Home in the Valley

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Earth’s Survivors Book four

Book Previews Posted by Dell

Friday Dell Sweet

I am going to upload a free preview of Earth’s Survivors Home In The Valley, book four. Look for Home in the Valley to be readily available from Amazon Digital and Smashwords, over the following weeks it will be available through B&N, KOBO, I-Tunes and Google Play as the others are.

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE:

This material is copyright 2015 by Dell Sweet, all rights reserved. You may not transfer, copy or publish this work in any format, digital or traditional print without the author’s express written permission. You may quote brief sections in critiques.

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ONE

September 16th Year one

They left in three Jeeps just as dawn began to spill its light over the mountains in the south.

Katie had promised herself that there would be no tears, but it was a promise she couldn’t keep. Tears were practically the first thing to come. Leaping from her eyes of their own accord.

Amy had been unable to hold her tears back either. But both of them had been able to step back and let them go.

“Hormones,” Janna told them. And for some reason that made both of them giggle and neither one of them had been able to stop.

Sandy came up to the top of the ledge path, looked down at the two women giggling uncontrollably with tears running down their faces, turned to Janna and they both said “Hormones” which caused both of them to laugh.

They both walked over to Katie and Amy, took them under the arms, helped them to their feet and started down the ledge.

“Coffee,” Janna said. “It’ll do both of you good.”

Amy had slowed to a sniffle.

“Hormones,” Katie said, and they both began giggling again.

~

They made good time with the lightweight Jeeps, and found themselves at the head of the first valley by late morning. They took a few minutes and used the radios.

“Is something wrong,” Katie asked.

“No, Babe. We’re already at the first valley so we thought we had better call now… We may be out of range later on in the day, or tonight when we stop.”

Arron was carrying on a similar conversation with Amy on a different channel Dustin and Annie sharing a phone talking to Lilly as well and then Amy too.

Conner told Katie he loved her and then handed the phone to Molly. Arron handed his to Nellie.

A half hour later they were following the straighter lines of the tall pines through the forest.

“This is not a slow trip when you’re not driving a huge truck loaded down with cows and pigs and all that other stuff,” Arron said.

“I was thinking that too,” Conner agreed. “It seems as though we are so removed from everything. So isolated. But it looks like we’ll drive out in a little more than a day.”

“We’re only what, a hundred miles in? Little more, little less?”

“Little less, I think,” Conner agreed.

“Why does it seem to be going by so fast,” Arron wondered.

“Because, if you think about it. On the way in we drove slow. And we moved everything out of the way. Dead limbs, branches, trees, there isn’t anything left to slow us down.” Conner said.

Arron nodded. “Plus. No cows, horses, pig-chickens. Either.”

“Plus we know where we’re going too. We didn’t before. What’s a pig-chicken anyway?”

Arron laughed. “I meant pigs and chickens.” They both laughed.

September 16th

The Old State Campgrounds

Adam and Beth

The State Park sign was overgrown, sun faded and leaning at the side of the road.

The four trucks sat idling just inside the treeline of the old narrow road that lead down into the campground. The driver’s door of the second truck in line popped open, and Beth, wearing military style fatigues and carrying a wire stock machine pistol, walked up to the driver’s side of the lead truck and tapped on the glass.

Billy looked up from the map he was reading. “Beth, Just checking out this map. I think this is right.” His finger jabbed at a spot on the map that had been circled with red ink. “This used to be a state park. It’s early. I thought we should stop, plan where we go next.”

“Good a place as any, I guess,” Beth said. She looked up, staring down along the gloomy road and into the abandoned campground.

“What?” Billy asked.

Beth shook her head. “Nerves are on edge, Billy. I just thought I heard something.”

She smiled and turned back to Billy where he sat, map spread across his lap, the truck idling in park.

“But it doesn’t feel right. That’s why I stopped here, didn’t drive down in. Feels funny,” Billy told her.

“The location?”

Another truck door opened on the third truck back and Adam strode toward the front. He left the door hanging ajar. Halfway between the lead vehicle and his own he lifted his arms up into the air and shrugged his shoulders. “What’s the deal?” He asked in a deep bass voice.

The window on the last truck rolled down, the electric motor whining as it dropped. Mac stuck his head out of the window. “What the fuck, Adam?” he asked.

Adam stopped and turned. He shrugged his massive shoulders once more. “Something with Billy and Beth.” He turned and began walking back to the lead truck once more.

Beth lifted her eyes from the map just as the first shot came from the trees behind the back of the last truck.

“Jesus! Jesus, Billy…In the woods!” She shrugged her machine pistol off her shoulder and caught it with both hands. She was already moving toward the back vehicles. In front of her, Adam was turning away from her, back toward the rear, his massive frame blocking her view. Somewhere towards the back truck someone began to scream. Iris, she thought, it was Iris who was screaming.

She found herself running at that point. Her legs pumping effortlessly, the adrenaline surging through her veins. Iris was in the truck with Mac.

She had no sooner had the thought then she heard another voice began to scream. She couldn’t place it, but as she rounded Adam, catching up and passing him, she saw that two men had Mac on the ground, biting and snarling as he tried to fight them off.

“Beth!” Billy screamed from behind her. “Right. Your right!”

She had been just about to fire at the two men attacking Mac, and so even as she turned, she did not turn her pistol completely, but kept it aimed to the front towards Mac and the two men. By the time she registered how close the three men were to her, there was no time to turn the pistol and fire. They were nearly on her. She had no more registered their faces, jaws wide, eye’s milky and leaking puss, teeth gnashing – she had not even had the time to worry about her own fate yet – when the lead man’s head blew apart in a spray of black blood and bone.

She blinked involuntarily and managed to bring her pistol around as the two remaining men tried to reverse direction in mid stride. Their eyes were wild, trapped looking. She brought up the pistol and pulled the trigger.

Nothing happened, and her heart staggered in her chest. The safety… the fucking safety, her mind screamed, and that was when a woman hit her from the side and she went sprawling onto the dirt road. There were two more on her before she could get turned over. She felt the first bite to her arm and ignored it, as she concentrated on getting the safety off the pistol she had somehow managed to hold onto as she fell.

The passenger door on the second truck flew open, and Dell jumped from the truck, machine pistol spiting fire as he ran. The gunfire all along the road was crazy. It had instantly become a war zone. Dell made it halfway around the hood of the truck when he stepped into a crossfire and his head exploded, spraying across the hood of the truck.

Adam sprayed the woods with his machine pistol. The infected had all come from the same direction, and once he had focused on them, it had been easy to mow them down. They began to slow, some turning to run back into the woods, some standing as if they didn’t know what to do. Adam launched himself away from the truck fender he had been leaning against and began to run at them, firing as he went, a scream building from his throat.

Billy had staggered to a stop just past the end of his rear bumper. He had watched Dell come into his line of fire, and he had instantly let loose of his trigger, but it had been too late. He was in shock and time seemed to slow to a crawl. His eyes swiveled back around, and he saw that Beth was pinned to the ground by two women. Blood ran from one arm as she struggled to hold them off. Both women were infected. Mucus scaled their cheeks, mouths yawning, teeth gnashing, necks swollen. He yelled and charged them, raising the stock of his rifle, smashing in the back of the head of the first one, kicking the other aside with a hard shot to the ribs and spraying her with a short burst that took her head from her shoulders after she had rolled a short distance across the ground.

~

One of the infected had stopped at the last truck and dragged the young man inside out through the open window. Two more joined him and pulled him the rest of the way out of the truck.

The first man then lunged through the open window and fastened his teeth on Iris’s throat as she tried to fight him off, and the inside of the truck became a slaughter house. He was so engrossed in feeding, that he did not see the machine pistols barrel as it thrust through the open window a few minutes later. He only barely felt it as it bit into the back of his head. Adam pulled the trigger, and his head blew apart. Iris stopped screaming.

The remaining infected stopped in mid stride, tried to turn back to the woods, but the machine pistols mowed them down where they stood or as they turned to run. Adam, Billy and Beth were on their feet moving in a loose line toward the wooded area once again.

Behind them, Cammy, Jamie and Winston, who had stayed in the trucks with the children, came out now and joined them. The gunfire held strong for a few moments, and then everything stopped at once. The last of the infected fell or managed to get far enough into the woods as to no longer be seen.

Silence crashed down all along the road. It held for what seemed like minutes. The swirling haze of smoke from the gunfire hung heavy in the late afternoon air. The headlights of the trucks cut through it, making it dance through the blue-white beams of light. The overcast sky and the sudden silence made it seem as though night had arrived all at once. There was very little to hear in the silence: the still running trucks, a scratching, scrabbling sound as one of the infected tried to crawl off the road and into the woods. Beth turned shakily from the woods, her face hard, set. She pulled her knife from her side sheath, took a few steps and straddled the man. She reached down, grabbed his hair, pulled his head back as he snapped and snarled, trying to reach her with his teeth. The knife flashed as she embedded it into the side of his head. She thrust one booted foot against his head and pulled her knife free, letting his head fall into the dirt. She pulled a rag from her pocket and cinched it tightly around her arm, cutting off the blood flow.

The silence held for a second longer, and then Beth began to sob as she sank down to the ground.

The Nation

The barn was shadowed and cool after the hot sun in the valley. The entire Nation was digging potatoes. Lilly, Amy and Katie were grounded from the heavy work, but they had walked down from the main cave and watched them at work on their way to the barn to collect eggs for Janna.

Katie had truly believed that after Conner and Arron left, Sandy would allow them to go back to some sort of light work. It would have proven she had only grounded them to make sure they did not go on the expedition to the outside. Maybe she had been wrong though, she thought now. Sandy had not changed her mind.

“What I want to know,” Lilly said, “is what is the difference between picking eggs up or digging potatoes?”

“The potatoes don’t have crap all over them,” Amy said.

Lilly laughed.

“Not really though, right?” Katie asked.

“What do I win?” Amy asked.

Katie slugged her in the arm. “It wasn’t a contest. Besides, you forgot to answer in the form of a question.”

“What is, the potatoes don’t have crap all over them, Alex?” Lilly asked.

“Lilly wins,” Katie said.

“Wow,” Amy said. “You guys cheat so bad.”

“So, for real, do the chickens lay the eggs and then leave them? We come along and just pick them up? And they’re not really covered with crap, right?” Katie asked.

“You know, later you’re coming down with me to get fresh rabbits for dinner,” Amy reminded her. “I expect you to know all about the modern farm by dinner this evening.” She smiled at Katie’s sarcastic grin. “Okay, the chicken lays the egg and then sits on it. You have to move the chicken to get the egg.”

“Oh… Great,” Katie said.

“It’s not so bad,” Lilly said. “Jake brought me down a few times. Just act like you have a right to be there. Reach right in, move the chicken over and take the eggs.”

“Crap on toast. I suck at this sort of stuff,” Katie complained.

Lilly laughed. “Where does Crap On Toast come from? You and Arlene have the funniest sayings I have ever heard.”

“Okay,” Amy said. They faced the line of baskets and the wire mesh door to the chicken roost. Across the barn, the rabbits had a whole section to themselves. “Grab a basket and a pair of gloves.”

Katie picked up one of the pairs of gloves. They were heavy leather, stiff. She put them back and picked up a basket. “Oh,” she set the basket back and picked up another. “Wow. These baskets are not too clean, Aim,” She showed Amy one of the baskets.

Amy took a basket, looked at it and then handed it to Katie. “It’s a basket for collecting eggs, Kate.” She turned it over and a few feathers drifted out of it.

Katie looked into the basket. “It’s got crap in it.” She looked closer. “It looks like chicken crap to me.”

“It is,” Amy said.

“Well, I was thinking, clean eggs in a basket that has chicken crap in it?”

Lilly began to laugh. Amy choked back her own laughter.

“What?” Katie asked.

“Oh, God. Don’t you make me pee myself, Kate,” Lilly said.

“But what!?”

“Okay,” Amy said. She bit back her own laughter. “I guess it’s not funny. You don’t know anything about eggs. Are you sure you want to come down here later to get the rabbits for dinner?”

Katie sighed. “No, but I have to learn sometime. So where have I got it wrong with the eggs?”

“Honey, it’s easier to show you. Here,” she handed her the basket and then a pair of the stiff leather gloves.

“I’ll skip the gloves,” Katie said. “I can’t even flex my fingers in them. I’ll never be able to grab an egg.” She tossed the heavy gloves onto the nearby bench top

Amy shook her head, grabbed a pair of gloves and a basket and then opened the door and stepped into the chicken coop. Lilly stepped in behind her and closed the door.

“Christ, chickens stink,” Katie complained.

“They do. Used to be dinosaurs,” Lilly said.

“Jesus, a two story tall chicken, but chickens don’t seem mean enough to be a dinosaur.”

“Oh, they’re mean bastards,” Amy said. “Don’t kid yourself. So,” she slipped on a glove, reached in and under the chicken, and came out with an egg. “Just like that.” She dropped the egg in her basket.

“Okay,” Katie stepped to the next chicken, plunged her hand under the chicken and then pulled it back with the egg. “There’s another egg under there,” she said as she dropped the egg into her basket. She looked at her hand. “Eww,” she looked at the egg in the basket. “There’s chicken shit all over the egg and my hand,” she held her hand up, but Amy and Lilly were both hanging onto each other laughing so hard they couldn’t catch their breath.

“Oh my God,” Lilly complained.

Amy tried to stop laughing, but Katie was still standing, her hand splayed, looking at the streaks of chicken shit that now adorned it. “I tried to tell you… I tried…” She gave up and pushed Katie back out through the door, closed it, laughing harder as she walked away to the trough that entered the barn. She picked up a steel cup and filled it with water after tipping the trough to get the water to flow clear. She picked up a sliver of lye soap and walked back to Katie.

“Hold your hands out.” She waited until she did and then poured the water over them as Katie worked them together. She handed her a piece of lye soap. The soap was iffy, more likely to burn than anything else. Katie grimaced as she worked some soap into both hands. Amy poured the rest of the water over her hands. “Don’t touch your eyes for a while,” Lilly reminded her. She had managed to stop laughing, as had Amy.

“Okay,” Amy said. “For real. You have to wear the gloves. Eggs have shit on them. They come that way, and sometimes the chickens will peck you as you’re taking the egg. They don’t always take that well. Other than that, you did good.”

“I didn’t know chicken eggs had shit on them,” Katie said.

“You grew up somewhere where you never had to deal with real eggs I guess,” Lilly said. “I grew up in Watertown and I still gathered eggs a few times.”

Katie frowned. “Never picked – gathered – eggs before. Okay… I imagine this is stupid. Why do the eggs have crap on them? Because the chicken is sitting on them? Do they always have crap on them? I may never look at eggs the same again.”

Lilly chuckled along with Amy. “Okay,” Lilly said. “Chickens don’t have, um, a separate vagina. Chickens have one canal, so to speak. It all comes out one hole.”

“Jesus. That’s messed up.”

“Probably be bad if you weren’t a chicken. But the chickens don’t seem to mind,” Lilly said.

Katie tugged the glove up her arm. “She has me murdering rabbits later.”

Lilly looked at Amy. “She wants to learn how to do it,” Amy told her.

“Conner thinks that I need to learn,” Katie frowned and stuck out her lower lip.

