The Preview

           I am happy to announce that after 4 1/2 years, I am officially publishing another book!
           It still needs a lot of work, but I'm pretty proud of where I'm at so far and wanted to get my future fans excited about it too! So this is just a quick preview and a very rough draft for my new book, Parallel.
           Just a little background: Parallel is about a girl named Quenn who lives hundreds of years in the future after our government has collapsed. She has a big Husky dog named Ryka (yes, Dega inspired this one). The country she lives in is very different from what we know, but you'll have to read the whole book for those details. :) For this, all you need to know is that Quenn is on the run after her family has disappeared. Many people disappear mysteriously and ever since her last family member disappeared, some "officers" have been after Quenn. She has just found a safe hideout in the woods where people don't often venture.
             I set up our tent in the thick of some trees a few hundred yards away from the lake. I’d even gotten so comfortable there as to unpack some of our things and build a firepit where we could sit and keep warm at night. It kept away the mosquitos which could bring dangerous diseases, and it made me feel safer, or at least more relaxed. I remember my mother telling me that before the collapse of the government and the wars, people used to go places like this and stay in tents the way I was doing and consider it a vacation. I couldn’t understand why that would be appealing, but some nights by the fire as I felt the stress of the day slowly melting away, I understood. Even if it’s worse than your current circumstances, sometimes you just have to get away.
I woke up one morning and started to feel that strange tingling you get when something is wrong. I ignored it, too comfortable in our cozy new home, too unwilling to give it up. All day the feeling lasted, until finally it happened.
                It was the middle of the night, and I was half-asleep next to Ryka in the tent, my ears strained for anything abnormal. I was ready at any moment to fight, to save myself. I awoke to the sound of footsteps, of twigs breaking under heavy feet. Ryka jumped up immediately, her snore turning gracefully into a low, menacing growl. I slowly scooted out of my sleeping bag and grabbed the knife I kept next to me at all times. The hair on the back of my neck was standing on end, and my heart was pounding in my ears. For several minutes, there was nothing but silence. I started to wonder if I was hearing things, psyching myself out. Even Ryka seemed to relax. Then, out of nowhere, I smelled smoke.
                Ryka ran frantically to the edge of the tent, which was now billowing with thick black smoke. The tent filled quickly with its minimal ventilation, and soon I couldn’t see my hands right in front of my face. I choked, trying not to breathe too deeply, grasping for the door to the tent.
                The material of the tent went up quickly in the flames. I finally found the zipper and pulled hard, but it wouldn’t open. It was as if it had been locked from the outside.
Pieces of hot plastic began to rain down on us, melting to my skin. My lungs burning, I started slashing at the tent frantically with my knife. I finally ripped open a hole big enough to fit through, and I tumbled out onto the cool dirt. Ryka appeared seconds later, looking scared and confused. We both lay on the dirt a few feet from our tent, and now the entire night was filled with the light of the flames. The heat and noise made it hard to see if there was anyone around, but there must have been. Just as I started to pull myself to my feet, I felt a stabbing pain in my back that dropped me to my knees. Ryka ran to my side, concerned, then tensed suddenly to stare at something behind me. I saw her muscles tense, then saw her leap at something I could not see. I could barely think, the pain was so excruciating. It seemed to be coming from inside me, radiating throughout my body. I heard Ryka make contact with something large. There was a grunt and lots of growling before I heard Ryka yelp in pain. Strangely, as soon as her pain seemed to have started, mine immediately ceased.
                My veins coursing with adrenaline, I searched on my hands and knees for the knife in the tall grass around me. Finally feeling something metal, I grasped the object. The sharp part of the knife cut my hand, but I refused to let go. I turned to see a large officer in a black uniform standing over me. In his hand was a small black box. It was simple, with only one button and a flashing red light. He looked me right in the eyes, his face covered, and pressed the button. The device was aimed at my leg, and I felt a sudden pain emerge from just where he was pointing it. It was as if a million invisible knives came from the device and devoured me from the inside out.
