Title: Broken Symmetry
Author: Dan Rix
Publisher: Burning Ember Press
Date of Publication: July 28, 2013
Genre: YA sci-fi
Eleven months after the father of sixteen-year-old Blaire Adams vanished without a trace, he's found wandering outside The Scripps Research Institute vomiting blood and speaking gibberish, his sole possession a worn leather diary filled with an unrecognizable language. He has a message for her.
As he dies in her arms, he claims he never vanished. She vanished.
In a nearby military quarantine zone, scientists are being called in from around the world to sequence a previously unknown strain of DNA. Scientists…and soldiers.
When her father’s autopsy reveals a rare chromosomal disorder—a disorder, it turns out, she inherited—Blaire begins to suspect her father’s last words weren’t induced by amnesia. Like her dad, she has an additional set of instructions in her genes—instructions for what, doctors can’t say. Only one thing is certain: it’s what killed him…and it will kill her too.
But now she’s haunted by prophetic nightmares of the Yellowjacket—a young murderer, eyes the black of charcoal, who lures his victims to suicide without ever paying them a visit. The only clue she has to his handiwork is a lingering feeling of déjà vu. That, and the nagging suspicion that all she knows is a mirage. She is certain of two things—though it may mean confiding in the wrong side of good and evil, he has the answers she needs.
And he is recruiting her.
I woke up drenched in sweat.
Orange light poured through the cracks in the blinds, igniting the walls and tinting the air crimson. My bedroom shimmered.
It was light from the street.
I dashed to the blinds and lifted the corner to peek outside—and the blast of heat made my eyes water.
A house across the road and two lots up.
Flames exploded from the windows and slithered up the walls and burst into the sky. Above the house, a rising column of red haze bled into the fog.
But it was the scene in front of the house that sent prickles through my heart.
My neighbor was on his knees, begging for mercy.
A boy stood over him.
A boy in a yellow leather jacket, not much older than I was, leveling a gun at the man’s forehead.
At his side a can of kerosene spilled the last of its contents into the grass, and behind him a yellow Ford Mustang GT with a black racing stripe growled on the lawn.
Yellow and black.
Like a hornet.
Finally the distant whine of police sirens cut through the roar, the sound of safety and protection. Of civilization. I let myself breathe again. Thank God—
A flash, the boy’s arm recoiled.
The gunshot echoed up and down the street, and my neighbor keeled over, his lips still pleading for mercy.
I gasped, clutching my mouth to stifle it.
The boy holstered his weapon and peered up at the burning building with a lazy smile.
I couldn’t help it anymore. A shriek escaped my cupped hands.
And despite the deafening roar of the flames, despite the scream of the sirens, despite the double-paned tempered glass windows my father had installed for my protection, the boy heard.
His back muscles flexed, straining against the tight leather. He swung around, and from a hundred feet away his coal black eyes locked on mine.
It was like he reached right into me and gripped my heart. I dropped the blinds and backed against the wall, shivering and wheezing for air. My skin buzzed with fear, and I could hear it ringing in my ears, louder and louder.
About Dan Rix:
Dan Rix lives in Santa Barbara, California with his fiancée, paranormal romance author Laura Thalassa. He started writing his first novel in college while procrastinating his architecture studio work.
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