Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Navis Salubris – Chapter One – Nell

Navis Salubris – Chapter One – Nell
by Mel Dawn

Has Nell really missed the apocalypse?

Nell navigated through all the boxes and bags in her kitchen. She never had time to finish putting away the party supplies. No sooner had she wobbled out of bed then she had to rush to the bathroom for another vomiting session. 

The doctor had called it Norwalk virus, or gastroenteritis, from the norovirus genus. Whatever it was, it had put her nearly flat on her back, or, on the toilet, for a good two weeks. 

As Nell was healing she couldn’t help but notice how quiet it had become outside. Where once cars and trucks used to speed down her street, there were now none. She simply attributed it to road work, and quickly made it to the bathroom before she had a mess to clean off the floor.

It was either very lucky, or very unlucky that she had been planning her fortieth birthday celebration before disaster struck. She’d even gone so far as to buy several cases of champagne, tons of pop and water, snacks, fruits, vegetables, and just about every type of packaged food you can imagine. Fortunately she was all stocked up, as she was fairly certain that the gals from her office wouldn’t come near her, at least not without full Ebola virus gear on. Well, she might as well have that anyway, as Nell had lost a ton of weight. But still, she tried to stay hydrated, and at least got a bit of food in her stomach each day. 

Around day eight of her reclusion, the electricity went out. She’d spent a good twenty minutes trying to get through to hydro, before she realized that her phone also ran on electricity. For some reason her cell phone didn’t work either. 

She stored up her anger and would give the utility companies a piece of her mind, once she was well, anyway. Fortunately it was spring, and the only thing she really missed was the TV.

“Screw it,” she said, missing her daytime television. She picked up a book instead.

In the distance she heard some screaming and yelling. It sounded like her neighbours were fighting again. She went to her bedroom where she couldn’t hear them any longer.

Some time later Nell thought she heard something scratching at her hall door. She got out of bed and walked into the hallway to check it out. She watched as a gold envelope slid itself under the door and into her abode.

She quickly peeked out through the peephole but didn’t see anyone there. There was a terrible smell emanating from the hallway. 

She grabbed the envelope and tore it open. Inside was what appeared to be a printed ticket for one of those celebrity cruises. 

Nell nearly jumped a foot in the air as an object came hurtling through the window behind her and struck her in the shoulder. She sat on the ground dazed. She glanced out the window and then down at the object on the ground. Her mind couldn’t process what she was seeing. She grasped her envelope and looked more closely at the ticket. 

Next... Chapter Two – Abdul.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Navis Salubris – The Start of a Serialized Short Story – The Healing Ship

My blog has been sadly neglected for the past year. Paid writing work has taken priority over unpaid fiction. From dealing with a sick cat with hepatitis/liver disease, to a small cyst in my hand that hurts, I've decided to take a few weeks off. This has given me the chance to get my home in order, finish off a few projects, and get back into crafting and fictional writing.

Earlier this year I eagerly followed the serialized adventures of Jason P. Crawford. A blog is yet another avenue for reaching new readers. What a great idea! I decided to give it a try, and now I have time to do so. Hopefully 500 words each day won't slow down my daily chores, and as Isabel the Cat gets better, more time is freed up to do what I want.

Here's a brief summary of what I'm trying to accomplish. Of course it's a zombie short story, as zombies are what I do best. Just what does Navis Salubris mean? I enjoy dabbling in Latin and hope I have my translation correct. Navis means Navy, and I'm sure most people will recognize Salubris for the Good Health toast. Thus we have "The Healing Ship". Check out the futuristic ship photo I found online.

As the zombie threat lessens, remnants of human society have degenerated into in-fighting. Five people from around the world find themselves with an unexpected ticket to the Navis Salubris. Our five main characters wake up on the ship, disoriented, and wondering how they got so far from home. Nell has missed much of the zombie apocalypse, being confined to her Vancouver home. Wei has survived by hiding in tiny crawl spaces that an adult could never fit. Abdul is a terrorist in Iraq. Riitta is a zombie, former politician in Sweden–aren't they all? Sam is a suicidal doctor in Nigeria. Are they in heaven, hell, or something much worse? As our candidates traverse strange waters, they may just find they've ended up with more than they had ever bargained for during their battle for human survival.