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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.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Chapter 5 continued

It went against any logic.  What they were witnessing was almost impossible for their minds to comprehend or accept.  Human eating  human.  They watched frozen in shock with disbelief and fear.  Mesmerized by the insanity of this ghastly madness.  The four of  them having never seen such grotesque rabid animal like characteristics before in any human.

On the ranch Cody had seen many animals feed off each other.  His own livestock had  at times become prey to wolves and coyotes.  Wild animals that occasionally wondered onto his fields looking for food.  It just was not all that uncommon in the wild to see animals feed off of the corpse of other animals. He had even heard of different cultures where drinking animal blood was ritualistic.  But this was sick beyond anything he had ever seen.  He felt the threat of  nausea  begin to grow in him.  He swallowed hard to fight back the purging feeling.   "Doc can a a rabid human do something like this?" Cody asked quickly. " Is there some sort of disease or adverse reaction to a drug that would make a person act this way?" He continued. Doc Keller hesitated before answering.  "I have seen hydrophobic before but- never seen anything like this." Doc said,while  momentarily  taking his eyes of the demented man that had just been slayed by Josiah's bullet.   He had heard of demonic possessions, he had visited some asylums in his younger years but there was nothing in his medical career that he had treated or studied that resembled what they were seeing now.    "Its like the bullet has only temporarily stunned him." Doc said as he studied the harrowing man some more. Then looked questioningly over to Eve he asked.  " Eve what kind of research is going on here? " "Is this man a participant?'  Eve stared straight ahead. She was unable to  take her eyes off the bloody site in front of her.  "We --umm the research we are involved in-  was umm studying a drug that was potentially designed to treat a brain cancer." It was created to temporarily put the patient in a hibernation state."  She said softly.   She watched  the man and woman behind him for a moment before speaking again. "Yes I think I know them both.  But somehow they look so twisted and mangled."  

They watched unsure of what to do next. Josiah steadying his gun in his hand, let his head turn slightly, surveying the grounds around them. "Shit, what the hell is going on." he mumbled softly not sure what the next move should be.  But feeling Eve was the only one here that could offer some sort of explanation.   He did not want any unnecessary risks taken by his companions,  Softly he asked Cody. "If he starts to move again, we could tackle him and try to restrain him enough to let Doc examine him."  "I can take him down again". Cody said as he watched the figure thrash on the ground while gnashing his teeth.  Slowly behind him  the female figure continued to make  her way towards them.  

 Eve let out a gasp and felt vomit rise up her throat.  This was her center. Her research center she was responsible for. How was this even possible she wondered to herself.  "Oh God, what is happening?" She cried,  as she turned away from the three men to release the contents rise to her mouth that she could no longer hold back.   Cody put his arm around her to help hold her up.  She wanted to collapse.  Her knees shook and her head felt dazed.  

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Blood continued to flow from Tyler's open throat.  His eyes rolled slowly back into his head as his chest  heaved heavily for a breath. The silence between them all was almost deafening. The only movement in the room now came from Dave.  He leaned over his friend distraught with grief and helplessness.  Wishing desperately that  there was something more he could do, or something someone could do, to save his friend.    He felt the sick taunting of death smothering him as he cradled is friend's head.   "Buddy  please hang on" he cried softly into   Tyler's ear.  "Where are the paramedics"?  He choked out through sobs as he half turned to where Doc stood of to his side.   Just as his words were spoken a siren could be heard off in the distance.

Eve stood up and buried her head in Cody's chest.  Her own grief of the the tragedy that surrounded them  overwhelmed her. Cody held her tight as he felt her body shutter with sobs.  Gently he stroked her tangled hair as he pulled her closer into him.  His lips gently brushed the sides of her temple.  She was safe and he felt a sense of comfort in his arms.   But the fear that all of them were still at risk for an attack clung heavily to everyone as they waited.

The sound of the approaching sirens held them all captive to the silence.  It was almost as though the sound offered them hope.  Hope that somehow this night mare would possibly end now.   So in silence they continued their wait.  Fear and the primal instincts to defend human life overcoming any emotion or reason to find logic for how this all could be happening. There was nothing more to be said between any of  them for the moment.  The situation was out of their control.  It had become out of their control even before Josiah pulled up in his squad car, with Cody, Eve and Doc Keller to witnessing the first sighting of this lethal mad hunger behavior.  They had simply only managed to protect themselves.  Danger still threatened them all, until whatever evil this was, was stopped. To many lives had been lost already to this rabid infection.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Cody moved mechanically toward the shot.  He stopped just as he reached the hallway and saw Eve fall to the floor, with bloody human head fragments clustering around her.  The lifeless and now decapitated body slumped at  her feet.  Instinctively he rushed towards her.  His heart pounded as he gently knelt down next to Eve. He could feel fear building in him as he gently looked her over for human bites. He felt himself almost overwhelmed with concern that she may have possibly been bitten.   With his left foot extended he slid the headless corps away from her.  Then  positioned himself in front of it to keep her from being exposed to the gruesome site. He could not deny it to himself as he gently reached out to help her sit upright. He was feeling  a very strong   attraction towards her. He knew it was more than just  the desire to protect her- because she had become vulnerable to an attack. All he wished for right now was for this madness to end and to take  her away from this place, to somewhere safe, like back at his ranch.   "Eve are you okay" he quietly asked her. Eve began to sit up with his assistance.  Wiping splattered blood from her face she nodded to him. "Yes I - I think so" she tried to assure him as well as herself.  She fought hard to resist the tears that were now building in her. She wanted to feel his strong arms around her like she had when he had first lifted her to his truck. How did her world turn into this nightmare. She trembled from deep within.

