By William j. seymour
Traveling Merchant Book One
In a war-torn, fractured America, a lone man walks the desolate highway. Filled with the infected and the last unconnected remnants of society, he heads west carrying with him a single bag over his shoulder and the ghosts he has left in his wake.
Enter Elizabeth. A woman hell-bent on surviving on her own determined that she is meant to live her life alone and by her strength only.
Across the far-reaching plains of Nebraska, not everyone feels the world should be left to rebuild itself under its own devices, and they will use their growing influence to bring order to the chaos.
Merchant is the first book in a story that will extend the breadth of America and leave in its wake a tale of destruction and redemption for a man who has fallen only to rise again to reclaim what has been taken from him.
Your services are special, Merchant. People must give what is most precious to them, for what they ask demands an even greater price.
Location: Middle of Nebraska
The world is silent and dead. Only Old Man Winter calls your name, and then even he forgets who you are.
White tornadoes cross the road, and then disappear into the dark shadows of night. Cyclones of ice and sand skirt across a field of white snow and the cracked asphalt of Interstate 80. The tiny storms bounce between the rusted skeletons of cars and trucks that line the ditches and fill the fields like gravestones burned beneath mounds of white and shadow. Road signs sag and droop in misery and pain. Snow piles on their rusted edges, claiming them like it does everything else.
A golden beam of light sways with booted steps. Brittle snow crunches with each step but quickly reforms and fills deep impressions.
Merchant continues forward, head tilted to the ground. Stinging particles of ice pelt his bald scalp and weather-worn face. Jacket pulled tight to ward off the worst of the storm.
“You’re going to die out here, demon,” the ghost who trails him taunts.
Thick canvas Army bag shifts higher onto his shoulder. Heavy jacket ballooning open and steam rising from dark, exposed skin beneath a thin cotton T-shirt. Merchant does not bother to respond.
“The infected are going to find you and tear you to pieces,” the specter whispers, his lifeless breath tickling the back of Merchant’s ear.
A grunt escapes sealed lips. The steps of worn leather boots beat a rhythm over snowy pavement.
“I can hear them coming. Their hunger pulls them to you. Don’t expect me to help. I’ll be laughing as I watch you scream for mercy.”
Laughter like a cackling bird echoes into the night.
Glancing over his shoulder, Merchant watches the hazy figure of the dead man ripple in the wind. Dark hair and empty eyes, a void against the pale skin and snake head tattoo that blinks upon his neck where the empty sockets of his skull no longer work.
Nothing follows him but the cursed dead.
A solitary figure pulled across the abandoned bread basket of a county gone to Hell.
“You can feel them, can’t you?” the bastard ghost continues.
Like an itch he can’t scratch, Merchant grits his teeth and continues to ignore the annoying asshole.
A small flicker of light, yellow, but still only a speck against a veil of black, dances with the shadows.
Merchant stops. Cold fingers of ice and water run down his spine. His eyes search the light ahead. Still too far away to be noticed, he could avoid them if he wanted to.
North or south of the I-80 interstate is nothing but empty plains. Skirting whatever that light is by at least a mile would be easy. The worst he would find is isolated pockets of the infected. Those are avoidable. They will slow him down if they get the chance. Some will fight him every step of the way. If there are enough of them, he’ll be forced to backtrack a few times but, eventually, he will find his way back to the highway and be one step closer to his destination.
The other option is to continue forward. Boots to the frozen asphalt, he will find the source of the light, and to it be drawn like a moth to a flame.
“Another victim awaits us, demon,” the ghost’s voice sings within his head.
Puffs of breath escape his lips, a white cloud in the beam of his flash light. Merchant continues on his way.
Other Books In Series
The people of Morninglight are a peaceful, God loving people. When faced with the reality of losing all they have ever worked for, they turn to a dark stranger and his disease-stricken companion.
Two against an army. The beliefs of an old world versus the realities of a new hell. A bargain will be made, and a price will be paid.