The King of Clayfield - 01

The King of Clayfield - 01 by Shane Gregory Read Free Book Online

Book: The King of Clayfield - 01 by Shane Gregory Read Free Book Online
Authors: Shane Gregory
in telling people to drink?   I would think that now more than ever, especially in the infected zones,   people wouldn’t want their judgment impaired.”
    “I’m not telling anyone to drink; I’m trying to get information out there that has the possibility for saving lives.”
    “Doctor, how much should we drink to fight off the virus?”
    “I’m not say anyone should drink…I don’t know….”
    I turned the TV off.   I had a bottle of bourbon in the pantry, but I didn’t want to get plastered just on the hunch of   a tired doctor. I had to keep my wits.
    I started to try my mom again, but decided to wait. Part of me questioned why she hadn’t called to check on me .
     
    I slept hard. When I woke up, daylight was coming through a   gap in my bedroom curtains.   There   was a faint smell of smoke.   The house was cold. It wasn’t cold enough for me to see my breath, but it was uncomfortable. My alarm clock was dark. I’d set it   to go off at 6:30 am, so I could   go help   Jen.   I tried the lamp   by my bed, and it wouldn’t come on.
    I peeked through the curtain, and there was about   an inch   of new snow on the ground.   A   body was in the street in front of the house next door, also covered in snow. It was smoky out there.   I’d hoped it had all been a dream.
    I went to the kitchen where   I could   check a   battery-operated clock.   It was   a little after   nine. I looked out a window in the back of the house. I could see a lot of smoke coming up over the trees to the west.
    I wouldn’t be able to stay. Maybe I could bundle up enough to sleep there, so long as that fire didn’t spread,   but eventually   the water would freeze.   It might warm up this afternoon, or it might stay this cold for a week. I didn’t know, and I doubted the local weatherman was still making forecasts.
    I went to my closet and put on some warmer clothes–a blue and yellow Murray State University sweatshirt and some jeans. Then I took out five more changes of clothes to take with me to Blaine’s. I piled them all on the bed, and then I went out to the   spare room   to get my suitcase. On my way through the living room, I stopped to try my mom again. The phone   relied on electricity and   was dead. I felt a little empty and worried. I wondered if I would ever know if she was okay. I was suddenly angry with the woman in the mask for taking my cell phone.
    I was angry all around.
    I went into the spare room. I never called it the guest room because I never had any guests. I’d always thought about turning it into a little library or a study, but that’s just another plan that never happened. The room was stacked with boxes and junk. When I divorced two years prior, I’d bought this place. I unpacked the necessities when I first moved in, but this other stuff had never made it out of their boxes. Some of the boxes were packed when   I left home for college   many years before. I was just too sentimental or too much of a pack rat to let any of it   go.
    One of the boxes contained my old comic books. Some were collector’s items, but I never sold them, because I always thought I’d read them again. I tried once, but they just weren’t the same…no, I wasn’t the same. Another box had some of my back issues of Mother Earth News. I never threw them away either. I always had this little fantasy of living in the country and growing my own food. I could live that dream vicariously through Blaine and reading those magazine articles. I grabbed the box. I figured that I’d need them.
    I packed my clothes in the suitcase. I emptied out one of the boxes of junk   from the spare room and put the contents of my   medicine cabinet in there. I took everything--even a bottle of expired vitamins.   I had three   rolls   of toilet paper and a partial; I put them in the box. Toothpaste, mouthwash, disposable razors, nail clippers—it all went in.
    I had some lace-up Wolverine work boots   in

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