A free look at Alabama Island from Author Dell Sweet

ALABAMA ISLAND

Copyright 2011 W. G. Sweet all rights reserved.

Cover Art © Copyright 2018 W. G. Sweet

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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.


ALABAMA ISLAND


12:30 am

New York: New York

Carl Evans watched from the mouth of a dark alley. It was one of the things he loved about this place. You could hang out in an alley, smoke cigarettes all day and night long if you wanted to, and nobody said a word to you. Where else, but New York could that be true, he asked himself.

He leaned back against the wall, one sneakered foot propped on the brick behind him to hold him, the other flat on the cobbled stones of the alley. Another thing about New York, he thought as he inhaled deeply of his cigarette, and then let the smoke roll slowly out of his mouth. Old things everywhere you looked. These cobblestones for instance. He wondered how old they truly were.

“Young man.” The deep voice startled him from his thoughts. He lifted his head to see an old, gray haired gentleman standing at the mouth of the alley a few feet away. His face was creased and seamed. His skin so dark it was nearly blue. A cane in one hand supported his weight.

“What’s up, Pops?” Carl asked politely.

The man placed his second hand on his cane and leaned forward. “That cigarette will kill you.”

“Pops…”

He held up one hand as Carl began to speak. “Just telling you. Don’t need an argument. It will kill you. The big tobacco’s, they knew about it back in the day when I was a boy chasing that habit. And they knew about it when it was in commercials in magazines, and T.V. and what not. That cowboy died from it you know, they knew it and they still know it. It will kill you. In case you didn’t know it I wanted you to know it.” He straightened his back, lifted the second hand, nodded once, and moved across the mouth of the alley disappearing as though from some sort of magic.

Carl chuckled, lifted the cigarette to his mouth, took a deep drag and then found himself blowing the smoke out, dropping the cigarette, and crushing it. The old man had ruined it for him. He hadn’t smoked in ten years, but it tasted as good now as it had then. And he had figured with the way things were nobody had much time. Certainly not enough time to die from cancer or some other nasty surprise from cigarettes, but just the same the old man had ruined it for him.

He looked down at the blackened mess he had made as he ground the cigarette into the cobbles. Just as well, he told himself, it was time. He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a small silver canister. He inhaled a sharp breath involuntarily. He knew what it was. Knew what he was doing, but he still couldn’t believe he was actually going to do it.

He fingered the small red button on the top of the silver canister, hesitated, and then pushed it down. Something inside clicked. There was no other sound in the stillness. He tossed it down the alley, turned, and walked out to the sidewalk.

Route 81 rest-stop

Outside Watertown New York

1:00 am

A black truck pulled into the rest stop and two men climbed out; walking toward the rest rooms that sat in from the road. Concrete bunker looking buildings that had been built back in the early seventies. They had been closed for several years now. In fact the Open soon sign was bolted to the front of the building; rust streaked the sign surface. It seemed like some sort of joke to Mike Bliss who used the rest stop as a place to do light duty drug deals. Nothing big, but still that depended on your idea of big. Certainly nothing over a few thousand dollars. That was his break off point. Any higher than that, he often joked, you would have to talk to someone in Columbia… Or maybe Mexico, he told himself now as he sat waiting in his Lexus, but it seemed that since Rich Dean had got himself dead the deals just seemed to be getting larger and larger. And who knew how much longer that might last. He watched the two men make a bee line for the old rest rooms.

“Idiots,” he muttered to himself. He pushed the button, waited for the window to come down, leaned out the window and yelled. “What are you, stupid? They’re closed.” He motioned with one hand. “You can’t read the fuckin’ sign or what?”

Both men stopped and looked from him to the sign.

“Yeah, closed. You can read right? Closed. That’s what it says. Been closed for years. Go on into Watertown; buy a fuckin’ burger or something. Only way you’re getting a bathroom at this time of the morning.” He had lowered his voice for the last as he pulled his head back into the car, and turned the heater up a notch. The electric motor whined as the window climbed in its track. He looked down at his wrist for the time, 1:02 A.M., where the fuck was this dude. He was late, granted a few minutes, but late was late.

A sharp rap on the glass startled him. He had been about to dig out his own supply, a little pick-me-up. He looked up to see the guys from the truck standing outside his window. “Oh… Fucking lovely,” he muttered. He pushed the button and the window lowered into the door, the motor whining loudly, the cold air blew in.

“And what can I do for you two gentlemen,” He asked in his best smart ass voice.

The one in back stepped forward into the light. Military type, Mike told himself. Older, maybe a noncom. A little gray at the edges of his buzz cut. With the military base so close there were soldiers everywhere, after all Watertown was a military town. It was why he was in the business he was in. It was also why he succeeded at it.

“Did you call me stupid,” The man asked in a polite tone.

“Who, me? No. I didn’t call you stupid, I asked, what are you stupid? Different thing. The fuckin’ place is closed… Just doing my good deed for the day… Helping you, really, so you don’t waste no time,” Mike told him.

“Really?” The man asked.

Mike chuckled. “Yeah really, tough guy. Really. Now, I did my good deed, why don’t you get the fuck out of here ’cause you wore out your welcome.” He opened his coat slightly so they could see the chrome 9 mm that sat in its holster.

“Really,” the first guy repeated.

“Okay, who are you guys, frick and frack? A couple of fucking wannabees? Well I am the real deal, don’t make me stick this gun in your fuckin’ face,” Mike told them. He didn’t like being a dick, but sometimes you had to be.

“You know what my mother always said about guns?” The second guy asked.

“Well, since I don’t know your mama it’s hard to say,” Mike told him. He didn’t like the way these two were acting. They weren’t cops, he knew all the locals. If it had been someone he had to worry about he would have handled this completely differently. These guys were nobodies. At least nobodies to him, and that made them nobodies to Watertown. If he had to put a bullet in… His thoughts broke off abruptly as the barrel of what looked like a .45 was jammed into his nose. It came from nowhere. He sucked in a deep breath. He could taste blood in his mouth where the gun had smashed his upper lip against his teeth.

“She said don’t threaten to pull a gun, never. Just pull it.”

“Mama had a point,” Mike allowed. His voice was nasally due to the gun that was jammed hallway up to his brain. “Smart lady.”

“Very,” the man allowed. “Kind of a hard ass to grow up with, but she taught me well.” He looked down at Mike. “So listen, this is what we’re gonna do. You’re gonna drive out of here right the fuck now. And that’s going to stop me from pulling this trigger. Lucky day for you, I think. Like getting a Get Out Of Jail Free card, right.”

“This is my business spot… You don’t understand,” Mike told them. “I… I’m waiting for someone.”

“Not tonight, Michael.”

“Yeah, but you don’t.” He stopped. “How do you know my name?” he asked. There was more than a nasal quality to his voice, now there was real fear. Maybe they were Feds. Maybe.

“Yeah, we know you. And we know you use this spot as a place to do your business. And I’m saying we couldn’t care less, but right now you gotta go, and I’m not going to tell you the deal again. You can leave or stay, but you ain’t gonna like staying,” The guy told him.

“Listen… This is my town… If you guys are Feds you can’t do shit like this… This is my town. You guys are just…”

The guy pulled the trigger and Mike jumped. He fell to the right, across the front seat. Both men stepped away from the car, eyes scanning the lonely rest stop from end to end, but there was no one anywhere. The silence returned with a ringing in their ears from the blast as it had echoed back out of the closed car interior. The shooter worked his jaw for a moment, swallowing until his ears popped. He lifted his wrist to his mouth. “Guess you saw that,” he said quietly.

“Got a cleaner crew on the way up. You’ll pass them in the elevators. The boss is waiting on you guys.” The voice came through the implant in his inner ear. No one heard what was said except him.

He nodded for the cameras that were picking him up. “In case you didn’t hear it, someone is supposed to meet him here so your cleaner crew could have company.”

“Got that too… We’ll handle it.” He nodded once more, and then walked off toward the rest rooms as the other man followed.

Once in back of the unit they used a key in the old rusted handset. It only looked old and rusty; it was actually an interface for a state of the art digital system that would read his body chemistry, heat, and more. The key had dozens of micro pulse sensor implants that made sure the user was human, transmitted heartbeat, body chemistry, it could even tell male from female and match chemical profiles to known examples in its database. Above and to the sides of them several scanners mapped their bodies to those same known profiles. Bone composition, old fractures, density and more. All unique in every man or women. The shooter removed the key and slipped it into his pocket. A few seconds later a deep whining of machinery reached their ears, the door shuddered in its frame, and then slipped down into a pocket below the doorway.

A second later they stepped into the gutted restroom. Stainless steel doors took up most of the room; the elevator to the base below. They waited for the cleaner crew to come up and then took the elevator back down into the depths.

~

The Bluechip facility stretched for more than five miles underground. Most of that was not finished space, most of that was connector tunnels, and storage space bored from the rock. The facility itself was about three thousand feet under the city of Watertown in a section of old caves that had been enlarged, concrete lined and reinforced. The rest area was one of several entrances that led into the complex. An old farm on the other side of Watertown, an abandoned factory in the industrial park west of the city and a few other places, including direct connections from secure buildings on the nearby base.

John Pauls and Sammy Black had Alpha clearance. Both were ex-military, but most likely military clearance was no longer a real matter of concern this late in the game, Sammy thought as they made their way down the wide hallway. The word coming down from those in the know was that in the next twenty-four hours the human race would come very close to ceasing to exist at all. No confirmation from anyone official, but regular programming was off air, the news stations were tracking a meteor that may or may not hit the Earth. The best opinions said it didn’t matter if it hit or not, it would be a close enough pass that there would be massive damage. Maybe the human race would be facing extinction. The government was strangely silent on the subject. And that had made him worry even more. The pass was estimated to be right over the tip of south America. So maybe formalities like Alpha clearance weren’t all that important any longer. If only Mike Bliss had given that some thought before he had pissed him off.

The halls were silent, nearly empty. Gloss white panels eight feet high framed it. It had always reminded Black of a maze with its twists and turns. Here and there doors hung open. Empty now. Always closed any other time he had been down here. So it had come this far too, Black thought. He stopped at a door that looked like any other door and a split second later the door rose into the ceiling and Major Weston waved them in.

Alice, he had never learned her last name, sat at her desk, her eyes on them as they walked past her. One hand rested on the butt of a matte black .45 caliber pistol in a webbed shoulder holster that was far from Army issue. Her shoulder seemed a little puffy on one side… Padded unevenly: Probably injured, Sammy thought: Even so, he had no doubt she could still shoot them both before they could even react.

