place, so… I don’t know. I just stopped and put it away.

Candace ~ March 4th

I’m going out. I have to see, if I don’t come back. Well… What good is writing this?

Candace ~ March 5th

The whole city has fallen apart. I spent most of yesterday trying to see how bad this is. I finally realized it’s bad beyond my being able to fix it. It’s bad as in there is no authority. It’s bad as in there is no Jimmy V. I hear gunshots at night, all night. And screams. There are still tremors. If I had to guess, I would say it’s the end of the civilized world, unless things are better somewhere else. I have to believe that. Power, structure, it’s all gone. I mean it’s really all gone. This city is torn up. There are huge areas that are ruined. Gulleys, ravines, missing streets, damaged bridges. The damage costs have to be in the billions… And that’s just here. There’s me and my little notebook I’m writing in, and my nine millimeter. I’ve got nothing else for company right now.

I’ve got water, some peanuts and crackers. How long can this go on? What then?

Candace ~ March 6th

I’ve decided to leave. I can’t stay here. There was a tremor last night, and not one of the really bad ones, but even so I was sure the house would come down on me. It didn’t. Maybe though, that is a sign, I told myself. And scared or not, I have to go. I have to. I can’t stay here. Maybe tomorrow.

Candace ~ March 7th

The streets are a mess. I’ve spent too much of the last week hiding inside my apartment. Most of my friends, and that’s a joke, I didn’t have anyone I could actually call a friend; So I guess I would say most of my acquaintances believed my grandparents were alive and that I lived here with them. They weren’t. I didn’t. I kind of let that belief grow, fostered it, I guess.

I planted the seed by saying it was my Nana Pans’ apartment. You can see the Asian in me, so it made sense to them that she was my Nana. But I look more like I’m a Native American than African American and Japanese. It’s just the way the blood mixed, as my father used to say. But Native American or Asian, they could see it in my face. And this neighborhood is predominantly Asian. Mostly older people. There were two older Asian women that lived in the building. They probably believed one of those women was my Nana, and I didn’t correct them.

I can’t tell you why I did that. I guess I wanted that separation. I didn’t want them, anyone, to get to know me well. My plan had been to dance, earn enough money for school – Criminal Justice – and go back to Syracuse. Pretend none of this part of my life had ever happened. Some plan. It seemed workable. I wondered over what Jimmy V. had said to me. Did he see something in me that I didn’t, or was he just generalizing? It doesn’t matter now I suppose.

My Grandmother passed away two years ago. The apartment she had lived in was just a part of the building that she owned. Nana Pan, my mother’s mother, had rented the rest of the building out. The man who had lived with her was not my Grandfather – he had died before I was born – but her brother who had come ten years before from Japan. They spoke little English. People outside of the neighborhood often thought they were man and wife. She didn’t bother correcting them, my mother had told me. Nana Pan thought that most Americans were superficial and really didn’t care, so what was the use in explaining anything to them? Maybe that’s where I got my deceptiveness from.

I had left the house as it was. Collected rents through an agency. For all anyone knew, I was just another tenant. Of course Jimmy V. had known. He had mentioned it to me. But Jimmy knew everything there was to know about everyone. That was part of his business. It probably kept him alive.

So I stayed and waited. I believed someone would show up and tell me what to do. But no one did. I saw a few people wander by yesterday, probably looking for other people, but I stayed inside. I don’t know why, what all my reasons were. A lot of fear, I think.

There have been earthquakes. The house is damaged. I went outside today and really looked at it. It is off the foundation and leaning. I should have gotten out of it the other night when I knew it was bad. It’s just dumb luck it hasn’t fallen in on me and killed me.

It doesn’t matter now though. I met a few others today, and I’m leaving with them. I don’t know if I’ll stay with them. I really don’t know what to expect from life anymore.

I’m taking this and my gun with me. Writing this made me feel alive. I don’t know how better to say it.

I’ll write more here I think. I just don’t know when, or where I’ll be.


☆☆☆☆☆ ☆☆☆☆☆ 5 out of 5 stars. · 5 years ago  

More PLEASE!!!!

I just finished this last night and I REALLY want to know what happens next!!!! Like all books I read, I have grown fond of the characters and feel an attachment to them! I want to know what happens with the battle and if they all eventually meet up to create a town of their own! I need to know what happens with Billy and the girls!!!! A lot of characters to follow along with, but I still enjoy it!!! Please Mr. Sweet, don’t stop the series!!!


☆☆☆☆☆ ☆☆☆☆☆ 5 out of 5 stars.

Like it too.

This book grabbed me by the throat on day 1 and barely let me breathe until the last page. Stunning characters and a story line that never took a break for the full duration. My only disappointment is that it ended at all. by Claude Hebert on September 19, 2018


Serenity… HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER 4.0 out of 5 stars

Earthquakes/Explosions Reviewed in the United States on May 3, 2013 Verified Purchase

Days get really lengthy after the earth’s devastation. Some days are nearly 43 hours from sunrise to sunrise. Clouds are black and gray ash is present.

Yes, there are survivors and in this book, we meet some of them that gather together in Watertown, NY.

Mike, age 23, becomes the leader of this group who lives in a cave.

I liked the diversity of this group – mixed race, to Native American Indian to Asian and African American.

A few skirmishes (actually battles) break out with nearby groups and some of these are deadly.

A decision is made to leave the safety of their cave – heading for unknown parts.

An interesting read so far and am looking forward to the second book.

Highly recommended…


Earth’s Survivors: Rising from the ashes.

SmashwordsAmazonAppleNook