Quickly the two of them diverted there attention to the commotion from the officers.  Blood gushed from Tyler's  open wound. He floated in and out of consciousness now, as he laid there barely alive.  Doc tried desperately to stop the blood flowing  from his neck. But the wound was  deep, and underneath the jagged remains of flesh he could see half of the front of his neck was missing. Doc looked down at the pool of blood that had developed around him.  He  did not think he had ever seen anything like it before.  He had  many times seen animals half eaten and ripped apart.  But never had he seen any human bitten to such a degree.   He watched as Tyler gurgled, gasping to take breaths now. There just was nothing more he could do for the man, except try to keep him comfortable. He looked up at  the other two Officers.

While George another young recruit like Tyler was on a radio calling for more help and an ambulance.  He  instructed the fourth Officer Nathan, a 10 year veteran to the service,  to  hold Tyler's head and comfort him. Then he turned is attention to Dave.  Dave had calmed down alittle since the bite.   But now he could see the concern on Docs face as he examined his arm.  "The bite  is a good size. How do you feel?" he asked Dave,  trying to not show any expression. "It hurts like fu--king hell, but the look on your face is scaring me to death." "What the hell is happening here?"  he said looking around the room and then over at Tyler. "Don't worry about me.  Help Tyler, please?" Doc looked up at him.  "I am sorry there is nothing more I can do for him. He lost to much blood,  and he is missing half his throat." Doc said with  immense sorrow.  Dave pushed past the old man and bent down over Tyler.  Forgetting about his own injury he leaned over his friend and fellow officer.   Tyler had become almost like a son to him ,in the year and a half they had worked together  He did not want accept nor  believe that this was how his life was going to end.

Monday, September 19, 2016

  Josiah and Cody watched as the bullet struck the hideous enraged man in  front of them.  Josiah kept his pose  ready to fire another one if needed.  His knees shook slightly as he fought to maintain control of his emotions. Even though they had been threatened by this man he could not help but feel some remorse that he had been  forced to act out with such degree of force to keep his fellow companions and himself protected.   He stood  positioned ready to defend, with his gun aimed at his target. Fear and the need to control the situation dictating  his every move.

Cody stood still at the right side of him, watching the man fall back as the bullet struck him. The two men stood side-by-side with Doc close behind,  so deeply connected to each other, because of  the events that were now playing out before them. Both Cody and Josiah were unsure exactly  what to do next, accept wait. They watched as the figure before them thrashed briefly on the ground. Slowly he began to rise again. He gurgled and growled as he pushed himself up right. He shook his head wildly as he fought for his balance.  They noticed he too had amber glazed over eyes, the same as all the others that had tried to attack them.    Now, an open gash was visible on his left side where the bullet had tore him open.  still he kept coming towards them as though it did not notice he had been hit with led.

Josiah wiped at his brow.  Perspiration dripped down the sides of his face.  Cody leaned towards him in a  half whisper and said  more demanding than suggesting.   "You're going to need to fire again.  Aim for the head".  Josiah cocked his gun once more.  Another  shot rang through  the air. His aim was dead center.  He sent a bullet to the center of the mans forehead. Instantly the figure fell down.  They both watched as there attacker dropped to the floor.  It was a gruesome site  as pieces of skull flew in different directions.  Several seconds passed before either of the three men spoke again.  Doc Keller was the first to break the deafening silence.  In an almost gruff like voice he said "I think that one is down for good." "Its the skull that has to be hit with a bullet." Josiah looked at the Doc as he spoke. "Its like nothing else stops them from attacking until the head is hit."he said slowly, as he tried to understand how and why this could be.  It simply seemed impossible that he could put a bullet through the chest and yet the man still rose.

Outside the sound of shots brought the officers running toward the compound before Eve could warn them of the danger inside. Eve quickly ordered Marie to stay put, and frantically ran after the officers.

Before Josiah or Cody could even move the four uniformed officers rushed through the doorway.  They abruptly halted in their tracks as their eyes dropped to the corpse now laying in a heap, with only half  of his head remaining.    It was hard to tell which officer spoke first but several exchanges of  "What the hell -just happened here" were shouted.  Just as Josiah began to offer an explanation to Dave the eldest of the officers, a body lunged forward from behind the four men and grabbed at Tyler, the rookie of the foursome.  With in seconds he had pulled Tyler down and was on top of him biting fiercely into his throat. Tyler completely taken by surprise  fought screaming.  He felt  shreds of flesh being ripped from his neck as he desparately fought to free himself.

