Bouchercon 2014: Murder at the Beach Take Away by Christine Husom

Conventions, conferences, writing groups, classes, workshops, and meetings with writers and others in the publishing world all afford opportunities for writers to hone their craft, get fresh ideas, and learn from others what has or has not worked for them in the world of publishing.

I have appreciated being part of the writing world in different ways, but had not attended a convention until two years ago when I went to Bouchercon in Cleveland. I loved the experience and was able go again this year: to Long Beach CA. It was my first time in CA, and an added bonus was I also spent two days with a childhood friend and her husband.

The main Bouchercon convention site was at the Hyatt Regency, but a number of the panels and events were at the nearby Convention Center. There was so much planned for the four days, they even had a panel to help guide attendees, “Bouchercon 101, Panel introducing Bouchercon first-timers to the ins and outs of the convention, including how Bouchercon works; what the many session, event, and networking opportunities are; and how to make the most of your experience.”

When you arrive at the convention, the first order of business is to register, then head to the book bag table for your supplies. Each bag contained a thick program guide, a pocket-size guide, and eight or so books from a variety of authors. I volunteered to help hand out bags, but they needed help stuffing the program guides in them instead. In two hours, our team stuffed hundreds. It was a good workout. What I learned was I could have brought my book bag with me and traded some of the books in my bag for others I was more interested in.

Each day, there was a hospitality area in the hotel rotunda where beverages and light snacks were served. It was a nice gathering place to meet others. There was a dealer book room “offering all the new and used books, recordings, and ephemera mystery fans could want.” Attendees were offered a Surveillance Training Workshop, followed by the opportunity to hit the streets out and practice the techniques they learned. There were a few tables where you could pick up free books, bookmarks, and other information about authors, editors, publishers, etc.

Thursday morning, after my bag-stuffing shift, I caught an hour of Author Speed Dating, where I sat at a table and a new round of authors sat down every few minutes and pitched their books.

A wide variety of panel discussions—150 of them—ran daily and included a moderator and four or five panelists. The problem was choosing which one to go to when up to eight ran concurrently, and most of them were appealing. They ranged anywhere from using humor in your writing, to how much violence you include in a book, to making sure the details are correct, to fighting for justice when the stakes are high. I often sat in on half of one panel and half of another.

In addition, they had Author Focus panels where people had the opportunity to spend twenty minutes with authors in a smaller setting. I was selected to be on one. The two main problems with the focus panels was that there were many other panels running at the same time and most people didn’t know what they were all about. Very few people attended them. I was lucky that three come to mine, including award-winning David Housewright.

The Opening Ceremonies were held Thursday evening. Honored guests were introduced, including Al Abramson, Fan Guest of Honor; J.A. Jance, American Guest of Honor; Simon Wood, Toastmaster Guest of Honor; Edward Marston, International Guest of Honor; Eoin Colfer, Guest of Honor; and Jeffery Deaver, Lifetime Achievement Guest of Honor. And William Kent Krueger was presented both the Barry and Macavity Awards for Ordinary Grace.

Friday morning there was a New Authors Breakfast, and each one had a minute to pitch his or her book. Friday evening featured The Shamus Awards Banquet where Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone received the Hammer Award. Later there was a Dessert Reception and Live Charity Auction that I didn’t attend.
Saturday afternoon featured an Anthology Book Launch and Signing from the Bouchercon 2014 anthology. That is something to check into for future conventions, if you’re interested. The highlight Saturday night was the Anthony Awards Presentation where William Kent Krueger took the Best Novel award for Ordinary Grace.

An estimated 600 authors and around 3,000 people attended. I met librarians and other readers who go to learn about authors and books. There were many volunteer opportunities. There are side trips. At $175, the convention itself was reasonable. Depending on where you live, travel can be costly. The hotel was the most expensive thing for me. I was not able to get into the convention hotel for either convention, and that would be motivation to register early in the future. For more details about Bouchercon 2014, check out their website. Bouchercon 2015 will be in Raleigh NC October 8-11. Some people prefer smaller conventions and conferences, so I’d like to check them out. Conventions are valuable for connecting and learning, and I’d encourage you go if you can.

Christine Husom is the author of the Winnebago County Mystery Series

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Christmas 2014: Where Did Tolerance Go?—J. Conrad Guest

Maybe it’s just my age, looking through rose colored glasses into a past that seems much friendlier today than it perhaps really was fifty years ago.

