Chapter Four – Boys and their Toys

 After what couldn’t have been more than three hours, Colton stirred at my feet. He slid away from Emilia silently and rose to his knees. Without making a single sound, he placed his hands on either side of me, propping his palms on the box I sat upon and rested his forehead to mine. Wordlessly,Continue reading “Chapter Four – Boys and their Toys”

Monster Feet

An easy breeze glided across my skin, and I was grateful for it. Grateful not just for the cooler air, but for being upwind from the death and decay that had claimed the city. A full moon cast long shadows amid the wood and stucco ruins I picked through, but the only movement I sawContinue reading “Monster Feet”

Chapter Three- Promises

We eased into the Underbelly at the closest access point, ducking under torn textile, withered ropes and creeping over years of accumulated dirt and trash.  The intermittent light cast by open fires only penetrated dusty patches of our path where the rickrack shelter had given way to years of heat, wind and abuse. It wasn’tContinue reading “Chapter Three- Promises”

Ice-Cream

“Out! Out! You get out of this house! Right now!” “Mom, you don’t under-” “No!” Tears exploded as her voice cracked. “How dare you sit here, at this table, and lecture me on-” “Mom, I’m not,” my voice was soft as my mother’s hands when I reached for them. “No!” but she startled away asContinue reading “Ice-Cream”

Chapter Two – Unplug

Three solemn faces welcomed us to the kitchen. True; the family had actually waited for us, but their faces were ashen, and their shoulders were hunched. I’m sure at least one of them was silently kicking themselves for not running off into the night. Being this close to the Underbelly, this family was lucky; theyContinue reading “Chapter Two – Unplug”

Apology Cake

Honk! Hooooooonnnnnnk! “What kind of moron slams on their brakes because of a few raindrops?” I scream, despite being entirely aware that the moron? He can’t hear me. “Idiot!” Personally, I’m glad for the rain. The angry thrumming along the windshield and roof of the car quell some of the voices in my head. OfContinue reading “Apology Cake”

Chapter One – Retrieval

Just stick to the plan. Stick to the freaking plan. Despite best efforts, my hands clenched into anxious fists when dangling at my sides. So? I jammed them into the pockets of my fitted blue sweater instead. Don’t think. Don’t think. Don’t. Freaking. Think. Lights began to flicker on in store windows to my leftContinue reading “Chapter One – Retrieval”

Her Master’s Pride

“There. See? Isn’t this fun?”      Fun? Fun?! Fun ended the moment a pillowcase was thrown over my head, and I was thrown into this mess. But before I’d even completed the thought, the monster’s fingers were wrapped in my hair. He yanked so hard, I thought I was going to go flying through theContinue reading “Her Master’s Pride”

Viral Secrets

“Take it. Would you just freaking take it?!”  “Jesus!” I slapped her hand away. “What’s your problem? You forget to take your meds or something?”  “Look; this isn’t funny Jesse. I’m not kidding. They’re after me!”  “Who?”  “God!” Don’t you listen?!” Sam shifted in her seat, crazy eyes darting every which way. She paused onlyContinue reading “Viral Secrets”

Prologue – Celebrating Stars

“Look, look, look!” My finger swept along the ever-expanding canvas of the nighttime sky as I turned to meet his familiar smile. “Did you see it? Did ya?” The brisk air clung to our breath and colored the tips of our noses.         “Hm-hmm.” He agreed though he remained motionless on his side.  “Colton! You weren’tContinue reading “Prologue – Celebrating Stars”