It turns out Los Angeles is a hard place to be during the apocalypse

It turns out Los Angeles is a hard place to be during the apocalypse.

Beth comes from Los Angeles in the first days of the Apocalypse and makes her way across the country to the east coast and then finds herself backtracking across the states to the middle of the country and the Nation which is growing in the former state of Kentucky.
Before the apocalypse she is beginning to pull herself back up from the gutter of life, learning to live again, trust and believe. The apocalypse almost crushes that hope she had begun to grow, but she must fight past that, refuse to believe the end has really come.
She travels across the country with Billy, facing both the living and the dead as she makes her way from one coast to the other. The trip is long and she is holding out hope of structure, life, safety on the east coast: Hopes that may not be realized.
The dead seem to have it in for her and twice she is attacked by them as she makes her journey. It is only her own resolve and courage that will help her to overcome those attacks if she can and make her way to the Nation and the safety she has been searching for…


Get a FREE Preview! https://www.amazon.com/Earths-Survivors-Life-Stories-Beth-ebook/dp/B06Y4Q2RG5

Updates and a free story, book links and download Apocalypse free

Posted 07-15-2017

Happy Saturday. It feels like August here, muggy, over-hot. The fifth Earth’s Survivors book is now available to download from, Nook, I-Tunes and Smashwords. Thanks to all who pre-registered for the book.

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

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

Smashwords Publishing:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is a story of childhood that is a thinly disguised story about myself and my friends. I think it’s a good story. I hope you like it. Have a great week and I’ll be back next week…


The Great Go-Cart Race

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

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


The Great Go-Cart Race by Wendell Sweet


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


The Great Go-Cart Race

1

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

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

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

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

“Well, I knew that,” Moon lied.

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

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

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

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

“Of course you did,” Bobby agreed.

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

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

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

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

“Watch for me too?” John asked.

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

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

“Why, are you?”

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

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

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

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

“Yeah, but if someone see’s me…”

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

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

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

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

2

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

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

“Scared?”

“Uh uh… Well, a little.”

“Me too… Ready?”

“For real?”

“For real,” Bobby said solemnly.

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

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

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

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

And if a car came? he asked himself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“We did it! We freakin’ did it!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“For real. Uh uh. No way. Not ever.”

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

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

“No way,” John said softly.

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

“You think so?”

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

“Hey, maybe fifty,” Moon assured them.

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

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

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

“Really scary,” John added.

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

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

“Can’t,” John said, “no money.

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

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

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


Free Book for the Week:

Earth’s Survivors: Apocalypse.

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

Get it: iTunes | Nook | Kobo | Smashwords

 

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

Zombie Kindle Edition by Dell Sweet

Zombie Kindle Edition


Johnny:
I am here in this farm house that Lana and I found a few weeks back. By myself. Lana is gone. I sat down here to write this story out before I am gone too. Maybe that sounds melodramatic, but it isn’t. I know exactly what my situation is.
We have been to Manhattan, outside of it, you can’t go in any longer, and we came from Los Angeles, so we know: It’s all gone, destroyed, there’s nothing left.

The Graveyard:
The moon rode high in the sky. Moonlight gleamed from bits of gravel in the dirt road that lead into the barn. Silence held, and then a scraping came from the ground, muffled, deep.
At the edge of the woods, eyes flashed dully in the over-bright moonlight. Shapes shifted among the trees and then emerged from the shadows onto the gravel roadway. One dragged a leg as he walked, clothes already rotted and hanging in tatters. A second seemed almost untouched, a young woman, maybe a little too pale in the wash of moonlight. She walked as easily as any woman, stepping lightly as she went. The third and fourth moved slower, purposefully, as they made their way to the freshly turned soil. They stopped beside the grave, and silence once again took the night, no sounds of breathing, no puffs of steam on the cold night air.
“Do you think…?” The young woman asked in a whisper.
“Shut up,” the one with the dragging leg rasped. His words were almost unintelligible. His vocal cords rotted and stringy, no air in his lungs to move his words. The noises came once again from the earth and the four fell silent… waiting…
A hand broke through into the moonlight. A few minutes later a young woman’s head pushed up, and then she levered her arms upward and began to strain to pull herself up and out of the hole. She noticed the four and stopped, her pale skin nearly translucent, her black hair tangled and matted against her face and neck. Her lips parted, a question seeming to ride on them.
“It’s okay,” the young woman whispered, “it’s okay.” She and one of the older ones moved forward, fell to their knees and began to scoop the dirt away from her with their hands.
“It’ll be okay,” the young woman mumbled in agreement through her too cold lips.
“It will… It will,” the other woman repeated.

