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Thursday, May 4, 2017

The compound had calmed down some, at least for now it seemed.  An occasional cry or moan  could be heard from Zach where he rested in  labored breathing.  Perspiration dripped from his brow as his body twitched and jerked with waves of  pain.   Josiah dabbed at his forehead slightly with the end of his shirt sleeve and then exchanged glances with Cody.  No words were needed between the two men for the moment.  What they shared in thought was almost transparent on their tired faces.  They both knew they needed to get help now, somehow, if  Zach  was to have a chance at surviving.  Josiah rubbed his brown eyes with  the back of his hand, the only clean spot left that had not been splattered with blood,  or shreds of  bodily organs.     His eyes  were  blood shot red and burned slightly.  His  throat felt dry and hoarse as he spoke softly to Cody.  "How are you holding up man?".  He said, hoping he felt better than he looked.  "Tired, and I gotta tell ya, scared.  How is he doing?" Cody motioned to Zach, then paused  for a second before adding. "How do his eyes look?"  "Not sure-he's still breathing but he is in and out of consciousness.  We need to get him out of here now.   Do you think you have the strength to carry him while I fight off what ever else it out there?" Josiah said .   "Sure, How many more of those things are we gonna have to fight?  How many more lives are we going to loose?" Cody asked not really directing it at Josiah, almost as though he was thinking out loud.  Cody looked at Eve who rested next to him, after he spoke.  He knew she did not know much more than himself but deep down inside he wished she could to tell him there would be  no more mad men inside lurking around.  He wanted to get her and himself and the others away from there.  He wanted the back up help to be there- now. More importantly he wanted this nightmare to be over.  

Eve looked back into Cody's eyes silently. She had no answers for him.  She had lost count of the bodies that had been infected.   As hard as she tried she just could not recall the roster of the on duty night staff for the previous night.  She vaguely remembered the study enrol lees,  Tears ran silently down her pretty  face, as the images of her staff flashed through her mind. Suddenly the number 12 stood out.  Yes there had been 12 volunteers in the study. "Oh my God" she cried into Cody's shoulder.  "There are eight more participants unaccounted for." she tried to stifle her sob.  But the sorrow she felt was overwhelming.  She could not help but feel immense responsibility for what was happening. Her body ached and she was exhausted but somehow she had to figure out away to help them.  Help whoever was left inside the center.  Somehow help put an end to this nightmare.

The horror of the events brought a deafening silence to the room now.  There was little movement from any of them as they waited for help. They took turns casually looking at each other. The putrid smell of death hung in the air.  The fear that surrounded them was almost suffocating.

Dave was the first to  jump up when the sirens could be heard just outside the doors.  He rushed past Josiah to meet the squad car.  Just as he rounded the corner he was knocked to the floor.  "Jesus, what the fuck."  he yelled in anger and fear as he looked up into  a distorted drooling face with, gnashing teeth.  With in seconds the rabid human had pounced on him and chunks of flesh were  ripped from his flailing arms and then his  throat.  He fought desperately to pull his gun from his holster. But what was left of his right left arm dangled almost lifeless. Pain ripped through him as he felt his clothes soak with blood.  He screamed in agony as the animal like human continued its attack on him.  The sound of teeth gnawing on his forearm was the last sound he heard as darkness surrounded him and life faded away.

Josiah reached the hallway in enough time to see Dave lay beneath the flesh eating monster.  He fired  at the head, blood and human tissue exploded, much of it covering Dave's face.  He paused for a moment waiting  for signs of movement before running to help Dave. He dragged the headless creature off him.  Dave laid there motionless. Josiah stared down at the man cursing under his breath.  He was gone.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Tony's plane landing was rough. He was pale and felt  nauseous as the plane finally touched ground and headed toward the jet way.  What was worse, he knew the situation ahead of him pose disaster to his dreams if he could not find a cover up somehow.  He finished the drink that sat on tray in front of him.  He needed a fall guy or gal. Someone to take the blame for the casualties. Someone indispensable.  Someone who was naive someone who would never see it coming.   Eve's face came to his mind.  Eve and her beautiful curves.  What a shame he thought to himself.  What a shame to waste such  beauty. He felt a lump in his throat as the thought of him and her ever connecting begin to  fade.  His lust for her he knew had to to end here, or it could cost him everything.  She was nice prey and an even easier safety net. He reasoned with himself- It was her responsibility to ensure the Center was running smoothly. It was Eve who was left in charge to manage things.  It was Eve who failed he decided.  And it would be her to take the fall..

