Hannah Brewster-Stein is the author of ‘The Drawing’, a whimsical, bleak, ridiculous and yet hopeful piece of science-fiction literature.
Consider if Hitler had won the war – what kind of humanity would exist today and would there be any room left for compassion, hope for restoration or the belief in God?
Please enjoy this excerpt from the original manuscript of ‘The Drawing’.
Chapter One: Eve
Every breath escapes with an infuriating sound, and each inhale brings a searing pain deep into the diaphragm; penetrating, corrupting, and degrading the tissues. It’s agony to be alive in this state of half-death, but succumbing would only add to their ranks.
Fifteen more minutes. Fifteen more minutes, she repeats to herself. She just has to live for fifteen more minutes. As she exhales, she wheezes and a cough threatens to escape, but she chokes it down. Her next breath brings burning bile into the throat. Swallow. Breathe.
Fourteen more minutes.
A poster is pinned to the wall. It’s a grainy portrait of white children with hungry eyes staring out beseechingly, with their bare toes stepping on the caption underneath:
Do not kill us; Please Stay Alive!
Propaganda, which was initiated by rebel scientists, needed in the early days when many still doubted, when the attacks were much more subtle and the reality too difficult to grasp.
Thirteen more minutes.
Outside, voices scream and shatter her frail remnants of courage. So close to each other, she cannot distinguish the number of those taken. She strains to listen, concentrating, but the exertion only exasperates the bleeding in her ears, drowning her senses. Every night the attack is worse. The air is thick with carcinogens. Melanoma covers a third of her body and her bones break with the rise and fall of her chest. Out of the fading hazy vision of her one good eye, she watches as the melanoma spreads over her, feeding off the few remaining healthy cells she has left.
Hannah’s debut novel will be available soon!