Sunday, September 29, 2013


 "Thank you for sharing, Tara. That was a very touching story. I think this was a big break through," says a suited woman.

 "Thank you, Tara," a group of a dozen echoes in unison.

 The woman named Tara nods and her lips pull back over her teeth into a garish and forced smile.

 The suited woman claps her hands together and turns toward a sandy haired man. "We have a new visitor today. Would you like to share?"

 The man looks around nervously, as though he expects to be rushed from behind at any moment. "I . . . I don't know. I don't really know what to do . . .what to say."

 "That's fine dear. We have all been there. Just start with your name and why you are here," the woman says.

 "Oh. Ok. Well, my name is Mike."

 "Hello, Mike," the group chants.

 The interruption startles him and Mike is slow to being again. "I . . . uh . . . I have a problem. I have . . . become a monster." As he speaks the words tumble out, each more effortless than the last. "I have become a monster and I don't think I can control it. I have no idea how long this has been happening. But I don't like who I have become."

 "We are here for you, Mike," the group answers.

 "Mike, think hard. Try to remember back. Hindsight is a powerful tool. Try to remember what might have been the catalyst."

Mike pauses and looks thoughtful for a few moments. "I guess it must have been that time," he says, more to himself than to the group.

 "Tell us about it, Mike," the woman presses in a gentle voice.

 "I'm an accountant. Or at least I was before all this mess. I was sitting in a meeting when a client just started screaming at me. I have know idea why. She was just screaming bloody murder. I couldn't take it. I just lost it. I lost control and couldn't contain myself.

 "After that, things just went down hill. I can't sleep. I'm utterly exhausted. I'm angry all the time. I have destroyed all of my relationships, shredded them to irreparable bits. All I do is eat and fight. I feel as if there is an empty void inside of me that I am trying to fill with food and violence. I hate myself."

"Mike, when did you become aware of your self-hatred?" the woman asks.

"It was last week. I was standing there, trying to fill that damn emptiness inside of me with a bloody drumstick, when I looked up and saw myself in the mirror. It had been so long since I had looked into a mirror and I hadn't seen the monster I had become. I was disgusted. I am disgusted. I . . . I'm hideous and have done nothing to stop it."

"Mike, you have taken an important first step tonight. You have realized that you have a problem and you have come to get help. The next step . . . the next step will be more difficult. In time, with our help, you will learn to accept that you are who you are. You will learn to love and embrace all that is you."

Mike shrugs and hangs his head. "I sure hope so."

"You are not a monster. To us, you are beautiful," the group sings as they surround and embrace him.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Kraken

The Kraken pulled me deeper, the pressure squeezed in from all sides and my lungs burned for air. At first I fought the demon and struggled to break free. At first the pain was excruciating, his limbs constricting ever tighter. But before I knew it, there was no more agony, only the contentment of being in a lover’s embrace. I should have died; my primal reflexes should have overridden my conscious intelligence.  I should have opened my mouth and gasped for sweet air and then the icy black water would have flooded in and filled my every cavity. What little was left of my consciousness would be consumed with panic; the creature in me would convulse violently as my body made futile attempts to purge and survive.

But that didn’t happen. At some point I accepted my fate and gave into my captivity. Had I died and not realized it? Had the creature done something to remove my need for air? Was I somehow breathing the water? I cannot say. All I know is at some point breathing became unimportant and the only thing of interest to me was the mysterious destination of the Kraken pulling me ever deeper into the pitch black world of the frigid abyss.

Whether he sensed my acceptance or had created it by some ancient magic, the beast relaxed his grip and instantly I was transformed from a prisoner held captive by the iron grasp of a fearsome monster into an honored guest of the ruler of the deep.

I held tightly to one of his massive tentacles as we plunged deeper and further into the unknown. Hours? Days? Months? Years? Time meant nothing, so I could not begin to tell you how long or how far we traveled. Just as my perception had been transformed by the acceptance my captivity, so too did my acceptance of the cold limitless black transform my surroundings. Suddenly, the abyss was neither cold nor black. All around, the waters teamed with life. My host’s subjects flashed and glowed vibrantly in a rainbow of color. A dozen shrimp the size of large dogs, glowing orange with blue spots, swam beside us and pledged fealty to their ruler. The Kraken acknowledged them with a blink of his great eye. As the shrimp disappeared into the depths, a turtle-like creature covered in scales that throbbed with a blood red light approached; he had news of a rebellion in the shallows. With a low mournful cry, the Kraken dispatched a sperm whale, who had been tailing us all along, to assist the red turtle in removing the usurper from power.

They came and went, in all shapes and sizes; some from the depths while others were representatives sent from the distant shallows.  Some brought gifts of loyalty and news but many more begged sage wisdom from the ancient ruler. As time progressed, the squeaks and chirps, foreign to my ear, melded into an elegant language of the sea. I watched, listened and learned and, in time, the great Kraken spoke even to me. In that moment, I found myself at home in his kingdom and swore to him my life. He accepted my offer graciously and told me that our journey was at an end. We had reached our destination.

After a lifetime of traveling through the kingdom of the deep, I looked around and found myself in the strangest land yet. There was blue sky above with avian creatures dipping and diving; deep green water below; and ahead was solid dry land with trees that waved in the breeze. The Kraken had returned me to the surface. After our great journey, our destination had turned out to be the very point at which it began. I had been taken as a captive and returned as an envoy to the world of men.  

I cried as I bid farewell to the Kraken for he had become my master, my brother, my father, my teacher and my friend. The destination mattered naught, for it was the journey that had led to my birth as a Siren, singing the song of the sea and calling the upright walkers to my lord in the deep.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Thought I'd go out of the box to celebrate the real zombie holiday. This is my first attempt with Inkscape. Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Delirium Jane: Part VII

“Gibson, what in Poseidon’s fury are you doing?!” Graham barks at the young man fumbling to un-cleat the main halyard.

“Aye, sir!” the youth quickly cries with an uncertain look on his face.

“Gibson, it wasn’t a yes or no question! Stop what you are doing this instant!”

“Aye, Sir!” he yells and jumps away with his hands in the air as if he had touched a hot stove.

Graham turns to face Zac. “Mr. Parker, what was my command?”

“Belay the main topsail sheet, Sir,” Zac answers confidently.

“What does that mean? Use words our pathetic Mr. Gibson might understand.”

“Tie off that line with the red tracers,” Zac points to the white and red rope dangling loose above the line Gibson had been trying to untie.

“Good,” Graham nods, satisfied with a reasonable answer. “Mr. Wilson, what would have happened had Mr. Gibson been successful in his folly?”

Wilson, a stocky square built man in his early forties with a shaggy beard and ponytail, shakes his head and shrugs his shoulders.

