Friday, August 3, 2012
Vestige by Deb Hanrahan
Urban Fantasy / Horror
Author: Deb Hanrahan
Date Published: 6/13/2012
EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM
Civil Authorities have issued a Civil Danger Notification Until Further Notice.
The following message is being transmitted by the request of The United States Government. An unknown number of citizens have gone missing. Authorities are trying to locate the missing persons. Residents are asked to stay in their homes. If you must go out, do not travel alone and carry proper identification.
Please do not call 911 to report missing persons. Emergency Call Centers and local law enforcement agencies are no longer fully staffed. The United States Military has been dispatched to assist local authorities.
This notification applies to all receiving this broadcast. Please stand by for further instructions.
Vestige is the first book in a two book series.
"This is the first book in a two book series. This book contains strong language that may be offensive to some."
Micah didn’t know how long he’d been sitting on top of the kiddie slide. A pile of crushed cigarette butts mounted on the ground below him. The park was empty—no pictures today. If he wanted to restore his daydream of ordinary, he would have to conjure up his own images.
He was just about to move on when he noticed a girl walking through the park. As she drew closer, Micah recognized her. Not only did she attend the same school as him, but she was also the same year. He didn’t have any classes with her, but he frequently saw her in the hallway. Micah had never talked to her before. He didn’t even know her name. Usually, she looked as if she had just rolled out of bed but not today. Today, she looked good…maybe even kind of cute.
“Hey...did you ditch too?” Micah asked as she passed in front of the slide.
“What?” Clarke jumped at the sound of his voice. She looked around for a moment before she saw Micah. “Yeah, I guess…I have a good reason though.”
“Let’s hear it.” Micah hopped down. Upon landing, he hiked up his jeans and approached Clarke.
“I’d rather not.” Clarke flipped her hair back over her shoulder.
“Do you want a smoke?” Micah pulled the pack from his jacket pocket.
“Um...sure.... Why not? The way my day is going, I might as well.”
Micah took a cigarette out of the pack, put it between his lips, and lit it. He then handed it to Clarke.
Clarke hesitated, so Micah extended his hand farther. She took it and studied it for a moment before taking a drag.
Micah watched as she put the cigarette to her lips. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. At first, she looked like she knew what she was doing, but then she didn’t exhale. Instead, her cheeks puffed out and her face turned red. She gagged and coughed as smoke spouted from her mouth and nose.
Micah put his fist to his mouth and tried not to laugh.
“So…I’ve never…smoked…before. What’s…the…big deal?” Clarke continued to cough in between her words. “Do I…know you?” She took another drag.
“I don’t know. Do you?” Micah asked, wounded that she didn’t recognize him. He liked to consider himself as somewhat notorious.
“I don’t have time for this.” Clarke tossed the cigarette onto the ground and crushed it.
Micah watched as she twisted her foot in a tiny circle, grinding her toes against the ground. He caught a glimpse of her ankle under the edge of her jeans. She had a fragile, damsel-in-distress quality that Micah liked. He wanted to save her but from what; he didn’t know.