Earth’s Survivors on Smashwords

Earth’s Survivors

Earth’s Survivors Apocalypse 

Series: Earth’s Survivors · Free eBooks. Price: Free! Words: 65,740. Language: English.Published: January 30, 2015 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General,Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic

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

Earth’s Survivors Rising From The Ashes 

Series: Earth’s Survivors. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 75,960. Language: English.Published: January 13, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead,Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Earth’s Survivors Rising From The Ashes continues to follow the survivors of a worldwide catastrophe. From L.A. To Manhattan the cities, governments have toppled and lawlessness is the rule. The small groups are growing, branching out in search of a new future. It chronicles their day to day struggles as well as their dreams as they search out new hope in their shattered world…

Earth’s Survivors: The Nation 

Series: Earth’s Survivors. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 68,580. Language: English.Published: February 9, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic,Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
This part of the story really concentrates on the formation of The Nation and the people who will build it and carry it forward, but it also brings along the side story of The Fold and the people who will build that haven. It gives a more complete picture of Adam and Cammy, and picks up the Tale of Billy and Beth, Mike and Candace, Conner and Katie as they work to sort out their lives.

Earth’s Survivors: Home In The Valley 

Series: Earth’s Survivors. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 62,310. Language: English. Published: April 7, 2013 byindependAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » EpicFiction » Horror » General
Home in the valley concentrates on the building of the first and most important settlement of The Nation. The valley settlement is where the people that run the Nation will come from. They will rise to leadership positions across the former United States. The first supply trip out for the Nation nearly turns to disaster, and more of the separate parties join and become one under the Nation Flag.

Earth’s Survivors: Plague 

Series: Earth’s Survivors. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 85,040. Language: English.Published: September 1, 2015 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopiasFiction » Horror » Undead
Plague outlines the sudden rise of the dead, chronicling the spread across the country. It follows Adam, Beth, Billy and Pearl as they head north looking for an antidote that can bring the plagues to end. It also sees the first babies born to the Nation, the formation of both the Fold and Alabama Island, and the loss of one of the founders of The Nation without whom the Nation may dissolve…

Earth’s Survivors: Watertown 

Series: Earth’s Survivors. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 96,200. Language: English.Published: February 17, 2016 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » ApocalypticFiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Major Weston read the report twice and then carefully set it back on his desk. Johns or Kohlson: One of the two had stolen samples of SS-V2765. It was not a question. No one else had the access, no one else the proximity or knowledge of where it was stored. Two of the virus, one each of the REX agents were missing. Enough to infect several million people, and that was just the initial infection…

Earth’s Survivors: World Order 

Series: Earth’s Survivors. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 83,710. Language: English. Published: May 1, 2016 byindependAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic,Fiction » Horror » Undead
This book steps back to the beginning to bring you the story of the Fold. Jessie Stone, why and how Snoqualmie settlement came to be. It begins in present day and then falls back in time to the beginning of the Apocalypse. The Fold becomes the biggest challenger to the Nations power. The community that can force the Nation into compromise, or bring a war that may destroy both societies.

Earth’s Survivors Box Set 

Series: Earth’s Survivors. Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 745,740. Language: English.Published: September 11, 2016 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » ApocalypticFiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
Earth’s Survivors box set contains the entire Earth’s Survivors series in one volume. All seven books in one collection. Follow the survivors as they struggle to survive in a vastly changed world, where the living are just as likely to kill you as the dead are.  The release of this box set puts the series to an end. I have enjoyed writing it, I hope you have enjoyed reading it, Dell Sweet.

Earth’s Survivors: Knock 

Series: Earth’s Survivors. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 96,350. Language: English.Published: January 17, 2017 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic,Fiction » Horror » Undead
Frank and Jessie: Even though there were very few stalled vehicles on the thruway, the going was still slow, and it was close to noon when they by-passed Buffalo, and began to skirt Lake Erie, heading for the Pennsylvania border. As they drove, the destruction that had been wrought upon the Earth became more and more evident…

Earth’s Survivors: Alabama Island 

Series: Earth’s Survivors. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 92,230. Language: English. Published: March 30, 2018by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » ApocalypticFiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias
His left leg was bad. Not broken, but cut badly, maybe sprung, after all he had lain with it twisted to one side for what he assumed was a very long time. He used part of his shirt to wrap his leg as he let his head clear. His head was worse. Pain inside every time he tried to move too fast. It felt like liquid sloshing around inside his head, his brain shifting with it, slamming into the bone…

Earth’s Survivors: Zombie Fall 

Series: Earth’s Survivors. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 65,990. Language: English. Published: April 22, 2018by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic,Fiction » Horror » Undead
Being dead took the killer out of you, at least at first it did. But then it came back. You forgot all the little things of the old life. You nearly forgot your name: Where you had lived; what you had done. And then it changed. Every day you got a little more back. It wasn’t exactly a memory, like a memory would be in the old days, like a breather would have. It was more like found knowledge…

Earth’s Survivors: Los Angeles 

Series: Earth’s Survivors. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 80,410. Language: English. Published: June 25, 2018by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Horror » UndeadFiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
Across the United States the governments in cities, large and small have crumbled. The military has ceased to exist. There is no government that rules the people any longer. There are no laws and there is no one coming to set things right, because things are just as bad or worse around the world. All that remains of society are scattered groups searching for one another, for hope, for a future…

Earth’s Survivors: The Fold 

Series: Earth’s Survivors. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 91,310. Language: English. Published: June 25, 2018by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Horror » UndeadFiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
The story of Jessie Stone who goes on to form The Fold, a rival to the Nation. This story starts in the city of Watertown and tells the tale as Jessie leaves and makes her way across the country with others, looking for whatever might remain of society or the old government. More often than not she finds corruption and strife as she teams up with others to reach safety…
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Microwave ovens and presets on microwave ovens

Microwave ovens and presets on microwave ovens

I like microwave ovens. They have made our lives better, I truly believe that. How else can you get a hot cup of coffee from yesterdays leftover coffee in just about 120 seconds? Not that I do that.. I mean drink yesterdays left over coffee… Okay… I do.

