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Tuesday Teaser 6/18: Wolf’s Promise

Here is a bit from chapter 1. It’s raw and I may re-write it (again). I want enough detail that those who have never read the series can figure out what’s going on, but I don’t want to bore readers who have read the series. In other words, I want to build the world but make it part of the story. Anyway, here you go. Connie is staring at a hand drawn calendar and talking with Kathy, one of the survivors.

 

Connie stopped dead on her trek across the kitchen to stare at the calendar on the wall. Today was Monday, December 29, 2064.

Kathy stopped too. “It’s been exactly two months, hasn’t it?” she asked quietly. “The plane took off on October 29.”

“Yeah.” While she stared blindly at the calendar, Connie’s mind drifted back to that day. The vertical wind shear they hit was so strong it disabled the plane. Inexplicably, all engines failed simultaneously.  Like every pilot, she and Don had trained for every emergency imaginable and they worked calmly and quickly to retake control of the plane. Nothing had worked. The plane had screamed a metallic protest under the stress of air currents, and finally, broken, had come down to earth in a barely controlled crash that left too few alive. If only …

Connie shook her head briskly. It never did her any good to review the sequence of events from that morning, so she shoved the memory away. Besides, it just made her headache worse. She made herself glance around the room, noting rush of women cooking lunch. Good. Maybe some food would tame her headache.

Kathy leaned closer to speak in a low voice. “You should stop blaming yourself. You and the captain did everything you could.”

“Not enough.” Connie heard the bleakness in her voice. “Too many died.”

“You’re not being fair to yourself. Some of us did survive.”

Her laugh came out of her throat like cheese scraped over a grater. “Thirty out of a hundred and two.”

Kathy squeezed her forearm. “That’s thirty who still have lives. Probably more would have died, if we hadn’t gotten help from the Lakota. Heaven was looking out for us. The Lakota nursed us through and they brought us here to Kearney, where the mayor gave us a safe place to live.”

Connie refrained from asking why heaven didn’t look out for the seventy-two who hadn’t made it. “It’s safe because we’re surrounded by a barbed wire fence patrolled by armed guards. Women being so rare that we’re like gold in a bank vault.”

“Or water in a desert.” Kathy brayed with laughter. “When you’re my age, it’s nice to have younger men panting over you, wanting to lick you up and down.”

Connie closed her eyes. “Stop! Do not put that image in my head.”

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