Sneak Peek! Book Preview from ‘Napped at Night

26 Jul

Napped at Night cover final 2

Prologue

“Hey, Brooke, look at this,” Sarah Spradlin said, pointing to small display on the wall. “It’s missing papers… You know, for kids that have been kidnapped.”

“Wow, look at this one. This girl was kidnapped last year – Ruth. She was only thirteen…,” Brooke replied, showing her best friend an older file paper. Sarah and Brooke continued looking at the papers, each one worse than the other. Some of the posters were years old and others had been posted only a few days earlier. They flew in the wind by the door of the local supermarket, rattling nervously.

“Oh! Brooke, look,” Sarah said touching the display.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Brooke said in disbelief, “Jordan Whitfield; twelve years of age; dark brown hair and about 5’. What on earth could have happened?”

Chapter 1

The parents of the Norris children were gone from home. Dad was working late again and Mama had to go to Jenkin’s Supermarket to get some milk for the next morning. Brooke an eleven-year old girl and her seven-year-old brother, Lane, were sitting with their dog, Biscuit, telling scary stories with all of the lights in the house turned off. Only their bright LED flashlights were on.

“And then the ghost rattles at the door,” Lane told mysteriously.

“Hush, I think I heard something,” Brooke whispered.

“Yes! I scared you that time!” Lane yelled victoriously.

“No, Lane, STOP!” Brooke said, exasperated.

CRASH! The two siblings heard a loud noise and Biscuit started barking madly.

Brooke grabbed the phone and dialed 911, but it was too late. As soon as the number reached the station, two men came in the house through the kitchen window. Brooke screamed as one of the men grabbed the phone from her hand and pressed the “End” button. Grabbing the two children by their shirt collars, one of the men said darkly, “You’re coming with us, punks, so grab what you can. You ain’t coming back.” The two men released them and since her flashlight was still on, Brooke saw what they looked like. One of the men was short, with black hair and a very short mustache. The other one was very tall and had long, brown hair that was gathered into a crude ponytail. Brooke hurried and packed what she wanted, with the criminals close by her side. In her backpack, she got these things:

– A pencil
– Her journal
– Water
– Pictures of her friends and family
– A little food

Lane started to cry and stubbornly told the kidnappers that he wasn’t going anywhere without all of his stuffed animals. The kidnappers started yelling at each other and Brooke soon learned that the tall guy was named Martin and the shorter one was named Chris.

“I don’t care if you take a whole cavalry of those cotton balls! Just hurry up!” Martin blasted angrily, ending the dispute about the toys.

Brooke glared at Martin and helped her brother pack all of his stuffed animals in a bag. Biscuit stood close by, watching the scene closely. Brooke secretly planned to take Biscuit, who was truly her best friend and she knew would provide her with courage. With this in mind, she packed her a toy and food in her backpack.

“Hey Martin!” The other guy said.

“What, Chris?” Martin snapped.

“I see headlights in the driveway.” Chris answered nervously.

“I wouldn’t be surprised,” Brooke continued when they turned to her. “My Mom just went down the road to get some milk.”

“Ok, we have to go NOW!” Martin said. He pointed to the broken, kitchen window and pulled a gun at the two innocent children. Brooke hid the small puppy in her arms and walked through the broken window, careful not to get cut by the sharp, broken glass. When she was through, she helped her brother. Once everyone was through, they tore down the back deck.

“I’m home,” They could hear Mom calling; rustling the grocery bag the milk was in. The group stopped under some bushes and Chris, the shorter kidnapper, clapped his hand over

Brooke and Lane’s mouth and said quietly, “If you scream, you’re dead.” As they ran away with Martin and Chris, they could hear Mom scream and cry.

 

Further away, on the other side of the state, Brooke’s best-friend Sarah, was about to endure the same thing.

Chapter 2

Sarah’s parents were not at home and Merry had been sent to take a shower. All was quiet at the Spradlin house. Sarah, the older child, was downstairs reading a new book while waiting for her parents to return home. Crash! The sound sent chills through Sarah’s spine.

“Grab what you can carry, girl!” a dark voice boomed. Sarah looked up from her book to see a large man towering above her with a pistol in his hand. Sarah quickly ran upstairs with the man close behind her and packed in a backpack the following: a pencil, a journal, a bottle of water, a blanket, two stuffed animals, a Bible, a picture of her family, a jacket, a first aid kit, her camera, and a small flashlight. She did not have time to pack anything else because she could see her parents’ headlights in the driveway.

