Earth’s Survivors Apocalypse
Small groups band together for safety, leaving the ravaged cities behind in search of a new future…
Earth’s Survivors Apocalypse
Small groups band together for safety, leaving the ravaged cities behind in search of a new future…
Nadio’s Site: http://trackmaniaforever.com/
EARTH’S SURVIVORS: APOCALYPSE
Copyright 2009 Dell Sweet all rights reserved.
Cover Art © Copyright 2018 Dell 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. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your bookseller and purchase your own copy. 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.
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. Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print.
Off to their left the city was easy to spot. There were fires all through it. In some places huge sections were on fire, in others it was scattered fires. There were no areas that didn’t seem to be affected, and with the fires it was easy to track the edge of the cities as they drove.
Lana laughed. “So they just added names. Well, couldn’t the same be said about Los Angeles? About any large city as it grows? Isn’t that the way it works?”
“I guess… I hadn’t thought it out.”
“Going to have to cut through part of the city,” Lana said a few moments later.
Johnny looked up from the map as the truck rolled to a stop. “A river.”
“Probably a canal…” Lana said. “Either way we can’t drive over it… Does it break anywhere?” She turned the truck and began to run along the side of the canal heading for the city once more. In the distance several fires burned, but the fires seemed to be several miles distance, nothing close. “Like a housing development or something,” Lana said a few minutes later as the truck bumped up onto a road that was paralleled by a brick wall. The wide concrete gutter was bone dry, the pavement smooth after so much time in the desert
“Not on the map…” He shrugged. “I just don’t know, Lana.”
Lana had stopped on the edge of the housing development. It was dark, lit only by the headlights of the truck. Cars and trucks sat neatly in driveways. The streets were empty. Heavy dust seemed to blanket the whole scene. Little trails cut from place to place.
“Spooky,” Johnny said. “Volcanic ash?”
“Probably… What do you think the trails are?”
Johnny frowned. “It has to be the dead.”
“It doesn’t have to be the dead… Could be small animals raiding house to house… No garbage any more so they have to get into those houses and get what they can or starve… Or it could be the dead.”
“Great, you had me ha…”
Something hit the truck hard and it rocked on its springs. The smell of death hit them about the same time, and Lana hit the gas, mashing the pedal into the floor boards.
A rotting hand came through the open back window and fastened around Lana’s throat, her hands left the wheel as she was yanked backwards; the truck spun hard to the left and accelerated, her foot still mashed on the gas.
Johnny lifted his gun and shot the zombie in the face. It seemed slow motion at first, the face exploded as it fell away into the back of the pickup, Lana drew a deep breath and tried to grab the wheel, but it was too late. Everything sped up to real time and the truck roared forward and slammed into the side of a house, continuing on through the wall and into it. Her foot had slammed down on the brake and the truck finally stopped several feet inside the house.
Johnny hit the dashboard hard and then rebounded and slid under the dash as the truck plunged into the house. Seconds later he scrambled out from under the dash, the smell of gasoline was strong, the smell of the hot motor equally strong. He looked over at Lana but she seemed dazed, her eyes unfocused, a trickle of blood running from somewhere under her hairline, mumbling softly under her breath. Johnny levered his door open with a little help from his foot, it screeched as it opened. The screech of metal was very loud in the silence of the house. The headlights were still on, illuminating what looked to be a kitchen.
The smell of death came to him over the smell of gas and hot motor.
“My God, Lana, we’ve got to go,” Johnny said loudly. He reached down, gabbed Lana’s rifle where it had fallen to the floor and then shoved his gun into his holster. He was surprised he had the presence of mind to actually pull the strap over the hammer and snap it in place to hold the gun in. He reached over and pulled Lana to him, she came willingly. A second later he was outside the ruined truck and staring out the hole it had punched through into the house. He saw no dead, but he could smell them. He debated only briefly and then ran for the hole and the moonlit night outside.
The dead were all around, pulled from their wanderings by the sound of the wreck and the smell of the living. Johnny shifted Lana’s weight more fully onto his shoulder, and lifted the gun, but before he could fire, the truck blew up behind him and he felt himself pushed by the blast out into the street where he struggled to stay on his feet. A warm rush of air moved rapidly past him and Johnny got his feet moving only a second later.
The dead scattered. They made an odd clicking sound, a sort of strangled scream, which Johnny supposed was all they could do with no air to move their lungs, as he ran they slowly disappeared into the hiding places they had stumbled from. An SUV loomed out of the darkness, illuminated by the flames and the moonlight: Dusty, sitting in the driveway of a house three houses over from the one they had plowed into. A second later and Johnny had the door open and he tumbled Lana inside onto the passenger seat. He ran around the car to the other side and fired a quick burst at three of the dead that came from the side of the garage and started toward him in their stumbling, dragging way. They all three went down, but they were back up again almost as quickly as they had gone down. He was too far away for head shots. He got the handle open and jumped into the car pulling the door shut behind him.
