Authors: J.M. Griffin
Published Internationally by Lachesis Publishing
RR# 1, Dunrobin, Ontario
Canada K0A 1T0
Copyright © 2009 J.M. Griffin
Exclusive cover © 2011 Louise Clark
© 2010 Carole Spencer
All rights reserved. The use of any part of this publication reproduced, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written consent of the publisher, Lachesis Publishing, is an infringement of the copyright law.
Previously published in print format by Outskirts Press. This book has been edited and revised for e-book publication.
A catalogue record for the Ebook is available from the
National Library of Canada
Ebook available from
ISBN 13: 978-1-897562-55-0
Credit: Patricia Thomas, Editor
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any person or persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
For Judi, who's always there waiting
with a hot cup of tea.
Rhode Island State Police Captain, David Neill, has been a valuable source of information and inspiration on police matters, along with retired State Police Major, John Leyden. They have shared facts, stories, and contacts, while answering many of my questions with much humor and indulgence. Thanks so much.
Kristina Paglio, my daughter and toughest critic, is my lifeline when it comes time to write about self-defense for women. As a National Rape Aggression Defense instructor with a criminal justice background, I tap into her knowledge whenever I need help.
4 Cups from
Coffee Time Romance
“If you enjoy humor along with romance and suspense, then you simply must read
5 Hearts from
The Romance Studio
is an action packed read filled with humor, sexy men, and some of the best characters you’d ever want to see in a story.”
Also available from this author:
Tractor-trailers jockeyed for position among speeding cars and buses. Everyone drove at breakneck speed near Narragansett Bay as they rounded the curved highway on their approach to the bridge. It was six in the morning when I made it onto Rhode Island’s Interstate 95 headed toward the George Washington Bridge. In the low-speed lane, my car worked hard to keep pace with the others. Speeds increased, akin to those at the Daytona Speedway.
Cars and trucks thundered across the highway of never-ending construction. Orange cones lined the high-speed lane and curtailed traffic. In a flash, everyone squeezed into my lane. Vehicles jostled and maneuvered for a new spot.
Intent on my own strip of road and the lanes of drivers ahead, I never saw the vehicle to my rear left side. My fender was slammed hard. I swerved to the right and lost control of the car. There were no barriers to stop my Taurus as it careened right, left the road, and took flight over the temporary curb. The car bounced out of control, pointed nose first down the knoll toward an embankment. I clenched the steering wheel and twisted, but the car had a mind of its own.
Things happened fast, yet it seemed like slow motion. Hardly aware of the sideways skid over the terrain, my car and I continued on the downhill journey. I tried to straighten the wheel again, but the airborne Taurus hurtled toward a pile of stone and sand. With a loud crunch and a thud we landed. Perched precariously on top of a concrete bridge abutment just before Narragansett Bay, the car and I teetered on the brink of disaster.
The State of Rhode Island was in the process of constructing yet another ramp – an ongoing construction thing. The T-shaped abutment stood out over the road far below. I balanced on the top edge of the concrete while the groan of bending metal resounded in my ears.
When my body jerked forward the airbag inflated and smashed into my face. I thanked God for seatbelts. So much had happened in a few seconds.
I fought the airbag while it deflated. With the view before me, I suddenly wished it was still inflated. The hood of the car pointed downward and seemed to hang in mid air. The windshield, crinkled and cracked, offered a terrifying bird’s eye view of my surroundings. No way could I get out of the car.
Scared, and suspended like a marionette, I took stock of my body while rational thought crept in. I reached up to pull the visor down and stared into the attached mirror. The reflection assured me there were no facial injuries – just pasty white skin and huge brown eyes surrounded by my erratic dark swarm of curls. My hands and arms still worked, as did my legs and toes.
How the hell was I gonna get out of this car? The dashboard was shoved upward from the impact to the car as it bent in the middle and left little room to maneuver.
Within my jacket pocket, the cell phone jingled a lofty tune. I struggled to retrieve the palm-sized object. I’m not sure how I managed it, but the phone suddenly sat in my hand and I flipped the lid open to answer.
Why didn’t I use it to scream for help?
Well, I don’t know – just call me stupid.
The voice on the other end of the phone wanted to know if I might be interested in an increased limit on my credit card. I held the phone away and gawked at it. I struggled to breathe, since the seatbelt squeezed the shit out of me.
“No, I don’t want a freakin’ raise in the limit. I’d like to be rescued though,” I yelled into the phone and flipped it closed. Sales people do call at such inconvenient times.
