Sunday, November 26, 2017

NaNoWriMo - Chapter 4

Kenji Higa

Good morning, Caara Island. Who am I kidding? It’s hardly ever a good morning here. Another day, another list of reported infections.

Sergeant Emika has us meet at the Eradication Squad base before heading out to our post. Check-in time was supposed to be at 7:00 AM, but she let us wait three hours. Good. I never pass up on extra hours of sleep.

My squad and I sit in a small classroom with two other small squads. We’re all dressed in the standard squad uniform: black combat pants and boots with a dark gray or black shirt under a black combat jacket. Most of the other squad members are women. One male soldier sticks out. He’s an Okamikiin, a wolf hybrid with pointed ears, fangs, and vertical pupils. I’m surprised they let him enlist—with their overactive temper—then again since we’re low on numbers the general probably wants all the able-bodied people that are willing to sign up. The metal suppression collar around his neck will keep his powers in check.

Tidus sits in the chair next to me. His gray eyes are focused on the blackboard in the front of the room, but he nudges my arm every few seconds as if he’s trying to get my attention.

“Any idea why we’re here?” he whispers.

I shrug. “Nope, but it’s better than being in the heat.”

Sunday, November 19, 2017

NaNoWriMo - Chapter 3

Hiromi Kato

My hands shake. Kenji should be here by now. I sit down on top of a concrete picnic table next to the playground and then scan the empty park for any sign of Kenji. The swing sets sit empty, slowly swaying in the breeze. No one’s outside laughing or chasing each other around the jungle gym. After the attack at the hospital, I’m sure most people would want to stay inside. As if concrete walls kept anyone safe from the virus. A few cars drive past on the main road outside of the park followed by a produce delivery truck. Despite the outbreak scare, we still need to eat.

I scan the deserted park once more. If it wasn’t for the bright green trees and pale pink sakura petals, this would make a perfect nightmare.

I shove my hands under my arms to keep them from shaking. If anyone were to see me, they’d probably think I was freezing by the way I’m sitting. It’s funny because I’m wearing a short sleeve tee shirt. Where is he? I wonder. The wind rustles the trees and for a short moment, I swear I smell death. Rotting flesh from over the large wall most likely.

Footsteps crunch on the gravel walkway. I spin around.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

NaNoWriMo - Chapter 2

Kenji Higa

Caara Island, one of the only inhabitable places remaining on this ruined planet. To think politicians were so stupid centuries ago, using nuclear warfare to solve their problems. Then again, are we any different?

The day I joined the Eradication Squad, I was promised a role in protecting the city. If I had known that included staring at a fifty-foot high brick wall all day, I would’ve become a researcher instead. Okay, maybe not a researcher—I don’t have the patience to stare at test tubes or listen to the scientific lingo. Waste management is probably more suitable for me. Being on the squad isn’t all bad, though. Most days we have to save the city from a rogue squirrel. Today, however, our main mission is to stand here, at the wall, all day. With half the city in a panic over the virus and the other half fleeing to the outskirts of the island, there’s not much happening.

The lonely streets are peaceful in a way. It gives me time to daydream about being a waste management supervisor and saving the city one trashcan at a time. It’s nearly silent, other than the occasional sound of a truck driving past or the construction workers drilling steel beams in the tall unfinished buildings. It’s as if the city officials held a meeting and said, People are dying from the incurable virus, so let’s build yet another useless building to block out the sun. I cringe thinking about it.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

NaNoWriMo - Chapter 1

Hiromi Kato

“If it can be created, it can be destroyed,” I mutter, staring at the data filling the holographic panel above my crowded desk. I’m sure the gods said the same thing about us.

The loud beep from the intercom snaps me out of my thoughts. The voice is calm, almost uninterested, as it pages one of the many doctors in the hospital. The small lab I work in sits on the sixth floor, away from the sick patients and buzzing medical staff. I prefer it this way. Cultivating a cure for the virus ravaging our island city is far less heartbreaking than watching people die from it. Especially people that I know.

As I settle back into studying the data on the panel, another sudden noise draws me back to reality. This time it’s from the door swinging open. Anette walks into the lab with a manila folder tucked under her arm. Her lab coat is unbuttoned revealing a red, button-down shirt underneath. The bright cloth clashes with her dark skin. As I straighten myself in my chair, she drops the folder on my desk. It’s another unwelcomed addition to the ever-growing mountain of assigned labor. My chest tightens as I glance down at the stack of papers. The work around here never ends. Blowing my bangs out of my face, I move the papers aside and grab my notebook from the drawer.

I tap a pen against my lips as I let out a long breath. It’s not until Annette reaches her desk that she speaks.