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Monthly Archives: October 2018

Zombies are not Always Humans by Shawn Micallef

Photo by Shawn Micallef

What is Halloween without a ghost story. I realized late this year I did not create any special content for this spookiest day of the year.  So, I take laptop outside with me and as I await the scariest of creatures I start to put fingers to keys and produce this story. Those creatures, well of course children looking for candy and the ever so “happy” parents walking along with them.

I mention the timing of this story to hope you may forgive me some grammatical errors that may appear within this story.

A bone chilling scream, one that turns the blood ice cold, sending shivers up the spine and often results in a look towards the scream. The other result is often panicked footsteps growing fast as people run in the opposite direction of the scream.

The two words that created such a scream…” ZOMBIE CATS!!!!!!”

You may find yourself going what? Zombie cats? Why would that create such terror in a man, woman or even a child?  It is simple my friend, the zombie outbreak did not find itself claiming human after human as books, and movies would have us believe. In this instance, the outbreak took hold in our four-legged friends: Cats, Dogs, squirrels, chipmunks and even the family hamster.

Sure, you may laugh at that, and even wonder what is there to fear about such an outbreak. We must forget that man domesticated many of these animals. We have let them into our homes and we trust them with our families, and often see them as one of our own.

So, it was a peaceful world till an asteroid passed within a very close 100 miles from Earth sending radiation down upon the planet. Scientists informed humanity that he radiation would be harmless to humanity, but they did not factor in the animals. This would turn out to be catastrophic to humanity as the first signs of danger came out of China and South East Asia.

I have to say that when first report of animals attacking those who ran the kennels and dog mills was first met with joy by many in the west. Those who felt that it was barbaric to eat dogs for food were thrilled and saw it as karma that this was happening. Those feelings lasted for all of twelve hours as videos started popping up all over the internet. Those cute cat videos had been replaced with snarling, foam dripping, and black eyed creatures attacking their owners. The first 5 to 10 of these seemed to be claimed to be faked but as more started to show up a few turned into hundreds, thousands, and eventually they stopped.

The videos were replaced with news stories that pushed all other concerns off the airwaves. The bi-partisan bitterness was gone, the headlines on divide gone, and replaced with the horror that was about to hit the west. You see, the trajectory of the Asteroid had it moving from East to West.  The west had time to prepare, they were advised to lock up their pets, some even stated as going so far as mercy killing them. However, remember these are family pets that are part of the family, and many said no not my pet. Sadly, if they had only headed the warnings.

Now, let me explain what happened when a human was attacked by one of these zombie critters. The whole thing would start with the pet’s eyes turning a dark black. There feral instincts returned immediately and nothing was safe from an attack if it had a heartbeat. This met children to adult were not safe from an attack. You should remember that I said heartbeat as their attacks were meant to kill.  Sure, you could hold off one or two animals, but after awhile they attacked with a pack mentality. The pacts would grow in size from small numbers to over a hundred depending on area. You then add in feral animals and even the military of great countries found it difficult to stop the packs. There was one news story on how a great army was wiped out by a pack of animals containing cats, dogs, hamsters, mice and even some larger zoo animals. The animals lost quite a few but another side effect of the virus, or whatever it was, gave the critters a near zombie like abilities. The critters, well they did not go down easy and would take quite a lot to put them down. Another problem with that military unit, they had already seen losses from their own animals as the units dogs had gotten loose and done their damage.

So, by now you can guess what that scream would cause such panic. Humanity was under attack from those creatures, big and small that we at one time considered family. Humanity finally found themselves on the lower end of the “new” food chain. It became increasingly harder and harder to escape the packs. This is one thing that the books and movies got right, and that large urban areas were first to fall. Of course, the rural areas did not fair much better as many had their share of pets.

Those on the International Space Station could only look down and see the fires from space as they lit up the planet. Eventually even those men and women on the ISS found themselves in danger and feeling the results of the event, ask supply missions suddenly stopped. They were left up in space with no support, or help.

You’d have thought that parts of the artic would have been save, but think again. Those in Alaska and other locations would use dog teams as a way to travel. They may only have them for sport purposes, but even they were turned. So, even the artic regions were not safe. In truth, were there was a pet there was bound to be death.

The world as we humans knew it had been turned upside down. There was death and destruction all over the world. A simple bit often leads to massive infections, but if the critters got you down on the ground, a hold of your throat, and well please I’d rather you use your imagination than describe. Plus, at some point children could find this record.

