Cheer up, Emo Kids. The seven authors of the Eclective are offering THE APOLCALYPSE COLLECTION for the low, low price of FREE, today through Saturday on all Amazon platforms. Fell FREE to help yourself to some tales about the End of All Things.
My own contribution is a post-apoc style short story called “Seeds,” goes a little something like this:
The body was stiff and we could smell the dry rot even through our respirators. Specs stood watch and I rolled it for a pat-down. It was definitely a feral, male, hard to guess age but with skin all cooked and paper thin. No obvious injuries, but ferals tend to just drop dead after a while with their lungs full of grit, or because they got hungry enough to eat the straggly, poison plants out here. The body was too far gone to drag back to the Feeders, but the pat-down turned up a shotgun with the barrel sawed off, some home-load ammo, and five knives though only two that weren’t all rusty. Box of matches, broken compass, and the can.
I held it out so Specs could see it. It was about the size of the fifty-round drum load on his XM8 assault rifle, but a scratched-up silver color. Made out of metal and screwed shut about three-quarters up the side.
“What you got there Meats?” Specs asked. He’d flopped his respirator aside just long enough to pop the left-side end of the throat tube from his camel pack into his mouth, while squeezing the belly pouch through his fatigues and camo gear. You’ve got to carry the nush the Feeders cook up like that so your body heat keeps it from turning solid. Specs sucked a mouthful of the brown paste through his tube and put his respirator back in place.
“Don’t know,” I said. “Looks like a can.”
Specs doesn’t give me as much crap as a couple of the others in our billet do for being stupid. He looked around the hills again before stepping over and hunkering down, pushing at his goggs to straighten his glasses on his nose inside them. His eyes are so bad, they are why the Priests sterilized him. Don’t want to pass on being blind-as-a-feral-at-noon to the next generation Up the Hill. They did me because I’m stupid.
I holstered my .45 and got a good grip on both ends of the can, but even with the tack pads on the fingers my gloves wouldn’t grip the smooth metal. I took them both off while Specs gave the hillside another glance, and still had to squeeze the can against my chest and tense up my shoulders before it loosened enough to unscrew. When it did I held out the bottom part and me and Specs blinked down at a bunch of itty-bitty little beige things.
“What’s that?” I asked, but Specs just stared at them for a while before he answered, voice still muffled through his respirator though it sounded like he was whispering anyway.
“Those are seeds, Meats,” he said. “Those are seeds.”