BOOK REPORT?

Spoiler Alert! Do you really want to read this blog? In my early August post, I wrote that I’d warn my readers whenever I posted an excerpt. This is that warning. For those who expressed an interest in sneak peeks, what follows is from FACE OF OUR MOTHER.

“In utter blackness, Angie crawled forward, hands reaching ahead, testing, measuring, floor and wall. Smooth, warm and soft. Padded? Different from the last few days of rough, cold and hard. Different from anything since they’d taken her. How long? Certainly weeks. More than a month? Maybe. But how could she know? How could she track the days when all she ever saw was black?

The fingertips of Angie’s left hand struck a padded surface straight ahead. The first corner. With a hand on each wall, she slowly stood, awaiting the dizziness. It came. Lately, it always came. Starvation, dehydration, did that. Hunger and thirst were her life now. And the black.

She should lay still. Conserve energy. But she had to fight the darkness. Explore her new prison. Somehow, knowing a cell’s dimensions kept her crows at bay.

Her dizziness passed. She rose up on her toes and reached as high as she could. Smooth and warm and soft. Dropping to all fours, she followed the new wall, keeping careful count of each knee-stride.

Thirty-three brought her to the next corner. Spacious. Again, she rose, waited for the dizziness to pass and reached high. More smooth and warm and soft.

Along the next wall she discovered a thin vertical seam, and then another, almost as far apart as her arms could spread. A door? Why so wide?

After completing a circuit, she did another, standing this time, and then went to her hands and knees again, crisscrossing the floor until she collapsed from exhaustion. Nothing. Not a bed, table, or chair. Thirty-three knee-strides square. Two vertical seams. That was it. But, at least her crows flew away.

“All done?” an Arabic accent asked from the blackness above.

Angie didn’t answer. Screw them. So they could see her. Infrared cameras. Thermal imaging. Big deal. She wasn’t impressed.

“All done?”

“I need water,” she rasped.

“All done?”

“I need food.”

“All done?”

Angie wanted to scream, “Go to hell!” Instead, she said, “Yes, I’m done.”

Above, a sliding sound. Two thunks on the floor, one loud, the other a bounce and roll. Another sliding sound.

“How about some light?” Angie asked.

Silence.

“Could I have some light, pretty please?”

Nothing.

Screw those lousy bastards. She wouldn’t beg. And whatever scraps they’d thrown her, she’d leave lay. Let it sit a good long while. She had strength left. Plenty.

Moments later, a smell. Bread. Angie’s hollow stomach churned. Desert dry mouth salivated.

No, she wouldn’t crawl to find their scraps. Wouldn’t beg for light. Instead, Angie sat in the black and smiled her biggest smile. Maybe thermal imaging could pick up her pearly whites. She hoped so. Screw them.”

I hope that I’ve delivered as I promised in that early August blog, showing hints of plot without total revelation, character growth without the full impetus for that growth, and tense situations absent their complete cause. And, of course, I hope you enjoyed.

Steam of consciousness quote:

“Many time the reading of a book has made the future of a man.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

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