A man thrust a baby into Jade’s hands. It
trembled in her arms. The man had a message: escape from the tunnels and never
return, her parents were already dead. Jade had a sister; she was irradiated.
Thirteen years later, her sister, Pearl, is
coming of age. Rows of sucker-caps line her arms and hands. Her skin is coral
pink. Each night, her dreams fill with visions of violence, depression, and
On the surface, people have grown wild and
dangerous. They scavenge, fight, and steal. Below, in the tunnels, they're
controlled by a ruthless leader and an army of beings known only as Shadows.
When both groups come searching for Pearl, sensing the power her dreams may
hold, only Jade can stand in the way.
man stood before her, haggard and gaunt. He had a scraggly beard the
colour of sand and bark, and wide, fluid eyes that sat askew, one too
high and one too low. One arm was pinned to his body and the other
dangled loosely. His expression was glazed and desperate.
Pearl saw him she froze. Her stomach clenched and her body tightened,
unable to decide whether to vomit or run.
Pearl,” said the man in a gravelly voice. It was a statement not a
lips twitched when she tried to speak, but she was unable to. Her
pink face drained white.
come lookin’ for you,” he said. “I’ve seen you in my dreams.”
S. Elliot Brandis
S. Elliot Brandis is a Speculative Fiction
writer from Brisbane, Australia. He writes about societies on the brink of
collapse, and civilizations that have long since crumbled. His debut novel,
Irradiated, is a dark tale about survival, love, and moral ambiguity.
When he’s not putting his characters through the
wringer, he’s actually kind of a nice guy. He keeps literature on the same
shelf as comic books, and mixes his beer with tobasco. He invites you to visit
him at selliotbrandis.com.