Sunday, September 7, 2014

Into the Dark, Just Cause #SampleSunday

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of JUST CAUSE (a continuation from August 31 Madison Fights for Her Life):

As Sergey inched toward her, with gritted teeth, he swore in Russian. He resembled a rushing bull setting out after a waving red flag.

Her only chance was to reach her weapon, but the odds were stacked against her. If she were to make a bet with Terry, they’d likely both wager she’d leave in a body bag.

The gun came away from her head, but she still sensed that Anatolli held it aimed at her.

She looked around, taking in the space.

She was in the warehouse of the Russians’ main business front, Homeland Logistics. Men were around when she first came in, but now all seemed silent, except for her and her two Russian opponents.

She remembered pulling the trigger and catapulting herself to the ground.

The left side of her hand tapped a pulse. She lifted it but it fell limp, as blinding shivers of pain raced through her arm. But with the throbbing came clarity. She had banged her hand on the metal step as she fell.

She fought the urge to cradle her wrist to her chest. She had to remain strong.

Her eyes fell to the floor just beyond the staircase, where her gun lay, at least four feet away. There was no way for her to reach it before they killed her.

She lifted her arms in surrender.

“Get to your feet.” Sergey spat in her face.

Instead of humiliating her, it fueled the anger raging beneath the surface. She would see their entire operation come down—even if she did so single-handedly.

She rose to her feet, keeping her arms above her as she moved.

“Do you want me to kill her, boss?” Anatolli pushed the barrel into her lower back. “Or we could watch her flop around like a fish.”


Anatolli lowered his gun.

Sergey spoke more words in Russian and Anatolli linked her arms behind, in his hands. Pain from her left wrist made her want to vomit, but it hardly deterred the man. He adjusted his grip and pulled her back into his chest.

“You are going to pay.” Spittle from his mouth sprayed her cheek in a fine mist.

Anatolli pushed her up the stairs while Sergey led the way and struggled with each step.
They went into a large office, the size of the chief’s, but, unlike his, they didn’t accessorize to impress. Their focus was on necessity and usability.

The floor was a dark hardwood and contrasted with the lighter oak of the executive desk that stood at the one end. A flat-screen monitor sat on its top, to the right, and a desk calendar was in the middle. There were hand-written scribbles all over its surface in a variety of colors.

Next to the desk, numerous filing cabinets lined the wall. The room was devoid of artwork, except for a framed map of the world on the wall behind the desk and three clocks, set to different time zones, on the facing wall.

What had Madison’s real attention was the doorway that came off the back of the room. This is where they were taking her.

Anatolli shoved her into the darkness and she momentarily lost her footing.

“Sit!” he barked.

At the same time, Sergey switched on a light. Its brightness momentarily blinded her as Anatolli pushed her toward a chair in the middle of the room. Chains were attached to the arms and legs of it, and there was a collar that would secure around their victim’s neck while they worked out their sadistic pleasure on them. The floor was concrete and stained with splotches of dark crimson.


More bile rose from her throat and mingled with the copper taste in her mouth.

Madison felt this sensation at a murder scene, and she felt it here, too. Lost souls cried out to her. Her mortality knew, beyond the sight before her, that lives had been brought to an end in this room, and that this particular road to hell had been paved with pain.

Anatolli thrust her into the chair.

“You’re never going to get away with this.”

Both Russians laughed.

“You are nothing special. Besides we have waited way too long.” Sergey gestured for Anatolli to continue.

Anatolli secured her wrists, but when he bent to tie the shackles at her feet, she instinctively lifted her leg, connecting her knee with the cartilage of his nose.


His hand swiped across her face and torqued her neck to the side. She wanted to fight back, but her eyes faded to black.

© 2014 Carolyn Arnold
JUST CAUSE is available for pre-order from AmazonBarnes & NobleApple, and Kobo. Its official release date is October 16, 2014.

The above excerpt is protected by Copyright law. 

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