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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Life First Excerpt by R.J. Crayton

Read this great excerpt from Life First by R.J. Crayton. 
 I'll have more about R.J. Crayton on my next Indie Author Spotlight, so stay tuned.


I smile. Dr. Grant does not. His face is overwhelmingly serious. I notice his left cheek is darkish purple, as if he’s suffered some injury. My insides turn uneasily as the first inkling of something wrong hits me. I’ve only been in the tiny secret room a moment, and things are going downhill.

The room is only about 12 feet by 12 feet, and reminds me of the tiny dorm rooms on campus dubbed “psycho singles” due to their claustrophobic nature. The wall’s contours are curved, uneven, like a cavern. A few feet away, I see a figure sitting on the floor, back to the wall, head tucked down, knees pressed to chest. Even though his face isn’t showing, I’d know that sandy brown mop of hair anywhere.

“Luke,” I say softly, taking a couple of steps toward him. I am afraid that saying it louder or getting any closer means he’ll hear me speak, look up, and confirm the sinking feeling I have. But, in truth, his very posture has already done that. Why would my Luke not get up and greet me? Why wouldn’t he sweep me into his arms and murmur in my ear words of encouragement about tonight, if everything were alright?

Luke doesn’t answer. I’m sure he heard me, and not answering further hammers in what I already know: something is terribly wrong.

I turn back to Dr. Grant. “What’s going on? And what happened to your face?”

Dr. Grant looks away from me, closing the door to the secret room. When he turns back, he sighs and puts his hand to his chin, considering my question. I search his face for any clues about what has gone wrong.
From behind me, Luke speaks. “I hit him.”

Frozen momentarily by what he said, I take my time to slowly turn and face him. “What?” He can’t have said what I thought he did. I wonder if saying the words aloud will help them make sense. “You hit him?”

He doesn’t speak but nods and inclines his head toward the doctor. My lips part slightly, then I stop myself from giving into the jaw-dropping shock I feel. Instead, I take a deep breath and hope a moment of silence will help me compose myself. I don’t want to be angry at Luke. Not now. Not when time is of the essence. Not when I am barely holding it together as is. But I do want answers.

Feeling silly in this ridiculous blonde wig and wanting Luke to see the real me, I pull it off my head, and shove it in my shoulder bag. I do the same with the stocking cap and rubber band that had been holding my hair in a bun. Yanking the shoulder strap over my head, I drop my satchel to the floor and take the few remaining steps to get to Luke, who is blanketed in shadow in the crevice he’s chosen. I kneel and look at his face. His blue eyes are moist at the edges and he appears to be suppressing a deep urge to scream — or perhaps an urge to hit Dr. Grant again.

I whisper, “Why did you hit him?”

He looks past me, at Dr. Grant. “Tell her,” he spits, with more venom than I’ve ever heard him direct at another human being.

"I made a mistake," Dr. Grant admits, moving closer to us.



~~~~~

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