Read Deadman's Switch & Sunder the Hollow Ones Online

Authors: Saul Tanpepper

Tags: #horror, #zombies, #undead, #walking undead, #hunger games, #apocalyptic, #dystopian, #cyberpunk, #biopunk, #splatterpunk, #dark fantasy, #paranormal, #young adult, #science fiction, #hi tech, #disease

Deadman's Switch & Sunder the Hollow Ones




Deadman's Switch

(chapter index)

Sunder the Hollow Ones

(chapter index)

Author's Note

Tanpepper Tidings
Subscription Link

Get notified of updates, releases, & other news

Copyright notice

Acknowledgements & About the Author

Insomnia: Paranormal Tales, Science Fiction and Horror

* * CARE TO SHARE? * *



Episodes 3 and 4

Deadman's Switch

Sunder the Hollow Ones


by Saul Tanpepper



Episodes 3 and 4 of S.W. Tanpepper's GAMELAND

by Saul Tanpepper
Copyright © 2012 by Saul Tanpepper

All rights reserved.
published Aug 2, 2012 by Brinestone Press, San Martin, CA 95046 at Smashwords
Cover design K.J. Howe Copyright © 2012

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.
Tanpepper, Saul (2012-08-2). Episode 3 (
Deadman's Switch
) and Episode 4 (
Sunder the Hollow Ones
) of S.W. Tanpepper's Gameland series

Brinestone Press Digital Edition (rev 130205)

For more information about this and other titles by this author:


A Heartfelt Thanks


A couple of your diehard colleagues commented to me the other day that the first couple episodes are quite long. “Not a complaint,” they assured me, “just an observation.” It left me wondering if they thought I was planning on keeping up the pace for the second half of the series.

Many of you know by now that I cut my teeth as a writer by penning short stories. When I set out to write the GAMELAND series, my plans were to have each episode run roughly twenty thousand words, which is about the size of a short novelette. Beyond that, I gave the thought of length scant attention. In my mind, a story will have its natural length. Worry about telling the tale in a compelling way, and the length will find itself.

Of course, the GAMELAND series is really a series of nested stories within a larger framework. Sort of like real life, eh? It turned out that each episode's story arc required a more…comprehensive treatment. Twenty thousand words just wasn't enough. Thirty seemed more reasonable. Thirty five, maybe.

But story arc is only one determinant to a book's length; other necessary minutiae that support the arc, such as backstory and character development, as well as the planting of details to be used later, all provide additional constraints. Rustling it all into each of the first four episodes required considerably longer tellings than I had foreseen.

Not that I'm complaining :o)

With the publishing of episodes 3 and 4, we're now halfway through the series and pretty much all of the backstory has been written in. All that will be left is to step back and allow the characters to make their fateful way to their preordained destinations.

(rubs hands evilly and laughs
bwah ha ha ha

This means that the second half of the series will be a bit leaner. It'll have more action and more revelations and less of that…that other stuff.

Episode 3:
Deadman's Switch
, is roughly 52,000 words. Episode 4:
Sunder the Hollow Ones
, at 44,000 words, is the bridge between the two halves.

For those who have been with me now for a while, another heartfelt thanks for your continued support. In this new installment, as with the previous ones, I hope I meet the quality of writing and storytelling you have come to expect. I renew my pledge to always strive to write the most entertaining stories in the best way I know how and to render them to you as free of errors as possible. The entire series was recently revised and updated on 5 February 2013. I'll be more than happy to redress any errors and inadvertent inconsistencies if you should happen to find any. Just email me and I'll fix them in the updates. I hope they will be minor and few.

If GAMELAND is your only experience with my work, I encourage you try my other works of speculative fiction—paranormal fiction, science fiction, satire—and, new this month, a non-fiction collaboration with my publisher that provides guidance in setting up and growing a profitable book review blog.

