Island In The Sand

Island In the Sand is a new novel by James Strauss.

Star Black and her band of Orphans wander in a future world looking for a Safe-Haven

“Star Black Grew up in an orphanage which had been an exercise in brutal tolerance and crowded loneliness. The sand and the land were her real friends. She took to them like a tree leaf took to the sun. She felt the energy they radiated upward through her strong willowy legs propelling her smoothly around, or over, every obstacle in her path. The band of outcast children was headed West toward a place none of them had any good reason to believe existed. The State of Home. The more Star had learned, the more she had become skeptical of the place’s existence.”

Island in the Sand, Part I

Star floated over the top of the packed needle beds, her bobbed ponytail bouncing just beneath the lowest of the dense green branches. Her lope was long practiced, and her gait one of such easy flow she had to continually slow for the other children following in a trance. Running was like breathing to her.

Island in the Sand, Part II

There was no place on earth. The remnants of humanity so decreed, each tribe following in suit, as the proposition in favor of admitting outsider children, no matter their age, fell into unanimous opposition. No orphan, wandering, or strange children of any sort would be allowed entry to any tribe.

Island in the Sand, Part III

ISLAND IN THE SAND Part III   Star awoke in complete darkness. Opening her eyes was exactly the same as keeping them closed. She felt the embers of a still warm fire nearby, but no light came from them. Star realized that when they had eaten jar after jar of the...

Island In The Sand, Part IV

ISLAND IN THE SAND Part IV The tunnel was like nothing Star had ever experienced before, not even close. None of the children had been exposed to anything like it either. When they stood before the black hole of the opening at the railhead, Jameson tripped a switch...

Island In The Sand, Part V

ISLAND IN THE SAND Part V Star motioned behind her to keep the children back. The chamber they’d discovered was stunning, not so much for its huge size but even more than that because it had obviously been built by the men and women who’d preceded the impact of the...

Island In The Sand, Part VI

ISLAND IN THE SAND Part VI   Star continued to move ever downward, feeling more secure with each order of “one step” she called down to the kids roped together below her. The rungs were made of smooth hard metal, but after so many hard grasps of their surface and...

Island in the Sand, PartVII

ISLAND IN THE SAND Part VII  Star’s eyes popped open and with a start, she sat up. Something had awakened her, but nothing she could identify by glancing in every direction around her. The band had hiked deep into the dark tunnel to avoid the bright light shining down...

Island In The Sand, Part VIII

Island In The Sand Part VIII Star stared at the complex design of the underground railroad and power station. She wondered if it was even more than that, but her imagination could barely take in what they’d found already, much less even more. There was one question...

Island In The Sand, Part IX

Island In The Sand Part IX   Star awakened at the beckoning of a soft, distant, voice. “Only Star Black, Administrator, please attend,” flowed softly across the floor to her ears. She turned her head, trying to figure out what ‘attend’ meant. “Oh, Jordan,” she...

The Island In The Sand, Part X

ISLAND IN THE SAND Part X   Star and Jameson stepped carefully away from the end of the plank, slightly distancing themselves from one another. Slowly, they circled the power plant until they could see the tunnel entrance in the distance. They moved together toward...

The Island In The Sand, Part XI

ISLAND IN THE SAND Part XI   Star pulled the remains of the arrow shaft from Val’s wound gently, but steadily. There was little blood, which surprised her. The boy grimaced with pain but only after she used the alcohol and Kleenex to swab the area clean of congealed...

Island In The Sand, Part XII

ISLAND IN THE SAND Part XII   The draw of the storage room was so magnetic and great that Star could not stop herself from surging forward, down the extended steps and into the near end of the giant cavern. “Wren, go and get the kids,” Star ordered, the idea of having...

Island In The Sand, Part XIII

 Island In The Sand Part XIII  Star flipped in mid-air, brought her body around in a twist to land face down, her hands and knees ready to take the impact on the hard flooring. Her mind raced, but like a fast blinking strobe seemed to give her only brief shots of what...

Island In The Sand, Part XIV

ISLAND IN THE SAND Part XIV  Star was leaning against the back door to the operations center, when it opened. Star fell backwards, but her flipping body never hit the floor, as many small hands caught her and brought her to a halt in mid-air. Star didn’t hesitate or...

Island In The Sand, Chapter XV

   ISLAND IN THE SAND Part XV   Star stopped what she was doing and stood still. After a few seconds, she began to get control of both her emotions and her breathing. It was ridiculous to get mad at machines, no matter how sentient they might seem. It was like getting...

Island In The Sand, Chapter XVI

 ISLAND IN THE SAND Chapter XVI   Sol and Tal emerged from the opening carrying what appeared to be long-barreled weapons. Each boy squeezed through the opening carrying one of the weapons vertically. The weapons were almost as long as the boys were tall. “Rifles,”...

Island In The Sand, Chapter XVII

  ISLAND IN THE SAND Chapter XVII   They all agreed on two things about the newfound rifles. They were too loud and shooting them hurt the shoulder, and sometimes the hand, of the person shooting them. Some sort of ear plugs would help with the sound, but there was...

Island In The Sand, Chapter XVIII

 ISLAND IN THE SAND  CHAPTER XVIII   They ran after the Ninety-One robot, as it accelerated, taking the railroad track passages in bouncing leaps, correcting its’ treads for directional control upon each landing. They made no effort to control the noise of their...

Island In The Sand, Chapter XIX

 ISLAND IN THE SAND Chapter XIX   Star crouched down, her knees bent to allow her to move instantly in whatever direction might be required. She held the big rifle, a cartridge carefully inserted and locked in the chamber and the little safety lever pulled back to...

Island In The Sand, Chapter XX

 ISLAND IN THE SAND Chapter XX   The trek through the whispering pines took more than an hour. Star made sure that they stopped along the way, every few yards, in order to reconnoiter and approach the building with extreme care. She couldn’t stop thinking about the...

Island In The Sand, Chapter XXI

ISLAND IN THE SAND Chapter XXI   The single heavy door opened all the way all on its own as if powered by some unseen force. There was no sound which surprised Star. How long since the doors to the house had been open, and if they hadn’t been opened for many many...

Island In The Sand, Chapter XXII

 ISLAND IN THE SAND  Chapter XXII   Star Black walked the short distance back to the living room where her band was once more gathering. “What lower story of the dwelling?” she asked, more to herself than to Jameson who stood by her side. “The lower story is not a...

Island In The Sand, Chapter XXIII

ISLAND IN THE SAND Chapter XXIII Once again, the entire band, from Star, Wren, and Jameson, stopped to stand and stare at the walls of the house in silence. “Did that thing just say the conveyance could fly off the planet? Jameson asked. There was no answer to his...

Island In The Sand, Chapter XXIV

ISLAND IN THE SAND Chapter XXIV The fateful words were heard by every member of Star’s band, but none reacted as she did. “I’ve killed him,” she breathed out, leaning into the wall at her side for support. “He was a long way from perfect, but he didn’t deserve to...

Island In The Sand, Chapter XXV

ISLAND IN THE SAND  Chapter XXV Star lunged backward, the muzzle blast from the rifle was so close in front of her it seemed to explode with yellow fire all around her. There were seats in the conveyance and she found one by striking, and then bowling backward over...