A tale of deception, p.1
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       A Tale of Deception, p.1

           Alexa Stewart
 
A Tale of Deception


  The Light In The Darkness Series ~ Book 3

 

  A Tale Of Deception

 

  Alexa Stewart

 

  Bryne Press

 

  © 2013 by Alexa Stewart. All rights reserved.

  First Edition

  Bryne Press is solely responsible for cover design and layout, along with support for publishing. As such, the ultimate design, editing, content, editorial accuracy, and views expressed or implied in this work are those of the author. No royalties/fees will be provided by Bryne Press at any time.

  No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any way by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise—without the prior permission of the copyright holder, except as provided by USA copyright law.

  This publication is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of either the author or publisher.

  ISBN 13: 978-1-4675-3469-7

  Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2012951197

  The cover appears to be leaves on a forest floor. However, there are three Malaysian Leaf Frogs there. Money, though it appears to be good, most often is not, unless we can see it for what it is… through the eyes of God.

  Alexa Stewart…

 

  Dedicated to the children of God…

  Chosen, Loved, Saved and servants of the Light in this dark world.

 

  Contents

  Peril In The Dark

  Moving On

  Mica

  The Prospect

  Drummond Hall

  The Deceiver

  Ensnared

  A New Day

  The Letters

  Beginnings

  Making It Right

  White Peril

  Changes

  Jordan

  Home Coming

  Exposed

  Gone

  Waiting

  Revelations

  Loss Of A Poor Man

  The Light

  Author’s Note

  Other Books

 

  Peril In The Dark

  FROM HER SLEEP, she thought she heard the sound of moaning. Wondering who was making the sound, she struggled to open her eyes.

  Tired…

  So sleepy…

  She drifted away from the sound and slept again, deeply.

  Eventually, the sound of someone in pain woke her again.

  “Who’s out there?” She tried to say as the sound crept closer to where she lay.

  Startled and frightened, she opened her eyes, but saw nothing.

  It was black as midnight, without the stars or moon. She couldn’t see anything. Her heart trembled.

  Where am I?

  Why can’t I see?

  Am I blind?

  Her world held no light, no substance, no reality. It was pitch black and formless. She heard the throbbing of blood in her ears and her head felt as if it would shatter.

  The sound of someone in agony was so close it made her heart thrash in confusion and fear.

  Closing her eyes in anguish, she listened to the sobbing, as she drifted from the world of consciousness, just a little.

  Then, suddenly awake, she realized she was making the terrifying sounds resounding in the air around her.

  Trying to sit up, she found she was laying on a hard, cold surface… bonded, gagged, and in the dark.

  The absence of light was unnerving. The blackness so complete, she couldn’t tell which way was up. Her head continued to throb in pain and her heart quivered as she realized something was terribly wrong.

  Her mind struggled to reason it out, as it cleared from a drug induced fog.

  What happened?

  Why am I here?

  Struggling to free hands and feet, she found her restraints unyielding. A gag filled her mouth, leaching the moisture and making it difficult to swallow.

  Choking as she struggled, she managed to find her way to a sitting position on the cold, stony, unyielding surface within her prison, the damp air wrapping its deadly arms around her, deeply penetrating her body and soul.

  Tears rolled down her cold face, as the smell of damp rock and earth reached her awakened senses.

  Something dripped, echoing, and plopping out there in the dark.

  Is that water? she wondered, as her aching, arid mouth yearned for the liquid.

  The constant, rhythmic plop, plop, plop gave her world a sense of reality.

  This place is real and I’m in trouble, real trouble. It must be a cave. I can smell the earth and the stone is biting into my flesh, but why? Why am I here?

  She sobbed as fear overtook her.

  Then she tried to call for help, but only a muffled sound hung in the air of a realm she couldn’t see.

  I may not know where I am, but I can hear it, feel it, and smell it. I’m alive, but for how long?

  Suddenly, the fearful thought came, Will they come back? Will they kill me?

  No… surely if they wanted me dead, they would have done it by now. Or have they left me here to die? Alone! Slowly!

  The terror of that thought was hard to accept, yet she knew it was a possibility.

  What’s going to happen to me? the thought screamed as her heart pounded.

  Wondering whether anyone missed her at home, and if they were looking for her, she leaned back and closed her eyes, too dizzy yet to move.

  All sense of time was missing. She didn’t know how long she had been there.

  I’m so thirsty. If only I could get to the water! I have to find a way to free myself, she realized, but the fear of being in a cave petrified her.

  She’d been in one a long time ago, as a child on an outing. It was a cave with an uneven floor, crevasses opening into the bowels of the earth, plummeting into unknown depths, with passageways squeezing down to nothing. Getting lost in there was so easy, so likely. She almost didn’t make it back, that time.

  Weeping, she thought about moving in the blackness, but her spirit shrink from it, as her terror grew.

  What am I going to do?

  Bowing her head and leaning forward, she explored the wall behind with her constrained hands. Hard, rough stone met her touch, but nothing rough enough to cut her free.

  She should move over, just a little, to find another spot in the wall more promising. But, if she did, what would she find? Was she sitting next to the edge of a crevasse? Swinging her tied feet over to the right, she explored carefully, then she explored the floor’s surface to her left.

  The floor was rough, but not un-level.

  It seemed safe, but which way should she go?

  Time passed as she tried to decide.

  Finally, the sound of water made up her mind.

  Carefully placing her feet first, she painfully lifted her body, with her secured hands, and managed to scoot over just an inch or so. Then she tested the floor again with her feet.

