There’s only a week left until the Kickstarter campaign launches, and i’m eager to share more information about my upcoming novel. Instead of sharing another piece of concept art or character bio, I decided to include a teaser from the Sacrifice manuscript. Did you miss my formal announcement? If so, you can click here to find out about the importance of my campaign and diversity in literature.
The sunset painted the concrete around me with a gorgeous orange highlight. I had no idea where I was or how I got here, but I stood on a city sidewalk in some dystopian wasteland. Collapsed and broken buildings littered the streets as vegetation crept up around the ruins. My eyes scanned the rusted yellow cars left abandoned in the street. Where were their owners? What had happened here?
Regardless of the city’s obvious decimation, I found the silence of this vast area to be quite eerie. Where were the birds and other signs of wildlife? This place had to be home to more than just plant life. I listened for several moments, but there was no sound to be heard.
Warm air still lingered from the departing sun, and I walked out toward the crumbled patch of concrete in front of me where I faced a lone parking meter. The meter seemed oddly placed even though it obviously wasn’t, but everything else I could see was deconstructed. I felt overwhelmed with an urge to reach out and touch the last surviving meter, but a cold draft of air stopped my hand before my fingers reached the metal post. Chill bumps paraded all over my body, and an icy breath tickled at my neck. I spun around on my heels, but there was no one to be seen.
I glanced back and found Micah next to the parking meter—my body jolted at his unexpected presence. My hand went to my chest as if to calm the beating of my heart, but I was even more relieved than startled.
“I’m so glad you’re here. Where ever here is. I’ve worried about you.”
“Sorry for scaring you,” he said in a soft voice. “I suck at this whole ghost thing.”
Micah’s pale grey eyes locked on with mine, but his expression was unreadable. He stepped off the sidewalk, and his eyes shifted to an enormous crater formed in the pavement nearby that was shaped like a monstrous footprint. I shuddered at the thought of what might have created such a print.
“I always wanted to visit here someday, but this is definitely not what I had in mind,” he said with a sigh.
“And where exactly is here?”
“This is New York City?” I gasped. I’d been to the city that never sleeps a few times, but never seen the place look anything shy of fabulous. Times Square made sense because the ground was littered with shattered pieces of what I recognized to be L.E.D lights, which were often used for the city’s signature lighting and billboards. The beautifully lit part of the city was always such a spectacular site, and now the entire area was growing dark as the sun continued to set.
“I always wanted to go to a Yankee’s game. Come back as a ghost and I’m still out of luck,” he said. His lips curled up slightly to match the mood of his joke, but the effect was lost with such weary eyes.
I opened my mouth to speak, but I didn’t know what to say. I felt a pull at my chest that was all too familiar. It pained me that he was gone, and we never got that baseball game he wanted.
As if he knew my thoughts had wandered to a sorrowful place, he tilted his gaze to the faded orange sky. “We need to leave here before the sun fully sets.”
“Why? What will happen at nighttime? Ghosts should be nocturnal, right?”
“I can see fine, but we won’t want to see what becomes of this place at full darkness.”
“What happens here?”
“This is the same outcome that happens everywhere if you don’t stop them. Every nasty supernatural being will be unleashed on our world if you don’t. The demons won’t come out during daylight so that keeps them at bay, but once they’re in total darkness they will come out to play.”
“Who causes this? When does this happen?”
“I tried to tell you last time, but they wouldn’t let me. The things they did, God Kat, I didn’t know it was possible to torture a ghost,” he said with a grimace. His eyes weren’t tired now, they looked troubled. A ghost with such haunted eyes just reeked of irony.
“Please Kat you have to figure this out. This isn’t just some random dream. I’m showing you the future. They know you’re the threat and they’ll be coming for you.”
Micah’s last words faded to a whisper as the sun disappeared, and the broken Times Square horizon filled with glowing eyes of inhuman color. I was suddenly engulfed in the darkness as I shouted for him.
From the Book: Sacrifice by S.E. Doster Copyright © 2014 by S.E. Doster. Artwork by Cindy Chan.