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FAIRY BOXED SET 2-updated

Limited boxed sets are limited!

http://bit.ly/29zAONf

OH, and I haven’t made FAE CAME ON THE PLANE! A Darquepunk Novella, into an individual book YET. It’s still only offered in the ENCHANTED: FAIRY REVELS collection with 8 other fairy books by 8 more authors, for only 99 cents. Then Tomorrow, like that fairy coach, it goes POOF, an invisible pumpkin never to be seen again.

I’ve been awol because of Life, :-/ I’m probably doing way more than I can and still unable to make regular life work. Writing and publishing then suffers. POISON GARDEN: An Elle Black Penny Dread Vol 2 continues to wait for final polishing, I still haven’t made Body Chase, the third in the Charm School trilogy into a paperback, and so on. Yet what little time I get, the stories still come and I have to write. The latest in the works is called RAPACIOUS, another Darquepunk novella where I deal with sexbots and AI. A difficult subject really, despite my making it uncomfortably funny. I really need to do sci-fi romance (well, I never seem to fulfill romance tropes, but I try) more conventionally in my next attempt. 😉

Hoping this all finds you well—reading, reviewing, and giving Real Life a good kick in the patootie.

OH, and the fairy boxed set? It’s a great mix of stories, from contemporary to sci-fi!! (by yours truly), so Enjoy. 🙂

Love, ~~eeee

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NEW: my Latest, in this Boxed Set of 9 books for 99c

I’ve been gone 3 months! But I’ve been #writing. My latest, FAE CAME ON THE PLANE! a Darquepunk novella with Nico and Bear—a Faeries V Vampire event—is now Available. Part of the ENCHANTED: FAIRY REVELS boxed set, you get 9 authors, 9 books, and 800+ pp of paranormal romance and urban fantasy for only 99 cents. Put that in your fairy ring!

FAE CAME ON THE PLANE! is my take on 70s disaster films, so I think it’s a lot of fun (and yeah, kind of violent). Enjoy! 🙂

US: http://amzn.com/B01E1WO350

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01E1WO350

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Wit’s World: Never Was, Chapter Eighteen by Elizabeth Watasin

