What does life look like in a post-apocalyptic world? What if a pandemic would succeed in killing all of humankind? Here’s a short sample from my manuscript REBOUNCE (working title), which will be available later this year for all readers.
What happened before: Alan, the lonesome traveler has left the Bay Area and is on his way to Salt Lake City. He makes a stop-over at a hotel.
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A few days later, the highway took us past a small town and as the evening sun was setting, I decided to find a place for the night. We took the next exit, and drove through an industrial area, at the end of which was a cluster of houses and a motel. I let the truck roll onto the parking lot and got out. The dogs spread out, sniffing the air, and doing their usual thing. They seemed unalarmed, and I decided to stay the night.
I moved about quickly and quietly. After a long drive, the evening air was as refreshing as a cold beer. I collected my backpack with necessities, my guns and a crowbar and locked the truck. Taking the staircase, we mounted the steps and I checked the doors of the rooms on the next floor. I couldn’t find one that was open. With the crowbar, I opened the door of one of the rooms at the end of the landing. I could smell multiple corpses inside, so I tried the next door. This one was clean. We slipped inside, and I jammed the crowbar underneath the door so that it would stay closed. My biggest fear always was that an intruder would surprise me in my sleep. Sure, the dogs would wake me as soon as they heard the slightest noise, nevertheless I didn’t want their bark to be the last sound I ever heard. I took all the necessary precautions: I moved about in the waning light of the setting sun and then closed the curtains tightly. I lighted a few candles, and by the weak illumination I opened cans of food for myself and the dogs.
The room had been unoccupied, and the bed was freshly made. It even had some cheap chocolates, now melted, on the cushions. Still, the bed looked inviting after a long day. I unpacked my backpack, sorted out its contents, laying aside some that I didn’t want anymore: tissues, an extra knife, a superfluous container that had held some candy. I cleaned the inside of the backpack and carefully repacked it again.
Before the epidemic I had been an avid reader, always carrying some novel or fact book with me, but I didn’t have much time for reading anymore. I was constantly occupied with organizing my belongings, taking care of myself, foraging or keeping things clean. Now I turned to my weapons and checked whether they were in full working order. I placed the rifle next to the bed, so that I could immediately grab it should I awaken. I always kept on my gun belt, I only took it off shortly before I fell asleep and put it on immediately after rising. Sometimes, I walked around in my underwear… but with my gun belt.
I moved the curtains aside a little and peeked outside. By now it was completely dark. Quickly I blew out the candle, removed the crowbar and stepped out on the landing.