Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Leave No Doubt would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

After Light

By Leave No Doubt All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Fantasy

Chapter 1

There was water in his eyes when he opened them. It burned against the dim light, so he shut them back immediately. He never wanted to open his eyes again.

His body trembled as he braced himself against the sink, a shallow breath tripping past his lips. A train passing by just outside rumbled the ground, the mirror he was hiding from rattled against the wall. Nothing felt stable, no matter what he did, the world was spinning. It made his already disoriented body want to topple over, dizziness making his stomach lurch.

He wasn't ill, but he had never been so sick. The cold sweat covering his body prickled on the backs of his hands, dark hair sticking to his temples, the back of his neck.

The first thing he saw when he opened his eyes again was the damp cement floor, and for a moment he wanted to lay his cheek against it and feel how cool it was. Something inside him was fiercely burning, and he was afraid that it might engulf him.

“What have I done?” he asked with wide, desperate eyes. There was no one near to answer him, and he was sure that if there was, he would have never opened his mouth. He reached for an answer deep within himself, but no answer he found was comforting. Something horrible, something beyond repair, something sickening, something terrifying, those were the answers he found.

Covering his mouth with his hand, he choked back the hollow feeling in his stomach, the thick lump in his throat, and turned the cold water on again. Splashing it on his face did little to soothe the ache in his body, yet he did it over again, his eyes burning just like before.

The light bulb above the mirror flickered then. The long shadows it had been casting over his face vanished for just a moment, and the dim train station bathroom fell into complete darkness if only for a moment. His reflection stared back at him, waiting for it to happen again.

And as it did, a deep roar began to rise until it swallowed the station, and he had to cover his ears before stumbling back to daylight.

Nothing seemed out of place upon first glance. But then he heard them over top of the booming noise; screams.

First screams, and then a noise like steal tearing apart.

Only a hundred yards up the track was a train, thick ribbons of smoke and flame enveloping it as it ripped away from the tracks and came barreling towards the station,

The shock only paralyzed him for a moment before the panic took over and he ran, the endless thunder casing him through the streets, now crowded with people. Some only stopped and watched, horror and awe on their faces, but most of them ran, trampling those that fell.

He wasn't sure if there were desperate people at his feet, he was too afraid to be knocked down should he try to help, even if he looked down. So he didn't look anywhere but ahead of him, didn't look back to see what caused the terror in their eyes.

The crowd thinned out, though the destruction was still close behind him. The adrenaline urging him on broke for a moment of clarity as he realized how many had fallen behind, how few people were still running beside him. And he couldn't understand what force could be so fast or so strong.

So he turned.

Nothing in his mind could comprehend the chaos behind him. Black smoke billowed as high as he could see, black like you only see when your eyes are closed at night, and it covered everything. His body seized with fear, and it took every ounce of his will to turn away from it.

And that's when he saw her.

If he hadn't stopped to look back, he would have missed her. But there she was, cowering in the shadows of an alleyway. She couldn't have been more than eight, a dandelion crushed in her hand as she crouched beside a stack of wooden pallets. She caught his gaze from the corner of her eyes, perhaps because he seemed to be the only person not running.

Despite what happened behind him, there was a greater fear in his heart when he looked at her, a fear that those green-blue eyes welled up with tears would haunt him if he left her behind. Something about that girl bothered him.

He shouted out for her to run, but she didn't move, and it was clear from her expression as her brows furrowed slightly that she could barely hear over the pandemonium of falling buildings and screaming women and children.

A burst of desperation rose up within him as he darted towards her, dodging people that passed before scooping her up into his arms and following the others towards the edge of town, the high stone wall that surrounded them. She held one arm around his neck, the other still clutching her flower, and watched as the only city, and the only home she had ever known collapsed behind her.

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Leave No Doubt
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

anjalichaudhary777: I am a kind of a person who don't prefer t read books... No matter what I just can't read.... The application I have got its amazing through which I got to read this amazing book.... It keeps you interested and go on.... I felt it amazing. This book helped me to start reading. Talk about th story...

Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.

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.

heavyreader: great scifi novels but needs a better spell checker (check auto-substitution level) and grammar checker!!! otherwise, ready for mass market publishing!!

Tiffany Thomson: This story is not something I would normally pick up and read but I'm so glad I did, I wasn't able to put it down and my husband was yelling at me at 3am to put it down and go to bed (just waited for him to doze back off before picking it back up) I really hope Natalie brings out another book eit...

Flik: Hi! ^.^ huge fan of yours on ff.net! When I saw the note about this contest on The Way We Smile, I couldn't help but rush over here, create an account, and vote! XD Seriously love this story and would recommend it to anyone! :D best FT fanfiction out there. Amazing story, amazing concept that wa...

Kasei Bulloch: At the beginning I wasn't very into the story but I kept reading and was more hooked than I was with Battle of the Wills. All of a sudden I had devoured chapter after chapter then the book was over. I am dying for The Compact. Please help a girl out!

Sara Grover: Being that this is your first story and I assume first draft, a lot of little mistakes are common, we all have made them; little things like your instead of you're, missed capitalization, missing punctuation, etc. As for the plot, I have a lot of questions and I did leave comments on certain sect...

Alexis Dredd Zarcal: Overall, it's a rather thrilling piece, merging superstition, psychology, slice of life, and the usual Japanese risque fare. All the elements have rhyme and reason in being placed together.The respective background stories of the characters involved so far also give a sense of flair and thrill.I'...

More Recommendations

rudyoxborough46: An action-packed, mystical adventure awaits anyone wishing to read this novel. I’m amazed at how well you’ve managed to flesh out the characters in this book, and I hope to read more of your work.I’ve read books about goblins and elves and all that mumbo-jumbo before, and most accounts of these c...

Mourn8220House: When first reading "Avarice," I thought it would be another fairytale but I was taken back the author's approach and choice of ending. There is little to be said for the story and overall plot besides the sudden twists and speculation, other than that I do not want to ruin a fantastic tale, you m...

BlakDreams: Wait is this over already?? I really love this story but I'm not sure, is this story already over?? Hm... if it's over I'm a kill myself cuz I loved it!! AGGHH!This story has a perfect storyline and everything I love itttt! Oh my god!

Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...

Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...