“Rust With Wings”

I have a story that is set in the early days of the bug infestation in my book 7th Sigma. It’s coming out in the anthology After, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terry Windling.

The book is out in October but they are giving away 20 copies over at Goodreads so go sign up!

Here’s a bit from my story:

Jeremy lay flat on his stomach in the backyard grass watching three bugs crawl across a flattened soda can. They were larger than June bugs, with that beetle shape. One was copper-colored, one was silver, and one rusty. Every so often their wing cases would lift slightly and reveal iridescent crystal blue beneath. The rusty one was almost twice as long as the others, with extra legs and a junction point where the new head would be after it split. Everywhere the bugs crawled, holes appeared in the metal.

Jeremy’s dad rounded the corner and said, “Get your butt in the car right now. We’re outta here!”

Jeremy scrambled up, brushing off his jeans. Ever since the power went off three days before, Dad’s temper went from easy-going to better-watch-out and he wasn’t going to do anything that might trigger it.

When they rounded the house, Mom and Laurie were putting laundry baskets full of clothes into the trunk. Laurie was saying, “But why can’t I go over to Sarah’s instead? You said I could last week!”

Dad and Mom exchanged glances. Dad’s eyes narrowed and he opened his mouth and Mom said quickly, “You’re going to have to trust me on this one, honey. Sometimes plans change.”

Dad shut his mouth and moved to the driver’s door. He muttered, “We should’ve left last week.” He paused and took a look at the house, head tilted back. Jeremy swiveled to see what he was looking at but Dad barked, “In the car. Now!”

Jeremy got in the back and tried to look up through the rear window. He couldn’t tell what Dad had been looking at but he didn’t get a good look ‘cause Dad peeled out of the driveway and he was thrown across the seat and into Laurie.

She shrieked and shoved Jeremy back. “Put your seatbelt on, idiot!”

He did, his eyes wide. The few times Dad’s ever driven like that, Mom screamed at him and made him stop the car, but now she was just looking back at Jeremy, to make sure he got the seat belt fastened.

The tires screeched as they made the left at the subdivision entrance and Jeremy felt himself sink into the seat back as Dad accelerated toward the interstate.


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