Sample text for The new hunger : a novella / by Isaac Marion.


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The New Hunger
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THIS IS NOT the beginning.

The beginning is darkness and fire, microbes and worms—the very first of us, killing by the billions on their way up the ladder. There is little to learn from the beginning. We prefer the middle, where things are getting interesting.

Who are we? We are everyone. We are every thought and action. Time is just a filing system for the vastness of our Library, but we linger in the present with the unfinished books, watching them write themselves. The world is changing. The globe is bulging and straining, erupting and blazing with miracles, and we don’t know what shape it will take when it cools. Even with all of history inside us, we don’t know, and this is a little scary.

So we narrow our focus. We zoom in on a country, then a city, then the white rooftop of a stadium, where three young people are sitting on a blanket.

The sky is dark. They are the only ones awake for miles around. It’s hard to catch a sunrise in the middle of summer—the sun barely sets before bouncing back up—but today the need to see beauty was urgent. They have seen too much ugliness. Their lives are smeared with it like blood and shit, so thick they can barely breathe, so today they’re on the roof in the cold morning air, waiting for the sun to wash them.

Who are these people? Why do they interest us? They are not special—no one is—but there is something in them that draws our gaze. A short, pale girl full of strange dreams. A tall, dark girl with a promise carved on her heart. And a half-alive man whose head buzzes with voices, who talks to us and listens without knowing we exist.

We want them to know we exist. We want them to read our Library and share it with the world, because there is nothing sweeter than being known. But first we have to know them. We are books that read our readers, not a story but a conversation, and we open it with a question:

Who are you?

We circle around them, peering in the windows of their souls.

What’s in there? Where did it come from? Show us and we’ll show you.

Up and down the Library, from its bright ceiling to its black basement, pages begin to flutter.


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Zombies -- Fiction.
End of the world -- Fiction.
FICTION / Romance / Paranormal. -- bisacsh