Happy sample Sunday everyone! Enjoy the beginning of my new novella, Voodoo, available now on the Kindle. http://amzn.to/S14vH2
The car was flipping. I felt like the whole thing was in slow motion. I saw the world right side up, and then it seemed to slowly turn until it was upside down. That happened three times. Under all the fear I couldn’t help but wonder what had happened to the other car. In the background I could hear a girl screaming, but I wasn’t sure if it was me or my sister.
Finally, with the world upside down, we came to a stop. Glass rained down around me, sparkling on the roof of the car below my head. I was hanging by my seat belt, dazed and disoriented, hair in my face. My body still felt like we were flipping, my head still throbbed in pain. I put my hand up to it and it came back wet with warm blood. I stared at my fingers, unable to comprehend that it was my blood. Seeing the blood made it all real and panic raged to life.
I glanced at Claire in the driver’s seat, only she wasn’t there. Her seat belt had failed at some point, and she lay sprawled across the ceiling in a bed of broken glass and scattered CDs. Her hair was matted with blood on one side.
“Claire? Claire?” My voice came out higher than usual. I barely recognized it. My heart fluttered in my chest. She didn’t respond.
That got my mind going. Fumbling with my seat belt, my fingers found the release button. I dropped with no grace to the ceiling. I landed face first, and the world went dark.
I opened my eyes. I knew time had passed, but I had no idea how long. I hoped it had only been minutes. It couldn’t have been much longer; someone would have come to help us if it was longer. I lifted my head. When I tried to push myself up to crawl, nausea washed over me. I made it a couple inches toward Claire before I collapsed into darkness again.
“We got two here,” someone yelled. My eyes fluttered open to see a black man in a paramedic’s jacket looking in the other side of the car. A moment of confusion filled me. Where was I? “Neither of them appears to be conscious,” he added. I would have corrected him if I hadn’t passed back out.
Next I was in an ambulance. Now a woman with hair as blond as my own was holding a large plastic bubble over my mouth, slowly squeezing. She smiled when she saw my eyes open; she had a nice smile. I saw her turn to say something, but I didn’t hear it.
Then lights were flashing by overhead. They were bright fluorescent ones that reminded me of school. I heard strangers speaking over me.
“We got these two, and another two from the other car.”
“Do we have ID on them?” someone asked.
“Yeah,” answered the first voice. “This one’s Alyssa Jacobs. That one is her sister, Claire. The other two . . .” I faded out of consciousness before I heard anything else.
I saw the operating room in jumps and flashes. Bright lights pointed down at me, while men dressed in surgical masks leaned over me. They cut away my shirt, and I felt oddly embarrassed. I welcomed the haze of sleep when it came again, though this time I knew it was artificial, their drugs pumping through me.
Then the world started to get strange.
I was standing on a city street, people walking past me without noticing. I spun in a circle, stumbling in my heels and almost falling. All the women wore pretty calf length dresses while the men were in suits, many with hats on. I looked down to see I was wearing the same sort of dress, black and white striped at the top with a black skirt. It wasn’t like anything I’d ever owned. Pain burned in my temples. I gripped my head, shoving my fingers through blond hair and willing myself not to scream as I teetered sideways. My eyes shut.
“She should be fine,” someone said. The voice sounded far away. “It’s Claire we need to worry about.”
“No, please fix my baby.” My mom’s voice was more a sob.
The street flickered back into focus, old and cobbled instead of smooth and new. I lay at the edge of the street, just on the sidewalk with my hand on the cobblestones. Bright light filled my vision; I was looking up at the fluorescent lights again. From the corner of my eye I could see mom and dad talking with a doctor.
Then I was on the street again. A woman ran by, long red hair seeming to float behind her. When she looked my way before crossing the street I saw it was Claire. Her smooth pale skin almost glowed. I’d never seen her looking so radiant. Relief flooded me; the doctors had no idea what they were talking about, she was fine. I tried to call out to her, but my voice was little more than a croak. I felt the hospital room tugging at me as I closed my eyes. I forced them open again, digging my fingers into the space between the stones of the street and clinging to it. If Claire was here, I wasn’t leaving without her.