 The three officers grabbed at the enraged animal like man pulling him off  Tyler.  Wildly he thrashed about until he found another fleshy piece of meat to bite down on.  Dave screamed out as he felt the pain in his left arm. He slammed his right fist into the side of his attackers  head.  Sending him careening backwards into the hallway. The other two men cradled Tylers head as doc Keller rushed to his side.  His bite was deep and blood flowed steadily from the open wound. Josiah rushed past the group with his gun after the crazed monster.  He fired just as the creature man  was ready to attack Eve.

Monday, August 8, 2016

The sirens could be heard now.  Approaching closer and  closer by the second.  It sounded like to Eve to be three cars coming in their direction.   As she sat and listened to the sounds grow louder she  drifted off in her thoughts.  She wished for  this nightmare to be over.

She could not help but feel  responsible for what was happening.  She had had her own suspicions.  Why oh why, she wondered to herself, did she not insist on answers from Copelands' headquarters. Why did she not demand they hire a security guard for night patrol or at the very least ask for backup staff help when she first felt things were not quite right.  Why did she not act on her own tuition.  She had let fear- her fear, control her.  That was her first mistake she thought to her self.  She had fled for her own safety.  She had not  acted responsible-  In the way she should have, and that bothered her deeply.  She did not put the safety of her staff and study participants first.  Now because of her failure to control the situation, lives had been lost.  Everything was so out of control.  Eve fought hard to stop the tears that were beginning to form in the corner of her tired eyes.  Her heart ached for the people that had been hurt by this terrifying ordeal.

When Eve had first accepted the position it had seemed like she had just landed  her dream job.  She would finally be running her own research site.  All the years of slaving away in poorly ran labs working on weekends and Holidays and bureaucratic brown nosing, she thought, had paid off.  She was finally being accepted and taken seriously in the science field.  Working for Copeland a leader in the pharmaceutical  industry was the icing  on the cake.  As an employee for Copeland she thought, would certainly open new doors and might possibly put her on the cooperate latter in years to come.  But some how now she was beginning to see another side to all of this. Copeland may have used her.  Used her to run a warehouse to test new drugs on innocent people.  Not a state of the art research center like they proclaimed in the beginning.  Possibly used her to lure and set the bait to attract volunteers. It made sense- Why had she not seen it earlier.  All her study participants were young street people.  They came from backgrounds with no history of immediate families.   Most had been starry eyed young adults  found on the street or going form temp job to temp job looking for work. Her center offered them a safe place to stay.  A bed and three hot meals and cash for their consent to be part of a drug study to help science find new treatments to cure cancer. It all seemed to be running smoothly intill  a month ago. When her staff began noticing a change in some lab results.

Eve's head throbbed. She put her hand up to the swollen wound on her head.  With the tips of her fingers she  could feel that her eyebrow had increased in size. But that hardly seemed to be anything compared to what she had witnessed just  beyond the outer walls of  the research center.  The images of  the scene inside  the building earlier flashed through her mind.  Some how as crazy as it seemed humans were turning into rabid animals.  Her humans.  The people who worked and volunteered to be part of the study that she was responsible for.  The whole chain of events just did not make any sense to her.   If she had not seen it with her own eyes she would not have believed it.  But she had seen it, with her very own eyes.  Humans taking bites of other humans. Eve shook her head as the image again flashed before her.   It was the reality that scared her now.  This was no dream.  She really  had seen a man and a woman in the courtyard earlier.  Bent over a body, a human body, bloody and growling. They had turned when they heard Eve and the other three approaching. The couple had  began walking towards her, Cody, Josiah and Doc. They walked  as though they were unaware of their own condition.  Walking as if in a drugged state.  Dazed and unfocused.  Unable to respond or understand anything that had been spoken to them. Not once acknowledging the warning Josiah had yelled out to them, before he fired the shots.  They moved  as though with only one intent -to attack.  But why,- how?  How could a body move when the  the mind appeared to be gone.  How could civil decent humans do such grotesque things.  How could ordinary people  turn into flesh eating monsters?

In her heart she knew it had to be the new infusion lines that had caused things to change within  the  studies enrol lees.  She had read the lab reports.  She had seen all the documentations from her staff, that clearly left her and her staff with a  growing concern, two weeks prior.  She was certain the new drug that had been introduced into the study was the catalyst for all the marked changes, yes, that much she was sure of.

She turned and  asked Marie how she was holding up.   Marie responded with a slight nod. " I am okay" she answered.  As the first car turned into the court yard Eve stood up and as the men stepped out she began to approach the vehicle. Right behind it rolled in an ambulance and another patrol car.
She knew she had to accept some of the blame but what mattered right now was stopping whatever all this was.