Here’s the thing though, it’s coffee! That’s my only argument. It should be enough though. I mean it’s like sacred, isn’t it? If I were living in a cave and discovered the coffee bean and bought it to my fellow cave dwellers they would probably build a shrine for me and worship me… Paint pictures of Coffee beans on the cave walls instead of hands, horses and signs for water. History would have been changed! Well, would have been changed had that happened.

So, no. I won’t throw out coffee. I guess that is a shocking admission, but it’s true.

Once, I can’t remember the movie, some western, the character threw the dregs of the coffee in his cup on the fire. The other guys around the fire looked at him like he was crazy… Crazy! And he must have been. I was just a kid at the time and I thought he was crazy! After that the other cowboys ostracized him. And he wasn’t asked along for the next roundup. That’s how serious a thing coffee was for cowboys back in the day. So I don’t throw away coffee. Which brings me back to microwaves. Don’t you wish your mind worked the way mine does? See how I came right back to where I wanted to be? Okay, I don’t even know how my mind works, I just thank God that it does. So Microwaves…

I like the idea of a Microwave, but I do have some issues with them. First, you can not make popcorn consistently. In fact I went to make popcorn the other day and the bag said “Do not use the Popcorn Setting on your Microwave.”  Huh. Then why have the setting there? Isn’t that the whole idea? Ease of use? Push one button? Well we’ll get to that in a minuet. The bag went on to give precise microwave instructions. If you have this many “Watts” use this amount of time. This many, that amount of time. I had a headache when I finished reading it. Finally I put the popcorn back into the cupboard and got some chips instead. I sank into a deep depression over the whole technology thing. How can you eat microwavable popcorn if the button settings are wrong and you have to spend three hours figuring out wattage? You can’t just get out a pan and some butter, tear open the bag and do it that way, can you?

Well, as I sat eating my chips that I didn’t want I thought about that. There are a lot of buttons on a microwave. For instance, there is a beverage button on mine. It doesn’t work for beverages though. It leaves them too cold or too hot. But what if you accidentally pushed the popcorn button? And what if you then found out the popcorn button worked for beverages? Wouldn’t that be great? Well it does. I tried. But the beverage button will not work for Popcorn. What a mess that was. But in the end, I did go back out there, rip a popcorn bag open, and put it in a pan with some butter. Guess what? That did work.

As for the coffee on the popcorn setting it did come out pretty good, but I have an aversion to using a button marked Popcorn for coffee. But I wonder. If the popcorn companies don’t want you to use it, why do the microwave companies still make a popcorn button? Hmm. And if the beverage button doesn’t work for beverages, what the hell good is it anyway? And if coffee is the most nuked beverage, why not a Coffee button? And, stay with me here, if the Popcorn button isn’t used anyway, why not re-label it Coffee? Then I wouldn’t have to feel so bad about using the popcorn button for my coffee. Hey, I’m going to get one of those little label makers and make a coffee sticker and put it right over the Popcorn label. That will solve my problems for now. Feel free to just copy my idea and paste it on your own Microwave! No need to say thanks.

That only leaves the power button on mine. But that is kind of cool. You can press it, set the time amount, and watch the little turntable go around and around….


The Earth’s Survivors books on Smashwords…

1 Earth’s Survivors Nation Series: Book One: Apocalypse, the battle begins…

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


2 Earth’s Survivors Nation Series: Book Two: Rising from the ashes. Some Survive… https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/274539


 

3 Earth’s Survivors Nation Series: Book Three: The Nation. Society begins to rebuild…  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/284050


4 Earth’s Survivors Nation Series: Book Four: Home In The valley. The Nation rises…

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/304012


5 Earth’s Survivors Nation Series: Book Five: Plague. The dead take over the cities… https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/555784


6 Earth’s Survivors: Watertown. Step back in time to a few months before the Apocalypse. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/616299



7 Earth’s Survivors Nation Series: Book Seven: World Order. The story of the Fold… https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/616938


All seven Earth’s Survivors books in one collection. Follow the survivors as they struggle  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/664945


Author Dell Sweet on Smashwords: Click here


 

Jimmy Hoffa and other things that make me wonder

Posted 07-03-17 Geo Dell

Jimmy Hoffa and other things that make me wonder.

I have been concerned about the fact that Jimmy Hoffa must be buried somewhere. And they have had such reliable snitches to tell them where the body is that I started thinking about the odds of actually finding it. I mean, eventually, after sixty million wrong guesses, the odds will narrow, right? Then I thought, hey, when I was kid and anything came up missing, the cat, or the dog, you could usually get a pretty fast answer from Mom or Dad…

Well, Spot went to the farm. You see, son, Spot was getting to be a handful and with your mother and I both working, well, we thought it would be better for Spot at the farm.”

Well, geez, I didn’t want Spot to go to the farm. Can we at least visit him?”

Sure, son. Sure we can.”

And of course we never did, but I built up a story in my head about the farm and what it was like. There would be Spot, running through the fields, chasing butterflies. Toilet bowls and fire hydrants everywhere. A cat to chase under every tree. Good old spot.

So, when I heard that maybe Jimmy Hoffa went to the farm, I thought, well, hell, that’s not so bad. I never heard any complaints from Spot about it, but as we all know, for the fourth or fifth time, Jimmy Hoffa is not at the farm chasing butterflies with Spot, or Tigger, or Frisky. Not there. But it got me thinking. He hasn’t been at the farms. Nor in the bridge. Nor the dump. Nor the vacant lot. Here is a short list of places he wasn’t:

Sources: Combined Google searches: API, NPR and CBS. (Paraphrased)

Authorities have pursued multiple leads as to Hoffa’s whereabouts since his disappearance in 1975. He was last seen outside an Oakland County restaurant where he was to meet with a New Jersey Teamsters boss and a Detroit Mafia captain.

