by A.M. Griffin
Genre: YA Dystopian
Release date: June 7th 2016
In many ways, my life is complete, or as complete as it can be with aliens roaming Earth, killing and enslaving humans. Jason, my love, is by my side, and my friendship with Wade is back on track. Even better, it seems the threats of annihilation from the aliens have turned out to be nothing but hot air.
Yet, despite the peace of our Arrowwood refuge, there is still a war waging outside, something I’ve tried not to think too much about. Just as I’ve ignored the fact that a sanctuary can also be a prison, or a tomb, we are forced to step out of safety and live or die, in danger’s embrace.
Brook’s whimpering sounds through the darkness. My eyes have adjusted to the night and I can make out who everyone is and the layout of the room.
“Shh,” Rocky coaxes. “We’re going to be fine. We’ll all be fine.”
I hear her mumbling cries about how scared she is, probably talking more to herself than to her dad.
“Everyone get some rest,” Rocky says in a whisper. “We’ll be here for another twenty-four hours, might as well use this time to rejuvenate.”
“Twenty-four hours?” my mom asks. “Shouldn’t we try to leave as soon as the bombs stop?”
“No, we’ll need to stay hidden. I’m sure the aliens will be sticking around for a while just to make sure they’ve gotten us this time. They might also do some ground patrols around Arrowwood. Let’s not give them a reason to expand their search. Captain Page, Dave, Eric and I all agreed to get our groups to a hide-out and stay hidden for twenty-four hours.”
My mom doesn’t press the issue. Instead she lets her gaze wander over the room. We were in what had once been a recreation room. The pool table is still standing in the center. A thick layer of dust covers the surface and pool balls are in a basket underneath the table. A foosball table sits on the other side of the room, and is in the same shape as the pool table. Three bean bag chairs are on the floor in front of a television that is mounted on the wall. On the other side of the wall there are shelves where puzzles and board games are arranged neatly.
I can’t help but wonder if she’s having the same thoughts I had when I first came here a year ago; that this place was almost like a time capsule of how life used to be. Wondering if sometime, many years from now, a new generation might stumble upon it and see that life wasn’t always so hard, that there had been plenty of good times. If the future humans would feel the need to play pool using the sticks that still hang on the wall or open one of the games.
I snuggle up to Jason, and Winston presses his body against mine. I can feel him shivering. Poor thing was probably remembering the hyenas that had chased him the last time he was up top.
“It’ll be okay, boy,” I say, scratching him behind his ear.
“Di,” Rocky says, reaching for her shoulder. “We’ll get through this.”
My mom pushes a piece of hair away from her face and smiles tightly. “I know we will.”