Johnny:
I got up a second ago just to move around. The silence is killing me. How can it be so quiet? I made the circuit, nothing. The whiskey is gone and no effect left from it either. Maybe my body just can’t respond to it any longer. Maybe there is nothing left that can shock it. I don’t know. I DON’T KNOW!
Sorry… I should just say to hell with writing this out. I mean it’s like some sort of penance, isn’t it? Feels like it is. I hate it, but it is so real in my head, and I don’t really know that it can’t help someone else if it’s down on paper… Maybe it can, maybe it can’t. Where was I at… Arizona…
I remember that night in Arizona… I thought Lana was dead…



Get it right now or get a FREE extended preview!

https://www.amazon.com/Zombie-Dell-Sweet-ebook/dp/B0759TD7XK



The Earth’s Survivors books from Geo Dell

By Geo Dell EARTH’S SURVIVORS: 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 buried in desperate struggle to survive. From L.A. To Manhattan the cities, governments have toppled and lawlessness is the rule. The dead lay in the streets while gangs fight for control of what is left. Small groups band together for safety and begin to leave the ravaged cities behind in search of a future that can once again hold promise. Dell Sweet.

Earth’s Survivors

Earth’s Survivors Apocalypse by Geo Dell Series: Earth’s Survivors. Price: Free! Words: 65,590. Language: English. Published: January 30, 2015 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Horror » General, Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic (4.00 from 4 reviews)
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 by Geo Dell Series: Earth’s Survivors. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 75,810. 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 by Geo Dell Series: Earth’s Survivors. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 68,430. 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 by Geo Dell Series: Earth’s Survivors. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 62,160. Language: English. Published: April 7, 2013 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » 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 by Geo Dell Series: Earth’s Survivors. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 84,900. Language: English. Published: September 1, 2015 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » 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 by Geo Dell Series: Earth’s Survivors. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 96,060. Language: English. Published: February 17, 2016 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » 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 by Geo Dell Series: Earth’s Survivors. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 83,560. Language: English. Published: May 1, 2016 by independAntwriters 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: Knock by Geo Dell Series: Earth’s Survivors. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 96,210. 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 weekly blog post

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.


Joel and Haley

Fort Deposit Alabama

October 15th

It was early morning. One moment the road had been there, and the next it had been gone, angling away down into the water. They all stopped, shut down the motors and looked over the water.

Joel fitted a pair of binoculars to his eyes, as did Scott.

“Way out,” Joel said as he passed the binoculars to Haley.

“Yeah… Yeah, hardly see it,” Scott agreed. He passed his own binoculars to Alice.

Haley lowered her binoculars and then passed them off to John. John had been quiet lately, but he was speaking to them. “So we’re here,” Haley said.

“We are here,” Joel agreed.

They had stopped two days earlier when they had found a small marina and picked out three boats, trailered them, and hooked them to the trucks. It had made the going slow as they finished the last few miles into Alabama looking for the place where it ceased to exist, but it had been worth it. After all, they had decided, they would have to have boats. Get them now or get there and have to back track to get them.

“It’s not deep at all,” Scott said as he looked out over the water. “It’s, like, barely there, maybe just inches… I wonder if this is high tide or low tide?”

“Good question,” Joel agreed. “We’re here, we have time, let’s wait and see. We may find ourselves driving quite a lot of the distance.”

“Or backing up from here to higher ground,” Haley joked.

“I don’t think so,” John said. “Look. There are no marks anywhere that resemble water rings… That means this might be high tide right now. If so, and it’s only inches right now, this road might be high and dry in a few hours.”

Joel nodded. “Tides can be a foot or more in places.” He snapped his fingers. “Billy mentioned a truck dealership not far from here. Four wheel drives.”

“Right,” Haley agreed. “What do you have in mind?”

“Four wheel drive, and those kinds of trucks sit higher… Put some wider tires on them, what do they call them, tires that float over the top of the mud instead of sinking in?” No one spoke. “Well, I can’t remember the name, but we should put tires like that on them, wider, that should do better if we have to drive on the bottom… Sand, mud… Just in case it doesn’t go all the way out.”

