Authors: Charlotte McConaghy
Perfect for fans of Divergent, this series is about a civilization where negative emotions have been erased, creating a world of mindless drones where only those with fury can survive.
Eighteen-year-old Josephine Luquet wakes up naked and covered in blood on the same day every year—when the blood moon is full. Josi has not responded to the “Cure”—an immunization against anger mandated by the government—and believes herself to be a threat to others.
Then she meets Luke. Luke has had the Cure but seems different than the other “drones”— and he’s dead set on helping Josi discover the truth about herself before the next blood moon.
But time is running out. Is Luke willing to risk his life to be near her? Does he truly understand what violence she is capable of?
Raw and full of passion, Fury is a story of love in a dystopian world, and how much we are willing to forgive in the struggle to remember our humanity.
For my brother Liam
I am a flame of fury. The last flickering flame in a world long since burned out. I have rage threaded through my skin, whispering against my ears, tied tightly around each one of my bones. My eyes, one brown and one blue, leak with it.
Most of the time this frightens me.
But sometimes I like it.
“When did it happen to you?”
He appears to be reading something but I figured out a while ago that he sits there and stares at a blank clipboard. God only knows why. Maybe he thinks it makes him seem smarter, or more aloof. I roll my eyes and turn them to the sky outside the window. A hint of dark gray is edging across the blue, and I can feel the static of a rising storm across my skin. I imagine being inside it, right in the heart of it, wild and out of control, but I only imagine this for the briefest of moments, because otherwise it starts to hurt too much.
“What?” Anthony asks. I know full well that he heard me perfectly the first time, so I don’t repeat myself. After a pause he says, “Nine years ago.”
“So you were … what—twelve?”
you?” I sit up and face him.
“None of your business.”
“You’re in a friendly mood today. Aren’t you supposed to support every word I say?”
He shoots me a look that says
at this point I couldn’t care less what I’m supposed to be doing with you.
He is so tired. I can see it in his blue eyes and in the set of his mouth. I feel a moment of pity but it doesn’t last long because he wrecks it by saying, “Have you been taking your pills?”
“No. I seduced all the nurses on staff so that they skip me when it’s time for rounds.”
He actually looks alarmed, which is amusing.
“Yes, I take them. And they don’t do anything, like I’ve told you a thousand times.”
“That remains to be seen,” he says sternly. What a dick.
“You don’t look that much older than me, but you act like you’re eighty, Doc.”
He looks at me blankly and I grin. Antagonising Anthony Harwood is undoubtedly the only fun I have left in my life.
“Let’s talk about Luke,” he suggests.
The grin is wiped clean from my face. “No.”
“Because I don’t want to.”
“Why don’t you want to?”
I lick my lips and then meet his eyes. “For the same reason I’ve requested a new therapist. You don’t understand, Anthony. You don’t understand anything.”
He looks pale as he glances down at his clipboard, as though searching for an answer. He’s on the small side of medium height and medium build, and he’s pretty much the definition of the word average. Except he does have nice eyes when he smiles. I only worked that out recently, because he’s smiled all of three times in the entire year. His dark hair is prematurely graying at the temples, which he probably loves. Despite this, I would still put him at about twenty-seven, twenty-eight.
“What don’t I understand, Josephine?” he asks me.
“You’re a drone. You have no concept of humanity anymore—which is why you’re no good to me as a therapist, and why the very thought of talking to you about something as private as Luke makes my skin crawl.”
He sighs. “Who else do you think you’ll get?” He folds his arms, starting to get impatient. “There’s no one left who hasn’t been cured. Everyone is a ‘drone’.”
Ain’t that the truth.
I sink back against the comfy window seat, depressed.
“The only people left who feel anger are the Bloods.”
“And me, apparently.”
“Allegedly,” he reminds me pointedly.
. So to sum up—Luke isn’t on the agenda, today or any day.”
“Is the real reason because you made him up?”
“Oh, Lord.” I laugh. “We really are back to Basic Therapy 101. Imaginary friends. You’ve outdone yourself today, Doc. Did you buy your degree off the net?”
“Luke has never come to visit you and yet you say he loves you.”
“I would never expect you to understand the simple concept of complexity,” I say sweetly.
“You speak in paradoxes.”
