Thursday, October 14, 2010Posted by Elizabeth Ludwig at 12:00 AM
Out of the darkness someone rose up, pushing her forward with a violent shove. Arms flailing, she fought to keep her balance, but tumbled forward.
A loud crack of rock sounded above the wind and the ground began to move under Isabel’s feet. She slid on an avalanche of rock down into a ravine, concealed by darkness and foliage.
Rocks and dirt rained down as she tried to shield her head with her arms. Desperately she dug her feet into the sliding debris but the effort did nothing to stop her momentum as she was carried along.
With a sudden jolt that shook her to the core, Isabel slammed into a boulder at the bottom. A shower of material continued to move past her until the rush slowed into a trickle and then stopped.
Her head spun and sparks danced before her eyes. For a strange moment, she thought she heard snatches of a man singing.
The old flag, the lovely flag.
She tried to clear the muddle in her head.
Eyes closed, she took stock. Gingerly she moved her legs and arms, fearful of setting loose another rock slide. Wiping the grime from her face she discovered she was wedged against the large boulder, her legs buried under a foot of soil and rock. Inch by inch she wiggled her feet, testing to see if anything was broken. A shooting pain up her ankle made her gasp, and she realized with a start of terror that her foot was pinned between two enormous hunks of rock. Try as she might she could not pull it free.
Struggling to catch her breath and control the fear, Isabel looked up toward the mouth of the ravine. It was steep, the top bathed in darkness.
She’d been pushed; there was no mistaking that, probably by the person who let Blue Boy loose. She could still feel the blow that toppled her over the edge. Someone wanted to kill her, someone who could very well be waiting at the top for her to crawl out. Or maybe on their way down to make sure she hadn’t survived.
Her entire body was shaking and she could feel her ankle beginning to swell.
Screaming for help would alert her attacker that he or she hadn’t completed their mission and the chances of a passer-by hearing her cries were negligible.
Isabel’s teeth chattered and panic flowed through her veins like a strong poison. Hugging herself to try to stop the shudders, she felt the hard surface of the satellite cell phone in her pocket, under a blanket of rubble.
The phone with Logan’s phone number programmed in.
Her heart thudded wildly.
She didn’t trust him, didn’t even remember his last name.
He could have something to do with her sister’s accident, or be covering for the people who knew what had happened to Cassie. He might have even been the one who pushed her.
But he’d offered to help her before, his smile gentle and seemingly genuine and strangely familiar.
Trust your instincts, Is.
Instincts? Instincts hadn’t help her steer clear of Rawley Pike. Instinct hadn’t helped her at all. Except for one important thing, she reminded herself. That strong urge inside had brought her back to the faith her mother had tried so desperately to instill in her girls. Should she follow her heart now?
Trust a stranger?
She clenched her hands together and mumbled a prayer.
Help me trust the right person this time.
Biting her lip until she tasted blood, Isabel dialed.
Dana is giving away a copy of her book, Betrayal in the Badlands. Be sure to stop by The Borrowed Book on Friday for your chance to win!