QSFer C.E. Kilgore has a new sci fi-post apocalyptic book out:
An apocalyptic M/M Romance. Electricity is gone. Society is on its knees. The heart’s compass becomes the light in the darkness.
Joshua has had enough of people. Especially those desperate, starving bastards who he’s certain ate his dog. When people decide to leave the university town of Lincoln, Nebraska and head south before winter sets in, Joshua heads north instead. When he lands face-first in a snowbank, he welcomes death. What he finds instead is the handsome smile of Chris, a lone goat farmer who’s trying to make the best of life without power.
“Here, have a seat.”
“Thanks.” I plop down onto a large couch set near a fireplace. The embers are glowing orange but quickly ignite as he stokes the fire and adds two cut logs. As the room is basked in warm light, I try to take everything in, but my mind protests and the room spins. Giving up, I close my eyes and lean back. I could sleep for days.
“Hey now. Joshua?” A tap against my cheek has me trying to open my eyes again. “Need you to stay awake a bit longer, okay? Don’t know if you got hyperthermia or not. I’m no doctor, but I think you’re supposed to stay awake.”
“Awake,” I repeat back. “I’m awake.”
A quiet chuckle. “Okay. Hold tight. Gotta take care of some things, then we’ll take a look at that foot.”
“Awake. Foot.” Yeah, I’m losing my coherence. A poke against that foot shoots pain up my body and has me wide-eyed and gasping for air.
“Sorry, but I can’t have you falling asleep.”
Jerk. With a really sweet smile and… Damn, he’s taken off his cowboy hat. He’s got honey-colored shaggy-cut hair to match his brown eyes and rough, weathered appearance. It’s like I stepped into one of those Wranglers commercials. Thank God I’m in so much fucking pain, or I’d be hard on and drooling.
Stop drooling, idiot. I snap my eyes away as he stands. My eyelids start to droop a bit, a heavy weight settling in my chest.
“Joshua?” Chris calls as he retrieves the lantern from the entryway.
“Awake,” I mumble in a half-lie.
“Keep talking. You said you were an arts major?”
“Uh, yeah.” I try to focus, but that life seems so far away. “Second year. Graphic design.”
“Ah, so that explains the sketchpad and pencil set I found. Thought that was an odd thing to carry around, instead of food.”
“Ran out of food. I’m no survivalist. Just started walking away from those dog-eating bastards.”
“I can’t imagine how hard that must be,” he replies from someplace farther away. I hear cabinets and drawers opening and closing. “But, I can’t imagine how desperate people in the cities are getting. I’m damn lucky out here, and I guess so is my dog.”
That perks me up. “You have a dog?”
“Sure do.” He’s close again, setting things down on the coffee table. “Her name’s Jenny. She’s out with the horses. Likes it out there. She’s a bit old and lazy, but she acts as my alarm should anyone think of taking my horses.”
“Goats. Horses. Chickens?”
He chuckles. “Nah. Not a fan of chickens. And I only had one horse, but the Masons asked me to look after one of theirs. A young one they weren’t sure was ready for a long hike south. You can see them all properly tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow,” I whisper, that concept strange and no longer familiar. I’d stopped thinking about tomorrows. Everything had been narrowed down to the next meal, the next hill, the next step.
My left foot is lifted and set on something soft, but I still have to hold my breath to keep from yelling. “Sorry,” Chris speaks softly, his hands warm against my throbbing calf. He’s got my foot propped up on a pillow on the coffee table, with the lantern nearby along with a bowl and some cloth.
Chris peels off my soggy sock with a curse. “Didn’t you ever change your socks? Or check your boots for holes?”
“No, sir.” My eyes lower in shame. “Sometimes, if a house I came across had socks left, I would, but most places had already been looted.”
“Can’t believe you made it this far,” he mutters. “You got yourself a fighting spirit, at least.”
Raising my eyes back up, I watch the firelight flickering across his sandy hair and the dancing shadows cast against the lines of his face. Each of his movements is slow, calculated. I can tell he’s being as gentle as possible, but every touch hurts. With sharp inhales, I try to live up to the fighting spirit he says I have; the spirit I doubt is really there. A whistle from the fireplace ends the torture as he moves to retrieve a steaming kettle hung on an iron rack.
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C.E. Kilgore (1981 – ) is an author without genre, who likes to dabble in several genres from romance to science fiction. She also enjoys pushing the boundaries of those genres, trying new things, venturing outside formulas and turning tropes on their heads. Admittedly a control freak, she is currently a self-published author under the name Tracing The Stars, and hasn’t quite found the publisher who fits all her quirks. Be sure to check out her website, cekilgore.com