An Excerpt From “Courageous Cain”

Six days and counting to the release on September 7. Enjoy!


I didn’t want to die. I wanted to live. My future with Gordon was a sunny path stretching toward the horizon. I needed a plan. I needed to think. My head hurt too much to think. “We have to figure a way out of here.”

“There’s no way out.”

“We have to try, Darby.”

“We have to wait.”

“For what?”

“For Gordy and Pete. They’ll find us, Josie.”

“They’re trying, but—”

She cut me off fiercely, refusing to hear any argument. “They will.”

“How long will that take? What will happen to us before they do?”

She glared at me, saying nothing.

“We have to do something for ourselves. We can’t just wait for men to come and take care of us.”

“They’re supposed to take care of us,” she said, breaking into sobs.

“They can’t if they don’t know where we are,” I said in a gentler tone.

A large clock hung next to the door. A class room refugee, white with a glass cover and fat black hands that mocked with their refusal to move in a timely manner. It kept time, all right, but it was cage time. Cage time, I soon learned, is longer than outside time. An hour might pass outside, but here, inside the cage, only a minute would pass. Time beyond the dank, limey concrete walls went on at its usual blistering pace. Inside the walls, where there was nothing but bars and a pale-faced clock to look at, time slowed to a maddening crawl. The killer might have thought the clock considerate, but it was in actuality a torment. To watch the hours tick away, knowing when the hands came around again, Rex would come around again. To sit and wait for the next attack, knowing it was twenty-four hours away; twelve hours; six hours. Then one. Then minutes. That’s when the clock showed its true, evil nature. During those final minutes, the fat, black hands all but flew over the pale face. Time couldn’t go slow enough when your rapist was on his way. Listening to his footsteps bring him closer while he whistled in anticipation, already fidgeting with his belt buckle.

Tired and weak, I closed my eyes and tried to think around the pain. I started to drift to sleep. An idea came to me from the darkness, the beginnings of a plan. Dicey at best, but for now it was all we had.

“He’s coming,” Darby whispered.


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