So, I ran out of ideas for today's post. Between a wicked headache and pure exhaustion, I decided to give y'all another peek at Devil's Playground, the book that will be coming out after Tribulation. I can't help but think of the Metallica song Nothing Else Matters when I work on this book, due to the name of the city. Check out what's going on in Nothing, Arizona:
Excerpt from Devil's Playground
No one spoke, we simply moved as one unit down the straight tunnel. We walked for nearly a half an hour before the tunnel ended in a set of stairs leading back up to the surface.
“Looks like we found the stairs to this new development,” Zoey said. Her voice was small and terrified. I turned to look at everyone.
“Whatever we find up here, stay together, and be ready for anything. I just don’t know what kind of development they were creating.” With that, I turned back to the stairs and started climbing. When we reached the top, I reached up to grab the handle, and a voice came from the back of the group.
“What was it called?” Carla asked, eyes wide in the dancing light.
I paused, took a deep breath, and said it.
“The Devil’s Playground.”
Hearing the echo of gasps behind me, I pushed the door open before anyone could complain or start freaking out.
What awaited us was definitely not what I expected.
Once we had crawled out of the tunnel, I allowed myself to take it all in. The flashing lights. The balloons. The vibrant colors.
“An amusement park?” Lucy squeaked in shock.
“Is this for real?” Zoey asked to no one in particular.
“I think so,” I answered. “I think they were trying to create some sort of tourist attraction on one side of the freeway to bring business back to Nothing.”
We walked a minute, taking in all the sights, wondering how no one else could see this, either from the highway, or planes overhead, or something. I looked up and shined my flashlight toward the sky, only to find a sand-colored tarp blocking the amusement park from prying eyes. It surrounded the park on all sides, with no way in or out except the tunnel.
“So, where do we start?” I asked, ready to leave the camouflaged amusement park.
“I don’t think there’s a logical place to start except the beginning. Check every booth, every stand, every tent, and every building, down one side, then back up, hitting the ones in the middle as we go along,” Carla said. It was hard to argue that logic, so that was what we did.
Starting with the Admissions Gate, we checked every teller booth before jumping over the turnstiles and heading to the first building on the right, the gift shop Inferno Gifts and Novelties. No sign of life, let alone our missing friend, so we kept moving, checking everywhere, even between booths and buildings. All buildings were well lit both outside and inside, so it made the searching a bit easier, but after checking 20 buildings, tents, and booths, with no sign of any life whatsoever, we were losing hope.
“Maybe we should try yelling for her,” Carla suggested.
“I don’t think that’s such a good idea,” Zoey replied.
“We don’t really want to alert anyone we’re here. What if they’re not friendly? I mean, they kidnapped Octavia.”
“We don’t know that, maybe she went exploring down these tunnels and is further out trying to ride some rides.”
“Lucy, don’t be so thick. If Octavia had found that trap door and wanted to explore, don’t you think she would have come back and told us about it?” I snapped.
That seemed to shut everyone up. I was getting frustrated with their constant bickering, and was reaching my boiling point, which rarely happened.
I dropped my head, lowered the unneeded lantern and flashlight, and took a few deep breaths, trying to keep my cool.
“Let’s rest a minute, we’ve been walking forever and we’re running on zero sleep. I have no idea what time it is, but I’m willing to bet it’s well past my bedtime.”
“That sounds good, Savannah,” Zoey said. “This looks like a food establishment, maybe it’s heated and has comfy seating inside.”
“Oh, I would saw off my own arm if I thought it would help get us something comfortable to stretch out on,” Lucy exclaimed.
We wandered into the building, which thankfully provided a comfortable warmth as soon as we stepped inside, and were greeted not by a food establishment, but a lounge of sorts. Long, red couches lined the walls and created semi-circle booths here and there. An enormous projector screen advertised the next movie to be played, which was going to be Men in Black. Large reclining chairs sat in front of the projector screen, each having its own holder for a drink and popcorn. A gaming center was set up in one corner with those weird-looking gaming chairs that rocked and had speakers built into them. A food and drink bar was on one wall as soon as we walked in, and they sold everything from candy and popcorn, to steak and potatoes. There was a list of drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, pasted on the wall behind the counter, and off to one side of the bar was a section that sold cigars, cigarettes, and hookah.
Lucy flopped down on one of the couches, and squealed with delight.
“Savannah! It’s like laying on a cloud covered in cashmere! The couches are actually upholstered in cashmere!”
I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony. We randomly pick a building for us to use as a resting stop, and it ends up being Lucy’s dream palace.
I perched on a couch near Lucy, stretching out and getting comfortable. The couch really was covered in cashmere, and quite possibly the most comfy couch in existence.
“Let’s take a few minutes to rest, guys, but don’t get too comfortable, and don’t wander off. We still have to stay close, we don’t know if anyone is out there or not.”
“Oh, relax, Savannah,” Lucy yawned. “Face it, this place is abandoned, just like Nothing, and nobody is coming to get us.”
“Really?” asked Zoey. “Then where’s Octavia?”
Nobody spoke again. It was something none of us were used to. Zoey was the happy-go-lucky hippie girl who never spoke a mean word or raised her voice. Hearing sarcasm and her challenging Lucy was enough to startle us all into silence.
Zoey picked the couch closest to me, and curled up with a pillow that was resting on the couch. Carla settled across from me, next to Lucy, and I watched as she relaxed the instant she sunk into the soft fabric. Once we were all settled in, and I decided we were safe for the moment, I allowed my eyes to close for just a moment.
My eyes flew open hearing someone screaming my name. Then I felt the hands on my arms yanking me into a standing position, pushing my arms to my sides tightly and holding me upright, facing away from the figure. I blinked several times and shook my head to clear it. I had fallen asleep. I had let everyone down.
Hope you enjoyed it, because I've been having fun writing it! If you have something you want me to share, hit me up!!