The literary sites get very snotty about what you can write and what is prohibited making it impossible to be truly free and creative. The commercial porn sites pander only to the wankers and that's ok, but I believe that this will also be the birth place of a new literature. So your encouragement and contributions are needed. If you do this you will be playing a part in supporting the Nifty archive.
This is a improved re-write because the original posting from several years ago is corrupted due to my error. The story is complete and will be posted in 9 parts.
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jet2larkin at Jeemale dot kom---- (reinterpret)
The sky was gray and the dreary landscape looked abandoned. There were some people here and there but they were tucked in or hidden out of sight so as not to call attention to themselves. How the world got this way not important other than to say that the collapse resulting a domino effect that dragged everything with it. It had all but ended the upward surge of civilization. The chains that held things together had been broken into pieces.
"You know there is only a few things in life that really count, one is food, one is staying dry and plus, a few other things,"
Spoken by Raif.
A huge hole had been torn in Raif's life for the second time. First it was the break-up of his family and now this. He cried not only at the loss of Newt but now, Max. He knew now that he loved them both.
He wished that Max had let him go with him. Anything is better that being here not knowing anything.
Raif lay on the mattress in the dark room littered with old blankets and clothes, alone. Time went by and the candle slowly flickered out.
"Raif, come on, get ready, we're going to the waterpark!" It was bright and sunny and the car was in the drive way. He looked around and saw green lawns and sprinklers and kids running and playing. There was a light breeze and it was as if there was distant music in the air.
"Raif," He looked up and saw his Father smiling. He was holding a multi-color beach ball. Raif tried to speak but nothing came out. He looked down at his clothes and they were still rags.
Then he saw his Sister and his Mother they all came up to him together. They were smiling and happy, but then, like an old photo tossed into the fire, they turned brown, curled up in the flames and then soon became sooty black ash He woke up alone in the dark and empty room.
Max hadn't bothered to sleep and kept going through the night. It was late afternoon when he approached a town that had life in it.
It was a medium town that, like all the rest, had fallen into ruin. The tendrils of suburbia had withered, many of these towns had become useless to the outside world. Most small towns were destroyed by warring fiefdoms. Burnt out buildings, wrecked cars and the aimless ones, wandering, always wandering, Max was indistinguishable from anyone else. The specter of hunger was always on every face and the greatest fear was that down the road lay famine.
But this town was a little different. It was encouraging to see small slightly disorganized gardens here and there. In the past, people thought about trivial things and lived from day to day without regard for the future. Now, even in Spring, they thought about the Autumn and the Winter that lay beyond.
Some people began to work together gathering, hunting and stockpiling. The most successful gave up their single family homes and formed communes in the large commercial buildings that had lost their purpose. They offered shared protection during the nights. There they could organize, share food, defend and protect. This town had had one large a supermarket and an attached what used to be a strip mall. The Clans showed up with a convoy of trucks and they removed any and all of the nonperishable's leaving the rest to rot. After that the local people moved back in, forming a strong unified group was the only defense they had against lawlessness. This town like many others had fallen under the protection of the River Klan and tribute obligations had to be met or there would be murderous reprisals and raids. There were those that cooperated and those that didn't.
The fire had been lit and people began to line up. A man began to stir up the dregs of the pot with a stick so that it would heat more evenly. The smell coming off the vile mixture was not appetizing. Next to it was a pile of mostly unwashed plastic vessels of many assorted sizes and colors. People ate it anyway, including Max. He closed his eyes and with up turned head, tried to swallow without tasting.
The man stirring the pot hadn't seen Max before so he assumed that he was a wanderer.
He looked at Max and said "I hope you're the right kind. If you're not you better keep on goin."
Max didn't understand what he meant.
"We got two kinds of people here, The "with us people" as in "are you with us" and all the others. This soup is brought to you by us in the Defender Tribe. We are a sub-clan under the protection of the River Clan so don't fuck with us!"
He pointed at the large boarded up super market. "We don't turn no one away but if you fuck up, we all come pourin out of there like a swarm of hornets and we will hunt you down and kill you if we have to. But if you are a good person and you are willing to work, you might consider joining us and become one of the Defenders!"
The man elevated his fist to the sky.
Max stayed around hoping to catch sight of Newt or Phil. The town was fairly peaceful and there wasn't any sign of trouble. Towards evening, an old mother woman came along pulling a hand wagon load of vegetables and some pieces of suspicious looking meat to add to the stew. She relieved the man tending the pot.
"David, you can be off now, I'll take over."
Someone yelled, "Throw that shit out and start that stew all over again. It's fuckin putrid!"
She ignored the taunts and started dropping the vegetable and raw meat chunks into the stew.
She turned and faced the sullen crowd. "It won't be ready to eat until well into the evening so go get lost!"
According to the man, the unspoken truth is that if the Defenders didn't feed the useless ones, they would have a whole lot more trouble on their hands. Who knows, they might begin to rob and steal again and maybe start killing again. At the worst, they might rise up and join up with the enemies. It was just good business to feed the useless lot.
The man's name was David. Max followed him over to the boarded up super market.
"You look pretty good to me. I will check with the Tribe leaders and see if there is an opening for someone like you."
Max went to interrupt the man when...
A truck pulled up alongside of them. It was from the River Klan. The man behind the wheel wore shades and was accompanied by a rifle bearing guard. He was a sort of tax collector. David approached the vehicle. The driver opened a note book and took out a small calculator.
The Driver spoke. "David, how many chickens you got up to now?"
"Not more than fifty, we lost about a dozen to a pack of dogs."
The driver pulled his shades down a bit on his nose. "You wouldn't be lying to me now would you?"
"No I wouldn't do that."
The driver studied David's face and then his notes. "The way it stands now, you're givin the Clan 120 eggs a week and we've waived the chicken meat so that you could increase the size of the flock, right? Well, stop fuckin around and get busy!"
David appealed to the driver. "Can you try to get us some grain, the chickens strip everything off the ground till there's just mud and chicken shit."
The driver didn't answer, he just drove off in a shower of gravel. David spat on the ground. "Motherfuckers!"
Max was anxious to get going. "I'm looking for someone kidnapped from my family and I have to find him."
He described the man and Newt.
"They came through for the morning meal. That kid of his was disobedient and a right nuisance."
The man laughed. "He had to keep the kid tied to him to keep him from running off. Kids today got no discipline. They're like animals. They rested over there where so we didn't have to listen to their arguing and bickering. Yeah, I saw 'em, they headed down the Post Road about 4 hours ago.
When the man looked up, Max was gone.
The Mismatched Duo:
"Ever since you run off, you've been fuckin ruined, When we get back, I'm gonna to lock you up in the storage locker and you'll be lucky to ever see the sun again. You won't listen to nothin. You turned into an evil little fucker! You'll pay for almost biting my dick off, I'm still pissing blood!"
Newt started tugging on the rope again and pulling away from the man as hard as he could.
"Fuckin stop it, stop it! You're drivin me fuckin crazy!"
He bore down on the boy hitting him and punching him. It didn't seem to do any good. Then Newt started screaming again. Phil grabbed boy and covered his mouth tight to stop him and held him until the his revolt and struggle subsided.
Newt looked up at the man. The boy's eyes narrowed with hatred and he spit at him.
Newt yelled at him." You know what? You're a fuckin dumb bell!"
"See what I mean! You're gonna push me too far and I'm gonna snap and I won't be able to stop myself from murdering your stinky little ass."
Newt really was wearing the man out. He got up and tugging Newt harshly with the rope, then continued with the journey.
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jet2larkin at Jeemale dot kom---- (reinterpret)