Wednesday, August 22, 2007

TRACKER


This is an excerpt from a novel I am currently working on - It is a mystery suspense titled TRACKER.

A police officer’s heart attack freed convicted killer Jeddah Close, a tornado, Briana Strong and her bloodhounds, will not force him to relinquish this freedom.


We are in chapter fifteen - a tornado has leveled Porterfield Mansion where Briana sought cover with her wounded bloodhound after a bear attack and the murder of her policeman escort - and Jeddah Close apparently has also sought cover from the horrendous storm preceding the tornado.

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CHAPTER FIFTEEN (unedited - not proofed)

“It feels like there’s no air left—please—please dig faster,” Jeffery called. His voice sounded weak to Briana. She paused for a minute to take the gun out of her belt it was so uncomfortable while she tried to dig. She slid the gun onto the wine rack she had removed from the spot where she was digging. Then, she checked on Shadow. His breathing was shallow, but steady. He seemed to be holding his own.


“Hang in there boy. We’ll get you some help soon,” she stroked him gently. His eye lids flickered and a loud sigh heaved his side momentarily, then he went back to the shallow labored breaths.


“Briana,” Jeffery hollered, his voice had gained strength. “Briana are you still there? My air…”


Obviously his air wasn’t as depleted as he tried to make her think as she heard him clawing frantically on the other side of the wall.
Shadow emitted a low growl. Briana wondered if the man’s voice had alerted him or if Shadow was dreaming of the bear attack. Whatever the reason it made her feel uneasy. She pulled the gun from the shelf and slid it in to the pocket of the jacket wrapped around Shadow before she returned to digging.

“I’m here, I was just checking on my dog,” she called through the wall. She could tell they were close to a break through as the sound of his digging became louder. She wished somehow she could quiet her anxious, always over cautious mind. The man behind the wall was hurt. It didn’t matter who he was, he needed help. Apparently, he was a stranger to these parts as she couldn’t remember hearing his name before. As she dug the frantic clawing from the other side grew nearer. Suddenly, the dirt and debris gave way and a rush of stale air forced its way into her face. She coughed at the assault on her lungs.


Gasps from the man on the other side of the wall told her the stale air had been replaced with breathable air from her side. “Th—thank you—“ the feeble voice from the other side of the wall croaked. They continued pulling at the dirt enlarging the opening steadily until it was nearly large enough for a man’s shoulders to squeeze through.


“Wait, don’t make the opening too large. It may cause the wall to collapse further. Let’s just get it large enough for you to crawl through,” Briana urged when she noticed marble sized pieces of dirt and debris rolling down her side of the collapsed wall. “The weight of the structure above could collapse and trap us both if we aren’t careful.”


“Right, right,” Jeffery coughed out his raspy answer. “A little bigger. I can squeeze through.” A few minutes later they had an opening a little more than a foot wide and high.


“Can you pull yourself into the opening?”


“I’ll try. I’ll try.” His voice anxious and hurried now. He no longer sounded weak and scared.
Having another person to help find a way out or at least keep her company felt good. The darkness of the interior, the dirt covering the man squirming through the hole prevented her from getting a good look at his face as she helped him squirm through the small opening. Jeffery’s broken leg jutted at an odd angle from his hip as Briana tugged him through the last few inches of the gap in the wall. As he shoved with the one boot of his good leg Briana noticed the leg irons.


Her heart squeezed in her chest. She had just helped the serial killer she and the dogs were hunting to freedom on her side of the collapsed wall. Stumbling backward as the man who called himself Jeffery -that turned into Jeddah Close, tumbled the rest of the way down the small pile of dirt into her space, the wall behind him trembled and collapsed sending an avalanche down and around them. She scrambled further back toward Shadow’s side. Jeddah followed her lead dragging the crooked leg in a painful rush for safety.


The rock slide stopped. A tiny pebble tumbled down the cone of dirt and rolled to her feet reminding her every breath she took could be her last. Not only was the mansion unstable, but she had rescued a murderer with no since of right and wrong, with no compassion for humanity or favors rendered. Cautiously, she felt her jacket for the gun. Now, afraid that it might be a weapon used against her rather than saving her life, she wasn’t sure if she should try to pull it free and use it against Jeddah or just let it be hoping he didn’t notice the bulge in the jacket. Calm, stay calm, if you panic you’ll blow it. She could feel the hairs on her neck prickle as her mind raced through alternatives and escape routes, salvation ideas eluded her.


Jeddah couldn’t run in the shape he was in, but where would she run to? She didn’t want to leave Shadow with this madman. There was no telling what he might resort to if she angered him.


“Don’t even think of leaving me here,” Jeddah’s hot breath blew tufts of her hair as he whispered a throaty threat inches from her ear. “So you know who I am,” he said as his hand swept down the arm he held in a vice grip to the hand she had over the pistol in her jacket pocket that covered Shadow. Shadow growled low in his throat and struggled to move. “What have we here?” he grinned showing yellowed coffee stained teeth, his breath reminded her of death laced with garlic.


Jeddah jerked her hand out of the way without releasing his grip on her arm and slipped his hand into the jacket pocket. Shadow stirred at the disturbance, but he couldn’t pull his head up to come to Briana’s aide. Jeddah pulled out the pistol. A broad lecherous smile crept across his dirt covered face. “Oooo lookie here,” he made clicking noises with his tongue in the roof of his mouth. “And just what are you doing with a policeman’s special?”


With his face inches from her own, it made her stomach roil. Bad breath, narrow, mean eyes and crooked yellow teeth made her skin crawl. He looked like some swamp creature from a horror movie. Control, get control of yourself. She tried to quell the urge to vomit. Finding a way to over power him, crossed her mind—or make herself valuable enough that he wouldn’t kill her on the spot were the only two choices she saw in the few seconds it took him to pull her to her feet and put the gun against her temple. Which would be the better choice. Brianna’s mind raced, a cold sweat trickled down between her breasts while icy fingers walked her spine. Was this going to be the last day of her life?

2 comments:

Welcome To My Blog said...

The tension feels so real. You paint a very good picture.

How many more chapters to go?

Word Crafter said...

Hi,
Thanks for your comments, glad you enjoyed it. I'm about half way through with the book at this point so there will be about ten more chapters. I will try to post another soon.
Thanks again.
Billie