My Name Is Jessica

Final Cover

My Name is Jessica

CHAPTER ONE

On my thirteenth birthday, I woke to the buzz of the morning alarm.

“Eight, nine, and ten,” the bell fell silent, and the overhead light flickered on. I rubbed the yuck out of my eyes. “Come on Jess,” I said, and bracing myself against the cold, I threw back my blanket, and rolled out of bed.

I stripped out of my nightshirt and pulled on my day uniform in record time. I put my thumb through the familiar hole in the left sleeve of my sweatshirt. The whole ensemble was various shades of grey and at least one size too big. I felt like an extra in a cheap zombie movie, but at least I was warm now. The engineers had turned the heating off for maintenance last month, it still hadn’t come back on. Pulling my hair into some semblance of order and ignoring the fact that I couldn’t do anything else to make myself look less thin, pale and tired, I pulled on my shoes and hit the release button by the door. I slipped out into the hallway before the door had finished opening.

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My Name Is Jessica: Free Extract

My Name is Jessica Cover

I was eight years old when the word ended, I was ten years old when I was identified as a viable host for Weapon, and I was thirteen years old when I saved the world.

The world ended quietly. We did not destroy ourselves as so many had thought we would. Something else did it for us. In the end, the end of the world was, almost, nothing to do with us, it happened around us rather than to us. They came in silent darkness and so many died so quickly. We were obliterated before we knew what had hit us.

But despite this, we were not defeated.

Man can do awful things to survive and unspeakable things when he wants to ‘win’.

To survive the end of the world we buried ourselves in the earth, in large concrete tombs. We gave up fresh air, sunlight, fresh grown food and pure water. To win the war, we used the Weapon. The Weapon could pierce the darkness and destroy that which had tried to kill us.

The Weapon was going to save us all. But, there is always a but, like all weapons it needed hands, bodies, and minds to wield it. The soldiers tried first, but the Weapon ate them alive, from the inside out. Then the men who were not soldiers tried, but they too fell, husks made hollow by the Weapon. The scientists sought to find out why and watched as men and women were devoured by the Weapon in experiment after experiment.

In the end, they found the answer by accident. An orphan from Shelter found her way into the laboratory. She was five, when she did the impossible. She lifted the Weapon and held it without harm. It twisted in her hand calm and controlled, it became part of her, and she survived it.

No one remembered her real name, so they called her Hope.

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