You’ll never guess what Rebecca Zanetti’s Shadow Falling characters find inside a statue of Donald Trump! #FlashFiction #CMCon17 #FeaturedAuthor #Giveaway
Please help me welcome one of my favorite authors and all-around awesome lady in general, Rebecca Zanetti!
Hi all! I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer. I’m gearing up for the release of Shadow Falling on August 30th. It’s the second book in the Scorpius Syndrome series, and when Sue sent me some writing prompts for fun, I realized we had to do this. Let’s just say that Sue got…very creative! Read to the end for the giveaway!
[Editor’s Note:] Here were the requirements for the flash fiction below. Rebecca had to incorporate as many of them as possible (totally nailed it!):
- Length: 500-800 words
- Setting: An empty beach with something eerie about it
- Item to include: An austere bronze statue of Donald Trump that is wearing a hot pink tutu
- Sounds to include: Toxic by Britney Spears playing in open air and/or someone singing the words
- Tone: The calm before the storm, a feel of latent energy in the air
- Characters: Include at least one character from Shadow Falling
Clouds billowed over the tumultuous ocean, which threw water up to scatter sand. The beach, once filled with bikinis, volleyballs, and beached whales, now remained empty and desolate. Any bodies that had dropped there had already been swept out with high tide.
Sami Steel picked her way along the shoreline, her combat boots pressing into the wet sand. She hummed Toxic by Britney Spears as she searched the area, finding it aptly appropriate. Even this close to the salty ocean, she could smell death. It was always near and always waiting. She stopped singing. “This is stupid,” she muttered out of the corner of her mouth to one of the three soldiers also searching.
The wind calmed, and she shivered. Energy collided around her…promising the storm about to break. For now, the world seemed to be playing with her.
“Where the hell is that statue?” she asked, kicking the sand.
Her fellow soldier, Raze Shadow, just shrugged. “This is crazy, but we have to follow all leads.”
She slammed her hands on her hips. “Seriously? We’re really looking for this.”
“I guess the scientist who hid it had a sense of humor?” Raze ran a hand through his thick hair and cast a resigned look at the darkening sky. His sharp blue eyes lasered through the dreary day, while the rapidly waning sun cast a huge shadow from his large form. In the gloom, shadows played along the sharp angles of his handsome face. “Just keep looking.”
She started humming again, wondering what had happened to Britney. Had she survived the bacteria? Not many people had. Sami caught sighed of driftwood angled in an odd formation. Definitely not by nature. “Raze?” She hustled toward the faded wood.
“Yep.” Raze took to her six, angling his gun around, searching for threats.
Sami kicked over the first log. “Oh, you have got to be kidding me.”
Raze leaned over her shoulder. “Whoa.”
Yeah. Whoa. Sami reached between the logs and yanked out a bronze statue of Donald Trump. Somebody had placed a frilly pink tutu around the figure. “What now?”
“Break it open,” Raze said. “See if the directions to the Bunker are really in there.”
For goodness sake. This was yet another wild goose chase to find the elusive governmental facility that supposedly had a cure for the contagion. Sami grabbed the statue by the feet and smashed it against the logs. Pieces went in every direction. It was made of plaster and just painted bronze. Figured. A piece of paper fell out.
Raze snagged it out of the wind and quickly unfolded it.
Sami’s heart almost stopped. “Well?”
The soldier raised his dark eyebrows, and his pale blue eyes narrowed. “It’s for Aunt Millicent’s Huckleberry cobbler. A recipe.”
Sami took the paper and read it, her chest settling. “Well then. Where can we find flour?”
Before the Scorpius Syndrome tore through North America and nearly wiped out the population, Vivienne Wellington was the FBI’s best profiler. The bacteria got her anyway. But she survived. She recovered. And when she woke up from a drug-nightmare of captivity, her trust in her fellow man had gone from shaky at best to nonexistent. Her mysterious rescuer wants to convince her he’s the exception. But no matter how tempting he is, with his angel’s eyes and devil’s tongue, Vinnie knows she shouldn’t trust him.
If the FBI were still around they would rate Raze Shadow as one of the bad guys. His military training can’t wipe out his association with the Mercenaries, the most feared gang in a thousand miles. His loyalties are compromised. He won’t even tell Vinnie his real name. But there’s no FBI in the new America of fear and firepower, only instinct and risk. And the way his arms wrap around her tells its own story. Whatever else Raze is concealing, he can’t hide his desire . . .
New to the Scorpius Syndrome series?
