TITLE: PHOENIX RISING
GENRE: YA Science Fiction Thriller
After seventeen-year-old Lesha and her little brother win spots for the newly-colonized planet, Eris, she can't wait to get them off dying Earth. But, their starship crashes in Eris’ wasteland, stranding them far from the civilization with few survivors. If blistering heat, flesh-eating snakes, and starvation aren't bad enough, someone goes missing. Lesha finds his mutilated corpse in a sick desert shrine. Something hunts them. Lesha must get her brother to safety, before they become the predator's next victims.
March 15, 2261
On my last day on Earth, I hurried through the corridor in Bunker Number Four at way-too-early-o’clock, the packs I’d retrieved from the storage unit smacking my back.
In the six months since Joe and I won spots in the getaway lottery and moved into the Bunker, I’d come to hate this place.
Long, gray, cinderblock halls without a single window. Coverless fluoros shedding just enough light to see where you were going, but never enough to catch the roaches lurking in the corners. And freakin’ cold. They piped in heat during the winter, but the ancient boilers barely brought the place above see-your-breath range.
Dark, gloomy, and damned ugly. Not that people preparing for the end of the world cared much about ambiance, but they could’ve given the place some color. Fluorescent orange came to mind.
Reaching my best friend’s door, I entered the code on the touchpad beside it, and the panel slid open. Darkness enveloped her room. “Tiff, get moving.”
She moaned, and the bed squeaked when she shifted.
“I mean it.” I dropped her bag. “I gotta run. Don’t go back to sleep.” Silence. “Tiff?”
“Okay already, Lesha,” she said. “I’m up.”
I locked her door and jogged to my room. Inside, my eight-year-old brother slumped on his bed, brown eyes focused on the televid screen mounted on the wall.
"Almost time to leave for the spaceport, kiddo.” I nudged his shoulder. “Go wash. Put on a clean durasuit.”