Tony stood up to gather his belongings when he felt the plane come to a stop. The young flight attendant that had worked the flight smiled at him as he walked down the aisle toward the exit.  He nodded at her as she asked if he had everything.  "See you on the return flight" she said eagerly with a delicious smile, waiting for his reply.  "It will be my pleasure" he answered back with a grin of desire that he hoped she would pick up on.  Her smile broadened as she tossed back some blond tresses that had cascaded around her pretty face.  Then almost purred back to him,  "I look forward to it".   And for just a moment he forgot the business ahead of him as he felt the heat begin to stir in him.  Damn why did things have to fall apart now.  Just when he was beginning to see the potential to make millions.  He new he had his work ahead of him and this new "interest "would definitely have to wait.  He looked into her alluring eyes.  Holding her captive for mere seconds.   Yes he thought to him self she would be a lovely distraction after he took care of things at the Research Center.  "Absolutely Kayla", he said in a low bedroom like whisper to her as he passed by brushing up against her slightly.

 Kayla felt  his breath tingle on her neck with surprise, as he said her name.  Hmm.... she thought to herself. She liked his attention to details.  She watched him exit and felt a slight tingle stir with in her. She stood there for a moment daydreaming, and then felt  Bill her pilot for the flight  move next to her. "He is married and a player honey, nothing but trouble."  Bill was a kind man who had been Copeland's  private pilot for 10 years. He raised three daughters and knew the look Kayla had was no good.  Nearing retirement he kept his nose out of corporate bullshit.  But he liked Kayla.  She reminded him of his youngest daughter Megan,  and that scared him just a little.     Kayla turned to him and smiled slightly, while gently brushing imaginary  dust from his shoulder.  "Bill I am a big girl and not your daughter.  And that is exactly why I moved clear across the country to get away from my parents telling me what to do." Kayla turned to go clear the plane but before she stepped away she whispered to Bill   " Besides I like trouble."

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Zach could feel the fever in him slowly rising.  His eyes stung, as sweat mixed with his tears. Josiah dabbed at  Zach's burning face with the remaining  part of his shirt that had not been used to make bandages. Gently he wiped to help clear his eyes. Zach  was beginning to  feel unconsciousness grasping at him again.   His body ached and twitched as the venomous virus traveled throughout his insides.  His eyes rolled back exposing only the whites  briefly, as he fought another spasm.  "Oh God" he cried in a low whisper.  Josiah shifted his weight slightly where he held him in his arms, as he tried to adjust him to help him feel any small amount of comfort possible. "Hang on man". "Help is coming". But even as he spoke those words Josiah was not even sure  there would be anything anyone could do.  It was clear the fever was spreading fast.  It seemed as if they were helpless at this point.

What ever these rabid people were spreading had  moved fast, that was very clear.  The bite Zach had was small in size. but deep.   Josiah noticed the bleeding had stopped where he had placed a  compression.  But whatever had been in his attackers saliva seemed to have already worked its  way into Zach's bloodstream and was spreading like a wild fire through out his body.  "Doc" he called. As the old man slowly  knelt down beside him he softly asked " tell me about rabies".   Cody and Eve turned toward the two men as they heard the  word rabies..  "Its passed on  through saliva and attacks the nervous system.  Without treatment -a vaccine, usually several days after exposure," he paused and took a deep breath, "death occurs.  Once the symptoms and signs of the disease begin survival rate is rare."  Doc moved closer to Josiah and looked down at Zach.   "I know where you are going with this.  In rabies we usually have days not hours or minutes. We are already seeing symptoms here." Doc Keller said matter of fact. " I know-but, but what if, I know this is- or sounds crazy.  But, what if some how -  the virus was a - a mutation." Josiah stared into Docs face as he spoke.   "Could it be possible to create a super rabies virus?"  "Could a virus simulating rabies be created in a... say a lab of some sort."  With out hesitating for an answer. Josiah called Eve over.   "Eve, you have to tell us, tell Doc, everything you know, about what was going on at the center in the lab- your lab."  Eve could not help but respond defensively and a bit surprised from what she had heard. "You think some muted rabies was created in this lab with out my knowledge?  Is that what you think is happening here?" " Do you have a better explanation Eve.  There is more going on at this Center  than you know, or pretending not to know.  Are you letting  us know everything you know?" Josiah said sharply.  Cody moved in closer.  He knew the finger was being pointed at Eve.  He felt he had to defend her a little even though he was not sure himself, just how much she really knew.

