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This Plague of Days: A crack of light reveals the boundaries of darkness

This Plague of Days isn’t quite ready yet, but we’re working on it. Please stand by.

Until the Sutr Virus hits here, you could read these books by Robert Chazz Chute. Just sayin'.

Until the Sutr Virus hits here, you could read these books by Robert Chazz Chute. Just sayin’.

Each episode of this serial horror has a rather dark placeholder to denote the separation of each piece of the big puzzle.

Here are a few episode placeholders for a little flavor:

Season 1 

Episode 1

All words began as magic spells.

Things taken from us are what we treasure most.

Season 2 

Episode 4

Someday, particles of your body — your body that danced and sang and made love — will float in space forever.

There is a secret everyone knows, but no one dares speak. Instead, we live, happily blind to where this road leads.

 

Hope is a stupid thing, and essential.

Season 2

Episode 3

Don’t box with God. Your arms are too short.

He who would fight a god does battle with the air.

Season 2 

Episode 2

Evil can be crammed behind the mild mask of any face.

THIS PLAGUE OF DAYS

COMING SOON

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NSFW Horror: A grisly excerpt from This Plague of Days

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Spencers walked into the yellowing sun. Jack hoped the weak heat would dry them and the sunlight might somehow purify them. Though Jack’s breath was soon as heavy as her backpack — she cursed herself for not taking better care of her body — she found fatigue was easier to dismiss in the presence of horror. She wanted to get beyond the block of cars. They had to get beyond this dam of metal and flesh, find a vehicle, and continue to Maine as quickly as possible.

What if Lieutenant Carron found a way to get to the Corners faster?  Jack saw herself open the door to the kitchen at the farm, relieved to have finally found a haven. What if the man who had pointed a rifle at her face, at her daughter’s face, waited there, a shotgun now aimed at her midsection? He was so angry, there was no reasoning with a monster. Carron would warm himself by the wood stove. Papa Spence would be dead on the floor at his feet. She wouldn’t have time to plead before he pulled the trigger and cut her in two.

On the road beside them, two seagulls squabbled over ribbons and scraps, staging a tug-of-war over white meat. Despite her promise to avert her eyes, Anna did look. The face was gone. The torn scalp stretched out in the birds’ beaks, a long tangled splay of string across black and red pavement. The long hair suggested to Anna that the thing lying before her, exposed and obscene, had been a woman. A vulture went about its work, its head in the corpse’s ruined belly, ignored the screeching gulls. Intent on its meal, the bird raised its ugly bald head, ratcheting back and forth and up and down, to tear and to swallow. 

Anna knew she should turn away but found she could not. The dead woman’s abdomen had bloated and burst in a riotous stench of busy maggots. The bird’s head and neck disappeared into the gore to its hunched shoulders and came up again to tilt its head back to feast again, forcing a large, pink chunk into its gullet.

The girl bent to throw up. The moment she was empty, Anna turned to walk on. “Mom,” she said. “If we ever see Carron again, I’ll kill him right away. I won’t hesitate if I can find a way to do it. He’s a vulture and he wants to turn us into that.”

Her mother trudged forward and said nothing for a long time. Finally, “If you can do it, it won’t be wrong.”

~ I’ve been ill, so I’m playing catch up with revisions. However, things progress. For a more positive life outlook, have you subscribed at www.DecisionToChange.com yet? Or bought a book? Mere suggestions. No! Strong suggestions! If you can do it, it won’t be wrong.

 


From the revision well: Chapter 2 of This Plague of Days

The moon lit the boy’s face as he peered over the fence into the next yard. Jaimie Spencer watched the couple on the lawn chair. The chair’s squeak had drawn him closer, curious. He wasn’t allowed in the neighbor’s yard, but moon shadows amid thick hedge leaves concealed him. A  woman he’d never before seen sat in the older man’s lap. The man, Mr. Sotherby, lay still beneath her. Jaimie could not see the man’s  face, but there was something grim about him, as if the couple were reluctant joggers in a cold wind. 

A cool hand slipped to the back of the boy’s neck. Without looking, Jaimie knew it was his sister, Anna. “Ears,” she whispered, “You’re being creepy again.”

The woman froze and turned her head. The couple whispered to each other, too. Sotherby’s voice was insistent. Hers was afraid. 

Anna guided her little brother away from the hedge line. Anna did not speak again until she and Jaimie stood by their own back door. “Mr. Sotherby has brought home another one of his flight attendant friends. You shouldn’t spy on them. It’s wrong.”

