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First pages

Prologue: Jayden

“I’ve cried, I’ve raged, hell I’ve even prayed but this perpetual nightmare of my reality sneaks back around every dark alley way. I’ve tried exterminating it at every corner but it crawls back into my life, burying itself deeper into my spine, like a parasite. All that’s left is to give up. What other option do I have?”

Jayden Hunt

Looking through the window of my classroom I watch as an endless supply of orange colored leaves rocked back and forth amidst the droplets of rain, reflecting off the ever so elegantly blinding sun. It’s beautiful and eerily relaxing, one can easily be lost in all of eternity trying to appreciate the secrets of this world. Many have tried and all have failed. I often wonder why people even bother, after all it’s not an eternity that we have but a mere forty to fifty-year life span. That’s, if you’re lucky.

In my peripherals, I see a bird gracefully fly onto a nest, carrying a worm, which wiggles about in its beak, trying to break free. The hairs on my body fully erect as I watch the slimy worm, violently, squirm for its life.

That’s gross as hell.

My face wrinkles in disgust.

Three other birds on the nest, baby birds, open their mouths wide, chirping and fighting for the worm to be shoved into their mouth. The bird shoves the worm into one of the three-baby bird’s mouth then it proceeds to briskly fly away as the two unfed birds chirp in hunger. Seconds later, another bird, this one is slightly more colorful, lands onto the nest. It was carrying an insect. Like the previous bird, it feeds one of the baby birds then flies away. Although, I’m watching the birds through a glass window I can hear them chirping away, awaiting the return of their loving, caring parents.

This sight alone makes me smile but, at the same time, it makes me want to curl up into a ball and cry. The smile on my face quickly dissipates and is replaced with my usual grim, monotone expression.

The bird nest is no longer filled with chirping birds, they fade away and the nest is abandoned. It looks decrepit, like it’s been abandoned for many years. The falling leaves are no longer smoothly rocking back and forth but they are instead swirling violently in the wind. The small droplets of rain have transformed into a more rapid and fear inducing down pour. Lastly, the sun has been hidden by large, intimidating, clouds that threaten to take down the beauty I once saw in this world.

And it has succeeded, not today but long ago.

The true colors of my harsh reality, disguised in what I once saw as a beautiful world, reveals itself to me. It’s dreadful and shows no mercy whatsoever.

I too have parents…

scratch that.

I had parents, it’s been a while since I last saw them.

A long while, indeed.

Eleven years, to be precise.

If for someone reason you haven’t guessed it, they’re dead.

Both my parents, they’re no longer here to care for me, to love me, like those birds being fed. Memories flash into my head, with every flash I feel as though I’ve been struck by a bolt of lightning, specifically designed to rip apart bits of my soul.

To be honest, I’m not sure I have one anymore. I’ll let you be the judge of that.

“We’ll never let anything happen to you,” they said.

“We’ll always be here for you,” they said.

However, now they’re gone, leaving not only me but my sister, who was but a baby at the time, abandoned. A big part of me knows I shouldn’t but a small part of me resents them for it. I was young at the time but unfortunately, I have a good memory.

Too good of a memory.

There isn’t a single day that goes by that I don’t relive the traumatic experience I had on the night I lost them.

Silly, right?

I should have let them go by now, right?

What is it they say…moved on.

I often wondered how others dealt with such trauma, how others have somehow managed to move on with their lives. Eventually, I was hit with the answer.

They don’t move on. Not really. Perhaps, I say this because I can’t and if I can’t no one can. Otherwise, that just wouldn’t be fair.

Right?

Not when you lose your parents who have raised you for years, loved you, provided for you and hid you from the unknown dangers of this world. You can’t simply, let them go, it’s impossible, no matter who you are. Especially, not when you witness their gruesome demise.

Like I said, I’ve tried everything, including memory suppression.

That’s just a sugar coat for drugs, lots of it. Not some weird ass magician waving a damn watch in between your eyes. Drugs.

