Never before viewed sneak peek of my new novel: Snatched
“Lizzy” I called while walking towards our main room. My fingertips brushed against the bumpy wall for guidance as I groped my way towards the light. Maybe she’d passed out for the night. The kid worried so much that she’d had bags under her eyes since she turned seven.
I entered into our main room. Three candles burned on our makeshift table, a wooden board we slapped onto two flat stones. The old table that dad made had broken, and Lizzy and I did what we had to. My forehead crinkled as I frowned. She usually waited up for me. My fingers swept the tabletop, collecting dust on the tips, but my eyes hadn’t failed me. She’d left no note, either. Worry burrowed in the back of my mind, dug its teeth in, and tore small bits of my composure away. I grabbed one of the candles and stalked towards our shared rooms, ignoring the hot drip of wax along my fingers.
She had to be asleep. That was the only explanation. The candle light cast hulking, mutated shadows all around me, and the reddish tint made my skin glow, turning the dirt floors the color of molten steel. I pressed my ear against the door, straining to hear any form of noise. Our house rang with the hollow sound of silence.
I grappled with the knob, my palms slick with sweat, but managed to push the door open. Our dirty clothes cluttered the floor, because neither Orris sister had inherited a cleaning gene. The dresser drawer hung open a crack from when I’d pulled out the vodka earlier. My cot’s sheets drooped along the floor, the same messy way I’d left them. The gnawing feeling grew, and my mind buzzed with a too-familiar panic. Lizzy’s cot lay empty.