Pain ripped through Zach as though his veins were a river of fire. His breathing quickened as he  felt his trembling sweat soaked body relax once again after the spasm subsided.  He looked up at Josiah.  "I am turning into one them". "Tell me the truth." His voice was hoarse and fear clung to his words as he spoke.  Josiah looked over at Doc Keller, wishing he had  words of comfort to offer.  Words that held hope.  He looked back down to Zach. He was now an ashen pale color.  His eyes had hints of amber shadowing the corner of his whites.   "It looks like the fever is in you and traveling fast  man".  "You just have to hang on." "Promise me something Zach said, trying to raise his head a little.  "Promise me", he paused to cough up some phlegm mixed with blood. "You wont, -you cant  let me turn into- into one of them, promise." he said pleading through a choking sob. "Do what you have to do, Jesus, oh God its bad aah ....the pain-its, its coming again".  His body shook violently for a few seconds.  And then Josiah could feel him relax slightly. With his eyes shut he asked again, " promise me,  don't let me turn into one of them, stop me before...I do".  Josiah looked up at Doc.  His heart fell to his stomach,  he felt himself tremble.  He knew what this man was asking.  How could he do it he thought to himself, or worse how could he not?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

It did not take long for Nathans call to be answered by his boss Tony.  The fear in voice as he laid out the scene for his superior lacked in nothing. "Its a blood bath down here man I can't stop it. Something crazy has happened to some of the the participants. You have to get here now.  I am out of here".

 Tony listened quietly as the voice on the other end spoke.  He felt the color drain from his face and his throat go dry as he hung on the edge of every word.  The words sliced and pierced  his flesh as though a hundred bees had stung  him.  Emergency, gun shots, casualties-several casualties, blood bath.  Words that echoed over and over in his head.  Then, he heard  the deafening silence as  he held the dead phone in his trembling hand.

The research center in Hill City was his baby.  He had watched her go from just an idea in Copeland's California Headquarters board room, to a full  operating research center in rural Minnesota, with a promising future.  "The plan" his plan, had been brilliantly executed.  From the pharmaceutical labs to the study enrol lees it had a secure well thought out  protocol. From the very beginning he saw this as a way to make a huge profit on the side.  He had been  very persuasive at convincing Copeland's executive  board and investors to see things his way.   His staff had been instructed on how to react in emergency situations.  His front men were in place at all times reporting back to him and covering up any slips.  What he had just been informed was impossible.  This simply  could not be happening.   He looked down at the report in front of him and shook his head. Everything on paper looked perfect. The profits were looking  good.  The lab results were in  good shape.  The Center had been open for 18  months and   operating at full capacity for a full 6 months now.  With all their bases covered why and how could this have blown up to such a catastrophe.

Tony pulled open his bottom desk drawer.  He reached his long fingers into the  back, where he felt for the bottle of bourbon he kept there.  He took a long swallow before he rang for his assistant, Vanessa.  A curvy 30 something brunette with attitude and nerve.  She was a  tough gal who spoke her mind  and that was  most likely the reason why he had  never had a rendezvous with her, as well the fact they worked to close together. She did her job well and he liked her looks it just  made good business sense to him to keep things at that, even though at times he could feel parts of him stiffen when she was around.

"Vanessa, I need the corporate jet to fly me to Minnesota, stat." He told her dryly.
She paused for a moment. "Are you forgetting you have meetings with the finance department this afternoon?" she asked him, rather surprised he wanted the plane.   "Why right now, and for how long?"  She asked in a tone only she dared to use with him. Impatience grew in him. " I need to check out the Center, I don't know how long -a few days-I ah-just get the God-damn  plane ready.  NOW. I don't have time for more questions, not now." He hung up the phone and took another hit of his bourbon. He felt the warm liquor slowly slide down his throat as he stared out the window. He rubbed the sides of his temples with his thumbs then drew a deep breath. Eve- he thought to himself. Oh why couldn't she had just kept her nose to running the centers administrating parts.

