Sand

SandThe hot wind hit Angel like a warm towel. The sand aloft in the air scratched like the fabric. The sand, it was hard to walk through the sand with no socks — only shoes that he was forced to empty every block or two. The sand was everywhere in the city. It piled along the buildings and alleyways like the snowdrifts of years past.

Gone were the plows to clear the way for traffic. Occasionally the wind would reveal a patch of pavement. Sometimes Angel would spot a crosswalk or a yellow line that ran down the middle of the road.

Block by block he worked his way across the city. The sun baked down on him. Without his clothes his mile-long walk would have given him cancer, or at least an excruciating sun burn.

He walked it every week. He walked among the empty streets and buildings of this once magnificent, second city. This place had survived a tragedy before, a great conflagration that destroyed nearly everything. There was no escape for her majesty this time around. The devastation was complete, along with every other city around the world.

Ten years had passed since the last remaining vestiges of the world’s military squared off for the slivers of fertile land near the poles. The final battles took place in Antarctica. The West won, but their prize was short-lived. Even the southern continent succumbed to the warmth. The heat and the dryness obliterated crops, as they had done across the globe years before.

On he trekked, climbing over rusted relics that used to move along the streets, but were now buried in tons of silicon and grit. He climbed down from upper streets to lower streets on scattered fences, jumping into dunes when the makeshift ladder fell short.

Only the wind, the sand, the sun and the decay made any sort of sound. Glassless behemoths stood and howled, as if to call out in slow anguish while the years tore them down. Pitted walls gouged by the relentless beating of the air made them look as ancient stone in some places, relics and ruins in others.

The air was thick with heat, but short of oxygen. More than the shoes, exhaustion slowed Angel’s pace.

A world had gone wrong, infested with a short-sighted species that valued power over existence. A world that had been abandoned by logic and empathy had no recourse to right the wrong, and no way to cry for help.

* * *

Angel made his way across town, up and down roadways as the structures would permit. He left a trail in the sand that faded away in the distance. The evidence of his journey was washed away by the shifting sands as soon as it was out of view.

He arrived at the heart of the city, and found the building where he would take shelter, as he did each week. It was in ruin, much like the rest of the buildings around it. This building, however, was special. It held within it’s chambers a small miracle of salvation. It was hiding a modern oasis for weary travelers with the secret of its location.

In the belly of this building was a tiny bit of the world before that somehow managed not to succumb to the ravages of the sand and the drought.

He walked into the building and made his way past the elevator shafts. These machines had retired many years before and would no longer get him to where needed to be. Down, down, down the stairs he went, casting off puffs of sand with each step.

In the basement level he opened the door. Fluorescent lights greeted him with their resounding buzz that echoed the wind’s howl. They lit a room about the size of a carport for eight vehicles. In all likelihood it had served that purpose at one time.

It had been converted into a sanctuary for weary survivors. This establishment still existed to exchange goods and services, and what it served most proudly was sourced from a massive, hidden stock of booze. This tiny little space maintained the soul of the city that grew up on the drink. While it served several purposes, the proprietor of the establishment liked to refer to it as the last bar in America.

* * *

The owner of the bar, if you could call anyone the owner of anything so close to the end of humanity, was a blustery old fart from a place where the rivers used to run full of fish and the hills were spotted with deer and wild turkeys. He grew up the old fashioned way, as close as one could get to a frontiersman in the age of the jet plane and interstate.

This made him an ideal survivor in the sand filled world. One thing he knew was how to distill spirits and when he happened upon the cache of liquor, he realized he could survive for quite awhile.

He scavenged enough equipment from various places around the city to build his distillery. Mufflers became tiny pot stills. A few precious solar panels were salvaged to provide power to heat them. Copper plumbing was easy to find and pound into piping to condense the vapor. He had trouble, at first, cooling the pipes. Water was difficult to come by. Water, as it turned out, was more valuable than a stiff drink.
It was that value that drove him to re-distill the spirit and raise the proof. He wasn’t necessarily trying to make the drink stronger, he was extracting the water.

He traded the water and the alcohol. As time passed he ended up selling more water than booze. His stocks of high-octane, un-aged spirits gathered dust on the shelves for the most part.

Water supplies were ample, but not great. He knew at some point that he’d have to find something else to trade. He was resourceful, a frontiersman, and it was just another problem to solve.

