This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
There wasn't much in the way of sustenance when it came to this barren land. Trina, which was short for Catrina - her full name is Catrina O'Cortwright - couldn't help but feel a deep sense of loss as she gazed out to the death before her. She's a fair young woman, with a long stretch of legs, thick and toned. She has a thin stomach, and a perky set of breasts. Every day she thanked her mother for giving her these tools of trade, which she used to use every day on the boys in town. Her long slender fingered hands mimicked that of only her face, which is long as well.
She has a fair, yet wide smile, crystal blue eyes and long dirty blonde hair. Though some girls would tease her about her face. They'd call her a horse because her nose happened to be long, which only matched the big teeth she unluckily inherited from her father. Despite all this, she knew that life would be different now.
Whether it was the fowl stench of the disemboweled bodies strewn around or the shit that escaped them after death, she could not tell.
All she knew was this mass of destruction before her; this long stretch of gravel and dirt used to be her hometown. It was a small town in the state of New York which went by the name: Hide and it had a population of only one thousand. Off in the distance, Trina caught the distinct sound of fire crackling, knowing full well that it was the old town motel.
She could picture it now, straight ahead would be the main highway. Lining the streets on each side would be the motel, which rested just a hundred feet or so from the school. The state of said school lay in ruins as well, not that Trina minded, since she long but graduated over a year ago.
Every single house lining the roads beside her had either been destroyed or boarded up in a poor attempt to stop people from looting them. A slight warm breeze blew through, billowing her hair as she closed her eyes. She wanted nothing more than to take one deep breath before the realization hit her again.
Just as she exhaled, the town vanished, being replaced by that wasteland. Although, the highway could still be vaguely made out, which she reluctantly followed. I guess the town isn't all that ruined. I mean, sure, it's all crumbly now, but the buildings are still somewhat standing. The thought crossed her mind as the pizzeria passed by on her left.
"I think I'll miss that place most of all," she muttered in a thick southern accent. That was the one thing she had going for her, other than her perfect chest. The guys went head over heals for her just because she sounded like a true southern bell. "I guess that's why so many of those other girls were angry enough to pick on me... Wow, even the river's in a horrid state."
The shock of it all took her aback; the waters, once semi clear during the Summer, were filled with crimson. Body after body could be seen lining the banks of the stream. All of which were severely bloated from the looks of it. She couldn't stop herself from feeling the sorrow surrounding this area. Her stomach was already lurching before she began throwing up all over the sidewalk.
The brutal heat from the Summer sun was only intensified since the heat index increased. Finally after she began dry heaving, she found the strength to pull herself back upright. She couldn't help but imagine that the heat began this disturbing decline in humanity. As she rested on the remaining guard rail of the bridge, Trina could feel her brain floating off.
Her thoughts took her back a couple of months ago, where this all began. It was a horrendously hot July afternoon. The year is 2016 and the Northern tier of America was suffering its greatest temperature increase in history. In places that it should be relatively cool, like Hide New York, it was scorching and muggy.
She could see her living room, where the T.V. displayed the news. A man stood there, sweat drenching his long sleeved shirt, addressing the public to, "stay cool," was how he said it. Her father worked every day as a groundskeeper for the school, which helped since they lived only a few houses down from it.
She had already finished her first year of college. From a young age, Trina developed a passion for crime solving and psychology, so she decided to become a Forensic Investigator. But at the time she had been on her vacation, fanning herself as she tried to stay cool, like the newscaster put it.
She could still see her long legs stretched out before her, with her thighs wrapped snug in her short jean shorts. She could even see her breasts moving at a rhythm, in and out, covered in sweat and looking very glistening at the moment. Her hair had been tied up, which she knew because she felt the chair touching a part of her neck.
"The heat is terrible folks! New York has never seen such an increase in temperature and that goes as a record breaker in this state's history. As you can see, we're up in the mid nineties and the humidity is one hundred percent. I advise that you try to stay cool. Go swimming, jump in the sprinkler; do whatever it takes."
Just then, the t.v. shut off. And that was when she heard the first gunshot, followed by a disturbing, blood curdling scream. Just outside her window, she saw a young woman running down the street, and a man was chasing her with a hunting knife.
