She closed her eyes and leaned her head back. Three books already and they still had six more days here! Patrice smiled to herself as she felt the heat of the sun penetrate and warm up her in this relaxing oasis.
Patrice was happy that she had bought some of her old books. She had hated getting rid of them and knew there had been a day that she had wanted to read them. Now, finished with the first three, Patrice was reminded why she chose those books in the first place. Her only fear now was rain.
I don’t know. Maybe I want to be seen. Maybe I don’t want to blend into my background like you do.
What do you mean, like I do? I like being seen. Why else would I go down there and dodge peoples clumsy steps? Barney, you really think about things too hard.
Marcel, it’s just that I’m not as colorful as you are. I tend to blend more and never be seen. And honestly, have you ever been called a crow? I doubt it! Try that one on for size! A crow! Hahaha, as if. Those guys are too noisy.
Barney, you were called a crow?
Yeah, that one day we were down on the sidewalk when that kid walked up to me. He turned around and told his mother that he just found a crow. Do I really look like a crow?
Barney, you don’t look like a crow. Not to mention, your cooing is much softer than the cawing of a crow. That alone should set you apart.
Well, if you really say so Marcel. Thanks for saying that. But really, do you think anyone can see me up here?
I think I give people the impression that I am personable and friendly. For whatever reason, I always think that people don’t think I am a smart person, even though I am very smart. I find it in my head that I have to not worry about that and see that it is probably some weird perception of mine, but it does go through my head when I think about, when I first meet a person.
Two cute animals for us to deal with this week. On the right, a Dachshund, better known as a “wiener dog.” They were originally bred to get badgers and other burrowing animals out of their burrows and to hunt mice and rabbits (their name literally means “badger dog”). A pretty tall order for a very short dog. I mean, badgers are tough bastards, so they have to be pretty scrappy little guys to put up that kind of a fight. They were brought here in part to deal with prairie dogs.
I worked with a guy who had a couple of long-haired Dachshunds. He really loved them. They come in short-haired, wire-haired, and long-haired varieties, and in three sizes, standard, miniature, and kaninchen, or “rabbit sized.”
There was a bizarre cartoon developed in the ’50’s called Clutch Cargo. Clutch was a freelance writer and tough guy, who traveled…
I’m thrilled to share this brand new Dystopian Thriller, Born in Salt by T.C. Weber with you all today! Read on for more details and a chance to win a digital copy of the book, in your format of choice!
PSSSST! It’s also available for review! Contact R&R Book Tours for more info!
Born in Salt
Publication Date: May 1st, 2021
Genre: Alternate History/ Dystopian
Fifty years after a coup replaced President Franklin D. Roosevelt with a fascist dictatorship, America is a land of hopelessness. Ben Adamson, a 19-year-old farm boy in southern Illinois, wants only to spend his time fishing and hunting. But when his dead brother demands justice for his suspicious fate in a colonial war, Ben and Rachel, his brother’s fiancée, are drawn into an underground revolutionary movement.
After staging a rally against the war, Ben and Rachel are arrested by the Internal Security Service, who have perfected the science of breaking people. Ben is given a choice: betray the rebels, including his best friend from childhood, or Rachel will be lobotomized.
Although traumatized and addicted to a powerful drug, Ben refuses to doom anyone he cares about. Can he find a third option? Can he free Rachel and strike back at the dictatorship, while dodging the suspicions of police and rebels alike?
The New Bethany Town Square was a small grassy space in front of the county courthouse. Main Street split into two here, running to either side of the square and the courthouse before recombining. To the south of the square, it ran past most of the stores. To the north, it passed the city and county police stations, then a stretch of newer buildings and houses.
The year after I was born, 1965, was the twentieth anniversary of retaking the Philippines from the Japanese, forcing them into an armistice. Every town got a statue. In New Bethany, the government erected a marble Marine in the middle of the town square, rifle held high in triumph. It wasn’t an ideal spot to call for an end to war, but it was the only public space in town.
