Read Extinct Online

Authors: Ike Hamill

Tags: #Horror, #Sci-Fi

Extinct

BOOK: Extinct
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Contents

Title Page

Chapter 1: Island (Fall)

Chapter 2: Inland (Summer)

Chapter 3: In the Snow (Fall)

Chapter 4: Brad (Summer)

Chapter 5: On the Water (Fall)

Chapter 6: Government Control

Chapter 7: Robby Leaves Maine

Chapter 8: Brad Leaves Home

Chapter 9: South is Dead

Chapter 10: Brad Traveling

Chapter 11: Brad and Robby Meet

Chapter 12: Assembly

Chapter 13: Underway

Chapter 14: Captive

Chapter 15: Reanimated

Chapter 16: North

About Extinct

First Look - Instinct

More by Ike - The Vivisectionist

More by Ike - Lies of the Prophet

More by Ike - The Hunting Tree

More by Ike - Migrators

More by Ike - Skillful Death

Extinct

B
Y

IKE HAMILL

WWW
.
IKEHAMILL
.
COM

Special Thanks:

Tom Bruns

Emilio Millán

Kathryn Deaner Holdt

Brian Holdt

Melissa Cole

Cover design by BelleDesign [BelleDesign.org]

Copyright © 2014 Ike Hamill

This book is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places, and events have been fabricated only to entertain. This book may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the consent of Ike Hamill.
 

Chapter 1: Island (Fall)

C
HANNEL
T
WO
SAID
THE
storm wouldn’t hit until Sunday, but they were wrong, as usual. Winter hit like a hammer, right on Thanksgiving Day.
 

Nobody stuck around on the little island off the coast of Maine for the holiday. Thanksgiving had always been a quiet day with most of the residents traveling back to the mainland to visit family. Last Christmas, almost a thousand people inhabited the island. On the Fourth of July, with all the summer folks and people over for the day, you could have found more than thirty-five hundred. But on Thanksgiving, the island was like a ghost town.

For Robby Pierce, this would be his first Thanksgiving ever on the island. He usually went with his mom over to Grandma’s house and stayed the weekend. Dad was always too busy with the ferry to take any time off to visit his mother-in-law’s. This year, Robby sat in the front room by the window with his book and watched the snow fall while his mom crashed about in the kitchen. This was her first year cooking the turkey alone and having to cram it into a small oven. Robby smiled. He missed his grandmother, but he was thrilled he would finally eat Thanksgiving dinner with his mom and dad as a family.

“Robby?” his mom called.

He jumped up and set his book down. He guessed what she would ask and he wanted to answer her face to face so he could gauge her response.

“Yeah?” he asked as he crossed the threshold to the kitchen.
 

His mom knelt before the small oven. She had been praying to the gods of turkey.

“How long did Grandma cook this thing?” she asked.

Robby had his answer prepared. He paused to make sure she heard him properly.

“You should leave it in for four an’ a quarter hours,” he said. This was not an accurate answer to the question she posed. His grandma always cooked the bird for three and a half hours, but that had been a smaller, unstuffed turkey. His mom purchased a “biggun’,” thawed it recklessly, and stuffed it tight with breadcrumbs. He would have padded his estimate up to five hours, but their oven always ran hot. At least the dark meat would cook, even if the breast would dry out. Mom’s awesome gravy would fix that. She became an expert at cooking the sides and sauces while Grandma did the main dish.

“You sure? That seems like a long time,” she said.

Robby nodded once.
 

“Okay,” she said and nodded back. That’s how he knew she would take his answer as gospel and Dad wouldn’t have to yell about salmonella.

If his dad saw even a hint of pink in bird meat he’d say, “Sarah, I do believe you’re trying to kill me,” and even though it sounded like a joke, nobody ever smiled.


 

 

 

 

The wind picked up just after lunch and Robby had to move away from his window perch. His dad hadn’t installed the storm windows yet and the wood stove didn’t throw its heat all the way to the front hall. Robby moved to the living room where the aroma of the turkey seemed to warm the air.
 

The book sat in his lap. His mind kept wandering back to the storm. It looked like a nor’easter, the way the wind swirled in the crook between the shed and the peak of the garage roof. The storm itself didn’t bother him too much, but he didn’t like how surprised the weatherman appeared. Robby could see it just below the man’s subdued TV delivery. Panic fluttered beneath that demeanor; the same panic the island pharmacist showed when the pharmacist’s wife came down with cancer. Robby didn’t have much experience with panic—he was, after all, only thirteen years old—but he possessed a talent for recognizing patterns.

“Hey, how about you get off your butt and set the table?” his mom yelled.

Robby had been waiting for her to ask. She preferred to ask for help rather than accept volunteer assistance. He cleared the kitchen table and wiped down the plastic table cloth with a wet sponge before he folded it up. The felt backing caught on the peeling corners of Formica. The new tablecloth had orange and red stripes and fall-colored leaves woven into the pattern. His mom ironed it once, but the fold-lines from its time in the package still popped up. Robby smoothed them down the best he could before he set the table.

The back door thumped.
 

“See who that is, Robby,” his mom said. He could tell her—it had to be Jim, from up the road—but then she would think he knew Jim was coming.
 

“Okay,” he said. He went to the door and saw Jim peeking through the glass.

