Excerpt from Hunter, Riverbend Book 2

Those of you who have read Swamp Ghosts and keep asking when Hunter is coming out will be glad to know it’s still on schedule for a late summer, early fall publication date. And just as a special treat for ya, I’m sharing the Prologue here today. This is a Work In Progress, so it will no doubt be tightened and polished a good bit in editing, but here’s the rough draft. Enjoy!


Dawn, March 20, 2014

EVERYTHING WAS PAIN. Everything he felt, everything he remembered. Pain, and pain, and pain. His dreams were filled with sounds of agony, screams ricocheting through his head. And blood. Rivers of blood, forming scarlet, coppery-scented puddles that spread across the darkness.

He woke up on his knees, vomiting into the grass. Afterward, he crawled back up onto the park bench, mouth sour, and head throbbing. Shivering, he tried to push the dreams away, but they weren’t ready to let him go.

Something bad, that was the  problem. He had done something bad. Worse than bad. Something unthinkable. He understood that his crime was the root of all his dreams, and if only he could remember, he’d know what he needed to do next. But when he tried to get it straight in his head, the screams would start again, followed by that God-awful, unrelenting pain.

As the day dawned around him, he huddled bent over on the bench, the smell of cheap whiskey on his breath, and sledgehammers pounding inside his skull. He scrubbed at his eyes, as though that would wipe away the images of all that blood, and make the last echoes of those agonized screams disappear. His only clear thought was how to make it all end. Something—someone—needed to die. Fight fire with fire, blood with blood, pain with pain.  Oh, yes. That was the answer.

Shuffling to his unsteady feet, he walked through the morning mist. He had no idea what state he was in, let alone the name of this little town, but he heard the unmistakable whoosh of cars speeding down a highway. In five minutes, he stood by the edge of the southbound lane, holding out his thumb. Instinct told him the direction to travel, and desperation kept him upright, as he waited for the ride that would take him where he needed to go. His plan was simple. If death would bring an end to this pain, then someone was going to die.

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