Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Attic (After the Pretty Pox, Book 1) by August Ansel

Release date: July 28, 2016
Subgenre: Post-apocalyptic science fiction

About The Attic


"It's worse than that. God will ignore us entirely."
A searing act of bioterrorism. A catastrophic plague they call the Pretty Pox.
Most of the human race is dead, and for two years Arie McInnes has been alone, riding out the aftermath of the Pretty Pox, waiting for her own inevitable end.

Hidden in the attic of her ruined home, Arie survives by wit and skill, ritual and habit. Convinced that humans are a dangerous fluke, a problematic species best allowed to expire, she chooses solitude...even in matters of life and death.

Arie's precarious world is upended when her youngest brother - a man she's never met - appears out of nowhere with a badly injured woman. Their presence in the attic draws the attention of a dark watcher in the woods, and Arie is forced to choose between the narrow beliefs that have sustained her and the stubborn instinct to love and protect.

In Book One of August Ansel's captivating new post-apocalyptic series, After the Pretty Pox casts an unwavering eye on what it means to be human in a world where nature has the upper hand, and the only rules left to live by - for good or ill - are the ones written on our hearts.


by Tuli, c. 2052

An after-reckoning about how it shook out.
Supposition, hypothetical, considering everything, etc.

What happened?
This is how we create a history, as passed from lip to ear. The birth of rumor, legend, long nights around a fire while the moon rises and the log burns to embers.
The quickest way to spread information: telegraph, telephone, tell a secret.
The world came apart.
That may not be true. It may only have been the country. Or the continent.
The cavalry did not arrive. No assistance was forthcoming. Perhaps that means something?
I doubt it.
For a long time the disintegration was recorded. Data was downloaded and consumed. The unraveling was spectator sport.
There was probably a tipping point. One last margin of error, a hair’s breadth, a held breath, right before the moment of no return, an accumulation of trouble, enough to make us stand still, to look around at each other and say we should change this.
That is not what happened.
Who did this, damn it?
Finding a Responsible Party was more important than standing down.
We already knew we were responsible.
For a time, we knew everything, had all the information.
That is not true, either, but we thought it was. I search, therefore I am.
Once upon a time, a hole opened in the great web of connection. The filaments broke loose. The old forgotten quiet poured through.
What happened?
History is what we remember. Real-story is what we forget.
I can only write a history. But for you it may be a real-story.
I will write.
Not today. My hand fails.
Let us begin with a reminder: Carpent tua poma nepotes.
Your descendants will pick your fruit.


Someone was inside. All the way inside, pushing past the overturned furniture and trash she had scattered strategically around the entryway and the living room. Bear, was Arie’s first thought. It had happened before. But there was a quality of hurried stealth. No bear would try to step around the bottles and cans, the old cellophane and silverware, broken glass and dead leaves. Lying face down on the attic floorboards, weight on her forearms, not moving a muscle except to turn her head ever so slowly, Arie hovered, put her ear as close to the slats of the old heating register as she dared. Panting down there, broken and whistling. A person, then. A person in the house with her. Someone frightened. Arie could smell it, without even putting her nose to the grate. The sour, dank odor of a body in extremity.
“Please don’t.” The words floated into Arie’s ear, a scrim of sound so high and wheezy it seemed like imagination. No longer directly below her. “Hurry. Have to hurry.” Female, probably. Or child. Arie knew better than to look.
Then something else inside, down there. The whistling breath of the intruder, the human, had gone silent. But the fear smell was loud and louder still.



About August Ansel:

August Ansel is the pen name (and alter ego) of author Carla Baku. It’s August who is forever wedging beloved dog-eared novels by Shirley Jackson, Peter Straub, and Joe Hill in among the works of Toni Morrison and Tobias Wolff. Working from a tiny garret overlooking the lovely Myrtle Grove Cemetery, August prefers to write novels longhand while sipping bitterly strong tea and wearing an atrocious pair of bedroom slippers.

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