Check out a new excerpt from my upcoming novel, Dangerously In Love
Amelia heard a clunk then loud rumbling and thumping. She ran, trying to keep her wet galoshes from squeaking on the tile floor. Crouching into a dark corner, she fell back a little but managed to balance herself, feeling around, trying to move whatever was in her way when she touched something sticky. Blood. She turned and saw David’s ex-wife, Beth. Amelia’s muffled scream had been concealed by a rather large man falling backward down the stairs, tumbling to a neck-breaking thud.
Clutching the briefcase, Amelia swiftly hid behind Beth’s dead body, veiled by the shadows of the basement. She heard two, maybe three pairs of footsteps approaching. Men. Their gait sounded too heavy to belong to women. Amelia trembled, trying not to make noise. Her breathing was so hard and heavy, she feared they’d hear her. She closed her eyes, frightened that they’d glimmer like flames in the darkness.
She heard the men scrambling around. Their bloodstained work boots gave her tremors with each thump. Her heart pounded with unsteady beats. Her body quaked uncontrollably as one of the men got closer and closer… and closer. He stood right in front of her – still for a moment – then squatted down. He was so close, she smelled his putrid breath. She prayed he wouldn’t see her, hoping the darkness shielded her. Slowly, she opened her eyes, which met with his. He smiled wryly.
“You picked a really bad day to drop by,” he said.
He reached his hand toward her. She thought she’d lose control of her bladder. Maybe she had. The basement reeked of urine. She tried to lean back but couldn’t go any further. Her heart lunged into her throat. Her stomach somersaulted.
He touched Beth’s hair and cheek. He sucked his teeth and stood. He kicked Beth’s legs and her body shifted. He stood there for a moment longer until the other men headed upstairs.
She wanted to scream – again, no air. She couldn’t stop shaking.
One of the men yelled from upstairs. He turned and ran up the stairs, two steps at a time. She heard their heavy thumps above her. A door slammed. Two car doors closed and the heavy engine of a car revved. Its vibrations were strong at first but receded with distance.
Amelia pushed Beth’s body to the side and it fell over, stiff like a mannequin. She ran to the stairs, avoiding the puddles of blood along the way. She tripped on the man’s arm at the foot of the stairs and fell on top of him – the briefcase between their bodies – staring him in the face. She recognized him and gulped hard – she was too breathless for a scream. It was Uncle Murphee. Her mother’s brother, and David’s father.
In a panic, she hastily climbed the stairs, frequently losing her footing, banging her knees as she tried to regain her balance. Still clutching the briefcase, she hightailed it to her car and sped away.
That was three years ago.
(c) 2014 Michele Kimbrough
[Dangerously in Love]