|The SFR Brigade Showcase|
Welcome back to the SFR Brigade Showcase! To celebrate my superhero romance When Dark Falls being free this weekend, I'm sharing a snippet to tempt you into downloading it. Here, my vigilante superhero Nocturnelle has broken into the villain's home, but she's made the mistake of spending a bit too long noising around what is possibly the world's weirdest bedroom...
Inside, the air chilled her. The eerie purple light outlined tubing running down the walls, glass viewpoints in them revealing the same glowing ultraviolet liquid she had seen in Skylab. But the room was too small to be a 'crawler birthing chamber except in single numbers. In the middle of the chamber, the tubing fed into a huge sarcophagus-like container. She brushed her fingers over it, and her skin stuck to the outside. It was so cold, it burned. She lost the top layer of her second skin in the process. A single glass porthole was inset where someone's head might be if they lay inside. Nelle peered in, heart hammering. Nothing.
The sound of a lift bell shocked her back to reality. What was she thinking? She'd got in. Found something. She should have got straight back out.
Footsteps came down the hall in ominous rhythm, accompanied by rasping breath. Dark. Nelle dropped into a crouch in the shelter of the metal coffin. She might as well announce herself with a fanfare. She'd left the chamber's door open.
Dark's footsteps halted at the open door. The harsh sound of his breathing faltered. "What? What is this?" He clanked toward her.
She braced herself. For all the feebleness one might assume from his breathing issues, Dark was no weakling. He'd beaten Blaze, after all.
The footsteps came closer. Nelle risked a peek around the edge of the frosted casket. Dark stood at the head of the sarcophagus, blocking her way to the door.
"Who is in here?" he rasped. "There's no escape. Show yourself, and your death will be quick. Though not painless." He hissed out the last before laughing. Nelle's stomach squirmed. Without further pause, she charged at Dark.
With surprising speed and strength, he grabbed her throat and lifted her from her feet. Fingers crushed her windpipe, and she struggled like a worm in metal tweezers. Damn, she'd never imagined he'd be so strong or so fast. That she'd be so helpless.
"Nocturnelle." Dark chuckled. "I should have known. Out for a little nighttime jaunt, are we? I hope you enjoyed your visit to my Skylab last night. It will, of course, be your last."
He tossed her against the far wall, and the impact blasted the strength from her body. Her head smashed into one of the glass tubes, the broken fragments gouging into her scalp. She dropped to the floor, paralyzed, pain hammering into her skull. Something wet trickled down her forehead as she lay there, gasping. Blood? The eerie purple fluid? She couldn't see.
Dark grasped her hair and yanked her head up. She screamed as he punched her hard in the face, repeatedly. Her face wasn't invulnerable, and blood pooled in her eye where he'd hit her.
She scrabbled backward but he still held her hair. She twisted, ignoring the pain, ignoring the feel of hair tearing loose. If she didn't get out of his grip, she'd have no chance. With another jerk, she broke free. She regained her feet and her freedom, and stood braced. Dark faced her, breath rasping as though it was his last gasp. She should be so lucky.
He rammed into her, head first. The impact smashed her into the sarcophagus and would have broken her back if she'd been human. Instead her skin froze to the outer casing, and the pain as she ripped free burned into her back as if lashed by strands of barbed wire. She screamed, and let the sonics rip free—her last resort. The cry blasted Dark across the room and smashed him into the far wall. Tubes of glowing liquid exploded and sprayed across the room. A siren wailed. The heavy metal door of the chamber slowly swung closed.
Emergency seal? She didn't stop to consider the consequences, and dove for the ever narrowing gap. She made it, but shutters were coming down at either end of the corridor, sealing her in with a slow, steady inevitability. She ran for the window, reached for the skin at her back and threw herself through the glass.
Pain smashed into her skull, and for an instant nothing but that filled her awareness. She opened tear-filled eyes. The tower streaked past her in a blur of dimly gleaming metal and pale lights as she fell. Moving her arms seemed too much effort.
I'm going to die...It was an idle thought. Would she? Falling from this height, without her skin to hold her back, would it kill her? She'd never put such a thing to the test.
And she wouldn't now. She tugged at the skin at her back. It tore as she pulled. The black membrane fluttered uselessly in a mass of tatters and holes, sending her into a spin.
No! She'd lost chunks of it to the super-cooled sarcophagus. Resistant to bullets, blades and heat, but not to extreme cold it would seem. Black lace wrapped her in a deadly embrace as she tumbled. Stupid. I was stupid. I should have left with what I had...
And now she was plummeting to her death for the sake of a moment's curiosity. A cold calm flowed over her. The tattered remnants of her canopy flapped wildly in the wind. The ground sped toward her. Certain death.
And so Dark wins. Fury blazed in her heart at the thought. No. Never. She shrugged the folds back in. Shortened them. She couldn't repair the damage, but she could use the shorter length to glide, to slow her down and minimize the impact. Maybe. Anything would help.
She extended her arms with the shorter folds. There were still holes, but not as bad as the main canopy. The wind caught the leathery wings and slowed her. Still not enough. She angled herself, trying to change her headlong plummet into a wide spiral. The ground was still coming up too fast. She mentally steeled herself for the impact, and wrapped her arms and loose skin around herself at the last instant.
The ground hit. Pain slammed into her, and tossed her across the tarmac like a wind-driven rag. Smacked into her head and knocked all feeling into oblivion.
And if you enjoyed that excerpt and want to find out what happens next, you can try out the entire novella for FREE! The Kindle version of When Dark Falls will be free from Amazon for the 2nd and 3rd of October from midnight PST or 9am GMT (maybe a bit later - Amazon are a horribly slow about getting promotions started on time, sigh).
FREE at Amazon
|A Superhero Romance Novella|
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