Read Rage Within Online

Authors: Jeyn Roberts

Tags: #Juvenile Fiction, #Action & Adventure, #General, #Survival Stories, #Horror & Ghost Stories, #Social Issues, #Death & Dying, #Science Fiction, #Dystopian

Rage Within

BOOK: Rage Within
13.02Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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Contents

Acknowledgments
Nothing
Three Weeks Before the Earthquakes
The Man
Daniel
Mason
Aries
Nothing
Present Day
Mason
Clementine
Aries
Michael
Nothing
Mason
Clementine
Aries
Nothing
Mason
Michael
Clementine
Nothing
Aries
Mason
Michael
Clementine
Nothing
Mason
Aries
Nothing
Christmas Eve
Michael
Mason
Clementine
Mason
Aries
Clementine
Aries
Mason
Aries
Clementine
Michael
Mason
Aries
Jack
Michael
Clementine
Aries
Mason
About Jeyn Roberts

For Fiona,
a great muse, an even better friend

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Thanks to Alison Acheson and Mimi Thebo for all their great advice and help during these past years. You’ve both been there so much for me. I can’t thank you enough.

Thanks to my editors, Ruth Alltimes at Macmillan and David Gale at Simon & Schuster. Your skills are invaluable.

To my agents, Julia Churchill and Sarah Davis. You have been both inspirational and always willing to listen and offer advice.

To the Insomniacs: Andrea, Sharon, Laura, Marisa, Morgan, Ash, Ryan, and everyone else. You’ve all been with me since the start. I can’t begin to tell you how great you all are. You’re my friends around the world and one day I plan to meet every single one of you.

To Evie, because you always make me smile.

And, finally, to my mother, Peggy. You are an amazing woman and I can’t begin to say how much I love and respect you. You’ve helped me to grow to be the person I am today.

NOTHING

Greetings and salutations.

I know you missed me.

I missed me too.

What can I say? I’ve been around. I’ve been seeing everything. Slinking through the streets. Crawling through the train tunnels. Walking across water with my eyes alight with fire. Licking the crud off spoons and picking at the chewing gum on my shoes.

None of it really matters. They’ve left me alone for now, but I know those days are ending. The Baggers want me back. They dropped their apron strings for a split second and the naughty child bolted into the wilderness. They won’t make the same mistake again. I hear them calling me. Now they’re starting to look. I’m on their radar. Eventually they will find me and drag me back by my heels.

And things will change.

In a blink of an eye, history will repeat itself. Remember, we’ve been through this before. From the moment mankind stepped out of the primordial ooze, they’ve been here to keep us in our places. Obviously a select few lived to tell the tale;
otherwise we wouldn’t be here now. But how many of us are going to survive this round?

Tick, tock. Tick, tock.

Time is running out.

If a tree falls in the middle of the city, does anyone notice? Do they hear the creaking of the wood? Do they witness the leaves shaking above them? Do they sense the desperation or feel the sudden gush of wind against their faces?

That one great second before gravity takes over and what was once magnificent becomes nothing but lumber.

Timber!

Or do they just go about their daily chores, continue on to work with their lattes in hand, iPods blaring, BlackBerrys ringing, ignoring everything they’ve witnessed?

There were warnings. There are always warnings. But we missed them. We chose not to see. We didn’t believe.

And now we are finished.

Game Over.

The Baggers are gathering their armies around the world. They are taking back the cities, rebuilding civilization according to their terms. They have ideas. You wouldn’t like them.

Now humans are considered a virus. A mutation. A disease. They need to be removed from this world. The Baggers will control those who are left, to make sure humans don’t revert back to their own nasty ways.

I wake up sometimes in the dead of night. A panic I can’t explain from a dream I can’t remember. Is this my life? Am I destined to spend the remaining days wondering what is real and what is a nightmare?

Who am I?

I am Nothing.

Am I?

Or am I the one they’ve grown to trust?

I want to be the one she wakes up to when the morning sun nuzzles her pillow. I want to walk along the seawall with her, holding hands and exchanging gentle glances. I want to hide her away in a castle or a log cabin where she’ll be safe and nothing can ever make her cry again.

But I’m more likely to be the one who holds the knife against her skin.

Tick, tock. Tick, tock.

What happens next? Your guess is as good as mine.

THREE WEEKS BEFORE THE EARTHQUAKES
BEFORE THE WORLD ENDS
BEFORE THE BAGGERS AWAKEN

THE MAN

He liked the basement. It was quiet down there. So quiet.

It made the voices that much easier to hear.

When they first started speaking to him, he tried to ignore them. He’d seen stuff on television about people who went plumb crazy. Hearing voices wasn’t a good sign. He tried silencing them. Drinking heavily and popping sleeping pills. But the voices wouldn’t go away. If anything, the drinking made them that much worse. They said terrible things. They whispered into his head about what was coming. They talked about the future. Earthquakes. Death. Chaos. They talked about how important he was. He didn’t want to believe it.

But as time went on, the voices started to make sense.

His role was explained to him in great detail. He grew excited when they told him what he needed to do. He would play a part in this new world. He was necessary.

The basement had always been his space. Unfinished, it was cold and dark, and his wife didn’t like to go down there because she thought the place was ugly. Ugly. Her word. She much preferred her lacy curtains and bed filled with dozens of
pillows that he wasn’t allowed to sleep on unless he showered first.

He kept most of his tools down here. There was a shelf in the back that was covered with all sorts of wonderful things. A power drill. A chain saw. Dozens of plastic boxes filled with nails, screws, and other bits and pieces he’d convinced her he needed. He liked to do all the handy work and she couldn’t complain because he often did a good job. He enjoyed working with his hands.

In the middle was his worktable, and he sat at it now. In front of him was a device, a wonderful contraption he’d built all by himself. He found most of the information on the Internet; it was amazing what sort of stuff people could find on websites these days. Before the voices came, he mostly just checked his e-mail and the occasional dirty site his wife would never have approved of.

None of that mattered anymore.

She’d been dead since the morning.

He was vaguely disappointed about this. He had known he’d be the one to kill her, but he’d hoped to do it when he wasn’t so pressed for time. He’d wanted to savor the kill, enjoy the moment, make her pay for all the annoying things she’d done over the years. But she’d surprised him earlier. Come downstairs into his work haven for some odd reason or another. Her eyes had widened when she saw his handiwork. She couldn’t stop looking at the dynamite.

When she saw his eyes, she screamed. He had to silence her.

BOOK: Rage Within
13.02Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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