Twenty years after The Great Global Riots and the collapse of humanity, Alex Locke struggles to save his family, and his home colony of Pena, from starvation.
Beads of sweat rolled into Alex Locke’s eyes as he stared at the man before him crouched in the chair, weeping, gasping for breath. The left side of his face was swollen where a cheekbone had been fractured. A urine stain dampened the front of his pants.
Alex swallowed the lump in his throat, sickened by the stench. “I want to be reasonable here, Ernie,” he said. “I really do. But I know what you are.” He lowered his mouth to the man’s ear. Heat radiated off Ernie. “And I know you have information for me.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” the nomad stuttered back, squinting up at Alex with his one good eye. His wrists and ankles were torn and bleeding from the rope binding him to the chair. He jolted once, twice, before giving up.
“I think you do. I’m a patient man, Ernie. I can stay here all day.”
Thump. Alex turned to find York Holt, his best friend brandishing a machete. Sun rays filtered through a broken window, giving York an aura.
“York, come ‘ere,” Alex ordered. “You need to persuade this man.”
As soon as Ernie saw the dirt-encrusted blade, he jerked up in his chair, so high that two legs left the ground. “Don’t hurt me! I’ll tell you. What do you need to know?”
Alex smiled gleefully. After two hours of integration, he was finally getting somewhere. He crouched to one knee and hooked an arm over Ernie’s armrest, his face inches from his own. “Ernie, you’re a Treme, right?”
The man’s head bobbed up and down.
“I know what your kind is like. You travel the wastelands of this state, wandering in and out of colonies, taking what you please.” His gaze crossed to Ernie’s armor lying in a pile in the corner of the room, fashioned from scrap metal, car parts and animal hide. It glistened under the sun’s rays.
“Th-That’s true,” Ernie stammered. “But we only take trash. We never steal purposely.”
“What’s that?” Alex slammed his fist onto the wall beside him and pointed to the armor. “These parts weren’t trash. They belonged to people, Ernie. You can’t steal, no matter if the world ended or not!”
“I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”
Angered by this blatant lie, Alex withdrew a knife from his back pocket and thrust it into Ernie’s right thigh. The man howled in agony and squirmed violently in his chair.
Alex didn’t budge to release him or the knife protruding from Ernie’s flesh. They were ten miles outside of town, free of interruption. There was nothing out here but barren farmland and abandoned homes.
About the author:
Born in Sydney, Australia Kellie Wallace developed a love for the written word early in life, recalling her earliest memory when she was three years old. Her father used to read to her when she was a child, establishing a deep love and respect for books. Kellie wrote a bit in high school, most memorably her first fantasy book called Giblin the Conquer, an X Files fan fiction and a military fiction. She didn’t write another word until 2007.
After finishing high school, Kellie moved to the sunny Northern Beaches from the Central Coast and carved a successful career in the media/advertising industry writing for numerous Sydney based publications.
An aspiring novelist, Kellie fulfilled a dream in 2008 having her first book All She Ever Wanted published by Zeus Publications at the age of 22 years old.
In 2013, Kellie released her newest catalogue of books Darkness before Dawn and Skylark. In her spare time she loves to write, game and draw. Her first crime fiction novel To lean of falling men and EarthWalker are out now. She currently resides in Sydney with her husband.
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