Read an excerpt
Everyone have a wonderful rest of the summer, and here’s a brief excerpt from SHADOW FALLING:
The nightmare clawed through Vinnie, ripping and gnashing, until she awoke, her mouth opened in a silent scream.
Thank God. Finally, she’d been quiet. They’d had to move her quarters three times already because her night terrors scared the hell out of normal people. Now she lived in the bottom far corner of a sparsely populated residence in Vanguard territory, which was seven square blocks of relative safety in a dark world.
She leaped from the bed, her bare feet slapping ripped linoleum. Her lungs compressed and tremors shook her legs. She couldn’t breathe. God, she couldn’t breathe.
Bending over, she planted a hand on her chest.
She needed air.
Launching into motion, she ran through the dilapidated tenement to the creaky sliding glass door and yanked it open. Rain, cold and drizzly, cascaded inside on a burst of wind. Undaunted by the storm or the darkness outside, she pushed through weeds choking torn concrete and stumbled onto the abandoned road.
Sharp rocks and pieces of debris cut into her feet, but she paid no heed. Crossing the worn asphalt, she reached the chain-link fence protecting all seven blocks of Vanguard territory.
Her hands wrapped around the chain link near her face, and even in her panic, she remembered not to reach up to the barbed wire.
Thunder bellowed above as what was once the City of Angels gave itself over to the short but devastating rainy season. She held tight and lifted her head, allowing the rain to barrage her.
“You’re early tonight.” A voice, low and masculine, cut through the storm from the other side of the fence.
She blinked and stared into the darkness. The streets, abandoned to weeds, stretched in every direction across the empty, dark land. “Where are you?” she whispered.
He came into view, silent like any predator, stepping right up to the fence. “You’re getting wet, Doc.”
She wiped water from her eyes. “I didn’t scream this time.”
“I know.” Raze Shadow, one of the elite Vanguard lieutenants, had rescued her from hell a week ago while on a mission.
If he hadn’t heard her scream this time, was he just patrolling nearby? She shivered. “How is patrol going?”
His eyes, such a light blue as to be odd, lasered through the dark, touching on her toes and wandering up her bare legs and soaking white T-shirt to her damp face. Somehow, even in the cold and through the fence, the gaze heated her skin. “Go back inside, Vivienne.”
“No.” She couldn’t. She just couldn’t return to the nightmare and that dismal apartment. “I’m fine.” Except her left foot hurt. A lot. She lifted her leg and stretched her ankle, squinting to see through the darkness.
Raze tucked an AK-47 over a shoulder, his gaze dropping to her aching foot. His shoulders straightened. “Damn it. Stay there.” Long strides took him down the length of the fence until she couldn’t see him any longer.
The wind whistled a lonely tune over the barren land, and somewhere in the distance, a lion roared. Probably Marvin. She hadn’t seen the beast, but some of the other Vanguard residents had warned her about him. He’d escaped some zoo when the world had died from the Scorpius bacterium, and now he hunted survivors and other predators alike.
Cold blasted through her thin shirt and she trembled.
“Vivienne?” Raze gave her warning that he was near.
She turned, and he came into view on her side of the fence. “That was fast.”
“Humph.” He reached her in two strides. “It isn’t safe out here.”
“It isn’t safe anywhere,” she whispered.
His chest settled. “Inside.”
The cold pricked over her skin and she nodded, turning. The second her damaged heel touched asphalt, the injury stung. She sucked in air.
He planted a large hand on her shoulder. “You okay?”
She stiffened. He’d taken great pains not to touch her during her one week in Vanguard territory, always remaining distant but polite. “Yes.” She gritted her teeth and took another step, trying to balance on her toes.
He exhaled loudly. Shaking his head, he lifted her and pivoted toward the building. So easily.
Warmth and male surrounded her in the closest thing she’d had to protection in months. Her heart stuttered and her body softened into his strength. For the moment, safety surrounded her in the form of hard muscles.
Yet Raze Shadow was nowhere near safe.
About the author
Rebecca Zanetti is the author of over twenty-five novels, and her books have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestseller lists. She has received a Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review for Wicked Edge, Romantic Times Reviewer Choice Nominations, and RT Top Picks. She thinks one of the best things about being an author, unlike the lawyer she used to be, is that she can let the crazy out. Find Rebecca at: www.rebeccazanetti.com.
Rebecca is giving away two digital copies of MERCURY STRIKING, book one in the Scorpius Syndrome series to commenters here today.
Just answer this question: Name one thing we should do to prepare for the Apocalypse.
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