Photo courtesy of Craig David Butler

Photo courtesy of Craig David Butler

The 1960s: turbulent. Two Kennedys assassinated, Martin Luther King gunned down, the war in Vietnam raged. But we also had The Beatles, Woodstock, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Laugh-In. And people seemed much more tolerant. Sometime during the last fifty years individual rights took center stage, pushing tolerance into the wings, where it remains mute, perhaps suffering stage fright.

No tolerance today, not for pro choice or pro life, not for gay rights, not for religious beliefs. A young boy is told he cannot read the bible in school—not on his free time between classes or during lunch. A young girl cannot say a quick prayer of thanks at the school cafeteria before lunch. A nativity scene at Christmas is offensive. Some want “In God We Trust” removed from our currency. Maybe we should, since it appears that many believe in money as their savior.

Tolerance. Merriam-Webster defines it as a willingness to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own.

Today, tolerance means I must accept your feelings, habits and beliefs, but you are free to disregard my feelings, disparage me for my beliefs, and I must accept that under the guise of “human rights”. We’re so caught up in personal rights that we’ve forgotten that our rights end when they infringe on the rights of another.

I’ve long remained publically mute on the subject of Christmas, but this year I voice my opinion. You’re offended that I celebrate Christmas as the birth of a Messiah. You tell me he is but a myth. I have news for you. Santa isn’t real. He doesn’t make toys at his home at the North Pole, nor does he circle the globe on Christmas Eve to deliver toys down the chimney’s of billions of people—many who don’t have chimneys. I don’t push on you my belief in God, even though, in my mind, there is a greater chance that He exists than does Santa. But go ahead, put up on your front lawn your inflatable Santa, and the sleigh and reindeer on your roof. I can tolerate that, even if you can’t tolerate the nativity scene on my lawn, and petition City Hall to make me take it down.

Christmas has become, in my opinion, the measuring stick for how well the economy is doing. Black Friday: how does this year’s spending measure up against last year? Put up the tree, decorate it, and buy gifts, and for what? To help the nation’s economic recovery? To make up for the truly shitty way you treated your family the rest of the year? To buy the affection of your spouse and children because you haven’t earned it by spending quality time with them all year long?

My wish this Christmas season is that you find under your tree a large box of tolerance. Furthermore, that you learn to accept other thinking as simply that: thinking that differs from your own and doesn’t threaten you, your family, or your beliefs. Accept me for my feelings, habits and beliefs, as I accept yours. Life is short, shorter still when you consider the life of the planet and the universe. Only when we come to accept diversity will we become the Human Race, and not white, black, yellow, man and woman.

Why can’t we all just get along?

J. Conrad Guest, author of: 500 Miles To GoA Retrospect In Death, A World Without Music, Backstop: A Baseball Love Story In Nine InningsJanuary’s Thaw, and One Hot January

Click to purchase

Click to purchase

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Sea of Destiny – Part 30 by Dellani Oakes

sea of destiny coverRandy decides it’s time to have a heart to heart talk with his father. He asks him a series of very pointed and penetrating questions. The subject eventually comes around to what Kyle remembers about his father, which isn’t much. He’s never even seen a picture of his father.

 “How come?”

“Mom wouldn’t let her. Your grandmother is a very scary woman when she gets angry. She told Granny not to show the pictures. She never has.”

“That’s pretty dick.”

“Yeah.” Kyle wiped off his shaving gel, checking under the toilet paper to make sure the bleeding had stopped.

“When do I get to shave?” Randy’s voice squeaked.

“When you’ve got more on your face than a milk mustache. Don’t start too early, you’ll end up with a rough beard. Women don’t like that. Soft and silky or smooth skin.”

“So you don’t chafe her thighs?”

“What?” Kyle spun on his son, horrified. “Where’d you hear a thing like that?”

“TV, Dad. Calm thyself.” He made patting motions in the air.

“Don’t say a thing like that in public. Do you even know what it means?”

The sheepish look on his son’s face told him he didn’t.

“Never in public. Okay? And not around Carmelita either, she’ll kill you and you won’t even understand why.”

“You ever gonna tell me?”

“Ask me when you’re twenty-one.”

“Brother! Did you know what it meant when you were twelve?”

“No.” But I sure did when I was fifteen. Not a fact he’d share with his son.

