TOUR: CREATED BY PEIRI ANN
After a devastating world war, our government has manufactured genetically altered humans. These ‘creations’ are designed to manage and enforce law and order amongst the citizens. Creations don’t know fear or pain. Their sole function is to fight the enemy and live to battle again.Orphans Kylie Alexander and her twin brother, Lukahn were born for this purpose. Dedicating their lives to sharpening their deadly skills and forfeiting the chance of love and freedom. They ready themselves for Separation, the deadly rite of passage where the oldest teens are drafted into the final preparation for war. When Kylie and Luke are shipped off to separation three months early, questions arise. Who is the real enemy? What is really happening beyond the fractured sanctuary of the training compound? Humans and creations alike have become lethal foes when a plague of the living dead becomes the number one hazard. Strategies change as the twins discover they may not be the saviors of humankind after all. They may be the real enemy of the people.
About Peiri AnnPeiri Ann shares a love in the creation of new worlds, different creatures, and unwritten possibilities. Writing is a passion. I fell in love with it when i was a child and I am privileged to share it with you. I love writing fun/tragic adventurous novels with strong romantic elements from YA to New Adult. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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I’m free falling, seeking the thrill I feel as my body plummets toward the Earth, counting the seconds before it’s time for me to pull the cord. Wind blasts around me as I drop through the clouds, preparing myself for the point in the sky when I’m more like a rock than a feather.
My twin brother falls next to me, his shirt and open jacket flapping in the rushing wind. Goggles covering most of his face, he gives me a thumbs up.
The wind around us picks up and our speed increases. I grab the handle of my backpack, ready to pull the cord that releases my chute. I look at Luke, checking to see if he’s ready. He extends his index finger. I wait, but grow impatient. We’re getting closer to the open land, without trees or buildings that tricks me into believing it will catch me on its plush grass when I land.
Luke signals me, then yanks the cord on his backpack.
I yank my cord.
My parachute blasts from my backpack, swelling as the wind blows under it. I fall through the air, with the force of the earth pulling me to the ground.
I’ve skydived a hundred times, but landing still gets me. Gravity pulls me down hard as I tumble. I push myself up from the ground, feeling the weight of the chute settle on the grass. I yank off my backpack as Luke, landing a few feet away from me, yells, “Ky, hit the ground running.”
I almost forgot.
I tug off my goggles, toss them to the ground, and sprint toward the end of the field. The conflicting feeling of sheer weightlessness in the air, compared to being tethered to the ground takes a toll on me.
Luke passes me. Come on, Ky, I tell myself. Push harder.
We are ahead of the others in our death race. We made it to the plane first, we were in the air first, and that means we landed first.
“Let’s go, Ky!” he yells. “Hurry up!” My brother’s extremely competitive and hates losing. I pick up speed to catch up with him.
We near the edge of the field as another plane flies over our heads. Entering a copse of trees, we hasten through the woodland, jumping over large rocks and fallen trees. Luke pulls my arm, directing me left, through the thicker bushes.
A whistle blows through the air, skimming my right ear. I know what it is, but I turn to the sound anyway.
The arrow clips my cheekbone, slashing deep into my skin. I whip my head forward, resisting the urge to touch my cheek. Pain surges through the right side of my face. I try to ignore it and the annoyingly repulsed look Luke gives my injury.
We head west, dodging more arrows flying toward us. We run around trees, trying to avoid paths we can easily be spotted. I stay near Luke as we flee. In the race, you never want to separate from your sibling. One fails, you both fail.
Finally! An openinFg is within our reach after the minutes we’ve spent running and dodging arrows, rocks, and branches.
I wince, feeling another arrow enter and exit my forearm. I continue to ignore the pain. Stay focused, Ky, stay by Luke. Worry about the pain later. Ignore the pain, I tell myself, pushing forward, trying to stay on Luke’s tail.
Luke must not be able to feel those two arrows sticking out of his back. He doesn’t falter. The head of each arrow is lodged deep in his flesh. I turn away, looking back to the opening as we burst through.
A reflector shines in the room and charges forward.
I shoot. Two shots fire. A soft thump comes from something falling lifeless onto the floor.
We cautiously approach it.
“Good job, Ky, you saved us from an attack by a coyote.”
“I didn’t know it was a coyote,” I say mildly. He’s being sarcastic and I don’t like that. “If I did—”
“Shh,” he hushes urgently.
The annoying sound of nails scraping along the wall jerks our heads to the left. I’m not one to panic, but my heart rate spikes, startled by the unexpected sound. We’ve let our guards down.
The coyote must have only been a diversion.
We examine the area, seeking the thing or person that caught us by surprise. Nothing’s here.
“You heard that, right?” I whisper.
“Yes,” he whispers. “Let’s move.” He faces the door and I face the room, with him walking forward and me backward. My left shoulder blade is to his right as we creep quietly out of the shadowed room.