“Oh stop. She wants to impress him, so she’s learning. We’ll be coming right back here tomorrow to prepare chickens… fresh chickens.”

Katie frowned. “Murdering rabbits tonight, chickens tomorrow.” She went to the next chicken, reached in and under the chicken and pulled her hand out with the egg in the glove. She slipped the egg into her basket and then went back to the first chicken. “There was another egg under this one,” Katie said as she slipped her hand beneath the chicken. She started to pull her hand back when the chicken suddenly erupted into the air. Katie screamed and jumped back, crushing the egg in her gloved hand.

Lilly was on the hay covered floor, holding Amy and rolling back and forth, laughing uncontrollably.

Katie looked at the yolk and chicken shit dripping off her glove. “Can’t wait for the rabbits,” she said. Amy and Lilly went off into fresh gales of laughter.

…………………………………

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Absolute facts Earth’s Survivors Box set by Geo Dell

Posted by Geo…

Some humor for you this morning and a free look at the Earth’s survivors Box Set from Geo Dell!

Humor posted by Geo…

Absolute facts:

Q: Who discovered America?

A: Richard Plambouise.

Huh? Richard was working at the local K-Mart when he was assigned to move some shelving during inventory. Behind the shelving he noticed a continent that had fallen from the shelf and lay dusty and disused. He recognized it for what it was, America.

Congratulations Richard Plambouise.

Absolute Facts:

Q: Is the Earth really round?

A: No.

Think about it, you’d fall off of it. The earth is flat. Been flat since I was a kid, I know ’cause I ran in my new sneakers, fast as hell, and I didn’t fall off. The Earth is flat.

Absolute Facts:

Q: Is what mom feeds me actually good for me?

A: Yes.

Everything mom feeds you is good for you, now shut up and eat.

Absolute Facts:

Q: When a man loves a woman can he keep his mind on anything else?

A: No.

Just ask Percy Sledge who not only told us a man can not keep his mind on anything else, but he’ll Sleep out in the rain if she says that’s the way it ought to be. Thanks Percy.

Absolute Facts:

Q: If my wife asks, should I tell her, Yes. Her butt does look big?

A: Absolutely.

Relationships are built on respect, truth and honesty. Go ahead, tell her. You can even tell her I said to. In fact, Percy didn’t say otherwise either.


Check out this free preview of the Earth’s Survivors Box Set!


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This is Copyrighted Material

This material is NOT edited for content


Earth’s Survivors Box Set

Copyright 2016 Wendell G. Sweet, all rights reserved in their entirety

This collection is offered as a complete collection only and may not be passed on or shared with others, in part or whole. The entire collection is subject to strict foreign and domestic copyright laws and the entire relief provided within the law is reserved by the copyright owner, Wendell G. Sweet.

Portions of this text have been published under the following constructs: Dell Sweet, Geo Dell, W. W. Watson, W. G. Sweet and Wendell Sweet. All are publishing constructs used by Wendell G. Sweet. You may not copy, scan, transfer electronically, wirelessly, or any other present or future delivery device, any part of this book without the express written permission of the copyright owner and or his assignee/assignees. You may quote text, less than a paragraph in total, in critiques, both electronic or print.

This collection is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to living or past individuals, places or things is purely coincidental. It is intended as entertainment. Names, places and events are figments of the authors imagination


New York: March 2nd

New York: Watertown

Mike and Candace

Morning

Mike Collins awoke to the sounds of birds whistling in the early morning pre-dawn. Birds, he thought, usually the sounds from the mills drowned them out.

He had made it home around 6:00 PM the previous evening. He was working the midnight to eight shift and had stopped into the Rusty Nail after work to have a few drinks with some other guys from the paper mill.

He had wanted to leave before the bar began to fill up. The Rusty Nail had gotten more than a bit rowdy as of late. Two years before, one of Mike’s good friends, Moon Calloway, had been killed in the bar. That had seemed to turn the tide. After that point the bar had become much worse, a proving grounds of sorts for the young GI’s from the base. Mike often wondered why he even bothered to hang around there at all. Last night it had seemed as though the rowdy element was showing up even earlier than it usually did, when Johnny Barnes had offered the ride Mike had accepted.

The house on Linden Street wasn’t much, but it was paid for, and Mike knew a lot of guys at the mill who either rented or were damn close to losing their homes to the bank. Times were tough in the old U-S-of-A, and at least he had the place free and clear.

He had practically fallen into bed once he had gotten home. He hadn’t realized how tired he was.

He’d been working all the short shifts he could get, along with his normal evening shifts, saving the money after he’d paid off the house, and today would be the start of his first real vacation in over twelve years.

Mike had grown up in the small city of Watertown, and had never left. It suited him, he liked to think. Where else could you see the seasons change so vividly, or take a quiet stroll through the woods anytime you felt, he often wondered. The Adirondacks were close by. The southern tier, where he hoped to be in just a few hours, he reminded himself, stretched away for miles. Forever wild lands, Lake Ontario, wet lands. And if he wanted the big city it was just seventy miles away down route eighty-one.

This is going to be one great vacation, he thought, as he got out of bed. Despite the damn birds.

The vacation he had planned was a three week camp out in the State Forest Preserve that started only twenty miles to the east. The preserve was nestled up to the military reservation and stretched from there all the way into Central New York. Mike had no idea exactly where he would camp. He had decided to just hike until he found a spot that suited him.

As he headed for the bathroom he noticed that the clock on the dresser was off. Not blinking, but off, and he could vaguely recall dreaming of waking during the night to some loud noise.

It had seemed at first, when he had awakened within the dream, as though the entire house had been shaking. He had passed from that dream into another, but the noise and the shaking had seemed to accompany him into that dream as well. It had to have been the strangest dream he could ever recall having.

At first he had been in his bedroom; the walls shaking around him, and the next thing he knew he had been standing on a stone pathway that overlooked a wide and deep valley that stretched away for miles before it hooked to the right and disappeared. Its forward path blocked by even higher mountains, with others lifting even higher behind that. He turned to follow the ridge lines back to where he was and the scene had shifted to the bedroom once more. He had found himself sitting up in bed, breathing hard, frightened, the room silent, wondering if this was just more of the dream or an actual waking. As he began trying to figure it out, waiting for his head to clear, he had found himself sitting on a bar stool in the Rusty Nail, Moon Calloway beside him holding down the other stool.

He tried speaking to Moon, but he either couldn’t hear him, or he pretended not to. In his dream he had still known Moon was dead, so it made sense to him that he could not speak to him. He turned to Mort to order a beer and Moon had suddenly spoken.

“It was right here, Mike… Right here. Bad place to die… Used sawdust on the floor… Soaks up the beer… The blood…. You know….”

He tried to turn as soon as he heard the voice, but by the time he turned the scene had shifted again. Instantly the bar was gone and he found himself standing at the edge of what he took to be a lake at first. The water stretched away as far as he could see. There was a tang of salt on the air; red earth crumbled away as the waves came in, taking more land with it.  He could remember the salt smell from a trip to Florida as a kid with his grandparents. The smell of the sea.

“This is the place,” Moon said from beside him.

He turned expecting Moon to be gone, but he was standing a few feet away staring out over the water. He turned and looked at Mike. “You see it?” Moon asked.

“Yeah,” Mike managed. The word was barely audible, lost in the sounds of the sea as it worked to take the red dirt away. “Where,” Mike asked. “Where is it? What place is it?” He turned when Moon didn’t answer, but Moon was gone. He blinked and he was back in his bedroom, in bed in his own house on Linden Street, talking to a priest that was sitting on the edge of the bed. He remembered telling the priest that he just wanted to go back to sleep. That had apparently satisfied the priest, as he had shaken his head and seemed to float away.

Mike shook his head, recalling the dream as he entered the bathroom. He picked up his toothbrush from the small plastic cup that held it, squinted into the mirror, and turned on the cold water tap.

Nothing happened. No rattle of the old pipes in the wall. Nothing.

“What the hell,” Mike said aloud, “frigging water out too?” He dropped the brush back into the cup and headed into the kitchen to start the coffee.

“Shit,” he said as he entered the kitchen and remembered the power was off, and that there was no water with which to make the coffee. “Now what?” He walked back into the bedroom and tugged on the pair of jeans and shirt he had worn the day before; he walked through the house to the front door, shoving his feet into his sneakers as he went, and opened it to retrieve the paper that he knew would be there. The ends of the untied laces clicked and bounced against the old hardwood floors as he walked. At least he could read the paper, maybe even find out what the hell was going on.

The sun was just beginning to climb into the sky as the door swung open. He bent down.

“No damn paper either?” he muttered as he stood back up and began to search the lawn.

His eyes rose from the lawn and fell on the Hubert house across the Street.

Something seemed oddly out of place, and he puzzled over it for a few seconds before his mind told him what it was. The entire house was leaning to one side. That wasn’t all though, the street in between dipped and rose in places, and the lawn over there had large patches of brown dirt. The snow that had been everywhere the night before was nearly gone. His eyes had skipped over it, lending an illusion of straight lines until he had looked closely. His eyes rose to the Hubert house once more and he realized what else was wrong, the lot looked too big: He could see more of the Hubert house because the houses on either side were gone. No trace. Jumbled dirt and clumps of grass filled those lots. A leaning Oak that had been in  front of the Schuyler house for two hundred years: Uprooted and on the verge of toppling onto the fresh soil.

As he left his doorway and started across the street to get a better look, his eyes took in the devastation that had changed most of the street overnight.

Broken cobbles from the old streets poked through the pavement in places, and the broken pipes below street level bought him the sound of running water somewhere deep below. The reality of it hit him and he stopped and turned to look back at his own house. His mouth fell open wide as he stared. The entire house was leaning from foundation to roof, the gutters had detached and snaked down to meet the ground. Almost seeming as though they were holding the house upright. Small sparrows where pecking through the debris that had fallen from the gutters, and singing in the warming morning air. Mike’s mouth snapped shut as he stumbled back into the street and sat down hard.

“What the hell is this?” he asked aloud to the street.

“What the hell is going on?”

Mike believed in the tangible. If it could be touched it must be real, and so believing, he reached down to feel one of the cracks beside him in the road. The road tipped, tilted, had separated, and the other surface had dropped lower. His fingers came away with small chunks of asphalt.

“Feels real,” he declared aloud, as he stared at the road. He pulled at it and a small piece of the asphalt he held snapped off into his hand. He bought it up to his face to examine it closely; threw it back to the ground, and got up from the street.

He looked slowly off in both directions down the length of Linden Street. As far as he could see in either direction the roads and houses were similar. In fact, he thought, the street doesn’t even look like a street anymore. It was still a street because he thought of it as a street. His street. There was now more gravel, dirt and broken asphalt chunks than there was actual street. And in several places it was gone completely. No sign. Wide spots that were wholly devastated.

Mike closed his eyes and then reopened them. It was all still there. Nothing had changed. He stood and stared for a few minutes longer before he started to walk off down the street in the direction of the downtown area, three blocks to the south.

He looked over the houses he passed. Most were partly, and some were completely destroyed. He felt as though he were in a bad dream. He knew he wasn’t though, as he had closed his eyes to blink away the sights several times to no avail. He had also pinched his left cheek until his eye had begun to water. No good. It was still there. He had done acid once, but only once, back in the seventies, and he had heard about flashbacks, and this could maybe be one, and he had been drinking pretty damn heavily yesterday, and…

He spotted a young woman sitting on the curb three houses down and walked up to her. She tilted her tear streaked and puffy face up to him as he approached.

“Is this a dream?” he asked when he stopped.

“No, it’s no dream,” she replied as she slowly shook her head.

“Where have you been since last night? Didn’t you hear the noise? Didn’t you feel it?”

Mike recalled the noise that had awakened him during the night. The noise he had thought was only an extension of the strange dream.

“Well, I thought it was a dream, you know, but I did hear a storm, or something, but I didn’t think it was a big deal… you know, they can get loud sometimes, but… What happened?”

“Yellowstone blew up,” she said simply. “Didn’t you see the TV?”

Mike shook his head.

“Well,” the young woman continued, “anyhow that’s what happened. They cut in to the TV last night; I was watching… you know, and they cut in and said that the Yellowstone caldera was going to fracture because of how close the meteor came. I came outside to see, and, well there was nothing to see at first, and then the ground started shaking, so I ran to get back inside. But the whole bottom floor of the building was gone.” She shrugged.

The young woman broke into fresh tears, and buried her face back into her hands.

Mike sat down beside her and put his arm around her in an attempt to comfort her.

“Is your husband here?”

“Not married,” she said, “There was a guy… A few years back. He’s stationed somewhere in the Middle East,” she finished, as she looked at Mike.

“Sorry,” Mike said, “how long have you been out here?”

“I called this cop that had given me his card… He said the police would come so I came back out to wait, but they never showed up, so I just sat here. I didn’t know where else to go or what to do! I’ve been here ever since, just watching the street crack.”

Mike looked around at the street.

“It happened all at once?”

“I don’t know,” she replied, also staring at the street. “One second it was still whole, the next it wasn’t. But it’s still going on. Every little while a crack will just appear and then another section will tilt or drop a little. Sometimes there’s no noise, other times it’s this horrible groaning sound… Like it’s alive or something.”

“Is your power on?” Mike asked changing the subject.

“No,” she replied, “went off right after the ground started shaking.”

“Mine’s off too,” Mike replied.

“The power lines fell while I was out here, arcing all over the place. Scared the shit out of me too, and then they just quit… Went dead,” She said.

“Listen… I’m going to walk downtown… see if the police department is open, or see maybe if everyone is there somewhere. You’re the only person I’ve seen so far… do you want to come with me?”

“Sure,” she said, as she stood and brushed at her jeans, “no use sticking around here I guess, is there?”

“I don’t think so,” Mike said. “I think… you know that everyone else is probably downtown. Getting organized or something,” his eyes betrayed the worry he felt. He hoped that everyone was downtown as he had said, but he wasn’t convinced himself. We have to find someone though, he thought, don’t we?


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The Zombie Plagues Preview

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This has been a busy week for me. But I think that when we stay busy, doing things we like, the time does tend to fly.

A little Treat for you.

The Zombie Plagues

All rights reserved

Published by: independAntwriters Publishing

This Excerpt is used with permission

Copyright independAntwriters and Geo Dell 2013 – 2015 All rights reserved

~

Beth lifted her eyes from the map just as the first of the undead broke from the trees behind the back of the last truck.

Jesus! Jesus, Billy… Dead!” She shrugged her machine pistol off her shoulder and caught it with both hands. She was already moving toward the back vehicles. In front of her Bear was turning away from her, back toward the rear. His massive frame blocking her view. Somewhere towards the back truck someone began to scream. Iris, she thought. It was Iris who was screaming.

She found herself running at that point. Her legs pumping effortlessly. The adrenalin surging through her veins. Iris was in the truck with Mac.

She had no sooner had the thought then she heard another voice began to scream. She couldn’t place it but as she rounded Bear, catching up and passing him, she saw that two zombies had Mac on the ground, tearing chunks from his arms as he tried to fight them off.

Beth!” Billy screamed from behind her. “Right. Your right!”

