The New Haven Incident – Part One

The New Haven Incident – Part One

Good afterevenmorn!

I know it’s silly greeting, but I’m overly fond of it. Moving swiftly on…

I was struggling with what to write for my usual fortnightly post, and so decided that I’ll instead share some of my writing (thanks to the editors for letting me be lazy this time around!). It’s hopefully a win-win. I don’t have to think this fortnight, and you, with luck, get something entertaining.

If I were to give this an elevator pitch, it would be something like: It’s Resident Evil… but with fairies.

Look, the premise is silly as hell, but I had so much fun writing it (also, I’ve not played any of the R.E. games. I did watch Jacksepticeye play through Resident Evil: The Village, though, so that counts… right?). I hope that translates when people read it. In any case, please enjoy the first part of the weekly serial story. It goes up on my personal blog every Friday, and we’re currently on part seven, so if you’re hard up for some entertainment of a Friday, there’s at least something to occupy some ten to fifteen minutes of it! Anyway, enough with the promo stuff. Here’s the story.

The New Haven Incident

by S.M. Carrière

Sebastian sat in the back of the taxi, staring blankly down at his hands. They shook violently. They always did following the therapy sessions. His brows knitted together as he recalled the useless Department-mandated hour. Nothing but platitudes offered by the Department shrink designed not to help him, but to help them get him back out as quickly as possible.

Closing his eyes to fight against the rage and bile that threatened to escape his throat, Sebastian reached into his pants pocket, searching for his phone. He drew it out and, after a brief hesitation, began to text. As he did, memories raced through his mind, making it difficult to concentrate.

It happened on his birthday. Him, fresh out of Police Academy, just 21, and beginning his second week of training with the Cedarwood City Police Department. His mentor, the closest thing to a father he had, was a cop. Wayne Grace lived up to his name. After he rescued Sebastian from a dangerous gang fight in his neighbourhood, he continued to visit him and his mother. He would bring groceries, knowing that Sebastian often went hungry. The visits would last anywhere between a couple of minutes to several hours.

They would talk. For some reason, Sebastian felt he could trust Officer Grace with his biggest dreams, and his deepest fears. He didn’t want to end up like the other kids in his neighbourhood. He didn’t want to be involved in the battles for territory, dependent on a gang, drugged out his mind. Grace had promised him that if he did well in school, he would pay for Sebastian’s college. Sebastian could escape the fate that seemed written for him since his birth.

When Sebastian’s mother died of an overdose, Officer Grace handled and paid for the funeral. Having declined the offer of his home, Sebastian chose instead to remain in his mother’s house. He would have to learn to make his own way sooner or later, so why not now? Officer Grace continued to visit, continued to bring food and sometimes even helped with repairs around the home.

The man died the day of Sebastian’s high school graduation, gunned down by a gang banger pissed at the law’s intervention in their drug business. He had been trying to extract a young family from yet another gun fight. No one made it out. Not the family. Not Officer Grace.

The news broke Sebastian in a way his own mother’s death did not.

Even in death, Officer Grace made sure to watch over Sebastian. His will gave Sebastian enough for two years in college; to learn a trade and make a better life for himself. Sebastian could not believe his ears when the lawyer visited him at home, and he resolved then and there to follow Officer Grace’s example.

The world was hard. But Officer Grace had firmly believed that it was not beyond saving. Sebastian would do the same. He would follow Officer Grace’s example and give everything he could to make it better. He signed up for the police force at the earliest opportunity.

Sebastian knew that ghosts were not real, but the day of his graduation from the academy in which he received the highest honours, he could have sworn he saw Officer Grace. He had chased that familiar back through the crowd, ignoring the oft-repeated congratulations from those around him until he was standing at the edge of the crowd, staring out at nothing but the perfectly manicured, gently sloping lawn of the academy.

Sebastian was pulled from his remembrances by the short vibration of his phone. He stared down at the address in his messages briefly, before tapping on the glass to catch the driver’s attention. When the man turned, he held up the phone for the driver to read.

“Are you sure?” the driver asked. “That’s not the best part of town.”

Sebastian simply nodded at the driver.

“Your funeral, I guess.” He turned the wheel, and Sebastian sat back, letting his mind wander again as the taxi wound its way through vaguely familiar streets.

One week. That’s how long he’d been a part of the force before it all when to shit.

Cedarwood City was home to the Cedarwood Corporation, an enormous international genetics research and testing company. They had campuses all over the world. Here at home, Cedarwood City was built around one of the campuses, existing first to serve the researchers there, before it grew into its own thing; a genuine city instead of a company town.

It was supposed to be an easy entry into policing. So few things went wrong in a city built around nerds hiding in laboratories. Supposedly. But that Tuesday, as his sergeant was bringing in his birthday cake, the alarms sounded.

In less than three hours, the city was besieged. Not by any foreign army, no new gang arrived in town to claim the territory. Instead, the citizens themselves lost their collective minds. Suddenly aggressive, made mindless, they would throw themselves at any living thing, engaging in horrific acts of cannibalism. Worse, whomever they attacked would become like them. They felt no fear, no pain. The only way to stop them was to kill them; and you had better be sure their heart had definitely stopped, or they’d just get up again. Cedarwood City became, in effect, the site of a zombie apocalypse.

It was a viral infection, Sebastian learnt later, long after the city had been bombed to hell; some unrefined, incomplete genetic altering delivery system Cedarwood Corporation was working on escaped containment and tore through the city. Infection rates exploded exponentially. A city of nearly one and a half million brought to a few straggling survivors in less than twenty-four hours.

Drawing a long, shaking breath, Sebastian forced his mind away from the memories that plagued him. The taxi slowed and he looked up. They had arrived.