"Whats going on" said the first officer, "who is in charge here".  Eve quickly told the uniformed men that she was the one in charge and there were still people with in the compound.  Shots had been fired earlier and there were casualties inside and out around the back.  Just as she finished her last sentence another shot was heard from inside.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Eve Took Marie out side to sit down like Josiah had instructed. She needed to calm herself too. She wanted to believe, needed to believe that even if just for the for the moment,  Josiah and Cody had everything  under control.  Cody and Josiah had both given her a sense of security she had not felt since she had taken this job.  She felt safe with them.

.  She looked around the courtyard.  Afraid, and desperate;y hoping she would not see anything  or anyone that would be a threat.  It made no sense to Eve the things that were happening.  This was all crazy and  inside she wished it  would somehow be some terrifying dream.  She wanted  to be awaken from this horrifying nightmare.  She knew there were "things" within the study that were kept under close watch by the board of directors at Copelands main office.  Things that even she was not privy too. She had suspected there was somethings not quite right, two weeks ago, when a one of the young male participants and an orderly had suddenly vanished in the night without any word as to what happened.  When she had questioned her staff the next day know one seemed to know anything regarding the release of either.  The file of the study participant had simply been stamped withdrawn consent, case closed.  The orderly's dismissal papers turned up the next day on her desk and that was it.  No further contact.  The disappearance of the two men had bothered  her deeply.   The board of directors had given her some lame excuse that the study enrollee had changed his mind in the night. He  had contacted headquarters  to be released.  As for William  her night orderly, he had some sort of emergency and had needed to take a leave of absence effective immediately.    There were just to many details kept secret -And that was what scared Eve the most.  The unknown.  Which was now exploding into her hands.

Eve  recalled the conversation she had a few days prior with headquarters.  They had been very insistent that she handle things quietly and effectively.  If there were any unusual disturbances as  they called it, any occurances that might be questionable, were to go directly through the head office.  First, before any actions outside the compound  be taken,  she was informed for strict security reasons, under no conditions, should the law authorities or the press be contacted, without Copelands headquarters being alerted first.

Her hands trembled as a memory flashed through her mind.  A flashback of the day earlier when she had placed a call to one of the administrators at Copeland's main office. she had told them one of her staff was having a difficult time with one the first enrollees into the study.  He seemed to be having sever side effects to  one of new drugs they were administering.  At her superiors  request she was asked to asses his condition herself and that was when she was attacked. The next thing she  remembered was that she had found her way to Codys ranch.

Marie was shaken and in shock. Eve tried to comfort the woman.  They sat in silence with their arms linked around each other  as the sound of some sort of emergency vehicles siren  could be heard in the distant approaching in their direction.  Both woman turned toward the noise.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Zach collapsed just as he reached to where Josiah stood.  He felt a slight sense of relief for a moment.  What ever had attacked him seemed to be gone now.  His body trembled as a pain like he had never felt before, shot through him.  He knew he was bleeding at the neck.  He was certain he had lost  a good amount of blood just from the way he was feeling.  He felt weak, his vision was blurred and he was unable to focus.  His wound was bad and he had an eery feeling that was not all he had to worry about.  The last thing  he   remembered was fighting off  an attacker- and then something lunged at him from the side.  A person.  A crazed twisted mangled human, had blind sided him and bit him. Luckily for him it was smaller in size, in comparison to him.  It was a she, a  female he thought to himself.   None of it seemed real.  He shook his head.  But the vision flashed before him again.   Yes, he thought silently.  He had seen teeth,  heard snarling and animal like growling.  Then as he fought to free himself, he felt the bite.  The locking of teeth as it tore at his flesh.  He felt the ripping of skin and muscle as it was savagely removed from the left side of his neck.  The pain was so intense.  He also remembered feeling the gush of blood.

 The thought of dying flashed through his mind now.  "No" He cried in a muffled voice.  "I don't want to die.  Help me please, tell me how bad is it."  He was certain shock was starting to now settle in as his mind tried to accept what had happened and the intense the pain he was feeling.  The room darkened as he tried to look around.  He was slowly losing consciousness and fought hard to remain alert.

  Josiah held his arms out to  Zach as he tumbled towards him. Cody was at Josiah's side instantly to help catch him, as his slim physique slowly fell.  "Help me, please help me" Zach cried in between quicken breaths.  Cody helped Josiah gently rest Zach down on a near by lab table.  Blood dripped from his his neck on to Cody's fore- arm.  Zach's  eyes went shut for a few minutes as he took another deep breath and allowed himself to be  to laid down.  Cody's eyes followed where the trickle of blood had fallen from- the gaping wound on Zach's neck.  He felt an unexplained fear envelope him as he looked at the wound and tried to accept how all this could be happening.

