Author: Linda Naughton
Publication date: January 10th 2023
Genres: Adult, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic
Doctor Anna Hastings is no stranger to disasters, having spent much of her career as an aid worker in conflict zones around the world. Yet when an electrical phenomenon known as an EMP brings down the power grid, Anna faces catastrophe on a scale she never imagined. She must learn what it means to be a doctor in a world deprived of almost all technology.
As the blackout causes planes to fall from the sky, Anna crosses paths with devoted father Mark Ryan in the chaos at the airport. Mark convinces Anna to travel with him and his seven-year-old daughter Lily to their family’s cabin in remote Maine. There Mark hopes to reunite with his wife, and find a safe refuge from a society on the brink of collapse.
Journeying across a thousand miles of backcountry trails, they will face a daily struggle against nature. Their biggest peril, though, may come from their fellow survivors. As Anna grows closer to Mark and Lily, she resolves to see them safely home. But can she hold onto her humanity in a world gone mad?
“Help us! Someone call 911!”
It became a familiar refrain, everyone hoping that someone else’s phone was working. It soon became apparent nobody’s was. Coupled with the cars all dying, the realization left a hollow fear gnawing at the pit of my stomach. I couldn’t worry about the hows and whys right now, though. There were dozens of people injured, and so far not an ambulance in sight.
Most of the evacuees had congregated in a grassy area between the short-term parking garage and the open parking areas beyond. The flat, grassy stretch was criss-crossed with access roads and stalled cars. There had to be more injured in the terminal, and on the far side of the lot where the second plane had torpedoed the cars. Right now, though, I had my hands full just with the people I could see.
I knelt down beside the middle-aged woman who had called for help. She was with a man —her husband, judging by their matching rings. Leaning against the wheel of a car, he clutched at a bloody gash on his thigh. “I’m Anna, I’m a doctor. Let me see?”
He obliged, but as soon as he removed his hand, the wound spurted blood up into the air. It splattered my shirt, pulsing in time with his heartbeat. Oh shit. I managed to keep the exclamation to myself, clamping my hand over the wound.
Jerry, my volunteer assistant, recoiled. “Damn, that’s a lot of blood.”
Seeing the panicked look on the injured man’s face, I shot Jerry a brief glare. “It’s all right,” I assured my patient. “I’m going to take care of you. Jerry, can you hold pressure here? Tight as you can.” I guided his hands to the right spot, then looked at the wife. “Ma’am, I need your scarf.” Trembling hands fumbled to oblige without question. “Do you have a pen or pencil in your purse?” While she looked, I wrapped the scarf around her husband’s upper thigh, just below his hip.
“Here, will this work?”
She handed me a pen, which I slipped under the knotted scarf. I turned it like a winch, drawing the scarf tight around the leg. The husband groaned at the pressure. “I know, I’m sorry. It’s not comfortable, but it’s going to keep you from bleeding to death.” I secured the makeshift tourniquet in place, then had Jerry remove his hands from the wound. The bleeding had slowed to a trickle. “Okay, that’ll hold you till help arrives. Ma’am, you keep an eye on that. If it comes loose, you tighten it back again and come find me, okay?
about the author
Linda Naughton is a writer, software engineer, paramedic, and mother of two. She’s the author of several novels, gaming products, and the blog Self-Rescuing Princesses. A proud geek and gamer girl, she enjoys TV, movies, video games, and role-playing games. Visit her website at https://lindanaughton.com.
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