Hello everyone! I hope everyone is doing fine this week. So now that I gave you all a brief introduction to my latest project, Surviving Red, I wanted to share a snippet of it. I hope you all enjoy!
Jade leaned against the bathroom door holding onto her chest. Fear struck her body. It was happening to her again. It had been sixty days since her last attack and she had been very cautious ever since. Because of her medical debt, she had to avoid hospitals at all cost or she’d be discovered. She shut her eyes and focused on breathing. The sensation of an elephant sitting on her chest wouldn’t let up.
“Shit,” she said to herself. She realized she had to stop this asthma attack naturally. She went through the abandoned house, her current residence, looking for something to help. She needed onions, something spicy or honey, but she knew she wouldn’t find it in the house. The house lacked electricity for at least ten years, the time everything went bad. Jade didn’t know what exactly happened and why everything started to go wrong, but it did. So for ten years, the world had been living in chaos.
Jade had to go out and hunt for something that would help her asthma. She grabbed her scarf, wrapped it around her mouth and nose, and headed out to look. Jade called her current living situation the apocalypse. Some people thought it was pre-apocalyptic. Others thought it was post. Jade was convinced they were living in the thick of it.
There were unexplainable things happening in the world: uncommon natural disasters, black-outs, robberies, killings. Everything turned chaotic—hectic. Eventually, the most vital and important things such as food and medicine were hard to obtain. Medical costs skyrocketed. Those who could afford it were the ones who could get it.
Jade decided to check the houses a few blocks away from her home. She scavenged through the houses nearby for any goods, and knew they didn’t contain any treasures. No matter how many times she walked outside, walking the streets seemed eerie to her. What use to be well manicured lawns, now looked like roads from third world countries. The once beautifully blue skies was an omnipresent orange. The Midwestern weather turned into a constantly hot atmosphere. Sometimes it was so hot that ash would occasionally fall from the sky. All the houses and buildings were now abandoned. Most of them had parts of the roof, or the side of the building missing. And what wasn’t standing was now a pile of rubble. Jade was in hell.
She went into a two-story brick house that she saw on the corner. The house looked promising. She scanned the area to make sure nothing looked suspicious or out of the ordinary. She figured that everything was in order, but still cautiously went inside.
The front door creaked as she opened it. She was welcomed by a coat of dust. She pulled the scarf tighter around her nose and mouth.
“Great,” she muttered. This was just what she needed—something to agitate her asthma even more. She paused for a moment—debating if she should retreat or not. She was already this far; she figured she should see it through. She closed the door behind her. The bare light from outside gave her enough light to see. She started in the kitchen. She looked through the refrigerator, through the cabinets, and the pantries. She found nothing.
She headed for the bathroom upstairs. She looked through the medicine cabinets. She was looking for anything—anything that would help her with her attack. She would hit the jackpot if she found an inhaler. She hadn’t had one of those for over a year.
She looked into the next room, which was a nursery. She knew her chances were slim, but she checked the room anyways. She glanced around the crib. Inside was nothing but a green and yellow cover set. A mobile of smiling jungle animals sat on top. Jade continued to look around the nursery. She noticed that, apart from the dust, everything looked brand new. That meant that the baby wasn’t born when everything went bad.
Jade sympathized for the mother. Bringing a baby into this kind of chaos was unimaginable. She wondered if the baby was a boy or a girl. The room was painted light green, along with everything else there. Jade figured that the parents didn’t know the sex of the baby either, judging from the gender neutral colors.
Jade made her way to the master bedroom. It was small, but the furniture was arranged where she could move around comfortably. She checked the top of the dresser and all of its drawers. She found articles of clothing that she desperately needed, but nothing that would resolve the issue at hand. Jade shoved the clothes and a pair of boots into her bag and prepared to leave, but something caught her eye.