“Of course not. Fuckin’ dense. The whole lot of ya’. Skip means to set sail next week and only half of you have the basic commands down and none of you have a lick a’ common sense.”

I glance at Gibson’s line and trace it out. Almost instantly I recognize not only what would have happened but what could explain Gibson’s confusion. “Chief, the mainsail would have dropped and since the topping lift is loose, the boom would have also dropped. An unsecured boom can result in serious injuries and damage.”

“Thank you Jane, at least one of you has been paying attention.”

“Oh, one more thing, I don’t think Gibson realizes that a ‘sheet’ is a line and not the sail. I think he thought your command meant to secure the mainsail.”

“Enough. That’s enough. I’m done for the day. I need a stiff drink before I try to convince the Skipper that leaving next week will be suicide. Jane, you have the conn. Get the gear stowed and see to it that Gibson knows his damn vocabulary for tomorrow.”

“Aye, Sir.”

Graham spins on his heel and marches across the deck of the schooner and disappears over the gunwale into a dinghy to take him to shore.

“You heard the man, let’s get her put to bed,” I yell and watch aa the men scurry off to drop the sails, secure the lines, and wash the decks.

It had taken little effort to convince Skip to let Zac join us. He had said a young moldable mind with a strong body would be a welcomed asset aboard his ship. That night, Cook called a community meeting and gave Skip the floor. That’s how Gibson came to join us. We spent two awkward nights in an uncomfortable alliance with Cook and then made the trek back to the edge of the field where we had left our 4Runner.

On our way back to Port Clyde we looped around through Liberty and nearly ran over Wilson and Carr as they jumped in front of us with their arms waving. Skip had nonchalantly rolled down his window and asked them if they had any plans. Immediately, they began begging for a ride. They said they would go anywhere and do anything as long as they could get in the SUV. They even offered up their weapons and what few supplies they had on them. Moments after the door shut a herd zoms burst from the trees and filled the road around us. Skip calmly shifted into gear and left the monsters without even leaving them a snack.

With all the seats full, Skip called it a successful recruitment effort and turned us toward the coast and our new homeport. Once in Port Clyde, he took us to an old captain’s house at the top of a hill that overlooks the harbor and now serves as the pub and general meeting hall. He introduced us to those that were around, dropped a bottle of wine and bottle of scotch on the table, lit a joint, took a drag and passed it around. He told us to have a good time because the work would start tomorrow and then he disappeared.

The next morning, Graham woke us before the sun rose and moved us aboard our new home which was moored in the harbor. She is an 80 foot twin masted schooner that goes by the name of Delirium. For three weeks we saw neither hide nor hair of Skip while Graham trained and drilled us in the operation and maintenance of our new charge. Our hands became first raw and then calloused from handling her lines. We learned to work as a team and take care of our ship. He taught us to sail the little dinghies and eventually we released Delirium from her mooring and took her for short sails just outside the harbor.

At the end of the second week a storm blew through and Zac and Carr both got horribly seasick. Graham just shook his head. How could they ever hope to sail the great blue if their stomachs could turn while at moor in a sheltered harbor.

At the end of the third week Skip reappeared out of the fog with three more recruits and announced that we would sail within a fortnight. The men all stared at him blankly; only Graham and I knew the implications of his words. We had learned much, but we weren’t ready and there was no way we would be ready in only two weeks, especially with three new crewmembers. I knew it. Graham knew it, but all he could do was drive us harder and push us further.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The List

Haha! I'm back bitches! I know I've been bad. I have been silent for way too long. But I'm sure you guys can forgive me, right? I mean, we all have our own apocalypses to deal with, not that I've been dealing with flesh eating zephyrmongers but I have been busier than a one legged midget in an ass kicking  competition (as one of my good friends would say).

So here's the deal, just in case you haven't been following my brilliant musings over on Becoming Leigh Fischer, I am back and on a schedule. Surviving the Apocalypse will now be updated every Sunday, no later than 10 PM EST (though I will probably be a couple minutes late tonight, but it is my deadline).

Unfortunately, I do not have the next installment of Delirium Jane (she will be back next Sunday . . . probably . . . maybe). But I do have a short story for you. This is a recent short I wrote in response to a Lifetime Movie writing prompt. I took my inspiration from a local woman's real life apocalypse. My hometown peeps should appreciate this one. Enjoy!

The List

Rebecca, Kerri, Vickie, and Alice have all met for their weekly book club meeting at The Leafy Dragon, a small café in town.  They sit at a round table picking at sandwiches and salads, gossiping about anything other than whatever book they were supposed to be reading.

“Did you hear? The list is coming out today,” Rebecca says as she fiddles with her iPad.

“Of course I’ve heard. When was the last time we had something so scandalous go on around here?” Vickie squeals with excitement.

“I know, this is so much better than that time Margie’s sweet angel made the arrests section of the paper for drunk driving,” Kerri adds.

“You know, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if her husband’s name is on the list,” Vickie chuckles.

“How fabulous would that be?” Rebecca says with a devilish grin. “Could you imagine? Perfect Margie’s gorgeous husband . . . paying for sex!”

“I don’t know. I don’t think that’s very funny. They have had a lot of trouble lately and are going through some tough times, they aren’t so perfect,” Alice says quietly to her friends.

“Funny, her troubles don’t seem to have changed her attitude at all,” Kerri sneers.

“It’s up! The list! I found it! The Journal has it posted!” Rebecca cries.

The three other women immediately jump to their feet and push back their chairs. They rush around the table and crowd over Rebecca to get a look at the rumored list on her beautiful glowing crystal ball.

“Roger Adams? The high school football coach, Roger Adams?” Vickie asks.

“Must be. He’s the right age and I am pretty sure he lives on West Side,” Rebecca answers.

The women cluck excitedly as they scroll down through the list of men’s names, ages, and town of residence. 

Many of the names they don’t recognize, but when they catch sight of one they do, there is a roar of laughter and hushed speculation.

“Oh my. Harry Richards.”

“What a shame.”

“Mary must be devastated.”

“Chris Taylor? That’s Samantha’s new boyfriend isn’t it?”

“I’d say that was Samantha’s new boyfriend.”

“Look, Leo Warren.”

“Not surprising.”

“Not at all.”

As their eyes drop to the last name on the list, their chatter ceases and they stare in disbelief.

“No . . . it can’t be,” escapes from Kerri’s lips

“Of course not sweetie. There must be another Mike Wilson in South Ridge,” one of her friends says without conviction.

Kerri nods, but she can feel the burning in her eyes as they begin to well with tears and she knows the truth. She knows her husband has been linked to the scandal of the decade, if not the century, and her life as she knows it is over.


