First Chronicle, Part 1

Posted: December 29, 2012 in Insanity Sublime, Zombie Apocalypse, Zombie outbreak
Tags: , , ,

November 22rd; Thanksgiving. For the government it couldn’t have happened at a better time. With ninety percent of the nation feasting with family, watching the college games, or enjoying the holiday parades, it was easy to censor the influx of footage pouring through the internet and bouncing off satellites before too many people saw it. It was a “Big Brother” wet dream; the one-day-jump on a potential media frenzy and subsequent public panic. When that machine wished, it could move incredibly fast.

Of course you all found out eventually; spoon fed little icky bites at a time over the next few months.
I was not so fortunate, however. I was forcefully engorged on the whole reality; had it and all the terrifying possibilities rammed down my throat.

As an international correspondent, I was contacted immediately. Not to go on scene—India was not my region of responsibility—but simply because we newsies are a gossiping bunch, and when my good friend Nigel “Taffy” Tafferton, who was in New Dehli at the time, first got wind of the outbreak he just had to call. A kind of one-upmanship thinly veiled as shared gossip.

“Wanted ya to be the first to know, mate.”

Wanted me to be the first to feel the bitter sting of envy is more like it—I did too. Outbreaks always make global news. They were as dangerous to report as tribal warfare, and genocides, but you could get a Pulitzer if it was big enough. Yes, I was envious for about 6 hours. Then I was afraid … very afraid.

Even with my direct satellite feed linked with the Network, I couldn’t get a complete picture of what was happening in northeastern India. A terrifying illness had begun to spread. Violence and savagery accompanied the outbreak of what was later reported as a suspected viral based disease. Seemingly like rabies; the illness made you crazy. People were attacking other people. Wild stories of cannibalism abounded.

By the 26th of November the whole civilized world knew something was happening in India, but not how severe the disease was or how far and fast the new epidemic had spread. India had declared a state of national emergency and had done an impressive job of keeping the Western press out.

But you can’t keep us all behind the wire, not when there’s a story to be had, and definitely not with reporters like Taffy determined to get the full scoop. This big of an incident was a giant chicken coop full of plump helpless hens, and Taffy was the fox, cunning and hungry. Too hungry, as it turned out.

Because the Indian government had banned any unauthorized reporters from covering the story, what Nigel was doing was illegal. He could not feed his footage or report to his BBC station because, fearing liability and international scandal, the BBC would of course immediately call him off the hunt. The only way to keep on the scoop was to play non-com with his Network, and send his feed somewhere safe—to someone he could trust. I was that unfortunate someone. I received Taffy’s transmission at 0615 hours ET on the 28th of November.

The 26th and 27th had little to offer in the way of news. Most of America, not particular practiced in patience, had long since lost interest in the vague reports on the epidemic in Punjab, India.

Our government had to know what was really happening, of course, but they weren’t saying anything, or letting anything be said. I have never heard of such a tight lid being screwed on the Free Press in all of Western history.
Late on the 26th, and in the wee hours of the 27th, I made some international calls trying to get some more information—all that the networks had been showing was some early internet footage of what looked like a riot, and a few people being mauled by the crazed hordes, and then a bunch of clips of sick Indian peasants in tent hospitals. The feed was only a fifteen minute loop, the same as we had on Day One.
Inquiries at my Network were met with ICE and firewalls.

“Leave it be, Joe.” was my editor’s excellent advise (wish I had taken it).
“But it’s a huge story, Carl—fucking Moby Dick!”
He just shook his head. “If the Federal Government of the United States of America says there’s no story in India, then there is no fucking story in India. Is that clear, Ahab?”
“The Feds are doing direct censoring? You’ve got to be kidding me? When in the hell do they every do that?”
“Exactly! When do they ever? Never is when. So when they show up——not a call on the phone, but fucking show up!——this Network sits, listens and says, ‘Yes, sir.’ And by-fucking-God we comply! Did you miss any of that?”
I didn’t.

