- Author: Adrienne Hargrove
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Book One from the Apocalypse Tales
Copyright © 2021
HALF DEAD WORLD
Book One from the Apocalypse Tales
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law.
First Edition 2021
Table of Contents
Friends and Foes
Shock and Awe
Meet the Parents
Back to School
Afraid of the Dark
The Shit and the Fan
World on Fire
PART ONE HAVEN
Chapter One The Deluge
I should be listening to my physics teacher Mr. Daxter, who is going over our test review. Unfortunately, I hate physics and I don’t really like Mr. Daxter, either. So, instead of listening to him drone on about the laws of thermodynamics, I sit in full on daydream mode staring out the window at yet another rainy Louisiana day. In general, I like the rain there is something exciting about a thunderstorm. There is a different kind of energy in the atmosphere. However, after two months of rain every single day, I am desperate for some sunshine. The never-ending rain makes me think about the plausibility of Noah’s ark. It seems such a ridiculous thing to believe, right up there with the virgin birth and Jonah and the whale. My mom says part of faith is, believing in what seems impossible. Regardless of what she might think, I do not question the existence of God, because I am a teenager and feel I must rebel against my parents thinking. In many ways it would be much easier if I just believed. Though religion is definitely frowned upon politically, my parents would be happy and my best friend Kirra who is, team Jesus all the way would be thrilled. But I refuse to lie about something that in all honesty I think is a crock. I can’t pretend to believe in something so completely illogical. I gave God, his chance I prayed every day for a month that Jackson would fall desperately in love with me or at least notice me. Nothing! Not a wink, not a smile, not a, what’s up Haven. He must know who I am. I have been ogling him since freshman year. I don’t delude myself into thinking I am some teenage goddess, but I am cute, and I’m nice, and I feel certain I smell pleasant. So why can he not even spare a look in my direction. He is sitting there now, two desks up and one over from me. I am tempted to throw something at him. Maybe if I hit him in the head with my book, he would look at me and then realize I am the perfect girl for him. Ugh… I have to get a grip. Down deep, I fully recognize that I can’t decide on the validity of a deity based on my sad, unrequited love story. But still, I need some kind of proof. I suppose any good experiment needs more than just one test, one last prayer. Okay God, if you really created it all and there is an afterlife, I want to see proof. I want to see something undeniable, something supernatural that could only be from you. And not just a dream, I am not a profit I need hard evidence.
“Miss Hollock!” Mr. Daxter’s angry voice breaks into my prayer. My eyes snap open and I flush red as the entire class, including Jackson turns to stare. I should really be careful what I wish…or pray for because, Jackson, is definitely looking at me now. Of course, he is looking at me when I am about to be chewed out by the evil scientist in front of the whole class.
“I assume there is some good reason you are sleeping in my class. Are you ill? Were you up all night studying physics? Or perhaps ….”
“I wasn’t sleeping” I snap, and cross my arms, trying unsuc-cessfully to bury my temper.
“Really, then what exactly were you doing, with your eyes closed?”
The answer flies out of my mouth before my brain has time to think it through. “I was praying.”
Mr. Daxter’s eyes widen before he takes on a bored expression. “I’d rather you were sleeping. This is physics class keep your mysticism at home. Need I remind you that the Religious Acts of 2064, made it illegal to express religious sentiment on any federally funded properties. The world has seen enough violence from religious zealots. I for one am glad for the progressive direct-ion our nation has taken.”
I bite my lip to hold in my comment; it will only get me in trouble. I am no zealot. I don’t even believe, and because I don’t, I have never thought much about the Religious Acts. It has always seemed crazy to me that people would fight, kill, and die, for a God they have never even seen. But Mr. Daxter’s, smug face just pisses me off, so even though I don’t really care about the Religious Acts, and even though I know I should keep my mouth shut, I just can’t stop myself from firing back sarcastically.
“Wow, Mr. Daxter, I didn’t realize criminal activity had declined with the absence of prayer. All I hear about in the morning news is how increasingly violent our nation has become. It