Chapter 03

“Everyone inside! Now!” My voice was hoarse but the volume and tone made up for it. “Wh-” Jess started to say, but I cut her off, turning and pushing her towards the door. “Now!” I yelled again. Her transformation was instant. Her mother instincts kicked in; spurred by the concern in my voice. She turned and moved for the right patio door she had emerged from just seconds earlier, grabbing every child between her and the door and herding them through it regardless who they belonged to.  Reaching out to grab Matthew’s arm from the side, she dragged him with her as she moved. He stumbled but caught his footing and helped usher his sister and the other kids indoors. “We need to get inside, man,” I said to Michael. “We don’t know what those things are going to do and we don’t need to be out here. There’s nothing … Read the rest…

Chapter 02

July 4th, 2015 – 1300 hrs EST * Six Hours Earlier * I leaned against the Formica bar wiping sweat from my brow and trying to catch my breath. I’m a healthy athletic guy, but endless trips between the truck and third story of this house lugging groceries, coolers, chairs, suitcases and the myriad other items a vacation for twenty people requires will wear out the best of men. That’s my story at least. Being married and going on vacation is a special kind of martyrdom. “Don’t worry about it honey. I’ll get the stuff upstairs,” I said. “Seriously, I got it. You just go enjoy yourself, ok? Try to relax and do whatever it is you want to do, but I’ll handle getting the gear up here.” Why do we do that? I mean, sure, we mean the sentiment, but after the third trip carrying an unwieldy cooler up … Read the rest…

Chapter 01 (New version)

Chapter 1 July 4th, 2015 – 1900 hrs EST “Shit,” I exclaimed, my hands slamming the steering wheel in frustration. Traffic west bound on the Alligator River bridge was almost at a standstill, moving ever so little every few minutes. We are finally at the middle of the bridge, the steel grate of the rotating draw under my wheels indicating that there is only a mile or so remaining before we are off this death trap. If only we can get off this bridge before someone in front of us runs out of gas. If there is even one car ahead of me that stalls, we’re done for. “Why is it taking so long?” my son Mason complains from the back seat. “It’s the gas station, son. There is a little tourist shop and gas station right at the end of the bridge on the right and everyone is trying … Read the rest…

Chapter 01 (Original Draft)

This post was published to 8:23 at 9:24:10 PM 7/8/2015 THIS CHAPTER WAS LATER REPLACED AS THE FIRST CHAPTER. YOU CAN READ IT IF YOU’D LIKE TO, BUT IT’S NOT PART OF THE ACTUAL NOVEL RIGHT NOW. Chapter 01   04 July, 2015 – 1635 hrs EST “Shit.” I repeated the phrase again and again in my head. I thought maybe it would stop rattling around in there if I’d just say it out loud and be done with it. I look across my campsite, wondering how we’ll make it through this. I’ve been preparing for this for years, but I wasn’t ready. Hell, can you ever really be ready for something like this? Jess, my wife, sits in a green and grey aluminum-framed camp chair, her flip flops off and her toes absently making shapes in the straw-covered loamy shore of the Alligator River, a beer in her right … Read the rest…