Tony picked up the Centers file and stuffed them into his briefcase. He  then went into his private washroom to throw water onto his face and grab the overnight bag he kept packed for last minute and spur of the moment  trips.  He heard  Vanessa enter his office as he finished drying his face. When he came back into the office she held out a  fresh cup of coffee for him, which he readily took from her.  "Thanks, Let my wife know I had to fly to the Center in MN and  I  will call her later." he told her. Vanessa stepped closer and adjusted the collar on his suit. "Sure thing and  I'll  cancel all meetings for today and  tomorrow ". She said a bit worried.    "The plane is being fueled and prepped for your flight. Should be ready in 30 minutes I have a car downstairs waiting for you."  With that he handed her back the coffee and left. Vanessa stood  there briefly watching him walk.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

the Christmas heart

It's that time of year again when we gather together with family and loved ones to celebrate the Holiday Season.  That time of year when some of us are once again reminded of Christmases past and hanging on to the hope of the magic of the seasons to come.  That time of year when I find myself a bit lost in my own thoughts and sifting through  mixed emotions.

 Briefly I am reminded of the  last Christmas I spent with my mother, 24 years ago.  It was a Christmas my sisters and I spent gathered around her deathbed, saying our heartfelt goodbyes.  A Christmas, that we celebrated joy in sorrow.   We stayed at her bedside,  as she slid in and out of consciousness that Christmas. With tear stained cheeks and arms wrapped around each other, my older sister Marie, my younger sister Roxanne and I clung  tightly to each other that year.  Softly singing Christmas hymns as we watched her drift farther and farther from us.  Our embrace tightening while we watched  her chest rise, as her breathing became more labored.  It was that Christmas as I stood in between my two  sisters, expecting my second child,   that I became deeply aware of the  bond that I shared with them. It was then that  I  also began to learn  they would be the strength I would need to get through the sorrows that lay ahead for me and for  my sons.  For in the years to come I would learn that two  of my three sons (my two youngest) would be diagnosed with a fatal muscle disease, and in the years to follow it would be my sisters, holding my hand as my dreams are shattered.

It is the Spirit of the Holiday Season I want to share, and rejoice in however.  The Blessings of this most Holy time of year. I want to share the magic of this season, with  the recent abilities I have seen regained in my Josiah. The happy tears I rejoice with to see  joy come back into my sons eyes for the first time in almost 2 years.   This Christmas I give special thanks that I not only have all  my sons with  me but,  I  am once again, blessed to be able to celebrate with both my sisters at my side.  As I  reflect momentarily on the  past years and the deep bond I share with my sisters I cant help but share, that my sisters and I  are the last living members of our family of 8.

  So it is very near and dear to me this year that my that sister Roxanne gifted   Marie and I special necklaces.  Each of us given a third of a heart on a chain, that when put together  create one heart.  Symbolic of the special love and connection  we have with each other.  Me being the middle sister of course I  have the hearts center.

  As we hug and give a toast to the years we have celebrated together, we also briefly reflect on the sentiments of the past. For just a moment we tighten our embrace as we remember those losses we have shared over the years,  the joys we have felt  together and the Christmases we will share to come.

 So this season we honor the  Birth of  our Lord but we also celebrate this magical gift  of the love we share between us. There simply is nothing like the love of family and the bond shared between sisters.  Happy Holidays everyone.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Copelands head office buzzed with excitement.  The quarter results were in and the numbers looked good.   Tony sat back in his office chair and stretched out his long legs. Rn his fingers through his thick wavy brown hair.  He took another sip of his Carmel latte and licked his lips.  It felt good to be back in the office. His vacation had been just what he needed.  The short  trip to Chicago with his latest interest was a break he felt he had definitely deserved.  He let his mind wander slightly and felt a warmth crawl up his thighs.  Yes the trip was well worth the risk,  a seductive smile crossed his face as a few pleasurable moments flashed through his mind.   With some R and R behind him he was  now ready to get to back to business and his family life.

