Teagan was born into a middle-class household, to two hard-working parents; Elliot and Adjua Morris. Teagan, however, was not an only child. She had a brother, a brother named Conan. Conan and Teagan had an inseparable bond, being they were only 2 years apart. You could say the four of them were a picture-perfect family; a son who is both academically and musically gifted, scheduled to attend one of the most prestigious universities. A daughter about to graduate as valedictorian, part of the cheerleading team intending to compete in a national competition, offered a full scholarship to a dance school in the French Republic. A mother, working hard as a lawyer, helping provide for the family, and a father working almost around the clock as a doctor.
Two days before death rain...
Like any other Friday, Teagan felt immensely happy, to finally be out of school, well for the weekend at least. She shared her joy with her brother Conan, who was all too pleased to finally have a rest after a busy week of almost nonstop practicing. This weekend was especially exciting since the Morris' were planning on taking their monthly road trip around the country. Teagan was usually excited because she would get time to spend with her brother. As Teagan got older, however, she liked to spend time on her own and practice.
"Mom, it's going to rain on Sunday". Teagan said dragging her words.
"That's not a reason to cancel the trip is it?"
"The report says it's a shower".
"Honey, you're not made of sugar, it won't melt you".
"I know that, but can't we go next week?"
"We're going T". her mother said sternly
Teagan sighed and left the kitchen then went into the garage, she and Conan had turned the extra space into a dance room and part-time music room for when he wanted to rehearse. Teagan had to practice for an upcoming regional competition. Try as she might, Teagan could not get herself to dance, something felt off, something about going on the trip did not feel right.
"You're doing that thing again".
"The thing you always do when you're mad".
"I don't have a thing okay".
"mmhmm okay ma'am, whatever you say".
Teagan was well aware of the obvious sarcasm hinted in her brother's voice. She walked over from the mirror to sit next to Conan who looked like had something to tell her.
You look like you're about to explode, so tell me
"I did it".
"Finally got yourself a partner?"
"Still working on that, but.."
he could almost sense his sister's anticipation, which made breaking the news even more exciting.
"I got into Berklee!"
"Oh my God, I'm so happy for you!"
The two embraced in a heart-warming hug, which was a first in a while, as Conan had been stressing out over the application results.
But that also means you're going to leave me here, all by myself, Teagan said with a sarcastic sad voice and a childlike pouty face as she looked up at her brother. He could not help but laugh at his younger sibling. The duo laughed at each other.
"You say that as if you'd miss me".
If she only knew what would happen less than 48 hours later, maybe she would have hugged him just a little tighter.
The rest of the day was filled with the Morris' getting ready for their trip, and Teagan being seemingly paranoid, or so Elliot and Adjua, her parents, tought. Teagan did not get much sleep that night, so the morning could not come any sooner. Just as her father Elliot walked in to wake her up, he was surprised to find Teagan laying wide awake in her bed, staring at the stars on her ceiling, that were being projected by an electronic night light
"How long have you been awake?"
"Well, I'm guessing you want coffee more than me, its downstairs if u need it, hun'".
"Thanks, Dad". she said gratefully
As her father closed her door to give her some privacy, she got up to get changed, after brushing her teeth, she headed downstairs to find a coffee cup on the counter, her mother and brother eating breakfast alongside it.
"Morning T". Her brother and mother said in unison.
"Morning mom, morning Cone"
"Please don't call me that"
Teagan gave him a playful smirk which he responded to with a glare, that soon turned into laughter.
Soon enough they had been on the road for about three hours, Conan, and Teagan were both fast asleep as Elliot pulled into a seemingly empty gas station. It had started raining a little, only noticeable by hearing the little water droplets hit the glass car window. Just as Elliot was about to exit the car, a frantic man started banging on the window where Conan was resting his head. Both children woke up in an instant as their mother Adjua turned the radio down. As an instinct, Elliot locked all four windows shut. The man continued banging on the door. With a closer look, the family could see that the man looked extremely sick. He had yellowish skin, bloodshot eyes, fingernails that were turning a sickly black along with sticky green fluid running down the lower half of his face.
"Is everything alright sir!" Elliot yelled to the man. Because the windows were closed, they could only hear the man's muffled, raspy voice yelling something about the rain.
"We can't hear you, sir!"