His bar was tidy as Angel opened the door at the bottom of the stairs, but the owner was sweeping the floor anyway. He could never quite get all the sand out — and with frequent visitors he got into the habit of sweeping a few times a day. Angel was the third patron that day, but the other two had arrived hours earlier and the floors had already been swept twice since they arrived.

As Angel entered he paused to scan the room. In that age folks were cautious and suspicious of people they didn’t know, and some that they did know.

On this day he knew everyone in the bar. He greeted the bar owner with a warm hug and took his backpack off, setting it in a chair at the bar. He acknowledged the other two patrons with a nod with two fingers touching his brow.

“I’ll take some of the tough stuff today.” Angel said.

“Oh? Special occasion there, Angel?” asked the owner.

“Special day, Jim.” Angel replied.

Yellowstone

Jim Doorsman attended a university in the city back before the turn of the millennium. Following the computer technology boom, he set off to the West Coast to create the next revolution in technology, or so he liked to think. By the teens he had married and was raising a family with two boys, his sons. He still thinks about his sons every day.

The Twenties came and went, and Jim continued to work in the technology sector. As the planet’s situation became more dire, He found himself attracted to companies and projects that were trying to make a different for the world, not just for commerce.

For awhile he and his family enjoyed being in the group of “haves.” He could see that it wasn’t going to last. The “have-nots” population was growing fast, so fast. People were at once being displaced by automation, and also losing their properties to some aspect of the Earth’s decline.

Coastal communities were falling to rising seas, the plains were suffering a drought that would never end, the South was too hot. Desperate people abandoned all they had to move north, or to the mountains where rivers still eked out a little water.

Jim and his family witnessed the growing unrest in California. Paying for water became something people budgeted. They bathed in the ocean if they were close enough, and not at all otherwise. Water was for drinking, and hydroponics if you could get away with it. The government’s regulations forbid almost everything other than drinking fresh water.

Sometime in the early Thirties Jim was contacted by the central government. They wanted him to move to the Midwest to work on a project that, as they said it, “could bring the world back from the brink.“

It took a year to convince his wife, but in 2034 the Doorsman family set off for Chicago. They did not take very much, and by that year many of the roads were in severe disrepair or suffered blockages from the drifting dust and sand. A journey that would have taken no more than four days on clear roads, had already taken ten by the time they reached Yellowstone.

It was a June morning. Jim left his family to sleep in and drove East to buy water and food for breakfast and groceries for the next week’s journey.

EruptionAcross the globe survivors still know that on June 18th, 2034 Yellowstone erupted, spewing gas and ash into the atmosphere and accelerating the planet’s already dire course toward destruction.

Jim knew that date because it was the day he watched an explosion of magma and rock consume the town where he left his family. He watched in helpless anguish from his car full of provisions.

* * *

Jim spent the next few days camping as close to the pit that was formerly a national park. In the morning he would wake up and stare westward at the plume of smoke and ash that was still rising out fo the massive cauldron. The sunlight brought out the minuscule amounts of color that was contained in the gassy billows.

Eventually it became too hot near Yellowstone. Jim decided to carry on with his journey. As he moved eastward he eventually came back into civilization. His phone lit up with messages from friends and family, wondering if he and his brood had made it across before the eruption. He couldn’t bring himself to respond to them all. He called his mother.

On the radio he heard scientists talking about how much more drastic the environmental changes were going to be from that point forward. The strategy of humanity, they said, would have to adjust from one of societal balance to mere species survival. The interviewer, of course, downplayed this prophetic statement. No need to cause a panic.

Thirst - Last BarJim knew enough about climate science to understand the magnitude of the event. He knew that he would have to be under the government’s protection in order to make it even a few years. The new job sounded like just the ticket.

Uncharacteristically, he had never told any stories about the position, or what he was working on, or why it had ended.

He would say, “I can’t talk about that.” If anyone asked.

Few would ask, though. Most of the time their eyes welled up when he told the Yellowstone story, and they didn’t think to ask about the job.

At some point, the job ended abruptly. It was right around the time the city suffered some sort of terrorist attack. Details were scant at that point. It was in the mid-to-late 2040s. There was terrible unrest in the city. Authorities were having trouble controlling the situation before. Afterward there was no hope.

The lake’s water level was dropping drastically in the heat. There weren’t any storms to replenish it. All adjoining lakes were clamped shut at the locks. No one was sharing. The city was dying of thirst.