* * *

Before leaving the ship, Kyle went down to see Emily. She looked better than she had the night before, but she was still awfully pale. She managed a weary smile, holding her hand out to him. He leaned over, kissing her gently as he sat on the edge of the bed.

“How are you feeling this morning?”

“Like I want to go dancing.”

“I think they’d protest if I tried to take you out of here.”

“I’ll feel better if you kiss me again.”

He was glad to oblige.

“How are the kids?”

“Excited about going to Mexico.”

“I’ll miss you.”

“I wish you could go with me.”

“Will you go with me to Cozumel to visit the priest?”

“Of course I will. I want to watch you get your miracle.”

“Do you really think I’ll get one?” Her green eyes held such misery and doubt, he nearly lost control of himself.

“I do. I really do.” He touched her cheek tenderly. “I need that miracle as much as you do, Em. I can’t picture life without you in it. I know that makes me sound like some sort of sappy twit, but it’s true. The last few days have been really special and I want that to continue.”

She leaned her cheek against his hand, her tears falling silently. Kyle wiped them away with his fingers.

“Me too,” she whispered.

Taking his hand in both of hers, she held it to her cheek, rubbing her face against it. He felt his stomach lurch and his groin tighten. Even sick, she could make his body react like a hormonal teenager.

“Can I bring you anything from Cancun?”

“Just your sunny smile.”

“I can do that. I’d better get going or Lita will come looking for me. She’ll whoop my ass if I make her miss one minute of this trip.”

“Go. I like your ass just like it is.” She made pinching motions at him. “It’s so tight and squeezable.”

He chuckled, wiggling his ass at her from a few feet away. “When you get better, you can squeeze it as much as you like.”

“I’m holding you to that.”

“You can hold anything you want.”

Giving her a big, smoochy kiss he winked provocatively, dancing backwards out the door as she laughed at him. Still walking backwards, he nearly collided with the nurse. Instead, he spun her in a tight circle, humming Oye Como Va by Carlos Santana.

© Dellani Oakes To Buy Dellani’s Books

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A lady Unbecoming is finally out!!

Finally the day has arrived! A Lady Unbecoming the second book of the Slave Bound series, (Book 1 Trial Of Love) is available for purchase on Amazon. Paperback lovers, I got you! For just $14.20 you get to enjoy not just a great read but also get that forever loved smell and feel of print paper. Kindle fanatics, at just $4.99 you can get this Regency Romance on your device immediately after you 1-Click it. And of course a hot read for the cold winters, yup, this book will keep you warm under the collar!

Born out of wedlock, torn from her family, sold to an evil man to aid in his plans to ruin an English Earl, Lydia Parker has nothing to rely upon but her own fiery will. She has never known love or compassion and doesn’t believe she ever will. A conspiring plan brings into her life noble, idealistic, magnificent Nicholas Wentworth, her target. Drawn irresistibly to the beautiful young woman he finds in his bed, Nicholas finds out only gradually the remarkable story of Lydia, and the reality of her virginal innocence. Time and trial bind them–only to have Lydia’s true agenda intrude on what might have been a lasting love for this lady unbecoming.

ladyunbecoming cover 102114 flattened_001What are you waiting for, buy buy buy!!!

Merry Christmas!

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A Time Ago by John E. Stack

Season’s Greetings and Merry Christmas.  This is a time of good cheer and celebration.  We plan for parties and we shop looking for just the right gift.  We often spend too much money on people we really don’t even like. I often think of years gone by.  A simpler time.  A simpler life.

I grew up in the 50’s and I think of the gifts that we received.  Many of the toys we received came from a small hardware store called Renegar’s Hardware.  If we really wanted to be overwhelmed,  we traveled to downtown Winston-Salem to the Sears on 4th Street.  It was huge and every year they decorated the balconies on the front of the store with a full size manger scene with camels, wise men, shepherds and angels.  They carried everything.

Renegar’s was a small shop located on the south side of Winston-Salem.  They carried toys year round but at Christmas you couldn’t find the  hardware due to all the toys.  They had wagons (Radio Flyers), bikes, sleds, Lincoln Logs, dolls, toy soldiers, baseball bats and all kinds of balls.  The only electronics you might find were compact am radios.  We didn’t have ipods, ipads color tv, or smart phones.  My friends and I would spend hours there just looking.

