Chapter 3 - Denny

Chapter 3 - Denny

A Chapter by Tertia


I (Alan Soulverack) was born in the city of Salcombe, Devon, England on April 30th 3236 AD and was a strange, geeky looking youth who had few friends. I left High School at eighteen and was then drafted into the army for three years National Service where I saw the world in all its desperate ugliness. As part of my decommission at twenty-one I was re-trained as an accountant and when I finally got a job as one the change hit. It hit everyone and it hit hard. There was a drought, crop failure, a world food shortage and disease. I moved away from the centre of it and headed to more remote Cornwall, taking refuge on my Uncle’s farm.

At the farm, Myrtle farm there was a certain amount of immunity as it had rich resources and self-sufficiency. It didn’t need the food supply chain which had mostly failed or the power grid that was now highly unreliable. It had its yield of produce and solar and wind power to keep things running.
There were sheep, goats and chickens as well as rabbits to eat.


Knock knock -

‘Who’s there?’ I said.


‘Me who?’

‘Me, Liv,’

‘Come in, Mee-Live,’

She came in to what I call the Radio Room. ‘How would you not know it’s me? I’m the only other person who lives here,’


‘You’re stupid,’

‘Yeah, well I know that,’

‘’Why are you playing silly buggerish games with me you...stuffed...peacock?’

‘Wanted to do the knock knock thing,’

‘What’s that?’

‘You know, the knock knock joke,’

‘No, I don’t know, no,’

‘Oh, well what it is is...,’

‘...There’s someone here,’ she interrupted.

‘Someone? Here?’ I got up.

‘Yeah, in the yard,’ she said, her eyes wide and focussed.

‘Who is it?’

‘Dunno, says his name is Denny,’ We went outside into the little front garden that overlooked the yard and there was this guy standing there. He was dressed for outdoors and had a rifle slung on his back. He looked confident and unphased by being on his own in an unknown place.

‘Hello,’ I said to him. Liv sat on the low wall of the garden, smiling.

‘Hello,’ he said back only smiling at her a little.

‘Nice day,’

‘It is, although it was quite draughty earlier on,’

I looked over him. At his backpack and his bedroll. He had mud on his face and marks on his clothes in places and his stylish under jacket was threadbare, but rather than make him look inferior it added to his appearance. ‘You’re a travelling man?’

‘Yes, I am and you live here?’

‘Yes, we live here,’

‘I was walking through and thought I’d check in with you to save any confusion,’ he emphasised the word confusion. I didn't respond I let it go silent to see what else he would say. ‘The gates and fences are in good repair so I assumed it is tended land and I think I am right,’

‘You're alone I take it?’ I said realising he was using flattery to win his way.

‘Yes, I prefer my own company, no offence to anyone else,’

‘Hmm. You can pass through, so long as there’s no harm or damage,’

‘OK,’ Denny said. He didn’t turn to go, he stood there in his long coat, stock-still. I could tell he could sense something was in the offing. Our eyes looked into each other’s, but Liv’s eyes were more responsive, reading ahead.

‘OK then,’ I repeated. ‘But don’t delay,’

He looked around and about. I hadn't offered him anything so he asked for something. ‘Can I camp in one of these fields or woods at the back for one night?’ he pointed over the farmhouse to where a line of tall oaks stood.

‘So long as there’s no harm or damage done,’ I said, my words flowing as they were repeated.

‘Thank you, I’ll be on my way then,’ he said and walked off.

He hadn’t taken twenty steps before Liv intervened. ‘Hold on, just a minute,’

He turned and looked back at us. She looked up at the sky, there were big grey clouds in it, it was Autumn. ‘Looks like there’s a storm coming,’

‘Ahh, I’m not so sure about that,’ he said. ‘The weather won’t give us any rain out of it if there is,’

‘Have a drink with us,’ she said.

‘What have you got?’

‘Homemade Vodka,’ she said

‘Do you mean potato wine? That would be grand,’ he said walking towards us.

‘Whatever it is, it’ll blow your socks off,’

I frowned at Liv. ‘You can park that rifle,’ I said standing across his approach. He swiftly slid it off his back, unloaded the cartridges, putting them neatly in his coat pocket, before handing the rifle to me flat so I could take it in two hands evenly. He looked at me sternly like we were comrades; brothers in arms.


