Excerpt from Anthony Izzo's Latest Thriller
When Darkness Calls is getting close to its release date. Here's a small blurb and an excerpt from Chapter One.
The agency wanted Ellie for her gifts. Gifts they'll exploit to take out high-level targets. They have no idea what they'll eventually unleash. Ellie's journey begins in When Darkness Calls.
Ellie Schwartz was playing a game on her iPad when her father burst into the living room. He grabbed Ellie and pulled her to her feet. Her mother rushed in next, cell phone to her ear. It had been a quiet Friday evening at home so far. The way her dad was acting scared Ellie, as he’d never so much said a harsh word to her. Her arm hurt a little where he’d grabbed her.
“What’s happening?” Ellie asked.
“I want you to go up to your room,” Dad said. “Lock your door and don’t come out until we tell you.”
She heard her mother on the phone with someone. Mom sounded frantic.
“Yes. Someone’s definitely out there. Yes, I saw him out the window. Please send help.”
Sweat slicked her mother’s brow. Her skin was pale, like raw dough. The odor of sour sweat drifted from her father. In her eleven-years, Ellie had never seen them like this. She didn’t like it. “Tell me what’s happening.”
Dad took her hand. “Up to your room. C’mon.”
Ellie resisted. “I want to stay with you guys.”
“No arguing,” Dad said, dragging her along. “There’s a man in a mask outside the house.”
When they reached the stairs, he placed his hands on her shoulders and looked her in the eye. “Upstairs now. Go on. You’ll be safe there. Don’t come out until we tell you.”
Jesus, they were scaring her. She didn’t want to go to her room. Nor did she want to see the supposed man lurking outside the house. Mom said a guy had a mask on. What if he had a crazy slasher mask like Jason or Michael Myers? Ellie hurried upstairs. Once in her room, she shut the door and locked it.
Despite being afraid, she peered out the window. It was just past eight o’clock. Plenty of dark spots out there for someone to hide. The garage spotlight illuminated the driveway. The wind rustled the tarp Dad had thrown over the patio furniture.
No sign of a creepy man lurking outside. The police would be here soon. Things would be okay. She’d go back to her iPad. Dad would watch Stephen Colbert, and mom would read a romance novel.
She went to the door and listened. Her parents chatted downstairs, although she couldn’t make out the words. Ellie’s stomach fluttered. The same way it did before a big math test. Math was important, but she liked it about as much as Grandma Kate’s split pea soup. She missed Grandma Kate. The soup, not so much.
She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Opened them after a moment.
Things happened when she got worked up. Things that scared people. Last year, when Jaden Wilkerson called Ellie a bitch, she made his nose bleed just by thinking about it. Jaden had run from their history class, hands slapped over his nose and blood dribbling on the floor.
That little act had earned her detention and a trip to the school counselor’s office. She now had weekly appointments with the counselor.
A loud bang echoed from downstairs. Ellie flinched and backed away from the door. “Mom? Dad?”
“Stay up there Ellie! Get out of here!” Dad said.
Glass smashed. More yelling arose from downstairs. Ellie put a hand on the knob. The pulse in the side of her neck throbbed. Her breathing accelerated.
I have to see what’s happening. Don’t be a coward.