iTunes books from author Dell Sweet

Top Books from author Dell Sweet

1. 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…

2. The Zombie Killers are the men and women who keep the new settlements safe for the other survivors. Those in the Nation and those in the Fold, and the many independent colonies that would not be able to exist without their help and intervention. They are the ones who search out supplies, fight the Zombie Plagues so that the others can live in safety…

3. 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…

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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…

7. 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…

8. When a catastrophic natural disaster looms on the near horizon, the government releases an airborne virus designed to make the human race better able to survive. Those that do survive are picking up the pieces of their world, and those that have died lay in their death sleep, but in their bodies the virus works on, mutating, setting the stage for a second catastrophe far worse that the first.

9. Star Dancer is an inner galaxy cruiser, transporting inmates and materials between the penal colonies on the Moon and Mars, as well as supplies and people to the bases scattered throughout the Solar System. Her captain, Michael Watson purchased Star Dancer right out of school, but the last few trips have left him longing for more adventure out in the wider expanses of space…

10. 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.

11. 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…

12. 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 himself of this fact about Robert Biel more than once…

13. L.A. Billy and Beth: March 11th Billy was up on the roof. Beth, Jamie, Winston and Scotty were standing at the edge of the building as he was, looking out over the city. Things were crazy, and they seemed to be getting worse as the days rolled by. The police precinct was still burning.No one had come to put it out. Gangs were rounding up survivors, never to be seen again: The world seemed over…

14. Earth’s Survivors SE 1 contains the complete text from the first two Earth’s Survivors books, Apocalypse and Rising From The Ashes. It includes a character bibliography. It follows survivors of a worldwide catastrophe. A meteorite hits and sets off a series of events that destroy the world as we know it. From L.A. To Manhattan the cities, governments have toppled and lawlessness is the rule.

15. Billy Only intended to go for a walk downtown, look at the lights and the pretty girls, kill some time. It seemed the safest thing in the world. He bent to take a look in the window of the car, two dead men, he had thought, but the driver was not dead, he raised his gun and leveled it on him. 24 hours later as he dug the hole in the desert hard pan he was wondering how it had all gone so wrong.

16. An apocalypse of epic proportions has shaken the Earth to it’s core. In the bigger cities the dead are growing quickly in numbers. Growing intelligent as they continue to change and mutate. They have one thought in their rotting brains, take over the world, and destroy those that live in the process. Billy Jingo leaves Los Angeles hoping there might be something better on the other coast…

17. The Zombie Killers are the men and women who keep the new settlements safe for the other survivors. Those in the Nation and those in the Fold, and the many independent colonies that would not be able to exist without their help and intervention. They are the ones who search out supplies, fight the Zombie Plagues so that the others can live in safety…

18. Gabe Kohlson moved away from the monitors. “Heart rate is dropping, don’t you think…” He stopped as the monitor began to chime softly. “Dammit,” Kohlson said as he finished his turn. “What is it,” David Johns wheeled his chair across the short space of the control room. “Flat lined,” Kohlson said as he pushed a button on the wall to confirm what the doctors already knew. Clayton Hunter was dead.

19. Donita’s Notebook March 1st (Night) Quakes, at least three. Warmed up fast, and all the dirty snow that was piled along the streets has melted. Torrential rains. Thunder and lightening in the snow storm that came after sunset. Didn’t last long; turned back to rain. Parts of the projects are burning. Jersey is burning. The sky is red-orange, everything across the river is on fire. No one has come.

20. Donita: The hunger was terrible, all consuming, and it came in crashing waves. The impulse to feed seemed to be the only coherent thought she had. It was hard to think around, hard to think past. It was all she could do not to rush from the trees, find the smell that tempted her and consume it. Eat it completely. Leave nothing at all…

New from Dell Sweet

New from Dell Sweet


Rocket

Star Dancer is an inner galaxy cruiser, transporting inmates and materials between the penal colonies on the Moon and Mars, as well as supplies and people to the bases scattered throughout the Solar System. Her captain, Michael Watson purchased Star Dancer right out of school, but the last few trips have left him longing for more adventure out in the wider expanses of space…

Necro

By Dell Sweet

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 like that. From what he could see this was more like a city street.
It had never occurred to him in the passing hours to move his head, but the thought of it being a street in a city had caused him to move his head slightly so he could look around to be sure. Slightly, but enough to know he could move it. And he had moved it enough to know it was a city street. And if he could move it that much…
His face came away from the asphalt with a wet sucking noise and he nearly stopped. Expecting pain to come. Expecting the sky to fall. Expecting something, but nothing happened. The sucking sound stopped when his face finally pulled free and he pushed off with his hands and found himself in a sitting position. He flexed his jaw, it worked; tended to click when he moved it quickly, but perhaps it was just residual of… Of? He couldn’t make it come… Something… Some accident? Maybe… He pushed harder with his hands and rose to his feet… Shaky but holding him upright. He took one tentative step and then another. Moving off down the street in search of anything that could calm the hunger in his belly…

More… https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/necro/id1238359802?mt=11


Earth’s Survivors Box Set

By Dell Sweet

Earth’s Survivors box set contains the entire Earth’s Survivors series in one volume.