She had been just about to fire her pistol at the two Zombies attacking Mac and so even as she turned she did not turn her pistol completely but kept it aimed to the front towards Mac and the two Zombies. By the time she registered how close the three zombies were to her there was no time to turn the pistol and fire. They were nearly on her. She had no more registered their faces, jaws wide, teeth gnashing, she had not even had the time to worry about her own fate yet, when the lead zombies head blew apart in a spray of blood and bone.

She blinked involuntarily and managed to bring her pistol around as the two remaining zombies tried to reverse direction in mid stride. Their eyes were wild. Trapped looking. She bought up the pistol and pulled the trigger.

Nothing happened and her heart staggered in her chest. The safety… The ****ing safety, her mind screamed, and that was when another Zombie hit her from the side and she went sprawling onto the dirt road. There were two more on her before she could get turned over. She felt the first bites and ignored them as she concentrated on getting the safety off the pistol she had somehow managed to hold onto as she fell.

The passenger door on the second truck flew open and Scott Jefferson flew from the truck, machine pistol blazing as he ran. The gunfire all along the road was crazy. It had instantly become a war zone. He made it halfway around the hood of the truck when he stepped into a crossfire and his head exploded, spraying across the hood of the truck.

Bear sprayed the woods with his machine pistol. The dead had all come from the same direction and once he had focused on them it had been easy to mow them down. They began to slow, some turning to run back into the woods, some standing as if they didn’t know what to do. Bear launched himself away from the truck fender he had been leaning against and began to run at them, firing as he went. A scream building from his throat.

Billy had staggered to a stop just past the end of his rear bumper. He had watched Scott come into his line of fire and he had instantly let loose of his trigger but it had been too late. He was in shock and time seemed to slow to a crawl. His eyes swiveled back around and he saw that Beth was pinned to the ground by two Zombies. He yelled and charged the zombies, raising the stock of his rifle, smashing in the back of the head of the first zombie, kicking the other aside with a hard shot to the ribs and spraying him with a short burst that took his head from his shoulders after he had rolled a short distance across the ground.

Marcus had stopped at the last truck and dragged the young man through the open window, two more joined him and pulled him the rest of the way through the window as Marcus lunged through the open window and fastened his teeth on Iris’s throat as she tried to fight him off, and the inside of the truck became a slaughter house. He was so engrossed in feeding that he did not see the machine pistol’s barrel as it thrust through the open window a few minutes later. He only barely felt it as it bit into the back of his head. Bear pulled the trigger and his head blew apart. Iris stopped screaming.

Something happened to the remaining Zombies. It was like a switch had been flipped on every one of them at the same time.

They stopped in mid stride, tried to turn back to the woods, but the machine pistols mowed them down where they stood or as they turned to run. Bear, Billy and Beth were on their feet moving in a loose line toward the wooded area.

Behind them some of the others that had stayed in the trucks came out now and joined them. The gunfire held strong for a few moments and then everything stopped all at once. The last zombies either fell or managed to get far enough into the woods as to no longer be seen.

Silence fell all along the road. It held for what seemed like minutes. The haze of smoke from the gunfire hung heavy in the late afternoon air. The headlights of the tucks cut through it making it dance through the blue-white beams of light. The overcast sky and the sudden silence made it seem as though night had arrived all at once. There was very little to hear in the silence.

The still running trucks, a scraping scrabbling sound as one of the undead tried to crawl off the road and into the woods. Beth turned shakily from the woods, her face hard, set, she pulled her knife from her side sheath, took a few steps and straddled the zombie. She reached down, grabbed his hair, pulled his head back as he snapped and snarled. The knife flashed as she embedded it into the side of his head. She thrust one booted foot against his head and pulled her knife free, letting his head fall into the dirt.

The silence held for a second longer and then Beth began to sob as she sank down to the ground.

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Writing from life 2

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This contains copyrighted material used with permission. All rights in their entirety are retained in all cases, foreign and domestic by the copyright owner, Dell Sweet or his Assignee.

Another problem that is not a problem for me, is a man writing a female character, or a woman writing a male character. At first it was. Somehow I convinced myself that men and women are completely different and therefore I could never write like, or about a woman because I am a man. And that might be somewhat true in as far as it goes. A story that is written by a woman might contain things I could not match because I could not understand them. But I know women and I am no longer shy, I will ask about what I don’t know. And I will understand it, but as a man, I still might not capture what the woman wrote. That doesn’t matter in almost all the important cases, because I want to write a female character: I don’t want to become a female, I don’t want to be let into the secret society of women, and by the way, if there is a secret society for men I have never been invited in. Either because I am unacceptable of because it doesn’t exist. I don’t want to do anything other than write a female character that seems like something a woman might write: A character another woman can identify with. A female character that seems real, believable. It should not be a big deal to do that.

First of all, as a man or a woman, you know far more about the opposite sex than you think you do. It is like I started out saying, you remember more than you think you do. All those little remarks, mannerisms, ways of talking, handling problems, you remember those things and you do understand them. You don’t have to jump to the stereotypical male or female either. Have you, as a woman, ever seen a man cry? Never mind the old school thought that men aren’t supposed to cry, men cry all the time in public now, and as a man I can tell you they cried before too, in private maybe, but they cried. The differences between a man crying and a woman crying are not that much. It sometimes may seem as though the man is a little more emotional. But if you think that through you will see that that makes perfect sense. Men are not used to dealing with strong emotions in that manner. Sure, we are supposedly living in a politically correct world where men are not physical or aggressive. Bull.

Men are still raised in almost all societies to be aggressive. To hide emotion, and so when a man cries it might seem to you to be more intense, but in reality it probably isn’t. It is a man expressing the same emotion, maybe in a slightly different way, but they are expressing it. The man is the same as the woman then, right? No. Of course not. The part you remember is all the men, you as a woman, or all the women, I as a man have known. Are they all the same? No. Pick one and use it the next time you write about a man or woman. Or pick more than one. Let me give you an example. This is Beth from the Earth’s Survivors books:

L.A.: 2:00 am.

Beth

The night wore on. The morning came and went and the club shut down for another day. Beth worked at cleaning up the last little area of the bar as two of the dancers finished their drinks and hushed conversations, smiled at her, and walked away. A short conversation with Jon, he had probably made some crude remark; Beth had seen how both of them had instantly stiffened their backs after he spoke. It wasn’t just her, Jon was an actual creep. Whatever he had said the two girls chose to ignore it, turning away, making eye contact with Beth, waving as if they had been at the bar talking to her, and when Jon looked back to see who they had been waving at they slipped out the door. Jon made his way over to the bar.

“You scared my honeys away,” he told her.

“I think you can do that all on your own,” Beth told him.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Jon asked.

Beth frowned and shook her head. Sometimes she wondered if Jon even knew what a creep he was. How he made the girls who worked here, her included, feel. “It means that not everyone is always on the same page,” Beth said. She had changed her mind at the last second. She had to work here. Jon was the nephew of the owner. Creep or not he was part of the package.

Jon looked confused.

“Jon, Jon, it means that sometimes you just have to let things happen. Go slow. A girl wants to think it was her own idea to like you,” she told him.

“Yeah… I can see that, but when you need it you need it. Some of these bitches need to be on point.” One finger disappeared into his nose and then he seemed to suddenly remember she was there. “You know, me and you need to hook up. I got …” One massive hand settled onto his shoulder, and he stopped in mid sentence.

“Disappear, Jon, Jon. I need to talk to Beth right now,” Tommy told him as he sat down on one of the stools.

‘We was just talking, uncle Tommy.”

“Right, and now you’re done talking… Unless you’re not? Am I interrupting you?”

Jon turned beet red. He laughed to hide the embarrassment. “No… No,” he turned and walked away.

Tommy turned to Beth. “I guess you’ll have to get used to the kid. He’s a pain in the ass, but he’s my pain in the ass… Load to bear,” He turned and watched Jon step out the door to the parking lot. “Jon, Jon,” Tommy yelled. Jon poked his head back in the door and looked at his uncle. “Take a good look around out there, make sure the lot’s empty, and the girls all got to their cars okay.”

“Okay, uncle Tommy,” Jon called back. The dopey smile that he usually wore settled back on his face as he stepped out into the darkness. Tommy turned back to Beth.

‘Billy Jingo,” he said.

Beth looked at him.

“I think that kid is bad news for you… Not telling you how you should live your life, just distributing advice… A girl like you, a dancer, don’t need a distraction like that. The customers don’t want to see no boyfriend hanging around. Spoils the fantasy.” He held her stare.

“It’s not like that, Tommy. “Billy is a friend only… Lives in the same building.” She had caught the fact that he had said she was a dancer. Something she wasn’t yet, unless…

“Uh huh, but he wants you. The kid is like a love sick puppy. If you could step back and look at it you would see it clearly. Are you telling me you are smart enough to handle Jon, Jon, and you can’t see this Jingo kid has it bad for you?”

Beth shrugged. “No… I know… I know that, but he knows it isn’t going to happen. He knows what the deal is.”

“Good… That’s all I’m saying, but you need to tell him to stay away… Can’t be hanging around while you’re working… See?”

Beth nodded. “I see.”

“Good, cause next week you start as a dancer. I know you…” He stopped as Beth lunged across the bar and hugged him, squealing as she did. He hugged her back, laughing.

She kissed his cheek, and then her smile went away a little as one of his hands cupped the side of her breast. Her eyes focused on his. “I think we’ll become good friends, Baby,” he told her. She nodded as his hand roamed a little further, and then trailed away across the flat plains of her stomach. She pulled back. Tommy wore a crooked smile on his face. “So we understand each other?”

“Yeah,” Beth told him.

“So smile then. Let’s have a drink… On me… Pour us something good, Baby,” Tommy told her.

3:00 am

Beth smoothed her skirt flat as she stepped out into the darkness of the parking lot. She had spent over a month trying to convince Tommy to let her dance. She had gotten her wish, and more than she had bargained for, a relationship with Tommy. She wasn’t sure how that was going to be defined in public, but in private it was going to be defined as a sexual relationship. He had just defined it for her, she would have to wait to see what the public definition was going to be, but she had a good idea how it was going to be.

Nan, the dancer Tommy was currently seeing, was going to be upset. Tommy was not subtle. It had been clear that they had been seeing less and less of each other. She had no doubt that her first night of dancing he was going to make it clear she was his. Like a dog marking his territory. She sighed, off the street, but still getting fucked for money. She hated putting it that starkly in her head, but that was the plain truth. She was still selling it, just different terms, better money, better protection. She heard footsteps running behind her and her breath caught in her throat. She turned as the club door that exited to the parking lot banged shut.

“Beth,” Jon yelled. “Beth.”

She stopped and waited.

“Uncle Tommy said I should drive you home… He don’t want you walking.”

She sighed. She had half expected it. Jon ran the twenty feet from the door to where she was. She changed direction and walked slowly toward Jon’s car. Well, she thought, at least there would be no more bullshit from Jon.

Or, Candace Loi from the same series.

Watertown Center

Shop and Save Convenience store: Candace Loi

1:30 AM

“Last one,” Neil said.

Neil was a detective for the Sheriffs department. It was closing in on 2:00 AM and he and his partner Don had just come back from six hours of sleep to get a jump on the day. Yesterday one of the checkout girls had disappeared between the Shop And Save and home. Earlier this morning she had turned up dead in a ditch just a quarter mile from the front door. The techs were still processing the scene, but it was looking personal. Stabbed to death, multiple wounds, no defense wounds, at least none that he or Don had been able to see, and fully clothed. Her purse had been found nearby, wallet and cash inside. They would know more in a few days once the coroner did her magic. It all pointed to someone she knew, and they had no known boyfriend. The trailer park where she lived had turned up nothing, they had questioned some people at the convenience store, but some had been off shift, so here they were back at the store questioning the other employees.

They had commandeered the night manager’s office which was barely larger than a broom closet, but at least it was a place to sit with enough space left over to call in the workers and ask their questions. Free coffee via the same night manager, who had still not gone home, was taking a little of the six hours of sleep sting off, but to Neil free coffee in a convenience store was like a whore offering a free shot of penicillin to the first twenty five customers.

“Who’s next?” Don asked.

The last half hour they had been interviewing the people who worked the same shifts as Amber Kneeland.

“Candace loi,” Neil said.

Don looked up and stopped writing in his little notebook. “How do you,” spell her name, he had meant to ask Neil, 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,” Neil said, “Candace.”

Beautiful girl, Don thought. “Did you know Amber Kneeland? 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 is 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,” Neil supplied.

“She went missing last night,” Don said. “Turned up dead this morning.”

Candace shook her head. “Oh my God. That’s horrible. She was such a nice girl… Quiet.”

Neil nodded his head. “So maybe you did know her a little better than you thought?”

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

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

“No. It’s just a rumor. Someone said it 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…”

“Go out with her?” Don asked.

“No… Never… I…”

“Don’t swing that way?” Don added.

Candace frowned slightly before she answered. “I work. I don’t swing any way. But if I did she wasn’t my type. She never asked me out, I never asked her out.”

“Didn’t mean to offend you,” Don said. He shrugged. “She’s dead.”

“She would probably do the same for you,” Neil said.

Candace nodded. “That really is all I know. I hope you find who did it though. She seemed like a nice girl,” Candace said.

“You don’t seem the type for this… Bagging groceries at 2:00 am,” Don said, changing the subject. “You aren’t local or I’d know you… This city really is small despite the base.”

Candace smiled. “Came here a year back with a boyfriend, Army. He left, forgot all about me, I guess. I had this idea of modeling… Tough to get a foot in a door though.”

“Wow, if he left you behind he must be a fucking idiot… Any good?” Neil asked.

Candace laughed.

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

Candace arched her eyebrows. “I can model. I did a You Jeans ad back in Georgia a few years ago. I just need to prove it to the right person.”

“Escorting? It’s strictly escorting, no funny stuff. Dance clubs… Clothing modeling,” Neil said.

“Probably start out escorting… Dance a little… Then if he likes you he’ll put you into the modeling end of things. He owns a lot of shit… Several car dealerships across the state… Some of the biggest dance clubs, clothing outlets, those bargain places, but still, modeling is modeling, right? Not the big name stuff, but it’s a foot in the door,” Don added.

“I can do that,” she said slowly.

Neil 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,” Neil 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,” Neil said.

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

“Yeah? But 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.”

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

Two female characters written by me, a man. It works because I went with what I knew. I did not go for stereotypical women, but women who were composites of a few women I have known in my life. Beth is loosely based on four women. The first and most obvious was a woman whom I met in the early eighties when I drove a cab for a living. She was a dancer at a little club whom I picked up every early morning and drove back to her hotel room…

(A non-fiction piece from my days of driving taxi)

The Last Ride is Copyright © 2013 – 2015 Wendell 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 shifts 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. And then a Conrail contract came along and then the opportunity to work with another driver who handled the airport contract, and 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 P.M.. It just seemed to work and after a few failed attempts at day shift work, I gave it up and went to work fulltime 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 two 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 up on 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 fast despite the traffic. 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 A.M.

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 who had been alive in my back seat just a few hours before and was now dead. 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…

The dancer is not the complete focus of that story. Two different women take the focus, the one that dies and the dancer. The dancer was where I went for my first look at Beth. For the purposes of the story I did not go into a lot of detail about the dancer, but you could assume that I had been picking her up every night for quite some time and that we probably had conversations and you would be right. What I got was the sense of a woman who did what she had the ability to do. Not because she was a whore, or a slut, or a loose woman, but because she wanted to live. Yes, she offered more than conversation and I turned her down, on another night I would not have turned her down most likely. That fact doesn’t make her or me either saints or sinners, just human beings. She seemed honest, unapologetic for the life she lived, I loved that. She was not pretentious, she was simply alive and living. She was great as my initial base for Beth.

