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Reprogram, a King of the Ghouls Chronicle

REPROGRAM
By Elle Lewis
(a King of the Ghouls chronicle)


Gunnar pulled up the collar of his jacket. Rain pelted the street, mingling with hot steam billowing from putrid storm drains. Rain was supposed to be cleansing, rinsing away filth. But not in this city. The streets of Vanda were so old, so encrusted with dirt, that the rain only created rivulets of sludge.
          Gunner walked briskly, muck splashing onto his knee-high leather boots. Buildings climbed into a dark polluted sky, bright neon lights and projected advertisements cutting through the gloom. High above, the lights of air traffic flickered.
          Gunner passed a small food cart, hot trays smoking with delicious scents. His stomach grumbled painfully. He trudged on, winding through tight alleys and congested streets, keeping his eyes down.
His comm buzzed.
          Gunnar pressed his ear piece. "What?"
          Zephyr's bell-like voice reverberated inside his ear. "You're headed into the Jade …
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King of the Ghouls

King of the Ghouls
by Elle Lewis


Miguel Santiago gripped the clipboard. There were three names on his list. Three names belonging to three bodies. His Majesty would be arriving soon. Miguel wiped the fine sheen of sweat that had appeared on his brow. Everything must be in order. His eyes flicked nervously to the clock that hung on the wall. The transport service was running late.
The funeral home was pristine, although the smell of chemicals had long faded. Bodies were no longer embalmed or buried. After a particularly horrendous virus in 2045, the government had forbidden traditional burials, mandating that all dead bodies were to be cremated. Miguel’s father had simply changed the name of the family business and invested in a better cremation chamber. What once had been known as Sunset Funeral Home & Cremations was now Sunset Cremations. That had been nearly fifty years ago. The year 3000 was quickly approaching, which shocked Miguel. He had always assumed the world would have gone…