Another big treat would be about a week before Christmas.  Our church would have a Christmas program.  After all the singing we would adjourn to the church basement for a visit from Santa.  After talking to Santa or even if you were too big to sit on Santa’s lap each child received a small paper bag that contained an apple, a couple of oranges, a handful of mixed nuts and some hard Christmas candy. We were thankful for the things we received.

Today’s kids would be offended if they didn’t receive what they asked for.  A six year old doesn’t need an ipad or a cell phone no matter how badly they want one.  They need to build their imagination and their ability to read.

I encourage you to give your kids things they need not necessarily the things they want.  Teach them to be thankful for the things they do get and spend time helping others.  While you are at it reach out and help someone else have a more enjoyable Christmas.  If it is within your means, buy gifts for someone less fortunate or donate a meal.  Let’s go back to a simpler time and celebrate the spirit of giving – the spirit of Christmas.  It’s not how much you spend, it’s what you are willing to give.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

***John E. Stack is the author of Cody’s Almost Trip to the Zoo, Olivia’s Sweet Adventure, and Cody’s Rescue Adventure at the Zoo.

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My Christmas Muse a-Musing, by Sheila Deeth

How did it get so close to Christmas? Where did another year go?

So here I sit, panicking, pondering, musing, and wondering what to buy sons who have somehow grown up and have almost everything…

Then I realize it’s my day to write a Christmas blogpost here, so what shall I say? My muse smiles weakly and suggests I search through my novel, Divide by Zero. It covers years in its characters’ lives; there must be a Christmas chapter I can share. So says my ever-confident muse, but I checked, and there really isn’t.

There’s a father, estranged, bemoaning how his son never got those Christmas cards and gifts. A newspaper reporter finds her own muse took a hike after the Christmas rush (but she had a good excuse). Troy thinks Spicy Peppermint ice-cream (yummmm) looks like Christmas in July. And Sylvia flees the Christmas dance, a young man’s innocent affection too much like the terror she’s hidden in the past.

Later the lights of police cars will flash like another Christmas night, and the world will be changed. But a child shows that love and forgiveness don’t always have to be the same, and happy memories are a treasure to be remembered. (Perhaps the Christmas child tells something of that, loving first, even though we might never deserve full forgiveness.)

Friends will keep memories alive through sending and receiving their Christmas letters, and…

I panic again, because that’s what I should be doing, so…

Merry Christmas, and may all your zeroes be the forebears of infinite joy.

Divide by Zero, a tapestry woven around a fraying thread

Divide by Zero, a tapestry woven around a fraying thread

Sheila Deeth is the author of Divide by Zero, newly released by Second Wind Publishing. Her second novel, Infinite Sum, will tell more of Sylvia’s story in 2015.

 

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Christmas, Peace and a Soft Green Dress by Heidi Thurston

The aroma of the Christmas goose drifting from behind a closed door, mingling with the scent of pine from yet another quickly closed door. Coats and boots dripping with melting snow falling on my feet and the hallway runner. Large mysterious packages quietly slipped through a door behind which nothing but velvet darkness lingered. A soft green wool dress swirling in a darkened hallway and patent leather shoes reflecting white silken knee socks. These were all part of a very special night in Copenhagen in 1945, the first Christmas Eve after World War II had ended.

Earlier, leaving our apartment with armloads of gifts, my parents and I had eased into the warm seats of an awaiting taxi and watched the holiday lights reflect on the black exterior of the moving car.

As the auto rumbled through city streets, we observed hurrying crowds bustling from store to store with last minute errands, while others, like ourselves, were carrying gifts wrapped in bright Christmas paper. All were dressed in warm coats and mufflers and everyone was headed for the homes of family and friends in order to share with them this exciting evening.

This was THE big night and it all began with the new dress, sewn from soft green wool, embroidered in red and white holiday flowers and made especially for me for this occasion. The very feel of the gown, as it fell softly around my knees, held promises of a wonderful time at my grandmother’s home where, in addition to my father’s mother, we would be joined by his bachelor brother and maiden aunt.

Traditionally, every Christmas Eve began with amber-colored sherry, sparkling in antique, crystal goblets and the bell-like clinks as five adults toasted, while a smaller glass, bubbling with red soda tickling my nose, helped heighten my festive mood.

Grandmother studied cooking in France. On this night, she served succulent goose, mouth-watering red cabbage, tiny potatoes browned in butter giving them a caramel look and a tempting aroma.

