SEVEN LITTLE DEADLIES
YA Supernatural Thriller
Rachel and her boyfriend, Ryan, each have their own reasons for running away. For Rachel, it's something her rational side can’t understand: the morphing of her normally-annoying-but-genial stepdad into a violent monster. For Ryan, it's his past—one that he's not fond of sharing.
The night Rachel's stepdad tries to kill her, the teens leave their small Tennessee town and strike out for California in Ryan's '68 Camaro. The farther they get from home, the fewer things make sense to Rachel. There’s the black-leather-clad woman who can apparently change the weather, and who demands the keys to the Camaro. Ryan wins thirty grand in Vegas, but Rachel notices he actually lost his “winning” hand. To top it off, an ancient, priceless dagger shows up in Ryan’s bag, and he’s not willing to explain where he got it, or why.
Not long after they make it to California, Rachel's stepdad catches up to them, ending Ryan's life and changing Rachel's forever. But things only get stranger after Rachel returns home. A package shows up at her door, containing the ancient dagger she last saw buried in her stepdad’s back. Visions of Ryan suggest he might not be dead. And the woman in black? She’s back for the car with some powerful friends, and this time, she won’t take no for an answer. Something evil is brewing, and Rachel—and the Camaro Ryan left behind—are in the middle of the storm. If Rachel can’t figure out the truth, she could lose her life, and maybe Ryan’s, forever.
July: New Mexico
The cop car followed us for thirty-nine miles.
I kept checking the odometer, and each mile that clicked over made my heart jump. Ryan's brow creased every time he glanced in the rearview mirror, and his fingers dug into the leather of the steering wheel.
"Do you think he's running our plates or something?" I tried to keep my voice steady—panicking wouldn't help—but my throat clenched around the last word and squeaked into the silence around us.
"I don't know, Rachel. He could just be going the same way." He sighed and unclenched one hand long enough to run it through his curly black hair. "But he's been back there for an awful long time."
I didn’t bother pointing out that he’d had plenty of time and space to pass us.
"Maybe we should pull over." The tension was about to burst out of me. If the cop stopped us, he’d want to know who we were, where we were going, why we were alone. All questions I didn’t want to answer.
"Pull over where?" He waved one arm across the dashboard, gesturing at the empty plains on either side of the cracked four-lane highway. Unending barbed-wire fences hugged the road on either side.
Defeated, I wrapped my arms tighter around my midriff and sank further into my seat, the cop car dropping out of sight in the side mirror.
"I hate New Mexico," I muttered to myself. Ryan must have overheard. He grabbed my elbow and tugged on my arm until I looked at him.