Waterford Township, Mich.: Roughly two months after he vanished, in September 1975, investigators spent three days digging in a 29-acre area on a farm in Waterford Township. State police and members of the organized crime division of the state attorney general’s office broke out their spades after a Mafia informant’s tip…

Detroit area: In October 1975, FBI agents probed the trash compactor at the Raleigh House restaurant, roughly five miles from the Machus Red Fox, the restaurant where Hoffa was last seen alive. The theory was that Hoffa’s body was stuffed in the compactor and hauled off by a Mafia-connected sanitation company; investigators turned up nothing in their search of the 40-cubic-yard compactor…

Jersey City, N.J.: The search for Hoffa took investigators to Jersey City, where in December 1975, FBI agents searched a 47-acre landfill with mob connections. Officially, investigators weren’t searching for the rumored 55-gallon drum with Hoffa’s remains, but rather the body of Armand Faugno, a missing loan shark…

Hampton Township, Mich.: An incarcerated informant, who had already led police to another body, claimed Hoffa’s body could be found under an above-ground pool in the backyard of his former home in Hampton Township. The tipster, brought to the scene in handcuffs, watched as a backhoe demolished the pool in July 2003 and dug beneath it. Later, the people living in the home would get a new pool paid for by the county…

Milford, Mich.: The FBI called it quits after a 12-day search of Hidden Dreams Farm in Milford in May 2006. A 100-foot barn was demolished as part of the search by 35 agents, geologists, archaeologists and other experts. While the dig didn’t yield any remains, it proved to be big business for the Milford Baking Co., which sold 3,500 “Hoffa cupcakes” featuring a green plastic hand reaching up through the icing and sprinkles…

East Rutherford, N.J.: In 1999 a convicted mobster alleged Hoffa’s body was buried at Giants Stadium, though the feds never dug it up to find out. In a Playboy interview, Donald “Tony the Greek” Frankos said Hoffa’s body was cut up in Michigan, then driven to New Jersey and buried in the concrete foundation of the stadium — Section 107…

Roseville, Mich.: After a tip in the fall of 2012, authorities began sampling soil on the property of a Roseville home. Investigators had used radar and found an unusual mass, which prompted the sampling, but the results showed no sign of human decomposition in the dirt…

There are more of course, but remember, these are places Jimmy Hoffa is not. They have been checked, cleared, in Cop-speak. Not there. But this past weekend I decided to put in some outdoor security lighting at home. What does that have to do with Jimmy Hoffa? Well, hang on. We’ll get there. I decided on two of those big sodium vapor lights, except one wasn’t sodium vapor.

I got to the store and I saw all the ‘Go Green’ stickers, you know – “Don’t use so much energy!” “It’s your world too!” “Save up to $298.00 a year!” Okay, I speak that language, ‘You had me at money’ so I bought two of the Fluorescent yard lights. Unfortunately I had to take one back as it was missing parts. So, I ended up having to put a sodium High Pressure system in and a fluorescent system for the other light. Hmm. The whole idea had been that they match, same replacement bulbs. But hey, It’s my world too and I do care… And I saved $300.00 bucks (Nearly).

So I get the lights. I get the post for the one that goes in the side yard (A 16 foot 4 inch by 4 inch pressure treated post. I buy a shovel. Thought about post hole diggers, said, Nah, I’m a Man, I don’t need post-hole diggers (Note: Get the post hole diggers. They’re called Post Hole Diggers for a reason! God, I can be so stupid), outdoor wire, Wire connectors, and on and on. Then I came home and picked the spot for my pole, but then I thought, ‘Whoa… Wait a minute… They have not found Jimmy Hoffa yet. He could be right under that spot I want to dig up to sink my post in the ground.’

I’m pretty sure Jimmy Hoffa is not in my garden, or my side yard, or the driveway. Those are all areas I have worked on lately, had to dig down into, and I didn’t see anything at all that looked Jimmy Hoffaish. Yes, I know that is an incorrect usage of ish, but, really, are there any correct uses of ish?

Here’s the thing though, I have not dug into the front yard and I am very concerned that he could be there, but not concerned enough to do anything about it. And if you are, and you would like to dig up my front yard to look for him, no. No! Now, after I’m dead, sure. Have a blast. Tell the new owners, in fact, that I said you could.

Reasons why Jimmy Hoffa might be in my front yard.

1. He wasn’t at the last place, so he has to be somewhere.

2. He had a friend who had a friend who had a cousin who visited New York one time.

3. Jimmy Hoffa worked for the Labor Union, and a lady just down the street went into labor a few days ago.

4. It’s not a farm. They’ve dug up enough farms.

5. The cats always seem to avoid a certain section of the lawn. Walking right long and then hop straight up into the air. Yes. I realize cats are nuts and I do have crazy cats, but still.

Okay, that’s enough reasons. I believe that is more than the FBI had, information wise the last time isn’t it?

But hey, considering all the places they have dug to find him the odds are pretty good, or even just as good that he could be out there in the front yard. So, I mounted the light on top of the garage instead. Yes, I know, I bowed to my own fears. And the side yard light pole I installed next to the house and incorporated into the deck. I figured, ‘Okay. Maybe Jimmy Hoffa is out there in the yard, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have buried him right next to the house.’

I am happy to report that I dug the hole and did not find anything at all… Well, one bone, I’m pretty sure it was a ham bone the dog buried there. I say that because the neighbors dog, I don’t have a dog of my own, seemed pretty bent out of shape about me digging up the bone. But, come to think of it, that is better than the FBI did. At least I found something. Anyway, I didn’t call the FBI, the dog took the bone and left, he’ll probably rebury it somewhere else, you know how dogs are. Meanwhile, Jimmy Hoffa’s still missing I’m sorry to report.

In other news. Fred, my cat was nearly taken by the turkeys again. You may not believe this, but there are turkeys that live in the woods behind me. Today I was in my office taking care of some email when I heard a rush of wings, a squawk, and some gobbling: If you have never heard a 35 to 40 pound bird drop out of a pine tree to the ground you should. Nothing that big should be a bird, and if it is it should not be falling from a damn tree.

