Teleportation. Telepathy. Superior strength and speed. Abilities she never wanted. Abilities she must learn to control.
Emily Heart used to have a normal life. A life filled with family, friends, and a warm bed to sleep in. But that was before the night of The Taking. The night when she was abducted and genetically transformed against her will.
Now she's lost everything and living on the streets of Glassford Park, struggling to stay alive one more day. But it won’t be easy. Not when a gang wants to kill her, cops want to arrest her, and a reporter wants to expose her.
However, Emily’s problems don’t end there. Any uncontrolled burst of emotion can send her jumping randomly across time and space, arriving naked and alone. If she's not careful, she could travel to infinity and beyond, never to be heard from again.
Emily doesn't quite know what she is, or what she's capable of, but she knows what she can't afford to do -- feel anything.
And she can’t afford to make any mistakes.
Available at Amazon
August 11, 2013
Emily Heart pushed through the burning pain in her chest and thigh muscles, convincing her legs to run faster. She dodged a park bench before jumping over a homeless man lying under a pile of cardboard.
Her mind’s eye could see the gunman aiming his sights at the back of her head and squeezing the trigger, sending the bullet out of the barrel and downrange with supersonic intent. She leaned to the left, letting the round whiz past her fifteen-year-old body. It took out the headlight of a cement truck parked across the street near the alley behind Glassford Street.
The flickering specks of blue light were fading in her vision. It wouldn’t be long before she turned normal again. She would then be unable to see through the gunman’s eyes, or sense the cold blackness of hate she could sense in his heart.
She bent forward at the waist, using a low-profile running pattern, hoping she’d make it safely to the alley. She ran through the grass at the edge of the park, over the sidewalk and hit the asphalt, racing across the empty lanes of the street.
More gunshots rang out, one after another in quick succession. She couldn’t see where the bullets were headed, telling her the link with the shooter was broken. Bricks and mortar exploded all around her as the hailstorm of rounds missed her. They hit the side wall of an old warehouse covered in spray paint and gang signs. She turned right, just before the cement truck, and ran down the alley.
“Don’t lose me!” she yelled at Junie, who was sprinting in front of her, a book bag bouncing on the back of her rail-thin body. Emily was falling behind, unable to keep up with the speed and endurance of her twelve-year-old friend from the homeless shelter.
A minute later, she heard another round of weapons fire erupt as she was nearing the far end of the block-long corridor, plinking and ricocheting off the walls around her. She felt the wisp of a bullet fly through strands of her flowing red hair. It took out the painted window on the wall ahead of her, shattering it into a million shards of colored glass.
She looked back and saw the gang leader standing at the entrance to the alley, changing the magazine in his weapon. His crew came running into view, just catching up to him.
She made the corner and ran further down the passageway, which stank of garbage and sewage. She hurdled a pothole, then flew over a garbage can laying on its side, almost losing her balance in the process. But she managed to keep her feet under her while her shoes pounded the pavement ahead.
Faster, she told herself, faster! She pushed her feet to their tripping point, trying to draw more blood and oxygen than her teenage body could deliver. Her legs wanted to quit—so did her lungs—but she wouldn’t let them.
She pressed on, looking ahead, trying to spot Junie, but she couldn’t see her anymore. She turned another corner and saw a scrawny, dirt-covered leg sticking out from behind a pile of stained mattresses leaning against the wall. She ducked in and grabbed her friend by the shoulder, dragging her eighty-pound frame forward.
“Run, baby, run! Don’t stop! One more corner and we’re there! It’s on the left!”
Emily had learned over the past two years of living on the streets of Phoenix that the blistering summers were endless and miserable, and so were the nights, keeping most of the normal people indoors. She knew that nobody was watching, and nobody cared. There would be no rescue. Not at this time of night, and not in this part of town. It was up to her to get Junie to safety before the shooter and his crew killed her.
She felt a familiar tingle start to grow at the base of her spine when she turned the last corner. “Oh, no! Not now! Not again!” she cried, trying to steady her nerves as she caught up to Junie, who was squeezing her skinny body behind the dumpster.
