WARMING UP HERE IN THE WESTERN PART OF NEW YORK: FREE LOOK AT WATERTOWN EBOOK
Warming up here in the western part of New York: It is amazing to me that at the end of last week we had temperatures in the 70’s, but Saturday and Sunday in the single digits. This morning is a balmy 34 degrees and slated to reach the 40’s. What a weird winter.
I will be working on web sites all day long. I do it on Monday because I know that by Wednesday, my next opportunity to do it, I will be completely sick of the week and dreaming of a sandy beach and a cold beer. There are few sandy beaches here in New York. I remember the Gulf Coast when I was down there however and those beaches were gorgeous. I keep telling myself that I will retire there and call it a life. Just a beach bum walking about… With a girlfriend… And a cold brew… And a sailboat too… Yeah, that sounds about right.
So where are we, Wednesday? Damn, still Monday morning. Well this is going to be a great week I can tell, so I am just going to jump right into it. I will get busy, but I will leave you with a look at Earth’s Survivors Watertown.
Watertown is much different than the other Earth’s Survivors books. It does deal with some of the same characters, and the same town, places, but the focus is on the lives those characters lived before the apocalypse came along and skewed it all. I hope you enjoy the preview and I hope you use the links at the end of the preview to get yet another preview or download the book. I will be back on Wednesday, Jay…
EARTH’S SURVIVORS: WATERTOWN
By Dell Sweet
Copyright © Dell Sweet 2016, all rights reserved.
Additional Copyrights © 2010 – 2014 by Wendell Sweet
This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
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 © 2016 Wendell Sweet and his assignees. The Names Dell Sweet and Geo Dell are publishing constructs owned by Wendell Sweet. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the author’s permission. All rights foreign and domestic are retained by the Author and or his assignees.
Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print.
Cover art Copyright 2016 Wendell Sweet
Shop and Stock
“Going home?” Alice Chambers asked.
“Yeah,” April agreed. It was early morning, the sun just coming up, shining through the dirty front windows of the store.
“I could drop you. I know it’s not a long walk, but if you wanted a ride, you know,” she blushed and her face colored.
The Shop and Stock was on the main highway nearly directly across from the entrance to Lott road. It was a half mile down the road to the trailer park. Not far. She walked it all the time, including early morning and late evening.
April’s rule of thumb with Alice was not to lead her on. Not to give her false hope. Alice wanted to be with her, it was clear. There had been a time when they had been together, but that was over and had been over for nearly a year. She didn’t want her to think that it might start up again. Letting her give her a ride home might make her think that there was hope. It might, and that could hurt her and she didn’t want to do that.
“I think the walk would do me good, besides it’s just incentive for me to buy a car,” April said.
“You’re saving?” Alice asked. Her face had become sad when April hadn’t said yes. Her sad eyes were magnified behind her thick glasses.
“No, but I hope to be… That’s the incentive part. It’s just that it costs so much to live…” April stopped, regretting she had said as much as she did.
“Well they say two can live as cheaply as one,” Alice said. Her eyes became hopeful again.
Sometimes April wondered why she didn’t just do it. Almost everyone at work thought she and Alice were an item anyway. Guys at work didn’t even hit on her anymore, and occasionally she would catch girls looking at her speculatively, like the new girl, Haley, beautiful: She had some sort of tribal tattoo that covered one arm and disappeared under her sleeve. It peaked out when her shirt lifted enough to bare her stomach, making April wonder where else it went. Dark blue against brown skin. She had been looking at her, wondering about where that tattoo might go one day last week when Haley had caught her. They had both smiled and looked away.
“You didn’t say anything,” Alice said.
“I’m sorry, I zoned out… You know, maybe two can live as cheaply as one… I guess it is something to consider,” April said. She had no idea why she had said it except that it was true. She had two guys at the trailer park that were interested. She couldn’t stand either one of them, but they were persistent. And she supposed it was only a matter of time before something happened. Probably something she didn’t want to happen. She kept an aluminum bat next to the door, but she was a young woman living alone in a bad place. It was probably only a matter of time.
Alice was smiling up of her. “Are you sure about the walk? It’s such a bad place,” Alice said, echoing her thoughts.
“Sure… You’re right, Ali. Listen, I have a cold six-pack in my fridge, if it didn’t stop working again that is, maybe we could have a couple of beers, unwind from the night,” April said. “It’s morning, but technically it’s night to us.” She laughed.
Alice positively overflowed. “Sure… I’ll… I’ll get some chips?” She looked at April as if asking permission. April nodded almost imperceptibly. That was how they had gotten together in high school. Alice asked, April had never said yes, just that tiny little nod, but that had been all that Alice had needed.