Jaimie did not look at Anna directly. He never met her eyes and he rarely spoke. Her brother cocked his head slightly to one side. That questioning gesture was a rare bit of Jaimie’s body language that few outside the family could read easily. Anna told Jamie that when he cocked his head that way, he looked like Fetcher, the cocker spaniel they’d once had. In every picture they owned of that pet, the spaniel’s head was tipped slightly sideways, perplexed by the camera. Jaimie thought the entire breed must cock their heads slightly sideways, hence their name. The boy abhorred instances of imprecision and illogic in language, and so he was frequently disappointed.

This Plague of Days III“Mr. Sotherby brings home his friends. Remember Mr. Sotherby’s a pilot? He gives rides to lots of people, Ears. He was just giving her a ride. That woman you saw thought she was part of a couple, but they were really just coupling.”

Couple: a noun and a verb. Jaimie had read these words in his dictionary. Overlaps of meanings and terms irritated. He wondered if his sister was trying to bother him. She often called him Ears when she was angry with him, though sometimes she called him that when she hugged him, too. More confusion and imprecision. 

“Dad says it’s a terrible thing what’s happened to flight attendants,” Anna said. “He says when they were called stewardesses, they were cuter. Now the older ones have a waxy look.”

Jaimie wondered how the change in the name of their occupation could have changed the way they looked. He’d heard there were magic words. “Flight attendant” must have powerful, and dangerous, magical properties.

Anna pulled her little brother into the house. “Let’s keep this between you and me,” Anna said and then burst out in a giggle. “Mom would worry you’re getting corrupted. I won’t say anything and I know you won’t.”

Jaimie followed Anna up the back stairs into the kitchen. She pulled out a box of cereal and poured a bowl for herself and one for her brother. He never asked to eat but was usually cooperative if a bowl and spoon was placed in front of him. 

He couldn’t stop thinking about Mr. Sotherby and the woman. Jaimie liked to watch colorful patterns that flowed around people. He had seen the colors around living things all his life. He assumed everyone saw them. The boy had seen something pass between Mr. Sotherby and the flight attendant he had never before seen. It was disturbing because it muddied their colors and made them less vibrant.

Jaimie stood at the sink and gazed out of the kitchen window as he ate.  The moon hung so low and full, the tip of a distant church spire reached, its tip stretching to split Clavius, a large crater toward the base of the moon’s face. The boy’s mind wandered over the words spire and aspire. Surely, the terms shared the same arrogant word root. But the spire would always be bound to the earth, many miles short of aspiration’s heights. The gap between hope and doomed reality turned the boy’s mind back to the naked woman in the next yard.

Small black spots had hovered between the pair like greasy flies. The black smear spoiled the usual pleasing weave of colors. There had been many of them, like a cloud of feeding insects, around the woman. They spread over Mr. Sotherby, too, reaching for him. Jaimie didn’t know what the black spots were, but he sensed a yearning and purpose in their movement. They aspired to reach Mr. Sotherby and overtake him. He sensed the black cloud’s aspirations would be fulfilled. 

That was Jaimie Spencer’s first glimpse of the Sutr Virus at its deadly work. He was sixteen. He might have mentioned it to someone, but Jaimie Spencer was a selective mute. 

“A very selective mute,” his father, Theo Spencer, called him. “Jaimie has something we all lack: A super power. My son can shut up until he has something to say.”

But Jaimie’s ability to communicate well still waited on a distant time horizon then. Billions would have to expire — and one death would have to transpire — before Jaimie found his voice.  

~ This Plague of Days will be ready to launch in roughly a month. In the meantime, please check out all the links to books by Robert Chazz Chute at AllThatChazz.com.

 


The Sutr Virus: What happened?

From this morning’s revisions of This Plague of Days.

Grant Ave. in Chinatown, San Francisco.

Grant Ave. in Chinatown, San Francisco. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It seemed it was already too late for most cities. However, many small towns that had survived the plague by brutally defending their borders, shooting trespassers and discouraging strangers. Successful survivors rooted out contagion and walled it off quickly, staying apart from the infected and shooting anyone who would compromise their security. That’s why the hospitals were dead. They took people in. The VA hospital on his own base had become a death house before word of the plague had spread through the forts’s hometown of Helena.

Similarly but on a grander scale of destruction, Carron knew San Francisco had been forced to billet soldiers returning from the Middle East when all the troops were recalled. San Francisco had fallen first and fastest than any American city for that reason. Citizens had welcomed the veterans (some of whom already had Sutr before they deployed from the ships) and so everyone died of compassion. San Francisco had been too kind to survive the New World.

From the safety of a military bunker in Montana, Lieutenant Carron had read the reports, watched the world fall, and passed the incoming intelligence reports to his superiors until his superiors fell sick, too. Some lived through Sutr’s fevers. Most died. Lieutenant Francis Carron didn’t so much as catch a cold and he would not give a sliver of compassion the chance to infect him.


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