Strange, I thought, and scary. Extreme censorship means extreme catastrophe. None of my contacts had much more, only few vague eyewitness accounts from Westerners of some kind of mass hysteria, and that rioting crowds had definitely turned to cannibalism. Infected peasants were eating other peasants. I didn’t believe it until a close associates and friend, who had been deported back to France during the press crack-down, said he had seen at least twenty people taken down by this mass of “crazed loonies” and then torn apart, like it was a feeding frenzy.

It made my skin crawl, and every hair on my body stand straight up. It was not what Pierre was telling me that had this effect, though it was horrific enough, but how he was telling me. Pierre had seen death squads in Bosnia, covered the genocides in Rwanda—he was a hardened veteran who had seen scores of murders, but still his voice faltered when he told this story.
“It scared me, mon ami—it scared the hell out of me. I’ll tell you, Joseph, when they caught me—Je remercie Dieu!—I was happy to go.”

All that from a story the government advertised to the mainstream household of Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Citizen as unworthy to cover.

I had just crawled into bed to the mumbled greeting of my lovely second half, Peggy, when my phone told me in its own melodic language that I had just received a sat-feed via my own personal encrypted wave. I crawled out of bed to more mumbles and complaining. I gave explanatory mumbles in return as I pulled on some sweat pants and a t-shirt. That seemed to satisfy my sweet Peggy, and she fell back to sleep.

My office is in the basement in a room that is as much like a vault as it can be without actually being a vault. I am not paranoid. This is a necessary inconvenience of my profession, and is, if I may have an immodest moment, a reflection of the status twenty years of excellence has gotten me. I often have very sensitive information relayed through my office. There has been several times when a competitive network, a private acquisitions contractor (thief!), and even domestic and foreign government agencies have aggressively sought to acquire information that I had possession of. With a private office like this, they’re not going to simply walk in and take it.

I punched my code into the keypad, then placed my thumb over the scanner. The heavy metal door beeped and opened.
I sat at my station and after scanning the cache for (ironically enough!) viruses, I downloaded the feed. The encryption made it take some time. While I waited I checked the wave codes—they’re a kind of signature, like an IP address is to a computer, and tells me what kind of device sent the transmission, and, if I recognize it, who sent it.
It was Taffy.

I triangulated the satellites, and then rewound for the time since the transmission was sent to figure out approximately where the satellites were when the feed was received and therefore know where Taffy was when he sent them. I finished just as the decryption ended. 31.31 N. Latitude, 75.84 E. Longitude.

I’ll be damned!

He had managed to stay in India. His signal was sent from about thirty miles northeast of the city Jalandhar.
My first thought was that he was arrested and needed a discreet bail out so his network wouldn’t find out. But he sent footage.

He’s got something!

That old feeling instantly comes to the surface. We can’t help it, we’re newshounds—it’s what we do.
An exclusive story in my hands!
It’s like getting a rare look at a near-extinct animal; it’s a privilege, and you can’t help your heart from racing.
I transferred the download to the video unit—also designed for decrypting video—hit play and sat back nearly shaking with anticipation.

Then I thought about what Pierre had said, “It scared the hell out of me … I was happy to go.” Excitement turned to anxiety.

The video flashed to life.

Arid climate, barren region, not desert, but very dry—dawn it looks like. The view bounces back and forth, and up and down in a haphazard rhythm as Taffy runs carrying the big camera. He stops and turns it to face him.
Taffy’s quintessentially British mug fills the screen.

“Oi, mate! This is crazy, you have no idea what it took to get this big bitch through the bloody perimeter.” He shakes the camera referring to it. “I’m here though, mate, and I’m gonna get the skinny on this plague business. Right past these rocks is the relief shelter where the emergency medical post is set up. Let’s see if the estimate of a thousand victims of the epidemic is fucking bollocks or not.”

He shoulders the camera and sneaks up to shoot over a rock, and down to the valley below.
“Fucking hell, this tart is heavy, mate. But I’m glad I have her.” He means for the camera’s exceptional zoom capabilities in high resolution, and the shotgun mic is excellent as well on that model.

On screen, a fenced off area roughly a quarter of a mile square comes into focus. Large tents have been pitched in neat sectors. An enormous white medical tent with its red cross stenciled on the top stood at the center of the encampment. Random trucks and jeeps were all about the interior and outside of the perimeter. A lone helicopter lies on its side on a landing zone, its props bent and broken.

“Holy Christ, mate, will you look at that?”

I did. Taffy panned around. Bodies lay all over the place. Some looked as if they just died where they stood and fell to the ground. Others were mere skeletons, entirely stripped of flesh and in pieces.
“Fuck me, Joey. God, I hope I can get this to ya.”

Taffy zooms in on a cannibalized corpse. The remains were scattered about. What could be called a body was only a spinal column, pelvis, and a single thigh bone. The meat had been entirely chewed or torn off, and bones gnawed clean. These remains were lying in the center of blood stained earth, some six feet by ten feet. Nearby were broken bones, a shattered skull, and shredded military uniform.

A layer of black flies covers the bones until the breeze causes them to buzz off in unison then to return seconds later. The carrion insects repeat this ritual according to the rhythm of the wind. The dark cloud of flies looked to me like a soul trying to leave the remains, but was somehow being drawn back again and again before it could escape to freedom.

“Time to get into character, mate.” Taffy cleared his throat. I was glad to have the view leave the bones and flies for a moment. “This is Nigel Tafferton reporting from just outside Jalandhar, India at the scene of a horrific event…”

I didn’t hear what he was saying. I could only look in shock at the carnage. Everywhere there were the corpses of the cannibalized—hundreds of them!—and this was just a limited view of this side of the camp.

It’s true then, there could be a thousand victims there.

As Taffy zoomed in I could see that many of the tents were torn down. The only things moving down there were the flies. The place was completely void of any living souls.

One thing struck me though; the obvious violent deaths of those that had been eaten was in stark contrast to the seemingly untouched corpses of those that looked to have simply fallen where they stood. Could it be that some percentage of the population is severely allergic or susceptible and have a nearly instant mortality timetable? It must be, otherwise how did those uneaten people die like that?

Taffy, I realized, had taken notice of the phenomenon as well. He was doing his best to get a close zoom on one of the intact bodies.

“I know how those geezers missing all their meat went out. What gets me, Joey m’boy, is how the others just dropped. I just can’t tell from here. I’m maybe 300 meters out, mate, it looks like those other bodies, and these here,” he pans in on a few uneaten corpses, “are drenched in blood.”

Now that he points it out, it sure looks that way.

“I’m going down there to have a closer look. Yeah, mate, I hear ya mama-birding me. Don’t worry about me. There doesn’t seem to be a living soul in the whole bloody camp.”

I instinctively looked for a radio so I could call and tell him what an idiotic plan that is. Plague and Cannibalism, and you want to get closer?

Taffy turned the camera at himself again. He had pulled on a gasmask and goggles. “Don’t worry, mate, Taffy’s got this handled.”

He heads down the slope recording the whole way. He loses his footing several times, but manages to stay upright and keep the $20,000 camera from bouncing down the hill. Once down he was definitely closer to the bodies but his level shooting trajectory made for poor discovery with the images.

“Fucking hell, Joey. Why’d you let me come down here? Now I gotta get closer. Piss and blood!”
Jesus, Taf, are you crazy? Don’t go closer!
Taffy walked onward. He stood and shot, then walked some more, stood and shot, then walked some more, then made his way closer again until finally…

“Ah, fuck it, mate. Enough of this inchworm bollocks. Time to earn the hard-ass reputation I got, right?”

“Oh my God…” involuntarily came out of me like a whisper, followed by, “Don’t do it, Taf.” I hated him for doing this, for sending the transmission and putting me through this.

Suddenly I had a realization that hit me like a ton of bricks. I had been so overwhelmed by the stimuli from the footage—hundreds of carcasses gnawed clean, maybe as many as a thousand dead at this camp alone, fallen soldiers that could mean a containment breach and widespread infections, oh the list goes on. Throw all that in with the fact that one of my best friends was marching willy-nilly into the catastrophe area and my capacity for reason had been completely shot down.

Here I was barely able to breathe when it dawned on me; Taffy sent this to me. No one else could have. Taffy couldn’t send it if he had met some grizzly end. So he’s just fine, the limey bastard is A-OK.
I laughed so hard with relief that I almost pissed myself. I paused the video and went to take care of my bladder. My legs were weak.

You were really worked up there, Joey-boy.

“Take a breather, mate,” I could almost hear Taffy’s say, “They’re not bloody-well knocking the Taf outta the game yet!”

I think that was one of the best pees I ever had; a ton of anxiety drained out of me with that pint of urine. I rinsed my face and looked in the mirror. I actually looked haggard.

Jesus, that must’ve gotten to me more than I realized. Taffy’s right, take a breather, mate!
I did just that—I took in several slow deep breaths. Still, I didn’t feel right. I had really plunged into the experience.

Goddamn, man, you’re a reporting correspondent. You’ve seen hell and death all over this globe. Get it together.

It occurred to me that this was the third mental pep-talk I’d had since getting up to piss. I decided a Scotch or beer was the way to go.

Make it a beer. That’ll be perfect—crack a cold one and enjoy the show. The “showing off” is more like it.
Yeah, that bit was true. We’d be hearing about this for a year—forever if he won the Pulitzer he was likely to. As it was, I took a glass of scotch and grabbed a beer. I sat myself down, leaned my chair back, downed my scotch, and hit “play.”

And so, with camera shouldered and rolling, Nigel Tafferton waltzed alone into the scene of a epidemic disease and mass murder of unknown proportions.

With a cold beer in my hand and the knowledge that he would make out it okay, I couldn’t help but admire the fool. It was a hell of a thing he did. I can’t think of anyone else in the world that would’ve done what I was watching him do.

When he gets to within about thirty feet from one of the mystery corpses, he focuses real sharp in on it (it sure looked like blood to me) and begin his professional narration again.
At the same time, right in the corner of the screen, I saw something move.

No way!

Taffy, oblivious, rambles on as he circles the body, maintaining the thirty foot distance.

I was about to have a heart attack from the suspense. Something had moved——I was sure of it!——and Taffy, with his peripheral vision severely limited by the camera, had no clue, and because he was circling the subject of the shot, he had put whatever has moved at his back.
< em>It’s got to be one of the aid workers or someone like that. Taffy’s probably drinking a beer with them right now and getting the skinny on the whole damn thing. The poor aid worker is probably just overjoyed to have someone besides the corpses for company.

“As it is clear to see, these unfortunate ones here…” Taffy pans over his subject and several other uneaten corpses. “…were responsible for the demise of these even less fortunate ones here.” The camera zooms in on several cannibal victims. The reality seeps in again and with it a growing dread.

What would make a human do that to another? Why is no one there?

Taffy pans back facing towards the camp.

“Some of these men are obviously military personnel, which raises questions regarding the effectiveness of an army unit at anything less than full armor-supported platoon level when dealing with this crisis. Also, how were these armed and trained soldiers overrun, and why were they not able..?”

At the top of the screen some distance in the background, stands a pair of legs in Indian Army desert camo. Taffy sees him and pans up. The soldier is maybe seventy feet away near the gate to the compound.

Why isn’t he armed?

“Oi, mate! I am glad to see you guys are here! Look, I, uh, I’ve been sent here under Parliamentary orders, yours not ours, on a joint British/Indian press assignment to document the, uh…”
The soldier starts limping briskly at Taffy.

Something didn’t look right. Though I knew everything was going to be fine, I still felt a wave of fear for my friend wash over me. I found I was holding my breath.

The mic picks up something that sounds like a grunt.

Taffy turns.

There, dead center on the screen, is the subject of Taffy’s narration, now sitting upright.

I can’t describe the feeling I had … I’ll never be able to.

The sitting zombie turns its head and looks directly into the camera, and then it growls——a low, gurgling, throaty growl. Taffy whirls around to find the limping soldier sprinting right at him. Bullet holes can be seen now in its chest and left leg. The soldier zombie howls at Taf, a hoarse inhuman sound.

Time slowed as I stared at a thing that should not exist.

A dead man, a zombie—a fucking zombie cannibal!—was going for my friend.

I know now that it didn’t matter what happened after that moment, that day, month, whatever … the second I saw that zombie and heard it growl something broke; a small but fundamental thing inside me needed to live in some semblance of normalcy just snapped. I was watching dead men come to life to eat my friend. There would be no more normal for Joe. None, ever again…

Time snapped back to speed.

“Run, Taffy, Goddamn you, run!” I couldn’t help but shout.

He did.

“Holy Christ, almighty!”

The camera drops from his shoulder. The view bounces and jerks crazily. I can clearly hear the rapid, crunch-crunch of Taf’s boots on the dry ground as he runs. Every time he looks back the camera jerks left, and his panicked breathing is punctuated by an involuntary moan of distress at what he sees pursuing him. I can hear the faint growls and howls of the things. It sounds like more than two. They are getting louder. They are gaining on him.

Taffy drops the camera. It bounces and lands on the side facing back.

Eight terrifying zombies pursue Taffy. Not hobbling, but running … like men—like living men! They close the distance to the camera at a discouraging rate and then run past, limping soldier brings up the rear.

I was left looking at the tent complex. More of them come out from the gate and around other side of the perimeter.
My God, there are hundreds of them!

Then it struck me; Taffy had dropped the camera. Damnation could not oppress my spirit more than this realization. How could he send this if he dropped the camera? The video transfer can be pre-programmed, so even if your unit is confiscated and under lock and key, it will secretly send whatever has been pre-set into the feed. Taf had done that … he had pre-set the unit to transmit to me.

Oh God no…

Taffy worked hard and he partied hard. He loved his drink and he loved his smokes. He wasn’t going to be able to keep up any kind of pace for long.

I stared at the screen——hundreds and hundreds were pouring out of the facility, many of them running to catch up to the pursuit. Some just shamble. I stared and a cried. I bawled as I listened to my friend of 17 years yell in a last desperate attempt to somehow ward off the zombies.

“Get away from me, get away! Leave me alone! Leave——no, don’t!”

I prayed … I prayed for an improbable miracle.

“Please God … please, do something—anything!”

God was on vacation that day and has never returned. He has clearly abandoned us to our miserable fate. I haven’t prayed since … never will.

And so I heard my dear friend Nigel scream as no human was ever meant to scream, suffering what no human was ever meant to suffer, as frenzied zombie cannibals tore him open and ate him alive.

The timer on the screen rolled off 34 seconds before there was silence.

I was bawling convulsively now—wailing actually. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen as if I expected his pallid limey face to pop into view as he grabs the camera and yells, “April fools, mate!” and all the zombies join in the laughter.

It was November, and the Brits don’t have April Fools.

I remained transfixed, crying until the shock finally set in. Then I just stared into the screen in numb disbelief. I watched without really acknowledging as the horde ambled casually past the camera back to the camp. Some were eating. All were bloody. Taffy’s gnawed forearm was dropped only five feet in front of the camera. His watch was still fastened around his wrist.

I held in my breath.

Another zombie picked up his forearm and bit a finger off.  It chewed the bones noisily. I could hear the crunching as it walked away.

I can’t explain the effect it had on me … I just can’t.

Most of the zombies disappeared into the complex. The zombies from in front of the gate returned there then simply dropped limp to the ground, to lie in wait once again.

Text flashed on the screen several times and brought me out of my near-catatonic state. It read: PRE-PROGRAMMED TRANSMISSION COMMENCING. PRESS CANCEL TO ABORT.

No one did.

Once the static died away and the system shutdown I was left with only the sound of my pulse inside my head until Peggy came down and called out from the stairs.

“Sweetie, is everything okay? I thought I heard a shout.”

“I’m okay. I…” Taffy’s screams echoed in my mind. I couldn’t hold back the tears. “..yes, I, uh … I’m…” The rest came out as some strange croaking.

“Sweetie?” She came in.

When she saw me she took a half step back. I have never seen the look she gave before. Then again, she had never seen me in a state like I was.

“Joe! What’s wrong?”

I tried again to talk, but just pointed at the video screen. The sobs had come again in full.

“Oh, baby!” She wrapped her arms around me.

I sunk into them and buried my face in the soft fabric of her night gown above her left breast, then I descended once more into convulsive sobs and uncontrollable moans.

“Oh my God! Baby, baby…”

We dropped to the floor where she just held me until all my anguish was spent. I don’t know how long that was.

When I finally gathered myself, I dealt with the trauma of the whole surreal mind-fuck the way I dealt with any trauma—you can only do what you know, right?—I gulped down a large glass of scotch, then just flipped the switch in my head. I went into busy-body mode. Work would keep my brain from uploading the nightmare to my mind’s eye. The world had to know. I assigned myself the task and went to work with that end in mind.

I of course told Peggy what happened to Taffy. Even after finding me as she did my own wife of twenty-two years found my story hard to believe. She thought that I had somehow just mistaken something—I had to have!—she insisted what I was telling her couldn’t possibly be right.

I showed her one minute of Taf’s video. She became a firm believer.

To preserve Taffy’s dignity, the BBC’s liability, and my conscience, I edited the piece removing all audio and video footage of Nigel, made copies, and sent it all over the planet. Fuck the government and fuck censorship! This was serious. That was the afternoon of the 28th. That night India warned any foreigners that full martial law had been declared throughout all the states in the northeast which meant the epidemic had spread over three times the area since the 23rd, and anyone without military uniform and pass would be shot right there on the spot.

The Indians were desperate, and for good reason I knew. Just how desperate I could have never of guessed.
On the evening of the 30th I stayed glued to the news. Peggy was with me. We waited together to see which network would air Taffy’s vid first and what the reactions would be worldwide. It was going to be big news.
We got some big news that night all right. Just not about Taffy’s shoot. It was bigger … way bigger.

Without warning or seeking UN counsel—much less approval—the Republic of India detonated 10 one-megaton tactical nuclear warheads over its own soil utterly wiping out five major cities, every village and township between, and reducing an estimated 19.4 million people there to ash.

The international outrage was tremendous. Threats, accusations—all conceivable reactions were had. The din of the global uproar was deafening. That is, until India released their documentation of the epidemic.

Once the global clamor ceased, the entire civilized world—and I do mean entire!—watched in terrified fascination as hordes of zombie cannibals rampaged across North India overrunning military blockades and overwhelming every city and village in their path. The estimated sum of infected dead that surged outward in a circular wave was over a million strong.

Containment was impossible.

In a tearful live broadcast the President of India reached out to the people of her nation and the world as a whole, and pleaded for them all, each and every one, to find strength where ever they may in the wake of this great tragedy and help heal her afflicted country.

The families and loved ones of the lost she addressed last.