My second mold was my mother who has worked hard all of her life. She has been afraid in situations, I am sure, but she always did what she had to, to get by or survive and take care of myself and my siblings. That is real, not a composite, and I wanted Beth to have strength like that. I have met other women with that strength too. It is something I admire, something I think is sometimes lacking in female characters, so I wanted my Beth character to have it.

My third mold was my first girlfriend. Maybe in my head, we never actually made it official, but she was a funny person. Bold. Unafraid of life. She went for the things she saw that she wanted in life. She kept a positive outlook. She didn’t let the fact that she was a woman become ammunition to others to slow her down. I remember falling in love with her about three minutes after I met her. She was just an awesome person and she happened to be a woman too. One of the first women in my life that made me stop looking at women in a stereotypical way. I wanted Beth to have that strength.

My last mold was a buddy’s wife. I got to know her a little, and one night when we were drinking she told me a story about her life…

Lyrics Copyright © Wendell Sweet 2011 ♪ ♫ ♪ Date Written; 01-24-2011

Song Title: Vegas Style: Alt

Intro

It’s snowing in Watertown… Kat’s packing the car with Jo Jo… They’re leaving for the promise of a better life… Someplace…

Instrumental ———————————— Small Lead transition into song tempo —————-

Verse 1

They left the small town for Las Vegas… Kat she wants to see new places… Run the bases… And Jo Jo’s born to be told, you can tell… He takes her west where the snow never fell

But there ain’t no easy life in Vegas, it’s just a little brighter than some of the other places… Times are tough… You can see it in the faces… When’s enough, enough? And who decides? It’s tough…

Instrumental ——————————————Small Transition —————————————

Hook #1

The pretty lights will make you blind… to the things you got to do. So you put them out of mind…

Someday, you know, you got to get wise… Time keeps slippin’ by… You fall through the cracks if you don’t compromise…

Verse 2

Time goes by and they find themselves sleeping in the car. Kat, she finds a job dancing at a bar, and Jo Jo fills in pouring drinks most nights… But he… Hates the dancing. Hates the men… Hates the life…

And some days Kat’s thoughts are so black, all she can think about is going back… Promises… You know they don’t amount to jack when life ends up like this… When it… moves past promises…

Instrumental—————————— Long Lead ———————————————————-

Verse 3

Jo Jo ain’t got much to say… Feels like he… Pissed his life away… Wakes up to do the Jo Jo show… Believes that’s just the way that life goes…

He’s just trying to make his way through it all… Waiting for the curtain to fall… But maybe it fell and he’s just waitin’ on last call… Hard to tell… Maybe it’s just as well…

Instrumental —————————————–Small Transition —————————————

Hook #2

The pretty lights don’t seem so bright when you’re working through the long night to the gray daylight…

And sometimes all you want to do is pack it in… But life here beats you down so hard… Don’t know where to start…

Instrumental—————————– Short lead transition ———————————————–

Verse 4

Kat, she sleeps through the day… Gets up for work and dances the night away… Walk this way… Slide down the pole… Some days it’s like it’s all she knows…

Just smiling her way through it all… Listening… Waiting on the curtain call… Sometimes she wonders is it her last curtain call? It’s all numbers… Still, she wonders…

Instrumental —————————————Small Transition —————————————

Hook #1

The pretty lights will make you blind… to the things you got to do. So you put them out of mind…

Someday, you know, you got to get wise… Time keeps slippin’ by… You fall through the cracks if you don’t compromise…

Instrumental—————–Transition to end –slower —————————————————

Xtro

And it’s raining… In Vegas… as they make their way home… Still looking for the promise of a better life…. Someday….

Why I Wrote It:

(Note: Additional work 05-15-11 / 05-16-11 There is music for this written in C)

I knew a girl who lived that life. She left Watertown and ended up working in a bar. One night, over thirty years ago, she told me about it. I remembered that conversation and wrote the song about it.

Jo Jo is modeled after me. The aimless life I used to live. I put the two things together and wrote the song…

That was my last piece for Beth. I made those connections in the blink of an eye. I didn’t have to explain them or show you the work that lead me to them, but it will be the same for you when you get there I am sure. The thing is to delve into your life. What was your mother/father/aunt/uncle/ex-wife/husband/minister/boyfriend like? Write it. Remember, characters that are non typical are more realistic in the long run. They are also more interesting to the reader, I think, and as you personalize them you base them on your own history and so they take on the characteristics that women or men you have known possessed, and they also become much easier to write because you know them.

Obviously you can’t write about someones life. In this society where everyone seems to have a lawyer in their back pocket, and some layers are willing to file a lawsuit for anyone that has a retainer, you may worry that you are, but I would say to you: Examine that. Are you writing what they know? No. You can’t. You are not them, you can not know what they know, so you can not write about them in that manner. You are writing about your memories of that person, your impression, and there is nothing wrong with that. If that ability was taken away from us, we, as writers, could go ahead and throw away our pens. It would all be over.

That is substantially different from taking a true incident and writing your own story around it, exploiting that person. Instead, you are taking several people, blending them together, adding the things you believe about life, people, society and coming up with your own character that is grounded in reality. In fact, the few times I have taken an honest look at my characters and compared them to the people I thought that I had based them on, I have realized that it may have started that way, but they took on a life of their own. And that is the way good characters should be… Dell

……………………..

smash-series

The Earth’s Survivors books mentioned:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/19138


Writing From Life

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I once moved to the great state of Alabama and lived there for ten years. I stayed so long because where I lived the weather turned exactly like fall in New York about mid September to early October and stayed that way until the middle of March. About 5 months of beautiful weather. Native Alabamians thought I was crazy walking around in a pocket T-Shirt while they were in jackets and coats. I stayed because that weather was so perfectly suited to me. Here in northern New York I get a few days a year that are like that. Maybe ten in total. It isn’t enough.

I suppose other people might think that is odd liking cooler weather. I also like the mountains and rainy days too. I think a lot of it is set in our early memories and that is it. From then on, sometimes for reasons we don’t even remember, we like certain things. I can remember three very clear rainy day memories from my early life and those are probably what make up my attraction to rainy days. The first is a small aluminum travel trailer my father parked behind our house. One of those shiny, silver Airstream numbers you could tow behind your car or truck. He ran an extension cord to it so it had power. I can remember standing inside the doorway watching the rain fall just outside that doorway. Listening to the rain pound on that curved aluminum roof. I was safe and dry.

My second memory is a camp I went to as a slightly older child. Laying on the top bunk reading Robinson Crusoe as rain drummed against the corrugated steel roof, the other kids spread around playing board games, writing letters. The rain the reason for the time to be able to read, play, otherwise we would have been doing other camp things I suppose.

The third time was only a few years later, but life had changed a great deal for me in those few years between eleven or twelve to thirteen and fourteen. I was standing in a doorway, rain falling hard, watching the traffic pass me by. Cars shooting up sheets of water as they went by, none able to reach me where I was hidden in the shadows of that doorway. That should be a bad memory, after all I was alone, homeless, a runaway living on those streets, and I should have been afraid, but I wasn’t. I listened to the pounding rain and it made things all right. Made me decide to be alive when my thoughts were dancing on the head of a pin, back and forth… Quit, live, quit, live.

I began to write an account of my life not long ago because someone asked me about it. It is funny when you start to write something, how much more you remember than you thought you did. Some things I was happy to remember, others not so much. I am not going down that road right now, but I have and you can easily find that book, I suppose. For now I will illustrate how you can take those parts of your life and make them work for you as a writer. Take that emotion and write it out of you.

A quick word about what you write: Write what you know. I won’t spend a lot of time on this because it has been pointed out by every writer I have ever read, that when it comes to writing, write what you know. I have done that in every book I have written.

The Earth’s Survivors Books: Katie is someone I know. Conner is a better copy of me. Mike is all the boys I grew up with in northern New York that aspired to those mill jobs that had supported our fathers and grandfathers. Killed them eventually, but we were just dumb kids then. The fathers with mill jobs provided better, and everybody died, didn’t they?

James is the Native American man I wish I could be. And it goes on. Ronnie is the part of me that has African American blood. I write what I know. I only get into trouble when I step outside of that.

Billy Jingo is a story about a dirt poor kid who lives in a little dead end town and has nothing. Been there and done that. That book is set in the town I grew up in, and blended with people and places I have known and understand. All things I know.

The Dreamers book is really a book about Native American traditions and beliefs. I studied and read for months to be able to understand Native American religion only to find that there are many versions of it just as there are many versions of Christianity or the Muslim faith, or Buddhism. I studied to find the things that are in my blood that my father would not tell me about, not to write a book, simply to know that part of my bloodline, but when I began the Dreamer’s book I wrote from that knowledge I had learned and internalized by going to traditional Longhouse services for many years, studying, reading, asking elders questions. I took that and the things my Chief gave me and I wrote what I knew. And as I wrote it I added emotion and a story took shape and then found its legs.

Writing is emotion in my opinion. So is artwork, film, storytelling. Some of the best storytellers in ancient history probably learned how to channel emotion into their writing. Jean Auel writes more than a few scenes that illustrate that passing on of stories and the emotion that went into it. I also learned that the Native Americans passed down all of their history that way. If you think about it, they had no written language so they could have no written history. They had fantastic storytellers though. I have sat in services and listened to elders tell the stories of the people and I was taken right there. It is great to know that oral tradition is still alive in most Native American tribes. If it were not, what would be left for the next generation?

Some of the best writers I have read, talked to, known, are able to write their emotion into a story-line and make you feel it. Sometimes I write a piece and re-read it and I can not get the depth or feelings from the characters. I can play with it until I feel something, or I can set it aside for another day. Usually it is best to set it aside for another day. Maybe it will make sense to me, evoke an emotion, maybe not, but forcing it to be, or mean something that it does not, or to pull out some emotion that is not there, will not work for me. If the second go around does not do it either, then it is usually over for whatever that piece I was writing was about.

What I am saying is there is a time to set a piece aside and go on to the next thing: When I say set it aside I don’t mean to throw it away. I rarely do that, in fact I can not think of a time that I ever did. What I mean is to leave what is there, words on a scrap of paper, an incomplete document in your word processor: Title it whatever you thought it might be, file it, and move on. I have a real file cabinet because sometimes I write stuff down on real paper that comes to me at 3:00 AM. In it goes. I have a virtual file cabinet on my machine too. All the other stuff goes there. The point is that it has been set aside, but to me set aside is like the Windows Trash Can, it just moves it to an unused part of the hard drive: It does not really erase it. Occasionally I will go fishing there and see what there is to see. Sometimes it is clear to me why I moved a piece there, other times it is not. But that is usually rainy day stuff…

……………………………………….

Check out my Amazon Author Central Page: https://www.amazon.com/Wendell-Sweet/e/B00B6QPHNM


Collection series

turkey-1084222_640

Posted 11-25-16

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday. I was fortunate enough to enjoy the day with family. I ate too much Turkey, so did everyone else here. And of course there is a refrigerator full of Turkey, Pie, Olives, Pickles, Stuffing and all the other stuff from the meal that didn’t get finished. By the end of Thursday I couldn’t even convince the cats to eat a piece of Turkey. They turned their noses up at it. It’s Friday and I have been eating Turkey since Thursday afternoon, I’m beginning to turn my nose up at it too.

This past week has been a productive week. Both of the Earth’s Survivors SE books are reformatted- Reedited and they are available. The second dreamers World’s book is done, just needs editing. While digging around I found that I had actually written two more Dreamer’s Worlds books. I found them while going through the Composition Notebooks I used to write my books in. I was getting The Fold, the next Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth book ready, finding the notebooks of the original story, and I found a yellow 10 x 14 legal envelope, sealed, with Dreamer’s Worlds written across it. As soon as I opened it and began to read it I remembered writing it, the fight for the City of The Dead.

I had been convinced last year that those other two books existed but I could not find them. Well, now I have. And I found The Fold, and I would have started on that too, except I began a book about my life instead. And the Sci Fi Fans say, boring. Yes, I know, but it has been something I have been pounding away on for a long time and I really only took the time to bring the pieces together and do a rough outline and began to fill that outline in. I did write about 30k of new material that relates to different time periods that helped to clarify or pull together some of the other work. About 150 k written, now I can easily work on it in between projects. Translate that as, yes, I will start The Fold this week coming.

The Links for the New SE books are below. Remember, these are fan books. Fan requested books. The volumes put together to save money on the price of separate versions. I also added in depth character biographies, artwork, little factoids of information about the characters you can’t get elsewhere and illustrated chapter headings. This project was started last year, and I apologize it took so long, but both are done and available through Amazon. The Paperbacks available through Amazon’s CreatSpace arm. The paperbacks are a little pricey, but that is because there are two complete books in each one, so they are past the six hundred page mark for the first one and past the seven hundred page mark on the second one…

Digital Earth’s Survivors Collection #1

U.S.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B013H08B5U

U.K.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B013H08B5U

Canada

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B013H08B5U

Paper Back Link

https://www.amazon.com/Earths-Survivors-Collection-Dell-Sweet/dp/1519038720

Digital Earth’s Survivors Collection #2

U.S.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B013H08JI4

U.K.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B013H08JI4

Canada

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B013H08JI4

Paper Back Link

https://www.amazon.com/Earths-Survivors-Collection-Two-Dell/dp/1519038747

Other things:

LMN: This is a movie network that my mother loves. I come out into the living room at 8:00 PM every night while on my way for my night shift work (Translate that as more writing) and she will have that movie network on. I don’t know if you have ever watched this network but all the movies are the same, and I swear all of the actors and actresses are the same too sometimes. It’s like they say, “Okay, we’ll give you three hundred bucks and lunch money for a twelve movie deal.”

The Actor: “Um, what do I have to do?”

Producer: ”Well, you are a guy, so basically you’ll be a scumbag/serial killer/crazy bastard who kills/cripples/murders/harasses his ex wife/grandmother/dog/hamster/parakeet.”

The Actor: “Oh… well I was hoping for a better part than that.”

Producer: “Well, if you were a woman I could offer you the female part. She gets killed/crippled/murdered/harassed…”

The Actor: “Yeah, got that part… Nothing else?”

Producer: “I got a bit part for a pizza delivery guy that drives by when the crime is happening and does nothing to help. But that part is only in four films. The part I’m offering you is a fifty film deal.” …

You get the idea. Every night, same thing. In fact, I often keep track of the movie as I come back and forth over the weeks so I will know what part they are at. The other night I stopped and watched for a few seconds…

“Oh,” I said to mom. “That’s the part where the Sheriff/Best friend/Daughter/Aunt from Texas figures it out and calls the FBI/CIA/Murder She Wrote woman in.”

“Nope,” Mom said.

I stopped. I was shocked. “Huh?”

“Nope… See… There is this ex husband who has a girlfriend that moved to West Virginia that goes to college there, under an assumed name, on account of she doesn’t want him to find her because he tried to kill her by drowning her in the bathtub once…”

“That bastard,” I said.

