As part of her amazing book tour, Darcy Town has agreed to let me publish an excerpt from her novel ‘Wastes of Space’. There is a rafflecopter giveaway as well. Check it out here Wastes of Space by Darcy Town Book Tour. Here’s the excerpt:
A howl from outside the building woke Ravil up. Her eyes shot open as goose bumps raced across her skin. She reached for Rake, but her hands slipped through air. Another howl came louder than the last, followed by a faint scream. She stared at her empty outstretched hand as the realization set in—he’d abandoned her.
Ravil slipped out of the tub, kept low to the floor, and held her knife out in front of her. She reached the hall and crawled towards the windows. Weak sunlight filtered into the apartment through the grimy glass. Every fiber of her being told her to go back and hide in the darkness of the bathroom, but she would not wait for death to come to her. Rake had left her; he’d lied last night. She held back tears and moved another few inches. She was on her own now and she would handle it.
The hall creaked. Ravil froze.
Rake kneeled by her side and whispered into her ear, “Not a sound now, Bebette.” He held one of her Bowie knives and crawled past her, keeping his head below the level of the windows. He crept towards the closest and used a piece of mirror to look outside. His shift in expression made Ravil scoot back into the bathroom. She climbed into the tub and covered her ears.
The howls and screams continued until they cut off in a definitive silence. Rake came in some minutes later, his face ashen. He sat down and looked over at her. “We cannot walk out on the streets.”
“We just can’t.” Rake’s hands shook. He grabbed his left hand with his right and pressed it into the floor; he broke into a sweat. He took a deep breath. “It’s not safe.”
“Can’t we run?”
He shook his head. “Do you want to end up a screamer?”
Ravil sank down below the level of the porcelain. “What is out there?”
“The low, the hungry, and the desperate.” Rake looked nauseous. “You don’t go to the Dead, never, even if you will get killed otherwise. Everyone knows that.”
She looked towards the doorway. “How did those others get out there then, the ones screaming?”
He closed his eyes. “Sometimes the sick and drunk end up here by accident, stumbling in the night. Others get here through punishment, piss off the wrong person and you’re dropped in the Dead, left bound, sometimes not, sometimes they have a chance to run.” Rake looked ready to throw up.
She stared at her hands. She touched the air with her fingers, caressed it. She searched for the feeling she had the night previous, tried to recall it, but it was like pulling on smoke. She frowned and stared at her hands. Why was she trying to run, what was the point in trying to escape quickly? Rake stayed with her now out of a misplaced sense of guilt. The quicker they got out of here, the sooner he would leave her. Then she would be alone and most likely she would be just as dead. Ravil shoved her hands into her lap. “What do we do?”
Rake sighed. “Something stupid and dangerous.” He bumped his head against the countertop. “Damn it.”
Ravil watched him twitch. “You’re ill.”
“I am not ill.” He rubbed his palms together. “Get up, we’re heading downstairs.”
“Because I say so.” Rake hauled her out of the bathtub. He looked her over and set her on the bathroom counter. He pulled out his knife. Ravil scooted away. Rake pinned her leg in place. Her grabbed her pants and sliced off the material below the knee. He did the same for the other leg. He stepped back at stared at his handiwork. “There, no more tripping.”
She didn’t answer. Rake looked up and noticed her trembling. “What is wrong with you now?”
“I thought you were going to hurt me.”
He backed up. “I am not that way. Not with kids, not with girls.”
“Come on.” He stepped out of the bathroom and listened. He pulled a gun from his belt and handed it to her. “I know you can use this, you don’t need to tell me why.”
Ravil checked how many shots she had. “It’s because—”
“Ravil, I don’t want to know, that’s what I mean by you don’t need to tell me, okay?” He searched her eyes. “Keep your story to yourself. I’ll keep mine to myself and we’ll both be quiet. Okay?”
She dropped her eyes. “Okay.”
He gave her shoulder a squeeze. “Shoot at anything you see that looks human understand? No waiting, no questioning, you shoot it.”
He undid the first lock. “You stay on me like a shadow.” He undid the second lock. “But if I go down, leave me and run.”
“What if I go down?”
Rake undid the third lock and pried the door open. He stared into the darkened hall. “You won’t unless I do. Now, no more words.” He slid out of the room and took her hand, pulling her with him. The carpet had peeled away from the floor, exposing concrete. Many of the doors were missing, the apartments ransacked, but empty. Nothing moved.
He let her hand go so that he had both of his free. Ravil hooked her fingers around his leather belt. He glanced down at her hand, then at her, but she did not look at him. She shook so hard she waved her gun.
Rake let her keep her hand on him as he walked them towards an empty elevator shaft. He looked into the darkness. He put his knife in his mouth, pushed her hand away, and jumped in.
Rake held on to the rungs along the side of the shaft. He motioned for her. She grabbed his outstretched arm and stepped into the darkness. He brought her to the ladder, putting her body between his and the metal. They climbed down together.
The descending floors each had a number painted on the concrete, barely visible in the low light. They reached the first floor, but kept moving. Rake pointed down.
He stopped at the basement level and listened. The faint light from the floor above did not penetrate the parking garage. He leaned in and spoke softly, “There may be a car, a motorcycle, a bike, anything. Do you know how to get one working if I have to kill things?”
She shook her head. “I am not a Fix-It.”
He sighed. “Fine, you get to shoot then, I fix it. I hope last night was not just lucky shooting on your part.” He wrapped an arm around her midsection and they dropped the final few feet to the ground. They crouched below the entrance to the basement, listening for movement.
Hearing nothing, Rake pulled out his gun and put his knife away. He put his hands together and slapped them against Ravil’s thigh, motioning for her to step up. Ravil put her foot in his hand. She held on to him, unsure if he was going to toss her and run. He sensed her hesitation and rolled his eyes. He bounced his hand, urging her to climb.
Ravil stepped up onto the concrete floor. The garage was hot and immense; the air was stale. She focused. She pushed her senses outward, measuring the size of the space. There were motionless shapes that broke up the monotony.
Rake stepped up beside her. Ravil grabbed his wrist and gave him a tug. They moved slowly. She reached out to the first shape; she touched rough cloth over metal. She grabbed Rake’s hand and moved it to the machine. He slipped back the cloth and dropped to his knees. He felt the shape of the wheels, the handles. He found a key and grinned.
Ravil turned her back to the motorcycle and remade her mental image of the darkness. Things had moved. Alarmed, she focused. Things moved towards them. Human-sized things.