A short excerpt from The Defender

I started walking to my house and almost laughed at the thought of it. The place I had lived in the Citadel was a mansion compared to where I now lived. These old wooden buildings our fathers had built weren’t really meant to last. When the old doc had come up with the idea of sending us away from the Citadel to this place, the men had come back here and made them stronger, but calling these places home was almost too much.

I opened the door and went and sat at my table. There were only three rooms here, this main room and two bed chambers, only one of which had a door. There was no running water, which meant walking to the latrines to do your business. There were no kitchens, only a fire place that kept the place too hot if you kept the fire burning for too long.

This was the world these boys now found themselves in. They were used to bathrooms and kitchens and eating as often as they felt like it. It wasn’t like that here. The shock of coming here was hard on these boys. It had been hard for the first few groups that had come here. I was in the second group that came. We were older though, so it was a little easier for us.

Now they were sending us boys who were only ten years old. I couldn’t understand the sickness that made you want to send your sons away so young. All because of wanting to keep the women to themselves. They could talk about how it was to try to bring the genders to an equal number at the Citadel, but there had to be something seriously wrong with you to do something like this.

The Reaping, that’s what they called it now. They even set up a lean to between the Citadel and Palisades to bring the boys to. That was so they wouldn’t actually have to see where their boys were going. I was still trying to understand why it was called the Reaping. The only reaping that happened was more boys coming here. They sent some food, but it was never enough.


Hi, My name is Jamie Dodge. I am a full time writer and a full time caregiver. I generally write science fiction, but will dabble in almost anything, I can't write romance to save my life. I was born and raised in Central Florida into a large Italian family. The youngest by four years I had the advantage of being taught to read by the time I was 3. I don't think a day had gone by since then, where I haven't had a book in my hands at some point. One day I figured I would try my hand at it, so I wrote my first novel, The Forgotten Edge. I always get asked why I use the profile picture I do. I wish I could tell you, but I can't. It is a promise I made a few years ago, and I will honor it until I am given permission not to. That's it. That's me. I hope you enjoy my ramblings about my writing process and the other things that I find interesting.

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