The drugs worked for a while but one day it all came smashing down on me like a raging avalanche and knocked me on my ass for days, physically and mentally. The heart aches were unbearable and would come in the most inconvenient of times, haunting me every night of every day.

It still does.

I don’t sleep much anymore, not since my world was disposed of and turned into a world that I hardly recognized.

Correction, not until I was violently slapped into the world I truly inhabited.

Thus, I was emotionally and physically scarred. I tend to daydream a lot and get lost in thought at random intervals of my day. Daydream is just a sugar coat for what I really do and that’s hallucinate.

Yeah, it’s that bad but you know this already.

I tend to do most of my hallucinations in class when my teachers are giving their yawn inducing lectures. Most teachers don’t seem to really care if I’m in my own world while they’re giving their lectures. For the most part, none of them interfere. They know I have issues. They think I’m insane or maybe I’m just over thinking it. Though, I know if I was a teacher I would think I’m troubled as well. Perhaps it’s for the best that they don’t interfere because I can get grumpy when I don’t get my sleep.

Which is every day.

I remember the scarring event of my life as though it was yesterday.

Cliché, I know. Just shut up and let me finish. Sorry, that was rude, I didn’t get much sleep last night…see what I did there?

The scar etched across my very soul is fresh as ever and with each passing night, it grows. May 18th, 2021. Everything about that day was strange. I remember being dismissed early from school. That day, the streets were flooded with soldiers. Mom and Dad were quiet. In fact, the whole city seemed to have gone quiet. The kids at school were acting strange, the teacher was nervous and there was an incident at school that day. One of the middle school students had a panic attack. When I asked any adult why everyone was acting so strange they avoided answering my question and instead they would say something like, ‘You don’t want to know’ or ‘Let’s hope you don’t find out.’

It was all very strange. However, I now know that it wasn’t that day that had everyone on edge but instead it was that night. The night of May 18th, 2021 marked the beginning of the lunar tetrad. A lunar tetrad is a period when a series of four consecutive total lunar eclipses take place. These four consecutive total moons happen in a two-year process. A total eclipse or like others like to call it, a blood moon will occur twice a year during this two-year period. This mostly takes place every eleven to eighteen years, sometimes even as little as seven years. May 18th of 2021 marked the first blood moon, which also marks the beginning of The Harvest. I call it The Three Nights of Fear.

During the Three Nights of Fear, the most populated regions would transform into ghost towns. During these nights, everyone is told to lock themselves at home and to hide before the arrival of the blood moon. We did just that. My mother and father turned on the home security system, of which I didn’t know we had, and were suddenly equipped with weapons.

Naturally, I was scared, “What’s going on?” I remember asking.

My dad just looks into my eyes and says, “Everything is going to be okay.” He then ushers me to go and check on my sister, Sarah.

I’ll never forget what took place a few hours later. I explicitly remember building a tower out of Legos with my sister when suddenly I hear a ground-shaking explosion. The power in the house immediately goes out, leaving us in the pitch darkness of the house. My sister, Sarah, cried in fear and both my parents came to us with blinding flashlights.

“What was that?” I asked, completely terrified. “Was that an earthquake?”

“No, Jayden, I wish. The Harvest has started,” Mom replied, I’ve never in my life heard her sound so scared. The truth she’s been hiding from me was oozing out of her.

At the time, I didn’t know what the Harvest was, the only harvesting I knew about was the collecting of crops and I knew that wasn’t what my mom was referring to. Now, I clearly know what that word signifies. Minutes after the blood moon appears, several large vessels suddenly surround Earth. From those large vessels, smaller vessels exit, like bees exiting their hive, and begin to enter our atmosphere, piercing the air in a torpedo like fashion. In those vessels are aliens called the UitheEsme.

UitheEsme is just another word for alien.

Like most people, I just call them the Esme. Creatures from outer space that only come to harvest and kill whom they can.