Around the gloom of the kitchen table we all drunk two tots of the lethal transparent liquid and felt light headed.

‘Where’ve you been, Denny?’ I said looking hazily into the half empty bottle.

‘Mostly in deserted places. Better for rabbits. I stay away from people mostly, no offence,’

‘I see,’

‘And on the moors and fens for wild mushrooms of course,’

‘You’ve got to know which ones to pick,’ Liv said. She smiled broadly, it made her look like a different person.

‘Have you been to Iain’s place?’ I asked randomly.

‘Uhh, who?’

‘He’s our so-called leader, he lives near here in a sort of compound. Thinks it’s Fort Knox,’

‘Nah, I’ve not been there,’ Denny said. He rolled the base of his glass on the table, it made a grating noise. I poured three more shots. ‘I’ve been along the south coast though, I like it there, it’s warmer, the country is more giving. I like the Isle of Wight,’

‘And the people where you went?’ I said. I realised my questions were pointed and didn’t want to put him on his guard. He looked at me carefully, considering his response.

‘I saw a few, they are mainly friendly,’

We were quiet. It was nice without speech, the wind whistled around the corners and the dusk had begun its cloaking of things, putting the trees in great shadows.

‘Stay here tonight,’ I said. ‘There’s a spare room,’ Liv smiled and so did he. He was thoughtful for a few seconds.

‘I can’t sleep indoors,’

‘In the barn then,’

‘That would be better,’

We sat for a while letting the drink take its effect. ‘I wonder what news there is from the outside world. Do you have anything for us?’

‘Ahh, well, yes. There is much in-fighting and killing. I have seen men murdered and places burnt to the ground. A compound is built up over a period of time and then wiped out in a day. I have seen this from afar and haven’t been involved. I have helped more than one person left for dead, bleeding and injured. That’s the advantage of moving from one area to another, you can get away from trouble.’ he raised his glass in salute. I nodded and Liv raised her glass high and downed her tot in one and as she did in one smooth action, Denny got up, picked up his rifle from the fireplace and said goodnight even though it was only five-thirty. ‘I’ll be in the barn,’


© 2020 Tertia

My Review

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You are create a wild and untamed world. I liked the new characters and you are expanding the story line. You left a open ending and I liked the honest conversation and the tone of the story so far. Thank you my friend for sharing the excellent chapter.

Posted 1 Week Ago

It made me long to go home to our province. How I wish there's no more Covid.

Posted 3 Weeks Ago

This chapter is EVERYTHING the first two chapters WERE NOT & even more. It feels like the first two chapters are simply what we read on the book jacket cover, not actually part of the book. Now it feels like this is the first chapter. Finally we get a proper introduction to your characters, some sensory input as to what these people look like, how they conduct themselves in the physical realm. This chapter goes into the depth I was hungering for in the first two chapters, but as always with your writing, you still keep the storyline light & fast, not heavy & cumbersome, which I love. Your dialogue is some of the best that I've seen, as far as fitting the situation & revealing the person & having a peppy back-and-forth that keeps our interest (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 3 Weeks Ago

This part seems like an introduction. We meet Alan, the speaker and Liv, his live-in companion, and then Denny, a somewhat mysterious wanderer. The setting comes across as a kind of dystopia, the world of the 33rd century, after some kind of "change." Alan doesn't fully trust Denny; Liv is more friendly. Finally, Alan offers shelter for the night, and Denny chooses the barn. Before he retires, he reports what he has seen of the outside world, and it isn't pretty. We are thus drawn into the evolving story.

Posted 4 Weeks Ago

This is coming together very well. I like the descriptions of the land.

Posted 1 Month Ago

Something bothers me about this Denny guy, even though I don't know what it is. I don't trust him.

I like how you waited to give some backstory until this chapter. The lack of backstory in the first two chapters kept me reading, and now that I know more about the setting and the characters, I just want to know more.

It's an interesting post-apoc setting. Not your typical nuclear war or anything like that. It's more original. Nice.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 Month Ago

I don’t know if you should trust Denny or not he hasn’t made up his mind what he’s going to do.. read more

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6 Reviews
Added on October 19, 2020
Last Updated on October 19, 2020
Tags: apocalypse, chaos, anarchy, survival, change, adaptation, life, love, desire, freedom, good, bad, outsider, peace, war, death



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