Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Celebrating a New Release: Extracted

What would you do if you woke up to a different life?
A different face?
A different name?
But you remember who you really are.

AnnaLee Johnson awakens from rolling her truck into a ditch into a world of nightmares. She’s no longer herself, told her name is Katherine, and is now in some mysterious school where it seems the ultimate goal is turning amnesiac teens into some kind of super soldiers. The only problem: AnnaLee remembers who she once was. And only one guy believes her.

“No weakness, only strength. Rely on no one.”


I pull out of the dark into subdued light and white walls. The pain is gone, completely gone. The edges of the world are hazy. I feel funny. Where am I? A hospital, I think from the plain walls and low buzz of machinery. Alone. I’m alone.
No, not alone. I’m in one of those long rooms with several other beds, twenty or so. All but two are occupied with other patients. It’s too dark to make them out well. There aren’t any windows. Just darkness and dim lighting coming from small muted bulbs above each bed. All the patients look young from the few faces I can see or the smaller shapes beneath blankets. This must be a children’s hospital. I’m in the last bed on the end near the door.
I shift up enough to raise my head from the pillow to look around and the relief that I can move, that blood isn’t filling my mouth anymore makes me dizzy.
“Jeremy,” I call out. My voice rasps, tissue paper thin. My throat is dry like I haven’t used it in a long time but it doesn’t hurt. It just sounds funny.
The figure in the bed next to mine props up on an elbow. It’s a guy about my age, maybe a little older. I can tell by his build though I can’t see him well. “Tyler?” My throat catches. Maybe he’s all right.
The guy swings his legs over the side of his mattress and pads to my bed on bare feet.
“What did you say?” he whispers. “Who’s Tyler?”
“My boyfriend.” I think. Angry words between us flood my head. We’d been fighting in the truck when I flipped it. I can’t remember straight. I think I broke up with him. I had intended to though I’m not sure I actually made it that far before the truck jerked and the world went spinning. I shake my head, trying to remember. “He would have been brought in with me.” I look up at the guy. “And my brother…”
“Shhh,” he hisses so hard it startles me quiet. He runs a hand back through his hair. “You remember.” It comes out, a shaky plea.
“Please. I need to—”
“Shhh. Don’t say anything else.” He leans down to get right in my face and I see him clearly. He’s, well, beautiful about covers it. Almost. It startles me as much as his shushing had. His is a pale face of sharp angles softened by large brown eyes and shiny dark blond bangs scooping low across his forehead. His eyes are intense, his voice low. “Listen to me closely. You are not supposed to remember anything. Like an amnesiac. Okay? Pretend. You have to fake it or they will take your memories away.”
I blink. What is he talking about? “What’s going on? Why would I—”
The door at this end of the long room clicks, the knob turns.
The guy’s hand curls around my wrist almost painfully. “This isn’t a joke. You’re whoever they say you are.”

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