“Um hmm,” Mom agreed. “So she figures it out.”

“Ahh,” I said. “Who does she call?”

“Well, that’s the problem, see. She can’t find her cell phone. She doesn’t know that the guy at the gas station who is friends with her ex-husband stole it while she was getting her shock absorbers replaced.”

“Son-of-a-bitch,” I muttered.

“Yep, but she found this walkie-talkie radio that this girl scout dropped on the way home from the cookie drive, so I think she’s gonna call someone on that.”

“Huh,” I said as I eased myself down into my chair. “Who will she call, I wonder?”

“Oh, for sure the FBI…” Mom looked at me… “The FBI monitor them radios on account of them Girls Scouts was running a drug ring at the local high school. baking that Wacky Tobacco right into them cookies.”

“Wow.” I didn’t know what else to say. “Wacky?”

“Tobacco… That’s pot, reefer, cannabis. You ain’t too bright sometimes,” Mom told me.

I nodded, sunk lower in my chair and watched the movie…

I don’t really have any pet peeves this week, except if anyone has god’s phone number I would like to talk to him about this snow that never seems to stop. I will leave you with a free short story and wish you a great week upcoming!

EARTH’S SURVIVORS SE 1

Created by Wendell Sweet

ISBN 1495382133

PUBLISHED BY:

Wendell Sweet and independAntwriters Publishing

Earth’s Survivors Book One: Rising From The Ashes

Earth’s Survivors Book Two: The Nation

Copyright © 2010 – 2013 by Wendell Sweet & independAntwriters Publishing All rights reserved

Series Writers

Geo Dell * W. W. Watson * Wendell Sweet

Art work © Wendell Sweet 2012 – 2016

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’re 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.

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

This novel is Copyright © 2010 – 2013 Wendell Sweet & independAntwriters Publishing. 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.

This blog preview is for your own personal use. If you would like to share this entry with others please point them to this blog link.

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

Foreword:

It is deep winter as I write this and ready this book for publication. When I began the first book in this series I lost my Uncle to Cancer, a man who meant a great deal to me. As I completed the Fourth book a year later and sent it off for editing, I lost my Aunt to Cancer as well. Then I lost a friend, and another, and I began to wonder if life would just continue to take for awhile. It didn’t, it stopped, but it made me know it was there waiting. And not just for me.

I think it’s good that life gives us those little wake ups on occasion. Those little reminders that we better get our asses in gear because the time really is passing, and all of those things we said we wanted to do are not done yet. So I got my priorities straighter still.

For the last month it has been all about writing for me, because writing is what I have wanted to do for as long as I could remember. And, I had all of this material just laying around and it wasn’t going anywhere. So, I finished Billy Jingo, a novel that I really like. I finished another OutRunner book and I have begun work on the second Dreamer’s Worlds book, another book I really like. More is planned. It put me back in my comfort zone, writing, instead of outside of that place where I have been for many months while taking care of things in the world that required my attention.

Sometimes you have to do that, and I did, but you also have to recognize when that time is gone, finished, and pick yourself up and get back to the stuff that keeps you sane. This is it for me.

SE 1 is the first two Earth’s Survivors books combined. It is also a character bibliography, pictures of the characters, trivia and a few other bonus items. It is also cheaper to purchase this book that it is to buy the two books separately.

A fan asked for this and that is why I did it early last year. The trouble was editing. I had a different editor at that time and so the SE version wound up being different than the other two. Not dramatically, but enough so that it bugged me. So it sat for awhile. I picked it up shortly after the fourth Earth’s Survivors book was released and decided that since I am doing it I may as well do an SE 2 book that consists of books Three and Four at the same time. It only made sense.

So, here you go. It is early winter now, and you should have this by late winter. Enjoy. And, whatever it is that keeps you sane, gives you a reason to get up every day and not kick the dog, or cat, or leave your wife, husband, home. Feed it. I do it by writing, maybe you do it by reading, and maybe this can take you away for a little while…

Dell Sweet 01-15-2014

EARTH’S SURVIVOR SE 1

CHAPTER ONE

CANDACE

~ March 1st~

The traffic leaving the parking lot had slowed to a trickle, the lot nearly empty. The live shows were over, the bands packed up and gone, the dancers gone before or at the same time. The club was empty except Jimmy, the club boss, Don, the main door security, and me.

“Why are you still here, Candy,” Jimmy asked as he came up to the bar. He was on his way back from the parking lot. It was a short trip across the parking lot to the bank night deposit on the lot next door.

“I had an idea that Harry would be by tonight. He wanted to talk to me,” I shrugged. Harry was a Bookie, at least on the surface. Off the surface, or maybe it would be truer to say under the surface, Harry controlled most of the organized crime north of Syracuse. Jimmy… Jimmy managed the club, among other things, but the best description for Jimmy was to say Jimmy solved problems for Harry.

“Wants to talk you into staying here. That’s about all,” Jimmy said.

I turned away and pretended to check my face in the mirrored wall behind the bar. I wanted to Dance. I had suggested to Harry, through Jimmy, that maybe it was time for me to move on if there wasn’t any hope of me dancing. “Anyway, I ended up tending bar. So…”

“So it’s not dancing.” He dug one hand into his pocket and pulled out a thick wad of bills. He peeled two hundreds from the roll and pushed them into my hand, folding his hand over my own and closing it when I started to protest.

“But,” I started.

“But nothing. We did a lot in bar sales. You and I both know it was because of you.” He smiled, let go of my hand and stepped back. “It was me, not Harry,” he said.

I fixed my eyes on him. I knew what he might be about to say, but I wanted to be sure.

He sighed. “It was me that put the stop to your dancing. You’re too goddamn good for dancing, Candy. And once you start?” He barked a short, derisive laugh. “The law thing? Right out the window. What’s a cop make anyway in this town? Maybe thirty or forty a year?” He settled onto one of the stools that lined the bar, tossed his hat onto the bar top and patted the stool next to him. He continued talking.

“So, thirty, maybe forty, and what’s a dancer make? I can tell you there are dancers here who make better than one fifty a year. And that’s what I pay them. That’s not the side stuff or tips.” He moved one large hand, fished around behind the bar and came up with a bottle of chilled Vodka from the rack that held it just below eye level. He squinted at the label. “Cherry Surprise,” he questioned in a voice low enough to maybe be just for himself. “This shit any good, Candy?”

“It’s not bad,” I told him. I leaned over the bar and snagged two clean glasses when he asked me, setting them on the bar top. He poured us both about three shots worth. “Jesus, Jimmy.”

He laughed. “Which is why I don’t make drinks. It’d break me.” He sipped at his glass, made a face, but sipped again. I took a small sip of my own drink and settled back onto the bar stool.

“So, I said to myself, smart, beautiful, talented, and you have that something about you that makes men look the second time. You know?” He took another small sip. “Man sees a woman walking down the street or across a crowded dance floor, beautiful or not he looks. That look might be short or it might be long. Depends on the woman. Then he looks away. Does he look back? Not usually. But with you he does. There are women men look at that second time for whatever reason, and you’re one of them. I looked a second time, and then I really looked, for a third time. And I’ve seen a lot. That tattoo makes men and women look again.” His eyes fell on the tattoo that started on the back of my left hand, ran up my arm, across my breasts and then snaked back down over my belly and beyond. I knew it was provocative. That was the rebellious part of me. I had no better explanation for why I had sat, lain, through five months of weekly ink work to get it done.

Jimmy rubbed one huge open palm across the stubble of his cheeks. “Jesus do I need a shave.” He took a large drink from his glass. “It wasn’t the tattoo. It caught my eye, but that wasn’t what made me look that third time.”

“Candy, I took a third look because I saw a young woman that doesn’t need to have anything to do with this world. You’re too goddamn smart, talented, for this. So I said no. I let you dance a few times, but I didn’t want you to fall into it. I made the decision that you should tend bar instead of dance.” He tossed off the glass.

“I see that,” I told him. Although I didn’t completely see it. He was reading a lot about what he thought, what he saw, into who I really was.

“Yeah? I don’t think so, Candy. And that’s a reason right there. Candy… like a treat. When did it become okay for anyone to call you that? Because I remember a few months back when you started hanging around. It was Candace, and pity the dumb bastard who didn’t understand that. Now it’s Candy to any Tom, Dick or Harry that comes along.” He saw the hurt look in my eyes, reached below the bar, snagged the bottle and topped off his glass. I shook my head, covered the top of my glass with my hand and smiled. He put the bottle back and continued.

“I’m not trying to hurt you, only keep you on track. I’m giving you the keys. You drive. All I’m saying is set your ground rules. Make them rigid. Don’t let anyone – me, Harry, these boys that work here, customers – Don’t let anyone cross those lines. You see, Candy?”

I nodded.

“Yeah? Then why not call me on calling you Candy? I’ve done it since we sat down. Why not start there?”

“Well… I mean, you’re the boss, Jimmy.”

“Which is why you start there. I don’t allow anyone to talk anyway to anyone that doesn’t want that. Let me explain that. You got girls that work the streets. You don’t see it so much here. It’s a small city, but it happens. I spent a few years on the streets in Rochester, bigger place, as a kid. Happens all the time there.” He sipped at his drink. I took a sip of my own drink and raised my brows at what he had said.

“Yeah? Don’t believe it? It’s true. I fought my way up. I have respect because I earned it.” He waved one hand. “Don’t let me get off track.” He smiled and took another sip from his glass. “So, I’ve seen girls on the streets… Whores… It is what it is. Would you hear me say that to them? Maybe you would, maybe you wouldn’t. If a woman sees herself as a whore, if that’s all it is, what it is, then who am I to say different? Do you see? It’s a living, or it’s a life… There is a difference. Now back to you. You want to dance. Some of these girls,” he waved one meaty hand at the empty stage area, “work the other side. Some of them do that for me, some do it on their own. Some don’t,” he sighed. “Either way you would not see me treat them any other way than what they want to be treated. I mean that. If you believe you are a whore and that is what you see, then that is what you show the world, and that is how the world sees you… treats you,” he settled his eyes on me.

I nodded. I didn’t trust my voice. I had been down this road on my own. What did it say about me? That it only mattered that I made it? That money mattered more than anything else? Would I be swayed by the money? Was I even being honest with myself about my motivations? I really didn’t know. I knew what I told myself on a daily basis… that I wanted to follow my Father into law enforcement, but was it whimsical like so many other things in my life that I never followed through on?

“You are not just a dancer. There is a part of you that is, a part of you that likes the way a man looks at you, likes the money. But there is another part that is the private you, the real you. You need to keep those distinctions.” He rubbed at his eyes, tossed off the rest of his drink and rose from the bar stool. “Let me drop you home, Candy,” he asked.

I stood, leaving my mostly full drink sitting on the bar top. “I have my car,” I told him.

“It’s late. Creeps around maybe.”

“Jimmy, every creep in my neighborhood knows I work here… for you. Guys stopped talking to me, let alone the creeps.” I laughed, but it wasn’t really all that funny. It had scared me when I realized who Jimmy was, who Jimmy worked for. In effect, who I worked for. Another questionable thing? Probably.

Jimmy nodded. “Smart creeps. The southern Tier’s a big place. Easy to lose yourself, with or without a little help.” He looked at his watch and then fixed his eyes on me once more. “So you keep your perspective, set your limits, draw your lines,” he spoke as he shrugged into his coat, retrieved his hat from the bar top and planted it on his head, “Don’t let nobody cross those lines. You start next week, let’s say the eleventh?”

I nodded.

“Take the balance of the time off. By the time the eleventh comes around you should be ready for a whole new world. A whole new life.” He stood looking down at me for a second. “The big talk I guess. For what it’s worth, I don’t say those things often, Candy.”

I nodded. “I believe that. And, Jimmy?”

He looked down at me. He knew what was coming. He expected it, and that was the only reason I was going to say it. I knew better than to correct Jimmy V. There were a lot of woods up here. They did go on forever and they probably did hold a lot of lost people. I may be slow but I’m far from stupid.

“Please don’t call me Candy,” I told him.

He smiled. “Don’t be so goddamn nice about it. Don’t call me Candy,” he rasped, a dangerous edge to his voice. “Look ’em right in the eye. Don’t call me Candy. Put a little attitude in your look. A little I can fuckin’ snap at any minute attitude. Let me see that.”

I Put my best street face on. The one I had used growing up on the streets in Syracuse. I knew that I can snap at any minute look. I’d used it many times. “Don’t call me Candy,” I told him in a voice that was not my own. My street voice, “Just don’t do it.”

“Goddamn right, Doll,” Jimmy told me. “Goddamn right. Scared me a little there. That’s that street wise part of you.” He took my head in both massive hands, bent and kissed the top of my head. “I will see you on the eleventh,” he told me.

I nodded. I let the Doll remark go.

I followed Jimmy out the back door past Don who nodded at me and winked. Don was an asshole. Always hitting on us when Jimmy wasn’t around. But Jimmy was his uncle. I was employing my best selective perception when I smiled at him. I wondered if I would ever get used to him. Probably not, I decided, but maybe that would be a good thing. Of course, it didn’t matter. I never saw Don again. Or Jimmy. Or anyone else from that life.

I said goodbye to Jimmy V., crossed the parking lot for the last

time and drove myself home. I parked my rusted out Toyota behind my Grandparents house, and twenty four hours later my world, everybody’s world, was completely changed.

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.

~Downtown Watertown~

He came awake in the darkness, but awake wasn’t precisely the term. Alive was precisely the term. He knew alive was precisely the term, because he could remember dying. He remembered that his heart had stopped in his chest. He had remembered wishing that it would start again. That bright moment or two of panic, and then he remembered beginning not to care. It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered. And he had drifted away.

Now he had drifted back. But drifted was not exactly right. He had slammed back into himself where he lay on the cold subbasement floor where he had been murdered by a roving gang of thieves. And he knew those things were true because he remembered them. And he knew they were true because he was dead. He was still dead. His heart was not beating in his chest. His blood was cold and jelled in his veins. He could feel it. Some kind of new perception.

He lay and watched the shadows deepen in the corners of the basement ceiling for a short time longer, and then he tried to move.

His body did not want to move at first. It felt as though it weighed a ton, two tons, but with a little more effort it came away. He sat and then crawled to his knees.

In the corner a huge rat stopped on his way to somewhere to sniff at him, decided he was probably food and came to eat him. He had actually sat for a second while the rat first sniffed and then began to gnaw at one fingernail. Then he had quickly snatched the rat up with his other hand, snapped it’s back in his fist and then shoved him warm and squirming into his mouth. A few minutes later he stood on shaky legs and walked off into the gloom of the basement, looking for the stairs and the way up to the streets.

………………………………..

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The Great Go-Cart Race a free short story from Dell Sweet

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Posted by Dell on 11/24/16

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have done video game work all week and updating the websites so If you noticed one of my screw ups at 2:00 AM yes, that really was me making a mistake. For the most part I have done all right. I am integrating several websites into one. Rather than go here or there to pull books, you will, some day, be able to pull them from one place. Wow. Right now everyone sort of has their own system, but we all realize that if you can find them easier you will be able to actually read them. We are not total idiots. Notice I said total. I think we’re maybe 86%. We just get stuck in that tech mode on occasion.

