Wednesday, March 7, 2012

An excerpt from Chapter 5

I realize this is going to be an odd little diversion from the normal protocol, but I wanted to share something I wrote last night while working on Chapter 5. Just for background, in this chapter, Zeke is crossing the San Rafael-Richmond Bridge. The bomb that struck hit in the San Pablo Bay, north of the bridge. And now for the excerpt itself.

Zeke thought it was so congested here because traffic hadn’t moved since the day of the bomb itself. Had they seen the nuke go off, these travelers? A flash of violent white light on the northern horizon, casting long black shadows towards the south. Then, maybe a minute later, probably much less, a blast of searing air, like hurricane gales whipping at the bridge. That blast curved the whole bridge’s structure, setting it at the barest angle. Most would have stopped to look, chilled by the cloud spreading in the northern sky, a stem and a cap, like a mushroom. The cars that were still moving were caught by the blast of radioactive air and were tossed.

Were they killed? Zeke wondered, but he didn’t think so. There were only a few bodies scattered around the roadway, their bones bleached white and brittle. No, most weren’t killed. Instead, they went seeking help, blinded by the flash, seared to the bone, rotting from the radiation. They were walking corpses, what singed hair they still had falling out in clumps, their teeth coming out when they emptied their rancid stomachs, their skin coming off in layers.

And he was walking here, like nothing had ever happened. All he could think was that this place was a monument to the destruction. It was as much a corpse as those burned and poisoned bastards. Maybe it was still usable—it still crossed the gap in the bay—but he felt a Vulture. He felt like a carrion-eater.

And that's it. That's your taste of Chapter 5. It should be up soon, though. I made a nice dent in the workload last night. Until then, Happy Trails!

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