Maria and Adam chapter of work in progress by Iris Carden
The satellite navigation system, thank fully did work, and Angela quickly found Maria and Adam Worthy’s home in the remains of Indooroopilly.
When she found them, Adam, was trapped under a fallen beam in their damaged home. The beam was part of the ceiling of the ground floor and the floor of the second floor of the house. There was a lot of weight on top of it. Maria was in tears, trying to lift it, but failing. Adam wasn’t injured, but was unable to move.
Angela searched the minibus and found the jack supplied for changing flat tyres.
“Do you think this will work?” Maria asked.
“I don’t know but I’ll give it a try Angela answered.”
She tried. She repositioned the jack and tried again. She found a couple of large books and packed them under the jack to lift it further then tried a third time. She was able to lift the beam about five centimetres. It was enough to allow Maria was able to drag her husband out while Angela held the jack in place. Once Adam was clear, Angela released the jack and the beam, and all that was on top of it, collapsed again.
Maria explained that they had been living in the house, knowing it was damaged, still driving each day to Brookfield because they believed Mary and Edward would not survive without them. They were getting low on petrol in their car and would not have been able to continue for much longer even if their house had not collapsed.
“There’s still one guest room at Mum and Dad’s place” Angela said. “You’re going to have to move there as well. Mum and Dad should have invited you. I suppose they did know what conditions you were living under?”
“Yes,” Adam said, “but you know them. They’re incapable of thinking about anyone except themselves.”
There was no chance of getting Maria and Adam’s personal belongings from the house without further risk. Angela suggested they go to a local shopping centre to acquire some clothes, toiletries, and whatever else they might need.
Avoiding the major multi-storey shopping centres, which had sustained a dangerous amount of damage, they found one which in which individual single-level shops opened out on to the carpark.
“There’s less choice here, but the roof’s less likely to fall on us,” Angela said as they left the minibus.
A pharmacy supplied toiletries medications. Further along, a chain women’s clothing store was promising for clothing for Maria. While they were inside the shop, they heard movement outside. All three moved behind racks of clothes so they wouldn’t easily be seen from outside, but where they could see through the plate-glass window.
Outside, they saw a purple, eight-armed, creature. It moved like a octopus, but the central part of the body stood upright and was as tall as an adult human. The legs or arms, or tentacles, whatever they were, were each as long as the body. There were no visible eyes or ears. It carried objects, which may have been weapons or something entirely different, on a strap across its body
This was the first time Angela had seen one invaders. She wondered about the lack of eyes and ears, and if they had a different set of senses to humans. She stayed as still as she could, and held her breath. A sideways glance told her the others were doing the same.
The creature pulled itself through the broken glass doorway, apparently careful to avoid the broken glass, so clearly it could see or in some other way sense the danger from it.
While the three humans were frozen in horror, the creature, reached out with the tentacles nearest them and pulled it self forward. It stopped right beside Angela, and reached a tentacle out to touch the top of her head. Angela resisted the urge to scream.
Then it reached out with the tentacles closest the doorway, and pulled itself back in that direction, moving on past the shop.
“It knew we were here,” Adam said. “But it didn’t attack us.”
“Maybe it realised we weren’t a threat?” Angela said.
“Unless its gone to get backup?”
The three looked at each other and simultaneously decided they’d had enough shopping for the day. They ran for the minibus, and drove back to the James’ house.
Please note: these chapters are the very raw first draft, what appears in the final book may be different. The working title has changed from Survival to Colony, as has the draft cover art, and they may or may not change again before I finish writing the book..