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Shorty Dawkins
February 23rd, 2012, 02:31 PM
Prologue





Before the fever struck, the deadly fever, Miller’s Retreat had been home to almost eight hundred people, many of whom were artists, writers, musicians, and crafts men and women. It had been this way since the “back to the land” movement of the 1960’s. Simplify, had been the call, back then. Groups of people had joined together and purchased land in rural villages, looking for simplicity; for an honest, close to nature way of life.

Then the fever struck, without warning, as if the air itself had been purposely contaminated with the virus, or germ, whichever it was. Millions were sick within hours of each other. Everyone except those who had refused to take the all-purpose vaccine the government proclaimed to be the “Miracle” prevention to dozens of deadly diseases, came down with a fever that very few survived.

The chemtrails that had increased in amount over the last few years, blocking sunlight, and creating a continuous haze, had stopped the day after the first cases of fever were announced on the newscasts. Then the newscasts had stopped. Television, radio, phones and the Internet had suddenly ceased to exist. The next day the electric grid shut down. There was no more electricity.

Chapter One




“Let me get this straight, Sheriff. After your goddam government has killed off 95% of the population, with their genetically enhanced virus, you have the unmitigated gall to come here and ask for our help? Is that what I'm hearing from you, Sheriff? Maybe I'm not hearing you too well. Is that what this fool Sheriff is asking, Dave?” Henry Miller and his brother, Dave, were standing on the front porch of Henry's house.

“I think that's what he is doing, Henry. Isn't that what you are doing, Sheriff? Aren't you asking for help?”

Dave and Henry stared at the Sheriff from Henry's front porch. The Sheriff stood on the sidewalk leading up to the porch. His hat was in his hand and he was definitely not comfortable asking for their help. If he could have avoided it, he would have.

“Darn it. I didn't release that virus, Henry. We've got a real disaster on our hands here. You folks came through this thing with nary a loss. I don't understand why, but you did. Now ….”

“Because we wouldn't accept your damn vaccines. That virus was prepared to attack those who took your vaccines. I guess you were smart enough not to take them, too.” Henry interrupted him.

“For God's sake, Henry. I've already admitted you aren't the crazy fool I always thought you were. What more can I say?” Sheriff Bob Tremblay complained.

“It isn't what you can say, Sheriff, it's what you can do.” Henry stared at him with a fierce look. “You can throw that badge you are so damned proud of on the ground, take your uniform and that silly hat you wear and throw them in the trash, and then, Bob, you can admit that you are a man who is no better than the rest of us. You can admit that your power comes from a gun, nothing more. Well, as things stand now, we don't need you, but I guess you need us. I could shoot you dead, right now, and most folks would think I was justified. You represent the Government that killed their loved ones, their friends and their neighbors.” Henry spit on the ground.

“I …..” the Sheriff started.

“Shut up.” Dave said, harshly. “Just shut up. We don't want to hear excuses. You have two options, Bob. One: throw away your badge and uniform, forswearing your stupid allegiance to the Government that just killed about 280 million of its own people. If you do that, we'll let you live. because option number two is for us to shoot you. That's right, we are not putting up with your damn government another minute. So, what will it be, Bob?”

Dave and Henry stared real hard at him. Yes, they were angry. They'd been angry for a lot of years, but the virus that had just killed billions of people worldwide, was the last straw. No one connected with the Government, who continued to think the Government was in the least bit moral would survive, if Henry and Dave had anything to say about it.

Bob was nervous, there was no doubt of it. Henry and Dave were both holding shotguns, and two of their sons also had shotguns, and they all now aimed them at him.

“You win, Henry.” Bob took off his hat and threw it on the ground. He then threw his badge on the ground.

“Now will you help me?” Bob asked.

“No, I won't help you. I'll let you live, as long as you renounce being Mister High and Mighty Sheriff, but I won't help you. Dave and I, and our families and friends will help our neighbors, not you. Why don't you stop thinking you're so damn important and roll up your sleeves and help them, too? Is that too much to ask?” Henry glared at Bob. “Now get out of here, Bob. We'll bring our people to help with the burials. If I see you in your uniform again, I'll kill you. Make no mistake about it.”

