Greetings, all! It seems my plans to post Object and Objective, my 31-part sci-fi novella, are finally solidifying! I’ve been planning to post it on the Tapas platform for a while, and now that they’ve announced a new Writer’s Camp starting next month, I’m going to take the opportunity to jump right in.
That being said, it’s time for a preview! I’ve effectively removed all previous posts containing the original OaO content from my other websites, so moving forward, it will be starting over, brand-new, with never-before-seen content. I thought it’d be a good starting point to share an excerpt from Chapter 1: “Unopened.”
Happy reading, and keep an eye out for update posts in July!
Evie peered around the dark room. The holovid was off—a rare enough sight in the evening with all the video games Abel and Wes liked to play. All the lights were off, too, and when she squinted through the dark, she could see Mom wasn’t sleeping in her usual spot on the couch.
Now that she thought about it, there was a distinct and strange smell in the air, too… a heavy, almost sickening odor laced with old smoke. She’d never smelled it before. A started at the top of her skull and scuttled all the way down her spine. The pressing feeling that something had happened clung to the entire room.
There was whisper from stairwell. “Evie?”
“H-hello?” Evie asked.
It was Wes’s voice. He darted out of the shadows and grabbed her by the arms. He jerked her away from the coffee table.
“Ow! Stop that, what are you doing?”
“Shh!” Wes hissed. “Is Abel with you?”
“No… What’s the matter?”
Wes was shivering, and when he hugged her to his chest, she could feel his heart pounding. He didn’t answer her question—instead, he tugged her back to the stairwell and shepherded her upstairs. Evie fell silent. Mom had always made it clear that they lived in a dangerous part of the city, and that if her older brothers ever told her to do something during an emergency, she should do it. Under normal circumstances, she would put up an indignant fight and shove back, but by the strength of Wes’s grip and his frantic breathing, she knew something was wrong.
Wes shoved Evie into his and Abel’s bedroom and shut the door behind them—quietly. Evie stumbled over something in the dark, but knew the room well enough to fall on the bed. She bounced, then whirled to look at Wes.
“What’s going on?” Evie whispered.
“Shh,” Wes said again.
He strode over to the bed, climbing onto it with her and clutching her against him. They settled against the pillows. Wes pulled out his phone. Evie watched him unlock it and start texting Abel.
SHE’S BACK. COME HOME, Wes texted.
The only previous part of the conversation Evie could see was from Abel. It said, CHECKED HER TREE HOUSE… NOT THERE
Wes clicked his phone off and dropped it in his lap. He hugged Evie again.
“Where’s Mom?” Evie whispered.
“As soon as Abel gets back, we have to leave,” Wes said. “I threw some of your stuff in a backpack. You’ll have to carry it.”
“Why? What happened?”
Wes sucked in a shaky breath.
That’s it for now! The actual “what happened” will come with the official updates in July. Thanks for reading, and be sure to follow me on Tapas by clicking here!