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Previous Book in the Series (click on image for the link to Goodreads):
First, we were told we were
going to LA, then that we were going home. But California didn’t look like
this, and neither did Florida.
“Where the fuck are we?”
Fiona asked next to me, her voice wavering. In classic Fiona style, she was
trying to put up a tough front, but I knew better. She was scared. And slowly
but surely, so was I.
“I don’t know,” I said
again, just as unhelpful this time as before. How could I know anything more than she did—and yet my cluelessness
still felt like another of my shortcomings, another sign of failure.
Hating this feeling of
helplessness, this complete loss of control, I tried to focus on sorting out
where we might be. The letters PL were on all
the license plates, I’d noticed. Did that stand for a country, and if so,
Winding streets led us
through an even denser forest and up some kind of mountain or hill, the turns
getting sharper, more precarious, until we took a right onto a smaller,
private-looking road. Asphalt gave way to gravel and then a big dark metal
fence rose before us with a giant gate decorated with spikes and iron vines and
roses. Just to the left of it was a security booth, the door opening as we drew
closer. In a way it reminded me of home, the gated community my house was in.
But the similarities stopped there.
A middle-aged man with
thinning hair, wearing an impeccably clean uniform—white dress shirt, navy tie,
and black pants, with polished shoes—stepped out of the booth and walked toward
our car. We came to a halt before the gate, the driver lowering his window and
greeting the security man in a language I couldn’t understand. It sounded
Russian, or something similar, like a slightly whispered rustling, words full
of sh and ch sounds with a rough edge to them.
“Welcome back home, Oscar
and Kellie,” the security guard said with a smile toward us, in flawless
English. Why is he using our new names?
“It’s good to see you two again; you were gone a bit longer than expected,
weren’t you? Well I’m glad you’re okay and made it back, so I won’t hold you up
too long. Surely you’re tired and want to go inside and relax.”
Fiona and I just stared at
him, which didn’t seem to bother him. He walked back to his booth casually as
if all of this was normal. But nothing he’d said made sense.
Soundlessly the metal gate
began to swing inward, the driver closing his window before setting the car back
“Miles…” Fiona said,
gripping my hand. She didn’t finish, and I didn’t need her to.
here,” I told her. Because this much I knew: “Whatever this is, we’re facing it
About the Author
Alice Reeds was born in a small town in Germany but spent her first eight years in Florida, USA. Later on, she moved back to Europe, where her family moved around a lot. She was raised trilingual and has a basic understanding of Russian, read and spoken. After getting her International Baccalaureate Diploma, Alice is studying English Language and Literature at University. In her free time Alice mostly writes, reads, figure and/or roller skates, or watches countless let’s plays and figure skating videos.