Book One: 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…

Book Two: Rising From The Ashes.
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…

Book Three: The Nation.
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.

Book Four: Home The Valley.
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.

Book Five: Plague.
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…

Book Six: Watertown.
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…

Book Seven: World Order.
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…

All seven books in one collection. Follow the survivors as they struggle to survive in a vastly changed world, where the living are just as likely to kill you as the dead are.
The release of this box set puts the series to an end. I have enjoyed writing it, I hope you have enjoyed reading it, Dell Sweet.

More… https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/earths-survivors-box-set-dell-sweet/1124605603


Crime Time

By Dell Sweet

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 himself of this fact about Robert Biel more than once, yet every day he found himself hanging around, giving him lifts to do job searches, parole, where ever he needed to go: Even hanging around with him at night…
Nine stories that are hard edged, entertaining and good, fast rides into the darkness that is the criminal’s world…
… In the last few days she had decided a few things. First: Dello was a killer. She knew that. It was how he made a living. It wouldn’t be hard to kill her, she supposed. She knew that sounded unreasonable, probably was wildly unreasonable, but she couldn’t get it out of her head. What if they were over and suppose he needed her gone because she knew too much. Way too much. What would he do, tell her it’s over and show her the door? She didn’t believe it. What she did believe, what had gotten into her head, was that he would take her somewhere and kill her…
Unforgettable characters and places. A gritty world from Sweet’s mind where anything can and usually does happen…
… Too late, I thought as I realized I had left the machine pistol lying on the front seat instead of keeping it in my right hand where it should have been. I could hear the sound of a machine pistol behind me as the Mexican opened up. I did what I could. I aimed the truck at the two men; levered the door-handle and prepared to jump just as the windshield hit by several of the rounds fired by the two men was blown inward: My world faded to black…
Get a free Preview right now!

More… https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/crime-time-3


Alabama Island

By 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…



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



3:00 am unicorns, cats and LOST

3:00 am unicorns, cats and LOST: Posted by Dell…

So I woke up yesterday morning about 3:00 am because my cat insisted that I wake up. He does that. I guess he gets bored sometimes and wants someone to bug so he comes and wakes me up, meows a few times and then leaves. If he continues to meow it means … “Get up you fat %^&$#@& and let me out right now!” I understand cat relatively well.
So about three years ago my mother bought me a lamp. One of her summertime rummage sale romps and she dragged back this touch lamp with glass shades, and all the shades have pictures of horses grazing next to a field and a stream. Very pastoral, peaceful, made me think good things. I used the lamp on my desk for about a year and then installed an overhead lamp so I can see to type better on my monitor… Did I really just say that? Yes, I did.
So My excuse was that I wanted to see better as I typed, but the truth was I couldn’t see much of anything on my desktop, it was all murky and indistinct so I installed an overhead fluorescent light and nearly blinded myself, yanked that out and screwed one side of a clip on lamp to the wall above my router and called it good… Ahhh, the things you can get away with when you don’t have a wife.
A few days later I noticed the touch lamp sitting forlornly next to my desk so I picked it up thinking … “I need a bedside lamp.” And there it went and stayed.


So the cat comes into the doorway at 3:00 am and meows, I awaken, look at the shadow, wonder if it is a cat or that damn raccoon that has been hanging around: The raccoon in the television commercial that follows the woman to bed because she calls it thinking it is her cat bugs the hell out of me and I am probably blind enough to make that mistake. Don’t ask me when I would have let the raccoon in… So I click on the lamp to better see the cat and make sure it is a cat and I’ll be damned: My horses grazing next to the stream and field are not horses at all I see as the light comes on and nearly blinds me; they are bright glowing white unicorns… Yes, unicorns grazing next to that stream and the field. I look at the cat, the cat looks at me as if to say “I could have told you they were unicorns, Susie.” The cat is a real wise acre. I blink but it is still 3:00 am and the horses are still unicorns and the cat is still meowing so I get up, pad to the door and let him out. I return to bed thinking I must do something about this. After all this is the same mother that bought me A pink high heel shaped tape dispenser that I get questioned about all of the time.
“Hide it in the basement.” I say aloud… No good. We don’t have a basement.
“Well, the pantry then.” Uh, no, we don’t have a pantry either.


I make it back to bed. Look at the lamp carefully and yes, this is no mistake every damn horse in the field on all six glass panels have spiraled unicorns on their narrow heads. I sigh, turn out the lamp so I don’t have to see them, but there is no sleep for me, the cat and the disturbing unicorns have awakened me so I pop on Netflix: LOST season 5 episode 8 and watch it. After all, if it is going to be weird I may as well enjoy it… Geo



Check out Los Angeles. Two lovers leave L. A. looking for a safe place during the zombie apocalypse… Free Previews!

