Exclusive Excerpt from Green Death
by Madeleine Ribbon
The third time I woke, little things began to seep into my awareness. Water dripping. A harsh electrical hum. Very rarely, muffled talking. The last thing that fell into place was the sound of long, slow breathing.
I wasn’t alone.
I was still in the exclusion zone, and I wasn’t alone.
The thought turned my stomach. I had to find a way out of this situation if I wanted to survive.
I slowly, carefully wiggled my toes. Then my fingers. I tensed my legs, one at a time, and everything moved without much pain.
And then realization hit me. I wasn’t tied to anything. My captors hadn’t restrained me.
I tried not to get too happy about that. I could still be in a prison of some sort. There could be bars, or locks, or a labyrinth between me and the outside.
I eased my eyelids open just a hair, and the world around me appeared in shadowed relief.
A light flickered high above me, casting jarring shapes on the walls. I didn’t see any sort of green haze between me and the ceiling, which surprised me quite a bit. The room felt small, but that might have been because of the large man seated at a square table. He faced away, head bowed nearly to the wood, shoulders rounded forward.
I blinked hard to clear my vision.
His shoulders seemed wider than the door frame beyond him, and his threadbare shirt stretched with each breath. One arm hung at his side, hand dangling in the air next to the chair. His head was tilted just a little to the side, and I realized with a jolt that he had a dark tattoo covering what little of his cheek I could see.
A Greenie. I was trapped with a Greenie—one that could snap me in two without much effort, at that. At least he was sleeping. That deep, slow breathing, more than anything, kept me from panicking.
I looked around the room. An open door next to my bed gave me a glimpse of a chipped toilet rim. A bathroom. Along the other wall of my room was a long countertop with a small metal sink. A blackened water spout came directly out of the wall above it. A cup rested next to it, with long silver instruments emerging from the top like a bouquet. A few more lay on the counter. Among them, I recognized a scalpel. The blade shone in the dim overhead light.
I could use that knife, if I had to. Any weapon was better than none.
And what kind of captor left a potential weapon out?
I could try to grab that and escape. I could do it fast, or I could go slow. Fast, and I’d definitely wake the sleeping Greenie, but I might be able to grab the knife and get out of the room before he was jarred into action. If I went slow and could be quiet enough, I could get out of here long before he woke.
I shifted my leg, slow and easy, toward the side of the bed. My hip twinged as I bent my knee and placed one foot on the floor. I watched, stomach churning, as the muscle in my captor’s right shoulder twitched, but his breathing never changed.
I pushed myself upright, and the ragged blanket fell into my lap. Chill air hit my chest, and I looked down.
I only wore a threadbare pair of drawstring pants settled low on my hips. I hadn’t realized, before. Some long, bright red lines streaked across my stomach, and ugly black stitching looked like it was the only thing holding me closed. The skin puckered and ridged along each stitched line, and I brushed against the thickest wound. It didn’t hurt too badly, but it definitely tingled in a way the rest of my skin didn’t.
How long had I been here?
Something bunched and crinkled under my chin, making my neck movements stiff. It pulled at the skin, as I craned my head down. I ran my hand up from my chest, and my fingers met bandages.
I remembered the look in the woman’s eyes before I thought she’d killed me, and then her brandishing her knife. Had she tried to slit my throat? She couldn’t possibly have missed, could she? If not, how in the hell had I not bled out?
Had the big Greenie been the one to save me? How, if he was a Greenie? They were violent monsters, right?
No matter what his intentions, that scalpel was the only thing that might protect me.
I twisted around and got my other leg over the side of the bed. So far, so good. My body only gave the faintest of complaints, despite all the evidence of massive injury.
A voice cleared, and I froze. “I hope you aren’t planning to attack me,” the man at the table said in a rumbling voice.
About Green Death
As poisonmaster to the Oligarch, Tryg Sant knows a lot of things others shouldn’t. But when he discovers his family’s darkest secret, his brother tries to kill him.
When Tryg’s lover pushes him out of a helicopter and into the poison-filled Exclusion Zone, Tryg finds himself trapped in a dangerous new world, entirely different from the one he expects. Now, Tryg has to learn to survive nearly-feral humans and his own disintegrating mind. Luckily, he’s found an ally in Riot, one of the victims of the Green Death…
Available at: Amazon
About Madeleine Ribbon
Madeleine began writing professionally in 2012. She loves stories with hints of paranormal, fantasy, or sci-fi in them. When she isn’t writing or working the day job, she homebrews beer, attempts to cook, and plays video games. She loves going to Renaissance faires, anime conventions, or beer festivals on the weekends.
As part of this blog tour, Madeleine is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card!!! To enter, just click the link below!
Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway unless otherwise stated but are still welcome anyway.