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
LeoNation would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Slate

By LeoNation All Rights Reserved ©

Action / Thriller

Chapter 1

"When the earth falls from its orbit and crashes into the sun, all that will be left will be the greater beings laughing at our predictions. Nostradamus and oracles. The grand and the genius,  Einstein and Napoleon  It will mean nothing. You and me will mean even less. Try to think of the name of your great, great grandparents. Odds are you can't. That is how quickly the majority of us are forgotten, but there will be a time when we are all forgotten, and the ash of the stones and the trees will be indistinguishable from our own." 

One year. Light snow. Orbit had ceased.

Offices were abandoned, homes were fortified. Trees had begun welting like old lilies and grey leaves filled the street corners. Rumor was there were blizzards in Miami. Riots too.

"Beta and omega. Yin and yang. Light and dark. Mankind has convinced himself of balance in the world. Stability. That was our greatest mistake. We expected the world to keep going, the gears to keep churning and the clock to keep ticking. But gears get weathered and clockwork slows, and like that the world can not stay like it has for eternity. Nothing is definite."

Twelve months. Storms pound Chile. Earthquake in Sumatra, 8.9.  Day fades to darkness and the world wonders if the sun will rise again.

Three-Hundred Sixty-five days. The highways are abandoned. Refugees with ash smeared faces and tattered clothing had been passing for days, but now only the dead and the twisted metal of interstate chaos remained.

Eight-thousand Seven hundred and sixty hours. The old world's priest's convictions were labeled as deceitful babble. In China they were eating children under the guise of culling the population which was too high to eat whatever food was stored in soviet era bunkers scouring the landscape.

By the ocean, things were less hectic. The waves continued to crash upon the sands, and with the collapse of widespread human society, it seemed already more fish has begun to lead their schools towards the coast, making it easier for the fishermen to catch a meal. 

The day the power grid went down the stars were so beautiful. Only small fires dotting the coastline provided any light for the maritime population, and thus appeared the clearest sky any had ever witnessed. What had once been minuscule pinpricks of light was now a great canvas reminiscent of Van Gogh's Starry Night. 

When the news had begun, many went in-land. Expecting some strange ecologic hazard to appear from the sea, but in truth the opposite was true. The sea was as dangerous as inland. Where the sea had uncontrollable tides and fatal currents, inland has forest fires raging along the entire expanse of wilderness and roaming bands of marauders already set on founding a new world order.

Factions broke up from the former states, and war began quickly. Family feuds had been turned into mass death, and with the dead came a sweeping plague of influenza. Rumor had it there were cases of bubonic plague in the north. 

The air smelled of smoke from the burning inland half the day, and the rest smelled like salt. Abandoned boats clinked in the docks. a dead body floated out at sea, face down, a drenched wool sweater hanging loosely around the pale blue shoulders. Matted black hair stood floated above where its head had sunk down beneath the surf. Dead bodies float.

Feral dogs had made a habit of visiting the camp in the evening, mimicking their past lives where they would visit their masters at supper. A few had been taken in, and wandered around the camp during the day, sleeping near the embers of the crackling flames at dawn. There skin hung tight to their ribs, and their long tongues lolled out, as if the vapors of the food itself would end its hunger.

Often the dogs would return with the carcass of a raccoon or opossum, and more often then not dozens of ticks and fleas. The local cats fed on the swarms of mice that had appeared following the collapse. 

At night, the dogs would howl at the stars, their voices blending with the crash and twist of the waves as they hit the sand and the shifting of the foam as it sputtered on the grains of sand. Voices of other dogs from afar would echo over the previous, and their calls echoed through the forest and the world, awakening every bird and beast in the land to their moaning melody like forlorn sirens.

Some nights great bands of traveling people would pass through the town, and feast on the fish and tell of rumors from the north, of towns in Atlanta and a haven in Cuba. They said Havana was unchanged, and they were functioning as they always had on their own. Others said Castro had died due to an assassination attempt a few days after the end started and the country had been split into factions, each faction painting themselves as paradise to attempt to get soldiers from afar. 

Nonetheless, it was generally agreed that islands had faired better off. Cuba and all the other islands was free from the flames that raged in the Rockies and Appalachians. Apparently even Manhattan was fairing well for several days until gangs from the Bronx and New Jersey crashed through a police line, activated the subways and began raiding the city, fighting over high rise apartments and fortifying themselves in a stolen life of luxury.

Several days after a ship had been lost at sea and two civilians drowned, a band of Russian merchants arrived. They had raided hundreds of pharmacies across the land, targeting them on their path south, and now were trading prescription pills for all sorts of things. 

Xanax sold for the equivalent of a week's meal, a ream of clean paper, glasses, and a wardrobe of clothing. Everyone was chasing a high to escape this cruel world. Marijuana sold for a extremely high amount, and farms had sprung up to grow the plant and profit by trading it to all sorts of communities across coast. 

It was quick, and unexpected. The world had expected violence and chaos next to nothing, and of course that existed, but people wanted to return more than anything to their old lives. Communities began to appear quickly in the safety of the coast and the world was together again. The Russians passing through brought something new, something forgotten. They brought the concept of commerce back to the world, and it was the first step to growth.