Only six at the time, I had no idea what was happening. One day everything is normal and the next day everything, from the expression on the faces of people to the very atmosphere, changes. You could cut the tension with a knife and serve it on a silver platter.

Not knowing what was causing the immense fear my parents were experiencing terrified me even more. I start to panic and ask questions hoping for answers but instead they placed a finger to their lips, telling me to calm down. Without explaining why, they hid my sister and I into a special closet that could only be opened from the inside.

“Don’t open this door until we come back for you and make sure to keep your sister quiet,” my mother said, streams of tears ran down her face.

Dad was never the emotional type but on that night, he hugged me tight, kissed my forehead and told me, “I love you, Jay.” He says it like everything is okay but the fact that those words just came out of his mouth meant everything wasn’t okay.

Tears threatened to flow down his eyes but he managed to hold them back. My father realized that he was scaring me more than he was comforting me so he grabbed my mother, wore a half smile on his face, then left. Tears were rolling down my face and every few seconds I would use my small hands to wipe them away. For several minutes, I sat in the pitch darkness of the closet awaiting the return of my parents.

Spoiler alert. They never returned.

I held my sister close to me, at three she was smart enough to realize that something was very wrong, so she too kept quiet. Minutes stretched and stretched into what had to be an hour, though when you’re a kid ten minutes could feel like an eternity, and that’s when I heard shattering glass followed by screams that were soon drowned out by gunfire.

My sister Sarah Shrieked and covered her ears, “Momma! Daddy!” she yelled.

“Shh!” I say, trying my best to keep her quiet like mom said.

I placed my hand over her mouth and whispered into her ear, “It’s going to be okay. Mom and Dad will keep us safe but you have to be very quiet, Sarah.”

She eventually stops her yelling so I let go of her mouth and listened as the gunfire came to a halt. I was relieved, thinking that the worst had passed and that it was safe to come out.

How very naïve I was.

“See Sarah, Mom and Dad kept us safe.” I reached for the door, opened it and cautiously stepped out into the darkness and unnerving silence of my home.

Sarah followed closely and hugged my arm tight as she shivered with fear.

“Mom, Dad!” I yelled, running down the stairs and quickly heading to where I thought I heard the gun shots coming from.

As I descend the flight of creaking stairs I see the only source of light emanating from the living quarters of the house. In that moment, I wish I had stayed in the closet as I was instructed to do. Lying on the ground, illuminating the bodies of both my parents and the monstrous creatures surrounding them, was the flashlight. My parents lay on the floor, surrounded by a crimson red pool of blood. Moreover, staring directly at both Sarah and I were two hideously ugly creatures I’ve never seen before in my life. Their terrifying faces were forever etched into my head. I remember every wrinkle, every snarl and I’ll especially remember every chill of fear I had that night from looking into the killer eyes of the Esme.

My father groaned in pain. I stood petrified as both Esme immediately tore into him like carnivores tearing into a carcass in the wild jungles of the African safari. It took me weeks of reliving that moment to actually deduce that my Dad had actually said, “Run, Jayden.”

“No, stop!”

The words came out in a mumble though it still grabbed the attention of both Esme who were eating my father. I witnessed the very last seconds of my Dad’s soul leaving his body. His chest sunk as though someone had just deflated a balloon within it, then he was gone. He breathed his last painful breath and in that very second my sister and I became orphans. My mother was already dead and by the looks of it her death was just as painful. The claw marks on her body ran deep.

One of the Esme stood tall and slowly made its way towards me, the blood of my parents dripping from its mouth. I backed away taking in the terror walking towards me. It had inch long teeth shaped like knives, scaly crocodile like skin, it was tall maybe eight feet, it possessed two eyes and directly under them were two more eyes half their size, and it had a deadly aura surrounding it.

Everything about it screamed death at me. I moved my sister, who was even more afraid than I was, behind me and held both my arms out to protect her. Most people would have me believe it was courage that made me do it but in reality, I know that it was in fact just instinctual. There was not a single part of me that was feeling courageous at that moment in time. I was sure the Esme could smell the stench of fear emanating from me.