“I have one question for you, Henry.” Bob said. “How did you know? About the vaccines, I mean.”

“If you had ever bothered to read the literature Dave and I gave you, you wouldn't have to ask that question, But, no, you thought Dave and I were crazy conspiracy nuts. This didn't have to happen, Bob. You will go to your grave knowing you were part of the biggest genocide the world has ever known. Almost six million dead. Isn't that what the count is estimated to be? I hope you are proud of the part you played in it.”

“I ….. I didn't ...”

“Bullshit! You are not stupid. The signs were everywhere. You just didn't want to know. You didn't want to interfere with your power trip. You wallowed in your ignorance. You were happy to pretend to be stupid, like the rest. You were content to bury your head in the sand, because you didn't have the courage to face reality. Well, reality is here, Bob. It is the stench of six billion rotting corpses.” Henry continued to glare at him. “I'm not letting you, or anyone else, off easy. I've paid my dues. Dave and I have been snickered at, and laughed at, called the Tin Foil Hat guys, because we tried to warn everyone. Very few listened. You wouldn't listen, Bob.

“Go on. Get out of here. You make me sick.” Henry turned and went into the house.

“You heard him. Get off our land.” Dave raised his gun and leveled it at Bob. “Get, Bob. Now.”

Potty
February 23rd, 2012, 07:42 PM
The problem I've got with it is the over use of names. Most people in a conversation won't use the name of the person they are talking too over and over, maybe once to get their attention "Hey Steve!" or to draw their attention back to someone "Someone's blocked the toilet again, Steve."

Also in your narrative you use names a lot, there are a couple of useful tricks to avoid doing so. Maybe have the character have a feature that stands out. Lets say a hat with corks on strings hanging off:

Dave stared at Steve disbelievingly.
"What?" asked Steve.
"Pardon?" Dave replied.
"You're staring at me."
"Sorry, it's your hat."
"What about it?"
"It's... um, very..." He cleared his throat awkwardly. "It's ridiculous."
"What? Why?"
"It's got dangling bits on it!"
"That's to stop the flies landing on my face. Watch." Steve flicked his head from side to side, the cork bounced playfully off his face.
"Isn't that just as annoying?"
"Well I like it."

Probably a bad example but you can see I've only used a name to stop any confusion as to who is speaking/acting. The characters didn't use names once as they already know eachother and don't need to keep reminding eachother what their names are. I used the cork hat to show the reader who was speaking at the time as we all know Steve is the one wearing it. You can use props to show who is speaking and it also adds a little depth to the story if you have a character fiddling with something or show signs of a nervous twitch.

At the moment it sort of sounds like you have two people stood woodenly reading from a script. Loosen them up a bit, give them characters to make use of.

bazz cargo
February 23rd, 2012, 10:13 PM
crafts men
craftsmen

I suggest you use "speech marks" and 'quotation marks' with a little more logic.

Thank you for the little intro bit.

I struggle with dialogue myself. Potty's pointers are a help for me too.

Very solid stuff. I'm glad you kept on with this. Now I'm intrigued to know more.

Kudos.

Shorty Dawkins
February 24th, 2012, 12:45 AM
Thanks to both Potty and bazz cargo. I'll try it again. I realize now how I tend to put the name in to make sure the reader is sure to know who is talking to who. And that sometimes I have heard people who are intensely angry will use the other person's name as a form of emphasis, but this silly habit of mine also carries through to normal behavior. Thanks for the good critique.

Shorty

VagabondSam
February 24th, 2012, 03:50 AM
I want to know more about the fella with the cork hat

Potty
February 24th, 2012, 04:01 AM
I want to know more about the fella with the cork hat

He became an alcoholic and died in the pursuit of making more cork hats. It was very sad but he was a shining example to people everywhere who know his name was Steve.