Wednesday, February 12, 2014

In just a few months I am looking forward to my book Never Give Up debuting. I have been lucky enough to become a part of the family at Pure Ice Publishing. Bree and Kate have been amazing and I feel very fortunate to be learning at their side. In preparation for the release I wanted to post a small teaser and hopefully get some feedback. Enjoy!

“Hey, what the hell do you think you are doing? Get out!” she yelled. “Didn’t you see there was already someone in here?”

            He just looked at her with dead, hollow eyes as though he didn’t hear her and was just noticing for the first time that he was not alone. Even when his eyes locked on hers he registered no emotion. It was terrifying to not be looked at but more looked through. Kaylie felt her skin crawl as he continued to stare.

            “I said get out, what is the matter with you asshole?” He just wouldn’t move. She reached over and pushed his grimy shoulder trying to get his attention. At first there was nothing but when she tried again he grabbed her wrist hard and twisted it. She cried out and the driver turned around to see what was happening behind him.

            “Hey buddy, let the lady go!” He yelled. No response. “Hey! I said let her…” he was silenced by a flash of metal in the cold light from the street. The man had a gun. All of a sudden the man smiled and that was far worse than the empty stare. She struggled to free her arm but his grip just tightened and the pain was enormous.

            “Drive.” It was obviously directed at the cab driver but he never diverted his eyes from hers’. The taxi didn’t move right away so, still without looking away, the dirty man slammed the separation window with the gun. That was all it took. The car leapt into traffic and began weaving through the rest of the cars. As soon as they were moving he released Kaylie’s arm and she backed up against the far door.

            She wanted out of the car and away from this lunatic. Looking at him horrified her but she found that she couldn’t look away either. He was chillingly hypnotizing. Every detail of his disgusting image was burning itself into her mind. The way his stringy hair hung in his cold dead eyes. His skin hanging off his pointy cheekbones and streaked with age lines. He appeared in his mid-fifties but also may have been homeless based on the smell of him.

            Stained jeans and black combat boots matched well with the camouflage jacket over what may have once been a white shirt but now had dulled to an ashy gray. Everything had holes and reeked of urine and exhaust. His large hands were scarred and the black nails held the gun loosely but still had a scary kind of control. She could feel the world flying by outside the cab and finally tore her eyes away from him long enough to see the blur of cars and landscape as they flashed by.

            She peered around the driver and saw that they were only going 40 mph but it felt much faster when watching everything go by. She focused on the passing scenery and the realization dawned on her that they were heading toward her home. Fear washed over her again as she thought about this maniac learning where she lived.

            Her street had been the last instructions given to the driver other than to drive so he must have just instinctually headed there. Thinking fast she tried to figure out if she would be able to outrun the crazy man in her dress or if she would even have the chance to make it out when the driver stopped. And of course what if he didn’t want the driver to stop at all and got mad when he did, what then?

            “Wwwhere are you going?” she stammered.

            “Away.” For a minute that was all, then “taking care of business and going away.”

            “Please let me go. I promise I won’t say anything about you.”

            “Shut up bitch, I don’t care about you.” That was evident from the way he looked through her, like she wasn’t even there. The driver had said nothing but must have heard the exchange because he made an unexpected turn away from her building and headed toward the highway. So far they had only encountered green lights but up ahead there was a stop sign and as he slowed the psycho with the gun erupted.

            “Don’t stop man, it will be the last thing you ever do.”

            “Stop sign sir.” There was a quivering in his voice that gave away his fear.

            “Just drive. Seriously I will kill you. You wouldn’t be the first one tonight .” There was no explanation beyond that. The driver clearly believed him because the speed picked back up and he breezed past the stop sign without a second glance. They were only a block ahead when the night was illuminated with flashing red and blue lights. An officer had witnessed the ignored stop sign and was trying to pull them over. Again the driver began to slow and again the madman hit the window with his gun.

            “Do you really think I am joking? Do Not Stop!” he roared the last part making Kaylie’s heart skip a beat. The sirens started and the driver’s eyes shifted in the rearview mirror. She could see he wanted to risk it and stop for the officer but as the person locked in back with the monster she really hoped he wouldn’t do it.