Or maybe it smelled the crap it scared out of me.

The creature crept closer, it’s snout nearly contacting my face, and opened its mouth revealing more of its blade like teeth as if wanting to taunt me before devouring me. It lets out a loud screech, which made every strand of hair on my body stand. It then takes one of its talon like claws and it very gently grazes the side of my face. Despite the slight pinching pain and the trickle of blood flowing from the side of my face I stand absolutely still. Again, not because I was courageous but because I was afraid, paralyzed with fear. The other Esme joins and both Esme twitch their heads at us like pigeons as they examined Sarah and I from top to bottom. For a moment, the creatures seem to be calm, for a moment I think they might spare us. But only for a moment.

One of the Esme growled in my face and opened its mouth ready to take a bite out of me. I thought I was dead, that my sister and I too would also be laying on the ground with blood surrounding our bodies as we breathe our last breath. I closed my eyes and gripped the hand of my sister.

“Close your eyes, Sarah,” I whimper in fear as I cry a river of tears.

I could feel the hot breath of the Esme on my face. At this point, I was literally shaking. I was powerless, afraid and soon I would be dead.

Suddenly I heard the shatter of glass, once again. I thought it was the sound of another Esme entering our home. However, the sound of shattering glass was followed by two very subtle pops, followed by two loud thuds. I no longer felt the warm, decrepit breath of the Esme on my face. When I opened my eyes, I found both Esme lying on the ground. They were twitching and shrieking in pain, I could see the green blood oozing out their bodies. One of them wriggles their tail, trying to strike me. However, after a few more pops both Esme were motionless. Stepping into the light was a woman dressed in an all-black tactical uniform.

“Are you two okay?” the mysterious woman asks.

I don’t respond, instead I stumble right pass her and head towards the bodies of my parents. Half way there my stumbling turns into a full-fledged run and I kneel beside them and shake their motionless bodies. Covering myself in their warm blood which has yet to wash off my hands.

“Wake up, wake up! Please, Mom, Dad!” I yelled.

Of course, they never did wake up. The shadow of the woman dressed in all black uniform loomed over me. A hand was placed on my shoulder.

“They’re gone, I’m sorry. We have to go,” the woman said.

That night something deep within me snapped. I’m no longer the cheerful child I once was. That child who ran around playing with friends, who were all oblivious to the fact that the Esme were coming, was no longer me. My once virgin eyes and soul remain forever tainted.

Never again.

After the traumatic experience, I’ve been through most people would never be the same and I am no different. They have a name for people like us, they call us The Mutilated. Supposedly, there is no hope for people like me, most of us end up giving up and ending the continuous cycles of nightmares ourselves. I would be lying if I said I never thought of ending it. Truth be told, I can’t. I’m too afraid that my nightmares will follow me to my grave and haunt me there for all of eternity. That and I feel obligated to do what my parents died doing. I have to protect Sarah as well as keep myself safe, so their deaths won’t be in vain.

It’s been eleven years since that tragic night and for eight of those eleven years I have trained under various self-defense instructors, including ex lieutenant Miranda Haynes.

She was the one who saved Sarah and I that night. Miranda explained to us that on that night she happened to be passing by when she heard close by gunfire and screams. Being that she was a soldier and her job was to protect civilians she rushed into action and in the process, she was able to save us.

Several days later Sarah and I were in the process of being put into an orphanage.

We didn’t have any relatives that were still alive. My parents would always tell me that their families lived far away but the truth was that they all died during past Harvests. The orphanage we were put into wasn’t the best. Our care takers were abusive and nothing like our parents so within only a week Sarah and I both snuck away and took to the streets.

Merely a couple of hours later, Miranda, a person who knew little or nothing about us, drove up to us and took us in. Apparently, minutes after leaving the orphanage she came in seeking to adopt us and when she discovered that we ran away she spent hours searching for us.

