Anderson Atlas is an author and illustrator in Arizona

Inspired by crowded malls, streams hidden by giant boulders, patches of moss, charred forests, and distant mountain ranges, Anderson’s goal is to catch the lost dreams and carry them from the shadows of forgotten time, setting the fantastic on your plate to satiate your rabid hunger for adventure.

The Cube is Found | Dark Swarm Excerpt

Contrary to his intentions, Jayce picked up the cube, admiring its surface, weight, and sharp edges. He touched one of the perfect ninety-degree corners. The pattern changed in an instant, feeding lights toward his fingers. So epic. He turned the object over and over. Every time he placed his fingers on a different part, the lights would follow. Just like that Tesla ball in Mr. Y’s class. Only, the lights were square like pixilated art.

As Jayce turned his hand over, he noticed a few small black bugs crawling on his thumb. Startled, he dropped the cube and shook his hand. He hated bugs of all sorts. “Eew. Off, off, off.” A sharp pain stung his thumb. The bug bit me! “Awe! Shit!” Jayce flapped his hand some more in a panic. If he’d have waved his hand any faster, he’d have taken flight.

Jayce cautiously inspected his thumb. Thankfully, the bugs were gone and there was no obvious bite. “I should have figured William’s house was infested. He deserves bedbugs more than anyone.” Jayce picked up the cube off the floor, but his attention was taken back to his hand. It went numb! He didn’t know of any bugs that small that were poisonous. He assumed he would die by some dumb accident like walking across the street and getting smashed by a bus because he was distracted. Or a piano would fall on his head as he strolled by a construction site. Something lame. A bug bite would qualify.

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