I’m heading out this morning to lovely Massachusetts. That’s great because I can use a getaway from the midwest, but the downside is I’ll be internet-free for a week. Off the grid. Unplugged from the matrix. In a sense, I am leaving the virtual world in the rearview mirror as well.

The upside: I’ll get a good amount of time to write and edit while I’m gone.

Since I’m rushing out in ten minutes and won’t be posting for awhile, I figured I’d pop up the first 250 words of Freeborn before I go. It’s still rough & all that.


Katia shuffled down the busy sidewalk, hunching over her cane. Mindful of the surveillance cameras, she periodically stopped to adjust the scarf securing her gray wig. Though her disguise was fake, her Infection was real.
Every face that passed wore a government-issued prevention mask. The virus did not discriminate, but attacked the elderly, children, women, and men alike. None were immune. Even though Katia had taken every precaution, the sickness had wormed its way into her blood. The parasite now squirmed in her gut.
A pair of heavily armed Doctors blocked her direct route to the building. One tiny prick from one of their portable infection detectors would unravel her disguise. They often slammed the infected to the ground—just for kicks—before hauling them off to a quarantine center. That was the Doctors’ role: enforce the laws of the Surgeon General, mess with the rabble, keep the streets clear of the infected, and toy with them along the way.
Katia held her breath and shuffled behind the Doctors. Their voices turned towards her as she passed, but they didn’t address her as she mounted the steps to the ten-story structure. Like many other corporate buildings, this one had been converted to housing in order to accommodate the soaring population caused by the Infection.
The rebel in Suite 940 was Katia’s last hope. While most referred to the woman as a witch, she called herself Ilythia. The rumors claimed she could help the infected through the horrific final stages.

‘See’ you all soon. Get enough Internet usage in for the both of us.