Miranda took the role of our parents and raised us, taught us how to shoot guns, how to protect ourselves, and took us to various different camps and programs that taught us self-defense against the Esme, all in effort to prepare us for the next Harvest.

It just so happens that, eleven years later, the lunar tetrad has arrived. The Three Nights of Fear starts tonight.

PART I:

There is no Calm Before a Storm

Chapter 1: Jayden

 “Jayden, Jayden!”

I awaken from my haze to the voice of my teacher, Mr. Scott, calling out my name. He stood face flushed in frustration. I could see the red slowly making its way up his face, pass the wrinkles that plagued his forehead and up his abnormally large ears.

Damn, his ears are big.

He stood in front of the class frowning and in no way trying to hide his irritation.

“Mr. Hunt, why don’t you enlighten us about why it’s important to stay hidden and locked in your homes during the Harvest. You know, since you display such excellent listening skills during our class lectures.”

I could see a slight grin appear on the side of Mr. Scott’s face. He surely thought I didn’t know the answer to his obvious question, which I did, but I had my own answer to that particular question. I contemplate about completely embarrassing Mr. Scott but the little bit of humanity still left within me stops me and I instead decide to go with protocol.

“Section one of law, order and survival states that, for the duration of The Three Nights of Fear, all civilians are to secure themselves at home in order to ensure our safety but to also decrease the amount of clean up needing to be done in our region,” I utter the words from my mouth like a robotic machine slaving under the code of its creator.

Mr. Scott seemed a little less than pleased that I adequately provided him with the correct answer.

“Correct,” he mutters. “You hide from the Esme or you’ll be killed by the Esme. It’s that simple, nothing less, nothing more.”

Everything about his response irks me, rubbing me the wrong way. I can no longer contain myself, there were things that had to be said, feelings that couldn’t remain buried.

I tried being nice, I really did but he asked for it and I’m going to deliver.

“Hide? Is that what you’re going to do tonight, tuck your head under your sheets and hope for dear God that they don’t come for you, as you suck on your thumb and whisper for your mom?”

At first the class is silent, unsure how to react to me actually speaking more than one hundred and forty characters, but seconds later they burst in laughter.

If Mr. Scott wasn’t happy before he definitely was not cheerful now. He wore the face of a man who wanted nothing more in life but to beat me senseless. He opens his mouth to say a few words, however, I’m not done yet.

“Hiding isn’t going to do a damn thing. I know from experience. The Esme will find you and it’s all a matter of being prepared.”

The class is filled with a deathly silence.

“Have any of you ever fired an M16?” I asked the class.

Mostly, everyone shook their heads “no,” there were a few that have. The few who did were in much ways similar to me in the sense, some Mutilated some that just want to be prepared. As for the others, they believe relying on others to protect them is a better means of staying alive.

Are you serious?

That type of thinking drives me sick to my stomach and boils me from the inside with rage. It’s like their parasitic imbeciles of society seeking protection from others and not willing to learn to protect themselves. It would do our society a favor if they were taken by the Esme.

I know, harsh. I don’t know, maybe I’m bias…probably.

“Well, I have and trust me when I say that it will save your life. What Mr. Scott here is teaching you is B.S. I can easily see most of you dying gruesome deaths. You will be eaten alive while you mule for mercy and call for your parents. You will get no mercy, instead all you’ll receive is a slow painful death which will act as your passage way to the underworld, if there even is such a thing. Tell me, Mr. Scott, did my answer satisfy you?” I make sure to be as sarcastic as I can.

I take unusual pleasure in watching the face of Mr. Scott turn as red as a ripe tomato.

You brought this upon yourself.

An even more serious Mr. Scott glared furiously at me ready to blow but lucky for me the school bell rang, signaling early dismissal.

I know what you’re thinking and don’t you dare say it!