If you haven't already and you'd like to be notified of future releases and other news, just shoot me an email to
[email protected]
and ask me to add you to the GAMELAND mailing list. Or subscribe to my newsletter,
Tanpepper Tidings
, at

GAMELAND fan page on Facebook
is growing. Please stop by and introduce yourself. Like the page if you wish (I'd greatly appreciate it). I provide update notifications, answer questions, post news, hints, contests, and other items of interest there.

One final reminder: I always value the opinions of my readers and so encourage you to offer your thoughts on this work, positive or negative, publicly or privately. I want to know what you think. I always give any feedback serious consideration. Note that I do not engage reviewers or their posted comments in public. I want my readers to feel comfortable expressing their honest and thoughtful views in an open forum without fear of being stalked by me. If you choose to post a public review, you'll find a helpful link
at the end of this book

Now, sit back and enjoy the third and fourth episodes of GAMELAND.

See you in
The Game!

And, once again, my deepest gratitude for your support.


San Francisco, CA

February 5, 2013




Episode 3:
Deadman's Switch


PART ONE: Promises Made

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

PART TWO: Everything Can Change in an Instant

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

PART THREE: Promises Kept

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34


† † †

Promises Made



Chapter 1



I wait for the tram
to pick up speed, but it just clicks quietly along at a steady pace, no faster than a jog. At this rate, it'll take us an hour to get to the mainland.

“Must be low on power,” Reggie says.

“See if you can figure it out.”

The darkness of the tunnel envelops us and we're left in the meager glow of the safety LCD lamps shining down on us from the ceiling of the car. They turn Reggie into a pale ghost.

“Let me know if you see anything strange.” I point at the grainy black and white image showing the leading end of the tram and the tracks that lie ahead. He nods. “Give us a couple minutes warning before we get to the mainland side. I want to make sure we're prepared for whatever might be waiting for us.”

“What do you think is waiting for us?”

“I don't know, Reg.”

I also have no idea how he'll know when we're getting close, but I trust he'll figure it out.

I open the compartment door and head back to the main car where the others are seated. Nobody talks or moves. The door slides shut behind me.

I wish I could shake this feeling of unease, or at least understand what's causing it, but the stress is making me even more lightheaded than I already am. I can feel it in the back of my head at the base of my skull, a dull pressure, radiating toward the front. It feels like a caffeine headache, the kind I get when I drink too much caffeine too fast.

Kelly stands up and walks over. When I gesture for him to sit, he settles into the hard plastic seat next to me.

“I'm sorry about back there,” he says. “I was just so crazy worried about you, and then, when I saw you, I just about lost it.”

I sigh and try to rub the tension out of my neck. I don't say anything. I can't even think straight right now.

“I want you to know why I did what I did, Jess.”

“I think I already know,” I say. “It's all right. Micah told me. He said it was for love and responsibility. He said you did it for Kyle.”

“For you, Jessie. I did it for you. I wanted to protect you.”

I'm tired of that old argument. It doesn't hold water with me anymore. “You see,” I tell him, “that's the part I don't understand. Your brother Kyle? I get that. You needed money for his hospital bills, so he can get the treatment. What I don't get is all the rest.”

“You figured that out then, the part about the bills and needing money.” Kelly exhales heavily and looks away, pinching his nose. “Yes, the first time we went, that was more about Kyle. But it's not what you think.”

“What I think? What I think is that I can't believe you kept it from me. You ask me to spend the rest of my life with you, and then you turn around and keep secrets from me. How am I supposed to trust you?”

“It's because I love you that I kept these things
you. I love you, Jessie.”

Other books

Hidden Magic by Daniels, Wynter
Little Bones by Janette Jenkins
The Winter People by Bret Tallent
No Dark Valley by Jamie Langston Turner
His Highness the Duke by Michelle M. Pillow
House of Shadows by Neumeier, Rachel
Switching Lanes by Porter, Renea
An Unlikely Countess by Beverley, Jo Copyright 2016 - 2022