Fiction: Afterlife (Chapter 13)

by Mike Monroe on April 7, 2014

in FICTION

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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 12

Where:

Abby and her companions are attacked by bandits.
Pete Ahmad kills the bandits using a minigun and a rocket launcher.
Sand crabs attack and everyone seeks shelter in Pete’s van.

Find the Table of Contents page here.

 

Afterlife, Volume 1, Chapter 13

As the giant sand crabs pounded on the sides of the van, Abby noticed a claw hit the windshield.  The glass didn’t break, though.  “What the?” she exclaimed.

“It’s not glass,” Pete explained.  “It’s actually transparent metal.”

Two giant sand crabs were climbing over the front of the van.  Abby got a good look at them as they clamored over the windshield.  Their legs were long and thick and their bodies were as large as two men.  The most impressive thing about them, however, was their massive, heavy claws.  “I hope this van’s sturdy,” Pastor Earl said as he watched the crabs from the bench in the rear part of the van.

The vehicle was rocking back and forth violently.  “It’s as sturdy as they come,” Pete said.  “That being said, nothing can hold out forever.”

“Do you think they’ll be able to tip the van over?” Bobby asked.

Pete shook his head.  “It would take an awful lot of them.  This van’s extremely heavy.”

The shaking persisted as Sherry jumped onto Abby’s lap and Abby started petting the dog to comfort her.  “You’ll be fine,” she whispered.  She hoped she was right.

“The van’s made of atlantium,” Pete pointed out.  “It’ll take more than a few giant sand crabs to puncture this vehicle.”  Atlantium was a metal alloy created by Herman Rennock and his chemists.  It was one of the strongest, hardest, and lightest metals in existence.

“Rennock’s an ass, but he sure makes good metal,” Nat observed.

“So how are we gonna get out of this?” Michelle asked as the van shook.  “Like you said, Pete, nothing can hold out forever.”

“We’ll probably have to wait until the power comes back and I can charge the outside of the van and fry the sand crabs,” Pete replied.

“How long will that be?” Horseman asked.

“I can check,” Pete said.  He got up from the bench, and ducking his head, walked to the chair between the back of the van and the front where Abby was sitting.  He sat in the chair and looked at some dials on the wall beneath a blacked-out computer screen as the van continued shaking.  “I’d say it’ll be another two and a half to three hours.  We should be fine, though.”

“Do you think the crabs will just go away?” Bobby asked.

Nat shook his head.  “Giant sand crabs are notoriously stubborn, or patient, depending on how you look at it.  They ain’t too swift, either.  They’ll keep goin’ at it for days if they have to.  Food’s scarce out here.”

“There must be caverns beneath us, though,” Pastor Earl said.  “You don’t find giant sand crabs unless there’s underground water nearby.  They hunt in the desert, but they live in the water.  Where there’s water, there’s sure to be life.”

“Either way,” Pete said, “Nat’s right.  They’ll probably keep pounding on the van until I can get rid of them.”

“So we have to sit here for three hours listening to this?” Abby asked as the pounding continued and the van shook back and forth.

“We don’t really have a choice,” Pete said.  “Well, I still need to do my salaat, the best I can, anyway.”

“Are you kiddin’?” Nat asked.  “With all this goin’ on?”

“I don’t have a choice,” Pete said, glaring at him.

Abby stared Nat down.  She was getting sick of his behavior.  He didn’t seem to know how to keep his big mouth shut.  “Look, man,” Horseman said to Nat, “you don’t have to put down somebody else’s beliefs just because you don’t agree with them.  I’m an atheist and you don’t hear me complaining.  To each his own, right?”

“Religion’s been the cause of a lot of the world’s problems throughout history,” Nat argued.  “It’s a cancer, like drug addiction.”

“Let me remind you that Herman Rennock’s also an atheist,” Pastor Earl said.  “Atheists can cause just as many problems as people who use religion the wrong way.  Any system of beliefs can be used for evil purposes.  Religion has done a lot of good in the world, as has science.”

Abby frowned.  “The next person who mentions religion is going to get thrown out of the van.  That means atheism, Christianity, Islam, whatever.  I’ve had enough of it.  Keep it to yourselves.  Just let Pete do his salaat and shut up.  It’s really none of your business, anyway.  Religion’s a personal matter.”

