September always feels like the unofficial start of the new year. We go back to school, the fiscal year ends, many of our TV shows start again and we say goodbye to Summer (sooner than we should, I’m looking at you Pumpkin Spice dishes who premiere September first).
The past year and a half I’ve been working on a new writing project. An apocalyptic supernatural series that I hope to get published by the new year. In my mind it is The Walking Dead meets True Blood.
In the meantime, here is an excerpt from the novel and I’m always open to beta readers so message me if you are interested. Thanks to those who have edited, read and provided feedback to me already. Live your best life folks and if there is any accomplishment that you want highlighted in the newsletter, please contact me!
Free 2 Live…your creative dreams!
Five Page Excerpt…
Main Street, USA. Most towns had them. Located in the suburbs, it was a street with a mixture of quaint shops, offices, restaurants, and bars.
Charles turned down the street and parallel parked on the right side in the middle of the strip. The area looked desolate; a few storefront doors and windows were bashed in and broken. From what I could see behind the thick, dark-green plant overgrowth on the buildings, there were deep brownish red stains of varying sizes on a few of the store porches, streets, and sidewalks. Some of the building signs hung crooked or had long given up the fight and were now on the ground. The street in front of our car was cracked and broken up as if construction was breaking ground before everything went to hell, but no work trucks were in sight. The broken ground stopped right in front of where our car was parked but that wasn’t the disturbing part.
Charles opened the car door and frowned. “Phew, I’d ask what died out here but I can guess by the broken up skeleton parts.”
“Jesus,” I whispered, looking out the front car window.
I leaned towards the dashboard and squinted. In this world I’d seen this scene before. Pass the hole in the ground were skeletal parts covered in dirt, caked blood, and dried skin. There were torsos, unattached legs, arms, and skulls.
“Whatever jacked up the road, did a superman lift off, right there.” Charles got out of the truck and pointed to where the destruction to the pavement ended in front of us. “Because I don’t see the stores demolished beyond this broken up area. Whatever did that, if it were going into a building, it pretty much would have knocked it down. And same goes if it leaped on top of a building. So, it wasn’t a gargoyle.”
I got out of the truck, looking around. “This must have been done earlier on in the change for these bodies to be this decomposed. These poor people.” I let out a cough and covered my mouth and nose with a shirt I got from my backpack.
Charles nodded, surveying the area. “A place like this could have a lot of what we need, assuming no one else has wandered here.” He walked over to a clothing storefront that contained a bit of plant life around it and peered in. “I’m thinking the plant life was also a deterrent. It’s probably poisonous.”
Upon hearing that, I turned to Charles just in time to see a snake-like vine wrap around his ankle. “Don’t move, Charles,” I shouted. If he did, the vine would grow tighter. I’d seen plants strong enough to rip a limb out of a person’s socket.
Charles’ body stiffened. “There’s a man-eating plant around my ankle isn’t there?” he asked in a quiet voice.
“Possibly. Relax.” I moved a little closer and saw the vine tighten. I looked up at the clothing store and saw the second level was covered in moving, wiggly, deep-green leaves and vines. I hadn’t noticed the vines moving earlier and perhaps it purposefully hadn’t. Did I forget to mention that in the new world plant life was smart? “Son of a bitch,” I whispered.
“Any day now, Mina,” Charles stated through clench teeth.
I could throw magic over anything natural and, like it or not, even the supernatural was part of that now. I recalled how I first controlled the ten-foot monster dog that disrupted my cousin’s wedding when the world first went to hell. I’d controlled other inhuman things since then. I usually did so to get them to leave us alone and not eat or kill us. The lesser the lifeform, the easier it was to control. And less painful for me.
I threw my hands up and then balled them into fists; forcing my energy into the plants and envisioning them drying out, breaking off and dying. I’m not sure if I really needed the hand work but it helped me focus on what I was aiming my magic to do.
Tiny points of pain pricked my skin all over. Soon after that, the plant life started to change from a bright green to burnt brown, then it crumbled and broke apart. The vine around Charles’ ankle fell away and shriveled.
I let out a deep sigh and my minor pain went away.
Charles turned around to face me, eyes wide. “Took you long enough. Thanks, sis.”
I rolled my eyes again. “You know better than to run off like that.”
“I was still in eye range, mom. Plus, the plants didn’t look like they were moving. Just poisonous.”
“Well, clearly they were playing games.”
“I’ve never seen plants do that before.”
I looked down the street to my left. It was after twelve in the afternoon. Since it was early summer we still had a good amount of sun left but we had to watch our time carefully so that we wouldn’t be caught out in the dark.
“I think we should know by now that the only certainty around here is that everything is uncertain. All right, let’s search this place but stay on your toes.”
We searched every establishment together. It took a while but we were finding a gold mine here. A gory gold mine but a gold mine all the same. We tied some scarfs from a clothing store around our faces to help block out the stench of decaying, dead flesh and spoilt food, and went through the work of gathering supplies.
I focused on practical items. Jackets and gloves for later seasons and undergarments from the clothing stores, a first aid kit from a bar, some non-perishable food, lighters and a few more toiletries we were in need of for our day to day. We had to build our base all over again. There would be no going back to our old complex, it had been raided and destroyed by David and his gang months ago.
“I think we have enough time to hook up some lunch from one of those restaurants before the plants get to be dangerous and the sun goes down,” Charles surmised, eyeing a barbeque restaurant across the street.
I glared at him.
He shrugged. “What? I’m hungry. You can magically cook us up a meal and I can get this laptop working and search for a government town,” he stated, waving a silver laptop in the air.
While I tried to make a meal out of whatever I could gather in the kitchen of one of the restaurants, Charles made magic happen on the laptop and gained access to the very limited internet. Nowadays the internet was mostly a ghost town of sites that were abandoned. The only active sites were the informational ones, social media, and of course what was left of the government had an active site. The only way we even knew of the government’s resurgence was by searching the former White House website and Twitter page. From there, word spread from others who had the same idea.
“Okay, so there’s a government backed town in Hagerstown. A little under three hour’s drive. We go there first. See if they can help. If they can’t, we push on to Silver Spring,” Charles stated bringing his laptop over to me in the kitchen.
After lunch we were on our way back to the highway when we spotted trouble on the side of the road.
A man stood, pulling thin legs out of the ground in front of a tree-lined area off the main road. The legs the man held appeared to be female. The torso attached to the legs was halfway in the ground.
“What. The. Hell!” Charles exclaimed, slowing the car down as we passed them.
“Stop the car,” I ordered, straining past Charles to get a better look.
“Clearly, we need to help them. The woman is stuck in some, I don’t know, quick sand-like dirt or something.”
“What if it’s a trap? I mean, that guy looks like he’d swat us like flies. I’m not up for a fight. We have to focus on saving our friends.”
I looked to the man. He did look imposing, with a wide and muscular frame. Still, something was telling me to help. “What if it’s not a trap? And we’re looking for people to help us get our friends. Maybe they’ll help us if we help them, so stop the car!”
“This is how we got caught last time.” Charles came to an immediate stop in front of an opening to a shopping plaza and I jumped out. “Don’t be stupid, sis!”
Out of habit, I looked both ways before crossing the vacant street. I didn’t bother wasting time asking the man what happened. The situation looked pretty clear.
I raised both hands and focused on the ground around the now thighs of the female. She was getting swallowed up quickly and I was sure she wasn’t able to breathe. If this was a trap, it was a dangerous one.
Thanks for your support! Next month: Boston quick trip and my favorite international Horror Films..