"The rain! Help! Let me in!"
"I'm afraid I can't do that sir!"
As the rain started to come down harder, the car glass was harder to see through. It felt as if in a split second the man had pulled something from his pocket and was clearly agitated as he started yelling and banging on the windows even louder.
"Sir, please calm down!" Elliot tried calming the stranger.
"Dad". Teagan said with a shaky voice
Suddenly the man opened the door and pulled Conan out and placed his arm around Conan's neck, instantly taking away any chance of his escape. Horror filled Adjuas eyes as she realized she had forgotten to lock the doors. The rain fell all over him, as each droplet hit his skin, it turned more and more yellow, just as the man holding him still, the once-innocent brown eyes turned pitch black, the whites of his eyes turning a crimson red. He started coughing up dark green fluid and blisters formed on his skin. The car was silent, the rest of the Morris' couldn't do anything other than watch in fear, while a single tear escaped from Teagans eye. The man was smiling like a crazy person, he was happy.
"That's it, son, join us! You are one of us now!"
"Adjua, close the door now "
"Dad, we have to help him". Teagan pleaded
"Adjua, close the door now!"
As her mother obliged and closed the door, her father drove away speeding. Teagan felt as if she had betrayed her brother, leaving him in the rain with that crazy man. She felt as if she should've stayed and helped him. No words were coming out of Teagans mouth, she was broken, angry, confused. She wanted to scream her lungs out, but she couldn't. She turned around and saw her brother and the strange man dancing, with the man holding what looked like a pistol. She heard the weapon go off. She immediately looked away. Teagan felt her heart sink to the pit of her stomach, she felt as if a piece of her had been ripped away, her other half.
'There's something in that rain, there has to be' She thought.
As if on cue, the car radio turned on with an announcement.
"Good afternoon Heather county, this is an emergency alert. There have been multiple reports of today's showers causing erratic and dangerous behavior. At this point, it is not yet known if these claims are true, but Mayor Tapia advises the people of the heather county to stay inside their homes and lock the doors, if this is not possible, find shelter immediately. The heather county police strongly advise citizens not to let any strangers inside. Thank you, may God be with you all"
The car was completely silent, tears kept falling down Adjuas face. They remained on the road for what felt like hours until they came upon a motel. It had a big light-up sign that read Barot inn. The rain had stopped and the family thought it was finally safe to move. As they entered the motel lobby, or more so just a room with pasty red-colored wallpaper which was falling off. The place smelled like cigarettes and alcohol and the window sills were visibly moldy. The trio walked over to the front desk where a boy, about Teagans age, was standing. He looked like a genuinely nice person, which made him seem very out of place.
"Hello, welcome to Barot in, my name is Arja, how may I help you?"
"We- we would like two rooms please". Elliot said with a shaky voice.
Arjas eyes panned over to meet Teagans brown ones, surrounded by sadness. He felt concern as well as curiosity wash over him but decided to let the matter be, for now. Arja then turned his back to find the keys.
"How long will you be staying for?"
"J-just for the night"
After a few seconds of searching the cabinets, Arja managed to find the correct set of keys, he placed them on the counter and took out a pen and paper.
"Whose name will I put this on?"
"Mine, Elliot Morris"
Elliot reached into his pocket to pull out his wallet but was interrupted by Arja before he could do so.
"Oh no worries, the rooms are all on the house because of the upcoming storms. "
"Storms?" Teagan questioned
Before the boy could answer, Arja handed the keys to Elliot, he nodded a quick 'thank you' to Arja and ushered the remainder of his family out. Arja glanced at Teagan through the window before she disappeared behind the corner of the building.
Teagan had never seen her parents be this quiet or calm, and it was infuriating. The entire walk to their motel room was silent, you barely even hear their breath, so silent you could hear a pin drop. In anger, Teagan grabbed her room key from her father without uttering a single word. She threw her and conans duffle bags on the bed. Desperately trying to distract herself from what happened she changed her clothes and without thinking, she took he brother's t-shirt and flannel. she went into the bathroom to wash her face and brush her hair.
Still having heard nothing from her parents' room except for quiet muttering, she had had enough. She stormed into her parents' room only to see them sitting on the motel bed talking quietly, without seemingly any emotion.
