Notes from the Edge – Dell Sweet

Posted by Dell 01/16/2024

It’s Tuesday already, where in hell did Monday go. It seems as though it arrived here way too fast, like I could have used a few extra days, maybe a nine-day week… Will whoever is in charge of that take care of it? Thanks…

This Week:

  • I talked to Geo Dell, and we will tackle the Dreamers series together. But, because I don’t want to take time away from the The Zombie Plagues series, he will take the lead with that. We hope to have the second book ready by March 1st. He’s happy with it and I am too. It puts his foot in a door he wanted it to be in and it gives me some of my time back. He will be publishing some more short fiction soon. I’ve seen it and it’s good. Once you read it you will see how compatible our styles are and why I decided as I did for us to work closer together.
  • The Zombie Plagues is now available in Paperback. It will be available on Amazon within the next week some time. It is also available digitally at Smashwords One Two Three Four.
  • Dreamer’s Worlds book two is done. There should be no problem with the March 1st publishing date. That will be available in Paperback and Smashwords editions.
  • The Zombie Plagues main site was updated to reflect the changes involved in moving the content.
  • An Author site was added at Smashwords. Smashwords

This week I thought I would treat you to a little preview of a character you may not have met, if you have not purchased and read the first books. She doesn’t come on the scene until the second book, but she is a major character from there on. Meet Donita…

This Book Preview is Copyright Dell Sweet 2024 all rights are reserved. It may not be reproduced by any means except short references for review or critique.

Meet Donita

~ In the Dark ~

The cow turned her head towards the woods, nervous. Her large eyes reflecting silver glints from the moonlight.

The smell of death and corruption was nothing new, and that was the smell that came to her now. But there was something wrong with it. Something not right with this smell. Something different. Her calf nuzzled her and began to nurse. The smell of humans came to her along with smoke and mumbled snatches of conversation and she stopped thinking about the dead smell. Turned away from the woods and stared at the firelight across the fields.

~In the Trees~

The eyes watched her and the other cows from the cover of the trees. The hunger was terrible, all consuming, and it came in crashing waves. The impulse to feed seemed to be the only coherent thought she had. It was hard to think around, hard to think past.

A few weeks ago, she had been… Been? But it did no good, she could not force the memory to come. A name came, Donita… she had been Donita, she knew that, but that was all she knew. And a name was not everything she had been. She had been something else… Something more, but she could not get to whatever it was though. Something that did not wander through the woods. Something that was not driven by all-consuming passions that she could not understand.

She turned her eyes up at the moon. It pulled at her. Something in it spoke directly to something inside her. Something deep. Something she believed had always been there but there had never been a need to address because it lived under the surface. Out of her line of thought. Below her emotions… Now it didn’t. Now it ruled everything. It was all she could do not to rush from the trees and find the smell that tempted her and consume it. Eat it completely. Leave nothing at all. Oh, to do it… To do it…

Her eyes snapped back from the moon and a low whine escaped her throat. The calf, sated, had wandered away from her mother. Behind her the boy made a strangled noise in his throat. She turned, gnashed her teeth and growled. The thin, skeletal boy fell back, hungry but frightened. She could feel his fear. It fed her, tempted her to taste him, but he was no food for her. She knew that much. It was a sort of instinct… Drive… Something inside of her. The boy was not her food. The boy was not her sustenance. He was one of her own. Corrupted. And corrupted flesh could not feed and sustain itself on corrupted flesh. Fresh flesh was needed, live flesh. Fresh Human flesh, she corrected.

The boy trembled and grinned sickly, his one good eye rolling in his head. The other eye was a ruined mass of gray pulp sagging from the socket. A great flap of skin below that socket had curled and dried, hanging from the cheek. He felt at it now, carefully, with his shrunken fingers. She hissed at him, and his hands fell away. She turned her attention back to the wandering calf that was nosing ever closer to the edge of the trees.