Rachel lived only a few blocks from the square, but I insisted on picking her up. The police would have seen the flyers by now, and might want to arrest her before we even started.
I was late again. Rachel stood on her front porch, wearing her funeral dress and tapping a foot. She carried a paper shopping bag in one hand, and scowled at me.
“Sorry I’m late.” At Rachel’s insistence, I’d put on my suit, and it took me forever to get the damn tie right. “Are you sure you want to do this? Talking to people one on one is a lot safer.”
Her face tightened even more. “It’s a little late to back out now. Besides, God blesses the righteous and Jake will be with us.”
I led Rachel to the truck and opened the passenger door for her. “Let’s get it over with, then.”
I parked on Lincoln Street, just off Main, and we hopped out into chilly gloom. Dark clouds gathered in the west, threatening rain. I focused on the task—swung down the tailgate and pulled out the mike and amp I’d borrowed from Jesse, the band’s bassist. He’d kill me if they got wet.
The amp had a power inverter so you could run it off a car battery. Together they weighed at least a hundred pounds, so I’d strapped them to a stand-up dolly. No mike stand, but I had enough to carry as it was. I handed Rachel the black microphone case and cables and she slipped them in her bag.
A couple dozen people were in the square, wearing coats over Sunday suits or dresses, the women’s hats sprouting feathers of near-extinct birds. I recognized Alyce and maybe half the others.
Rachel’s face fell. “I was expecting a lot more.”
“Maybe they’re afraid,” I said. “Or it’s the weather.”
“Or they don’t care. The weather is fine.” She straightened. “We’re early. More will come.”
My stomach seized. Figures squatted or lay on rooftops around the square, pointing guns and cameras.
Atop the three-story law office building, a suited man held a long-lensed camera. Next to him, a man in black body armor braced a high-powered rifle on a tripod while another peered through binoculars. Opposite the courthouse, on the First Consolidated Bank roof, more of the same. On the east side of the square, city police aimed guns out the second-floor windows of the column-fronted City Hall.
The courthouse itself had a peaked roof. After the coup, the government had added a wooden bell tower on top, from which, I supposed, you could see the whole town. Beneath the purely decorative bell, half hidden by white columns, a dark-suited man stared at us through binoculars. A sheriff’s deputy pointed a rifle with a fancy scope.
I’d never seen anything like it. Security for visiting politicians, sure, but nothing like this.
The clock on the bottom of the tower read 12:18. We had twelve minutes to prep or escape.
“Do you see the snipers?” I whispered to Rachel.
“Yes.” Her voice quivered. “But we’re not doing anything wrong. They’re just trying to intimidate us.”
She was probably right. They wouldn’t actually shoot us. Or would they? We were easy targets, standing still in the open. They could take their time and go for a head shot.
Past the bank, I spotted Paul standing outside the New Bethany Diner, sipping soda or something from a jumbo-sized paper cup. No sign of the others. Not surprising, since the group hadn’t approved our rally. And it was better Sarah wasn’t here—that would just add to my worries.
Rachel hugged Alyce and other people she recognized, then reached in her bag and pulled out my brother’s portrait, the one that had been propped on his casket at the funeral. She leaned it against the base of the soldier statue.
Behind the picture glass, Jake smiled at me. I plugged the mike into the amp and clipped the amp to the car battery. I flipped a switch and the power light turned green. I tapped the mike, and the speaker thumped.
I wanted to hurry this up and waved Rachel over. I handed her the mike. “You’re on.” The battery would last at least an hour, but I doubted we would have that long.
Rachel examined her filigreed watch. “Let’s let the crowd grow.”
I glanced at mine. 12:30.
More people arrived. But half were cops—city police, county police, state police, and eight men wearing silver long-sleeved shirts, black pants, and matching ties. Their caps bore a perched eagle clutching a saber and whip. Internal Security.
