Novel Excerpt
By Maggie Giles

Brielle woke up to a pounding headache, thinking it was the worst hangover she'd had in a while, but as her vision cleared and her eyes focused, she realized she wasn't at home.

Her chest contracted. Where was she?

She was sleeping on a hard cot in the corner of a square room. Four bare, slate walls stared back at her. There were no windows, and the room had a distinct chill to it.

Brielle's head spun. Black spots formed in her sight.

"No, no." The words came out soft. Breathless. She'd been here before.

The blood pumped in her ears, a deafening sound as she drew a shaky breath and glanced to the bedside table. She expected to see a low burning candle, but instead there was a small electric lamp.

That was different.

She tried to calm her ragged breathing. Was this a dream? She pinched herself but nothing changed.

Sweat prickled on her brow. No, no, not again.

She threw herself out of the bed. Her legs buckled when she hit the floor and she felt behind her for support.

Glancing down she noticed the strange clothing she wore. It wasn't the short dress from the bar but a flowy sundress she'd never seen before, nor was it one she would buy. Her fingers ran over the foreign fabric. It was soft but didn’t offer her any ease.

This was all too familiar. She trembled as she slowly took in the rest of the room.

At the opposite side was a dresser with a large round mirror hanging over top. Another thing that was new to her prison.

She released a long breath. Maybe this wasn’t really the room she remembered. As she thought it a cool chill rolled down her spine as if to tell her she was wrong.

Brielle walked over to the mirror and checked her reflection. She looked tired; her face was blotchy. She opened the drawers. They slid open easily and were equipped with clothing, toiletries, and even some of her favourite makeup. She pulled out a sweater. It was her size.

What is this place? It was a question she didn't need answering. Even the changes weren't enough to distract her. This was deja-vu.

Back at the bed, Brielle pulled out the mattress.

Her breath caught and tears welled in her eyes. There on the wall were the very marks she'd made as a young captive girl. Eleven single ticks, each marking a time that he had come to her.

She stumbled back away from the marks. "No, no."

<<< End of Excerpt >>>

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