The headline first broke three weeks ago, ZUMBA INSTRUCTOR ARRESTED FOR PROSTITUTION! The headline alone was sensational enough for the small city, but as the days passed and the police continued their investigation, more and more details were released to the public.

It really was a fabulous story, unlike anything that had ever been seen before. A beautiful young woman in her early thirties open’s a new zumba studio. She’s a local girl. Older folks remember her as a child and everyone else remembers going to school with her. Her business is wonderfully busy, but then again, zumba is all the rage. It is the perfect success story for a lovely girl. And then the gorgeous façade falls apart. She is arrested in the middle of one of her classes in a thrillingly public display of police power. It is soon released that she has been charged with a list of felonies a mile long to include prostitution, conspiracy to commit prostitution, and tax fraud and evasion. The absolute best part was that she kept meticulous records of all her clients. 137 johns were listed over a two year period. It was rumored that the list contained notables including a few politicians, a local news anchor, and a county judge.

Once the names had been scrubbed and the paperwork filed to bring charges against the johns, the list was released to the public and that is when all hell broke loose.


“Michael! How could you do this to me? Do you have any idea what it was like? How humiliating it was? Right there in the middle of The Leafy Dragon!” Kerri screams at her husband in their kitchen later that night.

“God Kerri! You find out that I’m cheating and you’re upset about where you found out? Only you!” Mike screams back, exasperated.

“Everyone knows! It’s everywhere! You should have seen the look on Vickie’s face.”

“Oh I’m sure I can-“

“And Alice couldn’t even look at me!” Tears stream down her face as she crosses her arms and looks away from her husband. “It’s not just cheating. This is so much worse. It’s so . . . so . . . so public.”

“I didn’t even want to do zumba. It was your idea,” Mike mutters.

“What? So this is my fault? I didn’t realize that you were incapable of working out and keeping your dick in your pants! Should I also be concerned about what you’re doing with Greg when you go play ‘basketball’ with him?”

“No! Of course not!”

“What am I going to do? Just what am I going to do?”

“I don’t know what you’re going to do, but I know exactly what I’m going to do.”

“And what is that, Michael?”

“I’ve already gotten a lawyer. I’m going to fight this.”

“But that means . . . You can’t! I won’t let you!”

“You won’t let me? Try and stop me! There is no way I am going to jail over this. My lawyer thinks I have a case.”

“But if you fight it in court and go to trial it will be all over the news. You can’t. Just when people will be starting to forget, it will start all over again.”

“Kerri, don’t be ridiculous. This is my life, my freedom, we are talking about. Not some bad dye job you don’t want anyone to see.”

“Michael, think of your children.”

“I am, damn it!”

Headlights beam through the kitchen window as a car pulls into the driveway, silencing both Mike and Kerri instantly.

“Not a word about this,” Kerri hisses at her husband.

Seventeen year-old Lisa walks through the door and stares at her parents. Kerri is leaning against the kitchen sink with her arms crossed. Trying to look natural and comfortable, she forces her arms to her sides and grimaces at her daughter. Mike shifts his weight awkwardly with his hands shoved into his pockets. His eyes dart about the room avoiding contact with the other two women.

“So it’s true,” Lisa says quietly as she closes the door.

“What’s true, sweetie?” Kerri says in a voice all too playful.

 “Mother, cut the crap. It’s all over town. Everyone knows. Did you know Milo was running a pool? Little bugger made 500 bucks.”

“What? A pool?” This time Kerri’s ignorance is sincere.

“Yea. When the cops first said they were gonna’ release the list, he started getting kids at school to bet that their dad’s names were on the list.”

“What kind of kids bet against their own fathers?”

“Well, at first it was just the kids that know they have shitty dads. But as the pool got bigger, more people wanted in, just in case . . . I think some of the teachers even got in on it.”

Kerri stares at her daughter in disbelief, trying to make sense of her words.

Lisa shakes her head. “I should have listened to him. Right from the beginning he said Dad was a sure thing since Dad did zumba.”

“That doesn’t mean anything. She had plenty of legitimate students,” Mike says defiantly.

“But you weren’t one of them!” Kerri screams, ending her momentary ceasefire.

“Where is your brother?” Mike asks his daughter, ignoring his wife as she bursts into uncontrolled sobs.

“I dropped him at Zach’s. He didn’t want to be here for this. Can’t say I blame him. I’m just here to make sure she doesn’t try to kill you or something.”

Mike smiles weakly at his daughter. “I’m sorry kiddo. I . . . this wasn’t . . . I didn’t . . .”

“It’s ok, Dad. Me and Milo, we’re gonna be fine.” Lisa walks to her father and wraps her arms around him. “Mom, is another story.”

Mike kisses the top of her head. “No matter what happens, remember I love you kids. I always will.”


Kerri hasn’t left the house in days. She is too ashamed to be seen in public. Mike wants to move out, to give her some space and time, but she just bursts into tears and cries that having her husband walk out on her would only add insult to injury. Instead, he sleeps in the guest room and spends long hours at the office.

“Ma, you should get cleaned up and go out to dinner with Aunt Alice. She was asking about you,” Milo says. He is a precocious fourteen year old who frequently forgets his age and place in the world.

Kerri continues to surf through the endless TV channels. Lounged on the couch, she wears red plaid pajamas and a pink bathrobe. There is a half empty box of tissues next to her on the floor and dozens of used ones crumpled and scattered about. An empty pint of Chunky Monkey is tipped over on the coffee table and the last of the ice cream has melted, dripped out and congealed on the wood.

“Ma, you stink. It’s August and you’re wearing flannel. When was the last time you showered?”

  Kerri ignores her son’s pleas until he shrugs and gives up, leaving her to wallow.


“I heard that she hasn’t left the house in over a month,” Margie whispers to her husband while they wait for the high school band performance to begin.

“And where did you hear that?” Jim asks, humoring his wife.

“Laura told me.”

“And our daughter is always such a reliable source,” Jim says dryly.

“Well she heard it directly from the horse’s mouth. Or damn near. The Wilson Boy-“

“Milo,” he corrects.

“Yes, yes. Milo’s locker is next to Laura’s. She overheard him telling his friends. They were placing bets.”

“On what?”

“On when she’s going to leave the house!”


“Of course I can’t blame her. What he did to her . . . she’s ruined.”

“She’s not ruined, it’s just an affair.”

“An affair? It’s prostitution. It’s public. In the newspaper. On TV. I bet they’ll even make a movie about this. It’s humiliating. If I were her, I would probably kill myself.”

“Baby, that’s a bit harsh. And why do you even care?”

