In this excerpt from chapter two, in the middle of the night Josie has been shaken awake by a loud rumble. It’s happened before, so she’s only mildly concerned. Unable to get back to sleep, she shuffles has shuffled off to the kitchen for a snack:
As she sat at the kitchen counter, spooning pudding into her mouth, the bowl on the counter started to vibrate. Dishes rattled in the cupboard. Knickknacks fell off the shelf. Another tremor?
There had been dozens of them over the last two years. Sometimes the damage was a big deal, but most of the time everything was back to normal within a few hours. Last week, a tremor had caused the entire facility to go offline for two days. Nobody was allowed to shower. The temperature hovered around fifty degrees. No videos to watch, no computer games to play, no ebooks to read. Horrible. No way did she want to live through that again. The lights blinked on and off again, leaving her suspended in darkness with a chocolate pudding in her hand.
“This is not good.”
Alarm bells began to ring throughout the facility.
The sound of people running down the public corridor made her drop the spoon on the floor. She flung open the front door. The sound of chaos instantly increased tenfold. Dim emergency lights cast everything in an eerie blood red glow. Entire families were running down the hallway, dressed in heavy clothing, carrying their emergency backpacks, fear etched across their features.
“This can’t be for real,” she whispered. Her bladder wanted to faint. Her sister lived in the pod across the hall. Its door swung open and there was her brother-in-law, Dante Armstrong, standing there in his boxer shorts. Dante was of African descent—somewhere near Ghana was all he knew. Until just now, she had never seen him without his shirt. His impressive height and muscular build made him an imposing-looking man. His five-year-old son, Nicholas, stood behind him and peeked around his father’s hip, while Dante held three-year-old Shasta on his hip.
“Do you know what’s going on?” Josie yelled across the hall. “Where’s Jo?”
“She was called to an emergency meeting a few hours ago.”
“Mom was too.”
“Jo just called me,” Dante spoke rapidly. “She said this is the big one. The bunker has split in two and there are hundreds of secondary fissures. It’s total chaos below. The main control room is on fire and the entire city could crumble at any second.” His words were like ghostly punches to the gut, taking her breath away. “They’ve done everything they can, but it’s not going to be enough. She’s going to meet us at the main hatchway.”
The acid taste of bile coated her throat. She took a step back into the pod where things used to make sense.
“We have to evacuate,” Dante said.
“We’ll die up there,” Josie said.
“We’ll die down here.”
Josie shook her head vigorously, retreating further into the pod.
“Jo made me promise to get you out of here.” Dante’s eyes were sympathetic, but his voice strained with impatience. “I’ll carry you over my shoulder if I have to.”
She’d debate the matter more, but Dante was the kind of man who meant what he said. If she refused to leave, he would stay, putting himself and his children in grave danger.
“Okay,” she said, feeling weak all over. “I’ll go, but let me grab a few things first.”
“I’ll give you three minutes,” he said. “I need to get a few things, too. We’ll go up to the Pringle exit together.”
The last survivors of the human race are riding out nuclear winter in an underground bunker when disaster strikes. Forced to the surface centuries ahead of schedule, what they find blows their minds. Who can explain it? Two social misfits work together to unravel the mystery.
After living in a posh underground shelter his entire life, Lars Steelsun is plunged headfirst into a mind-blowing adventure on the surface of the Earth. As Lars and his displaced bunker mates are led across the grasslands by Mayor Wakeland, a man of questionable sanity who claims to talk with God, they discover a primitive world where human beings are no longer welcome. Even more mystifying is the emergence of new senses and abilities from within. Learning to use them has become a priority, but his biggest challenge comes from the vivacious Josie Albright. Her lust for glory is going to get them both into trouble. Sparks fly when her gung ho ways clash with his cautious personality. Can they overcome their differences to find love and a homeland for their people?
May not be suitable for younger readers. Contains mild profanity, sexual situations (infrequent), and violence.
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Genre - Epic Fantasy
Rating – R
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