Friday, August 12, 2016

Excerpt from Twenty-Five Percent Mutation by Nerys Wheatley

More eaters were on the road now, at least twenty, all of them heading towards Alex. He glanced back at Micah, only now noticing that Mavis’ car hadn’t started. The engine turned over a few times and stopped. Micah looked at him through the windscreen and shook his head. He tried the car again. It didn’t start.

Alex turned back towards the horde of eaters in time to see the final car pull out, zigzagging across the road as its panicked driver looked at the eaters instead of where he was going. Alex’s eyes widened as the car headed straight at him. He grabbed the bag and dived out of the way, crashing into a parked van as the car careered past, right where he had been standing moments before.

Seriously?!” he shouted at the car’s retreating bumper, rubbing his shoulder where he’d collided with the van.

As the sound of its engine faded, he heard two things. The moaning of at least a couple of dozen eaters all determined to make him dinner, and the repeated turning over of a Thicar engine.

Scrambling to his feet, he ran back towards the white Nissan. The engine caught and revved as he approached and he heard Micah whoop. He jumped into the passenger seat. The engine promptly died again.

“What? No!” Micah said, staring at the dashboard in horror. He looked at Alex. “What is it with you and cars?”

“What do you mean me? You shouldn’t have taken your foot off the accelerator.”

“I had to get into gear.” Micah turned the key again. All the effort produced was a few lacklustre revs.

Alex stared out the window at the approaching eaters. “Now would be good.”

“Shut up.”

He turned the key again. The starter rolled sluggishly over and over. The eaters lurched closer, the first few within ten feet now.

Suddenly, the engine caught.

Micah exhaled loudly and sat back, revving for what seemed like an age.

“Don’t you think we should be leaving, Mike?” Alex said from between gritted teeth.

“Do you want it to die again? And it’s Micah.”

“You can call me Micah or you can call me Mr Clarke, but don’t ever call me Mike.”

The first eater reached the car and slammed a bloody palm onto the window next to Alex.

“I’ll call you sweetheart and bake you cupcakes if it will get us moving.” 

About the Author
Nerys Wheatley has an underabundance of excitement in her life and an overabundance of imagination which is constantly making up stuff in her head. She writes fast moving, action packed science fiction because she has to let the stories out somehow. She was born in the UK, which makes her spelling just that bit more thrilling, and her greatest wish is to wake up one day to find the remaining boxes from when she moved house two years ago have magically unpacked themselves. It hasn't happened yet, but she's not giving up hope.

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