Rocket is a free eBook

Rocket

no. 1, Hay Vida

Dell Sweet

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Description

Michael Watson is the captain of an inner galaxy cruiser: He Purchased Star Dancer right out of school and has spent the last twenty years running people and supplies to outposts within the confines of the Solar System and the established bases on the Moon, Mars and Saturn’s moons. The times are changing though and the big money is in the longer out of system runs. To do that he’ll need a crew and a bigger ship, but he has the ambition and the rest just might fall into place.
A new navigator, the beautiful Petra starts him thinking in a new direction and not just about Star Cruising. Maybe the next few flights for Star Dancer will be her last and he and Petra can set their sights on bigger adventures out beyond the stars…

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  • Price: Free
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Science Fiction
  • Published: Jun 06, 2017
  • Publisher: W.G. Sweet
  • Seller: Smashwords, Inc.
  • Print Length: 247 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Series: no. 1, Hay Vida
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.



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Rocket

Copyright 2018 Dell Sweet all rights reserved.

Cover Art © Copyright 2018 Dell Sweet

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

LEGAL

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

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 NOT edited for content


Mars prison colony 27:

Earth date 2197 315 -08:14:

Main bubble: Cargo-trap 4e: C.O.  Tom Richards.

The com-link buzzed and Tom Richards answered. Part of the job required the com-link implant. It had bothered him more when he had initially heard about it than it ever had in the last twenty-eight years that it had been in.

The link consisted of a visual implant along with an aural implant. No one else could hear the low buzz and it wasn’t excessively noisy to him.

The vid-link materialized in the corner of his right side vision. Perfectly visible, but not blocking any of the screens.

“Richards,” Sims said. “I have an Intra freighter coming in about 15…  Star Dancer. Captain Michael Watson: Navigator Petra Stanovich… Fed crew with their own security…  Robert Baylor, likes to be called Bob… I trained with him: A by the book kind of guy, a little tight laced.” Boris Sims was the newest flight controller for the main docks at Twenty Seven. He and Richards had instantly disliked each other.

Richards wrote while he spoke. He took a lot of heat for using the write-screen instead of just typing or voice filing. Old fashioned. When he had looked into it he had been shocked to learn that very few of the new generation of C.O.’s could write. It was an old skill.

“You getting this? Uh, writing this down?” Sims chuckled.

“Uh huh, Bob Baylor… Straight laced, by the book,” Richards said deadpan. He knew that pissed Sims off and he lived to piss off Boris Simms.

“You know, you have no sense of humor,” Sims complained.

“Uh huh. Had it removed and I’ve never missed it. They popped it right out when they implanted the com link.”

“No sense of humor, but a real smart ass… Isn’t that humor?”

“Ship will be here before you are done at this rate, Boris.”

He cleared his throat. “Just making sure you’re on your game is all, Tom.”

“Well I knew about Star Dancer six months ago. You know I track it too. I have dealt with Michael Watson for nearly twenty years and every one of those trips was secured by Bob Baylor, good man; and we have Mary Ann and Julius tracking too.”

“It’s my job.” He sounded a little tight…

“Uh huh, I’m good with that… What else do I need to know? Obviously you’re routing it to my bubble or you wouldn’t be calling…. I’m locked onto it… Navigation beam is on… And … I’ve assumed control. Navigation shot it over to us… We’re good, Boris she’s coming in.”

“Maybe I’ll come down and look around,” he said.

“Clear it with the union reps,” Richards answered.

Management, and Boris was on the low end of the management scale, was never allowed to be directly involved with operations crews.

“… If you need me.” Before Richards could answer Sims broke the link.

Richards sighed. This was year twenty-eight, he had two years to go until mandatory retirement: Fifty-eight. The feds kept saying they would raise the limit to forty or even fifty years, but so far they weren’t too anxious to raise it. With the human life span hovering around one hundred and thirty years and steadily growing it didn’t make much sense to leave it so low. He keyed his com-link, selected the band and spoke.

“Star Dancer this is main cargo security chief C. O. Thomas Richards. I’ve got you locked in. Sit tight, enjoy the ride. I make it thirteen twenty-seven.” He keyed off.

“Navigation officer Petra Stanovich; Captain Michael Watson is present… Copy.”

“Uh, first time in?” Richards asked. “I know Mike’s been here about three million times.

She laughed. “Yes.”

“Never fear, Petra you’re in good hands. Let me run this down. I’m sure Mike has told you, but it’s what they pay me to do… Okay… We’re a max prison colony. That means all the hard cases; the permanents. On most colonies the inmates are used as workers, not here; except a small staff of worker inmates we shipped in to deal with the inmates directly. There is no contact at all with outsiders. It only means that you won’t have to ever wonder if the guy you are talking to is an inmate or an officer. It will always be an officer. At other colonies, max b and down that won’t be the case.

“So because of that you’ll be somewhat restricted. Mike usually hangs out with me. I don’t get many civilized visitors so if Mike hasn’t made you uncivilized by now you’re invited too. I’ll give you the ten cent tour and we have real beef. Real beer!

“Yeah?”

“Yeah, I knew that would get you. We raise the cows on the prison farm and I brew the beer myself.”

“Mike says the beer is good,” she laughed again. “Beef? He told me only synth beef.”

“Mike never lies,” He told her in a serious tone. “The beef is brand new. They decided to cut us in. Synth beef? No. I got real steaks waiting for both of you.”

“I’ll have to write that down,” Mike said.

“Richards laughed. “See you in about ten, buddy.”

