I’m not sure if I’ll post a chapter every week, but I thought I would add at least a few more excerpts from my book Conscience.
So there I was, leaning over the body.
Crimson stains streaked up and down my forearms as I worked frantically at reviving him; at least I think that’s what I was doing.
The shouts were getting closer when his eyes fluttered open and a flicker of recognition crossed his dull, smoky gaze. That’s when the panic kicked in and my heart started racing until I could hardly breathe.
He knew me and he knew what I had done.
He lunged up to grab me but his chest was spasming and I pushed him roughly back on to the concrete floor of the parking garage where he grimaced and groaned. He opened his mouth to speak but I clamped my hand firmly over it. I couldn’t bear to hear him confirm what I suspected he knew.
The room started spinning and the bile of vomit was rising in my throat. My chest and arms were slick with sweat but then I realized it wasn’t sweat. I was bleeding, almost as badly as he was, and I was clutching a bloody knife.
I wasn’t hurting but I was very dizzy and I knew I had to get out of the warehouse. Fast. The shouting had stopped and I knew that wasn’t a good sign. They must have found me.
I left him lying in a pool of our combined blood and as I sprinted away, I could still hear his shallow breathing.
Nothing made sense to me as I ran, except that I knew if they caught me, it would all have been for nothing and I couldn’t let it be for nothing.
She deserved more than that and I was determined to give it to her.
That was why I killed him.
Yes, even as I skidded around corners and stumbled up the stairway to the street level exit, I knew that he was dead, or at least he would be momentarily. I just wondered if they would get him to talk before his shallow breathing stopped for good.
A shot rang out and chipped the plastered ceiling above my head and as I instinctively ducked, I tripped and went down hard, wrenching my shoulder. I could hear their footsteps and the deep growling of their dog. A Rotweiller. A vicious one.
I scrambled back to my feet and for the first time became conscious of the pain in my gut. It was like fire and I could tell that things on the inside of me were all messed up and out of place. I was in bad shape. Sheer terror has its perks though and as it gripped my soul it fueled my flight up the steps, carrying me out into the blinding light of day.
I burst out of the underground parking lot and staggered onto the Santa Monica sidewalk, oblivious to the shrieks and stares of the sandaled tourists and locals who were strolling along the 3rd Street Promenade, gaping at me as if I were a horror film come to life.
Had I been conscious of such things I might have noticed the extreme contrast between the lazy palm trees swaying above the So Cal beach scene and the bloody carnage that my life had become since I first met Stan.
Yes, I think that was his name, perhaps still was if they hadn’t killed him yet. An unmarked van roared to a stop in front of me then, scattering a group of paparazzi that was hovering around some chic store that movie stars apparently frequented. The side door of the van flew open and a dark figure overwhelmed me and pulled me roughly into the confines of the van as it began to peel away from the parkade. I felt a momentary sense of relief to have been spared from the angry dog and its angrier master when a heavy weight pushed down on my exploding abdomen and the bile I had been choking back rushed upward in a burst. I wretched and gagged and then felt a dark bag being cinched firmly over my head.
I remember two things before I passed out, the smell of my own vomit and a sharp clicking sound, like a stiff ballpoint pen being repeatedly pressed and released. It’s funny what your mind notices the moment before you die.
End of Chapter Two. To purchase this book and continue reading in printed or electronic form click here.