A Secret In Onyx by Jessica Florence
English | 2020 | Sci – Fi | ePUB |280 KB
Everything I knew died when the end of the world came. People dropped dead, and electricity vanished. Those who remained alive were never the same again.
While on the run with my boyfriend Tor across the desolate continent, the worst humanity had left attacked. Torn from the one I love, I boldly raced for help at the last human safe zone.
Only it’s not humans I found, but the Fae.
Now I have one month to rescue my boyfriend and release a savior princess from an onyx tomb or lose them both forever. A seemingly impossible task when Rune, a cursed, pain in the ass Fae warrior is assigned to train me. He’s hellbent on freeing his beloved princess and I’m desperate to save Tor. But no matter how hard we snarl during training; we can’t stay away from each other.
I thought the worst thing that could happen to me was the apocalypse.
The sun came up early this time of year, which used to be called autumn. We’d made camp in a rundown church, and while I appreciated the rays of light beaming through the torn curtains, I wished they would have let me sleep longer in darkness. Vines covered the ceiling with spider webs hanging between the leaves. The pews were strewn haphazardly, like a monster had come into this place of worship and destroyed it. Dirt, grass, and twenty-year-old bibles were scattered across the tile floor. The hard ground scratched the exposed skin from the holes in my clothes.
It wasn’t wise to stay in one place for long when you were in a small group. Dramens had daily search raids to find survivors and take them back to their keep. There were four sections of the country that used to be called the United States. First, the Northwest side, where the people became more like the great beasts that roamed the lands. I had heard they would capture you and you’d be forced to either join them or die. The Southwest Dramens had camps everywhere. Their hearth fires looked like stars that had fallen and scattered across the deserts. They, along with the Northeast ones, were the expert hunters. They liked to chase after survivors, then sell them to the highest bidder. Paper money became useless after everything happened. Dramens preferred to be paid in nickel, silver, gold, and iron coins. Gold used to be the top of the currency pyramid, but not anymore. Iron reigned as king in these lands. The more iron you had, the richer you were. The Southeast Dramens, the most hateful of beings, liked to eat their prey, human and animal alike. They raped, pillaged, and took pleasure as they saw fit. These had broken into the colony where I had grown up.
My heart beat rapidly, my breaths stuck in my throat, and my belly twisted. Their horrible faces would forever be burned into my memory—blonde, long hair, beards coated in blood, and yellow-crusted teeth dripping with the remnants of whatever throats they’d ripped out moments before.
I sat up abruptly, looking around. I saw the green in the trees, the sun shining, and the man still sleeping next to me. I had to remember this reality existed and the memory, as horrible as it was, was just an awful memory.
In the middle of the land, where the corners of the territories connected, the Dramen’s capital rested, a place we’d managed to skate by undetected a few weeks ago. The leaders of the lands lived in a palace of stone and iron at its center. Their king and queen sat upon thrones of human bones and skulls in the great halls. They rose to power two years after the fall of mankind. We humans had been in such chaos that many didn’t know how to survive. Such disarray let the weak be easily preyed upon by the vicious without much fight. Dramens were the elite now, and everyone else lived until they were either converted or killed.
My labored breaths slowed and my chest didn’t ache as much. The sweat covering my body had cooled in the early morning breeze. Tor sleepily stretched beside me on the old mat beneath him. What I wouldn’t give to lay on a real bed, soft, warm, and clean. Clean. I’d been wearing the same cargo pants and long-sleeve shirt for weeks. We really needed to go into a small town soon for supplies.