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Surviving the Apocalypse – Pandemic

by Tinnean

Laurie Parkinson, who’s lived in Laurel Hills all his life, is a gay sheet metal worker who’d rather be a gay hairdresser. Wheat Dupuis, who’s also gay, is the scion of one of Laurel Hill’s wealthiest families. He’d rather grow grapes than become CFO of Dupuis International.

Laurie wakes one morning to discover his family gone and his town decimated by a bacteria that has lain dormant for millennia, incased in ice. With the melting of the ice caps, the bacteria is released, and mankind faces a pandemic that could surpass the Black Plague.

Wheat and his family are on their way to safety when the unthinkable happens and he’s left behind. Laurie knows of a bunker in the woods outside Laurel Hill, where he intends to take refuge. On the way there, Laurie finds and rescues Wheat.

Can two such dissimilar men work together through a pandemic to find their families ... and possibly find love, as well?

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Laurie studied the area, then gave a satisfied nod and said, “This way.”
And unerringly, he led them to the piece of shit, which fortunately, hadn’t leaked.
He unlocked the doors, and they piled the bugout bag, the backpack, and the pharmacy bag onto the backseat, and he dropped the bag of trash on the floorboard. A glance at the gas gauge showed he had a little more than half a tank.
“That’s odd.”
“What is?” Wheat asked, making sure the back doors were locked.
“I didn’t think I had this much gas left.” Laurie shook his head. “Obviously I was wrong. Stay here. I’ll be right back.”
“Wait, where are you going?”
“I’m just going to check out the road. I want to make sure no one is nearby.”
“I’m going with you.”
“It’s not—”
“I’m going with you.”
“Fine. Just stay frosty.”
“I know. Sick people are dangerous, but well people more so.”


Wheat seemed relaxed about the whole thing, but from what he’d told Laurie, he hadn’t seen what either sick or well could do.
Laurie just hoped they didn’t run into either variety.
They walked through the underbrush as quietly as they could and peeked out cautiously. “Looks like we lucked out,” Wheat murmured.
“Yeah.” No one was around. “Oof.” Wheat had grabbed him and held tight to him, and Laurie could feel the tremors shivering through his lover’s body. “Hey. It’s all right. We’ll do fine.” But he held on just as tight.
“I know.” Wheat’s smile was certain. “I’m just so relieved we’re in this together.”
“So am I.” Laurie glanced up at the sky. “We’ve got to move before it gets too late.” He grabbed Wheat’s hand, and they hurried back to the piece of shit.
Wheat shook his head and kissed him. “For luck,” he said.
Laurie kissed him back. “For luck.”
They got in, made sure the doors were locked, and buckled up. Yeah, the piece of shit was so old it could almost be considered an antique, but Pop wouldn’t let Laurie buy it until he’d been certain at least the front seat had seat belts.
“Keep your fingers crossed.”
Wheat held up both hands to show his fingers were crossed.
Laurie nodded, put the key in the ignition, and twisted it. For a change, the piece of shit started on the first try, and the engine actually sounded pretty good. Out of habit, he turned on the radio and jumped when he got something. “What the fuck?”
It was the Walker Brothers singing “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore.”
“Well, that’s depressing.”
“This is Althea McAvoy.” The smooth, warm contralto came out of the speakers.
Laurie sent Wheat a quick glance. “This isn’t her usual time.” Normally, she was on during the late afternoon drive time, when everyone was heading home from work.
“No, it isn’t.”
“You’ve been listening to Music for the End of the World. This is a recording, obviously.”
“That explains it.”
Laurie grunted.
“Before I leave, I’m going to set this to play until we run out of power, which could be at any time. I want to thank you all for being loyal listeners, even after it came out that I prefer girls. Good luck to you all. And sugar—” Her voice became throaty. “—pour the wine, I’m on my way home.”
“You know, it’s funny,” Wheat observed. “She didn’t start using that signoff until last fall.”
“Yeah, I remember. There was a big thing with everyone wondering who this sugar might be.”
Skeeter Davis began singing “The End of the World.”


The Walker Brothers The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore can be found here:

Skeeter Davis’s The End of the World can be found here.

And here's Fontella Bass's Rescue Me:

This is similar to the bugout bag Laurie carried with him:

About the Author

Tinnean has been writing since the 3rd grade, where she was inspired to try her hand at epic poetry. Fortunately, that epic poem didn't survive the passage of time; however, her love of writing not only survived but thrived, and in high school she became a member of the magazine staff, where she contributed a number of stories.

While involved in fandom, she was nominated for both Rerun and Light My Fire Awards. Now she concentrates on her original characters and has been published by Nazca Plains, Dreamspinner, JMS Books, and Wilde City, as well as being self-published. Recent novels have received honorable mention in the 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Rainbow Awards, and two of the 2014 submissions were finalists.

A New Yorker at heart, she resides in SW Florida with her husband, two computers, and a Surface 3.