He sat, his breath coming in ragged gasps and pulls. His lungs hurt, there was a stitch in his side and his heart felt like it just might explode at any second. He looked over at Lana, but her head was rocked back against the seat back. A sob escaped his throat, but he bit down on it, breathing hard, and checked the ignition.
No keys, but that was what he had expected. What he hoped for was gas. The car should start, the gas was the important thing. He reached to the floorboards for his knapsack and a screwdriver to jimmy the ignition and that was when he realized he had nothing to get the truck started with. All he needed was a screwdriver to hammer into the ignition, pop the cylinder, and then start it, but he had neither the screwdriver nor a way to get it into the ignition in the first place. He fisted his hands and slammed them against the wheel. His head sank onto his hands.
“Smash it,” Lana said. It was not much more than a whisper, but it bought Johnny’s head up fast. Outside the truck the dead were gathering. Just three or four, but they could smell them, and it wouldn’t be long until more showed up. He focused on her face which was ashen and blood slicked, unsure if she had really even spoken. She turned her face to him, eyes heavy lidded, unfocused. “Smash it, Johnny… Rock… Rocks by the driveway… Saw them… Smash it.” Her head sank down to the dashboard and stayed there. A trickle of blood ran across the dusty plastic and rolled toward the edge of the dash before it slipped over the edge and continued down into darkness.
“Lana. You’re hurt bad, Lana.”
“Johnny… Johnny, shut up and get a rock… Get it, Johnny. Stop whining, get the rock.” Lana told him. Her words were muffled, whether from the effort or the position she was in he couldn’t tell. He picked up the rifle by the barrel and looked through the glass at the dead that were trying to figure out a way into the truck. He waited for the one near the driver’s door to slip backwards along the side of the SUV and then he threw the door open and jumped from the truck.
He landed bad, on the very same rocks Lana had been talking about, and nearly went all the way down before he caught himself and slammed his knee into the pavement to stop himself. He had been unable to close the door as his ankle twisted and he fell away. The one that had just slipped past the door was already turning to get inside. He couldn’t shoot, if he did he might hit Lana. He launched himself at the shambling wreck instead and dragged it backwards and to the ground. They were both snarling he realized a moment later when he shot it in the head.
A second one came around the back of the SUV. Johnny took two steps and shot it in the head. The third was on the opposite side of the truck and seemed frozen, unsure what to do. Johnny turned, picked up a large rock, and tried to step back into the truck. The ankle collapsed and he went sprawling, losing the rock, barely holding onto his rifle as he once again slammed his knee into the ground to stop himself from planting his face on the steel door sill of the car. The zombie on the other side made up her mind, stood to her full height, and sprang to the roof of the car. Johnny heard the metal buckle as she landed.
A second later he forced himself to his feet, adrenaline flooding his body, leaving that sour electric taste in his mouth as it did. The zombie stood to her full height once more, nothing but tightly stretched skin and protruding bones, but determined to have him. Johnny raised the rifle and shot her under the chin. She collapsed on the barrel and he turned as she spilled past him and burst open onto the driveway behind him. Johnny took two shambling steps of his own, ankle and knee screaming, pain so hard that it made him stop and double up. He vomited, losing control for a brief instant, the pain was so hot. A second after that the adrenaline kicked back in and he finished his shambling travel, managed to stoop and pick up another large rock and get back inside the SUV. He slammed the door on the hand of another zombie that had come out of the darkness. He heard the bones snap, and the fingers fell away into the SUV as the door thudded home. Johnny collapsed against the steering wheel. He couldn’t seem to catch his breath. He waited for his heart to slow down.
The dead seemed to be everywhere when he lifted his eyes a few seconds later. One was inches away, staring into his own eyes through the glass. Dozens of others milled about as if waiting to be told what to do. His heart staggered once more, and the rifle was coming up before he realized he could do nothing. He lowered the gun and raised the rock that was still clutched in one hand. He smashed it down on the cheap plastic that surrounded the ignition built into the side of the steering column.
Outside the zombies went crazy. Sounds did that to them, but to Johnny it was almost as if they knew he was about to escape. The one next to the window stepped back and cocked it’s head. Johnny looked back at the column, smashed the rock down again and the pieces of the ignition fell to the floorboards of the SUV. A splinter of plastic cut his hand as he jammed his fingers into the opening and pushed down into the hole the cylinder had once occupied. It took a second to find what he was searching for, but once he found it his finger pressed down and the motor began to turn over. At nearly the same time the zombie dropped from sight outside the window.
The motor coughed to life just as the zombie shot up with a rock in its rotting hands and smashed it down on the glass. Johnny let out an involuntary scream as the rock skittered across the glass and flew across the hood. The zombie did it’s odd little scream and then fell out of sight once more. Johnny slammed his hand forward, caught the shift lever and yanked it down into reverse. His foot was already mashing the gas pedal down, the engine was revving and so when the zombie came back up with yet another rock the front fender slammed into him as Johnny spun the wheel, and the car began to race backwards, turning as it went. The zombie and several behind it flew away from the side of the car, the wheels hopped as it bounced over them and then caught. The car rocketed out into the street. Johnny locked the brakes up to get it stopped and nearly stalled it as it ground to a stop. A second later he dropped it into drive and plowed through a group of a dozen or more of the dead as he fumbled for the headlight switch and roared off down the road.
