This is the last post before I take a blogging break and concentrate on finishing the first draft of The Ashes of Home. I ended the chapter with Randall, who comes across as a religious madman, talking about fire falling from the sky. His words hit Shayla hard when she realized he was describing the literal truth of something he’s seen, something she herself is intimately familiar with ... the systematic burning, thirty years ago, of the planet they are now standing on and trying to coax back to life. This snippet picks up the thread in the next chapter which leads on to new adventures, but I felt it was a tidy point to conclude this series of posts.
Shayla leaned against the wall, taking in the sounds of the night. Shouts and coarse laughter drifted through the near wall, tinny and distant. Further afield wind rustled leaves, an unaccustomed sound from a lifetime ago.
Her thoughts whirled through her mind, muddy, fragmented. A survivor. From his speech he was obviously educated. What had the years alone on a global tomb done to him?
And how had he survived? She had watched the Cleansing broadcast from remote drones - propaganda to keep the peasants in line. The fleet of Swords systematically slagged large towns and cities, then bathed the remaining landscape in province-wide swathes of plasma, a gentle goodbye kiss after the fierce intensity of those first thrusts.