Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Timeloopers: The Ghost at Retreat Lake, Teaser #2

This is a quick post, but I wanted to drop by and share teaser #2 from The Ghost at Retreat Lake, the second book in the Timeloopers series! 

Teaser #2
To save her and Cory’s lives, Iris had to travel back inside the machine herself. Nothing else would work.
Her heart gave off sickening tremors. She stabbed her pencil through the crime scene tape, severed the ribbons, and her sweaty fingers went to the latch, unclicked it. The front panel swung open, revealing the musty interior of the machine.
The sharp odor of disinfectant wafted out, stung her nostrils. And beneath that, ammonia. Her upper lip curled.
At last, her eyes adjusted to the darkness, and a wave of goosebumps ascended her arms.
A dusty black box. Empty. Three feet wide, three feet deep, six feet tall.
Room to stand or sit. Not to lie down.
Nine hours in there.
A nervous shudder seized her body, and her lungs fought to draw in oxygen.
She couldn’t do this.
No way.
No fucking way.
But she had to.
Her throat worked through a dry, painful swallow. But . . . travel back in time? What would that do to her body? To human tissue? Surely it would rip her apart, not to mention the horrible paradoxes, the risk of running into her past self . . .
Oh God.
There would be two of her at the same time—a past and a future version. She would have to hide until the other one went back in time on her own accord. What if the other one didn’t? What if she changed something, and the other version didn’t get into the Chronos? She’d have to hide forever, live as a ghost . . . or would she have to kill the other version of herself?
No, no, no, she had it all wrong. Paradoxes like that couldn’t happen, she’d get feedback and wouldn’t be able to stop the other version of her from going back in time.
Wait. She was that other version. Right now, at this very moment, another Iris was out there praying that she got in the Chronos.
She didn’t have a choice.
Nine hours in a coffin. Well, it couldn’t suck any more than a transatlantic flight . . . could it?
Yeah, just like flying to Paris.
Except she didn’t have her Kindle. Lost in the fire. Which meant nothing to read, nothing to entertain herself. The boredom would drive her insane. And nothing to snack on, nothing to drink, nowhere to go—
Her eyes flew wide open.
“Oh, hell no . . .” She yanked out her phone. The clock still read 8:13 p.m.
Still time.
It changed to 8:14. One minute.
Frantic, she glanced around the teachers’ lounge, counting off a minute in her mind. One . . . two . . . three . . .
Up against the wall, a table bore a microwave, an ancient coffee maker. Underneath the table squatted a mini fridge.
Bingo. She scrambled across the room, yanked open the fridge. No power. Just empty racks.
Seven . . . eight . . .
“C’monnnn,” she moaned, slamming the fridge. Back in the shadows, something wobbled. Its glint caught her eye.
An empty Gatorade bottle.
Good enough. She grabbed the bottle and sprinted up the stairs, burst into the dark hallway.
Eleven . . . twelve . . . thirteen . . .
She made a beeline for the first science lab, for a sink, wrenched open the bottle cap, shoved it under the faucet.
Twenty . . . twenty-one . . .
With a crank, water gushed into the bottle and overflowed onto her hand. Done. She capped it off, and darted back to the basement, the still air whistling past her ears.
She pulled to a stop in front of the Chronos, gasping for breath, hadn’t even reached thirty. Not bad. The track team could suck it.
Still panting, she climbed into the Chronos—like climbing into a broom closet—and pulled the front panel shut behind her. The pitch black made her gasp.
Zero light.
The cramped space only amplified her pulse, until it sounded like a bass drum right inside her ear. Instantly, sweat broke out on her skin.
Nine hours in here . . .
Then she heard it. A high pitched tone coasting down to a gentle throb. From inside the Chronos, it sounded terrifying, and her stomach squeezed into a tight knot. She waited for the click.
It never came.
Instead, a sudden spurt of electricity pulsed through her body, leaving her fingers tingling, her ears ringing, her thoughts muddled. Then the tone began climbing again, spinning faster and faster until it faded again into the ultrasonic range.
But no click.
In fact, no sound at all came from outside.
Just the rhythmic throb of the time machine around her, droning on and on, stretching out and perpetually seeming to slow to zero but never quite reaching it.
Just silence.
No click? Had the machine even started?
She pressed the front panel. It didn’t budge. She pressed harder. It really didn’t budge. She lowered her shoulder and slammed against it. Might as well have slammed a granite wall. Not a millimeter of give. Her breath cut off in panic.
Locked in.
No, worse than that. Her body had just been inputted into the Chronos, into a parallel quantum state, cut off from the rest of the world, from which she would be unable to escape until the output click nine hours ago.
She was now travelling back in time.

Happy reading!

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