The dead flew up over the hood. One smashed into the glass hard enough to spider web it as it hit and then tumbled over the roof. He could hear them bumping as they slammed into the roof and fell into the night behind them. A few seconds later and all he could hear was the scream of the motor as he accelerated down the street. He forced himself to slow down so he didn’t wreck. Lana was holding onto the dashboard in a death grip.
The truck left the pavement and flew out into the desert once more. Johnny mashed down the pedal a little more and began to put some space between themselves and the housing project. He reached over and pulled Lana away from the dashboard. She rocked back into the seat, her eyes closed, blood still running from under her hairline and slicking her face…
By Geo Dell
Copyright © 2014 by Geo Dell
All rights reserved
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 authors imagination. Any resemblance to actual living persons places, situations or events is purely coincidental.
This novel is Copyright © 2014 Geo Dell. No part of this book may be reproduced by any means, electronic, print, scanner or any other means and, or distributed without the authors permission. All rights are retained by the Author.
Permission is granted to use short sections of text in reviews or critiques in standard or electronic print.
Cover art Copyright 2014 Geo Dell
Copyright 2014 George Dell
All rights Reserved
Friday Morning: Watertown, N.Y. …
David pulled the zipper and recoiled from the smell that came from the bag. April leaned close to see what was in the bag and then recoiled herself from the smell.
“What the fuck?” she asked.
David opened the bag wider, but saw nothing except crumpled up newspapers. Tentatively he pushed aside the newspapers and a pair of dead, dusty eyes stared up at him through the newspapers. He flung the bag away from him, reacting simply on impulse. The bag hit the wall and the head, along with a pair of hands, rolled out onto the floor.
“Oh, God,” April said. “Put it back in the bag, David, put it back in the bag and get it out of here!” She jumped off the other side of the bed and pressed into the wall as far away from the bag and she could get. David looked at her and then grabbed one of the shirts that had been in the other duffel bag; he lunged forward quickly, picked up the head so he wouldn’t have to think about it too long and tried to jam it back into the bag. It wouldn’t go. The shirt, or the head, or both kept catching the side of the bag and collapsing it. Finally he laid the bag down on one side and managed to hold one side of it open and kind of scooped the head back into the bag. Once it was in he quickly zipped up the bag. He stood quickly and started to walk from the room.
“David, where are you going?” April asked.
He stopped. He had been heading for the door, but he had no idea where he would go from there.
“David… The hands… David,” she pointed…
David Cross sat watching his television: An old war movie, boring, but it was three A.M. and there were only the local stations that he could get, plus the one from Canada when the weather was right, or what-ever-the-fuck had to be right for an antenna to work. Tonight it wasn’t working. Excuse me, he corrected himself, this morning. Whatever needed to be right wasn’t. It had looked like a foreign film with all kinds of nudity too, but the goddamn thing had kept fading in and out so much that he had gotten a headache trying to watch it. He’d finally settled for the old war movie on one of the local stations.
He was trying to nurse his last beer. He’d been sure that there was one more left, but he’d been wrong. Somehow he had miscounted and that was unlike him. He always knew how many beers he had to the can, but somehow he’d messed up the count tonight. There were no more. He’d even moved the green loaf of bread, which he had hated to do, but he had moved it only to find nothing behind it. He had hoped the one remaining can had rolled behind it, but it had not been behind the moldy bread. He had been wrong.
It hadn’t occurred to him to throw out the moldy loaf of bread while he was at it. Instead he had gotten one of the spatulas from the silverware drawer, levered it under the bread and then pushed it to the side only to find no beer can hiding there. He had then levered the loaf of bread back into the original position it had been in.
So he was nursing his last beer. Last beer and no money for beer. And it was Friday: That meant the rest of Friday, Friday night, and the whole weekend loomed ahead dry. It was too depressing to think about. He tried to focus on the movie.
His trailer was located at the end of Lott road, a dirt road on the outskirts of the city two miles beyond the county dump. Nobody really wanted to live on Lott road it seemed, except David, and if he were honest with himself he didn’t really want to live here either, he simply had no choice. His crappy job only paid him enough for a crappy place to live. This was it. The crappiest of the crappiest. In fact the morning before the cops had taken the body of a young girl out of the ditch just down the road. Found by someone driving by. She hadn’t been there very long either. Someone had killed her and dumped her there. It was definitely a crappy place to live. He knew that for a fact because he had gone looking. There were no crappier places. Except maybe the trailer park down the road, he thought, but that was part of Lott road too so it didn’t count.
