The Day We Die
by Autumn Bluestone
Publication date: August 26th 2021
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
It’s the year 2070, and everything in Tessa’s life has gone wrong. She didn’t expect to be Branded—a process created to preserve her country’s precious resources—with the terrifyingly young age of sixteen, or for tragedy to befall all her childhood friends. She didn’t expect to be left this alone. Four years after everything crumbled apart, Tessa is sixteen, preparing to board the Bus that gathers the expired before mysteriously disposing of them; and searching desperately for anything that could make her life worth living. Then she meets someone she never expected to see, and Tessa knows within seconds that they will forever be linked by their pasts. Struggling to cope with her low brand, survive the endless flow of mental and physical attacks pounding her and the other expirees, and find purpose amid the storm of pain that is her life, Tessa would be falling apart if it weren’t for the boy that just keeps piecing her back together. She’s closer to death than ever before. Will Tessa survive, or will the attacks by the government—and her own mind—ultimately destroy her?
The noises of the crowd and the mayor’s voice fade into the background, and for a moment, the only sound that cuts into my head is the frenzied beating of my own heart. The stage blurs in and out of focus, and my breathing quickens and my heart thunders like a racehorse. I clench my hands into tight fists, trying to quell the tremors racing through them.
This is it. In a few minutes, I will be Branded. An adult—though not in age. I’ll know my fate, my future; everything that means anything.
I inhale. Exhale. The air squeezes out of me in one quick rush, and for a split second, I can’t breathe. Fear wraps its unforgiving fingers around my heart, chilling it to the core.
Then, a hand on my arm. A whisper of a voice in my ear.
“It’ll be okay. Here.” It’s the boy beside me.
I shake my head vigorously, and the thundering applause rushes back to my ears. It’s loud. Very loud. I blindly accept whatever the boy is offering me, and a round tablet drops into my palm.
He gently holds on to my hand behind his back, smiling and waving fearlessly at the crowd. His expression is brave and bright, his unfamiliar fingers warm around mine. I squeeze them until I’m sure I’ve cut off his circulation, but he doesn’t let go—just gives me a gentle squeeze in return.
I look wordlessly at him, my dry tongue unable to make a sound. He’s taller than me, wearing a black tux. Blond, tousled hair frames a good-looking face—sharp jawline, arched brows, a charming twinkle in his eye. As he waves, his gaze sweeps to me…and a quiet, grim smile plays at his mouth. His steady eyes sharpen as they meet mine, boring into my soul. Blue eyes. Soft blue.
Autumn Bluestone was born in Toronto and raised in the rural community of Erin, Ontario Canada. The daughter of an English teacher, Autumn was an avid reader and lover of stories at a young age. She first took an interest in writing when she was ten years old and has nurtured this passion into her debut novel, The Day We Die. You can find her surrounded by books in her little stone farmhouse, writing with a mug of hot chocolate in hand, or wandering outside with her rambunctious dog and much-loved chickens and ducks.
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