Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Wednesday Snippet - Something was wrong...

So! Another Wednesday is upon us, and as promised earlier in the week, I've got a snippet from Pale Queen for you. There are rats, so if you're funny about rats, probably not the snippet for you. it is. Enjoy! Or not, if you don't like rats!

Dawn dreamed of rats. Thousands of them, surging through the streets in a dark mass, red eyes glowing. They swamped everything, pouring from the sewers and out of the walls, consuming the city, leaving bare bones and filth in their wake. And they whispered as they rampaged on, whispered in shrill little voices that they were hers, that she could stop them if she wanted, if she was willing to learn how.

Dawn stood in the sea of rats and fired wildly, her shots hitting nothing. The bullets just vanished into the seething horde, swallowed up and useless. It was exactly how she felt. Her anger was a bitter, sharp lump in her throat she could never choke up, and it clouded everything. Every waking hour and every precious scrap of sleep.

But you could do something about it, the rats whispered. You could change things.

Dawn shrieked and flung her empty gun into the writhing knot of rats at her feet, her heart thudding painfully. “I can’t!” she screamed. The rats scrambled past her, around her, little bodies pressing against her legs, cold tails whipping at her ankles. It was grotesque, but she couldn’t get away. There were too many of them, carrying her along like driftwood on the tide, forcing her to move with them or fall and be swarmed by them. The thought squeezed the air from her lungs, left her shaking from head to toe as she stumbled along in the thick of the rats, powerless.

But you don’t have to be, they told her. You can change this, Dawn.




One of the rats shot up her back, clinging to her hair and shirt collar, shaking her as if it was a dog and she was the rat. She screamed again, slapping at it but unable to reach it. Panicked dread rocked her.

“Dawn! Wake up!”

She snapped awake, swinging her fists blindly at the figure looming over her. They yelped and grabbed her wrists, pushing her down on the bed. A crushing sense of claustrophobia swept over Dawn, bringing the panic from her dream to a fever-pitch.

“Get off! Get off!” She kicked, but her legs were tangled in the bedsheets, and all she did was tangle them further. But now her too-sensitive eyes were adjusting to the dim, pre-dawn light, and she recognised Imani leaning over her, face etched with concern. “Get off, Imani,” she said, struggling to sound calm.

Maybe she managed it. Or maybe she didn’t but Imani didn’t care either way, because she released her, backing away from the bed. She hugged herself, rubbing her arms. Upset. Fidgety. Not like Imani. Something was wrong.

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