When all this was devoured, it was my turn to help in the kitchen. With a starched, crisp, white apron wrapped around me, protecting the new green dress, I stood on a small stool, chest just above the counter, and beat the metal whisk until small peaks swirled from the ice cold, heavy cream. This would be smoothly blended with fruit, nuts and rice into the rich, traditional Danish dessert.

After the holiday meal was over, I would sit on the kitchen “hot-box” filled with musty newspapers and country-fresh straw, where previously the dishes had been kept warm. Seated, I sang Christmas songs for my grandmother while she prepared steaming hot coffee for the adults and warm, delicious cocoa for me.

Then, after what seemed an eternity, my father and uncle would call from behind the sliding doors leading into the previously closed living room. As the doors squeakingly receded into the walls, they revealed a dark fir, shining with lighted candles, gold and silver ornaments, saved from years past and now reflecting my bright eyes.

My grandmother and my father each took my hands as we joined up with my mother, uncle and great aunt, and slowly circled the stately fir. Old Danish hymns rang out in bass, tenor, and one small soprano voice while thin tinsel strands fluttered from the fragrant branches like silver rain.

Later, as a feeling of peace fell on the room, I sat on the smooth oriental carpet, family and presents all around me, and watched the flames in the coalstove sputter against the glass window.

At the age of five I was too young to know that some day the green woolen holiday dress would become an important part of my memories.   I would recall that this was a time when the tiny kingdom, the home of Hans Christian Andersen and The Little Mermaid, had again returned to a fairytale land; coming out from its long years of darkness and into the lights. The presence of the Nazi regime would be gone, but not forgotten; the King would resume his daily ride along the streets near the harbor, and my mother and grandmother would again take their Sunday stroll through the walking street in the inner city.

I would remember this time, as I still do, with a warm heart and recall that this Christmas Eve in 1945 would forever symbolize peace on earth and good will toward men.

Heidi Xmas montage

Heidi’s mother and grandmother shopping in Copenhagen after the Nazi occupation ended; the little green dress.

Heidi Thurston’s “The Duchess, The Knight and the Leprechaun” is available from Amazon and Second Wind Publishing.

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Christmas With Bob Hope

The last few days I’ve been putting up my Christmas decorations with the sound of carols playing in the background. This time of year is always a time for reminiscing for me, and while unpacking, one storage box held memories from 1966. Inside was a garland of realistic holly, boxwood and pine intertwined with miniature old world lanterns that light up. I remember splurging on it at a department store Christmas boutique that year. The Vietnam War was on and my husband was stationed with the USAF in northeast Thailand at Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base. The amazing thing about that garland is that it still works! I’ve never replaced anything on it, and it’s been lighting a wall or fireplace mantle every Christmas since, for 48 years!

As I stepped back to admire the garland, memories flooded back of that time my husband was gone. In those days there was no R&R (Rest and Recuperation Leave) for our troops overseas at the half-way mark and no phone calls for the entire year. The Internet and Skype didn’t exist. Only letters. How the men looked forward to letters from home and an occasional gift package.

Probably the most exciting time for them that year was a visit from Bob Hope. Stars accompanying Mr. Hope were Vic Damone, Phyllis Diller, Joey Heatherton, and Miss World, Anita Bryant, plus some minor acts. The men at the Nakhon Phanom base talked about it for weeks ahead of time and families at home were eager to see the Bob Hope Christmas Special when it came out in January to see if they could catch a glimpse of their son, brother, uncle, husband, or father.

I remember my son and I sat on the living room floor as close as we could get to my parents-in-law’s TV without blocking anyone else’s view, to see if we could find my husband in the crowd. He had written to say he was in front sitting on the ground only about ten feet away from the stage. During the special, everything happened so fast and there were so many faces to search, I couldn’t be sure we actually saw him or not, but the important thing was that the troops were able to see Bob Hope and company. What a thrill it was to them! I wish there were DVRs then!

Not all the memories of that time were good ones. Last month was Veteran’s Day and many Americans thought of all the sacrifices our soldiers have made for their country. I’d like to mention the sacrifices of the families of those soldiers as well. That year my husband and I missed sharing the celebration of our birthdays, our anniversary, several extended family events and a year of our 4 year old son’s life in a country that wasn’t very supportive. My husband’s paycheck documents got lost and for several months, we had no money coming in at all. It was a difficult time sometimes, but we persevered until his return. We considered ourselves really blessed that he was able to come back to us!