 Doc Keller quickly moved in closer, to help steady the injured man and asses the wound.
Cody had seen enough bites from coyotes and wolves, that would occasionally venture on his property to prey on his live- stock, to know when he saw a bite.  He fixed his eyes on Doc's for a moment. The two men shared a long look of silence.   Just what in the hell were they dealing with he thought to himself.   He knew Doc had to know this was a bite. A bite from something.  Even before Doc spoke Cody knew what he would say.  Quietly Doc looked  down and  whispered loud enough for Cody and Josiah to hear  "its a human bite".

Josiah was on the radio again calling for an ambulance and also inquiring  where his back up was.

Doc ran his fingers through his grey thinning hair. His fingers paused slightly at the top of his head where a round shiny patch of his scalp now showed. He felt the think smooth skin under the tips of his long fingers. It was odd but  just then, an image of  a younger him flashed through his mind. A younger, slim Doc with thick light brown wavy tresses.  Briefly he saw  a  flashback of a  time when he felt sure of himself and his practise.  A time when he welcomed challenge and trusted in his abilities.  Lately he found himself missing those early years.  The years  when he first started his practise.  The 30 some  years he spent with his wife Trudy at his side.  Always encouraging him. It was almost 20 years since her passing,  and, yet some days, he still could hear her laughter as
though she still with him.  She was the love of his life.  His only love.

  He had met her when he started medical school in the 60's.  It was a short courtship that blossomed into love fast. He knew she was the "one" the night they shared their first kiss. He did not let Trudy know that night he had made up his mind about her.  But a few weeks later he popped the question and she accepted without hesitation.  He had never known a woman the intimate way he knew Trudy.  She was all he had ever wanted or could hope to have.

Trudy was a petite red headed  cutie. With a perky  nose and  beautiful large blue eyes. Her laughter and love for life was infectious.  But on the rare occasion when she would need to be taken serious and that she meant business, especially by their three rambunctious sons, she could command attention.  He  sighed briefly,  she would  always be his one and only.  He felt the presence of Cody and Josiah next to him, he suddenly felt old again.

 Doc Keller  felt a need to offer some medical explanation to the others.  But what, he thought to himself.  What could he tell them.  He did not understand what was happening  anymore than Cody and Josiah did.   Eve however, he thought, he just knew she knew something.  She worked for Copeland. She herself  was in charge of the center. Yes he was certain she had some answers

 He looked down at the figure  at his feet a again and shook his head once more. Josiah and Cody now stood  quietly at his side. He was happy to have these young strong men with him. But he felt as their elder they were leaning on him for some direction.

 Josiah  quietly spoke "I placed a call for backup."  "In the meantime we need to get her" he motioned towards Marie as he spoke "out of here. Some place safe outside, till we have help".   "Doc you and Eve take her outside and wait." Josiah looked at Eve. She did not protest and started to move toward the door guiding Marie.  Who seemed somehow  so fragile in her own slender arms. Just as the two woman reached the doorway Zach came rushing through the doorway.  Bloody and terrorized.  Doc, Cody and Josiah turned as he rushed past the woman. Their eyes stopped transfixed  at the huge bleeding gouge on the side of his neck.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Josiah looked at the Doc. He knew what he needed to do. But somehow he wanted reassurance from the elderly man that there was no  other choice, than firing his gun again. He respected the wisdom of his elders.  as a boy he growing up he had a very close relationship with his father.  He shared all his ideas and dreams with him.  when he chose to join the sheriffs department his father has supported him and encouraged him even to stay with the department even after his wife passed away and he flet his world crashing.  He thought for a moment, what would his father say to him now.

 Doc gave a nod to Josiah. There  just did not seem to be  any other choice. Josiah looked back at the man still staggering towards them.  He did not understand any of what was happening.  But his survivor instincts told him their lives were dependent on his decision right now. His training told him there would be times when he would need to use blunt force to take control of  hostile situations.

"Stop".  Josiah shouted loudly. Again no halt in the intruders approach towards him. His feet dragged along the floor as he stepped closer. Drool and spit hung from his dry cracked lips, His eyes were glazed over with the same grey film  just as the couple had out in the court yard.  He swaggered  towards them on his blood caked clothes as though it was all he knew how to do.

 Josiah felt fear, anger and frustration.  Frustration  from not understanding how this all could be happening.  He wanted this  to be some ugly horrifying dream that he would some how be awaken from.  He felt his hand tighten around his pistol.  As he took  a deep breath  he fired another shot.  He chose first to aim at the leg,  Hoping this would somehow stop the man on his wild quest.  The  man fell back as the bullet drove into the dark meaty flesh of his thigh.  as the blood appeared there was no cry out  of pain.   His teeth gnashed together and with a jittery jolt he dropped to the floor.  With in seconds  he rose again, to his feet.  Clumsily as though  his body and mind worked against each other he continued on with his gait. Like a rabid animal spew fell from his open mouth. The he closer he moved.  Another shot was fired only this time it was a direct hit to the head. Skull fragments exploded as the man fell once more. This time he laid in a slump between them and Marie.

