Fate’s Cry (Prologue)
In seven more days, Fate’s Cry will be released! Yikes! So excited (and nervous). To celebrate, I’d like to share the prologue. Remember, it’s for $0.99 for a very limited time. Soon after the release, the price will go back up, so preorder now.
Applying the dark, red lipstick one more time, Kelsey Taylor was pleased at her reflection. She couldn’t wait to get out of there and party with her friends. Maybe “friends” was too strong of a word, but they knew how to have a good time. The Halloween parties were a blast; somebody was always good for bringing the right drugs there. She’d been dying for a fix for the last couple of days.
“You’re going to wear that, Kelsey?” Ryan asked when he walked into the bathroom. “I can see your butt.”
Kelsey rolled her eyes, turning around to see her backside in the mirror. She was wearing a tight, black, cat costume. Yes, it was a little skimpy, but it was sexy. There would be some hotties there tonight. She’d learned very quickly the sexier she looked, the more the guys would hook her up with some free stuff the entire night.
“Shut up, Ryan. You’re too young to understand anything.” She pulled her eyeliner out of her purse again to make sure she was satisfied with her “cat eyes.”
“Why do you always have to go out? Can’t you just stay home tonight?” Ryan begged her with his wide, green eyes.
“Okay, you need to stop talking to me. I’m trying to hurry up and get out of here. I don’t wanna be late.”
“Please, Kelsey,” Ryan said. “You never play with us anymore. We’ll have fun.” He was seven years old, full of life and mischief.
Tori, her eleven-year-old sister, walked into the bathroom and chimed in. “Yeah, Kelsey. We hardly see you anymore. We used to have so much fun when we hung out together. Can’t you just stay one night?”
Kelsey brushed her reddish-brown hair one more time and frowned down at her siblings. “Sorry, I got plans. I’m not wasting my Friday night playing cards.” She purposefully ignored the disappointed looks in their eyes.
As she was leaving, her mom followed her to the door in her wheelchair. “Kelsey, please don’t go. We really miss you around here. Besides, I could use some more help from you.”
Kelsey shrugged her shoulders and flipped her hair back while she kept walking. “Look, Mom, it’s Halloween. That means there are lots of Halloween parties. I’m sorry you got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I’m sorry your husband died. There’s nothing I can do about it. Just because you’re now confined to your wheelchair, doesn’t mean I have to stop my life. I’m only eighteen years old, and I don’t need this shit. I’ll see you later.”
Those were her last words to her mother before she slammed the apartment door behind her. Sure, since her dad’s passing away from the dreadful cancer about five years ago, her mother had worked hard every single day to help provide for her children. Her multiple sclerosis was progressing quickly, though, so they’d been struggling financially since she could no longer work.
As Kelsey sprinted down the stairs, guilt crept up on her for a brief second. She quickly shook it off. She simply didn’t want to deal with that depressing apartment and needed to just get away from it all to have a good time. After all, she was too young to have all those responsibilities.
Kelsey saw Jake’s car already waiting for her as she reached downstairs. When he roared his engine, she smiled. Yes, she was ready for tonight. She had only known Jake for a few months, but she liked hanging with him because she could always count on him for a good time.
The party was at some guy’s house. She didn’t even know his name, but it didn’t really matter. Normally, the same crowd showed up at the parties, and most of the time, nobody really remembered anything anyway. Everybody just did their thing.
As soon as they entered the house, Kelsey began drinking. Soon, Jake brought her some pot to smoke. Feeling pretty good, she swayed to the beat of the music.
“Hey, kitty kitty.” Some guy came up to her and pinched her butt.
“Hey, yourself,” Kelsey said, losing herself in his ocean, blue eyes. The guy was wearing a vampire costume, and from what she could gather, he made a pretty hot vampire.
“So, has the cat woman ever hooked up with a vampire?” he asked.
“I don’t think so,” she flirted back, pouting her lips. “But, there’s always a first time for everything.”
The vampire laughed and leaned down to kiss her. His tongue immediately found hers, and Kelsey closed her eyes as he pulled her against his body.
“Are you with that guy you came with?” He stopped the kiss and frowned down at her.
“Jake? Nah, we’re just buddies.” By then, she was drunk and high, so Kelsey was having difficulty focusing.
“Cool. You wanna go upstairs with me so I can really show you how to party? I got the good stuff.”
Not the one to refuse the “good stuff,” Kelsey placed her arm around his and followed him upstairs into a bedroom. The rest of the night was a blur. Kelsey only remembered being in her own world and escaping into the abyss.
After the party, Kelsey headed home with some guy. She had no idea if it was the same guy who took her to the bedroom or if it was Jake. Everything was still spinning, but at least she wasn’t passed out somewhere. She was just hoping her mom wouldn’t start with her lectures as soon as she got home.
Somehow, her mind registered the bright lights of the emergency vehicles as they got closer to the apartment building. Still not understanding exactly what was happening around her, Kelsey was in a trance as she watched the flames hissing and spitting wildly.
“Shit! That building is on fire!” The guy driving the car came to a halt. “Wow, that’s badass.”
She blinked a few times, forcing her mind to think. She knew something bad was happening right before her eyes as she exited the vehicle. Like a moth to a flame, she was drawn to the fire as it summoned her. In a daze, she was mesmerized by the violent flames as they hungrily ate through the building.
“Miss! You can’t go there!” Somebody grabbed her, holding her back.
When she saw the fireman yelling at her to get back, her mind snapped into reality. Knowing instantly that her family was in that fire, Kelsey turned and raced toward the building. She couldn’t get too far, though, because another fireman grabbed her.
“Let me go! That’s my home! Where’s my family?” Kelsey pulled, pushed, and shook viciously, trying to get loose.
“Please, let us do our job. We’re doing the best we can to help them.”
“They can’t get out! They’re stuck! Let me go!” She tried to kick him, anything to get to her family. She already knew in her heart that there was no way they could get out on their own. “Mom! I’m here, Mom! Ryan, Tori! Hang on! I’m here!” she screamed.
The flames roared louder, taunting her. She helplessly watched the smoke swirl in long wisps and become its own monstrous entity. As the building was completely swallowed by the angry inferno, Kelsey’s legs collapsed from under her. Sobbing hysterically, she rocked back and forth, hugging her body.
“I’m sorry. I’m here now,” she choked in between her sobs.
In that moment in time, Kelsey’s world ended.