Schasm - Book 2
Published: May 13, 2014
Published by: Booktrope Editions
Author Shari J Ryan reunites the colorful cast of friends and family in Book 2 of the Schasm Series with a powerful tribute to the power of the mind and heart in this romantic, suspenseful, and engaging novel.
After nineteen years of suffering with a psychological condition, ethereal Chloe had finally come close to finding her ultimate escape—or, so she thinks on the vibrant streets of Paris. Finally in a relationship with Alex, a man she fell in love with in Schasm, Chloe thinks life is finally coming together. As she battles her own demons, she attempts to repair the damaged man she’s grown to love. But as his clouded past abruptly crashes into their lives and falls heavily upon their budding romance, Chloe must fight to maintain her relationship. Although even when the problems begin to subside, she comes to realize certain things cannot be escaped. Just as Chloe believes she might have sealed the doors of darkness once and for all, new questions, new findings and new inceptions arise. Whether or not Chloe wants to continue forward with the path her life seems to be leading, she quickly learns that any choice she makes will ultimately land her in a place she never knew she was destined to be.
Where the hell am I? No, no, no, no, no. This can’t be happening. Okay, Chloe. Breath, I remind myself. It’s only fifteen minutes. I can do this.
Feeling a flurry of fear sneaking up within every fiber of my body, I reach my hands out to feel my way through the obscurity.
I take one step forward. I’m walking across a padded floor.
I take four more steps. I reach a padded wall.
I trace my fingertips around the square room.
Another padded room.
A darker padded room.
An abandoned padded room.
It’s pitch black. Only gloom pours in through the bar covered window.
“Alex?” I whisper, crossing my fingers, hoping that he’s near.
I flutter my fingertips along the wall, circling the room around me. My sluggish vision adjusts to the opaqueness as I notice another bar covered window staring at me from across the room. Another room, maybe. One I might find Alex in.
I pull myself up on my toes to look through the window. “Alex?” I whisper again. My eyes search for his dark shadow.
He’s on the ground with his feet straight out in front of him, handcuffed against a wall.
His head is cocked over to the side, resting on his shoulder, and he’s staring right through my eyes.
His chest is moving, so at least I know he’s alive…physically. Maybe I should have assumed his mind would not function here.
I’m not handcuffed to a wall, but he is.
My heart quakes against my sternum. My stomach feels like stone, and my throat is clenching in on itself. I walk to the other bar covered window, completely horrified. I curl my fingers around the damp, ice-‐‑cold bars, and I pull myself up, pressing my face against the metal to look out.
The hallway is just as dark and abandoned as this room. The walls are painted a sea green. They’re cracked and peeling, and old rusty handcuffs hang from chains that line the wall. I peer down the other end of the hall, somewhat curious and somewhat petrified as to what I might see. The words “help me” are smeared along the wall in what looks to be blood.
Against my desire, I take in every detail of this deserted passageway, hoping to gain insight on where we might be. But I’m lost and dumfounded. An abandoned institution is the best I can come up with.
Sounds of footsteps arise from the depths of the barren walls, and the dissonance increases with each footstep, warning me that someone is coming. The hallway only has two directions and I don’t see anyone in either.
I’m going crazy.
I could only hope.
The footsteps stop, as does the beating of my heart. I close my eyes and pull in a deep lungful. But I inhale someone else’s warm, stale breath. My eyes snap open, and two large bulging brown eyes stare back at me. My chest caves in. My lungs struggle to move, and I fall backwards.
I wish I was unconscious. Now I wish I were dead. Please leave me alone. My insides are screaming with fear.
I need to cry.
I can’t—he’ll hear me.
My lungs hurt from holding my breath.
I don’t want to breathe.
I don’t want him to see me try.
A metal clink warns me that a key is being shoved into a lock. The door to my cell creaks open and
I feel pressure on the padded floor that surrounds my head. I squeeze my eyes shut, scrunching every muscle in my face, wishing and praying he will go away.
Just leave me here to rot. Please.
Vivid images of my worst nightmare play like a movie reel in my head. But I don’t need the movie.
If I open my eyes, it will be real.
My head lowers further into the surface of the padded floor. He’s too close.
I can hear him breathing.
He can hear me breathing—or trying not to, rather. He nudges my head with the toe of his polished dressed shoe, startling me to gasp for air
"Fissure Free is an intense story exploring the vastness of the human mind and the transcendent power of love." - Courtney Whisenant, AUTHOR ALLIANCE
"A richly woven tale of misperceptions, Fissure Free is about one girl's plight to combat her way through the thin, precarious veil of dream and reality, all for love and a life unlived. This second installment is a hypnotic and riveting read from beginning to end as it captivates with unique and intense energy, pitting logic against illusion. Craves the Angst gives this read 5 brilliant stars." - Hazel Godwin, CRAVES THE ANGST
About the Author:
#1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR IN ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Shari J. Ryan hails from Central Massachusetts where she lives with her husband and two lively little boys. Shari has always had an active imagination and enjoys losing herself in the fictional worlds she creates.
When Shari isn't writing, she can usually be found cleaning toys up off the floor.
To learn more, visit her at, www.sharijryan.com.