Excerpt from Chapter X – “Kendra”

Misled by Tony Ginyard

Excerpt from Chapter X – “Kendra”:

Pam awoke rather groggily to the sound of her phone ringing. Shaking the cobwebs from her head, she grabbed a towel and jumped out of the tub, racing to answer it before the ringing stopped. “Hello?” It was Charles, her station’s news director. “Charles? Oh, God—I’m not late for work, am I? I have no idea what time it is.” She began frantically looking for her watch. “What?” she couldn’t believe what she was hearing, so she went back toward the tub to sit on the edge of it.

“What do you mean, I’m on a two-week suspension pending a formal investigation? You can’t be serious. Don’t do this to me, Charles! My work is all that’s left of my life! To hell with the morals clause! I was in college, for Christ’s sake! No, I’m sorry, Charles. Of course I know this isn’t your call. What about the murder story I was working on? What? What do you mean, you have to go? Answer the question, Charles! Charles? Charles, don’t you hang up … ” The phone line had gone dead.

Excerpt from Chapter IX – “Unleashed”

Misled by Tony Ginyard

Excerpt from Chapter IX – “Unleashed”:

“What do you mean, he’s escaped and loose somewhere within this building?” Dr. Augustine was so infuriated that a thick vein appeared in the center of his forehead.

The corrections officer seemed hesitant and reluctant to divulge any additional information. This only served to piss the doctor off even more. “Explain this bullshit! How the fuck did this happen? Where is Dr. Han?”

“Han is dead, Doctor,” the officer finally said.

“No!” Nurse Jenkins said. “Did … did Papillion … ?”

“Yes,” the officer replied. “Apparently, he managed to fake an injury and pretended to be unconscious. He was taken to the infirmary, and when Dr. Han went to examine him, he … ” The officer hesitated again. He was one of the few people who knew that Nurse Jenkins and Dr. Han were in a relationship. He was trying to spare her feelings, but Dr. Augustine, unaware of the relationship, continued to press the issue.

Excerpt from Chapter VIII – “Intensity”

Misled by Tony Ginyard

Excerpt from Chapter VIII – “Intensity”:

Diane was surprised to discover how spare the room was. It contained only a metal-framed bed, a rocking chair, and a dresser. On top of the dresser were two wooden-framed pictures. One was of Pam behind the anchor desk at work. The other picture was of a handsome couple with a pretty little girl in pigtails sitting in between them. Diane assumed this was a very young Pam with her parents. There was a small closet and a bathroom, but nothing else except bare walls and a barred window.

Geraldine sat quietly in her rocking chair with her back to the group as they entered the room. She was facing the barred window, which offered a spectacular view of an immense green lawn in the back of the building. Her snow-white hair was pulled into a tight bun. She was wearing a sea-foam-green housecoat with matching pants and slippers. It wasn’t until the doctor led everyone around to face Geraldine that Diane guessed she was about 5’6” and noticed the older woman’s tight, flawless mocha skin tone, full lips, and what appeared to be the beginning stages of cataracts in her left eye. Aside from that, she seemed to be in remarkable health, all one hundred pounds of her.

Excerpt from Chapter VII – “Shattered”

Misled by Tony Ginyard

Excerpt from Chapter VII – “Shattered”:

Olivia managed to find a parking spot right across the street from the bank. She was so nervous and flustered that she dropped her keys twice: once when she pulled them out of the ignition after placing the car in park, and again after she finally gathered enough courage to exit the vehicle.

Come on, girl, she thought, you’ve got to get yourself together. Whatever happens, you can handle this. Gathering all the courage she could muster, Olivia forced herself to cross the street and enter the bank.

She was greeted immediately by Michelle, the head teller. “Good morning, Olivia! How are you?”

Olivia really didn’t care for this heifer. Michelle was too innocent and sickeningly sweet. The feeling was always mutually understood, she knew, but if Olivia hadn’t known any better, she would swear that Michelle was actually relieved to see her. Before she could even respond, Michelle had moved in closer and spotted her bruised face and smeared makeup. “Oh, my gosh!” she nearly screamed. “What happened to your face? Were you mugged? Do you need me to call the police?”

