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Author’s note on content: The Valley and the Flood contains depictions of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, including several scenes of panic attacks and a brief description of violent intrusive thoughts.

An imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, New York

First published in the United States of America by Razorbill,

an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2021

Copyright © 2021 by Rebecca Mahoney

Penguin supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin to continue to publish books for every reader.

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library of congress cataloging-in-publication data

Names: Mahoney, Rebecca, author.

Title: The valley and the flood / Rebecca Mahoney.

Description: New York : Razorbill, 2020. | Audience: Ages 12+.

Summary: “When Rose Colter hears a voicemail from her own phone playing on her car radio, she follows the broadcast to the small town of Lotus Valley, where she discovers that she’s the prophesied bringer of a catastrophic flood”—Provided by publisher.

Identifiers: LCCN 2020020594 | ISBN 9780593114353 (hardcover) ISBN 9780593114360 (ebook)

Subjects: CYAC: Supernatural—Fiction. | Prophecies—Fiction.

Post-traumatic stress disorder—Fiction. | Grief—Fiction.

Classification: LCC PZ7.1.M34675 Val 2020 | DDC [Fic]—dc23

LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020020594

This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real places are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and events are products of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.


To Grandma, the greatest lover of stories I will ever know:

here’s mine.



Title Page

Author’s Note



December 27, Now

One: The Siren

Two: The Spoiler Alert

Three: The Road

Four: The Appointment

Five: The Finish and the Start

May 24, Seven Months Ago

Six: The Split Screen

Seven: The First Day

Eight: The Long Shadow

Nine: This Is a Public Service Announcement

May 30, Seven Months Ago

Ten: The Failure to Communicate

Eleven: The Language of Memory

January 5, Eleven Months Ago

Twelve: The Second Day

July 3, Five Months Ago

Thirteen: The Bringer of Calamity

Fourteen: The Preview of Coming Attractions

Fifteen: The Feature Presentation

Sixteen: The Intermission

Seventeen: The Mockingbird

Eighteen: The Question

August 14, Four Months Ago

Nineteen: The Home Away from Home

December 27, Three Nights Ago

Twenty: The Missed Connections

Twenty-One: The Foregone Conclusion

Twenty-Two: The Dangerous Girl

Twenty-Three: The Night in Question

December 14, Two Years Ago

Twenty-Four: The Objects in Motion

September 17, Three Months Ago

Twenty-Five: The Third Day

Twenty-Six: The Due to the Dead

Twenty-Seven: The Evacuation

December 27, Four Nights Ago

Twenty-Eight: The Answer

Twenty-Nine: The Flood

Thirty: The Return

January 1, Now



About the Author


NOTE TO SELF: the local time is 11:46 p.m., and there are three hundred and thirty-two miles between Las Vegas, Nevada, and San Diego, California.

The drive is long and hot, snarling through hills and canyons and pockets of nothing. In the daytime, there is life, the smell of rubber and pavement and the sound of traffic. But it is dark now. It is quiet. And this late hour, in this empty place, does not belong to you.

The GPS is below you, a bright pop against the night. It calculates four hours and thirty-one minutes for your drive home.

But you are not going home yet.


MY TAILLIGHTS CUT a path down the desert road, flickering with every blink of my hazards. I slide sideways in the driver’s seat until my feet touch pavement, and I look past my trunk, past the steady rhythm of the lights, past where I can see anything at all. But it doesn’t look like anyone else is coming.

And of course they aren’t. It’s been two hours since I merged onto the 15. It’s been twenty minutes since I drove down an unfamiliar exit, following signs for a gas station—which, if it even exists, is still not close enough to see. The only sign of life out here is a radio tower, miles away, blinking its own rhythm back at me. And the people at my destination aren’t expecting me.

It’s all of the things that a driver, alone in the middle of the night, isn’t supposed to do. And most of it was on purpose.

I reach across the dashboard past the radio, blaring the only all-night station I can still get from Vegas, and I unlatch the glove compartment. My hand stays with the door as it descends, ready to close it again the moment I see headlights approaching. But I don’t have that kind of luck.

My laugh comes out as a breath as my fingers find what they’re looking for, just past the car manual and under a pile of napkins: the smooth, cold screen of my phone. It’s like the setup to a joke my stepfather would tell. I thought we were supposed to be the ones hiding your phone, Rosie. That’s what he’d probably say, if he knew about any of this.

It sits flat in my palm, screen blank. I haven’t heard it once since I left Las Vegas. It should be safe to check.

No bars. No signal. That would be why.

“Okay,” I whisper to the lit screen in my hand. “No sudden moves.”

It doesn’t have anything to say to that. Which is what I appreciate about inanimate objects: no back talk. But this time, I’d really like its word.

I leave the door open behind me as I follow the path of my hazards. The phone is an arm’s length away like a scout, and I watch the top corner of the screen for a signal. The way ahead flickers in and out, and I stop only at the very

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