It is TWG’s turn to host A.J.Waines and ‘Enemy at the Window’ today, and for my stop on the tour I have an extract from the book. Before that however, is a little bit more about the novel, as well as the purchase link. Enjoy!
When Sophie opened her eyes everything was wrong. Someone had tucked her into bed, but it wasn’t hers. She wasn’t in the right place. This wasn’t home.
The last thing she remembered was the sound of a police siren. Somebody further up the street must have had an accident or maybe it was coming from the television. She wasn’t sure. Before that, the childminder had let herself in and was holding her phone, looking horror-stricken. Then there had been a woman wearing green pulling at her arm. She looked like she’d just hopped out of a helicopter or been sky-diving.
What was Daniel doing lying there on the floor under the kitchen table like he’d fallen asleep? And who had spilt all the red paint?
She needed to get out of here; to start clearing it all up.
She struggled against the crisp white sheets. They were too tight. As if she was strapped down. Looking over to her right there was another bed, and then another next to that. Wait a minute – there are other people here. What’s going on?
The curtain on her left was pulled aside; the rings rattling along the pole like coins spilling from a fruit machine. A woman dressed in a blue uniform looked down on her.
‘How are you, Sophie?’
‘Where am I?’
The nurse smiled and held Sophie’s wrist as she focused on her watch. ‘Do I know you?’
Sophie read the name ‘Rose’ on her name tag, but it didn’t mean anything to her.
‘You’re in hospital – you’re safe.’
Rose leant over to plump up her pillows and Sophie flinched. ‘Don’t worry… no one is going to hurt you.’
‘This isn’t right. I’m not…’
‘Rest for now. There’s some juice on the table if you want it.’
Sophie narrowed her eyes. There was a persistent throbbing sound. Too loud. Trapped inside her head. Clanging and banging. She jerked from side to side to try to find the source. They’re trying to electrocute me. They’re trying to kill me. Her bones felt like they were on fire beneath her skin. She called out.
‘Help… help me!’
The same nurse returned to her side, looking inconvenienced.
‘What’s the matter?’ she said, her hands on her hips.
‘That noise? What are you doing to me?’
The nurse glanced at something above Sophie’s head and gave her the kind of smile reserved for someone who has already made too many claims on one’s patience.
‘It’s your heartbeat,’ she said. ‘It’s nothing to worry about.’
‘Yes. You’re hearing the blood pumping inside your head, that’s all. It’s normal.’ The nurse turned, her soft soles squeaking on the linoleum.
It was starting to become clear. Daniel had told lies to make these people keep her here, so he could shack up with that slut he’s been seeing behind her back. She tried to rear up again, but her head hurt and things started to swim out of focus.
Her body shook uncontrollably and a burning sweat encased her, followed by a chill that made her teeth rattle. Oh God, I’m dying.
For a moment she wondered if she was in fact already dead and her body was making its journey towards an everlasting black hole. She tried to call out again, but nothing happened. No sound came out. She was locked inside the tomb of her own body. Then suddenly, as if a switch in her brain clicked off, she started to drift into a hazy calm.
Don’t panic… it’s only a dream… you’ll wake up in a minute.