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VIRAL MEDICINES

by John Cayden

A solitary quite man navigating through a world ravaged by one viral pandemic after another, shares his story as one of the few remaining long-term survivors infected by two incurable viruses. His on-going journey and his true identity are revealed through dream travels made possible by a combination of anti-viral medications. Not sure why he is experiencing a vast array of different realities, triggering him to revisit his painful past, he starts on a mission to find out far he can push his desires and the strange new abilities he’s acquired, to learn the truth before it’s too late.  Sample Pages Below.

unique ...timely, smart and beautifully written...a talented writer.”  


“The author does an incredible job of showing the scenes.

He builds them with gorgeous prose, mixed with reflections from his

understanding or quest to understand the life he’s lived.” 

 

“...amazing and poignant reflections about life and suffering. 

To know what he endured as a child shows great strength 

and resiliency. It’s heartbreaking that so many people have to 

have such a thick layer of resiliency to survive.”


                                                 - Stacey Parshall, Editor


“This is a very original manuscript and ...well done. The multiple 

perspectives and the way the story’s told with dreams and

flashbacks make it read cinematically.”

                                                   - Shadae Mallory, Editor

 
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1 LGBT Q

by John Cayden

WARNING TO READERS: This book is virtually the same book as Viral Medicines but with a nod to Star Trek. If you are familiar with Star Trek and enjoyed the Next Generation and Voyager series, this book will be a better choice than Viral Medicines.


A solitary man shares his humorous story as a queer boy who grew up to become one of the few remaining long-term survivors of two incurable global viral outbreaks. With his identity being altered from the side-effects of life-sustaining anti-viral medications, he discovers a world of beauty and mystery, and a unique new talent for manipulating time. Not sure why he is able to perceive an array of different realities through dreaming, his strange experiences spur him to embark on a mission to find out how far he can push his otherworldly new abilities and his desires for change - to learn the truth about himself and his dreams before it’s too late.  Sample Pages Below. 


“unique ...timely, smart and beautifully written...a talented writer.”  

 

“The author does an incredible job of showing the scenes.

He builds them with gorgeous prose, mixed with reflections from his

understanding or quest to understand the life he’s lived.” 


“...amazing and poignant reflections about life and suffering. 

To know what he endured as a child shows great strength 

and resiliency. It’s heartbreaking that so many people have to 

have such a thick layer of resiliency to survive.


                                                 - Stacey Parshall, Editor Quitehouse Editing


“This is a very original manuscript and ...well done. The multiple 

perspectives and the way the story’s told with dreams and

flashbacks make it read cinematically.

                                                   - Shadae Mallory, Editor Quitehouse Editing

 

VIRAL MEDICINES

Sample Text

Today is my fifty-fourth birthday and it’s cold and wet outside, gray skies with an expectation of rain. I had another vivid medication dream last night. I’m not sure where I went this time, but the scribbled note next to my bed says something about seeing the cloud men again and that the ground was shaking. I’m still tired but I’m forcing myself to get up. I took the day off from work and I want to make the most of it. I feel like cheating and overeating carbs today, so I’ve decided to go for a long speed walk in the soft morning light to negate the calories. 


I’m attempting to maintain some semblance of a workout routine despite the pandemic and the temporary loss of my health facility due to another long-term quarantine. I like bundling up in black workout gear without a face shield and heading off on the same routine path I've been taking each day for the past few months. 


On my first turn west, I have a nice panoramic view of this newer city with bits of cloudy green and hilly forest on one side and the vast blue ocean on the other. There’s a large gimbal carbon scrubber with spinning orthogonal gardens in view to the south, sailing by under the troposphere. The buildings and residences here attempt to be sleek in design, but they’re mostly skinned with reflective energy arrays, satellites, antennas and mechanicals, crafted to go unnoticed. In contrast, I pass daily by an architecturally simple and ambiguous small church with a large rainbow banner out front. The glossy vinyl is emblazoned with the words GOD IS LISTENING which I can’t help but read each time I pass by, due to its size. 


I visited this small unitarian church once two years ago when I first moved to the west. I’ve been on a quest to find a welcoming place of worship since leaving the east coast, but I still haven’t found a good fit yet. Back then it took me awhile to finally muster the courage to go inside for a service and on my fourth Sunday here I finally went in. Sitting in a back pew attempting to be invisible, I noted that the interior felt off. It looked more like a throne room in a castle than a church with the use of faux-painted stone blocks, wrought-iron lighting, quilts and a few theater props. Strange choice of décor. The pastor made us do the ‘peace out’ in a giant well-spaced circle due to the small size of the dwindling congregation. Then they made me introduce myself. So much for going unnoticed. 


