Dark Winter – Part 6

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Ring around the rosie
Pocket full of posies.
Ashes! Ashes!
We all fall down.
– Old Children’s Rhyme

“You can’t just leave me here!”

Lindsay clung to the sleeve of Katie’s coat, nearly causing her to drop the gas mask she held. Katie tried to ignore her and adjusted the straps on the mask, but the tugging on her sleeve became more insistent. Finally she gave up and turned to face her friend. Lindsey looked terrified and desperate and instantly Katie’s heart went out to her.

“You’d only slow us down. No offense, Lindsey, but I am barely allowing Katie to do this,” Katie’s dad said as he zipped up his white parka and shouldered his pack. They were both wearing thermal gear and a thick, waterproof jacket. The jacket and their pants were both white with woodland print. They’d used them for hunting in the snow in the years past. As Katie fingered the mask in her hands, she began to wonder if her dad hadn’t used hunting as a cover for a lot of things.

“No I won’t, I promise! I can be fast! Please, Mister Fox, it’s my mom!”

Katie looked at her dad, her face full of questions. When her gaze met his, his jaw tightened and he shook his head.

“I’m sorry, but Katie’s been trained and you haven’t. It would be even more dangerous if you were with us.” Continue reading

Dark Winter – Part 5

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O bhr bhuva sva
Tat savitur vareya
Bhargo devasya dhmahi
dhiyo yo na pracodayt
- Sanskrit, Gayatri Mantra

When she woke again, Katie was warm. It was the type of warmth that promoted turning off the alarm and sleeping until noon. A good, lazy Saturday morning, and when she finally got up, her dad would chide her for being lazy. They’d have a late breakfast of eggs and scrapple and orange juice on the cabin’s porch and let the sun warm her face and brown her skin. The birds would sing in the trees but beyond that, it would be so quiet. Peaceful.

Safe.

Safe from her mother. Safe from the kids at school who knew. Safe from the mothers who picked up their children instead of letting them ride on the bus with her. Here, no one bothered her. No one knew except Lindsay and they hadn’t even talked about it. Her dad knew, he had to know by now. Didn’t he?

She’d talk to him when they went fishing. They always fished in the early afternoon if he wasn’t teaching his survival classes. She loved those too. They taught people how to shoot, how to prepare, how to survive events like…

Like this. Continue reading

Dark Winter – Part 4

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“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.”
- Bob Dylan, “All Along the Watchtower”

Her vision came in patches of light and darkness as consciousness ebbed in and out. Windshield wipers slashed at the snow. Trees rushed past. The faces, however, the faces were the worst. They appeared suddenly, eyes wide with madness instead of terror and were gone with a loud thump that shook the SUV’s entire frame. It shook Katie too, but she found no energy for fear, for anxiety, for remorse. She could only lay there, barely moving. Drawing a breath was hard enough.

Antiseptic. She smelled antiseptic. The odor was strong and stung her nose. It overpowered everything. She lifted a hand, her left hand, and saw it was wet with it. Her face too. The taste of it was on her lips.

“Awake?” Continue reading

Dark Winter – Part 3

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“Darkness closes in. Will you stand against it or lead this world to its bitter end?” – Morrigan, Dragon Age Inquisition

 The phone buzzed again and again, but Katie couldn’t will her right arm to bend. She clicked the answer button and thumbed the setting to put it on speaker. She hoped it would be enough.

“Katherine?”

“Dad!” she said, shouting above the wind and rain.

“Kather—ca—ear me?”

The phone was cutting out and she couldn’t see how good her signal was. Beside her, Lindsay was flagging, her legs stumbling more often than walking. They tripped, going to their knees and the phone fell from Katie’s hand, skittering across the road. She cried out and nearly dropped Lindsay in her haste to retrieve it. Hoping her dad was still on the line, she pulled it to her ear with her left hand. Continue reading

Dark Winter – Part 2

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“I am the swarm. Armies will be shattered. Worlds will burn.” – Kerrigan, Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm

There was darkness and pain, terrible pain. It burrowed deep, shocking her to the core and exploding into her mind. Rational thought was beyond her. All she could do was draw a breath, first one and then a second. A third. A fourth. Slowly, her mind began to clear.

Where am I? What happened?

The screaming was so loud. Was she screaming? Katie brought a hand up to her own lips and found them shut tight. Something wet and warm coated her fingers. She tasted copper. Blood. She was bleeding. Her tongue was on fire. Had she bitten it?

There was a heavy thump above her, followed by wild, erratic bangs, like someone pounding on a car roof. Continue reading

Dark Winter – Part 1

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“Sing to me about the end of the world… There’s still hope left in it yet.” – Flyleaf, Arise

“Dad? Dad please pick up, pick up.”

Katie Fox shook her cell phone, willing her father to answer. The roar of the storm was loud, drowning out his voicemail message. The freezing rain came down in sheets of thick needles that crashed against the Plexiglas roof of the bus stop. The wind was nearly as bad as the ice, blowing straight through her parka. It was too late to get back on the warm bus. Its tail lights were barely visible through the storm now, even this late at night.

“Don’t cry,” she told herself, sniffing back tears that threatened to fall as she shoved the cell into her pocket. “Think like dad. Think.” Continue reading

More hints of what’s to come

So, I am in the midst of some major fiction writing.

The company I work for is very tight on what I can and can not do with intellectual property that may earn me money, so every piece of literature I write (for profit) has to be passed through a strict process of approval. For that reason, I’m turning this blog into something of an outlet for my other, less salable work. It will be the place where all my non-earning writing can go, which will be cool! I’ll write whatever comes to my mind and wants an outlet. It’ll be fun.

If I have some fan fiction to write, it’ll go here. If I have some horribly cliché story idea that I just want to write about anyway? No problem! This will be a blog where my fun, just-for-kicks stories can find a home. If and when any of my professional work comes out, I’ll be sure to link you all. Then you can be the gal or guy that says “Hey, I read that guy’s bullshit stories!” Should we ever meet at a signing or a Convention, we can laugh about them.

And now, an updated image of my upcoming story header.

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I’m not sure it’s quite done yet. It might go through a few more iterations. I feel like it might need a subtitle. We’ll see as time goes on.