Tuesday, January 18, 2022

A Chilling Excerpt from MOVING TOWARD THE LIGHT



Sequel to Penance
Miranda had been through it all in her young life: homelessness, the victim of a crime that made national headlines, and losing those closest to her. Now, she barely gets by in a rat hole apartment in uptown Chicago, drowning her sorrows in alcohol she’s too young to buy, and making ends meet by turning tricks.

And, just when she thinks it can get no worse, it does. With the lure of easy cash before her, she blows off her shift at McDonald’s and heads home with an older guy she met in a bar. But when she gets there, she finds the guy has a party all set to go, when what Miranda had in mind was one-on-one. After a brutal assault and rape, Miranda winds up in the hospital, clinging to life.

In the half world between life and death, she finds Jimmy Fels, her dearest love, the boy who had died years before to save her. His appearance is enigmatic, but comforting and Miranda is just beginning to discover that he has returned to avenge her.

The men will pay. And Miranda finds, through her connection with a long-lost love, that vengeance is truly sweet.There is only darkness. She blinks, trying to focus, but the black presses in: a warm presence, engulfing, suffocating. She reaches out, wondering if she is floating in a vast, starless sky...and her hands connect with wood. Reaches up...and her hands connect with wood. Hard wood, she realizes now, supports her back. She takes in a great quivering breath, wondering how much air is left for her. This is too unreal, she tells herself and once more reaches around herself, fingers groping like subterranean insects, sensing only by touch.


The box in which she has been trapped is little bigger than she is. At best, there are only a few inches on either side of her, above her. Before the panic sets in, she touches the holes drilled in the top of the box.

But even with the assurance of an air supply, she is terrified. Bile rises up to lodge and burn in the back of her throat. Although she trembles with cold, her body is covered with a slick veneer of sweat. She swears she hears blood pounding, constricting her temples. Her chest feels tight, as if too great an intake of air might cause her heart to burst.

And then the panic takes over, the adrenaline pumping through her like an electric current and she is slamming herself from side to side, lunging upwards, clawing the box’s top with her fingernails. Clawing and clawing until she can feel hot points of pain at her cuticles and the warmth of blood there.

She’s screaming, but she might as well be gagged. Her shrill cries carom off the box’s interior, bouncing around inside. Her hot breath is sour, leaving a bad taste.

“Please!” she shrieks. “Please, you have to let me out! I can’t stand this!” She kicks until her breath is ragged, until it’s coming so fast she begins to hyperventilate and it’s not just the box that’s closing in on her, but her own lungs.

And then, and then (and this is the part where everything goes cold), she hears a key being fitted into a padlock above her. The soft clicking of the key as it turns suddenly becomes the only sound. No more cries. No more pounding heart. No more blood rushing in her ears.

Just a key being turned in a lock and then the rush of cold air as the box is slowly opened.

She scrunches up her eyes and wills her body to disappear into the wood. 


She will not look at him. Will not. Cannot. Look.

But her eyelids flutter anyway.

A dark hand draws closer, above her, closer, until nothing exists but that hand pressing down on her face.


JMS Books 

Amazon Kindle 


Email me at rickrreedbooks@gmail.com with preferred ebook format.

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