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

A restlessness ran through Pip and a few rounds of sword maneuvers and aerials did not alleviate the extra energy. She went to further explore the grounds of Mystica. Perhaps the constant daylight was a deterrent to her taking a respite like her sensible host. Whatever the reason, she jaunted around the castle walls, sword on her shoulder, and walked off her frustrations. Godfrey, the mustached waiter Puppetron, rolled after her.
One of the courtyards that faced the constant sun had heavy doors set into the stones of the castle. Pip had seen such doors here or there during her previous tour. Their handles were iron rings and their surfaces had no apparent keyhole.
“Strange that a castle should have so many entrances. Sort of counters the purpose of living in a fortress, don’t you think?” Pip had remarked to her host when they came across them.
“Those are traps,” Mr. Wit had said, his tone solemn. “And none are locked. Never enter one, Philippa.”
“Traps? In your mother’s castle?” The idea made Pip think of chutes that led to dungeons.
“Courtesy of my father. I’ve checked each one, thinking I might find a way home.”
“Since you’re still here, I guess you didn’t,” Pip had said. “What did you find?”
“I would ask the Puppetrons I had sent in, but none came back.”
Pip, who had been on the verge of asking Mr. Wit to open one of the doors, then refrained.
“Why would your father put things like that in a nice place like this?” she had demanded.
Mr. Wit led her away from the doors and their danger.
“Who knows what a madman thinks?” he had said. He drew in smoke from his dwindling cigarette until it was only ash.
Madman, Pip recalled, gazing at the thick, wood doors that were neither locked nor blocked. To hear the Carny Man called that by his own son made the old, lurid reputation less myth and more ominous. She looked for a hidden keyhole, one that might fit her nameplate, and found none. The plain-looking doors were not labeled. Mr. Wit could have at least marked the doors with a warning, she thought. It seemed irresponsible to do otherwise. She poked one with her sword. She took hold of the iron ring and gave it an experimental pull.
The door was snug in its stone frame and very heavy. With leverage and all her strength, she was able to pull the door open. It creaked on its hinges but moved smoothly.
Through the gap, Pip peered into a deep, impenetrable darkness that radiated chilling cold. It felt like a place bubbled, without breathable air. She shivered.
“Don’t worry,” she said to Godfrey who stood behind her. “I won’t send you into it.” She found a sun-warmed pebble on the ground and tossed it into the dark. The blackness sucked it in and any sound the pebble would have made. Pip used the flat of her foot to push the door closed. It flew away from the pressure of her boot and slammed itself shut.
Pip jumped back, startled, and collided with Godfrey.
Four doors later (each with a deep sword scratch on their surfaces), Pip abandoned the idea of checking each door. One had contained blinding light and heat; another billowing clouds and lightning. After witnessing the swirling, sucking vortex that spun within one door, Pip had to conclude that all the doors contained nothing but danger. She wondered what kind of portal Wayne Wally was using to return to their own dimension.
“I don’t appreciate these bits of insanity in an otherwise perfect place,” Pip said to the silent Godfrey. She left the courtyard with its scratched doors for the terrace below. “I haven’t yet seen the Misty Gardens, the Mirage Gardens, or the Panoramic Theatre. All those old places of Mystica that we don’t have anymore at home. Show me a part of this dream that’s not corrupted. Where can I find something of Evelyn Wally?”
Pip stared expectantly at her Puppetron companion. After a moment, Godfrey raised a limb and pointed a metal finger at the ground. Pip looked down and saw only the path they were standing on, paved with sheets of stone. Moss covered them and little tufts of grass and tiny flowers grew in the cracks between.
“That’s helpful,” Pip said. In answer, Godfrey abruptly spun on his one wheel and rolled away. He sped back up the path for the castle.
Bemused, Pip dismissed Godfrey’s sudden departure and kicked thoughtfully at the moss beneath her feet. She knelt to admire the tiny flowers in the cracks, wishing she could show them to Em, and then realized what was different: The path on which she stood had not been cleared and polished. For all its apparent beauty, the terrace gardens had a perfection maintained through control and order. It was all symmetrical hedges, artfully shaped bushes and trees, perfect lawns and geometric mazes. A puppetron on the terrace below her was industriously trimming one of those perfect hedges. Pip could appreciate the artistry to a point but she preferred some exuberance. She often broke monotony with a scattering of clothes in their bedroom or a sudden series of flips at school. This Mystica demanded a more genteel behavior but Pip had always left good manners to Em. Even while dressed as the shining symbol of the utopian Astra City, she was not inspired to rise above what Em had often referred to as her barbaric nature.
“Could you please not put your fingers in my food?” Em had requested through clenched teeth when Pip had poked at her twin’s hideously black gelatin desert; a gift courtesy of one of the Dark Victorians. She had only been trying to get at the hidden treasure ring. Pip laughed out loud at the memory and patted the rebellious, tiny flowers.
“Let’s see if there’s more like you,” she said to them. The path ahead led to more disorder; untrimmed bushes allowed roses to grow in riotous color on each side of the pathway. The air was heavy with their scent and Pip took a deep, appreciative breath. Noticing a painted gold line on the stone path, Pip decided to follow it. She hefted her sword and cocked her Sun crown forward. Like any barbarian, she was easily led on by shiny things.
The line led her to a Gold Gate draped with ivy, set in a massive stone garden wall, daunting in its impenetrability. Two of her doves joined her while she studied it. When Pip used her sword to part the ivy and look into the mysterious courtyard beyond, she could almost discern gold markings on the moss-covered paving stones. Here, the vegetation was unkempt and free. She was immersed in the pungent scent of wild flowers. Godfrey had not led her astray; he had pointed the way to Evelyn’s garden. Pip offered some seed to her inquisitive doves. When they accepted, she placed one dove on her shoulder.
“I guess I could use my Gold nameplate to unlock this Gate,” she said out loud to her bird companions. “But I’m suspicious of what unpredictable things might happen if I step foot in there. So . . . ”
She glanced up.
She sheathed her sword and began to climb the ivy-covered castle walls.
She took a break in an open window about two stories up, and finally looked down. Her doves joined her.
A painted, life-sized statue of a woman stood among the moss-covered stones in the enclosed, round courtyard below, eyes closed and hands outspread. She wore a long, sweeping dark dress with tight, long sleeves, her bejeweled belt hanging low. Her dark bodice twinkled, as if it held tiny stars. On her brow was a circlet of silver and stars.
“Queen of Night,” Pip said, and clapped her hands in delight. This one was much like the Queen in Em’s retelling of the stories from Aunt Dawn’s old childhood storybooks. Inspired, Pip plucked a hanging flower and flung it as far out as she could. It landed a few feet short of the statue. She hoped the Queen liked her offering.
She briefly recalled the Wit’s World stories she loved hearing Em recount, of how the Queen of Night, the sovereign of Mystica, was also the Queen of the Carny, Wit, Sr.’s wife. Moon the Ash Maiden and Sun the Maiden of Tomorrow were her daughters. One resided in the Dark Town Edward Dently had originally created while the latter protected Astra City.
The blossom had fallen upon one of the thin, gleaming, gold lines and Pip studied it, noticing a pattern. She took to the ivy again and climbed higher. Her birds flew up with her.
When she looked down again she saw that the gold threads were precise drawings, spreading from the Queen out into Mystica’s grounds and, if Pip guessed correctly, probably out to the lake and beyond. If Em were sitting with Pip at that moment, her very observant twin would have probably deduced the purpose of the lines already.
Pip took a moment to study the lines and envision their possible design. After a while, she had to shake her head. With the lines going every which way and trailing to inexplicable dead ends, it made no sense to her at all.
She heard Mr. Wit’s voice and, intrigued, climbed across the ivy for the closest window. She peeked into the castle room. Because of the echoing acoustics within the castle she could not make out any of his words. The room was fully furnished but appeared to not be in use. The stone doorway ahead revealed only a hall hung with tapestries. Mystica’s castle in this reality, Pip observed, really was meant to be a dwelling. She had to get used to the idea of this elaborate and grand castle as a livable domicile, and not as a huge fantasy prop meant to house dark rides and gift shops. Mr. Wit did enter the building to retire, she reminded herself. She could not see her host but still heard his agitated voice from somewhere deeper in the castle. Whomever he was speaking to did not respond.
Pip flattened herself back on the ivy when she saw Godfrey roll quickly past the doorway. Mr. Wit continued to speak in a demanding tone. She had to conclude that he was on a phone, and he was not happy with whomever he was speaking to.
Pip, from her vantage point, could still see where the glass bridge had been. Astraopolis, on the distant shore, was darkening into nightfall. Soon, its skies would match Darque Towne’s. Mr. Wit had said that only happened when someone was present in that part of the park, she recalled. Perhaps her host was talking to Mr. Higgs right then. She glanced at her doves on the sill who looked inquisitively back at her.
“Hmm,” she said.

