Amanda Leonard doesn't know who her mother was. She wishes she did.
Amanda does know when the world is going to end. She wishes she didn't.
There's a clock inside her head, and it's counting down to the apocalypse. But the burden of that knowledge is hers alone--she has never told anyone, not even her only family, the four "uncles" that raised her after her mom died. After all, who would ever want to know what she does? She has spent most her life trying to ignore it, but time is finally running out. The doomsday clock will strike midnight shortly after her upcoming eighteenth birthday, and she still has no idea why.
Desperate for answers, Amanda digs through the remnants of her family's history, unearthing dark truths about her past, her uncles, her mother, and even herself. She is not just a bystander to the approaching apocalypse, but its harbinger. For the first time in her life, she has power-- but that power comes with a price. She will be forced to give something up: her life, her family, or her world. If she doesn't . . . she will lose everything.
First 150 words:
The other clock ticked, and everything around her changed.
Amanda looked out the bus window and saw the end of the world.
The flat, snowy fields of central Minnesota had vanished, replaced by a desolate wasteland, pocked and cratered like a burn wound. No sun was visible behind the low-hanging smog of ash and smoke, but a lurid red glow was smeared across the sky, a bloody trail of sick-making light.
Come on. You can deal with this. You know it's not real--just a vision.
She dug the chewed nubs of her nails into her palms and squeezed, her fingers trembling under the strain. Just a vision. The spikes of pain grew from pinpricks to a throbbing ache as seconds became minutes. Finally, the last echoes of the other clock's single tick died away, and the all-too-familiar images faded, shimmering like a heat haze.