“Now?” Scott asked.

“No. Let’s see what is up with the tide first. We have the time now. It’s on our side,” Joel said. “I saw a herd of goats back a mile or so, I say we go get us a goat, come back here and make a celebration meal.”

“Kill the fatted goat?” Haley asked.

“Kill the fatted goat,” Joel agreed. “Honey, you feel okay here alone? Me and Scott will head back and get a goat. You can get a fire ready, a place to stay… Probably for the night.” He looked off to the sides. “It’s clear over in there.”

“Go ahead,” Haley said. “We’ll get a fire going and get set up… Wait on you.”She leaned forward and kissed him. “Come right back,” she said.

“Will do,” Joel agreed. “John? You want to come or stay here?”

“Stay,” John decided.

“Anyone else?” Joel asked.

“Just you two,” Haley agreed as Alice and John shook their heads once more. Joel smiled, bent and kissed her once more, turned and left.

Fort Deposit Alabama

Joel and Haley

“This should be low tide,” Joel said as he stared up at the sky, eyes shaded by one hand.

“Should be,” Scott agreed.

They had spent the last few days observing the tides and working on the three trucks. They had found a garage a few miles back while they had been searching for tires to swap out the ones on the first truck. A rusted truck had sat on the cracked and kudzu choked pavement. Wide mud tires on all four corners. A few minutes work had gotten it to run at a choppy idle.

Scott and Joel had driven it out in to the Gulf themselves, ten miles on the odometer, but it had plowed along with no problem. The bottom was hard packed sand, not mud. The water at low tide was no more than a foot deep, at least where they had driven. It had been a good deal farther out to land, maybe twenty miles or better, maybe less than another ten: Distance over water was hard to tell, Scott had said. Joel had tended to agree with that statement. To him it looked like the land mass had gotten no bigger at all. He had begun to wonder if it would.

They had stopped, debated, and then decided to drive back. They had little fuel, no boat in case it did get deep, and no idea how far they had to go. As far as the binoculars could show them, the water looked no more than a few inches deep.

That had been four days ago. Their own trucks, now equipped with wider, aggressively tread mud tires should be able to drive right over the sandy bottom: Dig themselves out if they did bog down. The question was whether the drive to the land could be made in one low tide window. The deeper question he had asked himself more than once now was why? Why was it so important to reach a spit of land that was cut off from the mainland. Abandoned by nature to the ocean? And what would be there?

He had no answer except a vague certainty that it would be safe. Safe from the gangs, safe from the dead, safe.

Haley touched the back of his arm, he turned and smiled at her where she stood with Alice. Behind them, John was checking over the trailers they intended to tow behind the trucks with Jayne. They had picked up Jane back in Hayneville where they had found the tires and a still standing garage to do the work in. It had taken two days to break down the tires on all three trucks and swap them out with the new ones, using only jack handles, crow bars and a foot operated air pump. There had been no generators anywhere close by. On the way back they had nearly driven into a big one that had been left by the side of the highway. That generator was now attached to the third truck.

They had met Jayne Singleton on the second day. She had stayed in hiding the first day and night watching them. Three men traveling with two women, it had looked all wrong to her, but by the second day she had decided to take the chance.

She had seemed unsure at first, even after introducing herself, and so they had spent an extra hour feeling each other out: By the time they decided to head back to Fort Deposit, Jayne had been with them.

There was no friction between any of them. They seemed to be able to work together as though they had known each other for years, Joel thought now as he lifted his eyes back to the sky. He looked back down at Scott and shrugged.

“Let’s do it,” Joel said aloud in the quiet afternoon sky. “Let’s take a look.”

The Alabama Gulf

Joel and Haley

They were past the point they had traveled to previously, 12 miles on the odometers. Twice now they had crossed deeper sections where the trucks had slipped down into the water driving slowly across the sandy bottom, water nearing the tops of the door-sills. The island was closer, but the sun was setting and soon the tides would be changing, rising. Joel picked up the radio handset as he coasted to a stop.

“A few more hours… By midnight we’ll be in high tide… From now on out it will be rising.” He didn’t ask the question.

“I say keep going,” Scott answered after a few moments of silence.

