Tag Archives: scott vannatter

ME, Me, Everywhere!

I did today what most people do at some point in time:  I did a search on Google for “Scott Vannatter” (sans the “”).

It returned with 26,800 finds.  Rather than write a post that would stretch on for the length of a small novel, I wandered through the first 15 pages and pulled anything that truly had to do with me, and not the other bunch sharing my name or last name.  Amusing?  Yes, and I thought I would share with you just a bit.

  1.  My LinkedIn profile
  2. My Facebook profile  – I am the 2nd one, the one with hat and dark glasses ( actual page )
  3. White pages – From Middletown and just found out my 2nd wife remarried, Interesting.
  4. My Amazon Kindle Collection 
  5. My Twitter Account
  6. My Kevin Bufton Books (1 story in each) on Goodreads
  7. My Google+ page 
  8. A Scam reporting page (I am down a bit on the list)
  9. A Page about My Father’s Death 
  10. Page from School where I taught
  11. My Cousin – a page
  12. A comment I made on Grace for Retts, a post I have followed for years.  Worth a look! Home page
  13. My UK Amazon Kindle Page
  14. A brief listing about my son – decided not to give link for his own privacy
  15. A Digitized copy of my MA diploma program (not sure why the names and things are crossed out, but I am in the very top section!)

There you have the Internet of Me!  Not really exciting, but does show how much info is collected on someone over the years. There could be, I suppose, a few more in the remaining 26K+ entries I didn’t try, however, it is doubtful as relevance goes down as the list continues.

How about Googling yourself?  Have you ever Googled someone else?  Dating someone? Spouse? Children? Neighbor?

Just nosey, that’s all.  This was, basically, to help you understand that you really do need to keep your private info private.  I try hard not to give out anything that I would care if anyone found out about it.

Namaste,

Scott

 

 

Keeping Watch – A Short Horror Story done in parts – Part One (R)

After a lot of thought and work, here is the first part of the full short story began in story prompts over the last couple of weeks.  This is the first part.  This story was called for by quite a few bloggers and readers who expressed their expectations about Carolyn and her life among the creatures.  I haven’t decided if it will be 2 or 3 parts.  I will let the story decide that.  I hope you enjoy this little piece.  Please feel free to offer suggestions and/or constructive criticism.  I would love to submit this for publication some day.

Keeping Watch

By Scott L Vannatter

____ Words

12/4/2013

Carolyn Bresder cautiously picked the lock on the restaurant’s front door.  Now, usually, they were unlocked, even open, but the owner must have gotten a chance before all hell broke loose.  From the lack of noise, she guessed his chance had not been quite long enough.

She had learned a bit about picking locks from an online locksmith course taken about a year ago.  She had not dreamed how very important that stupid class would be to her livelihood, her life, now.  In the last two months she guessed she had picked close to a dozen locks.  It was much quieter than breaking a window; that quiet could mean the difference between life and death; she chose life.

Stepping into the darkness, she did not use her flashlight; she listened carefully instructing the near-pitch to tell her if something was alive.  Her body stepped inside, but she remained a little poised to turn tail if anything was here with her.  After an eternity lasting all of three minutes, Carolyn brought the LED penlight up and shone it toward the back.  She needed to secure this place quickly; there was not much time left before night hit fully and they came out to … play.

She closed the door and secured it with the deadbolt which had not been thrown originally.  Her feet were light and her steps nearly noiseless, a practice she had darn near perfected in recent weeks.  That incident at the trailer park was not going to happen again.  She moved across the front of the eatery and tested the door to the back for noise.  Satisfied, she opened it fully.

Three minutes of thorough searching told her mind that the place was empty and the doors were secure.  She breathed.  She went back to the front area and sat in a windowed booth so she could watch outside.  She knew it would not be long; it never was.  Her knife had already been drawn; now, she unholstered the berretta, leaving it on top of the table, safety off.

Pulling a slice of bread from her jacket pocket she nibbled it slowly, making it last.  The back of the restaurant had been nearly picked clean, but she had found a cinnamon bun, wrapped in plastic, and a surprise:  a small glass jar of olives.  She had expected bulk sizes on everything, but, perhaps, the owner had bought these for himself.  It did not matter, they would taste good tomorrow.  She slipped the whiskey flask, now a water container, out of her side pocket and drank sparingly.  If she had eaten like this last year she could have had a shot at modeling.

Her muse was broken by a distant sound of something metal hitting the ground.  She had learned to not react with movement, just a perking of the ears and a very slow turn of the head.  That trailer park had almost killed her, but, what was it they said, it had made her stronger.

That’s where her mind went while she scanned for the movement:  the trailer park where her mother had been staying.  When Hell Day, that is what she called it, happened, her first instinct had been to find her mother.  She had arrived just before dark and had not known what to expect.  The news had been unclear.  They had simply said to get inside and stay there, doors locked.  She had driven to her mother’s place, a small one-bedroom unit in the poorer section of town.

