Tuesday, February 5, 2013

An excerpt from the sequel to Number 181

The last bit of re-writes are nearly complete on the sequel to Number 181, and I expect that the end of February will see the release of my second book. Very excited.... I have the beginnings of a cover design already complete and expect to show it (with the sequel's title announcement) around the middle of the month.

So, with things seemingly right around the corner, I thought it would be worthwhile to send some more excerpts and info out in the netverse in the lead-up to said release. The brief excerpt below is part of a flashback from about halfway through the book. As always seems to happen, Kidd is beaten and tired. It begins to dawn on me that I treat my protagonist like complete crap.

Regardless, the only way to feel a sense of accomplishment is to finish something you aren't sure you should have started. If that doesn't describe Kidd, I don't know what does.


Tzimol, Mexico

Shawn awoke to nothing. No pain, no hunger, no exhaustion. He opened his eyes and felt empty. He wondered briefly if he were dead, if Sipho’s errant shot in the dusty shot had done enough damage to take him. He quickly discarded the notion. There wasn’t any way his afterlife would be so peaceful. He heard nothing and saw nearly the same.

Efforts to sit up were met with only frustration. He was immobile, whether by restraint or his own body’s inability to respond. Turning his head, he tried to take in the room and began to hear the sound of scratching in the distance. He was still in the church and laying on the crate table that dominated its front. He recalled the crate not being long enough for his six-foot frame, so he assumed his feet dangled off the end. He tried to lift them, but couldn’t tell if they moved or not. He sensed nothing

The source of the scratching manifested itself over his head in the shuffling form of the priest. Kidd’s mouth curled.

“Por favor, señor,” the priest said. “Do not struggle, yes? You must rest.”

“I can’t move.” Kidd cringed at his own voice, barely audible even in the quite that pervaded the room.

The older man nodded sagely. “Sí. You are tied.”

Kidd’s eyes asked the question his dry mouth could not.

The man nodded. “I am sorry. You did not move during the work, but you turn violently in your sleep. Troubling dreams. I could not risk you opening the wound.”

“My stomach?”

The priest ran his hand over Kidd’s head, concerned for the exertion his patient was showing. He judged a brief conversation wouldn’t kill the young man.

“I am Father Luis Aguirre. I am also Doctor Aguirre. Most of my time is spent treating broken bones and animal bites, but you are not my first bullet wound. Though, stomach wounds are particularly troublesome.”

“Will I live?” Kidd croaked.

“Difficult to say. But, you have already lived longer than I would have given you credit for. I was able to remove the bullet and stop the bleeding, but much damage has been done. I do not have the tools to do much more, I am afraid. The real question will be infection. I have no antibiotics. Time will tell.”

Kidd ran his tongue along his lips. They were dry and cracked, but no amount of licking helped. A bowl of water appeared in Father Aguirre’s hands. Kidd sipped hurriedly, but Aguirre pulled it away quickly.

“Drinking too much now would be bad,” he said. “Slow.”

“The woman,” Kidd started. “The girl.”

A curtain of sadness dropped down the man’s face. His eyes glistened, and he looked away. “She is gone.”

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