Ready for a taste of "Ripped Away"?

For a couple of weeks, Ripped Away wasn’t cooperating with me. The characters wouldn’t do what I wanted them to do, and I couldn’t get it all to come together. After much arguing, pleading and threatening the manuscript, I finally gave up and set it aside for a few days. And that did the trick.

I’ve been hard at work on it again, and this time, the characters and I have compromised, so things are going much more smoothly. And because of that, I’m ready to share a short excerpt of Ripped Away with you. Here you go:

Joshua woke up in the darkness. His night light had burned out again. He heard scratching noises, and saw shadows moving on the wall in the white light of the moon. He was getting ready to cry out for his mom when suddenly she appeared above him. The woman was very pretty, with dark eyes and long, dark hair. She was dressed all in black, and though Joshua knew he should be scared, he wasn’t. She looked so nice and so kind.

“Shh,” she whispered, placing a finger over her lips. He nodded.

She leaned down very close to his ear. He could feel her breath on his skin when she whispered.

“You have to come with me. Something has happened to your mommy and daddy and they’ve asked me to take care of you until they get better, okay? But we have to be very, very quiet. No talking, and we have to walk extra, super quiet.”

Now he felt a little scared. What had happened to Mommy and Daddy? How could something happen to them together? They were never together anymore, unless he was going from one house to the other.

But the woman was being so nice, and he knew that if she was in Mommy’s house, it must be okay. So he sat up and climbed out of bed when she pulled his covers back.

“I have to go to the bathroom,” he whispered and she nodded. Taking his hand, she led him to the bathroom. The night light in there was still on, and she stood just outside the door while he did his business and then washed his hands.

When he came out, she was standing just outside Mommy’s door, which was closed like it was at night when she was sleeping. He reached for the doorknob, wanting to open it and see if she was in there. Maybe the nice lady was wrong.

But she took his hand again and tugged him past the door. They walked through the rest of the hallway, then through the kitchen and into the living room. She led him to the front door. Before she closed the door behind them, she locked it.

She led him down the sidewalk toward his friend Joey’s house, then stopped at a small black car. It was shiny under the streetlights, and when she opened the door, it was clean inside. She had a car seat on the other side of the back seat, and a booster seat just like the one in his Mommy’s car on this side. She patted the booster seat.

“Hop in, Joshie,” she said, calling him by the nickname his dad sometimes used for him.

He clambered into the car and she helped him buckle in.

“Don’t I need clothes?” he asked as she was about to close the door.

Another sweet smile crossed her face and he couldn’t help but smile back.

“Nope. I’ve got everything you need.”

So, there you go! I’d love to hear what you think, so please, share in the comments, comment on Facebook or tweet me!