The Eleventh Plague

By Jeff Hirsch

Jeff Hirsch's beautiful debut is now in paperback!

In the aftermath of a warfare, America’s panorama has been ravaged and two-thirds of the inhabitants left useless from a vicious pressure of influenza. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his kinfolk have been one of the few that survived and have become salvagers, roaming the rustic looking for fabric to alternate. but if Stephen’s grandfather dies and his father falls right into a coma after an coincidence, Stephen reveals his solution to Settler’s touchdown, a neighborhood that turns out too stable to be precise. Then Stephen meets robust, defiant, mischievous Jenny, who refuses to just accept issues as they're. And after they play a prank that is going horribly mistaken, chaos erupts, and so they locate themselves in the middle of a conflict that may swap Settler’s Landing--and their lives--forever.

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The solar had dropped a pair levels within the sky. i assumed of pop mendacity there on their lonesome and began to head, yet then I remembered Jenny’s drawing nonetheless clenched in my hand. I grew to become the crumpled ball over, and ahead of I knew it, my palms have been pulling it open. The paper crackled as I unfold it open at the flooring in entrance of me. It wasn’t what I anticipated in any respect. inside of was once a virtually excellent cartoon of the again of the college with the sky and drifting clouds within the historical past. The scrub and grass prime as much as the brick wall have been textured and deep. all of it seemed unbelievably genuine, like a photo, other than that at the different part of the window, rather than a category choked with scholars, desks, and a instructor, there stood a lone, riderless horse. Its head used to be bowed virtually to the ground. It had no saddle or bridle, and its darkish mane used to be lengthy and tangled. The strangeness of it was once overwhelming, yet no longer within the related manner that town used to be. it made my pulse gradual and my respiring run shallow and quiet for the 1st time due to the fact that I’d arrived, love it used to be talking to me in a language i may virtually, yet no longer relatively, comprehend. I traced the traces of the drawing with the end of my finger, looping and slashing around the paper like Jenny had, attempting to think what was once in her head as she did it. The blackbird cawed back, pulling me again into the realm. Waste of time, i presumed, and folded the paper up and shoved it in my pocket. I had no time to be images. I had paintings to do. TWELVE overdue that evening, as soon as everybody had long past to sleep, I sat up within the darkness. I dressed as silently as i may, then accumulated every little thing i wished — relocating achingly gradual to prevent making any sound — and crept out of city. I the line up towards the white stone wall that looked as if it would glow within the moonlight. fortunately the gates have been left a bit of open so i used to be capable of slip prior, averting the rusty creak that i used to be yes might have carried around the whole city. as soon as via, I headed for the woods at the different aspect of the grass undeniable. It took me greater than an hour to go in the course of the wooded area. while I stepped down onto the cracked remnant of the street at the different aspect, my boots have been caked in dust and my hands have been raked with scratches from the thornbushes woven throughout the timber. The land around the highway used to be darkish as slate. It appeared to stretch westward approximately eternally, dotted with scattered households of bushes, until eventually it ran up opposed to low mountains that loomed remote within the distance. Off to the north there have been the is still of a on line casino known as the Golden Acorn and a Starbucks. Their billboards stretched into the sky. I made my means up the hill till i discovered an outdated lightning-struck tree. It was once break up down the center with the first actual showings of sprouts turning out to be out of its charred inside. I stepped again into the canopy of the woods in the back of it ahead of I pulled the gauze-wrapped package deal from my coat pocket and opened it. glass medication bottles and some stainless-steel tools, valuable at any exchange amassing, glittered in my hand.

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