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Edge of FEAR

Alex Gunwick



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

About the Author

Edge of Fear

Copyright© 2021 Alex Gunwick

All rights reserved

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Created with Vellum


One survivor’s secret changes everything...

At the end of EDGE OF DISASTER, Luke finds his daughter Sierra face down in the snow. Now Luke wants revenge. As the cult tries to reassemble under new leadership, Luke and his allies work together to end the cult’s reign of terror. He’ll do whatever it takes to protect what’s left of his family, even if it means sacrificing himself.

Meanwhile, Derek’s keeping a huge secret. He’s tempted to share it with Luke and his family but telling them could destroy his means of survival. As nuclear winter closes in, Derek must make the ultimate choice between rugged individualism and strength in numbers. Don’t miss the exciting conclusion to the AMERICAN FALLOUT series.

EDGE OF FEAR is BOOK 3 in the thrilling post-apocalyptic survival prepper EMP fiction series: AMERICAN FALLOUT.


Present Day …

Luke squinted as gusts of icy wind whipped across his face. Gnarled oak trees stripped of their leaves did nothing to buffer the onslaught of the coming storm. As he trudged through ankle-deep snow, he seethed. His daughter, Sierra, was missing. He had no idea where to find her.

Weeks earlier, an unknown government or terrorist organization had dropped nuclear bombs on America. New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco had been decimated in the first strike. He’d been in Northern California on business the day the bombs had dropped. He’d fought his way home, narrowly escaping roving gangs and deadly animal attacks.

Now, in the mountains of Orange County, California, he was holed up in his cabin—his bug out location—with his family. Several other survivors lived in cabins in the area. Some were friendly, others not, but they all had to deal with the aftermath of nuclear annihilation.

And now Sierra was missing.

For three days, he’d searched for her from sunrise to sunset. An EMP had taken down the grid. It was lights out everywhere. Daylight was sparse, and all he had were some flashlights and a few solar-operated lanterns. The perpetual gray haze of snow-suffocated sunlight did little to charge the batteries. In a few days, they’d be dead. If he didn’t find Sierra soon, she could be dead too.

He shuddered. No point in dreaming up the worst-case scenario. She was out there somewhere. He’d find her eventually. He just hoped she hadn’t frozen to death already.

As he lumbered through the snow, falling ice crystals stung his eyes and skin. Although he’d been searching non-stop, he couldn’t find her anywhere. There were no tracks, no clues, no sign of her at all.

It was as if the forest had swallowed her whole. It could happen. People disappeared into the wilderness all the time. During basic training, one of his fellow cadets had vanished without a trace. They’d found him seven days later, dehydrated and near death. The cadet had finished some wilderness training before he’d gone missing, but it hadn’t helped. He’d been drinking unfiltered creek water, which had given him the shits, only making things worse. The kid was a fool anyway. They’d booted him out before he could get himself, or anyone else, killed.

Sierra wasn’t used to snowy conditions. Snow wasn’t entirely unheard of on Saddleback Mountain, but it wasn’t a common enough occurrence to warrant extra training. Now, with nuclear winter setting in, Luke planned on instructing his whole family about survival techniques in frigid conditions.

His wife Liz and their thirteen-year-old son Kyle waited at the cabin. He’d told them to stay put. He didn’t have time to chase down more than one person. Preparations for the long winter needed to begin immediately. He’d given them a list of tasks to complete each day while he looked for Sierra, and every day, he’d returned home to find the list complete. He could count on his family, and he wanted them to know they could count on him to find Sierra. It was his mission, and he refused to fail at it.

From time to time, Luke would burst into a run. He’d ignore his training because he was so frustrated and so fearful. Before the bombs, he’d never lost control of himself. Now, he struggled to keep it together. Fear was taking over, and he didn’t know how to stop it. A person could prepare all they wanted for nuclear war, but the reality was nothing like what someone would see in the movies. The reality was so much worse.

Eventually, he slowed to a moderate pace. As he continued carefully along a barely distinguishable game trail, his eyes and ears strained to locate any sign of her. He’d already searched this part of the forest, but he thought maybe she’d backtracked. He wasn’t sure why, but his gut told him his daughter was in this area. It was almost as if he could sense her presence. He wasn’t into that woo-woo crap, but he’d been taught to trust his instincts. She was around here somewhere, but where?

An inexplicable feeling wasn’t much to go on, but Luke had grown desperate. He’d fought too hard, for too long, and had suffered too much making it back to his family only to lose them again.

His jaw clenched.

Densely packed oaks grew

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