THE BONE HARVEST: opening scene

Hello friends and followers! I’m looooong overdue for a blog update, and plan to write a proper one soon! With the release of IT FALLS APART over the summer there is so much to reflect back on and celebrate—and look forward to!—but I’m also right in the middle of a big “day job” transition right now that’s taking up almost all of my time and attention. THAT SAID, I’m sad I haven’t had much time lately to write, or blog! So I’m going to do the next best thing and share an excerpt from my current WIP with you! I’m hoping it will inspire me to get back to working on this book ASAP and inspire you to want to read more of my writing! (Btw, have you read IT FALLS APART? Have you recommended it to a friend? Have you left a review? *wink*wink*)

Here, for your reading pleasure, is the opening scene from…

The Bone Harvest (1).png
Oxygen levels are low.

I ignore the comment as best I can, wishing the robotic voice emanating from the computerized self-preservation pack, or SPP, I wear on my back would keep his warnings to himself for once.

“Thanks, Spencer. I know.” I smack a hand against the airlock’s control panel to encourage it to open. 

Merely keeping you informed, Nina. Oxygen levels have dropped 0.37% since my last warning.

“It’s fine. I’ve got this.” I retrieve my multi-gadge from the back pocket of my charcoal jumpsuit and twirl it in my hand until the screwdriver head appears, then cram it into the crease of the console, popping open the cover.

“Got it,” I say. “Now to figure out what’s keeping this airlock from sealing properly.”

Perhaps you should have waited for Harley, like he wanted you to.

I roll my eyes. “I didn’t need to wait for Harley,” I say, remembering the caution from my mentor all too clearly. “Like I said, I’ve got this.”

I spin my multi-gadge to reveal the laser-head, then aim it into the console, tucking my chin-length hair behind my ear. I can see where the wires are frayed—a loose connection in the computer, enough of one that it can’t figure out how tightly to seal the inner doors.

You were supposed to check in at the Job Desk at 1730 hours.

This time I ignore Spencer’s comment. It’s not that I don’t appreciate him figuratively—and for the most part, literally—always having my back, I just need to focus and get this airlock fixed so I can prove to Harley I’m capable of handling these repair jobs unsupervised.

1730 hours was 10 minutes ago. 

Still ignoring, I twist the frayed wires together where they should be attached, trying to remember everything Harley taught me about wiring as I go.

Oxygen levels are still dropping. Do you know what will happen if you run out of Oxygen?

“I have a rough idea,” I say, working as fast as I can.

What about if the wires you are fusing malfunction and the outer doors open? Do you know what will happen then?

“That’s not going to happen,” I say, but even I can hear the uncertainty in my voice. “The outer door is fine.”

There is no pressure in space, Nina.  The air in your lungs would expand, ripping the fragile tissue open— 

“Okay, thanks,” I bite back. “I get the picture. Not helpful, Spence. Not helpful.”

I take a deep breath, which is probably a mistake. I’m starting to feel a bit lightheaded. With everything set the way I want it, I begin re-fusing the wires with my laser, but then my hair fans out to obstruct my view, causing me to reactively drop my multi-gadge onto the grated, metal floor of the airlock. “Shit.”

I scoop it back up, then clench it between my teeth while shrugging Spencer off my back, letting him slide to the floor so I can retrieve a hair elastic from my pocket. With the multi-gadge still in my mouth, I pull my sleek, black hair into a ponytail, its violet tips funneling out from the pinch like a crest of purple feathers.

I detect an abrupt plunge in elevation. Did you drop me, Nina?

With my hair fully off my face, I return my attention to the control panel. “No, I’m just giving you a five-minute break, Spence.”

Self-preservation packs do not require breaks.

“Well, then feel free to keep talking. Just not about lungs bursting open. In fact, the entire subject of bodily harm is off the table,” I say, continuing to work on the wires. “Tell me a story—or a joke.”

Alright. A structurally-modified self-preservation pack walks into a bar. "What can I get you?" the bartender asks. "I need something to loosen up," the structurally-modified self-preservation pack replies. So the bartender serves him—

A screwdriver,” I say, right alongside him. “Is that seriously the only joke you know?”

When a joke is that funny, you only need one. 

“Hmm.” I bite my lip, examining my work. “That’s debatable.”

I fiddle with a few more wires, then spot another connection that’s coming lose. What a rat’s nest. This airlock was due for an upgrade a long time ago. 

I am sorry for having to do this, Nina, but I am not programmed to have a choice.

“Having to do wha—?”

A blaring alarm overrides Spencer’s ability to respond, tearing my question apart before a robotic voice much deeper than Spencer’s relays a dire warning:

EMERGENCY. EMERGENCY. OXYGEN LEVELS ARE DANGEROUSLY LOW. EMERGENCY. EMERGENCY...

***

If you want to read more, you can find another small excerpt from THE BONE HARVEST here.