He owned neither the trailer or the lot. He did own the furniture, that had been easy. He had simply cruised every street in the city on garbage day. A chair here. Another one there. The mattress and box springs he’d gotten from the Salvation Army. Thirty bucks and only pee stained on one side, well mostly only the one side. There was some other stain on the other side, but he wasn’t sure what that stain was. It didn’t exactly look like pee. Anyway, it was barely noticeable and the guy in the store had sworn that they weren’t really pee stains, but water stains. David wasn’t too sure about that. His own brother had wet the bed until he was ten and they had slept in the same bed. He knew what a pee stain looked like and this looked like a pee stain. Still it had been a good deal and stains couldn’t hurt him. After all when his brother had been wetting the bed he had peed on him too. If he could live with that he could live with a little pee stain. If it was a pee stain. And if they were pee stains, they were on the other side of the mattress, he added optimistically. Besides, they disinfected those things. The guy said so. Sprayed them down with something. Killed everything on them. He grinned, tipped his beer, nearly took a large swallow, took a small sip instead and then lowered the can depressed all over again about the long, dry weekend ahead of him.
Five or six garbage runs and one trip to the city dump, where they didn’t mind if you took half the dump away with you, and he had been furnished. It was amazing the things people threw away. He sipped carefully at his beer, pulled a crumpled cigarette from his pack and lit it with a long, wooden kitchen match.
There was an old fashioned wood stove store in town and he stopped there once or twice a week for kitchen matches. Not that they gave them away for free, but they used them for the stoves so there was always a box or two laying around that he could help himself to.
Day old bread and doughnuts at the bakery twice a week. Those cheap ten pound bags of chicken and what they had called Crack Head soups in Jail, noodle soups to the rest of the world, and there was his weekly food budget. The only other things he needed were gas and of course beer and cigarettes.
The rest of his paycheck went for the rent and utilities. Sometimes it was close, but he always made it somehow. The real bummer this morning was that he had today off and the whole weekend too and he’d have to stay here watching the crappy T.V. … Sober…
His job Monday through Thursday was cleaning for a maintenance company. They only required that you showed up. They ran you all over the city to clean supermarkets; banks; mall shops that were closed. He worked the nights away pretty quickly. Go to work at five P.M. Next thing you knew it was one thirty in the morning and they were through for another night. He kept telling himself that he would have to get a better job if he ever wanted to be better off in the world. A job that paid more than minimum wage had to be in his future. He was sure there were plenty of them out there he just didn’t know where to look. Some day, he told himself, some day.
He took a deep drag off his cigarette and then sipped carefully at his beer. He thought about the girl’s body and realized she could have been killed while he had been sleeping. He shuddered. He hated this place.
He set the beer down carefully on the coffee table. It was scared with cigarette burns and missing the tip of one leg, but it had been free and an old paperback novel held up that corner of the table well enough. As he looked back up from the coffee table lights swept across the living room wall, bouncing up and down and back and forth. Because his was the last place on the road, every car that came down the road lit up his living room. These headlights however seemed a little frantic, bobbing, darting across the wall and then a second set shot up onto the wall too, jittering and jumping across the cheap paneling.
Twice now cars had come down the road, shot right across the bare dirt of his front yard and into the woods before they had been stopped by the trees. David had a fear about some car, some day, hitting the bedroom wall while he slept. So far it had just been the woods, but you could never tell. He got up quickly and walked to the window.
It was immediately obvious that this was something different than just some drunk not realizing that the road was about to end. The lead car was flat out. He could hear the whine of the engine now as it came. The car behind was trying to stay close, tapping the back bumper of the lead car, causing it to slew all over the dirt road. Apparently that wasn’t good enough because a second later the passenger leaned out of the car’s window and opened up on the lead car with what looked to be some sort of a hand held machine pistol. David let out a startled squawk, ducked below the window and then popped right back up.
The shots had taken out the rear window, traveled through the car and taken out part of the front windshield too. And from the large red stain on the spider webbed remains of that window David guessed it had taken out the driver too. Maybe even the passenger had there been one. There was a lot of red.
Shit, David thought. That meant that the lead car was not going to be able to stop. David calculated quickly and realized the car would miss the trailer. At the same time the driver of the rear car locked up his brakes, suddenly realizing that he was on a dead end road, and the car began to slide in the dirt. David’s eyes shifted back to the front car which hit the end of the road, jumped up over the drainage ditch and roared through the front yard just missing the edge of the trailer, shaking the thin walls; engine still screaming. It was out of his eyesight for less than a split second before he heard the crash. The big oak in the back yard, he thought.
His eyes came back to the second car long enough to see it slide down into the drainage ditch at full speed, catch its nose on the opposite edge and then flip end over end across an empty lot before it crashed down on the edge of a cement slab that was trailer-less and had been since he, David, had moved out here. David crouched down quickly to the floor, grabbed his boots and wedged his feet into them. He ran to the kitchen, grabbed a flashlight off the counter and headed out the front door at a run…
The smell of hot metal filled the air. David looked to the car on the cement pad first: The trunk had popped and all manner of stuff that had been inside now lay scattered across the ground. Hot oil and antifreeze dripped from under the hood and onto the concrete. The front roof line was smashed flat to the top of the drivers seats. The backseat area seemed untouched.
He slipped around the end of the trailer and looked at the other car. A newer Ford: He could see the badge on the rear deck. The front end of the car was wrapped around the oak in the backyard just as he had thought and steam was rising up into the air. The Ford first, he decided. The car across the road would have to wait.
