Author: S. Elliot Brandis
Genre: Sci-Fi (Post Apocalyptic / Dystopian)
Date Published: May 12, 2014
A man thrust a baby into Jade’s hands. It trembled in her arms. The man had a message: escape from the tunnels and never return, her parents were already dead. Jade had a sister; she was irradiated.
Thirteen years later, her sister, Pearl, is coming of age. Rows of sucker-caps line her arms and hands. Her skin is coral pink. Each night, her dreams fill with visions of violence, depression, and fear.
On the surface, people have grown wild and dangerous. They scavenge, fight, and steal. Below, in the tunnels, they're controlled by a ruthless leader and an army of beings known only as Shadows. When both groups come searching for Pearl, sensing the power her dreams may hold, only Jade can stand in the way.
The man thrust a baby into Jade’s hands. It was warm and wet and its cries were muffled. Thick fabric covered its face and body. It trembled in her arms.
“You have to go,” said the man. His voice was urgent and his movements were rapid. Each breath was hot and laboured.
“I don’t understand. Where’s Mum, where’s Dad?” Jade asked.
The tunnel was dark but she could place him by the sound, by the heat, by the air. His panic rushed into her, as though it was her own. He grabbed her with heavy hands and turned her around.
“There’s no time,” he said. “No time, child. They’re coming. The Shadows are coming. You need to get out of here.”
“B-But, what about my parents?” she stammered.
The man squeezed her shoulders tightly, his fingers digging into her muscles and between her bones.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “They’re dead. You have to trust us. This is your only chance. This is your sister’s only chance. You have to keep going and never turn back.”
He pushed her onward, and other hands grabbed her. They grasped her then passed her on to the next set. They all knew what was happening, all knew where she was headed—everybody but her. She clutched the squealing baby in her long, thin arms and yielded herself to their guidance.
S. Elliot Brandis is a Speculative Fiction writer from Brisbane, Australia. He writes about societies on the brink of collapse, and civilizations that have long since crumbled. His debut novel, Irradiated, is a dark tale about survival, love, and moral ambiguity.
When he’s not putting his characters through the wringer, he’s actually kind of a nice guy. He keeps literature on the same shelf as comic books, and mixes his beer with tobasco. He invites you to visit him at selliotbrandis.com.
Mailing list: http://eepurl.com/PsmMv