Alice was etched into one of those name pins that the Army seemed to like so well, but oddly, just Alice, no last name, rank or anything else. She wore no uniform, just a black coverall. The kind with the elastic ankle and wrist cuffs. No insignia there either. He had noticed those months before. Her eyes remained flat and expressionless as they passed her desk.

“Alice,” Sammy said politely. She said nothing at all, but she never did.

“Sit down, boys,” Major Weston told them. He spoke around the cigar in his mouth: Dead, but they always were, and there was never the smell of tobacco in the office. They took the two chairs that fronted the desk.

The Major was looking over a large monitor on the opposite wall that showed the north American continent. This map showed small areas of red, including the northern section where they were. The rest of the map was covered with green. “Where we are and where we need to be,” he said as he pushed a button on his desk. The monitor went blank. He turned to face the two.

“So here is where we are. You know, as does most of the world, that we are expecting a near miss from DX2379R later on tonight.” He held their eyes.

John shrugged. “I’ve been doing a little job, must have missed that. It’s not gonna take us out is it?”

“Saw that on the news a few days back. Guess we dodged a bad one,” Sammy said.

“Right… Right,” Weston said quietly. “But that cover was nothing but bullshit.”

“It’s going to hit us?” John asked.

“Maybe… The fact is that we don’t know. One group says this, another group says that, but it doesn’t matter because it will probably kill us off anyway. Direct hit, near miss, it is going to tip over an already bad situation with the Yellowstone Caldera.” He raised his eyes, “Familiar with that?”

“Yellowstone park?” Sammy said.

John nodded in agreement.

Weston laughed. “Put simply, yes. Yellowstone has always been an anomaly to us. Back in 1930 the Army did an exploratory survey of that area. What we came up with was that there was a section of the Rocky Mountains missing. Looked at from the top of Mount Washburn it was easy for the team to see that the largest crater of an extinct volcano known to exist lay before them.”

“I guess that’s about what I thought,” Sammy agreed.

“Yeah. We all think that. Except it is not true at all because the Yellowstone caldera is not extinct, it is active. Active and about to pop. There have been several warnings, but we took the recording stations off line quite some time ago, so there has been no mention of it in the news. Budget cuts,” he shrugged. “So everyone is focused on this meteor that may or may not hit us and instead this volcanic event is going to blow up and when that happens the rest won’t matter at all.” He clicked the button on his desk and the monitor came to life. “All the red areas are spots where the surface pressure has increased. There was, at one time, many active volcanoes on the north American continent.” He clicked a button and the map changed to a view of the European continent with many of the same red shaded areas.

“All over the Earth… Higher pressures. Up until a few days ago the brainiacs were still arguing over whether this could even happen.” He laughed. “It is happening and they are arguing over whether it can happen. Well, we had our little debates and then we realized that history shows clearly that this has happened before. Several times. Call it the Earth’s way of cleansing itself.”

“But it’s not an absolute, right?”Sammy asked.

“Don’t start sounding like the scientists.” He reached below his desk and came up with six small silver cartridges. Each had a red button mounted on the top with a protective cap over the button itself. He clicked a button on his desk, and a picture of destruction appeared on the screens. It was obviously an aerial shot, looking down at a chain of islands. Smoke hung over the chain, reaching as high as the plane itself. As the plane dropped lower, rivers of red appeared. “That picture is an hour old. That is… Was, the Hawaiian chain.”

Sammy twisted further to the side, staring at the monitor. “How can that be…? I mean everyone would know about it.” He turned back to Weston.

Weston nodded. “And that would be true except the satellites are out because of the asteroid. Shut down to avoid damage. That is the official word.” He clicked the button on his desk and the monitor went dead once more. “I started this out saying that none of it matters and that is true. The Yellowstone caldera is going to erupt sometime in the next few days. Not a maybe, not an educated guess: If the satellites were up you would know that the park is closed. It has already started. We have had a few small quakes, but the big stuff is on the way.”

“Super volcanoes… Earthquakes that modern civilization has never seen… The last super eruption was responsible for killing off the human population some seventy-four thousand years ago. Reduced it to a few thousand. And that is not the biggest one we have evidence of.” He lifted his palms and spread them open, sighing as he did. “So it is a double whammy. If we survive the meteor the volcanoes get us, or the earthquakes because of them, or we’ll die from injuries. And I think those of us who die outright will be lucky. The rest of us will have a hard time of it… Staying alive with nothing… We will probably all starve to death.” He paused in the silence.

“Those cartridges are a compound developed right here in this complex for the armed forces. Project Super Soldier. SS for short. That kept people from looking too deep; they assumed it was something to do with the Nazi youth movement here and abroad. We let that misconception hold.” He waited a second for his words to sink in.

“SS is designed to prolong life past the normal point of termination. It allows a soldier to survive longer without food and more importantly without water. Does something to the cells of the host, I don’t pretend to know what. What I do know is that the people above me made the decision to release this…” He picked up a mug of coffee from the desk and sipped deeply. His eyes were red road maps, Sammy noticed now; like he hadn’t slept in a few days. He picked up the two cartridges; holding them between thumbs and forefingers, rolling them back and forth.

“A few months ago this facility… I fucked up and allowed several vials of the virus to be stolen… The people responsible have been dealt with, but the damage was done.

“Shortly after that theft we began getting credible stories of contamination in Brazil… Nothing else anywhere else, but it doesn’t matter. This virus is tenacious, it will spread from Brazil to the entire world and it will just be a matter of time. The upper ups read those reports from Brazil and believe this may be the last hope for mankind if it is released now… In time to save the world… Before the end comes… So, accidental… Purposeful, I don’t know what that theft and contamination was meant to be, but it tipped the scales and now the entire world is going to be let in on it.” He sighed deeply and rolled the cartridges across the desktop; Sammy and John caught them.

“So this is it for us. I guess you realize that you probably won’t get paid for this. No money is going to show up in your account. I will run it through before I pull the plug, but I truly believe the machinery will be dead by the time payday rolls around. So this is something I’m asking you to do.” He pointed to the cartridges that both men were looking over. Sammy held his as though it might bite him.

“Those babies are really all we have to hope with. Most people will die outright. They will never make it past the quakes, eruptions, and the resulting ash clouds and gases. Up here we should be okay as far as gases go, eruptions, but there are fault lines that crisscross this area. This whole facility is bored from limestone caverns. Probably won’t make it through the quakes, although it is a good eighty miles from the closest line,” he shrugged. “Maybe, maybe not. My point is there should be a good chance for survivors here.”

“So we do what with these? Can they harm us?” John asked.

“Harm you, kill you? No, but you will be infected the minute you push that button. It will protect you the same as anyone else. There is enough in a single cartridge to infect about five hundred million people,” Weston said quietly.

“Whoa,” Sammy whistled. “Why infect… Why not inoculate? And why six cartridges… Three Billion people?”

“Minimum, three billion. That is before those infected pass it along: After a while it won’t matter. As to the question of infected, this is a designer virus. You catch it just like the flu. We infected whole platoons by releasing it in the air over them. Eighty-Nine point seven percent infection rate, but that doesn’t really matter because it infects people close to you and those people will infect you… Sneezing, waste, sex, water, food, it gets into and on everything. And once it is in you, either orally or via bloodstream you will be infected. The human body has nothing to fight it, no reason to be alarmed or believe it’s anything more than a virus. And that same response will help to carry it to every area of the body as your own defenses manufacture white blood cells to fight it. So you may as well say a one hundred percent infection rate.” He paused and rubbed at his temples.

“Be glad they decided on this. They have some others that will kill everybody in the world in a matter of days.” Weston nodded at the raised eyebrows that greeted his remarks. “I don’t doubt that the merits of which way to go were hotly debated,” he finished gravely.

“The virus is designed to live within the host, but it can live outside of the host. It can stay alive in a dead body for days, even if the body is frozen. In fact that just freezes the virus too; once the body is thawed it will infect any living person that comes along. So those,” he pointed to the silver cartridges, “are overkill. Same stuff is being released across the globe. Great Briton… Germany… Australia… West coast just a few hours ago. Manhattan has already been done, all the East Coast in fact. I want the two of you to head out from here. One vial here, then one of you head west, the other south. Go for the bigger cities… Water supplies… Reservoirs… Release it in the air or water, it doesn’t matter. There are men heading out from the south, the west coast. The Air Force will be dispersing the same stuff via cargo planes tomorrow or the next day… As long as they can fly, if we can even make it that long, and that isn’t looking really good right now…” He rose from the desk. “I’ll see you out.” He turned to Alice. “Alice… Pack us up.” Alice nodded as Sammy and John got to their feet, but her hand remained on the butt of the pistol. Rubber grips, Sammy noticed as he passed her.

“Alice,” he said.

“Um hmm,” Alice murmured.

Sammy nearly stopped in his tracks, but managed to hide his surprise as he passed by into the hallway. The Major fished two sets of keys from his pocket. “Parked in the back lot. A couple of plain Jane Dodge four-bys. Drive ’em like you stole ’em. Leave ’em where you finish up. Hell, keep ’em if you want ’em. Nobody is going to care.”

The three stood in the hallway for a few seconds longer. Sammy’s eyes locked with the Major’s own, and he nodded. The major walked back into his office, and the door rose from its pocket behind him. Quiet, except the slight buzzing from the fluorescent lights.

John shrugged as his eyes met Sammy’s, waiting.

Sammy sighed. “You heard the man… West or south?”

“Flip for it?” John asked. His mouth seemed overly dry and he licked his lips nervously.

Sammy pulled a quarter from his pocket and flipped it into the air. “Call it, Johnny.”

“Tails,” John said just before the quarter hit the carpet.

Sammy bent forward. “Tails it is. You got it, Johnny.”

John looked down at the carpet. “West, I guess.” John said.

Sammy nodded, looked down once more at the quarter and then both men turned and walked away toward the elevator that would take them back to the surface.

Haley

Market Place: Watertown, New York:

Early Morning

“I don’t give a fuck what you think, girl. Get that fuckin’ money in the bag, and get it in the bag now.” He shifted away, leaning back from Haley, but with the mirrored sun glasses it was hard for her to tell whether he was still looking at her or away from her. The drawer had hesitated opening, the reset from switching to emergency power, just a sticky register, something, she had tried to explain it, but he had taken it personal. Like she had meant to have it happen. Thankfully it had opened immediately the second time. She picked up her cash drawer and dumped it into the green plastic garbage bag he held. The ground trembled a little under her feet causing her to sway, and they both paused, waiting…

There had been earthquakes. A few aftershocks in between the major jolts, and then the power had gone out. This was, Haley hoped, only a tremor.

