The First 750 Words

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Trapped


Trapped by George A Bernstein

Synopsis:

Fiction -> Suspense

The darkness is still, silent. Jackee Maren’s heart pounds reverberating through her body as fear sears her veins. Someone’s coming. No way out. This time they will kill me. Her breath is TRAPPED COVER -NEWshort, her chest burns. Must run. Faster. Faster! Her eyes fly open, her heart still racing with blinding fear. Jackee breathes deeply with relief and stares at the ceiling desperately trying to calm herself. The same dream. Something, someone is watching… and waiting.

A tragic car accident leaves beautiful, vibrant Jackee Maren completely paralyzed, mentally alert but trapped in “Locked-in Syndrome,” able to move only her eyes. Jackee’s husband, Phil, is devastated and her two young boys left with nothing but a shell for a mother, but still, Jackee senses the foreboding of an evil presence and knows time is short.

Slowly, Jackee learns to communicate with her physical therapist, Kevin, by blinking her eyes. As evidence comes to light that her car accident was no accident, Jackee knows she must expose the person who wants her dead before they get a second chance.

While Jackee works her mind to put all the clues together, she discovers she has the ability to sense the thoughts of others, but she hides this talent from everyone but her sons, not knowing whom she can trust. By actively exercising her new psychic ability, Jackee finally learns who masterminded the accident but seems helpless to stop them from trying to kill her again.

Slowly a psychic plan forms to not only ensure her boys are safe forever, but to exact revenge on her would-be murderer. Jackee vows not to rest until this villian understands what it is to be TRAPPED! But she must hurry, with only a year to live.

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TRAPPED

PROLOGUE

 

Turn signal flashing, she eases into the right lane in front of a large, battered pick-up, with less than a half-mile to the Old Orchard Exit Ramp. Jackee Maren rarely drives so aggressively, but first delayed by her two sons’ late departure from school, and then navigating around a minor fender bender on Dundee road, she is already ten minutes behind, and she’s never late. The Northern Illinois Chapter of the United Way won’t start their planning session without their chairwoman, and Jackee hates the idea of keeping so many busy people waiting.

Peeling onto the ramp, her attention is drawn to her two boys, bickering and shoving in the back seat. Glancing back at the road, a ridge of goose bumps cascades down her spine. They’re hurtled toward a string of glaring taillights… cars unexpectedly stopped by a red light at the first intersection off the expressway.

Jamming a foot on the brakes, she’s stunned when the big Mercedes slews sharply right, smack into the path of the huge pickup truck, which had exited behind her. It slams into the rear fender of the sedan, sending it careening off the road, the seatbelts gouging her shoulder, crushing the breath from her lungs.

“Hang on boys,” she gasps. Oh God! My sons! They can’t die here.

They spin down the embankment like an eccentric top, ricocheting off a bridge column. The wheel torn from her grip, the air filled with the screech of rending metal and the stench of burning rubber, the car rears like a great angry beast, its rear legs hamstrung. Slamming down, it hurtles backward into the culvert, bucking and skipping along the steep embankment.

Despite seatbelts, Jackee is flung around like a rag doll in the jaws of some huge terrier. The air bag erupts in the midst of their tumultuous downward plunge, rushing out at 200 MPH, just as frontal impact slings her forward.

Her face catches the brunt of the blow, skewering lips on her teeth, smashing her nose. A searing bolt of pain fires across her brain, igniting a burst of red heat behind her tearing eyes. A sharp pitch right crushes her left cheek against the window, knocking her momentarily senseless. The sedan teeters, enveloped in a cloud of dust, hunkering precariously on its haunches before crashing down on its wheels, coming to a thunderous, grinding stop.

She awakens to wailing and blubbering from the two small boys in the rear seat.

“Mommy!” The call gasped through ragged breathing.

“Mommy!” Now a frantic screech.

“I’m…I’m here.” We’re alive! Thank God, we’re all still alive.

She sags against the seatbelt, every joint singed with agony, unable to will herself into action.

Help should be coming. She moans.  Gotta hang on… She slips out of consciousness.

The continued bawling and moaning of her sons stir her, drawing her out of the fog of semi-consciousness. One of her eyes is swollen shut, but the other flickers open, glazed with shock.

Where the Hell’s http://premier-pharmacy.com/product/acyclovir/ Fire/Rescue.

She winces, her whole body racked by pain.