* * *

Property values plummeted as city dwellers went to live with their country cousins, who still drew their water from wells. It was a short-lived strategy as the water tables dropped and wells could no longer reach the moisture. Eventually town water supplies were sacked by droves of people who were desperate to keep their families alive.

Jim, for his part, decided to stay in the city and leverage his ingenuity to keep himself alive. By his estimate, the city was safer after everyone left. Other people, he thought, will kill you faster than the thirst. Thirst, after all, isn’t armed, thirsty people are.

Back in the bar these world events were racing through Jim’s mind as he quickly tried to decipher what Angel thought was so special about today. Jim was barely aware of the date or day of the week. Calendars were made of paper, which had gone extinct since there was no one to produce it. Paper required water to produce, and only a madman would make use of water in such a way.

He leaned over the bar and asked, “What’s so special about today, Angel?”

“It’s my birthday.” Angel replied.

“Oh,” said Jim, “well then that one’s on the house.”
Jim still didn’t know the date. He would have liked to surprise Angel in the next year with something special. Angel was a good friend, as good a friend as one could have in the world of everyone-for-themselves.

“You’ve been coming here for what, three years?” asked Jim.

“Two and a half.” replied Angel.

Angel was a trader. He traveled from outpost to outpost trading bits of things people needed. There was no currency, so people kept tabs for the traders and anyone else who was a traveling barterer. A good trader could have several weeks worth of provisions on their tab at three or four outposts.

Traded goods were generally small, something a man could carry. Rechargeable batteries were the most commonly traded item, then light bulbs, then clothing. Traders always had a list of hard-to-find items that had been requested. They had to have good memories since writing things down proved costly. Paper was expensive.

“Well, Angel,” Jim said, “since it’s your birthday, I want to show you something.”

* * *

Jim swung around from behind the bar, quite nimbly for a man of his age. He went to the wall that stood opposite the bar and opened a panel. Inside were circuit breakers. He flipped two small ones, and then one big one.

The two doors in the bar snapped as a locking mechanism engaged.

“Don’t worry, ladies. You’ll be safe in here til we get back.” Jim said to the other two patrons.

On an adjoining wall a sickly bell dinged from behind a curtain. Jim closed the circuit panel and drew the curtains open to reveal an elevator. The doors slowly slid open, grinding sand along the tracks.

Angel had been spinning around in his chair following this old man perform his parlor tricks. He hadn’t seen a working elevator in all of his adult life. He grabbed his bag and followed Jim inside. He wasn’t sure whether or not to trust the mechanics of the old machine. His jump test didn’t reassure him as the elevator’s computer attempted to adjust for additional weight when he landed.

Jim let out a little cackle at Angel’s antics, “Don’t worry, you’re probably the lightest thing this beast has hauled all week.”

The button panel had three ground level options: L, B1 and B2. Then they ranged from 29 to 42. The elevator only serviced the upper floors of the building.

Ascent - Light BulbOnly one of the lights in the big metal box was working. Jim had disabled the rest in order to save light bulbs.

“Up or down, Angel?” Jim asked.

“I guess up.”

Jim pressed 35 on the button panel. The doors ground slowly to a close.

A garbled voice came over a speaker in the elevator announcing, “Express to Blurgaglurgle…”

Angel rightly assumed it meant 29 or 35 or some such floor, but the “glurgle” chipped at his confidence in the device just a little bit more.

The Dragon

As soon as the elevator doors closed, Cindy got up from her seat and checked both of the exits to make sure they were locked. As a woman in a world after law and order, she knew to be cautious. She checked the doors a second time just to be sure.

She and her daughter, Hope, arrived the day before. Jim had requested that they come and offered his accommodations in exchange for medical treatment. His spryness was the result of painkillers and vitamins.

Cindy was a doctor. Whether or not the world had gone to shit, she intended on being a doctor until the day she died. Before the collapse she was a surgeon. Now, though, major surgery was nearly always fatal. No one had penicillin anymore. Everyone who got cut open, if they didn’t die from the procedure, they were almost certain to die from the subsequent infection.

Flesh wounds and malnutrition were her bread and butter. There’s not much to be done for dehydration or dysentery, which were the most common ailments. She did what she could, though, and it was enough to keep her and her daughter going.

