This week’s work-in-progress is a small bit from a short dystopian romance story I started. Enjoy!

~~~

Something snapped in the distance, and she lifted a finger to her lips. The sweep was happening. They’d have to be absolutely still and silent if they didn’t want to be caught. Luckily, her companion stayed quiet and didn’t move. A light flashed overhead, and the crackle of the energy field washed over her skin. When neither of them moved, the beam continued on its way in moments, and she sagged back against the wall in relief.

“What was that?”

“The reason they don’t need guards for the exterior of this building. As for your other question, that’s something I’d rather answer well away from this place. If my father catches me here again, he’s likely to sell me off to the whore houses directly or to enslave me to one of his own masters.” She grabbed the stranger’s wrist and ignored the strange wash of warmth that cascaded through her at the contact. 

He didn’t protest, and she dragged him out of the bushes, darting toward the fence. “Hurry. There’s not much time before the next sweep. They always come in pairs.”

The man picked up the pace. To the left, she could hear the hum and snap that foretold the approach of the field. She bolted for the hole just behind her new acquaintance, and together they scrambled underneath it. On the other side, they lay on the ground side-by-side, and Eltara stared up at the stars while she regained her breath.

“Alright, explain. What’s with the weird beam, why was it so easy to get past the fence, and why would your own father ever sell you into slavery?”

Well, he just had to ask all the hard questions, didn’t he? “The beam of light is an invention they created about ten years ago to eliminate the need for guards outside this complex. Too inefficient to patrol, I guess. It will send out an alarm signal to my father, the head of the Mors Animi, and to all the guards inside the building, if it finds any trace of human movement. The program is designed to ignore the usual animals that lurk about the building at night. If either of us had moved or made a noise while the wave passed over us, we would’ve been caught.”

“Good thing I stayed quiet then.” He groaned. “You’re lucky I didn’t ask another question. I wanted to.”

“Yes, well, good thing you didn’t. We’d probably both end up dead or hooked up to the machine in there, our minds being drained into whatever abysmal reality my father chooses to torment us.”

~~~

I hope you guys enjoyed this! What are you guys reading or writing these days? I’m always happy to hear about it, and I’m currently open to new book suggestions, particularly if they’re ones you guys might like to see reviewed on The Fantasy Nook. (To be considered for review, the books do need to be some genre of fantasy, and they can’t be erotica. I have a few younger readers and would like to avoid creating an unsafe or inappropriate environment for them, so I don’t review that sort of stuff.)

If you want to share, you can do so in the comments or, for book suggestions, feel free to shoot me an email if that’s more your cup of tea! Until next week, happy writing and reading, everyone!

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