The Ford had hit the tree and climbed it a few feet before it came to a complete stop. David had to stand on tip toe to peer into it. The driver had no head left, that had been the huge stain on the windshield. He was past dead, he was Dead bad. There was no passenger. Looking out from the inside it was not just red, but gray and black too: Bone, hair and brain matter. His stomach did a quick flip and he began to close his eyes as he turned away.
As he turned his eyes caught on the floorboard and a blue duffel bag that was jammed into the space with the drivers legs. There was no way that the door was going to open, but the glass was gone from the window. He balanced over the edge of the door trying to stay as far away as he could from the dead man as he did, leaned in and tried to snag the duffel bag. His fingers brushed the two plastic handles, but he could not get a grip on them.
David levered himself further over the window sill and nearly came down into the dead man’s lap as he lost his balance and his feet left the ground. His hand shot down quickly, bounced off the dead man’s thigh and hit the seat, stopping him just a few inches above the man’s lap and a small splattering of bone and blood that was there. His hand slipped, but he pressed down harder and held himself.
He could feel the slick blood and splinters of bone under his hand, but he pushed the knowledge out of his mind, took a deep breath, braced himself and then reached down with his free hand and snatched the handles pulling the heavy bag free.
He pulled back, but the bag was so heavy that he had to hold on tight and push off the seat with his other hand. For one alarming second it seemed he would fall forward into the man’s lap. After a second of indecision his body dropped back down to the ground, the bag in his hand. He thought about the trunk as he started to turn away, reached back in, shut off the dead ignition, pulled the keys free and hurried around to the trunk.
The trunk held nothing, but a black suitcase. He debated briefly, then reached in and took it. He went back, put the keys back into the ignition, and turned it back to the On position. What else! What else! His mind asked.
His heart felt like it was beating a mile a minute, skipping beats, and his breath was tearing in and out of his lungs so quickly that it was painful. He could think of nothing he had forgotten. He told himself there was nothing else and then immediately thought of the glove compartment. He ran back around the passenger’s side of the car, dropped the bags and pushed the button on the glove box. A small paper bag and a dull, black pistol rested inside.
He took a deep breath, thought for a moment and then took both, slammed the glove box shut, picked up the bags and ran for the trailer. He booted the door open, threw the bags inside, slammed the door and then started for the other car down the road. He stopped mid stride, bent double, and nearly threw up. He caught himself, forced himself to take several slow breaths and stood experimentally. It seemed as though his stomach had decided the remains of the beer could stay for now and so he trotted off down the road to the other car.
This was an old Toyota, not one of the small ones though, one of the ones that seemed almost as big as an American car. He stopped thirty feet away. Two large plastic garbage bags had fallen from the popped trunk. They were both crisscrossed with gray duct tape, bound tightly. Two black duffel bags were jumbled in a heap nearby, along with what looked like a cheap foam ice chest. The ice chest had ruptured and splintered when it hit the ground spilling beer, soda, and packages of lunch meat and cheese out onto the ground. Mixed in, and what had really caught his attention, were small brick sized packages, also bound with duct tape.
His heart was still racing hard. There was no one anywhere yet. No sirens. The nearest neighbors were nearly a mile back down the road… No car lights… Nothing.
He tried to carry both bales, but they were too heavy. He had to make two trips. The duct taped bricks, which could only mean one thing to his way of thinking, both duffel bags and two six packs of the beer that hadn’t ruptured went next. He had debated about the beer, but decided he could not leave it. He came back one more time, looked at a few more cans of beer and the packages of bologna and cheese and decided what the hell. He quickly picked them up and took them too. It would be something to put into the ‘Fridge except the moldy loaf of bread he told himself.
He walked back to the car down the road once more. He reached the car where it lay flipped onto its roof and had just started around the hood when he heard a soft pop. He stopped as the hood suddenly burst into flames. The sharp smell of gasoline hit his nose and he jumped backwards just that fast. The car didn’t blow, but he stayed clear watching as it began to burn, allowing his thoughts and breathing to began to slow down. It had seemed like a log jamb of thoughts all trying to be expressed at the same time. He thought back as he watched the flames begin to build from under the hood.
Not long ago a car had plowed into that same Oak in his back yard where the other car was now. It was just the way that Oak lined up with the road. That driver had not hit as hard. He had jumped from the car and run for the woods that began in back of the trailer at a dead run. David had come out to look over the wreck a little closer. The jimmied ignition told him the story. The car had been stolen. He had heard sirens in the distance and said to hell with it, reached into the car and grabbed a cheap 22. caliber pistol from the front seat, and an unopened, and miraculously unbroken bottle of whiskey from the floorboards. He had barely stashed them before the cops had shown up.
He had stood on the sidelines and watched as the cops had popped the trunk to expose a large collection of electronic gear. Flat screen televisions, game consoles, DVD players, a shotgun and several more bottles of whiskey too. He had kicked himself over that one and vowed not to let something like that happen again should providence ever grace him with a second chance: Here was that second chance.
