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World on Edge

An EMP Post-Apocalyptic Survival Thriller

by Chris Pike

World on Edge

by Chris Pike

Copyright © 2021. All Rights Reserved

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means (electronically, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the proper written permission of the copyright owner, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

This book is a work of fiction. People, places, events, and situations are the product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or historical events, is purely coincidental.

* * *

Other works by Chris Pike:

The EMP Survivor Series

Undefeated World – Book 1

Uncertain World – Book 2

Unknown World – Book 3

Unwanted World – Book 4

Undefeated World – Book 5


Escape – An EMP Survivor Series spinoff


American Strong 2 book Series

Stand Your Ground – Book 1

Don’t Look Back – Book 2 – coming in 2021


World on Edge Series

World on Edge – Book 1

World of Suspicion – Book 2 – coming in 2021

Available here on Amazon:

Chris Pike books

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31


“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

- - Winston Churchill

“Scared is what you’re feeling. Brave is what you’re doing.”

- - Emma Donoghue, Room


“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.”

- - Emily Dickinson

Chapter 1

Joe Buck’s life was about to change.

A spur of the moment decision would impact his life forever, and it happened on a dusty, insignificant West Texas road. A stop sign, and turn to the right changed his life, but Joe didn’t realize it until much later.

Right now, though, he was in a foul mood.

He had been fired from his job, for no other reason than he was more skilled than his boss and refused to cheat customers by talking them into unneeded plumbing repairs. When the head honcho gave him his walking papers, Joe didn’t let the door to the shop slam behind him. He kicked it off the hinges.

The boss ran out after him, yelling, “You’re gonna pay for that, Buck!”

“Send me a bill, and while you’re at it get bucked,” Joe growled.

He went to the garage apartment he called home, paid his elderly white-haired landlady the rent money for the next month, telling her, “Keep the deposit,” then hoisted all his worldly belongings—which fit into a satchel—over his shoulder.

He revved up his black Ford truck, put it in gear, and said adios to the flea-bitten, one horse town by giving it the one finger salute.

Good riddance. He never liked the place anyway.

Joe drove until he came to the crossroads along the backcountry road. He skidded to a stop. Dust flew up, engulfing his truck in a choking mixture of lost hope and unfulfilled dreams of the desperate people living in the shoddy, run-down houses. When the dust cleared, he jerked the steering wheel to the right then sped along the two-lane highway. It didn’t matter which way he went because for a hundred miles in each direction, there was only cattle, oil rigs, cactus, and more cattle.

Long, boring miles fell behind him.

During the drive, he had no luck finding a decent radio station, and as night fell, the rumbling in his stomach reminded him he needed to eat.

Driving into the next town, a neon sign flashing Hungry’s caught his eye.

What the hell.

He pulled into the gravel parking lot full of trucks and dented cars covered with the dust and dirt of West Texas. The only available space was beneath the hissing and crackling sign, hanging sideways by one rusty bolt. A breeze could knock it loose, but considering the heat on this still night, there was no chance at all. Even the biting flies were keeping a low profile.

Joe opened the door to the joint and stepped inside. Country music blared from the jukebox.

The place was a dive with tired colors and thick smoke courtesy of the greasy fryer. About ten tables were half full of patrons, while the one nearest the stage had five burly men laughing and drinking. The air reeked with the odors of the roughneck clientele who were looking for a good time after their twelve-hour shift on a nearby oil rig.

Joe slid his six foot plus wiry frame into a seat at the bar. “What’s good to eat here?” he asked, casually opening a menu.

“Hamburger and fries,” the bartender said. He wiped down the counter using a wet, discolored rag that probably hadn’t seen the inside of a washing machine in a month.

“Medium well, no mayo, only mustard.” Joe peeked over the top of the menu and glanced at the bartender. “Lettuce and tomato okay?” he asked hesitantly.

“Bought fresh the other day.”

Joe raised a skeptical eyebrow.

“Seriously,” said the bartender. “I’d eat it.”

“Burger and fries then.” Joe placed the tattered menu between the salt and pepper shakers. “I’ll take a beer while I’m waiting.” He slapped a five on the bar.

“What kind?”

“Doesn’t matter as long as it’s cold.”

The bartender shrugged, popped the top off a beer, and handed it over.

Joe slugged down a gulp then wiped his

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