            “Pull the cab over,” came the blaring command from behind them. “This is the Chicago Police Department. Pull to the side of the road now.”

            “Please sir, I need to pull over for the police. We won’t say anything about you, just let me stop.”

            “No.” He was completely calm but there was no mistaking the tone in his voice. They were coming up to the highway and she was terrified if they got to higher speeds the police might try to spin them out like she had seen on all those car chase shows Garrett loved to watch. She looked out the back window and saw that the lights had multiplied as more officers joined the chase. God, how she wished they could see and hear what was going on inside.

            The demands were coming more and more over the loud speakers. The freeway entrance was getting closer and with every foot the taxi went forward her heart sped up. The driver was trembling and had started to sweat. His white knuckles were shaking on the wheel. She was shaking herself and felt she was pressed so far into the door that she would simply become a part of it.

            The car slowed one more time. The driver had decided to take his chances and let the cops come to the car. She could see the highway entrance at the bottom of the hill they had just crested and was thrilled they weren’t going to end up in the high speed chase she had been envisioning. The crazy guy was sitting there looking at her. This time he was seeing her and the alertness that had come over his face was frightening to say the least. With the nose of the car pointing down toward the highway, the brakes screeched to a halt.

            Without ever taking his eyes off her, he raised the gun and shot the driver behind the right ear. The shot was deafening in the confined space and as the driver slumped forward Kaylie could hear herself screaming. It sounded terrible in her  head but the man with the gun was just smiling. For the first time she saw that he was missing most of his teeth and his wide gummy smile was just as creepy as everything else about him.

            She was shaking worse than ever and felt something sting her eyes, reaching a trembling hand to her face she felt the hot sticky liquid. She looked and saw blood on her fingers. Shifting her eyes for just a second she saw that when he pulled the trigger the window had shattered and while most of it had gone forward to the front seat part of it had blown back at her and cut into her face. 

            There was a pinpoint of wind hitting her and she hesitantly turned away from him long enough to see that the bullet had gone through his head and crashed through the windshield. The wind was coming through the hole and she now was able to see that when the driver fell forward he had hit the gas. They were now barreling toward the on ramp and picking up speed as they rushed downhill.

            The police were following suit, heading down after them. They were still yelling but she could no longer make out the words. The nightmare had taken over and she felt numb. There was no one controlling this rolling deathtrap and they were heading down into Friday night highway traffic. She sat staring out the front of the car and started to cry. She was going to die with this man and she didn’t even know why.

            She heard a loud pop and the car pulled violently to the right. She would have been thrown into the side if she hadn’t planted herself there at the beginning of everything. He tumbled forward and fell into her lap. He pushed himself up and glared out the back. The rumble from a flat tire took over and she realized that the police must have shot out a tire.

            She only had a moment to think about it before the front of the car collided with the sloped shoulder next to the entrance ramp. The car launched into the air and the impact burst the doors open. Kaylie was thrown straight down with a bone jarring force and from her vantage point she saw the car flip onto its left side and then its top as it rolled and slid downhill sending up sparks from pavement. The crunch of metal was terrible and once it settled she tried to get up.

            Her body was in shock and she couldn’t move. The police cars were stopping and she could hear them rushing toward her. Voices all around her were making a murmur but she couldn’t make out any of it. All she knew was that the lunatic with the gun could come for her or the officers at any time. She wanted to yell for them to watch out but she couldn’t make a sound. The darkness was closing in around her.

            Kaylie made one last ditch effort to scream or get up but her body had given up. She could see the blood running across her eye and could feel it all over. Shadows ran all around her and someone was talking to her but it was all just white noise. Goodbye solo she would never perform. Goodbye perfect night that never got the chance to end in Garrett’s arms. Garrett, oh god. Goodbye love of her life, she had loved him and with the thought of never seeing him again her body gave up a single tear. It escaped her eye and coursed through the blood and dirt on her cheek making a single clean streak as the blackness took over.


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