Forged in the Storm

Book 1

There is absolutely nothing unique about the Resuoh family. A father, a mother, and three children who love each other and try to live a normal life in rural Nebraska. When a well-meaning scientist attempts to thwart a scheme of world-changing proportions by an elusive employer, he inadvertently throws the Resuohs into an epic adventure that will change them all forever.

As they work to pick up the pieces, they find that the nefarious corporation, ExTek Labs, is developing a slew of new technology that is altering mankind. Unwillingly affected, the tech begins to alter one of the children into something superhuman, but with lethal consequences. His parents are forced to accept the help of a mysterious hooded man to save the life of their son. Does he have their best interests at heart, or is he working toward his own veiled agenda?

Join the Resuohs in their attempt to find their way back to normalcy as they watch destruction rain down upon their small town. Will they succeed or will the future of the world be forever changed?

Forged in the Storm - Chapter 1 - Written by R.E. Houser, Narrated by J.L. Goodsell
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Book details

  • Series: The Anthology of Resuoh (Book 1)

  • Paperback: 110 pages

  • Publisher: Houser Books - KDP (December 29, 2018)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 1731220669

  • ISBN-13: 978-1731220660

  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches

  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces 

Available now on eBook, paper back, hard cover, and audio book. Preview a sample of each below!

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Chapter 1 – Young and Alone in the Dark

Jade

I awoke, startled. Did I just hear something, or was that a dream? The house was still dark but small hints of moonlight peeked in through the blinds of my window. A slight light shone across the tile floor of the dining room outside my door, but quickly went out. Was someone in the bathroom?

It was silent, other than the gentle hum of the mini-fridge that my dad kept in the dining room to hold beer and water bottles. I will never understand why he drinks beer. It is the most disgusting liquid I have ever tasted! Well, maybe that’s not true, he gave me a drop of Scotch once and that was by far the worst! It tasted like the gasoline. At least I assumed that’s what gas tastes like based on the smell. There is nothing that will get me to drink either of those when I’m a grown up.

I blinked away the sleep, while I looked at the shadows on my walls and ceiling. In my mind’s eye they slowly took the shape of different creatures and beasts in the darkness. Well, now I’m awake! I looked away from the monsters I had created, and I swung my legs off the bed, picking up my phone.

“Great… 5% battery,” I muttered to myself as I repositioned the charger. The dumb cord was broken and had to be positioned just right or it wouldn’t charge.

“Thanks for nothin’, phone!” I exclaimed quietly, with as much sass and drama as I could muster at this late hour. Then I tossed it back on the table beside my bed. Flopping back down on my pillow, I tried to decide if I should go back to sleep or get out of bed. I could always see if it was dad that was awake. He wakes up very early, and sometimes he lets me hang out with him in the mornings while he works. Mom has a rule, though. If I get up before 7:00, I must go to bed that much earlier that night, and I reeeeally don’t want that.

I looked at the pink wall across from me. It is a darker pink, especially when the lights were off, but I loved it. There were two tree silhouettes painted on it, stretching up along the wall and bending into a heart shape. Little pearl flowers dotted the leafless branches. The painting was a present that my dad did for me a few months back. I love all things flowers and nature, and he knew that this would make me wake up smiling every morning.

I looked at my phone as the screen went black and grumbled to myself. It was still not charging. A gentle creak stole my attention suddenly. I knew I had heard something when I woke up! I slowly sat up and listened, imagining myself drifting through the darkened house looking for what had caused the sound. It was a very old house. Mom said that it was made over 100 years ago so sometimes it just made noises like old things do. We also had a big, green, tin awning over our front porch, and the long branches from an old peach tree sometimes would scrape and squeak as they passed over its top. I’m sure that’s all that it…

Another creak, slower and drawn out. My skin crawled as my breath caught in my lungs. That was no peach tree. Not unless it had uprooted and was creeping through the house, seeking revenge for the sweet treats we picked from its branches. I looked at my wall, silhouettes of branches reaching out and spanning the length. My eyes opened wide and I whispered slowly to myself with building fear and anticipation, “why must I think such things?!”

I closed my eyes and shoke my head to break out of the growing fear I had planted inside of myself. My long, sandy hair whipped around and then fell still around my face. I hoped dad was awake.

It could also have been my brother, Elijah. He sometimes came up from the basement to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. A quick memory of Elijah came to mind. He was about my height, and thin, muscular, and brimming over with energy. His stunning blue eyes always lit up and reflected his smiles. He had thick, wavy, dishwater brown hair that always refused to stay tamed. He spent most of his time living in his mind, imagining and creating ‘what-ifs’.