Marie trembled, crouched in her safe place. She looked to where Eve stood. She wanted desperately to run to her, but fear kept her frozen.  The pain from the back of her skull left her feeling slightly dazed and ached with every movement.  Slowly she found the courage to begin to move on to her knees and crawl out.  

 They all watched in horror and relief as the man lay motionless.  The eminent danger was over for the moment. Cody was the first to rush to Marie.  He helped her to her feet. Eve moved in and hugged her. "Marie are you all right" Eve asked as she held her.  "I think so just my head hurts -" she sobbed softly. "When I was trying to get away from him, I fell backwards. I hit something."  "What happened, why did he try to hurt me?" she  asked  confused.  She turned at looked at where he laid and softly cried into Eve as the scene replayed in her head.

Cody spoke next. "Who is this guy?" He asked Eve and Marie. Marie spoke first.  "He is a new participant to the study.  His name is Tony.  I don't know him very well.  I hooked him up to a central line yesterday and and..."she paused and began to sob again.  "Today I found him like this."  tears flowed uncontrolable now and she shook in eves arms.

Monday, May 16, 2016

The smaller female figure did not hesitate as she turned and in a  dazed sleep walk moved towards them, as the shots were  fired.  Josiah motioned by waiving his gun for her to halt, still  she kept moving forward with no heed of his warning. Growls escaping from her as she continued advancing in their direction. Josiah moved forward, she  wildly  swung at him.  Cody rushed past Josiah and lunged at her, tackling her to the ground.  Together they tumbled. Josiah swiftly pulled her back off away from Cody. Her teeth clicked together fervently as she desperately tried to bite him and get back up.  Both men now on their feet stepped back.  Josiah cocked hi gun and fired again.  For seconds time seemed to freeze for the 4 of them as they watched slump to the ground.

It was Doc Keller again who moved first.  Briskly the elderly man  walked toward the bloody bodies where they  laid on the ground. There was no more gnashing teeth or growling sounds from either.  They  laid there still and silent. The Doctor studied the corps. Paying close attention to the eyes,of the man who laid face up.  He noticed the eyes  appeared to be  glazed over with a grey film. He could not make out  what color they actually were because of the shadowy matter.  He saw the whites were a deep amber and there was no pupil visible.  The skin tone was ashen, as if  all color had been drained.  As he knelt down to take a closer look he reached out to touch the man as he laid motionless.   He was cold and already felt stiff. In all his 40 some years  of practicing medicine he had never seen death take hold so fast.  The Doc turned his direction  to where the female body now laid at the side of him. His hand gently touched the back of her hand.  She too felt  cold to the touch.

 Josiah felt his hand tremble slightly has he placed his pistol safely back in his harness. The midday sun felt hot on the back of his neck.  He wiped at his brow feeling more  perspiration form. He was stood still for several moments.  Not sure if there was still a threat to them, he quickly surveyed the grounds before moving to wards the Doctor with his hand still resting on his holster- just in case. Doc Keller felt Josiah's presence next to him.  "He is dead" he said to Josiah quickly in a low tone. "But he continued "my training would tell me it almost appears- from how still and cold he is, that he was dead, before you even shot him.

   Just then Eve rushed to Doc Keller's  side before anyone could stop her. She gasped loudly as she caught a closer look of the man that had just been shot. Her lips trembled as another muffled cry escaped her. Cody swiftly moved in and placed his muscular arm around her.  Turning her slightly towards him to shield her from  the gruesome sight. At first she protested. Pulling back she stared at the face.  She was certain she knew the man.  He resembled Marty she thought to her self.  "Its Marty the night intern" she said out loud with a sob.  "He was new at the center".  She continued.   She her self had interviewed him.   He was a large kind,  gentle man. Who was seldom seen without his smile.  Early 30's, slightly over weight but strong.  She was certain he  was Marty from the clothes she saw and his size.  But, this mans face was gruesome, twisted, and bloody.  She buried her head into Cody's chest. He tightened his grip on her.  The  bullet had left a deep large gash in the mans  forehead. Skull and bone fragments protruded above his eye brows to his hair line. She shut her eyes to envision Marty as she had last saw him. Walking  down the hall towards her as he began his shift smiling as usual.  She shook her head. The face on this person hardly resembled the Marty she had come to know and look forward too seeing each night as she exited the premises and he started his shift.

Josiah stood silent next to the Doc.  They stared together at the man laying at their feet.  He was dead. The bullet had blown  a clear hole through his skull. Shattering the top of his head.  Almost as though his skull  had some how become brittle and dry.  But that was not all that  had their minds troubled.  They both stared at a large  gaping wound on the side of his neck.  Josiah did not need medical training to asses what he saw.  It looked  as though something had taken a large bite out of him.  Doc knew it was not a fresh injury.  He believed  the blood around it was dried and dirt surrounded the edges.  "From the looks of it a wound or um bite   that size should have killed him" he whispered to Josiah.  "He would have bleed out from that much missing from his neck." he added.  Not sure, but hoping,  Josiah too was studying the wound. Josiah could only nod as he agreed with him.