“No sense in stopping,” John said a brief second later. “Jayne says so too.”

“Well, except we can’t swim,” Joel said half joking.

The silence held a few beats. “That’s why we have the boats,” Alice answered with a laugh.

Joel re-set the handset and dropped the truck into gear. He was making maybe three miles an hour tops, with darkness coming it would be even harder to see into the water. He shifted back out of drive.

“I think I’m going to ride the hood… sounds crazy, I guess. But I think we can make better time… I can let you know to slow up if anything looks funny, bad,” he shrugged.

“Does that mean you aren’t sure, because it sounds like a plan to me,” Haley said. Joel smiled as he leaned forward and kissed her. A few minutes later he was on the hood: One wet foot for his troubles. He looked behind him and saw Scott climb out on his own hood.

“No way are you getting all the fun,” Scott called. He scrambled up onto the roof of the truck and Joel followed suit. A few moments later they were traveling through the shallow salt water. Joel lowered his hand and moved it in a forward motion. A few moments later he gave the okay sign, and leaned across to the drivers window.

“What is that? Speed wise?”

“Ten, a little less, maybe,” Haley told him.

“Ten it is,” Joel said. He sat up straight once more and watched the small waves as they seemed to roll toward the truck. With the tide beginning to turn he supposed that was exactly what they were doing. His eyes shifted to the island, which now seemed to take up a much larger space on the horizon. His eyes returned to the water shifting from side to side and ahead. Not long now, he thought. Not long.

Alabama Island

Joel and Haley

It was not far past the sunset when the nose of the truck rose out of the water and skimmed along across no more than a few inches of water. The moon had drifted behind the cloud cover, the headlights were on, but they did more to hide the surface of the water than anything else. They illuminated a small area ahead of the truck and then seemed to be swallowed by the night.

Before the bottom had risen, the water had been growing steadily deeper as they traveled. They had once again been slowed to just a few miles an hour, plowing through close to two feet of water, and there was a current with the depth that tried to pull them sideways. Joel had been close to calling it off, turning around, or getting the boats ready if there was not enough time to get back before the tide was fully in. A few minutes later they had begun the climb from the water and found themselves where they now were, proceeding slowly through the darkness in just inches of water.

The moon peeked out from the edge of the clouds and an island took shape before them, partly hidden in mist, the island stretched away on both sides. A quarter mile to the beach, no more. The moon slid free and the island was lit up fully. Trees, broken pavement delineating a road that disappeared into what looked to be a jungle. They were both standing on the rooftops now, knees flexed, arms pumping, screaming, as the trucks finally left the water behind and drove up onto a wide sandy beach. Birds lifted from the surrounding trees, momentarily blotting out the moon once more, as Haley bumped the truck up onto the wide beach, followed closely by John and Alice.

~

The fire burned brightly on the beach. They were close to the tree line, watching the tide bring the water up the long sloping beach., waiting for sunrise.

“Never make it at high tide,” Scott said. He worked open a pack of peanuts and tilted them above his mouth. He chewed thoughtfully.

“Probably has risen a good eight feet out here,” Haley said.

“At least,” Jayne agreed. She blew across a cup of broth and sipped at it.

“Maybe an hour until daylight,” Joel said now. He shifted his back where he rested against a tire, one arm around Haley.

“Be a good time to bring something in by boat though,” Alice said.

“Yeah,” Scott agreed. “Plenty deep enough now.”

Rifles and pistols lay nearby. There was no way to know what to expect, but to think there had been no living souls on this land that had died and turned would be foolish they had agreed. They would get no sleep tonight, and at sunrise they would start inland, looking the island over.

The conversations flowed back and forth along with the occasional subdued laughter in the darkness. The Sky began to lighten behind them, gray light spilling across the tops of the trees. Far out on the water the first red-gold arrows of light touched the water and awakened what looked to be an ocean.

“Hard to believe we drove across that,” Haley said from his lap. Her head rested against his thigh, eyes slitted. She rose to one elbow and then sat up as the others began to stand.

~

The broken roadway ran through the jungle of vegetation and they drove it slowly into the interior of the island. There were several roads that cut off from the main blacktop, but there was no time to follow all of them. They passed through the overgrown remains of two small towns. Empty. Cars sitting on the streets on flats, buildings overgrown with kudzu and other vines. Mounds of sand trying to wipe out everything the Kudzu had not taken.

