First up, I’m working on a way to make the Kayson Cycle free, at least until the end of the year. It’s currently free on Smashwords, but I have to wait for Amazon to price-match. Look for another announcement once it’s ready, hopefully tomorrow.
And now Sample Sunday! I’d like to give you a taste of my upcoming book, Room 3. This is the first few pages of the book, as they currently stand:
“Kelli,” they say to me, “tell me about the girl who blew the case open on all those missing girls.” At that point, what other choice have I got then but to tell them about Carla Summers? Tall drink of water, bit on the hefty side, not that I’m talking bad on her. I could stand to lose a few pounds myself, of course.
But they gave her one hell of an entrance into my life, let me tell you.
Who? Oh, well, the same folks who’d been snatching those girls. The same folks who had kept me in that cabin about six months by the time Carla arrived. You see, here’s the thing: time acted real funny in that cabin. I never quite got a handle on it. Some nights felt a lot more like three or four nights, while some afternoons couldn’t have lasted more than ten minutes.
I’d survived my time in the cabin about as best as could be expected, carrying out their silly little games and taking my regular trips to Room 3. They didn’t talk about Room 3 in the news, and why would they? The cabin had disappeared by the time anyone knew about it. But don’t you worry about Room 3; you’ll hear a whole lot more about that soon. Lord save us, way too much about that.
They kept me in Room 1, behind a heavy, locked wooden door. That door became my personal symbol of prison, and you can understand why. So when it opened around 2 or 3 in the morning (again, keeping in mind how fluid time could be), it represented something of an unusual event.
Less unusual was my waking state. I hadn’t exactly slept well since they snatched me, but they’d given me something to do with my hands, some sort of work to do when I couldn’t sleep.
When the door burst open, a little New Yorker bastard named Zito came in, pointing his little .22 at me like he was hot shit.
“Get on the bed. Face-down. Don’t move,” he said.
“What’s going on?”
“No time to discuss this in committee. Just do it.”
I had a mind to protest further, but I did what he told me. I don’t think he actually would have killed me, but he definitely would have hurt me, and enjoyed it.
Next thing I heard was the cabin’s big front door opening, and two people dragging a body, her shoes scraping the floor.
I turned my head just a bit and saw them dragging in this heavyset girl, her face covered by her curly red hair.
She muttered something as they hoisted her around, but I couldn’t quite pick it up. I guess they’d drugged her just like they drugged me, but maybe they hadn’t given her the right dosage.
A glance at one of the slabs of ham moving her, a guy named Bloch whom I had something of a…history…with, told me that they had most definitely fucked something up. She – or someone else – had gotten him right in the eye, leaving it all puffed up. No doubt he’d have one hell of a shiner the next day.
Couldn’t have happened to a better fellow, you ask me.
They got her on the bed, and I pushed my face back down into the mattress. I couldn’t do much to help her right then, but I also didn’t want to be witness to some sort of evil scene.
Thankfully, they just loaded her on there and started slapping the restraints on her.
Oh, did I mention that they had built cuffs into the frame and headboard of both of the beds in Room 1? That’s something I guess you don’t see every day, unless you’re in the business of kidnapping women from around the country. I’m not sure it’s the kind of model that you can pick up at Ikea.
Once they’d gotten her down and trussed up nice, Zito leaned over me, his stinking breath wafting over my head.
“Touch her and you’re dead,” he said.
They left a minute later, laughing at Bloch’s eye and having a grand damned time.
So there I was, all alone with this stolen girl. She still hadn’t woken up, but the drugs had to be wearing off. I sat up in my bed and she moaned, turning her head from side to side.
Zito and his weak threats be damned, I couldn’t just leave a sister to suffer like that. I got up and walked over to her, leaning over her.
“You okay?” I said.
She moaned. Seriously, that was about it, but now I saw that someone – either herself or Bloch – had coated her face in blood. I just couldn’t stand for that.
I guess it was her good fortune that I’d worked with more than one passed-out drunk in my time. I walked over to our tiny little sink and wet one of the rags that they’d left for us.
I went back to her and washed the blood off her face. I still don’t know if that was her blood or one of theirs, but I like to imagine it was Zito’s blood. Even today, it gives me some measure of satisfaction.
I finished, rinsed the rag out, and left it lying on her forehead. I went back to my bed, sitting on the edge.
She kept on moaning and twitching in what I guess you could call sleep for what seemed like hours. I glanced over my shoulder at my Roland a few times, but it didn’t take long for me to figure out that I was done writing music for the night. At last I lie back on the bed and stared at the crumbling ceiling.
Funny thing, though. Like I told you, sleep hadn’t been a friend in Room 1. Not then, not ever. Yet that night, we found a truce. I fell straight to sleep like I was lying in Momma’s crib, without a care in the world.