Thursday, July 2, 2009

Excerpt - Blind Consent by Michael W. Davis

Just got my third review for BLIND CONSENT, 5 or 5 stars. Here’s a blurb and two excerpts for my new release BLIND CONSENT. Check out my website ( for excerpts and reviews of all my novels.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year, 2008

The town of Tanglewood Falls offers breath-taking views, yet the serendipity is misleading. The impoverished people and their forgotten community have been unwittingly exploited. Their act of trust and blind consent altered their existence and the secret has remained buried, until Ryan returns to explore his heritage. For twenty years, he’s been haunted by confusing images, recurring dreams rooted in his past. He’s driven to understand their meaning, to obtain answers to his lost memories. Ryan’s search for truth collides with the folklore of the simple people and the belief that their beautiful Annie is blessed. Together, they unravel the mystery, but at a price. They become targets of those responsible for what happened to the town. As the truth is exposed, Ryan must grapple with his own reality; the fact that his past, his nightmares, and Annie’s secret, everything is entangled in the desperate act of one lonely man.

Julie tossed the bundle of string beans into the hand woven basket. She pressed both hands against the moist soil, pushed up on one knee, and slowly rose up off the ground. The shift in her center of gravity from the bulge at her waist caused her to teeter for a moment. She knocked the dirt off her palms, rubbed along the lower portion of her back and moaned. “Lord, she’s getting heavy.”
Julie pulled the ecru colored blouse down over her exposed belly and tugged at one of the threads dangling from the frayed edge of the hem. She turned toward Bear Mountain and sniffed the fresh rain blowing east across the distant fields blanketed with yellow wild flowers. She followed the flock of crows fleeing from the dark clouds as they raced toward the four-acre farm.
Julie watched the white flash pulse behind the clouds. She placed her left hand on the taut bulge in her abdomen and pointed at the approaching storm. “I think we’d better stop and get in the house. That storm is coming up mighty fast.”
May looked up from her kneeling position between the rows of beans. “I think you’re right. We’ll finish the rest tomorrow.” She picked up the basket of produce and the two siblings headed back toward the two-bedroom house with the cracked mildew stained siding. From behind, May watched her pregnant sister waddle along the dirt path. May pulled in line with Julie and examined her innocent face. As each step shot pains up Julie’s back, May considered what was in store for the naive girl. “Have you told him yet?”
“Please, May. Let’s not go over this again. I’m tired. My back is killing me, and nothing you say is going to change the way I feel about him.”
“Sweetheart, you’ve been left by yourself with a child. It’s you that will bear the burden for one moment of poor judgment. He got what he wanted, left his seed behind, and where is he now? He sure ain’t beside you, is he?”
“It took two of us. I knew what I was doing when it happened, and I’m not sorry for it. Not one bit.”
Glancing at her sister’s stomach, May vented her frustration. “Was this in your plans, to be saddled with a baby to take care of on your own? What were you thinking, child? Did you think he’d leave his wife and come stay with you? Hell, you’re not even twenty years old, and that selfish bastard is almost twice your age.”
“Stop it, May. It’s not like that. He’s a good man. Things are just messed up at home for him right now. I know he cares for me. When things change, I’ll tell him, and then you’ll see. He’ll be there for both of us. I know he will.”
“You know I love you. You’re the only family I have left, but you’ve been blind. You’re just too damn young. You have no idea of what’s in store for you and that child, how hard it will be for the both of you, for all of us. He’s used you, and when you do tell him, he’ll scurry away like the skunk he is. Now open the door for me. I just felt a drop of rain. Let’s go fix dinner.”
The two females arrived at the house and Julie pulled back the rickety screen door. “You’re wrong, May. What we have together is . . .”
The air exploded. The wooden doorframe splintered into several large fragments. The impact tossed both women into the air like debris from a bomb blast.
May opened her eyes to droplets splashing in the cool mud beneath her face. She wiped the mixture of dirt and water from her mouth and pushed up on her hands, but collapsed right back into the brown puddle. She tried again, but both her legs refused to obey. Everything below her waist was numb except for a searing pain at the base of her back, like her insides were on fire.
She struggled to roll on her side, but something blocked her movement. She screamed as another series of sharp pains charged into her brain. She reached around and felt a wooden projectile protruding out of her back, one inch above her buttocks. With one hard jerk, she yanked out the fragment and the piercing pain caused everything around her to blank out. After several minutes, the stinging sensation above her hips brought her back. She glanced at the blood soaked tip of the six-inch wooden sliver still locked in her fist. Then she saw the charred flesh along her forearm.
She looked in the direction where Julie had been moments before, but her sister was gone.
She wiped the rain from her eyes and searched the front yard. A flash of lightning removed the darkness and she saw her sister. Julie’s body was smashed against their eight-year-old 1974 Pinto. Her arms and legs were entangled in the clothesline that stood a few feet from the screen door before being struck by three hundred thousand volts of nature’s wrath.
May crawled through the dirt, into the house, and across the pine-grooved floor. She reached up and pulled down the phone from the small table. She dialed the phone and waited for someone, anyone that could help. “Beth, It’s May. Julie is hurt. She’s been hit by lightning. Please get help. I don’t know about the baby. Just get them here. Please, Beth.”
May dropped the receiver and scanned the room. She needed something, anything to set Julie free. She reached up to the kitchen table and grabbed a knife. She pulled herself back outside, crawled on her hands to the body lying rigid against the car, twisted like a pretzel in the knotted clothesline.
“Julie! Baby, wake up.” She looked up into the dark sky. “Please, let her wake up,” but there was nothing, no movement, no breathing.
She pressed her ear against her sister’s scorched chest. There was no sound, no heartbeat. “Oh dear God in heaven. Not my baby sister. Not Julie. She’s all I’ve got left. Don’t take her from me, please Lord.”
Her tears disappeared, mixed with the falling rain. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught movement in the midsection of her sister’s torso. It wasn’t breathing, yet there was something turning inside, something still alive.
She stared at the scorched face of her young sister, then at Julie’s stomach, and finally at the knife in her hand. She gazed up at the dark clouds swirling angrily above her.
“Sweet Jesus, why? Not like this. Help me to understand your way, please. What am I supposed to do?”
But there was no answer, no reprieve from her only option.
“I can’t let her die this way, Lord. Not both of them.”
May stared at the only life left inside her sister’s burned body. She looked at Julie’s face and begged for forgiveness at what she was about to do to her own flesh and blood. “Forgive me, Julie. Please forgive me, but I have to do it. Dear God in Heaven, I have no choice.”
She scanned the black clouds and pleaded. “Lord, give me the strength to do this terrible thing. Please show me the way.”
She looked at her baby sister’s face one last time. “I love you, Julie.”
May pulled up the soaked blouse, exposed the young skin, and pointed the sharp edge of the knife above her sister’s baby. “Guide my hand, Lord, and save this poor child.” Then she did the only thing she could do. The horrible thing forced upon her on an isolated farm in an insignificant valley perched at the center of a horseshoe shaped range of small mountains. With tears streaming down her face, she did what no civilized person should have to do to save their niece’s life.

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