Authors: Lawrence Nason Jr.
Rise of the Death Walkers
CIRCLE OF HERITAGE SERIES
LAWRENCE W. NASON JR.
Published by Lawrence Nason Jr.
Copyright 2013 Lawrence Nason Jr.
All rights reserved.
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious.
Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental
and not intended by the author.
Text copyright 2013 by Lawrence Nason Jr.
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval
system, or transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise,
without the express written permission of the publisher.
This book is dedicated to Irma Nason. She is the woman who always told me never to give up on my dreams.
Table of Contents
I waited until I saw the signal that everyone was in place before I turned to my second and commanded. "Move out. If it moves and it's not ours it dies." The entire process would take no more than twenty minutes and as I had commanded, nothing survived on the opposing forces. We were using electronic pulse guns that would trigger a hefty shock to anyone hit. It was a tribute to the training my men had received that I had not lost a single man in the entire operation.
We had reached the objective and were back at our base camp waiting for further orders from the training personal responsible for rating this final exercise in our advanced urban warfare course. I would be notified at the conclusion of the operation if we had received a pass or fail. If I passed I would be given my orders as to my first assignment.
"Corporal Whitemar, report to Captain Blake immediately." I flinched as my assumed name was bellowed over the announcement system. Jason White was no more and Jeran Whitemar was who I was and would remain. Jason White was wanted for escaping custody Jeran Whitemar was an unknown in the sea of millions of Americans and thousands of soldiers who volunteered to defend the American way of life.
Chapter 1 - New Beginnings
The rays of the mid afternoon sun caressed the tops of the trees behind my house on an early afternoon in mid August 1979. There was the sharp expectation of change lingering in the air. I stood on the back porch and reflected on the hard life I and my family lived. We had no fancy cars or designer clothing in my family. We wore whatever our parents could afford to get us and most of the time these were second-hand castoffs from one of the local churches. If that was not hard enough, we also had to face the wrath and abuse of the man who our mother had chosen to live with.
Violence was not new in my life. Some of my earliest childhood memories were of violent fights between my father and mother. I remember the fear in my heart and on the faces of my siblings during these fights. I remember trying to hide outside while the fights were happening and still becoming the object of my father's rage. The times I was flung against the wall or kicked across the front yard of the house we were currently renting. I remember the trips to the hospital for broken bones and split open heads. But most of all I remember the anger when my parents had disappeared. The local social service office had taken me, my three younger brothers, and younger sister and placed us with total strangers. We were spread across the north-country for four years while in foster care. Four years and many court dates later, my mother was able to get all of us back in her custody. My father was in the wind and we haven’t heard from him since. It had taken four years because the courts would not let all of us come home at the same time. They staggered the return of custody over a period of one year. First the two oldest. Then my brother Ricky, and finally the twins were returned home. Once we were all back together I swore nobody would ever separate us again.
I was fourteen that summer, and little did I know, it would be a summer that changed my life forever. My mother’s voice interrupted my reminiscence of my past life experiences. She was very good about that. Any time I would be off somewhere thinking or dreaming she would interrupt my thoughts with some mundane chore. This chore would be usually something thought up by Roger, the man she lived with. And usually something that only benefited him and not the family as a whole. I hated Roger with an intensity that I believe only my mother was aware of.
“Jason? Jason, I know you can hear me please come to the kitchen for a minute. Your father and I want to speak with you.” She knew I hated it when she called him my father but she continued to do so in the hope I would accept him as such. I hoped she didn’t hold her breath waiting.
With a sigh I moved to the open door of the back porch and called to her, “I’ll be right there Mom.” As I walk slowly down the hallway I looked at the broken walls of the apartment. The holes in the walls were an ugly confirmation of the various times I had tried to get this monster off my mother and out of the apartment. I’d never get used to the idea that my father left us years ago and this strange person has taken his place in our lives. The man was a drunk and when he drank he became ugly and brutal. Turning into the doorway I forced a smile onto my face and said, “I’m here Mom.”
My mother looked at me with a sparkle in her black eyes and said softly. “Come sit at the table with your father and I. We have something important we would like to talk to you about.” She motioned with her hand toward the empty seat at the end of the kitchen table.
I looked sharply at her. She lowered her eyes from my gaze. I felt a sharp tug at my heart seeing yet again evidence of how the continued violence from Roger had broken her spirit. Moving to the end of the table I meet Roger’s eyes and am surprised that none of the aggression I normally see in them is there. His expression is somehow neutral and I’m suddenly put on guard. Pulling out the chair creates an overly loud scraping noise on the floor. I wince as I hear it.