“Can you wait?” Sebastian asked the driver.

After a pause, the driver replied, “Sure, kid. Just don’t take too long, okay?”


Sebastian slipped from the taxi, years of government training and missions deemed too dangerous for anyone but the most highly trained agents ensured he kept a careful eye one his surroundings. Out of habit, he noted there were three snipers on the roof, not military, but definitely packing military specs. One man, covered in newspapers pretending to sleep off the empty bottle of rum at his feet was watching Sebastian carefully. Also not military. He was a scout. Affecting disinterest, Sebastian walked down a narrow alley and entered a small pool hall. It was largely empty, save for a few gaunt, old men sitting at the bar, sipping whiskeys from greasy cups and smoking cigarillos.

Sebastian’s target was at the back of the room, watching him from the comfort of a pink velvet booth, worn bald in places. Without a backwards glance, Sebastian sat down.

“You got it?” he asked.

“Not even a hello?”

Barely containing an eye roll, Sebastian snorted. “Hello,” he said. “Now, you got it?”

“In a rush?” The man was in his forties, good looking in a slender, sharp way. Despite being tall, he did not present much of an intimidating figure, but for his eyes. Pale brown and keen, there was nothing those eyes missed or could not discern. He looked Sebastian over a while.

The younger man, in his early thirties, was the sort of painfully beautiful that would not look amiss on billboards advertising gentlemen’s underwear, or perhaps one of those new all-boy bands coming out of Asia. His mousy blonde hair was straight as a pin, the fringe hanging in front of his startlingly blue eyes in a style that was popular in the early 90s and was making a comeback now. Like most people jonesing for product, Sebastian was agitated. His shoulders were tense. One leg bounced up and down so fast it could probably be used to start a fire.

Sighing, the nameless man pulled out a small plastic bag full of shards of something vaguely tan and crumbling. He tossed it to Sebastian, who snatched in out of the air with lightning-fast reflexes.

“There’s enough there to kill a horse,” the man said. “Don’t go using it all at once. I wouldn’t want to lose my favourite customer.”

Sebastian snorted again as he rose. He reached into his jeans and pulled out a wad of cash. He did not even bother to count it. He simply tossed it onto the table in front of the nameless man. A cursory glance told the man that Sebastian had paid far too much.

“Thanks,” Sebastian mumbled, stuffing the plastic bag into his pocket.

The nameless man tilted his head and watched Sebastian rise and leave, his face a careful mask of neutrality. It became sad when the door closed behind the younger man. He sighed and another whiskey sour landed in front of him. The young woman serving him paused at his sigh, cocking her head inquisitively at him.

“Jess, I don’t believe I’ll ever see that man again,” the nameless man told her. He turned his attention to the sour in front of him. He observed it a moment before throwing the whole thing back. “Pity.”

Sebastian slid effortlessly into the back of the taxi, the litheness of his movements giving the impression of a ballerino, or perhaps a gymnast. His dour expression, though, had not changed.

“1435 Huntle,” he said. A brief pause followed, then he added, “Please.”

“Sure thing.” Sensing his passenger did not want to talk, the driver backed carefully out of the space before the alley and turned around, heading back to more familiar, safer neighbourhoods. The drive was silent from then on. Every so often, the driver would check on his passenger in the rearview mirror. The man remained pensive, staring blankly out of the window, looking for all the world like he was about to cry. But the tears never came.

The sun was setting in brilliant streaks of orange and pink as the taxi slowed, then stopped in front of the small, nondescript apartment building at 1435 Huntle. It took Sebastian a moment to realise that the car had stopped moving. He pulled himself upright, digging into his pocket and pulling out a note. He handed it to the driver, opened the door and slid out.

The driver stared blankly at the hundred dollar note in his hand for a moment. He scowled, yanked open his door and got out. “Hey kid,” he said.

Halfway up the stairs to the front door, Sebastian stopped. He turned around as the driver came jogging up.

“This is too much,” the driver said, handing him the money back. “I don’t have change for this.”

“I don’t want change,” Sebastian replied.

“But —”

“Keep it.” With nothing else to say, Sebastian turned back around, fished his keys out of his pocket and entered the building, vanishing up the stairs beyond the door and leaving the bewildered taxi driver to stare at the door as it closed slowly, clicking shut with an ominous finality.

After a moment, the driver returned to his car. He put his hands on the wheel, preparing to drive off, before changing his mind. He lifted the phone he was using as his GPS system and dialled.

Hello, New Haven Police, how may I direct your call?

“Hey, hi. Look, I don’t know if you’re the right folks for this, but I just had a passenger who wasn’t right… you know… seemed really down. Like, bad. Can you send a wellness check to 1435 Huntle…?”

Part Two

I hope you were briefly diverted. Thanks for reading!

When S.M. Carrière isn’t brutally killing your favorite characters, she spends her time teaching martial arts, live streaming video games, and cuddling her cat. In other words, she spends her time teaching others to kill, streaming her digital kills, and a cuddling furry murderer. Her most recent titles include Daughters of BritainSkylark and Human. Her serial story, The New Haven Incident, uploads every Friday, and can be found here.

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Thomas Parker

Friday’s my night to fix myself a drink and watch Charlie’s Angels. But this looks good too!

K. Jespersen

Congratulations on already having released seven parts of this! And thank you for sharing the first part here. Is this a work that you intend to leave finished as a serial, or will you bind/have you bound the serialization into a novel publication? Did you end up with a favorite character or subplot as you wrote? What made it fun to write (silly-as-hell premise, and all ^_^)? Nosey minds want to know!

(Also, poke-poke, do you have time around the writing to continue your reading goals?)

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