Anyway, I rushed from the house. No, really, I did rush from the house, and what do I see, Fred standing her ground against a turkey that looked to be about three feet high. No, I don’t really think it was three feet high, but it was all of two and some change. The turkey saw me and took off. Good, I was not in the mood to fight a turkey, I was still concerned about Jimmy Hoffa as I had to put mulch in the garden, and that meant turning over the soil.

Well, it is obvious that the turkeys have it in for Fred. Fred has killed just about everything that lives in the woods at one time or another: When she was a kitten she used to bring them to me. Yes, Fred is female cat. It’s a long story. Damn cat. I think, sort of like that Clint Eastwood movie, Unforgiven, that the birds, mice, chipmunks, (This year has been a tough one for the chipmunks, that’s all I’ll say) and yes, probably the neighborhood dogs too, got together and sent word to the turkeys. I think, like the cowboys in Unforgiven, that Fred’s days are numbered. But if you had told me a year or so ago that a turkey would try to attack a cat? I would have laughed. Not no more. Not no more. This is serious business. These turkeys have taken a contract out on Fred I believe.

Okay, last news. I am listing all of my books on NOOK. NOOK is Barnes and Nobles eBook seller. So when you have some free time cruise on over to NOOK and check my books out. Thank you, and please pass this along, Geo…


Okay. Once again it’s raining here in northern New York. I guess I don’t mind the rain so much. Have a great week…

Amazon links from Dell Sweet

Dell Sweet Links

Amazon:

KNOCK:

US

Beth had stopped at the edge of the housing development. It was dark, lit only by the headlights of the truck. Cars and trucks sat neatly in driveways. The streets were empty. Heavy dust seemed to blanket the whole scene. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01I5QF1O0

US Paperback

Something hit the truck hard and it rocked on its springs. The smell of death hit them about the same time, and Beth hit the gas, mashing the pedal into the floor boards. https://www.amazon.com/Earths-Survivors-Knock-Dell-Sweet/dp/1520434421

UK

Billy lifted his gun and shot the zombie in the face. It seemed slow motion at first, the face exploded as it fell away into the back of the pickup, Beth drew a deep breath and tried to grab the wheel, but it was too late. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01I5QF1O0

UK Paperback

He looked over at Beth but she seemed dazed, her eyes unfocused, a trickle of blood running from somewhere under her hairline, mumbling softly under her breath. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Earths-Survivors-Knock-Dell-Sweet/dp/1520434421

CA

Beth drew a deep breath and tried to grab the wheel, but it was too late. Everything sped up to real time and the truck roared forward and slammed into the side of a house, continuing on through the wall and into it… https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01I5QF1O0

CA Paperback

Billy hit the dashboard hard and then rebounded and slid under the dash as the truck plunged into the house. Seconds later he scrambled out from under the dash, the smell of gasoline was strong, the smell of the hot motor equally strong. https://www.amazon.ca/Earths-Survivors-Knock-Dell-Sweet/dp/1520434421

AU

“Could be small animals raiding house to house… No garbage any more so they have to get into those houses and get what they can or starve… Or it could be the dead.” https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01I5QF1O0

AU Paperback

Billy levered his door open with a little help from his foot, it screeched as it opened. The screech of metal was very loud in the silence of the house. The headlights were still on, illuminating what looked… https://www.amazon.com.au/Knock-Dell-Sweet/dp/1535187484


WHITE TRASH:

US

The kid was missing. And a young girl from down the road that had supposedly witnessed the crash was also missing. The money. The drugs. All gone. Blood, brain tissue and bone, found in Cross’s bedroom. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JMDX4SJ

US Paperback

The cops had found the duffel bag behind the trailer, but they did not find the girl’s body or Cross’s body. They thought he had killed her in the trailer, but Jimmy knew that the blood and the brain matter that had been found… https://www.amazon.com/White-Trash-Dell-Sweet/dp/1729106862

UK

Jimmy West looked at his watch, 3:15 AM. He had been in the sleeping city of Glennville for two hours. He had spoken personally with Murphy’s man in the Sheriff’s department, and another he had in the city police department. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07JMDX4SJ

UK Paperback

They were both lying, because neither of them had mentioned seeing the drugs and money, yet they were missing. And the head and hands had turned up right behind the kid’s trailer. That was not coincidence. https://www.amazon.co.uk/White-Trash-Dell-Sweet/dp/1729106862

CA

Blood, brain tissue and bone, found in Cross’s bedroom. The head and hands and the rest that was in the duffel bag that had been found in the woods behind the kid’s trailer, he knew about that. https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07JMDX4SJ

CA Paperback

What did concern him was that he had turned up behind the kid’s trailer. The duffel bag should have been down the road at the Toyota crash site, or still in Neo’s car. That meant someone had moved it, taken it. https://www.amazon.ca/White-Trash-Dell-Sweet/dp/1729106862

AU

The girl had told the cops she had witnessed the wreck, but she had said nothing at all about seeing anyone take anything from either car. The kid, Cross, had also said he had seen part of the chase, and heard the wreck. They were both lying, had to be… https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07JMDX4SJ

AU Paperback

The blood and the brain matter that had been found with it had more than likely come from the bags, not Cross killing the girl, or the girl killing him, for that matter… https://www.amazon.com.au/White-Trash-Dell-Sweet/dp/1729106862


CRIME TIME

US

Crime Time is a collection of nine crime stories from author Dell Sweet. From short stories to near novel length… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073XVWZJS

US Paperback

When a man tells you he has the moral flexibility to include murder in his life if he deems it necessary this is probably not a man you should be hanging out with. https://www.amazon.com/Crime-Time-Dell-Sweet/dp/1521844356

UK

In the last few days she had decided a few things. First: Dello was a killer. She knew that. It was how he made a living. It wouldn’t be hard to kill her, she supposed. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B073XVWZJS

UK Paperback

Unforgettable characters and places. A gritty world from Sweet’s mind where anything can and usually does happen… https://www.amazon.co.uk/Crime-Time-Dell-Sweet/dp/1521844356