America The Dead book 2: Los Angeles. The city of L.A. is shaken, Beth and Billie find their way out #Zombie #Undead https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DCFSPHO



 

New books from author Dell Sweet

New books from author Dell Sweet

 


Star Dancer by Dell Sweet

Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 61,250. Language: English. Published: June 6, 2017 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Space operaFiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias

Star Dancer is an inner galaxy cruiser, transporting inmates and materials between the penal colonies on the Moon and Mars, as well as supplies and people to the bases scattered throughout the Solar System. Her captain, Michael Watson purchased Star Dancer right out of school, but the last few trips have left him longing for more adventure out in the wider expanses of space…



Earth’s Survivors Life Stories: Billy by Dell Sweet

Series: Earth’s Survivors Life Stories. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 102,780. Language: English. Published: June 6, 2017 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead,Fiction » Horror » Crime

A top secret drug that resides within a top secret facility finds its way to the street and from there into the world where it just might end the human race all on its own. Follow a cast of shady characters and criminals as they go about their criminal business and and just maybe, inadvertently start the apocalypse…



Necro by Dell Sweet

Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 58,290. Language: English. Published: May 18, 2017 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Horror » UndeadFiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense

Necro looks at the Zombie Apocalypse through the eyes of one couple as they awaken to it and try to keep themselves alive through it. John is an average guy. He doesn’t believe in monsters. That may have to change. Kate has never believed in much of anything including herself, but she is learning to believe again. Together they take their first steps into the land of the dead…



Crime Time by Dell Sweet

Series: Crime Novels. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 127,500. Language: English. Published: May 11, 2017 by independAntwriters Publishing. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller,Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense

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 himself of this fact about Robert Biel more than once…



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.



Candace March 6th:

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



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

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 excerpt is used with permission

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


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 

Get this book free right now in any eBook format you need! 

 Morehttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/745613



The Zombie Plagues Book One. If the world ended tomorrow? What would you do? Would you be able to survive?

The Zombie Plagues Book One

If the world ended tomorrow? What would you do? Would you be able to survive?


THE ZOMBIE PLAGUES:

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 the dead sometimes do not remain dead. Follow along as they try to rebuild their own lives as they rebuild their world.

A great change was coming to the Earth. Catastrophe was about to change everything her people took for granted. It made some wish for death, but death was no longer a guarantee. For some death had become some other sort of life. A life they could not easily leave.

Several lone survivors live through what will become the dawn of a new world. The only thing these people had in common is that they all lived in the same small city in upstate New York. Before the week was out they would be thrust together in a struggle for survival. Before the month was out those that survived would begin to seek others who had lived through the catastrophe that had blighted the Earth. Looking for ways to stay alive…


The Zombie Plagues Book One

Created by Dell Sweet

PUBLISHED BY: Geo Dell and independAntwriters Publishing

The Zombie Plagues Book One

Additional Copyrights 2009 – 2015 Wendell Sweet & independAntwriters Publishing All rights reserved

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


This material is used on this blog with permission.

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


Evening

Dinner was eaten without a great deal of enthusiasm. No one found themselves too far away from their weapons. Mike made a point of talking to everyone during the meal, just a few words to see how they were doing, what was on their minds, or at least the most pressing thing on their minds.

Everyone was concerned about what could happen next. Two people had run off. Yes, they had set their weapons down, but there were weapons everywhere that they could pick up any time they wanted, weapons much nastier than the ex-GI who called himself Sin had gotten for them.

Mike had looked the two rifles over. They were both the same. A carbine that held a fifty round clip and was either semi or fully automatic with the slide of a small button. If the first guy hadn’t gone right down, he could have cut down Tom, Bob and the others easily. The second guy had laid his rifle down without firing a shot. What if it hadn’t gone that way? What if it didn’t go that way the next time? Those were the questions that mattered to everyone.

The second man and the woman had turned and run. Tom had berated himself for not stopping them, but as everyone had pointed out to him during the evening, what could he have done? Shoot them? Certainly that was not an option. But then Tom had said what was on everyone’s mind. What if they came back? What if they came back with Machine guns? Hand grenades? Or even, what they had the first time which were really very close to personal machine guns anyway, as far as Tom was concerned. Knowing that, and Tom had thought about most of that as they had suddenly bolted, but knowing all of that, that he or one of them may very well have to deal with those same two people again in the future, shouldn’t he have shot… To kill? To maim?

No one had answered at first when Tom had tossed his own doubts out and asked, but Mike had been about to. Before he could, Patty had spoken up.

“That’s a maybe, not a fact, not an absolute. And you can’t see the future. Maybe, maybe, someday we’ll have to deal with them. That doesn’t make killing them an option, doesn’t make it right. I mean, I’m scared too. They could come after us. Do they know where we are? But,” she lowered her voice which had risen with her passion, “It’s only fear. They might, they might not. If they do, I’ll shoot to kill. But until they do…

Do something… I couldn’t,” she finished.

Mike had let the conversations run their courses and nearly everyone had had something to contribute. But it became apparent that after dinner was over they were going to have to discuss it more fully, decide what they wanted to do about the situation, what the group wanted to do.

Mike looked around. The sun was setting slowly in the North East. The day had been a long one with nothing settled yet. The trucks had been unloaded and the supplies carried inside the cave. The back of the Suburban had been cleaned up. Dinner was over. The dog, which was still lacking a name as far as Mike knew, was nosing around playfully with the two children, wagging his tail. The children were smiling, coming out of themselves already. Mike was surprised, but happily so. The chill of the night was moving in on the air that rose from the river and flowed across the asphalt and dirt at the front of the cave.