Hope had been at her mother’s side for nearly the whole of her 27 years on Earth. She had learned medicine, how to fight, and how to survive from her mentor and protector. It didn’t matter much to either of them that Hope was adopted, if they even called it that. It didn’t matter. There was love.

With that love came trust. When Cindy whispered to her daughter that this new man in the bar shouldn’t be trusted, Hope heeded the words and kept a suspicious eye on him.

Cindy knew Angel, but not the trader he is today. She knew him when he ran with The Dragon, the band of thieves and bandits who plagued the outposts to the North. She and Hope got caught up in their business six or seven years earlier.

She was working in a make-shift hospital near what used to be Toronto. No one had heard of The Dragon back then. But one month people started arriving at the hospital with all kinds of blunt force trauma. Head wounds, broken bones, gauged eyes, busted jaws and all manner of tortured, barely breathing bodies showed up. Their loved ones were dragging them in on makeshift sleds, or just literally dragging them along the sand.

They came from the West, these battered pilgrims. They didn’t know who it was who had beaten them. It was a group of 20 or 30 young men. They had been charmed by a charismatic brute who promised them a life of relative luxury. They simply needed to cast away their inhibitions and give in to their own brutality.

“This world is only for the few and the strong!” he would yell.

They counted themselves as the chosen few who would pillage and take. They worried little about the damage that befell their victims.

“Death is coming for everyone, but it comes for us last!” he would yell.

These foolish young men, not knowing any better, not knowing a world without hardship — the old world of plenty, they followed the brute, and laid to waste any remnant of civilization that could eek out an existence in the dessert. How cruel they could be. With very few guns left in the world, they attacked with clubs and spears and rocks and knives. They were so good at it.

* * *

Dragon's Den - Last Bar
It was only a matter of time before they came to Toronto. They showed one night at the hospital — the collection of tents that Cindy called a hospital. They waited for a full moon. They waited for everyone to be asleep.

They took out the guards, or maybe the guards were sleeping. No one was every quite sure how it all started. The Dragon had done their homework on the hospital. They had scouted it for days before, they even sent in a few of their injured. It all happened so slowly. They didn’t care about the sick or the wounded, they knew death would come quickly for them. The Dragon went after the living who could resist.

Clubs and sticks and rocks bashed people while they slept. Those who awoke had short lived screams before their throats filled with blood and tears.

When they got to Cindy and Hope’s tent much of the screaming had been replaced by whimpering and death. The Dragon knew that Cindy was a doctor, and they knew she bunked with a young woman.

They killed all the male doctors. They took the women, all that could walk anyway, as prisoners. Prisoners — slaves really. Cindy and her colleague, Janice, were kept because they were doctors, the other four women, including Hope, were kept because they were women.

Blindfolded and bound, the women marched through the sand back West, back toward The Dragon’s base. It was a slow march. Having sacked the hospital, they had a lot of provisions to carry with them. They found shelter in the daytime, and marched at night.

For three nights they traveled, until they reached The Dragon’s Den. It was an empty town where they kept their plunder. It was their outpost where unscrupulous traders would stop to exchange goods.

That’s how Cindy knew Angel. He dealt with The Dragon.

“He must have known their horror.” She thought. “How could he now know where all this stuff came from?”

For Cindy, Angel was guilty by association. She didn’t know his story beyond that of a trader, and she didn’t care to. Their crime was his crime. And their crime . . .

Hope was older, and a doctor. Her service to the men was stitches and bandages. Her service to the women required a lot more focus. Scars and bruises and tears showed up in her medical room.

The women were often brutalized by the young men. As they had their twisted sense of what was right and an unmatched sense of entitlement, it was easy for them to view women as cattle, or simple toys.

Cindy thought of Hope often, but hadn’t seen her since they arrived, which had been a few weeks. She wondered if her daughter was still alive.

* * *

Shouts erupted one night, alerting everyone in The Dragon’s town to trouble. Cindy left her room to and went to a window of her second floor dwelling. Outside she could see the burning barrels lighting the streets and two men facing off with daggers. One of the men was holding out his hand, as if to push the encircling crowd back. He waved the crowd quiet and the shouting stopped.

It was Gannon, the leader of The Dragon. Opposite him was Tynon. Both men appeared to be drunk, as did most of the others.

Cindy opened the window to listen.

“Speak you mind, Tynon!” Gannon shouted to the crowd.