She couldn’t let it happen. Not so soon. She’d barely recovered from the last time. She needed to focus all her attention on Junie, and let the balance of her emotions run dry. It had only been four days since she’d met her fiery companion in the homeless shelter, but she felt a strong connection with this girl, even though she barely knew her. She didn’t know why, but something inside of her told her to protect Junie. She was important somehow, not just another homeless girl with a deadbeat mother nobody cared about.
She followed Junie behind the garbage bin and into the hidden doorway; darkness engulfed them. “Down the stairs. And stay quiet,” she told Junie in a whisper, locking the door behind her.
“But I can’t see.”
“Go slow and use the handrails. There are twelve steps. Count ‘em as you go.”
They made it down the steps and through another doorway that led into a basement storeroom. It was piled high with junk and old restaurant equipment that had been mothballed by the owner. Emily knew this place well, spending at least one night a week there in recent months. It was her secret hiding place where she could escape the insanity of the city.
An emergency exit sign hung over the inside of the door that she’d just entered, showering an eerie redness over the scene. On the wall to the left stood another door. It led to a flight of stairs that rose up to the kitchen of a high-end Italian restaurant. Emily had made friends with the eighteen-year-old busboy, Parker, who was also a volunteer at one of the local shelters. When he was the last one to leave for the night, he’d push the red dumpster close to the door as a signal to Emily that the door was unlocked and she was welcome. She’d swoop in around midnight, and lock the door behind her.
“Over here,” Emily said, gesturing to a huge metal cabinet with rusty hinges that was standing next to a stack of Styrofoam coolers. “I think we lost them.”
Junie’s chest heaved in and out as it worked to recharge her lungs after the long run. “How do you know?”
“I can’t feel them anymore,” Emily replied, equally as winded.
Emily quickly opened the white cooler sitting on top and put her hand inside, pulling out a cellophane-wrapped peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a banana. As usual, Parker had left the food for her in the top cooler with a chilled Pepsi acting as ice to keep the contents from spoiling until she arrived. She tore the cellophane off, split the bread down the middle, and gave half of it to Junie.
“Here, eat while you can,” she said, before stuffing the sandwich into her mouth, chewing it with abandon.
Junie did the same, smiling, with peanut butter stuck to her teeth. “Sea food,” she said with her mouth full.
Emily laughed. “We have a banana for dessert.”
She popped the Pepsi open and waited to see if the contents would bubble up. It did. She sucked the cola off the top of the can until the carbonation settled down, then gave the soda to her friend.
Junie guzzled several swigs before giving it back to her. Emily swished the can around in a circle to test its volume—only a quarter of the liquid remained. Emily finished her half of the sandwich, then washed it down with the last bit of Pepsi.
They plopped down against the wall beside the cabinet. Junie wrapped her arms around her knees, keeping the dual-strap backpack sandwiched between her thighs and flat chest.
“Junie, that’s not yours. Where did you get it?”
“I—” Junie hesitated. “I took it.”
Emily sighed, feeling disappointment spread across her body. “What’s in it?”
She shrugged. “I snatched it from those boys right before you showed up.”
Junie gave her the backpack.
Emily unzipped it and peered inside. “Uh-oh,” Emily groaned. “We’re in big trouble.”
She tipped it to the side and opened it wide so Junie could see the money inside. Lots of it. Bundles and bundles of wrinkled $100 bills, each wrapped with a blue rubber band and slip of notepaper with a four-digit number written on it.
Meet the Author
Jay J. Falconer is an independent author, publisher, blogger, editor, engineer and Sci-Fi junkie who lives in the mountains of northern Arizona where the brisk, clean air and stunning mountain views inspire his workday. He makes his online home at: www.JayFalconer.com and is an active member author with BookBreeze.com.
Mr. Falconer is the author of the critically acclaimed Narrows of Time Series and The Emily Heart Time Jumper Series, and is currently developing an all new apocalyptic Sci-Fi series called Redfall, The Flames of Tomorrow, due to be released in 2015.
Be sure to watch the video trailer for the Author's Narrows of Time book series by cutting and pasting this link: http://youtu.be/QXic3vkwC1U
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