I was taken by the hand to meet the pastor after the service by an acquaintance in attendance. As I approached, I thought to myself, what a happy round, albino man. As he got closer and I shook his soft hand, I noticed twenty or thirty grey whiskers sticking out of smooth corpulent chin. On closer examination of the pastor’s skull, something I do to everyone since being trained in forensics, I realized that he or she was a synth and I thought to myself, “I don't think this place is for me - not exactly what I'm used to.” I had no problem with the pastor, albeit surprising, my problem was with the cheap theater décor and the fake stone walls. I didn’t think that I could ever accept them as real, which to me would hinder the whole, ‘just believe’ part about going to church. Even though I was greeted with grace and I know one of the members, I still can’t imagine myself as a congregant as I walk past. 


It's disturbing how quiet it is with no one about. It’s day sixty-four with no cars, no people, no animals. There’s only the occasional dog barking from behind a fence or a black crow flying overhead. Stray animals, not native to the area ecosystem and those labeled as pests, like rats, are usually seen being erased by drone patrols scanning for transdermal identification chips, but I haven’t seen any of those drones for weeks, probably due to the quarantine. I only occasionally see a prescription or lab drone in the evenings and the occasional feces patrol in the afternoon. 


Four-legged headless fecal drones the size of horses used to patrol the city and conduct dietary analysis as well as bio-analysis on dog and cat poo to identify pet owners. If the results showed the animal droppings to be from a pet, the company would notify the owner that they could deliver a specially formulated biscuit or meal made to suit their pet’s dietary deficiencies. Dog owners hated being found out, but they really hated the sales pitch, which came with a reprimand and a hefty fine for leaving the poop in public. 

 

1LGBT Q

Sample Text

11236 BCE



Near Loco Hills, NM 



These aren’t my people. I am convinced of that truth now. I don’t know where I came from or why I am here with these simple pitoshets. They are preparing me for a ritual of sacrifice. They kill those that are different and offer their spirits to the underworld brothers. I’m made from multiple spirits, multiple souls with unfinished work, most of which are mine. They call me a berdoc. They say it with malice in their hearts to the grown, and reverence if speaking to the immature. They call to their spider woman and their snake man. They have bathed me in soil and burned me with oils, braided my dark long hair and bound my limbs to keep me from using my gifts. 


I drank the wretched elder priest soup made from the stone fruits with thorns. I know a world unlike this one. I know others unlike these. I know power unlike their weakness. I know I am of the others. I am marked on my skin not like them. I can hurt them. They have become afraid. They chose to end me. They will end me in ritual to their sun god. 


On my journey I saw white villages with green plants and abundance. I saw magic. They said I was doing well and that it was time my gifts were known. I had paid my dues for cruelty and had grown clean with compassion and fear and an understanding of love for the meek. I have understood hate. I resisted revealing their ways and their understanding and knowledge. They said my test was almost over.


These pitoshets I once called mine try to climb to the heavens, but the others are truly within it. These people kill only to offer spilled blood to the imaginary. Wasted blood. Only for a memory of a visit long ago not their own. I told this tale once in the shadow fire using my story casters. I showed them my story. They bannished my work to a cave with the other items of fear. Our neighbors below the southern sun scar the Earth Mother with images for the people of the heavens. They worry they are forgotten. They pray to be remembered. They pray to be visited again. They pray for more, yet they punish me. The one who knows them. 


They will not save my shell for me to use again, once the snake and the spider purify me. My shell will not wait for me to return. It will forever remain empty once they feast on my inside and dance and scream to Atahsai the cannibal brother. I can move the cycles of time, but I cannot move myself from here. I can rot the corn or make it grow. I can make animals understand. I can make it rain and move the rocks. I can catch fish with my thoughts. I need more thorn stones to again walk with the strange red and white villagers. To beg for help from the gentle ones with smiles. 


I will die because I love another of the same. Conna I call her. Sand whisperer. One with a single spirit of the Earth Mother. One that gives milk to her young and is forced to pleasure her male mate. Our love is not allowed. They made her watch as they burned my skin and face. They took her youngest as punishment for our love. The little girl we called Toneesh. Light of sun. They gave her to the people of the north where the Earth Mother stands with ice and caps of white in trade for fire rock and thorn stones. 


They have prepared a special tea for me. A tea made from the white flowers that grow where the people of the west live and the great lake dries. I can smell it from here. It is almost ready. I have seen this before. They made two men drink when I was young. When I was with my parents not my own. They had dressed the men like females and burned them on high alter after they drank the teas. I remember the smell and the crackle of their fat and the rancid smell of burning hair. Conna is going to hide me from the fire. She has promised. She will hide my empty shell. 


I’m not afraid anymore. Conna will keep me safe. She has prayed to keep my shell safe and has promised to remember me. They are coming for me.