Judging by what I see on the social networks I am part of, a lot of authors these days reserve Sundays for samples of their works. While the title is not locked in my mind just yet, this story is going to be part of the new book featuring new and previously published stories. Hopefully this small sample will pique your interest.
Neither Here Nor There
The figure on the bed stirred briefly, pulling at his bonds. Even without the restraints, he physically wasn’t going anywhere. The prison of the mind inexorably tightened and he began to scream. Silently at first, he gradually cranked up the scale to drown out the monitors. A machine in the corner whirred to life as medication dripped into his rigid arm. The arm spasmed against the bed in a futile effort at freedom. There was a screech, indistinguishable between man or machine, then silence reigned in the ward. Reality began again for the patient.
The tires crunched as they rolled over glass and gravel along one side of the mall. The white car adorned with decals of this month’s security force lurched heavily as it straddled potholes. Might as well paint a big bull’s-eye on the car and be done with it. It would be nice if they replaced the shocks while they were at it. The underside screeched as the metal rubbed on the buckled pavement of a pothole. Can’t dodge them all. Sometimes it seemed as if they formed right in front of me as I drove.
The nearly constant jostling certainly didn’t help my ever-present headache. I took two more tablets with the last of the soda. So much for all the commercials promising pain relief. It was all so fake. The car bottomed out hard, scraping the undercarriage again on a pothole.
Headlights flashed across the graffiti on the fence and then back to the street. What once had been a very prosperous part of town was now a war zone that the police refused to tread. It would be a great set for one of those Armageddon movies. Actually, the whole area would probably have to be fixed up a bit for one of those end-of-the world movies.
It was left to a security guard to patrol the six blocks of mall property and parking lots without any hope of backup. Where was John Wayne when you really needed him? The mall was less than a mile from the police station, but it was a world away. Progress had been here, done that, and moved out to the suburbs. More like the suburbs of the suburbs, I thought as I glanced at the dark building…..