Good morning, Militia! I hope you've had a lovely start to the spring season. As you know, FULL CIRCLE, the last full length novel in the SHATTERED LIVES saga, will be published on Tuesday, April 4th, 2017! I can't believe the day has finally come. It's been a very intense and emotional ride since starting the saga with BROKEN DREAMS. There is still so much more ahead with new CORVIDAE GUARD books, and a couple standalones in different genres. The comic is moving along nicely. We are in the lettering stage at the moment. I feel it's looking pretty good!
Today I wanted to give you a little something. A snippet of FULL CIRCLE! Enjoy!
-Somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean-
Loud. Intense. Startling.
When I finally realized it came from me, I slammed my body into the back of the seat, placing a hand over my chest as my heart thundered and sweat poured down my face, my throat feeling as if I had swallowed shards of glass. Gripping the edges of the seat in front of me, I panted, trying to find a happy medium between hyperventilation and death.
I felt dead. I had been walking a slippery slope between life and the inevitable, and someone pushed me toward a path that wasn’t necessarily a good one.
Then it hit me… Faked suicide and all the ramifications from it.
Henry Daniels made a deal with the devil, selling his soul, his heart, his life… Everything he once thought would make him happy.
Was his choice destined to fail? Because, at the moment, it surely seemed to be the case.
In feigned reality, I was dead, but there I sat, heading back to the East End of London and the program facility to strip away everything that made me hate the man I had become.
I prayed I would get my wings so I could learn how to fly. It was my last chance, my only hope to achieve something I craved.
The exchange for Henry Daniels’ death was me, Luke Richards.
Could I be him again?
Could I live as Luke?
Would my wife, Elaina, accept me as Luke?
To be honest, I wasn’t so sure of the answers to any of those questions.
Elaina didn’t know me as Luke. While our traits were strikingly similar, Luke was a tortured boy. One who lost the war. One the head-fucks resurrected into this thing, this animal, this infected human teetering on the knife’s edge of insanity.
Images flashed through my mind… At the age of fourteen, my third set of foster parents ignored me, so I ran. Establishing first contact, the head-fucks watched from afar as I brawled my way through the harrowing streets of the East End, stealing what I needed to survive. They patted me on the back when I won battles, giving me tips when I lost. The words and advice felt good, even to my teenage angsty self.
Mostly, I just wanted someone to love me, but I didn’t know or understand the true value behind parental love. It happens that way when you can hardly remember anything before the age of five.
When anyone older gave me compliments, it made me pine for more approval. I wanted to be a son but, sadly, no one wanted me to call them mum or dad.
Then two men approached. At first, I didn’t know who they were, both dressed in black tees and workout pants, having more muscle than I could ever imagine. Later, I realized it was Gunther and Kellan.
I was skeptical, but they knew my name and history, telling me I had been handpicked for a mission.
“What kind of mission?” I asked. They told me it was one so important, the government didn’t even know about it.
I was enthralled. They picked me. The parentless kid. The knob who used to pick fights to see if I could feel pain. I was finally important to somebody. Someone saw my worth. It was my turn for greatness.
Little did I know the father who once abandoned me would mold me into a death-defying, killing machine.
I had stretched the truth with Elaina. She had no idea how many people I killed. My excuse? They were sick, infected with a virus that would make even the strongest of individuals fall into a mindless hunger.
Alone in my youth, I was now alone in the fight for my life.
As I continued to pant in the seat of the plane, voices began to break through, sounding like a woman having a heated discussion with a man. It all became clear as I turned my face toward the stifled conversation. So many peeked around her, trying to get a good look at the one disturbing the peaceful flight.
“I do apologize for the alarm, but he has night terrors,” Erik said in a hushed tone.
Still out of breath, I turned and stared at the plastic tray attached to the seat in front of me.
“Are you sure he’s okay? He looks—”
Erik cut her off. “He’s fine.” I jumped as a hand landed on my shoulder. “Luke, how about a drink? It might make you relax.”
“No,” I breathed out, my voice not much more than a strangled whisper. Shrugging his hand away, I kept trying to swallow, but my throat just got drier and drier, making it impossible.
“Are you sure? It might do you well,” Erik said.
“You sure? My treat.”
“Yes, for fuck’s sake! Thanks to you and the fucking program bullshit, I’m a bloody alcoholic!” I shouted with rage.
A completely new round of whispers ran from passenger to passenger. A few spoke at an intentionally louder volume, saying unkind things.
The plane got smaller than it already seemed, and I felt every stare directed at me.
I looked up, seeing the people in the seat in front of us staring over their shoulders, eyes wide, brows lifted.
“I apologize. I didn’t realize,” Erik mumbled.
I scrubbed my face and turned toward the window. “If I have one sip, it’s over with,” I grumbled, slamming my fist into the wall of the plane.
“Sir! You need to remain calm,” the flight attendant warned, waggling a finger at me. I wanted to snap it off and shove it down her fucking throat. “If you continue, we will have to take drastic measures. You are frightening the rest of the passengers.”
Glancing up at her, the returned gaze was cold and unyielding. “Yes, bloody sorry. Like I can help having a fucking nightmare.”
The urge to strangle her wattle neck niggled at my brain, but she decided to move away from us. Good plan, bird, I thought, my lip twitching. If she had said another word, it may have gotten ugly.
Copyright 2017 FULL CIRCLE by Rissa Blakeley
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