Excerpt from Chapter VI – “Animosity”

Misled by Tony Ginyard

Excerpt from Chapter VI – “Animosity”:

As Pamela reached the top of the stairs, she noted that the light was not quite as bright as it was downstairs. In fact, it was downright dim. She took a few moments to give her eyes time to adjust before proceeding farther. There were two sets of what appeared to have been bathrooms, only they were completely gutted. She didn’t see anyone running around in construction hats up here, and she didn’t hear any evidence of work going on either, so she subconsciously gave herself permission to relax, but only a little.

She saw an entranceway covered in filthy heavy red velvet curtains. She walked closer and heard what she thought were moans coming from behind them. Her heart suddenly in her throat, she began to breathe rapidly, not wanting to imagine the source or cause of the sounds. Walking closer still, she gingerly parted the curtains with her right hand and stuck her head in.

She had to cover her mouth with her left hand to suppress a gasp at what she saw. She stared longer than she meant to because her heart could not accept what the image in her brain had already processed. In the aisle, at the bottom of the steps toward the front of the balcony, Olivia was on her back, skirt around her waist. Between her legs was an enthusiastic Eric, face first, going to town as if he were a homeless man at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Excerpt from Chapter V – “Deviation”

Misled by Tony Ginyard

Excerpt from Chapter V – “Deviation”:

Dean downed the scotch in one gulp and immediately poured himself another, his hand visibly shaking. Pamela stood up and walked over to him, placing a steady hand on his right shoulder. “Dean, are you all right?” she asked with immediate concern. She’d never seen him this nervous before, except when he had visited her room back in college.

“Oh, sure, I’m fine. Why wouldn’t I be? There’s some maniac out there with a hard-on for you, and he or she—these are modern times, after all—has no problem killing. They’ve made a point of proving that already at least twice over, and as you so studiously put it, I may be on this nut bag’s list as well! Oh, yeah, I’m fine! Magnificent, in fact!” With that, Dean emptied his glass a second time.

“Dean,” Pamela began, moving her hand from his shoulder to the side of his face, “I get that you’re scared. I am too, but we really don’t know what we are dealing with yet. This may have nothing at all to do with you.” Their eyes locked for a few seconds before Pam released her hand and instructed Dean to come and sit with her back on the couch before she resumed. She led him in the same way she had led him to her bed all those years ago in college.

Excerpt from Chapter IV – “Rupture”

Misled by Tony Ginyard

Excerpt from Chapter IV – “Rupture”:

Blinking and shaking his head several times as if trying to shake off a bad dream, Bryce shifted and attempted to adjust himself in the hospital bed. Unable to fully wrap his mind around the ramifications of what he’d just heard, he nevertheless decided to acquiesce and hear what this stranger had to say.

Motioning for Stephanie to come in and take a seat in the chair near his bed, he waited for her to comply before he forced himself to find his voice. She seemed to anticipate his anxiety, waiting patiently for him to come to terms with the situation. Inhaling deeply, he finally stated in a questioning tone, albeit shakily, “You’re his wife.”

With a slight smile, Stephanie answered, “Yes.” She knew that once he’d said it aloud, it would begin to sink in.

“How long have … I mean, I had no idea. I hope you realize that—”

Excerpt from Chapter III – “Enlightenment”

Misled by Tony Ginyard

Excerpt from Chapter III – “Enlightenment”:

Pamela pulled into the underground garage of the Turner, Martin, and Phelps building and parked as close to the elevators as possible. After getting out and locking the car, she entered the elevator and hit the button for the twenty-sixth floor.

Upon reaching the floor, she exited the elevator and was greeted immediately by Dean Holmes, who was dressed smartly in a charcoal-gray pinstriped suit. He had on a crisp white shirt, a burgundy tie, and matching shoes and burgundy belt.

“Pam! Great, you made it! Let’s go into my office. No one else has arrived into work yet, but I want to make sure we have our privacy.”

As Dean used his ID tag to open the double glass doors leading to the lobby and various offices, Pamela followed him. Walking past the huge oak reception desk with a three-inch thick glass top, Pamela couldn’t help but notice the thick plush caramel-colored carpeting and the beige walls with large framed cityscape photographs upon them. Most of them were in color, but a few were rendered in black and white.