Title: Against the Darkness
Author: A M Griffin
Genre: Young Adult
Date Published: June 4, 2014
BLURB supplied by Reading Addiction Blog Tours
Seventeen year old Sinta Allen has one objective, to get from Tallahassee, Florida to her mother in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Seems simple enough right? Wrong. Hostile aliens have invaded Earth—and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that we’re losing the fight. While the aliens bring devastation and destruction and take people away to God knows where in their spaceships, Sinta, along with some of her classmates must rely on their survival instincts, a little luck and each other if they want to survive the venture across the country. The last thing she needs is for Wade, her school friend and Jason, her rescuer, to distract her along the way.
“Shayla,” I say with my voice in a mixture of a whisper and whine. I’m scared to say anything louder.
Stomp, stomp, slide.
I peer in that direction, lifting my sword, pointing it to whatever will come at me. It shakes in the air, my hands almost too unsteady to hold it.
Stomp, stomp, slide.
Shayla approaches my back. “Your turn.”
Stomp, stomp, slide.
“Something is here,” I choke out.
She inhales sharply and steps back, away from me. Only after I feel the tug on the back of my shirt do I realize that she has me, pulling me with her. I take a slow deliberate step back and then another, letting her guide me as I keep my eyes peeled for them. We move to the far corner of the room. All the while the stomp, stomp, slide comes closer and closer, louder and louder.
Briefly I wonder if they can hear it in the basement. They have to. Will they come up and save us? Could they even risk it? I don’t think so. We’re on our own until the aliens leave.
I know we’re at the wall when Shayla stops abruptly and she leads me to rest my back on the wall. We’re standing side-by-side, but I get the feeling that I should stand in front of her. I’m the only one with a weapon. So I do.
“No,” she whispers. “What are you doing?”
“I have a sword.”
“Yeah, one that you’ve been having for all but five minutes.”
“Shhh,” I hiss.
After a blink, it’s there, blocking the entrance. A lizard, green and scaly. Eight feet tall, rippling muscles, staring at me with yellow eyes with black, diamond-shaped iris.
How can a lizard be muscular? My mind screams.
I whimper as it stares down at me, its breathing heavy.
A warm rush of urine travels down my legs.
Shayla’s scream seems to pierce through me.
“You will submit to us.”
Oh, God, No!
In two strides it’s at us. It reaches out for me and all I can focus on are the claws, three black claws, almost like talons, coming closer to me. Instinctively I cringe away from it. But those claws keep coming toward me.
With a “swish” of my sword I swing as hard as I can. It glides through his skin like through butter. A gush of warm liquid sprays me in the face and torso.
I’m not the only one who is surprised by what I’ve done. The lizard stares at his arm with pure shock. I’m in pure shock too. Not that I’ve done it, but that I’ve taken his hand clear off.
Before I can over think about what I’ve done, I take another swipe, this time at its leg. It’s not wearing any clothes, besides some kind of utility belt, so aiming for its knee is easy. The lizard roars as the sword passes through it, making him buckle and fall to his left.
I take a bold step forward and, as it’s falling down, I bring the blade of my sword down across its thick neck, separating its head from his body.
“Oh God!” Shayla cries out.
“I killed it. I can’t believe that I killed it.” My eyes are focused on the ooze instead of blood that’s dripping from my sword and hand.
“We have to get back to the basement.” Shayla rushes past me, but I grab her arm stopping her from leaving the room.
“We can’t. If there are any more aliens, we’ll lead them straight to the others.”
She pulls her arm out of my grasp. “They have guns. They can kill them!” She runs through the door, leaving me to stare at chopped up lizard.
But I have a sword.
Just as quickly as she leaves, Shayla comes back, screaming. “There’s another one!” She runs past me and to a small window on the back wall.
Another lizard, just like the first comes through the door. It takes a quick look at the carnage of its friend and in that time I raise my sword, readying for it.
I killed one. I can kill another.
With a growl it turns and uses its tail to knock me from my feet. As I hit the ground, so does the sword. I hear the clang of metal sliding across the floor and out of my reach. I can’t take my eyes off of it. It peers over me to where Shayla is. It lifts up a foot. I see how rough its skin is, the way his black claws curl inward.
It’s going to step on me and dig its claws in my flesh, ripping me apart.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A. M. Griffin is a wife who rarely cooks, mother of three, dog owner (and sometimes dog owned), a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She’s a hard worker whose two favorite outlets are reading and writing. She enjoys reading everything from mystery novels to historical romances and of course fantasy romance. She is a believer in the unbelievable, open to all possibilities from mermaids in our oceans and seas, angels in the skies and intelligent life forms in distant galaxies.
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