Fire Sale: Noun.
- A sale of goods remaining after the destruction of commercial premises by fire.
- As seen in the 2007 movie Live Free or Die Hard, an assault against the United States’ government, transportation, and economy by computer hackers.
- A sale of goods or assets at a very low price.
Okay, so, nobody panic. We didn’t have a house fire. And I can barely convert a Word document into PDF format, so back off Homeland Security! BUT, my Psychological Thriller novella, Blood in the Past, is on sale this weekend for only 99 cents! Isn’t that great news? (Hey, Homeland Security, if you’re still here, you should totally get in on this deal and grab a copy. Just saying.)
Here’s an excerpt:
Lyla eased her car to a stop a few blocks away from his house. A low-hanging branch scraped the roof. Lyla cringed at the sound, almost as if it were begging Lyla to return her foot to the gas pedal. But she did not. She parked, drew 10 ccs of succinylcholine into the syringe, and slithered out of the car into the wet night. She hurried to her destination in a half-crouch, trying to blend into the darkness of the asphalt.
She sneaked around the back of her father’s house through the shadows of the maple trees. They still clutched their leaves in denial of the approaching autumn. Every now and again, the rain would tear a leaf from its branch and the fluttering shadow would frighten Lyla. But instead of cursing the rain, she thanked it. It softened the ground, cushioned her footfalls, and tethered the neighbors to their couches. Few, if any, people would witness her arrival.
Searching for signs of life in his house and finding only the soft flickering of a TV in the living room, Lyla entered through the back door. Despite burying his wife hours earlier, her father had gone on a date that night. She’d overheard him bragging about it to a group of his colleagues at the funeral. A few were impressed by his gall, but most were repulsed.
However loathsome Lyla found it, she’d learned from her mother that, following a date night, her father would drunkenly pass out on the couch, which was good for Lyla, logistically. She imagined his stench: sex and a perfume so cheap the woman probably purchased it at the cosmetics counter of the nearest drug store. For a second, she marveled at how he at least had the decency not to bring the girls to the house where his wife—her mother, for God’s sake—had lost her life.
She knew the bristles of the doormat made a scritch–scritch noise, so Lyla bent each leg and thoroughly and silently dried the soles of her sneakers on her pants’ legs. Without squeaking, wet shoes, she tiptoed down to the basement, pausing to grab a candle from the emergency kit at the top of the stairs. The old house’s circuit breakers were notoriously fickle, so she switched off the main breaker, drowning the house in complete darkness. Lyla paused in the spot where she’d overheard her aunt’s suspicions only days earlier. With her ear toward the ceiling, she strained to hear any indication of her father’s stirring over the din of rain pelting the house. She heard nothing, so she removed the hypodermic needle from her over-sized bag, almost piercing herself as she fumbled for it.
“Here I come, Daddy,” she said in a singsong whisper, creeping back up the stairs.