Lost & Found Boys | The Lost Prologue

I'm nixing this prologue from my novel "Lost & Found Boys" but wanted to share to get your feedback!

Here's a teaser for the full story:

When the Rebs—a ragtag group of violent social outcasts—take over, Jossua and the other Homesteaders take up hiding in the city underground to evade attacks. While the Rebs enjoy a life of deep-seeded immorality, sexual frivolity and magical drug binges in a repossessed casino, Jossua dreams of adventure beyond the crumbling walls of her hideout. When Jossua is taken hostage by the next generation of Rebs and brought to the “Sin City” as a servant, she faces enemies real and imagined—from the mischievous and savage ‘lost boys’ (a piecemeal infantry called the Young Guns) to the jealous Reb heiress to the startling realization she is beginning to forget home. Then she catches feelings for the Reb’s attractive but coldhearted leader and struggles between breaking down his walls or breaking out of his grasp.

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1. By your magic spell, all the nations were led astray. – Revelations 18:23

    The unraveling of society happened surprisingly quickly, like a pull in your favorite sweater.

     It began as a seed of discontent and proliferated into fast-breeding anarchy. They called themselves 'the revolutionaries' at first, and they were somewhat revered. Heroes even. After all, who didn't want to stick it to The Man when times were tough? And they were saying what everyone was thinking, anyways. Taxes were too high. Pay was too low. Jobs were too few. The wealthy were too rich. Growing up just wasn’t what they thought it would be.

     It could have been the start of something.  It could have. But anarchy cannot exist without chaos, and chaos was what unfolded. 

     The revolutionaries' movement attracted society's most ruthless participants, people just looking for an opportunity to cast off oligarchic constraints, overthrow authority, act on years of anger and injustice. Criminals. Vultures. Pirates.

     But it wasn't just the violence. The rebellion had socioeconomic breadth. Tax strikes. Work strikes. The market crashed. Eventually infrastructure began to suffer with no one to sustain or subsidize it.

     Dominoes. The building blocks of civilization tumbled like tiles in a boneyard.

     The media continued to cover the chaos for what it was worth, but there was fear in their voices. They had devolved from journalists to witnesses, documenting a downfall. By the time they signed off for good, they had begun referring to the revolutionaries as Rebels—in the most malicious sense of the word.

     In just a few years of considerable undoing, the Rebels outnumbered the rest. They took what they wanted, where they wanted. There were microcosms of purpose but those were far outweighed by self-serving motives and deep-seated immorality. It is in these years when we truly began to understand the human capacity for sin.  

     Many people fled to the rural territories, away from the city centers where the violence was thick and the followers bred like rats. (There’s something about ‘the majority’ that sucks people in. Maybe it’s a sublaw of inertia; once humanity shifts to the darkside, they tend to continue on the path of descent.) There were other people who stayed, committed to holding their ground. They fortified whole city blocks against the Rebel violence. They didn’t have much in the way of self-defense, but what they lacked in artillery, they made up for in camouflage and concealment—boarded windows, blocked alleys, curfews that ensured they were behind locked doors before the Rebels began to stir—as with most bad and dark things, they made their best trouble at night.

     Meanwhile, the Rebels put down their own twisted roots, overthrowing a lavish casino on the outskirts of the city. Some referred to it as Sin City and scoffed at the irony of it all. Some called it Babylon and thought it was the unfolding of some End of Days prophecy. Others didn’t speak of it at all; it was just the black burning edge of civilization, fantasy’s dark underbelly. It was where debauchery ran rampant and morality ran away entirely. Revelry. Promiscuity. Thievery. Its carefree, careless inhabitants indulged their every impulse and surrounded themselves with countless ecstasies. And it had a draw about it that called out to the weak with a sweet poison lullaby. It was a Neverland that had lost its innocence. 

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