“Get the beer cold too,” Mike told him.


Read More: Michael Watson is the captain of an inner galaxy cruiser: He has spent the last twenty years running people and supplies to outposts within the confines of the Solar System and the established bases on the Moon and Mars. https://goo.gl/MUwPby



 

Hashima Island

In the James Bond movie Skyfall, the abandoned Japanese island of Hashima serves as the secret headquarters of the Bond villain played by Javier Bardem.

In reality the island serves as a sobering reminder of industrialization, war, and the human toll it can exact. At the turn of the 20th century, was a bustling coal-mining town owned by the Mitsubishi Corporation.

In the panoramic shot of Bond approaching Hashima by boat, it’s clear to see why this island in the middle of the ocean with high-rise buildings sprouting from it has been nick-named “Battleship Island”. In fact, the island was actually torpedoed during World War II by American submarines.

At the dawn of World War II the Japanese turned the island into a forced labor camp for Chinese and Korean prisoners.

Modern buildings made up of apartments as small as 10-square meters with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities, continued to sprout across the tiny island. Soon Hashima (also known as Gunkanjima) had over 30 concrete residential blocks, 25 shops, a school, two swimming pools, a hospital and a graveyard.

Copyright belongs to Gunkanjima Concierge. We have been granted full permission to use all photographs per them as long as we courtesy them. They are from various years, no photographer name.

Hashima Island came about as a result of the country’s rapid industrialization. Once a thriving coal-mining town owned by Mitsubishi, eventually it became home to more than 5,000 employees and their families. From 1887, Mitsubishi mined coal from the sea floor under Hashima and at its peak was producing more than 400,000 tons in the early 1940’s.

Mitsubishi illegally forced Korean and Chinese prisoners to mine coal 600 meters below sea level between 1943 and 1945.

Some 500 Koreans and 200 Chinese were brought over on Mitsubishi-owned boats known as “Hell-ships” that transported prisoners to their assigned destinations for forced labor. It is believed over one hundred forced laborers at Hashima died on the island.

By 1959 the island had the highest population density on Earth (139,100 per square kilometer) and living conditions were horrible. To put it in perspective, Hong Kong’s population density was recorded at 6,782 people per square km in 2010. Hashima residents were literally living on top of each other in prison-like conditions. In 1974, after more than a century, Mitsubishi closed the mine. The company offered alternate jobs to a small fraction of people: Within weeks, the most densely populated place ever recorded on earth was completely deserted. Today the island is remains completely abandoned and has been for more than 38 years.

For many years, visitation to the island was forbidden, punishable by deportation from Japan. But in 2002, Swedish filmmaker Thomas Nordanstad visited the island with a Japanese man named Dotokou, who grew up on Hashima. The occasion marked the first time that Dotokou had been on the island as an adult, and his experience was nothing short of harrowing. Throughout his visit, the former Hashima resident found memories from his childhood; the decorations his mother hung on their apartment walls, and remembering a deceased friend with whom he grown up on the island and who had remained behind, buried in the island cemetery. Nordanstad documented the trip in a film called Hashima, Japan, 2002. in 2008, as interest in the mysterious island grew, it was proposed that Hashima be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It has yet to be designated, possibly due to the protests of South Korean authorities, who object on the grounds of the suffering incurred by Korean forced laborers during the war. Remaining survivors today have yet to be compensated by the Japanese government or Mitsubishi.

In 2009, Hashima was allowed to be re-opened to the public and can now be visited by tour groups. Many areas are unsafe and restricted and tour guides keep a strict eye on the visitors they bring.

For this reason, some of the more risky action scenarios set on the island with Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem and the Skyfall cast were likely filmed on a re-created set at the famous Pinewood Studios: Even so, you can’t mistake the film’s shots of the real island.

YouTube Videos:

One: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5kmKO_gGsc

Two: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9w8APSmaRg

Paperback books from author Dell Sweet

Paperback books from author Dell Sweet


Mister Bob by Dell Sweet
CreateSpace Store / BOOK

Mister Bob is a collection of short stories from Author Dell Sweet .FIREFIGHT: Private Johnson finds himself in the middle of a firefight in the jungles of Vietnam. He has no idea how he got there, why he is there, or why the men with him seem to know more about his circumstances than he does.RAPID CITY: When…

Publication Date: November 13, 2015
List Price: $7.99
Crime Time by Dell Sweet
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Crime Time is a collection of nine crime stories from author Dell Sweet . From short stories to near novel length… … 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. Jeff Johnson had reminded…

Publication Date: May 11, 2017
List Price: $18.99
Earth’s Survivors: Collection One by Dell Sweet, Geo Dell
CreateSpace Store / BOOK

Earth’s Survivors Collection One contains the complete text from the first two Earth’s Survivors books, Apocalypse and Rising From The Ashes. It also includes bonus material, a complete major character bibliography, plus information from the series and the future plans for the series. Save when you buy both…

Publication Date: August 7, 2015
List Price: $28.50
Earth’s Survivors Collection Two by Dell Sweet, Geo Dell
CreateSpace Store / BOOK

Earth’s Survivors Collection Two contains the complete text from books three and four of the Earth’s Survivors series, The Nation and Home In The Valley. It also includes bonus material, a complete major character bibliography, plus information from the series and the future plans for the series. Save when…

Publication Date: August 6, 2015
List Price: $28.50
Star Dancer by Dell Sweet
CreateSpace Store / BOOK