“That bitch is always spreading filthy lies about me . . . shhh the band is starting.”


At 9 pm on a Wednesday night approximately six weeks after the list was released to the public, Channel 6 cuts from a sitcom to a news anchor in his late thirties with beautiful wavy brown hair and a sparkling smile.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are interrupting our regularly scheduled programming to bring you this late breaking report. Just moments ago, an hours long standoff between police and a local woman ended in tragedy. We now go live to Jessica Thomas, on site. Jessica?”

The image cuts to a blonde woman standing in a residential neighborhood with a police officer.

“Thanks Tim. I am standing here with Officer Reynolds who was the first officer to report to the site and has been here through the whole ordeal. Officer what can you tell us?”

“Yea, I got a call ‘round 6. Neighbors had called in a domestic. Said there was a lot of yelling going on. When I got here things were pretty quiet. I knocked on the door. No answer. I tried again. Still no answer. As I started to walk away I heard someone scream ‘she’s got a gun.’ At that point I radioed for backup. It turned out the mother had taken her husband and two kids hostage.”

 “What happened next, Officer,” Jessica coaxes.

The officer shakes his head, suddenly distraught. “We messed up. Damn, we messed up bad. We waited too long or we rushed too soon. We did something wrong. We were trying to negotiate. We thought we were getting somewhere with her. Then all of a sudden . . . bam . . . bam-bam . . . . . . bam. She killed them all and then she kill-“

“This interview is over. Reynolds, get back to the station,” another police officer says as he rushes up and puts his hand in front of the camera.

Jessica tries to hold onto her scoop. “Officer, we are-”

“This interview is over; the Chief will be calling a press conference within the hour. You can get your story then.”

The feed cuts back to the handsome anchor in the studio.

“We will keep you posted as this story unfolds and details become available. We apologize for the interruption and now return you to regularly scheduled broadcasting, already in progress.”

The feed jumps back to the sitcom, leaving viewers to speculate about what had happened, whose family had been ruined, and why. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


A prank. I think not. Activate your zombie survival plans now. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Zombie Proof

Well, I think Nemo has zombie-proofed my yard for me. Unless they have snow shoes. Then we might have a problem.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Act fast and get a free copy of Rising Tide: A Novel on Amazon. Today and tomorrow only!

Couldn't Put It Down 
I just finished Rising Tide and it was one of the easiest reads I have had all year. I couldn't put the book down once I picked it up. You feel very drawn to the characters and can't help imagining yourself into the storyline. Fischer has made you feel like you are right there with the friends as they try to navigate and survive in their hometown after a virus takes over. I can see this book becoming a staple for high school students as well as for those who love a good action-packed post apocalyptic zombie story. Now I would like a second and third please.

   - Andrea Carr

A Very Entertaining Book
Rising Tide is a fun book. It is easy to identify with the characters - to the point where you are yelling at them for doing something stupid, and empathizing with them during their struggles. It is a good read and good at capturing your imagination for awhile.

   - Butters

Great First Book (actually just great)
I also received a copy of the Kindle version (.mobi) in exchange for an objective review. Fortunately good reviews are easier to write.

This book could could easiely fit into regular fiction or teen fiction. The subject matter can be gruesome, but wasn't dwelled upon in a gratuitous fashion. It has zombies, people got eaten, but not in a manner that I would need to shield from my teen readers. The characters are teens themselves and were very well written. I have teens in my house and I recognize the characters; they aren't adults or children written as teens, they rise off the page as teens with all of their imperfections and idiocyncrasies. They acted and sounded like teens: believable. The story was well written, well paced and included almost everything I was looking for in the book with the exception of more.

Of note, there are a host of e-books out, in Kindle and others formats, that are rife with typographical or other editing errors. They detract from the story, sometimes to the point of jarring you out of the story. Not here. In all 187 pages I noticed one minor spelling error (and that's NOT a challenge).

Bottom line, a great read; buy this book. I got it free, but would have been happy with a $3.99 very well spent.

     - David A. Larson

Wicked Tale Told Well
I love a good yarn and Leigh Fisher has given us a pretty good yarn in Rising Tide. It has all the requisites of a good story: engaging characters, romance, intrigue, danger and an almost unstoppable antagonist. This small group of survivors experience many situations that test their character and temper their resolve to carry on.

Their are some adults aspects in the book, but no more than a young adult would get watching television. A good read, enjoy!

   - Steven Reneau

Excellent Read

I received a copy of this book as a free promotion with the understanding that I would leave an honest review.

I really liked this book. It was a short read for me, finished in an evening - which was actually pretty stupid of me considering the subject matter and the fact that it is storming outside. =)

The only thing that stopped me from giving it five stars, is that I'm hoping for more of the story. The sentences were very short and easily read but not so short that it seemed choppy. It really led to the feeling that this was a narrative told from the perspective of a seventeen year old girl.

There is some very adult subject matter, but it is not terribly graphic. I think it is appropriate for young adults and tweens, depending on their level of maturity. I feel the book's content matter is certainly nothing above what they would see on primetime television or read in a vampire/werewolf series.


A group of Maine teenagers wake up one morning to find the world has gone to hell in a handbasket. Without any adult supervision, the group of modern teens must not only learn to navigate a world without power, computers, or telephones but also try to survive.

   - Libby K

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Delirium Jane: Part VI

Continued from Delirium Jane: Part V
or Start from the Beginning

“Take me with you. I know how to fight. I’m not the man you remember,” Zac pleads.

I laugh. “The man I remember? You just a little boy the last time I saw you.”

“That’s not true. I was seventeen.”

“Maybe, but you were all skin and bones and twitchy nerves.

“Not anymore. I’m as strong as anyone here, except for Cook. I know how to hunt and shoot and –“

“Oh really? That tree must have really pissed you off then?”

He crosses is arms in front of his chest. “It was a warning shot. If I wanted to kill you, I could have.”

“You shot at Jane?” Molly asks in disbelief as she hands me a mug of water.

“It was just a warning shot, Ma, and I didn’t know it was her.”

“Have a seat, both of you.” Molly gestures to the folding chairs she had placed on her platform.

When we had arrived, Molly had been hanging laundry to dry. Recognizing me immediately she dropped everything and gave me a tight hug, insisting that I stay around for a while. She would make me dinner and we would share news and memories.

“What do you guys do during winter?” I ask. Being late summer, its comfortable sitting outside up in the trees with a light breeze blowing and a nice shade, but my mind keeps wandering back to what this place will be like in a few months, when the leaves drop off the trees, the wind picks up and the snow begins to fall.