“And it feels wonderful.” I smile. “If only you could appreciate it.”
He frowns and drops his clipboard onto the desk in what seems a rather petty manner to me. There are still forty-five minutes of our session to go, but he has that stubborn look on his face that tells me he won’t be the first to break the silence.
We’ve been doing this—sitting here in this room—every day for almost an entire year. Each time he diagnoses me with some new disorder, I get to try a new type of pill that inevitably fails, and we have to go back to the drawing board. I don’t mind the drugs that make me sleepy, because they make the time pass faster, but I do not enjoy the hallucinogens. Not. At. All. I’d sooner gouge my eyes out than go through those kinds of visions again. I get enough of them in my sleep as it is.
At the moment Anthony is convinced I have schizophrenia.
I would love to have schizophrenia. I’d
Because the truth—a truth I’ve been trying to convince Anthony of for almost twelve months—is much worse.
“So nine years ago, eh?” I murmur, running my fingers across the glass of the window. It’s not cold enough outside for there to be any condensation—in fact the air is warm and humid. The wind is picking up, but I don’t want to close the window—fresh air is a rarity in this place, and it’s one of the only things that makes me feel halfway sane. “Do you remember your life before you were cured?”
“Is it … different?”
He tilts his head and then gives a sigh that says
fine, I’ll indulge you because I’m infinitely patient and good and you are just a silly, erratic child I feel sorry for.
“Yes, it’s different. It’s like there’s a wall in my head between then and now. Everything on the far side of the wall is wild, chaotic and exhausting. Everything here is calm, beautiful and healthy.”
I get what he’s saying. I understand the ache of the before, because I’ve never had the after. I’ve lived every moment of my life within the full spectrum of human emotion, and he’s right—it
exhausting. But I can’t imagine ever being tired enough of life to want to cut half of it away.
“Were you happy to get the injection?” I press.
He grimaces uncomfortably, taking a pen and pretending to write in his notepad. I stole a look at that pad once and it was covered in doodles of birds. I wait for him to quit stalling and answer, but he remains silent.
“Some people look forward to it, don’t they?”
“A great deal of people.” Anthony sits forward and searches my face. “Josephine, why are you so against the cure? It helps people. It makes things safer and happier.”
The futility of trying to explain something to the brainwashed is not lost on me. I have tried many times and it hasn’t made a lick of difference. But I simply cannot bring myself to give up.
“My fury belongs to me, and only me,” I say as calmly as I can manage. “No one can take it from me—no one has a right to it.”
“Even if it hurts people?”
“Tell me how I’m supposed to have any sense of who I am if I don’t have access to how I feel? It’s like punishing a crime before it’s even been committed—like punishing the
of a crime. Where does our freedom go then? We all have a right to be as angry as we want, just as we have a right to be trusted.”
“Give me an example.”
Is he serious? “All right. I’m pretty damn angry with you right now, but I’m not going to lunge across the room and strangle you to death. I have restraint, and a logical awareness of consequences.”
“That remains to be seen.”
“Oh, shut up.”
“Why do you
to be angry?” Anthony asks. “It doesn’t help anyone.”
“Want has nothing to do with anything. Have you heard the rumours, Doc?”
I smile coldly. “Don’t play dumb. Even I’ve heard them and I’m locked in an asylum. They’ve cured the human population of anger, and everyone knows that soon sadness will be next.
. Can you imagine never being able to feel sad? What value will happiness have? And what will be next? Fear? Jealousy? Vanity? We’ll cure ourselves of our humanity.”
“Perhaps you should try to calm down, Josephine.”
“It’s called passion. When was the last time you felt passionate about anything?”
“I don’t know—there are pills for it.”
It takes me a moment to realize that he’s made a joke. My jaw drops open in astonishment. The corners of his mouth twitch and I laugh abruptly. Our eyes meet and a moment later he gains control of himself, looking embarrassed at his outrageous behavior. He will probably go home tonight and school himself not to be so
. Wind is starting to keen through the trees outside. It sounds like screaming and makes the hairs on my arms stand on end. I am reminded of the nightmare in my head, replaying itself over and over and over.
“Do you know what the date is?” I ask softly without looking at him.
“Have you made any preparations?”