I smiled at the thought of him and then slip quietly out of bed, the laminate floor was cold on my bare feet. I shivered as I got a chill and stopped. There was no use being scared and cold! I pick up my robe that is hanging from my dresser door and slipped it on. Pink of course, and soft, with little white kittens playing in random places. I tide the belt loosely around my skinny body and folded my arms into themselves for warmth as I silently crept to the door of my bedroom.

Right outside of my door was the dining room. This was the central room in our house. From where I stood the rooms four walls released you into the rest of the house. The wall to the right of my room had a door that led to the water heater and a long stairway down into my brothers’ room in the basement. He could have that room, for all I care. There was no way I would ever live down there!

To the left of my door, on the same wall, is another door that belonged to my baby brother, James. What was formerly a closet/mud room hybrid for the family before us, was now a small blue-gray nursery with happy cartoon elephants painted on the walls. The wall to the left of the nursery let out into the kitchen and bathroom, and straight across from my room was our living room. I could see all the way across the house to the front door and a large, old, wooden window. Shadows danced across the burgundy and white curtains as the wind whipped through the trees in the front yard. I could hear the house complaining quietly as the wind tickled against it. The image brought a smile to my face, and with that smile came the courage to step out onto the icy tile floor of the dining room.

“Daddy?” I whispered into the inky darkness. Their bedroom was off the living room, so I had to make it all the way across both inky black rooms to reach them. Usually when he woke up, he came out into the living room and turned on the light. I really wished he was sitting there right now, surrounded by the warm glow of the ceiling fan and his laptop. Sadly, there was just darkness.

“Daddy?” I tried again, inching forward slowly into the black. I turned and looked into the kitchen at the microwave, squinting to read the time. The display showed 3:17. Daddy wouldn’t be up yet. That realization halted my progress. I looked back at my bedroom, which had now been swallowed by darkness and I could see nothing beyond the door.

“Nope!” I said, and started moving towards the living room again, and then froze. A long drawn out creak slowly sounded behind me. Chills ran through my body. A second creak. Someone was in the house, and very close to me! I whipped my head around, looking for the source, but I didn’t see anybody. Another creak, this time from the living room… terror ran through me. I was surrounded! Why was I not a super hero, with super strength or speed? Heck, I would even take invisibility at this moment!

“Jadie?” It was my dad’s voice. The second sound that I heard had been my dad! “What’s wrong, Baby?” He asked me, a sleepy look of concern on his face. I slipped into his arms and hugged him tight, burying my face into his stomach.

“I heard a noise,” I whispered. He squeezed, returning my hug, then reached back to close the door to his bedroom so we wouldn’t wake up mom. I smiled. that meant that he wasn’t sending me back to bed.

“What did you hear, Love?” He asked as he led me to the couch and let me curl up in his arms.

“I don’t know, some creaking. It sounded like someone was walking” I tried to explain. He smiled and squeezed me tightly.

“This old house makes a lot of noises. I’m sure it was just the wind,” he said pulling back the curtains a bit so that he could look out at the yard. The branches of the trees whipped back and forth angrily and caused me to shiver again. Not helpful. “Do you want me to take a look around?” he asked, probably sensing my lack of ease with his attempt at comfort. I smiled and nodded emphatically. He released me, then grunted and moaned as he got back up. The couch had a habit of eating people when they sat on it.

“Watch your eyes!” he said as he reached for the light switch. I squeezed them shut as the living room flooded with light. For the next 10 minutes I sat on the couch, curled up in my robe and eating cheesy fish shaped crackers that were sitting in a bowl on the table. James must have been snacking on them earlier that evening. I could hear my dad walking around the house, trying to be quiet as he looked for monsters and checked the doors and windows.

Daddy was always good at making me feel better. When we were younger, he would tell us that he liked monsters to come into the house. When we asked him why on earth he would like that, we would tell us that when he found them, he would eat them, and they tasted like cake! For that reason, the monsters would stay far away from our house. As silly as this was it was comforting, and it makes me smile now when I hear him tell the same stories to Baby James.

“All clear!” he reported as he walked back into the living room. Reaching into the cabinets under the entertainment stand, he grabbed a big soft navy blanket, his favorite. He shut off the light and sat back down on the couch, letting me curl up against him again. He draped the blanket across us, and then tucked it in tight. “My world is safe again,” I thought as I smiled to myself. I couldn’t help but wonder what the noises had been, but my happy moment kept those thoughts at bay as I tried to fall back asleep. I’m sure it was the wind.

 

 

******

 

 

From the darkness, in the deepest shadows, a pair of eyes watched intently as the two drifted back to sleep.

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© 2018 by R.E. Houser