Book Excerpt: Something Down There

by - Monday, November 20, 2017

Today, I'm going to feature the book excerpt of Nancy Widrew's recently published psychological thriller, 'Something Down There'. Check it out - it's very interesting. 

Something Down There by Nancy Widrew
Beneath the earth’s surface, candles cast abstract patterns on the backs of nine people huddled together. The wind whipped the sooty air, causing flames to flash and sketch skewed halos across the participants’ heads. Someone groaned, others sighed, a testament to the evening’s grueling debate. Only their leader remained focused, smoothed over differences, preventing hurtful words or actions from spinning off into permanent wounds.
I’m willing to go over the issue again,” he said, “even though I doubt further discussion is necessary.
            A female spoke up. “I don’t like any of this. Maybe we should just admit defeat.
            The leader turned to her, his creased forehead and steely demeanor barely visible in the amber glow; still, she felt his cool appraisal, and more significantly his release of animal pheromone, bending her to his will. She shrank back.
            “There’ll be no admission of defeat,” he said. “No giving up. Sometimes we have to make hard choices. Risk everything if necessary.” His voice was calm but with a serrated edge, since he had learned years ago that he could get more with subtle intimidation, using tricks as simple as flared nostrils. Of course, if more was needed, threats remained a viable option.
            Another man spoke up. “I’ve made my decision,” he said with a wink toward the leader, “and I’m ready to vote. We’ve been going round and round for the past month. I think we should just get this over with.
 “I’m ready too,” said the leader. “But”—he held up a finger—“with one stipulation. Due to the subject matter, I don’t want to use secret ballots like we usually do. This must be a unanimous decision. I need to know we’re in this together.” He looked at each member. “Agreed?”
            There was fidgeting, murmurs, grunts, but finally nods of approval all around.
            “Good. Then let’s do it. Everyone knows my position. We’ve covered the pros and cons down to the last detail. So if you trust me, believe in me, you’ll follow my recommendation. Now those in favor, raise your hands.
            Immediately, five hands shot up, then two others, and, after a protracted pause, an eighth. Only a half-smile appeared on the leader’s face since one more affirmation was needed to ensure complete triumph. He narrowed his eyes to envelop the sole dissident, a plain-looking woman known for her stubbornness. “Mary, Mary, Mary,” he said, repeating her name with a shake of his head. Taken aback at being the lone holdout, the woman felt a catch in her throat followed by an acrid taste on her tongue, prompting second thoughts. Like a helium balloon, her hand soared into the air.

That’s better,” said the leader, staring at the troublemaker with a laser beam’s intensity. Springing to his feet, he rose on his toes, adding not only height but the illusion of strength. “The motion is approved,” he said, chest out, smiling ear to ear. “And now, my friends, my dear, dear friends—I bid you a pleasant night.

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