Figured it wouldn’t hurt to bring the classics back for a week while I try to make up for lost time. Here’s an excerpt from Chasing Bedlam. There might be a few spoilers, so I put a ‘Read More’ tag. Not that the book seems to be doing any better than its predecessor, but I need to be polite. First:
The drug dealer turns and sprints down the street, leaving the others to figure out what has their boss so spooked. He looks over his shoulder long enough to see that Lloyd is charging after him and Cassidy has disappeared. Knowing the serial killer only by reputation, Goblin focuses on escaping instead of fighting back and leads his pursuer into an alley. He kicks a wooden plank to send a pile of boxes tumbling across his path, the obstacles buying him more of a lead. One of the cardboard containers nearly hits him and he glances back to see that Lloyd has drawn his machete to hack through the barrier. Making a quick turn, the drug dealer grabs several ropes that are attached to a line of tarps. As he passes, the coverings are removed to expose mirrors that reflect the sunlight and blind the serial killer.
“Guess you’re not the brains of the team!” Goblin yells with a laugh. He ducks into a hidden doorway and waits for Lloyd to pass by, the cursing man shattering mirrors as he goes. “There’s a reason I’ve stayed alive for so long. Now to get out of here and wait for that crazy bitch to leave town.”
The drug dealer sneaks out of his hiding place only to find that his pursuer has been waiting for him to emerge. Racing around the corner, he climbs up a camouflaged fire escape that Lloyd nearly runs by. The chase continues up to the rooftops where Goblin runs across a group of boards, which he dislodges before his enemy can arrive. He curses when the killer makes the jump, the landing awkward enough to give the cunning local enough time to jump into an inflatable tunnel slide. The large balloon deflates as he goes down, preventing Lloyd from following, the serial killer hurrying to climb down a fire escape on the far side of the roof. With the punctured fabric hiding him from view, Goblin crawls through the hole he has made with a butterfly knife and goes into an open third story window. He takes his time getting to the ground floor and returning to the street, which has become crowded due to the lunchtime rush. Passing the alley, he can see that Lloyd is too busy checking the slide to notice him. Not wanting to stay in the open for much longer, Goblin quickly walks to his car and scans the area for Cassidy before getting inside.
“Like you were going to leave this beauty behind,” the sweat-covered mercenary says from the passenger seat. She smiles at the drug dealer’s girlish scream and wiggles her shotgun to stop him from doing anything foolish. “Turn on the air conditioning please because I’m roasting in here. I take it you set up a bunch of traps and escape routes to get away from Lloyd. He’ll come back here in a few minutes unless he finds something shiny, edible, or bouncy. Now, I want to know where I can find a carjacker named Cami.”
“I will never talk,” Goblin declares, crossing his arms. Even though he is overheated from the chase, he refuses to turn the car on or open any windows. “If this person is a coworker then I’d damage my reputation by ratting her out. Nothing will make me hurt my reputation. So go ahead and hurt me.”
“Like I would be that kind,” Cassidy replies, turning her gun to the dashboard. She presses the weapon against the vents and grins evilly. “Wonder what would happen if I unloaded this gun into your baby. Think you could still drive it?”
“You wouldn’t dare.”
“True, I’d hate to damage such a beautiful machine.”
“Then you lose your leverage and-”
With a quick twist of her arms, Cassidy slams the butt of her shotgun into Goblin’s head and knocks him out. She rolls the window down and sticks her head out to enjoy a faint breeze, her face red from the heat. Spotting Lloyd coming around the corner, she waves to him and gives a thumbs up to silently let him know that Goblin is captured. Opening the door, she drags the heavy drug dealer into the passenger seat and takes his keys before giving the ones for the jeep to her partner. She leans against the muscle car and politely smiles at one of the passing cartel members, who runs away as soon as the shotgun is aimed in his direction.
“That wasn’t fun at all,” Lloyd complains while gasping for air and sweating through his white shirt. He drinks the last of his water, the final gulp tasting more like warm plastic than anything soothing. “I thought you said he was a friend. This guy seemed genuinely afraid of you.”
“I said I knew a guy in Miami. Never claimed he was a friend,” Cassidy says, using her shirt to wipe her face clean. Seeing the exhaustion and annoyance on her companion’s face, she sighs and pats Goblin’s head. “Fine. As an apology for not being totally honest, I’ll go through his pockets and get you some frozen yogurt. Will that make you happy?”
Lloyd bounces on his toes and hurries to the jeep, stopping only to slash at a car that nearly hits him. Opening the drug dealer’s jacket, Cassidy finds a pack of cigars that she figures he will not miss. Crawling over the unconscious man and into the driver’s seat, she is about to start the car when Lloyd reappears at the window.
“Can I get toppings too?”
“Of course, what kind of monster do you think I am?”
“Well, there have been all the electrocutions.”
“Shut the fuck up, Lloyd, and get in the jeep.”