Tony Everett  Copelands CEO and founder felt a deep self satisfaction  as he studied the latest stats of the marketing and sales report that had been printed and laid neatly out on his desk for him.   He could not help but feel complete confidence in his plan as he followed the graphs.  His dream team as he liked to call them did good he thought to himself.  Yes, real good.  Spending was low profits were high.  It was a number game first, to Tony.  And as long as he saw profits things were good.  After all he had a great research team running the project what could go wrong he thought to hims self.

 He was happy he had placed Eve in charge of  the Center.  She was smart with very strong management skills.  But there was a part of him that could not help but fantasize what having her work close to him  might be like.  She was a take charge kind of gal and running a lab was second nature to her. But she was also as hot as hell.  the kind of woman he found alluring.   Like all  women he had come to know, he knew inside of her was apart that wanted to be controlled and he wanted to be the man to do just that.  Well for a short while anyway. That thought made him tingle slightly  with excitement.  With the wonderful numbers he was looking at he thought to himself,  perhaps rewarding her with a trip might be in order.  

 Tony had no desire to end his 15 year marriage to his wife Roxy.  She was not only beautiful and smart but  loyal, to him, their children and their marriage.  He loved her, and the two beautiful children they had together. He truly loved the life they shared.  It did not make any sense to him why he had these urges to fulfill.  Somehow, deep inside every so often this need would awaken.  A burning desire in him would emerge and fester with in him till he satisfied his hunger.   Perhaps because he was attractive and a bit flirtatious it just was easy for him, maybe a bit to  easy. An occasional brief trip to somewhere quiet with some little cutie would put him back into his mind set.

 Yes Eve he thought to himself with her sultry curves and long blond hair was someone to consider, a definite contender for next time . It took a moment to get the  visual of being with her out of his mind as he heard his private phone ring.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Josiah Gently laid Zach down to wait for help.   The warm flow of Zach's  blood trickled down on to Josiah's hand. His eyes followed the trail of red bodily fluid from Zach's  neck.  He looked at the open wound where flesh had been ripped from his neck. He felt nausea rise from the pit of his stomach. He did not need a medical degree to know  that this was bad.   He could only imagine the pain Zach was in and wanted desperately to help him. Pieces of  jagged skin surrounded the deep  bite.  Zach's eyes closed as he breathed in deeply.  "The room is keeps fading in and out."  he whispered to Josiah. "Hang in there man." Josiah softly said to him. "Help will be here soon."  Josiah reached for his radio again.  This man needed help fast. Josiah knew time was of the essence.  He looked up and   yelled out for Doc Keller.

Zach began to feel himself drift in and out of consciousness. He was sure he was loosing blood at a fast rate from the way he was beginning to feel. He fought to stay conscious and alert. Images of his life began to flash before him.  Memories of  his childhood danced in his mind. Summer days spent at his grandparents lake home.  He could see his Grandmother smiling as she watched him jump from her  dock into the calm water.  Water splashing up to where she sat watching him with pure joy.

  He missed his Grandmother deeply and felt comfort seeing her face now. He felt himself basking in the warmth that her love radiated to him. Growing up she had always been his place to turn for comfort.  Even in his later trouble teen years she was the one  he would turn to for guidance,  understanding and love. She never judged him or scolded him for his mistakes or poor judgment with some of the paths he had taken.  She was his constant light while she was alive.  It only seemed to make sense to him that hers was the face he would see now as felt life -his life slipping from him

It had been almost 5 years since he had seen a vision of her.  Her death now 6 years prior  had been hard on him.  He had watched cancer ravaged through her body.  Leaving her bed ridden the last month of her life, slipping in and out of this world daily.  Her face was so clear now almost as though he could reach out and touch her. He wanted to touch her. to feel her arms hold him.  To nestle in her bosom and forget his pain.

 He could hear her calling out to him to come back as he swam out farther before diving under the cool water again. He felt happy and safe being with her again.  He turned his head to look at her from where he floated.  Her face still warm and gentle somehow,   now,  had a look of concern and worry. He could hear- no almost feel her, calling out to him again to comeback that he had gone to far. Her voice became louder as though she was almost pleading to him to comeback.  He could see a tear now, falling down the side of her cheek as she extended her arms out to him.  "Come back" she called to him again.