Concealed in the Shadows
by Gabrielle Arrowsmith
Paperback, First, 276 pages
Published December 15th 2012
Sydney Harter has long awaited September 12th, 2033, her eighteenth birthday. She can finally apply for guardianship of her sister Evvie, her only family and entire world. Sydney holds a sliver of hope that they will be lawfully reunited, and that light will return to her desolate life, but she is prepared to defy authority and risk everything to escape Miles County so that she and Evvie can live full lives together.
Escaping will be difficult and dangerous. Citizens are bound to their county by sophisticated chip implants that deliver shocks to anyone who crosses the county's electric barrier. Sydney is very clever, but her trickery is limited against the all-seeing eyes of county technology. It seems impossible to escape into the forgotten forests and cities of the past, but Sydney is determined to find a way if she is denied guardianship of her sister. For years she has longed to break free from the government's experimental Petri Dish and the hallowed drones that inhabit it.
What Sydney doesn't know is that the county has particular interest in her. Her place in this complex dystopia is about to change. Deceit, fear, and warfare, will come to characterize her life, yet her love for Evvie will always prevail. She must protect her sister, but at what cost?
I have some items secured in a fragile wooden box tucked away into the back of a dresser drawer which go untouched for months or maybe even a year at times because they are cherished. My tablet is not such a precious commodity to me. I hate it. It appears so cared for because I neglect it, contrary to the common law of society.
The seam nearly disappears as the shiny black device unfolds into one sleek touch screen. The tablet immediately perks up from its coma and demands that I identify myself. I wish I could wake up from my insomnia that quickly. Like a vacationer returning to their pampered pet, I swear I can sense my tablet’s outward grudge and inward excitement that I’m finally back to pay it attention.
The square-inch scanner sits between the built-in camera lens and microphone on my tablet, neither of which I trust. My tablet examines the contours of my thumbprint and then prompts me to enter my typed password. I touch the characters on the translucent keyboard that match the lengthy password that I bitterly recreate each month. This month, I’m using an alternation between the letters of my name, Sydney Harter, and my social security number, which is bar-coded on the chip in my right wrist.
As is more frequent for me than most, my stubborn tablet also requires voice authentication since it has remained powered-down for more than twenty-four hours, much more.
“Demetri,” I whisper. Resentfully, my tablet fires an Authentication Denied error at me. I clear my throat and raise the microphone closer to my lips. Lack of sleep the last few nights and this afternoon’s stakes have heightened the presence of my persistent emotions. As I say his name a second time, my eyes well and an unexpected tear falls before I recoil, remind myself that he’s dead, and face the fact that he, nor anyone else, is here to help me.
A little bit about Gabrielle ...
GABRIELLE ARROWSMTIH enjoyed writing her debut novel, Concealed in the Shadows, during a lovely Minnesota summer that she had off from her primary profession, teaching. She looks forward to continuing the story. Acting, playing and coaching soccer, reading, playing piano, and spending time with family and friends are among her other interests.