“Why don’t we take this inside?” Mike said at last. “We’ll all get comfortable and figure out what to do, how we want to handle this.” It seemed that everyone had been waiting for that announcement. Within just a few minutes everyone was picking up items and heading into the cave out of the growing darkness.

Mike watched the two children laughing as they ran into the cave with their newest friend close at their heels, tail thumping against their legs. Mike looked over to where Annie walked with Patty and Candace. She was smiling also, in spite of the day. In spite of the heaviness of his spirit, he felt a smile rise to his own face. He hurried to catch up to Candace and the others, walking into the cave with them.

~

Tom went first. It was obvious to everyone that he blamed himself for letting the two run off, but it was also clear that no one – some after hearing what Tom had to say, some after giving it more thought – had placed the blame on Tom, except Tom himself.

Janet Dove went on for quite some time about it in an obvious attempt to cheer Tom up, but that didn’t look to be possible, Mike thought. Then Nell spoke, relating what the woman who had been shot had told her before she had died.

“She told me he had been stationed at the base, but he’d been A.W.O.L. for quite some time before things went bad. No one knew his real name; he went by the handle Sin. The other guy, the one that ran off, called himself Death. It was some sort of private joke between the two of them,” Nell grimaced, as if to say she saw no joke, private or otherwise. “No one knew whether they had served together or only ran into each other once things got bad. But they had both been soldiers, and they decided to walk back out to the base for weapons.”

“They never did make it back out there though, but found the two rifles they were carrying somewhere in town. The other woman that ran off was Death’s woman. They all met each other on the street. Emma, and Wanda, the one who ran off, had met Death and Sin. The four of them had found Ann and the two smaller children a few days after that. She just kept telling me Sin wasn’t a bad guy, just wired,” Nell finished. A low murmur greeted her last words. Mike looked around.

“She didn’t say she thought that; she said the woman thought that,” Mike said. Annie spoke up in the silence that took over.

“Did a lot of cocaine,” she said quietly. “All the time. Death did a lot of speed. Between the two of them you never knew what they might do. Sometimes they mixed it. They tried to get me to do it…” Her voiced trailed off to nothing.

Mike shook his head, bad thoughts running wild through it. “There was nobody else, Annie,” he asked?

“No,” she answered.

“Well, that’s something,” Bob said.

“You think so?” Lilly asked. She looked pasty sitting next to Tom. Too pale. Too fragile. Too young to be involved in all of this.

“Well, it’s only two is what I mean. And they saw there were more of us than them,” Bob finished.

“Maybe, maybe not,” Candace said. “They saw a few more. And they’re only two. There are probably others. That’s what we really have to talk about… others… the fact that we could’ve already had this problem several times over. Who knows how many little groups are wandering around out there? Are they all like that? Probably not, but how are we going to be now?” She looked around, “Trusting? Naive?  I hope not either. But we will be some way. We have to be. We can’t close our eyes and just tell ourselves there aren’t people like that out there, because there are.”

“So, that’s it,” Mike said after a few moments of silence. “We need to discus it. What options do we have? Who has some ideas?”

“Better weapons,” Tom said.

“At least that,” Ronnie agreed.

“No more going out on trips split up,” Nell suggested.

“Maybe we should leave now,” Tim threw in.

“Maybe we should,” Lilly agreed.

Tom had lowered his head as he often did when he listened. He would turn his head toward the speaker and listen as they spoke. His head shot back up and his eyes focused on Lilly, but he said nothing. Candace shot Mike a quick look. Mike shrugged his shoulders.

“No guarantee that we wouldn’t run into the same type of people no matter where we might go,” Mike said.

“Probably would,” Patty added.

Candace nodded. “Bad is bad. It’ll be everywhere.”

“If we went back to the land,” Bob said, “Far enough out, who would there be to bother us?”

“But,” Candace said, “Not everyone wants to do that, Bob.”

“Maybe it’s the only way,” Bob came back.

“I don’t want to do it,” Patty said. “But I don’t want to live in a cave either, and here I am. I also don’t want to live in fear of what someone might or might not do.”

Mike raised his hands palms out in a gesture of conciliation. “We can talk about leaving,” He said.

“Maybe we’re all not wanting to go to the same place,” Janet Dove said.

“Maybe,” Mike agreed. He tried not to show it, but her remark surprised him. He knew she wanted to go back to the traditional Native way of life, but, hell, everything was nature now, wasn’t it? Wasn’t that the same thing?

“I didn’t really want to go,” Tom said. “But,” he looked over at Lilly, “Now, I don’t know.”

Even Candace’s head shot up. It seemed everything was a surprise tonight, Mike thought.

“Maybe,” Mike said, “We need to air all of this out.” He waited until all the little side conversations that had sprung up fell silent.

“It seems everyone has something on their mind. Maybe this is the best time to get it off your mind. Speak your mind. Let it go. We should work out where we all are, where we want to be, where we’re going to, what we’re working towards… I’ll be honest,” he paused, “I was surprised twice in a couple of seconds. What I thought I knew about some of you… What I had thought you had said, turned out to be wrong. We can’t… No… I can’t tell you what to do, but we shouldn’t do that to each other. We should all know what page we’re on. True?”