* * *

Night had fallen in Astraopolis. Em stood inside the brightly lit Automat, wrapped in her sheet, and considered the rows of little illuminated windows with their dishes of food, debating between shepherd’s pie and macaroni and cheese. She was surprised to find comfort food in a place called Nebula’s End, where exotic extraterrestrial fare seemed more suitable.
“I still don’t know about this,” Shade said.
“They have perfectly working rockets, why shouldn’t there be perfectly working food?” Buck said.
Em decided on macaroni and cheese. She fed the appropriate slot its nickel and listened to the successful clinks of the coin’s descent behind the little door. She turned the handle to open the glass window and pulled out the piping hot dish. It smelled deliciously of melted cheese.
She took her dish with a glass of milk to the outside dining terrace where she had set up the six rockets. She checked all the toys again. They were angled to shoot as far beyond Astraopolis’s night as possible, hopefully into the day of Mystica.
“I’m going to launch now,” she said, breaking into the boys’ argument. She placed a fire extinguisher nearby.
“What will you spell with the signal rockets?” Buck asked.
“Something Pip would know could only come from me.” She twisted her damp hair up and out of the way. “Give me a countdown, Buck.” She lit a match.
“On one,” Buck said excitedly. “Five, four, three, two —”
Em lit the fuse and the first rocket launched with a roaring boom that shot it far into the sky.
“Five, four, three, two —”
Em launched another. Then another. In all, six rockets roared far into the air until they were tiny dots. They zigzagged to a programmed pattern. Each rocket formed its own letter of the alphabet in flaring light trails and billowing smoke.
“I guess I spaced them well enough,” she said. She watched the Tomorrow Man’s Signal Rockets slowly write her word in the sky.

