Novel chapter excerpt
The comforting feeling of her bed greeted her, and all she wanted to do was curl up and sleep, but her forehead began to break out in a sweat, her head pulsing with a blinding headache.
Through her closed eyes, she heard Stewart come in and unzip a bag. Ty held something to her forehead before taking in a sharp breath.
“Ellie, you have a fever of 103.1. Has anyone around you been sick?”
Stewart cut in, “Do you think she might have contracted something from the lake?”
“I don’t know how she could’ve. Otherwise I’m pretty sure one of us would’ve gotten it too.”
Ty’s eyebrows furrowed closer and closer together each time he took one of her vitals. “Low blood pressure. High RBM. I don’t know what else it could be but something from the lake… Let's take her in.”
Ellie shook her head and mumbled. “I’m okay. I’m sure I’ll be fine if we just wait it out.”
“Fine,” Ty replied reluctantly. “But if your fever gets any higher, I’m taking you in. Okay?”
She nodded, allowing her eyes to droop, but as much as she wanted to sleep, she just couldn’t. The burning in her head felt unbearable.
Ellie wasn’t aware of how much time passed by, only the blinding pain that felt as if it were getting worse and worse. Something about this wasn’t right. She’s never been this sick before. Maybe she really had contracted something from the lake. The whole world tipped upside down and her eyes flew open at the realization. The man’s words from the cell echoed in her mind. “Prepare to burn. There’s other ways to make you feel the heat.”
With the sudden realization, Ellie’s breathing started coming out faster in gasps.
“Calm down, sweetheart,” Ty said, running a hand comfortingly through her hair. He pulled out the thermometer again and placed it to Ellie’s head. He clenched his teeth and started packing up. “That’s it, I’m taking you to the hospital. Your fever is 105.3. That’s not normal, Ellie.”
She caught his hand, forcing him to look into her eyes. “They poisoned me,” she gasped, the panic never leaving. “The knife.”
Ty pulled the band-aid off her neck and his expression became even darker. “Stewart, get in here!” he called, and Stewart was there within seconds. “I think Ellie’s been poisoned. One of the guys in jail cut her with a knife. I think the blade might’ve been tipped with something.”
“First the fire, then the car, and now this? When will they ever stop?"
It was almost as if her consciousness faded in and out, making her lose all grip on time. Before she knew it, she was being hauled out of the car again. Red lights flashed past her closed eyes and she could hear garbled words, but she couldn’t make out who was saying them or what was being said.
Ellie squirmed against the agonizing heat that blared through her head, but then she gasped as she was engulfed by freezing cold. Her eyes flew open and she suddenly found herself sitting in a tub of ice. Her breaths came in rapid gasps as she searched the room with wide eyes for any familiar faces, but then her stomach dropped as she found one.
The man from the warehouse who had injected her with the clear liquid. They were here. They were still after her.
One of the doctors poked her vein with a needle and wrapped tape securely around her arm to keep it in place. “We have to get fluids into her,” he called over his shoulder. “It’s the only way we can keep the poison from spreading.”
Ellie tried to open her mouth to speak, to scream, to say anything, but as hard as she tried, nothing would come out. It didn’t matter if this poison killed her, because if it didn’t, there was another person in this room that would finish the job.
The man from the warehouse leaned down, almost as if fixing her IV, but he whispered in her ear. “I definitely like playing this little game, and you’re definitely making this interesting. But unfortunately for you, this is the end of the line.” He disconnected the tube in her arm from the clear bag of saline that hung beside her and waited until he was the only other person in the room. Ellie was vaguely aware of being lifted out of the tub of ice and onto a wheeling stretcher, a sheet being pulled over her head. She struggled to keep her eyes open, but as hard as she tried, she just couldn’t.
Ellie’s consciousness faded out once again, getting one last glimpse of the white sheet before becoming engulfed in darkness.
-novel chapter excerpt