Overview - Subterranean humanoids, existing since the dawn of man, arose from the belly of the planet. Humanity was unprepared. The undergrounders came with nails and claws and speed to kill people in the night, dragging bodies downward into dark tunnels teeming with rabid life. Read more...
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More About Dead Trees by Eli Constant
Subterranean humanoids, existing since the dawn of man, arose from the belly of the planet. Humanity was unprepared. The undergrounders came with nails and claws and speed to kill people in the night, dragging bodies downward into dark tunnels teeming with rabid life. Civilization is now a ghost of yesterday and the remaining humans fight for survival. One thing's for sure- a scientist mommy battling beasties better be handy with a scalpel. Elise Swanson is a widow and mother. She fights and prays that she can keep her little, broken family safe. She drives and drives, day after day, trying to escape a threat that seems... inescapable. Her hope fades, food is scarce and she watches her eldest daughter's attempts to soothe the younger babe. Then she meets Jason- a father mourning the loss of his son, masking his pain with bravado and charm. He's strong, despite his sadness, and love re-grows within him. Weeks pass and Jason's singular desire becomes the continued safety of Elise and her daughters. Bloody fights with beasties define the survival-road the companions travel. Even a few moments of safety and relaxation elude the group; time and time again, Elise must kiss her children goodbye, just in case tomorrow never arrives. Against all odds, they reach a government safe zone. Even there, Elise finds that there's no rest for the weary. Doctors O'Toole and Peters have been studying the beasties under lock and key, trying to find an answer, but the doctors aren't interested in saving humanity. Forced to lead two lives, Elise assists the good doctors in their pursuits while working secretly in sublevel lab 8 with her own team, Nick and Jamie. Their combined knowledge may be the key- the only hope humanity has of reclaiming the planet from the beasties. As long as they can keep their research secret, safe from O'Toole and Peters, they might discover the way home, the formula to click Dorothy's sparkling red shoes three times and begin to recreate Earth as it was... before the humanoids came out to play on the surface. What will happen when Elise, a neural engineer, Jamie, a medical researcher, and Nick, a computer wizard, are humanity's best hope? The answer might be surprising. Wrapped up in all the uncertainty, violence, science lingo and beasties, they will find a strange solution to a new Earth. And her name is Margaret. ------------------------------- Reader Comments: "Creepy, horrifying, and gut-wrenching at times. You will not be able to put Dead Trees down." Claire C. Riley Author of Limerence and the upcoming Odium "I must congratulate you on what looks to be a well crafted story. Well written, too. You have obviously put a lot of thought and effort into your writing and it shows." -John P. "What a nice change from zombies, vampires, trolls, aliens and giant earthworms. Quadruped humanoids who eat their dead are certainly monstrous enough to qualify for the role of abomination bent on killing off humankind. Your protagonist, Elise, using the first person POV makes the narrative introspective and immediate- a sympathetic character worth cheering on from one impossible situtation to the next. The dialogue is to the point, even raw at times, but always true to character. Thank you so much for the intriguing read." -Ken E.L.