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7



Alternity, an Alternate History Novel
Amazon, BN, Borders

Joe looked back at the screen. “Trying to decide how many more applicants we should invite to run the marathon. We still haven’t filled in all the blanks.”

Lumi’s eyes narrowed. “But it’s late October.”

Joe swiveled around to face his daughter. “A late chance is still a chance.” He smiled. “Your turn: now that I’ve told you what I’m doing, tell me what’s keeping you up late at night.”

“My paper on the Black Death in the fourteenth century and its effect on Western civilization.”

Joe leaned back in his swivel. “Didn’t you write that a month ago?”

“I wrote the first one about the family history. Now we have to write about the larger historical context. Mister Snommah likes us to make a personal connection before we look at the big picture.”

“The Big Picture, huh?” Joe, his fingers steepled, stared off into space briefly. Then he looked back at his daughter looking at him. “What was the effect on Western civilization?”

Lumi suddenly assumed a voice beyond her years. “It was devastating, as our family history shows. As the Plague spread from the port of Genoa, it devastated entire cities and regions. Communities ceased to be, family members deserted one another, fields fell fallow because the survivors lost the will to tend to them. In fact, many survivors lost the will to live, and felt that God had deserted them.”

Joe’s fingers were no longer steepled, but were now interlocked in a white vise. “I did ask, didn’t I?”

“You did,” Lumi replied with a smile, in her own voice. Then she released her legs and stood up from the chair. “Well, I guess I had better finish. Night.”

“Night, kiddo,” Joe replied to an empty chair. Then he sighed, and swiveled back to face the screen. “Good thing I didn’t mention your ancestors brought the Plague from Kaffa,” he muttered to himself.


















































The Running Men by W.R. Hammons:

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14

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