In life, we are plagued by the uncertainty of an afterlife, and it is often expected that when we die, everything will suddenly make sense. But when a group of strangers, similar only in their time of death, find themselves in the afterlife, they are faced with more questions than ever before. Are they in Heaven or Hell? If they’re in Heaven, why is there a Nazi wandering around? Why are there no children? If they are in Hell, what universal law did they break? Is there a way to repent and move on to a better eternity? At least one man seems to have some answers. Marcus, a Roman dead for 2,000 years, gains the group’s trust by leading them through the perils of their new reality. But soon it becomes clear that Marcus is only telling them half the story.
L. A. Barnes is public librarian in the southern US. She is a Nerdist podcast listening, South Park loving, Twin Peaks conspiracy theorizing, Stephen King reading and Joss Whedon worshiping geek. The Pit is her first novel. She plans to explore the Watchmaker’s universe through four more novels.
AFTER THE NECESSARY AND requisite healing, Marcus and his team remained by the river for a little R&R. Regan, relieved to be out of the Pit for once, tried to get her best flirt on with Max. This was received with, at best, polite attention from the messenger. Her ego boosting exercise gave Lauren and Marcus time to sit along the bank of the river and go over the necessities of the next phase of the plan.
“The Arab mongrel,” Marcus whispered to his lieutenant, “has a gun.”
Lauren responded to his announcement with a stunned stare. Then she turned to narrow her eyes at the beautiful woman laughing and splashing water at the messenger. “Was it loaded?”
“No idea,” Marcus answered.
“And how did a banker who can’t handle two days at the beginning of a week in the Pit manage to get his hands on something that dangerous and valuable?” Lauren asked, in a tone that implied she already knew the answer.
“When they still believed I was just a poor Dead kid,” Marcus began, “we all sat together mourning our dear friend Alex. We were huddled close, and it wasn’t in his waistband then.”
“So between the first battle…” Lauren prompted. “…and when we brought his friends out of the Pit,” Marcus concluded.
“Around the time,” Lauren looked at Regan, “a certain idiot went looking for weapons.” Lauren sighed. “It would be like her to find something that valuable and then lose it. She’s that useless.”
“Worse,” Marcus groaned. “If that gun makes it to our enemy, she’s past useless; she’s actively harming us. She could lose us this war with that stupidity.”