When she had arrived she had left the car and gone to the trailer door.  Her knocks had gone unanswered, but she knew she had heard someone inside.  She had taken the spare key out of her purse and unlocked the door.  She had taken her pepper spray out, just in case.  You never knew any more what was going on behind closed doors, even those you knew.  She had pushed it open quietly; thanks to her mother’s phobia for noise the hinges were oiled.  The place was dark; the power failure had reached out here too.

Stepping inside, she had noticed the smell first.  It had been like old leather and spoiled meat.  It had been messy, too.  That had been the clincher; her mother had never been messy.  That thought had been on her mind and it had saved her life.  She had heard the noise of the intruder coming for her and had reacted quickly, something she had done since very young when her drunken father had looked for her.

The person had smelled badly.  Carolyn had sprayed the pepper spray directly in her attacker’s eyes, but the person had not stopped, merely slowed a bit.  That slowing had been enough for Carolyn to use her self-defense training, her husband had been no better than her father, and to raise her foot up and push the person backwards toward the rear of the trailer.

The attacker had gotten up and come back at her much quicker than she would have thought possible then, and Carolyn had grabbed a carving knife on the table and stabbed the person in the chest.  The stab had missed; the attacker had bumped her elbow; instead of the chest, the knife had struck higher, piercing the right eye and burying to the hilt.  The person had fallen to the ground unmoving.

Carolyn had taken several long breaths and then had knelt slowly to inspect her attacker.  Tears had flowed freely when she had recognized the necklace and the blouse on the fallen person.  Her mother’s face had been hideously contorted, with patches of skin missing and bone showing through.  The skin had looked old and rotten; it had felt like leather when Carolyn had made herself touch it.  She had felt her butt hit the floor of the trailer as the full recognition of what she had done struck home.

Her mind shot back to the moment, movement drawing her full attention outside.  She watched as the darkness allowed one of its own to be seen.  This was a woman, probably in her twenties, but her appearance did not lend readily to that description anymore.  Carolyn was going by the outfit and vitality of the brain dead creature staggering down the center of the street.  Its path would carry it away from the diner, so Carolyn continued her scan for more imminent threats.

Her killing of her mother had meant she had been directly responsible for the deaths of two parents, though pushing her father down the stairs when she was fourteen had been a bit more of a choice; it had been no less self-defense than the trailer.  He had come at her with a belt, beer in his other hand, going to “teach the little bitch a lesson.”  When the police had arrived, the facts were very clear from the beat marks on her mother and Carolyn lying in a heap near the top of the stairs with a very dead, (and should she say “deserving”?) father broken at the bottom of the steps, his head twisted very unnaturally.

After that financial life had been tough, but life had been more fun.  Carolyn and her mother became friends again and things had gone much more smoothly overall.  Now, her Mom was dead and Carolyn was truly on her own.  She had found out what had happened.  Power had returned briefly to her section of town about a week ago.  The radio on the counter of the home she had been staying in for a couple of days had scared the shit out of her when it blasted on.  Carolyn had turned it to a news station and learned that it seemed chicken eggs were the culprit.  Some preliminary tests had shown the chemicals used to bulk up the chickens in the hatcheries had combined with a strain of flu and then mutated into the virus which had caused Hell Day.  The virus had a ten-day incubation period, so, by the time the problem had started to show itself, more than seventy percent of the population had eaten the contaminated eggs.  Worse, those same eggs had been exported to other countries along with enough infected chickens that the disease had reached more than eighty percent of the world’s population before they had an inkling of how to avoid infection.  By the time word had been sent to the various countries around the globe, the vast majority was infected and, by biting others, had given the virus to all but a few percent of the Earth’s people.

Carolyn had been vegan, and so had not eaten anything that had been contaminated.   Her life had been so full of violence and sheer terror that she had become tough and smart and always aware of what was happening around her; she had the survival instinct to keep going through this crap.

The street was clear of zombies and she had a moment to breathe naturally.  She did not like calling them zombies.  They were not really classic zombies as talked about in the movies and stories.  The infected were not dead.  They did breathe shallowly and had blood and organs.  They were slower and much less intelligent, able to walk and smell and hear, but unable to talk or even open doors.   There did not appear to be any type of communication among them nor did they seem to really notice each other.  What they did notice was anything alive that was not contaminated.  Dogs and cats had been eaten as the brain dead creatures had begun to work up the food chain.

Infection was relatively quick.  Once bitten, the virus took control of the body in about two hours, causing paralysis and severe temperature and internal bleeding.  About three hours later, the paralysis would leave and the person was now a creature, intent only on eating live flesh to try and rebuild its body.  Carolyn had not seen any die without being killed, but it had not been a long time.  Her hope was that, eventually, the virus would burn itself out in the bodies and disappear into history.