It had been the new assistant manager’s bright idea to stay open. To be a gathering place for people in the neighborhood until someone in charge showed up. It was three A.M. and no one in charge had shown up. Twenty minutes ago three people had walked through the front door: All dressed in military fatigues; all wearing the mirrored sunglasses and some sort of scarves or bandannas tied around their heads and below their noses. Hair, eyes, all the features you could look for and remember were gone. They would probably never get caught, there was nothing to remember. Never mind the fact that the alarms were out, the cops hadn’t been seen for hours, and they were robbing the market in the middle of some kind of disaster. Haley only hoped they made it fast and didn’t hurt anyone. The oldsters, her nickname for the older folks that lived in the area, couldn’t handle a lot of shock. Already some of them were overly frightened and shaking.

Her eyes swept around to the other two. The one guy seemed slightly heavier through the upper body, but the fatigues were out sized, so it was hard to tell. The last had a deep booming voice that he had only used once when they had come into the market, kicked the chocks that held the automatic doors open out of the way, and announced the robbery. None of the three had spoken since then.

There were twenty-eight people in the market, mostly the oldsters from the Old Towne neighborhood who had come to the market area because the lights were still on, and there were other people there. Old Towne was a far suburb of the city of Manhattan. Some young couples lived here, but getting into and out of the city was sometimes too much and before you knew it a face you had gotten used to seeing was gone. The oldsters with their pensions and fixed incomes stayed. The commute into the city, as rarely as they had to make it, meant nothing to them. Crime was usually low; it wasn’t a bad place to live.

A tremble passed through the floor once more; weaker than the last. It felt like a heavy truck passing over a bridge, no more than that, she thought.

Three earthquakes had hit so far, each one stronger than the last. Haley herself had watched the lights of downtown dim and then wink out. All of those old buildings that had lit up the sky over the old public square every night for as long as she could remember, gone in the wink of an eye. The flat screens that hung above the checkouts had winked out, and the two televisions at the front of the store that were on every hour of every day blacked out and then came back with snow and static. The skyline had lit back up, but it was flickering in places.

Haley had grown up in the Grant projects in Harlem. Six months ago she had made the move north to Watertown. She took a room on the north side of the city and up until a few weeks ago she had still made the trip back and forth every day, but she had found a place, a small walk-up, not far from the market. It was okay for now. And living near downtown suited her, or had. She didn’t know how this was going to change the equation.

The power had not come back on in the downtown district. The lights were running by generator. The generator was necessary for the meat department at the back of the store. It wouldn’t run forever, but it was on now keeping the meat freezers and the cold cases working; running the low powered emergency lighting system inside the market.

The robber that had been in front of her moved down the line to the next register when the shaking stopped, bag in hand: The other two stood silently at the front of the store, some sort of rifles with clips held in their hands, watching, Haley supposed, through their mirrored lenses.

The man with the bag had reached the end of the line when a much heavier earthquake hit and things began to tumble from the shelves, falling into the aisles. Above her she watched the ceiling lift from the painted cinder block walls and then slam back down once more. One second she had been looking outside at the massive bare limbs of the oaks that lined the other side of the street and the next she had been looking at the backside of the corrugated panels that made up the roof of the market. It had happened so fast that she wondered to herself if it had really happened at all. The thin steel roof trusses that held the corrugated panels twisted as the roof slammed back down, squealing as they did. It seemed impossible to her that they could continue to hold the roof.

Her eyes swept quickly around the inside of the market. Most of the oldsters were screaming, cowering where they stood, trying to melt into the floor, but a few were standing stoically; watching parts of the ceiling begin to fall. Haley held the side of the dead conveyor belt in her checkout lane as the floor rose and shook. The robbers scrambled to stay on their feet; the stock tipped and tumbled, rolling across the floor.

The looks on some of the oldster’s faces said, “I knew this is how it would end,” and Haley believed in that split second that they really had known all along that the world would come to an end in the downtown market square just like it was right now. They had been children playing in the school yard, young lovers chasing after one another through the tall grass, parents seeing their child off to school on that first day: Pensioners walking to the box to get their check as the little girls that lived next door played hopscotch on the sidewalk; old folks coaxing the cat into the house through the back door, and they had known. They had known all along. Her eyes swiveled back to the front of the market, and that was when the roof at the front of the store collapsed. The robber, the one with the bigger upper body screamed and jumped back, and Haley understood then that he was a she. Her scream seemed like a signal to everyone, and a fraction of a second later they were all, oldsters, employees and robbers, running for the back of the store as the ceiling of the market collapsed onto the tops of the aisle shelving. The lightweight steel girders grinding and screeching as it came down.

The doors to the back stock room slammed open and the crowd poured into the rear storage area, coming up against the stacks of boxes and crates, and stopping. Just that suddenly the situation had changed. They were no longer running for their lives, they were being herded like cattle by the three and their waving, motioning rifles, holding the doors open, pushing the stragglers, cut and bleeding, into the area as the last of the shaking stopped. Large clips depended in a curve from those rifles, Haley noticed. They were in their hands, but they also had other weapons slung upon their backs by straps that looked every bit as capable as the ones they held in their hands. The one with the thicker chest, the one who at least screamed like a woman, kicked the doors shut and they stood, choking and sneezing as the thick clouds of dust swirled and billowed in the emergency lights.

Outside:

The old Chevy began to rock on its springs, lunging first right and then left. It took a harder lunge to the right, and then jumped forward and slammed head on into the side of the building.

“Fuck, Calvin. Fuck,” the woman driver screamed. She held a rifle with a long banana clip that slammed into the ceiling. Her finger squeezed the trigger tightly for just a brief second and spat a burst of bright white light and noise; a jagged hole appeared in the roof of the car.

“Bitch, what the fuck?” Calvin screamed as he tried to roll with the shaking car, hanging onto the dashboard. The four in the back added their own comments, and in a second the entire car erupted into cursing and yelling. The ground movement tossed the car once more, picking it up and slamming it sideways into a truck that had slid over three spaces. The screech of grinding metal and breaking glass silenced the screams and yells from the car. The car bounced away from the truck, jiggled from side to side and then settled onto the ground; one tire flat, the nose bent upward.

“Get out… Get out of this motherfucker,” Calvin screamed. Bricks and pieces of concrete block began to tumble from the roof line as the main wall of the market bulged out and the false roof structure that fronted the store titled backwards and fell into the store space. A few of the huge glass windows that fronted the market cracked with loud audible clicks: Spider webs running like bolts of lightning top to bottom, and then shooting off to the sides. Huge walls of glass that were now held together only by the aluminum frames they rested in.

“Jesus… Jesus, those bitches will go… I know it,” one of the men that had been in the back seat muttered, as he tumbled from the car and staggered away. One tall window groaned, splinters of glass shooting onto the sidewalk, and the front passenger side of the car, and then collapsed in a small pile onto the concrete as if to prove him right. Screams surged out from inside the store mixing with their own. A thick cloud of dust billowed out through the opening. The glass glittered like gemstones in the sparse light from the interior of the market.

“Out… Out!” Calvin yelled. A small section of brick bonded to concrete block fell over and crushed the nose of the car, pinning it to the ground. Steam erupted from the buried nose of the car and rose into the cold air, mixing with the dust as it did. Calvin skipped backwards, the hard heels of the combat boots he wore getting little purchase on the asphalt. He fell backwards with the momentum, his hands splaying behind him, immediately cut on the glass and other debris that covered the asphalt. He wrenched himself forward and began to pluck at the pieces embedded in his palms. His eyes rose and swept across the others as his fingers worked. Murder, Shitty, Chloe, Tammy, he ticked off the faces mentally. “Who?” he asked. His quick head count had come up short.

“Rosie,” Tammy said. She was a thin girl with a shock of kinky pink hair. The name was picked up by the others.

Rosie had been in the front with him. She had been the one that had shot through the roof of the car. She was nowhere to be seen. Calvin stood, dusted his bleeding palms against his fatigues and walked around the edge of the car. Rosie’s boot clad feet protruded from under the car. Not moving. A pool of spreading blood seeping past the wheel that rested partway onto her body, and out into the lot. He stopped. “Rosie’s done up,” he said aloud. He raised his eyes from the pavement as a gunshot came from inside the market. He swore to himself. “Better see what’s happened inside. Stay right here,” He frowned as a second shot rang out. “Fuck… Listen, if it goes bad, get the fuck out… Just run.” He waited for Murder to nod. Murder was his first. The one he trusted the most. He trotted toward the front entrance, his rifle in his hands, safety off.

The Stock Room:

Things moved fast after the doors swung shut. The one with the thick chest tore off her bandanna and shook her head as if to get the dust out of her hair. White-blond hair flew about her face. She bent over a second later and vomited. Haley smelled it on the air instantly, and fought the gag reflex that started in her own throat. A few of the oldsters didn’t make it, and the small floor area was covered with sprawled and bent double bodies a second later as more became sick. Haley kept her eyes on the three. A second later the other two tore off their bandannas, and Haley’s heart sank.

The one with the deep voice spoke again: A tall pimple faced white boy, Haley saw. He couldn’t be more than fourteen. “Get these,” he said, as he passed long pieces of plastic to the other two. The plastic made no sense until a few seconds later when the other two began slapping the zip ties around one of the oldster’s wrists and tugging another through the first before pulling them tight.

“Oh God. Don’t do that to me,” Annie, one of the new clerks screamed. She bolted forward as if making a break for the now closed stock room doors, and Haley watched as the pimple faced white boy raised his rifle. He squeezed the trigger once. Annie collapsed to the floor in mid stride, like a kite that had spilled all of its air at once. One leg spread before her, the other at an angle behind her. Her body skidded along the floor an inch or two and then stopped. She sighed loudly. Her mouth was closed tightly in a grimace as she slowly tipped over to the floor. Her eyes were open, and for a second Haley thought maybe she was seeing, but then something in them shifted, and she knew she was gone. Haley turned away as a few of the oldsters began to mutter between themselves, a few others began to cry. Jason, the new Assistant Manager, stepped forward.

“Listen,” he began in a loud voice. “I don’t know who you people think you are, but you’ve killed someone now… Killed someone!” He stopped and looked incredulously at the three who stood closer to the doors. His eyes cutting down to Annie and then up once more. The pimple faced boy raised the rifle once more, Jason opened his mouth, and the boy shot him in the chest before he could say another word.

The blast was amazingly loud in the closed area. Louder than the other shot had been, and a large section of Jason’s smock turned instantly red, puffing out behind him. He sank slowly to the floor, his mouth working as though he had one last thing to say, but he said nothing. He reached the floor, tipped sideways, and a flood of dark blood spilled from his mouth. After that no one spoke: The other two went back to tying wrists with the zip ties, and time seemed to jump forward in quick little jerks as Haley watched them do her own wrists and then move on.

