Welcome! Indie Author Excerpts is a feature allowing indie authors the chance to showcase one of their books and allowing readers to find their next favorite story. Each week, an indie author gets to promote a 1-2 page excerpt of their book here at The Bawdy Book Blog. This is a win-win for everyone! This feature was inspired in part by Indie Author Spotlight, a meme hosted by Beckie @ Bittersweet Enchantment and CYP @ A Bookalicious Story.
This Week’s Excerpt: Remnant Few by Jon Fore!
They hid in the bowels of Blackrock Mountain, in a fallout shelter meant for men of state and not a loose pack of juvenile delinquents and violent soon-to-be career criminals. Considering the radiation, what else could they do?
Camp Blackrock was designed to teach self-reliance, teamwork and social responsibility to juvenile offenders. Through hard work and shared challenges, the campers were taught vital skills such as reliance on self and others and had proven effective in preventing adult recidivism.
The only problem was that Dakota was not a criminal.
This was not her first survivalist camp, but it was supposed to be her last. All she had left was her senior year, then off to college and no more of this wild waste of time learning to prepare for what would kill everyone anyway. Prepping, to her, was just stupid. But then the war started.
Dakota suddenly finds herself locked underground in a sixty year old facility meant to house the United States Senate with a hand full of criminals; some violent, some very violent. When the only adult, Sergeant Daniels is found dead, they are all thrust into a new lawless world, a world without order, a world where the strong rule and the weak die, alone.
Chapter 1 – Indoctrination
The argument was over before it even really got started. Like the year before, and the year before that, they told her she was going to camp, to one of those end of the world survivalist camps where she would learn those things no one needed to know to prepare for something that, if it came, knowing wouldn’t matter anyway. Why they kept doing this to her, she couldn’t understand. If they were so worried about the end of the world, why didn’t they come to the camp and leave her at home?
But still, here she was, sitting at another worn-out, bought-used picnic tables, the wood weathered to a flesh dimpling discomfort reserved for the torture victims of dumb ass parents. With a finger, she traced the scrolled names of other victims or at least others who sat here before her, sometimes written in initials, most marked with a two-digit year. Some bore the obligatory declaration of ‘was here’, as though having scratched their name into the surface of a table somehow did not indicate they were, at least at some point, there. More dumb asses, some carved so long ago, she was sure they were now dumb ass parents. On a whim, she searched through the initials and names again, but did not see any that might be her own parents.
She shifted her legs a bit, trying to change the flow of blood. She was not the only one here, but none of the others seemed talkative or even friendly enough to see if they could be talkative. There was a dark brooding black man at the front of the row of tables. He wore a letterman jacket from some high school, and hung his head to the table as if asleep or meditating.
In the row across from him sat a red haired rodent faced kid with yards of freckles crammed into on square foot of ugly, just enough ugly to hold up his nose. He wore a flannel shirt and a wicked smirk and stared hard at a pretty blond sitting behind the letterman athlete.
The blond was pretty in her way with full cheeks, curly hair and ample breasts all on a whip-thin frame. Her red and white checked flannel strained across her chest, but hung limply below that. She ignored everyone as she pummeled the snot out of some small smart phone with both thumbs.
Next to the freckled wreck sat another kid, very much like the other but with no freckles. He was smaller but fit, and wore the same Sears flannel shirt as the others. But this kid, he looked like a mile of rough road. Dakota could not guess what he might have gone through over the past few days, but he was all but worn out and ready for the trash.
There was one other girl, behind her and on the opposite row, but she only got one look at her as she stalked by. A glimpse of holes recently vacated of jewelry in every conceivable place on her face, the dark hair with a light purple highlight, the black brooding eyes of the self-fatal told her she was Goth regardless the conservative wool shirt and tight Levi jeans. She thought it would be a bad idea to turn for a better look. Her curiosity would be too obvious, and she had enough trouble with the Goths at school.
Forget her, and forget these others. She was hoping for a camp buddy she could complain to, but not this time. Two months of hermit rage. That was just awesome.
She did not know how long she sat there with the silent others, but it was getting dark, and she was getting hungry. Her parents gave her a fist-full of whole grain peanut butter cranberry crap bars, you know, just in case, but she was not that hungry. Not yet. But this idle silent sitting was becoming annoying.
At least, this time, she did not leave a boyfriend behind like last summer. That went over real well. In three weeks, she had gotten to know him socially, personally, and even intimately–to a point that is. But the dumb ass parents killed that off quick. No warning, no mention of another summer camp, and she barely got time to call him one last time. Then off she went in the back of some minivan style SUV thing to the deep woods, tents, and holes dug to crap in. She hated digging holes almost as much as she hated using them.
The cabin door across the way finally opened, and a studious little woman marched from the cabin to the large trailer followed by a little girl–at least she looked a lot younger. Dakota recognized the woman as the one who signed her into camp and waved her parents off to their own summer vacation without the burden of a teenaged daughter. She had the personality of a thick needle with frameless glasses, tight ponytail and screeching blue eye shadow. The makeup would have been sad if it wasn’t so ridiculous. Women as old as her shouldn’t even bother, but she did. Really, once you make thirty, it’s time to give up. It really was just sad.
The girl had to jog to keep up with the needle. Her hair was tied back as well, but not so tightly, and she had a military backpack bouncing on her back. They both vanished into the confines of the metal-skinned trailer, the door self-slamming behind them. The trailer looked like every other trailer Dakota had seen in every trailer park in America–if it was still the seventies that is. Its skin was shiny silver but pockmarked with samplings of corrosion or rust here or there. It looked well maintained, but within the confines of a strict budget. The tires were flat, and the tow gear up front was rusted and scrubbed almost to uselessness. That trailer had sat there a long time, and Dakota guessed it would be sitting there forever. At least the two provided a moment of excitement. Now back to tracing the scrawled initials on the picnic table.
The freckled wreck sighed loudly and shifted on his bench, drew his canvas backpack to close, and laid his head on it. “This fucking blows.” He said, just under his breath but loud enough for everyone to hear.
The kid next to him chuckled, “Yeah.” and then pulled his pack close to use as a pillow.
About the Author
Follow Jon Fore around the web:
Website | Goodreads
Jon Fore was born in Marysville, Ohio in 1968, the third son of Dave and Judy Fore. After graduating Manalapan High School in 1987, Jon enlisted in the United States Navy, serving a combat role during Desert Storm. Now he lives in Florida with his beautiful wife and three wonderful children.
His first professional short story, Mid Watch sold in 2004 to The Pow Wow Paper. This was to precede a number of short stories, thesis, and even poetry publishing credits over the next two years with periodicals such as The Story Teller, Events Quarterly, Crime and Suspense Magazine and Dystopia magazine. In 2006, his short story, Undone, was nominated for a Push Cart award by Story Teller Magazine.
In 2007, Jon published his first full length novel, Black Water, with Chippewa Publishing. Since then, Jon has completed six novels, the most recent, Paradise in 2011.
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