Seems like we’ve been trapped down here for…

The warble of a fast arriving rescue vehicle answers that question. She closes her eye, struggling to control the thunder in her head and the molten bands of fire across her chest.

“Lady? You with me?” A hatchet-faced EMT materializes at the shattered passenger-side window. She strives to focus on the man, who is futilely struggling with the door.

“Malcolm, Bryan,” the words slurred through blood stained lips. “Sons…back seat…”

“Yeah, they’re still strapped in. We’re gonna take care of everybody, but it’s you I’m focused on.”

Jackee’s head lolls forward, her emerald eye fluttering closed as she struggles to remain conscious. The swell and ebb of her breast confirms that, while battered, she still lives. Her sons in the back continue their chorus of terror, though it’s winding down to a pattern of whimpers as their surge of adrenaline burns out.

“Can’t budge this damned door,” the EMT, grunts. He’s joined by his thick-shouldered partner, hefting a crowbar.

“Move over and give me room to work.” forcing one end of the steel into the jamb, struggling to lever it open, he glances at his partner. “Those kids look okay?”

“Probably. All that loud wailing is a good sign, but we’ll check ‘em out once we get everyone free. The woman’s obviously suffered some airbag trauma and…Oh, oh, she’s coming around.”

Jackee’s eye blinks, her head inches up, and she tastes the blood oozing from her nose and lips.

“Oohhh. What…what…” She makes a feeble effort to turn her head.

Oh! My sons. The brakes…bad crash…are they…?”

“Mommy.” Malcolm’s voice a hoarse squeak. “Are you hurt? We’re okay, I think.” His voice and Bryan’s whimpering through ragged breathing is reassuring.

Thank God. So close. Don’t know how I could…” She sags, her thoughts fading again.

“We’re gettin’ nowhere with this bar.” He looks back.

“We need the hydraulics down here, and in a fuckin’ hurry,” he screams up at the road.

“On the way. How ‘bout a power saw now?”

“No way. Too dangerous.”

Ten minutes later, a hydraulic pry bar dispense with the door. Frantic minutes drag by as they disentangle Jackee from the air bags, and her two sobbing, shaken sons, from their seatbelts.

Jackee smells the fuel that continues to seep from the ruptured tank, pooling beneath the wreckage.

Fire…or worse…is an eminent threat.

She floats to full awareness. Her body is festooned with welts, and her face feels like she’d gone ten rounds with Joe Frazier. Strapped to a gurney, her head and neck immobilized, one medic checks her vitals, which, despite her tattered façade, are surprisingly robust.

“Looks like you’re gonna be okay, lady. Got someone you want me to call?” he asks.

“Husband. Phil Maren.” Mumbled with a thick lisp over a swollen tongue and lacerated lips.

“North Chicago Printing. In city. My sons?”

“They’re shaken and bruised, but don’t seem to have any major problems. We’re checking ‘em out now. They’ll come to the hospital as a precaution, and your husband can pick ‘em up there.

Moments later the ambulance races toward Skokie Valley Hospital.

A freak thing. Was it the brakes? Phil just serviced the car.

She sighs.

How did it…?” She slips off into a sedative induced slumber.

Jackee Maren had no idea that this terrifying accident was but a small taste of the true horror soon awaiting her.

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Author Bio:

 

George Bernstein is a youthful seventy-six-year-old, with a B.A. from Northwestern University, now living in south Florida, and the retired president of a publicly-held Chicago company. George’s main interest is as a serious novelist. He has attended numerous writers’ conferences and seminars, including that of famous fiction agent, Donald Maass, and he has worked with independent editor, Dave King, all with the goal of improving his craft.

George is also a “World-Class” fly-fisherman, and has held a dozen various IGFA World records. In his life before writing, George ran Outdoor Safaris, a World-wide fishing & hunting tour operator, working with airlines and travel agencies promoting premier sporting trips. He has also published the definitive book on fly-fishing for pike & musky, Toothy Critters Love Flies. When taking a break from writing, he builds fine cabinetry in his 3-car garage.

George’s first novel, Trapped, is published by TAG Publishers, after being a finalist in their Next Great American Novel contest. Dee Burks and her staff really love the story, and her revision suggestions helped makeTrapped the best it can be. Trapped was also a finalist at the 2012 Florida Writers Association RPLA fiction contest in 2012. Trapped has received over 30 reviews on Amazon, virtually all 5-Star, with the most common comment, “I couldn’t put it down.”

 

 

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