New Bethany’s gray-haired police chief paced back and forth, carrying a megaphone. The Internal Security troops stared at us, long batons and compact submachine guns fastened to their belts.
My knees shook. “Rachel, I’ve got a bad feeling. Really bad. We should go, right now.”
Ted Weber has pursued writing since childhood, and learned filmmaking and screenwriting in college, along with a little bit of physics. Trapped at home during the “Snowmageddon” of 2010, he transformed those interests into novel writing. His first published novel, a near-future cyberpunk thriller titled Sleep State Interrupt, was a finalist for the 2017 Compton Crook award for best first science fiction, fantasy, or horror novel. The two sequels, The Wrath of Leviathan and Zero-Day Rising, are also available. His latest release, Born in Salt, pits an Illinois farm boy against a ruthless fascist government that took power in a coup. Mr. Weber is a member of Poets & Writers and the Maryland Writers Association, and has run numerous writing workshops. By day, Mr. Weber works as an ecologist, and has had a number of scientific papers and book chapters published. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife Karen. He enjoys traveling and has visited all seven continents.
*****For any participants that do NOT like restrictions, please feel free to participate in any way you would like. It is great to read the contributions!****
Set up a timer or sit near a clock so you can keep track of the six minutes you will be writing.
You can either use one of the prompts (photo or written) or you can free-write.
Get ready and write for 6 minutes, that is it! Can you write a complete story? Can you think of a new Sonnet? Can you write 400 words? 400? 500? There are no restrictions on what kind of writing you do, but you should try to be actively writing for six minutes.
After you are done writing, include your word count and then post back to this page #Simply6Minutes or include your link in the comments section. Pingbacks are enabled.
*Feel free to leave your work completely unedited. I believe it is good to see, especially for new writers, that even very seasoned writers don’t write a perfect first draft.*
Have fun, challenge yourself if you’d like, read and respond to others’ posts.
It is a bittersweet day today. I am proud to say that I raised two beautiful children but I am heartbroken that one left this world before me. My beautiful daughter is doing so well and I am so proud of her. I miss my son so very much it hurts more than I could ever explain.
I lost my mom when I was 23. It seems so long ago. I remember thinking that my life was left with a big gaping hole in it. Happy Mother’s Day Mom! I hope you are still watching over me.
I put my house on the market and got an offer the first day. I am so happy that it happened quickly but also so scared to make such a big move. I have done so many updates and fixed things so nicely, why move? But, isn’t that what happens? I am sure that whoever moves in will feel the love within the walls. When the house sells I will get to be back full-time with David but also farther away from my daughter. No decisions are one sidedly easy. But with Lindsay succeeding at her work and being so young and a strong person, she will do fine whether I am a town over or many states away.
I have been inconsistently active on my blog. There is so much that has to get done in a day and I honestly feel like I am on the go 24-7. If you are feeling bored let me know what you do to have the down-time! Lol. I appreciate every person who continues to read my work and “chat” with me. I suppose there will come a day where I can start structuring my time again. My father is so needy that it is often hard to sit and write when he is continually asking me questions or in need of something. He will be 89 next month. Holy cow!
If you continue to participate in Simply 6-Minutes on Tuesdays then Thank you! If you don’t participate yet, check it out on Tuesday. It is fun and relaxing and puts such a smile on my face. Spread the word…It’s all for the fun of it.
Does anyone remember when “Baked Lays” first came out and they were wreaking havoc on peoples’ stomachs? Supposedly whatever they put in their food that makes it fat free also leads to a laxative effect. I learned not too long ago and was reminded the other day that “sugar free” candy also has the same effect on the bowel track. So…if you are feeling irregular try the sugar free hard candies they sell at the Dollar Tree.
That is enough rambling for everyone for one day. Peace to you all! Have a very Happy Monday!
