Amnesty first chapter!
|August 28, 2017||Posted by Cambria under Uncategorized|
Hey everyone! I’m here today with a special look at Amnesty – which is book 2 in the Amnesia Duet.
A M N E S I A
I thought I was safe.
Widow West was still in the hospital, still unresponsive and immobile. She wasn’t able to come for me. Not anymore, at least not right now. I let my guard down with a false sense of security… And now I was regretting it.
I don’t know why, but I assumed the man who sent the widow after me wouldn’t come. It seemed he was content with having someone else do the kidnapping. Or perhaps he just wanted to remain out of sight. Regardless, the idea he would come to finish what she started didn’t occur to me.
Until, of course, he did.
Just as I was finishing my workday at Loch Gen—a job, as it turned out, I really loved—there was a sound toward the back of the store. Maybe I wouldn’t have noticed the noise at all except for the fact my fingers were still on the locks; the sign I just flipped over to “closed” was still moving against the window pane.
No one was in here.
No one but me.
Eddie ran out to drop off a grocery delivery to one of the town people who called needing a few essentials but was too sick to come in. Being the man he was, Eddie jotted down the order immediately and bagged it up. These small details here at Lake Loch were never lost on me. I knew there were other places in the world where things like this didn’t happen. Things like neighbors counting on neighbors and everyone pretty much being your friend. It was something I would never take for granted, especially since recalling some things that proved this world could be a cruel place.
After assuring Eddie I could close up and start a few restocks before we called it a night, he took off and I was left alone.
At least I thought I’d been alone.
Still standing with my back to the store, hand paused over the lock, I listened. The ceiling fans, which were always on, hummed slightly, creating a sort of warbled whirring overhead. The low drone of the coolers on the other side of the place kicked on, and I wondered if perhaps that’s what I’d heard.
But the sound that made me pause came from the other direction. Back toward the stairs and the tiny bathroom. Back where all the Lake Loch merchandise was, including the little stuffed Loch Ness monsters I loved so much.
The sound of hangers knocking together, as if someone bumped into a rack of clothes and caused everything on it to collide, was fairly distinct. It wasn’t a noise that could be easily explained away. At least not in that moment, not as my ears searched for another reason and my fingertips trembled.
“Hello?” I said, brazenly calling out in my fear.
No one replied as I turned fully away from the door and stared out across the section of store I could see.
“Is anyone here?” I called out. “I’m closing up.”
The sudden trill of the phone near the register made me leap off the floor. With a gasp, I pressed my palm to my chest and scurried around the counter to pick it up. “Loch General,” I said, partially out of breath.
The sound of static greeted me. Nervous energy crackled along my limbs, buzzing beneath my skin. “Hello?” I asked.
Replacing the receiver, I began closing out the register, trying to evade the uneasy feeling coiling inside me.
The distinct scuffle of feet against the floor brought my head up. Instantly, my heart began to pound. Leaving the cash drawer wide open, I crept cautiously around the counter toward the back of the store where the noises were coming from.
I was just being paranoid. After everything that happened, it was understandable that I’d react this way to intrusive noise. That every single sound would take my imagination to the furthest point and panic would build. I should probably mention this to Dr. Kline.
The merchandise section came into view; everything looked okay. I saw no hulking figure standing there ready to attack.
My sigh of relief was so strong it lifted my shoulders to my ears, and as I released the tension, I rested my hands on my hips. Shaking my head at my own paranoia, I started to spin back toward the register.
That’s when I saw it.
Out of the corner of my eye, a familiar shape, small and dark, had my feet stopping, my lips pulling down into a frown.
One of the small Loch Ness toys was on the floor. It lay there against the wood planks, on its side, completely out of place. The rack where all the toys were displayed wasn’t even near where it lay. It was as if someone had accidentally dropped it there as they’d been shopping.
Or placed it there on purpose…
Brushing off the thought, I told myself to stop being so sinister. Why would someone deliberately place a harmless stuffed animal on the floor?
There was no reason.
I didn’t like seeing the little guy there, though. I had an affinity for those toys, considering they reminded me of this town that was my solace and of Eddie… the man who completely stole my heart.
The one he’d given me was at home, on my bed, right atop the colorful quilt I loved so much.
Smiling at the warmth that suffused my heart at just seeing the little guy, I went over and bent to pick it up.
“How’d you get way over here?” I murmured, lifting it, brushing it off after I straightened.
A sudden creepy feeling stole over me. Gooseflesh rose along my arms and legs, a chill working its way up my spine.
