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FYI Part 2

20 Jan

Just want to say thanks to all who have joined me on this blog over the last two years.

I learned a lot.

I learned a lot about grammar.

I will currently be moving to It will be the same basic nonsense, they just give me stuff for writing this dribble down.


On tmrzoo I will usually publish on Monday-ish, but now I work for someone else…so I don’t have control exactly when my crap goes up. Would love to have you stop by if you can…if not, I understand. Maybe we will just do coffee one day instead.

To all my English Teachers over the years…HaHa! I never cared that you didn’t like my essay’s, term papers, creative writings, and/or reports, but I can’t think like you, or the writing clones you tried to produce. I really believe everyone has a voice and you should try to nurture that individual. I think the community of WordPress does that really well for each other and picks up where most of you fail.

Go WordPress!

I just can’t maintain both blogs…not enough time, not enough brain power.

I will however appear every now and then with an Aftermath story. I really like that world. You can check it out at the link at the top as well as David Stewart’s site here. (He created the world, I just dabble.)

A zombie story or two may surface as well…although most of these will be going into a different, secret, endeavor…

I will still be following and reading a lot of you guys as well. I have made some great friends and connections here. I have also meet some people who are not all they seem to portray on their sites. In other words…be careful with who you associate with on WordPress or the Internet in general. There is a lot of clowning around going on out there.

Working on a couple of things with David Harding as well. If you like gaming, I’ll keep you informed. If you  like collectible card games and would like to play test, email me: I could really use the feedback…and who knows, maybe some small token of reward for yourself maybe involved.

Maybe not. Don’t get your hopes up too high.

I have to warn you though, it’s made by Harding and myself…so don’t except anything too normal.

So many people to thank here on WordPress for their support and kind comments…I don’t want to forget anyone so I won’t make a list, however I am truly grateful and inspired by a lot of you out there. There is so much talent on this site. I am in awe of your creativity and dedication to your craft. I only wish I was half as good as you guys.

Keep writing. I’ll keep reading.

Frek In The Aftermath

28 Nov

If you’re new to Aftermath, you may catch up here, and here.


The birds flew overhead. They were a sight to see. Birds rarely flew anymore.

The groundchucks stopped their groundchuck business and looked to the sky to watch. Their furry front claws caked in dirt.

That’s when the boy, Frek struck the biggest groundchuck through the head with a spear.

The other groundchucks scattered. Frek quickly pounced on the mammal 3 times his 7 year old body’s size, and pulled out his knife. He expertly skinned and gutted the animal. Frek dug a hole in the ground and using a stick, stuck the poisonous organs in it. Then he quickly covered it up. The dirt pile steamed a little. The groundchuck skin he expertly draped over a small lean-to. He cut the meat into long strips and placed them on a stick to dry. Later he would salt and smoke them like jerky. It would be enough food to last a week if he rationed it right.

After they were dried and cooked,  Frek took just the tinniest of pieces to check the flavor. Beautiful!

Frek paused. Thoughts of his mother drifted through his head. He didn’t remember the last time he had seen her, but he could see the same image of her every time. Her lifting her head, blocking out the sun, her blonde hair bobbing slightly, a sly smile, and then…darkness. Her smile shifting into a frown, she is screaming something, pushing Frek down, covering him with her body.

Then ….blackness.




Frek eventually crawled out from beneath his mother’s lifeless body into a world that was no longer vibrant, no longer sunny, no longer living.

Just like his mother.

Frek cried a long time. A really long time. For days, maybe even weeks. Frek was pretty sure he was six when he started crying, and ended right before his seventh birthday. That was the day Frek gave up any chance of being a child, and turned into a man with a very very small, frail frame.

Frek shook the thoughts from his head. He needed to focus on the task at hand.

Frek had been careful to keep the smoke from his fire low, but he hadn’t been careful about getting lost in his memories, what little he had. A gloved hand quickly covered his mouth. It smelled of gasoline and dirt. An arm clasped around his all too skinny arms and pinned them to his sides. Suddenly the ground beneath his feet disappeared as Frek was hoisted in the air.

Frek went slack. It was the only defense mechanism he had.

“Oi,” laughed a gruff voice in his ear. “Dis one no put up a figh’ at all! It be like he be a lazy fish!”

Frek heard feigned laughter behind him, but he just kept his head down, and looked at his dangling feet and the rough cracked ground underneath. The soil was a mixed hue of grays and tans. Some cockroaches were sitting next to the fire, eyeing the meat. It almost looked like they were discussing how and when they were going to steal it. Frek took in every detail he could, because he was pretty sure this was his last day in the Aftermath…his last day on Earth.

The gruff man swung Frek around. Frek saw four sets of old rubbery oilman’s boots caked in mud.

“Dis one is already dead me thinks!” said Mr Gruff again. “And he be no meat on dees here bones! Boys, help ye’selves to the groundchuck! It smell good. Dee Chef says it’s done, me thinks! Don’tcha Chef?”

