Evolution. It’s a 6.

We pick up this week in the serial “Zombies and puppies” as Jaya and Seven rescue Ryan from an abandoned warehouse where he was being held, taken hostage a few days prior by a group of rabids. Led by what our heroine has dubbed “Gladiator”, it is apparent once roaming bands of flesh-eaters are now becoming organized.


I jumped out of the Humvee while Seven, leaping out behind me with as much velocity as 4 paws can grant a 90lb dog, hit the ground running (reconnaissance duty waits for no dog); I walked around the vehicle to open the passenger side door; Ryan, seatbelt still hooked, turned, eyes eerily vacant – “Ryan, look at me!” I slapped him hard across his face. Reeling from the impact, his head bounced against the Humvee’s door frame, “Jesus, Jaya, what the hell!”

“You looked like you were in shock so, ya know, the slap thing is a good attention getter“; the moment hung suspended like a piñata as I watched 6′ of lithe muscle, a mop of brownish hair barely covering his grimace of pain, slowly exit the vehicle and realized how much I’ve taken for granted. Standing on the hardened sand parking lot, seemingly uninjured, Ryan began looking more like the man I knew, eyes sharpening, assessing; an echo of emotion, reverberating in a canyon from another lifetime, whispered and my mind drifted to part of a Longfellow quote – “That which the fountain sends forth returns again to the fountain”.

I quickly dismissed any emotion not pertinent to our situation, “I have a million questions Ryan, so let’s – wait – are you hurt? what the hell happened? who was the gladiator guy? the alpha rabid?…”

Barely 2 miles up the road from a burning warehouse, in the middle of the parking lot of the Tractor Supply Co. on N Central Expressway in McKinney, Texas, soft breeze blowing, Ryan and I stood inches from each other, eyes locked, words for the moment, irrelevant.

32 thoughts on “Evolution. It’s a 6.

  1. Frank Hubeny October 7, 2021 / 3:24 pm

    It looks like Ryan survived although he seemed drugged in some way. I wonder what he has to say about that alpha rabid and what else he found out..

    Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge October 7, 2021 / 10:12 pm

      He did, Frank. I’m not sure yet exactly what happened but I’ve a definite feeling he’s going to have difficulty explaining it to Jaya.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. clark October 7, 2021 / 5:28 pm

    Good action (both in pacing and not-quite-defined forward momentum*)
    Hopefully Ryan gathers himself and doesn’t thrive on suffering.

    *the best kind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge October 7, 2021 / 10:16 pm

      Thank you, Clark. They are moving forward…into obvious uncharted territories.
      I know, right?


  3. Chris Hall October 8, 2021 / 3:46 am

    Gripping! The door’s wide open for so much more… (can’t wait!!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge October 8, 2021 / 9:31 am

      Thank you, Chris!! (the question now: can I walk through that door? lol)


  4. UP October 8, 2021 / 9:54 am

    Good job. This serial sixing is not as easy as it seems

    Liked by 2 people

      • The Atomic Mage October 9, 2021 / 2:56 am

        To Paul and D – I can’t believe how much concentration it requires, for me it’s new territory and a bit like writing a novella crossed with a TV series I suppose.
        Hard work – but so enjoyable (yes, we love it, D 😊)

        Liked by 2 people

  5. jenne49 October 8, 2021 / 5:34 pm

    Moving house has kept me occupied for a few weeks, so I’m looking forward to going back – now that doesn’t sound quite right! – to catch up on what I’ve missed. And waiting impatiently to hear what happens next in this tense tale. The language of your descriptions is so vivid. Exciting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge October 8, 2021 / 9:09 pm

      No doubt, Jenne. Moving is one of those should be exciting but the mechanics of it are so… not, lol.
      I bet you’re more than ready to reestablish a more routine, routine 🙂
      Thank you!


  6. The Atomic Mage October 9, 2021 / 2:49 am

    Your three main characters seem like they can draw strength from one another and take charge when the moment dictates – excellent dynamics, D.
    That moment at the end between Jaya and Ryan dances on a multitude of emotions and possibilities. Cool quote too, and clever to use it for the prompt. Now we have to wait a while longer to find out more about the alpha rabid and what exactly happened back there to Ryan 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Atomic Mage October 9, 2021 / 3:03 am

      PS – have you seen Black Summer? I watched both seasons recently and thought it was an excellent take on the zombie genre – dark and realistic, real stripped down to the bare bones stuff!

      Liked by 1 person

      • GirlieOnTheEdge October 9, 2021 / 10:21 am

        I have not. Never even heard of it so thanks for the heads up. I will definitely check it out!

        Liked by 1 person

      • GirlieOnTheEdge October 9, 2021 / 10:39 am

        P.S. Was just at YouTube and saw trailer for Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. Not a fan of most film attempts at prequels/origin stories (even though I’m trying my hand at an origin story, lol) but….looks pretty good, V. Check it out 😱☠

        Liked by 1 person

        • The Atomic Mage October 9, 2021 / 12:05 pm

          Ha, couldn’t help think of Seven when I saw that dog appear (please don’t get rabid, Seven!!). The trailer works so well with the 4 Non Blondes tune eh?

          Liked by 1 person

          • GirlieOnTheEdge October 9, 2021 / 12:59 pm

            Good 🙂
            Never! I didn’t realize until after I named him and I looked up the various meanings of the number 7, that it was a perfect name for him.

            Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge October 9, 2021 / 10:19 am

      Thank you, V. Have been uncertain character dynamics have shone through. I often forget when writing, to write for the readers and not myself.
      Yes, I agree that moment was an extreme circumstance nudging open a door. Appreciate the nod to being clever but the prompt word was in place before the quote. Mr. Longfellow’s words found their own way to the story 🙂
      That’s right! What did happen to Ryan?! 😎

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Atomic Mage October 9, 2021 / 11:54 am

        I think we have to write for both the reader and ourselves to get the best results, and the two elements might balance one another.
        The dynamics of woman/man/dog work, plus you had your original cast in the beginning before Seven, then the recent Priest backstory.
        Yes… tell us, tell us, tell us, tell us what happened to Ryan!!! We want to know!! 😎

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Pat Brockett October 9, 2021 / 6:07 pm

    Wow! This had me leaning forward not wanting to miss any details, but still feeling an urgency to find out what was going to happen next as fast as possible. From the first sentence to the last. . .gripping!

    Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge October 9, 2021 / 8:58 pm

      Thank you, Pat! So glad you enjoyed this latest scene! I hope to keep the suspense going 😀


  8. ceayr October 11, 2021 / 6:25 am

    Powerfully descriptive, Denise, you make the moments real

    Liked by 1 person

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