What was this past week like? We’ll we gave away 600 plus US copies of the Dreamer’s Book. Geo and I were pleased about that. Now it is back to business as usual for a while.

What do I have for you tonight. I have a short story that I wrote several years ago. It contains two of my three favorite people, Bobby and Moon and you will have to meet Lois some other time, in my favorite town that exists only in my head, Glennville. This will, maybe, someday, be part of a larger story. 

The Great Go-Cart Race

Copyright (C) Wendell Sweet 1984 1994 1995 1996 – 2016


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. Probably 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.

“Ought a 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.

“Probably… 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.

………………………

I have a novel that features these characters written, but I am doubtful about publication, even so they remain some of my favorite characters. I hope you are spending time with family today and enjoying that time. See you soon, Dell…

End of Summer features these same kids. Click here

……………………………………….

Check out America The Dead and get the first book FREE…

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AMERICA THE DEAD Smash Series: Once you cross over you can not come back #ebook https://goo.gl/rplFXg


Hurricane

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Posted 11-23-16

Wednesday Morning: Of personal Note;

I am working on finishing up my house. I really will be doing floors on Monday, finally. I did finish all of the paint work, built another custom cabinet to go over the refrigerator, installed it, spent a small amount of time with my brother as he is leaving New York for Alabama permanently, installed all of the speaker systems, alarms: Smoke and Carbon Monoxide, tweeters, fresh air vents, light grills, L/R Ceiling fan and light. All of the little stuff that really adds up.

I have a bad habit of saying to myself, “Oh yeah, I have to put in that duct work for the over range Microwave oven.” And I say it like it’s nothing, a ten minute job, when I know I have to snake duct work through the ceiling, run electric for the oven, and it will eat several hours if I don’t run into a problem, and I will run into trouble because it’s an old house and everything I have done has run into problems.

I did this sort of work for many years. I worked for the largest property management companies in Rochester New York. All they did was buy houses and flip them. I ran crews to get the work done. In reality that meant unskilled labor to help me do all of the work. The first few times it was daunting, but after awhile I learned how to get men and women who were not skilled in any sort of construction to learn and do the work. So I know what work is, how involved it will be, how much time it will eat up, yet I still lie to myself. “No. No. Ten minuets!

The truth is it is easier to rip a house down and build a new one than rebuild/rehab an old one. You have to like the house a great deal, or, as in my case, be stuck with the circumstances. My circumstances are, I foolishly stuck thousands into the house, as it came from a relative and my Mother liked it and wanted to live here, before I stopped and said, well, never mind what I said, it contained a few expletives though. So I was in it. I stopped, looked at the balance of the work and then gutted the whole thing down to the studs. It honestly was cheaper to do that then continue to try to fix the problems the house had as I went along, and my weekly spending reflected that.

Now she will have a nice house to spend the balance of her years in, that should be pretty much trouble free…

Writing:

I have the Outrunners book finished. I Have published the paperback version of it, but I am unsure what I will do digitally. The test showed that people were confused by the two series. Not that they were both from the Earth’s Survivors series, but because the characters interact. They felt that since the characters from both series interacted, and some of the writing overlapped, the books were relating the same things. That is frustrating. I went through that with Earth’s Survivors too. The diaries reflect what the characters feel about what is going on. It rarely turns out to be the same story that is narrated, because they are seeing it through their own eyes. Some reviewers felt it amounted to telling the same story twice. Apparently they did not catch the differences. I toughed that out, more readers read the books, and they got it. I assume it will be the same with the Outrunners books. So, most likely it will publish this week as The Zombie Killers. Maybe an ES logo on the book and that’s it.

Other Writing:

I am a fussy writer, picky, a pain to work for? Maybe. Probably all of that. It took a while to get an editor I would/could work with and I am completely happy. I hope the relationship lasts until I write my last word. And I want my last word to be “ARRRGGggggggg…” Like in the Monty Python movie.

Other Non Fiction and Fiction work:

I have plenty of non fiction work to publish. Getting to it is the problem. And non fiction stuff just doesn’t sell well, so it is truly a labor of love. You have to want to do it. As for fiction, you can write anything with a Vampire, Werewolf or Zombie in it and it will get read fairly quickly, but write a non fiction piece and it will take time to find an audience. It is the way it is.

I have a few projects that are important to me. The first project is MAX. MAX is a first hand account about prison, and what that life is really like. I have journals, ten years worth, and it would probably be verbatim. Using the journals as they were written. It’s rough stuff in places though. It would have to be written with warnings.

The second project is Broken. I have written three books worth of material for Broken. It deals with life on the streets and moves through the rest of my life. It is also rough stuff and would have to have warnings.

The third project is Yeshua. I spent a great deal of time writing Yeshua, which deals with Jesus the Christ’s life as told through the eyes of one of his disciples. It is fictionalized. But it was taken directly from years of study, reference books, verbatim transcriptions of scrolls and other written materials. I like it. I think it’s honest, but I also think that anytime you mess with religion you take grave chances.

The fourth project is fiction. I need to get started on the Rapid City books – Cowboys and Zombies, instead of just the short stories. They are started but I need to jump into it.

Finishing this house is key to getting back to a normal life instead of a life of Carpentry / Plumbing / Electrical / Drywall / Carpeting / Laminate flooring / Painting – with writing on the side. So I am looking at this coming week as my last week doing that stuff full time. That will shift to part time after the floors are in and everything is moved, and writing will shift back to full time.

That’s this week. I spoke a little about Hurricane, which I have been writing on the side. Hurricane is the third book in the Connected series of books dealing with crime and a few central figures.

Hurricane is set in Alabama. I lived there for ten years and the seed for the novel came from that. The story centers around two young girls and their lives, a convict in a prison up north, and a Hurricane that is due to hit the Gulf Coast. I think it is a good, fast paced story. I will leave you with a preview of Hurricane, which should be available sometime next year.

~

HURRICANE

Copyright 2016 Wendell Sweet. All rights reserved.

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One

Elements

Monday:

It’s bad luck to skip school on a Monday,” Amy Knowles said to her best friend Deidre Blevins.

I know,” Deidre said, “But I hate it. I just can’t be there. I can’t deal with those Goddamn Nuns today. You don’t have to come if you don’t want to, Aim… I didn’t even tell Jimmy.”

I know that.. Obviously I want to go… I mean,” Amy fell silent.

What,” Deidre asked?

We’re friends,” Amy said. “It’s been me and you way before Jimmy or Mike came along… It’s just that, sometimes we get too far away from that.” Her face colored.

Deidre nodded. “We do… So, where do you and me go today…. With no car… No way to get nowhere. I hate being on foot…. It’s just about all I keep Jimmy around for. That and the pot,” Deidre said.

Really,” Amy asked?

She thought about it. “I could think of something better… For right now he’s okay. I like him well enough.”

Amy wondered what the something better might be. Deidre had colored a little bit when she said it. She didn’t ask though. It was good enough just being together. She didn’t want to complicate it with feelings.

I smell rubber burning,” Deidre said and smiled. “A penny for your thoughts. That’s what my dad always says to me,” She said.

They’re worth more than a penny,” Amy said as they reached the parking lot. She slipped her hand through Deidre’s arm. “Lead on,” She said.

Deidre was surprised by the arm, but pleasantly surprised. She liked the feel of it, she decided. She looked up at the sky then back down at the parking lot. “We could hitch out to your place or we could walk around downtown.”

We could get picked up by some Psycho too,” Amy said.

Never have,” Deidre countered.

Okay, but if some Psycho picks us up and kills us I am going to be so pissed at you,” Amy said. She tried a little smile on her face. Deidre answered it with one of her own.

Never happen,” Deidre said as they started across the parking lot.

I’d probably follow you anywhere,” Amy said softly. So softly that Deidre was not sure she had even heard her.

Yeah. I wish that were true,” Deidre said every bit as softly.

Amy looked up at her. She had heard the words, but she was looking away. She was about to speak when Jimmy’s voice interrupted her. She looked up and there he was. His blonde hair hanging in his eyes, head half out of the window of his truck. When no one answered he spoke again.

I said, I thought you was staying at school today?” He said again looking a Deidre.

Well, you said you might be here, so Amy and I thought we would try,” Deidre said quickly and smiled.

Amy nodded and smiled.

The car behind Jimmy’s truck blew its horn and Jimmy twisted around and glared back at the driver. He popped up his middle finger and showed it to the driver and then looked back at Deidre. “So, where we gonna go?. I didn’t make no plans and I ain’t got no money,” Jimmy said.

Deidre had about forty dollars on her, two tens in her pocket and the rest in her sneaker. She pulled out the two tens. “This will get us a little way, right,” She asked?

Jimmy took the two tens and slipped them in his pocket. “We can go out to Mike’s,” he looked at Amy. “He’s working on the Nissan today… I can help him… We can hang out… We have enough for beer now and gas to get there too.” Jimmy said.

The car behind him tapped its horn once more. Jimmy levered open the door jumped out and started to turn back to the car but Deidre caught his arm.

Baby, you’ll get us in trouble. We’ll get caught,” she said as she pulled him away.

The guy in the car rolled his window up quickly. Jimmy smiled at him, flipped him off again and then turned back to Deidre and Amy. “Luck for that little fuck,” he said. “Come on.” He held the driver’s door open as first Amy and then Deidre crawled across to the passenger’s side and then turned and looked back at the car. The young guy behind the wheel refused to look back. Jimmy flipped him off again and then climbed back into his truck.

~

What does it look like,” Bob Travers asked? He was at his own desk but he called up a view of the latest National Weather Service radar on his monitor.

Rebecca Monet leaned closer to the monitor, her breasts brushing against his shoulder as she did. “It could be the big one. It’s building fast and they are already predicting a path that will bring it right to us,” She told him. “I want to be the one that gets it if it does. I mean, I know I’ll have it at first but if it goes big I want to keep it instead of it going to Bethany,” she said in a low voice, nearly a whisper.

Bethany Jacobs was the anchor woman for Channel Eight News. She sat next to Bob during the newscasts. He had his pick of the big stories and left the rest to Bethany.

Becca, you know I can’t do that,” Bob said in an equally low voice.

Bullshit,” she said sweetly and smiled. “I know what your contract says. You schedule. You appoint. It’s your call.” Her breasts pressed more firmly against his shoulder. “Come on, Bob. I’m good. I can do it. You know I can,” Rebecca pleaded. Her hand came up and rested lightly on his upper arm. Her perfume was subtle but intoxicating.

Bethany will go ballistic,” Bob whispered.

So what,” Rebecca said.

We have a …. A sort of,” Bob started.

I know. It’s not like it’s a secret.” Her hand stroked his bicep. “I would do anything you want, Bob,” she said. The weight of her breasts against his shoulder suddenly seemed to increase ten fold. “I mean anything,” she said leaning closer and whispering in his ear. Her lips brushed his ear.

Are we talking about the same thing,” Bob asked, his voice low. His eyes scanned the room looking to make sure no one was watching or eavesdropping.

I’ve got a few minutes… I’m sure your dressing room is empty. Let me show you what I’m talking about. I think we’re on the same page,” Rebecca whispered. And this time her lips not only brushed against his ear they seemed planted there.

I… I can’t right now,” Bob said.

Can’t stand up,” she asked with a musical little laugh.

Something like that,” Bob agreed.

I’ll meet you there… I’ll let myself in,” She asked?

Bob nodded. The weight of her breasts were instantly gone, but the sound of her voice and the scent of her perfume were in his head. ‘Boy was Bethany going to be pissed off,’ he thought. But Tad Edwards, the station manager, had already dropped hints to him about seeing Rebecca work more, and a few other hints about how he thought Bethany was not aging well, meaning to Tad she was past her prime at twenty seven and he thought it was time for a fresh face. A younger face. Rebecca was all of twenty, and she was… He made himself stop thinking about her. He had to, or else, he told himself, he’d never be able to get up.

‘Man oh Man was Bethany ever going to be pissed off,’ he told himself again.

~

Paul lay in Jane’s bed. He had left early this morning on the pretext of having to go over the paper work for the year end audit, and that was partly true, but the real truth was that they had been getting less and less time together and he had simply needed to be with her.

We have got to go,” Jane said from beside him.

I know,” Paul told her. Her body was pressed to his own, one of his arms holding her to him. He didn’t let go. She felt so good. She reached over and bit his chest softly.

Ow,” Paul said… “Okay… Oh all right… Maybe tonight? I could say I’m working late.”

I can’t… You know I’ve got classes… Tomorrow?” She countered.

He smiled “That will work.” His hand slipped down and rubbed across her buttocks, squeezing gently and then, reluctantly, he let her go.

She held him a second longer and then kissed him before she rolled away. “I love you,” she said.

I love you to,” he said automatically. “I’ll go first?” He headed for the shower and a few minuets later he was merging into traffic on I 65 and heading towards the Airport Road exit.

He and Janey had been an item for about a year. Paul Blevins didn’t really think about it as cheating on his wife Peggy any longer. He was pretty sure she was pursuing her own interests anyway. It just was.

He didn’t think too hard about the love aspect of the relationship either. Sure, he told her he loved her, and he did. She had a perfect body, and he loved it. And her attitude was great, he loved that too. And, she was completely devoted to him, how could he not love that? But the other kind of love? The kind that made you cry? Made your heart ache? No. He had loved Peggy like that at one time. He loved his daughter Deidre like that. She could probably get anything at all out of him. But she didn’t abuse it. She was a pretty good kid most of the time. Not out running around getting involved in all of the bad stuff that kids her age got involved in. He had no real concerns or worries about her. All of his real love. The kind that could hurt him anyway was reserved for her. She had never abused it and Paul didn’t think she ever would, or could for that matter.

He and Peggy had fallen apart a few years before and there seemed to be no way to fix it. Janey was pushing lately for them to be together. Her little boy, Lincoln, who was just two years old, already thought of Paul as his father. And Paul supposed that eventually he and Janey would probably be together.

Deidre had about six months of school left and then she would be off to college. Local if he had his way, New York if Peggy’s father had his way. And there was not too much that Peggy’s father did not get his way on. Money did talk and he had a lot of it.

Either way there was no reason to stay after Deidre was gone. There would be nothing there. It would feel too weird sleeping in the same bed, keeping up the charade. For what? For who? They really only kept up the pretense now for Deidre’s sake. If she was gone, what would be the point?

There would be no point, he told himself. Janey would most likely get her way… Sooner rather than later.

The radio played low as he drove and he listened as he watched traffic. Nothing much new. A tropical depression building off the coast of Africa. A big One. One that bore watching the weatherman said. Maybe it would be something, Paul thought, but he doubted it. They almost always slipped off and shot up the coast, or veered off and hit Louisiana or Texas. Most likely this one would too.

He came to a near dead stop in a long line of cars making their way onto Airport Road. Janey would be along in another thirty minutes or so. With Peggy’s fathers money it wasn’t a good idea to make themselves an easy target. On the surface Peggy might not seem to care, but Paul suspected she had to be thinking about the future too. Six months from now was the future. Or the end of their future. Six months from now, divorce most likely, and he didn’t mean to make it easy for her. So they were careful. Never leaving at the same times. Not being seen together.

