As a NYS Licensed Speech Language Pathologist, writing became my passion after 9/11 when I felt compelled to research and write Jolt: a rural noir. My intent was to thrill the reader with a love story of survival that would also lead to greater knowledge of how the POD or Point of Distribution approach to survival in the event of dirty bombs and a nuclear meltdown could help even a small village to respond, survive, and overcome the challenges of mass emigration and the need to care for fallout victims.
Jolt: a rural noir was a medalist in the 2011 Jenkins Living Now Awards for Inspirational Fiction and is currently #1 on the 2012 Goodreads Great Indie Novels book list at http://www.goodreads.com/list/user_vote/1268953.
This year my company, ALVA Press, Inc. at http://alvapressinc.com, published and distributed its first two eBooks: Jolt: a rural noir and Kristen Henderson's intense and lyric book of poetry, Drum Machine.
Jolt: a rural noir and Drum Machine are available from most major eBook distributors and wholesalers--although for some reason many list my editor, Joan Schweighardt, as Jolt's author. We are working on correcting the error, however I did want to alert you to it as it is somewhat disconcerting and I should prefer you not be confused by it.
My home is in Poughkeepsie, New York. Weekdays I provide speech language services to emotionally challenged children at the Astor Learning Center in Rhinebeck, New York.
I have a BA in English from SUC at Albany, NY, an MA in speech language pathology, and was determined to be EBD at the University of Michigan in speech pathology. I am the sole owner of ALVA Press, Inc., a venture I am enjoying very much!
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At the next turn off, Mary pulls off the main road, stops, runs quickly to the trunk, almost tearing off her clothes as she goes. Anything to rid herself of the radioactive materials likely to be covering her. She knows the go-box is in the trunk and in it are flip-flops and a sweat-suit.
Several cars pass her. They do not stop for the woman tearing off her clothes and shoes. Nor do they stop when, stark naked, she opens the box in the trunk, pulls out an over-sized sweat shirt and dons it. Next it is the sweat pants. Then the flip-flops.
Grabbing a large ice scraper kept there regardless of the season, Mary runs around to the front and sweeps off any ash she finds on the top of the car, being careful in the process to avoid having it blow or be swept onto her clothes. The cracks at the bottom of the windows she cleans with some care. Quickly she runs around car, in particular sweeping the top surfaces as well as she possibly can. She throws the scraper far from the road into the bushes, leaves her clothes where they have fallen, slams shut the trunk, and takes off for home. Mary recalls the automatic car wash about five minutes away. It’s run by a guy who lives in a trailer nearby it. The town has been working to force him into upgrading the looks of the place but the problem is, they can’t find any safety or health violations and he’s been there so long any changes in the statues since he opened the place can have no effect, as he’s been grandfathered in on them all.
His trailer he runs on solar panels which he balances with the effects of geothermal cooling that he’s rigged up in the stream that runs beside the place. He’s a real kook and even has a way of keeping his water bill down by storing and recycling at least some of the water he uses in the car wash. For emergency situations he used a solar powered, battery run generator.
If she is lucky, it will be working and the car wash open.
Mary’s purse was still on the floor where she threw it when the bomb went off. A five. She needed a five. A five. She pulled into the drive to the carwash pulled the. The owner must have seen her coming. Probably he’d been watching from the window of the trailer. Brief hellos are exchanged as he lifted the locks from his left shoulder, tossed them backward and down his back, accepted the five and pushed a button beside the door to the carwash.
An abbreviated toodle-loo wave to the man at the service area door and Mary rolled up her window. The aluminum and glass door rose. She drove in.
Inside the carwash and feeling radioactive free Mary relaxed a bit having obeyed Lou’s first rule: Decon first; worry next. She pulled a cell phone from her purse side pocket. A quick try confirmed what she had expected. No service. The decision was made: she would head for home and hope the boys and Lou were doing the same—assuming they had not decided to make a run for it. Her thinking was this: she had no place to hunker in and though the better decision might be to run north and out of the path of the Westerlies and their potential for bringing radioactive fallout. Except the chance the boys or Lou had headed home and her drive to take care of her sons eliminated that as a choice.
While her mind raced, her body was on automatic. The lights within the car wash blinked for her to stop, then go, then stop, go, stop. She did as expected. The car was quickly soaped, rinsed, and air-blown. The aluminum and glass back door opened. The process was complete.
On arrival home some twenty minutes later, it occurred to Mary that she had no recollection whatsoever of the drive, any lights, or any other cars. Outside her own thoughts, the last thing she could visualize was the door of the carwash rising.
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