Molly smiles thinly. “It’s harsh.” Her face is pale and gaunt; she has dark circles under her eyes; and her blond hair hangs limply and falls over her face. Where her son has filled out and grown strong, she has remained the same tired frail woman I remembered from our journey north. Most people were half starving and exhausted by the time the made it to the Ridge; hiding from the horde does that to you, but once some semblance of safety and normalcy was achieved, they would often bounce back. Molly, on the other hand, appears to have only grown more hollow and broken.

“We spend a lot of time in the meeting hall,” she points to the only platform with a permanent structure.

“We were all supposed to get homes. We weren’t supposed to still be living in tents,” Zac says darkly.

“Zac, don’t get started on that. Not now. You know how difficult it is to get building materials out here.”

“You know, things have turned out pretty well back at the Ridge. It’s definitely nothing like before the dead climbed out of their graves, but it’s safe. Everyone has their own room; families even have their own houses. We have running water and a little bit of electricity. We work hard but it’s warm and we have food in our bellies every night. It wouldn’t be much out of our way, we could take you there.”

Her eyes are wistful and for a moment I think she might take me up on the offer. “What? And leave Cook?”

“Would that be so awful?” Zac mutters, barely audible. His mother shoots him a dirty look.

“He could go too.” I know the words are a lie as soon as I say them. He would never agree to go back to the Ridge and I doubt the Captain would accept him anyway. He was too . . . troublesome.

“No, no. Besides, if it is so great, why are you leaving?”

I shrug. “I’m just looking for something different; something I’m not going to find safe behind a fence. I’m looking for my place.”

Molly nods. “Well I have found my place and it is here with Cook, but . . .”


“But if you can, you should take Zac with you. He has turned out to be a fine young man. He works hard and does as he’s told,” she smiles, “most of the time.”

I look from mother to son. They both look like begging pups, pleading for my approval and acceptance. “I’ll talk to Skip about it. It will be his decision, but I’ll talk to him.”

Continue with Delirium Jane: Part VII

Monday, January 21, 2013

Delirium Jane: Part V

Continued from Delirium Jane: Part IV

I drop down to one knee and swing my spear at the back of the dead woman’s knees. The blow drops her on flat on her back where Graham brings his wooden bat down into her face, caving in her skull and ending her life for a second time.

“Behind you,” he says calmly as he turns to meet another attacker.

I spin to find demon approaching in a slow staggering gait. It’s ancient and decomposed well beyond identification of age, sex, or race; maybe one of the originals, if they are capable of lasting that long. With each step it shutters and groans; its muscles and tendons seem to fight against the incessant drive of the disease, knowing that they should not work at all.

It looks like it might fall to pieces before it even reaches me, but it is no less deadly and I act swiftly. I drive my spear into an empty eye socket and end its existence. I can’t help but imagine that a breath of thanks escapes as I release the poor soul trapped inside the rotten husk. 

“I think that’s the last one,” Skip says in a hushed voice.

“We better keep moving. I’m sure there are others,” I say.

“Skip, I think this is a bad idea. What are these guys really worth? Certainly, not our lives,” Graham says as he looks back toward the direction we had come from.

“The further in we go, the more I like these guys. If they can survive out here, then they will fit in great with us,” Skip answers.

We had left our 4Runner about four miles back at the edge of the tree line and Graham was uneasy about it being unattended and even less impressed with us heading into unfriendly territory to locate a band of unknowns.

“You’re quite the adventurer,” I say to Graham.

He scowls at me but says nothing and continues walking, checking his compass periodically.

“That’s why he’s my first mate. He’s the level head. You can’t have both the skipper and the mate gallivanting off into the sunset. I’m the drive and the ambition, he’s the sanity,” Skip says.

Before I can respond there is a gunshot blast and the tree next to me explodes, raining woody pine scented shrapnel. I drop flat on my stomach and shove my face into the layer of pine needles that cover the ground.

“All of you, hands where I can see ‘em,” a vaguely familiar male voice calls.

“Zak? Is that you?” I call out while keeping my face in the dirt and lifting my hands clear into the air.

“Maybe . . . who’s there?”


There is a long pause. “Jane? From Mussel Ridge?” he finally asks.

“That’s the one.”

“Whatchya doin’ way out here?”

“Hey Zak, you think we could have a proper conversation? One that doesn’t involve a mouthful of dirt and pine needles.”

“Oh yea! Sure thing. You guys can all get up off the ground.”

I push myself to my feet and dust myself off. I look around for the lanky blonde headed teenager, but am instead met with a hug from a great bear of a man.

When he lets go of me I step back with my mouth agape. “Holy shit man. What did you do with my little buddy? Did you a eat him?”

“I grew a bit,” he says sheepishly.

“Can we have this little reunion someplace else? That gun shot’s gonna be tolling the zoms,” Graham comments.

“This way.” Zak nods to the north.

“So you know each other?” Skip asks.

“Sure do. Jane helped me and my mom get to Mussel Ridge.”

“He was just a kid then. Sixteen? A beanpole with a shaggy mop of blonde hair.”

“Yea, that was too much work to keep clean out here,” he says rubbing his fuzzy crew cut “and I was almost eighteen.”  

“What brought you out here?” Skip asks. The question sounds conversational enough, but there is something in his tone that tells me he is data mining. In the very short time that I have known him, Skip has a way of putting people at ease and keeping the information flowing. As a PR manager, it is a skill I recognize; it is a skill I use myself.

“We stuck around the Ridge for a couple of months. My mom started dating Cook and when him and the guys decided they’d had enough of the Captain’s rules she went with ‘em. She wanted me to stay, but I wasn’t gonna leave her.”

“How is your mom?” I ask.

“Pretty good. As good as anyone. S’pose you could say her and Cook got married.”

“Is he your leader? Cook?” Skip asks.

“Well . . . we don’t really have a leader. But I guess if we did, I would be Cook. People don’t fuck with him and when he speaks they shut their traps.”

“No leader, aye?” Skip digs a little deeper.

“We all live together and help each other out, but we don’t play games. When it comes to survival, it’s every man for himself. Or at least that’s what Cook says.”

“But you don’t agree?” I ask, hoping that he hadn’t lost all hope for humanity and become so cynical.

He ignores my question. “We’re here.”

Twenty feet in the air, a dozen platforms connected by a series of bridges have been built onto the oaks and sturdiest of maples; most sport a tent or two, with the largest housing a fully enclosed building.

“We skipped the fences. Too difficult to build, secure and maintain,” Zak says, recognizing our surprise.

“Zak! What do you think you’re doing?”a middle aged man yells down from the closest platform.

“It’s OK. I know them.”

“Cook’s not gonna’ be happy.”

