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Today I get to talk about one of the subjects that fascinate me, the end of the world. Now I’m not talking prepper style apocalypse where there’s nothing left. But an event that changes the way life works as we know it. I’m a huge zombie fan, so these two things run hand in hand. How would we act if society broke down? Would it be the wild wild west? Who would bring around order? Those questions were the spark that created the After the Burn series. The first book in the series, From the Ashes, releases Saturday the 29th.
I think there are many ways things could go insane, nuclear war, virus, complete collapse of our government. Oh, and I can’t forget the alien invasion. For my series, I chose to go with a virus. A mutated strain of the flu hits the population hard with an emphasis on women. In this new world, women are a rarity, and have become a valuable bargaining tool. I like my heroines strong, so you can imagine they’re putting up one hell of a fight.
I’ve seen End of the World scenarios range from funny to scary as hell. Here are five of my favorites in no particular order
Devon Brown walked the perimeter of the dust laden gas station with broken windows and a sagging red awning. On the outskirts of town, the gray building went unnoticed by most in the town. Traffic this far away from the revived area they lived and worked in remained scarce, and she took making her way here every time. Three months into this new place, she fit in well. She didn’t want to upset the balance she’d found. Her eyes scanned the barren landscape. The chilly air carried the promise of winter. Frost formed in the mornings. It wouldn’t be long before they saw their first snow and this treks would become more difficult.
Her mind shifted to her new housemate, David. Due to his presence she hadn’t risked a full bath in a week. Hiding her secret got tricky with the young boy with hero worship dogging her every step. Privacy disappeared in this new society where the main goal was to live. Still, she enjoyed the jovial brunette. In his early twenties, he’d adjusted to life after the plague ten years prior a lot easier than those who’d had a lifetime of normalcy. His optimistic countenance presented a pleasant change from the doom and gloom, survival of the fittest jungle the world had become.
As on only child she’d lost her entire family when her folks fell victim to the mysterious strain of flu that crept into the population and never left. The supped up version of the Influenza took millions to their graves, and tossed the world into chaos. Raised on the good book, she’d thought it’d been the end of days. If only I’d been so lucky.
Satisfied the integrity of the place held, she walked over to the bathroom door. The door creaked from disuse and she stepped inside, swiftly shutting the door behind her. A huge sigh of relief escaped her lungs, and she locked the door. For a short time, the burden of pretending to be something she wasn’t lifted off her drooping shoulders. The daughter of a Forest Ranger she knew how to survive. So, when women became the new currency she’d lopped off her shoulder length black locks, lowered her voice and peddled her skills as Devon Brown, the man.
She removed her book bag off her shoulders, placed it on the ground, and pulled out her necessary items, placing them on the counter she’d personally cleansed weeks ago. Prepped, she shrugged out of her flannel and stripped down to her underwear, bra and bindings. When her Double D’s became a feature that could endanger her freedom she’d said goodbye to femininity. She unwrapped the ace bandage and sucked in a deep breath of freedom. The uncomfortable feeling of being held tight never fully dissipated. Clad in skivvies, she turned on the faucet full force and picked up a bar of homemade soap and washcloth.
She plunged her hand beneath the icy spray and built up a lather, flinching when she ran the soapy cloth over her torso. Her teeth chattered as she rinsed the material out and moved down her legs, saving her private area for last. Sure, a vagina didn’t shrink a penis, but the chill damn near burned. She pushed down the tightly whiteys she’d pilfered from the store, and ran the soft cloth across her center. The door swung open in mid swipe with a loud bang. Blinding light flooded the dimly light room.
Her jaw dropped and her mind short circuited, refusing to process properly. Micah filled the door frame with his broad shoulders. A villainous smirk spread across his thin lips. The lust visible in his dark blue eyes made her stomach lurch.
“I knew there was something off about you.”
She yanked up her underwear. He gave her a slow one over. Her skin crawled. The man rubbed her the wrong way. Rough, crude, and manipulative, Micah screamed untrustworthy.
“What are you going to do?” She covered her breasts and shifted her weight, taking an aggressive stance. If she had to go down, it’d be fighting.
“Honey you know what I’m going to do.” An evil sneer twisted his Cupid ’s bow lips into something evil. “But I’ll be kinder than most, and keep you for myself instead of sharing you around. Pussy is power, and yours is untapped.”
She balled her fists. “I have rights, and I’m an asset. Not like the others.”
He laughed. “Won’t matter, Now put your clothes on. Don’t want to get jumped for my new pieces of ass before I can take it out for a spin. We’re going to see the Harts.”
Her panic spiked. Cole and Cain ran the tiny town with an iron fist. After they accepted her into their fold, and placed her in charge of overseeing water purification, she did everything possible to gain their trust, and stay well under their radar. The chiseled faced, hard bodied brothers were straight shooters. They didn’t stand for deceit, cheating, or withholding. Ex bar owners with numerous run-ins with the law, the two possessed a dangerous edge that made her tread lightly. Her knees wobbled, and she leaned against the sink to stay upright. The cool porcelain grounded her. Brought her back to reality.
“I’d leave you to change, but I know how wily you are, and let’s face it. I’m enjoying the view. It’s been a long time since I saw a woman as good looking as you. No bruises, dead eyes, or sloppiness.” He licked his lips. “We’re going to have fun. I never had a chocolate cupcake before. Do you have a creamy center?” His boots thudded against the faded white tiles as he stalked over and paused a few inches away.
“You look so soft.” He trailed a finger down her face, and she jerked turning her face from his caress.
“Don’t touch me.” She barred her teeth.
“Time to get acclimated to it, sweetheart.” He moved his hand to grip her breast, and she smacked it away.
“Nothing’s been decided, and I swear to you. If you try to claim me, it’ll be the last thing you do.” I didn’t fight tooth and nail all this time to end up some sex toy to this sadistic fuck.
“It’s the new world order. Your opinions don’t matter for shit, sweetheart.”
“I live by my own set of rules.” She balled her hands into fists, drawing strength from her anger.
“Maybe when you were thought to be a man.”
“Always.” She narrowed her eyes.
She huffed, and pulled on her clothing, head held high. After starring death in the face, she’d be damned if she fell to pieces over this spineless piece of maggot shit.