Hero by Claire Kent EPUB & PDF – eBook Details
- Author: Claire Kent
- Language: English
- Formats: PDF / EPUB
- Status: Available For Free Download
- Series: None
- Price: Free
- File Size: 1 MB
YEAR SIX AFTER IMPACT
THE TWELVE HOUSES ON OUR CUL-DE-SAC GROWING UP WERE MOSTLY TWO bedroom bungalows. Small, inexpensive, and built in the fifties but well-kept
with tidy lawns, flowerpots in the spring, and Christmas lights in December.
That’s how I always remember them.
Now they’re abandoned rubble, flattened with the rest of the town by two
weeks of nearly constant tornadoes five years ago.
That was almost a year after Impact, and we’d come to expect freak
weather phenomena by then since the planet went into overdrive in reaction
to the asteroid strike. Nearly everyone, including us, had left town that first
year before the town was leveled anyway.
It’s a wasteland now—like all the other small towns in this region of
southeastern Missouri. Collapsed buildings. Broken pavement. The scattered
skeletons of a few holdouts who stubbornly refused to leave when everyone
else migrated in search of food and safety. Every time I return, I walk over to
my old house and think about my mom and stepdad. My older sister.
They’re all dead now, and our ruined house is the only memorial I have
for them other than the rocks we used to mark their graves.
This morning I stand and look for only a couple of minutes. The fall air is
brisk, and the days are getting shorter. I’ve got a three-hour walk back to the
cabin when I’m done here, and Zed will let me have it if I’m not home before
I say another mental goodbye to my family and keep moving, scanning
my surroundings automatically and keeping one hand close to the handgun in
my belt holster.
It’s a different world than the one in which I grew up. The one where I
was a brainy girl who won spelling bees and stared at the stars for hours and
bickered with my older sister over who got to sit in the front seat of the car.
Now, if you aren’t on guard every minute, you’re likely to end up dead.
There are eight former communities in easy walking range of the cabin,
including Givens, my hometown. The two towns closest to the main highway
weren’t hit by the tornadoes and have been completely cleaned out for years
by looters and scavengers. But the others were all flattened. They’re out of
the way of any main travel routes, and the rubble left behind makes
scavenging so difficult that there are still supplies to be found.
For the past three years, I’ve been systematically going through the
houses in those towns one by one. At first there was a lot to be found—even
canned food that was still edible. Now the pickings are slim.
Pretty soon there’s going to be nothing.
My stomach churns with a low-level anxiety that’s my constant
Ignoring it, I scan through my mental map to recall which block I stopped
on during my last visit, walking half a mile to reach it.
I had a classmate who lived on this street. I went to her birthday party
every year, although I was always more of a token invite than a friend. It
doesn’t matter anymore. The past is more like a daydream than a memory.
Too distant and foreign to be real.
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