In places the road looked washed out, as if water had flowed across it at some point. The four wheel drive took them down into the resulting ravine or through  fields and dry stream beds to get around it and up the other side. They drove through a slightly larger town twenty miles inland. Several large stores, a few car dealerships still stood: Sand covered most of the roads and streets everywhere they drove. The doors that lead into the stores were drifted shut four feet high in places. They stopped to dig one out, broke the locks from the aluminum door frames, only to be rewarded with a moldy interior that had obviously been flooded at one time. Somewhere inside a clicking came to them, a few moments late three dead, not much more than putrid flesh on skeletons, had come from the aisles to meet them. They had taken them out quickly and nothing else had come from the depths. Even so they had forced themselves to walk the interior to be sure. They were even more convinced the entire store had been submerged when they left it an hour later. The aisles were full of sand in places. The roof had collapsed in others and sand and what had probably had once been seaweed clogged some aisles.

Scott opinioned that most likely every car or truck in sight had a motor full of sand and was worthless. No one argued the point. They had gone through the town slowly after that, but they encountered no more dead. They had returned to the main road, driving farther into the interior of the island.

Fifty miles inland the land rose steeply and then flattened out. They stopped once the island began to spread out below them. They could see all the island from this point. The end of the journey was not far ahead. No more than five miles ahead, cliffs dropped down into the ocean. A much deeper area of water than what was behind them capped that end of the island. The western and eastern views were nearly equal. Off to the west there was a second smaller island that was removed from the main island by a small channel, at least it looked small from where they were. The distance was hard to judge, they would have to drive it, but it was far less than the fifty miles they had driven, maybe half that, Haley thought.

Whether heading east or west, roads snaked here and there, away from the main route, or what they considered the main route: Woods covered parts of the island, wide plains other areas. Nothing alive moved anywhere they looked.

“I think,” Joel said as they sat on the hoods of the trucks and drank warm bottled sports drinks, “This whole place, or most of it, was flooded over. I guess we can all see that, but I mean for a time, a long time. Any life washed away… Including people.”

“So what’s to stop that same thing from happening again,” Alice asked. She looked nervous even as she said the words.

“I would bet a tidal wave… No, tsunami triggered by the quakes, rolled right over everything on the coast. Probably took days to recede. That’s why there is no one here.” Jayne said thoughtfully.

“Wouldn’t happen again?” Alice asked.

“I don’t think so,” Scott said. “I think it’s been quiet for months now… I think this place is safe now… Maybe the only place in the world without dead. I think the dead in that store were trapped by the place being locked up. Probably locked it up themselves for protection… Drowned when it flooded.”

“We’ll have to be careful if we come across something like that again,” Jayne said, more to herself than anyone in particular.

Silence held as she finished, a few nods of agreement.

Joel upended his bottle, drank deeply and then grimaced. He looked at the label. “Cherry Cucumber,” he said aloud. “For real? Who in hell thought that up? Haley, take a letter to…” He paused as he looked for the manufacturers name on the bottle without success. “Well, to these sonsofbitches,” he said in his best Clint Eastwood imitation. “Tell ’em we won’t be drinking no more of these bastards.” He grinned, turned and spat on the ground. Scott applauded.

“No more Clint Eastwood, that sucks,” Alice said with a sad face.

“Or cold beer,” Scott said and grimaced.

“Or panty-liners,” Jayne said and then pulled a face. Haley broke into laughter so hard that tears squirted from her eyes. Alice joined in. Joel, John and Scott just shook their heads and looked at one another.

“I… I can’t believe you said that,” Haley said. She laughed harder.

Joel cleared his throat and looked out over the island. “A perfectly good conversation,” Joel said and sighed dramatically. Haley gave him a shot in the ribs with one elbow. They all laughed then.

Okay… Okay,” Jayne said eventually, “but really… Here we are, what is this place now that we’ve found it?”

“Alabama Island,” Scott answered promptly.

“Yeah… Alabama Island,” Joel agreed.

“Okay, but what is it to us,” Jayne said

“Home,” Haley said. “It’s home.”

The silence held as one by one they each nodded.

“We’ll need to make more trips,” Jayne said at last.

“A lot of trips,” Scott agreed.

“What do we need,” Joel asked, as Haley produced a small pad of paper and a pen.



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