He had no phone, but the way the flames were leaping into the air he was sure someone farther down the road would be calling the fire department soon. The heat was already intense.
He squatted down, shaded his eyes against the glare of the flames, and tried to see into the back seat. No one. If there was anyone else in the car he couldn’t see them, but he did see a large suitcase resting on the roof of the car just inside the shattered rear door glass. He debated for a split second and then ran forward and grabbed for the bag, pulling it from inside the wreck. It was heavy and hot to the touch. The imitation brown leather sticky on one corner and melting. Whatever was in it, he told himself, would not have lasted much longer. He was headed back up the road from the wreck when he spotted a grocery bag spilled into the ditch. It was mainly intact so he picked that up too and ran for the trailer.
Behind him he could hear the sirens now. They were on their way and that meant there would probably be neighbors on the way too… Any minute, he told himself. He got the trailer door opened, jumped inside and closed it. He set the grocery bag on the counter. His heart was beginning to slam in his chest once more. He picked up the suitcases and duffel bags and hurried them back to the bedroom. He came back, threw the grocery bag and the packages of lunch meat and cheese into the refrigerator, debated briefly about the loaf of moldy bread, but decided to leave it. He looked back into the fridge. It looked crowded. Beer, lunch meat, cheese, bread. It was the most he could ever recall seeing in there at one time before.
He stepped back letting the door swing shut and looked around the kitchen-living room area. Nothing looked out of place. He could not imagine that the cops would want to come in here for any reason, but if they did they wouldn’t find anything…
Finishing up David Maxon‘s machine.
I used another T5400 board. A very solid server board that can handle up to 12 cores. The last build also used a T5400 board in a p490 case. This one is a little bit different.
T5400 build: A brief look at the parts.
This is a NVidia Quadro 4600 card. It is a card primarily developed for graphic work. Several hundred cuda’s (Cores). 768 MEG actual on board memory, 4 gig in windows. Original retail close to three grand, now about 50 bucks.
This is a dell genuine 750 WATT power supply. This may look like an EPS but it isn’t. That is a 24 and 12. Weird DELL proprietary PS. Don’t try using a standard PS on one of these boards or you will burn it up. The wiring is proprietary and although there exists on the web schematics to walk you through changing a standard PS to a DELL config more often than not I read about some one burning up their board or PS or both. Get the DELL PS.
You are looking at 12 gig of ram and I also installed dual 40 MM fans that run off the bios to pull the air off them. Notice each RAM stick has full length heat sinks. Recommended for this board as it helps to dissipate the heat.
These heat sinks were not made for this board but another server application where 771 sockets are used. I adapted them to this board using aluminum blanks between the processor and heat sink and swapping out the fans they came with and installing 4 pin constant power fans on each sink. They work beautifully. They are a tight fit with the RAID tray above them.
I made this a Windows 10 machine and installed both Windows 10 and the Chrome browser on the Solid State Drive to cut down loading time. As a result this is a very fast loading machine. The Edge drive is a sixty gigabyte drive. After the install of Win 10 and Chrome there is about 25 gig left.
This is the drives cage of the tower. I installed dual CD/DVD RW drives here and a 360 GIG 6 GBS drive. All three are Sata drives.
This is the raid top cover where you can mount 2 raid drives in SATA format, or this board will accept and run RAID in IDE format as well with a card addition. They are quick change mounts.
Under this tray I installed two six inch fans in a tunnel format that deliver air to the heat sink fans through the front panel and are controlled by the bios.
This is where the Power switch, audio jacks, lights, USB and the rest of the panel parts mounts. This is a unit from a T5400 board. As you can see it fits very well. You have to change this part as the piece in here is not designed to fit the t5400 board, however just swap the harness out of the original board and everything will then fit the case and plug right into the board as well. It looks factory. You can see there was an additional place for a USB and I also added that.
The case is a T5500 which is close enough to hold the board. The Power supply and drives with no major changes.
I installed two 2.86 quad cores
I put it all together with lots of modding along the way and kicked it into BIOS.
As I mentioned I did add the two six inch fans to pull more air into the case. This boots quickly with the SSD. It runs quiet even with all of the fans. These machines do produce a lot of heat and so the fans are absolutely necessary.
I built this for less that $300.00 U.S. It is very fast, very reliable and the parts are readily available. I hope I inspired you to build your own machine and put the savings in your pocket, Geo Dell…
I saw a deal a few days back for a 32-inch HD TV from Walmart with built in Roku. TV, shipping and all came to barely over a hundred bucks and so it seemed like the next best thing to review.
A mention: I do not work for or get paid by any of the products I review. They are them, I am me. Just so you have that straight. I review what I want to try or own and because I am not doing it for any of these companies I say what is what.
Walmart: I was surprised to see the changes in on-line shopping for Walmart: Including free shipping and even accepting Pay Pal now, which made my checkout a breeze. I looked over the specs before I ordered. I was looking for a replacement TV for the living room. I was also looking to go down a few inches. Sometimes people buy bigger because bigger must be better, and sometimes bigger is not always better. I had purchased a 38-inch HD TV for the living room and it was a little overkill because it is not a big room. It completely dominated one wall. It was also about 5 years old and had lost one pixel that drove me crazy. 28-inch seemed too small, I saw the deal on the 32-inch and took it.