* * *

” . . . never mind about him, he’ll have to come home at some point.”
Pip, high up on the walls of Mystica’s castle, edged closer to where Mr. Wit seemed to be. She could hear his voice more clearly. “Go to their home. Yes. I want you to go there and find out more about them.”
She heard the distant scream of fireworks. She looked behind her towards Astraopolis, and then rapidly climbed down the ivy. The descent was dangerous but she ended up on her feet, on solid ground.
She ran for an observation terrace. There, above the nightfall that bordered Astraopolis, were letters written in smoke:
W A D J E T
Pip screamed and jumped and screamed some more. She kept screaming until Mr. Wit, completely alarmed, came running to her side.

end Chapter Eighteen

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Wit’s World: Never Was, Chapter Sixteen by Elizabeth Watasin

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

Pip paused among the garden terraces of Mystica’s castle and frowned. Something disturbed the serenity of the gardens; it was the distant noise of grinding machinery. She began descending the terraces they had just climbed, hopping down the slopes like a nimble goat.
“Philippa!” Mr. Wit called, but Pip was already halfway to the shore. The Light Bridge had been steadily contracting with the sounds of loud, working gears. It was slowly losing its gentle arc and becoming a straight line. The machinery came to a halt. She waited expectantly. The bridge floated in the water, a completely flat line. Pip was certain that if Em could draw a picture for her, it would explain that what the bridge had just done was not possible. However, her white doves were evidence enough of what this reality was capable of.
The grinding sound resumed. Pip didn’t need to see the actual machinery to know that it was presently working in the opposite direction. The contracted tubes of the bridge were pulling apart, lengthening the bridge again. Pip watched it form its new arc below the water, an upside down version of what it had been before. It began to sink in a rush of displaced water and foam.
“Oh my goodness,” she whispered. “It’s becoming its opposite.”

