Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesday!

Long time, no tease, huh, minions?  This little snip is from my current WiP, HATE CRIME.  A little scene set-up: Matt is revisiting the scene of his classmate's murder, an abandoned paper factory where he and his boyfriend found Ben's body.  A nice little dark and creepy place to take a nighttime stroll, if you ask me ;) 

Enjoy!

By the time I entered the last office, I was bone-tired. Exhaustion piled on top of the sleep deprivation of the last couple nights, yanked on my arms, my legs, my whole body. I rubbed at my eyes, thinking very unhappily that I’d have to ride all the way home with the windows down just to keep myself awake. Oh, joy.


The file cabinet was predictably empty of anything worth my time. Nothing but personnel files, it looked like. Closing the drawer, I swiveled around and yanked open the top desk drawer. More of the same. The bottom wouldn’t open at first, but after a little cajoling—i.e. slamming my fist into it no less than three times—it popped open with an agonized screech.

Empty. This drawer was not only empty but clean. Not a spec of dust or lint or anything you might expect after years of sitting unused. I started to close the drawer, stopped, and then peered down into it, shining the flashlight inside.

“What the hell?”

Pushing the chair back, I let the light skim over the outside of the drawer itself before scooting in close and damn near putting my whole head inside. I leaned forward, reached in and rapped my knuckles against the bottom, keeping the light trained on my questing fingers. Hands spread wide, I felt at the edges until my nails scraped against the mechanism I was looking for.

“False bottom,” I grunted as I yanked the metal sheet out. Dad had one of those in his desk at home—when he lived at home. He’d kept his gun in it, safely out of his children’s reach, even though both Sarah and I knew where it was and how to get into the drawer.

But, it wasn’t a gun that lay in the bottom of the drawer.

Palming one thick stack, I flipped through the bills. All twenties. If the band around the wad could be trusted, I held two grand in my hand, and there were at least a dozen more bundles in the drawer.

Had Ben known about this? Did it belong to the guys who’d been here earlier? Question after question barreled through my too-tired brain.

“What the hell am I going to do?” Of course, no one answered. It was just me, the four walls, and this abandoned office furniture. “And, why am I still talking to myself? Focus, Matt,” I ordered myself. “Think.”

After an unending minute, I blew out a slow breath and pulled my phone from my back pocket. Upon dropping the stack back into the pool with his brothers and sisters, I flicked on the camera function and snapped a few photos, making sure they came out clear and that the time and date were stamped into the image.

Easing the drawer shut, I hurried from the room, suddenly anxious to get the hell out of Dodge. Barreling down the stairs, I didn’t stop to consider the amount of noise I was kicking up. I just wanted to get out of here. Go see Alex. Talk to Lila. Sort all this shit out.

On the first floor, I clicked off my flashlight. There was enough moonshine spilling through the busted out windows and open door of the warehouse to lead me to outside and safety. One step. Two. My feet moved faster the closer I got to the door.

A cold sweat broke out on my forehead and the hairs on the back of my neck jumped up straight and tall about a half a second before the cold press of metal slapped against the base of my skull. An ominous click, and I was fairly certain my pants needed to be changed.

That is, if I made it out of here alive. With a gun jammed against the back of my head, the odds of that were just about non-existent.