Michael Watson is the captain of an inner galaxy cruiser: He Purchased Star Dancer right out of school and has spent the last twenty years running people and supplies to outposts within the confines of the Solar System and the established bases on the Moon, Mars and Saturn’s moons. The times are changing…

Publication Date: June 6, 2017
List Price: $9.99
Zero Zero by Dell Sweet
CreateSpace Store / BOOK

As the clock ticks down for our planet and her inhabitants, powers that have lain dormant for centuries are loosed on the Earth. Zero Zero takes a look at a post apocalypse world in ruins. The governments are gone. The police, the military. The United States is no more. And even the simplest things are hard…

Publication Date: July 24, 2014
List Price: $25.99
The Zombie Plagues Collection One by Dell Sweet, Geo Dell
CreateSpace Store / BOOK

Collection One Contains the complete text of Books One and Two of the Zombie Plagues series.Book One:What if the world ended tomorrow? What would you do? Would you be able to survive? The Zombie Plagues books follow a small group of men and women as they struggle to survive on a vastly changed earth, where…

Publication Date: September 27, 2015
List Price: $19.50
Knock by Dell Sweet
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JohnnyThe Farm HouseMy hand is cramping, but I am almost finished. The dead are quiet right now. Quiet as in, not scratching, not trying to get in. I was glad about that at first, but after a while it has started to bug me. Makes me wonder what they might be up to. It is something to consider, and something…

Publication Date: July 8, 2016
List Price: $9.99
Necro by Dell Sweet
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He had been lying half in half out of the gutter for the last several hours that he knew of. He had no idea how long before that. Days? Weeks? Weeks seemed wrong. Days, he decided. He turned his attention back to the roadway before him. Was it a roadway? When he thought roadway, he thought highway, something…

Publication Date: May 18, 2017
List Price: $9.99
CreateSpace Store / BOOK

The Earth’s Survivors Series 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. Police, fire, politicians, military, governments: All gone. Hopes, dreams, tomorrows: All…

Publication Date: March 6, 2017
List Price: $25.99
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In AA they say that addictions will take you to hospitals, Mental Institutions and Prisons. It’s true. They will. I have been in all of those places because of my addictions. But addictions are not responsible for the life I lead entirely, and certainly not responsible for the things I did. I may have used…

Publication Date: February 11, 2015
List Price: $12.99
CreateSpace Store / BOOK

The Earth’s Survivors series follows groups of survivors as they struggle to stay alive in a vastly changed world. The most popular group from the website writings were Candace and Mike. They are from the northern New York town of Watertown close to project.Mike was a long time resident of Watertown. He knew…

Publication Date: March 6, 2017
List Price: $24.95
The Zombie Plagues Collection Two by Dell Sweet, Geo Dell
CreateSpace Store / BOOK

The Zombie Plagues Collection Two contains the full text from books three and four.Book Three:The Zombie Plagues Three Is Here! The struggle to stay alive has leveled out. The Survivors have found their place in the wilderness and The Nation is growing. Life is good for those who are lucky enough to be there….

Publication Date: September 27, 2015
List Price: $21.50
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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. Little trails cut from place to place.“Spooky,” Billy said. “Volcanic ash?”“Probably……

Publication Date: January 17, 2017
List Price: $9.99
Dreamer’s Worlds: Sparrow Spirit by Dell Sweet, Geo Dell
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As Joe and Laura fall deeper into the Dreamer’s Worlds they learn more about why they have been drawn there. They search to learn more about the legend of Sparrow Spirit, a young girl who has been trapped within stone for ten thousand years, but learning changes nothing. Their purpose is clear, they must act:…

Publication Date: October 14, 2015
List Price: $9.99
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Laura and Joe live lonely lives, but they are dreamers. When they close their eyes they dream travel through space and time, to other worlds with little more than a thought, but dreaming comes with a purpose. They have both fought that purpose, but when they meet each other in the dream world, that meeting…

Publication Date: October 14, 2015
List Price: $9.99
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Earth’s Survivors: Collection Three, Outrunners is all the collected OutRunner books in one place. There were three books written that were then discarded and the story lines were written into the Earth’s Survivors books instead. This Collection follows the OutRunners as they assemble from L.A and N.Y.,…

Publication Date: January 26, 2016
List Price: $23.95
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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…

Publication Date: August 1, 2015
List Price: $15.99
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Tuesday Morning:WatertownProject BluechipMajor Richard WestonHe 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….

Publication Date: March 20, 2016
List Price: $14.99
Earth’s Survivors SE1 by Wendell Sweet, Geo Dell, W. W. Watson
CreateSpace Store / BOOK

Earth’s Survivors SE 1 contains the complete text from the first two Earth’s Survivors books, Apocalypse and Rising From The Ashes. It 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…

Publication Date: January 29, 2014
List Price: $24.95
Earth’s Survivors SE 2 by Wendell Sweet, Geo Dell, W. W. Watson
CreateSpace Store / BOOK

Earth’s Survivors SE 2 contains books three and four of the Earth’s Survivors series.The series 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. Police, fire,…

Publication Date: January 29, 2014
List Price: $28.95
Frequent Walker by Dell Sweet
CreateSpace Store / CD

The first EP from Dell Sweet . A Minor, War At Home, Solution Six and Frequent Walker comprise the self penned songs on this CD. Dell ‘s music is a mix of rock-alternative music, strong beats and good stories.

