Welcome to Part 5 of my serialisation of Till You Die.
I’m starting to really feel that the launch date for the first Darker Minds novel, Show Me Dead, is creeping ever closer, and the time when I retire the full e-book of Till You Die as my Readers’ club welcome gift and replace it with Beneath the Flesh, a novella from the Darker Minds series, is much closer still.
All details for how you’ll be able to get hold of Beneath the Flesh for FREE, if you become a member of my Readers’ Club are at the bottom of this post.
In the meantime, the nightmare Joanna is is begins to become a reality… Enjoy Part 5 of Till You Die.
Happy reading! 😊
With three days to go until her due date, she let Craig in after work in silence. She ate her tea without a word, her heart banging in her chest and her stomach feeling on fire every time Craig looked at her. She couldn’t wait for it to get dark, so she could go to bed.
‘I’m feeling very tired,’ she murmured, her hand over her belly and keeping her back to the wall as she left the room.
Craig smirked and his green eyes glared, like a cat’s. ‘There’s not much time left now, is there? Not long.’
Joanna bolted, as best she could, out of the room.
Alone in the nursery, the furniture casting shadows upon the moonlit walls, and with only the watch ball for company Joanna laid, shaking, her eyes wide open. She had no intention of sleeping. Her blood pressure must be through the roof. She just stared; watched for movement on the door handle. The upstairs phone was in her hand, sweat making the plastic clammy. She held it to her face as she heard Craig come upstairs to bed. She swallowed over and over, as the slit of light under the door vanished with the click of a switch and everything became silent.
It was dark. She lay still. She must have been like that for hours. Exhaustion pummelled her bones. Her baby battered her ribs. The only thing she could hear was the slight creaking of the springs in the mattress as Craig rolled over in bed. At least, she assumed he was rolling over. Hoped that he was. She gripped tightly to the phone.
She felt sick; her head was fuzzy. Joanna dialled Mark’s number. Someone she could trust.
A fuzzy, sleepy voice came down the line. ‘Hello? Sis? Are you okay?’
Joanna’s words poured from her mouth. ‘Mark, please, come over – come over now. I can’t stand it I…’ She broke down. Tears fell down her face as she sat herself up in the dark. But it was no longer dark, and she didn’t realise why at first, until she looked towards the chest of drawers to see the watch ball glowing bright, casting spinning shadows everywhere, beginning to illuminate the room.
‘Mark, quick!’ she squealed. ‘Help me!’
She threw down the phone. In the bedroom she heard the springs creak, then there was the sound of the floorboards, and the gentle, deadly motion of feet running across the floor towards the bedroom door.
Joanna began to scream. She scrabbled to her feet and ran from the nursery, clutching her belly as she heard Craig’s voice through the door.
She reached the top of the stairs. They were so narrow and steep, especially in the dark, and she couldn’t see past her bump. Tears streamed down her face and still she screamed as Craig’s voice got closer behind her. If she could get to the front door, then she would be safe.
‘Joanna, come here, Joanna.’ Craig’s breath felt as if it was on her neck, he was so close. At the front door, the street lamp outside illuminated a shadow of someone standing at the glass.
Mark banged on the door. ‘Sis, where are you? Are you all right? Let me in, Joanna.’
She was ready to fly down the stairs, as Craig’s words appeared in her ear. ‘Joanna. Come here. Joanna.’
She put her foot on the step. If she could only get to the front door. Then she felt something… the pain… her foot fell off the step… then, the blackness, while outside, by the lamplight, Mark continued to hammer on the front door.
Well… poor Joanna! There are two more parts to go – and I’m sure you’ve got your theories as to how the story is going to end.
Show Me Dead launches on 14th January 2022. If you want to ensure it lands on your device as soon it’s released, you can pre-order from Amazon here.