She got up close to her window, nearly pressing her face against the glass. The man was only feet from that poor woman, who happened to be carrying a child in her arms. He ripped the child from her arms, and proceeded to stick the blade deep into her chest and stomach.
"Take the child! Take it now!" the man was barking orders to a small group of people just behind him. All of them had a breathing mask over their faces and at the time, she had no idea why. The group left the woman laying there in her own blood. Despite not wanting to leave the house, Trina ignored her mother's pleas and burst through her front door, out towards that poor woman.
She was unable to shake this gnawing feeling of fear and curiosity from her stomach. She could see the victim, only feet away. She had been wearing a tank top, and shorts. And then Trina's heart skipped. Her palms became sweaty and her nerves kicked into high gear. The woman was none other than Trish Ellen, the girl who used to pick on her all the time. She was gasping for air, clutching her throat all the while. Just then her eyes shot open as she recognized the one standing over her.
Trina could see herself bending down, reaching for Trish, but wanted to stop herself. Alas, this was a memory and she had no control over it. The woman's eyes were beginning to bulge and her tongue was swelling up. It took all of her strength not to scream, but Trina fell to her butt. Trish had been reaching for her; blood began to rain down her face as her eyes grew twice their normal size.
Something was crawling through this woman's body. Trina saw the skin of Trish's legs crawling and then began to burst open all over the place. Some nasty wave of insects had been gnashing and chewing on the flesh of their new host. What the fuck? Was all Trina could think as she jumped to her feet. Trish's hand was crackling and snapping.
She gazed upon it, screaming as much as her swollen tongue would allow as her bones began to melt. Inch by inch her arm became thinner. She jolted and jerked around; her chest was beginning to inflate, as well as her belly. Something was straining to break free from her womb, as it began to swell up. Trina had taken a few more steps back as she watched with awe.
Her enemy was being tortured right before her, and she couldn't do a thing about it. Even though she hated this person, Trina knew that nobody deserved a fate such as this. Trish's breasts had torn straight through her shirt, writhing and wiggling as whatever parasite took over her. Her belly had grown to what looked like a full termed pregnancy, before her legs split open.
Waves of blood and liquid poured from her; her belly began to rip and popped open like a pimple. Nasty things that looked like a mixture of maggots and worms exploded out of her. And then a sickening popping noise sounded as Trish's breasts exploded. Her chest began to sink, as those bones melted away. Trina saw one last glimmer of fear in her enemy's face, before it melted along with the rest of her body.
And then, all that remained was a massive puddle of entrails and those parasites. Just then a sound of a man's voice broke her out of her trance. She was back at the bridge, gazing off towards the river ahead. She could feel the shakiness of her breathing. Her lips were trembling and she knew she was crying.
"Is this what humanity has in store now? Are we being punished for our wrong doings?" That was when the person's voice called out again. "Are you infected?" he asked. She kept gazing this way and that, unable to see where this man's voice emanated from.
Just then he stepped out from the bank's weeds. Her heart jumped into her throat, but she forced herself to remain calm. "I am not infected, are you?" The man didn't answer. He was ascending the hillside, and already had a leg over the guard rail. As he approached her, she saw just how tall this man really was.
He towered over her, and had the darkest skin she'd ever seen. He had a mask over his face as well, and an Army uniform on. When he grasped her shoulders, she shuddered. "It's okay, you don't have to be afraid. May I ask..." He cut himself off, peering down into her eyes.
"How is it you don't have to wear a mask? I saw someone take their's off before, and they just melted into a giant mass of blood and guts. Surely you should be swollen with parasites by now." She didn't have to think too hard and just shook her head a bit. "Listen, like I said, you do not have to be afraid. I know there's crazed looters running around, but I am not one of them. You can trust me."
Whether it had been her fatigue or just the weight of what her life had become, Trina couldn't tell what made her feel so bad. Her heart broke and she was standing there, with the man's uniform as her blanket, as she wailed on and on. Other than the occasional, hushing sounds he emitted, it was just her sobs that filled the air.
"Listen, we need to take shelter before it gets dark. The uninfected crazies will be out there." She knew this to be correct, so she let the man guide her. They went down the bank, along the edges of the river, and kept going for what felt like an eternity. They passed numerous amounts of decaying bodies, many of which looked as if they suffered the same fate as Trish.
