Sneak Peaks

On this page I will be posting excerpts from projects I’m currently working on. Feel free to let me know what you think!

Excerpt from Searching for Deliverance, Book #2 in the Haven Series

Chapter 1

The street was a sharp incline between what was left of the high hill that had been dug out to pave the road leading into the town. He ran his hand down the rough rock that had been weathered somewhat smooth over the years and glanced up to the highest part, wondering how long it had taken to dig down the thirty or so feet. Shaking off the pointless thought, he moved down to the end of the wall and squatted at the corner of the sidewalk, eyes moving over the buildings at the edge of a town he’d lived close to almost all of his life but had only been in a couple of times. Had there been anyone close to him, he was sure they’d hear his heart hammering, but most of the people he saw didn’t seem too interested in getting close to someone they didn’t know.

A cool breeze rustled the fallen leaves that had gathered along the bottom of the wall, but did nothing to keep the sweat from dripping down the middle of his back. He jerked his head to toss longish dark curls from his eyes and glanced back up the street where homeless people were huddled around a burning trash can. He’d spent almost a week without a roof over his head and it hadn’t been so bad, but he didn’t think he could keep doing it forever. Fall would soon end and he didn’t like the idea of being stuck without heat during the winter.

He took a breath, trying to calm himself when all he really wanted was to turn around and run. There were two problems with that, though: he didn’t have anywhere he could run to, and he’d made a promise to the only person who had ever cared about him that he had to keep.

He looked back around the corner. There was a gas station on one corner that looked run down, though people did stop from time to time to fill up or buy something inside. On the other side of the road was a restaurant, small but clean. He figured he could probably find what he was looking for at either place, but the restaurant seemed nicer and the girl he’d seen go in looked easier to talk to than the man who stood smoking outside the gas station.

He glanced down the street before moving around the corner and running to the restaurant. He took one last look over his shoulder before stepping inside, gulping back the fear that tightened his throat. He dug his hand into his pocket, pulled out a crumpled piece of paper he’d held onto for years, and crossed to the counter.

A woman with brown hair stood with her back to the door, hands deep in a sink full of soapy water. She glanced to him with a smile. “Give me a second and I’ll be right with you. Okay?”

He nodded and sat on one of the stools as she pulled her hands from the sink and dried them on a towel. She moved to the counter and leaned her hip to it. “Well, young man, what can I get for you?”

He chewed his lip and set the paper on the counter. “I…” He paused and took a breath so he could put more strength to his voice. “I need to call someone. Do you have a phone I can use?”

She studied him for a moment before crossing to the corner and picking up a cordless phone. She set it in front of him and tilted her head to the side. “You sure that’s all I can get you?”

He took the phone and slid from the stool. “Yeah, that’s it.” She raised an eyebrow and he stepped away, not wanting her to ask him anymore questions. “I just have to call someone for my mom.” He moved to a corner booth and dialed the number on the piece of paper.

“Hello?”

He frowned. That wasn’t the voice he was expecting. It was too old. “Um… is Marcie Harver there?”

“Marcie? She hasn’t lived here in years. I thought all of her kids knew that. Are you one of her kids from school? What’s your name, sweetheart?”

“Uh… never mind.” He hung up and stared at the phone. She’d been his best hope. Why wasn’t she there? Where was she? You should have asked, idiot!

“Are you alright?”

He jumped and spun to face the girl working behind the counter. “Yeah… she wasn’t there.”

She leaned her elbows on the counter. “Are you hungry?”

He gave her back the phone and ducked his head. “A little, but I don’t have any money. I left it at home.”

She nodded slowly and leaned down, pulling a plate from the small refrigerator under the counter. “Well, I have half a sandwich here that really needs to be eaten. Can you help me out?”

He knew she was just trying to be nice, and normally he would have turned it down, but it had been several days since he’d had anything to eat. And then it was only an apple he’d grabbed from a woman’s cart at the grocery store.

“I guess. Only half, though. Mom will be upset if I ruin my supper.”

She set it in front of him and sat down. “My name’s Kelly. What’s yours?”

He tore off a small corner of the sandwich and nibbled it, not bothering to answer. She rested her cheek on her palm. “Who’s your mom?”

He took another bite and spared her a quick glance. “Her name’s Peggy. My dad died a while back and she can’t work. We had to drop our phone so I came to town to call her friend.”

Kelly nodded. “That’s nice of you to help her out.”

He shrugged. She was fishing for information and if he wasn’t careful, he’d let something slip that he shouldn’t. He set what was left of the sandwich on the plate. “I better get home.”

“Where do you live? Maybe I could give you a ride.”

His pushed away from the counter. “No, that’s all right. Thanks for the sandwich.”

He turned to go out of the door as two men were coming in. The younger one held the door open and smiled down at him. He froze for a moment and dropped his eyes to the floor before ducking out the door quickly. It always made him nervous when someone did something seemingly nice. In his experience, they always had a reason and it never ended well.

He ran back up the street and to the woods outside of town. A large lake ran along the edge of the woods as they fanned out into the countryside. It was one thing he loved and hated about the country: tons of hills and trees to disappear in, but at the same time, he didn’t know who or what might have been hiding with him.

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