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Millions have already died, and thousands more are perishing daily. As a last ditch effort to preserve the human race, the government implements Project ELE. With the earth heating at rapid speeds, all remaining survivors are forced to turn to F.E.M.A. shelters to wait out ELE's wrath.
Fifteen-year-old Willow Mosby's life, as she knows it, ends the moment she walks through the shelter's door. Willow has to quickly adapt to the new challenges that shelter life demands, the least of which includes making new friends and working a full time job.
Soon after making an interesting discovery, Willow and her friends start exhibiting strange abilities. Seeking answers, they embark on a mission to find out what these new abilities mean and whether they are a gift or a curse.
This new adventure can send her world crashing down around her. The question is: Can Willow survive the fall?
From the authors of Night Marchers comes a new apocalyptic series with a paranormal twist.
Excerpt from Chapter 1 (Six days in line)
Waiting in line totally bites! What's worse than waiting in line? Waiting in line, outside in the stifling heat with escalating temperatures. The only relief being a hand held battery operated fan and a portable misting machine that ran through our daily ration of water in less than two hours.
Beads of sweat drip down my face, causing my eyes to sting. My dad faces his fan so it hits the back of my neck. He always looks composed and collected, but even he isn't immune to this sweltering weather. His salt and pepper hair is plastered to his head with sweat and his usually vibrant green eyes show telltale signs of heat exhaustion.
"They could have at least left the patches up until we had a chance to apply for entry. Maybe then the heat wouldn't be this stifling." Our neighbor in line, Mr. Leroy mumbles. The patches that cover the holes in the ozone layer is all everyone talks about lately. They are the only thing that keeps us all from burning to a crisp. Mr. Leroy is an elderly man with leathery skin, shiny grey hair and beady brown eyes. He walks around all day in only a pair of plaid boxers and a ‘wife beater’ undershirt. Some of the older women scoff at his choice of attire. It doesn’t faze him though; he says that dying of heat stroke while waiting in line to see if you pass inspection would defeat the purpose entirely. While I may agree with Mr. Leroy on that part, I have to say that honestly, he gives me the heebie-jeebies. He wears a nasty frown twenty-four seven and always reeks of stinky old man sweat. My mom assures us that he's just a cranky old geezer with a thousand conspiracy theories and that he has nothing better to do other than share them with us.
"You know Lee, they are doing the best they can. The virus is spreading at rapid speeds and they have no choice but to begin the heating process to stop it." My dad says this, not bothering to remove the annoyance from his voice.
"Is that why they let all of the rich ones in first?" Mr. Leroy asks with a cynical expression. "They've been in there for two weeks already and the rest of us 'lower class' just now got invited to the party."
I catch my dad rolling his eyes behind Mr. Leroy's back. It makes me grin, especially since he always gets onto me when I do it. My parents are none to happy to have Mr. Leroy behind us in line. Up until Mr. Leroy opened his mouth, my parents had done their best to shelter us from the impending doom that we were all facing. Mr. Leroy on the other hand, couldn't care less that we are 'merely' children as my mom would put it. He voices his distaste for this whole situation, which he deems completely the government’s fault, whenever he so feels like it. With him running his mouth non-stop, my parents had no choice but to tell me most everything. My four year old little brother, Sebastian, is too young to understand. At fifteen, I truly feel I can handle the truth. Well, at least I think I can. To be totally upfront, I'm scared to death, but I'm dealing with it the only way I know how: Pretend, I could care less. It's a hard facade to pull off though.
We've had a rather closed off life for the past few years, as have many children. With the fear of the virus looming over everyone's heads our parents had kept us inside our home for the most part. We had stopped going to a formal school by the time I was ten. Now we are home schooled online. Of course I never truly understood why we were forced to stay inside our small home all of the time.
Millions have already died, with thousands more dying daily. The government was forced to implement Project ELE. Don't ask me who ELE is because I have no idea. I asked my dad once who she was, his expression went dark as he replied, "All you need to know is that you don't want to meet her." I didn't ask him again after that. After all, if ELE scares my dad, I'm sure she would terrify me.
With Project ELE in place we only have another seventy-two hours before the temperatures are predicted to increase above one hundred and seventy degrees, which will most likely kill the remaining survivors outside of the F.E.M.A. shelter. Our bodies are not meant to withstand that kind of heat, neither is the virus. Currently the temperature is at one hundred degrees and some of the people in line have already faded away because of it. Fading away from heat stroke seems like a more pleasant way to die than to experience the excruciating death caused by the virus. It's an eerie feeling watching people that have died being whisked away on a stretcher with a white sheet draped over their bodies.
This shelter is our only hope to survive this thing. All remaining power that wasn't diverted for Project ELE has been re-routed or conserved to run the few F.E.M.A. shelters across the country. The line to our shelter is running at a snail’s pace. There are so many tests stations to go through before people are permitted to enter the shelter where we will supposedly spend the next three years or until they can get the patches back up, whichever comes first.
Before you can enter the shelter they have to verify that you are not infected and that you are fit to survive. Mr. Leroy says repeatedly that this is not the place to bring the weak or weary and it's especially not the place to bring the sick.
This whole business started with the sick. A virus brought forth from a cure. They thought it would work, that it could heal everything. Cancer, diabetes, depression, the flu, even the common cold could be healed by 'The C.U.R.E.' or Counteractive Universal Recovery Elixir. It did work for several years, until a super virus came along that not even our precious 'C.U.R.E.' could fix. My mom says that we weren't meant to live forever. Not that we could live forever even with the 'C.U.R.E..' Meaning that we couldn't cheat death by curing everything the world suffered from.
The super virus killed off more than half of the world’s population. No country was safe from this air born virus; it only takes a measly few days to die once infected. In an attempt to kill off the super virus, the United Nations agreed to pull down the patches that they spent over a hundred years perfecting. Obviously I wasn't around when the patches first went up to cover the giant gaping holes in the ozone layer but I heard that it took a tremendous amount of energy and power to put them up in the first place. It is said that the entire world worked together back then and went for a full month without electricity of any sort in order to put the patches in place. This is another reason why they are diverting all of the energy now and not allowing us to stay in our homes. They need that power to put the patches back up after the warming does its job. On a side note, the project for creating those patches a hundred years ago was also called Project ELE. It's kind of creepy if you ask me.
Scientists anticipate that with the patches gone it will cause a long-term heating of the earth's surface that will hopefully kill off the virus. They aren't sure if the plan will work, but obviously with the temperatures rising daily, it seems to be. They don't know what the long-term effects will be on the planet after they cause this heating, but the United Nations deemed the possible reward was worth the risk.
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