“Just let the ladder down. I can handle Cook,” Zak says and then turns to us. “We’re not s’posed to bring people back here. The last time we brought strangers back, they tried to attack us. We dealt with them alright but it wasn’t good.”

A rope ladder drops from the platform and Zak motions for us to climb. I scramble up the swaying ladder after waiting my turn behind Skip and Graham.

“So you can handle me, can you boy?”asks a man with a crew cut and black goatee, dressed in fatigues; whom I assume is Cook. I can’t place him, even though we were supposedly at the Ridge together.

“It’s Jane.”

Cook smacks the back of Zak’s head hard. “I don’t give a fuck who it is. You know the rules. Did you check ‘em for bites? What about weapons? You have any idea what they’re carrying?”

Cook’s aggression has put me on edge and before I know it, I have my knife in hand ready for all hell to break loose.

“This is what I’m talking about fuckhead. See, she’s already drawn her knife.” Cook waves at me dismissively. “We don’t need you bringing any crazy bitches back here.”

“She’s not crazy,” Zak growls.

Cook turns and faces me. “Alright little girl, prove him right and put your knife away.”

My jaw clenches and I tighten my grip on my knife. You don’t survive the zombie apocalypse by doing as you’re told; you survive by listening to your gut. That applies to dealing with the dead as well as the soon to be dead.

I prepare to stand my ground as Cook moves towards me.

“Don’t you touch her,” Zak yells and charges at the man. At least six feet tall, Zak has a good three inches on him and pushes him away easily, but Cook recovers quickly and responds with a lighting fast hook to the kid’s cheek.

“THAT IS ENOUGH! Jane put your knife away! Graham stand down!” Skip barks. 

Thrown off guard by a command and tone that was so out of character for the easy going guy I met in the pub, I do as I am told. I glance over my shoulder to see Graham unclenching his fists and struggling to relax from a position ready to pounce.

“Cook, I presume? I am Captain Leo Pearson, this is my first mate Graham and I believe you may already know Jane. We are not here to cause trouble; we are merely looking for some adventurous men to join our crew.”

Cook seems to respond favorably to Skip’s tone because he releases Zak’s shirt collar and relaxes his fist. “I am Cook.  It looks to me like you’re here to cause trouble; skipping our security protocols and drawing weapons on me, unprovoked.”

“Things escalated quickly. We are in unfamiliar territory and Jane is new to my command. She is a bit . . . reckless. I will deal with her myself. And in our own defense, I would not say that we were entirely unprovoked. Your man shot at us in the woods, so forgive us if we are a bit on edge.”

Cook glances at Zak, whose eye is swelling and turning purple. “You shot at them.”

Zak nods. “I didn’t recognize them.”

“Pearson, let’s talk,” Cook says turning towards one of the two bridges leading from the platform.

“Let’s. Come Graham,” Skip calls, as if Graham were his obedient hound.

I begin to follow.

“No Jane. Stay here.”

My blood simmers at his flippant tone towards me. I accept that I hardly know him; I didn’t even know his real name until just now, but he was the one that told me I would have to defend myself and bring my attitude. Just as I am about to say something he offers a quick wink that tells me to hold my tongue and play nice for now.  

“Zak, take her to see your mom. They’ll probably want to catch up,” Cook says.

I follow behind, as Zak leads me toward the other bridge. We both have our orders to be good little children while the men go discuss business.

Continue with Delirium Jane: Part VI

Friday, January 18, 2013

Delirium Jane: Part IV

Continued from Delirium Jane: Part III

“Skip! I’ve been looking for you all over town,” I yell to the sailor who is sitting at picnic table next to the fence.

He looks up from a notebook and puts down his pen. “It’s nice to know a pretty girl like you is looking for me.”

I flush at his flirtation. “Have you had any luck with finding your crew?”

“No, no takers. We will head north. I spoke to the Captain and he tells me that there is a small group of survivors not too far from here. Some might be will to come and the rest might be willing to assimilate.”

I nod, knowing the group of which he speaks. Nice guys but they had been too liberal to sign up to the Captain's code of conduct, so they chose to live on the outskirts.

“I want to go,” I say.

“North? Do you have business with them?”

“No. I want to join your crew.”

His eyes sparkle, his grin grows wide and he lets out rumbling belly laugh. “This ain’t no day sail. No picnic with dock shoes and salmon pants.”

“I’m serious.”

His brow furrows and deep creases appear in his forehead beneath his shaggy bangs. Instantly he looks years older and his face shows the true impact the last two years have had on us all.  

“I have nothing here. No family, no husband, no boyfriend. Not even a lover. I have no useful skills other than hauling the dead to a burn pile.”

“Why would I want you then?

“I have no useful skills here. I know how to sail.” It wasn’t a complete lie. As a kid, I had spent hours at my uncle’s camp on Sebago sailing a little sunfish. I had also dated a boy in college who had been on the varsity sailing team. I knew the basics. 

His brow knit tighter until I thought it might merge, never to separate.

“I can learn and work hard. I know hard work. I haul dead bodies.”

“What do you carry for a weapon?”

I point to the knife strapped to the inside of my left calf. “That and a double ended steal tipped spear.”

“How are you with guns?”

“I’m shit with a pistol but I’m OK with a rifle. I was good enough to get myself here with one.”

“You don’t have it anymore?”

“No, all firearms were conscripted for the armory. We are allowed to keep and carry all of our other weapons though.”

Skip raises an eyebrow. “Population control?”

I shrug. “No, I never got the feeling that it was about controlling us. The Captain is all about the greater good and so far it has worked. Besides we have far better shots that put my gun to better use. In exchange the Captain lets us use Kyle, the machinist, to repair and make our own weapons, within reason.”

“So your spear –“

“Is custom for my height, strength, and abilities.”

Skips nods and seems to approve of my interest in my weapon of choice. “Where did you come from?”

I swallow hard. I don’t like to remember. “Portland.”

“You made it out of Portland?”

Sure it’s not as impressive as Boston or New York but as Maine’s largest city in the most populated part of the state, it is a red zone of infection. Or at least it was, I have not met another survivor from Portland so I don't know it's current status. “With a will to survive and a whole lot of luck.”

“And what brought you this far north?”

“I was headed to the County. Figured I would have better chances with the moose and potatoes.  Just south of Augusta I ran into a small group that had heard about the Captain. When I got here and saw what he was doing, I decided I would stick around.”

“You know it’s considered bad luck to have a woman aboard.”

“The dead are walking. How much worse can our luck get?”

“The crew is going to be  . . . salty . . . misfits and mongrels. I won’t always be there to protect you. I can’t guarantee your safety.”

“I can handle myself and any dickhead that wants to fuck with me.”

Skip lets out a deep sigh of resignation. “When can you be ready to go?”