She desired human flesh. She needed it, but it didn’t absolutely have to be that way. Two nights ago, it had been a rabbit, the night before that she and the boy had shared a rat. The night before that they had come upon the old woman. She thought about the old woman as the calf wandered ever closer to the line of trees. The old woman had been good…

~The old woman in the ditch~

They had come across the old woman at near morning. Near morning was the best she could do. Time was not a real concern to her anymore. She understood near morning because the sickness, the sickness that began to send the searing pain through her body, had started. The boy had already been whining low in his throat for an hour. In pain. It was like that whenever the night began to end. When the morning was on the way. Soon to be.

She remembered sunlight. Her old self had needed sunlight just as she now needed darkness. Absence of light. That had been Donita too, but a different Donita.

They had been crossing the rock filled ditch to get to an old house on the other side. The basement of the house was what she had in mind. Quiet, private, darkness. She had been scrambling down the steep, sandy side when the smell had slipped up her nose and froze her brain.

That is the way she thought of it. Frozen. Everything… Everything besides that smell of flesh was frozen out. The boys whining, the coming dawn, the constant hunger in her belly, the moon silvery and bright so far up in the night sky. Nothing got by that desire, urge, drive. It consumed her, and it had then. It had started with her brain and then had spread out into her body. Her legs had stopped moving and she had nearly tumbled all the way to the bottom of the rock-strewn ditch before she had caught herself, her head already twisted in the direction of the smell. Her ears pricked, her tongue lick licking at her peeled, dead lips.

She could smell the old woman. Knew that she was an old woman. It was in the smell. Somehow it was in the smell. And her flesh. And her fear… The boy had slammed into her then, still whining and nearly knocked her to the ground.

She had come up from that near fall in a crouch and the boy had slammed into her once more, so she had grabbed him to steady him. He had thought she meant to kill him and had pulled away but a second later he had caught the scent and they had both gone tearing down the ditch.

~The Old Woman~

The old woman had heard them coming. She had begun to whine herself, replacing the boys whining which had turned to a low growl. The panic built in her as she heard them coming. Her heart pounded, leapt, slammed against her ribs bringing pain with it. The pain rebounded and shot down into her broken leg. The leg that she had broken the day before trying to scramble down into this ditch to reach the house across what was left of the highway so she would have a safe place to stay. The pain slammed into her leg, and she cried aloud involuntarily. A split second later the female slammed into her.

She had been on her belly. The pain was less that way. When the female hit her, she drove her over onto her back. A second after that she was ripping at her flesh, biting, feeding and she could not fight her she was too strong, too…. Animal strong. And then the boy hit her hard, pouncing on her chest, driving the air from her lungs, and before she could even react, catch her breath back, he was biting at her throat.

She felt the pulse of blood as he bit into her jugular, and it sprayed across his face. She felt it go. Felt her consciousness drop by half. Her eyelids flutter, flutter, flutter and then close completely. And the biting was far away and then it was gone…

~The Feasting~

The boy had her throat, but Donita had been biting her way into her chest. She had felt her heart beating and she had been gnawing against her ribs when she felt it stop. They had both calmed then, loosening the grips they had had on her, and settling down to feed.

She glanced now at the calf that was less than three feet from them. It’s huge moon eyes staring curiously at them. The calf did not know death. Had not seen it, she thought. It knew it’s mother’s tit, the sweet grass of the spring field, the warmth of the sun and nothing else. It edged a little closer.

She had killed the old woman. She had had no use for her at all. They had eaten so much of her flesh that she was useless to them. Couldn’t sit up all the way, the boy had taken one arm off at the shoulder and carried it away like a prize.

Donita had eaten so much that she had vomited, but that had only forced her back to feeding until she was once again filled. She had looked around the ditch and spied the rock. The old woman had come back already, and she was trying to raise herself from the ground. Trying to raise herself and walk once more. She had picked the rock up from the ditch. A big rock, but she was powerful, and she had smashed the old woman’s skull in as she had tried to bite at her.

She turned again to the calf. The calf was not what she wanted, but the calf would have to do for now. She let her hand fall upon the boy’s thigh and they both sprang at the calf.

The calf did not have the time to react, it didn’t even bawl. One second it was standing the next it was on its side, Donita’s teeth clamped tightly across its throat. A second after that it was sliding across the dew wet grass and into the woods, one wild eye rolling and reflecting the silver of the waning moon.

Click to get book one right here in all digital formats…


Author: Dello

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