Everyone, including me, push our chairs in and leave. I receive quite a few weird glances as I exit the class. I’m guessing they weren’t okay with the part I said about most of them dying grotesque deaths.

“You need serious help, jerk-wad,” one of the students say to me.

Yup, they definitely didn’t like that part. He isn’t wrong though, I probably do. What do you think?

However, it doesn’t bother me, not in the least. I can’t say that I’m not used to being insulted or physically harassed because I’m in fact immune. The scar from within me pains me more than any weird glares or harsh words thrown in my direction. For as long as it remains it shields me from most emotional and even physical pain through haunting me with the even greater pain I felt the night my parents were killed.

Touché.

“Hey, Jayden,” I’m approached by a new girl that just moved to our school a few months ago. She’s always quiet and rarely says a word in the classes we share and for some reason that draws my attention. Is she here to insult me or rant about my senseless comments? The first time I laid eyes on her I was mesmerized by the girl’s beautiful bronze skin, her perfect white teeth, and her overall eye capturing appearance.

Damn, I’m probably sounding like a pervert right about now.

When I’m not in my own world I often find myself taking quick glances at her. Sometimes, as if she somehow felt the pupils of my eyes upon her, she would glance back at me. I would obviously look away right before she can see that her creep detector was in fact correct.

I feel the heat rising to my cheeks just thinking about it. This has never happened to me with any attractive girls I’ve met but she was special, mysterious. Her name is Amanda, that’s about all I know about her. This is the first time she’s actually come to speak with me.

“Yeah,” I say, doing my best to play it cool.

“What you said, don’t you think that was a little harsh?”

I shrug, “We live in a harsh world, people need to know the truth.”

The words just flow out my mouth, without much thought and without any hesitation. Odd but it’s surprisingly easy to speak to her.

“I like the way you think,” she says. “It’s a lot like myself,” she smiles.

I give a one worded reply, “Thanks.”

“Well, I guess I’ll see you around. Will you be around?” She asks.

“I’m not going anywhere. Just make sure you don’t either,” I reply.

We both smirk and grin at each other, accepting our unpronounced challenge of making it through The Three Nights of Fear. With one last smile, she drifts into the crowd of students. I stare at the back of her head in curiosity and eagerness to getting to know her a little better. She wasn’t an easy person to read. Most people are, they’ve been fortunate not to have traumatic experiences change the way their minds operate.

“Dude, that was totally sick! You left the guy speechless.”

I turn to see my friend Clark slithering his way towards me through the crowd of students rushing out the school building. I’ve known Clark before the first Harvest I survived. He’s the only person I haven’t been able to shut out since my tragic transformation. Despite my changes in personality and behavior, he’s always been there for me through my dark times as a friend. I remember, returning to school for the first time after the loss of my parents, I sat alone still deeply depressed by the death of my parents. Everyone could tell, by the look of sudden horror I would randomly wear, that I’ve been Mutilated and left me to myself. However, Clark came to me that day, we weren’t even best friends or anything but he sat next to me quietly not saying a single word just being there to comfort me. It helped.

“You can’t argue with the truth, I guess,” I reply, finally making it out of the school building.

I think it had more to do with the school bell sounding but whatever.

I scanned the area, looking for my sister but with so many students roaming around, like an army of ants gathering food from an abandoned picnic, I couldn’t find her.

“Damn right! What you said about hiding being useless is totally legit. That’s why I volunteered to be part of the city patrol unit, so that I can actually make a difference.”

I froze, my ears not believing what they’ve just heard. The city patrol units are rumored to be organized groups of highly skilled sharp shooters that act as vigilantes and voluntarily conduct sweeps of the city neighborhoods during the Harvest. No one knows if they actually exist but apparently, they posted on various social media outlets. They warned people to stay indoors during the Harvest because they would kill anything that moves, including people.

