Bold Release Party Tour Day 13

Posted: December 27, 2013 by Hannah Stewart in Uncategorized

It’s day 13 of the Bold Release Party Blog Tour – and I’ve got a bit of bad news. Our host for today, Natalie, is having technical issues, and is unable to post her character interview as planned. But, not to fear! Her interview with Ben will go up sometime Saturday or Sunday, and I’ll be filling in for her today right here at The Breaking Shadows Project.

For your pleasure, today I will be posting another brief scene from Breaking Shadows: Bold, from Chapter 3. It’s an exciting one, to be sure. But first, don’t forget the Contest and Giveaway!

Holy Apple Crisps! Giveaway

Prizes: Two winners will receive a copy of Breaking Shadows: Bold for 70% off.
To Enter: All you have to do is post about the Bold release on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #HolyAppleCrisps. There is no limit to the number of entries per person, so share away! All entries must be in by midnight, December 29th to be counted.
Winners: The winners will be drawn at random on December 30th and announced here on The Breaking Shadows Project.

You And Your BOLD Self Contest

Prize: One winner will receive a signed copy of Breaking Shadows: Bold free of charge.
To Enter: Read this popular scene from Chapter 2 of Breaking Shadows: Bold, and create your own artistic interpretation. Drawings, videos, audio recordings, written responses – whatever your form of art is, let’s see it! Entries must be sent to breakingshadowsproject@gmail.com by midnight, December 29th to be counted. Once again, there is no limit to the number of entries per person, so get creative!
Winners: My top ten entries will be posted here on The Breaking Shadows Project on the final day of the release party tour, December 30th, for voting. The entry with the most votes the following week, January 6th, will be announced winner.
UPDATE: If I do not receive enough entries by December 29th, the contest deadline will be extended to midnight, January 14th, with a possible rule change as well.

 

And now, the scene! 

“Brian, you know the route. Take point, and try to keep us on course. I’ll cover our tail. I don’t think it wise to trust a rooky to fire when he can’t even run straight.” He smirks and I drop back, letting the tenderfoots pass me with their wheezing breaths and stumbling feet. Brian banks around the next corner, veering into a tight side street to start our perilous game of cat and mouse. They’ve got numbers, we’ve got street sense. Let’s see how many we can irk before pulling our infamous vanishing act.

The first line of soldiers enters the street just as Brian clears another corner, and I quickly take them out, disabling them with a critical eye. I reload, keeping pace with our stragglers easily. Keep it moving, Brian. Come on. Get us out of here. We run, dodging street lights wherever possible, taking enough turns, loops, and one-man-wide alleys to twist a spinning top around. My haughty smirk is returning, an easy victory in our grasp. Another switchback, maybe two, and we’ll have lost them. A slight swagger fills my stride, the frustrated shouts in the distance as exhilarating as the cool breeze on my face.

Ahead, not five strides in front of me, Jimmy trips over his feet in the mud, dumping the contents of his shoulder bag into the puddle beneath us. I knew this kid was trouble. So clumsy and cautious. I leap to his side with a flustered growl, hefting him to his feet and scrambling to collect the precious bullets from the grime. A breath hisses between my clenched teeth as the soldiers draw nearer, their boots and angry shouting now audible in the passage behinds us. Time’s up. I suppress the urge to scream at him only for our own protection, venom surging through my veins in the face of his stupidity.

“Leave the rest!” I snarl, pulling him into a run, sprinting to try and round the corner before they spill into the street behind us. I make a mental note to chew him out later, Ben’s words about his skill for getting others into trouble pounding with my pulse. The soldiers appear just as we slip into the next dark passage, the rest of my team halfway down and nearing the tight, enclosed corridor. Whatever arrogant airs I held to before have abandoned me, and my mind races. Apple crisps. I’ve got to do something.

“Jimmy, catch up with the team and follow them back to the rendezvous. Hurry. I’ll hold them off.” I pant, pushing him faster. The soldiers are shouting now, they smell the blood in the water. They drown out every other sound with commands muffled by their own echoes. I have to hold them up. If they get to the tunnel before my men are out the other side, we won’t have a chance. We’ll be fish in a barrel! My thoughts fly a thousand miles an hour as I take in the situation, scheming on the run. We’re almost to the entrance. The boys have already entered, there’s no stopping them. If the boys get out the other side all right, Jordan will pick off the soldiers from his position. At least that much was planned for. I just have to hold them that long.

I need to get behind that wall.

I urge Jimmy faster once again, the turn just a few strides away, lungs screaming for air. We’re almost there when I hear the shot, and in the same instant what feels like an explosion in my leg. My feet fly out from under me, nothing but sheer will power preventing the pain from blinding me. I manage to dive behind the wall as I tumble, acquiring cover and crumpling in the mud. Jimmy hesitates above me, twitching like a spooked rodent, torn between helping and following my orders to rejoin the team, fighting his own instinct to run.

“Get out of here!” I scream, waving him on. Stupid kid! You’ll only make my job harder, getting in the way and second-guessing every move. He takes off, running faster than ever, and I take in a sharp breath to clear my mind. I brace myself against the wall, shocks of pain whipping through me as I peek around the corner. With a tight-lipped sneer I open fire, careful to make every shot count. I’ve taken down the first soldiers to round the corner before their small company takes a stand, digging in as though my whole team were here for the fight. A forced laugh bursts from my lungs before I take aim, and it has the intended affect. Their faces twist with fury and they let loose, blasting the ground beyond my patch of cover, peppering the earth with large divots and spent, glistening shells. When they’ve slowed a moment to reload I pop out again, swinging out around the corner and bringing them down with ease, no longer aiming simply to disable. I empty my magazine to find only four stunned, furious troops remaining and duck back to load once more. The clip slides easily into my lap, as it should. But as I shove the new one in with their decisive, sloshing footsteps approaching my wall, it jams. My ears ring from the gunfire, the pain in my leg grows with every beat of my heart. My pulse pounds in my temples, the steps fall closer, their harsh breathing reaches my ears, and still the trigger won’t budge.

“No, no, no! Not now, come on!” I plead through clenched jaws, my hands shaking violently as I jiggle it, trying to free the chamber. Just as it gives way, the slide clicking menacingly into place, the soldiers round the corner. I take aim, felling another before the man to his left fires. Warm, tacky crimson splatters across my cheek and neck.

Blood.

My blood.

The gun falls from my hand, my arm goes limp, and I feel myself fading. The ringing in my ears turns to a strange buzzing that envelops my head like an electric cable. I slump against the wall, everything unfolding in a blurry kind of slow motion around me, a pain unlike anything I’ve ever known taking hold of me. It’s paralyzing, freezing me in place, my mouth open in a scream that never leaves my chest. My mind seems to split from me, so that I am both myself, and something else; something unfeeling, something made of nothing but slurred, clouded thoughts.

So… this is it? Am I to die here, alone, protecting my men? Destined to give myself for our people like our parents? Not a bad way to go… honorable… heroic… Keep them safe…

My head reels, but as they turn to follow my men, a single thought cries out, mind and body melding together once more in a painful collision. The call grows stronger and stronger until every fiber, every cell screams it out in harmony above the rising crescendo of my agony.

Stop them. I have to stop them.

Breaking Shadows: Bold (c) 2013

 

Thanks for reading! Tomorrow, the Bold Release Party Tour will be back on schedule, so make sure you check in to see what Emily Rachelle has in store for us!

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