THE DARK TRUTH
The Dark Passage Series Book #1
“ELIZABETH! Wake up! Wake up!” I slowly came to as Julie shook me violently. “What the hell … ?” “Come on, we gotta go.” Julie peeked out of the curtains in my fort, and I could see the flashing red and blue lights. Cops. Shit. How in the hell … “This way … ” Julie took me by the hand and practically dragged me to the bathroom. She slammed the door behind us and immediately went to the window and threw it open. “You first.” I shimmied my way through the window and landed on a fire escape. Geez, did these things come in handy. I turned around and helped Julie scramble through the opening. Good thing this was on the backside of the building with difficult access, at best. Julie and I made our way below to open ground. I had to remind myself that Julie didn’t possess my speed. “What the fuck, Julie?” “I don’t know. Dietrich, maybe? I mean, really.” So here we were, Thelma and Louise from Hell, running from the cops in South San Francisco. “Now, what the hell are we going to do? My car is back at the apartment.” “I don’t know, Jules. We need to get somewhere to think and talk this out.” We headed for Starbucks on Gateway. We didn’t have any money. Everything was back at Julie’s; my phone, my laptop, Julie’s car. We looked like a couple of bimbo hobos as we walked in the early evening darkness. Our pace slowed as the reality of the situation started to sink in. Yet another safe house compromised; the police closer to apprehending one of the two serial killers rampaging all over Northern California; Julie no longer anonymous. “They’re going to find the blood bag ... ” “And my phone and my laptop ... ” “And the box of hair color … ” “Well, that’s not much of a … ” “They’ll know you’ve gone red.” “Good point.” We found a shady spot in the coffee shop. Julie produced a five spot from her shoe. I looked at her incredulously. She winked at me as she headed to the counter to place her order. I forced myself to think about Billy to avoid counting the fake woodgrain grooves in the table. I wondered what had happened to him. Did he make bail? If he did, who posted it? Did he use his one phone call to reach out to his folks? No doubt, they were worried about him after his “disappearance.” Maybe he called a buddy or a girlfriend. What did they charge him with, if anything? Maybe they just let him go. “Miss me?” “Huh? Wha--” “Earth to Elizabeth.” “Yeah, sorry. I guess I have a lot on my mind,” I said in a monotone without looking up. As I listened to Julie slurp her coffee confection through a straw, the thirst started to build. With each draw she took from the straw, it continued to well up inside me. I dug my fingernails into the table and slowly looked up at Julie. Except I didn’t see my best friend … my only friend. The jugular vein in her neck pulsed with blood. Her heartbeat pounded like thunder in my head. I sensed her like a venomous snake senses the body heat of a mouse. Julie recoiled in horror. My nails dug deeper into the laminate as I fought the urge to open a vein and drink my only ally’s glorious, life-giving blood. Julie slapped me across the face as hard as she dared in a public place. “Snap out of it! Elizabeth … ” I shook my head violently, trying to shake cobwebs loose from the trance. I looked down at the table again and saw I was still gripping the edges tightly. “I’m sorry,” I growled more than said. “Really?” “I said I was sorry.” “Is it really that bad? Is it really like that?” “Yes.” “I guess I am glad you stayed away, then, lest I end up like you.” “That stings. Jules … I’d never hurt you … ” “Yeah, well, let’s keep it that way, K?” “K.” We sat in silence for what seemed like an eternity. A coffee-shop employee eventually made his way over to us. “You gals okay?” “Yes, we’re fine.” “We’re closing in fifteen minutes.” “Thanks.” “I guess we need to go.” “Go where?”
“Well, we can’t stay here. You need to feed, we need to find you a new resting place, and I have to try to get back into my apartment.” “I should just go.” “You tried that before. How’d it work out for ya?” Of course, we had to pick a coffee shop that closed at ten o’clock. I really had no desire for anything, except to quench that pesky thirst. South San Francisco wasn’t exactly a hopping downtown. Most folks who worked here didn’t live here. And if they did, there weren’t a whole lot of nightspots to haunt. “C’mon, I know where we can go.” We headed south. “Where are we going?” “Houlihan’s. If we hurry, we can get there in plenty of time. It’s only about a half mile from here.” We walked quickly, arm in arm, like a couple of schoolgirls without a care in the world.
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Jerry Knaak Bio
Jerry Knaak has been writing professionally for broadcast and print for more than 20 years. He has produced thousands of articles for online publication during his career in professional sports digital media. Jerry is originally from Rochester, N.Y., and currently resides with his family in Northern California. The Dark Truth is his first novel.
Check back often to hear about the next book,
THE DARK DESCENT,
coming in April 2018!
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