Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Peculiar Glint Of Light On Metal

The Death Scene Blogfest is in full swing over at Tessa's Blurb and some of the entries are downright chilling!  You guys are amazing!

This excerpt is from a thriller/suspense novel I wrote a few years ago called, The Shadow Effect.  August and Eliseo work for a company called Intelli-Trace, as bounty hunters for stolen technology. 

Turrel is an information broker that stole an interrogation formula. Justin is his partner who betrayed and murdered him.  Pt7 is the name of the formula that rips the memories from one person, allowing them to be seen by another.  Justin is taking bids from terrorists and drug cartels.

August retrieved a vial from Justin's hideout and decided to see if he could use Turrel's memories to track was a trap.

The Shadow Effect
Intelli-Trace Contagion Lab

The Pt7 pulsed cold pain up the vein in August’s arm. He pulled back reflexively and looked at Eliseo who watched him warily.

“August?” Eliseo asked.

August’s squeezed his eyes shut; his face pulled into a grimace.

Maybe this wasn’t such a great idea…

August’s body bucked violently from a blow to his jaw. His head snapped viscously to the left sending flashes of pain throughout his mind. He opened his eyes and saw that he was in the abandoned warehouse where they’d found Turrel’s body. August ran his tongue over the jagged split in his lip and tasted the saltiness of blood. His entire body ached; his gut, back and torso throbbed with pain.

August tried to move but realized he was bound to a chair with duct tape immobilizing his arms and feet. Another blow, this time to his stomach, forced all the air out of his lungs, and he doubled over in pain and struggled for breath.

Someone off to his right spoke. The voice sounded out of breath but familiar. August craned his head to the right with great difficulty. Through the haze of pain, August’s looked through Turrel’s eyes, back in time, and focused on Justin’s sweating face.

“It worked,” August gasped. “It worked.”

His eyes, wide open, weren't looking at Eliseo. He wasn’t in the Contagion Lab anymore. Eliseo's voice echoed from far off.

“I see the warehouse,” August’s said. He tried to focus on Eliseo’s voice, but it faded farther away from him as he slipped deeper into the memory.

“I do hope you eventually get to experience what our friend Turrel is going through,” Justin sneered. “My only regret is that I can’t be there when you finally feel this pain.” He swung again, the blow sending shards of pain through August's ribs. “That is for the one you gave me in Venezuela,” Justin said.

August could barely make out Justin’s face. Turrel hadn’t had the strength to hold his head up for very long, and so August’s view was limited to what Turrel had seen with his head hanging low against his chest.

“I want you to see someone,” Justin said. August felt his hair being yanked back, and Justin turned his head to face a mirror. In it, August could see Turrel’s face, confused and in pain, looking back at him. August moaned, his mind cranking, trying to process his thoughts separate from the memory.

August twisted, trying to get out of the chair, but Turrel’s body didn’t react to his movements. A surreal claustrophobic sensation gripped August. He tried to concentrate on looking at Justin, but Turrel had kept his gaze to the right and behind Justin. August clenched his teeth as another blow slammed into his gut.

“And that one is for screwing up my plans in Peru,” Justin said and spat.

Turrel’s emotions kept surfacing in August’s consciousness. Fear and anger mingled with August’s own. Again August tried to look at Justin, but Turrel had kept his gaze from Justin’s face. He had been concentrating on the wall behind Justin as if trying to mentally escape the onslaught his body was suffering. August cried out when one of Turrel’s fingers was broken. The pain was excruciating, boring its way into August’s mind.

Justin jumped at him, wrapping his hands around his throat. August’s lungs screamed for air. August felt the panic that had ripped through Turrel’s mind. August felt the world start to slip, go black. Suddenly Justin let go. August coughed, gasping for breath.

Turrel looked away from Justin again and August felt the panic give way to something else, a quickening in his stomach almost like surprise. August forced himself to concentrate on what Turrel saw. August took in a makeshift office with a desk and papers or drawings tacked to the wall. August saw the other men in the room—Victor and others he had seen at the Venezuelan mines. They were laughing and shouting. He could make out some of the laboratory equipment as well as a uniform of some sort that lay draped over a chair at the far end of the room. Something tickled at August’s consciousness, but he lost it when Justin pulled out an old-time straight razor.

They'd found Turrel with his throat slit.

Justin held the razor in front of him, wiggling it gleefully. “You be a good messenger now Turrel,” Justin said. He raised his arm, swinging the razor in an arc.