The gruff man shook Frek as if he was a rag doll.

“Aye, Chef’s a little quiet. C’mon little Chef…you don’t mind if me and my mates eat your groundchuck, do ya?”

Survival. Don’t speak. Don’t move. Don’t end up like the groundchuck. Frek killed them so easily because they are loud and animated. Frek was going to be the opposite, quiet and lifeless.

The Gruff guy squeezed Frek. Squeezed him hard. His ribs were on the verge of cracking. His face was slowly turning blue. Gruff lean into Frek’s ear and whispered, “If ye don’t say something…I’m gonna kill ye. Squeeze the life out of ye. Leave ye in a pile on the ground for the groundchucks and birds to pick at ye.”

His breath stank of rotten meat and death.

Frek felt pain on his left side as one of his brittle ribs gave way. A tear rolled down Frek’s cheek. Gruff kept squeezing. Another rib cracked. It was heard and felt. Gruff smiled.

Frek felt Gruff’s grip suddenly loosen and a loud noise zipped by his head. Gruff fell to his knees. Some sort of wet gooey substance matted Frek’s hair. He twisted out of the Gruff man’s slowly loosing grip and turned around. A smoky hole now was in the Gruff man’s head where it wasn’t before. Blood poured from it like a fountain. Frek reached up and felt the sticky blood in his hair. He turned to where he heard the sound come from, to see one of the booted gentleman holding a gun. Frek held his sides as the shock of being let go allowed his crack rib pain to take over. He fell to the ground.

The man holding the gun put it back in his holster. “Boy. We are going to eat your groundchuck. You need to find something to wrap your chest with…keep it tight. We will eat and leave. Then you are on your own.”

Frek laid in pain and watched the men devour the cooked groundchuck. They didn’t look at Frek, they didn’t offer him help, they didn’t offer explanations, and they didn’t even put out the fire when they left.

They just left.

Left Frek in the dirt.

Left Frek in pain.

Left Frek alone.

To survive in the Aftermath.

A New Day In Free Frall

16 Oct
It wasn’t about survival.
It was about redemption.
It wasn’t about existing.
It was about living.
It wasn’t about you.
It was about us.
— anonymous (spray painted on a wall just outside of Free Frall) 

The people of Free Frall spilled from their underground homes as the first light of day hit the garbage and stink of the world. If you were to watch from afar, you might be reminded of a family of Meerkats.

If you even remembered what those were.

Something was different today. Was the air lighter? Did it seem to choke your lungs and heart less today?

The sun was still as hot as any level of Hell. Can’t catch a break on that.

Looking around, the hues of brown useless items and grey dead skies still lingered. The air was still dry and lifeless. The ground was still cracked and plantless.


All eyes turned to the gas station, with it’s one door wide open to a very dark and sinister interior inside. A door that you generally did not want to go through. A door that led to Edward “The Squid” Morrison’s make-shift office. A door that if you walked through, you would leave poorer than when you entered…or dead.

A door that might as well been constructed with blood and bone and hopelessness and broken spiruts.

Everyone waited. Silent. Ears cocked to one side listening. Waiting to see the figure of Morrison fill the door frame. Waiting for the day’s hope to be crushed a little more.


The people waited an hour, not moving, barely breathing, eyes drying, lips cracking.

Nothing. Nothing happened except the door moved slightly when a faint breeze gave everyone a smidgen of relief from the sun’s crushing sizzle.

Crawford decided he had enough. To the hushed gasps of the townspeople he started  slowly approaching the gas station, a building no longer needing to supply gas and pre packaged donuts and coffee.

The onlookers didn’t stop him. They just watched.

And placed bets in their heads if he would still be alive that day.

Crawford made it to the opening much faster than he wanted to, and hesitantly raised his hand to knock on the weathered and splintered wood of the door frame. He didn’t need to though, he could easily see inside.

It was empty.


Not even one chair was left, because that would have been useful.

“He’s gone,” croaked Crawford. “Everything is gone.”

At first the crowd was stunned in disbelief, and then slowly smiles lit everyone’s faces. Some starting clapping, others were laughing and blowing out great sighs of relief. The Bowlery clan started shaking everyone’s hand.

A calm came over the neighborhood of Free Frall, a calm that has not shown itself in such a long time.

And then suddenly a silence.

And a realization.

And no one wanted to say the thought that came to everyone at once….

What do we do now?!


This is a companion piece to an apocalyptic world David Stewart is creating. To catch up, read his works here:

Saturday, 4am
Droog’s Story
The Road To Cambridge
Outside the Gates of Cambridge, Part 1
Outside the Gates of Cambridge, Part 2
My other companion piece can be found here:
Saturday, 4:25 am

Saturday, 4:25 a.m.

28 Sep

David Stewart, a real writer,  likes to throw out Open Prompts on his blog asking for characters, items, a title, the tone, etc.,  to whomever will bite. Then he will base a story on these elements.

