Authors: M.R. Ferguson
Tags: #Rise of the Phoenix
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Rise of the Phoenix
Copyright © 2015 by M.R. Ferguson
Cover design by Karri Klawiter
Print and eBook Design by JT Formatting
All rights reserved.
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products, bands, and/or restaurants referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
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This book is dedicated to my best friend, Tracey,
who has supported me throughout writing this trilogy.
WE THOUGHT FREEDOM would give us the world. For all the blood spilled on and for this land, more seems to follow. Freedom from British rule, emancipation for the slaves, vengeance on Hitler and for the attack on Pearl Harbor, surviving the Vietnam war; America joined together. Sometimes as patriots and other times in protest; and yet hatred and racism seemed like a plague on American life. The American dream wasn't a lie; the truth was all an illusion. We were being controlled, manipulated, and used as pawns; the dream became a nightmare.
The last time I saw my family was ten years ago. I was seventeen when my fate was changed. A decade gives you a long time to ponder how to survive in a world where food is scarce and the sun never shines through the dust filled air that clogs the skies.
I often wonder what the world would be like had our government actually cared about humanity and not those who lined their pockets with the blood money of the American people. I miss looking up at the blue sky watching puffs of white clouds sail by, or a warm summer’s breeze whirling across my face. What I wouldn’t give to hear a bird, or the crickets sing. Everything is so quiet now. No angry motorists honking his or her horns. The sound of the train that rumbled past our house has left behind only ghost tracks. I never thought I would miss the repetitive click, click of the steel wheels against the rails and the windows of our home vibrating as I slept. There is nothing left but memories and skeletons of what use to be houses and skyscrapers.
It all started when Neucorp was paying government officials to get funding for what they called “The Special Project”. Society knew of it as the TSP. Now we call it “That Shit Pile of an Idea”.
Altering the state of the human population isn’t an easy task. It takes greedy and high ranking men who call themselves scientists, and money; lots of money. Every Senator, Congressman, and the President himself watched his or her bank accounts grow as the TSP took shape. They were protected from the fallout. The rest of us didn’t see it coming. They wanted a perfect America; no gangs, no druggies, no murder, and no irresponsible parents. The list could go on and on. So this was their way to “cleanse” the country.
I remember the first blinding flash of light and the rumble of the ground. I was in my high school history class when all hell broke loose. The cries and screams that bellowed around me added to the confusion and panic I was feeling. Being twenty-seven now makes me realize we were not equipped to handle such a disastrous event. There is no way you can prepare for the day when the world as you know it is wiped out in a matter of minutes.
As we stumbled out of class, escorted by school staff, we could see the mushroom cloud rise high in the sky. It must have been about ten miles away. Winds took hold of it carrying it closer to us as it slowly dispersed around us. The adults pushed us back inside, but it was too late. We were in the direct path of the radioactive fallout.
Most died quickly; others like me had side effects that would span the rest of their lives. Our great leaders, those that were prized for their skills and intelligence, were hunkered down in bunkers supplied with enough food and water to survive for years. The images of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nothing compared to what I saw. Corpses lined the streets; both animal and human alike. The stench was unbearable. Very little was left and anything that was would never be considered safe. It was all contaminated. It was a true ghost town.
I fled Missouri searching for any sign of life. Now I migrate from place to place, never trusting my bloodlust to let myself get close to anyone. I guess you could call me a vampire, but that term makes me laugh. I would say I’m a mutant from the fallout. My body doesn’t produce its own red blood cells, so I need to drink blood. The hunger burns in me urging me to stay alive; even as the hands of death come for those I drink from. I am a flesh and blood monster of the fallout.
CROUCHING LOW AND walking with a silent step, Phoenix explored the empty streets of New Orleans. This city was the same as the others; barren and lifeless. Entire major metropolitan areas are void of the life they use to hold and in a constant shade of grey. The sky above was a layer of fog so dense the daylight resembled a full, moonlit night. Looking up at the night like sky, Phoenix wished that just once the sun would pop through so the rays could warm her always ice-cold skin. With a sigh, she continued through the silent, empty city. A city so silent you could hear a pin hit the cracked asphalt. A city that was once alive with music, food, endless parties, and excitement, now lay dead under a blanket of dust and death.