I just uploaded the last bit of writing for my work on my National Novel Writing Month entry, Mine By Design. I’m 50,763 words closer to being finished with this manuscript … and hope to have it finished, polished and ready to submit by Christmas. What a fun, and mostly stress-free, way to light a fire under my bum for inspiration. Thought you might like to have a little synopsis, and an excerpt from this new contemporary romantic thriller: Mine By Design.
When a world-reknowned costume designer witnesses the death of a cop, she’s not prepared for the killer to set his sights on her. Can the veteran detective charged with bringing the killer to justice keep her alive or will he have another victim on his hands?
“Come on. Turn. Come on, come on.”
Abby Markham chanted through heavy, measured breaths. “Come on, damn it.”
The closer she got to the intersection, the more it looked like the light was going to turn red. Damn, she’d have to jog in place to keep her breathing regulated. Once she crossed the highway she could sprint the final quarter-mile of her long run.
The light turned from yellow to red and Abby took advantage of the enforced respite to drink some water from one of the small cartridges of her Fuel Belt. She swallowed quickly, ignoring the trickle of water running down her chin. Checked her pulse. Brushed the loose tendrils of hair from her forehead. Replaced the empty water cartridge. Deep breath … in … out … ah.
Good pulse rate. Another deep breath. If the light turned right now she’d beat her regular ten-mile time by three whole minutes. Three minutes!
Finally—green light! She looked both ways to make sure no cars were coming, and then shot across the street and started her sprint early. She was that jazzed. Three minutes!
Abby rounded the corner on Highway 751, approaching the bridge over Jordan Lake, when she saw two men fighting at the end of the gravel path leading to the Wildlife Sanctuary. Since she was on a fairly isolated curve on the road, she picked up the pace—but as soon as she kicked up the heat, she heard a loud pop that sounded like gunshots. It startled her and she stumbled on a grouping of loose rocks in the pavement, falling and skinning both knees.
Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod, she chanted in her screaming mind.
She stood up and checked out her knees, bending over to wipe off the blood that was trickling down her dirty shins. I’ll just run over to Crenshaw’s and use the phone, and wash off my legs, she thought. Just then, she heard another pop behind her and an agonized scream, and then silence. She stopped and waited. Nothing. No sound. Shit. The silence was damning and she was out in the middle of nowhere, alone, with two men beating the hell out of each other—and at least one of them had a gun.
Searching the horizon to the east and west, she saw that no cars were coming. Of course, Saturday morning was for sleeping in and eating pancakes. Nobody except the runners, cyclists and maniacs were out and about and wide awake at 8:30 so she was on her own. Abby ran into the woods and back-tracked toward the two men as quietly as possible. She moved off the trail just in time because she could hear one of the men running hell for leather towards her. She curled into a ball underneath a grouping of Cypress trees and waited until he moved past her.
When she thought it was clear, she lifted up on her battered knees and peered out through the dense shrubbery. The running man, clad in a black nylon running suit, stopped at the end of the path to make sure no cars were coming. Without warning, he jerked his head around and looked right at Abby’s spot in the woods. She held her breath, and let it out when he turned back to his escape and continued his sprint across the street. He disappeared into the woods and moments later tore out onto Highway 751 headed towards Durham, driving a black Toyota Camry.
Abby let out a trembling sigh and wiped away the tears flowing silently down her cheeks. She inhaled a deep, fortifying breath and took off at a dead run to the man lying motionless at the end of the path. As she got closer, she could see his chest struggling with breath, and hear the low murmur of his crying.
His arms and legs were sluggish, but they moved restlessly about his torso. He seemed to be straining to sit up, but was having no luck. His dark clothing was so saturated in blood that the moisture shimmered brightly in the early morning sunlight, even from her distance 200 yards away. She’d clearly heard two gun shots, but that was after she ran past them and saw them pulverizing each other by fist. Judging by the damage on this man’s body, apart from the grotesquely gaping bullet wounds, they’d been fighting for some time.
He must have heard Abby running towards him because he stilled and watched her approach out of one very swollen eye—his other eye was completely shut—and tried to reach for her. Oh, God! It was a uniformed policeman. Shit! A policeman who was covered in blood.
Shit, shit, shit!
~ ~ ~
(c) Becky Moore, 2010