DL Fowler's Blog

Another Excerpt from Lincoln’s Diary – a novel

Posted in Kindle, Lincoln's Diary, My Books, Nook, Show Don't Tell, Writing by DLFowler on February 21, 2011

Sarah took steady breaths as she walked down Cordova, a wide, lighted street lined with trees, bungalows, box houses and low-rise apartment buildings.  Interior lights filtered out of several windows, meaning at least a few people were still up. They’d be able to hear her screams if she got into deep trouble. Her pace slowed and her heart pumped faster as she remembered stories about people getting mugged in broad daylight, surrounded by diffident bystanders. So there was no guarantee anyone would help her. She scanned the shadows for anything that didn’t belong.

At the Chester Avenue intersection, her heart went into overdrive. It was a narrow lane with no streetlights.  The trees that bordered both sidewalks arched toward the middle of the street, creating the illusion of a vortex that led into another world. All she needed was for the black-cloaked Lincoln aficionados to pop out of the darkness and start chasing her.

A short distance past the tennis courts she craned her neck and peeked between rows of shrubs that framed the opening of a path into the park. She could hear her heart pounding inside her chest as she stepped back, calculating her approach.  Out of the corner of her eye she noticed a second path veering off just a few yards further down the sidewalk. She took slow, deep breaths and edged her way in its direction.  No more than five yards down that path she could see the bench she was told to look for. It was in plain sight, even in the darkness.  She clutched her bag close to her side and hesitated. Was her stalker close enough that he, too, could hear her heart thumping?

Sarah looked at her cell phone. It was ten minutes before midnight. She heard a noise and jerked around — something, someone. She scoured the darkness, stepping back from the opening, holding her breath, trying to block out every distraction so she could focus on the sound if it returned.

There it was again. She swallowed her breath. It came from behind a low picket fence just to her right. Maybe it was only a squirrel rummaging through the dumpster behind the fence.

Sarah inhaled a long draw of night air and let it out slowly. Again, she approached the path. Her steps were short and light. In spite of the care she was taking she stumbled on some loose gravel. The pebbles rattled as they skidded away from her foot along the asphalt path. She crept past the bench, her eyes darting back and forth, scanning for the slightest movement around her.  To her right she noticed the outlines of two basketball half-courts painted on a concrete pad at the edge of the tennis courts. There was no mistaking; this was the place.  Sarah took another deep breath that she exhaled without hesitation.

From the basketball courts, she surveyed as much of the park as she could make out in the darkness.  She looked at her cell phone again. It was eight minutes before midnight.

Sarah heard another noise. Maybe she saw something moving. About twenty yards beyond the basketball courts near some kind of structure — a picnic shelter, or maybe restrooms.

She froze.  Only her eyes moved. She tried to focus on whatever she had seen, or thought she saw.

A cell phone rang from somewhere behind her. 

She spun around.  Its tone was synchronized with a light that flashed from the park bench.  She debated with herself. Should she answer it?  The ringing stopped, but just for a moment. When it started ringing again, she dashed over to the bench and stared down at the display. The word “Blocked” glared back at her.  The cell phone continued to ring.

When Sarah answered it, she heard the same garbled voice she’d heard on the other occasions — right after the federal agents intruded on her at dinner, the night she bolted from the Hilton, and when she parked in the Sheriff’s parking lot.  “You’re early.”

“I know.”

“Do you have it?”

Sarah’s spine quivered. The tiny hairs on the back of her neck stood up like nerve endings poking through her skin. This person was a killer and he was watching her. Did she dare lie to him?

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by DL Fowler, DL Fowler. DL Fowler said: Another Excerpt from Lincoln's Diary – a novel http://wp.me/pTUK2-3C […]


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