This is an official preview of the upcoming Short Novel, City of Kaiju. A tale about survival, companionship, and of course, giant monsters. Here is a sneak preview of the very first chapter in its entirety. A note that this is not representative of the final product and will change as time goes on. So excuse any minor issues with it, as they will be corrected in the final product.
With that, enjoy this early preview of City of Kaiju.
Graduation day. Finally, my high school life was over, and once I leave here, I’m officially adult-bound. College, full-time jobs, moving, and most of all, leaving this dumb school once and for all. No nasty students, no boring teachers, and all the freedom you could ask for.
I was excited, sure, but I was also nervous. Going from being a student to an adult so fast, I wasn’t sure what to think. Mom and dad would help, sure, but how much longer would they support me. A few years? Responsibility was all that mattered. Taking care of yourself. And others, I guess.
I pushed my black hair to the side. The cap always messed it up and the blue gown I had to wear was too tight. Any other size and it would have been too big. Go figure. It wouldn’t be much longer and here I am, thinking about how I’ll get this over with and enjoy the rest of my life with no one to bother me.
If only I had a fun group to celebrate with. Students had their buddies with them, taking selfies and posting on twitter (even though they shouldn’t have phones at all, but welcome to Valor High), but I sat and waited for someone, anyone to congratulate me. I’ve always been alone, but it feels off. I had my blue gown on and my hat decorated with all sorts of goofy graduation things, such as a pink bird congratulating me for graduating. What about the parties? Going out for a victory dinner at the local joints? I had my parents and my sister, which sure I loved them, but I wanted a friend at least.
A few students did pass by to congratulate me. (“Congratulations, Sandra.” “Well done!” “Let’s see each other again.”) Which was nice, but not friendship nice. They passed by waving, and I waved back. I saw a few parents come by, wishing their luck before the ceremony. Before long, I saw them. Mom, dad, and my little sister, Kelsey. They felt more focused on fixing Kelsey’s white dress than saying good luck. At least they showed up. Mom with her buttoned-down blouse, her black hair tied in a bun, and dad with his blue business suit and that attempt at a combover with what remained of his hair. They looked stunning, I’ll give them that.
Kelsey ran over the instant she saw me and we hugged.
“Sis!” she said. “Congratulations!”
“Thanks,” I replied. “Someday, you’ll be here. Maybe I’ll cheer you with a family of my own.”
“Is it like my elementary school graduation?”
I nod and smile. “Something like that.”
She was always the curious one, wondering what I was doing on a daily basis. Mom and dad came over in their fancy dresses and suits. I hugged them both.
“Congratulations, sweetheart,” Dad said. “You should be proud of yourself.”
“I am. Finally done with school!”
“Don’t forget about college,” Mom replied. “Have you decided where you wanted to go?”
I had some ideas, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stay here or go out of state. I did want to be a veterinarian, but I wasn’t sure which school. I don’t want to be that kid that gets a bachelors in Liberal Arts or something. But I was an adult now, and I had to make decisions for myself.
The term wouldn’t grow on me for a long time. Just the thought of being in the same world as mom and dad was unnerving, to say the least. Especially going to school with a few adults too. I’d have to live alongside them, now that I was among them.
“Sandra,” Kelsey asked. “You’re staying here, right?”
“Don’t worry,” I said. “We’ll still play together.”
“Yay! Can we take a picture?”
I glanced at my parents to make sure. My mom nodded and gave my cell phone. Had to be the model child after all. I went to the camera app and pointed it at us to take a selfie. Cheese!
We chuckled, having a good time. No doubt we’d have fun even if I went out of the state. After some more banter, we all went inside, my family heading to the bleachers in the gym. Not much room outside, since we were in the city. I sat down.
The teachers were up on the platform, discussing their plan for graduating us. I had plenty of good and bad teachers, but I was going to miss this place. I turned to see my parents and Kelsey, sitting patiently while my classmates continued their chatter. They were always a pain, but those that got this far, I’d never see again. That was one positive out of this graduation. Maybe I’ll make some real friends.
Principal McCay, dressed in a fancy beige suit and his neatly combed hair went up to the podium and tapped on the mic, and the students and parents settled down.
“Welcome everyone,” he said. “First allow me to congratulate the class of 2023 on their tremendous day.”
His speech went on for an eternity, but we mainly ignored it. Our goal was to sit through this whole thing until we were called one by one, and then, freedom. Out of the corner of my eye, a blinding light flashed outside of the school. It was intense, almost as if someone held a spotlight nearby. Most students didn’t notice it, and I figured the parents couldn’t either.
The earth rumbled and knocked all of us down. Then, it stopped. Most of us exchanged glances, but didn’t think anything of it. An earthquake, maybe? Then the rumblings grew more intense, one after another. Screams echoed outside, horrified at whatever that was.
And that was when the place started to panic.
“Everyone,” my principal said. “Settle down, please.”
It got dark, even with the lamps above, as if night came in a flash. Outside, a giant, black rock covered the windows. It was a pretty big room, but that didn’t make the people feel any safer. Was that some kind of structure? A monolith?
A siren blared. It sounded unlike anything we had ever heard, and it was loud. No. That wasn’t a siren, blaring from a distance. That was a roar. The black stone lifted up and came back down. One quaking footstep knocked us over. Then everyone fled for their lives.
I feared being trampled, so I bolted up and ran as well. I saw my parents getting up and dragging Kelsey away to safety.
“Mom! Dad! Wait!” I called out.
I chased after them, but the roof pulled itself open, but we then saw what caused it, and immediately wished we didn’t. A humongous, black hand, bigger than the auditorium itself, attached to a creature that was so large that his head was bigger than the entire school. It looked like a person attached to a bug-like creature. Its obsidian frame glistened in the sunlight, reflecting upon us. It was hot. We feared we would melt.
What was this thing? How was it so big? What did it want with us? We wanted to run, but no one had ever seen anything like this before. A colossal being that made us insects in comparison.
Then, another hand extended back. We ran for our lives, but it blew the building apart and pushed all of us aside. Just like that, my school was destroyed in a heartbeat. I woke up, seeing the bodies of student and faculty alike. The auditorium filled with students and laughter became a pile of rubble and dust in an instant. One second, we were laughing, and the next, destruction. I was wedged between a few stones, unable to escape. I had no energy.
I heard screams of what remained of the people before I passed out.