A ruling authority too powerful
to challenge, but to those desperate for a new life and
a chance at love, defiance is worth the risk...
To most, America has become a
safe, orderly, predictable place, but to a few, like
Nyla and Ethan, it has become a prison. Inseparable
since childhood, but now faced with being torn apart,
they are determined to change the course of their
As Nyla struggles to understand
her deepening feelings for Ethan, they embark on a
desperate journey for freedom through the inhospitable
Big Bend region of Texas. With their two best friends in
tow they attempt a daring border crossing to chase a
dream few would understand... Only the most courageous
will dare to challenge the new order and embrace
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Copyright © 2012 Kim
“Are we ready to roll?” Ethan asked,
ignoring Claire’s comment.
“Sure, but how about a group hug, just
in case?” Claire added.
No one asked her what “just in case”
meant. They knew and didn’t want to hear it articulated.
Gathered in a circle with arms wrapped around each other, they
held each other tight with their heads down so as to avoid
seeing any doubts or fears in each other’s eyes. They didn’t
want to let go, fearing this might be the last time they would
be able to hold on to the friends who were so dear, but the time
had come to push forward.
They stashed their empty water bottles
and food wrappers and headed out. The further they traveled the
higher in the sky the moon crept, breaking through the lingering
clouds, shedding enough illumination to allow them to travel
without any artificial light. They followed the creek bed for
several hours in silence, trying to ignore the howl of wolves
nearby, increasing their pace, but still feeling like the
distance between them and the terrifying noise was shrinking.
The sounds made the hairs on the back
of Nyla’s neck tingle. She couldn’t tell how close the predators
roamed, but as her mind replayed the scene from the highway
through the abandoned towns she decided any distance was too
close. She would never forget the hunger in the predator’s eyes,
the gleam of their long teeth or the absolute lack of fear the
wolves had shown for their passing vehicle. Now, they didn’t
even have her tiny car for protection.
stayed close to Ethan as she cautiously walked on, picking up
anything that could serve as a weapon for self-defense. She
hoped the two wolves they kept hearing were the extent of the
pack. The size of the group they had seen on the road would be
impossible to escape from or fight off if an encounter occurred.
Another wolf returned the call and
the sounds grew closer. Nyla had read that the animals’ sense of
smell was highly evolved and feared their group had already been
detected and determined to be an acceptable meal.
“I think they caught our scent, they
sounds are getting closer,” Nyla said.
keep walking and don’t talk,” Ethan said as he listened to the
howling. His mind wandered back to the highway and he felt true
fear for the first time in his life.
Soon the howling stopped and the
silence made Nyla even more nervous. She could almost feel eyes
following their movements. She heard a rustle up ahead and
huddled close behind Ethan as he flicked on his light. Two large
four legged bodies whirled around and disappeared into the
“Here.” Nyla handed each of her
friends a sturdy stick about four feet long.
“If they come at us, don’t turn your
back to them. If there’s only two maybe we can hold them off,”
Ethan added as he took the stick from Nyla’s hand.
watched as Ethan quickly extracted a knife from his pocket and
secured the blade to the end of the stick, making a spear. Just
as he finished wrapping the string and tying it off, Nyla
spotted the two shapes re-emerging from the shadows, this time
“Behind us,” she hissed as the group
whirled around to meet their enemy.
Ethan tried to shine his light in their
eyes, but this time the wolves kept their eyes diverted and
began circling the group.
“Huddle up, backs together,” Ethan
The wolves paced slowly and
methodically, moving in closer with each circuit around the
group, spacing themselves so the potential meal was sandwiched
“Claire and Jared, stay focused on
the animal closest to you no matter what you hear from us.
Nyla and I will concentrate on
this one. If we lose our focus on one, it will expose our flank.
That’s probably their plan—one strikes and the other attacks
from behind when everyone’s attention is diverted.”
The moment the words were out, a wolf
lunged at Claire, hitting her shoulder...
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