They would kill her now, she knew it. Nineteen years of living through the violence of the projects: Making it out; all to die in the back of some market stockroom over a few dollars that didn’t even belong to her. And they would do it. There was no reason not to now. They had let them see their faces. No reason to tie them. No reason to remove the bandannas. No reason at all.

A sharp banging came from the side of the stockroom and Haley twisted her head quickly. The door that lead out to the sidewalk, Haley knew. A voice calling, and the pimple faced white boy raised his own voice in answer; turning toward the sound.

“We’re good… We’re good,” he yelled in that voice that didn’t seem capable of coming from him. He turned back, his eyes scanning the crowd. They stopped on Haley.

“Where is that fucking door?” he asked. “Where’s it go to?”

She motioned with her head. “Behind the boxes… There, at the end of the aisle. Goes outside… Out front.”

“Show me, Bitch.” He moved forward and his rifle barrel dug into her stomach, and then upward, dragging heavily across the edges of her ribs as he lifted the barrel and motioned with it. She stifled the urge to cry out. She could feel blood trickling downward, across the flat of her stomach under the smock she wore. She walked the short distance to the door, and found herself suddenly falling as he shoved her hard to one side, and slammed down on the door width bar; swinging it open.

Haley’s forehead hit the concrete hard, and she slid forward on her chest, rolling into a skid of cereal boxes. She was out cold before the boxes tumbled to the surrounding floor, hiding her body.

The Padlock Situation:

“What the fuck? The one called Calvin said as he stepped into the room. The pimple faced kid held up the bag of money as he stepped forward to go through the door, the other two behind him. Calvin caught the edge of his shirt and shoved him backwards hard.

“Why’d you kill some? Why’d you do that? Didn’t we talk about it? Didn’t we make it clear? What the fuck?” His eyes swept over the two bodies that lay on the floor, blood running away in small rivulets toward the floor drain near the swinging doors that lead back out into the store area.

“The cunt on the floor tried to rush us… No choice!” The kid’s frightened, pale-blue eyes stared up into Calvin’s own eyes. A small smile played at the corners of his mouth.

“The other guy played hero,” the blond said. Her face was slicked with sweat, making it seem even darker than it was. She stepped forward slightly, trying to hold Calvin’s eyes with her own. Calvin’s hand flashed to his waist, and a second later he bought it up in a sharp thrusting motion. The kid gasped, his mouth opened, and a small trickle of blood ran from the corner and across his cheek. Calvin watched the life begin to bleed from the kids’ eyes before he released him. The kid slid to the floor as if in slow motion. Calvin sheathed his knife: The blonde stepped forward as if to catch the kid, and Calvin raised his rifle.

“You got something to say?” he asked.

The blond wagged her head. Tears glistened at the corners of her eyes. She stared down at the body on the floor.

The Parking Lot:

Chloe looked from Murder to Tammy. She had already started backwards at the shot. It had taken all of her resolve not to run. Tammy stood trembling, her eyes trapped, and unable to stay in one place for long; lighting first on Chloe, then Murder, then back to Chloe.

“Chloe! Fuck. Chloe!” Tammy hissed. “Let’s go… Let’s fuckin’ go.”

Far away the scream of an engine came to her, and Chloe’s eyes swiveled back to Murder. “You know he’ll kill us too… You know it.”

“Shut up! Shut the fuck up, Bitches. Just let me…” Before he could finish the words, Shitty, who had been standing right next to him, had turned and sprinted a few feet away. He stopped and looked back, sweat trailing down his face, panic bright in his eyes.

“That fucking engine, Man. It’s coming here… Listen, Man. Listen.” They all listened for a second. “It’s cops… I ain’t fuckin’ waitin’.”

There may have been some hope of Murder holding them together, but at the same instance he had that thought a burst of automatic gunfire came from the market and he found his own feet moving. He followed the other three as they ran for the shadows at the back of the lot.

The Stockroom:

Calvin motioned to the blond and the other remaining kid and they stepped through the door out onto the sidewalk and the cold air. The blond started to walk away, but Calvin curled his fist into her hair and dragged her back. She cried out involuntarily as he pulled her around to face back into the stockroom.

“Can’t leave it like this,” he told her. “Your man fucked it up; unless you want to be in there with him you better take care of it.” Her eyes pleaded, but he pushed her away; turned loose of her. He raised his rifle, holding it on her. “Take ’em out,” he said quietly. “Take ’em out.” She turned to him once more, briefly, and then turned back, raised her own rifle, and began to fire into the stockroom. Things happened fast after that.

Cops:

Calvin turned at the sound of tires screeching on the wet pavement. A kind of low grade squalling as the tires slid to a stop, muted by the rain slicked roadway. He turned, fully prepared to flash the rifle, and show whoever this was that it might be smarter to take off. He wasn’t prepared for the sight that greeted him.

A police van had skidded to a stop halfway across both lanes of the street and cops seemed to boil out of it: A half dozen. All armed. All dressed in riot gear, and bulletproof vests, Calvin saw. He fully intended to keep turning, but at nearly the same time he saw them his legs seemed to be pushed out from under him, and he felt himself falling as an eruption of noise and smoke filled the air all around him. He tumbled through the doorway into the dim interior. Just outside he watched as the blonde and the remaining man sprinted for the only shelter, the stockroom, but the cops were on both of them just that fast. They fell even as they made the doorway, sprawling on the heap of bodies just past him. The rapid shots fell off to single blasts, and then stopped. Two heavily armored cops ran forward, flanking the door, hesitated only briefly, and then jumped through the doorway into the room beyond. The silence held for a brief second longer and then one called back. Calvin fought to keep his eyes open, convinced that if he could do just that one small thing everything would be alright.

“Toast… Done up.”

The one that had called out turned, light flashing dully from his black body armor. He started for the door when his eyes fell on a thick padlock hanging next to the door. He grasped it as he leapt through the doorway; the other followed. They both bent and picked up the few scattered weapons that lay on the sidewalk; tossing them into the darkness of the stockroom, and then the first one slammed the door shut. He ran the padlock through the welded plates on the door and snapped it shut.

Calvin heard the click. His vision was lost in the absolute darkness of the space. He had already tried to move. He couldn’t. It was useless. It had seemed so important to try to move though. So important just a few moments ago. A few…. He blinked, but he still saw nothing. A buzzing started in one ear, and then that ear seemed to fill up with static, breaking the buzzing sound up into little bursts of confusion that tore away into his brain. He blinked and tried to listen harder, but there was nothing to hear, then…

“Come on, come on, come on!” This from one of the cops crouched back by the van where it idled on the roadway: Vapor curling from the exhaust pipe and lifting into the air: The two sprinted back, jumped into the rear of the van; holding the doors partially shut with their hands and the van roared away. It turned two blocks down and disappeared onto one of the side streets. The motor could be heard screaming on the still air for a few moments longer, and then it was gone. Silence held the street, and then snow began to fall lightly. Within a short time the entire street was covered in a coating of snow as lightening flashed in the dark skies above Old Towne.

The darkness began to suddenly take on more weight, and the fear that he might be dying settled in more fully with Calvin’s other scattered thoughts. A puppy he had had… So real… Its whole body was wagging right along with its tail. It was … was… When?  What? Gone… A birthday party… Not his… He had no gift… The sound of the lock clicking shut… Echoing, and then as suddenly as the light had left with the slamming of the door it flared back into existence: A bright ball up near the ceiling. A light to be sure, but unlike any light he had ever seen. It flared brighter… Brighter still, and then he felt himself rise, confused at first and then stepping from the shadows of the room and into the bright lights of a hallway. Panic jumped into him… How could he be walking? How could he be?

He spun, meaning to step back into the darkness, but the darkness was gone. All that remained was the over bright hallway that lead to… Whatever it led to. He couldn’t make an answer for it come to him. None at all. He stood briefly, still facing what had been the darkness of the back room, but now was only a smooth white expanse of flat wall, and then he forced himself to turn around… It meant… It meant the end… The end… He slid one foot forward and then the other, forcing himself to walk.

Haley:

She came awake in the dark. She was shivering, the cold of the concrete seeping deep into her body. Her head ached, but when she tried to lift her hands to it she remembered that they were still zip tied behind her back. Boxes tumbled away from her. That caused panic to settle into her for a brief moment until she realized that whatever had happened was over. The stockroom was graveyard silent, a thin blueish line of light seeped under the swinging doors about twelve feet away. Shadows began to emerge from the darkness as her eyes adjusted: Bodies, and then the thick smells of coppery blood and vomit came to her. She fought the urge to gag.

She was convinced she was alone, equally convinced that this was just a trick. She waited, and then waited a little longer, but nothing changed as she watched the line of light under the door. Occasionally it would flicker. Nothing else. She made her decision, carefully got to her feet, and stepped around the bodies to the swinging doors.

The roof was collapsed onto the tops of the aisles. The steel of the shelving units held it suspended there. Most of the emergency lighting was out, but a few lights were still lit: Some hanging by wires into the aisles. The space in the aisles to the roof was tall enough that she didn’t have to stoop over as she made her way to the front of the store. She stopped in the darkness at the mouth of the aisle, and looked out through the shattered front windows in front of her. Snow fell on the street beyond the glass. Lightning flashed sporadically in the skies, the sound of thunder sometimes close, sometimes far away: The lightening blue-white flashes of light on the snow covered street.

She waited: For what she didn’t know, but nothing came, nothing changed. She stood, listening to the clicking and buzzing from the flickering fluorescent lights of the market. She bumped against the sharp edge of an end cap that had partially buckled, jutting out next to her: Blood trickled away from her arm, rolling to her wrists which were still bound, her hands, swollen, were cold and numb. She turned and used the sharp edge as quickly as she could to cut through one of the zip ties that bound her wrists. Rubbing until one tie flew apart, making a plastic clicking sound as it hit the aisle floor and skittered away. She moved her wrists around in front of her and into the light.

A thin line of blood ran away from the wrist that had been encircled by the tie. Whether from the sharp metal she had used to escape the zip-tie, or the zip-tie itself she could not tell. A few more seconds of careful rubbing with the sharp metal edge and the other plastic cuff fell to the floor. She stood and rubbed feeling back into her hands. They came alive with sharp pins and needles nearly making her cry out. She flexed them, working blood back into them, and looked out at the falling snow. The whole world seemed quieted by it.

She looked around the entire front area of the store. It appeared empty, but it was hard to see anything; there were few lights working. The roof collapse had shortened the entire space, trapping what lights remained working inside the aisles, hanging from their wires. There were no sounds, no movements. She was alone, she decided. She stood for a few moments longer, still rubbing her hands, and then walked past the checkouts, stepped through a shattered front window, and walked off down the street into the falling curtain of snow.