Why, people? Well, because the homeless and the poor see the Harvest as an opportunity to raid and loot from homes and businesses. You can’t really blame them, society has cast them aside and why not use the panic state of society to their advantage? All they’re doing is trying to survive. There are quite a few right wingers who love the idea of vigilantes killing not only the Esme but people who contribute very little to society. I don’t.

See, I’m not to crazy after all.

In my opinion, it’s the Esme we should be primarily focused on and not our own. Otherwise we’ll be no better than the Esme and I for one never want to be compared to the Esme.

Apparently, the last Harvest took a toll on the military so there won’t be any soldiers patrolling the streets, this time around. Which is why, the rumored police patrol unit was started.

I’ve heard rumors that the police patrol unit were conducting meetings throughout the city and recruiting people in preparation for The Three Nights of Fear. The thought of joining never crossed my mind. For all I know they’re just regular civilians in their tweens who have too much testosterone and no way to let it out. Most of them probably don’t have the slightest clue of what they’re getting their selves into. As long as I’m concerned they’re just dead men walking. I’m a little surprised at the number of people who want join, it’s been a big sensation.

They even got Clark.

However, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised most people after all are stupid and just want to follow others, even if it might result in their deaths. When you distance yourself away from people you begin to notice these things.

Trust me.

The Police Patrol Unit might sound like an organized group of professional badass Esme assassins but they’re really all just talk.

“What did your parents say?” I asked Clark, not sure if his parents or really anyone’s parents would let their child join the city patrol unit.

Clark flung his wrist, “Oh, they don’t want me to go. They think I’ll die.”

You probably will, dumbass.

“I’m going anyway, though. Don’t try to convince me otherwise.”

I shrugged, who was I to tell him what was best for him or to advise him to cherish what might very well be the last moments he may have with his parents.

You’re wrong. Not mine.

It’s what I would do, but of course, Clark isn’t me. He doesn’t yet know the true meaning of loss. How could he? Till this day he remains untouched by the scourge, which is the Esme.

“Good Luck,” I said, right now I was the worst friend in existence.

The old me would have probably tried to save the only friend I have by telling him he was being a complete idiot and not to go but I’m not the old me.

“Wait a second, I doubt you can just volunteer to be part of the unit. Did you receive some type of invitation or something?” I ask, the question suddenly popping into my head.

It seems like a part of me was trying to get him to reconsider.

He shakes his head, “Yup. I was at the gun range just last week and a guy approached me. He was tall, I’m talking six eight tall, and very muscular. I know you think these guys are a joke but that guy was no joke man. He spoke to me about an opportunity to be a part of something big and I accepted.”

I wave my hand trying to run through what Clark just told me, “Wait, so this guy didn’t actually say he was a part of the police patrol unit?”

“Nope but I’m sure he had to keep it on the down low, if you know what I mean,” Clark responds, that stupid expression of excitement still on his face.

He’s hopeless. Hey, don’t get mad at me. I tried.

A part of me wants to try and stop him but I don’t, instead I say, “Yeah, I know what you mean. Again, good luck.”

“Jayden!” I turn to see my sister, Sarah, yelling my name whilst waving from afar. I waved her over to me.


AUTHOR Q&A

About me

I am an African American young adult with a deep love for writing and reading. Though, throughout my years of reading fictional books it behooves me to say that I have only read a handful of fictional books written by people of color. This is why, I want to inspire not just the African American youth but people of other ethnicities to be creative and most importantly to create. This will come to fruition, through bringing them into my universe, where nothing is impossible. This is my dream.

Q. Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
A.
The protagonist of my story battles many ailments from his past. Hence, he attempts to isolate himself and fight his battles on his own. However, in the end he realizes that he doesn't have to go through life alone. He has family and friends that are willing to help.
Q. What draws you to this genre?
A.
I've always loved anything apocalyptic. Mostly, because I imagine myself in these perilous situations thinking about how I would survive a world where most of humanity has been eliminated.
Q. Why do you write?
A.
I write to inspire others, to uplift spirits and to express myself.

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