The Only City Left
by Andy Goldman
Eighteen-year-old Allin Arcady only wants one thing: to reach the Roof of the World and see the Sun for
the first time in his life. The problem is, he's lost in the depths of the ruined planet-city called Earth, fleeing
the horrors of his past.
When his past catches up to him, Allin is thrust into a science fantasy adventure in which he meets a race
of genetically-modified cats, tangles with vengeful werewolves, and parlays with cyborgs. Along the way,
Allin is forced to decide: will he spend his whole life running or take a stand against the forces that want to
finish off the Earth once and for all?
From the tangle of beams a creature bounded toward me. Small, furry, scrawny, a grey blur jumping from shadow to shadow. Its two glowing eyes bored into me.
It growled and my heart skipped a beat as I realized there was nothing I could do to stop it from reaching me. It was one leap away. It was…
With a final bound, it fell into my arms, a hissing, spitting bundle of fur and anger. Before I knew what happened, it climbed up the front of my jacket, over my shoulder, and used my pack to push off of me. It landed on the beam and skittered in place for a second before it found its footing and loped away.
“Stupid cat!” I yelled, turning around to watch it flee. “You could’ve killed me!”
I shook my head and inspected the claw marks it had left in my jacket. The thick material had protected me from its claws, at least, but I still wanted to wring its neck for scaring me like that.
Stupid, crazy little thing. What’s it doing all the way up here anyway? Does it have a death wish?
From the shadows it had disappeared into, the cat shrieked a banshee wail and set up a volley of hiss-spit growls.
I sent a brusque wave of my hand in its direction and turned my back to it. Obviously, being on its own had made it mental. I didn’t give it good chances at surviving much longer.
I ripped tiny shreds of torn fabric off of the front of my jacket, but stopped when I realized that even with the kitty gone, the skittering noise was growing louder.
I jerked my head up and scanned the web of girders. Something else was coming. Another kamikaze kitty?
One pair of eyes glowed in the darkness above me. Then two. Then dozens. Further along, the beam in front of me was lousy with them, too.
My arms broke out in goose flesh.
That scrawny cat wasn’t crazy. He was fleeing something and had led them right to me. The taptaptap of metal on metal grew louder as the eyes drew near, along with a dreadfully familiar rhythm of clacks and whirrs.
I swiveled on one heel and strode after the scrawny cat, who had had the right idea after all. The only problem was that the cat was running back my way, mewing as it fled a pack of tacmites on its tail.
Tacmites. My blood turned to ice and I swayed in place. I’d seen a swarm of them strip a sleeping man down to his skeleton in seconds. They had made quick work of him, but not so quick that he didn’t have time to wake up and realize what was happening.
Available in paperback and ebook
Andy Goldman has been writing since he was a little kid bashing out
stories on his typewriter. They were often incredibly silly firsthand
accounts of the adventures of his Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Star Wars
action figures. Fast forward thirty years and Andy is still playing with
toys and telling stories, much to his delight. The typewriter, alas, did not
Andy’s work is heavily influenced by growing up in the 80s and 90s, and
mixes western SFF with manga and anime. If he had to list the ancestry
of The Only City Left series, three works would loom large: Asimov’s
Foundation series, the original Star Wars trilogy, and Studio Ghibli’s The
Andy hopes readers enjoy adventuring in the fantastical worlds inside
his head for years to come.
Please contact Andy at: firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit atgoldman.com
Follow Allin Arcady through the
depths of the derelict city-planet
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