Meet the Evil Overlord of the Apocalypse

About the book:

The post-apocalyptic world isn’t that bad. Sure, there are mutants. But, for the people of New Hope, daily life isn’t so much a struggle of finding food or medicine as it is trying to find a new shortstop for their kickball team. This makes it difficult for a post-apocalyptic warrior to find work.

Thankfully, an army full of killers is making its way to the peaceful town and plans to raze it to the ground. Only a fully trained post-apocalyptic-nomadic warrior can stop them. Two have offered their services. One is invited to help. The other is sent to roam the wasteland. Did the townspeople make the right decision? Will they be saved? Did they find a shortstop? What’s with all the bears?

Find out in the best-selling Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors, a fast-paced action and adventure novel set in a horrific future that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

In this scene:

The Raider’s leader has left the safety of their convoy and ventured into a deserted town on a personal errand.

________________________________

Squinting through one good eye, the major scanned the deserted street. The retail center had not been directly affected by the apocalypse. Looting accounted for the missing windows in the storefronts.

Sporting goods stores and food centers were hit after the electronics stores had been picked clean.

Looters had taken everything. In the seven years since the bombs, no store escaped the scavengers. People looted jewelry stores hoping there would be value in shiny metal objects. And there had been, for a short while, before hunger overtook greed.

Furniture stores were cleared out for firewood. Auto parts stores were picked clean for fuels and parts to run generators.

Pharmacies were often places of conflict as looters were more discriminating. People searching for life saving medicine became more aggressive fighting over a prescription than they did a media player.

The only stores that had been ignored by the rampant looting were the Blockbusters. No one ever went to Blockbuster.

If there had been anything useful left on the shelves of the strip mall, his scavenging team would have already found it. Trained to be efficient and thorough, it was rare that they missed a useful item.

There was one item, however, that he could not ask his crew to collect.

Personal property was not permitted on the truck. That was the code he enforced on his crew, and drilled into them at every opportunity. Everything was for the good of the whole. The truck would carry nothing that didn’t benefit the crew or the nation they served.

It was for this reason that the major often gathered his gear, placed his lieutenant in charge, and strolled off into the wasteland alone.

Had his charge ever been foolish enough to question his orders, he would explain that it was to determine, firsthand, that the scavenging team performed to expectations. He would tell the soldier this after striking him with whatever blunt object was within reach.

The truth was more personal.

He shifted the weight of the rifle across his back. High-caliber and scoped, it was a tool designed for bringing down large game. While the major feared no man, mutations populated most of the wasteland. They had spread in a very short time; it was necessary to be prepared for an encounter.

The major touched the patch that rest across his temple; his first encounter with the creatures had taken his eye. Now it served as a reminder to him and his crew that, despite the unrelenting power of their army, and their truck, shit still happened.

The rifle was not meant for people. Should any man, or overly muscular or hairy woman that resembled a man, happen to interrupt him on his excursion, they would feel the wrath of his knife. Worn at his left side and drawn by his right hand, the weapon was his own design. The draw had been inspired by the samurai. The blade’s shape was taken from the Khukuri, the legendary weapon of the feared Ghurka warriors. It curved like a boomerang and yielded fatal striking force. He designed the pommel as a lead skull. Struck upon a temple, the skull would render death, disorientation, or severe headaches.

Unsheathing the wicked blade would usually deter any small group of unfortunate opportunists that hoped to ambush him. If it didn’t, the sight of the knife’s first victim would cause the rest to scatter.

Large strides carried him past a former hobby store. His team would have scouted there to find casting tools and resin mixtures. The clothing stores would be searched for leather belts and durable clothes that could be cut and fashioned into uniforms.

A glance through the shattered glass of the sporting goods store window was enough to tell that it was all but empty.

Hunting and camping departments would have been cleaned out first. Those arriving too late to grab a rifle or camp axe would have taken the baseball bats.

The golf section was void of bags. Clubs, now tarnished from exposure, littered the floor in the hundreds providing little in the line of defense or survival use. If the apocalypse proved anything, it was that golf skills were useless skills.