_____________________

Part Two Next Tuesday at 10pm!

Namaste,

Scott

My Year in Letter Form

Source: wikimedia.org

Dear Family and Friends,

I just received in the mail today the annual letter from my cousins in NM.  That reminded me it was time to send out my own letter telling how the year has passed.

This year has been a blessed one in that I am healthy and doing well.  It has been over 3 ½ years since May 7, 2010 when I had my hemorrhagic stroke which very nearly took my life.  Instead, it has helped me to see so many new and wonderful things and to overcome many of the things that have held me back in life.

I am still slowly becoming adjusted to the remaining problems which have stemmed from the stroke.  First, there is my double vision.  I am told it has everything to do with my brain and next to nothing to do with my eyes.  It could clear up at any moment, but has persisted long enough that I believe God will need to take a hand in this healing.

Second, my hip pain still remains high most of the time.  General pain is around a 3-4 constantly and can hit an 8 if I decide to move too quickly or in the wrong direction.

Third, my fatigue level is high while sleeping for more than 2-3 hours at a time still eludes me.  I have managed to go off of the Rx med that I was taking for sleep (hoorah) and have switched it with a couple of herbal supplements including Valerian Root (to induce sleep) and Melatonin to regulate it.

Finally, my memory is mostly good, however, I have lost some of the more distant ones and new ones, if not concentrated on, often pass in a few seconds and it is like I never knew them.  I use a computer calendar program to keep reminders, but I still, often simply have them fade until I again remember them and that is often too late.  Frustrating, but not deadly.

The good things from the stroke include that my OCD is very nearly gone, at least, in my thoughts.  My anxiety is low and, with medication, both my blood pressure and my blood sugar have remained in the normal range all year.  My yearly tests from the doctor were normal. Yea!  I also seem to be able to handle spicy foods much better.  It allows me to kick it up a notch and enjoy.

This year has been glorious for my writing.  I have been included in 5 anthologies and 1 online publication of my works.  Four of these stories have been the horror theme that I really enjoy.  I was told by the publisher of 4 of my works that I was comparable to a young Robert Bloc (Wow!).   Along with the publicized works, I have maintained my blog for several years now and boast over 200 followers and many readers from 117 countries.  I have made some wonderful friends from many places including Washington State, Oregon, Canada, India, Australia, England, and many others.  The theme of my blog has changed over the course of this year.  I decided that a daily blog gave me no time off and caused a lot of anxiety at times, therefore, I have switched now.  The new schedule:

Posted at 10pm –

Tuesday –        My own personal post

Wednesday – Writing prompt, Friday Fictioneers – 100 word story on picture prompt

Thursday —      Writing prompt, Five Sentence Fiction – 5 sentence story on word prompt

Friday —            Writing prompt, Flash Friday, varying from 100-350 word story on picture prompt

It has proved to be fun and enjoyable, while still allowing me to practice my craft.

I had a book signing at the Middletown Public Library.  It went very well and I am told I sold more books than any of the other authors who had been there before.  I have also enjoyed the notoriety of being the center of a large article in the Muncie Paper, the Star Press.  There are plans, this spring, for an article about my writing to appear in the University of Indianapolis’ magazine, Portico (I believe).  Finally, I am also preparing several more stories to try to publish and plan on publishing my own anthology next fall.

I am now a great uncle!  Karlee Koontz was born early this year.  I am enjoying being a great uncle though, unfortunately, I can’t offer to watch her as my stroke problems prohibit that particular type of responsibility.

I do get out eating and seeing a movie off and on.  I visit the reflexologist once a month and see a massage therapist once a month, too.  I drive myself to Anderson, Muncie, Yorktown, Noblesville, Wabash, and Indy when needed.  I am pretty independent, but it is very nice to have Dad, Mom, and Sis close by.

I am employed now with Team National as an Independent Marketing Director.  It is an interesting job and one I have had to put in the back seat for a time while I work on getting my strength back.  I would tell you more about the work, but it is something you really need to see for yourself.

I also am still selling books and DVDs for the Middletown Public Library through Amazon.  I have listed, I imagine, between 500-700 items from the library.

The most difficult part of this recent year was when Kevin Koons, my best friend, had a brain aneurism during his harvesting time.  He is in Indy at present, doing well, and local farmers pitched in and have brought in all his crops.  I plan to go visit when his family feels he is up to it.

My father is doing pretty well after all his kidney problems in the last couple of years.  He is off dialysis and hanging in there.

Aaron, my son, is still in Oregon in computers and loves it.  Aarika, my daughter who got married last year, is now Dr. Aarika White (Ph.D.).

All in all, I believe it has been a very good year.  I feel fairly strong and haven’t really been sick all year.  I look forward to Christmas and spending time with the family.

I love you all.  Namaste,

Scott

saania2806.wordpress.com/

Philosophy is all about being curious, asking basic questions. And it can be fun!

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