You Will Be Damned, Sutter!

Hey, Sutter, you nimrod. Don’t you know anything about criminal behavior? If you swipe something, you do not announce to the world—in writing—that you swiped something. Plus, you made everyone who read the prologue guilty of receiving stolen property. I should arrest your ass. Instead, I will give you a demonstration.

See, my book has a prologue, too. I think it’s far more interesting than yours, but then, I understand why she writes what you call “Laura books.”

But my prologue I did not swipe. No, it just happened to fall into my hands. I am putting it here in case someone happens to know its rightful owner (or when the damn book will be finished). If you can help with this important identification, please call the Granton Police Department @ 555-INYOURF-INGDREAMS.


Burning flesh. Stench. A stench that wafts through the nostrils and right into the soul. The stench of mortality.

When one’s own flesh is burning, the stench should motivate. Life or death. Fight or flight. But it didn’t motivate.

The stench should warn of harm to the body. But it didn’t warn, and it didn’t hurt.

It simply befouled everything.

When one’s own flesh is burning…

She exhaled through her nose, trying not to vomit from the stench or the seeming motion sickness from the whirling sensation. The steering wheel jutted out at a strange angle. A bucket seat perched overhead. A seatbelt dangled. A spent air bag hung. Everything was upside down except the ever-upward flames. She had to be spinning. She had to be. Or in hell.

A hand reached in through the broken window of the upended vehicle. Its grip gave her the first sensation of pain, as though the hand squeezed so tightly on her arm that it touched the bone. Maybe it did.

“Your car’s on fire!” the gritty voice yelled. “You’ve got to get out!”

Finally, fight or flight kicked in. Somewhere in the back of her mind she knew that flight was the correct response; a split-second flash of terror told her quite clearly. But this had to be fight. A fight to the finish.

She hoisted herself as best she could, which wasn’t much. She drew away from the pulling hands fighting to separate her from what she needed. Frantically, she scrabbled the area for the book.

“You’ve got to help me!” the gritty voice yelled again. “You’re going to die if we don’t get you out of here!”

“Then let me. Just let me.” Her words sounded breathy and odd, as though they didn’t belong to her.

Her hands groped. There it is! There’s the journal! She knew its shape, its raggedy worn exterior. Her quivering hand clutched it, stuck to it, but it seemed it weighed far more than she could lift. She reached once more, but the hands forcing themselves through her armpits heaved so hard that it was quickly out of her reach.

The hands pulled so fast that it felt as though she was being catapulted away from the earth, away from the truth.

Her heels dragged on the ground as the hands continued their mission, eventually setting her down. The big car now seemed little in the distance, angled against a tree, its dead leaves on fire and spitting busy orange stars against the blackened sky.

“An ambulance is on the way,” the gritty voice said. “Just rest.”

She surrendered.