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A free look at Trash from Dell Sweet

WHITE TRASH 

Fourteen million dollars in a burned suitcase. Parts of a dead man in a duffel bag. Two hired killers, a drug dealer, and two organized crime kingpins; all chasing two white trash kids from New York into the Deep South as they head for what they think will be safety in Mexico. Adult orientated. Sex, language and Graphic Violence… 18+ No preview is available due to the Adult Content. Drug Use…

“I was in the woods. I ran. I didn’t know what those guys would do. I knew you lived here. I was heading here when I saw you come out. I wouldn’t have done that… I couldn’t have. Especially when you fell inside the car. It made me gag.”
She paused and met his eyes for a second, then looked away once more. She closed her eyes like she was remembering the scene, or it was playing out again behind her closed lids. David supposed it was. She continued in…


WHITE TRASH

By Dell Sweet

Copyright © 2018 by Dell Sweet

PUBLISHED BY: Dell Sweet; 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. 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.

This novel is Copyright © 2018 Dell Sweet. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the authors permission. All rights are retained by the Author.

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

Cover art Copyright © 2018 Dell Sweet


This excerpt has not been edited for content


WHITE TRASH


ONE

Friday Morning: Glennville, N.Y. …

David pulled the zipper and recoiled from the smell that came from the bag. April leaned close to see what was in the bag and then recoiled herself from the smell.

“What the fuck?” she asked.

David opened the bag wider, but saw nothing except crumpled up newspapers. Tentatively he pushed aside the newspapers and a pair of dead, dusty eyes stared up at him through the newspapers. He flung the bag away from him, reacting simply on impulse. The bag hit the wall and the head, along with a pair of hands, rolled out onto the floor.

“Oh, God,” April said.  “Put it back in the bag, David, put it back in the bag and get it out of here!” She jumped off the other side of the bed and pressed into the wall as far away from the bag and she could get. David looked at her and then grabbed one of the shirts that had been in the other duffel bag; he lunged forward quickly, picked up the head so he wouldn’t have to think about it too long and tried to jam it back into the bag. It wouldn’t go. The shirt, or the head, or both kept catching the side of the bag and collapsing it. Finally he laid the bag down on one side and managed to hold one side of it open and kind of scooped the head back into the bag. Once it was in he quickly zipped up the bag. He stood quickly and started to walk from the room.

“David, where are you going?” April asked.

He stopped. He had been heading for the door, but he had no idea where he would go from there.

“David… The hands… David,” she pointed…

EARLIER

David Cross sat watching his television: An old war movie, boring, but it was three A.M. and there were only the local stations that he could get, plus the one from Canada when the weather was right, or what-ever-the-fuck had to be right for an antenna to work. Tonight it wasn’t working. Excuse me, he corrected himself, this morning. Whatever needed to be right wasn’t. It had looked like a foreign film with all kinds of nudity too, but the goddamn thing had kept fading in and out so much that he had gotten a headache trying to watch it. He’d finally settled for the old war movie on one of the local stations.

He was trying to nurse his last beer. He’d been sure that there was one more left, but he’d been wrong. Somehow he had miscounted and that was unlike him. He always knew how many beers he had to the can, but somehow he’d messed up the count tonight. There were no more. He’d even moved the green loaf of bread, which he had hated to do, but he had moved it only to find nothing behind it. He had hoped the one remaining can had rolled behind it, but it had not been behind the moldy bread. He had been wrong.

It hadn’t occurred to him to throw out the moldy loaf of bread while he was at it. Instead he had gotten one of the spatulas from the silverware drawer, levered it under the bread and then pushed it to the side only to find no beer can hiding there. He had then levered the loaf of bread back into the original position it had been in.

So he was nursing his last beer: Last beer and no money for beer. And it was Friday: That meant the rest of Friday, Friday night, and the whole weekend loomed ahead dry. It was too depressing to think about. He tried to focus on the movie.

His trailer was located at the end of Lott road, a dirt road on the outskirts of the city two miles beyond the county dump. Nobody really wanted to live on Lott road it seemed, except David, and if he were honest with himself he didn’t really want to live here either, he simply had no choice. His crappy job only paid him enough for a crappy place to live. This was it: The crappiest of the crappiest. In fact the morning before the cops had taken the body of a young girl out of the ditch just down the road. Found by someone driving by. She hadn’t been there very long either. Someone had killed her and dumped her there. It was definitely a crappy place to live. He knew that for a fact because he had gone looking. There were no crappier places. Except maybe the trailer park down the road, he thought, but that was part of Lott road too so it didn’t count.

He owned neither the trailer nor the lot. He did own the furniture, which had been easy. He had simply cruised every street in the city on garbage day: A chair here; another one there. The mattress and box springs he’d gotten from the Salvation Army. Thirty bucks and only pee stained on one side, well mostly only the one side. There was some other stain on the other side, but he wasn’t sure what that stain was. It didn’t exactly look like pee. Anyway, it was barely noticeable and the guy in the store had sworn that they weren’t really pee stains, but water stains. David wasn’t too sure about that. His own brother had wet the bed until he was ten and they had slept in the same bed. He knew what a pee stain looked like and this looked like a pee stain. Still it had been a good deal and stains couldn’t hurt him. After all when his brother had been wetting the bed he had peed on him too. If he could live with that he could live with a little pee stain: If it was a pee stain. And if they were pee stains, they were on the other side of the mattress, he added optimistically. Besides, they disinfected those things. The guy said so: Sprayed them down with something that killed everything on them. He grinned, tipped his beer, nearly took a large swallow, took a small sip instead and then lowered the can depressed all over again about the long, dry weekend ahead of him.

Five or six garbage runs and one trip to the city dump, where they didn’t mind if you took half the dump away with you, and he had been furnished. It was amazing the things people threw away. He sipped carefully at his beer, pulled a crumpled cigarette from his pack and lit it with a long, wooden kitchen match.

There was an old fashioned wood stove store in town and he stopped there once or twice a week for kitchen matches. Not that they gave them away for free, but they used them for the stoves so there was always a box or two laying around that he could help himself to.

Day old bread and doughnuts at the bakery twice a week: Those cheap ten pound bags of chicken and what they had called Crack Head soups in Jail, noodle soups to the rest of the world, and there was his weekly food budget. The only other things he needed were gas and of course beer and cigarettes.

The rest of his paycheck went for the rent and utilities. Sometimes it was close, but he always made it somehow. The real bummer this morning was that he had today off and the whole weekend too and he’d have to stay here watching the crappy T.V. … Sober…

His job Monday through Thursday was cleaning for a maintenance company. They only required that you showed up. They ran you all over the city to clean supermarkets; banks; mall shops that were closed. He worked the nights away pretty quickly. Go to work at five P.M. Next thing you knew it was one thirty in the morning and they were through for another night. He kept telling himself that he would have to get a better job if he ever wanted to be better off in the world. A job that paid more than minimum wage had to be in his future. He was sure there were plenty of them out there he just didn’t know where to look. Some day, he told himself, some day.

He took a deep drag off his cigarette and then sipped carefully at his beer. He thought about the girl’s body and realized she could have been killed while he had been sleeping. He shuddered. He hated this place.

He set the beer down carefully on the coffee table. It was scared with cigarette burns and missing the tip of one leg, but it had been free and an old paperback novel held up that corner of the table well enough. As he looked back up from the coffee table lights swept across the living room wall, bouncing up and down and back and forth. Because his was the last place on the road, every car that came down the road lit up his living room. These headlights however seemed a little frantic, bobbing, darting across the wall and then a second set shot up onto the wall too, jittering and jumping across the cheap paneling.

Twice now cars had come down the road, shot right across the bare dirt of his front yard and into the woods before they had been stopped by the trees. David had a fear about some car, some day, hitting the bedroom wall while he slept. So far it had just been the woods, but you could never tell. He got up quickly and walked to the window.

It was immediately obvious that this was something different than just some drunk not realizing that the road was about to end. The lead car was flat out. He could hear the whine of the engine now as it came. The car behind was trying to stay close, tapping the back bumper of the lead car, causing it to slew all over the dirt road. Apparently that wasn’t good enough because a second later the passenger leaned out of the car’s window and opened up on the lead car with what looked to be some sort of a hand held machine pistol. David let out a startled squawk, ducked below the window and then popped right back up.

The shots had taken out the rear window, traveled through the car and taken out part of the front windshield too. And from the large red stain on the spider webbed remains of that window David guessed it had taken out the driver too. Maybe even the passenger had there been one. There was a lot of red.

Shit, David thought. That meant that the lead car was not going to be able to stop. David calculated quickly and realized the car would miss the trailer. At the same time the driver of the rear car locked up his brakes, suddenly realizing that he was on a dead end road, and the car began to slide in the dirt. David’s eyes shifted back to the front car which hit the end of the road, jumped up over the drainage ditch and roared through the front yard just missing the edge of the trailer, shaking the thin walls; engine still screaming. It was out of sight for a split second before he heard the crash. The big oak in the back yard, he thought.

His eyes came back to the second car long enough to see it slide down into the drainage ditch at full speed, catch its nose on the opposite edge and then flip end over end across an empty lot before it crashed down on the edge of a cement slab that was trailer-less and had been since he, David, had moved out here. David crouched down quickly to the floor, grabbed his boots and wedged his feet into them. He ran to the kitchen, grabbed a flashlight off the counter and headed out the front door at a run…

~

The smell of hot metal filled the air. David looked to the car on the cement pad first: The trunk had popped and all manner of stuff that had been inside now lay scattered across the ground. Hot oil and antifreeze dripped from under the hood and onto the concrete. The front roof line was smashed flat to the top of the driver’s seats. The backseat area seemed untouched.

He slipped around the end of the trailer and looked at the other car. A newer Ford: He could see the badge on the rear deck. The front end of the car was wrapped around the oak in the backyard just as he had thought and steam was rising up into the air. The Ford first, he decided. The car across the road would have to wait.

The Ford had hit the tree and climbed it a few feet before it came to a complete stop. David had to stand on tip toe to peer into it. The driver had no head left, which explained the huge stain on the windshield. He was past dead, he was dead bad. There was no passenger. Looking out from the inside it was not just red, but gray and black too: Bone, hair and brain matter. His stomach did a quick flip and he began to close his eyes as he turned away.

As he turned his eyes caught on the floorboard and a blue duffel bag that was jammed into the space with the drivers legs. There was no way that the door was going to open, but the glass was gone from the window. He balanced over the edge of the door trying to stay as far away as he could from the dead man as he did, leaned in and tried to snag the duffel bag. His fingers brushed the two plastic handles, but he could not get a grip on them.