* * *

Em watched the plates beneath her feet methodically slide into each other. The glass tubing slid as well. The bridge was doing something she couldn’t believe; it was becoming shorter and straightening. The loss of the bridge’s arc forced it closer to the lake’s surface, bringing the water beneath her feet rapidly nearer. Em turned around and ran.
Water began lapping at the sides of the glass tunnel. As she ran, the water rushed against the walls and swirled over the roof, obscuring the sky. Em could still see the bright sunlight that lit the opening to Astraopolis. She felt the plates move again, this time to stretch apart. Her path lengthened. She saw the light at the entrance grow farther and farther away as her path grew longer. A new arc of the bridge was forming, the opposite of what it had been above the waves. The bridge slowly grew into a curve that met the lake floor. The pathway Em desperately ran upon became an incline that grew steadily steeper. Tiny lights blinked into existence around her.
“No!” she whispered frantically when she slipped back down the glass path.
Em fell. She slid the long length of the bridge’s curve to the bottom of the lake. Submysterea loomed in the rippling waters. There were the large stones of a lost civilization, its strange statues and tumbled columns. Chiseled words appeared through the churn and bubbles: “LAND OF ADAM.” There was a dead submarine and a dead fighter plane. A deep sea diver floated listlessly, his bathysphere bobbing in the waves created by the sinking bridge. A swift current swept the diver away. The press and presence of embracing, dark water was everywhere and it wanted to crush her.
When Em finally stopped sliding she shut her eyes tight and clung to the lit, glass path beneath her. She gave in to terror.
Buck and Shade heard her frightened gasps for air and paled as they looked at each other.
“Em, what’s happening?” Buck said. “Em, talk to us, please.”
“Em, c’mon,” Shade tried. They only heard her ragged attempts to breathe. He hit one of Buck’s bookcases.
“Em, tell us what’s happening, please,” Buck said. “Let us help you.”
“Br — bridge sank,” she said, gasping. “Can’t – can’t move,” she whispered tearfully.
“The bridge sank?” Shade cried. “She’s under water?!”
Buck hit the mute button.
“She’s terrified. I’m calling her mother,” Buck said in panic.
“Wait. What would Pip say to her? How would she help her through this?”
“Pip would say, ‘Hold my hand,’ because she was there the last time this happened to Em and this time there’s no Pip and we’re not there!”
Shade hit the mute button.
“Em,” he said. “Listen to me. Remember what I told you about my uncle, the one I loved? What’s his name, Em? Answer me, I want to know you can hear me.”
Her panicked breathing hitched as Em tried to speak.
“Wi — Wittie the Third.”
“That’s right. Wittie the Third went looking for Atlantis because he wanted to discover something of what Ray Buster Higgs had planned. He grew up dreaming of Submysterea. He designed suits and submersibles and had all these courses plotted. I thought Uncle Wittie was something else, remember Em? I thought he was amazing, just like your Aunt Dawn.”
“When he disappeared,” Shade continued, “I hated the ocean that took him. I wanted to destroy all those stupid dreams of Atlantis. But I knew he wouldn’t want me to do that because hurting that would be like hurting me. What’s my dream? Do you remember? What do I dream of?”
There was only the sound of her frightened breathing through the speaker.
“It’s okay to say it in front of Bucky,” he added. “I know I told you not to tell anyone but I bet you told Pip.”
“I didn’t,” she said with a gasp. “I didn’t.”
“Then can you say it, Em? C’mon. Let’s hear it.”
While listening to Shade, Em forced her frozen body to move. She reached blindly with shaking hands and limbs. Eyes screwed tight, she made herself crawl. She spoke as clearly as she could.
“You want to go to Mars.”
“That’s right,” Shade said as Buck stared at him, agape. “First man on Mars, that’s my dream. Uncle Wittie would want me to keep dreaming. He’d want me to put on a suit and go, just like him. That’s why Aunt Dawn wouldn’t want what took her to take you, too.
“I’m not going to lose another person like this,” he said. “Move, Em. This water can’t take you.”
Em’s breathing was still labored, but they also heard the slow shuffle of her crawling. The boys exchanged hopeful glances.
“Hey, do you think you can walk back to land now?” Shade said with humor. “Now that we’re sharing secrets again maybe you’ll go out with me. We can share a lot more. We can go to the Mediterranean. I’ve got an island.”
“You moron,” Buck said. “An island?!”
Em didn’t answer. Her eyes were open, the better to see if she was crawling in the right direction. She pushed herself after each tiny light on the path of the tunnel. She was still far under water. She focused on Aunt Dawn, Dad, Mom, and Pip, all of whom would not want her to drown. And on what Shade was telling her.
“I know you don’t like a lot sun but we can spend that time, y’know, exploring. In caves, I mean. Your mom can come. Pip, too. To chaperone.”
“I told you, Wit,” she said, her voice sounding stronger, “I’m not that kind of girl.”
Shade’s goading made her regain her trembling feet. She would have preferred hugging the glass walkway like a life raft but knew she’d never make it out if she did.
“Em, let’s walk you back to land,” Buck suggested. “You keep listening to us and we’ll get there together.”
”Okay,” she whispered. ”Keep . . . keep talking.”
“Nothing much to see on our end except that Shade looks like crap and his eyeliner is running. He drank all my Astro Fizz and I think his breath stinks.”
“What?” Shade said.
“And his belt buckle is stupid.”
Em could hear the boys tussle.
“I . . . I see Submysterea,” Em said. She concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other. She felt she was only one movement away from hugging the floor again.
“You do?” both Buck and Shade exclaimed.
“Yes . . . it’s a sunken city.” She took deep breaths, trying to focus on facts. “A lost civilization. The . . . mini subs from the surface, they’re touring inside of it. I’ll . . . I’ll draw it for you when I get back.”
“That’ll be great,” Buck said.
“It’s called ‘Land of Adam.’”
Em’s ear was again filled with the chatter of excited male voices. Then her world darkened. A huge shadow crossed over her.
An immense beast sailed past; a massive fish. Its eyes were small and blank and its bony jaws with its jagged teeth looked cruel. The iridescent scales of its body were so true to life, Em was unsure if she was really staring at a Puppetron. Her heart beat in her throat as she watched the beast glide away for the tilted ruins of Submysterea. Bubbles rose before her. She knew that something was also passing underneath. She looked down through the transparent floor.
Her sudden gasp alerted the boys.
“What is it?” Buck asked, alarmed.
An enormous sea serpent looked up through the glass. It stared askance, studying her with one, round eye. Its head slowly moved past her feet, the eye never leaving her. As it passed, Em felt the floor rise, pushed up by the mass of the beast. The giant serpent slowly curved back so it could stare at her with its other huge eye. In some detached part of herself, Em noted that the leviathan’s head was larger than her and therefore had a length of body that could be calculated by the size of such a head. This speculation certainly didn’t help, so she decided to stop.
“Buck, did . . . Mr. Higgs make monsters?” Em whispered. She was as still as a statue before the serpent’s cold, blank regard. Its eye was as large as one of her arms.
“What? No!” Buck whispered back. He looked at Shade. “Why would he do that?”
Em swallowed. She began to recognize the look the leviathan was giving her; that of a predator having spotted food. “Someone did,” she whispered.