“Thanks,” Pete said to Abby.  She went back to sit on one of the benches in the back of the van so she could talk to the others without disturbing Pete.  He stood the best he could in the space between the front seats and the benches and began going through the physical motions of salaat, speaking quietly in Arabic as he did so.

Abby sat down next to Horseman, who smiled at her as she sat.  His smile warmed her insides and she smiled back.  He was so handsome, with his tanned skin, high cheekbones, and shining blue eyes, and his sandy blonde hair looked like it had been copied and pasted out of a modeling magazine.  She’d never seen a man so handsome.  “It’s crazy,” he said as Abby looked away, trying not to seem too interested.  “I’ve heard legends of giant sand crabs, but I’ve never seen any.  I didn’t think they were real until now.”

“You must not travel much,” Nat said.

Horseman shook his head.  “No, that’s the thing.  Michelle and I’ve been traveling pretty much our whole lives.  They are pretty rare, you know.”  The crabs continued banging on the outside of the van, though it didn’t seem as vigorous as it had earlier.  The van wasn’t shaking as much anymore, either.

“I’ve seen some,” Bobby said.  “I’ve usually just been able to ride away on a sand bike in the past.”

“I’ve heard tales of lots of strange, giant animals out here in the desert,” Horseman said.  “I suppose if these sand crabs exist, maybe there are others, too.”

“Bobby and I found a giant alligator in the sewers,” Abby said.

“Really?” Horseman asked, smiling at Abby.  He turned to Bobby.  “That’s another legend I didn’t think was real.  How big was it?”

“It must have been at least twenty feet long,” Bobby replied.  “It almost killed us.”

Michelle smiled at him.  “How’d you manage to get away?”

Bobby cleared his throat.  “I shot the ceiling and a stalactite crushed it.”

“Good thinking,” Michelle said with a grin.

“There’s some crazy stuff out there,” Horseman said.

Pastor Earl nodded.  “Back when I was fighting in New Brazil, my platoon ran into a bat that was as big as two men.  The thing was probably fifteen feet tall.”

Nat chuckled.  “Come on, Earl.  That’s ridiculous.”

Earl shook his head.  “No, I’m not exaggerating at all.  It looked like a giant fox and its eyes were the size of bicycle wheels.  We all drew our lasers and fired and that thing came at us screaming like a banshee.”

“How’d you kill it, then?” Abby asked.

“We didn’t,” Earl said.  “We ran like hell in the other direction.  We didn’t stop running until we were out of the cave.  We were trying to find a way around the enemy lines, exploring caves and stuff like that, but after that incident, my platoon never went into another cave again.”

The crabs continued banging on the outside of the van and Abby thought she was going to lose her mind listening to that for the next two and a half hours.  It was claustrophobic enough inside the van without the banging.  The stench of sweat permeated her nostrils.  At least she was sitting next to Horseman.  “Are you sure you didn’t mistake something else for a bat in the darkness?” Horseman asked Earl.

“No way,” Earl said.  “It wasn’t dark, for one thing.  We had that cave flooded with light.  We didn’t know what was in there.  It turned out to be worse than we could have possibly expected, though.”

“I’ve heard of giant bears in caves,” Horseman said, “but giant bats?”

“There are a dozen or so crabs the size of cars pounding on the sides of the van we’re sitting in,” Earl said with a grin.  “Are you going to question a story about a giant bat?”

“No, I guess not,” Horseman said.

They sat in near silence for a few minutes.  The only sounds were Pete’s quite praying and the banging.  The van started rocking more vigorously again.  Abby wondered what had caused the sudden increase and she decided talking was a good way to try to keep everyone’s mind off of what was happening.  “Horseman,” she said, “so what do you do?”

“What do you mean?” Horseman asked.  “My sister and I are actors and musicians.  I thought we already said that.”

Abby confronted him with a knowing smile.  “There’s more to you than that.  Why do you need Pete to escort you, then?”

“You can tell her,” Michelle said to her brother.  “You know who she is.  You’re gonna be working for her someday, anyway.  You can tell her what you do.”

Horseman glared at her.  “My sister’s referring to the fact that we contribute money to the resistance.”

“She’s Abigail Song, Horseman!” Michelle said.  “If she asks you what you do, you should tell her.”