The only reason he had stuck it out these last few years was Deidre. He wanted no custody dispute that she would be dragged into. No loss of seeing her. Peggy and her father’s money could make him look bad. Take her away. That would kill him. And, he knew it. She knew how much it would hurt him, which is exactly why she would do it. For Spite. For payback. Women were like that. Women whose fathers had deep pockets were even more like that, he thought. He had no doubt that had he pulled the plug a few years ago she would have made sure he never saw Deidre again until she was old enough to make her own decisions. But then Peggy may have poisoned her mind completely.

He could do without Peggy, Jane too, but not Deidre. So here he was, day after day. Six months to go and it would all be over. He inched forward through the traffic trying to clear his mind as he went.

The audit. Now there was a sobering thought. Janey really was helping with the audit. He had bought her in. It was a mess. There were real problems there. Problems that would take Janey to fix if he could convince her to do it for him. She was helping. Going through the mounds of paperwork. She was smart, she would see it. He would let it be her own idea. He hoped it would be her own idea. He pushed the thoughts away.

The line of cars suddenly poured onto Airport Road and he sped up just making it out and merging into the middle lane at the expense of a blaring horn and a pissed off driver of a beverage delivery truck who had not wanted to let him in. He made the left lane finally, signaled at the light and cut across the feeder road and then into the restaurant parking lot.

A few cars, and, for the second time in as many weeks a moving van was parked in the lot. Companies did that all of the time, but he could not remember if there was a moving company nearby with that name. Peggy was what he was thinking of. Peggy and her fathers deep pockets. Her fathers money that could hire a private detective to follow him. To poke around. Six months, he reminded himself as he parked, got out and walked to the restaurant. She could do as she pleased with Daddies money after that.

He whistled as he walked to the door, unlocked it, and stepped inside the restaurant.

~

Dave Plasko shot the ball under his knee and across to Steve Minor. They had tried letting Darren Reed, who was part of their little group, play, but he was too slow mentally to keep up. It confused him and then it panicked him, and once he was panicked he might do anything. Best to let him watch from the sidelines as he was now.

Steve caught the ball, faked left then nearly walked himself to the right, put the ball up, and it barely kissed the rim as it went through.

That’s it. You dudes are done,” Dave said.

Another one?” Light said. “One more?”

Got to work, Light,” Dave said. “Outside clearance. Can’t fuck that up. We’ll play when I’m back this afternoon.”

Now, how is it you three white boys got that all sewn up,” Light asked?

Hmm… We’re white? … It’s Alabama? How the fuck should I know. This is your fucked up state not mine, Light. You know we ain’t on that shit.” Dave told him.

Light bounced the ball across the small basketball court that was just off the main prison yard, and into the Recreation box on the other side.

Yeah. If you could only play that fuckin’ good all of the time…” Dave joked.

I do, New York. You motherfuckers just cheat too Goddamn much,” Light laughed.

The yard gate opened and Jack Johnson, an overweight correction officer stepped in and looked around the yard. “What the fuck, Plasko,” he asked when his eyes fell on him. “You and your girlfriends ready to go to work or not? I ain’t got all goddamned day you know.”

Later,” Plasko told Light. They touched fists. “On our way, Mister Johnson,” he called out. He looked to Darren and Steve and the three of them headed across the rec yard to the gate.

~

Peggy Blevins walked up to the young woman who was looking over the computers on display. She was the top seller at Computer Terminal, or at least she had been every month for the last eight months in a row.

Can I help,” She asked the young woman.

The girl smiled. Petite. Asian. Probably a student, Peggy thought. On a budget. Needing far less than what she would want.. Her nearly black hair was set off by her narrow, dark framed glasses which served to make her appear much more intelligent than she probably was. Maybe, Peggy conceded. She sized her up. The seller in her already calculating.

I need something for school… A laptop… I’m on a budget though,” The young woman told her.

She was older than she looked, Peggy decided, early twenties. And she was actually quite beautiful when she smiled. Peggy had thought Asian but now she wasn’t so sure. Maybe Native American… Maybe mixed race… Maybe African too. Beautiful. Her observations were straight forward. She observed people. It made her a great sales associate.

What do you want to do with it,” Peggy asked? “I mean, what will you need to do with it? I can get you a really good deal on last years model… Probably throw in some software upgrades too,” Peggy told her.

The woman looked at her watch. “Sorry,” she said. “I have to be at work soon. I’m taking accounting and that is what I would be using it for,” she told her.

Spreadsheets… Databases… Like that,” Peggy asked?

Exactly,” the woman agreed.

Like Lotus Suite,” Peggy asked?

Never tried it… Is it like Office or Access,” The woman asked?

Better. Databases. Spreadsheets. Word processing… All work together… In one environment. It’s nice. I have a lap top, last years model, but it’s also a return. It has Lotus on it already, and the full version too. I can give it to you for nearly fifty percent off,” Peggy said.

Really? How can you do that,” The woman asked.

We write them off,” Peggy said in a near whisper. They could care less what we get after that point as long as it moves… Does it sound good….?” She phrased it so the young woman would give her her name and she held out her hand.

Jane,” the young woman said. “Jane green.” Her eyes fixed on Peggy’s and held them.

Peggy really looked at her. She knew the name and the young woman had to know who she was. “I’m Peggy,” she said stupidly. “Peggy Blevins.”

I know,” Jane said.

Do you really want the laptop,” Peggy asked? “I really can get you a good deal on it.”

I really do,” Jane said.

How did you find me… He didn’t…” She started.

No… Of course not,” Jane said. “He would be so pissed to know I am here… I… I just wanted to talk to you,” She said.

I can take a break,” Peggy said.

Let’s take care of the computer then I’ll buy you coffee,” Jane asked.?

Sure,” Peggy said. “You didn’t seem surprised that I knew your name.” She said.

There isn’t much place to hide to watch my place. The guy gave himself away a few times. Once I realized he was watching my place I knew what it had to be… I don’t want trouble… Or… Or to argue… I just wanted to talk to you,” Jane Green said.

Peggy nodded and tried to get a smile back on her face. “Cone on, Jane. Let’s get this taken care of.”

They both walked away toward the back of the store.

~

Thanks for checking out the free preview. Have a great Thanksgiving!

Connected: A crime series from W. W. Watson

connected-1

You can find Connected on Amazon, NOOK, I-Books, KOBO or check it out directly from the publisher, Smashwords at the link below…

https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/26429


Post Holiday

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Posted by Geo 11-24-14

It is Tuesday once more. We have almost two feet of snow, what a difference from just a couple of days ago when we were 70 degrees and shirtsleeves here. Wow. Watch out for flooding next. Or sunburn, or both.

I am working on writing here, as always, and enjoying doing it. In between I am dealing with all the things we all have to deal with because we live in this world, some of the good stuff , some of the bad stuff we get from living in this world. Lately, and I mean the last few weeks, for me it has been more dealing with things, people, situations that I didn’t create. And that irritates me to no end. That is why my circle is so small.

I live a live and let live lifestyle. Whatever you are doing over there is fine with me with a few exceptions. If I see you doing something that is hurting someone else I will step to you and point that out. Likewise if you try to shove things down my throat I don’t agree with I will speak up. No other rules, no subsection C or A, or appendix B. Simplistic. Live your life and let me live mine. The rub is that there are people in the world that don’t want other people to live their own lives. They want you to live your life the way they want you to live it. Do your best to ignore people like that. They are lacking something inside themselves that makes them do that. I’m not going to say more than that, but that is the reason I can count my friends on one finger.

I remember hearing so often as a kid that if you don’t have a solution then shut up. You are just wasting space, time, etcetera. But the problem with that analogy is that it assumes there needs to be a solution when many times there doesn’t need to be. You just need to leave the person alone and let them live their life. They already have a solution and their solution is for you to shut up and leave them be. Let them live their life. So what if what you predicted would happen happens. So what, that’s how we learn. It’s how you learned. Too bad if you only mean it in a good way. If it is rejected and you don’t stop it becomes forced. How is that a good thing? It really is simple if you look at it. Live your life, let the other person live their life. I think the world could be that better place we all want if we could just practice that. So maybe this holiday season you could put that little game play into the mix. Step back, let people live, realize that is the same thing you want really, and the world could be a better place, not to sound too cliche’.

Free Book Links:

The Zombie Plagues Book One:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/357698

Genesis Earth: Book One

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/477565

I am going to leave you with a free look at a free book. So if you want the book, like what you read, you can click the link and go get it.

The Zombie Plagues: Book One

Copyright 2010 – 2014 independAntwriters, Geo Dell, Wendell Sweet. All rights reserved.

This preview is approved for Geo Dell’s blog, no other use is approved. If you would like to share this with a friend please point them to blog entry where you found this material. Thank you for respecting the hard work of these authors.

This excerpt is copyrighted material. As so it is protected under U.S and foreign copyright laws. It may not be reprinted, distributed electronically or otherwise copied or offered in any other medium without the express written permission of the copyright owners. There is no provision for any other use of this text, including critiques, quotes, etc. You must obtain written permission to use the text in any form other than what it was intended for.

THE ZOMBIE PLAGUES

March 15th

Early morning darkness held the road that fronted the cave. The moonlight, sparse, reflected off the rapids of the Black river.

A shadow moved by one of the pickup trucks. Another moved by the Suburban. The sound of sand gritting beneath the sole of a shoe came clearly in the shadowy darkness. The door of the pickup squealed loudly as it was carefully opened. The shadow paused, looking towards the Suburban. The shadow there appeared to be fighting with the door to no avail. The shadow next to the pickup gestured quickly with both hands, and the shadow next to the Suburban gave up on the door, crossed to the pickup and quickly climbed inside. Once they were both inside, silence returned to the small patch of asphalt that fronted the cave. A few seconds later the pickup roared to life. The headlights snapped on, the wheels turned hard left and the driver launched the truck down what was left of the shattered roadway.

Voices were raised in alarm from inside the cave, and within just a few moments everyone inside was outside. Lydia, gun in hand, unloaded a full clip at the fleeing pickup truck. Both Tom and Mike snapped off a single shot, more in startled response to Lydia’s’ shots than with any real hope of hitting the retreating pickup truck.

Jesus,” Lydia said breathlessly. “They stole our truck!” She turned and looked at Mike with wide, frightened eyes. “They stole our Goddamn truck,” She repeated. “How could they steal our truck?”

Tom headed for the suburban and pulled the keys from his pocket, preparing to unlock the door.

Tom,” Mike called. “Where are you going, Man?”

That’s our Goddamn truck. I’m going to get it.” His eyes were wild, the truck keys in one hand, a pistol in the other, no shirt, sock-less shoes, laces trailing.

It’s an old truck, Man,” Mike said.

It’s my old truck,” Tom said defensively. “And if I catch that fucker…”

Fuckers,” Lydia said.

Huh?” Tom asked.

Fuckers, as in I saw two heads. Two of them. Not one,” Lydia said. Her voice held a breathless, excited quality to it that Mike didn’t like. She was dressed in jeans and a thin T-shirt. She shivered slightly, whether from the cold or the excitement, Mike couldn’t tell.

Either way. One, two, how would we catch them? And then what? Are we going to shoot somebody for stealing an old truck? Is that what things have come to?” Mike asked.

Look, don’t get moral on me,” Tom said. He leveled his eyes at Mike. “I do things my way. You take from me, you pay for it.”

Mike just stared back at him.

You’re soft,” Tom said. But his fists, still clenched, dropped from the truck door and he walked away from the Suburban and back into the cave.

Lydia threw Mike a nasty look, finally managed to fish a replacement clip from her overly tight front pocket. Ejected the empty one into her hand and slid the new one into the pistol with a solid click. “Soft,” She echoed as the clip clicked home. She turned and went back inside the cave. In the distance, the muffler of the truck began to fade. It was hard to tell which direction it had gone.

Bob stepped up beside Mike where he stood with Candace and Jan. “I’m not going to kill anybody over an old truck,” he said.

Me either” the other three said in near unison.

Guess we better start making sure everything’s locked up tight,” Mike said.

We’re going to have to start keeping a watch,” Jan said.

We will,” Candace agreed. “What if the next thing they want is a woman?”

That’s not funny,” Mike said.

She leveled her dark eyes on his, silvery moonlight reflecting from them. “I wasn’t trying to be funny. Now that they know we’re around…” she shrugged. “Lydia may have overreacted, but maybe not. Who the hell would pull a stunt like that anyway? Everything’s just lying around. Want a truck? Go get one. No… It’s a mind set. Someone who takes like that doesn’t take because it’s easy; they take because they like it, because they can.” She lowered her voice, “Truck, woman… might all be the same to them.”

No one answered.

~

Tom and Lydia sat talking in low tones as the others walked back into the cave. They had rebuilt the fire, and the warmth and light spread out, glowing on the stone walls. “Tom,” Mike started.

Listen,” Tom said. “I shouldn’t have said that… I didn’t mean to say that. And, no, it would be stupid to go chasing after a goddamn truck in the middle of the night. And, no, I don’t want to kill someone over stealing a piece of shit truck,” Tom said. “But that kind of shit can’t happen. I mean, what’s next?”

Yeah,” Mike agreed. “Yeah. I guess what’s next is locked up trucks. No keys left in them. And…” He looked over at Candace. “I guess a guard at night. Candace said… She thinks someone who would come to take a truck might come to take a woman too.”

The silence held only for a second.

Fuckin’ A,” Lydia spat.

She looks positively rabid, Candace thought. “What I mean,” Candace said, “A truck… Maybe one of us… Who steals a truck when everything’s just laying around free to anyone who wants to pick it up?”

Tom nodded his head.

Well, as soon as it’s light I say we follow the tracks. If we’re careful, it should be no problem at all,” Mike said.

Goddamn right,” Lydia said.

Should be armed. I’m sure they will be,” Candace said.

Not you. You’re not going are you?” Mike asked.

I’m the best shot we have,” Candace said. “It’s that simple. If we don’t go after them,” she shrugged and then shook her head. “No,” she said. “The more I think about it, they’ll probably come back. And they’ll probably come back armed also. Hell, maybe they were this time.” She looked at Lydia.

Lydia saw two in the truck, but how many more were there? Or back where ever they went to,” she finished seriously.

So. The idea is to take it to them before they bring it to us?” Bob asked.

Got a better idea?” Tom challenged.

No… No… But I’m no killer. It’s still just a damn truck.”

Bob finished.

Yeah, tonight it was a truck, tomorrow it might be me… Or Candace… Or Jan,” Lydia said.

Bob stayed silent, thoughtful. He sighed. “What a damn mess,” he said at last.

It’s that,” Tom agreed.

I got to agree, Bob,” Mike said. “It’s not the same world. What if they do come back? Do we decide then to do something? It might be too late.”

Honey. I think it’s best to go get them,” Janet said quietly, her eyes on Bob’s own. Those eyes looked frightened, Mike thought. He supposed a little of that fright was resting in everyone’s eyes right now.

I don’t like to be bullied or pressured into anything,” Bob said.

Hey,” Mike said. “It’s no pressure, Man. It’s real. It really just happened.”

Bob nodded his head yes, but a frown remained stamped onto his mouth. Deep lines scarred his forehead. His hands twisted restlessly in his lap. He suddenly brought his hands together firmly. “Okay,” he agreed. “Okay. I see the point. I’ve done a lot of hunting. I’m a good shot with a rifle. I’d like to go too.”

