MENTOR: Lindsey Sprague
ALTERNATE: Elbie Johansen
CATEGORY/GENRE: YA Sci-fi
WORD COUNT: 86,000
Lola survived the apocalypse, but lost her memories. Her only clues to her past are the cult chasing her and this formula in her backpack for the cure for death… oh. Oops.
I have my watch alarm set to go off every hour. Not for any reason in particular. More like: yay, I survived another sixty minutes, let’s have some cake.
If I had cake.
The watch has been chafing my wrist, so I keep it in my backpack now, along with everything else I own. Okay, so, borrowed. I borrow a lot of things these days. Like the crackers I just borrowed from a dead guy inside this gas station.
I brush the crumbs off my shirt and tuck my ponytail through the hole in my cap, scratching the raised scar on the back of my neck. I’m about to strap on my raggedy old backpack when I see them—
four of them, across the parking lot. They haven’t seen me yet, but they’re headed in my direction. Even though I can’t make out the faint pink glow of their skin, their lithe movements and predatory stance tell me they’re lazzies. It’s like a dance, the way they move—coordinated, instinctual. None of the awkwardness of self-consciousness remains, none of the showmanship of ego. They look just like us—they were us—but there’s no mistaking them for human.
I stop breathing, and the familiar feeling of dread constricts my chest. I rise to my feet and take a step back, praying my shoe doesn’t crunch on the gravel. So far, so good.
Aaaaaand this is when my watch alarm goes off.