Football and hockey pads would have been secured by the more ambitious who planned to use them in crimes against their fellow man. Those with less sense, but the same intentions, grabbed Under Armour clothing, not knowing that there were very few armor qualities to it.

Next door, even dumber people looted the mobile store. Those people would spend the better part of a day screaming “hello” into a dead device and wondering out loud why no one was responding before finally giving up and blaming AT&T, as was the trend when the world blew up.

He continued on to the grocery store. It was a mess. Nothing lined the shelves, but, in their haste, the looters had knocked countless boxes and cans to the ground.

His crew would have sifted through the mess, retrieving anything that could be useful. The more days that passed between the apocalypse and the present meant the fewer useful items could come from a grocery store.

At this point, the scavenger teams only enter looking for non-grocery fair. Even food items with a long shelf life had expired years ago. His prize, however, had not.

Shattering glass echoed throughout the store as he kicked the last bit of the window from the frame. He stepped into the lobby and looked around. Even the glass panels in the two ice machines were shattered; looters had no time for doors.

A “wet floor” sign was sitting in front of it. He would never know if it was placed there before everything went to hell, or afterwards in an attempt at humor. Either way, he didn’t care.

The remnants of stock crushed, crunched, and squished under his feet as he moved across the front of the store reading the signs that still hung over the aisles. A couple of them were missing, some hung from only one chain, and one had been re-lettered to read Jack and Shit.

At the end of one row was a coffee bean dispenser. The plastic dispenser was, like everything in the store, empty and shattered, but it was a good clue to what the surrounding aisles had held.

Neither side had a sign. He glanced down the right aisle and guessed that his prize wasn’t there. He stepped to the left.

The creature had been quiet. Since losing his eye, the major’s hearing had become a more reliable sense. The massive beast had not made a sound as it sniffed the air in the grocery store, hunting for something itself.

The major stepped back out of view. The bear had not spotted him; the creature was too absorbed in its own quest. The gray-haired, one-eyed man drew the rifle from his back and slowly pulled back the bolt.

There was no indication from the beast that it had heard.

The major pulled the rifle to his shoulder and stepped into the aisle. Placing the reticule over the bear’s chest, he prepared to fire.

The massive bear sat. It no longer searched the floor and shelves. Its paws held what it had been looking for.

The major spotted the familiar plastic bear in the real bear’s paws. The honey container was unopened and unspoiled. He pictured the small plastic bear sitting on his old kitchen table next to her morning tea. The combination of the honey and the Tetley tea would fill the kitchen. The morning tea had always made her happy.

The bear looked up at the man with the gun and cocked its head—its eyes moved from the man to the weapon. It sat still, holding the honey in its grasp.

The honey, the same honey she had used every morning. Anger flashed in the major’s eye and he lowered the rifle. “I’ve come for the honey.”

The bear snorted. Its large brown eyes focused on the grizzled man. For a brief moment it stopped pawing at the honey. Then it turned its back to the major and resumed the struggle to remove the plastic cap that held the precious honey in place.

If not for the missing windows at the front of the store, the report from the rifle would have caused a perforated eardrum or permanent hearing loss. Neither the major nor the bear flinched.

The creature turned and examined the major.

Smoke rose from the rifle barrel and drifted up towards the hole he had just shot in the roof.

“I’m talking to you, bear!”

The bear swiped at the litter on the floor and sent the trash twirling in the air. A plastic container slid down the aisle at tremendous speed and slammed to a stop at the major’s feet. The major stared down; Mrs. Butterworth stared back.

He picked up the syrup bottle and hurled the old lady at the beast. “I didn’t say syrup!”

The bear roared and stood, but it did not charge. Its massive frame towered above the empty shelves that formed the aisles.

“I want that honey!”

The bear looked at the prize in its paw and turned his shoulder to the man, keeping the honey out of view.

“Now.”

“Roar!” The bear charged a few feet and stood its full height. Its massive jaws slew spit and rage. The sound bounced off the steel roof and back down to the empty shelves.

The major drew a finger around the patch. He looked at the small bear in the giant bear’s paws. It was his wife’s honey.

The rifle clattered across the floor and drew a puzzled look from the monster. The major drew his knife.

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