Alice hurried off now and April told herself she wasn’t building her hopes up to dash them. She was sick of the trailer park: Sick of her life right now. Before she ended up with one of those clowns on either side of her, she would move back in with Alice. She shocked herself with the admission, but then she realized it was the truth. Maybe it was the truth she had been hiding from herself, but it was the truth.
Alice came back blooming. A totally different woman than the shy, unassuming person she normally was. She walked close to her as they left the store. She could see Alice wanted to slip her arm through hers, so April did it herself. She just slipped her arm through hers as they walked across the parking lot to Alice’s car.
Alice seemed to be in shock, but a happy kind of shock. April was surprised, but it lifted her mood too.
Route 81 rest-stop
Danny and Daryl
“Who would really know?” Daryl asked. “I mean really, Danny?”
They were stopped at a rest area a few miles outside of Watertown New York. The trunk was open and they had looked through what was there. It was far more than they had thought, far more than Carlos had led them to believe. Neither of them knew how much, but they had a good idea. They had already made small holes in four of the bricks and discovered they were dealing with both cocaine and heroin. And since the holes had been there they had taken a bit of each. Only a little: Nothing that would be missed, probably, but that had been three or four hours ago at another rest area when the curiosity had gotten the best of them. That and their withdrawals after a two week crack binge and the little that they had taken was gone.
Now they were trying to decide if they took a few full bricks whether they would be missed. There were eight bricks of coke, and six of heroin in the black duffel bag. That was a tight fit. They had purchased a cheap foam plastic cooler just outside of Rochester and filled it with beer and packages of lunch meat and cheese. They had purchased bread and other stuff for the long trip. Thinking all those weeks of not eating right would catch up to them and they’d be starving. And they would’ve been except they had gotten right back into the coke. They were numb again. Hunger was on the back burner once more. All their bodies craved were more cocaine and maybe some heroin to chase it.
Daryl pulled the zipper on the blue duffel bag and opened it.
“What the fuck are you doing?” Danny asked.
“You know goddamn good and well what I’m doing,” he said. He reached in and took one of each brick.
“Holy Jesus,” Danny said. “You’re crazy. They’ll kill us.”
Daryl licked his lips. “Maybe… But… Maybe we can blame that on the other guys. You know, they got the shit! They played with it. Our word against theirs, right?”
“Christ,” Danny said. His hands shook slightly, but then harder. Before he could stop himself he reached into the duffel bag and pulled out two more bricks, one of each. Daryl’s eyes bugged.
“I don’t know, man. That is a lot. Two is enough,” he said.
“To get killed over?” Danny asked. “Fuck that! If it’s gonna get us in the shit and we gotta lie our way out of it we might as well make it worth it,” he said. He looked at the untouched ice chest, popped off the foam cover and plunged the bricks down into the ice. Daryl took a small chunk of the cocaine, sealed the brick back up and plunged both of his bricks into the ice chest too. They piled up the errant ice cubes and arranged the packages of meat and cheese to hide the bricks underneath them, breathing hard as they did: On the verge of panic.
“You can see the foil,” Danny said.
Daryl grabbed the plastic bag that the lunch meat had come in, fished out the bricks and wrapped them up tightly in the plastic. The bag was white and blended much better under the ice this time.
“Can tell, not really,” Daryl said. He had already sniffed some coke. Danny wasn’t far behind.
“Looks fine,” Danny agreed. “Let’s go.”
They both reached up to slam the trunk lid down, scaring the hell out of each other as they did. They laughed nervously and then got back into the car.
“Alright, I’m getting on top of it now, man… It’s gonna be all right,” Daryl said.
“Yeah… Yeah,” Danny agreed as he started the car.
“This is a really big deal, Ed. As in a million plus, you see?” Ben asked.
“Sure,” Ed said. “I get it. Well, you mean a million plus as in more than a million dollars?” he asked.
Ben laughed. “Yeah, more than a million, Ed: These guys, well, I don’t know these guys. They’re really just hired flunkies. Pick up the stuff, drive it from point a to point b, that kind of thing. They’re probably not professionals. So we’ll have to make up for that by maintaining our own professional standards, Ed. We’ll just be cold: Aloof, removed. No laughing if they crack a joke. No small talk at all.” He handed Ed one of the flat black 9 mm guns. The one he had shoved under the front seat.
Ed looked it over. “Grips broken?” he asked. He fingered the tape that wound around them.
“No,” Ben told him. “That’s friction tape, stops them from getting prints… Most of the time at least. It’s what I call a throw away gun. Cheap, doctored up with tape in case I do have to toss it and I don’t have time to wipe it. Ground down serial number. Here’s a spare clip.” He handed him a clip. “The one in that gun is full, and there’s one in the chamber. I do that by putting one in the chamber then ejecting the clip and replacing that one in the clip. Then put the clip back in. Sometimes an extra bullet can mean a lot. All you need to do is flick off the safety, aim and shoot… You got that, Ed?” Ben asked.
