Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Girl in the City by Philip Harris

Release date: February 2, 2015
Subgenre: Dystopian science fiction

About The Girl in the City

With the oppressive Transport Authority controlling every aspect of their existence, Leah and her father do what they can to carve a good life for themselves. Leah spends her nights scavenging in the rural zone around the City, risking capture by the Wild Ones as she hunts for salvage her father can trade for food and other essentials.

But when Leah takes a bag of salvage from a dying stranger, she and her father are drawn into the world of Transport and its war against the terrorist organization, TRACE.

A war that could cost them both their lives.

The Girl in the City is a standalone science fiction novella set in the world of Michael Bunker's Pennsylvania and is approximately 60 pages long.



LEAH GRABBED THE SALVAGE AND RAN. Metal and plastic clattered and rattled in the cloth bag hanging around her shoulders as she threw herself down the slope, slipping and sliding on the loose earth. The lights of the encampment behind her cast long shadows across the ground but made it just about possible to see where she was going. She heard the Wild Ones shouting as they ran towards the pile of discarded circuit boards, wires, and lumps of rusted iron she'd just raided. She felt the familiar rush of adrenaline, and a smile slid across her face. She let gravity do its job, pulling her faster and faster down the hill until she was afraid she'd topple forward.
A dark shape reared up out of the gloom—a woman armed with a heavy wooden club. The woman swung the weapon at Leah's head. Leah dived to the right. She landed awkwardly, the bag caught beneath her. Something hard dug into her ribs, a piece of metal or the big circuit board she'd found buried at the bottom of the salvage pile. She cried out, winced.
The woman shouted, “Weasel's over here, boys.”
Leah pulled herself to her feet and took off running again. She risked a backwards glance. The woman was out of shape and weighed down by layers of heavy animal furs, and she was already falling back. There were others, though—two men, leaner and less encumbered. They were past the woman and gaining on Leah. She zigged and zagged, trying to confuse the men and slow them down, but they were too close. She needed to get out of their line of sight; she couldn't let them follow her back to the City.
Leah headed left, away from home and towards unfamiliar territory. There was a crack, and a puff of earth kicked up a few feet ahead of her.
Leah yelped in surprise. She'd never been shot at before. For a moment, she considered throwing the bag away and giving up on the day's bounty. But she couldn't go home empty-handed.
She ran towards another hill. The ground beneath her feet became harder. That made it easier to run, but she had to dodge stones and rocks. Twice she nearly tripped and fell.
Another glance back showed her the men had slowed. One of them held a longrifle to his shoulder. Leah ducked as another gunshot rang out, and the bullet ricocheted off a nearby boulder. She pushed harder, desperate to reach the top of the hill, expecting any second to feel the punch of a bullet hitting her in the back. Another shot whined past her ear as she reached the crest. She flinched and threw herself forward.
Immediately, she realized her mistake. The ground dropped sharply away from her, and she plunged over the edge.



About Philip Harris:

Philip Harris is a speculative fiction author and video game developer. Born near Oxford, England, he now lives on the West Coast of Canada where he spends his days developing video games and his nights writing speculative fiction - anything from horror to science fiction to fantasy.

His first publication, Letter From a Victim, appeared in the award winning magazine, Peeping Tom, in 1995. Since then he has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies including Garbled Transmissions, So Long, and Thanks for All The Brains and James Ward Kirk's Best of Horror 2013.

He has also worked as security for Darth Vader.

His science fiction novel, Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet is a homage to the old Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon serials and will be published in early 2015.

You can find free fiction and his blog at his website.

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