“Hey,” he said to Jim as the door let in a gust of wind and snow. “It’s Jim,” he called to his mom.

“My mom wants to know if you still have power,” Jim said.

Robby’s mom, Sarah, approached, wiping her hands on a dish-towel. Jim stood on the rug just inside the door. Flakes of snow melted into his jeans as he stood there.

“What are you doing out in this mess, Jim?” she asked.

“My mom wants to know if you still have power,” Jim repeated.

“All day, not a flicker," Sarah said.

“Oh," Jim said, “okay. Our phones don’t work, neither.”

“Tell your mom and brother to come over here. We’ll make due if the power goes out here too," Sarah said.

“No, that’s okay," Jim said. “She said she’d pack us up and go on the ferry. Dad’s still shore-side anyways.”

“All right then. You tell her the offer is open," Sarah said. She flipped the towel over her shoulder and returned to the kitchen.

Robby thought for a second—why would Jim’s mother send him down to find out about their power if she already planned to pack up and head for the mainland?
 

Sarah reappeared in the kitchen doorway. “Do you need someone to look after your house while you’re gone, Jim? Make sure the pipes don’t freeze until the power comes back?” Sarah asked. Apparently she had also been puzzling about the reason for Jim’s visit.

“Nope," Jim said. “Dad’s coming back tomorrow. The house will be okay until then.”

Robby joined the guessing-game, “Do you need to know how late the ferry is running?”

“Yeah," Jim said.

All the islanders knew the regular ferry schedule, but the holiday schedule seemed to mystify them.

“Two forty-five," Sarah said. “Don’t be late. Earl Ray’s running the last boat.” Earl Ray had a reputation for closing the gates even if he saw his best friend coming down the hill. Everyone called him “Early Ray.” Sarah left them with this information and returned to the stove.

“Do you want to ask your mom if you can stay with us?” Robby asked Jim. Robby liked Jim. In fact, Robby would have called Jim his best friend, if asked. But he wasn’t inviting Jim to stay because he liked him, he was inviting him to stay because he thought Jim might need his help. Something—about the holiday, or the storm, or the way the island seemed so empty—bothered Robby. When things went wrong, Robby tried to help Jim. Even though he really looked forward to spending Thanksgiving alone with just his parents, Robby wanted to look after Jim.

“Nah," Jim said. “I want to go on the ferry and see the waves. My brother said they have twenty-foot swells. I bet it’s like a roller coaster.”

“I’ll see you on Friday then,” Robby said.

“Yup," Jim said. “Take it easy.”

Jim let himself out and Robby closed the door tight behind him. He stood there, watching through the glass, until Jim trudged down the path and out of sight. Robby smiled and tried to guess the first thing his dad would say when he got home. He pushed his hair behind his ears. He’d probably make a comment about his lovely daughter Roberta—a light-hearted jab at the length of Robby’s hair. Lately, Robby’s long hair drew a lot of attention from his dad, but Robby didn’t want to wear it short anymore. He thought it made his forehead look too big.

An hour later, when Samuel Pierce burst through the door from the garage, his son’s hair was the last thing on his mind.

“Jesus Fucking Christ,” Sam said before the door could bang against the stop.
 

Robby, sitting at the table, looked up from his book. Sarah sat the pot of boiling onions back down on the burner instead of dumping them out in the colander.
 

“What’s wrong?” Sarah asked.
 

Sam cursed under his breath, kicked his boots into the tray next to the door, and waved-in a smaller, clean-shaven man.

“Hey, Paulie,” Sarah said. Paulie Carver waved and nodded. “What’s wrong, honey?” she asked again.

“Nothing a permanent move a thousand miles south wouldn’t fix," Sam said.
 

Sarah leaned back against the counter and waited for Sam to get around to explaining his frustration.

Sam turned to Paulie. “The landline is in the front room.” Sam pointed Paulie down the hall.

“Cells are out,” Sam said to Sarah. To demonstrate his disgust, he tossed his cell phone to the table. “Power’s out to the port, and more than half the town is dark. Paulie’s supposed to Mate over to shore, but Early disappeared.”

“Disappeared?” asked Sarah.

“Poof," Sam said. “He came aboard with Paulie. I saw him. Then we couldn’t find him.”

“Overboard?”

Sam shrugged.
 

“Is Master Johnson taking her back across?” asked Sarah.

“We were going to ask him that very same question, but it turns out we couldn’t find him either. Can’t even find the Harbor Master," Sam said.

“Jesus," Sarah said.

Sam looked down at his feet, shaking his head. When he tilted his head back up, his face softened. Robby admired the way his dad could always tuck away his worries and find his way back to his normal mellow state.
 

“Hey, smells delicious,” he said. Sam cross the room and put his hands on Sarah’s shoulders. He pulled her in for a quick kiss. Sam leaned down to reach her—he stood at least a foot taller than his wife. Sarah held on to fear much more tenaciously. After the kiss she chewed the inside of her cheek as she processed all the information Sam brought home with him.

Paulie appeared in the doorway. “Your phone is out too,” he said. “I get a dial tone, but I can’t connect to anything. I guess I’ll head back to the docks and wait for Early or Johnson to show back up.”

“I’ll go with you," Sam said.

“You don’t have to do that," Paulie said. “Smells like your supper is almost ready and all.”

BOOK: Extinct
10.5Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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