Publication Date:
List Price: $11.99
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independAntwriters 2013 Short Story Collection This is a collection of the most popular short stories published by Dell Sweet this year. These are complete versions with introductions from the author, and two previously unpublished stories are included only available in this collection. The following stories…

Publication Date: September 10, 2013
List Price: $8.95
Billy Jingo by Wendell Sweet
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Billy Jingo contains 22 short stories, from crime to Horror and the title story, Billy Jingo.Billy Jingo:I started to get back into the truck when he wagged his head and put one finger to his lips. I pulled my gun back out, scared to death. It was maybe a second after I got the gun back in my hand that the…

Publication Date: May 10, 2014

List Price: $16.99



Earth’s Survivors Weekly blog post two

Earth’s Survivors weekly blog post


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.

 

LEGAL

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

This novel is Copyright © 2016 Wendell Sweet and his 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.


Haley

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.  It was barely sunset and the day was over for me. The next shift would be starting up, I had watched several of the workers trickle in as the others left. A harder group worked the late nights. Even the dancers were a rougher group. For the moment the club was empty except Jimmy, the club boss, Don, the main door security, and me.

“Why are you still here, Honey,” 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, Honey. 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, Honey?”

“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.”

“Honey, 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, Honey. And that’s a reason right there. Honey… 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 Haley, and pity the dumb bastard who didn’t understand that. Now it’s Honey 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, Honey?”

I nodded.

“Yeah? Then why not call me on calling you Honey? 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, Honey,” 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 anybody 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, Honey.”

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 Honey,” I told him.

He smiled. “Don’t be so goddamn nice about it. Don’t call me Honey,” he rasped, a dangerous edge to his voice. “Look ’em right in the eye. Don’t call me Honey. 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 Honey,” 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.

Public Square

Pearl (Pearly) Bloodworth

6:20 PM

The streets were clogged with snow, but the sidewalks were impassable, so she had no choice but to walk in the street.

She made her way carefully, slipping and sliding as she went. It was just before 6:30 P.M. and she might make it to work on time if she could make the next two blocks without incident.

She had been working at the downtown mission for the last several months: The night shift for the last two months. The mission night shift was an easy shift. Everything was closed down. Those who had made the curfew were locked in for the night. Occasionally there would be a little trouble between residents, but that was rare. Watertown was small, as a consequence the homeless population was small. And trouble, when it came, was usually settled long before her shift. Her shift amounted to catching up on paperwork, dispensing an aspirin or two, and being there if there was an emergency of any kind. At 4:00 A.M. The kitchen staff would be there to start their day. Shortly after that the rest of the day-shift would be in. At 6:00 A.M. The mission doors would open and the homeless would take to the streets. She would have an hour of quiet at the end of her shift, sitting and listening to the bustle from the kitchen as they cleaned up after breakfast and began to prepare for lunch.

She heard the approaching vehicle as she was stepping around a mound of melting snow and ice. It was late and there had been no traffic on this side street when she had stepped into the street at the cross walk three blocks down. The alternative was the foot deep snow and ice thrown onto the sidewalk from the plows. She would never get through that and make it to the mission on time.

The Mission was on upper Franklin street, a short walk in a straight line, or even if you had to walk around the square and start up, as she usually did, but tonight the square was packed with traffic and so she had chosen the shortcut instead. Unfortunately it was not well lit: A four block wasteland of parking lots and alleyways.

She had almost turned completely around to make sure the car had seen her when the horn blared and startled her. A second later she finished the turn, hand clasped to her throat, and watched as the car skidded to a stop and three men piled out of the back seat slipping and sliding in the slush, laughing.

“What’s up, bitch,” one asked as he found his feet and stood staring her down. The laughter died away.

“Nice ass,” another said as he moved toward her.

She turned to the second man, the one who had just spoken, as she shrugged her purse from her shoulder, caught the bottom of it in one hand, and slipped her other hand inside. The third man, really just a boy, looked frightened as his eyes slipped from his two companions and then flitted to her. The driver leaned out the window,

“What the fuck! Get the bitch!” He was looking over the roof-line, sitting on the windowsill of the driver’s door, a smirk on his too-white face.

“Yeah… How about a ride, baby,” the nearest one said. The other had finally found his feet, stopped slipping, and was skidding his feet across the slush heading in her direction. She pulled her hand from her pocket and aimed the mace canister at them. They both skidded to a stop.

The closer one, the one that had made the remark about her ass, cocked his head sideways, shrugged his shoulders and then pulled a gun from his waist band. “Yeah… Kind of changes the whole situation, don’t it?” He asked.

“Roux! Don’t shoot the bitch. She’s no good to us dead!” This from the man-boy leaning out the window of the car.

The boy, Roux, turned to the driver and nodded. He looked back at Pearl. His gun was aimed at the ground, close to her feet. She had only a split second to decide. He was less than five feet away, the gun rising from the ground, when she pushed the trigger and watched the stream leap at him. His face went from a sarcastic smirk to alarm just before the stream of mace hit his nose and splattered across his face and into his eyes. A second later he was screaming. She had just turned to aim at the second guy when the world turned upside down.

She found herself tumbling sideways. Somewhere, close by, a roar began and rose in pitch as the ground below her feet began to jump and shake. She found her knees after she fell and skidded across the roadway as she tried to hold herself, but the shaking was just too hard. She collapsed back to the roadway and the relative softness of the slush and snow, her body jumping and shaking as she seemed almost to bounce across the short expanse and into the snowbank on the opposite side of the road.