Oh who am I, why am I writing this? I was lucky to a point. You see I am a prepper and had a bomb silo buried in a secret location about a mile into the woods from my home. I been able to keep up on what has been happening in the world through short wave radio. I was in touch with a group in Montana when I heard the scream come over the mic. I have not heard a word from that group since. My electricity is off a generator in another room and that is going to be the cause of my death.

I say my death as I can here mice trying to dig thru the walls. The exhaust for the gas generator was not sealed properly and the critter have found their way down to the generator room. I will not attempt to refill the generator as that means sure death. However, air circulation is also powered so again if the critters do not get in, when the air flow stops, well, yeah, I’m gone. I’m kicking myself as I did not get time to put in the solar panels and batteries that were next in the planning of my “bunker”.  So, I’m using what time I have left to put at least some type of general down for anyone who may some day come across my location. You may ask how would they find it, well when I know the time is getting close I’ll turn on the emergency beacon I have that is battery powered. It will at least last longer than I will.

It is time for me to save this, close this laptop and let those who may come, if anyone does find it.  I feel the air getting stagnant, breathing getting harder, and I’m getting light headed. It’s only time now. To think, the creatures and critters we called our pets would…………………………………………………………………….

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Posted by on October 31, 2018 in Short Stories

 

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Water to Water by Karen A. Wyle

I first wish to open by stating I have had the pleasure of reading several of Author Karen A. Wyle books in the past. She has always been able to create very believable world settings combined with characters readers will find themselves relating to as they read the pages of her books. As expected, Karen A. Wyle does it again in her latest book, Water to Water.

In the pages of Water to Water, readers will find a world that is unique and new to readers. It is a world with multiple beings living upon the planet with each type of being having its own belief systems and part to play within the pages. The book will tackle topics from death to the wonder of discovery. At the same time, as we all find, sometimes discovery comes at a cost.

Water to Water setting is that of an alien planet which allowed author Karen A. Wyle to utilize her imagination when creating the world that will be discovered thru the eyes of the books main characters. These characters will not be familiar either as they will have multiple appendages in some cases. They may be considered non-human to some, but their relationships and emotions are all too human. This adds an additional complexity to the characters in my humble opinion.

As readers will find the book opens with a scene that sees a member of the Vushla race preparing for his final walk to the sea. The Vushla believe that they need to go to the sea and allow the water to reclaim them at the moment of their death. It falls on Terrill’s hands to be the one to walk with his father to his final rest as he is reclaimed.

At the same time,, this is taking place a young Vushla hides away in a traders cart. The trader Kititit, a Weesah,  has engrossed this young Vushla in his tales of what Kititit has seen and learned thru his travels. Thus, Honnu has hidden away leaving just a note for his family to know where he is going. A brief moment on the road will find Terrill returning with family from taking his father to the sea run into Kititit and his cart. It is not long after this moment that the book will really begin to open up the world of the Vushlu and the Weesah. A world that is vast and at times will have the two Vushlu boys questioning the things they have been told and believed.

As I read the book I found myself thinking of other tails of boys running off to explore their world. I thought of books like Stand by Me, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Like these books, both took the reader into a world of adventure that allowed the reader to explore the world around the boys thru their eyes. Each of those books is set in many different times than today, some of their lessons are not what is politically correct in today’s world. The fact is they told a tale of exploration that left others wondering what would it be like to throw all aside and take a risk and wonder.

You see, this is what comes from the feelings and emotions that are conveyed within the pages of Water to Water. The boys will work for their passage, but at the same time, their predetermined beliefs will be questioned. They will learn things that may shatter their worldviews, but at the same time, they will see wonders they would not have gotten had they not taken the urge to travel.  This urge going against much of what the Vushlu may believe, but in reality, the experience is the best teacher for someone.

The connection between our three main characters will grow strong. We also cannot forget the beast like creature that pulls the cart. The group will reach for wonders, and Kititit will do all he can to help the young Vushlu learn about their world.

Author Karen A. Wyle again does an amazing job in developing the characters within the pages of Water to Water. She may be writing a book set on an alien world, with alien species, but again they can be seen to be all too human.  In truth, the trip these two Vushlu take is one that many would probably love to take today. A chance to get outside of what they consider the norm, and really learn about others. Something you will find yourself doing at least thru the eyes of the characters within the pages of the book.

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2018 in Reviews

 

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