Author: Billy McLaughlin
7,000 words; 31 pages
Published: March 24, 2016
Date Read: February 1, 2017
My Rating: 5 stars
Short Story Summary from Amazon:
Louise Bradshaw harbours a secret. One that she refuses to share. Her distant and unfriendly behaviour has made her a social outcast. Suddenly she is pulled out of her slump when she is befriended by Joe, a maverick colleague who attempts to help her engage. However, things take a dangerous turn in this debut novelette when Joe gets too close….
Louise is an outcast and even her coworkers ignore her. Joe notices this and befriends her. They become close and talk constantly. Bruises start showing up on Louise and she begins missing work and Joe becomes concerned for her. Then the direction of the short story goes somewhere you don’t expect. Despite its short length of 31 pages, I could not put this story down. Billy McLaughlin does a great job pulling you in and making you want to know what is going to happen next! There are even short ‘chapters’ in this short story which seemed to help me read it even quicker!
I look forward to reading more by Billy McLaughlin in the near future! Use your lunch break to read Invisible!
Today I am taking part in a blitz with several other blogs to get the word out on In the Wake of Death by Billy McLaughlin. For my contribution to the blitz I will provide the Prologue as an excerpt for you to read. At the end of this post there is also a chance to win a copy!
Purchase In the Wake of Death on Amazon
In the Wake of Death
Author: Billy McLaughlin
Description from Amazon:
Sometimes waking up is only the beginning…
He was left for dead on the side of the road. Now Marc Adams is awake and he can barely remember anything about his life before. All he knows is that his meddling sister has returned to his life, whilst his partner Joel is gone.
Marc is convinced that something has happened to Joel. Why won’t anybody believe him?
As he is pulled further into the pit of his subconscious, Marc begins to remember exactly what happened on the night of his accident.
Soon, he’ll be wishing he hadn’t woken up at all.
The flicker of blue lights jolted him awake as he noticed the bloody taste upon his tongue. The sirens were a jarring howl that cut through the air sharper than a ten-inch blade.
Marc Adams crawled back to consciousness, his thudding heart providing a trance-like soundtrack to the melody of the siren. His body shuddered and stiffened under the weight of the unbearable pain and, if he knew nothing else, he knew it would hurt if he moved. How had he gotten here, he wondered? His eyes rolled back, blinking in panic as he tried to digest the awful truth that had brought him to this moment.
The wail became a scream as the alarms continued to echo, now sharper, past the tunnel of his ear. Then came the pain; at first a dull ache, then tightening around his muscles and lungs and across his skull. He wanted to roar because he’d never experienced pain this awful. A moment later he saw the silhouette of moving shadows. They drifted in and out of focus so often that he imagined someone in his head flicking the on and off switch.
Marc could hear the voices now. Could he move? Or even speak? What was his name? What followed was a confusing fracas of sound that only increased his anxiety. He tried to turn his head but the slightest movement sent an ache rippling through him. He felt the warm grit beneath his fingertips and he thanked god because it was the only thing that kept him in the here and now. Everything else swam in and out of focus and all the voices sounded as one. He still hadn’t been able to make enough sense to answer any of their questions. He hadn’t even been able to answer his own questions yet. Where the hell was he? Was he driving? What time was it?
“Try not to move, we’ll get you to hospital as soon as we can.” A reassuring voice from nearby spoke.
He wanted to say ‘Okay’. More than that, he wanted to scream ‘Help me’ and cry. The words and the tears didn’t come, but the pain became so profound he wanted to fall into a black hole and make it disappear. To fade from the pain so it was no longer his and he no longer had to endure it. Figures came and went, sirens went silent and the blue lights that first brought Marc into the present flashed no more. His bones felt like they’d been crushed beneath the feet of giants and his lungs burned as if someone was pouring fire into them. Marc’s body rose. Was he dying? The black sky and its shimmering spots came closer and for a moment he realised he was seeing the whole world turn.
It was then that Marc realised he was being lifted onto a spinal board and two hard foam blocks were slotted at either side of his head. He heard the rip of Velcro as somebody pulled it from one block to the other, tightening it so that his head wouldn’t escape. Then he was carried through a gathering crowd and hoisted into an ambulance. A tear slithered from the corner of his right eye and he felt the blood swim into his saliva at the back of his mouth. For a brief second, as it tingled at his tonsils, he feared he might drown in it. He heard the thud of an ambulance door and it echoed so loudly that he thought he was crashing through the windscreen of a car again.
“Just relax Sir, we’re taking you to the hospital, try not to move.” The paramedic’s voice was soothing like one of those voices you hear on a relaxation track.
Another thump. A memory returned to him then. It returned like an old forgotten movie and not the fresh vision it should have been. Joel?
“Where’s Joel?” he suddenly called out, his pain forgotten for the shortest time.
The paramedic rested his hand upon Marc’s shoulder and looked at him sympathetically. The ambulance moved.
“Who’s Joel?” The paramedic spoke with more authority now.
“My partner, he was driving.” Marc could see Joel now, in the midst of his mind, laughing and fiddling with the music system as they fought over what song to play.
The paramedic frowned because when they arrived Marc’s broken body had been lying by the side of the road. He had seen no other vehicles when he had driven the ambulance up the dirt road.
“Wait. Are you telling me that somebody else was in the accident with you?” That couldn’t be right. Had the driver driven away? He looked at Marc again and wondered what he should do. “We didn’t find anyone else. There was no car here,” he replied, holding Marc’s arm still. He could see the frustration in Marc’s bloody face, but his main priority was keeping him in place. The last thing he needed was for Marc to move and risk a spinal injury.
“No, I’m telling you, you’ve got to help him. Joel was in the car with me.”
If you want to read a review for In the Wake of Death, you can check out my friend and fellow blogger Gemma’s review here.
WIN a copy of In the Wake of Death:[Top]
I am excited to announce that I will participating in my first Blog Blitz this weekend! This is where several bloggers come together to get the word out on a book. The book that the Blog Blitz will focus on is In the Wake of Death by Billy McLaughlin.
Here is the cover of In the Wake of Death:
There will also be a chance to win a copy this weekend!
I will be posting on Facebook, G+ and Twitter about the Book Blitz! Stop back here this weekend for the Blitz![Top]