CA

Nine stories that are hard edged, entertaining and good, fast rides into the darkness that is the criminal’s world… https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B073XVWZJS

CA Paperback

Too late, I thought as I realized I had left the machine pistol lying on the front seat instead of keeping it in my right hand where it should have been. https://www.amazon.ca/Crime-Time-Dell-Sweet/dp/1521844356

AU

I could hear the sound of a machine pistol behind me as the Mexican opened up. I did what I could. https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B073XVWZJS

AU Paperback

I aimed the truck at the two men; levered the door-handle and prepared to jump just as the windshield hit by several of the rounds fired by the two men was blown inward: My world faded to black… https://www.amazon.com.au/Crime-Time-Dell-Sweet/dp/1521844356


YELLOWSTONE

US

“All the red areas are spots where the surface pressure has increased. There were, at one time, many active volcanoes on the north American continent.” https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K62RMV3

US Paperback

“All over the Earth… Higher pressures. Up until a few days ago the brainiacs were still arguing over whether this could even happen.” He laughed. “Call it the Earth’s way of cleansing itself.” https://www.amazon.com/dp/1730871143

UK

He clicked a button on his desk, and a picture of destruction appeared on the screens. “That picture is an hour old. That is… Was, the Hawaiian chain.” https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07K62RMV3

UK Paperback

“The Yellowstone caldera is going to erupt sometime in the next few days. Not a maybe, not an educated guess: It has already started. We have had a few small quakes, but the big stuff is on the way.” https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1730871143

CA

Back in 1930 the Army did an exploratory survey of that area. What we came up with was that there was a section of the Rocky Mountains missing. https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07K62RMV3

CA Paperback

“Super volcanoes… Earthquakes that modern civilization has never seen… The last super eruption was responsible for killing off the human population some seventy-four thousand years ago: Reduced it to a few thousand.” https://www.amazon.ca/Yellowstone-W-G-Sweet/dp/1730871143

AU

“The virus can stay alive in a dead body for days, even if the body is frozen. Same stuff is being released across the globe. Great Briton… Germany… Australia…”  https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07K62RMV3

AU Paperback

“The Yellowstone caldera is going to erupt sometime in the next few days. Not a maybe, not an educated guess: It has already started. We have had a few small quakes, but the big stuff is on the way.” https://www.amazon.com.au/Yellowstone-W-G-Sweet/dp/1730871143



Earth’s Survivors free read on page from Geo Dell

EARTH’S SURVIVORS

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

Cover Art © Copyright 2016 Wendell Sweet

Some text copyright 2010, 2014, 2015 Wendell Sweet

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

 

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

This novel is Copyright © 2016 Wendell Sweet and his assignee Andrea Scroggs. Dell Sweet and Geo Dell are publishing constructs owned by Wendell Sweet. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the author’s permission.

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


This material is copyright protected and is used here with permission

This material is NOT edited for content and is rated 18+


Shop and Save Convenience store:

Haley Mae

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, a small mini mart on the western outskirts of the city, 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. No ID, but her store ID had still been clipped to her shirt. 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.

“Haley Mae,” 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.

“EM. A. E,” 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, “Haley.”

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.

Haley 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.”

Haley 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.

Haley 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.

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

Haley 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.

Haley laughed.

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

Haley 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? Maybe dancing. It’s strictly escorting or dancing, 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 is 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,” Haley asked.

“Just V… Jimmy V, good guy,” Neil said.

Haley 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,” Haley 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 Haley 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.

ONE

March 1st

Watertown New York

Off Factory Square: Joel Morrison

5:00 PM

Joel sat at the bar and watched football on one of the big screen TV’s Mort had put in. It was a slow game, he was tired, and his mind kept turning to other things. He couldn’t concentrate. Part of the allure of the Rusty Nail was the quiet. After a 12 hour shift at the mill with the constant noise from the huge machinery, the quiet had been nice. But that had all changed once the bar had become popular with the nearby base. He needed to go home. The crowd in the bar was starting to build and the noise was giving him the beginnings of a headache. He caught Mort’s eye and went back to his thoughts as he waited.

The Rusty Nail had always been a locals only bar up until a few years back when the economy had taken a nose dive. The nail was wedged up a side street off Factory square. Not exactly easy to find, and that had hurt business too as the old people left and the new people came in.

Mort, Mortimer to anybody that felt like being tossed out on their ass, had nearly lost the small bar and the building above it to the bank. The building above it had six small apartments that Mort had purposely left empty when he had bought the building fresh out of the service thirty years back. Who wanted to deal with tenants, he had said then. But times changed, and so he had sold his house, moved himself into one of the apartments, and then sold the bank on remortgaging the whole building as well as renovating the other five apartments. The bank had come up with a loan that took all of that into account and added a second income source from the apartments that could pay the monthly mortgage and put a good chunk of change into his pocket too.

He had signed on the x, taken their money, renovated the building, moved in the tenants and then taken a hard look at the Rusty Nail. He had decided to completely gut the bar and do it over. He had dumped far too much into the renovations though, including being closed for nearly a full month, and then opened it to find that the economy had taken an even deeper nose dive during those nearly thirty days. The third month into the new mortgage and he had found that he was maybe in a bad spot already.

Joel remembered now that he had sat right at the end of the bar when Mort had talked it over with some others, Moon Calloway, Johnny Barnes, Jim Tibbets, Joel had been welcome to include his two cents which he had declined to do.

“Well, what you do is put the word out to those cab drivers. Believe me, I’ve seen it. They will have them soldiers down here in no time, even if you are off the beaten path,” Jim had said. Jim was a school bus driver for the north side district and less than a year away from a fatal car accident on the interstate. Jeff Brown, who had been a local football star, was doing ten years up at Clinton Correctional for hitting Jim’s car head on drunk and killing him. But that night Jim had still been alive and had wanted to be a part of the New Rusty Nail that Mort had in mind. Something a little more modern. Modern bought the soldiers, but more importantly it also bought women.