                I felt my brain shutting down from the pain, my body growing weak. The officer knew it too, and he came closer to me, bending down as if to pick me up. I wanted to let him, to just lie there until I fell into the darkness where pain couldn’t exist. But my brain was screaming, No, no! You can’t disappear too! I somehow knew if I gave in in those few moments, I would be gone forever.
                Summoning all my strength despite the intense pain, I seized the handle of the knife and lunged at the man. He backed up just in time, looking surprised and missing the blade of my knife by mere inches.
                “Not so fast,” he said, his voice low and rumbling. “there’s someone waiting for you.” Something in the back of my mind lit up. Someone was waiting for me? My family? If I gave in, would he take me to my family, to Leto?
                The more logical part of my brain took over. It sounded great, but it didn’t make sense. Why take me by force? Why all the secrecy? And if my dad knew the truth, why would he spend so much time teaching me to hide, to fight, to live? Why not just let me give in?
                Of course, I thought, the easiest thing of all would have been to just tell me the truth. If he had just told me what he knew, I could protect myself much better.
                Before I could act, the officer had knocked me on my back. The force of the blow knocked the air out of my lungs, and both my back and leg were tingling in pain, as if I had been stabbed and the knife was left there. He practically fell on top of me, pulling out handcuffs and seizing my wrists. He was huge, only needing one hand to pin both mine down, but he couldn’t do that if I kept them far enough apart. I flailed my arms and legs like crazy, hoping to frustrate him to the point that he lost focus. Suddenly, he was thrown off me, and the weight on my abdomen was lifted. I took a huge breath, filling my lungs, and turned to see Ryka had tackled the officer down yet again. She was big and powerful, and it helped that most people in our world weren’t familiar with pets. A big beast like Ryka probably scared him more than I ever could.
                I wondered, briefly, why he hadn’t hit Ryka with his strange weapon, but then noticed it lying just a few feet from me. Ryka was biting at the officer, but his right arm was free, and he reached into the holster of his belt loop and pulled out a small black gun.
                “No!” I screamed at the top of my lungs. I ran as fast as I could, pushing Ryka with all my might. It was as if the world moved in slow motion, I couldn’t get there fast enough. I heard the bullet click into the barrel. I saw, as if it were the only thing in the world, his finger bearing down on the trigger. Just as I dove on top of the two of them, pushing Ryka aside, the gun went off.
                I felt a searing pain in my left arm, and the world started spinning. I could see blood running down my arm and into my lap, but it didn’t make much sense. Where was all that blood coming from? I felt light headed and nauseous, but no pain. I just wanted to lie down and sleep, to wake up again in my tent and discover this had all been a dream.
                Ryka was at my side, alternating between whimpering at me and growling at the officer. He seemed taken aback that he had inadvertently shot me instead of my dog. Did that mean he had never intended to kill me?
                Just as I thought this, he bore down on me again, this time with the device back in his hand. He didn’t care that I was hurt, his one and only job was to take me, and he was going to do it.
                I forced my eyes to stay open, forced myself to stay awake. I let him click the handcuff across my left wrist, where my whole arm felt too numb to move. As he went for my right wrist, I squeezed the blade of the knife in my fingers. It was still there, good.
                In one swift motion, I swung my arm up to meet his chest, which hovered just above me. If the officer wore some sort of protective armor, I had found the weak spot. The knife sunk in deep, and I heard him gasp in surprise. He fell right on top of me, pushing the blade deeper into his chest. It didn’t matter, he was already dead.

                I pushed him off me using my good arm, and the force of the effort nearly knocked me out cold. I could still smell smoke, could still see the fire glowing several yards away from me, before everything went dark.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! My names Kylee Wiechman! I'm Nona Hunsakers granddaughter! My mom found your blog and told me about it! I'm an aspiring writer as well and I LOVE dystopia! Congrats on getting a second book published!!! I'm so excited I found your blog! I blog as well over at I'll definitely be looking for your book when it comes out:)