Horseman was visibly angry.  “This conversation’s over.  Michelle, don’t say another word.”

“Are you her boss?” Abby asked.  “She can talk if she wants.”

“Not if it’s about me,” Horseman muttered.

“Look,” Bobby said, “if he doesn’t want to tell you, he doesn’t have to.  Don’t push him.”

Michelle smiled at Abby.  “You’re pretty perceptive.  That’s a good trait to have if you’re going to be a leader someday.”

Abby nodded.  “I’ve been forced to be.  I have to know who I can trust and who I can’t.”  She turned to Horseman.  “You can trust us.  I told you who I was.  I didn’t have to do that, but I trusted you.  I trusted Pete and Michelle, too.  If you don’t want to tell me who you really are, you don’t have to.  I’ll understand.  But just remember that trust is a two way street.  If I reveal information to you and you’re unwilling to do the same, I’ll have trouble trusting you again in the future.”

Horseman frowned.  “Back me into a corner, why don’t you?  Okay, fine.  But how do I know I can trust the rest of your friends?”

“They’ve put themselves in danger to keep me alive,” Abby replied.  “I trust them with my life.”

Horseman bit his lip.  “I’m an agent working for the resistance.”

“A secret agent?” Abby asked.

Horseman nodded.  “Don’t ask me anything else.  I won’t even tell Michelle the details of what I do.”  He looked around at everyone sitting in the van.  “You’d all better take this secret to your graves.”

“I won’t tell anyone,” Bobby said.  Nat and Earl also added their assurances.

“Well at least I know you’re on our side,” Abby said.  “So you’re a spy of some sort…”

“Something like that,” Horseman said.  “Now, let’s drop it.  I’ve said too much already.”

“Tell us anymore and you’ll have to kill us,” Abby joked.

“Exactly,” Horseman said, staring at her with grave seriousness.  Abby swallowed and looked away.  Horseman laughed.  “Of course not.  I won’t kill any of you.  I’ll just kill the people you tell about me.”

Michelle pushed him, a playful smile on her face.  “Stop messing with everyone.”  She looked around at the other faces in the van.  “My brother wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

“Are you involved in the resistance, too?” Abby asked Michelle.

“No way,” Horseman said.

“He won’t let me get involved,” Michelle said.  “Other than financially, of course.  He wouldn’t let me join the resistance even if I wanted to.”

“Mom and dad told me never to get her involved in any of it,” Horseman said.  “I’ve done as they said.  I’ve kept Michelle as far away from my dealings with the resistance as possible.”

“And then we ran into you,” Michelle said to Abby with a laugh.

“I’m just some girl,” Abby said.  “Nothing special.  Not yet, anyway.”

For the next couple of hours, they talked more about Pastor Earl’s time fighting for the New Brazilian Resistance Army.  Bobby told everyone about some of his misadventures evading bandits and enforcers while he was living as a scavenger.  Abby and Bobby also tried to get Nat to open up a bit, and he did tell one story about a bank robbery he and his deputies were able to stop while he was the sheriff of Crescent City.  He simply walked into the bank with his deputies and declared that any robber who didn’t drop their weapons and any money they had immediately would get to see their brains up close and personal while they dribbled down their faces.  The robbers quickly gave up their arms and handed over the money.  When Nat was done telling that story, he wouldn’t say much else.  Abby considered asking him how he lost his arm, but she decided against it.  That just seemed too personal, and Nat didn’t seem like the type who offered up personal information unless he was ready.  Pete joined everyone else in the back of the van when he was done his salaat and he listened to everyone’s stories with polite interest.

Eventually, the time had passed and Pete’s instruments indicated that the batteries were fully charged.  Pete sat in the chair near the van’s central computer and grinned.  “Well, here goes nothing.”  He flipped a switch and the banging on the sides of the van grew much louder and more rigorous for a while as electricity shot out from all directions outside of the van.  Then, the banging stopped completely.  Abby watched as two crabs which had been standing in front of the windshield collapsed and fell down into the valley between dunes.  “That should do it,” Pete said.  “I’ll go out and check just to be sure.”

“Be careful,” Michelle said.

Pete grinned as he pulled the minigun down from one of the overhead bins, his muscles bulging as he did so.  “I’m always careful.”  He slowly opened the back doors of the van.  There was no sign of any live sand crabs, though a dozen dead ones were spread out in the sand valley.

