Lake Of Sins: Hangman's Army by L.S. O’Dea
GENRE: YA, Dystopian Fantasy
A rebellion is brewing in the world of the Lake of Sins while Hugh Truent sits in prison days away from his execution.
After taking his findings about the genetic similarities between the classes to the Supreme Almighty and the Council, Hugh had been arrested for treason and all his evidence had vanished as if made from smoke.
To protect his family, he cut off all contact with the outside world while he sat in prison for over four years waiting for his execution. He has no idea that some of his reports were leaked to the other classes and that civil war looms on the horizon.
Trinity and her friends have no hope of winning the war unless they can unite the classes. In order to do that, they need someone everyone will follow. They need the one person all the classes trust and believe in. They need Hugh.
That means they have to break him out of a maximum security prison and convince him to lead their army, but that won’t be easy because Hugh wants revenge and he’s not going to let anything get in his way especially mouthy, attractive, know-it-all Trinity.
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As soon as they were all together, she headed toward the Mile of Fire. It grew hotter with every step and the air became acrid, burning her nose and throat. Sweat no longer trickled down her back; it was a full-blown downpour.
“Are you sure the rocks are cold?” asked Jackson.
“I never said cold. I said they shouldn’t burn us to crisps.”
“I’m pretty sure you said they wouldn’t burn us at all,” said Hugh. “I don’t recall the clarification of to a crisp.”
“Stop whining. You’re out of jail. You should be happy.” He was going to drive her crazy. The sooner he and Dad separated from them the better.
“I’ve been beaten, accused of treason and sentenced to execution without complaint but I’m whining because I don’t want to be burnt to something just a little less than crispy?”
“Yeah. You don’t hear anyone else complaining. Do you?” Good thing she had her back to him because she couldn’t keep the half-smile off her face. He had the irritating gift of being funny and annoying at the same time. She slowed down. She wasn’t ready for this, but here it was.
The Mile of Fire loomed ahead. Its shimmering waves of heat almost unbearable. The five of them were drenched in sweat, although the closer they got to the rocks the quicker the sweat was drying. Small puffs of steam were coming off her clothes. It was the same for the others. If they didn’t stop sweating they were going to be basted in their own juices. Of course, if they did stop sweating they’d be dried like old fruit left in the sun. They had to move fast.
L. S. O’Dea grew up the youngest of seven in a family that uses teasing and tricks as an indication of love (or at least that’s what she tells herself). Being five years younger than her closest sibling often made her the unwilling entertainment for her brothers and sisters.
Before she started kindergarten her brothers taught her how to spell her first and middle name—Linda Sue. She was so proud she ran into the kitchen to tell her mother. She stood tall and recited the letters of her name: L-E-M-O-N H-E-A-D.
She’s pretty sure she has her siblings to thank for the demons that lurk in her mind, whispering dark and demented stories.
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What is the most interesting thing that's ever happened to you?
Funny how interesting and exciting – at least for me – never equal good.
But to answer the question, the most interesting thing that has ever happened to me was when I was a junior in high school. I was on the verge of a moral dilemma. A guy that I liked had asked me out. However, I knew he was dating another girl. Normally, that would’ve made the answer simple – “No.” I don’t date other girl’s/women’s men. It’s a rule that I still live by. The problem this time was that I HATED that girl. We’d been enemies all through high school and this would be a great way to get her back, but I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be one of those women, even if it would be on this one time.
I took the coward’s way out. I told him that I had to check and see if I was scheduled to work. I was working at the Kmart in St. John, Indiana. It was Tuesday, May 28, 1985. All this is important because a gunman entered the store that afternoon and shot up the place, killing three people and wounding several others.
I shouldn’t have been at the store that day. I had no reason to go except to check the schedule which I usually would’ve done on my next scheduled work day, but I wanted to give the boy an answer, so we went to the store. My father drove and we brought my two year old niece who was visiting from Florida.
We were walking through the parking lot when we heard the first gunshots. It sounded like fire crackers. My dad recognized the sound for what it was and he rushed us toward the doors. The security officer or a manager (my memory on some of this is fuzzy) was already at the front waving people in and preparing to lock the doors.
We hurried inside. I’d worked there for about two years and had never seen it like this. The cashiers were all gone, many leaving their cash drawers open, the money sitting there unprotected. No one was at the front besides the manager. I, being an idiot, led my family to hide behind some jewelry racks in the camera/jewelry department. A friend of mine yelled at me to go to the back of the store. So, we did. I feel horrible that my father and niece had me to lead them (at the time, I was just scared – but now I feel horrible). I took them to the women’s restroom in the employee breakroom. It seemed like a safe place, but only later did I realize we were trapped in there. There was only one way out.
My family and a few other women—who’d either been in there when this had started or had made the same stupid mistake that I’d made—waited in silence. We could hear the gunshots and they seemed to draw closer. My niece started crying. I was holding her and trying to quiet her, but she could sense our fear. One of the ladies gave her some candy and it worked for the moment. My dad told us to wait as he crept out of the bathroom. He had to know that we were in a very bad position. I didn’t want him to go, but he was my father and a very good father. I put all my faith in him – not that I thought he’d leave us, but more that he might make a bad decision and get hurt – and he came back a moment later and ushered us all out of the bathroom and through the breakroom. There was a stairway right outside of the breakroom – where I should’ve taken my family in the first place – and another employee waved us up.
We went into the upstairs stock room. It was a maze of boxes and exits. The perfect rat-hole to hide and that’s what we did. I don’t remember much else about that day until we were told that it was all clear. The gunman had been shot and killed. We had to wait to leave the store, signing a paper stating that we’d been there. I’m sure Kmart was preparing for lawsuits, but I don’t think too many people sued. We didn’t.
I still get upset talking and thinking about this. The memories are surreal. And, I told the boy from school “no”.