L Akers: Shoot Like a Girl

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L Akers Shoot Like a Girl
  • Название:
    Shoot Like a Girl
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  • Издательство:
    Scorched Earth Publishing, LLC
  • Жанр:
    sf_postapocalyptic / на английском языке
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Shoot Like a Girl: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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The sequel to the Fight Like a Man. The end came not with boots on the ground, nuclear weapons or an EMP. It snuck in with a quiet clatter at the back door and flipped the switch, covering the states in darkness and sending this family on three divergent paths that ultimately led them home. When the family is finally reunited in this surreal and gripping family drama, it wasn't without bullets and bloodshed. It wasn't without loss of life. And now that they're home, the real nightmare begins.

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L. L. Akers


“In restless dreams, I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
’Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night,
And touched the sound… of silence…”

~ Simon & Garfunkel



The blood drained from Grayson’s face, as he stared in horror at his daughter. “Show me, Graysie. Show me the man you shot.”

Graysie took off at a run, her father following on her heels, with Jake limping behind him shining Gabby’s headlamp she’d thrust into his hands. Ozzie soon overtook them, the dog more than happy to lead his family back to the man on the ground.

“There!” Graysie slid to a stop, pointing in terror at the young man writhing in the dirt, a dark stain beneath him.

“Oh, no…” Grayson skidded to a stop. “Puck, it’s me, Grayson. You okay, buddy?”

Puck wasn’t okay. A bullet had whizzed through his upper left arm. Moonlight bathed his face, showing a sheen of sweat and wide, pain-filled eyes. He grabbed for Grayson’s hand with his other arm. “Mr. GrayMan, please don’t leave me,” he pleaded in a weak voice. “I’m scared.”

Ozzie whined in response, his tail tucked between his legs, and paced around Puck’s prone body.

“Shhh,” Grayson answered, dropping to the dirt beside him. He ran his hand over Puck’s forehead, gently wiping away the sweat, and then examined the wound. “Shine the light right here, Jake.”

Straight through.

Grayson blew out his breath in relief. This was fixable. The bullet had gone in and out the underside of his arm. It looked much worse than it was. From all appearances, the placement of the shot looked to have missed anything vital. The boy was just scared half to death. He squeezed Puck’s hand. “I’m not going anywhere, son.”

Pulling his hand out of Puck’s, he quickly took off his own T-shirt and ripped off a long strip. “Graysie, where’s your bug-out bag?”

“You know him?” Graysie said in confusion, and then fumbled around, finding the bag in the weeds where she’d dropped it earlier. She rushed to hand it to her father.

“Yeah. His name is Puck. That’s what he was trying to tell you. Not pup.” Grayson pushed the bag back toward her. “You can help. In your first aid kit, there’s a sandwich baggie of red powder. It’s cayenne pepper. Give it to me. Quick.”

“I’m sorry Daddy!” Graysie bit her lip. She did as he asked, finding the first-aid kit quickly, unzipped it and pulled out the cayenne pepper, and handed it to her father.

Grayson shook his head at his daughter. “Don’t be sorry. You didn’t know. If you ever think a man’s chasing you in the dark… you need to pull the trigger.” He squeezed Puck’s hand again. “This may sting a little, boy. But we need to get the bleeding stopped. It’s going to be a bumpy ride home.”

He gripped half of the orangey-red powder through the bag, not wanting to dump it all on one side. “Help me, Jake. When I finish with this side, flip him over a bit so I can get the back.”

Jake squatted down beside them.

Grayson took a deep breath and dumped half of the powder over the bloody entry wound and tightly patted it in, then waited a second for Jake to turn the boy, and quickly dumped the rest of it on the exit wound.

Puck screamed an animalistic howl, and nearly broke Grayson’s fingers, squeezing so hard. Ozzie whined, and Graysie threw a hand up, covering her mouth. The boy’s scream could wake the dead.

Grayson and Jake both visibly grit their teeth, as though they too felt the pain. Grayson gave him a second to catch his breath, and then quickly wrapped his shirt around Puck’s arm, tying it in a knot. “Sorry, son. Just hang on. The burn only lasts a few minutes.”

The tractor bumbled up next to the group, with Elmer driving. “Outta the way, dog!” he yelled.

Ozzie scrambled away from the tractor while Elmer brought it close and came to a sudden stop, the big wheels spitting up dirt. Jake jumped onto the wagon and threw off the hay bales on the end, opening it wider to get Puck inside. He jumped down and together, he and Grayson loaded the boy up, gently setting him on the same blankets that had just carried their wives home.

“There you go,” Grayson leaned down and whispered to him, as he settled in for the ride beside him. “You’re gonna be fine as wine soon, son.”

“I don’t like wine,” Puck said, through clenched teeth. “Please don’t leave me, GrayMan.”

Grayson’s heart clenched and he sucked in a quick breath, tapping down his emotions. “I’m not. I’m with you, kid. I’m right here with you.”

“Please don’t leave me, GrayMan,” Puck repeated.

His eyes fluttered and then closed.



Tucker and Katie sat in camp chairs at one edge of the crowd at the Tullymore subdivision, tightly holding hands.

Kenny—Tucker’s weird neighbor—sat to Tucker’s right. On the other side of him, his wife, Penny, huddled in her own chair, wringing her hands and staring at the ground. Her auburn hair hung in tendrils from a once-tight bun, and her thin frame trembled, despite the perfect temperature of spring.

As Tucker listened in horror, he watched his four kids playing across the big yard, taking turns with the other older youth throwing a hatchet at a red ‘X’ marked on the side of a tree. His oldest boy was dead-on, too. How did he not know he could do that?

What he was hearing seemed like a bad dream. What if this was the way it was going to be from now on? What future did his kids have? His girls, thirteen and fourteen, would need to be watched closely.

Their older teenage brothers, who were sixteen and seventeen, would have to put aside all of their sibling rivalry and help him watch their sisters every moment; and keep an eye out for their mother, who was still youngish and attractive. All the women in his family were independent and headstrong; they wouldn’t take kindly to having eyes on them every moment. But that was the new realty… especially after hearing Xander’s story.

Xander was a dark-skinned, American-borne Haitian that had grown up with a silver spoon in his mouth, graduated from MIT at the age of twenty, immediately partnered into a dot com start up company, and by thirty had married, had two children and a paid-off mortgage in Tullymore. He was one of the youngest people to ever buy there, as it was unusual for someone his age to afford one of the houses in the subdivision, but Xander worked hard, earning the respect of all his neighbors. He also played hard, and lived a charmed life.

He and his family had just arrived home after a long and terrifying journey back from a visit at his parents house in the mountains of Tennessee. He’d been lucky to have gas to get him home, and even still, rolled in on fumes with most of the glass of his wife’s brand-new Range Rover completely gone. It was missing the front bumper, and the body of the luxury vehicle pocked with dents, not to mention them both missing their watches, wedding rings and his children’s shoes.

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