Posted by monicamynk
I’ve been working on polishing three different manuscripts this summer–Humbled Goddesses, a series of short stories to introduce my romantic suspense series, Pandora’s Deed, the first book in my series, and Cavernous, my YA dystopian.
Someone suggested that I start from the beginning of Cavernous, so here you go. Installment #1. Meet Callie Noland, teen protagonist whose world is about to be rocked.
The old grandfather clock chimes nine thirty, its echo searing the last of my frayed nerves. I follow a trail of wax to a chipped piece of Mom’s Fiestaware, two feet from the porch swing. Though it’s July, flickers in windows across the street make it feel like Halloween, and set my teeth chattering. The whistling wind overtakes my guiding flame, bringing an unseasonable chill, and causing the shutters to knock as though they, too, can sense my dread.
Where is my mom? Dad’s earlier words still haunt me. She’d never be late without calling.
A passing car illuminates silhouettes of trees, whose limbs tangle and snap in their frenzied dance. The car doesn’t slow, but it spotlights my older sister Amber sitting on the swing with the boy I’ve loved for two years. She’s wrapped in his muscular arms and caressing his silky brown hair, with her tongue somewhere down the middle of his throat. Ick. And apparently not worried at all about Mom.
Wish she’d hurry up and go to Eastern for the semester. At least I didn’t have to watch them when she was at college.
Ethan yawns and stretches, working himself free from her grasp. One side of his shirt is untucked and wrinkled, and he stuffs it back into his jeans. He runs a hand through his tousled hair. “I should leave. Gotta work an eight-to-four tomorrow.” He plants a lingering kiss on her then pats my shoulder. “Bye, Callie. Hope you guys find your mom soon.”
“Bye.” My skin tingles where he touched me.
I bite my quivering lip as lightning brightens the whole block, revealing the rural Kentucky skyline. Debris from our last storm swirls over sidewalks and skitters across the blacktop. Ethan hurries down the concrete steps to his black Mustang amidst pelting rain, and disappears into the shadows.
Amber’s perfect lips contort in a wistful pout. “He’s so good to me.”
“He’s too good for you.” The now-roaring wind masks my words, and I shiver with the bitter cold it brings, an odd end to such a warm summer day.
I’m too young for Ethan, of course. That’s what Mom said. Quit moping. He’s nineteen, I’m seventeen, and I can’t date anyone who’s not in high school. And, I can’t go out with anyone who can drive, which means no dating at all. Never mind Amber’s twenty and she didn’t have to follow these crazy rules.
I slam the screen door. Must be nice to do whatever you want. Although, I’d really love to hear Mom’s nagging about now. Where is she?
In the living room, I fluff already-plump pillows and dust the polished coffee table. Amber let wax spill all over the kitchen counter, so I scrape it with a butter knife. She also knocked over a rack of Mom’s crocheting magazines. Squinting in the candlelight, I alphabetize them the way Mom likes.
The power blinks on at the same time enormous crack of thunder sends me jumping. Amber rushes inside as the electricity fades again. “The storm’s getting bad, Callie. And I’m hungry.”
About the book:
In a divided America, several secessions lead to the formation of a new nation, the Alliance of American States. Fueled by extremists who solicit members via social media, the Alliance has one weak point: Callie Noland, daughter of extremist leader Adrian Lamb. Can she maintain her faith in God and stand up to the man who calls himself Lord and Master?
The mission of the Cavernous trilogy is to incite a revolution for teen girls to delve into Scripture. Many of today’s society grasp at a meme-driven belief system and draw doctrine from Facebook and Twitter statuses. They need strong characters that write the words of God on their heart and take stands against slight untruths and injustices, especially the youth.