Her last night of freedom.
Isabelle looked into the distance one more time before she closed the shutters and started securing the windows. The air was thick with moisture and a storm was brewing in the distance, making the darkening sky appear even more ominous and somber than usual.
Over the past few years she had grown used to the silence, to the disappearance of cars, music, children. Still, tonight everything seemed even more dreary than usual. Maybe because she knew it was her last night of hiding out in the shadows. Her last night of holding on to what it meant to be human.
The rest of the group was busy latching the windows, but she couldn’t tear herself away from the last bit of light scurrying in through the gap in the shutters. She pushed her face against the wood and took a deep breath, trying to sponge up the sunset into her lungs. The air smelled bare, just like it had for years now.
Two years ago, on her twenty-ninth birthday, she had promised herself she would die before letting one of the monsters touch her. Now, she was ready to walk into the darkness and offer herself to them.
The chances of her making it through the barren lands and into the compound were small. If she managed to get there before the sun went down and they woke up, maybe she had a chance. A small one, but a chance nonetheless.
Her body pulsated in fear and anticipation. She didn’t want to think about what was waiting for her when she finally made it there. Surviving the monsters outside only to become a slave and then try the impossible.
“I wish you would reconsider.”
She sighed before turning around to face her brother. Her baby brother, who had aged a decade since the invasion had begun five years ago and badly needed a shave.
She resisted the urge to hug him. “We’ve been over this before, Shawn. And you know as well as I do that there’s no other way.”
Shawn smiled softly. “We also know the chances of this working are very small.”
Isabelle looked towards the living room to the few faces hushed up in the darkness. The whole group had been hiding in the house for almost six months, and were as close as family now. Or as close as a family you could get after everything that had happened.
They had been in the house longer than in any of their previous hideouts. Partly because the house was in a semi-rural area, away from main roads and well hidden behind rows of trees and outbuildings. Unless somebody was looking closely, it was relatively easy to miss. Besides, the group was getting weaker. Gas was in short supply and they were now down to two vehicles that barely ran anymore. Moving on foot was almost impossible. With impromptu shelters so hard to find, they couldn’t risk getting caught on the roads when the sun went down.
When the invasion started, most people had run away with their families, hidden and tried to survive as best they could in the midst of the chaos that ensued. Slowly, however, most families had started to lose members. Children had been the first to go—too slow and too loud to avoid the monsters hunting in the dark. Then went the weak and the old. Without access to hospitals and medical care, it didn’t take much to knock you down. And once you were down, you were easy prey. To survive, the only choice was to run and hide, so the weak ones were left behind to be hunted down like animals.
There had been no warning, no sign of the coming apocalypse. The attackers had risen out of the darkness in a matter of days. How long they’d been around, planning an invasion, was anybody’s guess. But when they had decided to make their presence known, they had been ready for war. The world hadn’t been. The world population had quickly died by the hundreds of millions. The ones who survived, the people like her, had been hiding in holes and blacked-out houses for five years. And it was time for a survivor to come out and play hero—even if it was a stupid idea.
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Genre - Paranormal Romance/Dystopian Romance
Rating – R
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