In this excerpt, due to a catastrophic disaster, the people of Galatians Bunker have been forced the surface of the Earth centuries ahead of schedule. Sixteen-year-old Josie has escaped with her mother and young niece. The fate of her other family members is unknown:
The acid air was beginning to burn Josie’s eyes. The cold invaded her like an army intent on conquering every bit of flesh and bone. It was like nothing she had ever felt before, making her muscles cramp and sending violent shivers deep through her body. She pulled the collar of one of her layered shirts over her nose, but it didn’t do much good. Bad luck to emerge in what surely must be the dead of winter. Families huddled together in groups, but she could barely make them out through the thick mists. If she lived a thousand lifetimes, the sounds of her people’s wailing would never leave her head.
Coughing spasms wracked her frame. Her head felt all woozy. She sidled up to her mother, and they sheltered Shasta between them. Speaking was becoming difficult. Josie, Shasta and Josie’s mother clung together amid the swirling fumes.
They were cheek to cheek.
“I love you, little Shasta,” mother said, voice quaking. “You too, sweet Josie.”
“I love you too, Mom.” Josie’s chest felt constricted. Through a fit of coughing she asked, “Do you think Feenie and Jo made it?”
“Shhh,” Mom said, her legs slowly crumpling beneath her weight, but Josie held her up. “We’re all going to be fine—just fine.”
Josie felt the poisoned air weakening her as well. In her despair, fear turned to sadness. I’m not ready to die, she sobbed inside, thinking of Shasta, who was only a little girl, and Nicholas, so innocent and sweet, who had been swallowed up by the crowd. Josie wasn’t sure which religion had it right about God, if any, but she shook a fist at Him or Her for good measure. “This is so unfair!”
Then, up on a hill, a bright light burned away the fog. The tainted mists parted to reveal a barren wasteland. There were no trees, no vegetation of any kind, or any life whatsoever. And there on the summit, a lone figure stood above the world, glowing as if illuminated from within.
“Is that the mayor?” someone asked.
“Red Wakeland, Junior,” her mother whispered. “What are you up to?”
“Is it some kind of super charisma?” Josie gasped.
Surely, there was no reason to expect salvation, but seeing him like that planted the seed of hope.
They watched him reach the summit, where he turned in a circle, and stretched his hands toward the sky. The blaze emanating from him grew brighter. In a voice like thunder, he called out to the heavens, “In the name of my father!”
A burst of energy radiated from his body like ripples from a stone thrown into a pond. He dissipated the tainted green mists and the mustard-colored clouds engulfing the land. The pulse went right through Josie, setting her nerve endings on fire. Intense white burned her eyes through her closed lids. Then came a boom, so deep and vibrato she thought that her veins would explode.
Sure that she was being incinerated, Josie wanted her final words to be lofty ones, but all she could muster up was, “Here we go!”
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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