Excerpt Two from Refuge © 2015 Jason K Macomson


Carol had never tried to climb out of a car window, and doing so on a cold winter night, when the car was stuck fast in a ditch was no easy task.  It amazed her that the car could be lodged so deeply in place, but the ground was actually close, so when she slipped off the edge of the window as she tried to maneuver through, at least she didn’t have far to fall.  There was a thick blanket of snow on the ground, which also helped break her fall, even though it was freezing cold and left her backside wet.

Pulling her blue coat firmly around her and tucking her long sandy blonde hair tightly into her cap, she trudged around to the front end of the car to survey the damage.  The small dark blue rental was jammed tightly into the embankment, and the tires appeared to be off of the front and rear driver’s side wheels.  Even with her limited mechanical knowledge, it was immediately obvious that the car would have to be towed out of the bank.

Clutching herself tightly, she carefully began to make her way up the small incline back along the route she had come earlier, toward what she hoped was a house and help.  She had not anticipated how frigid the weather would be in Maine this time of year, even compared to the winters in Boston.  It had been cold enough in the car, but outside, in the open, the wind now blew relentlessly through her thinly insulated jacket and denim pants.  In no time at all her clothes were heavy with frozen moisture and she felt she might never be warm again.  Her slight frame shook in the icy wind and her teeth chattered incessantly.

She had walked steadily for about fifteen minutes, slipping and sliding occasionally, with still no house in sight, when she rounded a bend in the frozen ice-covered highway.  The road stretched ahead in front of her, deceptively flat and level under the cover of snow, but as she hurried forward she lost her footing and whirled to the ground, twisting her right ankle violently in the process.

Stifling a cry, she rolled over onto her back and sat up, cradling her injured foot.  As she made an effort to stand, she was startled to see a dark figure standing motionless in the distance.  She stopped short, a nervous gasp slipping from her blue lips.  The figure was still some way ahead, and in the dark it was impossible to tell if it were a man or a woman, but there was definitely a person standing there, unmoving, in the middle of the road.

An uneasy feeling seized her momentarily, and she tried unsuccessfully to shake it off.  A foreboding chill spread up her spine, reaching out in tingling fingers over the back of her scalp, her body’s involuntary response to imminent danger warning her.  Carol shook her head again, fighting the urge to pinch herself.  She needed help, and if someone were really there, maybe she had finally reached the house she remembered seeing earlier as she drove by.

The figure was tall and seemed to be dressed in a long heavy coat with a bare head.  It was hard to be sure in the moonlit darkness, but Carol was certain the figure was facing away from her.  She was tempted to call out when slowly it began to turn.  Spellbound, Carol stood still, staring.

Almost without seeming to move, the figure abruptly turned around and faced her, although she still couldn’t make out any real features.  The face was uplifted under the moon riding high overhead, staring directly at her.  Carol blinked, only a moment passed, and now the stranger stood only a few feet away.

It was a man, and he had large luminous eyes that at first seemed to look right through Carol.  Startled, she realized she had begun to step towards him, entranced by his penetrating gaze and unable to look away.  One minute the arms were hanging limp at the man’s sides, and the next they were spread wide.

Very near now, Carol could see the moon reflected in the dark welling pupils, and the brilliant white teeth, unnaturally long and glinting in the wan light.  He never spoke a single word, but Carol could see that the man was indeed looking directly at her, silently beckoning to her, and without further heed or thought she stepped right into his outstretched arms.

At the last moment, as the impossibly long arms began to fold around her, Carol was aware of a rushing sound, and unexpectedly she found herself sprawled in the darkness near the man’s feet.  His face transformed into a horrible leer, as an animal-like snarl escaped from his lips.  A dark blur flew between Carol and the stranger, and there was a sound of a deep groan followed by a blood-curdling scream.

Dark black liquid, which Carol supposed was blood, began to gush from his mouth, and then in startling fashion the entire figure was engulfed in the most brilliant white flame Carol had ever seen, one that temporarily dulled the snow-drenched landscape.  Her eyes closed tightly against the dazzling glow, and when she looked again, the figure had collapsed into a small pile of embers burning brightly in the snow.

Immobilized on her knees on the icy ground, she was unable to comprehend what she had just witnessed.  Dumbstruck, she was briefly conscious of two dark figures approaching her before she collapsed headfirst into the snow.  Blackness overcame her as she surrendered to unconsciousness.



Refuge

© 2015 Jason K Macomson


Book Cover Design by Jason K Macomson

Cover Art © 2015 Jason K Macomson



All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.  No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the author or publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.


This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or locales is entirely coincidental.  Names, characters, dialogue, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.


Excerpt posted May 27, 2015 by Jason K Macomson