David levered himself further over the window sill and nearly came down into the dead man’s lap as he lost his balance and his feet left the ground. His hand shot down quickly, bounced off the dead man’s thigh and hit the seat, stopping him just a few inches above the man’s lap and a small splattering of bone and blood that was there. His hand slipped, but he pressed down harder and held himself.

He could feel the slick blood and splinters of bone under his hand, but he pushed the knowledge out of his mind, took a deep breath, braced himself and then reached down with his free hand and snatched the handles pulling the heavy bag free.

He pulled back, but the bag was so heavy that he had to hold on tight and push off the seat with his other hand. For one alarming second it seemed he would fall forward into the man’s lap. After a second of indecision his body dropped back down to the ground, the bag in his hand. He thought about the trunk as he started to turn away, reached back in, shut off the dead ignition, pulled the keys free and hurried around to the trunk.

The trunk held nothing but a black suitcase. He debated briefly, then reached in and took it. He went back, put the keys back into the ignition, and turned it back to the ON position. What else! What else! His mind asked.

His heart felt like it was beating a mile a minute, skipping beats, and his breath was tearing in and out of his lungs so quickly that it was painful. He could think of nothing he had forgotten. He told himself there was nothing else, and then immediately he thought of the glove compartment. He ran back around the passenger’s side of the car, dropped the bags and pushed the button on the glove box. A small paper bag and a dull, black pistol rested inside.

He took a deep breath, thought for a moment and then took both, slammed the glove box shut, picked up the bags and ran for the trailer. He booted the door open, threw the bags inside, slammed the door and then started for the other car down the road. He stopped mid stride, bent double, and nearly threw up. He caught himself, forced himself to take several slow breaths and stood experimentally. It seemed as though his stomach had decided the remains of the beer could stay for now and so he trotted off down the road to the other car.

This was an old Toyota, not one of the small ones though, one of the ones that seemed almost as big as an American car. He stopped thirty feet away. Two large plastic garbage bags had fallen from the popped trunk. They were both crisscrossed with gray duct tape, bound tightly. Two black duffel bags were jumbled in a heap nearby, along with what looked like a cheap foam, ice-chest. The ice-chest had ruptured and splintered when it hit the ground spilling beer, soda, and packages of lunch meat and cheese out onto the ground. Mixed in, and what had really caught his attention, were small brick sized packages, also bound with duct tape.

His heart was still racing hard. There was no one anywhere yet. No sirens. The nearest neighbors were nearly a mile back down the road… No car lights… Nothing at all.

He tried to carry both bales, but they were too heavy. He had to make two trips. The duct taped bricks, which could only mean one thing to his way of thinking, both duffel bags and two six packs of the beer that hadn’t ruptured went next. He had debated about the beer, but decided he could not leave it. He came back one more time, looked at a few more cans of beer and the packages of bologna and cheese and decided what the hell. He quickly picked them up and took them too. It would be something to put into the ‘fridge except the moldy loaf of bread he told himself.

He walked back to the car down the road once more. He reached the car where it lay flipped onto its roof and had just started around the hood when he heard a soft pop. He stopped as the hood suddenly burst into flames. The sharp smell of gasoline hit his nose and he jumped backwards just that fast. The car didn’t blow, but he stayed clear watching as it began to burn, allowing his thoughts and breathing to begin to slow down. It had seemed like a log-jamb of thoughts all trying to be expressed at the same time. He thought back as he watched the flames begin to build from under the hood.

Not long ago a car had plowed into that same oak in his back yard where the other car was now. It was just the way that oak lined up with the road. That driver had not hit as hard. He had jumped from the car and run for the woods that began in back of the trailer at a dead run. David had come out to look over the wreck a little closer. The jimmied ignition told him the story. The car had been stolen. He had heard sirens in the distance and said to hell with it, reached into the car and grabbed a cheap 22. caliber pistol from the front seat, and an unopened, and miraculously unbroken bottle of whiskey from the floorboards. He had barely stashed them before the cops had shown up.

He had stood on the sidelines and watched as the cops had popped the trunk to expose a large collection of electronic gear. Flat screen televisions, game consoles, DVD players, a shotgun and several more bottles of whiskey too. He had kicked himself over that one and vowed not to let something like that happen again should providence ever grace him with a second chance: Here was that second chance.

He had no phone, but the way the flames were leaping into the air he was sure someone farther down the road would be calling the fire department soon. The heat was already intense.

He squatted down, shaded his eyes against the glare of the flames, and tried to see into the back seat: No one. If there was anyone else in the car he couldn’t see them, but he did see a large suitcase resting on the roof of the car just inside the shattered rear door glass. He debated for a split second and then ran forward and grabbed for the bag, pulling it from inside the wreck. It was heavy and hot to the touch: The imitation brown leather sticky on one corner and melting. Whatever was in it, he told himself, would not have lasted much longer. He was headed back up the road from the wreck when he spotted a grocery bag spilled into the ditch. It was mainly intact so he picked that up too and ran for the trailer.

Behind him he could hear the sirens now. They were on their way and that meant there would probably be neighbors on the way too… Any minute, he told himself. He got the trailer door opened, jumped inside and closed it. He set the grocery bag on the counter. His heart was beginning to slam in his chest once more. He picked up the suitcases and duffel bags and hurried them back to the bedroom. He came back, threw the grocery bag and the packages of lunch meat and cheese into the refrigerator, debated briefly about the loaf of moldy bread, but decided to leave it. He looked back into the fridge. It looked crowded: Beer, lunch meat, cheese, bread. It was the most he could ever recall seeing in there at one time before.

He stepped back letting the door swing shut and looked around the kitchen-living room area. Nothing looked out of place. He could not imagine that the cops would want to come in here for any reason, but if they did they wouldn’t find anything.

He looked down at his hands, grimaced at the blood and specks of bone. A smear of drying blood decorated one shirtsleeve. He looked down at the front of the shirt and saw it was streaked with blood and gore. He turned and ran to the bathroom stripping off the shirt as he went. As he looked down at his jeans he noticed they were gore spattered to. He peeled them off just as quickly, kicking his boots aside. He left the bathroom and went quickly to the bedroom where he dug a wrinkled pair of jeans from the basket there, a clean shirt from the dresser, and quickly got re-dressed. He sat back on the bed, pulled the jeans up and shoved his left foot into one of his sneakers lying next to the bed where he had left them the night before. He stood, jammed his right foot into the other sneaker, danced around unbalanced for a moment as he tugged the zipper home, buttoned the top and threw himself back down onto the tangle of sheets to work the sneakers on the rest of the way and lace them.

His heart had become a racing engine once again, all high speed and flat out, and he tried to calm down as he walked down the short hall, opened the door and stepped down the rickety steps and into the bare-dirt front yard.

He could not see the fire engines or police cars, whichever it was that were coming. Both eventually, he told himself, but the sirens were loud and a half dozen people were walking down the road towards his place and the car that was burning. They were still a quarter of a mile away. He forced his breathing to slow down for the second time, and sat down on the top step waiting. The smoke from the fire was thick and black, spiraling up into the air. The smells of cooking meat and burning plastic hung in the air, competing with each other, causing his stomach to flip once more. The smoke seemed to catch in the trees, unable to rise further: Pools of it snaked along the ground, drifting slowly.

The lights came into view within a few seconds. They were far down the road, but closing fast. Within a few seconds a City Police car skidded to a shuddering stop on the dirt road, followed by two Sheriff Cars. Two Fire engines came next, coasting to a stop behind the Sheriff Cars, then swung around them angling down toward the burning car. David Cross rose from the steps and began walking to the road to meet them.

~

All of the cops were calling on their radios at once it seemed to David. He broke into a run and the city cop looked his way.

“There’s another one in my back yard with a dead guy too,” he yelled.

The cop looked amazed for a moment and then went back to talking on his radio once more. He finished, threw the radio back into his car, and glancing once more at the burning car, he turned and followed David into his back yard.

“Jesus,” the young cop said. “That happened when he hit the tree? No way!”

“The other car was shooting at them,” David said. He immediately wished he had kept his mouth shut.

“You saw that?” the cop asked.

Providence again, David thought. “Well, no, I didn’t. I heard shots… I didn’t see ’em,” he lied.

“So there are people in that other car?” the cop asked.

“I think so,” David answered. He took a few moments to formulate a lie. He didn’t need a complicated lie: Something simple. Something close to the truth so he could remember it, but something that wouldn’t make him an eye witness. “When I got out I saw the car lying on its top. I didn’t know about the other one. I had to get dressed. Once I got out of the house and headed down the road the car made this little popping sound and flames shot out of the engine compartment. When I turned away I saw the other one in the back yard. I knew something had crashed, because a few months back another car crashed into that same tree, and this sounded the same to me,” David said.

The cop nodded. “You go near either car?” he asked.

“The one out back; I leaned through the window to see if the guy was okay… Had to catch my hand on the seat… It was gross… I realized the guy was dead and got away from the car as quick as I could… Waited for you guys,” David said.

The cop nodded, pulled a small notebook from his shirt pocket and wrote in it. He asked David for his name and the address and wrote that down too.

Stupid, stupid, stupid, David thought. He hadn’t wanted to link himself to anything, but he had been afraid that they would find the hand print on the seat: An area of the seat that had been covered with blood and splatter and was now noticeably cleaner in the shape of a hand. What else could he do?

“You okay?” the cop asked.

“Not really,” David admitted.

“Go sit down… I’ll have somebody talk to you.” He looked intently at David for a moment. “How much you had to drink, David?”

“Uh… About a six pack… It’s my night off,” David explained.

“Easy, David… I’m not here to bust your balls. They’ll want to know… Impairs your judgment: It will determine whether they will take what you say or look for other witnesses, you see?” the cop asked.

“Yeah,” David agreed. “I do see.”

“So?” The cop asked.

“Oh… Right. I had about a twelve pack,” David said. He shrugged.

“Night off,” the young cop said.

“Night off,” David agreed.

“All right, David. Go have a seat and when the detectives get here I’ll send them over,” he told him.

David went and sat down on his front steps and waited for the rest of the cops to show up. He watched the lead fire truck drown the burning car in foam, and in just a few seconds the fire was out. The car sat smoking: Steam rising into the air; the smell of burned meat thick and heavy.



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Earth’s Survivors Apocalypse follows survivors of a worldwide catastrophe.

