My name is Nick Caden. I’m fifteen and live in Savannah, Georgia. We moved to Savannah because a few months back, on Halloween night, a zombie snatched my sister. You might have read about it. It was all over the news for a while. The zombie who kidnapped my sister (not a real zombie – there’s no such thing) pinned me to a mud flat and waited for the tied to rise, but I held my breath long enough to escape.
When I am not in school or working at the boat yard near our apartment, I write for the Cool Ghoul Gazette. That’s a publication that focuses on paranormal and supernatural events. The Cool Ghoul is why I ended up solving a vampire murder, ghost town murder, and helped capture a werewolf. (Not a real werewolf, ghost, or vampire – there are no such things.) Which brings me to today’s “Breaking Noose” article.
The below news alert just arrived in my inbox.
“Hi. I am a Contract Specialist with the FDA. I am tasked with the purchase of tissues suitable for H.M. research. I would like to request a quote. Please review the Statement of Work and quote your pricing as outlined.
Statement of Work
The supplier will provide human fetal tissue with the following characteristics:
- Age range 16-24 weeks
- Liver and thymus tissue from the same donor unless liver only is requested.
- Tissue must be fresh and never frozen.
- No tissues where the mother is known to be positive for HIV or for Hepatitis A, B, or C viruses.
- No known chromosomal abnormalities.
- Testing for HIV, Hepatitis B & C will be completed on maternal blood for all tissues procured and results provided when available.
Period of Performance
Twelve months from the date of award of the contract.
In order to expedite the services required please return your quote to me by 3:00 pm Eastern Time. If you do not wish to submit a quote on this requirement, I would appreciate it if you would let me know.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you.
My editor wants me to investigate this human fetal body parts smuggling ring that is using human tissue to create a new species of . . . Well, that’s where the mystery comes in. We’re not sure what the biotech company, Enhanced Bioscience Regeneration, is up to, but I’ll find out and report back. – Nick Caden
March 12, 2020, I closed my laptop and walked across the Neuse River bridge to enjoy my evening walk on the greenway. Midway across the bridge the title for a story came to mind: The Day The World Sneezed. That Thursday, Raleigh and Wake County had begun to discuss imposing restrictions on business. There was talk schools might close the following week. When I got home from my walk I made a fake book cover with the words: “The Day The World Sneezed” at the top and posted it on Facebook. Done with that, I thought.
Friday during my evening walk Elmer showed up. Elmer introduced himself as the main character in “The Day The World Sneezed” and began to explain how the “crud” had disrupted his life. He talked as we walked. If you know a writer you may have witnessed them staring off into space in a daze. Odds are a character in their head is speaking and your writer friend does not want to miss a word. That night I celebrated my birthday with my wife, boys, and granddaughter. There I mentioned Elmer and how he had set out to help others but ended up making a mess of things – for a while, anyway.
Saturday morning, March 14, I began writing. Monday, March 16, our city and county began shutting down. As a writer who lives in a cave with characters no one can see, “shelter-in-place” was God’s gift to me. Finally I had an excuse to avoid all social contact: which meant I had more writing time. On April 5, Elmer finished telling me his story.
Several dear friends have mentioned that it is too soon to tell Elmer’s story: that people are dying (that’s true) and grieving (also true), but Elmer did not seem concerned about any of this when he told me his story.
“The Day The World Sneezed” is a story of hope, helping others, and finding the “light-hearted” moments in the midst of tragedy. If such a story is too soon, I’m sure Elmer will understand. He’s not the sort to force himself upon others. Maybe later, after all this “crud” business is over, you’ll consider listening to Elmer’s story. He really is, a colorful character.
Lord, I praise you for the print sales of these books yesterday. May you continue to bless these titles, these authors, and all our LPC titles.
A Rebel in My House
Among the Poppies
Bury Me with My Pearls
Christian Chick’s Guide to Surviving Divorce…
Conversations With Jesus
Get Your Spirit On!
Hungry for God … Starving for Time
In the Shadow of Salem
Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors
Running from a Crazy Man
Sick and Tired: Empathy, Encouragement…
The Gilded Curse
The Hope of Glory
Sing praises in a skillful psalm and with understanding. Ps.47:7
Be delighted with the Lord. Ps. 37:4
Jake Marley always dreamed of making it big as a singer/songwriter. And when a chance meeting in his hometown ends with an invite to Nashville, he’s sure fame and fortune are just around the corner.
But as Jake’s notoriety grows, so do his addictions. Jake is The Ghost—in more ways than one. He didn’t realize how much he’d have to give up in the pursuit of stardom. But the hardest thing? Losing Chloe, his small-town girlfriend and the only person who knows the real Jake.
Can Jake and Chloe find their way back to each other, despite the millions of people who want a piece of Jake? Or will the pressures of fame bring Jake’s downfall before he has a chance to prove his love for Chloe?
“Lord, bless this book to find those who need to know the healing power of your love. I know not every book is for everyone, but I also know someone needs to see how the mistakes of the past can impact our plans for the future. Please honor this book. Expand its boundaries. Grow its influence. Amen.” EJ