Great News: The Raw Text of the New Post-Apocalyptic Novel is Available. Here’s a Sample – Enjoy.

Great news for all fans of my post-apocalyptic / adventure novels TWO JOURNEYS and FIELDS OF FIRE: the first raw version of the third installment in this trilogy was finished today, at 91,634 words. Now comes the hard part: refining the text, finetuning the storyline and… editing, editing, editing!

Below a sample for the impatient – but caution: this is unedited text.

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I had been asleep for a few hours, when Vora shook me. “Alan. I’m not feeling well, not well at all.”

She looked terrible, and she was hot with fever. I gave her some water and a few tablets to lower her temperature. “Go back to bed, I will look after you. If I’m not here when you wake up, I will be looking for medication. You will feel better in the morning.”

I lighted a candle and sat in a chair close by, dogs at my feet, and pretended to read a journal. My mind wasn’t with the text at all, as this unexpected complication took me by surprise. People did get sick, but I wondered what had struck her. I retraced our steps and activities but couldn’t immediately think of anything that might have caused this unless she had been wounded during the skirmishes in Denver. Or had one the soldiers been a carrier for an infection and had that been passed on to her?

After a restless night, dawn arrived, a blood-red sun slowly rising above the horizon. I had stolen away and wandered through the empty halls. I had located a store with some medical supplies; the stuff that travelers had needed; ibuprofen, aspirin, cough medicine, antiseptic solutions, plasters; nothing truly useful, but I took all of it along.

Vora was still asleep, her fever slightly better. She woke up about an hour later.

“How are you doing?”

She shook her head: “Tired mostly. Exhausted. This is a bastard.”

“Any pain?”

She felt her body. “Not really. Alan – I’m sorry, I…”

I put my finger to my lips. “Hush! I don’t want to hear it. Let’s get you going again, then we’ll talk about next steps. I will have to examine you, whether you have any damage.”

I helped her get out of bed and together we managed to take off her trousers. I lifted her shirt. She had some bruises and scratches, a few looked slightly more serious. I checked her feet and her hands for wounds. I cleaned every scratch with alcohol.

“What do you see?” She could only speak in a whisper.

“Nothing conspicuous. These wounds should all quickly heal, none of them should cause a fever, but you never know… Just rest now, and I will do some thinking. Did anybody do anything to you… anything that I should know about? That could have infected you?” She shook her head. “No, nothing that I can think off.”

In a clean t-shirt and loose leggings, her face and hands cleaned with some water and alcohol, and after a bite of food, she looked a bit better. “Stay in bed and relax.”

I left the lounge. I cursed when I was out of hearing. I needed Vora to get me across the ocean, to fly that plane for me… us. Without her support I would be lost. I needed to get her fit as fit as possible and as quickly as possible.

At the information desk in the arrival area, behind customs, I found details about the immediate surrounding area. Mostly commercial offerings, like hotels, restaurants, and shuttle services; nonetheless I also found a useful map: a university hospital was located nearby, may ten blocks away.

Vora had to be moved. A hospital would provide medicine, equipment, information…

Not much later, I located an ambulance parked underneath the terminal. The engine worked. I pulled out the stretcher and the dogs and I walked back to the lounge.

Vora was awake, but I wasn’t happy with the way she looked. She hadn’t improved one bit, that was clear. I transferred our gear to the ambulance, and then I tied her onto the stretcher, to which she objected halfheartedly. In her position I would have objected too, but I didn’t want her to break a hip should she fall off.

We went to the ambulance, I loaded her and the three dogs in the back, and off we went. For a second, I was tempted to switch on the siren, but decided against it, for obvious reasons; I didn’t want to attract any downers.

I drove up to the entrance of the emergency unit, unloaded the stretcher with Vora, and found a room where I could put her in. I put the stretcher down to a few inches off the ground. “Everything OK?”

She didn’t answer.

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Like it? Get a copy of TWO JOURNEYS on your Apple device, and start out with part one of the trilogy.

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