“Fifteen minutes?”

He smiles. “We’ll leave first thing in the morning. Say good-bye to your friends and cash in any chits. Bring everything you can carry and don’t forget your attitude, you’ll be needing that.”

Continue with Delirium Jane: Part V

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Delirium Jane: Part III

Continued from Delirium Jane: Part II

I slip in through the front door of the house that I share with a Kendra, Lewis and Sam. In the beginning it had been a bit awkward, three random strangers assigned to a house simply because they happened to arrive at the same time. Lewis had been convinced that he had died and gone to heaven. He couldn’t believe how lucky he had been to be assigned to live with three women, all under forty. But the novelty wore off as he learned the dangers of women in close confines and his fantasy of an orgy with him at the center was replaced by a delicate dance around hormones and mollification. With time he did manage to pair up with Sam, allowing Kendra and me to lower are guards and ease into the communal life style.

“Hey Jane, I got an extra pub chit today. You wanna go down to the center?” Kendra says, looking up from her book in the waning daylight of the living room.

“Another one?”

“Cameron brought it in for me. I think his dad is trying to get into my pants.”

“Or Cam is.”

“He’s only fourteen.”

I blink at my roommate; as smart as she is, she can be a bit dense. Kendra is one of the useful people. She had been a high school teacher. Not one of those “my-career-as-an-artist-didn’t-pan out-so-I’m-going-to-teach-history-or-something” teachers. She is brilliant, well rounded, and has a real knack for explaining complicated things simply. Teaching is her gift and the community rewards her well for her skills, usually with extra rations which she graciously shares with me.

“Sure, let me get cleaned up.”

I stop at my room on the second floor for a change of clothes before I head to the bathroom. I strip out of my coveralls and do a quick sniff test. I had showered the day before and today had not been particularly grueling, so I settle for washing my face and cleaning the grime from my hands.

That’s one of the things we have had to get used to; the useful people, somehow, keep us flush with running water but we have all learned the hard way how valuable and sacred it is. We have grown to respect and conserve it. We have learned not to take the twist of a knob for granted. Well, some of us accept that running water a luxury. Those that haven’t quite learned that lesson are policed closely by their roommates and the fear of running out.


“Thank God for apples,” I say as Kendra places a mug of cider on the table in front of me.

“I was always more of a wine drinker,” she says.

“Shoulda’ been in California when the dead decided to not stay dead.”

“I heard Kirk is working on building a still. He’s gonna make some potato vodka.”

“Waste of spuds if you ask me. I only ever drank vodka with a mixer and apple juice is the only juice we have. Might as well just drink cider.”

“I was thinking we might mash up some tomatoes and make Bloody Marys.”

“I would kill for a Bloody Mary. Even a crappy one, you know those pre-mixed ones?” I say, trying not to drool at the thought.

“He was going to grow some hops for beer, but the Captain shot him down. Told him our grain was too valuable as flour to be use as wort.”

I take a sip of my cider. It is a bit sweet for my tastes but I’ll take what I can get. “We’re lucky the Captain lets Kirk make cider.”

“He’s playing with a mead recipe. He says he could make that year round, because honey stores well.”

“You’ve been talking to Kirk a lot lately, haven’t you?” I say with a wink.

Her cheeks flush and she avoids my comment by taking a drink.

Some people reminisce about clothing; others lament the loss of the flat screen TV and cable. Kendra and I, we dream of alcohol. Beer. Wine. Whiskey. Rum. It doesn’t matter. I had only ever been a social drinker and a moderate one at that, but I missed it. Perhaps it was the loss of the option that I mourn.

“If they ever opened up the apprentice program to adults, that’s what I would want to do,” I say.

“What’s that?”

“I’d want to apprentice under Kirk.”

“Ladies, mind if I join you?”

I look up from my drink to see a short broadly built man with shaggy red hair and a neatly trimmed beard. I smile at the stranger and motion to the empty chair.

“New in town?” Kendra asks. The question comes from habit, after years of making small talk. It’s obvious he’s new to town; take a population of two hundred subtract women, children, and taken monogamous men and you’ll have a tendency to notice a new face.

“Just passing through, name’s Skip,” he says.


“Jane. I didn’t know there was a convoy in town.” I glance around the quiet, dimly lit pub that had been a senior activity room in an earlier life; there is a poker game in progress and a teenage boy flirting with an older woman at a corner table. Next to the bar, another stranger was working a small group of men.

We aren’t the only survivor community. There are pockets of them around, some larger and more sophisticated than others. Mussel Ridge is one of the larger and more organized towns in the area and so we periodically get convoys passing through looking to trade and share information and resources. People don’t travel much these days, but when they do it is heavily armed and with great fanfare. The last time a major convoy passed came through, the Captain ordered it a holiday and cancelled all non-essential work.

“No convoy. Just passing through.”

I raise an eyebrow and take another sip of my cider. “Alone?”

“Me and my mate.” He nods toward the stranger at the bar.

“Mate? Are you British? I don’t hear an accent,” Kendra asks.

Skip laughs and shakes his head. “He’s my first mate.”

“You’re pirates?”

“I’m from the coast. I have been living in a community like this in Rockland.”

“Rockland has been secured?” I ask and lean forward, eager to hear more news of the outside world.

“Not exactly. We’ve secured Port Clyde and when we are organized and feeling lucky we make supply runs into Rockland.”

“So the coast is bad?”

“It was the peak of the tourist season when the virus hit, plus people were fleeing from New York and Boston to their summer homes. The coast is crawling with brain-deads.”

“Is there any other type of tourist?” I smirk.


“I heard Lobster Fest was in progress,” Kendra comments.

“The coastal towns are a mess. Their populations were swollen from seasonal residents, but Rockland had an additional 70,000 people in town for the Festival.”

I shake my head. “So stupid. They should have cancelled. There had already been reports and warnings at that point.”

“Meh, no one expected it. It all happened so fast. Outbreaks are for the cities, not rural Maine. If it hadn’t been for the influx of visitors from out of state, things could have turned out different.”

With the thought lingering and painting alternate realities in my mind, I down the last of my cider.

“Want a re-fill,” Skip asks.

“That was my last chit.”

“I brought my own.” He pulls a silver flask from his jacket pocket. “Jameson. The real deal.”

Kendra and I stare at him wide eyed. No one just carries around liquor with them. It is too valuable; only broken out for special occasions or as a bargaining chip.

He takes our silence as consent and pours some whiskey into our empty glasses.  

“So you were telling us about being a pirate?”

Skip leans back in his chair. “Our leader has approved my request to take one of the Rockland windjammers and set up trade. Graham, my first mate, and I are looking for crew. We need a dozen hardy souls to sail the coast, set up trade routes and relations, witness the devastation, and maybe even cross the pond to see how Europe fared.”