Once Pete was sure the coast was clear, everyone got out of the van and went back to their own vehicles.  Pete drove his van to each of the other vehicles and he charged them one by one.  They cooked up the chicken and ate what was now early dinner.  Then, everyone prepared for the rest of the journey to Fort Samson.  Even with the setback, Pete expected them to reach town before sunset.  He gave everyone communicators so they’d be able to talk to one another in Fort Samson and they’d be able to make sure that no one got into any trouble.  Soon, the caravan was on the move again.  Abby sat beside Pete, petting Sherry as some sort of Arabic rap music she didn’t recognize played from the van’s speakers.

<>

Just as the sun was starting to dip down towards the dunes on the horizon, Bobby noticed the metallic towers and cooling tanks of a large oil refinery in the distance ahead.  He rode his sand bike behind Earl and Nat, followed by Pete’s van and Horseman’s hover car, as they made their way towards Fort Samson.  On the other side of town was an impressive steel plant, and in between the two industrial structures, ramshackle shacks and brick houses were scattered.  There was a row of massive metal air converters on the horizon as Bobby and the rest of the caravan sped towards the town.  They eventually entered the town, speeding through narrow dirt roads, past the occasional pedestrians, until they reached a cheap motel with a pink neon sign out front with several letters out.  Here they stopped and parked their vehicles near some other hover cars in the lot out front.  They congregated near Pete’s van.  “So we’re leavin’ early in the mornin’,” Nat said.  “The sooner we hit the Dead Lands, the better.”

Abby nodded.  “But we’ll have time to shop a little.  Get any supplies we need and so forth.”

“You should stay in the motel, Abby,” Bobby said.  “You might be recognized.”

“Nope,” Abby responded.  “I need some things.  I won’t be long.”

“I can get the things for you,” Bobby countered.  “You should really stay here.”

Abby shook her head.  “You can’t get what I need.  I need to go myself.”

“If you need tampons or somethin’, let Michelle get ‘em,” Nat suggested.

“No, it’s not that,” Abby muttered.  “Don’t worry about me.  I’ll be fine.  They think we’re heading due west, anyway.  They have no idea we’re here.”

“That doesn’t mean they aren’t on the lookout for you in other places,” Pastor Earl pointed out.

“You’re important enough they’ll put the word out for enforcers everywhere to keep an eye out for you,” Horseman said.

“Well they could find me here just as easily as out there, then,” Abby said, pointing to the street.  “I’m going, whether you all like it or not.  I won’t be long.  I’ll be careful.  Besides, I have the communicator Pete gave me in case something happens.”

“Well you’re gonna do what you want anyways, I guess,” Nat muttered.

“Shelly and I are going to stay here,” Horseman said.  “We don’t want to draw attention to ourselves.  The whole town will go nuts if they know we’re here.”

“Understandable,” Pastor Earl said.  “I don’t need anything, so I’m staying here, also.”

“I’ll stay here, too,” Pete said.  “I need to do salaat.  And I need lots of rest.  It’s been a tiring day.”

“I’ll head out,” Bobby said.  “Nobody knows who I am.  Besides, I’ve never been this far south.  I want to have a look around.”

Nat chuckled.  “It’s really no different from any other desert town, but suit yourself.”

“Besides,” Bobby said, “I can keep an eye on Abby.”

Abby glared at him.  “I don’t need an eye kept on me.”  Bobby shrugged and he and Abby walked down the dirt road through town while everyone else got their bags and headed into the motel.  Abby was still a little wobbly, but she definitely appeared to be getting more comfortable with her cybernetic leg.  The sun had soon set completely, and lights illuminated the town.  After Bobby and Abby walked for a while, Bobby noticed Abby looking at a sign in front of a pharmacy.  “Here’s where I need to go,” Abby said.  “I’ll see you later.”

Bobby frowned.  “Why do you need to go in there?”

“I need pain killers.”

“How come you didn’t just say that, then?”

Abby glared at him.  “It’s personal.  I don’t need everyone knowing about my medical issues.”

“Just be careful,” Bobby said.  “My uncle started with pain killers and he ended up getting addicted to heroin.”

