Run from Me TEASER

Updated: Oct 23





This will be a PLATINUM LEVEL STORY but I'll put up a couple teaser chapters.



SUMMARY

It's been nearly a decade since The Shimmer burnt out the world as we knew it. Now there's only two strands of humanity remaining.

Well, them and me. Because I don't fit in either category.

And the monster that tames us, The Serpent. Who is neither an Alabaster human or one of us. So what does that leave? He's surely nothing like me.

Our world has been fracturing for a long time now. But as the dangers increase, I learn that my desperate escape from the sort of slavery I was held in, is being challenged by the one monster that enjoys nothing more than a good chase.

The Serpent is perfectly designed to hunt. The chained beast of the Alabasters. Controlled by the bindings and regular injections. He's regularly sent out with the crews of tiny humans to forage for food and goods in what remains of the structures that once covered the land. His only amusement is found during the chase. When one of them grows bold enough to try to survive the dangers of a world no longer conducive to human life.

He's more than happy to chase the little vixen set on escaping those he serves.

He'll hunt her down. No matter what it takes.




01 Run from Me - After the Shimmer

We were all in the jumble. Trapped in the one metal warehouse. No windows, no walls. Support beams that had long ago been carved with messages for loved ones. People bumped into each other. Hardly seeing one another. The smell of sweat and body odor and a sun that was far too hot on metal burned our nostrils. Though we’d long ago grown accustomed to that. The closest one could come to a bath now was to rub the sweat off with the sand, if sent beyond these metal walls.


Which was generally avoided.


Even in times of great hunger.


I was no exception. My stomach was aching. I was wearing an oversized sweater. Worn through in several places. I kept the hood up. Pulled low over my face with my hair tucked in. I knew enough to keep my face and hair from view.


The murmur of voices rose to a steady din of sound. Words were unintelligible. Wind gusted and rattled the metal walls. Sending bits of dust sweeping into the cracks above us. Sifting through the beams of light that cast in. So hot that everyone avoided standing or sitting within it.


I was near the trash pile. As were so many others. I rattled another empty can. Rummaging through the pile trying to find any with a bit left.


The smell of rotting meat came from a few cans. Dune beetles were already crawling all over them. Their gangly legs making a horrible scraping sound that cut into my ears like scratching fingernails.


I moved another can and triumphantly collected one near the base of the pile.


I found one that had a few bits of corn in the bottom. I snatched it up and squirreled off to a far corner of the bundled people where there was a boy sitting. His knees drawn to his chest.


“Sheeri!” He said excitedly. Round face lighting up at the sight of me. Aside from his parents, I was about his only friend.


Most people in here didn’t count anyone their friends. Knowing that it only made things harder to try to care for anyone aside from yourself.


I put a finger to my lips. Reminding him to keep his voice down and not draw attention.


That was everyone’s goal.


Don’t draw attention.


I handed him the can. He hungrily gripped it and shoved the bits of corn in his mouth with dirty fingers.


It was still early morning and already it was cooking in the metal warehouse.


He dropped the can and put his head on my shoulder. His small, bald head seeming particularly tiny as he rested it there. “Tell me again.”


“Why it is?”


“Yes.”


“The Shimmer, Alex.”


“Why didn’t we die like the rest?”


I sighed. Finding it hard to explain to him. He was only ten, he had a hard time understanding such things.


“Because we have genetic anomalies.”


“Why don’t we look like the basters?”


I took a long breath. “The Alabasters responded to it differently than we did. They didn’t just survive. Their cells were activated.”


Alex turned his face up to me. His dark brown eyes, so much like the others’, but still youthful.


Beautiful.


I didn’t want him to lose that.


I sat against the wall with him. Wrapping my arm around his shoulders. “It made them bigger and stronger.”


“So what do they need us for?”


“To hunt for food.”


Or to be food.


We all dreaded each morning, when those would be selected to go out and forage for food.


“Why don’t they go out in the storms if they’re so much better?”


“Because they can make us.” I pulled at a thread on my huge sweater. Trying to get a bit of air moving under it. Tugging the hood down over my face. Something I probably did a hundred times a day.


“I’d never make it out there.” Alex said fearfully.


“If they try to send you, I’ll volunteer.” I promised him. Hugging him close and kissing the top of his dirty head.


He nodded against my shoulder. “Because you keep me safe, right?”