Here is the opening scene to my upcoming release, Tomorrow Doesn’t Matter Tonight. Let me know what you think!
Jackson Pharrell jogged down a mile long driveway, zigzagging amid hundred year old live oaks and elms while careful to dodge the fresh pansies landscapers had planted the day before. Normally, he didn’t care about flowers, but his host would be peeved if he smashed their new, expensive yard deco with his size twelve running shoe.
He continued to trek across the yard, rounded a bend, glancing at the tail ends of a shiny Bentley, Jag, and Lexis displayed in the opened three car garage. He mentally shook his head. These people didn’t know how lucky they were.
He sprinted to the end of the drive. Running in place, he pressed a button located on a squared, red-brick column located next to the drive’s exit. An automatic transmitter rumbled as a wrought iron gate shook, trundling open, leading out into a neighborhood full of gorgeous, older homes with gracious, manicured lawns, but only visible from behind steel rods.
Outside the gird, he picked up his pace, his head held erect. Leaves crunched under his shoes as the crisp fall air whipped across his face. Smoke flowed from a nearby chimney, melding in the breeze.
Jack did his best to relax, glad to get a run in before his day started.
Thoughts cleared, he concentrated on exhaling each time his right foot struck the sidewalk. He’d been skipping his regular workouts, although he still enjoyed a brisk jog every day. His mind emptied and his problems evaporated. Speed increased, his breathing deepened, perspiration flowed through his pores. He pushed his body harder, further.
Skirting the corner, he entered a less exclusive area. Nice homes, but smaller, without the privacy fences or gates guarding the entrances. He glided down the block, euphoric from the momentary freedom.
A furry, flash of gray darted in front of him. The toe of his shoe caught on a crack in the walkway. Jack briefly became airborne before he toppled flat onto his back into someone’s yard.
In what seemed like slow motion, he pushed to a sitting position, shaking his head with a groan. Once the fog cleared from his brain, he twisted around, and spotted a huge, gray cat. The feline sat hunched across the lawn and glared at him, its yellow eyes taunting. Jack swore it laughed at him.
Struggling to his feet, he slid his palms over his pants and jerked. His right hand stung. He turned it over. A small spurt of blood seeped below the base of his fingers. He gagged a bit and delicately brushed the gash against his sweats when something odd on the concrete caught his eye. Tiny drops of red dotted the sidewalk.
What the—he glanced at his nick. His wound wasn’t serious enough to drip this much blood. He knelt to examine the specks. Some of the spots were in the shape of a paw. His gaze lifted to the cat. It sat in the same place, now cleaning a crimson stained mitt. The animal was hurt. He straightened and took off across the grassy slope. The feline sensed him coming its way, darted through a fence, and scurried under a bunch of shrubs.
Damn. Jack’s only other recourse was to speak with the owner. He started for the front of the house when he detected more blood sprinkled over the walkway leading to the entrance. The door was left ajar. He slid to a standstill, his frame stiffened. His gaze traveled down as if drawn to the ground.Shivers prickled upon the back of his neck.
A bright pink slipper with a fuzzy ball on top rested between the door and structure. A foot was inside the shoe.
Careful not to touch anything, he crept nearer the shod foot for a closer look. His stomach coiled. A woman’s body, unnaturally twisted, blood covered her upper torso and face and had splattered over the small entryway. He stumbled backward, before catching himself before he fell. After he regained his balance, he advanced forward to check on her again. She lay motionless. Her eyes were open but lifeless. Her chest was still, no signs of breathing.
This woman was dead.