Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gotta get away.

Flashbyte:
An excerpt from Chapter one.
Gotta get away

  Heat rose from the sparkling sand. From where I stood, within the internal shadows of the thick walled building everything outside looked bright and hot. I was cold to the bone. Waiting for Dion to return from what was supposed to be a short recon trip was driving me to distraction. Wouldn’t have been so bad but I was stuck with Ameer, a greasy son-of-a-bitch whose smarminess turned my gut. He argued in front of me with Dion, saying a woman should not be working in Iraq. I liked him even less after that.
  Wind blew sand across the open landscape. Dion emerged from sand against sand, a dark silhouette against tawny beige. My head filled with pleas and shouting. It was all wrong. Beads of cold sweat trickled down my face.
  Panic took over.
  Jolted awake with my long damp hair wrapped around my neck like a noose. My fingers unwound it without my bidding, it wasn’t the first time I’d woken like that. I doubted it would be the last.
My cell phone buzzed, loudly. The display flashed illuminating the clock on the screen. I seized the phone before it rocked off the nightstand and answered it.

  “It’s zero-four-thirty, this better be good.” I shook off the remnants of the nightmarish reenactment of a past life.

  “A woman was found strangled in a parking lot an hour ago.” Lee paused as if collecting his thoughts.

  I waited.

  “She was carrying ID,” he said, his voice sounded a little stressed for so early in the morning.

  “Good that will make it easier for police,” I said sitting up and turning on the bedside lamp. “I’m awake, I’ll play your silly game…who is she?”

  “You,” he replied flatly.

  “Nope. Don’t think I’ve been strangled tonight, try again.”  But how life mocks my waking state. Death by dreaming.

  “I saw her ID. I saw what she was wearing. Her name is Gabrielle Conway. She’s five foot nine inches tall, blue eyes, long blonde hair, and slim. Ellie – she’s you.”

  “You didn’t really think…” I didn’t finish my sentence. A car door closed on the street outside. I scrambled out of bed and hurried down the stairs. “You’re here?”

  Oh my, he wasn’t sure. How much like me, was the other Gabrielle Conway?


***

Copyright Cat Connor 2011

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