“So . . . why are you here? You’re a long way from the coast,” I ask.

“It’s harder than you’d think to get people to leave secured communities.”

“Sounds like suicide if you ask me. There are crazies out there. Real militant fanatics. Pull into the wrong harbor and you’ll wind up with your ship stolen and throats slit,” Kendra says.

“Bright ray of sunshine, you are,” Skip says.

“And I’m not even going to start on the horde of rotten corpses just waiting for you to fuck up.”

“So you ladies can see my predicament.”

Continue with Delirium Jane: Part IV

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Delirium Jane: Part II

Continued from Delirium Jane: Part I

Before the dead began to walk, Mussel Ridge had been a quiet retirement community of 125 homes, a recreation center, a health clinic, about 200 residents and a couple dozen onsite caregivers and administrators. At first the community has been largely untouched. The residents, all in their sixties and seventies, were quite content to continue playing bingo, rummy and their regular scheduled activities as usual. They were self-contained and had little need for the outside world. The recommendations on the TV and radio to stay home and reduce travel were moot.

Eventually, as was the case everywhere in the world, the virus was introduced; maybe by a delivery truck driver or a panicking family member checking in on their loved ones. The virus snuck in behind the gate with little fanfare but once in place it roared through the already at risk and sickness prone community with a violent vengeance. Within two days, the only things moving within Mussel Ridge were the abandoned cats and dogs soon to turn feral and the staggering shuffle of the diseased residents.


Just two weeks after the virus had reached Maine, thirty-five year old Army Reservist, Captain Josh Chambers gave up trying to defend the Capitol. Power had gone out, all but five of his men had been lost, and he hadn’t received communication from headquarters in days. 

 Hunkered down in the attic of a sporting goods store, the six soldiers tossed around ideas of what to do and where to go. All being Weekend Warriors, their first thoughts were of their families and trying to get home. But Captain Chambers was quick to remind them of the bleak reality they faced. They had originally been a unit of fifty men and women, well trained and well armed. They were now just six. Should they expect their civilian families to fair any better? After all, how many hundreds had they already seen killed only to rise and be killed again?

The Captain told his men that abandoning the Capitol did not mean they were abandoning their duty. Though they could not help their own families, surely, there were other families that could be helped. They stopped talking about civilians and started using the word survivors. They focused on identifying defendable positions where survivors could meet up and work together. Location would be key; too close to a population center and it would be impossible to clear and defend, too far and precious resources would be wasted trying to get supplies and equipment. Natural resources would also be critical; fresh water for drinking and land to grow food.  

It was 18 year old Private Rogers who recalled his grandparent’s home in Mussel Ridge. It was situated on 100 acres of secluded forest and fields thirty-five miles from the Capitol and five miles outside a small town of less than 1,000 people. A river bordered the community on two sides, providing both fresh water and natural defenses. Sitting in the attic the six men became excited. Through their sorrow of lost loved ones and their despair of defeat, a plan began to emerge and a glimmer of hope shone through the darkness.


During their escape from the sporting goods store, Private Rogers was savagely attacked by four undead. The Captain swiftly put a bullet in his man’s brain and ended his life before the monsters could rip him apart, or worse, turn him into one of them.  Two others succumbed to the hoard before the Captain made it to Mussel Ridge, but in their journey they had also gained a dozen survivors.

There was a silent celebration in memory of their comrades lost as they began the arduous task of putting down the dead and cleaning out the houses. One at a time they secured the homes, reinforced the windows and entrances, and made them livable and defendable. Slowly, but surely, they expanded. Other survivors were found. Duties were divided, school was started for the children, and an apprentice program was implemented to teach valuable trades to the community’s teenagers. At some point life had begun again; not merely surviving, but life.


From time to time a breakout will occur within the confines of the fence, but the tight-knit community now knows the signs and understands the consequences of failing to act, even if that means putting a bullet in your own daughter’s head.

Of the 125 original homes, about 75 are being used to lodge a population of two hundred and growing. The remaining homes were either too badly damaged during the uprising or have been scavenged to repair and reinforce the others. Sometimes tensions and tempers flare when the wrong personalities end up in the same house or sharing rooms, but arrangements and reassignments are quickly and quietly made. Otherwise, communal living is becoming the status quo and all but the oldest and most stubborn residents are forgetting about privacy and ownership. Surely, anyone would prefer to share your supplies with annoying roommate over having their face eaten by dead things.

Continue with Delirium Jane: Part III

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Free for Today Only!

We still have another month to survive before the Walking Dead returns. This is a great opportunity to get a zombie fix. Rising Tide: A Novel is free on Amazon today.

5.0 out of 5 stars Great First Book (actually, just great)December 11, 2012
This review is from: Rising Tide: A Novel (Kindle Edition)

I also received a copy of the Kindle version (.mobi) in exchange for an objective review. Fortunately good reviews are easier to write.

This book could could easiely fit into regular fiction or teen fiction. The subject matter can be gruesome, but wasn't dwelled upon in a gratuitous fashion. It has zombies, people got eaten, but not in a manner that I would need to shield from my teen readers. The characters are teens themselves and were very well written. I have teens in my house and I recognize the characters; they aren't adults or children written as teens, they rise off the page as teens with all of their imperfections and idiocyncrasies. They acted and sounded like teens: believable. The story was well written, well paced and included almost everything I was looking for in the book with the exception of more.

Of note, there are a host of e-books out, in Kindle and others formats, that are rife with typographical or other editing errors. They detract from the story, sometimes to the point of jarring you out of the story. Not here. In all 187 pages I noticed one minor spelling error (and that's NOT a challenge).

Bottom line, a great read; buy this book. I got it free, but would have been happy with a $3.99 very well spent.

5.0 out of 5 stars A very entertaining bookDecember 29, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Rising Tide: A Novel (Kindle Edition)
Rising Tide is a fun book. It is easy to identify with the characters - to the point where you are yelling at them for doing something stupid, and empathizing with them during their struggles. It is a good read and good at capturing your imagination for awhile.

4.0 out of 5 stars Wicked Tale Told WellNovember 24, 2012
Steven Reneau (Dallas, TX USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rising Tide: A Novel (Kindle Edition)
I love a good yarn and Leigh Fisher has given us a pretty good yarn in Rising Tide. It has all the requisites of a good story: engaging characters, romance, intrigue, danger and an almost unstoppable antagonist. This small group of survivors experience many situations that test their character and temper their resolve to carry on.

Their are some adults aspects in the book, but no more than a young adult would get watching television. A good read, enjoy!