* * *

Pip stood vigil on the balcony and watched the waters that had swallowed the bridge. Mr. Wit, taking advantage of his guest’s rare moment of silence and stillness, had ordered Godfrey to set a table and bring over some drinks. “It’s only a bridge,” he said to her as he enjoyed his drink and smoked. “No need to worry about it.”
When Pip didn’t answer, he continued.
“It makes that arc below rather than sinking in its previous form because it’s a statement about transformation. How was it described . . .” Mr. Wit exhaled smoke thoughtfully. “‘Arcing in light, it goes for the sky, but as its opposite, it goes for Below.’ Something like that. A light and dark comparison. God knows why anyone would bother doing it this way. That transformation took forever, didn’t it? If you want to submerge a bridge, just submerge it.”
Pip leaned against the stones. She had been gripped by an ominous dread since the bridge’s sinking. She thought it was because it reminded her of what happened to Aunt Dawn, but she wasn’t sure. She couldn’t shake the feeling that something terrible was unfolding and there she stood, useless on a fairytale isle.
“I don’t know,” she said, more to herself than to her oblivious host.

* * *

The sea serpent bumped the bridge again, but purposefully this time. Em stumbled. The beast, seeing her movement, suddenly pulled back. Water churned around the swaying tunnel. Through the curtain of bubbles Em saw massive jaws hurtle towards the glass.
She threw her arms up as metal teeth struck. Cracks spread and she turned to flee. The serpent flung itself at the glass again. Teeth screeched against the surface. It coiled around the tube, blocking out the light. She felt the tunnel rise. The serpent was dragging the Light Bridge out of the depths.
Water swirled against the walls until the tunnel broke the surface of the lake. Sunlight shone through curtains of water. Em heard an earth-shattering crack and she tumbled down the length of bridge within the serpent’s grip. The tunnel tilted again in its coils and she began to slide the other way, towards the isle. As she skidded she realized she was falling towards a new and jagged opening and towards the leviathan’s huge eye on the other side.
She reached for her left boot and quickly drew the weapon she’d hidden there: the silver throwing dagger, engraved with the name DAWN. Em swiftly flung the blade. It hit with a thunk, and the eye instantly cracked into a spidery pattern that bled blue electricity. The monster roared and thrashed, hurling Em into a wild tumble back down the tunnel. She regained her feet once she hit the bottom and ran across the cracking platform. She felt the tube sink underwater again just as the beast re-submerged. Water shot from various cracks in the glass. She kept running.

* * *

When Pip spotted the monster she gasped and tipped dangerously over the terrace balcony. Far in the distance, the formidable head of some sea creature had risen from the waters of the lake. Its body was that of a snake and within the grip of the coils that also rose was the span of the glass bridge. The monster raised the structure further out of the cascading waters and to Pip’s horror, the glass bridge snapped in two.
Pip and Mr. Wit silently watched the sea creature roar and thrash in fury, then sink back into the lake’s waters, taking the glass bridge down with it. Waves from the beast’s thrashing struck their shore, angrily churning up the sand and rocks. Pip removed the hand she’d held to her mouth.
“That was a Puppetron?” she asked.
“Yes.”
“Terrible,” she whispered.
“Such nonsense, making sea beasts,” Mr. Wit quietly commented.

* * *

Watery Submysterea reappeared. Adam’s Land was nothing to Em but stones and death. She heard the thunderclap snaps of the tube cracking further, spraying her with water. The deep sea diver still dangled by his tangled air line as she ran past. The faceplate turned in her direction, revealing a man’s decaying, sleeping face. The helmet read: “HIGGS.”
She scrambled desperately up the tunnel for the swaying exit and the light of Astraopolis. Water rushed in and swirled high enough to reach her body. She waded, climbing the handrail as her lifeline to the top. Adrenaline kept her one step ahead of submersion. When she reached the Astraopolis sunlight she stumbled from the bridge’s opening. Water surged and sloshed out on the polished ground, following her.
She did not stop moving until she was across the pristine boulevard and climbing the grassy hillside upon which more of Astraopolis’s sedate, little buildings gleamed. She was dimly aware of Buck’s frantic voice in her ear. She kept going until she reached the top, an incongruous little dining table with its yellow umbrella greeting her.
Only then did she allow herself to collapse.

end Chapter Sixteen
Wit’s World: Never Was © Elizabeth Watasin 2011

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