2 When Roy finished reading the last page in the journal, he read it again – his face twisting into an expression of both anger, and confusion. “Blood of the sheep,” he said, and closed the book. “Sears finally snapped. He was discharged over a year ago. How’d you get this?” “He sent it toContinue reading “BLOOD OF THE SHEEP: PART TWO”


The living room was sparsely decorated. A small table sat in one corner. A lamp (just an old thing his Mom gave him), cast off a faint glow. Next to the small table sat a vomit-stained sofa. And a coffee table littered with empty food containers, beer cans, and a nine-millimeter Beretta. Roy Chappell brushedContinue reading “BLOOD OF THE SHEEP: PART ONE”

They’re Afraid of Fire: Parts Nine & Ten

9 I held the torch out towards him. He didn’t seem to notice. He just crouched in the middle of the clearing, kind of purring at me and bobbing his head side to side. What do you want from me?” I yelled at him. But again, he didn’t seem to notice – my tone, norContinue reading “They’re Afraid of Fire: Parts Nine & Ten”

They’re Afraid of Fire: Part Eight

Before Jack was half-way to me, a large, pale face appeared right next to mine. It wasn’t Timmy. I knew that at once. The Rattler was way to huge to be Timmy. I think it was the same one Timmy attacked the day before. It opened its way-too-wide mouth, displayed it’s (at least) two rowsContinue reading “They’re Afraid of Fire: Part Eight”

They’re Afraid of Fire: Part Seven

The two other men besides Gus, I’ll call them Carl and Jack – since that was their names. Jack, he was the tall one, was sitting down by the fire, one shoe off, scraping something from between his toes with a really big knife. He looked up when Gus pulled (practically dragged) me into camp.Continue reading “They’re Afraid of Fire: Part Seven”

They’re Afraid of Fire: Part Six

Timmy got to his feet after the other Rattlers were gone. Then, he just kind of stood there, staring at me. I wasn’t sure what to do. He seemed fixated on the torch in my hand, so I moved it one way, then the other. His gaze followed the flames. I returned to where IContinue reading “They’re Afraid of Fire: Part Six”

They’re Afraid of Fire: Part Five

Ma and Pa settled on the farm long after the plague began. Neither of them was from Oregon, but from the “big city” – though different ones. They met on the trail. They fell in love. Then they settled on the farm. That’s what Pa said. Ma saved Pa’s life from at least a dozenContinue reading “They’re Afraid of Fire: Part Five”

They’re Afraid of Fire: Part Four

The previous spring, Pa took me into the woods, about a quarter mile past the tree-line. All we took with us was his pack (filled with two blankets, jars of preserves, and dried beef), the shotgun, and the torch, which Pa never left the house without. We were about half-way to the site where weContinue reading “They’re Afraid of Fire: Part Four”

They’re Afraid of Fire: Part Three

It must’ve been mid-day before I could no longer smell the smoke. For the better part of the morning, I trudged up one hill, down the other side, side stepping trees along the way, only to find another hill waiting for me. Pa taught us many things, but he never taught us how many hillsContinue reading “They’re Afraid of Fire: Part Three”