A meteorite that was supposed to miss the earth completely, hits and becomes the cap to a series of events that destroy the world as we know it. Police, fire, politicians, military, governments: All gone. Hopes, dreams, tomorrows: All buried in a 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…

It was the most tired I had ever been. I laid my head down and I was gone for a little while…
The sun is down all the way here. I went back upstairs. Nothing on the horizon. That time of evening when the sun is down and the moon has yet to rise. Very dark. Can’t see anything in any direction. Thought they must be all sleeping in the barn, but I heard some movements out near where I… Never mind what I did there, I’ll get to that soon enough, I guess. I only heard it once, but I know damn well it’s one of them… Some of them…
I don’t believe the whiskey is going to make it to daylight, but I have a feeling I’m not going to make it to daylight either… Feeling funny now, not myself… I’ll try to get this done…
It was the 15th when I came awake in that truck. Hot, but desert heat…
September 15th
It was late afternoon when Johnny awoke. Somewhere in the day Lana had wound up beside him. He lay still, unwilling to let her go, his hand was curled protectively around her. Lana moved and he felt the sleep leave her body. One moment soft and willing, the next a live wire.
“You didn’t cop a feel did you?” Lana asked in a mumbled half sleepy voice.
“Lana, can’t you ever just say something like, good morning?”
She twisted her head around and smiled. The secret smile she rarely ever gave out. “Good late afternoon,” she said and the smile slipped away. There was still something there, but it wasn’t that secret, vulnerable glimpse into her heart that it was usually. She stretched, yawned, and her feet came up against the door. “Next vehicle we get is an SUV so we have some place to sleep too.”
“I don’t know, I kind of liked this,” Johnny said before he could shut his mouth down.
Lana laughed and it was the unguarded Lana once more. “As long as you know what the deal is.” She twisted her head once more, and then her entire body so she was looking directly into his eyes.
“I… I know the deal,” Johnny said. The press of her body was maddening.
“We really don’t need to talk it out?”
Johnny shook his head and looked away. “I’m a little too old for you, Lana. I know.”
Her eyes became sad. “Let me just say these few things.” She took a deep breath and then began to speak. “I am attracted to you. I considered sleeping with you before you became my friend, before I knew it couldn’t work between us. I even considered it after… Maybe ten minutes ago too, but it would cost me a friend because it wouldn’t mean to me what it would mean to you. It has nothing to do with age or anything else.” She held his eyes as if willing him to understand.
“It’s like you see me as this fragile little princess, and I am so far from that, Johnny. So far. I can’t see why you try to see me that way.” She laughed. “It’s a thing men do. Like… Like that is love, you see? Instead of love just being about all the other stuff… The things I admire about you, you about me. The things in common, the things that we share, the parts of you and me that are real that end up in the mix… But no, I’m a princess, unattainable beauty, something to worship, and it has nothing to do with what I really am at all. I have lived that way, tried to live up to that. It’s not possible… The man I need is out there, I hope. Just someone that looks at me as me.” She watched his eyes…



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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…

Paperback books from author Dell Sweet

Paperback books from author Dell Sweet


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

Publication Date: November 13, 2015
List Price: $7.99
Crime Time by Dell Sweet
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Crime Time is a collection of nine crime stories from author Dell Sweet . From short stories to near novel length… … When a man tells you he has the moral flexibility to include murder in his life if he deems it necessary this is probably not a man you should be hanging out with. Jeff Johnson had reminded…

Publication Date: May 11, 2017
List Price: $18.99
Earth’s Survivors: Collection One by Dell Sweet, Geo Dell
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Earth’s Survivors Collection One contains the complete text from the first two Earth’s Survivors books, Apocalypse and Rising From The Ashes. It also includes bonus material, a complete major character bibliography, plus information from the series and the future plans for the series. Save when you buy both…

Publication Date: August 7, 2015
List Price: $28.50
Earth’s Survivors Collection Two by Dell Sweet, Geo Dell
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Earth’s Survivors Collection Two contains the complete text from books three and four of the Earth’s Survivors series, The Nation and Home In The Valley. It also includes bonus material, a complete major character bibliography, plus information from the series and the future plans for the series. Save when…

Publication Date: August 6, 2015
List Price: $28.50
Star Dancer by Dell Sweet
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Michael Watson is the captain of an inner galaxy cruiser: He Purchased Star Dancer right out of school and has spent the last twenty years running people and supplies to outposts within the confines of the Solar System and the established bases on the Moon, Mars and Saturn’s moons. The times are changing…

Publication Date: June 6, 2017
List Price: $9.99
Zero Zero by Dell Sweet
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As the clock ticks down for our planet and her inhabitants, powers that have lain dormant for centuries are loosed on the Earth. Zero Zero takes a look at a post apocalypse world in ruins. The governments are gone. The police, the military. The United States is no more. And even the simplest things are hard…

Publication Date: July 24, 2014
List Price: $25.99
The Zombie Plagues Collection One by Dell Sweet, Geo Dell
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Collection One Contains the complete text of Books One and Two of the Zombie Plagues series.Book One:What if the world ended tomorrow? What would you do? Would you be able to survive? The Zombie Plagues books follow a small group of men and women as they struggle to survive on a vastly changed earth, where…

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

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

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

The Earth’s Survivors Series follows survivors of a worldwide catastrophe. A meteorite that was supposed to miss the earth completely, hits and becomes the cap to a series of events that destroy the world as we know it. Police, fire, politicians, military, governments: All gone. Hopes, dreams, tomorrows: All…

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

Publication Date: February 11, 2015
List Price: $12.99
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The Earth’s Survivors series follows groups of survivors as they struggle to stay alive in a vastly changed world. The most popular group from the website writings were Candace and Mike. They are from the northern New York town of Watertown close to project.Mike was a long time resident of Watertown. He knew…

Publication Date: March 6, 2017
List Price: $24.95
The Zombie Plagues Collection Two by Dell Sweet, Geo Dell
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The Zombie Plagues Collection Two contains the full text from books three and four.Book Three:The Zombie Plagues Three Is Here! The struggle to stay alive has leveled out. The Survivors have found their place in the wilderness and The Nation is growing. Life is good for those who are lucky enough to be there….

Publication Date: September 27, 2015
List Price: $21.50
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Beth had stopped at the edge of the housing development. It was dark, lit only by the headlights of the truck. Cars and trucks sat neatly in driveways. The streets were empty. Heavy dust seemed to blanket the whole scene. Little trails cut from place to place.“Spooky,” Billy said. “Volcanic ash?”“Probably……

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

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

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

Publication Date: January 26, 2016
List Price: $23.95
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Plague outlines the sudden rise of the dead, chronicling the spread across the country. It follows Adam, Beth, Billy and Pearl as they head north looking for an antidote that can bring the plagues to end. It also sees the first babies born to the Nation, the formation of both the Fold and Alabama Island, and…

Publication Date: August 1, 2015
List Price: $15.99
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Tuesday Morning:WatertownProject BluechipMajor Richard WestonHe read the report twice and then carefully set it back on his desk. Johns or Kohlson: One of the two had stolen samples of SS-V2765. It was not a question. No one else had the access, no one else the proximity or knowledge of where it was stored….

Publication Date: March 20, 2016
List Price: $14.99
Earth’s Survivors SE1 by Wendell Sweet, Geo Dell, W. W. Watson
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Earth’s Survivors SE 1 contains the complete text from the first two Earth’s Survivors books, Apocalypse and Rising From The Ashes. It follows survivors of a worldwide catastrophe. A meteorite that was supposed to miss the earth completely, hits and becomes the cap to a series of events that destroy the world…

Publication Date: January 29, 2014
List Price: $24.95
Earth’s Survivors SE 2 by Wendell Sweet, Geo Dell, W. W. Watson
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Earth’s Survivors SE 2 contains books three and four of the Earth’s Survivors series.The series follows survivors of a worldwide catastrophe. A meteorite that was supposed to miss the earth completely, hits and becomes the cap to a series of events that destroy the world as we know it. Police, fire,…

Publication Date: January 29, 2014
List Price: $28.95
Frequent Walker by Dell Sweet
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The first EP from Dell Sweet . A Minor, War At Home, Solution Six and Frequent Walker comprise the self penned songs on this CD. Dell ‘s music is a mix of rock-alternative music, strong beats and good stories.

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

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

Publication Date: May 10, 2014

List Price: $16.99



THE ORIGINAL SURVIVORS FROM ASHES Kindle Edition by Dell Sweet  (Author)

THE ORIGINAL SURVIVORS FROM ASHES Kindle Edition


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    Candace March 2nd: This is not a diary. I have never kept a diary. They say, never say never, but I doubt I will. I have never been this scared. The whole world is messed up. Is it ending? I don’t know, but it seems like it’s ending here. Earthquakes, explosions. I’ve seen no Police, Fire or emergency people all day. It’s nearly night. I think that’s a bad sign. I have the Nine Millimeter that used to be my Father’s. I’ve got extra ammo too. I’m staying inside.

    Candace March 3rd: I lost this yesterday; my little notebook. I left it by the window so I could see to write, but I swear it wasn’t there when I went to get it; then I found it again later on by the window right where I left it. Maybe I’m losing it.
    There are no Police, no Firemen, phones, electric. The real world is falling apart. Two days and nothing that I thought I knew is still here. Do you see? The whole world has changed.
    I got my guitar out and played it today. I played for almost three hours. I played my stuff. I played some blues. Usually blues will bring me out of blues, but it didn’t work. It sounded so loud, so out of place, so… I don’t know. I just stopped and put it away.

    Candace March 4th: I’m going out. I have to see, if I don’t come back. Well… What good is writing this?

    Candace March 5th: The whole city has fallen apart. I spent most of yesterday trying to see how bad this is. I finally realized it’s bad beyond my being able to fix it. It’s bad as in there is no authority. It’s bad as in there is no Jimmy V. I hear gunshots at night, all night. And screams. There are still tremors. If I had to guess, I would say it’s the end of the civilized world, unless things are better somewhere else. I have to believe that. Power, structure, it’s all gone. I mean it’s really all gone. This city is torn up. There are huge areas that are ruined. Gulleys, ravines, missing streets, damaged bridges. The damage costs have to be in the billions… And that’s just here. There’s me and my little notebook I’m writing in, and my nine millimeter. I’ve got nothing else for company right now. I’ve got water, some peanuts and crackers. How long can this go on? What then?

    Candace March 6th: I’ve decided to leave. I can’t stay here. There was a tremor last night, and not one of the really bad ones, but even so I was sure the house would come down on me. It didn’t. Maybe though, that is a sign, I told myself. And scared or not, I have to go. I have to. I can’t stay here. Maybe tomorrow.

