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Ring of Roses: Supernatural Horror with Killer Ghosts in Haunted Towns (The Plague Book 1) Kindle Edition
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"Utterly fantastic! Excellent story with an original plotline!" - Maureen
"This book is awesome!" - Christina B.
"I couldn't put it down. I read it in one setting." - Amalthe
"It's definitely a suspenseful read!" - Reader
From the Inside Flap
"You're hurting him!"
The cry didn't mean a thing until a teenaged girl dropped down opposite her and tried to push her off. Annabel shoved forward, never pausing. Each compression was hard enough to make the man's stomach roll like the tide. The crack of bone sounded over the teen's demands.
"You broke his ribs!" the girl screamed. "Get off my dad!"
Annabel had to blow the next breath, stalling her reply. "I'm a med student. You have to be strong or it won't work."
Nervous energy made the woman tremble. It was clear that the daughter felt useless. That put Annabel on edge. Hopelessness made people unpredictable.
"Take over the breaths," Annabel commanded, making sure that her voice came out as clear and stable as possible. "Thirty compressions. Two breaths. Understand?"
The daughter nodded, her blonde hair flopping forward in her haste. Two rounds and the daughter no longer needed the prodding to get the timing right.
Annabel snapped her head around towards her sister's voice. Lightning cracked, chasing off the shadows to reveal Jezebel battling her way out of the sloshing water, black ooze dripping from her eyes to paint her cheeks. Annabel's blood turned to ice. What happened to her eyes? People hurried around her, dragging out the others she was with. Once she could rip her gaze from her sister's face, she instantly noticed the bundle Jezebel held protectively within her arms.
"Anna! Where are you?"
Unable to wave and draw her sister's attention, Annabel had to scream until her throat cracked. Perhaps it was enough. Or it might have just been luck. Either way, Jezebel made a beeline toward her. As much as Annabel longed to lock her sister into a tight grip and never let go, she maintained her focus on the man before her. Later, she promised herself. Once we get through this. Their reunion consisted of a brush of shoulders and a few helpless glances.
If Jezebel heard her, she ignored the comment in favor of presenting the bundle to her.
"Something's wrong with the baby," Jezebel declared.
In the chaos, Annabel had forgotten that there had been an infant onboard. And children. How many? Five? Six? Cutting those thoughts aside, she refocused on the here and now. Scanning around her, she spotted a nearby man. Calling him over and explaining the basics, she instructed him to take over with the compressions.
"My leg is bleeding."
"There's a child-"
The man spoke over her explanation. Fixated on his leg, nothing would shake his focus.
"Sir. I can look at your leg. But the child has to come first. You need to take over for me," Annabel said firmly.
"She's a doctor," the daughter declared.
Before Annabel could correct the statement, the man was on her, gruff hands clasping her shoulders and his body weight bearing down. Fevered, feral, he screamed at her to help him. To fix his leg. His weight bore down upon her, steadily crushing her into the stone.
"I'm bleeding out! Do something!"
Annabel twisted her shoulders and tried to push him off balance. He held on tight.
"You'll be okay," she insisted.
The cut was on the outside of his leg, far away from any arteries.
Her assurances only fed into his terror.
"Can't you see the blood?" he snarled, his face inches from her own, his fingers squeezing until she gasped in pain.
"Can't you see the dying people?" she shot back.
The words were a mistake. She knew it the second they left her mouth. The teenaged girl that had been attempting to pry the injured man off heard them. Connected 'dying people' to her father. It snapped something within her, near hysterical screams mingled with the man's demands. Annabel couldn't understand a word of it as they closed in around her.
"Sir, listen to me-"
Desperate, panicked, deranged, logic wasn't going to get through. Trying to force off his hands, she struggled to keep count of the compressions. This enraged him. She was prepared for screaming and threats. Not for the beefy hands to leave her shoulders and wrap tight around her neck. It was easy for him to squeeze the slender column of her neck. The daughter lunged across her father, shoving and hitting the man. It didn't matter. The hands tightened and the last of Annabel's wheeze chocked off. Screams blended together into nonsense. Blood swelled against her skin, hot and tight. Her arms shook as she struggled to throw the man off of her.
One solid strike and it was done. Air rushed into Annabel's lungs, coursing like fire down her crumpled throat. Already back to her compressions, she looked over her shoulder, gulping down what air she could. A bloody rock dropped into view, cast aside by the young man who now crouched beside her.
"You okay?" he asked.
It only occurred to her then that the daughter had an accent. Now that she noticed, she realized that this man had a matching one.
"Egil," the daughter declared. The rest was in Swedish. Annabel could recognize the sound of it. The meaning, however, was lost. Whatever she said, Egil nodded and arranged his hands over Annabel's, poised to take over the moment she pulled back. Having her brother near seemed to calm the girl. Her past outburst was forgotten.
It went off without issue, and she crumbled to the side, coughing and sputtering. Still, she crawled over the stone. The man who had attacked her lay motionless, a small puddle of blood pooling around his head. The cut on his leg wasn't as bad. It was the rain, watering down the flow, making it spread and look worse than it was. Water slicked her fingers as she worked the unconscious man's belt open. A quick yank and she freed the leather, looped it around his thigh, and tightened it to stem the flow of blood.
Hopefully, if he did regain consciousness, the pain would keep him down. One of the guides had made it to shore and began to bark orders, trying to regain some kind of control. Racing across the uneven ground as fast as she could, she added her own advice to those within earshot. With her vision blurred by dim light and rain, all she saw were wounds needing compression, broken bones in need of splints, and the wandering wounded, those caught in shock, requiring prompting to stagger further away from the shore.
Jezebel slipped on the stones. Her drop was sudden, made all the worse for her as she instinctively protected the infant in her arms. Leaping over the canyon between the boulders, Annabel finally reached her sister, and instantly pulled the child free.
"How long hasn't it been breathing?" she asked.
Jezebel shook her head. Platinum blonde hair slipped down to shield her face, swaying as she panted. Using her body to shield the child from the rain, she lay it out on the stones. It was tiny and frail. Each broken little sound it admitted came with a rattle of its chest and a bubble of water.
"The mother," Jezebel wheezed.
Annabel didn't look up, too busy funneling a lungful of air into the small body before her. Within an instant, the panicked cries rose to deafening shrieks. Stones rumbled, clanking together like an approaching stampede. The sky darkened. Annabel snapped around to see that the sea had built its rage into one towering wall of glass-like water. The sailing ship road on the peak of the lashing froth, the cackling skull carved on its stern alight with glee. Time froze. Nothing existed in that moment but a delirious terror and the realization that momentum would hurl the ship down upon them.
- File Size : 335 KB
- Publication Date : September 7, 2018
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 157 pages
- ASIN : B07GVL9885
- Language: : English
- Publisher : ScareStreet.com; 1st Edition (September 7, 2018)
- Text-to-Speech : Not enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Page Numbers Source ISBN : 1726358577
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #637,663 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews: