Fiction: Afterlife (Chapter 11)

Post image for Fiction: Afterlife (Chapter 11)

by Mike Monroe on March 10, 2014

in FICTION

If you’ve never read Afterlife before, click here to go to the first chapter.

Photo via Angie Linder on flickr.com

Afterlife is a sci fi/western action serial published every other week. Join us in a post-apocalyptic journey through a future where life has become little more than a struggle for survival. However, where there’s life, there’s always hope.


Read the previous chapter here:

Afterlife, Volume 1, Chapter 10

Where:

Pastor Earl is attacked by electromagnetic propulsion crafts.
Pete Ahmad comes to his rescue, accompanied by Horseman and Michelle Hemingway.
Bobby and his companions head southwest towards the Dead Lands.

Find the Table of Contents page here.

 

Afterlife, Volume 1, Chapter 11

Herman Rennock stepped out of the front door of the towering office building where he’d given his state of business speech, flanked by his wife, Larraine, and two teenaged daughters, Parker and Madeline.  Herman was wearing an all-white suit and a white ten gallon hat was perched atop his head.  Two gold-plated laser pistols hung from leather hip holsters at his sides.  The steps and street in front of the building were swarming with people whom Rennock’s bodyguards pushed away as he and his family descended the steps to the sidewalk, making their way to his luxury hover car where his chauffeur was waiting.  Rennock glanced across the street and noticed some graffiti on the side of another office building.    There was something familiar about the graffiti.  It depicted a skull and crossbones symbol with the letters “IAO” scrawled across the middle of it, all spray-painted in brilliant primary colors.  Herman Rennock had seen it before, but he wasn’t sure where.  He had no idea why someone living in New Atlantis would want to do such a thing.  Probably some bored kids.  “Stupid vandals,” he muttered to himself as he walked, “defacing someone else’s property.”

“What was that you said?” Rennock’s wife asked, smiling her phony smile as photographers took their picture.

Rennock smiled a phony smile of his own.  “Oh, nothin’, darlin’.  Don’t worry about it.”  Rennock hated talking to her or his daughters.  He’d married her when she was young and beautiful and she’d turned out to be nothing but a gold-digging looter, along with his awful kids.  They were all dressed in fancy dresses with diamond jewelry dangling everywhere.  They looked like cheap chandeliers rather than the princesses they thought they were.  The kids were both blonde like their mom, all with blue eyes.  They were pretty to look at, but there wasn’t much going on upstairs.  All they ever did was chat and send messages with their portable 3D computers.  Rennock’s wife and daughters lived in Rennock Tower, but several floors down from him, so he never had to see any of them.  Nobody in the media knew this.  The family had to keep up appearances, after all.  They smiled and acted cordially in public, but they lived separately in private.  Rennock had told them years ago that he no longer wanted to have anything to do with them.  His wife didn’t care.  She wanted to stay married to him so she’d get to keep her part of his fortune, and that was fine by him.  He had enough money that he was able to give her a pittance, but to her it seemed like a lot.  Other than fake public appearances, Rennock hadn’t seen or spoken to his wife or either of his daughters for seven years.

A black woman with glasses pushed her way past a bodyguard.  She was wearing a cheap navy blue women’s suit and was holding out a recording device of some sort.  Rennock realized she was Mavery Thomas, a reporter with the Mountaintop Herald.  She’d been targeting him for years and her writing was on the verge of being communist.  Rennock had been trying his best to destroy the Mountaintop Herald financially so Mavery and others like her would be out of a job, but there were always idiots who bought their trash.  If Rennock had his way, they’d all be kicked out of New Atlantis for treason, but there was always the politics of the matter.  He couldn’t just go kicking people out unless they lost their jobs or made less than two hundred thousand a year, or broke some major law.  Perhaps he could frame her.  That would be his next course of action.  He’d have to look into it.  “Mister Rennock!” Mavery shouted above the bustle of other voices.  “Mister Rennock!”  Rennock’s bodyguards began pushing her away.  “Mister Rennock, what do you have to say about the recent deaths in Dune Post?”  She continued pushing past the bodyguards, holding out her recording device.  “My sources tell me Warrick Baines is responsible.  He’s working for you.  What do you have to say?  If you don’t say anything, we’ll have to come up with our own assumptions.”

Rennock stopped walking and glared at her.  “That’s what you people do, isn’t it?  Make assumptions and sell them to impressionable idiots.”

“No need to talk like that about our readers,” Mavery said, still holding out the recording device.  “I’ve got sources outside of New Atlantis who say they’ve seen the bodies.”

Rennock frowned.  Warrick Baines would be the end of him.  He was sloppy.  And how had Mavery managed to get transmissions from outside of New Atlantis, anyway?  He’d have to tell his tech people to improve their signal blocking capabilities.  The Mountaintop Herald apparently employed some skillful hackers.  “Look, lady.  That was some crazy pastor out there who killed those people.  I don’t know who your sources are, but they’re mistaken.”

“Are they?” Mavery asked.  “We’ve been reporting on Warrick Baines for years now, Mr. Rennock.  And what about the Southwest Iron Mines using slaves?  What do you have to say about the extensively-reported human rights violations?  Just yesterday we heard reports of a slave being beaten to death in front of his wife.”

“That’s a made-up story, just like the rest of your trash.  Why don’t you find someone else to harass?”  Leave it to a black woman to bring that up.  Rennock knew that’s the only reason she had her job.  There weren’t many black people living in New Atlantis.  Most of the business leaders refused to hire them.  They didn’t make it obvious, so as not to raise a stink.  They just didn’t hire them.  There were a few, like Liana Pinkney, the owner of the Mountaintop Herald, who did hire them.  That bitch was a troublemaker.  No telling what she’d do next.  She went out of her way to hire blacks.  Rennock knew that’s why Mavery had a job.  She wouldn’t have been able to find respectable work otherwise.  As far as Herman Rennock was concerned, black people needed to stay outside the walls of New Atlantis, out in the desert where they belonged.

Rennock’s bodyguards began pushing Mavery harder, but she still managed to get her hand through the wall of bodies with the recording device.  “Mr. Rennock, if you don’t have anything to say, I’ll go ahead and publish my article about your endorsement of slavery and grossly underpaid workers.”

In order to get the cheapest possible rates on iron, Rennock often purchased his ore from the Southwest Iron Mines, whose owner, Phillip Brevington, used slaves sometimes.  Slaves were dirt cheap.  All you needed was money to buy a little slop so enough of them survived long enough to do the required work.  Maximum profit equals maximum happiness.  Those were words to live by.  Rennock himself didn’t use slaves, though.  The bad publicity would have hurt his business.  He let Brevington deal with that hornet’s nest.  “I never use slaves.  That’s absolute hogwash.  As far as underpaid workers go, I pay ‘em what they’re willin’ to work for.  If they want more money, they need to find new skills.  Now, I’ve had about enough of your lies.”

“We report the truth from verified sources,” Mavery said.

“And it’s just your gullible readers who are buyin’ any of it.”  He looked around at the other reporters who’d gathered nearby.  “Now listen here.  There’s nothin’ goin’ on outside of here that’s much interest to any of you.  If you really wanna know, though, get your news from my paper, the New Atlantis Journal, or from my news station, New Atlantis News.  My people have real sources and real news, not this made-up communist trash.”  The bodyguards pushed Mavery away from him and he and his family continued walking.

Rennock couldn’t understand why some people were always so hell-bent on digging up dirt from the outside world when everything was running so smoothly in New Atlantis.  There were no taxes, no minimum wage laws, and no regulations on business other than contract related laws and laws protecting property rights.  Business drove everything.  Profit drove everything, and everyone in New Atlantis was living well because of it.  Herman Rennock alone had the burden of worrying about the outside world, along with some of his highest ranking employees, of course.  He had to make decisions for his army regarding the war with the Mexican Territory.  He had to make the decisions that kept the rebels at bay.  Why were other people trying to take on his burden?  He worried about the outside world so no one else would have to.  He shook his head as he followed his wife and daughters into the back of his luxury hover car.  “Idiots can’t leave well enough alone.”

“What was that?” his wife asked as the automatic doors shut.

“Nothin’,” Renock blurted.  “None of your business.  Just shut up ‘til we get home and get the hell away from me.”  No reason to keep up appearances now that they were alone.

“I can’t wait,” Larraine blurted.  “You have no idea how agonizing these public appearances are for me.”

Rennock chuckled.  “Oh, believe me, I do.”  The hover car took off in the direction of Rennock Tower.

<>

Devin Hellier stood in front of Doctor Henri Drake Thomas’ office, looking down at Warrick Baines’ skull-like face on his handset.  The desert sun shone down like an oven light in the stark blue sky.  Several enforcer sand bikes were parked in the sandy street in front of the brick building.  “If they would have waited,” Devin explained, “we may have been able to detain them.  Instead, they were both killed and Abigail Song and her accomplices escaped.”

Warrick nodded.  “You say there were four of them?”

“Yes,” Devin replied.  “Two of them matched the descriptions of Abigail Song and Earl Steadman.  There was also an older man with a cowboy hat and a black man in his thirties.”

“And you said one of the sand bikes was black with orange and yellow flames painted on the side?”  Devin nodded and there was an awkward pause as Warrick glared at him with his shining red eyes.  “Who gave you this information?”  There was a hint of anger in Warrick’s metallic voice.  It was an emotion Devin wasn’t used to hearing coming from his boss and it made him uncomfortable.

“It was preliminary information given to us by a patron at the doctor’s office,” Devin said.  “I’m about to conduct a more in-depth interrogation of Doctor Thomas and his employees.”

“Very well,” Warrick said.  “I believe the older gentleman is Nat Bigum.”

Devin froze.  He’d heard the legends of Nat Bigum, and he knew the history between him and Warrick.  He knew Bigum was responsible for Warrick’s extensive injuries which led to him becoming a cyborg.  “And the other man?” Devin asked, trying to shy away from the subject of Nat Bigum.

“Who knows?”

Devin chuckled.  “Probably a nobody.  Wrong place, wrong time.  You know?”

“Well, he’s not a nobody anymore,” Warrick said, “but he’ll wish he was.”

“Yes, he will,” Devin agreed, grinning.

“Nat Bigum is extremely dangerous,” Warrick said.  “He makes Earl Steadman look like a newborn puppy.  If anyone sees him, tell them to notify me immediately.  I don’t want anyone trying to deal with him before I get there.”

“Okay,” Devin said.

“I’m coming to Sunbreak City.  We’re going on a little trip.”

“A trip?” Devin asked.

Warrick nodded.  “We’re going to figure out where they’re going, and we’re going to meet them there.  We’re going to question everyone we see with extreme prejudice in order to find out where they’re going.”  He paused, grinning his permanent grin.  “Anyone who talks to them, we’ll kill.  Anyone who so much as looks at them, we’ll kill.  The sands of this desert are going to turn red before we’ve finished.  When we find them, we’re going to kill every last one of them.  We’re going to kill them hard, and we’re going to kill them painful.”

“What about Doctor Thomas and his employees?” Devin asked.

“You’re going to question them.”

“When you say question…”

“Ask very pointed questions,” Warrick explained.  “Sharp as sword blades, or laser blasts, if you catch my meaning.”  Devin smiled and nodded as Warrick’s face disappeared from his handset.  Devin placed the communicator back in his pocket and walked up to the front door of the doctor’s office.

Inside, four frightened people stood against the wall opposite the counter.  One was a man with shiny black hair who was wearing an expensive gray suit with white pinstripes, two were beautiful blonde nurses in pink scrubs, and the fourth was a middle-aged woman with black hair and glasses.  Noah Flyman and eight other enforcers were standing nearby.  Four of them had their laser pistols drawn and they were pointing them at Doctor Thomas and his employees.  Devin noticed the two nurses appeared a little disheveled and he frowned.  He hoped it had happened during the struggle to get them against the wall and it wasn’t something else.  After several damning stories were released to the public regarding rape among the ranks of the enforcers, Herman Rennock had called on all of his enforcers to stop with sexual abuse and rape.  It had once been rampant in the enforcers organization, and though Warrick, Devin, and the other leaders of the enforcers had tried their best to enforce the rules and penalize those who broke them, there were still some who did whatever they could get away with.  It was disgusting.  They weren’t bandits, after all.  The stories about desert bandits raping and abusing women made women afraid to travel, and women rarely traveled without at least one male companion for protection.  It was a rough world out there.

As Devin approached Doctor Thomas and his employees, stepping past the rows of waiting room chairs, one of the enforcers handed him a cup of coffee and a brown paper bag.  “Ah, thank you very much, Edward,” Devin said with a smile on his cleanly-shaven face.  He opened the bag and looked inside, finding a cheese croissant.  “My favorite.”  He sipped the coffee, smiling at Doctor Thomas.  “You don’t mind if I eat my breakfast while we talk, do you?”  Doctor Thomas shook his head.  “Great,” Devin said with a friendly smile.  “So Abigail Song was here?”  He took a bite from the croissant and closed his eyes, grinning.

“She was,” Doctor Thomas replied nervously, “and I’m willing to cooperate in any way possible to see that she’s brought to justice.”

Devin nodded.  “I’m sure you are.”  He smiled and looked at the enforcer he’d called Edward.  “This cheese croissant is delicious, Edward.  Where’d you get it?”

“I think the place was called Jasmine’s Breakfast Shack,” Edward replied.

“Well it’s absolutely incredible.”  Devin turned to face Doctor Thomas once again as he sipped his coffee.  “So, Doctor Thomas, you were saying Abby was here.  So you knew who she was, and yet you still treated her?”

“I did,” Doctor Thomas said nervously, “but Nat Bigum put a gun in my mouth.  You know his reputation.  I couldn’t refuse him.  I’d be dead.”

“Yeah, you most surely would be,” Devin said with a chuckle.  “That was an unfortunate situation for you.”

“It was,” Doctor Thomas agreed.

“You do realize that these criminals killed two of our friends,” Devin pointed out.  “Those men had families.  Their names were Dwayne Richards and Bull Kot.  Dwayne Richards had a daughter who was just learning to walk.  Bull Kot had two sons who are going to have to grow up without a father now.”

Doctor Thomas nodded.  “I’m very sorry.  If there was something I could have done, I would have.  I understand.  I have children of my own.”

Devin looked at the three women.  “And you all knew who they were also?”  The women nodded.  “Well I can understand, under the circumstances, why you’d still treat her,” Devin said as he took another bite from his croissant.  He closed his eyes and shook his head.  “I really can’t get over how good this cheese croissant is.  Doctor Thomas, have you ever had a cheese croissant from, what’s that place again, Edward?”

“Jasmine’s Breakfast Shack,” Edward said.

Doctor Thomas shook his head.  “I have,” the middle aged woman with the glasses said nervously.  “They are very good.”

Devin sipped his coffee again.  “The coffee’s pretty good, too, but nowhere near as good as the cheese croissant.  I think this is the best cheese croissant I’ve ever had in my life, and I’ve eaten a lot of cheese croissants in my time.”  He took another bite.  “Noah,” he said as he chewed, “kill the women.”

Noah Flyman drew his laser pistol, and before any of the three women understood what was happening, he shot each of them in the head, one by one.  The three bodies dropped with thuds, their heads bleeding out onto the floor.  The blood pool from the middle-aged woman’s head reached Doctor Thomas’ foot and a large wet spot appeared in the front of his pants.  Noah chuckled.  “Having incontinence problems, Doctor Thomas?” Devin asked as he took another bite of the cheese croissant, shaking his head.  “Man, this definitely is the best cheese croissant I’ve ever tasted.  Flaky, not too sweet, but just sweet enough.  The cheese is extra creamy.  I mean, it’s perfect.”

Doctor Thomas was sobbing and shaking.  “They went west.  I think I overheard them saying they’re going to the Rocky Mountains.  That’s where Valhalla is.  They’re heading there.  Abby has a cybernetic leg now.  She lost it because of an alligator bite.  The other people with her are Earl Steadman and Bobby Brooklyn.  I’ll tell you anything else you want to know.  Please.  Please!”

“Kill him, too,” Devin said to Noah.

Doctor Thomas started ducking and flinching.  He slipped in the blood pool forming around his feet, splashing into it.  He looked up at Devin, shaking, his face splattered with blood.  “No, I’m not like them!”  He nodded towards the three dead women.  “I have money.  I’m saving up to get into New Atlantis.  I’m very close.  Just a few more thousand dollars.  I’m a good doctor.  I have money.  I’m not poor.  Please!”  He shook his head crying.  “Please don’t kill me.  I have two young boys.”

Devin nodded.  “Well you should have thought about all of that before you helped Abigail Song.”  He nodded towards Noah.  Noah pointed his laser pistol at Doctor Thomas’ face and fired, splattering blood all over the wall.  Doctor Thomas’ body collapsed like a demolished building.

The enforcers walked towards the front door.  Devin and Noah were the last to leave.  “He gave us some good info,” Noah pointed out.

Devin nodded, finishing off his cheese croissant.  “Noah, you’re gonna have to try one of those cheese croissants some time.  They really are the best around.”

Noah frowned.  “You keep talking about how good they are and then you ate all of it.  You could have saved a little so I could try it.”

“That was my cheese croissant,” Devin said.  “Get your own damned cheese croissant.”  They walked through the door, letting it close behind them.

<>

Abby sat beside Pete Ahmad in his van as he followed Nat, Pastor Earl, and Bobby on their sand bikes.  They, in turn, were followed by Horseman and Michelle Hemingway in their sports hover car.  The dunes went past them like silent, sandy spectators as the caravan sped through the desert towards the town of Fort Samson, the last outpost of human life they’d hit before the Dead Lands.  The sun was high in the sky, signifying late morning.  Abby assumed it was probably around eleven o’clock or so, though she no longer had Einstein to ask.  Pete would be stopping the caravan soon to do his noon prayer, or salaat as he called it.  He’d previously prayed just before they left camp at sunrise.  He changed into a white robe, washed himself with sand, laid down a mat, and went through several postures while praying.  Nat wasn’t happy about it, saying it was holding them up, but Pastor Earl talked him down before he interrupted Pete’s prayer.  Abby was glad Nat had backed down, since it most definitely would have provoked an altercation of some sort.  That seemed to be one of Nat’s specialties.  When he was done, Pete got everyone to agree to stop wherever they were five times a day so he could do his salaat.  He was very adamant about it so everyone agreed, though Nat was a little reluctant.

Abby petted Sherry as the van continued to move through the desert.  “Sherry’s adorable,” she said, smiling at the dog.

Pete grinned and nodded as he drove.  “She is.”

“I hope you don’t mind my asking,” Abby said, “but doesn’t your religion forbid having dogs as pets?”

Pete frowned.  “Where’d you hear that?”

Abby shrugged.  “I don’t remember.  It might have been school.”

“Well,” Pete began, “I’m not an imam or anything like that, but I can tell you my understanding of the matter.  Many Muslims believe dogs to be impure and they forbid owning them as pets, while others allow them as long as they’re used as guard dogs or hunting dogs.  At the same time, the Qur’an teaches us to treat all of Allah’s creatures with compassion.”  He grinned.  “I found Sherry alone and starving in a burnt-out village, so I took her in, fed her, and helped her.”

“You have a big heart,” Abby said, still petting Sherry.

Pete chuckled.  “I suppose.  Anyway, once she was better, I kept telling myself I needed to get rid of her.  Every day, when I woke up, I decided I’d leave her in the next town I reached.  By the evening, I was telling myself it would be the next day.  I did this for some time before I finally decided to keep her, hence the name Scheherazade.”

Abby nodded.  “Makes sense.”

Pete frowned.  “If I’m impure for it, I hope Allah will forgive me.  He is all-forgiving, compassionate to each.”

“You only do the best you can do,” Abby said as Sherry looked up at her and barked.  “She’s not impure, is she?”  Einstein didn’t answer, which was probably a good thing.  Abby realized she didn’t really want to know what Einstein had to say about the cleanliness of dogs, anyway.

“What was that you said?” Pete asked.

“No, of course not,” Abby muttered, answering her own question.  “She’s not impure at all.”  She petted Sherry as the dog looked up at her.

Pete frowned and shook his head.  “I don’t know.  I just don’t know.”

Abby could tell it was something he was struggling with.  She decided to change the subject.  “So where are you from originally?”

“My family and I were from New Persia.  We moved here because my father was looking for opportunity.  He was an inventor and thought people here would be more likely to find a use for his goods.  We found a Muslim community in the Southwest Territory called Los Tranquilos, and that’s where I grew up.”

“You don’t have an accent,” Abby pointed out.

“We moved here when I was very young,” Pete explained.  “My parents grew old and died, and later, Herman Rennock’s enforcers came and destroyed our town, claiming we were helping rebels or something.  I’m sure someone there was, but I didn’t know anything about it.  I managed to escape, but everyone I knew is dead.”  He gritted his teeth in anger.

“Do you think Rennock did it because it was a Muslim community?”

“I’m sure of it,” Pete said bitterly.  “I’ve been selling weapons and equipment to the rebels ever since, as well as helping rebels travel from town to town safely.”  He grinned.  “Of course, I don’t do it for free.  It’s dangerous work, so I’m well-paid for my trouble.”

Abby nodded.  “So Horseman and Michelle are part of the resistance?”

“I’ve said too much,” Pete said.  “Even though you are who you are, I can’t tell you anything more.  If you want to know about them, ask them.”

“What’s Horseman like?  He seems nice.”

Pete looked at her and smiled.  “He is, and I hear he knows his way around the ladies.”  Abby blushed.  “You’re interested, aren’t you?” Pete asked.

“Don’t say anything.”

“Oh, I won’t.”  He laughed.  “Your secret’s safe with me.”

“It had better be.”

“Be careful with that one, though.  He’ll break your heart in a heartbeat.”

Abby nodded.  “I know the type.”

The van continued moving past the desert dunes.  Pete glanced at Abby as he drove.  “You told me who you really were last night.  Your friend Nat didn’t seem happy about it.  Why did you do that?”

“I trust you,” Abby replied.

“Why?” Pete asked.

Abby shrugged, petting Sherry.  “Because money’s important to you, but not so important you’d rob or stab someone in the back.  Besides, anyone who takes care of a cute little dog can’t be all that bad.”  She hoped her intuition was right.  She no longer had Einstein to advise her on such matters.  Hopefully Pete would be able to fix him soon.

“I have my morals,” Pete said.  “Money is a tool we use to reach certain ends.  Nothing more, nothing less.  It’s hard to come by, though, so when opportunities arise, we need to make the most of them.”

Abby felt a strange tingling sensation and the van suddenly slid across the sand, eventually coming to a jarring stop.  All of the lights and electronic meters on the dashboard were dead.  Abby looked in front of them to see the three sand bikes had also stopped dead in the sand.  “What’s happening?” she asked, surveying the surrounding dunes.  “Have we hit one of those pockets of radiation you were talking about where electronics stop working?”

Pete shook his head.  “We aren’t in the Dead Lands yet.  Somebody’s using disruptors.”

There was an explosion and Bobby flew off his bike, landing hard in the desert sand.  “Bobby!” Abby shouted.  She opened the door of the van.

“Wait!” Pete shouted.  “We don’t know what’s happening!  Stay in the van!  It’s bulletproof!”

It was too late.  Abby was running clumsily through the sand towards Bobby.  Every wobbly step with her cybernetic leg sent immense pain shooting through her whole body.  The pain killers were helping, but running was too much.  Bobby had saved her life, though.  She wasn’t about to let him die if she could help it.  He picked himself up and rushed to hide behind his sand bike.  At least he appeared to be okay.  Pastor Earl and Nat were also hiding behind their sand bikes, and Horseman and Michelle were ducking down in their hover car, trying to avoid the windows.  There were several gunshots and Abby felt a couple of bullets hit her cybernetic leg.  She didn’t feel any pain, but she knew the bullets were there, imbedded in the metal.  She felt another tingling sensation and she fell to the ground, unable to move her left leg.  If she’d been able to run better, she would have reached Bobby, but she was still getting used to walking again.  Running was something else altogether.  Abby heard more gunshots as she lay in the desert sand, out in the open.  “What are my chances of survival?” she asked.  There was no answer except her own.  “I’d say pretty slim.”

 


Continue on to the next chapter:

Afterlife, Volume 1, Chapter 12

Where:

Abby is a sitting duck.
Bobby becomes the focal point of a standoff.
Bobby and his companions are stranded in the desert.

Find the Table of Contents page here.

Check out Michael Monroe’s page on Amazon to find other stuff he’s written.
Like Afterlife on Facebook to find out when the next chapter is posted.
Follow Afterlife on Twitter to get updates on new postings and other news.
Follow Afterlife on Tumblr for access to supplemental material.

Mike Monroe

Michael Monroe was born in Baltimore, MD and has lived there most of his life. He’s a poet and fiction writer whose preferred genres are Science Fiction and Fantasy, and he’s always had a thing for Allen Ginsberg and the Beats. His poetry has been published in Gargoyle Magazine, nthposition, the Lyric, Scribble, the Loch Raven Review, Foliate Oak, Primalzine, and various other publications.

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