Sneaky peek

Even though my first draft is far from finished, I’d like to show y’all just a little sampling of what I’ve got so far. Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter. Enjoy!

Chapter 1


She stumbled through the dark, damp alleyway, oblivious to the broken liquor bottles slicing into her already blistered feet. For nearly two days she had been on the run, and she had lost her hospital-issue slippers somewhere along the way. She couldn’t stop, though.

They were coming for her.

They claimed they were trying to help her. They said that if she took her “medicine” every day the voices would stop. They lied.

She knew they were really trying to poison her. Melody Harrow was no fool. They wouldn’t have strapped her down, force-fed her through a tube, and injected her against her will if they’d been trying to help her.

The poison had been a long-acting one—that much she could tell; it was still working its way out of her system. Even real, untainted food, stolen from a Dumpster behind a reputable restaurant, would not stay in her stomach. “Medicine,” indeed.

“You shouldn’t have run away, Melody,” a soft voice echoed through the alley. “You should have stayed where you were safe. You need to go back.”

“Shut up!” she screamed, looking for her tormentor. Weak from lack of sleep and poor nutrition, her vision blurred. None of the vague shapes in the darkness appeared to be human. “They were trying to kill me! You’re all trying to kill me!”

Another, deeper voice chimed in, though she still appeared to be alone. “Do you really think this is better? Do you think you could be safe anywhere? Nothing you do can save the world from what is coming.”

“Anything is better than that dungeon!” Where were they? She still couldn’t see anyone with her in the alley. The poison must be affecting her vision, she decided. It was the only thing that made any sense.

“It’s a hospital, Melody.” The soft-spoken voice again. “You’re sick. You need their help. If you don’t turn back right now, something horrible will happen. Something that you can never undo.”

These strange invisible people, whoever they might be, made her more agitated than she already was. “I’m not sick! I know what’s really going on! You both tell the ‘doctor’ at that ‘hospital’ that I’m going to the newspapers! The New York Times! I’m going to tell everyone what they did to me. None of you will get away with it!”

The second voice chimed in with a sinister tone. “Who’s going to listen to you? A runaway from the psych ward who’s yelling at no one. Hell, woman, you’re still wearing that filthy paper gown, wandering aimlessly in the middle of the night. You’ve even forgotten to take off your hospital I.D. band. All anyone is going to do is take you straight back there.”

She raised her arm high above her head for the disembodied voices to see. “I didn’t forget to take it off! This is my proof! They can’t deny keeping me prisoner as long as I have this!”

Lightning flashed, illuminating the outline of a tall man standing at the other end of the alley. Was his the second voice?

“You’ve doomed yourself,” the first voice said, “and you’ve doomed us all.”

The second voice laughed. “I told you that you weren’t safe. By the time this night is through, you will be begging for the serenity and hope that the medications would have provided.”


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