This time I had random.org select a chapter (8), and from that I picked a page/teaser from that.
There was a low moan, and Benny turned to see a gray-skinned man shuffling slowly around the corner of the building. He wore ancient coveralls that were stained with dark blotches and, incongruously, a garland of fresh flowers around his neck. Marigolds and honeysuckle. The man’s face was shaded for a few steps, but then he crossed into the sunlight, and Benny nearly screamed. The man’s eyes were missing and the sockets gaped emptily.
“Get off! Get off me, ‘X sobbed, sounding like a little kid.
Y kicked at the sickos, slashing with his knife. It was no good, though— there were just too many of them — and he himself toppled over, landing on his friend and smothering him.
‘It’s all right X, ‘he said. ‘I’m with you. It’s all right. You’re not alone. ‘He felt for X’s hand held it tight, as more gym bunnies blocked out the light, swamping them.”
Life out here is hard, my mother used to say, so you have to be harder. Even she wasn’t strong enough to fight off the sickness. By the end she was just a shell of herself, her skull showing through the skin on her face, talking nonsense when the delirium took her. Sometimes she didn’t know who I was or what was happening. And then she remembered, and it was worse.
“A sparking. I know this feeling. Just before a flare-up, there’s a moment. Hard to describe, hard to pin down, but for me it almost makes it worth it. The pain and the loss, all of it a fair price for this. This strength, this power, this eagerness to bare my teeth.”
“You’re my hero, Mickey Catalan,” Lydia says into my ear, over the roar of
“Heroine,” I correct her.
“Hoo—fucking—ray!” Bella Right screams at me when I get into the
Everyone is yelling my name.
Right now, everyone loves me.
Right now, I even love myself.”