Here is the latest extract from my psychological thriller: SANDMAN:
Carol muttered more lines to herself while enjoying the pleasant wooded walk. She always sought solitude when rehearsing, and this was perfection. Areas of close shrubs and trees occasionally parted to frame delightful views across the lower fields to the harbour. It was all so beautiful.
Suddenly a loud rustle of leaves startled a blackbird and it flew close past her, chirping in panic. Carol halted uncertainly. Before she could assimilate what was happening, a man sprang from the bushes and blocked the path in front of her. He planted his legs wide and outstretched his arms threateningly. To her horror she saw he was wearing a black balaclava. Frantically looking for some way to escape, and well aware there was a sheer drop to her right, she veered to the left, but the ground immediately turned boggy. Small uncontrollable sounds of fear emanated from her throat and her heart was pounding as she struggled back out of the mud. Only the path itself was passable.
The youth grinned and pointed to her feet. ‘My, my! What a mess you’re getting in. A shame for such a pretty little thing.’ He paused to leer. ‘Let’s see your smile then.’
Screaming with terror, Carol turned to run back along the path but he was on her in a moment. One hand clasped tightly around her mouth, hurting her face, the other around her waist. The script flew from her hands as she tried to dig both elbows into him, but all her efforts were futile, he was far too strong.
‘Stop struggling or I’ll kill you,’ he shouted angrily. She stopped, rigid with fear. ‘Now just behave and I won’t need to hurt you.’ Still holding her tightly by the arm, the man moved around to face her.
Carol focused on the terrible knife in his hand; it was pointing towards her, glinting menacingly. Looking up she saw dark eyes boring into hers through the jagged holes of the balaclava. Seeing her terror, the slit of his mouth twisted into a sardonic grin. ‘Fancy walking alone here. Silly girl. Who knows what might happen?’ He took his time to look her up and down. ‘So what’s your name, babe?’
‘Michelle.’ Almost subconsciously, she spat out the protective lie straight from her script.
‘Me-shell.’ As he drew the word out he seemed to savour the last syllable as if it were some fine delicacy. ‘Nice name. Know what? You’re almost too pretty to live, Michelle.’
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