by Hayley Barrett
Genre: YA Dystopian (Sci-Fi)
Date Published: July 30, 2015
She is however, supposed to be the daughter of the wealthiest, most influential man in the post-apocalyptic city of New Phoenix.
But apparently, she isn't.
As Alex struggles to cope with her new life in Elder Grey, an act of friendship ends in tragedy. When someone she thought was an enemy pulls her from her despair, Alex discovers that old friends cannot be trusted, prejudice is another word for fear, and trust, not blood ties, make a family.
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The silhouette of a man standing in front of me blocked what little light filtered through the trees. He was tall and lean, and in my way. I stifled a scream and turned to run—something about the way this man had arrived suddenly in front of me told me he was unlikely to help.
His arm shot out, grabbing my forearm in a grip tight enough to make me squeal. With a twist of his wrist, he pulled me to him so my back was against his torso. Before I could open my mouth to scream, he’d clamped a giant and dirty hand across my face.
Something glinted in the darkness, and the point of a knife pressed into the flesh on my neck. I tried to shout but all that escaped from beneath his hand was a tiny, high-pitched hiccup. I was going to die and I hadn’t even made it a day from home. I fought back tears and dared not move.
“That’s better,” he said in my ear. “What made you think you could run from me?”
He didn’t expect an answer; he was still pressing his grimy hand against my face.
“Now, I’m going to uncover your mouth. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll keep quiet. Okay?”
I said nothing.
“Okay?” The knife pressed harder into my skin.
I whimpered and managed a nod, too scared to scream. I doubted there was anyone out here that would hear me anyway.
“Good.” He loosened his grip and turned me to face him. A strip of moonlight fell across his face, showing off sharp, intimidating features.
Hayley lives in Rolleston, ten minutes south of Christchurch, New Zealand, with her husband and three children. When she isn’t driving her kids to their sports practices, games and other after school activities, she enjoys playing squash, relaxing in the sun and reading. Most days she wishes there were more hours available to spend writing.