Title: Whiplash Book 1
Author: Morgan Quaid
Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Abducted in the dead of night by a mountainous thug and a ginger-haired dwarf, eighteen-year-old Jack Flint is taken to an underground bunker where he and a group of other teens are forced to fight an implacable enemy in a dream world rife with danger.
Whiplash is a fast-paced story set with a rich and intricately detailed fantasy world where nightmarish creatures from the world of dreams threaten the waking world and teens with the ability to lucid dream must fight in a war for humanity's survival. Above the throng, powerful demigods vie for control while Jack and his companions struggle to find a path out of the madness. Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, Divergent and Ender's Game.
It starts with a knock on my front door at 3 a.m. I figure it’s Amy. She’s lost her keys again and, instead of just breaking in through the bathroom window like any normal person, she starts hammering on the door waiting for old Jacky-boy to save the day.
Knock Knock Knock
I jam my head into the pillow and try to ignore the thudding.
Knock Knock Knock
The knocking gets louder, and my teeth start to grind. I slide out of bed and head down the stairs in my PJs. It’s only once walking towards the corridor that I realise how badly I need a piss. First, I need to get the door and stop that damned knocking.
Knock Knock Knock
I open the door, expecting to see my sister half-tanked and grinning like a loon. Instead there’s a ginger dwarf in the middle of the doorway looking up at me with an evil grin. The guy standing behind him is a mountain in a black suit who looks like he’s been carved out of solid rock.
Have I missed something? Halloween’s not for months yet.
Ginger gives me a little nod. “Well, you’re not much to look at. I’d peg you for machine gun fodder, but I suppose Giant has his reasons.”
“Wha...what?” I’m still half-asleep, so it’s hard to come up with words that make sense.
“Lucky to survive your first month I’d say,” the dwarf says, screwing up his nose like he’s just smelt something rank. “Still, what Giant wants, Giant gets.”
I manage to clear my head a little. “Who the hell are you guys? Did my sister send you? Is this some kind of weird joke?”
I reach around the back of the door, trying to find the baseball bat we leave there just “in case”. I figure Ginger won’t be a problem, but if Man-mountain decides he wants a fight, I’ll be elbow deep in three kinds of shit.
“Wait, are you cops? Don’t you need a warrant or something?”
Ginger chuckles at that. “No lad. Not cops. We’ve come to bring you in. We’re taking you to see the old man.”
While he’s still talking, Man-mountain starts moving. He pushes straight past me, shoving me aside with a meaty hand that feels like the business end of a wrecking ball. I stagger a little as the bruiser pushes past.
“Dude, what the hell? You can’t just go barging into someone’s house like that. It’s the middle of the night for God’s sakes.”
I reach for the baseball bat but can’t find it. The best I can manage is an old umbrella hanging on a hook behind the door. I think about jabbing the big guy in the back with the pointy end, but a few mental flashes of Man-mountain jamming the umbrella down my throat make me rethink the idea.
Instead, I wave the umbrella at the little guy with the suit. “Look, just tell me what you want. Are you looking for drugs or cash? We don’t have much money, but I can probably find something.”
“Hush lad,” Ginger says, stepping through the doorway. “We’re not here to do you any harm. Think of us as a courier service, here to pick up a package and deliver it to our employer.”
He pulls something out of his pocket and jabs at my legs before I can stop it. Next thing I know I’m lying on the floor with every muscle in my body going into spasms. It only lasts for a few seconds but, by the time it’s done, my body feels like it’s been savaged by a gorilla. Out of the corner of one eye I can see Ginger holding a Taser gun in one hand, still grinning. I try to say something, but my lips and tongue don’t seem to want to play ball, they just slosh around uselessly in my mouth.
Man-Mountain and Ginger take their time doing whatever it is they’re doing to the house. Meanwhile I lie on the floor waiting for the feeling to come back to my arms and legs. I rock my body back and forth until managing to get into an uncomfortable crouch. I try to stand just as Ginger comes back into view and sticks me with the Taser a second time.
Fire bursts through my body, tossing me to the floor like a rag doll.
“Best you don’t make a fuss,” Ginger says as the big guy grabs my legs and starts tying them together.
Still aching from the Taser, I feel rough hands slap tape across my mouth and tie my hands in place behind my back. I try to scream as the big guy picks me up and throws me over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. I watch, upside down, as they carry me out to the street and dump me in the boot of a black sedan. I land on something hard which crushes my left nut as the boot lid comes slamming down. The car takes off, and I lie there with one aching testicle and a head full of questions.
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Morgan Quaid is an Australian-based writer of speculative fiction, fantasy and horror, specializing in fast-paced page turners set against expansive fantasy backdrops. Quaid writes comics, graphic novels, short stories volumes and novels.
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