on June 11th 2014
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
‘Morning’s here. Another restless night. I’m up before the others, unable to attempt any more sleeping. My mother still tosses and turns, constantly reaching next to her, subconsciously touching the empty mat where Randy should be. It makes my heart squeeze for a moment as I feel her longing, but it also ignites my determination to go find him and get more food and supplies.
I grab a duffle bag sitting near the front door. Lacing up my boots, I can feel my mom watching me, but I don’t meet her eyes. The question is coming.
“Where are you going?
I pull out my shoulder holster for my 9mm and strap a sheath to my thigh for a machete, which had belonged to my father. I was okay with the machete, but I know how to use a gun thanks to him.
I flick my eyes up to my mother and do my darnedest to not roll them.
My hand flicks out into the air. “Out there.”
She says nothing but watches as I finish prepping. I’m turning to walk toward the garage when she grabs my arm, holding it with an iron grip.
“Don’t look for Randy.” She pauses, swallowing as her voice breaks. “Get as many supplies as you can. Food. Guns. Water.”
I nod. Her face is stoic, but I see the tears fighting to slip from her eyes.
“I’ll see you back here before sunset.” With that, she lets go and turns away to go sit on the couch near a sleeping Jeremy. The silence lingers around us, but it says so much, it’s overbearing. Something tells me things are never going to be the same after today. For her, for me, or for anyone else.’
Excerpt from Dissension
Mira had not been given a weapon, but her opponent had. Things were not looking too good for her. The Magistrate had definitely stacked the deck on this fight.
“Hate to be the one to kill you,” Tegan said, holding up his short sword.
“Hate to be the one to die,” Mira responded, her voice monotone to conceal the swirling pit of emotions turning her stomach. She very well might die this time in the arena. Not from the fight, however. Tegan might have the upper hand, but she was the better fighter. No. Her worry came from the uncertainty of what she was about to do.
“Joking aside, I’m sorry. I may not like you, but you’re a damn good fighter. I don’t like being put in this position.”
“Then don’t be in this position.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“No more talking!” the handler shouted, and butted Mira in the back with his UV torch.
“And what will you do if I continue?” Mira couldn’t help herself. If she was about to die, she was not going to do it kowtowing to the humans.
Before her handler could reprimand her, the door to the arena opened. Light flooded into the waiting area, momentarily blinding Mira with its brightness. She shielded her eyes, and so did Tegan.
“Inside – now,” the handler said as he shoved at Mira, forcing her into the arena.
Tegan strolled in unaided. He lifted his arms and greeted the crowd, who cheered and screamed his name.
Mira, not wishing to play into any of the bulls***, strolled into the center of the arena and awaited the start of the fight.
The crowd around cheered and jeered. It was hard for Mira to make out exactly what they wanted. It seemed many were upset that she was not acknowledging them, while others seemed eager to get on with the match.
Tegan joined her in the center of the arena. “What’s the matter with you today? Why aren’t you playing the part?”
“I’m done with this bulls***.”
“You’re only done when they say you’re done, and you know how that ends.”
“I thought we were supposed to be the bloodthirsty ones.”
Tegan snickered. “True.”
“Do me a favor. Whatever happens here today, remember that we do not deserve this. Keep that thought close to you and remind the others.”
“Wow, I didn’t take you for the sentimental type.”
“I’m not. That message was not meant to make you feel bad for me. Feel it for yourself, and do something about it.”
“As if I could.”
“When the time comes, you might get your chance.”