Josie and Lars had known each other forever, but had never been more than acquaintances. Luke, however, was in her grade. Lars’s impression was that the girl wasn’t very popular at school. She was really cute though, so he didn’t understand why.
“Hey, Luke, what do you think of Josie Albright?”
“She’s super smart—wants to be a chemist—probably just so she can blow up stuff.”
“What I mean is she nice, is she stuck-up, or what?”
“She’s a whackadoodle.”
“What makes you say that?”
“Josie’s not like the other girls.” Luke shrugged. “I mean, she’s into weird things.”
“You mean like her questionable taste in literature?”
“No, well, that might be part of it. She actually tries to be geeky. She thinks it’s cool to be the outcast, I went to a party where she sat in the corner reading a book and smoking a cigarette, like a nerdy girly James Dean or something.”
“I’m not following.”
“She acts like the popular kids are shallow and stuck up, so they’re beneath her. But she’s being just as stuck up. Josie’s not as good-looking as Feenie or Jo, but she’s definitely an Albright—as in not ugly, so the geeks find her too intimidating to hang out with. It’s her own darn fault that she only has a couple of friends. Had. I think they both died in the bunker.”
“I think she looks a little bit like Vivian Leigh.”
“That lady in Gone with the Wind?” Luke’s eyebrows arched. “Oh, man, Lars—don’t tell me you’re crushing on weird Josie Albright?”
“It’s not a crush exactly—let’s call it mild interest.”
“Mild interest.” Luke rolled onto his back, holding his belly, as he laughed. “Is that what they’re calling lust these days?”
“You heard about how she saved that little girl from the river crocs?”
“Yeah, that was pretty cool.” Luke thoughtfully stroked his pretend mustache. “Superhero Vivian Leigh?” he teased. “Maybe I ought to reconsider my stance on dating whackadoodles.”
“Don’t even think about it.” Lars scowled at his brother. “If you try to steal her out from under me, I’ll be really pissed.”
“If this is how you react when mildly interested in a girl,” Luke scanned Lars sardonically. “I’ll hate to see what you’re like when it’s true love.”
“Shut up and help me figure out if I should ask her out.”
“How are you going to take her out somewhere? It’s not like there’s a theater or a café around the next corner.”
“I thought maybe I could ask her on a picnic—what do you think?”
“Rumor has it that Josie Albright only likes girls. Short hair? Hoodies? What are we supposed to think?”
“You mean she’s a lesbian?” Lars felt his stomach sink in disappointment. “Are you sure?”
“There’s only one way to know—ask her out, bro.”
The last survivors of the human race are riding out nuclear winter in an underground bunker when disaster strikes. Forced to the surface centuries ahead of schedule, what they find blows their minds. Who can explain it? Two social misfits work together to unravel the mystery.
After living in a posh underground shelter his entire life, Lars Steelsun is plunged headfirst into a mind-blowing adventure on the surface of the Earth. As Lars and his displaced bunker mates are led across the grasslands by Mayor Wakeland, a man of questionable sanity who claims to talk with God, they discover a primitive world where human beings are no longer welcome. Even more mystifying is the emergence of new senses and abilities from within. Learning to use them has become a priority, but his biggest challenge comes from the vivacious Josie Albright. Her lust for glory is going to get them both into trouble. Sparks fly when her gung ho ways clash with his cautious personality. Can they overcome their differences to find love and a homeland for their people?
May not be suitable for younger readers. Contains mild profanity, sexual situations (infrequent), and violence.
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Genre - Epic Fantasy
Rating – R
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