Monday, December 26, 2011

The Day the Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour


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Cassandra’s Journal

November 15, 2011

 The new doctor said I need to keep a dream journal, to keep track of my visions. He doesn’t understand they come all the time, whether I’m awake or sleeping. I agreed because I had to, but what he doesn’t know is that I am keeping two. One is make believe, all about ice cream and pony rides, boys I like and mean kids at school. Normal stuff—things he wants to see because then he’ll say I’m fixed and won’t call CPS on Mom and Daddy.
 This one is about what I really see. The darkness, the burning buildings and the enormous deserts. In my dreams the Earth doesn’t spin anymore, a machine made it stop, and billions of people spun off into space. Those who remain are nomads, following the darkness so they don’t die from exposure. Using artificial light sources, they set up farming communities near the few freshwater lakes that have not been swallowed up by the polar oceans.
Usually, I float over the scorched landscape, the one great supercontinent surrounded by the two polar oceans. I see the piles of bleached bones on the light side, they span for miles, stretching back through time. Then, I find the survivors. They live in small clusters, the Born colonies as they call themselves. They are the descendants of those that did believe the prophesy and went deep underground. The Bred do all the work though, people grown like crops. The Born are too few, too important to do manual labor. They must carry on their lines and police the Bred.
 Last night’s dream was different though. I’ve never been in the dream before, but this time I viewed the world through the eyes of a man. He was tired and sweaty, but his fingers had turned almost blue with tilling a new field for planting. Since the world is dark for half the year there are no real seasons anymore. Light and dark, hot and cold. Crops are grown year round inside plastic tents.
 His job was to prepare the hard ground to take seeds after the structure was enclosed. The shovel burrows into the soil and clangs against something hard. He looks around, but he is the last one left, having given up his meal privileges for one of the children. The Breds must earn their food through work, but he has skipped many earned meals to help feed an ill child. I can feel his hunger, his stomach aches. He’s almost to the point where eating would make him sick and there aren’t any in this camp that would give him a meal. If he grows too weak to work, he will be recycled for usable parts.
 Curious, he drops the shovel and uses his hands to dig around the metal thing, finding the edges. It’s a box, like the size of a lunchbox but thicker. The supervisors will have him flogged if he doesn’t report anything out of the ordinary, but he is angry and tired and thinks maybe he was supposed to find this.
 There are too many Breds in the barracks at this time of day so he goes to the barn. I can smell the hay and the poop that the animals have made since the last time their stalls were mucked out. The horses have all been tended for the shift, no one else is inside.
 Settling down in an empty stall, he runs his dirty hands over the smooth surface. The metal is rough and cold after being in the ground so long. I can feel how fast his heart beats inside his chest and want to beg him to open the box.
 “You there! What are you doing?”
 He jumps at the sound of her voice and glances up. It’s the woman, the supervisor he’s seen on barracks patrol. She has a reputation for being cruel, but he can tell she is not from the look in her eyes. He has known cruel Borns before, the ones that punish the Bred just because they can.
 She is beautiful, with red-gold hair that she keeps tucked inside her warrior’s helmet. He has only seen her without it once but he remembers it vividly, how she looked in front of the bonfire.
 Will she have him flogged? He looks down at the box again. If he is going to be whipped, he will give her a reason.
 “Don’t!” I scream when he reaches for the latch.
 She uncoils the whip from her belt. “You leave me no choice.”
 He pivots away from the blow, offering his scarred back, still cradling his treasure. The whip whistles and the sharp crack wakes me up. My back hurts and when I looked in the mirror this morning I have a scar between my shoulder blades.

Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win a PDF copy of the novella B Cubed! And be sure to check out more great apocalyptic stories at the Day the Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour! List on Micheal Rivers' web site.

8 comments:

  1. Hello Jenna! Nice to meet you during the Day the Sun Stopped Shining tour! And great excerpt!

    My email address is: julie.jansen(at)yahoo(dot)com
    www.juliejansen.blogspot.com

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  2. I think she got amnesia and was just remembering the details of some S&M scene with the "beautiful, with red-gold hair that she keeps tucked inside her warrior’s helmet" girl, prior to her sleep... Hence the scar between her shoulder blades in the morning. Wouldn't that be nice? Well, maybe not, but that is my conclusion! :-)

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  3. Oh very cool!!! This is a great excerpt! Love the prose. Damn!!

    Johanna

    themanicheans@gmail.com

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  4. Great excerpt...I wanted it to continue...
    Great meeting you during "The Day the Sun stopped Shining tour"
    My email address is:
    last_lines (at) me (dot) com

    -Kim

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  5. Nice to meet you, Julie! Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. LOL, love the theory, nadinaboun, might have to use that in a book!

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  7. Thanks Johanna! Glad you enjoyed it!

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  8. Kim, Oh but it does continue, into the rest of the book. I'm just teasing you all here!Thanks for stopping by!

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