In a heart-racing thriller described as Falling Skies meets The Walking Dead, Jennie struggles to find a safe place for what's left of her family. But it seems as though there is no place sacred, no place secure. First the aliens attacked the sun, making it dimmer, weaker, and half what it used to be. Then they attacked the water supply, killing one-third of Earth’s population with a bitter contaminate. And when they unleash a new terror on humankind, the victims will wish for death, but will not find it…
When the world shatters to pieces around her, will Jennie find the strength she needs to keep going?
Release Date: Fall 2013 from AltWit Press
Cover Art – Marcy Rachel Designs
About the Author:
Pauline Creeden is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy. In her fiction, she creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.
“No, I don’t want to see them.” Jennie Ransom swallowed hard, and her heart jumped to her throat. In her panic, she felt she might claw her way out of the little blue Volkswagen. Instead, she stared at her friend’s red curls as Liza shook her head.
“But I hear we can see them from the highway.”
“My parents will kill me.” Jennie turned away, watching the highway pass by at 65 mph—if Liza was even doing the speed limit.
“They don’t even have to know.”
That thought didn’t soothe her. Jennie closed her eyes and willed her heart to slow. Right. Mom and Dad didn’t have to know. It would be fine. But somehow, she still didn’t feel any better about it.
“It’s been over a week, and we haven’t seen them yet,” Liza whined, hitting the lock button on the doors. “And I really want to see them before we leave.”
Jennie’s eyes snapped open. “What am I going to do? Jump out?”
They were nearing the tunnel, and Jennie succumbed to the fact she didn’t have a choice.
“Fine. But we do a drive-by and that’s it. Are we agreed?” She clenched her jaw after saying it. She was honestly at Liza’s disposal. Whatever her crazy friend wanted to do with her, she’d be stuck for the ride.
“Agreed. I don’t want to get any closer, anyway. Who knows if they’ve got some kind of tractor beam or something?” Liza made a hand motion sweeping up toward the sky.
What a child. Jenny shook her head. How much had they changed really, since the aliens came?
Liza had the radio turned down low, and Shania Twain belted the song from that Cover Girl commercial. Jennie eyed her friend, whose intent gaze focused over the dash board as they pulled into the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel.
The traffic was lighter than Jennie had ever seen. With one-third of the population killed off by the aliens, it wasn't surprising. Other people, like Liza’s family, were running for the hills to get as far from the ships as they could. Anywhere was better than being near the population centers and military bases the ships hovered over.
When they pulled out of the tunnel and into the grey afternoon light, Jennie took a deep breath and scanned the sky. Nothing yet. But they were only a few miles outside of the Norfolk Naval Base, and it couldn’t be long.
Nervously drumming on the steering wheel, Liza sang a line of the song and even ended mouthing her own version of the guitar rift.
Jennie swallowed and gripped the shoulder rest of her seatbelt as they pulled off the bridge and made it onto Willoughby Spit. She looked out the window. A few seagulls surrounded the dead fish on the shore, and she could only imagine how badly it must stink. The fish had been dying in droves since the aliens had attacked the water supply. All but the groundwater had been affected. Filtration systems had no effect. The strange bitter flavored toxin killed the fish and would kill people if they forced it down. Luckily the harsh taste made most people spit it right back out.
They pulled through a treed area and passed a state trooper. Liza let of the gas and decelerated, staring in her rear view mirror.
“That isn’t going to stop you from getting a ticket if that cop is in a mood.” Jennie laughed and when no blue lights followed them after a minute, she added, “Lucky.”
“No kidding,” Liza laughed, “Did I ever tell you about the time—oh my God!” Her eyes grew wide and she slowed down so quickly, Jennie’s seat belt locked.
“What?” Jennie asked as she followed the train of Liza’s gaze. Just as they passed out of the treed area, it came into view. Silver, round, and glossy, just as they said it would be. It shifted in and out like a mirage. She blinked hard at it, while Liza pulled the car over to the shoulder.
“I can’t believe it.” Liza’s voice quivered.
Jennie nodded but didn’t say a thing. She remembered her reaction to seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time as they drove by on the highway for upstate New York. The distance was so great that the statue looked like a toy on the horizon, but it was real. Her heart leapt in her chest then, just as it did now. It’s one thing to be told about something, and even see pictures of it on TV, it was quite another to take it in with your own eyes.
She tore her gaze away from the strange, floating, metal disk and saw that Liza’s was the last in a long line of cars that had pulled over on the shoulder. Some people had even stepped out of their cars to take pictures with their camera phone. Liza hopped out, and Jennie gave a grumbled response to the closing door. Even though fear gripped her insides, she unbuckled her seat belt and jumped out after her friend.