“My leg was just amputated!” Abby blurted.  “Cut me some slack!”  She turned and hobbled off towards the pharmacy.

Bobby ran up next to her.  “Well I’m coming with you.”

“Just go on your own.  I’ll be fine.  I’ll go right back after this.  The motel’s right around the corner.”

“Whatever,” Bobby blurted.  “Call me on the communicator if anything happens.”

“I will,” Abby said as she hobbled towards the pharmacy, “and it won’t.”

“Don’t hesitate to call me!” Bobby said as she walked through the front door.  Bobby shrugged and continued walking through the town.  First, he wanted to buy a new jacket to replace his current one, which had a large hole where the enforcer’s laser had grazed his right arm just before Nat came to his rescue.  His arm was feeling better, but Bobby hadn’t gotten the chance to buy a new jacket while he was in Sunbreak City.  Abby had given him some of his payment and he’d been able to exchange the diamonds for cash at a bank in Sunbreak City, so he was ready to spend some of his money.  He walked into a clothing store and was greeted by a robot on tracks.  The robot was polite if a bit impersonal.  It showed Bobby to a rack full of jackets and Bobby picked out a black leather one with a built-in cooling system.  He purchased the jacket, threw his old one in a trash can outside, and continued exploring the town.

Fort Samson wasn’t as big as Dune Post, but it was still a decent size, with a few thousand people.  Most of the people were poor and working class, working in either the factory or the refinery.  There was a wealthier part of town, but that wasn’t where Bobby and his fellow travelers were staying.  Fort Samson had a sewer system, but the sandy streets were still filthy, cluttered with trash.  Pedestrians walked by here and there.  It wasn’t crowded or deserted.  It was somewhere in between.  Bobby noticed a music store and walked in, surprised to see an actual person behind the counter.  The man was a tad overweight, with dark brown hair, thick eyebrows, and eyes that seemed to have a glint of insanity.  A mad smile appeared on his unshaven face as Bobby approached.  There were no other patrons in the store.  Bobby figured the man was probably happy to see him.  “Looking for something in particular?” the man asked.

Bobby shrugged.  He immediately started trying to think of something that would impress Michelle.  Her brother seemed to like the Grateful Dead.  Bobby chuckled at himself.  He needed to just pick what he wanted.  He’d be traveling a lot and he needed good music.  “Do you have any classical music from the old world?”

The man nodded.  “We have a lot.  Mozart, Beethoven, Dvorak, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi.  Whatever floats your boat.  We specialize in old world music, so we have pretty much everything.”

“No, I mean stuff like Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead.”

The man behind the counter was visibly annoyed.  “Are you serious?  You mean classic rock, not classical.  I have a chip that has hundreds of groups, thousands of albums, tens of thousands of songs.  Pretty much everything ever done in the genre.  I’m not sure you deserve to own it, though, if you don’t know the difference between classical music and classic rock.”

Bobby glared at him.  “What?  I’m trying to give you some business!  How much for the chip?”

“A hundred bucks,” the man said.

“All right,” Bobby said, digging into his pocket.

The man pulled a chip out from under the counter and slapped it down.  “You have to promise me something, though.”

Bobby was confused.  “What’s that?”

“You have to promise to listen a little deeper than the usual Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan stuff.  Check out the Baby Grandmothers, the Bags, and Black Randy and the Metrosquad.  Really good stuff.”

Bobby nodded.  “Well I like Led Zeppelin, though.”

“Oh, it’s fine if you listen to Zeppelin,” the man said.  “As far as I’m concerned, ‘When the Levee Breaks’ is one of the best songs ever written.  Everyone rants and raves about ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ but that’s not even the best song on the album on which it appears.”

“Okay,” Bobby said, rolling his eyes.  “I’ll be sure to keep that in mind.”

“And don’t forget about Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa.  And whatever you do, make sure you listen to every song Elvis Costello ever recorded.  The man was a genius.”  Bobby handed the man the money, took the chip, and turned away.  “Thanks for your business,” the man said as Bobby left the store.

