The Men of Anderas: Jardan
What would you do to save your dying planet? How far would you go to keep extinction at bay just a little longer? Those are questions the men of Anderas live with every day.
For more than 2,000 years they have been unable to produce female children so now they must travel to other planets for their brides.
Length: Full Novel
Word Count: 86,133
Genre: Sci-fi/Futuristic Romance
Available formats: PDF, RTF, Epub, HTML, Mobipocket (.prc)
© Cover Art by Eliza Black, July 2009
New Concepts Publishing
Lake Park, GA 31636
This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author's imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.
The feeble light of an overcast sunrise brought little cheer to the shabby, run-down barn. Melodie leaned against the rusted tractor that hadn’t moved in twenty years, comforted by the familiar smells of animals, hay and damp earth. It was all she had to soothe the numbing grief that gripped her heart and soul.
It was over. At least it would be when the crew from the auction company arrived. All the scrimping and saving and doing without merely extended the death watch. In the end the results were the same. She had nothing left. This sprawling farm nestled in the rolling plains of central Missouri was the only home she remembered. Her grandfather had done his best to care for the frightened toddler who suddenly appeared in his life, but he was already old and set in his ways. Melodie knew he loved her, he just hadn’t shown it often. Now she had nothing. No home. No money. No family.
She owed Mr. Carstairs a staggering debt of gratitude. Foreclosure should have occurred six months ago. He used his position at the bank to convince the board of directors to wait until Grandpa Joe no longer fought the insidious cancer eating away at his body.
Well, that was six weeks ago. Six weeks of dealing with doctors and funeral arrangements. Six weeks of believing that everything would be fine when the insurance company paid off. Six weeks of living in futile hope. The insurance barely paid for the funeral. There was nothing left. There was no more hope.
The painful lowing of the last remaining milk cow brought Melodie back to the present. Twice a day, every day, Bessie demanded her attention. Placing a small stool beside the warm bovine, Melodie began the process that was as familiar to her as brushing her teeth. There was a certain security in the feel of Bessie’s warm, soft hide against her cheek.
“This is our last morning together, girl. Tonight you’ll be in someone else’s barn, eating twice what you’re worth and giving less milk than it takes to feed the cats.” Tears clogged her throat, but she resolutely refused to let them fall. She moved the half-filled pail of milk and draped her arms around her old friend’s neck in final farewell. “I’ll miss you, Bess.” She whispered as she stroked the velvet soft nose.
Taking a deep breath, she brushed the bits of straw and dust from the seat of her jeans and flipped her long, dark braid across her shoulder. “Enough of this, Melodie Anne. Chores have to be done no matter what the rest of the day brings.”
With the quick, efficient movements of long practice, she fed and cared for the animals, taking an extra minute to say goodbye to each of them. An hour later, she found nothing more to keep her in the familiar surroundings. It was time to face reality.
Taking a wide circular route from the barn to the house, Melodie drank in the sights, sounds and smells that would carry her through the next several months. The frayed rope swing that once lifted her to the clouds. The flower beds filled with the delicate scent of sweet peas. The old well-house that her imagination turned into castles and pirate ships and famous theater stages. With gentle caresses, she sought the peace that comes from warm memories. Tears she could no longer contain slipped slowly down her pale face as she crushed the colorful sweet pea blossoms to her chest. A tiny spark of anger at the unfairness of life flared in her heart. It was enough, for now, to push the pain away. She would grieve later.
Wiping at the wetness on her cheeks, she sprinted toward the house. There was still too much to do before the auction started to stand around weeping. The scavengers would come from miles around to gawk. They would carry no tales of a hysterically sobbing woman back to feed the gossip mills.