    Candace March 7th: The streets are a mess. I’ve spent too much of the last week hiding inside my apartment. Most of my friends, and that’s a joke, I didn’t have anyone I could actually call a friend.
    I believed someone would show up and tell me what to do. But no one did. I saw a few people wander by yesterday, probably looking for other people, but I stayed inside. I don’t know why, what all my reasons were. A lot of fear; I think.
    There have been earthquakes. The house is damaged. I went outside today and really looked at it. It is off the foundation and leaning. I should have gotten out of it the other night when I knew it was bad. It’s just dumb luck it hasn’t fallen in on me and killed me.
    It doesn’t matter now though. I met a few others today, and I’m leaving with them. I don’t know if I’ll stay with them. I really don’t know what to expect from life anymore. I’m taking this and my gun with me. Writing this made me feel alive. I don’t know how better to say it.
    I’ll write more here, I think. I just don’t know when; or where I’ll be…


  • Get it: https://www.amazon.com/ORIGINAL-SURVIVORS-ASHES-Dell-Sweet-ebook/dp/B074B7T4MC

Earth’s Survivors box set

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

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.

The Original Survivors series from Dell Sweet

Book One: From Ashes…

The Original Survivors: From Ashes. The survivors face the apocalypse head on #Horror #Adventure #Dystopian #Epic https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074B7T4MC

The Original Survivors: From Ashes. The original tail of the survivors book one. The #apocalypse begins #Survivors https://www.amazon.com/dp/152195402X


Book Two: On The Road…

The Original Survivors: On The Road. Some who have survived are on the road looking for safety #Survival #Preppers https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0749Y4M1R

The Original Survivors: On The Road. Some who have survived are on the road looking for safety #Survival #Preppers https://www.amazon.com/ORIGINAL-SURVIVORS-ROAD-Dell-Sweet/dp/152195433X


Book Three: Alabama Island…

The Original Survivors: Alabama Island. Follow a group of survivors through the beginning of the end #Apocalypse https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074DJZX2J

The Original Survivors: Alabama Island. A group of survivors head south looking for safety #Preppers #Paperback https://www.amazon.com/dp/1521975515


Book Four: Bluechip…

New Release! The Original Survivors: Bluechip. The story of how the apocalypse began #Apocalypse #Undead #Crime https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074YH3ZRG

#Paperback The Original Survivors: Bluechip. A secret virus is stolen and then released on the world #Crime #horror https://www.amazon.com/dp/1549541110


More From Dell Sweet 



Wednesday and a free look at Earth’s Survivors SE4

Happy Wednesday! The work week is chugging along. Here we are to kick off yet another 40 hours of slavery to the man, or, to be politically correct the man or the woman. Rest assured that just when you need that break from the strain of the week beginning, and Thursday seems to being dragging along it will suddenly end and Friday will once again make an appearance. Ahh…

Damn: Almost had myself convinced that it wasn’t Wednesday at all. Well it is and so we will have to deal with it. You there, get that report started! You… Yes you in the corner eating all the doughnuts! Get busy working!  … I see that I would make a horrible boss. My work force would probably mutiny and kill me.

This morning I will leave you with a look at Earth’s Survivors SE 4.

A little background on SE 4 and what it is: SE 4 is the story of Mike and Candace. In the Zombie Plagues Mike and Candace are prominent characters, but in the Earth’s Survivors books they are barely mentioned at all. This book gathers all the storylines of Mike and Candace and brings them together and provides the missing pieces that explain where they went to. This is yet another fan suggested book. Candace and Mike are the Characters that the most questions are asked about in both series. Hopefully this will satisfy those questions…


Earth’s Survivors Se 4: The story of Candace and Mike

By Dell Sweet

The Earth’s Survivors SE series follows follow Mike, Candace and a few other survivors as they struggle to stay alive in a vastly changed world. In the early morning hours of March 1st great change came upon the entire planet, touching the small northern New York town where Mike and Candace lived. Earth’s Survivors SE four is the only story that completes the original story of Candace and Mike…


This is Copyrighted Material!

This material is NOT edited for content


THE EARTH’S SURVIVORS SE 4

The story of Candace and Mike

PUBLISHED BY: Dell Sweet

Earth’s Survivors: SE Four: the story of Candace and Mike is © Copyright 2017 Wendell Sweet, all rights reserved.

Additional Copyrights © 2010 – 2012, 2014, 2015 by Wendell Sweet, 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.


Company

The small crowd of people was armed, Mike saw, long before they actually reached the wide street and crossed over into their parking lot. Behind him, in the store, he had heard the sound of breaking glass several times. Presumably Candace and Patty breaking open display cases.

“Think they can see us in here?” he asked.

“Probably too dark,” Glenn answered as Candace and Patty came back with their arms loaded down with high powered rifles and shotguns.

“Careful,” Candace said, her breath coming fast. “These are loaded.” A small line of blood ran away from one knuckle as she passed Mike a rifle that looked like it would be more at home in a war.

“You’re hurt,” Mike said.

Candace laughed. “Just glass from a case… It’s nothing.”

“Not a girl,” Mike said

“Or even close,” Candace agreed with a smile. She stepped close to the front of the entrance way, still deep in shadow, but just behind the shattered doors.

There were a dozen of them when they came to a stop just thirty feet away from the doors. Women and kids, the old man and a younger guy hanging toward the back. The two men and three of the women were armed.

“We know you’re in there,” The lead man shouted out. He was an older man, short silver hair, thin, the ragged remains of a suit hanging from his shoulders. “We don’t want trouble… Just company… Safety… The nights are pretty bad now. I guess you know.” He made to step forward again.

“No… Right there is fine,” Candace said.

The man stopped. “I told you, we come in peace.” The man said as she stepped from the shadows. Ronnie moved out with her and a second later Patty and Mike joined her. Mike motioned to the rest to stay inside.

“Every bad alien movie I ever saw started just exactly that way,” Candace said.

“Is that what you think?” The man asked. “Aliens? Well, I’m no alien… I don’t know what happened but I don’t think it was alien, or aliens, unless you count the meteor that might or might not have hit us. And I’m obviously not one of the gangs or I wouldn’t be out here in the daylight talking to you.”

The silence held a long time.

“You hear me?” The older man said.

“I heard you,” Candace agreed. “What do you mean one of the gangs? Not one of the gangs?”

The man laughed. A short hard laugh that had nothing to do with amusement at all. “Are you serious?”

“If I wasn’t serious I wouldn’t have asked,” Candace told him.

“But… Okay… Why can’t we do this in there? Look at what I have here… A handful of scared mothers with a few children. The young guy at the back is okay. Why don’t we do this in there? I don’t like being out in the open. It’s just the gangs we have to worry about.” He looked off in all directions as he talked.

Candace looked over the group and then over at Mike. “Nothing we can’t deal with,” Mike agreed. Her eye’s met Patty’s and then Ronnie’s. They both nodded. “So you know there are more of us inside. Don’t be stupid.”

“Wouldn’t think of it,” The old man agreed. “John,” he said.

Candace just nodded and motioned him forward.

Early evening

They were all gathered around a small fire that Glenn had started for heat and light. The nights were still cold. Glenn had built the fire in an empty fifty five gallon drum they had rolled out from the back. It the smoke detectors had still been working they would have had trouble, but as it was the smoke just gathered high up in the steel rafters and found its way to the outside from there.

“What do you know,” John asked. “That might be a better place to start.”

“Practically nothing,” Glenn answered. “We all met downtown a few days back… Earth quake… Meteor. Everything wrecked and no answers.”

John nodded. “Okay,” He rested his head in his hands for a moment, and then looked up. His eyes were red; the bags under his eyes bruised and heavy. “The second. It happened overnight, the first, the end of the first. I don’t know what it was, anymore than you do, but I suspect the meteor they said would miss us didn’t. Maybe that started a whole chain of events. So, aliens? No. I think our own government did us in though. I can see your view too, because there is something alien about it. About the way we would view it, the way you would view it. Yesterday the planes came over. Big Cargo planes. Sprayed blue stuff over the entire city. We thought for sure we were done right then, but whatever that was it didn’t kill us, didn’t seem to do anything to us… But I wonder, I really do…” He seemed to zone out for a second.

“John?” Glenn asked quietly.

He laughed. “Sorry. I need sleep. Sleep is what I need. Gangs,” he took a deep breath. “This city, most of the cities I’ve been hearing about on the CB are controlled by Gangs now. They’re out all night rounding us up. The other survivors…” He frowned heavily. “I’ll be straight, not much use for other men… ‘Less they think like them. Not much use for the children either. Women, gas, cash,” he laughed again. “They seem to think a day will come when it will all be worth something again.”

“You don’t?” Candace asked.

“I don’t,” John agreed. “I think somebody mucked up badly… I can’t believe it was all an accident. Washington? Dead. L.A.? Dead. New York? Dead as well. There have been reports of the President being killed. In the end the Secret Service deserted him. The few that remained fled. The whole thing fell apart. And it’s no better in other countries from what I have heard on the CB. Some of it could be exaggerated… Could be fear talking… But I don’t think so. I think most of it is absolute truth. I think it all failed and we’re on our own. That’s what I think.”

Candace looked over as Patty sprang to her feet and walked away into the darkness of the store. “I’ll be back,” Candace said. She got up and followed.

“I appreciate the truth, John,” Mike said.

John nodded. “Upset us too. Nothing for it that I can see.”

“Where are you from,” Mike asked.

“Rochester… Haven’t heard much from it except there is a glow to the west… Could be they still have power there.”

“Hey inside!” This from the parking lot that was now edging quickly toward twilight.

“Shit,” Ronnie said. “Forgot all about that.” He jumped to his feet and headed to the opening, Mike right behind him.

“Guess we’ll have to post a guard or something,” Mike agreed. He stared out at two small groups that stood in the darkness looking around at the deepening shadows. Ronnie spoke.

“What is it you want?” Ronnie asked.

“What is it we want? Are you kidding me? We want in there, out of the cold, the night.” The guy was tall and dirty looking in the darkening light, but Ronnie supposed they all probably looked a little rough. “Talking like that ain’t gonna get you in here,” Ronnie told him. “In fact it will get you an invitation to hit the road.”

A woman who was leading the second group, off to the right of the first group spoke up. “Look, man. We’re all on edge right now. We just want to share your shelter. Manny is not so good with diplomacy.”

“Manny?” Ronnie asked.

She nodded to the other group, “Manuel… Manny.”

“These groups ain’t bad,” John said from beyond the doorway, hidden in the shadows.

“You vouch for them?” Mike asked.

“No… I won’t go that far. I will say I have seen them around… They are not part of the gangs that are all over the place at night in the city. Not these two.”

“Good enough for me… Ed? Ronnie? Anyone else have an objection?”

“We’ll just watch them kind of close,” Dave said.”

“Okay… Well, somebody better go get Patty and Candace… Just to be safe.” He turned back to the parking lot and the two waiting groups. “Slow,” he called out. “Slow and keep those rifles pointed down.” …


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