The roar went on for what seemed like minutes as she tried to catch her breath and steady herself at the same time. Both seemed impossible to do, but almost as soon as she had the thought the trembling of the earth became less and a split second after that the roaring stopped. There was no silence. The sound of breaking glass, tumbling brick, blaring horns and screams in the dark night replaced the roar. Sounds that had probably been there, she decided, she had just been unable to hear them.

Pearl made her feet and stared back down the street where the car had been. The car was still there, the nose tilted upward, the back seemingly buried in the street itself. She blinked, but nothing changed. She noted the broken asphalt and churned up dirt, and realized the car had broken through the street. There was no sign of the men, including the driver that had been hanging halfway out of the window.

She drew a breath, another, and suddenly the noise and smells of the world rushed back in completely. The screams became louder. Horns blared. The ground trembled under her feet as if restless. She could smell sewage on the air. Broken lines below the pavement her mind reasoned. She swayed on her feet as the earth trembled once more, lurching as it did. She waited, but the tremble was not repeated. She sucked in another deep breath and then began to walk, slipping on the broken pavement and slush as she did.

Franklin street appeared untouched as she lurched from the side street, slipping over the broken pavement, and retching from the overpowering smell of sewer gas. She collapsed to the icy pavement, skidding on her knees and was surprise to hear herself crying as she struggled to get back on her feet.

She nearly made it to her feet before the next tremor hit, this one much harder than the last one. She bounced sideways, knees slamming into the ground, crying out as they did, but unaware of her own cries. Just as the trembling stopped she made her feet again and stood, hand clasped to her knees to steady herself, breathing hard, holding herself rigidly, wondering what was coming next. When the shaking stopped and silence flooded in she was shocked.

She finally opened her eyes, she had no idea when she had closed them, straightened from the bent posture she had found herself in, quieted her sobbing and looked around.

Forty feet away, the gray stone of the mission that had rose just past the sidewalk was no more: Churned earth had replaced it. The sidewalk was still intact, as though some weird sort of urban renewal had occurred in a matter of seconds. Her eyes swept the street and now they took in the sections where the sidewalk was missing. The entire side of the street was gone for blocks. What was in evidence was an old house several hundred feet away, perched on the edge of a ravine. Beyond that, houses and streets continued. She was on the opposite side of complete destruction, and there appeared no way to reach that side.

She turned and looked back at the side street she had come from. Churned earth, tilted pavement, the car was now gone. Farther down the short hillside that had appeared the public square seemed completely destroyed. Water had formed in the middle of the square and ran away to the north, probably toward the Black river, Pearl thought. To the west everything appeared to be intact, to the east, Franklin street stretched away untouched toward the park in the distance. Close by someone began to scream, calling for help. She took a few more calming breaths and then began to walk toward the screams: The west, angling toward the opposite end of the square.

The screams cut off all at once, and a second after that the sound of a motor straining came to her. Cycling up and then dropping. She paused in the middle of the road, listening, wondering where the sound came from. As she stood something ran into her eye, stinging,  clouding her vision, she reached one hand up and swiped at it and the back of her hand came back stained with a smear of blood.

She stared at it for a second. The ground seemed to lurch, shift suddenly, and she reached her hands to her knees to brace herself once more, expecting the shaking to start again, but her hands slipped past her knees and she found herself falling, her legs buckling under her. The ground seemed to rise to meet her and she found herself staring down the length of the roadway, her face flush with the asphalt. The coldness of the ice and slush felt good against her skin: As if she were overheated; ice wrapped inside of a dishrag at the base of her neck on a hot day. She blinked, blinked again, and then her world went dark.

She floated, or seemed to, thinking of London. A hot day. She was a child again: Standing in the second floor window and looking down at the street far below. The dishrag dripped, but it felt so good against her skin. The memory seemed to float away. She was rushing headlong through a never ending stream of memories. All suddenly real again. Urgent, flying by so fast, but sharp in every detail.

Pearl had grown up on a council estate in London: When her mother had died she had come to the United States only to find herself in the Maywood projects on the north side of Watertown. From one pit to another. Just different names, she liked to tell herself. Up until a few weeks ago she had still made the trip back and forth every day, but she had found a place, a small walk-up, not far from the mission on the other side of the public square. It seemed extravagant to have her own space, but living in the downtown area suited her.

She seemed to be in both places at once. Back in her childhood, staring at the street below the window, yet hovering over her body, looking down at herself where she lay sprawled on the winter street. She wondered briefly which was real, but nearly as soon as she had the thought she found herself struggling to rise to her knees from the cold roadway, her eyes slitted, head throbbing.

In front of her a shadowed figure had appeared staggering through the ice and snow, angling toward her. She blinked, blinked again and her eyes found their focus. The man from the car, suddenly back from wherever he had been. One hand clutched his side where a bright red flood of blood seeped sluggishly over his clasping fingers. Her eyes swept down to his other hand which was rising to meet her. A gun was clasped there. Probably, her mind told her, the same gun he had been going to shoot her with before. The gun swept upward as if by magic. She blinked, and realized then that the sound of the motor straining was louder. Closer. Almost roaring in its intensity. The gun was rising, but her eyes swiveled away and watched as a truck from the nearby base skidded to a stop blocking the road from side to side no more than ten feet from her. She blinked, and the doors were opening, men yelling, rushing toward her.

Bright light flashed before her eyes, and a deafening roar accompanied it. An explosion, loud, everything in the world. A second explosion came, then a third, and she realized the explosions were gunshots. She felt herself falling even as she made the discovery. The pavement once again rising to meet her. Her eyes closed, she never felt the ground as she collapsed onto it, falling back into the dark.

