Patient Zero by @TerryTyler4 is a Post-Apocalyptic Festival pick #99cents #postapocalyptic #giveaway
Title: Patient Zero
Author: Terry Tyler
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Short Stories
The year is 2024.
A mysterious virus rages around the UK.
Within days, 'bat fever' is out of control.
Patient Zero is a collection of nine short stories featuring characters from the post-apocalyptic Project Renova series. All stories are completely 'stand alone'.
Jared: The Spare Vial Jared has two vaccinations against the deadly virus: one for him, one for a friend... Flora: Princess Snowflake The girl with the perfect life, who believes in her father, the government, Christian charity and happy endings. Jeff: The Prepper What does a doomsday 'prepper' do when there is nothing left to prepare for? …and six more, including the title story, Patient Zero.
Excerpt from Meg: The Prison Guard's Wife:
Meg Lachlan has been waiting for three hours for her husband to come home from work, and her anxiety increases by the minute.
Why did he have to be so conscientious? Before this dreadful disease popped up from nowhere she admired this quality in him, but right now she wishes Donald would be like everyone else in the village, and take the opportunity to 'bunk off', as Mr Garratt down the road calls it. He said all businesses and shops must surely be closed now. Some of her neighbours stopped going into work as soon as the first cases were reported in London.
Meg doesn't know what to do. Donald makes the decisions in their house. They enjoy what she calls a 'traditional' marriage, in which the husband provides and protects, and the wife cares for the home.
Meg prefaces many of her statements with, "I may seem old-fashioned, but—".
When they heard about the first outbreak in Norfolk, Donald told her that, from now on, he would do the shopping, because it might not be safe out there.
She didn't understand why on earth it wouldn't be, but that first Saturday morning he returned with grim news. Just one case of this disease in one town, a hundred and fifty miles away, and the supermarket was like those Black Friday scenes in America that they'd seen on one of Donald's favourite cable shows. People actually fighting over items. Unbelievable! But he'd managed to wrestle his way through to the checkout with a full trolley to supplement their already ample stock of non-perishables.
Donald says it's important to keep a healthy store cupboard. Four of everything, he says, because you never know.
Donald prefaces many of his sentences with, "Call me over-cautious, but—".
Thus, before the virus, Meg kept the freezer filled with casseroles and frozen items, though some went to waste when the power failed. They worked out how much they could eat before it spoiled, and distributed the surplus amongst their neighbours. Meg enjoyed that part. Mr Garratt said her coq au vin was 'magnifique', even if he did have to heat it up over the fire.
Young Tina, on her own with two kiddies, cried with gratitude when Meg gave her a bag filled with sausages, crumpets and fish fingers. Meg thinks they might have caught the disease, though, because she hasn't seen them for a day or so, and the kiddies are usually out in the garden, playing.
She isn't sure if she ought to go and find out. If only Donald were here she could talk it over with him, and he would know the best thing to do.
Truth is, she's scared of seeing dead bodies.
The virus was slow to reach their village, but quite a few have died now. At first the vicar held memorial services in place of proper funerals, but last week he died, too. Meg is anxious, all the time. She and Donald have letters inviting them to the unit in the next village, for vaccination, but that's not until the end of October, and she's heard the system has already broken down. Jessie Bletsoe, up the road, went for hers at the end of August and there was no one there. The door had been kicked in and there were no medical supplies, or any indication that staff had been there for a long time, just a mouldy sandwich in the waste bin.
"Covered in grey-green mould, it was," she said. "Must have been there for weeks." A few days later, she and her boyfriend both fell ill.
Donald says it's best if Meg stays indoors, because if she doesn't see anyone, she can't catch the disease.
It's so quiet, though. Lonely. Meg likes to play an active part in her community, chat to her neighbours. Before everything shut down, she used to nip down to the shops every day, even if she didn't need anything.
When Donald is at work she goes outside and pretends to do gardening, just so that she can catch up with anyone who happens to walk past, and find out what's going on.
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Grab an e-copy for only 99 cents!
What makes your featured book a must-read?
The nine short stories are a great introduction to the Project Renova series, or, if you have already read the series, they’re a chance to find out more about a few minor characters, or backstory to some major ones. Also, shorts are a good way of testing a new genre out – I’m surprised by how many people tell me, on reading one of my books, that, previously, they’d assumed the post-apocalyptic genre was all about zombies and guns!
Enter to win an e-book bundle of all 17 books featured in the Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Bookish Event:
Runs February 23 – March 2, 2021.
Winner will be drawn on March 3, 2021.
Terry Tyler is the author of twenty-two books available from Amazon, the latest being 'The Visitor', a post-apocalyptic murder mystery set in the same world as her popular Project Renova series. She is currently at work on 'Megacity', the third and final book in her dystopian Operation Galton series, after which she may decide to write something a bit more cheerful. Proud to be independently published, Terry is an avid reader and book reviewer, and a member of Rosie Amber's Book Review Team. She lives in north east England with her husband.
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