Chapter One & Chapter Two
Authors: Kim Cresswell and M.K. Chester
Genre: NA Post‑apocalyptic Dystopian Paranormal
Copyright 2018 © Kim Cresswell and M.K. Chester
In the near future...
August Madison glanced at her watch, then back at her father, her shoulders tight with anxiety. "Minus seven minutes."
Anticipation flickered in his blue eyes as he smiled and watched the images of the dozens of military aircraft taking off from various airports throughout the United States and around the world on the mammoth digital screen inside the university's largest auditorium.
As chief climatologist of the International Global Warming Initiative, he believed he'd finally discovered the answer to global warming. With the oceans growing more acidic, dozens of animal and plant species becoming extinct, and the atmosphere ten degrees higher than a decade ago, the increase in temperatures had spawned wide-spread catastrophic weather events, each more violent and deadly than the one before. Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, droughts, and horrific flooding due to rising sea levels had caused the destruction of some nations and continued to kill millions around the globe.
All of that was about to change.
"Can you check on Luke and Chloe?" her father asked under the increasing commotion surrounding them. "They should be here by now."
August frowned at the cause of her stress. She wasn't ever surprised by her brother's tardiness. He was always late, an eighteen-year-old who had an excuse for everything. All he had to do was pick up their younger sister from school and show up on time for their father's shining moment. Just be on time for once. Do what was expected. One time.
"I'll call him." August snatched her phone out of the back pocket of her jeans and hit speed dial. He finally answered on the fourth ring, right before voicemail kicked in. "Where are you? You're late."
"Chloe was poky leaving class."
August rolled her eyes, knowing her brother had been up all night playing video games with his friends. She'd bet her Yale tuition he'd been sleeping and hadn't gotten up in time. "Hurry up, Dad's asking for you."
"I'm pulling into the university parking lot. Wow, there's a ton of people here. I didn't know this was such a big deal."
She checked her watch again. Five minutes. "You've known your whole life how important this is to him."
"I'll be there in two minutes."
August ended the call and forced a smile for her father. "They'll be here soon."
He nodded and put his arm around her shoulder. "I don't want them to miss it. This will be a story you'll tell your own children one day."
She smiled, imagining a future where the climate wasn't the dominant issue of the day. Her father hadn't been this happy in a long time. Five years almost to the day her mother had passed away. He deserved some happiness.
While the auditorium filled to standing room only with faculty, students and media, excitement buzzed in the air. Her father really was about to make history, his experiment, his hard work bringing them to this moment.
She took a seat in the front row beside him and looked up at the screen. A low hum caught her attention. Unsure where the sound was coming from, she glanced over her shoulder, searching for her brother and sister, disappointed for her father that Luke was probably going to be too late. The humming grew louder. August covered her ears, the high-pitched sound too much.
YOU ARE READING
Cursed Lands: A Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Dystopian CollectionFantasy
Join our courageous heroines and heroes as they battle demons, governments, and secret organizations in worlds where fae, vampires, angels, witches, humans, and more fight for survival. Cursed Lands will lead you through one doomed world after anoth...