"What the hell is wrong with you". she said, tears dangerously close to falling
" T, watch your mouth" her father pointed
"You know what, no, I'm tired of you two acting as nothing happened!"
"You think I don't care? My son is missing! out there somewhere, helpless and alone! Of course, I care!"
Teagan felt as if her mother was acting clueless, everyone in that car heard the pistol going off, they saw what the rain did to him, they saw everything, and yet, they're angry at her for telling the truth.
"He's not missing mom! He's dead!"
" Don't you dare say that! we didn't see it happen"
"I saw it as clearly as I see you standing there now," Teagan said, her voice cracking.
"Enough, Teagan! Come back when you've calmed down". Her father said in disappointment.
Feeling the need to blow off steam, she left in a hurry and wandered off, exploring the seemingly old motel. The halls looked like they used to be white with red stripes. The floor was fully covered with brown carpet, lifting in the corners. The room doors all looked the same, only the gold numbering differentiating them from each other. There was one big white metal door with the words 'EMERGENCY EXIT' written on it, figuring no one would notice, she snuck through it. The door lead to an alley, dimly lit but it had small roofing. The familiar scent of a cigarette hit her, looking around she spotted a boy, a few feet away from her, sitting on the ground, with a cigarette placed between his index and middle finger.
Teagan keeps quiet for a few seconds waiting for a response from the stranger but doesn't receive one.
"Can you hear me ?"
Again, no response.
"I won't go away if you ignore me you know".
" Is that a challenge?" The stranger finally responds.
Teagan only smiled in response, went over to the stranger, and sat down on the pavement next to them, in return the stranger turned towards her and showed her a tightlipped smile. Teagan pulled out a pack of cigarettes she had found in her brother's pocket, the stranger then took out a lighter and lit it. Conan and her rarely ever smoked cigarettes, partly because of the fear of getting caught but also because they found the smell unbearable at times. Now however none of those things were on her mind. After a few moments of quiet smoking, the stranger spoke.
" I'm sebastién by the way, but you can call me seb".
" Teagan, but you can call me T, thanks for the light by the way".
Sebastién turned to look at his new acquaintance, analyzing every feature on her face, ultimately noticing the residue of mascara that was still staining her face.
" What's wrong with your face?"
"what?" Teagan took out her phone to use as a mirror.
"Shit". She said as she quickly wiped her face with the sleeve of the flannel, letting out a tiny laugh
This seemed to loosen Sebastién up, as he then smiled at the girl. Suddenly they heard what sounded like a metal trash can hitting the ground, both of them turning to look in the direction of the sound, then at each other as if to say 'you heard that too, right'. They began hearing heavy footsteps, say that of a person who was dragging ten suitcases along. While the footsteps got louder, they could hear what sounded like gurgling combined with screaming and inhumane noises, they looked at each other again, as if they were thinking the same thing. The duo got up and jogged to the door Teagan came out from.
"C'mon, open" Sebastién huffed in frustration.
Right then they heard another trash can fall, this time, it was right around the corner.
"Seb, I think we need to hurry"
"This piece of shit is stuck," He said kicking the door.
Then she saw it, the thing that had taken her brother, although not the same man, it looked just like him and it was coming straight at them, faster than they thought was possible, it looked almost human, not like those zombies in the movies, but make no mistake there was no life in it.
"Hurry!" Teagan screamed.
" I can't get it open!"
"Help!" They both screamed while banging on the door.
In the year 2090, the world was crumbling to pieces as result of global warming. As a last resort, scientists decided to spray a concoction of chemicals into the atmosphere in an attempt to cool the heat. This worked for a while, but then everything went wrong.
It is now 2108, and one of the former scientists, Johnathan Nicholas Cillian, also known as JC and his colleagues Dr. Noemié Hawking and Dr. Ruby Stuart own Heather countys branch of D.R.E.A.D , which stands for Death Rain Evacuation Assisting Department.
Teagan Morris, Sebastién Hawking, Lien Tapia, Nida Herman, Neveah Silva, and Koa Sullivan along with their parents must find their way to the safe heaven that is dread. As you would except, travelling across the country with six teenagers is challenging without adding an apocalypse into it. Read to join Teagan and her friends on this mission to safety (book 1 of 2)
this book is also available on wattpad under the same name.