Amanda Hocking

Amanda's Blog Post

Zombiepalooza Giveaway & Alice Ghosting

October 16th, 2010 by
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Today’s a Zombiepalooza double feature – LK Rigel’s giving us her flash fiction Alice Ghosting and THREE copies of her ebook Space Junque
LK Rigel’s novella Space Junque is a paranormal space opera romance, set about eighty years from now when earth metamorphoses into an alternate reality. The world-wide catastrophe is set off by oil spills, sea level rise, and massive pollution. Today’s flash story is Alice Ghosting – set at the brink of the disaster. 
For more info about LK Rigel, please visit: Details on how to enter to win an ebook follow after the story. 
A jeep was coming up the levee road. The engine noise slowed and the jeep turned off the levee and rolled down into the field. Heads popped up out of the rice and flax to check out the noise. Hardly anybody came in a vehicle now.

The last one was the car my dad drove into the swamp pool a month ago. It’s still stuck there. The tires are already rotting and the paint bubbling and peeling. When we got out of the car, it was weird. My dad looked at it like he used to look at problems. Like he was thinking of a solution.

For a minute, my stomach had felt funny. I think I was excited. I guess I thought he was going to do something about it. Move the car out of the swamp. But the light in his eyes went out, and I thought who cares.

I found a pretty good place to sit. At first, my little brother Fifo stayed next to me.

Sometimes he went off somewhere. Probably wherever my dad and mom went. My place is a little dip in the field where the flax lays down and it’s not too hard to sleep on. It’s pretty clean too, I think.

The jeep lurched down to the field and dipped at crazy angles, hitting holes and driving out of them. I almost laughed. The drivers weren’t ghosts. They cared about holes.

At least this time the jeep didn’t run over anyone. A car hit someone on the levee road a few days ago. I think it was Fifo. I think that’s why he hasn’t come back.

The jeep’s doors and hood had PZ/EPA painted on them. I forgot what that meant, but I knew they were bad letters. Not as bad as IHS. If it was IHS, we wouldn’t look. We’d keep our heads down. We still know that much.

The jeep stopped next to the muck pool. It’s not as deep as the swamp pool, but it’s nastier. One two three four five people got out, all in yellow haz jumpers with big black EPA on the front and back.

“Shibad, it smells like shit.” One of the men screwed up his face. None of them wore helmets.

“That’s because it probably is,” the other man said. “How can they stand it?”

“Let’s get this over with and get out,” said one of the women. “The ghosts are thick out here.”

Ghosts. That’s what they call us. We don’t care. Ha. I made a joke. We don’t care about anything, including what they call us. That’s why we’re so thin. We don’t even care about food anymore. Why bother?

It’s probably why the rattlesnakes don’t bite us. We’re like walking skeletons. Move along. Nothing to eat here.

The jeep people were all fat, and the get-this-over lady was the fattest. She must have been the boss because when she talked the others acted like she’d just said something brilliant.

Maybe she did. I don’t know anymore what’s brilliant.

Yes, your Honor, they said. Oh, yes, ma’am.

“Have you got the camera?” your Honor said. One of the other women made a frustrated noise and went back to the jeep.

Smells-like-shit said, “I told IHS to douse these fields three months ago. You’d think they wanted the Pacific Zone quarantined.”

“Okay, everyone. Line up,” the camera woman said as she finished shooting the field. “State your affiliation and your findings.”

“Pacific Zone/Environmental Protection Agency,” said smells-like-shit. “Findings: Tainted.”

“Central Zone/Environmental Protection Agency,” said the other man. “Findings: Tainted.”

“Garrick Corporation,” said the third woman. “Tainted.”

“Superior Court, Third District, Pacific Zone,” said your Honor. “Findings accepted. Quarantine is hereby ordered.”

“Dammit, I’ve got to pee,” said smells-like-shit.

“Do it, then,” said Garrick Corporation. “It’s not like any of them cares.”

SLS didn’t see me until he’d opened his fly and was in the middle of pissing into my nice little dip. I started to feel something about it, but it wasn’t worth it. He saw me when he was zipping up. His face changed fast: surprise, embarrassment, realization, relaxation, disgust.

A huge roar filled the field, louder than anything I’d heard in ages. A classic 2031 Malibu, aquamarine, raced along Baseline Road. That must be what a hundred miles an hour looked like. My heart raced with the car. I could feel my blood rushing through my veins. It was exciting. I wished Fifo could have seen that.

“Shibad, I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” your Honor said. She waddled toward the jeep just as an explosion went off somewhere to the southeast in the city where we lived before.

“Let’s get the hell out of here,” said Garrick Corporation. “Now.”

SLS tripped on his pants and fell. “Wait!” he screamed.

They didn’t.

The jeep was already climbing up onto the levee road when he tripped and fell again, this time in the shallow muck pool. I heard the rattle before he did. His scream was way louder.

“What are you smiling at?” he said.

I didn’t know my face could smile anymore.

He didn’t look so good. His fat face went pale and he turned over and puked into the dead dry flax. From the gurgling sounds he made, I don’t guess he felt so good either. A snake bite will do that.

It didn’t last, but for a few more seconds I felt happy.

The world is on the brink of ecological cataclysm set off by the Oil Spill of 2010 and exacerbated by the Sea Level Rise of 2070.

When the Defenders of Gaia set off dirty bombs in random cities, Char Meadowlark accepts an invitation to visit the Imperial Space Station until the terror subsides.

Mike Augustine, Char’s connection on the station, wants more than friendship, but Char is attracted to Jake Ardri, the pilot who transports her off planet in his shuttle, the Space Junque.

When Char is stranded in orbit, Mike pushes for a relationship, but Char can’t forget the shuttle pilot who rescued her.

Is love possible in flagrante apocalypto?

The giveaway for an ebook of Space Junque  has the same rules as the other Zombiepalooza giveaways –

1. To enter to win, comment on this blog, leaving an email address to contact you in case you win.

2. The giveaway runs from now until October 28th at midnight. On October 29th, three winners will be chosen by and contacted. They have 72 hours to reply before the prize defaults to the runner-up.

3. Only one entry per giveaway. (But you can enter as many different Zombiepalooza giveaways as you want.)

4. US only. Sorry to our international friends. 🙁

Leave a Reply

  • Anonymous says:

    That was great!


  • CassandraC. says:

    Space Junque sounds cool!

  • bluefrog says:

    Please include me in the drawing. “Space Junque” sounds interesting.

  • Hi. I love that cover it is awesome. Thanks for sharing with us today 🙂


  • LK Rigel says:

    Laura — I love your comment! I hope you find out!

  • Laura says:

    I’m very interested to see how this kind of creepy story can be related to a paranormal space opera romance.

    bl1nkfa1ry at aol dot com

  • EmilyK says:

    Great short! Thank you so much for sharing…

    emilyking630 @ yahoo . com

  • Arkali says:

    Great short. I guess I see what you mean by “flash” – I wasn’t sure, before. Anyway, I enjoyed it. Thanks 🙂

  • Teawench says:

    Loved the story! Space Junque looks like it would be a good read, too, so is being added to my TBR pile.
    teawench at gmail dot com