It's here! The sneak peak to the prologue of Black, the second novella in the Death Day Series, due out in October. If you have already read Pitch then you most likely have already read this, but for those of you who haven't -- here you go!
Black: A Death Day Novella
They do not come for us on the first day, or the second, or even the third. It is worse that way, I think. If I am going to die I would rather my throat be slit from ear to ear than have my stomach ripped open and my intestines flop out. A death as quick and efficient as the five items or less lane at the grocery store. That is the best we can hope for now.
Like a cat toying with a mouse they taunt us from the shadows, letting us know by the flickering of their demon eyes and the slithering of their demon tongues they have not forgotten. They know we are here, cowering in the old abandoned gas station on Interstate 78. They know how many of us there are. They know exactly how much food we have left. How much water. How much hope. How much sanity.
Target breaks on the morning of the fourth day. Her tiny body contracted with hunger and desperation, she bursts through the doors and goes begging for her life in the darkness. They send her back in pieces.
I am tempted to go next. What do I have to lose? We will not survive this. With one rash decision I have damned us all. I know it. My companions know it. The monsters waiting outside know it. If I was a nobler person I would sacrifice myself. I would throw myself down on the flames of my sins and hope my death would appease the devils hiding in the dark.
Unfortunately for everyone else, I am far from noble.
So we keep waiting. We wait all day and we wait all night. We wait through the rest of the food and the last bottle of water. We wait until we are too weak to stand. Too weak to fight, which is funny, because we never would have been able to fight them anyways.
Sometimes they let you, though. It is their entertainment; to watch our puny bodies flail around as we try to defend our throats. Stupid. We are so stupid. Even now, when our numbers have dwindled from billions to mere hundreds, we remain dumb as rocks.
They say the fittest survive, but that’s not true. The lucky survive. And the lucky die. There is no rhyme, no reason. Nothing you can do or say to prevent what will happen to you.
On the sixth day I know what I have to do. I may not die noble, but I sure as hell am not going to die stupid.
“I am going out,” I announce to the group. They look up at me, their bodies trembling with thirst, the whites of their eyes bulging with terror.
“Out?” says Vivi, the youngest of us all. “Why?”
I shrug. Why do anything? Why cower inside a gas station that stinks of stale sweat and fear? Why go outside to be ripped apart and put on display, like poor, stupid Target?
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
Newton said that. A smart guy, Newton. My piss poor idea
was the action that brought me here. What better reaction could there be than
to face the dark? Chances are they won’t kill me outright. For some strange,
unfathomable reason they seem to like me. My strong survival instinct amuses
them. Or so I assume.
“Wait ten minutes,” I tell Vivi and the rest. “Then go out the back door and run like hell. It’s your best shot.”
Vivi’s strange colored eyes, one blue and one green, narrow to slits, reminding me of a viper. And reminding me that despite her diminutive size and tender years, this little viper will rip you open head to toe as soon as look at you. “No,” she says stubbornly.
“Fine.” I shrug again. “Do what you want.” There will be no heralding speeches from me. I am not a go out and get ‘em kind of gal. I am not a leader. Not anymore. I lost that title when I brought us here to die.
“Don’t scream,” Vivi whispers before she melts into the shadows and disappears behind an overturned display of potato chips.
Don’t scream. Maybe it is the one promise I will be able to keep.
I crack my knuckles. Roll my neck until I hear it pop. Pluck the dagger out of my belt and hold it lightly in my right hand. Without looking back, I step out to meet my fate.