Gregory Carrico

 

A small taste of the story.

 
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Children of the Plague

 

Apocalypstick contains two deliciously dark short stories: Finding Home, a creepy supernatural horror, and Killing Tiffany Hudson, a post-apocalyptic tale of two genetically modified people who must decide the fate of humanity.

Finding Home If you have ever glanced at a stranger in the grocery store, and wondered what their life must be like, and then followed them home to peek at them through their plantation blinds, and then slipped through that unlocked sliding door at night just to look around; if you stood next to their bed to watch over them while they slept, and thought I could live this life, then please seek help. Weirdo. But on your way to the hospital (or the police station), walk a few steps in the shoes of a troubled man on a quest for a new home and a new life, while he deals with a few disturbing personal issues. Finding Home is a short paranormal horror story that lets you test-drive the lives of strangers in a perfectly legal, non-creepy way.

Killing Tiffany Hudson Is there any line you wouldn't cross to save the life of a loved one? Is there any price you wouldn't pay? A young man battles with the consequences of his answers to these questions, in this post-apocalyptic short story, where right masquerades as wrong, weakness as strength, and deadly monsters as... camels? Well, sometimes, yes.

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Finding Home by Gregory Carrico

The yawn came on so suddenly and so strong that it was impossible to resist. It pried my mouth open and squeezed my eyelids tightly shut. It went on for three, maybe four seconds, but that was plenty of time for the minivan to drift over the line onto the grooved shoulder. The whole vehicle shook and hummed like a car-sized bumble bee. The yawn died and my pulse slammed into overdrive.

Jerking the van back onto the pavement, I smacked myself four times in the face, hard enough to make my eyes water and my hand sting. The blue digital clock in the dash dimly said 4:58 AM, which meant I had been driving for over sixteen hours.

With three more cans of RC Cola and a plastic bag of questionable lunch meat in the electric cooler, I should have been able to keep going for a while, yet, but my brain was starting to struggle to find its way through my mental fog. I needed to sleep.

“You haven’t earned sleep, yet,” my other voice said. “What kind of pathetic man are you, anyway? You’re even smoking women’s cigarettes!”

He was right. I was weak. I was practically a woman. I flipped the lid to the console ash tray open, and stuffed the Ultra-Slim Menthol down among the other butts, noticing the whore-red lipstick rings on nearly half of them. It was just another reminder of what that hateful bitch had forced me to do. Not wanting to think about that, I opened the window and dumped them out onto the highway.

“Clever. Just throw your trash on the street, and let someone else clean up after you. Who deserves to have hard working people follow them around and pick up their trash more than you do? It must be tiring, being such a good person.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, starting to cry. I could never do anything right. My tears would only invite more scorn, but I couldn’t help it. Instead of insults, though, I heard sirens. I looked over my shoulder, past the toddler-sized car seat and the canvas bag of soccer balls, at a police cruiser, speeding up behind me.

“Dammit!” I yelled, punching the steering wheel. “How did he find me so fast? What do I do?”

“Pull over. Get arrested. Go to prison. You might as well get it over with. It’s where you belong, after all; with the rest of the bad people.”

I knew my other voice was being sarcastic, but maybe he was right. “I’m so tired of always running. I don’t want to do it anymore. I just can’t…”

I switched the right turn signal on, and pulled out of the left lane. Except for the cop, there were no other cars on the road. I briefly wondered what it would be like to be a police officer, but as I slipped into the right lane, he sped up and drove by.

I let out a breath that I didn’t realize I had been holding, and laughed. Was it a sign? Everything happened for a reason. Maybe I really did deserve something good for once. If not, I’d be in the back of a police cruiser. This was the sign. It must be.

Thanks for reading this sample. For less than three bucks, you can find out what happens in the rest of the story, and in Killing Tiffany Hudson, the other short story in Apocalypstick. Don’t have a kindle? Get the free Kindle software and read right on your computer, just like you are doing now.

 

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