“I’m not paying a cab driver to bring me G.I.’s,” Mort had said. “And I know your game. You’re just hoping to get laid out of it.”

They had all laughed at that, except Jim who had turned red. But after a few seconds he had laughed too, and the conversation had plodded forward the way bar conversations do.

“Well, you ain’t got to pay them exactly, give them a couple beers,” Moon threw in.

“Jesus Christ,” Mort exclaimed. “That’s why you boys ain’t in business. You think the beer is free.”

“I know it ain’t free, Mort,” Jim said. “But it don’t cost you that much. You get it wholesale.”

“Wholesale? I drive right out to that wholesale club and buy it by the case most of the time just like everybody else. Cheaper than them beer guys, except draft, of course. That ain’t free. You got to pay the yearly club fee. You got to pay them taxes to the feds. You got a lot you got to pay for. Some fuck crushes your can you’re fucked for that nickle. Jesus… wholesale my ass. It ain’t no bargain.”

“Yeah? … Let’s see,” Moon starting writing in the air with his finger. You get it for let’s say six bucks a case, I know that cause that’s what I pay out there too. So six bucks divided by 24 is,” he drew in the air for a few moments, erased it, and then started over. “How the fuck do you do that, Joey… The six goes into the twenty-four? Or times the twenty-four?” Moon asked.

“Uh, it’s a quarter a can,” I had supplied.

The argument had raged on from there. Once Moon found out he was paying a buck fifty for a can of beer that only cost a quarter he was pissed off.

In the end Mort had talked to a couple of cab drivers. Free draft beer one night a week if they bought soldiers by all week long and told as many others as possible about the place. Within two weeks Joel hadn’t recognized the place when he had come by after shift to have a couple of beers. The soldiers drank a lot of beer, the bank mortgage got paid, and life was fine. Except for the fights, Joel thought, but you can’t load young guys up on alcohol and not expect trouble. Especially when those young men were just waiting on the word to go and maybe die in another battle that remained undeclared as a war. High stress levels meant heavy duty unloading. The M.P.’s got to know the place as well as the soldiers did.

“Joel, you ready?” Mort asked now.

Joel smiled. “I was thinking back…” He had to shout to be heard. Tomorrow his voice would be hoarse. “This place was empty! … Yeah… One more then I gotta go,” Joel agreed.

Mort leaned closer. “Gov’ment tit. I know it, but screw it. It’s all the Gov’ment tit. Road and Bridge projects. Job centers. One way or the other it comes out the same. Even them subsidies so the paper mills can still run. It’s all the Gov’ment tit, ain’t it, Joel?”

“Its is,” Joel shouted. He nodded. It was. This town would have dried up years ago without it. Mort left and then came back a few moments later with a fresh beer.

“Vacation?” Mort yelled.

Joel nodded. “Two weeks of silence,” He shook his head at the irony and Mort’s laughing agreement was drowned out by the noise.

“If I don’t see you, have a good one,” Mort said leaning close.

Joel nodded. “I will.” He raised his glass and then tossed off half of it. A few moments later he was outside on the relatively quiet sidewalk punching numbers into his phone, calling for a cab. The night was cold, but the cold sobered him up. It seemed nearly capable of washing away the smoke and noise from inside the bar. He stood in the shadows beside the door waiting for the phone to ring on the other end. The door bumped open and Johnny Barnes stepped out.

“You ain’t calling for a cab, are you?” Johnny asked when he spotted him.

Joel laughed and ended the still ringing call. “Not if I can get a free ride from you.” Joel told him.

“Yeah, you were always a cheap prick,” Johnny agreed. “Hey, I heard you’re heading into the southern tier tomorrow?”

“Two weeks,” Joel agreed as he levered the door handle on Johnny’s truck and climbed inside. His breath came in clouds of steam. “Get some heat in here, Johnny.”

“Coming,” Johnny agreed. “Man, I wish I was you.”

“Me too,” Joel agreed.

Johnny laughed. “Asshole, but seriously, man. Have a good time. You gonna hunt?”

“Nothing in season… Maybe snare some rabbits. Not gonna be a lot this time of year.” Joel said.

“Maybe deer,” Johnny offered. He dropped the truck in drive just as the heat began to come from the vents.

“Probably, but they’ll be out of season. Rabbit, and I got freeze dried stuff. Trucks packed, which is why I didn’t drive it down here.”

The truck drove slowly through the darkening streets as the street lights began to pop on around the small city: The two men laughing and exchanging small talk…


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Settlement Earth from W. W. Watson with Lindsey Rivers

Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth


Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth: Book One 

Series: Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 62,840. Language: English.Published: September 22, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » ApocalypticFiction » Horror » Undead

(3.50)

“It will kill you well enough,” Alice said as if reading his thoughts. “It’s a bad world. You need another shooter. Who knows what you’re going to run into between here and there.” She paused and then nodded at the pistol. “You can see I’m resourceful.” She met Johnny’s eyes when they swung suddenly up to her own. “I’m not dangerous unless someone is trying to hurt me,” she finished quietly…

Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth: Book Two 

Series: Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth, Book 2. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 93,310. Language: English.Published: September 22, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic,Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
The air lock cycled on and six soldiers stepped into the hall like space that was actually just an airlock between the control room, the autopsy room, the former patient ward and the outside world. Johns tensed, waiting for the door to their space to cycle on, but it didn’t. “You think they will outright kill us,” Kohlson asked after a few long minutes of silence. “Gabe… I think they will…”

Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth: Book Three 

Series: Earth’s Survivors Settlement Earth, Book 3. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 89,390. Language: English.Published: September 22, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic,Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic
A thin line of blood ran away from the wrist that had been encircled by the tie. Whether from the sharp metal she had used to escape the zip-tie, or the zip-tie itself she could not tell. A few more seconds of careful rubbing with the sharp metal edge and the other plastic cuff fell to the floor. She stood and rubbed feeling back into her hands…

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The book Zombie Fall from Dell Sweet