“I cannot ask for your forgiveness, though I know that you, the blessed and beautiful people of India, even in this time of tremendous sorrow, would offer it. My brothers and sisters, for the immeasurable love I hold for all of you, I have done the unforgivable. So, my dear ones, I ask instead for you to give your love to the one next to you, give your love to our scarred earth, and give your love up to God who has let us all remain and witness, and live to love still.”

Priya Nair, thirteenth President of the democratic Republic of India, took her own life less than an hour after making her plea for love to all.

The Global Community was for the first time exactly that.

In the weeks that passed we learned how savage and aggressive this disease had been and that, in all likelihood, the incredible will and courage of India’s tragic President, by sacrificing her people, may have saved the human species entire. We all breathed a collective sigh of relief.

I still weep for her. I cannot comprehend facing such a decision. Even in my imagining I wither under the insurmountable weight of all those lives … nineteen million. It’s just … unfathomable.

Never in the history of humanity was a single person so honored by the world as a whole. In just a few short months after her sacrifice there were already over 100,000 statues of her across the globe, and nearly as many newborns named Priya.

The following day Taffy’s video began to appear on global networks. I had no pride in this accomplishment, and with the undead cat now completely out of the body bag, I sent BBC all but the very end of Taffy’s last report. Let them imagine him getting away. That’s what I do; imagine him still running, running straight to a corner pub in heaven.

Yeah, Taffy would like that.

Next: Sowing the Seeds

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Comments
  1. Incredibly well written, mate! Bravo! 🙂

  2. rsmith3716 says:

    Wow…This is really good. Very entertaining and descriptive. Can’t wait to read more.

    • Christopher Shawbell says:

      R Smith,
      Thanks for reading and for the compliment. I am actually working on Juliet-six’s Part 3. Idk if you read part 2. There are 3 Chronicles from 3 dif points of view. Share it with Zombie loving friends and so forth. I’m excited becuz I have all the back story and set up done and we’re about to get it on zombie-style. Should be a very exciting and disturbing Chapter.
      Thanks again!

      Chris

  3. saltinurwounds says:

    Very good opening! That was really great. I am impressed. This is the longest writing Ive read or yours, and it is by far the best! Really surprised at how much I was effected by some of the scenes. Enough said, you get it. Im tired but be back tomorrow, bro. –Salty

  4. Them dead fools better not come up in the hood, be like= tap tap tap. Sit now for a while, that’s how we do it, serious tho, chris – thid was razy good. I see why them dudes be stacked up on them zombie sights if the this good. But still – only sen one brutha on ur stories on a white be smoked his a55. Affirmative huh? u know I got love for ya. Keep it all going u doin good.

  5. ltdalin says:

    I love the POV you take here. Having the MC be a journalist allows us to experience and imagine the magnitude and horror, as we already know that Journalists are tough-skinned. It would have been different had you made the MC a preschool teacher. 😉

    It’s a very good beginning, all in all. One typo in the beginning, I think (When MC is talking to his boss regarding the censor)
    ““ When in the hell do they ****every**** do that?””

    • Christopher Shawbell says:

      Thanks for reading, Chess!
      Oh, there’ll be more typos. So hard to typo check one’s own material because I know how it’s SUPPOSED to read, and I just see that. A pro copy editor will be going over each piece I have, starting with Primal Hunger, in mid-Spring.
      ~Chris

  6. ltdalin says:

    Thank you for writing it! I feel thoroughly entertained! Only problem now, of course, is my own writing. I need to get Chapter Eight edited today – or, at the very best, started.

    That copy editor will not have a lot to do 😉 Primal Hunger was magnificent, and as far as I can tell, so is this story. So far, though, my favorite is Primal Hunger.

    Want to hear something funny? For an Anthology that’s coming out in March, I wrote a story about a man in a nightclub (though, he owned it), watching a woman dance on the dance floor. He became utterly transfixed by her, and started hunting her. I can’t go into details as I’m bound by the contract, sort of – I, at least, don’t think I should. Regardless, you have a similar story. Funny how two different people can come up with the same kind of story.

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