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The Strays

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Summary

A decade has passed since a pandemic decimated the global adult population. Everyone over the age of 25 is dead, leaving a world full of kids and no governing bodies. Cities fractured into factions, and everyone does what they must to survive with the limited resources at their disposal. The story focuses on Caelyn Lewis and her return home to Cadence for the first time since the death of her younger brother Miles. Here she is reunited with old friends, and must face the ghosts of her past to save the future, Caelyn is forced to make many difficult choices to protect a family she never thought she'd belong to, as she grapples what might be her first love, grief, trauma and loss, as well as a vindictive, psychopathic stalker, that she had hoped she'd never have to see again. Can she prevent another cataclysmic event and preserve her newly formed relationships, or will she be forced to make an impossible choice? TW: Contains scenes of graphic violence and gore throughout the book. Also contains inferences to violence, sex and sexual assault. Graphic depictions of bodily mutilation and sexual violence contained within the last few chapters. Please Be Advised. This book is suitably recommended for those over the age of 17, though readers discretion is advised.

Genre:
Scifi / Drama
Author:
CI_Finch
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
29
Rating:
5.0
Age Rating:
18+

Prologue

Everybody remembers where they were, what they were doing, the day they realised that the world as they knew it had ended. That point in time came differently to everyone, for some it was much sooner than others who wouldn’t come to understand the dire nature of this new world until the streets were quite literally on fire.

For me the moment hit when the virus caused my aunt to have a brain aneurysm whilst driving me, my mum and my brother home. The car crashed into the side of a bridge, my mum died on impact and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t wake up my brother who had a massive gash on the side of his head. I kept trying to find Sean’s pulse, but I couldn’t and the car was becoming more unstable with each passing moment, so eventually I had to leave him, quickly bailing out, hitting the pavement as the car finally tipped over the edge, crashing into the water below.

The road was desolate, empty, and I was alone. Most people would have gone for help, looked for answers, but that wasn’t me. My father had died some months earlier, under rather conspicuous circumstances and when I read a few hours later in an online article, that the police had recovered four bodies in the wreck, that there had been no survivors I drew the conclusion that somebody had intentionally printed the misinformation, having gone to great lengths to cover the truth up.

Once I’d regained my composure I went looking for my younger brother Miles, who was staying with a friend in the city, I had planned to return home as well when I had him, pack a few bags, then we’d both hit the road, just to make sure whoever was pulling the strings in the cover up couldn’t find us, but by the time I’d returned I was already too late. The police and social services had already taken him somewhere, but I had no clue where, somewhere, was. All I had to go on was local gossip about men in suits accompanying the police and the social worker when they arrived to collect my brother, after that nobody saw or heard from Miles again, myself included.

I spent a few months trying to track the last of my family down, as the world slowly descended into chaos. The number of deaths was rapidly rising and there was no cure, soon the only people left were those under the age of twenty-five, who seemed to be unaffected by the disease that had wiped out what most of us presumed was the global population of adults, but with diminishing internet, electricity and resources it was hard to tell.

After three or four years, some semblance of a society started to form as people found their footing, but it was nothing like before. Some cities, towns and villages had managed to kickstart their power grids, bringing them online, but not everyone was so fortunate, which meant there were a lot of refugees heading for the larger, more populated areas, which didn’t have the resources to take care of everyone. As you can probably imagine, even with a shell of a society having formed, there were still no concrete structures, which quickly led to fractured groups warring with one another, fighting for territory, control and supplies. These fractures soon came to be called factions, and the territories they controlled became sectors, everywhere seemed to shatter, not necessarily all at once, but certainly over time. The urban geography of the world wasn’t the only thing that changed with time, we as individuals did as well, having seen and done things to survive we would have never imagined, though I suppose that’s what most would call evolution.

I spent those years in which the world broke, observing everything around me, training myself to do whatever was necessary to survive, with only a singular goal in mind, finding Miles, no matter the cost. In that time I made new friends, lost old ones, but none of that prepared me for what was to come, the day I was finally reunited with my little brother, only once again, I was too late. I cut him down and pulled the noose from his neck, before desperately trying to resuscitate him, tears staining my cheek as I held his lifeless body in my arms. After that day, every priority I had changed, I only had one use for the skills I’d picked up, only one reason left to go on, a singular purpose keeping that spark of anger inside me burning bright. It was revenge, spite, I knew I couldn’t die until I made each and every individual, who had led me down the road I was on, pay. If it took setting the world on fire to avenge everything I’d lost, so be it, damn anybody who tried to stand in my way. That day, I became truly alone, a young woman with nothing left to lose, and a heart full of hate. I had one purpose, and I wouldn’t let anybody steer off course, or at least that’s what I told myself, what I thought. A mantra I swore by for years, until one night changed it all, a night that would change the trajectory of my new life forever.

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Further Recommendations

monicamcurry: I loved this story, the plot, the author’s writing style and the characters. The interaction between the two main characters is exciting, sensual, awesome and fantastic. This made for a fabulous love story. I will be looking for a lot more stories by this author.

Heather: Way to go writer. This book sucks you right in from beginning to end, I could not put it down. The way the author writes, I was crying from beginning to end for the little girl. But it all worked out in the end for her, finally a family to love her.

Sharlene Fielder: Another amazing story! You are such an incredible artist with such an inspiring voice. Thank you for sharing with us readers.

Francoise: Comme toujours ce tome est super.Merci pour vos écrits.

Justine helda: Trop addictif pour être bon pour la santé

Country Girl: It’s a really good book this is the 3rd or 4th time I have read it. I will keep reading it over and over

Charlie : I love how captivating this story is I can't wait to see what happens next

Beverley: I enjoyed the book and the storyline was funny sad and well written I look forward to reading more of your storys

Émilie: Ou est la suite svp

More Recommendations

Christina: This is a great start to a larger story.I hope the author decides to continue it further.

Jazmom: Was not to long. Would have loved a bit bit too

JILL: Enjoyed the book, Devon and Cara’s story, after an awful and sad upbringing and suffering for years Cara met Devon, he was an Alpha of a different pack visiting her pack. He was sweet, kind and caring, I’m glad she got her HAE

Annie Kay: This is great so far. in fact, it is wonderful but labeling it as complete is rude and unjust. It is only an excerpt and should be labeled as such. I love it but I am not going to pay to read the rest, when you are using inkitt to support and show a piece of your work. Just pay for an ad to get y...

staceykilv: Another lovely story! Always love reading your stories 😊🥰

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