Within seconds I dialed 911. I figured there might be no way for the 911 people in Rhode Island to track a cell phone, so I took a breath and glanced around. Some person answered and asked a bunch of foolish questions about my condition and location.
“I’m stuck over a bridge abutment somewhere near the George Washington Bridge, eastbound in Providence,” I said. I started to shake and realized shock was next on my agenda.
“Okay ma’am, I’ll notify emergency services for you. Are you injured?”
The disembodied voice was calm as a cucumber.
He wasn’t hanging forward, God knows how many feet in the air, with his tits divided by a seatbelt instead of a cross-your-heart bra. My hips would never be the same and I was sure there was a permanent strap mark on my skin. My shoulder strap was another matter. A burning sensation ran along my clavicle and down my left arm.
“No, I don’t think so. Everything is movable, just uncomfortable. The car is slanted downward and I’m quite far off the ground, I think. The view is poor at this moment.”
“Is there a street sign nearby?”
What the hell?
Did he really think I was that fortunate?
“No. Just get me the hell out of here,” I bellowed and disconnected.
Sirens wailed in the distance overhead, and I could hear them zoom past. Damn. As the sounds receded a fresh batch approached. My cell phone jingled again and I answered the summons.
“Hello,” I said, and then glanced around.
Can’t anyone find me?
Providence is, after all, a relatively small city.
“Vinnie, it’s Marcus. Are you all right?” His voice echoed over the phone.
My frustration level climbed, and as relieved as I was to hear his voice, I just wanted to get out of the car. Unfortunately, I was afraid to unclasp the seat belt. Courage isn’t my strong suit. I just pretend a lot.
“I’m great, having the time of my life. Why don’t you join me for a Margarita?”
He mumbled to someone in the background. If I heard it right, he said I was my usual smart-assed self. Fuming inside, and about to lose any control over my temper, I took a deep breath. It seemed they were taking forever to find me
. What if I were bleeding to death or something equally disgusting?
“There are more than six patrol cars and a couple fire trucks in the area where you went off the road. Someone should be with you momentarily. By the way, save me a Margarita, will you?”
Breathing heavily now, I tamped my rising sense of panic, while my nerves stretched to the limit.
Would someone please get me the hell out of this damned car?
I was suffocating in this vehicle and couldn’t put the window down.
“Vinnie, are you there?”
With a grunt, I eased the seat lever back and felt the strap across my body loosen a bit. The car teetered and I gasped.
“Yeah, I’m choking to death on this damned seat belt. Get me out of here, Marcus. Hurry.” Anxiety filled my voice and tensed my fraught nerves. A tear slid down my cheek.
The sounds of cars screeching to a halt were accompanied by flashing colored lights that reflected off the concrete abutment across from me. Ropes and safety lines appeared over the car as a fire truck aerial ladder rose into view. The next thing I knew, two fire fighters leaned toward the car.
One of them yelled to me and asked if I was all right.
Geesh, I thought I established that fact.
When I nodded, he gave me the thumbs up sign and turned to the other man with him. They conversed for a few seconds – an eternity to me – and then looked back at the car.
“We’ll secure the vehicle. Can you get the door open, ma’am?”
Heavy ropes sloped over the car and tightened. Only the two men were in view.
I really dislike that ‘ma’am’ thing, but didn’t say so at that moment. Instead, I nodded affirmatively and tried the door handle. The lock clicked as I forced the door open a crack. Brisk fresh air swept into the car.
With the nose of the Taurus bent, the contorted interior refused to allow the door to open wide. I leaned into it and the seatbelt tightened against my skin. My glance went back to the rescue personnel and I shook my head.
Within minutes they pried the door open with heavy equipment while I waited. I recognized the scissor-like Jaws of Life. I saw them used on a television program, but never the real thing.
Some folks have all the luck.
Drenched in sweat, my body shook as the adrenaline rush receded. If I didn’t get out soon, I’d throw up or wet my pants, I just knew it. Another embarrassing moment in a life filled with them.
Would it be too much to ask for a mundane life? What is a mundane life, anyway? Do some people really have such a thing?
These questions tumbled one after another through my mind as I waited for the professionals to do what they did best – save my sorry ass – that’s what.
The door peeled back like a sardine can lid and I sucked in the fresh air, gulping great draughts of it. The closest rescuer checked me over. When he finished he smiled at me, his blue eyes sparkling.