Excerpt 1, Shadows of Truth
The shadow suffocated me again. As it hovered, I examined the shape for features, textures, pattern, depth, but there was nothing but muted darkness. I couldn’t touch it, but I could feel it. I couldn’t grasp it, but I could hear it, “Tell, and you die, Andrea.” The words shot through my ears; I choked and gasped for air as my throat clenched, and tears escaped from my eyes. Dirt and leaves floated into the air as my limp body fell to the ground, and I dragged myself away through the tangled jungle, vines whipping my arms and roots nipping my ankles. Blood ran down my face, and my wounds stung as I stumbled; my eyes focused on the light of the clearing ahead, but my feet couldn’t get traction, and the clearing remained in the distance. My heart raced as I tried harder to move forward to no avail, but I would not look back. I could not look back.
I thrashed my feet against the ties that bit into my flesh. With one hard kick, I tumbled to the floor of my bedroom. I jolted awake, my heart thundering, my body shaking with fear, wondering if I were crazy. Trembling, my hand involuntarily reached up to brush the hair away from my eyes, and I could feel fear beading on my brow. What just happened?
From the floor, shadows tricked my eyes as I traced the outline of my serpentine dresser and the intricate edges of the hand-carved mirror on the wall. The overstuffed sage-green reading chair filled with pillows of every shape and size sat under the window in my ‘Serenity Corner’ and gently grounded me in reality. A muted glow peeked around the sides of the drawn shades, hinting that it was dawn and my night terror was over.
Steven peered over the edge of the bed, the bright blue of his eyes barely visible. “What happened? Are you all right?”
“I’m fine,” I lied, not wanting to disturb Steven’s Saturday morning.
“Why are you on the floor?” he mumbled, still half asleep.
“I had a nightmare.”
“Oh, no not again,” he said, his eyes completely closed and his head back on the pillow.
I quietly pulled myself up, holding the nightstand for balance until my legs stopped shaking, and then I slowly stumbled to the sink. When I got sober four years ago I struggled with nightmares for months, but they eventually subsided, just like my sponsor said they would. Determined to avoid the early sobriety roller coaster of emotion, I worked diligently to stay sober and strengthen my faith. I did everything that was suggested for four years, so why did the nightmares return? What was I doing wrong?
Cool water trickled through my fingers as I leaned over the basin with my eyes closed. Attempting to replay the vision from my dream, all I saw was a blur of images in the darkness. What was I seeing? Who was I seeing? Andrea?
A shudder ran down my neck, and my eyes instantly opened to see the image in the mirror. Nothing unusual. The same long brown hair, the same rogue wrinkles at the corners of my eyes, the same extra weight on my hips. I was the same Drea as yesterday. No one called me Andrea anymore so it startled me to hear it in my dream and nauseated me to hear it in my consciousness.
When traumatic memories surface, Drea Hartman’s life unravels into rage, revenge, and self-destruction as she faces her worst enemy – truth. Her search for answers and justice wreaks havoc on her relationships, threatens her faith, and tests her inner strength. Plunging into a downward spiral as each piece of the puzzle emerges from the darkness, she is caught between a desperate pursuit of truth and the desire to forget. Must she forgive in order to forget?
Will Drea’s desperation keep her stuck or ignite her courage to change?
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Women’s Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG-13