I tossed out the character: Edward “the Squid” Morrison. David wrote a story involving this man in a post apocalyptic world. Morrison is the self proclaimed “King” of the town, Free Frall. He is more like the town bully than a King, and makes the citizens give him a percentage of the treasures they scavenge.

The piece is called Saturday, 4 a.m.

He also wrote a follow up piece called: Droog’s Story.

I liked both stories a lot.

So hopefully without stepping on Mr. Stewart’s toes,  I decided to write a companion piece to Saturday, 4 a.m.


“We’d better hurry,” Junior said anxiously. He was blowing into his hands. It was cold out, but not quite cold enough to be so dramatic as to blow in one’s hands. Maybe it was nerves. Maybe he was just a big old dumb scaredy cat.

Maybe he just wanted to starve to death, or better yet, maybe he thought the big old magical blue-fucking-zoo fairy was going to dump tons of food out of the sky to feed him and me for life. Maybe he forgot that trading was a way of life now, and if you had nothing to trade…well, simply put, you had nothing.

“You should stop talking your thoughts out loud!” hissed Junior at me. “It’s really annoying and rude. This is the Squid’s territory we are in, in case you forgot! And if he catches us looting through his area without permission…well, I don’t even want to think about it!”

“Yes! I get it!” I hissed back. “But we haven’t found anything descent in a long time. I’m hungry. Just give me five more minutes and we will leave.”

In case you were wondering, Junior is my older brother and as I like to call him: King of the Worry-Warts. Myself, being a girl, much more prone to patience and manners.

“Keep those thoughts in your head, Rosie! Makes you look crazy!” Junior said and started blowing in his hands again while looking right and left rapidly.

I still didn’t know half the time  if I was talking my thoughts in my head or out loud, but…

“Out loud!” Junior interrupted.

It was at that moment I saw it. Although I don’t know exactly what it was or what it did, I just knew people wanted it.

Which means, I had to have it.

In between two broken glass bottles and a lot of debris, poked out a shiny black disc.  Ryan the Trader loves these discs and about wets himself with excitement when he sees them.

That means we trade.

That means we eat.

“Make sure the discs are not scratched! They are worthless scratched!” Ryan’s voiced echoed in my head.

“Or out loud,” sneered Junior. “If I didn’t know for a fact that you were dropped on your head as a baby, I would swear you were dropped on your head as a baby!”

“That was clever…now shhh!”

I had to be careful.

I examined the part of the disc sticking out of the muck before continuing. Seemed like it was in good condition. It wouldn’t be worth digging out if it wasn’t. I don’t know what could be lying in that heap, broken glass, nails, wood full of splinters, radio active chinch bugs. Chinch bugs were the worst! Those things would bite you on your finger and never let go. If you don’t get them off in under five minutes, you will start to feel your finger heat and swell up. Eventually, your digit exploded like a mini time bomb. Most people just cut their finger off if a chinch bug bit it because one way or another your going to lose it. At least if you cut it off yourself, you can tourniquet the damn thing and not bleed to death.

Junior gave me a hard look, held up his right hand which only had three fingers left on it and said, “Do you mind not bringing that up again!”

“OK!” I replied.

I poked a stick at the mound to see if anything moved. Nothing did, which was good, but didn’t guarantee it to be 100% bug free. Carefully I pulled out my personal set of extractor tools that are housed in a canvas bag which rolls up and fits easily in the front pocket of my hoodie. Inside the bag are three different size spades, a chisel, two different size tweezers, a Flathead and a Phillips screwdriver, a ball peen hammer, a flashlight, and duct tape. I selected the chisel and begun working on the muck around the disc.

“I heard that the Squid would just as soon kill you as negotiate with you. I heard the Squid once ripped a man’s eyes out with a wine key because he thought the guy was cheating him. I heard he hates outsiders like…oh…you and me! So please Rosie, hurry!” Junior whined at me.

“Fine,” I yelled. “This is delicate work! But I’ll hurry! Chinch bugs or no chinch bugs be damned!”

And I started chiseling faster with one hand and with the other hand, I grabbed the big tweezers and started rocking the disc back and forth with it.

“Keep your voice down!” Junior loud whispered and gave me the death stare.

“Shut up!” I said even louder. The disc wiggled quite a bit now. The muck and death debris billowed dust clouds up my nose. I sneezed periodically.

“I’m sorry!” Junior loud whispered again. “Just keep your voice down!”

“Oh, you’re sorry all right!” I screamed as loud as I could, and at the same time pulled with all of my might on the disc. It cracked in half and sent me flying backwards to land on my ass. The crack disc in the tweezers was still in one hand raised to the sky, and the chisel in the other, with which I had somehow managed to cut my forehead, and was now bleeding.

Junior walked over to where I laid, and took the disc from my fingers. He read it out loud:

“Bill Cosby – Himself”

“Shit!” I yelled and began to cry.

Junior was standing over me, looking down at me with a weird sorry expression on his sad face…and over his shoulder, through my tears, I suddenly saw Edward “the Squid” Morrison looking at both of us.

And he did not look happy….