Tynon stared down Gannon with confidence, and a smile. He glanced left and right to check his flanks.

“I will,” Tynon began, “I will speak it plainly for you and these boys.” He spoke in a shouting whisper, and slowly so that everyone would understand. “Gannon has us on the road to ruin, men. He has us eeking out a survival on the scraps of a few outposts. He spoils us with drink, and just enough food to survive. He blinds us with his women, as his woman has blinded him.”

Cindy could see two men dragging a woman from a building behind Tynon. She was bound and gagged. It was Hope.

“What have you done, Tynon?” Gannon asked, realizing that not all of his men were his many anymore. “What have all of you done?”

Half the crowd began shouting again, the other half stayed silent.

“You set the rules, Gannon.” Tynon whispered. “The leadership of The Dragon can only be taken. I’m here to take it from you, but I wanted to make sure that we were on an even field.

“You men! You fine young men — you no longer need to follow this one to hell. You can be stronger, you can be greater! I see a Dragon with a greater purpose, but we must cast away these distractions, these indulgences.”

Gannon’s gaze took turns between Hope and Tynon. Eventually rage overtook him and he lunged at Tynon.

Tynon was swift. He was not drunk, as he led Gannon to believe. He countered Gannon’s lunge and placed his blade near the middle of Gannon’s back.

Cindy raced out of her building to Gannon’s body. She didn’t know if she could save him, but he had been keeping Hope safe. She tried, but the blade had pierced his heart and cut a hole in his lung. He died shortly after hitting the ground.

She looked up at Hope in despair.

Tynon leaned over the body and pulled his blade from Gannon’s back, wiping it clean on the shirt of the corpse. As he did, he noticed Cindy staring at Hope.

“Friend of yours, I take it?” He said. “I was going to kill her, but I think that would limit your utility to us. I tell you what, I’ll trade her off. I’ll guarantee her safety.”

“Why would I trust you?” Cindy asked bravely.

“Right,” he said, “you don’t really know me, do you. I’ll send you along for the ride. You can see her traded off and then come back.”

Hope

Hope - Last Bar

Finally, Cindy and Hope were together. Cindy treated her for some small cuts and gave her a painkiller for her soreness. There were no physical scars, but Cindy could see the shame in Hope’s eyes. She could see that Hope had some self-inflicted emotional wounds.

“It was the only way.” She said. “He would have beaten the others, but I thought — maybe if I got close to him, at least he wouldn’t beat me.”

Hope’s scheme worked. The other girls got passed around like rag dolls for the puppies. They’d get chewed up and end up in Cindy’s care until they were stitched up enough to be tossed around again.

For Hope, the last several weeks were full of sorrow, and so much shame. She felt like a coward, and the worst kind of coward. She felt as though she had sold out her soul for worldy comfort. And she knew that it wouldn’t last.

She thought she was clever, using her good looks and sexual youth to become Gannon’s concubine. Then came sadness for the other girls. After a few weeks, however, she surprised herself in her adaptation. She even started to enjoy the sex. It took some effort for her not to fall too far into the role, to not lose her soul.

Isolated from the other girls, and most of the men, she would spend her days knitting or sewing or otherwise fixing clothes for Gannon and some of the upper echelon of The Dragon. She was sometimes allowed outside, but mostly at night.

On many occasions she could see the disgust some of the young men had for Gannon. As directionless as they were, and enticed to join The Dragon for some sense of purpose, they felt betrayed by the indulgences. She saw Tynon’s rise. His men slipped around corners when Gannon or Hope approached. Gannon would ignore it, but Hope could see the slippery betrayals. They were subtle at first — squelched whispers, subdued camaraderie where there shouldn’t have been. She could see it. She wondered how Gannon couldn’t, but she said nothing.

Maybe he knew, she thought. Maybe he didn’t care, or he thought it was just cliques among the brotherhood. He certainly knew of Tynon’s discontent.

One night she caught Gannon and Tynon in a heated debate. It was quiet, seemingly respectful, but still fiery in the words exchanged. She crept up to a slightly open door to listen more closely. They were arguing about discipline and the future. Gannon had little ambition to expand The Dragon. He wanted to stay the course and continue light raids on nearby camps, and then move to new areas as needed.

Tynon had grand visions. He saw The Dragon bringing order to the chaos. He wanted The Dragon to take what remained of the world and bring it under his control. He wanted strict discipline among the men, for they were to be his soldiers. It didn’t matter how impossible it was. Tynon would conquer whatever he could.

