Hi all! I wanted to get this up early to be in time for Brenda Drake’s Never-ending Scene Blogfest. Go check it out because there are prizes—critiques (I swear, writers must be the only people who like winning criticisms on their works). It ends at eight a.m. EST (eight hours from when I’m posting this), so GO NOW. Don’t forget to visit the sites of the other participants. Oh, and if you would be so kind to give me your opinion, I'd be so grateful.
Anyway, part of it is to post a cliffhanger. So here, for the first time anywhere, is an excerpt from my book, A SAFE PLACE IN HELL:
Eddie shut his eyes as more sweat dripped into them. Some inner force prodded him to open it, bear the wave of heat that came out and shut it tightly behind to keep his basement at a relatively cool temperature. He raked one hand through his hair to get it off his forehead and it stuck up in stiff fingers.
Up the stairs, he quickly stepped through the garage and the workshop , hoping that by keeping up his momentum he’d keep up his confidence (ha-ha, what confidence? his mind teased). He knew it wasn’t his fault, but he blamed his dad for not being around to save him from the bad guys…uh, deal with the problem.
At the back door. Behind it were people with guns, people who thought nothing of exterminating a little pest buzzing around their find. And here was Eddie Watson with his poorly built semi-automatic rifle. He knew it wouldn’t end well, he just hoped he wouldn’t end with it.
When he tossed the door open, he was hit by a light so bright it bit into his eyes but he could make out the bastards who came onto his land to steal the plants he spent months carefully coaxing into vegetables. Maybe they weren’t Marauders after all. These men were too coordinated, almost soldierly, in their movements. One yelled something Eddie couldn’t make out and tried to jump up only to slip on his comrade’s blood.
Eddie crouched on one knee, aimed at the man sitting on his ass like a crying child, and wondered if he should let it go. Yeah, that would make a great story to tell his friends the next time they got together for target practice. They’d laugh, tell story after story of their own (likely made up) acts of heroism, and stick Eddie with all the clean up afterwards.
He fired the gun.
A red circle appeared in the man’s arm but he gave no indication of pain other than a fall backwards. Eddie didn’t recognize the ploy and the return fire missed his head by a cool inch. He was just beginning to outgrow his teenage lankiness and achieve some grace, but he still tripped as he ducked around the corner. Sounds of an engine came to his ears and he risked another look to make sure they were going. The man he just shot turned and Eddie hid behind the wall again, listening for the expected gunfire or sounds of approach.
He didn’t hear anything except a clink and a light thud. Curious temporarily blocked caution and he looked in time to see the man’s back as he tipped over to the other side of the metal fence.
Wait, what was that black rock just outside of the porch? That smooth, uniformly black rock with notches at regular intervals?It took him less than a second to realize it was a grenade.