She was back standing in the window, looking out over the street. The heat was oppressive, but the ice wrapped in the rag was mothers’ wonderful cure. She tried to raise it to her neck once more, to feel the coldness of it, but her arm would not come. She tried harder and the window suddenly slipped away. A man was bent toward her face. A helmet strap buckled under his chin. Her hands were somehow held at her side. The motor screamed loudly as this world once more leapt into her head. She was on the floor of the truck, vibrations pulsing through her body as the truck sped along… In the back of the truck, her mind corrected as her eyes focused momentarily. Other men squatted nearby, including one who was partially over her holding her arms as the other man was tapping the bubbles from a syringe with one gloved finger. The mans face angled down toward her own and he aimed something in a silver canister into her face from his other hand. The hand opened and the canister fell to the ground.

“Itzawight,” his voice said in a far away drone. “Awightzzz.” She felt the prick of the needle, the light dimmed, his voice spat static: The light dimmed a little further, and then she found herself falling back into the darkness.


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A free look at Zombie from Dell Sweet…

A free look at Zombie from Dell Sweet…


ZOMBIE

Copyright 2017 Dell Sweet all rights reserved.

Cover Art © Copyright 2017 Dell Sweet

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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 person’s places, situations or events is purely coincidental.

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This material is copyright protected and is used here with permission

This material is NOT edited for content



THREE

I flexed my hand and looked around the kitchen in the flickering candle light. Writing about it is bringing it all back, like I’m right back there. Lana’s rifle and two spare clips lay on the table top now. I haven’t needed it yet, but the night is young. Who can tell what it will be like in a few hours from now when the light is entirely gone: When all the dead wake in the old barn across the road. My rifle is also loaded, but I have less ammunition for it and it isn’t worth a damn up close. Lana was a lot smarter about weapons than I was… Much smarter.

It’s so goddamn quiet. I hate that. That quiet. These bastards don’t breath, they don’t trip and fall, they aren’t clumsy… You would never know they are there, never know it at all.  Jesus, I… Never mind. My mind wanders too much. Too goddamned much. I’ll be back…

I took a walk around. Upstairs I can still see a faint line of sunlight on the far horizon. The yard is dark. I can’t hear any more sounds. It’s unnerving. The boards are all in place, everything seems secure. I’m back at the table…

The cramping is gone from my hand. I guess in the digital age we just don’t write much, but when it’s all you got, it’s all you got. The whiskey is holding out. I’m being careful with it, don’t worry, not that it will make a bit of difference…

We had passed a sign and entered into Arizona. We made great time on the open road…

ARIZONA

The country had been turning more arid as they drove, the river was an oasis. Off to the north giant plumes of smoke blanketed the sky, seeming to spread across the entire length of the horizon. They had both wondered what it might be. Lana had checked the map and she though it could be Yellowstone or something close to Yellowstone.

Shops, stores, and even an RV park had sprung up around the interchange. They foraged for food in the late afternoon and gassed up the truck before evening began to take the sunlight. The air had a bitter, hot smell to it, the river flowed sluggishly, the water gray, and a scum of yellow white foam and ash rode the slow current. They sat in the truck and ate quietly while the map lay open across their legs and the seat top. Their eyes would drop to the map and then jump back up to scan the area. It had seemed too quiet, and there were no bodies anywhere. No sign of life either, and the stores and shops had not been looted. Some were still locked up. Empty RV’s in the park when they rolled slowly through it. Neither liked the feeling, the whole place felt wrong.

“Johnny,” Lana waited until his eyes left the map and met her own. He lifted them to follow her own gaze. “The silver building over to the right. The door just opened and then closed.”

Johnny frowned. “Not something the dead would do, is it?”

“We didn’t think they would come out in the daylight,” Lana said.

As Johnny watched he saw the door edge open slightly and then close just as slowly. “Saw it… I don’t like it. Dead or alive they know we’re here and they’re checking us out.” He dropped his eyes back to the map.

“Okay,” he said after a few moments. “Lets get off the road, run a ways out… Follow the highway. That takes us away from civilization to a degree, but eventually that will bring us into Phoenix.” He waited for her to nod her understanding. “There’s a lot of desolation between here and there, at least on the map.”

“Desolation is fine as long as the dead aren’t there.” Lana said quietly.

“Less likely to be,” Johnny agreed.

A few minutes later they were running through the desert that ran alongside I 10. There were not a great many cars or trucks there, but in several places there had been wrecks that closed lanes down. With no one to clear them they would have ended up in the desert anyway. And there seemed to be a dirt road that ran beside I 10 for as far as they could see.

The landscape in the distance had been changing as they drove the day away, but with the sun setting a few hours after they set out once more it was hard to tell what the surrounding countryside was like. Johnny dropped speed and flicked the trucks high beams on. A short while later Lana was sleeping, her head heavy against his arm. He drove through the night and into the early morning before she woke again.

August 14th

Johnny had eased the truck up onto I10 and the tires bouncing over the broken asphalt had awakened Lana.

“Not a big city… A town from the looks of it. Phoenix is close. Ten, fifteen miles maybe. Can’t really tell from the map,” Johnny said. A gas station loomed out of the early morning gray and Johnny wheeled the truck under the roof that covered the pumps intending to siphon some gas to top off the trucks tanks. He shut off the motor and they both listened to the tick of the hot metal for a few seconds as it cooled.