“Don’t mention it,” Bobby said as he walked out into the night.  “Crazy bastard,” he muttered as he started looking around for a place to eat.  Abby hadn’t contacted Bobby on his communicator, so he figured she was okay.  Hopefully she was back with the others.  After walking past several restaurants, Bobby settled on an expensive-looking, dimly lit place.  A sign with silver lettering in an elegant font on a black background proclaimed it to be “the Thirteenth Crow.”  Now that Bobby actually had money, he wanted to spend some of it in style.  He stepped through the door and was seated by a sexy, bald waitress who was wearing an elegant white gown.  A restaurant with waitresses rather than robots or food dispensers; this was going to be expensive.  Bobby really wanted to treat himself, though.  The restaurant was full of neatly-set tables with white tablecloths, and the other patrons spoke quietly as they ate.  Bobby feasted on fresh chicken in white wine sauce while sipping a glass of spring water.  He also ordered a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc at the recommendation of the waitress, and for dessert he had his favorite, apple pie and ice cream.  All together, the meal plus tip totaled almost seven hundred dollars.  Bobby told himself he wouldn’t be able to do it every day, but it was worth the experience.  He only wished he had some good company, like Michelle Hemingway, for instance.  Even Abby would have been okay, as a friend, of course, not a date.  When he was finished eating, he headed back towards the motel.

There wasn’t much to Bobby’s motel room.  It was basically a double bed and a bathroom.  Still, Bobby hadn’t stayed in one for years, so he slept soundly.  It was nice to be out of the sand for a while.  The next morning, Nat woke everyone up before sunrise and herded them out of their rooms like cattle.  Bobby noticed that Abby also had a new jacket.  It was white and expensive-looking, just like her last one, but it was missing the hole where the laser had grazed her left arm just before Nat had killed the enforcers in the desert when Bobby had first met him.  After the caravan left the motel, everyone filled their fuel tanks at a fueling station, made sure their batteries were fully charged, and after Pete finished his salaat, they were on their way.

As the sun rose, the dunes flew past Bobby’s sand bike.  He was a little nervous about entering the Dead Lands.  He knew many people had entered them and were never heard from again.  If Bobby and his companions hit a patch of desert where electronic devices shut off, they were goners, and they all knew it, and who knew what other dangers lurked in the mostly unexplored area?  Bobby cautiously followed Nat and Earl, carefully watching their bikes as they led the way.  After several hours of riding, Bobby noticed a particularly high dune ahead.  It was as high as a large hill, at least a couple of hundred feet from foot to peak.  It was level enough for them to ride their sand bikes up to the peak, where they stopped.  Bobby noticed an EMPC zipping around in the sky above them and he cringed.  Pete got out of the hover van and walked over to him.  “Don’t worry, Bobby,” he said.  “My camouflage projector will keep us well hidden.”

“You have it running now?” Bobby asked.

“It’s always running while we travel.  You don’t notice it because it projects the image around us.  It’s projected by millions of tiny nanobots.  Those outside the perimeter see the image they project, but we just see what we’d normally see.  And my radar jammer is on, too.  Of course, there are ways of getting around it, but only if someone’s actively looking for you.”

Bobby nodded and noticed Pete’s jaw drop as he looked down the other side of the high dune.  Bobby turned to see what he was looking down at.  There was another massive dune across a deep valley where a wide river snaked its way through.  The river was surrounded by trees and stumps where many of the trees had been cut down.  The valley was patrolled by hundreds, possibly thousands, of humanoid robots with laser rifles.  There were also dozens of hovering, legless robots with particularly deadly-looking repeating laser blasters where hands would be and single red lights in the centers of their heads which appeared to serve as eyes.  Bobby had heard of Herman Rennock’s robot armies, but this is the first time he’d seen one.

Pastor Earl and Nat got off their sand bikes and walked over to Bobby and Pete.  “Looks like we’ve hit a roadblock,” Nat said.  Bobby saw that the river stretched as far as the eye could see in either direction, and there were robots everywhere.  Rennock apparently wanted to make sure no one else got any of his wood or water.

“We’ll have to find some way to cross this river,” Pastor Earl said.  “I’m not sure if going around it is an option.  We’ll need all the fuel we have to get through the Dead Lands.”

“Well,” Nat said, “if anyone wants to turn back, this would be the time to do it.”

 

 


Continue on to the next chapter:

Afterlife, Volume 1, Chapter 14

Where:

Abby and her companions try to find a way across the river.
The heroes enter the Dead Lands.
They find something amazing and unexpected.

Find the Table of Contents page here.

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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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