~

When the sun began to peek over the top of the ridge on the opposite shore of the Black river, everyone filed out to the two remaining trucks. It had been decided that Mike and Jan would stay behind while the others went in search of the stolen truck. They switched on and tested two sets of F.M. radios.

The range is normally only about two miles or so, but it’s not like there’s anything to interfere with them anymore,” Tom said. “We’ll take three with us, and you keep the other here to monitor us, or if they come back here,” Tom finished.

Do you think that’s a possibility?” Janet Dove asked.

I doubt it, Dear,” Bob told her with a reassuring smile. “It’s just to be safe.”

Mike walked over to Candace. Her eyes met his. He kissed her softly, and her arms slipped around him.

Don’t worry,” she whispered, “I’ll be careful. And I’ll make sure they’re careful.” She kissed him and pulled back.

Mike stared at the face of the two way radio for a long second and then watched her get into the Suburban. Bob got into the front seat with her. Her eyes met his once more, and she smiled reassuringly, then started the Suburban and fell in behind Tom as he drove the big State truck out across the pavement.

Mike and Janet stood quietly as the two trucks drove away. Neither of them wanted to go back inside the cave. The sun was up and warming the old asphalt of the road where it passed in front of the cave, and what little snow remained was already beginning to melt.

Left here,” The radio squawked. It sounded like Lydia.

Behind you,” came an answer that sounded like Bob.

Mike shifted the 30-30 Deer rifle he held in one hand and thumbed off the strap that held his Nine Millimeter in his web holster. Janet Dove grimaced and then thumbed the safety off the shotgun she was holding. A short clip protruded from the base of the shotgun, just forward of the trigger. She had two more clips in a small pouch on her side, as well as a fully loaded Three Eighty in a tooled leather side holster she wore.

What must we look like, Mike thought. Aloud he said, “They’ll be fine.”

Really?” Janet Dove asked. “I truly hope so. I truly do.”

~

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

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

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

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

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

You guys okay?” a panicked sounding Bob asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~

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

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

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

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

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

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

Behind Tom, Lydia dropped the barrel of her gun and sighted

on the kid’s back. Tom stared at her dumbly for a second and then followed suit.

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

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

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

Before anyone could react, the silence was split by a scream from across the river. A young boy stood silhouetted by the rising sun on the opposite side of the river facing them. Something shifted from his side. “I’ll kill you… I’ll kill you… You killed my brother,” the boy screamed in a high falsetto. His arms came up quickly.

Hit the ground,” Candace yelled as the kid opened fire with the deer rifle he had in his hands.

Everyone hit the dirt except Lydia whose face registered astonishment as she turned slowly to the river to face the kid.

Candace yelled again as she raised herself to both cut and bruised elbows and began to fire back across the river.

The kid managed three shots before Candace hit him. He slowly toppled over and splashed into the river. Lydia stood. Her mouth open wide, staring across the river to where the kid had been.

Candace raised her eyes to where Lydia stood, and they caught on the ragged, gaping hole blown through the back of her t-shirt. She continued to stand. Seeming to still be looking out over the river. Her mouth working.

Lydia,” Candace whispered.

Lydia slowly turned, her mouth still working but silent. A small neat hole wept blood down the front of her shirt. Her chest hitched and her eyes fluttered.

Tom lunged to his feet, his eyes dazed, and ran to her, catching her as she slumped forward. Her eyes flickered once more as he eased her to the ground.

A small tight smile came to her mouth. “Killed me,” she wheezed. Her eyes closed, and her chest stopped its struggle for breath.

~

The silence seemed to go on forever as Mike and Janet waited. Sudden gunfire erupted in the distance again. Janet moaned and Mike pulled her closer to him. “Ssss alright,” Mike told her. ”Alright.” He didn’t believe it anymore than he had the last time he’d said it. The burst of gunfire came and went just that quickly, and then silence fell hard on the still morning air.

Janet held herself rigidly. Mike could feel her tremble against him. He patted her head. A stupid, useless, meaningless thing to do, he told himself, but he continued nonetheless, patting her head and stroking her hair. Useless, but if nothing else, it

seemed to help calm him.

He drew a deep breath, and the radio squawked. “Mike?” Bob asked.

Mike took a deep breath and swallowed hard before he trusted his voice to answer. Jan let go of her breath in a deep whoosh and drew in a long, deep shuddering breath. Mike stroked her hair once more.

Yeah,” Mike answered quietly.

It’s bad,” Bobs voice broke as he spoke. “It’s bad, Mike. It’s bad.”

In his head Mike was already hearing the words he didn’t want to hear. He had heard everyone’s voice except Candace’s. It only stood to reason… Still, he didn’t want to hear it.

It’ll be okay,” Jan told him. She pulled him tight. Her own hands trying to pull his head against her breast. “Mike… It’ll be okay.”

It’s Lydia,” Bob said. His voice choked with emotion.

Candace?” Mike asked. He hated himself for asking. He hated the weakness in his voice. How could it be Lydia, he asked himself. I just heard her voice. How could it be?

I’m here, Babe,” Candace said through the crackle of static. Behind her voice they could hear what sounded like sobbing. The sobbing came across clearly as she stopped talking. “We’re on our way back… We’re coming back… It’s over,” Candace said. She held on to the button for a split second longer, the smooth silence spitting quietly, then the radio in Mike’s hand went back to solid static once more.

~

Be careful, Honey. Be careful.” Mike’s voice came through the radio in her hand. She nodded, and then keyed the mic. button, “I will. We’re coming back.” She looked around her.

Tom sat cradling Lydia in his arms. Bright, thick blood covered the ground under her chest and the side of Tom’s pant leg. The three other bodies lay close by. Bob stood, ashen faced, his gun still held tightly in one hand.

The pickup truck idled noisily about a hundred yards away from where Candace stood. The doors hung open. The Suburban and the State truck rumbled from behind her. Maybe, she thought, five minutes had passed since they had spotted the truck and stopped behind them. The kids had come out shooting. Just like in the movies, Candace thought. Exactly that. Hell! They had acted like it was a movie. Five minutes and four people dead. She shook her head slowly.

Tom looked up from the ground and met Candace’s eyes.

Let’s get her in the truck, okay, Tom,” She said softly.

Tom’s head slowly nodded.

What… what about these… these others?” Bob asked.

Fuck them,” Tom rasped. “Fuck them! They can rot right there. They’re not going in the truck!” He looked at Candace defiantly.

Okay,” Candace agreed. “Okay… Bob?” She waited until Bob’s eyes left Lydia’s body. “Help Tom with Lydia?”

Bob nodded and started towards Tom

No,” Tom said quietly. “Don’t need help.” He swiped a blood covered hand across his eyes, leaving a bright smear of scarlet across his forehead as he did. “I’ll do it. I’ll take care of her.” His voice shook at the last, but he got to his feet, carefully holding Lydia in his arms, and headed for the pickup truck.

Bob,” Candace said, motioning to the bodies.

Bob looked at her questioningly.

In the river. We can’t just leave them here.”

Bob nodded, and together they bent to pick up the first body.

A few minutes later Candace let the last body slip from her hands and plunge over the cliffs and into the river far below. She turned her palms upright and stared at them for a second.

Candace,” Bob said. She nodded, and followed Bob back to the truck.

Tom sat behind the wheel, Lydia slumped on the passenger seat, her head resting against Tom’s shoulder. “You okay to drive?” she asked.

Tom nodded. His eyes met her own. They were red, and tears perched on the bottom lids waiting to spill down his cheeks. He cleared his throat, started to speak and then cleared his throat once more. “I’m going to drive out of the city. There’s a small little place out by Huntingtonville. My parents grew

up there. There’s a cemetery there…” He trailed off, and Candace saw the tears that had been perched on his lower lid begin to course their way down his cheeks. He started to speak again, shook his head and gave up momentarily. Candace turned her eyes up to the clear blue morning sky and waited. Tom’s voice came to her quietly a few minutes later as she watched the empty sky.

There’s a shed… In the Cemetery… I thought.” His voice choked up again.

Yeah. Yeah,” Candace said softly. “You go. We’ll stop and get Jan and Mike. They’ll want to be there.”

Tom nodded. His hand fell to the shift lever on the steering column. His eyes, tear-filled and overflowing, swept up to her once more.

You’ll be okay to get there?” Candace asked.

Tom nodded, not trusting his voice to speak. He turned his eyes back to the road.

Candace nodded. “We’ll meet you there.” She stepped away from the truck and watched as Tom pulled slowly away.

Mike ~ March 15th

It’s been a very long day in more ways than one. We are five now. Lydia is gone. It’s crazy, but true. Tom is in bad shape, sitting by the fire reading Lydia’s diary.

We buried her today in Huntingtonville, a little place outside of the city. There’s a cemetery there right by the river. Tom’s parents are buried there. Now Lydia is too. It took a lot of work; the ground is still frozen a few feet down. It could’ve been worse. If everything wasn’t melting, we would’ve had a much harder time digging the hole. Tom couldn’t bring himself to do it. Bob and I did it.

To make the explanation short, we were ambushed. I shouldn’t say we. I wasn’t even there. Neither was Jan. We were left behind to watch the cave.

It started in the night; these kids came and stole one of our trucks. We didn’t know they were kids of course. It turned into mess. Three kids are dead. Young kids. What a waste. We don’t even know why they did it, why they chose to shoot at the others. None of it.

Everyone is messed up, me included. Jan too, because we weren’t there. But it’s over. This part’s over, but really it’s not over at all. I don’t know what’s next. None of us do. The day has already lasted fifteen hours so far. The sun doesn’t seem to be moving at all. We don’t know what to make of it. Everyone just wants to get past this day, for it to be over.

Lydia ~ March 15th

Lydia is gone. They took her. I can’t believe it, it’s like a nightmare. I can’t deal with it. I won’t forget it. Tom.

~Huntingtonville~

The moon rode high in the sky. Frost gleamed from the freshly turned dirt that lay scattered across the gravel of the road that lead into the cemetery. Silence held, and then a scraping came from the ground, muffled, deep.

At the edge of the woods, eyes flashed dully in the over-bright moonlight. Shapes shifted among the trees and then emerged from the shadows onto the gravel roadway. One dragged a leg as he walked, clothes already rotted and hanging in tatters. A second seemed almost untouched, a young woman, maybe a little too pale in the wash of moonlight. She walked as easily as any woman, stepping lightly as she went. The third and fourth moved slower, purposefully, as they made their way to the freshly turned soil. They stopped beside the grave, and silence once again took the night, no sounds of breathing, no puffs of steam on the cold night air.

Do you think…?” The young woman asked in a whisper.

Shut up,” the one with the dragging leg rasped. His words were almost unintelligible. His vocal cords rotted and stringy. The noises came once again from the earth and the four fell silent… waiting…

Her hand broke through into the moonlight. A few minutes later her head pushed up, and then she levered her arms upward and began to strain to pull herself up and out of the hole. She noticed the four and stopped, her pale skin nearly translucent, her blond hair tangled and matted against her face and neck. Her lips parted, a question seeming to ride on them.


“It’s okay,” the young woman whispered, “it’s okay.” She and one of the older ones moved forward, fell to their knees and began to scoop the dirt away from her with their hands.

It’ll be okay,” Lydia mumbled through her too cold lips.

It will. It will,” the young woman repeated.

Get It Free: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/357698

That is it for me for another week. I am winding down the weeks until this year will be no more. I wish you all a happy holiday season, I’ll be back next week, Geo Dell


Inner Vagina

lady-1348338

Posted by Geo 11-21-2016
Leftover bits…

Aliens eating dog crap: From two great minds. What if we could train aliens to eat dog crap? It would solve a lot of problems. No more poop scooping. No more aliens just flying their saucers all over the place, they would go right for the dog crap. Also no more mystery about what they want here. Fathers would tell sons, Mothers would tell daughters, “Well, dear, they’re just here for the dog crap.” Also, no more of that annoying anal probing they always do. That’s right, they already have enough crap. And the best thing, probably, they will tell everyone that the edible stuff on Earth tastes like crap. So no other races of aliens coming to our planet to investigate us.
My friend was born with only one testicle. It bothered him so much that every New Year’s eve you could find him waiting for the other ball to drop.
Someone asked me if I ever slept with an Alien. I guess because they think I am a little weird. Okay, maybe they thought a lot weird. One of my ex-wives actually asked me if I was an alien. But this person asked me if I ever slept with an alien. So the answer is yes. But in my defense. It was a cold night. We may have frozen to death if not for the body heat. And she was an illegal alien so it doesn’t count anyway, does it?
I have a friend that sometimes watches those medical lawsuit commercials, you know, the ones from the lawyers that really are seemingly chasing the ambulances. He’s a little slow and sometimes gets confused by the commercials. He called me the other day. We’ll call him Bob. Not that his name really is Bob…
“Hello?”
“Hey, it’s me,” he said.
“Oh… great, well, this is me too, but since you called I guess you know that… What’s up, Man?”
“Well, you know we were going bowling this Friday night?”
“Uh huh,” I agreed.
“Can’t go,” he said.
“Oh… Well, that’s too bad… What’s up?”
“Um, well, it’s kind of embarrassing,“ he said.
“Oh… Well, no problem, sorry I asked,” I said.
“Listen, I’m really worried.”
“Well then, what’s wrong, Bob,” I asked? I was concerned. Must be serious for him to call me.
“Well, I’m concerned about this trans vaginal mesh thing on the T.V.,” Bob says.
“Oh… Ex-wife… Janie?”
“Huh?”
“Wife had the surgery?”
“You know, I never even thought of that,” Bob says.
“Oh… Mother… Sister?
“Jesus, now I’m really worried… I was worried about me… That time I had the surgery for the hernia.”
“Um… OK… So you were worried what, that they used trans vaginal mesh to repair it?”
“Oh, that’s bad,” Bob says. “I didn’t even think of that… But, no… When I went to see that shrink a few years back he told me I had to get in touch with my inner vagina.”
I choked. I couldn’t help it. “He said that?”
“I think so… The thing is he was saying a lot of shit, I really wasn’t paying attention. Inner feminine side, vagina, something.”
“Okay… Well, is it possible he said inner child? and … Get in touch with your feminine side?”
“Maybe,” Bob allowed. “But you know we are all female in the womb and that means we must have a vagina and that’s what’s got me worried.”
“You’re concerned about your ex-vagina?”
“No… No… It’s …, well, uh I just don’t know if my trans vaginal mesh is in good shape or not…. Got me worried…”
“Uh… Uh… Um, I think, there is no need to worry about that, I’m pretty sure you have to have a vagina to have the uh, mesh.”
“Oh… Well, Janie was…”
“Nope… Don’t count. That was her vagina… You just used it on occasion… And, you are not even together any more.”
“Oh… Huh… Well, I guess I’ll see you Friday night then?”
“Yep. Pick you up around seven.”
Okay. Yes, I’m not all that funny, but you still read it. Let me leave you with this. As all of my friends know, I no longer drink. But if you do drink remember not to drive. If you do most likely you’ll be caught and they’ll send you to jail. You’ll blow trial and go to state prison. Then one day you’ll be in the prison shower and some dude … Oh… Sorry. Bad memories. You get the point. Don’t drink and drive, okay?

……………………………………….

Earth’s Survivors Rising From The Ashes Kindle Edition

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