Zombie fall is a collection of Seven short stories including the title story Zombie fall. These stories have been best sellers on their own but never before offered in a collection…

Zombie Fall: Geo Had lived along the River all of his life. Spring was beautiful. The summer one of the best. But the fall was not so good. Fall was when Geo discovered that Zombies had moved into his old barn…

Alive Again: They were three, set out to leave the city for the safety of the road, where they would be relatively free from the dead that plagued the cities, but only two were destined to escape the dead that plagued the city, and even then what did they escape to? The Dead were everywhere…

Rapid City One, Two and Three. When the Zombie Apocalypse was at it;s height, gunslingers roamed the new frontier towns, offering their services to hunt down and kill the zombies. Theses are short stories from those days…

Jennifer learns more about the undead than she ever wanted to when she is murdered and then rises from the dead to her new life…

Donita, the birth of a Zombie Queen. She feels the changes as she leaves life, and her memories remain for a short time. It is only after the major changes have taken her from life solidly into death that she no longer remembers her old life at all, just this new need to kill and eat the flesh of the living…


READ MORE RIGHT NOW…

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EARTH’S SURVIVORS: Home in the Valley from Dell Sweet

EARTH’S SURVIVORS: Home in the Valley from Dell Sweet


This is Copyright protected material used with permission 



Mike and Candace

West of Manhattan

September 3rd

“Nobody,” Ronnie remarked as he clicked off the CB and stepped down from the truck.

“Maybe the weather,” Alice said as she took his hand.

“May be,” Ronnie agreed with a smile. He bent forward and kissed her softly.

“You do that so well,” Alice told him. She had that secret little smile on her face, the one that turned up the corner of her lips. The one that had made him say yes when she had asked to join them.

They had met her and the small party she had been traveling with the day after they had left Billy’s camp and started on their way. Ronnie thought back on it now. That had been more than two months before. They had spent those two months just trying to get out of the city, past all the stalled traffic that went on forever, and into a place where they could actually have trucks, drive, make time. That day they had still been driving, or trying to. They had come around a curve on a barely held together state route that paralleled the thruway and there they had been: A truck parked in the middle of the road. Mike had locked the brakes up; the curve had not given much warning. Alice had been standing at the front of the truck and she had never even flinched.

Mike had stopped a good fifteen feet away. When he and Ronnie had stepped from the truck she had hit Ronnie with the smile. He had fallen right then. No arguments.

“Could’a killed us,” Toby Black had said. He was the leader of the six party group. “Shouldn’t ought to drive so goddamn fast.”

Mike was speechless; it was Ronnie that had fired back.

“That may be,” Ronnie had allowed,” But maybe you should give a little thought to parking in the middle of the road too.”

“On a goddamn curve,” Candace added, barely cracking a smile.

“Yeah, well,” Toby said. He seemed to consider a few moments, tugged at his graying beard, and must have decided to say nothing. He had just nodded, dusted one hand against his jeans and extended it to Ronnie. “Toby,” He had glanced from Ronnie to Mike to Candace, nodding as he did. “This’s Andy,” he had nodded at a skinny man who stood a few feet away. “Galloway over there, Flint at the back of the truck, Lucy sitting inside there and Alice right here.” He had tried to slip one arm over Alice’s shoulders, but she had smiled and shrugged it off.

“And who are you,” she had asked Ronnie. Behind him Candace had chuckled.

“Ron,” he had said.

She had taken his hand and held on, her eyes on his own.

“Listen, you can stay to dinner with us if you like. Fresh venison, killed a deer a few hours back.” Toby had pointed at a fire where what looked like both haunches of a small deer had been spitted: Fat dripping and sizzling.

“Yeah,” Candace had agreed. “We’d be glad to.”

“Yeah,” Mike had added. His stomach had been growling so loudly he had been sure that everyone could hear it. He had reached in, shut down the truck, and then shifted his rifle to his opposite shoulder as he shook hands with the others including Alice who had finally let go of Ronnie’s hand.

A little work had secured some late corn from an overgrown nearby field, that and the venison had made an excellent dinner.

“So where you folks going to,” Toby had asked.

“Alabama,” Mike had answered around a mouthful of corn. “Dammit this is good.”

Toby had laughed.

“There are, I think, more deer than there are people. Could have had a cow, in fact, but it would have been a waste of meat,” Alice had said.

They had traded small talk as they ate, sharing road information. Toby was bound for Manhattan, even after he had talked to them. Mike had shaken his head. The man was stubborn; there was no changing his mind. Mike had offered them to join with them and continue on to Alabama.

“Maybe,” Toby had agreed. “I might come back and look you up, but I got to know for myself.” They had been getting ready to leave a few minutes later, having refused politely the offer of spending the night, when Alice had asked if they would accept only her since the others didn’t want to go.

“Yeah,” Ronnie had said, nearly immediately. Toby had not seemed surprised although more than a little let down. He had, had a hard time hiding his frown. Ronnie smiled now thinking about it.

“What,” Alice asked.

“Thinking about how I like the way your mouth turns up at the corner the way it does,” Ronnie said. He reached forward and pulled her to him, at the same time walking back to the fire and Candace and Mike. Alice laughed.

“Dead,” Ronnie repeated to Mike and Candace.

“Kind of weird,” Candace said. “I mean, it’s been chatter, chatter, and chatter the last few days and now it is dead; doesn’t make sense.”

“Is strange,” Alice agreed. “But we’re also further away from the city. Maybe all that chatter was the city… Or most of it.”

“My thoughts exactly,” Mike agreed. “We need to find a map and see what is near. Maybe the largest cities close by were destroyed.”

“I imagine they were: When we came this way it was the same. The few times we got close to a city it was bad. Destruction, the smell was horrible, and the sick ones too,” Alice said.

“Sick?” Mike asked.

“You haven’t seen them yet?” Alice asked.

