The Proving by Ken Brosky @kenbrosky
It’s been 100 years since the Specters invaded Earth. Like ghosts they haunt the planet, devouring any human being foolish enough to venture outside of the last remaining protected cities. For some humans, venturing out isn’t a choice–it’s an opportunity to prove yourself to your clan. But when a coterie of New Adults undertaking a mission deep in Specter territory discover a terrible secret, they quickly find that everything they’ve learned may be wrong … and Earth is in grave danger.
Skye took a deep breath, held it, then forced it out quickly between her pursed lips. The loud whistle seemed ear-splitting, jolting her nerves — too late to change her mind now, she twisted her body, her boots digging into the gravel as she fell back and faced the farming contraptions. She lifted her rifle, seeing the Specter’s strange glow change, move, and then without warning its crocodile face emerged from the body of the large machine. Its mouth opened. Cleo fell back, screaming. A claw phased through, reaching out for Skye.
She fired her rifle. The blue proton bullet tore through the creature’s arm, sending yellow sparks fluttering like butterflies into the air. The Specter’s mouth opened wide, revealing sharp, finger-length teeth, so close that Skye could see their serrated edges.
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