The past few weeks had been a bit of a puzzle to me. Roger and my mother had been including me in the discussions and planning for the move from town to the farm. I’ve not seen where we are moving yet. The farm was located about nine miles outside of the town and lies in the direction of Helena. I never thought they’d consider a fourteen year old mature enough to take part in family discussions. I guess stranger things can happen. I looked at my mother and waited for her to begin. Her eyes moved to Roger, so I turned my attention to him.
Roger cleared his throat as he crushed the cigarette out and reached for another one in the pack on the table in front of him. I watched his eyes as he lights the new cigarette, hoping that the normal malice I usually see in his eyes does not return. “Son, your mother and I have been speaking about your entering high school this year and we realize that you actually have a choice as to where you can go, given the location of the farm. Your brothers and sister will be going to the school in Brasher Falls but we’re close enough to the district line where you can either go to St. Lawrence Central or Massena High School. We’re leaving the choice to you and you alone.” He looked at me waiting for my reply.
I shifted a bit uncomfortable in my chair and thought about what he said, while switching my gaze alternately between my mother and him. I hadn’t even thought about the possibility of schools during this time. I figured I’d have to go to a new school anyway. It would be basically the same either way since I wasn’t especially open and outgoing while I was in school. The last two years in the local catholic school had been a bit of a trial because the majority of the kids in my class had been from upper class families and they’d not considered me worth the trouble of talking to, or being friendly to, given my lower class welfare family status. I cleared my throat before speaking. ”I haven’t actually thought about that. I assumed I’d be going to the same school as the kids. What brings this on?”
My mom smiled and looked at me with loving eyes, “Well you’re getting older and we thought you may want to stay with your friends here. The kids from your Junior High School will be going to the Massena High School.”
“Well I don’t really have any friends from my old school so it doesn’t make a difference one way or the other, but Massena has an awesome art program and I think it’d be better for me to go there.” I shifted my glance to Roger at the mention of art. I saw the distinct tightening of the muscles in his shoulder. I knew how low an opinion he had of my choice of art over any other honorable trade available. There’s just that minute change in him as he tensed up before he relaxed again.
I glanced over to my mother and noticed she had lightly tightened the hold she had on Roger’s free hand. She looked back at me and smiled. “Well, then it’s settled, you’ll go to the Massena High School and I’ll go tomorrow and make sure you are registered for the fall semester. You’ll need to watch your brothers and sister while we are gone. Have them start packing their own stuff in their rooms. We want to be out of here and on the farm by this time next week.”
“Jason! Jason!” I looked up at my youngest brother Charles as he rushed into the room, calling my name. He stopped right next to my chair and continued breathlessly. “We want to start a baseball game and we know we won't have a chance unless you play with us.” He swiveled his head toward my mother as she cleared her throat and then realized he was interrupting. “Oh I am sorry Mom and Dad. I didn’t know you were talking.” He shifted his eyes to Roger gulping as he backed up slowly.
“It’s ok Charles we’ve just finished.” I interrupted what might have turned into a violent situation. I met Roger’s eyes with a determined look in mine. “Mother, Roger, if there’s nothing else we need to speak about I’ll go play baseball with my brothers and sister.”
Roger took a deep pull on the cigarette in his hand and waved us out toward the door. “Go ahead and play some baseball, you’ve been inside too long today anyways, so go get some fresh air and exercise.” He pushed out his chair and looked over to my mother. “I’m going to the bar now to see if I can find some more customers for firewood.”
My mother sighed as he said this, knowing that if he drinks too much, later would be a bit of a problem. I grabbed my glove and ran out the door pulling Charles with me before any argument started. “Go tell them I’m coming Charles, I’ll bring the bats and the rest of the equipment with me.” I pushed him lightly in the direction of the park. He turned quickly and broke into a run.
I gathered the baseball equipment from under the porch and followed Charles. The equipment was a gift from my aging grandfather. Grandfather Sam was a full blooded Indian from the nearby reservation. He had attempted time and time again to get my mother to move us there, where we belonged. I dropped the baseball equipment bag on the ground and began to pass it out to my brothers, sister and the few neighborhood kids who my younger brothers had coaxed into playing with us. I looked again at the strange birthmark on my left hand. It looked like a star surrounded by four diamond in perfect placement around it. I remembered the first time we met my grandfather how he had reacted to seeing the birthmark. I shook my head to bring myself back to the present and looked around at the kids. “I’ll captain one team who wants to take the other?”