Monday, April 19, 2010

American Apocalypse IV - Heartland - Chapter 1A

Walking across America is not a good idea in the best of times. These weren't the best of times. Some might have said the worst was past us. I didn't think so. I thought I had some idea about how big this country was. I was wrong. America is freaking huge and right now it was also hot in Ohio.

We had been gone two days now from the main group. They were behind us. Maybe 40 miles or so and they would be beginning to move tomorrow. That would mean they would be narrowing the distance between us pretty damn fast. We needed to roll but I wasn't in a hurry. The breeze felt good on my face. I took another sip of water that I didn't need or really want but Max had taught us to drink or "Hydrate" as he called it. I already knew to do it but not to the extreme he wanted us to practice it. The two guys with me must have gone to the same school as Max had as they drank a fair amount of water too.

I remember asking Max what he remembered about the roads in Iraq an Afganistan. I expected something like crazed Muslim fanatics in cars or IED's. He looked away for a second and said "Water bottles."


"Yeah, they were everywhere in some places."

"Oh." For once he had me at loss for words.

Well we didn't leave our water bottles behind. Loco and Ricky had camelbacks. As soon as I could find one I was going to get one.  My idea of just carrying a couple containers and a filter was turning out to be pretty stupid.  What worked for me back in Fairfax and at the farm was turning out to not work so well on the road. You spent anytime on foot and carrying water got to be a major pain in the ass. We were spending far too much time dismounted and walking. Far more than I had planned.

We were sitting off Route 124 east of Wilkesville and not real far from a strip mine job on one of the many hills around here. I had gotten a look at it from above and it was ugly. A scar gouged into the earth filled with water.  It looked like a pond, a big one too but nothing grew around it.  I bet some local asshole would have told me it looked like money. If it had smelled bad he would told me that smelled like money. I shook my head, stood up, and stretched.

We had been watched on and off since we left the main group. I hadn't felt it since this morning but it was back.


  1. Mike In Long IslandApril 19, 2010 at 9:42 PM

    Ah yes. This is what I've been waiting for. Thanks nova.

  2. Hello Nova!
    Thanks for the last short story! Quite the perspective you were able to achieve.
    And my oh my, look what we have here, AAIV...
    Thanks, in advance, for sharing your story. It is something I look forward to in these lean times. However it is that the creative process happens for you- your time and effort is appreciated.
    Yee-ha!, we are on the Road again!!!
    John O:)

  3. Nova,

    Nice to see AA again. These characters, especially Gardener and Max, feel like family. It's good to have them back.

    I hope everything is going well with you.


  4. Bohica here,
    Thanks again for sharing with us, you have a captive audience with m

  5. Hi All,

    Thanks for coming back!

    Yeah, I thought about doing something different with the story, but they are still alive in my head and they wanted back out.

    Writing this is at times is very fun, not really fun, something better than fun. I was driving in today and thinking about writing this. As usual I have no story line or idea about what the next post will be about other than the starting sentence or two.

    I have also been thinking about other things. Story and character development. Improved dialogue. Plot. Stuff people have brought up.

    I'm not going there. It is what it is. Just a story I am telling to friends online. The modern day equivalent of a dime novel or pulp fiction. In many ways I think of it as more of a western set in the 21st century. A 21st century headed back to the 19th century.

    This isn't going to be a story about how to survive. What gear to buy. How to start a fire in a CAT 5 storm. It is just going to be a story about possibilities. I don't have an agenda. I don't want an agenda. Other than hating people because of this and that will end up getting a lot of people hurt or dead.

    Anyways, thanks for your comments and coming back.


  6. I have enjoyed your writings for many months, so does my brother. Please keep them coming. What happened to the story about Brian? I was really getting into him. Please write more on him.
    I am from the NOVA area, grew up there, 34 years worth. I do not miss it.
    Thank you for these excellent stories.

  7. Anon,

    Thanks for reading.

    Brian was just a short story. At least for now. Gardener and the rest were getting restless inside my brain and wanted out. I thought they had left but I was wrong.

  8. Yes! G is back!

    Thank you for writing - any story you're telling is the one we want to read - the story of possibilities is excellent.

  9. Like the rest Nova I'm glad to see the story come back, in what ever direction you take it.

    I also wanted to comment before (on the story that grew out of Tom's picture) how much better I think your writing has become. Maybe better isn't exactly the right word. Maybe it's that you're taking the time now to paint a vivid picture. What ever it is, thanks again.


  10. Nova! Delight and surprise!
    Well, you DID say you would pick it up again after your trip in April. How was the trip?

    Really good to see you back. I felt like I had lost a friend.

  11. Excellent series!! Although, I must admit to a small degree of disappointment with the inclusion of the mystical element. AA I is a tremendous story beginning. It, basically, chronicals the, some what, nebulous future, which is looming over the near horizon.

    AA II is a continuation of the survival story, combined with a growth story. Which is the nature of human beings, being unable to be satisfied with the status quo, when the present is rife with uncertainty, moving toward a more stabile future is only natural.

    But, despite the mystical element, (after all, I ain't the author LOL) it's still excellent reading!! Keep up the good work Nova, and I'll keep buying!! *L*

  12. Yeah. Not everyone likes the Freya direction. Oh well...She is here to stay. Thanks for reading and the reviews.

  13. just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading your entries, I like the fact that you are not pretentious but know well how to write great stuff. Excellent equilibrium and stylistic balance!