  In this way, in the black pit of her tomb, she made her way toward the plopping liquid.

  Unexpectedly, she came across a large outcropping of stone that might help cut her free. Finding a rough, sharp, jagged edge, she began to liberate herself.

  Slowly, steadily, she rubbed on the jagged surface to the point of exhaustion. Her arms ached, her wrists bled from the scraping of her skin, her eyes ached for light, any light.

  What may have been hours, dragged on. She rested when her strength failed. Sweating, exhausted, she eventually slept.

  Waking,
the struggle with her bonds continued through the pain.

  This sightless world was getting to her. She had to get out… out where she could breathe fresh air, feel the warmth of the sun on her cold, aching body, and live. She wanted to live.

  The sound of that water was driving her mad. Her throat was raspy with its dryness.

  Water! Water!

  Tears of exhaustion were forming as she thought about giving up this futile endeavor. Her fatigue was so intense, her will to live, fading.

  Suddenly, her bonds broke.

  Her hands free, she pulled them around to the front of her. They were stiff and sore. Trying to get some feeling back into her numb hands, she rubbed them and her arms, fighting to get them warm and the blood flowing again, while her raw skin stung with her efforts.

  As soon as she could, she pulled the gag from her mouth, but she could produce no saliva.

  Her mouth remained parched and swollen.

  Coughing, she heard her own voice calling for help, the sound echoing in the confines of her chamber.

  Finding the rope around her legs, she fought to untie the knot, but it wouldn’t give. In the darkness it was hard to know which way to pull, but she was desperate to be free.

  Ultimately, finally, the rope released its grip on her and she was freed from her bonds, but not her prison.

  Rising to her knees and using her hands to see, she crawled toward the sound of the dripping liquid. Floundering in the dark world before her, she moved onward, never knowing what lay ahead of her - if danger was near.

  She called out, but the dryness in her mouth only produced a soft croaking sound, which died a short distance from her.

  Continuing to grope in the dark, her hand touched something soft.

  Withdrawing in surprise, she sat for a second, so unexpected was the feel of something not cold, hard and unyielding.

  Stretching out her hand again, her trembling touch revealed the arm of someone on the floor. A person!

  Shocked, she tried to rouse whoever it was. But the body was cold and stiff.

  Dead!

  A dead body!

  She screamed, but again the sound was subdued and ineffectual.

  But, was she sure they were dead? With her heart pounding hard, she knew she had to make sure.

  How can I touch it again? But I’ve got to! There might be something on them I can use to escape, or find out more about what is going on.

  Probing, she felt along the body. The arms seemed to be splayed out away from its form. It was a woman, but whom? After finding the face, she found a sticky substance near the side and back of the head.

  Sick, she recoiled from it, sitting beside it, in the dark.

  There doesn’t seem to be anything on the body I can use, and I’m not going to search it again to see if I missed anything!

  Someone lay dead nearby and she couldn’t see who it was. Was it someone she knew? Loved? Who was it?

  I must have been left here to die, then. Surely with one death, they wouldn’t have a problem with another.

  The drip, drip, drip of water called.

  Feeling along the floor, she found the cold stone of the wall again and pulled herself up carefully, fearful to not hit her head on a low ceiling, if there was one.

  Crouching, she moved her feet tenderly, gingerly, pass the dead form, carefully feeling her way in the blackness.

  As soon as she felt she was safely past, she crawled, feeling her way toward the sound that lured her.

  Please, don’t let there be any more bodies.

  Cautiously, slowly, she crept along toward the source if the sound of water, if it was water.

  Finally her hands felt the frigid, softness of liquid.

  She raised her hand to her mouth, but missed her lips in the dark. How disconcerting it was not to be able to coordinate her movements with her sight gone. Sliding her fingers to her lips, she tried to taste the substance, but her mouth was so dry, that flavor was denied.

  Something soft hit her head.

  Lifting her face, a drop of liquid fell onto her forehead, rolled down over her nose, and then slid into her parched mouth. She sat and let a few more liquid drops descend onto her swollen tongue.

  I’ve got nothing to lose, I must drink.

  Cupping her hands into the pool of liquid, she drank, and drank again.

  Slowly, her taste returned. The liquid seem to be water, though metallic and tasting of the earth.

  When she could, she called out again, this time louder and with the desperation of a trapped creature, facing death.

  Nothing… no one responded. No sound answered.

  Holding her aching head, she tried to think.

  What’s going to happen to me? What’s the last thing I remember? I think I was at the house, going to the study, wasn’t I?

  Time passed. Sitting in the dark was so unnerving, the unknown so frightening, the lack of sight so paralyzing. She must get out.

  Sitting in the dark she tried to decide what to do.

  Feeling the ground again, she tried to decipher a way out. Gradually, progressing away from the plopping sound, with her heart beating hard, and hope spurring her on toward escape, she crawled.

  “But, which way?” She cried out. “Help! Help! Please, someone help me!” she desperately called.

  Silence.

  Trembling with dread and cold, clammy with fear, she moved on.

  Soon, her sick and aching body rebelled and she threw-up what little water she had taken in.

  Terrified and unsure of what to do, she noticed the sound of the water was now very faint… a small, almost inaudible sound in the dark.

  Panic took her.

  She didn’t know where she was going, what awaited her, and she couldn’t bear leaving the only thing in her reality providing an anchor of sanity, normalcy and aid.

  Frantically, carefully, she crawled back to the sound. With relief and dread, she sat next to the pool and awaited her fate.

 

  * * * *

 
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