Their fight ended in peace that night, but it was a prelude to what was about to happen, to what would put Hope in a precariously uncertain place.

Cindy and Hope enjoyed a few days together, unencumbered by any of the men. They had strict orders from Tynon to leave all the women alone. They were all going to be shipped out.

Finally a few women were gathered near the edge of town. Cindy and Hope watched as they were marched, bound, through the street. Overhead they heard the sound of a helicopter.

Vehicles were rare, flying ones even rarer. While fuel stores were easy to find, spare parts were not — and the sand was harsh on all things mechanical. Anyone flying a bird must have been a master mechanic as well as a pilot.

“A helicopter?” Cindy couldn’t believe it as she uttered the words.

Each morning the helicopter would show up with provisions and water, and take three girls away in exchange.

Flight

Flight - Last BarDays passed, and with each day the misery of captive women vanished from the town. Hope stayed with Cindy, sequestered from the rest of the men.

Tynon reorganized the town, promoting warriors to his inner circle to lead the rest of the men. He then set up a council to govern the town. By all appearances he wasn’t going to operate from their location for much longer. Weaker men would stay behind and forage, or maybe just be forgotten.

The day came when the last of the women had left. Only Hope and Cindy remained and they were scheduled to fly out as soon as the helicopter arrived. Two men and Tynon accompanied them on their way to the landing area. It was a slightly slower walk than they anticipated as Hope maintained a limp, presumably from a twisted ankle suffered during the fight between Gannon and Tynon.

A strange looking contraption buzzed over them as they walked. The helicopter was a massive, ugly bird resembling a duck flying backwards, without wings. It had two long, padded booms sticking out of the sides, as if it were going to be used as a crop duster.

As it got closer to the ground it kicked up the sand. In an earlier era a landing crew would have sprayed water on the ground to settle the dirt. Such a use of water that day would have brought a blade to any man’s throat.

Tynon stopped short of the landing zone. He seemed hesitant to get under the blades. He simply pointed toward the bird with a gesture that ordered his men to put the women inside. The men joined them as soon as they were buckled in. It was a big machine, with seating for six. One man sat in front next to the pilot, the other sat between Hope and Cindy. Both women had their hands tied.

The pilot wore a helmet and he gestured to the men to put on the communications headphones which would allow them to talk. He pulled up on one of the sticks and up the bird went. Cindy watched Hope glare out of the window toward Tynon as the helicopter climbed. Tynon’s body got smaller and smaller, until finally it was a mere spec in the ocean of sand.

Cindy wasn’t sure if Hope was going to have a better life in the new place. Neither of them knew where they were going, only that Hope was going to be traded for provision. Cindy didn’t know if Tynon was going to keep her in the town or bring her along with the warriors. It didn’t matter, though. Cindy’s effort to make sense of their situation was wasted.

While the men were distracted by the landscape below, neither of them had ever been in a flying machine before, Hope slipped a knife out from her shoe and cut her bonds. The man in the back was leaning over Cindy to see out of her window, and then he wasn’t. Hope stabbed him squarely in the temple. She twisted the knife in his skull to make sure he brain stopped functioning.

Cindy leaned back in her seat with the dying man’s head on her lap. She was paralyzed with fear, staring at Hope as she gingerly withdrew the blade. She shook her head as if to try to tell Hope to stop, or undo what she had done. This daughter of hers, adopted or not, was not meant to be a killer. As far as Cindy was concerned, Hope could do, should do no harm. It is the oath that she lived by, and the one that Hope was discarding.

Neither the pilot, or the other Dragon in the front seat noticed their third bleeding out in the back. Hope wasted no time unbuckling her lap belt. She dispatched the other Dragon in the same fashion, twisting the knife before pulling it out.

She stared at the pilot as he looked on. He couldn’t do anything to save the man without jeopardizing the flight and his own life. His sun visor reflected Hope’s image back at her.

Hope slowly cleaned her blade on the man’s shirt, making sure the pilot could see her calm.

Then she pulled the bloodied headset off of the dead Dragon and put it on, and asked, “Where are you taking us?”





Look for new posts to this story every Tuesday and Thursday. I also have a book coming out soon. If you’d like to be informed about my writing escapades you can follow me on Facebook or sign up for my mailing list.


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