More sun is present in the open area of the house now. The wall has brightened, displaying the floral wallpaper. It depicts flowers falling from an early-bloomed tree. It’s nice but looks old and outdated.
Luke abruptly stops behind me, causing me to almost stumble over him.
He doesn’t breathe or move. He nudges my back, telling me to do the same. But I have to see what has caused him to hesitate. I turn around, shoulder to shoulder with Luke, staring at a man and two children in the shadows near the door.
They are . . . not average for humans. Their grey skin is beaten, scratched, broken, and torn covers their bodies. Some wounds need stitches but they do not bleed. Their hair’s matted with dirt and rubbage I’m assuming they have picked up along their journey. The two little ones growl at us.
My brows hitch, hearing the unanticipated sound. The angry faces suggest we are the weird looking ones, the ones who will cause them damage.
The corner of my mouth twitches upward holding back a grin as I realize, we are the ones who will cause them damage. They’re right to growl.
“I’m going to shoot them,” I say low to Luke but sure, at this distance they can hear me. I just don’t care.
The little boy screams and charges at Luke and me. Teeth bared, canines sharpened into skin-shredding points. Tongue black with white buds. His lips have splits displaying red under his colorless skin.
Luke kicks him back before he can reach us, foot ramming into the boy’s chest. Not killing him but knocking him off-balance.
At least it was supposed to. The boy only takes a step back and charges again, shrilling. Luke kicks him harder and the boy stumbles backward into the legs of one who may be his father.
Jord and the man from the truck rush through the door. The girl disappears into the shadows but the father and son remain, mouths open, teeth bared, drooling growls escaping them. They crouch like animals preparing to attack.
I don’t do well with things I don’t understand.
Raising my gun, I cock it back, aiming at the man. I fire as he jumps for Jord.
He places his hands over mine, and moves them so I can feel him underneath my touch. We move up, down, and over his upper body. I get to his waist and move around him to his back. I don’t know why, or what makes me, but I pull him closer.
As our bodies meet, he greets me with his lips. A kiss as gentle as a breeze.
Like in the alley, our lips and tongues are already familiar with each other. Again, a heat wave rushes over me and my chest rises, pressing against him.
He breaks our kiss, and like yesterday, my lips instantly miss his. “I have a real issue with jealousy,” he says. “And I don’t like him.”
“I am also very selfish.”
“Right.” Just, shut up and kiss me. Again. And again.
“I don’t mean to come off as a tyrant.”
He looks away from me. “So, I need to be the only guy you’re kissing, the only guy touching you, and he cannot touch you. Not even to escort you to an execution.”
I nod, impatiently waiting for his lips to return.
“Respond,” he says low with authority.
I bite back my smile. “I understand.”
“And I’ll give you the same.”
“I thought you said you weren’t kissing anyone.”
“No, I said no one has ever seen me with all my clothes off. I’ve kissed plenty.”
That makes me feel uneasy. I’ve only kissed one, and now two, including him. “And touched?” I question and my own jealousy of the ones who came before me twitches my trigger finger.
“Not the way I touch you, or want to.” His hand on my back slips under my shirt and he touches my bare skin. It slowly moves to my hips and grabs me firmly. My skin moves under his touch, tightening and letting go, chilling and warming. I’m shaking and I hope he can’t tell.
“Good.” In my mind, his hand travels aggressively up over my stomach to my chest, it grabs me before his other pulls my shirt over my head. My thoughts ignite a heated ambition within me. My breaths quicken and realizing it, I make them quiet so he can’t tell.
He breathes, calming down. “Ky,” he says as he lets it go. “I’m sorry, but if you knew the extent. We were supposed to help bring who we thought were our kind above. Help them rise above being the watchers and protectors, no longer be number two but number one. Now what we are is void. What we thought our reason was no longer exists.”
“Luke, there’s no change, like you said, we have put our lives in this. Like Lafren told me—all we can do is enjoy this while we can. Before they destroy it.”
He shakes his head. “That’s what they want you to believe. There’s always more than one option. And yes, I will enjoy it.” He steps closer and whispers, “This is our home. We, like everyone else who live here, do not want it to be destroyed again. We still have our mission. And what I will enjoy, is making sure theirs doesn’t happen, making sure that the way it is . . . maintains.” Promise lies deep in his eyes. The unyielding tone in his voice assures every word.
“Luke, you cannot be saying what I think you are.”
He pulls his goggles over his eyes. With steady eyes and his mouth in a straight line, he doesn’t respond. His candid expression confirms my assumption. He takes off for the course.
It takes me a minute to register he is serious.
I run toward the obstacle course behind him. He hits it full speed and I’m barely keeping up, shocked from his testimony. If that’s the way he feels, knowing Luke, he will try to stop them. One Creation up against, probably, a million Vojin aliens.