Getting amped up for the final book in the God’s Loophole series? Here’s a teaser to whet your appetite, told from the chef’s perspective:
Rafi cinched his bathrobe tighter around his waist as he entered the kitchen. Motion activated fluorescent lights sputtered to life above him, and aisles of spotless, stainless steel counters flickered into view.
Something felt off here.
His eyes darted to take in details—the hanging ladles, perfectly still. The cabinets, all closed. The shadows, unmoving. Yet the back of his neck still prickled.
Just make their dessert and go.
He continued toward the storeroom, his pulse agitated. They were getting nothing fancy tonight, just pre-made chocolate chip cookie dough. Though he cringed at the thought, his supply of eggs had dropped dangerously low. He needed to conserve.
Speaking of eggs . . .
He inhaled deeply, and his nose wrinkled. The odor of sulfur lingered in the air, rotten eggs. Damn him, he’d let the trash go too long.
Tomorrow. He’d get it tomorrow.
In the storeroom, a single light flickered eerily in the corner. Not surprising. Ever since the hull breach, electricity had been sporadic. Still, the place unnerved him, and he touched his walkie-talkie to make sure he still had it.
He hurried to the walk-in freezer and pulled the key from around his neck.
An icy chill brushed his neck.
Like someone right behind him.
He whipped around and scanned the storeroom, hardly breathing, as goosebumps spread down his back. The fluorescent lamps buzzed like insects.
Compose yourself, Rafi.
The storeroom was empty, clearly.
He fumbled with the key, his sweaty fingers clumsy on the metal, and jabbed at the lock.
Rafi rarely locked the freezer. But after this morning, he and McCoy had done a more thorough inventory and discovered more food missing than just the pasta. Now the security officer insisted he lock up everything, even the spices.
At last, the key slid into the keyhole. Rafi gripped the handle and heaved open the freezer, straining his arms. The massive door budged slowly.
He slipped inside the freezer, and the wash of cold air spurred a shiver. His breath misted, frosting on the metal racks.
He found a tub of vanilla ice cream, half empty, and a tube of oatmeal raisin cookie dough, but not chocolate chip.
Come on, where is it?
Shivering now, he ran his gaze up the racks, over vacuum-sealed meat, Costco bags of frozen vegetables, Tupperwares of leftovers—
Just then, a breeze whipped through the freezer door, whistled through the racks, and crawled up his robe, enveloping him like icy claws.
He spun, his heart jolting, pounding now. The lights outside the freezer flickered. He saw nothing.
He grabbed the tube of oatmeal raisin dough, balanced it on the ice cream, and turned to flee.
Then the light inside the freezer flickered.
He froze, trembling.
Suddenly, the freezer door slammed shut. The impact rattled the walls, knocked food off the racks. The cookie dough slipped out of his hand, thudded on the floor.
Above him, the light gave a final dying flicker and winked out.
He stood in pitch black. Only his raspy breath broke the silence.
Only his breath . . . and the sound of claws scraping against steel.
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