“It’s not like you can’t change your mind,” Candace said. “It’s your mind, your life. But to plan for all of us, we need to know where we’re going, where we are, don’t we?”

Bob spoke: “You’re right, of course. I guess once Sandy came along we started to think more about the real kind of life we wanted to live. I have always wanted to live, but I think I speak for Jan and Sandy too, I have always wanted to live the Native lifestyle. I want to go back to the land…  I mean really go back. I don’t want to live in a cave either. And I’m not saying I want to live in a longhouse even. It’s the way of life I want, the stories I heard as a child. Only do it right this time, not give up our land, live on it… with it. Can you see that?” He seemed defensive but enthusiastic.

“I can see it,” Mike said. “I can’t say it’s for me, not yet. Maybe it will be someday,” he shrugged his shoulders, “But… But I don’t know what else might be left. Could the world really be destroyed? All of it? Everything? I can’t imagine it, not all of it. Not everything. I’m not saying I want my T.V. back, but I’m not sure I want to move into a cave either.” He grinned and looked around. “But I did. I’ll admit that. It’s the first thing I did. Maybe that says something… and not just about me. But that’s me. If Bob’s not talking about living in a cave or a long house…” He shrugged again. “I don’t know… We each have to make up our own minds. You have to live true to you, because if you don’t, you are nothing.” Silence held. Bob nodded his head a few times.

“So… What are you going to do, Bob? What are you really talking about? I mean, say it so we know,” Patty said.

Bob looked from Janet to Sandy. “We have to decide, but we will go – we just haven’t decided where yet –  back into the wilderness… the lands… somewhere isolated. But we want to bring more people. It wouldn’t work with just a few of us. So we would like to go with you with the understanding that we would eventually go out on our own,” Bob finished.

“So you would try to recruit people from the people we meet along the way?” Ronnie asked.

“You make it sound like stealing,” Bob said.

“No. No,” Ronnie said. “I don’t mean to make it sound that way. But it makes it kind of hard to get behind. Here we would be trying to bring people together, and you would be trying to convince them to something else. We’d be trying to get them to work with us, and you’d be trying to get them to work with you. It might drive them away if they think we can’t even agree how it should be between us,” Ronnie finished.

“Stealing,” Bob said again.

“No… It’s… This is a community,” He looked to Mike and Candace who nodded for him to continue.

“So… it’s a community and we would be trying to get everyone to work together. You see?”

“Are you saying you wouldn’t have us because of that?” Sandy asked.

“No one said that at all,” Candace said.

“Certainly not,” Mike agreed. “It’s not like that. If you want to come, you come. I can see where you would be an asset to us. I can also see your need to do this thing you want to do. I can see where you would need more people to do that. I can see where I might be convinced to go with you. Let’s not shut doors. Let’s not start mistrusting or trying to read things into what we say. Ronnie asked the questions any of us might have. In fact I would have if he hadn’t.  The people you need for what you want to do are probably not going to be the same people we need for what we want to do. It’s a different type of life. Different people… Different ideals… Different purpose, dreams, directions. How could that hurt either of us? I don’t see where it could. Let’s not go back to the old world view, fear of what we don’t know about each other; let’s just let it be. No one has decided yet to go with us or you. We don’t even really know if we’re on opposite sides yet,” Mike concluded.

“I agree,” Ronnie said. “I didn’t mean to imply that I have some great plan or idea. I could find myself wanting to go with you when the time comes too. Mike makes sense. Maybe we don’t want the same things, maybe we do. And after today, I think it would be safer if we all travel together. Less inviting to trouble.”

Bob nodded, satisfied. Silence held for a few seconds.

“He’s not coming back. I know that,” Nell said. Her eyes teared up. “My husband,” She added after a short pause. “I lied to myself, you know. I don’t want to believe he’s gone. But I don’t want to wait here, stay here; I want to go with you guys. This place is… like a city of dead,” she finished.

Make that three surprises, Mike thought to himself.

“I want to go,” Tom said. “I… I want to go.”

Mike nodded.

“I want to go,” Lilly said.

Mike had been sure that if Tom had said he wanted to stay, Lilly would have wanted to stay too. Now he wasn’t sure. It seemed now it might be the other way around.

Annie was looking from face to face.

“I don’t want to stay here,” she said at last.

“You could come with us,” Tim said. He smiled. “You want to, right?” he asked. His smile faltered a little.

She answered him with her own smile. “I want to.”

“Good,” Tim said.

Mike looked around. Amazing, he thought. “I’m amazed,” he said. Echoing his own thoughts.

“When?” Bob asked.

“Today changes it. Doesn’t it?” Patty asked.

“Does it?” Mike asked.

“I think so,” Ronnie said.

“I do too,” Tom agreed.

“Yeah, it has to,” Sandy agreed.

“Well, then it does,” Mike said. “What do we… what do you want to do? Leave sooner?”

Yes, they all answered in unison. He blinked, surprised again. “My concern is winter,” he told them. “I don’t like this situation either. We could have two people out there with weapons waiting to come after us… Coming around, maybe taking shots at us,” He shrugged. “Or maybe they’re as scared as we are. Just as scared. And maybe we shouldn’t over react because of that fear. In any case, the days are colder. It’s still winter. It could snow at any time. We have shelter here. Yes, it’s a cave, but we’re not cave men because we’re living in a cave. It’s shelter. We know the area. We know where to get gas for the trucks, food, supplies.”

