The Hole — Chapter 11

A Novel of Supernatural Apocalypse

Aaron Ross Powell

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Shortly before the sun came up, Elliot found a promising exit and took it, now driving roughly north, parallel to the barrier. Evajean woke some time later and they stopped long enough to eat a quick breakfast of apples and cold oatmeal. Hope devoured a few strips of jerky. The water jugs they’d gathered and filled in Nahom still had plenty left for another week of travel.

Near where they pulled off sat a service station with attached convenience store. Elliot broke the glass door, went inside, and came out with more snack foods and a road atlas. He also found several cans of dog food for Hope and a cheap can opener.

They traced their journey on the map and found a highway only another thirty miles north that would take them back to I-70 — provided the wall of light let them through.

As they drove, the barrier could occasionally be seen, off in the distance to their left, but it was mostly lost in the glare of the cool light from the September sun.

“What do we do if we can’t find a way around?” Evajean asked.

“We will. That thing can’t go on forever.”

“Yeah,” she said, “it can. We’ll have to go back. Give up on finding out anything.” She took a small bite from her apple.

Elliot said, “If that happens, we’ll figure it out. If we can’t get to Utah, we’ll go somewhere else. There have to be other places that’re safe.”

He remembered Evajean standing tall in Nahom, the golden box held high over her head, and a field of energy forcing the crazies back. He shook his head. “But let’s worry about that when we get to it.”

“Yeah,” Evajean said. “I wish I knew what we’ve gotten ourselves into.”

“I don’t think we got ourselves into anything. Something got us.

Then Evajean screamed. “Elliot! Look out!” She was staring out her window and, as Elliot jerked the wheel, startled, he saw two more of the tubular beats with the enormous faces, charging across the empty field to the east.

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Aaron Ross Powell

Host of the ReImagining Liberty podcast. Writer and political ethicist. Former think tank scholar.