They all turned toward the compound as they  heard a scream come from inside.  A woman's scream.
Josiah pulled his gun out, leading the group as they rushed toward the open door.  Memories flashed through Eves mind as the scream reached her ears.  She yelled to Josiah to head down the corridor to the right.  An image of the lab flashed through her mind.  Yes, she remembered fleeing from there as something,  no someone- was chasing her.  Another loud scream was heard again.  Marie. Eve thought to her self.  It was Marie, she was sure of it.

Josiah stopped abruptly as he entered the first doorway to his right just as Eve had instructed.  A large dark  male stood in the middle of the room.  He was waving his arms around wildly.  Swiping towards a woman  that crouched down under and over turned  cabinet.  The same sounds they had heard earlier from the man outside were coming from this man. He slowly turned toward them,  teeth gnashing. Slowly he began an awkward gait towards them.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Marie heard the shots. She tried to stand but her head felt dizzy as she struggled  to get to her feet. She brushed her tangled  long brown hair from her face as she grabbed for the table in front of her.  Her slender hand trembled. She could fill a  trickle of blood rolling down the back of her neck and she winced in pain while she straightened her posture upright. With a quick scan of her body it appeared she did not seem to have any broken bones, or wounds below her shoulders. Gently she raised her hand towards the back of her aching skull. With her finger tips she felt the gash.  An opening  the size of a silver dollar.  She gasped as she pulled her blood soaked hand away.  She was injured and knew she needed help fast.  But, she also feared what might be waiting for her in the hallway. She tried reasoning with yourself to fight her fear. Her training in the Reserves had taught her survival techniques  if she should find herself in difficult situations. She tried desperately to concentrate on what she had been taught about  traumas to the head.

 She scanned the room from where she stood  too afraid to move and not quite sure where to go. Her brown eyes followed a small trail of blood that led out into the hallway.  The lab room was a mess, with carts turned over and broken glass shattered all around her. It seemed whatever had attacked Marie was gone now.  Her mind slowly came back to the gun shot she had heard.  Frightening images flashed through her mind.  She reached in her lab coat pocket for her cell phone.  Eve's number lit up in front of her.

Before  Marie had joined the Copeland group almost 3 years ago, she worked in hospice care.  Death was not something new to her, but, violence was something else. Even though she trained in the reserves for self defense right after college, she had never actually encountered an attack. During her time of service she did not deploy over seas.  Marie had remained safely in the untied states close to her family while on active duty, helping to train new recruits.  After her Mother passed away several years ago from cancer Marie decided to make a career move towards medical research.  With no where to move with in her hospice care career,   the Copeland group had attracted her with their attractive salary and excellent health care package. Since Marie had majored in Health Sciences while in college,  She felt this  was a golden opportunity to utilize the knowledge she had gained in college and  join  Copeland's team.

Like all Copeland's employees that worked at the research facility, she also believed the work they were doing was in  efforts  to help find cures for crippling diseases.  The center in Hill city was more then just watching cells grow in the laboratory, and that excited her.  She was well aware that the study involved human trials of new medicines with great promise.  What Marie and most of her fellow employees did not know was the extent of just  how far Copeland and its investors were willing to go to get faster results in obtaining FDA approval to introduce new drugs to the market. .

What Copeland laboratory had also  failed to do was step forward in admitting their wrong doing and produce a plan of action of safety for their medical staff and the volunteers, should side effects produce fatalities. Instead six months ago,  a secret cover up plan had been born. A plan that had employees like Eve Porter, Marie Olson and  everyone else involved at the Center in danger.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Chapter 5

Eve was the first to jump out of Josiah's squad car. Quickly the three men followed her lead.  There was an eery quiet about the dwelling. Almost as though the place had been abandoned.  There was  no activity outside the premises accept for one man, who had now dropped to his knees in the court yard.

The figure was now  bent  over something or possibly someone.  The four of them stood together watching as the man made no other motion keeping his back to them.  Josiah led the group towards the man calling out to him loudly "what happened, do you need help?".   As he  moved  closer  Josiah felt an uneasiness grow stronger inside him.  He slowly placed  his hand on the top of his pistol that rested in his hip holster.  Loudly he called out to him again.  "What happened. Are you hurt?" He moved closer motioning for the others to stay back. There was no answer or  even a gesture that the man had heard Josiah call to him.  Eve eyes darted from one end of the building to the other.  Nothing else seemed out of place.  There was no other movement or stirring of life.    Josiah  took another step closer with Cody, Eve and Doc Keller ignoring his gesturing  that they stay back and   followed right behind him.