“It’s close to April,” Patty said. “Just a few days really.”

“So we could shoot for getting ourselves ready to go by April first,” Mike said. “Supplies.” He looked around at the supplies in the vast cave. “April first. If the weather’s good, we go,” He paused. “Everyone agreed?”

Another chorus of Yes answered him. Even the dog barked and wagged his tail. The looks on nearly everyone’s face showed relief. The dog’s enthusiastic and well timed bark caused most of them to break into laughter. Relief, Mike thought.

“Until we go,” Mike waited for the talking and the laughter to die down “We only go somewhere together, and we take one of these carbines when we do.” He held up one of the rifles they had taken away from the two young men just hours before. “The other stays here to protect the cave. Double the guards at night, starting tonight.” He paused again, but no one spoke out. “Guess that’s it,” he said quietly. “We’ve decided.”


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Free eBooks this weekend and a free short story

Free eBooks this weekend and a free short story

Free eBooks for this weekend! Download them absolutly free from Amazon for the Kindle…

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Enjoy your weekend and here is a free crime story to cap off your Thursday…


Lucky Liv – © Copyright 2017 Dell Sweet Used with permission


This material is protected by copyright laws worldwide. It is used on this blog with direct permission of the author and publisher.

It is not edited for content.

Appropriate age: Over 18


Lucky Liv

Liv Spencer had never known Rich not to answer his door. She had called him twice and someone did pick up the phone, but had said nothing. She was worried, but more than that, she needed some heroin. She needed it. Rich always took care of her. Not only did she need his help, she had no idea where else to go for help like his… Caring like his.

She stood outside in the cold predawn rain for fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes. That had seemed like forever. Fifteen minutes was all the time in the world when you needed to fix. It was every clock, every watch in the world ticking away. Hell it was everything in the world. There was nothing else. Fifteen minutes and she finally started trying the doors. Front door, back door, locked. She hadn’t really thought about the garage door, but finally she tried it. It was unlocked and it was also badly damaged at the lock set. That had made her stop.

The rain had stopped. She stood on the wet blacktop by the door thinking what she could say…

“The door was unlocked, Richie… I found the door unlocked, Rich… I just touched the handle and it turned, Rich… It was busted… It was already broken, Rich. I turned the handle and it just sort of fell open… It fell open, Rich. I needed you, Richie, the door was unlocked…  I needed a fix, Richie, where the fuck were you?”

She practiced more excuses in her head, but finally it didn’t matter that the door had been broken. She shut down the little alarm in her head that had begun to jabber about that. All that mattered was that the door was not locked and she needed to fix. She finished turning the knob and stepped into the garage.

The garage was lit, but only dimly. She made her way to the door that lead into the house, nearly tripping over a bunched up section of carpet someone had left laying by the door, and tried the door to the inside of the house. It wasn’t even closed all the way and began to swing open as soon as she touched it.

“Rich?” she called. Her voice was a rusty croak. “Richie!” She stepped further into the shadowy kitchen.

“Richie? The door was open, man. I called… The door…” She stopped when she saw the bodyguards lying in the hallway. They seemed tossed aside like big overstuffed rag dolls.

“Oh God,” she moaned. And immediately two things began to fight inside of her. The need to turn and run, because something was definitely fucked up here at Richie’s house: There was absolutely no doubt about it. And, the second thing, the need to get fixed. To stop the itch, even if it was only a little: Even if it had to be coke to tide her over… Something… And it didn’t look like anyone here was going to try to stop her… No… Nobody…

Run?… Stay?… Run?… Stay?… She stepped into the hallway, took a shaky breath and stepped carefully over the bodyguards.

The exercise room was off the living room. It was glass walled, you could exercise and watch TV on the big screen, or you could watch TV and the exercise room too. No one used the exercise room except the bodyguards and Richie’s oldest daughter. But this morning the view through the glass was anything but normal, and it took some time for her mind to wrap itself around it. When it did she bent over and threw up on the deep pile rug of the living room.

She looked back up from the carpet, staring through the glass for what seemed like minutes to her, wondering who would do things like that to another person; to people who were walking around, breathing, talking, living their lives just a few days ago when she seen them last. She’d never seen anything like it. Not even in the horror flicks she liked to watch.

She bent over double and threw up again. She continued to heave until nothing came up, not that there had been much to throw up in the first place. She staggered back into the hallway, got one more look at the two bodyguards, Karl and Geezer, still dead she saw: Karl’s brains were leaking out of the side of his head like some gelatin creation. She looked away quickly and staggered into the kitchen. She sat down at the stools that lined a small counter. The place she usually found Richie sitting. She sat there for a few seconds and then remembered the small counter was also a bar and sometimes rich kept a little something else back there too.

She got up and went to the sink, ran the water, drinking right from the tap. She swished the water around in her mouth and spat, then did it a few more times. She bent closer and splashed the cold water on her overheated face. Pushing the excess off her face with her hands. She straightened and walked back to the counter which, from this side, was open and stocked with all sorts of bottles of booze. All high test. All the good stuff. No bad ones in the bunch. She grabbed a bottle of imported Russian vodka. The label entirely in Russian, all the printing too: All that writing that looked like backwards writing to her that she could almost figure out. She snagged a clean water glass from the top shelf and filled it with the vodka. Her eyes fell on the small refrigerator under the shelves.