“I don’t think we saw as much of the really bad stuff I have heard on the radio…” Candace paused for a second. “Back there, Manhattan, when we were with Billy, we heard some bad stuff out of the city. I mean like horror movie stuff. People looking dead but still walking around… Going without food for days, but not dying; attacking other people,” She shrugged. “Had to kill them, the ones that told us said so: Had to kill them because they were just gone. Come right at you and try to kill you if you didn’t… Some kind of bad sickness,” Candace finished.

“Zombies,” Alice said with a small nervous laugh.” She held her hands up when Mike and Ronnie shook their heads almost in unison. “I know, I know. They are not zombies, living dead, whatever, but I’m telling you I’ve seen them and they are bad shit, bad shit. They may as well be zombies. No real thoughts seem to be going on in there.” She tapped her head with one finger. “They will attack you. They will try to kill you, eat you” She shrugged. “Not zombies, some sort of disease, but it is some very bad shit.”

“Like… Like plague of some sort,” Candace said.

“Yeah… Yeah, but they keep moving. I mean they should be dead, right? Their necks are swollen, faces black and blue, skin all messed up, running sores, this mass of black lines, like infection, running all through them, under their skin; but they don’t die. It’s like they are rotting on the bone, but they keep moving somehow. I don’t get it, but I have seen it a dozen times. Crazy too, not rational, I mean they are attacking and trying to eat other living people, how is that rational? Head shot, yeah, maybe you could kill them some other way too, but you don’t want to be screwing around, because maybe they’ll bite you. I have seen what happens to those who get bitten; they get sick pretty fast… A day or two tops. And in just a few hours they got those little black lines running off under their skin. Like I said, bad shit.”

“Jesus,” Mike said. “Billy told us about some that were camped near them. They didn’t even know it. They live like animals, nests in the woods, darkness, got one of their women, never found her, never found them, but the smell in the clearing was bad… Like death. And a few from the city told other stories. Central Park is overrun with them. Thousands of sick and dying, only they aren’t dying for some reason, like… I don’t know, like they can somehow stay alive when they shouldn’t be able to stay alive.” He shivered involuntarily. “Little spooky… I can see why some are calling them zombies.”

Alice nodded. “Difference is these are real. I think zombies are a made up thing, these are something goddamn close to that, but they’re real. And there are some who seem sane, or… Calculating, I know that sounds even crazier, it’s like they evolve into something else… Some higher form of insanity that is so far gone they’re almost, well, sane again.”

Silence held for a few moments, Ronnie broke it.

“But a shot to the head does it, huh?”

“Yeah, works every time. I mean, it sort of makes sense. Whatever the hell it is keeping them alive it requires them to have a brain so they can at least function on that… Well, on that animal level, I guess. No brain, no functioning at all.” Alice nodded once she finished and the silence held again for quite some time. This time Candace broke it.

“Well,” She squared her shoulders, “I guess if they look suspicious it has got to be a shoot first ask questions later sort of deal then, right?”

“Yeah,” Mike agreed.

“Yeah,” both Ronnie and Alice chimed in.

Candace leaned forward and threw a few heavy chunks of wood onto the fire. Night was not far away and the shadows were closing in fast.

“There were stories about that shit the planes sprayed on us,” Ronnie said after a long pause.

“Like?” Candace asked.

“Billy said he heard about it more than once. Almost all of us have stories about planes spraying stuff on us. I saw it back in Watertown, I… I think it was the next day… March 2nd, maybe March 3rd. We were up there in the Southern Tier… Raining all goddamn day, remember? Planes flying overhead: I remember seeing them. Blue shit… You guys?”

“I don’t remember the blue shit… Seems I remember the planes, but I thought, I don’t know, military transport planes. I really didn’t think about it until we got back to Watertown and there were no troops there at all. I expected them to be,” Mike said.

“I remember planes,” Alice said. I was in Schenectady… Planes, I remember thinking the Army had arrived, but they just flew over real slow, cargo doors open, that was weird, I half expected paratroopers to jump out… No blue stuff though, not that I remember… Why? What was it about?”

“I remember the blue shit,” Candace added, as Alice finished. “What was it about? What did Billy say?”

“Some government shit designed to strengthen us,” He held his hands up as everyone spoke at once. “I didn’t say I believed it. Hell, Billy said every time he tried to nail someone down about what they heard and who they heard it from, they would get all sketchy. Oh, it was a soldier I met on the road, told me he knew because the planes flew out of the base he was assigned to, but no name of the base no facts about it, just like a… You know what it reminded me of? Like an urban legend. They get going the same way. Always sketchy details, low on facts.”

“Yeah, well, that’s one hell of an urban legend,” Candace said.

“Yeah, but the thing is there is always, they say, some seed of truth there,” Ronnie said thoughtfully.

“Maybe is,” Mike agreed.

“All I know is those things are real. We’ll have to be careful,” Alice said. The silence fell and held this time.

“Well,” Mike said at last. “Sleep beckons.” He looked over at the tents they had been using. “Maybe tomorrow, take some time, pick up bigger trucks… Maybe taking a chance sleeping outside isn’t smart.”

“I was going to mention that,” Alice said. “They might not bother us… Seem to hate fire, bright light. But if they did,” she shook her head. “I don’t want to go that way.”

“Me either,” Candace agreed.

Mike sighed. “Why don’t you two sleep…? Ronnie, you too, I’ll take four hours and then wake you for the next four.”

“Done deal,” Ronnie agreed. They all rose from the fire, Candace stretched up and kissed Mike.

“Be okay?” She asked.

“Perfect.” he kissed her again. “Listen… Why don’t you and Alice sleep in the truck, you know, just to be safe?”

“I second that,” Ronnie agreed. “I’ll take the tent. You guys can do most of the driving tomorrow; let us nap a little to catch up.”

“After we get better trucks we can sleep in,” Alice added.

“After,” Mike agreed. Candace stretched up on her tip toes and kissed him once more. She left without another word.

“Sure you want first?” Ronnie asked.

“I’m good,” Mike agreed. He watched Ronnie walk away and then turned toward the black landscape and the trees that surrounded them, wishing he had not parked so close to the woods.


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