GENRE: YA Dystopian/Urban Fantasy
Britta and Gareth haven’t seen another person in nearly two years. One night three strangers arrive and as Britta runs out to meet them, she falls into one of the Dweller’s burrow holes. They are a subhuman result of governmental experiments.
My foot catches on something and I stumble. I reach for Gareth, but he’s running too fast and just miss grabbing him. It’s a second before I realize I’m in trouble. I don’t just stumble, I fall into one of the Dweller’s holes. My hands and feet flail as I slide down the dirt tunnel, grappling for anything that’ll stop me from hitting the bottom, but I never make purchase.
I hit with a thud, bringing up a cloud of dirt. I find my footing fast and back against the wall of the makeshift cave. I stretch my eyes and don’t dare turn on my headlamp. Three Dwellers are in this tight six-by-six area. They curl together in the fetal position, hibernating until sunrise. The smell of decaying, burnt flesh grips my throat and burns my eyes. The sun cooks the Dwellers, just as it would cook me, but at a much slower rate. I stifle a cough. I must make no noise.
My eyes adjust slowly and I see their thick, gray-green skin. I have to get out of here. I look up the hole. The full moon is too low to provide much light down here. Night will be gone soon. Did Gareth see me go down? If he didn’t, he’ll waste time searching other holes. He’s too smart to call out for me or to shine a light. Dwellers won’t venture out of their burrows in the dark, but they’ll wake if provoked. Without light or calling my name Gareth won’t find me in time.