There’s still a few weeks before The Extraction List will be up for sale, but I thought I’d give you guys a little preview. Thank you for your support, and enjoy!
Sometimes a killer can save a life. In this case, that life happened to be mine. I wish I had met him before the whole mess started. Maybe he could have saved more of us.
Maybe he could have saved us all.
I met the man who saved my life exactly one month after he killed his twentieth person. Of course he didn’t call it “murder,” he called it surviving. Though sometimes I thought he should try to explain the difference to the people buried in the ground. To me, one label didn’t necessarily cancel out the other.
• • •
One of my teachers used to say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Trust me, I knew all about it; I called that road “mother.” That teacher never mentioned what the road back was made with. I figured it was because nobody’d ever found one. Hell sort of struck me as a one-way-ticket kind of thing.
The night the Taskforce showed up on our doorstep, my mom screamed. After my brother Aidan’s death, then Dad leaving, hearing her carrying on like a crazy person wasn’t exactly new and different. I didn’t even flinch at first. I figured maybe she was missing my dad all the way to the bottom of a tequila bottle—again.
After a couple minutes, though, I slammed my copy of Crime and Punishment shut and left my room. I took my sweet time going downstairs to see her, hoping to hold on to the little bit of normal I’d had just seconds earlier. I stopped by the bathroom and grabbed a giant bottle of aspirin. Just in case.
Then I decided I was kidding myself. I knew better. There was no way she wouldn’t need aspirin.
“Riley! Get your stuff! We have to leave right now!” I ducked as Mom greeted me with a scene full of flying paper, jackets, and a few photo albums. They seemed to spin like a paper and plastic tornado, twirling through the air and landing unevenly in a giant duffel bag spread open at her feet. Even in the chaos, I paused for a second to wonder how Mom’s hair managed to stay fastened perfectly in place. The image in front of me looked almost ordinary, a beautiful blonde woman in a fitted black skirt, white blouse, and hair pinned back in a bun, with a briefcase resting just inside the door.
Except this woman had thrown half our living room into orbit.
“Mom, what’s going on? What happened?”
Mom grabbed me by the shoulders and stared right into my eyes. “We need to leave right now, okay? I need you to not ask questions and just go pack a bag. You need to just trust me and do what I tell you, okay? And do NOT come downstairs until I say so.” Mom didn’t blink. I remembered the last time she didn’t blink during a whole conversation: When she told me that she and Dad needed to “work on their communication.” I found out later that was Mom-speak for “Dad’s about to abandon us and slam the door for the last time.”
I suddenly wished for the empty tequila bottle.
LOOK FOR IT MID MAY ON AMAZON, SMASHWORDS, and more!