 The man turned his head and began to rise. His shoulders hunched forward as he staggered to a standing position.  His feet  moved in a pigeon toed manner as if they were being dragged   along with every step he took..  On the face of the man he noticed  a large gash along his forehead.  His mouth hung open as he snarled loudly towards them with a blank expression.  Then from behind this male figure suddenly appeared another body. Smaller in size but also moving in the same manner. Hunched and dragging its feet.   "What the hell happened" Cody said softly.  More out of impulse than anything else. Not really intending anyone to respond in particular and knowing very well none of them had an answer,  but  unconsciously hoping somehow an explanation  might be offered from one of the other three at what they were seeing.

It was Doc Keller that finally spoke first.  "The man appears to be sick  or drugged and unable to respond to us". Watching him closely he spoke again. "Look at how he moves, its as if  he is dazed and randomly walking, almost lifelessly."  Josiah stepped forward again then stopped.  Fear enveloping him, for the first time in his career he was unsure of what to do next.  He pulled the gun from his harness.  Cody watched him.  Softly  he offered  a thought out loud " He acts like a rabid animal. Gnarling and unbalanced.  They watched as   his arms moved, swinging out awkwardly at the air every so often.  He appeared to be drenched with blood. From behind the figure it was Cody who noticed first, what he had been bent over.  It was another body on the ground.  Laying motionless on its side.  Bloody and disheveled. Eve also saw the lifeless body, just as the smaller figure now dropped to its knees to bend over the figure on the ground. A revolting queasy feeling filled her stomach as she realized what she was seeing.    Josiah and Cody exchanged looks.  Josiah yelled out again to the the figures to stop and continued his approach.

Josiah had dealt with men and women strung out on drugs before.  But this did not seem like they were aimlessly wondering while under the influence of some drug. It appeared they were eating the corpse on the ground. His mind found it difficult to accept. But there was just no other explanation for what he was seeing.  The figure continued to approach them.  He aimed his gun to wards the bloody man in front of him.  "Stop" he yelled once again.  The smaller figure behind him now rose too and awkwardly began to walk  towards them. Bloody and messed. The rabid man still  made no attempt to heed Josiahs request and wildly swung out.  Josiah cocked his pistol  and  demanded him to stop a third time.  Cody rushed the body and knocked him down. He swung wildly at Cody gnashing teeth and growling loudly. Cody backed up as the man attempted to stand. Josiah pulled the trigger as a shot fired out towards the bloody man. He fell to the ground again.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Josiah found Eve sitting upright in Dr Keller's office. The look on her teared streaked face made him  concerned for her. The few times he had spoken with  her she seemed so confident  and happy. Cody joined them in the exam room now too. The three men stood at opposite corners of the small  room, not quite sure what part they all were to play. Cody and Josiah gave  each other the amicable man  nod then turned to address the situation with the Doctor.

But it was Eve who spoke first. "We need to get to the center now" she began still trembling. "There has been a terrible accident involving  a few of the participants in the study." Cody moved to her side. He wanted nothing more than  to hold her and comfort her. She looked at him  as she spoke again. " I don't know exactly what provoked or caused the change. Somehow things got out of control in the night. We need to get there now. Can you take me?" Josiah looked at Doc Keller his brow furrowed. He was confused with just  how Cody Everett fit in.  They had become acquaintances shortly after Josiah's arrival to take over as Sheriff.   But his being there  hardly seemed of any importance at the moment.  "Eve are you sure you are up to  it?"  Cody asked looking from eve and then  over to where the Sheriff stood.  Josiah locked eyes with Cody as he spoke. " I can take us all there in the squad car right now."  Eve stood up. She needed to get there and fast.  She needed to help get the situation under control as soon as possible. She also some how knew, she  needed the help of both these men. " I am fine". She said trying to convince herself as well as the others. 

"Are there injuries?" Doc Keller asked. Eve paused and then started for the door and then stopped again,  turning as she spoke. "Yes.  I... she stuttered momentarily.  " I-um remember seeing someone bleeding on the floor." Images flashed in front of Eve. She had heard running then screaming. She remembered being scared backing away from something or someone and then running away. Running until she fell down an embankment of some sort a slope and then nothing. She woke up bloody and injured and some how found her way to Cody's ranch. She shook her head nodding as she answered him.  "Yes yes, I remember someone  had been hurt." Her heart raced as she recalled the scene in her mind. The  night nurse I saw her lying on the floor.  The image flashed in front of her.   She had tried to help her and then something came after Eve.  She was not sure who or why. "We have to hurry". she cried.  

It was the ringing of Sheriff Cody's phone that startled them all. His face grew pale as he listened to the voice.  He turned towards the other 2 men. The dispatcher was short with her report.  He told them Someone from the center,  a man had called in  for help. He had said there was blood and bodies. They all moved towards the door. Josiah instructed his office to call for back up and an ambulance.  He also told her be on . stand by should they need to call for more medical emergency help.  He then  led the way to the his squad car. Doc Keller following in the rear  announced with determination "I am coming with."

It was 20 minutes be fore they pulled up in front of the concrete building.  The place seemed deserted at first.  Then from a side service entrance they saw a man staggering towards them.  His shirt and pants  caked with blood.