“Coffee would be really nice,” Lana said. “No way do we want to go into Phoenix… Too dangerous.” She yawned and then covered her mouth and laughed. “Mal aliento, dios… Morning breath.” She zipped open her knapsack, retrieved a bottle of water, her toothbrush and some toothpaste. She stepped down from the truck.

Johnny opened his door and settled his feet onto the pavement. It wasn’t just old pavement, he saw, it was gray, washed out, used up: There was no black left in it. Lana stood slightly in front of the truck, her gun in one hand, the toothbrush working around her mouth on its own. In a blur her free hand was reaching to catch the rifle which was just coming free of her shoulder. Johnny had his own rifle off his shoulder and into his hands before he even saw what had alarmed her. She spit out the toothbrush, pulled her gun and flicked the safety off. Three men stepped out of the shadows of the open garage bay.

They were kids, Johnny saw. Or at least not much more than kids. They walked slowly forward.

Lana raised the rifle and pointed it at the lead kid. “That’s it.” She said.

She didn’t scream it, softly spoke it, Johnny thought later, but the kids stopped in their tracks.

“What’s with the fuckin’ guns?” The lead kid asked.

“Ours weren’t aimed at you until you aimed yours at us,” Johnny said. He hoped he sounded as cool as Lana had.

“Bullshit,” one of the other kids said. “You had it in your hands when I looked at you. That’s why I got mine ready.”

“I don’t want to kill anyone today,” Lana said.

“It really don’t bother me,” The third kid said. His eyes were blood shot. They had interrupted him while he was sleeping, it seemed. He kept rubbing at his eyes, Lana saw.

“I think you’re right… Can’t matter if you’re dead,” Lana said.

“Hey,” the lead kid said, “Maybe all’s we want is to party a little.”

“Well I don’t know if Johnny swings that way,” Lana said.

“Pretty funny,” the kid responded. “Look… It’s our town. We ain’t the only ones here. You shoot there will be twenty more here in seconds. Then everybody dies.”

“Oh… I guess I didn’t see it right,” Lana said. “I can see where it might be preferable to get raped and then murdered instead of getting murdered outright.”

The one in the back, the one with the sleepy eyes, stiffed a yawn and reflexively raised one hand to his mouth as his eyes slipped shut for a split second. Lana shot the lead kid in that split second, Johnny had the second guy a moment later. The third kid opened his eyes to a changed situation.

“Just give me a reason,” Lana said. “Any reason.” The kid released the rifle he held and it dropped from his hands to the pavement.

“Can’t shoot me I ain’t got no gun… Can’t… Can’t shoot me…” He spun and looked off toward a rag tag collection of trailers that lined a dirt road in back of the station. “James!” he screamed. “James! Killers!” he turned back to Johnny and Lana. “Can’t shoot me… I ain’t armed… Can’t…” Johnny shot him…



Zombie: Two survivors set out looking for others during the apocalypse

 

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A short comedic story I wrote to illustrate that you can write about anything at all as long as you invest yourself in it…

A short comedic story I wrote to illustrate that you can write about anything at all as long as you invest yourself in it…


DOGGY DAY AFTERNOON

IN THE SQUAD ROOM:

The detective set the open box of doughnuts down on the table, sighed, and then levered himself back into his cheap, plastic chair.

“Okay… Tell me about the dog…” He reached forward, snagged a doughnut, and began to chew, neatly catching a blob of jelly that burst from the side of the doughnut with one fat finger.

I thought for a moment… “Okay… It was like this…”

HOW MUCH IS THAT DOG CRAP ON THE SIDEWALK:

It was a clear, sunny day. The cracked sidewalk stretched out before me like a yellow bricked road that somehow had escaped coloring. I saw the dog crap on the sidewalk just before I saw the hunched over dog… Plop… Another missive joined the pile. The dog looked up at my widened eyes and grimaced, grunted, then growled.

“What the $%#@,” the dog said. “Never seen a dog take a crap?”

I was momentarily flummoxed. I knew dogs could talk, in fictional writings anyway, but I hadn’t realized that I would meet one on a city sidewalk in the middle of the day. The dog, a Pit Bull breed, straightened up, spun around and looked at the pile of crap, sniffed twice, and then looked  back up at me. I checked his collar. No license. In fact, no collar.

“Hey, Man,” I started. “I mean, Hey, Dog, you got to have a license,” I told him.

“You saying a dog needs a license to take a crap, Mo-Fo?” He walked towards me, stiff legged. I notice that as he talked he teeth seemed to wiggle in his jaw, his words were slightly slurred.

“Uh, well, no… I mean a dog license… A license for a dog.”

“So I need a friggin’ license to be a dog? I can’t just be a dog? Oh, you frickin’ people make me laugh. A damn license to be a dog…” He looked back up at me. He had looked away, shaking his head. “I don’t got no frickin’ license, Mo-…” His eyes flew open as he teeth clattered to the ground. “Fwuck,” he said as they plopped into the pile of crap, broke free and clattered to a stop. “Somawevabeesshh.”

“Ha, Ha ,Ha,” I said before I could think. “Your teeth fell in the…”

He stuffed the teeth back into his jaw, launched himself to his hind legs, and the next thing I knew I was staring down the barrel of a Nine mm pistol.

“Holy crap,” I managed as the dogs paws settled on my chest.

“Holy crap,” The dog mimicked in a high falsetto. He swatted my face with his free paw, and then shoved the gun halfway into my nose. ”Give me your wallet.” I fumbled in my pocket and fished out my wallet, the dog fumbled around, stretched one rear leg up to hold the wallet as the other skimmed through it. He fished my license out and began to look it over.

