When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing. ~Enrique Jardiel Poncela

This quote is how I’m feeling right about now. I’m in the editing stages of getting my first novel published, as I know I’ve mentioned to you all before, blah, blah, blah ad nauseam. I’m finding that patience is key in this process and I’m feeling challenged. But Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow (yeah) and Avengers comes out this weekend. That will help (not really).

Ahhhhhhhhh! There, I feel better (nah).  For now I’m posting an beta excerpt from the novel to ease some of the tension.  I know I’ll feel better, will you? Let me know what you think.

Excerpt from Flashback to Murder:

Plip… Plip…

Have to get up to tighten the handles of the faucet in the bathroom shower to stop that leak. She groaned, disappointed that the dripping sound had seeped into her consciousness. Frowning slightly she thought if that didn’t work a towel in the tub placed right under the drip would muffle the noise it was making, giving her a headache. Maybe she could get a couple of aspirin out of the cupboard to fight the hangover. Her head felt like it was tethered to her body by a few strands of over-stretched tendons, threatening to elongate and break the tenuous hold and roll off onto the floor. She didn’t think she’d miss it much, not the way it was pounding.

Plip.

“There you are.”

Deep and sinister sounding the words overshadowed her thoughts; and then a low chuckle brought her fully awake. Her heart pounding so hard it threatened to beat through her chest, she felt like a trapped bird fluttering around, breast beating in time with a flurry of wings trying to escape the confines of its cage. Her breathing shallow and erratic; she prayed for a heart attack rather than deal with her current situation. Realizing she was not safe and secure in her apartment nursing a hangover, she now understood she must have passed out from pain, shock, or exhaustion, or a combination of the three.

Plip.

Where was the leak? She wildly looked around the small room. Thick quilted blankets hung from the walls and above her along the ceiling, the better to sound proof the room my dear. A naked bulb glared down on her and she could see the shine bounce off the sharp instruments on the table next to where she lay tied at ankles and wrists, the better to see you my dear, the better to hold you against your will. Her thoughts had been reduced to nursery rhymes, the better to cope my dear.

Her eyes found her tormentor and she tried to plead with him to let her go, but the words could not escape beyond the rubber ball in her mouth which distorted any sounds she made. He seemed to take pleasure in her struggles and encouraged the muffled begging. His eyes which had looked so fun and flirty in the bar were predatory and slightly mad now.

Raping her had been bad enough. She still felt sore all over from that humiliation. But it was nothing compared to what he had been doing to her ever since she left the bar with him and got jabbed in the neck with something that knocked her out.

When she woke she was naked and disoriented, with him grunting on top of her. She screamed and a fist cut off the sound breaking her front incisor on the top right side. She bit her tongue when the blow came and could taste blood in her mouth almost immediately. After that, she pressed her lips together to keep quiet and endured the sexual battery hoping that when it was over he would let her go.

When he had roared his last thrust and was done, he flipped the used condom into a corner. She begged him to let her go and promised to forget this ever happened, even introducing herself and letting him know about her dog, Sinjin, at home waiting to be fed and walked around the block, thinking that if she revealed a little about herself she would no longer be an object in his eyes. Her attempts fell on deaf ears as he grabbed her by the hair and threw her on the metal table her arms flailing as she fought to get his hands away. Fighting against him proved useless as he fitted the leather straps on her wrists and ankles and gagged her mouth. She could feel the muscles in his arms and she still felt slightly woozy and uncoordinated from whatever drug he had forced on her.

What scared her more than the physical violation was the way he would gently stroke her cheek and call her mommy with an expression on his face of love. Then his features would change dramatically, melting from the loving gaze to one of sadistic lust before he cut her flesh, causing more pain than she had ever felt. She begged when he asked her to, and asked for forgiveness when he wanted that. This was what she had been taught to do in the self-defense classes, anything to stay alive. But he didn’t in fact want her to participate in the macabre ritual he was acting out.

She didn’t know how long she had been held here in this damp, cold room, fading in and out of consciousness only to be awoken by a slap on the face, or a sharp pain when he shoved a knife into the soles of her feet. Much to her own dismay, she had lost control and urinated twice, once because her bladder was full from the beers and shots of tequila that she had consumed at the bar and another time from fear.

She watched in horror, her eyes wide and wild, as he brought a sharp object up into view and, with the tip of it began circling her left nipple, around the areola. The pain was almost numbing; almost. She screamed into the gag as she watched his progress. As he worked her eyes were drawn to the detailed tattoo on his right hand, a dragon with intricate scales and a barbed tail that wrapped around his wrist. She was mesmerized by the movement of the mythical beast as it seemed independent of the hand on which it was marked. He continued muttering to her, calling her a whore or worse, mommy; and she kept staring at the dragon, wishing for things like white knights in shining armor.

Plip.

She knew the sound now; the dripping was coming from her. She was bleeding from several cuts on her breasts and abdomen and one particularly deep one on the bottom of her right foot. The blood was running off her down the tracks indented on the sides of the metal table on which she lay, dripping off the table into a drain somewhere near her feet. She knew this because he had described the room and equipment to her in great detail before he began carving.

Tears formed in her eyes as she came to the realization that this would be her final view of the world. That tomorrow was never coming.

Plip

She would survive another forty-eight hours before life trickled out of her one drip at a time onto the stone floor and into the drain, releasing her from her tormentor.

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