With my heart suddenly in my throat, my stomach weighing the same as a bag of lead, I spun around, glancing behind me toward the tiny bathroom under the stairs.
At the very same moment, the wooden door burst open and something launched out of the small space right at me.
A shriek ripped out of my throat as the dark figure barreled into me, knocking me backward. I sprawled out on the floor, the hot, heavy figure weighing me down. I was caught up in the folds of the black cloak they wore, and I began to panic, feeling as though I’d been captured in a net.
The stuffed toy went flying as I fought the fabric, desperately trying to get free.
“No!” I screamed, struggling.
The figure grabbed my wrist and pinned it to the floor, and a sudden burst of rage, an emotion so powerful I didn’t even understand, lit up my insides like a bolt of lightning cracking through a dark sky.
“Nooo!” I roared again, this time sounding like a completely different person. Adrenaline gave my leg power as I jackknifed it up between my attacker’s legs.
He fell off me sideways, sliding to the floor like a puddle. Shoving up, I scrambled away. A hand caught my ankle, and I screamed and kicked, managing to get free.
The front door was already locked, but the back door was still open. Since I was near the back, I raced that way, not looking behind me at all. My feet slapped over the hard floors as I wheezed and rushed, so desperate to get outside I pushed on the door when I should have pulled.
I heard him behind me, and I muttered a cry when the door opened, the wintry air slapping me in the face when I lunged outside.
A hand grasped at my hair, caught the short strands as it floated out behind me, and yanked so hard I cried out. My body jolted backward as I was pulled against a chest, a strong arm latching around my torso so tight I was unable to breathe.
He began walking backward, as if he had all the time in the world and he wasn’t worried I would escape again.
He’s going to torture me. The things he did in the past are nothing compared to the punishment I’ll get for daring to live my own life.
With perfect clarity, I recalled something Eddie had taught me, a defensive move. Without thinking too much, I brought my foot up, hurtled it down over the attacker’s, and stomped hard. His body jolted, and I used my arm, lifted it, and brought it down to disengage the hold I was caught in.
Free, I took off running. I ran as fast as my legs would carry me over the expanse of tall grasses, against the biting wind, and through the rocky section that led to the lake.
The sound of water crashing against the shoreline was loud but welcoming, and the air was fresh and clear this close to the water.
My lungs screamed for air. Body halting, I bent at the waist to suck in great gulps and try to catch my breath.
Still scared for my life, I straightened and looked over my shoulder.
“Ahh!” I screamed. The figure was right there on top of me. His hands grabbed me like shackles, and instead of towing me back toward the store, he reversed direction and went to the water.
“No!” I protested, trying to struggle. Calmly, he dragged me backward, my heels rubbing over the ground, leaving a trail through the beach.
Water that had to be very close to freezing stole my breath the second it splashed up my legs and soaked my pants.
Terror made me fight harder. Memories of nearly drowning clawed at my head almost as strongly as the man dragging me into the frigid water.
All at once, I was freed of his clutches. My body was lifted and tossed. I plunged beneath the surface. It swallowed me in one big gulp. Bubbles escaped my nose and raced to the surface as I tried to follow.
Before I could manage, I was yanked up by the front of my shirt. I barely had time to gasp before I was plunged back under. This time his hands stayed on me, pressing me under… keeping me down.
I struggled and fought. He brought me up only to plunge me back down.
I was drowning.
He was drowning me.
I was going to die in this lake at the hands of someone whose face I’d never seen.
My fingers dug into the arms holding me, my fingernails cutting into them, even through the fabric covering his skin. Forcing my eyes open, I stared up at the hulking dark figure, water making everything blurry.
With another rough yank, I was above the surface. I blinked, gasping. “Wait!” The word ripped out of me, and whatever he heard in my voice gave him pause.
“Look at me,” I gurgled.
Still keeping that impenetrable hold on my shirt, he ripped the fabric back from his head and stared down.
I jerked, eyes wide. “No!” I screamed, struggling anew. “No!”
“You wanted to die,” the voice, which was mine, insisted.
I shook my head.
The girl—me—gazed down with short, dark-blond hair, freckles, and brown eyes, which I never thought of as evil until this very moment, and threw back her head and laughed.
“It’s time to finish the job you started,” she told me. “It’s time.”
With force I had no idea she even possessed, she shoved me back beneath the brown waves.
All this time I’d been running from that dark, faceless figure… a stalker. Someone who lurked above the waves, waiting for me to drown.
All this time, I’d been running from the person who tried to kill me.
I’d been running from me.