by Marcus Sakey
I'm in Los Angeles researching my next novel, so today I thought I'd leave you with something a little different: an excerpt from my upcoming novel, THE AMATEURS, which hits August 6th. It's short, just a teaser prologue, but I thought you might enjoy.
Also, I did decide to give Twitter a try--if you're interested, follow me at http://twitter.com/MarcusSakey.
Later, Jenn Lacie would spend a lot of time trying to pinpoint the exact moment.
There was a time before, she was sure of that. When she was free and young and, on a good day, maybe even breezy. Looking back was like looking at the cover of a travel brochure for a tropical getaway, some island destination featuring a smiling girl in a cream sundress and a straw hat standing calf-deep in azure water. The kind of place she used to peddle but had never been.
And of course, there was the time after.
So it stood to reason that there had to be a moment when the one became the other. When blue skies bruised, the water turned cold and the undertow took her.
Had it been when they first met Johnny Love, that night in the bar?
Maybe. Though it felt more like when she’d opened the door at four a.m., bleary in a white T-shirt and faded cotton bottoms. She’d known it was Alex before she looked through the peephole. But the tiny glass lens hadn’t let her see his eyes, the mad energy in them. If she hadn’t opened the door, would everything be different?
Sometimes, feeling harder on herself, she decided, no, the moment came after the four of them did things that could never be taken back. Not just when they decided; not even when she felt the pistol, the oily heaviness of it making something below her belly squirm, a strange but not entirely uncomfortable feeling. Like any birth, maybe her new life had come through blood and pain. Only it hadn’t been an infant’s cry that marked the moment. It had been a crack so loud it made her ears hum, and a wet spattering cough, and the man shuddering and staring as his eyes zeroed out.
But late at night, the sheets a sweaty tangle, her mind turning relentless carnival loops, she wondered if all of that was nonsense. Maybe there hadn’t been a moment. Maybe that was just a lie she told herself to get through the day, the way some took Xanax and some drank scotch and some watched hour after numbing hour of sitcoms.
Maybe the problem hadn’t come from outside. Hadn’t been a single decision, a place where they could have gone left instead of right.
Maybe the road the four of them walked never had any forks to begin with.