“Yeah… Yeah… I do,” Ed agreed. He looked nervous. “Do you think we’ll have to shoot, Ben?”
“Sometimes… You can shoot, right?” Ben asked. He knew he owned a 9 mm and that he had taken a weapons class in Syracuse a few years back. He had carried a sidearm and had, had to train on a rifle when he was in the service. He had checked all of that out. He also knew he was a poor shot. Myopic, and even with his thick glasses his depth perception, which was critical to accuracy, was bad.
“Sure, sure, it’s just been a while,” Ed said.
“Just make sure you don’t shoot me, or yourself,” Ben said.
They were at the lookout in the park standing near the trunk of the car waiting for the other car. It could be a few minutes, maybe as much as an hour, Ben thought.
Ed nodded. “I won’t,” he said, unsmiling.
Ben had no idea what to expect. He knew what they were driving, but he had no idea how far out they were, all Tommy had told him was the make and model, a big silver-blue Toyota, and their names. They had picked up the stuff in Brownsville earlier that morning, and they were on the way. He popped the trunk lid and snapped open the catches on the big brown suitcase. Neat rows of bills: All hundreds. Ed whistled.
Ben removed one of the stacks, set it aside and closed the case. “Your pay,” Ben told him.
“How much is that?” Ed asked. His eyes were a little bugged out. He’d never seen that much money anywhere. Not even in gangster movies, which were his favorite kinds of flicks. It was a lot of money.
“Eighty thousand dollars per stack,” Ben told him.
“You’re kidding? I’m making eighty thousand dollars for this deal?” he asked.
Ben smiled and nodded. “I told you it was big.”
“Yeah,” Ed smiled. His mind was thinking about all the things he could buy with eighty thousand dollars.
Ben’s cell phone rang. He pulled it from his pocket, looked at the caller ID window and turned to Ed. “It’s my boss, I’ll have to take it,” he said. He walked away leaving Ed to his thoughts and answered the phone.
Suncrest Trailer Park
It started out bad and got worse. First Alice tried to kiss her when they got to April’s trailer. April had pretended she didn’t see it coming and turned it into an embrace. But once they were inside she tried again and they had ended up in an argument.
“It’s my fault, I should’ve walked home. I didn’t mean to lead you on, Ali, I didn’t,” April said.
“But… You held my hand. I know you want this just like I do. I know it. Why can’t we just be together? I don’t get it… You’re not seeing somebody else, right?” Alice asked.
“No… It’s not about that… It’s about compatibility… I’m not like you, Ali. How else can I say it?” April asked.
Alice broke down into tears. “But you are…” Her voice fell to a whisper. “You’ve made love to me, April; better than any man ever has… Ever could… You are like me,” she sobbed.
“I’m not,” April said. “We did those things. I was drunk. I was upset. I hated what had happened to me, you know that, it didn’t mean to me what it meant to you, Ali, it didn’t.”
Alice jumped up. “So I’m the one who is sick? Interested in the wrong sex? The Lesbo?” Her anger was barely in check. She was spitting the words out, tears streaming down her face. “Well fuck you, April Evans. I know about that boy at the end of the road. The one you talk about. If that’s what you want, then fuck you, take him.” She ran to the door, flung it open and rushed down the steps. Her car started as April got to the door, and she heard the gravel spit and clatter against the aluminum siding of the trailer as she took off.
Two trailers over a curtain parted and a woman’s face looked out into the gloom of early morning. Her eyes nearly skipped across April, lingered briefly and then the curtain edges fell back together. April sagged down to the top step and lowered her head into her hands. She got up a few minutes later, went inside and grabbed two of the beers. She left one in the plastic collar, slipped an open collar over her wrist and let the second can hang from it. As she went back out she picked up the aluminum bat, closed and locked the trailer door. She walked out to the end of the gravel road that cut down into the trailer park and looked towards the end of Lott road.
There was a guy, not a boy that lived at the end of the road. She had mentioned him to Alice. She shouldn’t have. He was just a guy. She had seen him go by a few times, but he had never paid any attention to her. She had even waited on him at the store a few times. Nothing: He wasn’t interested; Alice had that all wrong.
She hefted the bat in one hand. There were wild dogs all over the place. They lived in the woods and raided the county dump where it backed up to Lott road for their means of survival. It was best to be prepared. More than once she had driven one away with a quick tap from the bat. She took one of the trails that lead out of the trailer park and cut down toward the end of the road. She sipped at one of the beers as she pushed some overhanging small branches aside with the bat. The sun was finally starting to rise, casting shadows along the dirt path. She wondered about the boy at the end of the road as she walked.