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by Jake Cavanah
Genre: Dystopian Fiction
Once an uninhabited island off the California coast, the government used Morple to quarantine minorities during the sonoravirus pandemic from 2030 to 2045. At its conclusion, Morple became the country’s fifty-first state. This is where sisters Robin Karros’ and Ariana Jackson’s tragic journey began. As two of the first children officials checked into and raised in a state-run program responsible for inflicting severe abuse on Morple’s youth, they shared hardships that strengthened their bond. After a social revolution put an end to the program and freed them, Robin and Ariana went their separate ways. Now that it is 2089 and each has achieved prosperity, their paths intersect after spending the latter portion of their lives apart. Even though it goes against protocol, Ariana reestablishes a relationship with her older sister and integrates with her family. In doing so, she risks her marriage and husband’s business interests, but it causes her to realize she must make up for her life’s biggest mistake. It soon becomes apparent the fate of Robin, Ariana, and others has been more intertwined than they ever could have imagined.
Read an Excerpt
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I chose this because it reveals Robin has experienced hardship in her life without giving too much detail, and because it ends with her saying “persistence prevails,” one of Robin’s best attributes and a theme.
Robin wiped her hands on her apron before reaching out to hold Jimmy. As she situated him in her arms, his eyes widened as far as they could and gazed up at the beautiful mystery woman. When they locked eyes, Robin became nostalgic. Memories of Jonathan around this age were some of her fondest. Robin had just been released from the state’s custody and was on her way towards winning her fortune that served as her escape from a bleak future Morple designated to certain members of society. Bobby Karros had just entered her life and embraced her and all the baggage she warned him about, the first sign of his admirable character she fell so hard for.
“He is such a good baby, but I feel like his daddy’s absence is already affecting him,” Taylor said.
Despite their current differences in class, Robin and Taylor seemed very alike.
“Well Taylor, you’re doing a great job,” Robin said, unsure if she should pry on what happened to Jimmy’s father, “The fact you’re here shows you are seeking the necessary help for the benefit of not only him, but for you, as well. Be proud of yourself.”
“His daddy was so excited when he was born, just ecstatic. Then when Jimmy was about six months he was just gone. I haven’t seen him since, and that was six months ago. Life wasn’t always kind to us, but I thought Jimmy and our relationship outweighed the bad. I guess I was wrong.”
Taylor’s tears fled down her face, drying up on her mask. It was clear she needed someone to talk to, and Robin made herself available to her. She didn’t expect to come across someone who on the surface appeared to live in a different reality than Robin, but really, their paths seemed to be quite similar.
“Jonathan, my son who Jimmy reminds me of, was four when his stepfather went missing. Sixteen years ago. One day I came home, and he was just gone. Nowhere to be found. Jonathan and my youngest son Moe were both crying in their rooms, petrified, but the authorities and I couldn’t get any information out of them. Moe was just a baby, and Jonathan’s brain development is behind for his age, so they couldn’t help us out, but it was obvious something horrific happened. It’s hard for him to process things, but by looking in his eyes I could tell he saw what happened. Whatever occurred that day was clearly a traumatic experience for them.
“But unfortunately, we’ll never know what happened. All I could do was to keep being the best possible mother I could be. That’s what my boys needed, so that’s what I did.”
Robin gathered from Taylor’s facial expression she was not expecting them to have much in common. Ever since getting her life together, Robin was regularly met with skepticism and surprise by those she shared her life experiences with. She didn’t boast or even acknowledge it, but she knew her impressive physique and natural beauty were the reasons others assumed her life had always been a breeze. One of Robin’s primary goals was to serve as a symbol of hope for women like Taylor, which is one of the reasons Robin dedicated so much of her time to helping the likes of Taylor out. If a little girl who suffered unimaginable amounts of trauma could grow up to be what Robin was, then anyone could.
“Doesn’t it anger you why he left?” Taylor asked.
“It angers me he isn’t here, yes, but I’m not sure if he left. Coming home to find my boys crying the way they were tells me something worse happened, but I will probably never know for certain. All I can do is focus on the now and keep pushing forward. If there’s one thing Morple has taught me, it’s persistence prevails.”
About the Author:
Jake Cavanah is passionate about writing imaginative stories that include messages he wants readers to apply to their own lives, utilize to better understand others, or both. If after reading his work people find themselves more capable of seeing particular situations they encounter from another perspective, he accomplished his goal.
When Jake is not writing he is reading, golfing, playing tennis, cooking, or enjoying the company of his dogs Murphy and Sophie with his girlfriend Scout. Aside from becoming a full-time author, one of Jake’s main aspirations is to move to Oregon and start a family.
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