donderdag 5 september 2013
I'm hosting an excerpt from YA Supernatural Thriller "Blind Study". Hope you enjoy the excerpt!
After Tony gave me my magic blue pill and left, Bonita told me I’d been asleep for over twenty-four hours. That didn’t surprise me—I had a year’s worth of sleep to catch up on.
I felt like Paul in the Bible—the scales had fallen from my eyes. I watched a Lifetime movie marathon with Bonita all afternoon. I hadn’t been able to watch television or read since my accident, unable to follow a storyline for more than a few minutes before the throbbing reality of my body pulled me back to myself.
When dinner came, around six, I ate ravenously, marveling at the sharp, bright flavors on my tongue, so different from the flat, grey cardboard food had been to me just yesterday. Suddenly, there was beauty in everything, the dull sheen of my peas, the movement of my hands as I cut my meat. Whatever veil had been separating me from the world had lifted; to quote the Bible again, I was in the world, not of it.
Around eight o’ clock, my eyelids started to droop. I fought them; everything that happened today was miraculous enough to be a dream, and I didn’t want to wake up. But my body was determined to recapture the year of lost sleep. The soft buzz and bluish light of the television grew steadily more distant, until—
I opened my eyes with a gasp, to inky blackness. I flinched away from the dark, but I was already back as far as I could go, pressed against a wall of rough stone that caught at my hair and scraped the backs of my arms. Blind eyes open as wide as they could go, I slid my fingertips out along the walls, terrified that at any moment, my hand would encounter needle-sharp teeth or clutching talons, but too afraid to sit curled against the wall and wait for something to find me.
When my seeking fingers found nothing but more wall in both directions, I stood carefully, one arm above me in case something—a low ceiling, a blood-sucking bat—was overhead. I stood to my full height, and didn’t hit my head, but my hand brushed stone ceiling. I flinched back, and spiderwebs clung to my fingers. I wiped them against the wall with a whimper.
I shrieked. “Who’s there?” From the echo of my scream, I was in a small, enclosed room, which meant the owner of the voice must be very near.
“It’s okay,” the voice said. It was male, young, maybe late teens, early twenties. “I’m in the next cell—”
Cell? “It sounds like you’re in here!”
“There’s a stone missing between our cells, over here at the floor. Follow my voice.”
It could have been a trap, but my options were limited. Sooner or later, the voice and I would meet—at least this way, I was expecting it. I headed away from the wall, out into empty space, where the floor could drop out from underneath me at any moment. I waved my arms in front, like a child trying to find a donkey to pin the tail on.
“Marco,” I said, voice trembling. I heard him laugh softly.
“Polo,” he said, just as my fingers brushed stone again. His voice came from low on the wall, and I crouched, feeling along until I found a rough, broken edge of masonry.
“Found it,” I said. I lowered myself down to sit next to the hole. “Where am I?”
“I don’t know,” he said, and his voice shook a bit, too. “I was hoping you would.”
“No idea why we’re locked up in cells?”
“None. I’m not even sure it’s technically a cell, but what else can you call it? A tiny stone room with a bolted door—”
“There’s a door?”
“Should be to the far right of your side of the hole. It’s to the left in mine.”
I stood and made my way over to the wall perpendicular to this one, where I found a very solid wood door. I felt completely around the edges, looking for a weakness, but there was no knob, no hinges. Defeated, I returned to the hole in the wall.
“You found it?” he asked.
“I found it. There’s no way out.” I shuddered, closed my eyes against the tears.
“I thought so,” he said. “It’s the same on this side.”
I breathed deep, trying to clear my head. “Who are you?” I asked.
Another soft laugh, laced with panic. “I don’t know,” he said. “Do you know who you are?”
I opened my mouth to tell him of course I did—but the darkness crushed me, and I couldn’t breathe.
I didn’t know who I was. My name, my age, any pertinent information that could have given me a clue to who I was or how I’d gotten here—all gone, deleted, wiped clean away.
Title: Blind Study
Author: Jacquelyn Sylvan
Genre: YA Supernatural Thriller
Eighteen-year-old Alice has spent the last year of her life in a hospital bed, held hostage by pain from a freak accident. Doctors can neither explain nor cure her condition, and her medical insurance is about to run out. Then, she’s offered one last chance—inclusion in a study for a revolutionary new pain medication.
Miraculously, the medication works. There’s only one side effect—vivid, terrifying nightmares, of imprisonment in a pitch-black cell, with no memory of her identity or how she got there. At least, she thinks that’s all they are, until someone from her dreams shows up in real life.
When other sinister happenings cross the boundary between dreaming and waking, Alice must choose: return to a half-life of isolation and agony, or confront the malevolent force behind the dreams, before she and those she cares about are trapped in their nightmares forever. But by the time she makes her choice—it may already be too late.
Before Jacquelyn Sylvan became a writer, she worked as a waitress, video store clerk, trail-riding guide, and veterinary technician, among other things. She’s a few inches shy of five feet tall, which means she’s sometimes mistaken for a child when she rides her bike, and often looked at suspiciously by amusement park ride operators. When she’s not writing, you’ll probably find her watching Vampire Diaries or trying to warn people about the impending penguin apocalypse. Jacquelyn lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two cats, and two very large dogs. Her YA novel, Blind Study, a supernatural thriller, comes out August 20, 2013.