This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
I pant as I bring the last bucket of water from Strong Current stream that is down the hill back up to my cabin. I fill the water tank and hook the bucket on the side of the opaque container that will hold the water I need for the next few days. I look at my watch and sigh happily. It’s not even 11:30 yet, which means there is plenty of time to check the traps and everything else I need to do for every day off the grid living.
Well, not technically off the grid. Using the olive green jeep that was my mother’s before she passed, every month I drive the 143 miles to the nearest town to restock on supplies. I stay in town for two days to make sure I have absolutely everything I need. I also see if there are any sales that I can buy in bulk. Sometimes I go to the little internet cafe and check in with the world.
I’ve been alone for a very long time. My mother was Mary Millican, the late wife of George Millican, who raised me as his own for as long as he could. I only lived with him for three years and seven months before they both decided it was dangerous for me to live with them. I was nine when that happened. I am now seventeen, in four months I will legally be an adult.
I always check my email and physical mail for any contact from George. Our line of communication stopped two weeks ago. I have to wait two more weeks before I can check anything. I know that there are still people out there who want to find out about David Elster’s work. I know he succeeded in something more than regular synths. For that reason alone, they sent me here.
At first I lived with a relative of my mothers who taught me what I know now. I called her Aunt Cara. Before she died, she left me a sum of money to pick a spot in the Montana woods and settle down with a cabin of my own. She died when I was fourteen.
I grab the tough canvas bag that I call the game bag, it’s only purpose to hold the animals that have been caught in my traps that I have in the area. This alone takes an hour and a half. I come home with a few rabbits and other small animals. The cabin faces east. Standing in front of the cabin, the Strong Current stream is to the left of the cabin and the cellar is behind the cabin tucked into the side of the slope which leads to Strong Current.
I skin the animals by lunch and cook some of the rabbit with some vegetables. After lunch I store the rest of the meat in the root cellar and check on the solar panels that take up most of the space on the roof. The rest of the day goes by smoothly and by the time dinner rolls around I’m tired from the day’s work.
I trudge into the cabin, leaving my boots by the door and shuffling up the stairs one of the two bedrooms in the house. I fall asleep before my head is on the pillow.
As we all open our eyes in the Saint Mary Magdalene church, I feel something in my grey pea coat pocket that I had noticed before. I turn away from the others and quickly take it out. It is from George to me. I scan over the words and my mouth opens and then sets into a firm line.
I wait for Beatrice to leave and show the others.
“I didn’t see any pictures and he didn’t mention this supposed daughter of his. What if it is a trick?” Leo says after I share the information.
“He didn’t harm you, either of you. Even his synth covered for you. Niska, he took a bullet for you. Didn’t he also say that he would do anything to help you?” Mia adds.
“Well he’s dead now. How are we even going to get to the location? We don’t have passports and Hobbs will be scanning everywhere for us.” I tell her.
We all turn to Leo, who has spaced out on us, he is thinking hard on this.
“Let’s go in two days. That will give us plenty of time to figure out passports and ways to get out of the country undetected.” He announces.
Mia and Max nod. I shake my head.
“I want to go my own way.” I tell the trio.
I hand Mia the letter with the information in it. Three hugs and I’m gone, off to a new place. I hope they survive.
KC_Ward: Black Mark was one of the most interesting romance novels I have read. I really enjoyed the fact that Mora has such a strong character and held her ground. Each character had a background story that gave clues as to what shaped their personalities. This novel was almost like two books rolled into...
Michelle Shane Hammatt: Well written fiction. I couldn't put it down and read it until I was finished in one sitting. Can't wait to see what the author has in store for us next. The characters were real and you felt like you were watching the story being played before your eyes.
CurlyRed: I read this entire book in just under 4 hours I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! i found myself emotionally attached to the characters and making personal connections that i had never experienced before while reading a book! I was constantly wanting to read more, every chapter left me on a cliff hanger tha...
Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...
CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...
263Adder: Okay so I adore this story. I only knocked one star off plot for historical inaccuracies because I'm a bit of a stickler for that. The ending broke my heart though, considering you already changed history couldn't you (SPOILER) change it a bit more and have them together!!!! I want an alternative...
sarahsweet898123: I loved the story ... its was fascinating. ... cant put it down.... the way it was written....was so beautiful. .. the details. .. especially the characters. ..I loved them so much ... Garrick and mairi... every time there was some kind of attraction. ... just cant help it .... no words to express
softprose: Honestly, this book already has me on my toes, I can't wait to buy the physical copy! It is like a fresh breath of air when reading this. I've already fallen in love with all of the characters! This will be one of those books I'll read over and over again without getting bored of it.
brettylee: The narrative is slick yet punchy. Life, Family and Friends I believe is the core message so it’s easy to relate to. It’s surprisingly action packed. The author does a good job at keeping you guessing. Just when you think all is right, whack, the unexpected happens. The dialogue is energetic and ...
Dru83: This is perhaps my favorite part of the Olafson story just because it is here that were are introduced to his "gang". The characters are so diverse and complicated that each of them could just about spawn their own story. Eric's buddies are just so captivating and the plot just rolls along. Again...
catd69: Karim is a very talented writer. When I started reading his journey it took me into the book and I was in the story till the end. I've never felt this way with any other writers stories. If you want to read a gripping adventure, this will be the one book I would suggest you pick.
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."