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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tuesday Teaser

It's Tuesday Teaser time again, and I've selected the very first page in the very first suspense thriller that I ever had published. Kickback launched my writing career and within two years of its release, I was able to focus full-time on my writing career, thanks to its success and the success of my second book, The China Conspiracy, which achieved worldwide publicity.

I'll let the prologue speak for itself:

I was hanging upside down in my Toyota Tercel, held in place by my seatbelt and shoulder harness, my neck bent against the roof of the car and the steering wheel jammed against my chest. I must have been at the foot of an embankment; I could see headlights passing along I-95 through the jagged glass that was once my windshield. I vaguely remember the tractor-trailer slamming on his brakes, and the Toyota clipping the edge of the truck, my arm instinctively covering my eyes as glass sprayed me.

When the car came to a stop, I’d been flipped over too many times to count. I wiped the blood out of my eyes and tried to focus on where I was. I could see a tangled mass of metal, twisted and jagged pieces still moving, still being pushed toward me. The back of the seat was caving in on me. My purse was hanging in midair, and then it was gone. I heard the constant sound of something dripping, and the unmistakable smell of gasoline.

Terrified the gasoline would ignite and I’d be burned alive, I gasped unevenly, trying to fill my lungs with air, but they were packed with a gurgling fluid and incredible pain shot through me. There was blood everywhere. My hair was soaked with it, but I couldn’t tell whether my head was bleeding, or my face, or which part of my body. It was all covered in blood.

I don’t know what terrified me the most—thinking I would die alone, just yards from the interstate but out of sight, or thinking that I would live through this and they would return and torture me before I died. I didn’t want Aunt Jo or Margaret or Matt to think I’d died in a traffic accident, when I knew too well it wasn’t an accident at all.

I could hear the tractor-trailers moving away in the distance, and then I heard one coming back and stopping near the car. I knew I had to get out; I had to find the strength. I tried pushing against the steering wheel, trying to move it off my chest, but it wouldn’t budge. I knew I was suffocating in my own blood.

My ears were filled with the constant drone of the tractor-trailer. Then I heard the truck door open and slam shut, and heard the sound of feet running toward me.

I tried pushing with all my strength against anything I could reach; I tried to stay calm, to figure out how to get out of the seat belt, to get out of this ridiculous upside-down posture, but I couldn’t budge. Darkness was creeping in around the edges.

I saw the legs standing beside the car, and then they knelt down beside me. Blue jeans, cowboy boots. And then there was a crack, like thunder.