On the nightstand, draped across a picture frame of a smiling married couple, was a rosary. It had black beads and a gold cross hung from it. Jade picked it up and ran her fingers over each bead. She wasn’t Catholic, but she did believe in a higher being. Right now, she could use a renewed strength in her faith.
Voices interrupted Jade’s silent reflection. Judging by the sound, they were just outside the front porch. Jade guessed there was a group of them. She put the rosary around her neck and quickly, yet quietly, hid herself in the closet. The closet was deep and very dark. Jade maneuvered past clothes and shoes as she made her way to the back. She hid behind some jackets and dresses as she heard the intruders come in. She made sure her breathing was quiet and slow. She had her hand on the handle of her knife which was strapped around her thigh.
Since the chaos had broken out, violence had tripled—if not more. Killings, robberies, and rapes were happening more and more. Jade had her share of run-ins with these threats, so she knew her way around a knife.
“Let’s see what we can find in here,” she heard a male voice say, “Spread out!”
Jade heard a variety of footsteps move about the house. She was still.
“There ain’t shit in the kitchen!” she heard another voice yell.
“Nothing in the bathroom!”
“Check the upstairs!”
Jade heard footsteps running up the stairs. She figured that there were two of them.
“Aww, they were gonna have a baby,” a female voice said.
“Who in the hell cares? Just find some valuables.”
There was silence for a moment.
“Nothing here, let’s check the other room.”
“Hurry the hell up people!” the leader yelled.
“Ok, ok!” the woman said. “Geesh, what’s his hurry?”
“No idea,” her partner said.
Jade could hear the slamming of drawers and doors throughout the house. She positioned herself closer to the corner wall in the closet. Her breathing became very still. Just like she predicted the closet door opened. She made sure that she wasn’t in position where light could hit her.
“Damn,” the woman said, “These people had no taste in clothing.”
Jade’s hand grasped tighter around her knife’s handle as the woman made her way further inside.
“That’s not what we’re here for,” her partner said.
“Let’s go!” the leader yelled, “We got other houses to hit!”
The woman smacked her lips and slammed the door. Jade heard their footsteps go downstairs and out of the house. She waited for a moment. She started to breathe normally—hard and ragged. Finally, she came out of the closet. Someone hit her from behind as soon as she stepped out. Jade fell to the floor.
“I saw you in there bitch!”
Jade looked up at the woman and kicked her as she launched at her. The woman stumbled back. She was about to yell out to the others when Jade kicked her again in between her legs. The woman double over. Jade jumped up and was able to block a punch from the woman in time. She threw a right and the woman stumbled back. The woman tackled her and they went tumbling back into the dresser. Jade kneed her in the face. The woman grabbed a bat and started swinging it at Jade. Jade pulled out her knife.
The woman smiled, “So she’s came to play.”
“Just trying to finish what you started.”
The woman came charging with the bat. Jade moved her body to the side—her arm protecting her head. Jade caught the blow on the shoulder. She grabbed the bat and pulled the woman closer to her. She gave the woman a quick cut on her stomach. The woman jumped back, a little surprised that Jade actually cut her. Taking advantage of her being caught off guard, Jade pulled the woman’s hair and bashed her head against the dresser. The woman dropped to the floor—unconscious.
Jade looked around, took some of the clothes the woman was criticizing earlier, and tied her up to the bed post with them. She tied a scarf around her mouth so she wouldn’t scream when she woke up.
Jade rushed to the bedroom window and saw that one of the guys were heading back that way. Jade looked back at the woman, who was called Lyanna, and saw that she was still knocked out. She rushed out the room and downstairs. She went out the back door. She hopped over the fence and began to run.
“Lyanna!” she heard again in the distance.
She kept running until she had to stop. She held her chest, “Shit.” She had to go to the hospital. At this point it was inevitable.
That’s it for this week you guys! I really hope you enjoyed the read! No new post next week so enjoy the snippet as much as you can. I hope the rest of your week goes well. Until the next time.
As always, stay uplifted and inspired.