The television was supposed to arrived on a Saturday, it arrived a day early on Friday after work hours, which was nice, no worries about leaving it outside unattended. When I saw the box I thought maybe I had gone too small, after all the next size up was not much more, but after I pulled th TV out of the box I realized it had a very small trim area, whereas the old TV had a good 4-inch trim around the entire screen which made it look much bigger than it was. All in all I was happy with the look of the new TV, but how about the way it worked…
I had purchased a universal wall mount for the first TV and so it worked for this one. That made it a simple matter of taking down the old TV and installing the bracket on it and then hanging it back on the wall mounted bracket. The cables that need to be connected to a Roku included TV are less than the old TV. I would not need my FireTVStick as Roku can access my Prime membership: My Netflix Account, Hulu, CBS All Access, YouTube, Crackle and dozens upon dozens of other Apps. So I connected what few cables were needed and fired it up.
The Roku app is built into the TV and so it comes right up when you hit the power button. The first thing was to get it to recognize my router. Straight forward, except it will not allow you to use the WPS button on top of your router to connect without a password. You will need to know your password for your router, and of course, if you are in a semi city area as I am, and have the same cable company as your neighbors do, you will need to know which router on the list is your router. This should be easy to do. First the program will list the strongest signal on top. That should be your router. If not look at your router and find the routers number on it and then compare that to the list. Type in your router password and it will connect and keep your router connected.
Once connected I had to open a Roku account. Credit Card or Pay Pal. It was easy to set up. The Pay Pal or Credit card are because there are in app purchases. But don’t worry. You will assign a four digit pin during setup and without that no one, kids, can charge anything to the account. After setting up the Roku account the screen refreshed on my TV and I was ready to set up my home page.
The rest was straight forward. You should have all of your account information for your other apps that you already have, such as Netflix, Hulu, CBS All Access, Pandora etc. As you install each app it will list it on the home page which is where your TV Will start each time. I installed mine and then I noticed that it had the Antenna connection listed and so I decided to install that too for my local channels.
I had purchased the antenna and put it up a few years back but the TV had no RF connection, only HDMI and so without a converter there was no way to us it. I had purchased CBS All Access to get local news just for that reason. I connected the RF from the antenna and clicked the button. It found my local channels and added them with no problem.
When I finished I followed the directions to move my icons around so I had them lined up the way I wanted them. Done. Let the fun begin.
Previously I had had to use three remotes to get around in the TV. Now just the one suffices and there are even hot buttons for Netflix and a few other apps.
The picture, although smaller seems almost as big with the loss of the huge frame on the older TV. The Roku app loads fast and the search feature is very useful. It knows what you already have and so if you search for something that is included on one of your apps it tells you so; if not it tells you where you can get it. It searches by Actor, Movie etc. I searched, for instance, for Robert De Niro. It returned a picture of him and all of his movies. Amazing.
The picture quality is good. The Blacks are black, the streaming was excellent, no issues. The load when you first turn it on is about a minute, after that everything is right there. Once loaded, when you hover over antenna it will show you what is on whatever antenna channel you left it on. What was better is that my mother, who is in her eighties feels confident enough to turn it on and go find what she wants to watch. Previously she would leave the TV off until I came in and changed channels, because with the TV remote, Fire TV Stick remote and the cable remote she would get lost, frustrated and quit or have to call me. I eliminated cable because the shows she wants are on the local channels or Hulu, and with the Roku app everything is in one place.
All in all I think this is an excellent combination of products. It works well. It does exactly what it says, and that is tough to find these days. I recommend it, Geo Dell
Dani California: RHCP
California, rest in peace
California, show your teeth
She’s my priestess
I’m your priest, yeah, yeah…
My book just launched.
A dynamic, intelligent, highly ambitious woman, sets out to make a mark in a man’s world. She is the first woman in her organization to enter the technical domain, she not only excels in her chosen field, she also breaks an egotist mindset of one of her senior colleague. She gets caught in the politics at work, despite her excellent track record and major accomplishments in some of the path-breaking technological aspects, she becomes vulnerable and defeated. In her personal life, she is unable to make her own decisions; she is constantly nagged by her parents and limited by their choices. She wants freedom, she wants to chase her dreams and fulfill the promises she made to herself and to her loving uncle but she accepts defeat tired of fighting……
Does she give up? Would she end up in oblivion? Can she do nothing at all? Read on to find out more……….her battle, her love and her success.
It is available in all formats. My friends, you are spoilt for choices. It can’t get better than this. Please grab your copy and read it. I can’t wait to read your reviews.
For those who want to hold a book, it is available in print.
For those who want it on kindle, please go for it.
For those who want it on their phones, please download in on google play, ibook, and kobo
Please find the links at
So I’m watching The Voice and a a young guy comes out to sing a song and he has pants that end four inches above his ankle and no socks. On purpose. I guess that is cool now?