“What preparations do you suggest I make, Josephine?”
“I’ve told you a thousand times, and I’ve watched you pretend to write it all down a thousand times. I’m tired of repeating myself.”
“Hallelujah,” he says.
My jaw clenches and it hurts to breathe; I can feel the tide creeping up. I am too tired to say another word. We sit together and yet not together—I haven’t had a ‘together’ in a year. Instead I’ve had lots and lots of ‘alones’. We sit alone together until the hour runs out, and then he stands and leaves the room before me.
He has never left the room before me. It’s nothing, nothing at all, and yet it leaves me feeling lost. Even though I hate routine, in this place I need it.
Doyle comes to collect me, taking hold of my arm with that alarmingly tight grip of his. I don’t know how long I will have to be here without misbehaving before he will loosen that grip. He is unlike any of the other nurses in the facility. His face is scarred, his nose crooked as though it has been broken and, if I didn’t know better, I would think he was an angry man. He doesn’t want to be here—that much is obvious, and I always wonder why he is.
Doyle jerks me out of Anthony’s office and starts walking me down the halls. The lights in this building are fluorescent and flicker just enough to make you go steadily insane, if you aren’t already.
Screams follow us down the halls. Screams and sobs and mutters. They make me cold, all the way through, even now. Even after a year.
As we reach my room I flash Doyle a smile. “Thanks, Doyle. One of these days you and I are going to have a really meaningful conversation, you’ll see.”
Doyle, true to fashion, doesn’t respond. He throws me into my room roughly and locks the door behind me. I turn and inspect the view, hoping that maybe my eyes will spot something new this time. What a surprise: they don’t.
There is my empty steel desk, bolted to the ground. There is my tiny steel bed, bolted to the ground. There is my uncomfortable steel chair, bolted to the ground. And there is my Maria, mute and asleep and stationary like she’s bolted to the ground. I also have four windowless walls, and one large calendar, so large that I suspect it may have been made for the vision impaired. I hate that calendar as much as I need it.
Circled in black is one date. A date that falls in this month. And this week.
Time is running out.
It won’t be me who suffers under the blood moon.
It will be Maria. And Doyle. And Anthony. And every other person in the lunatic asylum on top of the hill.
I don’t know how it happened, but at some point in the last year my life has become about Josephine Luquet. I can hate her for it, but I can’t seem to do a thing to change it. Every hour of the day is like torture, except for her hour. Josephine’s hour.
As she sits there, within the tiny room but miles away from me, I can feel my body start to tremble as though it wants to be angry with her but can’t remember how.
Anger is a foreign concept to me. I am still frustrated—endlessly, it sometimes seems—and I am still impatient, but these feelings are dull, shades of what they once were.
I want to make Josephine listen to me but doing that may as well be like trying to force her into a tiny box she is far too big to fit within.
I don’t know why Josephine is how she is. Why she wasn’t cured like everyone else in the world was. And I don’t know why she has such violent delusions.
The only thing I do know is that she is one of a kind. An anomaly. A monster with strange blue and brown eyes, and a smile too cold for words.
Yesterday’s session was bad. There’s no getting around it. I failed to contain her anger, which is my main job, and I failed to convince her to speak of Luke. But last night an idea occurred to me. Today I am keen to broach it.
“Why hasn’t he called you?” I ask as she enters my office.
She blinks, her eyes dripping with scorn. I can’t bear that scorn. It’s the worst thing about her.
Or maybe it’s the worst thing about me, that she has so much to be scornful of.
“Well hello to you too.”
“Don’t avoid the question, Josephine.”
“Oh, Anthony,” she sighs. “You suck the fun right out of this.”
I don’t know who told her that therapy for a mental illness is supposed to be fun, but I shrug apologetically anyway.
“I don’t know why he hasn’t called.”
“Have you tried to contact him?”
Her eyebrows arch. “Would that be via morse code, or with a homing pigeon?”
“Don’t they give you phone privileges?”
give me phone privileges?” she snaps. “Doyle, the barrel-of-laughs nurse who manhandles me constantly? Maria, my semi-comatose roommate? Or my ever-distracted, uninterested therapist who dashes from the room the second our hour is finished? Because the three of you are just about the only people I have contact with.”