“Hey, Dog. That’s a drivers License. No good for a dog.” I tried a smile on my face.

“You know,” the dog said, “Smiling means a whole different thing to a dog. An ape, most animals in fact. It’s a sign of aggression.”

I quickly wiped the smile off my face…

HUNGER SPEAKS:

The detective broke in…

“You gonna eat that last doughnut,” he asked?

I looked down and noticed there was only one doughnut left in the box. “Uh, no… Go ahead,” I said.

He reached down and then motioned for me to continue with one white powdered finger.

“Uh.. Yeah… So…

DOGGY TOUGH GUY:

The dog looked over the license (Warning… Scene stolen from Good fellas) “Okay,” The dog said, “You may know who I am, but I know who you are… Where you live.” He looked at me and I nodded. He fished a twenty out of my wallet and handed it to me. “Go get me a license. I’ll be right here waiting.”

THE REST OF IT:

The detective interrupted, talking around the doughnut, bits of clumped up powdered sugar and doughnut flying as he spoke. I winced as I felt a piece hit my lower lip. “So,” he looked down at his notepad, “The City Clerk says you got a license for a Mixed Beagle dog.” He looked back up at me.

“Yeah… See, I figured that way you could find him easier… I mean, how many Pit Bulls are walking around with tags for a Beagle.”

“Uh huh,” The detective said. “Maybe he read it?”

“A dog that can read,” I asked? “That’s pretty hard to believe.”

The detective nodded again… “Okay, So…”

“Yeah, so…”

When I got back from the City Clerks office the dog was waiting. He took the license and the tags and then handed me my wallet back. He took another twenty though for crack. He was a crack-dog.

“Whoa, a Crack-dog,” The detective asked? “Why didn’t you mention that before? How do you know?”

“Um, because he said something like…. “Yo, Man. I need another twenty to buy two tens at the spot.”

The detective nodded and motioned with the now clean finger to go on.

“Well, that’s it. He gave me back my license and told me if I ever told he would come and poop on my lawn everyday… And he threatened to bite me…”

Did he bite you,” The detective asked?

“Well, no, but…”

The detective waved one chubby hand. “No Bite, can’t charge him.”

I looked at him incredulously. “Are you F *$#ing kidding me?”

He frowned. “Watch your goddamn mouth. We got kids around here.”

I looked, but could see no kids. I nodded anyway. “Well… He stole twenty bucks… No, forty bucks…”

The detective shook his head. “Look, how do I know that? You could be making the whole thing up… Dogs bite… You ain’t got no bite, do you?”

“No,” I agreed.

The detective shrugged.

“He pooped on the sidewalk… I saw him.”

“Uh huh, but then he’s a dog. Now if you catch a person doing that…” He shrugged again and looked down at the doughnut box. “Look, I got work to do…. Anything else?”

I shook my head, knowing I was defeated…

BACK IN IT:

As I left the police station I saw the dog two buildings down, standing in the shadows.

“I told you,” The dog yelled. “I warned you!”

As I turned to run, I reminded myself to pick up a poop scooper… And some bags… and some PoliGrip as a peace offering. It was a clear, blue skied day as I raced down the sidewalk running for home, the dog right behind me…



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The Zombie Plagues: Plague

The Zombie Plagues: Plague

THE ZOMBIE PLAGUES: PLAGUE

The Zombie Plagues: Plague is copyright © 2017 Geo Dell. All rights foreign and domestic reserved in their entirety.

Cover Art © Copyright 2017 Geo Dell

Some text copyright 2010, 2014, 2015 Geo Dell

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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 person’s places, situations or events is purely coincidental.

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They decided on the blue duffel bag that Billy had pulled from the floorboard of the Ford. The bag was a mess, something he hadn’t noticed at the time, and April made him take it to the shower and clean off the outside of the dark blue nylon first.

Ten bricks of the duct tape wrapped stuff that Billy assumed was cocaine, two more of the flat-black hand guns. Several spare clips and boxes of 9 mm ammunition, and two thick wads of bills, rubber banded. They appeared to be all one hundred dollar bills. Billy handed them over to April to count, while he pulled out his pocket knife and dug into the side of one of the bricks: Brown instead of white.

“Heroin,” he said as he showed April.

She raised her eyebrows.

“Worth more than coke anyway,” Billy said. He dug into the remaining bricks. Two more were heroin and the remaining bricks were cocaine He closed the holes with pieces of the duct tape they were wrapped with.

“Jesus,” April said. “There’s almost eighty thousand dollars here.”

Billy looked at her and licked his lips. He added the other four bricks he had grabbed from the trunk of the car: Two were cocaine, the other two heroin, “Six and Eight,” Billy told her. “There has to be close to a quarter mil. here… At least… I don’t really even know what something this big sells for.”

April picked up the paper bag from the glove box. It felt like something was rolled up inside the bag. Solid… A brick shape, but smaller than the other bricks… More cash maybe, she thought. She unrolled the bag and shook it out: Two smaller bundles of cash, again all hundreds, and a wallet. She handed the wallet to Billy as she counted the cash.

“Ben Neo,” Billy said aloud. He pulled a thick wad of cash from the wallet and handed it to April.

“Ben Neo?” she asked.

“The dude,” Billy explained. “License, credit cards… That cash. A key,” he said, holding up a brass key.

“Probably his house,” April said…


By Geo Dell 

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