Note from Michele: The following is an unpublished excerpt from The Summoning.Exclusive! Unpublished excerpt from The Summoning, Book 4 of the award-winning Secrets of Redemption series. Click To Tweet
The mantra kept repeating over and over in my head as my car inched forward. I swallowed exhaust fumes and jumped as the car horns blared constantly around me.
I was squeezing the steering wheel so tightly, my knuckles were white. I glanced in my rearview mirror obsessively, sure I could see his sleek, expensive black car trailing me.
Get ahold of yourself. He doesn’t even know you’re gone, much less what car you’re driving. Relax. Focus on the road.
Easier said than done.
From the moment I awoke that morning, my anxiety was a living thing inside me, gnawing at my chest, running around in my stomach. I strained my ears, listening with dread to the sounds of him moving around downstairs. I waited until I heard the door close behind him before packing as quickly as I could and calling a cab to take me to Nana’s, the whole time in a constant state of stress.
What if she wasn’t there? What if she wouldn’t lend me her car?
I need not have worried. She was more than happy to hand over the keys. She even tried to press a few dollars into my hand, but I refused.
She was doing enough. I couldn’t take any more.
At the time, I had thought once I had the car, my anxiety would drop, but if anything, it increased.
It had been so long since I had driven. I was rusty, and had to contend with New York City traffic, to make things even worse.
I also realized too late that I wouldn’t be able to get a Trip Tix, where they highlight the route for you. Not that that would have been super helpful anyhow, as I had no idea where I was going. Still, at least it would have given me something to follow to get out of New York as quickly as possible.
Instead, I had a bunch of state maps I bought at a gas station, along with a Diet Coke and a couple bags of potato chips.
I wasn’t even sure why I bought the maps, other than it seeming like the smart thing to do. The problem was that I can barely read one. Worse, I have a horrid sense of direction, as well.
Luckily, I had one thing going for me—I didn’t care where I ended up.
Just as long as I got out of New York safely.
Then, I could worry about the next step.
Finding the house. The one that’s been calling me. The one in my dreams.
I had no idea where to look for it. No clue as to which state or city or even a street name.
I just had to trust the house would lead me toward it.
No. I pushed the thought away. I had to stop thinking about the house. It was a distraction. It was the last thing I should be worried about.
If I found it, great. But what I really needed was to escape.
And make sure he never found me.