When was the last time you were totally lost? [Be this physically, mentally, emotionally or so on, interpretation is yours] When was the last time I wasn’t? Starting with my husband passing in 2018 my life has not stopped this whirlwind of changes. I just want a place to physically settle, mentally relax, and be more emotionally stable.
Do you think that we as viewers to the entertainment industry have much higher and perhaps unrealistic expectations to the content that we read, watch or listen to today in comparison to previous years and or generations?
Literature/Film/Television/Music I think a lot of people expect a lot! I don’t see what is wrong with the old shows. They were truly funny if they were supposed to be. They were truthful, maybe a little too truthful sometimes. TV shows and movies were good even though every aspect wasn’t perfectly realistic. Some of the techno stuff and stunts make movies now less believable in my opinion.
Does Money ‘Really’ make us happy or is that just a myth and more importantly it is ‘what you do with it’ that makes you happier? I think that money has the potential to make your life easier. Once your life is easier you have more time and energy to focus on yourself and your happiness. I think what you do with it really only matters if you care to share it. I honestly don’t care about extravagant vacations, fancy cars, and other indulgences that even a typical “well off” person still could never afford in a lifetime.
How important to you is it to be right? I’m always right unless I am wrong. If I am right then just know that I am right and that I have done my homework to ensure I am right. If I am wrong, please point it out and let me know where I went wrong. That way the next time I will be right again.
How often do you find yourself completely confused with life and the way it is changing and has changed over the last ten or twenty years? Never. It isn’t confusing it is just super f—-ed up!
When out shopping and carrying your goods or groceries which do you prefer to use more often – paper or plastic bags [reusable] or cotton totes or something else? It depends on what I plan on doing with the bags. When I have to pack things I like the plastic bags to pack things in. If I know I will have a lot of recyclables then I like paper so I can reuse it immediately. I do have an obsession with reusable bags and have been told I am no longer “allowed” to purchase bags because I have so many. I like them though but don’t reuse them as often as I should because I see new ones I like.
How many emails do you get a day [roughly] and from who do you get the most? Probably at least 75 emails a day. Most are from retail outlets since I do a lot of shopping online. I have a few different email addresses so each one gets different types.
Have you ever made for yourself ‘homemade wine/spirits’ and if so what was it made from and how was it? Only by accident when I have left fruit or juice in the fridge for too long. I do make Kombucha but it isn’t considered a spirit.
In your opinion and from no ‘fixed time period’, what have been in your eyes the top 5 most memorable television series you have ever watched and what made them special to you? 1. The Muppet Show: loved the puppets and I remember so many of the shows. 2. The Brady Bunch: It was unrealistic with all those kids but each of the kids was “normal” in some kid sort of way. 3. Blue Bloods: Just so good in all senses 4. America’s Next Top Model: I love seeing all of the transformations Tyra would impose on the would-be models. 5. The Love Boat: It was just the ultimate vacation and always love!
What’s wrong with today’s music as opposed to the music of your yesterday’s – do you consider the music now to be far worse or greatly improved and why? I think both. Some music is so technical that it doesn’t seem like a human has even participated in it.
Does world history really matter to our daily lives – is it that important – l mean it’s not like we can change anything right – what do you think? Yes, and it shouldn’t be erased. That is how we learn not to do the same stupid things that have happened in the past. It is good to see what mistakes were made.
Do you believe that a good night’s sleep and waking up refreshed the following day helps you make better decisions or worthier improvements to your life – or it makes no difference at all? It totally makes a world of difference. I have recently been very tired and I am cranky and irritable. I don’t feel like doing much and I just want to eat….
How old are you* and how old do you feel — older or younger than your actual chronological age? Do you generally act your age? And what does “acting your age” mean to you?
I am 49 but feel like I just graduated from high school. I don’t feel old enough to have to make many of the decisions I have had to make in life. On the contrary, I am happy being home doing crafty stuff or reading. I can I am also a “repurposer” so I hate throwing things away that I might be able to use again some day.