The small coastal community named itself Palma after the Majorcan city and the great palmetto trees that sprouted about the coast and inland, around forgotten highways and throughout abandoned neighborhoods. 

Inland in the remnants of a plantation was the second community. While the majority of mankind fled the coast, one family, the Daneau, stuck to their land, refusing to abandon it in the face of a hurricane that would never come and flood that never arrived. Instead their farm claimed more land and products that season than ever, and a year after the end, or the beginning, their farm began to grow. Rumor of it spread from Miami to Washington, and hundreds came to work for shelter, food and safety, which was more than most others had. 

In reality, most of those who came became slaves. Tilling the farms and repairing machinery on the farms. Collecting gasoline to keep the tractors running and picking cotton throughout the land, but many did other works. Former accountants began to record sales and products, and soon a wage system arrived with the currency as strips of fabric. Those who could sow made clothing for the workers, and those who could cook cooked. 

But those who could steal stole, and a raid took place soon after. A group had risen in the remnants of the ghettos north of the city, and they had been driven hungry after food began to rot in the supermarkets, and soon canned food began to slowly vanish, and their stores became thin. 

They armed themselves with golf clubs and hunting riffles, and in the dead of night approached the farm. The farm was protected by guards on the major roads, but the swamp land around it was empty and allowed a party of twelve to attempt to make it through the swamp in the dead of night.

Overhead sprawling gnarled trees swayed in a turf unexplored by man, over a surface flat as a mirror, the surface of a large brackish expanse of water where rotten logs propped out of the surface like frozen ghouls standing in the dead of night. 

The humming of the crickets, their harmonious banter rising through the night like the sound of thousands of instruments was loud, and the buzzing of gnats fell and rose like the voice of some french maestro tuning his vocal chords for the opera, which was the bloodbath to come. 

Twelve men entered the swamp and eight escaped it. Snakes slithered through the water, and in the dead of night dragged a man down. They said frogs the size of cars his beneath the water, and would kill those who came next to their egg pods, and many of the men who entered the swamp agreed that two had been taken down by the creatures. The last man died when he fell into a sinkhole, and quickly nothing could be heard but his splashing and screams as mud filled his throat and he was dragged to the floor of the swamp, his lungs filling with the twigs and rot of the undergrowth as some strange prehistoric beast dragged him down. His blood, and a hand gnashed to pieces rose to the surface, and silence returned to the night, not even the crickets daring to disturb it. 

The eight men entered the farm, set fire to the granaries and killed the butcher's servant, before stealing his meats, several chickens and two cows. They loaded the food and livestock onto the back of a truck and rode out, shooting a guard and a local farmer on their way out the plantation.

News of the raid spread throughout the coast, and the news on the infamous Swampstalkers was heard for miles. 


Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, LeoNation
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

pikagirl311: Katie Masters has definite skill when it comes to plot work and characters. The story is well-paced and pulls you along with the tide, keeping you hooked until the very end. The only reason I did not give it five stars across the board is due to a few minor quibbles with misspellings and such lik...

FateFellShort: I have read this story and have followed the writers on tumblr from the beginning. Its a wonderful story. Beautifully written with a really nice pace, that makes it enjoyable to read more than once. For me, fairy tail has very good characters but what the writers have done is give them more depth...

Carolyn Hahn-Re: I really liked this story! The writing was well done, and the plot was suspenseful. I couldn't stop reading chapter after chapter, on the edge of my seat! The characters were well developed, and true to form. Thank you so much for this wonderful read.

Sara Joy Bailey: The characters are well written, 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.

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...

Ali Albazaz: I started reading "Caged" few hours ago and I'm on chapter 7 now. Caged is definitely one of the most addictive stories I've ever read. Thank you so much for writing this novel.

: The book was hella great. You never know what's going to happen next. There's a lot of clues that shows to the next scene. I thought Miley and David would marry each other in this book but too my disappointment, they didn't. I have a ques. Will there be a part two to this book?

europeanlove: I gotta hand it to you. I love reading. I read books everyday. When the book is good I can read it in probably 13 hours. Your story was amazing. Great prose, very imaginative. Incredible dialogue. I am deeply impressed. Keep it up.

Nate_L: I started to read this, excited about the story line. The writing style only made me more excited, I was stunned by Mikes ability to put this kind of story into words. It's Dashner-style, simple but sophisticated... (Makes sense to me, lol!)The beginning was a tad confusing, as I thought she was ...

More Recommendations

Diane April: Really liked the concept of this story. The beginning had a great explanation about how things worked in the real world that people tend to overlook. It was a nice change from the usual zombie story that just makes things up as they go along and actual facts don't matter.

taosgw74: If this is the authors first attempt at writing, I'm floored. I was engrossed in the plot from the get go.

RiverSong: So, at first glance, I thought this was just going to be like any other werewolf book out there that you could find on Wattpad, but I was intrigued enough with the little bloop that I wanted to read more. Following that weird thing that I call curiosity, I found this thing called an obsession. Th...

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!
Iosaghar

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!"

The Cyneweard

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."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!
Spectra

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."