Ninteen sixty-six was a different time and military families have some advantages since then, but they also have more challenges and difficulties than ever before. I just hope that as we celebrate this holiday season, we remember the families, as well as the soldiers and airmen, for the dedicated, selfless people they are. And that those families have something nice to remind them of their sacrifice, like my garland that keeps staying lit.

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If You Can by Harry Margulies

Beautiful Black Labrador Puppy DogSometimes when they dream their paws start to twitch,
Where is it they’re running? What is it they wish?
Maybe they’re chasing a squirrel or mouse,
Maybe they’re trotting home, back to their house.

 

2Cat
But what if they had nowhere to run,
Those tiny paws trembling from fear, not from fun.
The smallest things scare them, if only they knew,
They’ll take what they’re given, that’s all they can do.

 

Guarding TogetherSomeone will love them, that’s what we say,
Let’s leave them behind, get on with our day.
You’ll be fine, pups and kitties, you’ll be fine, just you see,
Someone will take you – it just won’t be me.

three kittens striped tabby isolatedBut more often than not they don’t end up fine,
Their life not a book, but barely a line.
They don’t understand why there’s no one to love,
Why they don’t get a chance, why they can’t find a hug.

Bulldog lying on wood floor.
Unconditional love, it’s so hard to find,
There’s always a catch, I hope you don’t mind.
But that’s what you’ll get if you give them a home,
Unquestioning love that won’t leave you alone.
It will be there all day, you don’t have to ask,
Their love is a pleasure, it’s never a task.

6CatIf you don’t have the time or the love or the space,
It’s not fair to adopt them, just leave them in place.
But if there is a spot in your family this season,
Please make a commitment, listen to reason.

And then when you notice their paws start to twitch,
You’ll know that they’re happy,
You’ve granted their wish.
7Harry&Bingo

If you can
 

* * *

Harry Margulies is the author of The Knowledge Holder and the soon to-be-released The Weight of the Moon. When he’s not writing about romance, money, women and other subjects he thoroughly enjoys but knows nothing about, he’s frittering his precious time as a cartoonist.

 

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Survival

As the day approaches for the release of my third book, Survival, I find the tension building. In this sequel to Extinction, the Roberts family still strives to survive and to find other survivors, but are they winning? Every effort brings victory…and defeat.

The jagged knife wound across Nicole’s right palm left her in no shape for fighting. She needed a chance to heal before trying to fight again. She could move all her fingers. She was lucky. Eventually the gash would heal. In the meantime, it hurt badly. She could live with it. What other choice did she have? A few aspirin were the strongest painkillers in the shelter’s first aid kit. She would ration them and hope the cut did not become infected. She chuckled at the irony. She was stuck inside one of the best hospitals in the country, and could not access any of the drugs located just on the other side of the double doors.

Nicole lay on her cot, thinking about the events of the last several days. The thought of the second Link scream that she had heard the day she yelled into the duct preyed on her mind. The only explanation was that someone uninfected yelled back to her. Other survivors could be nearby, but they would have to survive on their own for a while longer. Her hand had to heal.

Two days before, she and Danny had secured the hallway outside the fallout shelter, a significant step forward. They could have lived safely inside the medical center shelter; however, as days turned to weeks, the confinement of the windowless space took a toll on their nerves and dispositions. Laura cried most of the time. Danny became despondent and withdrawn. She realized they must do something.

With makeshift spears and a few rounds from her pistol, they attacked the Links in the hallway. The deadly gamble paid off. The claustrophobic atmosphere of the institutional green walls faded away. Gone was the trapped feeling of being in a windowless box. Sunlight flooded through the windows in the security doors at the end of the hallway. More importantly, she could see outside.

After the fight, she and Danny had escorted Laura into the hall and showed her the bodies of the dead Links before dragging them off the loading dock. They dared not try to move the bodies further.

Danny had mopped the pools of drying blood. At least her wounded hand exempted her from cleaning the bloody mess covering the floor. They had discussed the fight with Laura, explaining what had happened and how dangerous it had been, in hopes it would help her understand the seriousness of the situation. If it gave her nightmares, then that was a regrettable but a necessary price for her realizing just how dangerous her world had become.

H.V. Purvis
Author of Extinction and Death in a Small Town

http://www.hvpurvis.com, @hvpurvis, FB page H.V. Purvis

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