August shouted, his eye registering the peculiar glint of light on metal, before the razor slashed down. His body bucked against the chair back

The most incredible cold shot through him taking his breath away.

“August!” Eliseo yelled and raised the fire extinguisher again.

August thrashed out of the chair gasping with surprise. His shivered with shocking cold. Hands trembling violently, August moaned. He rolled onto his side, grabbing at his throat. He half expected to see his hands dripping with blood. Shaking with residual adrenaline and fear, August grasped his head with his hands trying to contain the throbbing.

“Am I back?” August asked hoarsely and staggered against the counter.

Eliseo stared at him with wide eyed shock. “Are you okay?”

“Eli,” August forced a smile. “I think you just saved my life.”

Eliseo swore under his breath and threw the extinguisher on the floor at their feet. “I thought you were dying, you idiot,” he shouted. “What happened?”

Okay, so techinically someone else died before the scene...and August just relived it...but that's what I got, people.  Take a peek at the other great entries over at Tessa's Blurb.

See you guys on Wednesday...until then, Go Write!

Photo by laszlo-photo.


M. Bail said...

Very intense, and a cool concept.

Well done!

Andrew Rosenberg said...

A little confusing on what was happening to who, but I got the gist of it.
I wouldn't volunteer for that! :)
Great way to make someone's death almost first-person!
Nice job!

Donna Hole said...

There was a death, and that was the most important thing :)

That would be creepy to relive some else's death. Awesome concept Raquel.


Debby said...

In an over the top way, it reminds me of how a mother can feel her childs pain even from miles away. You have such an amazing gift of using words to convey emotions.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

You have the gift of drawing the reader in and making the death seem intense and personal. Raymond Chandler would be proud of you.

I know. His ghost talks to me. LOL Roland

Justin W. Parente said...

First, I agree partially with Andrew that I was lost only in the beginning with the direction of the events. But you ironed it quite quickly. Perhaps that is what happens when you jump right in there. Thanks for the awesome read.

Sangu said...

I have to admit I couldn't really follow what was going on because there was so much happening and I have no background knowledge of it. But it was a gripping scene with a cool concept nevertheless!

Raquel Byrnes said...

M.Bail - thank you, the intensity is what I was hoping to convey.

Andrew - Sorry for the confusion, I shall strive for clarity.

Donna - I had a lot of fun with the concept in other chapters as well.

Debby - Thank you for that. Second hand emotions are hard to write and I'm glad you felt they came through.

Roland - You are very kind to say so...Phillip Harlowe is one of my favorite characters.

Justin and Sangu - it is a pity that word constraints kept me from posting the entire chapter. I'm sorry it hurt your reading experience.

Tessa Conte said...

Wow that totally counts as a death scene, he gets to relive it, after all!

Scary idea, that you could live through someone else's memory...

Thank you for joining in my Blogfest!


Eric W. Trant said...

That was wicked, mi amiga. Confusing and surprising.

You sure like tying up guys in a chair and beating them, don't you.


- Eric

Nicole Murray said...

Just a cool way to do a death scene. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Zoe C. Courtman said...

Ooh, dark and intense. Great job!

Mesmerix said...

Again, I really enjoy your writing. Your style stands out to me among the entries, and this concept in particular was really unique. There were moments when I was confused, but I think reading the novel from the beginning might help with that. When you get published (and it's a when, not an if) you let me know so I can go read the whole thing! :)

Scribbler to Scribe

Tara said...

Definitely counts as a death scene. Very cool way to do it!

RaShelle said...

What a cool idea. Scary but cool. I liked it!!!

Delia said...

Very cool! It was a little confusing being dumped in the middle like that, but I caught up quickly enough. Anyway, I imagine it'll all make perfect sense when we get the book, right? Right?

elizabeth mueller said...

Wow, you're good, Raquel! This read gave me chills. This scene sounds like something straight from a movie!

I was a bit confused because, well, how else can you write an experience through someone else's eyes and yet, make it as if it is you who is also experiencing it? It's well-written!

Raquel Byrnes said...

Thank you to everyone who read the was so hard to cut the piece down to size without losing vital information to the reader.

I really appreciate all of your great comments!

Angela M. said...

Thanks for visiting and following my blog! Glad I got a chance to check out your Death post. The concept is definitely amazing. It would be awesome and/or creepy to relive some other person's memories, and to feel the person's death is even more original.

BTW, totally agree with you about how hard it is to cut down. I probably should have done that before I posted.