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Although I believe that the mind's eye is the best interpreter of the world drawn from the written world, I had a few original illustrations commissioned to illustrate some portions of the story in Melt so that you could see the world just as I see it.  

I have also taken a bit of the text from the portion of the book that the illustration draws from. I hope you enjoy.

-Ann Denton


Through the shadows she could see a figurehead perched on the bow of the ship.  Bara's boat had no figurehead.

A torch was lit on the deck; a blue-nosed Erlender carried it.  He marched forward, knelt down, and set the torch to the figurehead.  A scream rent the air.  Bara’s voice.  Mala watched in horror as the figure tied to the bow struggled.

The Erlenders were burning her alive, to send a message.  Mala had almost forgotten they did that.  Not forgotten, but wouldn't remember.  Wouldn't remember a tall laughing man tying her father up, discovering a young girl crouched beneath some benches.  Wouldn’t remember the words he whispered in her ear as he dropped her overboard.  Wouldn't remember bobbing in the water as her father became a mass of shrieking flames...


The euphoria of the transformation changed instantly into a sensation Mala had never known.  Her heart fluttered like a hummingbird and she felt breathless and light.  Joy swept through her and made her dizzy.  She didn’t even feel the hook prick her fingertip.  She just felt an electric surge that ran all the way to her toes.  Lowe's hand stroked the back of her hair and he gave a little sigh. 

“Wow,” he said, pulling back and opening his eyes.

“Yeah,” she muttered, her cheeks flushed.  She glanced up at him.  And a terrible pain took hold.


Mala glanced down as she walked.  A dark shadow rippled under the water and she saw massive steel posts disappearing into the depths.  She gave a shiver and peered down.  It was hard to see past the reflections on the surface of the water, but it looked as though the huts were simply a cap for a large metal structure lurking in the depths.  Tilting her head, Mala could see the crossbeams and windows of an enormous skyscraper beneath her.  Light poured from some of the windows, distorted by the underwater currents so that the building appeared surrounded by flecks of glitter.  “Whoa.  What's that?” she pointed.

Alba stopped short and glanced carelessly down.  “That's the Center,” she said. 

“But, what is it?”

“It used to be some kind of underwater hotel or something ... before the bomb,” Alba said, clearly disinterested in the topic.


Wilde was a port town.  Or the disemboweled remains of one.  Mala peered through Ein’s binoculars to see a line of boats edging the shore, their reflections like finger smudges on the water. Behind the boats was a huge mass of rusting shipping containers.  They were piled on one another like a mountain of blocks.  That was where the Erlenders lived.


Blue noses scurried busily, stacking boxes and yelling orders.  Kids swung from the roof of one container to jump to the one below like primates.  Mala could see the dingy pallets and open fire pits littering the narrow patios created by the haphazard stack of shipping containers.  Almost everyone wore animal hides instead of clothes.  Clothes were a luxury, the sign of a good raid. And despite the massacre of Bara’s guard, Wilde did not look like it was doing well on the raiding front.  Two squabbles over food broke out before Ein snatched his binoculars back.

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