Welcome to a new feature on my blog, where I will be posting a small excerpt from some of my past, current, and future projects!
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The sun had fully risen by the time Brandt got over his initial horror, casting its cloudy, watery light over the street, illuminating the bloodied sideshow for him to see that much better. He walked down the street briskly, stepping around fresh bodies and smears of blood and gore, his nerves on edge from the expectancy of something bursting out of the shadows between the buildings or from underneath cars to grab him and make him wish for a bullet in his own head.
He stopped at a street corner to study his surroundings. A wrecked car blocked the sidewalk where it’d run off the road and crashed into the brick façade of a pizza parlor. The front quarter panel on the passenger side was peppered with bullet holes, and the windows were shattered. A large pool of blood stained the car’s front upholstery. He ducked lower to look inside the car; there was no sign of the vehicle’s previous owners.
There was a noise on the other side of the car.
Brandt slid his Beretta out of its holster. He eased toward the car’s trunk, his pistol raised, finger resting lightly against the trigger guard in preparation to shoot if necessary. He circled the back of the car and saw what was on the other side, and a gasp escaped his throat.
The college co-ed didn’t appear to be more than twenty-one. Her blonde hair was matted with blood, her arms broken, bones sticking out through the skin. Her Emory University sweatshirt was soaked through with blood and motor oil. Everything from the middle of her torso down was mutilated, crushed by the car that had plunged off the street and into the pizza parlor. It wasn’t her appearance that had horrified him so much as the fact she was still alive.
Once he was within arm’s reach, she lifted her head from the pavement and looked at him through eyes clouded by the haze of death. She made a low, growling noise in her throat and stretched her broken arms toward him. The fingers of her left hand struck his boot, and he took a step back, further out of reach. The skin on her fingertips was missing, scraped to the first knuckle, nearly down to bone; eight thin streaks on the sidewalk suggested she’d been clawing at it in an attempt to free herself from where she was pinned under the vehicle.
“Jesus,” Brandt said under his breath.
The girl jerked into full alertness at the sound of his voice, and she started trying to drag herself from under the car with renewed vigor. Brandt watched her, trying to figure out how she was still moving when her injuries should have meant death. She made another growling noise and jerked forward, and he heard something that sounded like fabric tearing. Then she lurched toward him just enough to touch his shoe again, and he backed away another step, turned, and ran.
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