I know that if you grew up in the 60’s or 70’s they had a name for that. The pants were called high-waters which meant they were last years pants, and maybe not yours, but your sisters or brothers. Yes. And the socks or lack thereof? Easy: It meant it was not your turn to wear the socks.; maybe your sister or brother got to wear them that week… Just saying… emulate the cool stuff not the fool stuff..
So I am watching the end episodes of Survivor season sixteen on Hulu; which my friend Andrea recommended and I really like as a matter of fact, and they show a white parrot? MaCaw? Something parrot like sitting on a branch and a lizard in the claw/foot/hand.
It looked a little like the Geico lizard… Non threatening… Minding its own business… Watching the contestants, probably, and maybe even chuckling to itself: “He, he, he, those silly survivors!” And WHAM…
Clutched by a parrot… Benevolent parrot? Hardcore island gang member parrot? Hard to tell until… WHAM!!! The parrot bites off one of the lizards legs/feet/arms… Surprisingly the lizard seems to take this in stride… No yelling, screaming… “Help Police!” Nothing at all…
Possibly the Geico lizard was in shock, after all the parrot just ate one of its legs/arms/feet. And while I am thinking this I also think “Hey, that parrot is holding that lizard just like a corn-dog on a stick.” And as soon as I think it the parrot lifts the lizard slightly towards its mouth and WHAM!!! Chomps off the head and shoulders… All that is left is a stump and a twitchy tail.
Ahhh, I think, island wildlife… The real reason I am watching these old Survivor episodes. Me and the parrot, him with most of his snack remaining, settle in to see if the ladies are really going to blindside Ozzy ’cause Amanda seems really upset…
New York this week during the ice storm…
Round Here: Counting Crows
Maria came from Nashville with a suitcase in her hand
She said she’d like to meet a boy who looks like Elvis
She walks along the edge of where the ocean meets the land
Just like she’s walking on a wire in the circus
She parks her car outside of my house
Takes her clothes off
Says she’s close to understanding Jesus
She knows she’s just a little misunderstood
She has trouble acting normal when she’s nervous
Round here we’re carving out our names
Round here we all look the same
Round here we talk just like lions
But we sacrifice like lambs
Round here she’s slipping through my hands
Sleeping children better run like the wind
Out of the lightning dream
Mama’s little baby better get herself in
Out of the lightning
She says It’s only in my head…
Dell Sweet: View More by This Author
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
Joel came awake with sunlight streaming in through the windshield of the small car. He looked around at the road. Stalled cars for as far as he could see in any direction He was somewhere outside of Rochester, but where, he wondered. He thought back to Rochester.
The drive into the city in the early morning had seemed uneventful right up until the attack had come. Afterward he had berated himself, cursed himself for not taking the events of the night before more seriously, but he knew that the truth was that none of them had. None of them had, and now he was the only one left. The only one left, and he was alone because of that decision.
They had just passed a large mansion, or what had once been a large mansion on East avenue: Nearly into downtown when the attack had come. The last Jeep, Ed… Terry, Gina? He couldn’t remember for sure, but it didn’t matter, they were only the first to go. The Jeep had blown up behind them. One second it was morning silent; birds whistling from the tree lined street, and the next a roaring fireball had erupted from the Jeep. The Jeep had lifted into the air engulfed with flame, and had come back down a split second later a twisted, shattered wreck. The roof ripped open crudely as if a giant can opener had done the job: Glass gone, body twisted: Blackened shapes, still moving, clearly seen through the flames.
They had all panicked. Joel had hit the brakes, somehow convinced they had driven over something in the road: Landmines. The word leapt into his mind and kept repeating. The second Jeep had rammed into them, Scott, Lilly, Jan, and that had distracted him further. As he had lifted his eyes he had seen the men squatting beside the once elegant mansion. A rocket launcher on one man’s shoulder, and he had known the truth.
His foot had seemed to leap forward of its own accord and slam into the gas pedal, but it was too late. His eyes swiveled back and he saw the rocket leap from the launcher. A second later a black curtain had descended.
He had come to hours later; the vehicles’ nothing but twisted husks, still burning in the black night. He could feel the heat from the fires. He had lain for what seemed like a long time trying to orient himself, make sense of what he last remembered, and what he now saw. Time did nothing to sort it out. It still made no sense some time later when he had first tried to sit up. Pain had flared everywhere and the black curtain had descended once more.
The second time the fires had been out. Heat still came from the blackened shells, but the fires were dead. The moon was high in the sky, bloated, bright silver.
He had moved slower, and while it had been close he had managed to fight past the first pain when he had moved.
His left leg was bad. Not broken, but cut badly, maybe sprung, after all he had lain with it twisted to one side for what he assumed was a very long time. He used part of his shirt to wrap his leg as he let his head clear.
His head was worse. Pain inside every time he tried to move too fast. It felt like liquid sloshing around inside his head, his brain shifting with it, slamming into the bone cage of his skull, and he wondered if it were true, or just something his mind provided in explanation of the pain. As he sat the pain eased enough for him to stand. Standing helped to ease it even more and he began to search for the others…
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