He kept some shit there. In the top. In the freezer section, she thought… Sometimes… Most times in fact that she could remember… He had said, “Wait just a second,” and he had walked right over to the bar, opened the small refrigerator, and come back with what she needed… Was it every time or almost every time, she asked herself?… She couldn’t remember. She was usually too fucked up to think about it, but she thought it was nearly every time. And she thought it was the freezer because it seemed to be where he reached.

She sat on the stool and sipped at the vodka. Loving the fire that it ignited in her stomach. No one would know… No one would know at all… She had seen Richie’s BMW in the other stall of the garage. She could take that to get away… If the keys…

She looked over at the small hooks just inside the kitchen door. The BMW keys looked back at her. She could see the little BMW medallion on the leather fob. She licked her lips, took a deeper sip of the vodka, let it burn its way down into her stomach. And now she could feel it inside, working its way down further, making her thighs warm. Hot even. She looked at the small, compact refrigerator again. She licked her lips once more, got up and swung the small door open.

Her eyes bugged out of her head. She had never seen the inside. She had only assumed that it was a refrigerator, but it wasn’t. It was shelf after shelf packed tight with shit. Pot, cocaine, heroin, crack, crank and pills… Probably E, she thought. And at the very bottom stacks of money. She forgot to breathe and nearly toppled over off the stool before she remembered to take a breath again. She took several deep breaths and then went over to the kitchen sink and found the garbage bags underneath. This is not real, she told herself. It’s just not real… But it was. She knew it was. She could feel that it was. She took two bags, slipped one inside the other, and then loaded everything in the refrigerator into the bag. All of it. She hefted it and then went back and got a third bag and slipped it over the first two.

She was on autopilot now. She crossed to the rack, took the keys to the BMW and walked into the hallway. Gelatin, she told herself, just gelatin, as she stepped over Karl and Geezer and then started down the steps that lead down into the garage.

She nearly tripped over the carpet again, looked down, saw one slim dusky gray hand that had slipped out from under the carpet edge when she tripped over it, and quickly looked back up before it could cause her to lose her happy thoughts again.

She opened the garage door. She had thought it would be so hard. She had been convinced it would be, but it was easy. Push the button, the door went up. She climbed into the BMW, set the black plastic bag on the passenger seat, backed the car out of the garage, and then came back and pushed the button to close the door. She stepped back out the side door, shut it as well as she could, then opened it back up, turned the knob on the handset to lock it, and swung it closed once more. It was broken, but maybe it would lock anyway, she told herself. She looked at the dented gold handle of the knob for a moment wondering what had happened here, and then turned and walked back toward the BMW. No going back, her mind said. No going back.

She was nearly to the BMW when she bent double and heaved. The vodka came back up. Burning her throat raw as it did. She slammed down onto her knees, skinning them, and retched until the nausea finally passed. She got up slowly, straightening her clothes as best she could, turned, and that was when she saw the kid standing on the sidewalk. She tried to smile as she staggered toward the BMW.

“You okay, lady?” the kid asked.

She looked at him. Sunday morning, before dawn. The newspaper carrier bag slung over one shoulder. Sunday papers. Maybe he was 16. Maybe 17. Well built. Healthy, unlike herself. She needed to dry out. Funny, a few minutes ago all she had wanted was a fix. Now she didn’t want to ever touch heroin or anything else again. Dry out, be normal. She’d been sixteen herself not so long ago.

“Are you?” the kid asked again.

She shook her head. “Probably not… But I will be… You got a girlfriend?” she asked.

The kid shrugged.

“You want to have an adventure?” She straightened up and looked at the blood running from one of the cuts on her knees. She raised her eyes to the sky and then looked back again.  “Maybe get out of this crappy fuckin’ town?” she asked quietly.

“With you?” the kid asked.

“Yeah, maybe I’m not so hot right now, but I clean up real well… Yeah, with me. There’s no one else here. Want to deliver fuckin’ newspapers the rest of your life? Or maybe get some shit-job flipping burgers someday?” she asked. She allowed a little laugh to slip into her low voice.

“No,” the kid answered.

“Can you drive?” she asked.

The kid looked at the idling BMW, the driver’s door hanging open. “Yeah,” he said a little breathlessly. He looked back at her. She smiled.

“I’m… I’m going to be sick for a while… Kicking the shit, you understand? The big H. The big H… I’ll need help… You’ll take care of me… Won’t run off and leave me?” She wobbled a little on her feet.

“Took care of my mother before she died… I can take care of you… You won’t die though, right?” His eyes looked worried, but he shifted the carrier sack from one shoulder and let it drop to the wet pavement.

“Nope,” she answered. “But I’ll probably wish I did…” She looked at him, “You’ll really stick it out?” She watched his eyes.

“Yeah… I’ll do it,” he said.

“Liv,” she said.

“Brian,” he said. He stepped toward her.