After turning on the bend, she was met with what appeared to be a small military bunker. They had formed one underneath another bridge, complete with razor wire covering the guard rails overhead, a man and woman stationed out front and a sniper up top on the bridge itself.
The giant man guided her up to the barricade, where the woman stopped them. "Is she infected?" That seems to be the pass phrase around here now. Trina actually felt her lips spreading into a grin as this thought occurred. Before she knew it, she was billowing out in laughter and then one of the guards had her pinned to the wall.
A knife was pressed to her throat, and yet, she did not stop laughing. Stop it damn you! Do you want to be killed?! No matter how logically her brain tried to act, her fatigue was hitting her hard. Just as the guard went to slit her throat, her giant savior stepped in. She could see how thick and calloused his fingers were, as the forced her would be killer away.
"Stop that right now! I am ordering you as your commanding officer to stop! This woman is obviously hallucinating from dehydration and needs to be taken care of." The man backed away, not much to her surprise. He had a dominating presence about him, and for the first time in a while, she felt her heart beating with love.
They took her past the barricade, under the bridge where a small group of soldiers resided. They happened to be in a small tent, which had a walkway they had to go through first, before entering. Just the way her savior pushed the telecom button with such ferocity, it made her tingle all over.
"We need a decontamination process please. This girl is immune to whatever the hell's going on out there, but I know she's still a carrier." A man with a long face, and a red mustache looked through the clear plastic window. He had a nice look about him, and bright blue eyes, much like Trina's own. In fact, this man reminded her of someone.
He had huge ears, a long face, and a short nose. His forehead looked enormous as well which made his landing strip hair style look all the more bigger. He pushed the receiver in and spoke in a dominating, southern tone. "I shall commence the decontamination process, keep your eyes and mouth closed until I say so."
She watched as he peered deep into her own eyes, welcoming her with a fatherly like stare. "Do as I say honey. It'll soon be over." And then everything went black as she felt a slight sting from the liquid that sprayed all over.
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 ...
Roger A. Fauble: Excellent read, the only thing not to like is that I could only read it at home on my computer. I'm a character reader, I get into the characters, their story, who/what they are. In this story characters are introduced and developed allowing you to really get into them. Next the story is develop...
ElNachoWOTC: The grammar is tight and easy too read while packing a great vocabulary and you use a lot of vivid imagery with your words. One of the biggest things I noticed right away is the gritty realism you managed to cram into this book while going into a lot of exotic fantasy material. Including issue...
Shayleen Seiberg: See, I wasn't sure if I'd like this story. But it turned out extremely well. It kept me interested the whole entire time. The only thing wrong with it is there are multiple grammatical errors. Not punctuation wise, but spelling wise and word placement wise. But overall, I loved the book.
Schaelz: I was intrigued from the second I started reading, and it kept my interest the whole way through. Chelsea has a way with words that will enchant you until the very end. She is very poetic with the way she mixes genres and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The main character is also very relat...
Steve Lang: I thought this story was imaginative, and well thought out. I also think it was an original piece, and not a rehash of previous scifi stories I've read in the past.Thank you for the effort put into this tale, and I look forward to reading more of your work!
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...
Dru83: This is a great story, mainly because of the uniqueness and variety of the characters. There's also several mini story lines occurring underneath the main plot. Some of the plot twists towards the end are unexpected and twist at your heart strings a bit. The punctuation and grammar could use some...
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...
kathryncoard: I really enjoyed this book. It was a fast paced book, that kept me interested . Yes, it was political commentary, which I found to be relevant to many things happening in the world. The snippets from the journal show the " boiled frog " analogy that is clearly relevant . Interesting that peop...
Ben Gauger: Kudos go to Karissa, author of Elements Of Engagement, an otherwise dark and twisted tale of love and workplace intrigue, very 'Fifty Shades of Grey' to be sure, her writing style being very graphic ad otherwise sexually-charged, hence the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' reference, and as for her use of g...
themyronus: Vanessa has made 'amazing' the norme. I didn't want to read this as I am waiting for the finished and polished book to come out. But then I decided to read one chapter for kicks...well hours later I finished what was posted. Fortunately, my memory is not to good and I hope I will read the book wi...
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."