“Well, Brian, better get me into the fucking car before I pass out,” she said as her vision blurred. She wobbled, but he was right there. More substantial than he had looked. Stronger. He pushed the plastic bag off the passenger seat, belted her in, and then went around to the driver’s side. He backed out into the street.

“Where… Where to, Liv… Where are we going?”

“Down south… Stop and buy a map at a gas station. Take us south. Get a motel when you need to. When I… When I get crazy… Okay?”

He nodded as he drove. The BMW accelerating smoothly on the rain slicked streets. “I only have about 20 bucks,” he said.

She laughed, worked her way into the bag, drew out one of the stacks of money and handed it to him. She pawed through the bag taking out all the money, stacks of it: Slipped the bottom bag off, put the money in it and then tied the bag with all the drugs in it.

“You saw all the money? That bag’s got a lot in it. Take it wherever you go and be careful,” she said. “This shit?” She lifted the other bag and pressed the switch to roll down the window. The air felt cold, but good. She flung the bag into the woods that lined the side of the road. And then she burst into tears. It was gonna be so hard.

She pressed the button and the window whispered closed.

“Take care of me, Brian. Take care of me,” she said. She closed her eyes, rested her head against the glass and passed out.

~

“Liv… Liv… Come on, Liv, you got to do this on your own. There are people watching… They’ll think it’s funny if I carry you… Maybe call the cops,” Brian said.

“Oh God, I’m sick… I’m really fuckin’ sick… Leave me the fuck alone, I mean it,” Liv said.

“Liv?” he bent and pulled her upright from the car. They were in Pennsylvania. Near the Catskills. The night was not just cool, it was cold: The cold air brought her awake.

“Okay, Okay… Where are we… Where are we… Fuck… Lead the way… I’m okay… Not so goddamn fast… Slow… I hate to puke,” Liv said.

Brian had toed the door to the cabin open after he had unlocked it, and then edged it partially shut with his foot as he left to get her. He would get her into the bed, lock the door and set the alarm, then he’d get the stuff out of the car after he got her settled… Maybe a shower first too.

He had rented the cabin for three weeks. It was the best he could think of and he thought it was pretty smart. They would have privacy while she got better.

He asked himself a dozen times today why he was doing this, but he didn’t have any solid answers. Maybe because he had no family left. Maybe because he was tired of living in Foster Care with people who didn’t want him. Maybe because he had watched his mother die from this same shit. Crack had done her in instead of heroin, but it was all the same shit. Maybe it was Liv too. Maybe it was a little of both. He had never known anyone who had walked away from their life like this: Never, it was like starting over. Like getting a second chance. He had decided that, that was the main reason.

They passed one couple on the way to their cabin. He smiled politely, helping Liv along.

“A little too much to drink,” he heard the woman whisper to her husband after they had passed by.

He smiled. Good. Let them think that, by the next time that they saw Liv, she would be on her own two feet. He helped her into the cabin and laid her down on the bed. She instantly curled up into a ball holding her stomach. He got her into the bathroom just in time.

Once he got her cleaned up and into the bed, it was close to midnight. He made his way back out to the car, retrieved the stuff he had bought today: Leaving her sleeping in the car; panicking the whole time that she would be gone when he got back, but she had still been there. It had been okay. He grabbed the bag of money too, and carried everything back into the cabin.

It took a few minutes to get the loose cotton pajamas on her. The room had a huge bathtub, and after he had helped her into the bath and bathed her when she couldn’t stay awake to do it herself he was a lot less embarrassed. Besides, there was no one else to do it. He put antibiotic cream on her knee and bandaged it up. She drifted in and out while he did it, mostly to tell him to leave her the fuck alone, but he knew she didn’t mean it. He got some vitamins in her and got her to take a couple of aspirin and drink some juice: She was out cold a few minutes later. He turned the TV on low, smoothed her hair away from her brow and found something to watch.

~

Los Angeles, California

Liv and Brian

Liv sat next to the pool. Her skin was dark, healthy, and glowed under the hot California sun. She had never been to L.A. until now and it was beautiful. In fact she had never been straight long enough in her life to do much more than think about where the next high would come from.

That wasn’t exactly the whole truth, back in junior high school there had still been a real, vulnerable girl inside of her. That was only five years ago, but it felt like it was closer to five hundred years ago. Five million years ago. She almost felt young again, hopeful. Like the young girl she had been back then.

She looked over at Brian in the chair next to her. Somewhere in all of what had gone on in the first months: the sickness, the crying fits, the depression; she had stopped being so mad at the world and had fallen in love with him. He seemed so naive to her, but he wasn’t. The only other woman that had ever mattered to him had died a crack addict, still using, HIV positive with full blown AIDS for the last six months of her life. The two had used her up, what the crack didn’t kill, the AIDS virus had.

They had talked about it for hours. She had no idea how he had managed, he’d only been fifteen. Fifteen and he had taken care of her. And then when he should have been able to go on with his own life, the state had snatched him up and put him in Foster Care. Life had been tough, but she thanked God for him and the fact that his life had been so tough: Taught him such hard lessons. Someone else would have left her on her own. Not Brian. He had stuck it out.

His hand came over and touched hers. He squeezed lightly. She liked the feel of his hand in her own. She bought it to her stomach along with her own and held it as she drifted off to sleep.


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