“Come on! We need to go now,” said the man urgently.

They raced down the stairs into the dining room where a broken window was visible. The man slid out first and seemed to wobble when he landed on the ground. Sarah climbed out using the siding of the house as a ladder. Just as soon as Sarah dropped to the ground, her mom and dad walked in the door.

“We’re home,” said Mom.

“Scream and your dead,” the man whispered as he jammed a pistol into Sarah’s back.

Hurried footsteps around the house told Sarah that her parents were looking for her.

If only I could tell them where I am, Sarah thought. Distraught, she was led away from her house at gunpoint. When they reached the far side of the sod farm across the road from Sarah’s house, they paused to catch their breaths. The two advanced through the four fields past the sod farm at a modest rate. It was close to dawn when they reached the four-way-stop at the end of the fields. They turned right onto Old Elberton Road and traveled down the road about a quarter of a mile before stopping to rest for the day.

“We’ll stop here for the day and carry on tonight,” the man stated. Sarah found the morning air quite pleasant. To her, it was a diversion from her predicament. By the end of the day, they were well rested and ready to travel.

“Just keep your mouth shut and eyes on the road. Don’t look back,” said the kidnapper as he emphasized the last sentence.

Was that sadness in his voice? Sarah couldn’t help but wonder.

 

Several hours later, they reached the railroad tracks in Hull.

“It’ll be dawn soon,” the man said as he was starting a fire. Sarah searched for any wild blueberries or plums a few feet outside the encampment. When she found none, Sarah returned to the clearing where they had made camp. She made a bed out of pine needles and leaves and tried to remember how “Survivor Man” had made a lean-to. A few minutes later Sarah had a decent shelter made with a relatively soft bed.

“It will have to do for today,” Sarah muttered despondently as she crawled into her survival tent.

 

***

 

“Get up,” the man said the later that day, “It is time we get moving.” They followed the railroad tracks all night. The sun was rising when they reached Comer. “We have two nights to go.” The man said under his breath. The railroad tracks were foggy the next night, and Sarah could hear a train coming. The man did not seem to notice. Suddenly, Sarah pushed the man out of the way along with herself just as the train pulsed by them.

“Jordan,” Sarah said, recognizing her missing friend as a set of stilts fell out of his pants.

“Um, yes, but how did you know?” Jordan asked Sarah.

“I’m Sarah Spradlin, Jordan. Let me tell you this now; you have a lot of explaining to do,” Sarah demanded.

“Sarah? The Sarah I knew was much shorter than you,” Jordan said bewildered.

“I do grow very fast, you know,” Sarah countered.

“I’ll believe that when you can tell me who my mom is,” Jordan asked, obviously not expecting an answer.

“Kim Whitfield,” Sarah answered with confidence.

“Then it is you, Sarah!” Jordan said apologetically. “I am so sorry…” Jordan began, but Sarah stopped him.

“Apology accepted.” Sarah said bluntly. ”Now what on the world what you thinking?”

Jordan was still recovering from the revelation that he had just kidnapped one of his old friends.

“We’re going to a mill,” he answered. “I have to take you there.”

Sarah laughed, but became somber as Jordan explained that the mill was where they brought the children to work until they died or became severely ill. The mill was owned and operated by a criminal named Mr. Elm. He made the children work for no pay, making whiskey all day and sleeping little at night. Jordan told her that he had been kidnapped a few months earlier. He also said the girls were forced to cook and clean the mill while the boys were working. Some of the children were forced to go back out into the field and kidnap more children. Jordan was one of them.

The fog was still heavy the next night and as they stopped for the night, Sarah decided to continue the conversation.

“What kind of job do you think I will get?” Sarah asked unexpectedly.

“Hospital or cooking I guess,” Jordan answered. A short silence followed and Sarah eagerly exclaimed, “You know, we could form a plan.”

“Really? How?” Jordan asked.

“Take me to the mill, but don’t let on that you know me. We can work up an escape plan. Deal?” Sarah asked.

“Deal,” Jordan said firmly, shaking his friend’s hand. “By the way, how did you know that train was coming yesterday?” he asked.

“I call it my super hearing, but maybe it was that I was not distracted by other things,” Sarah said thoughtfully. Inside her heart, she knew that it was God looking out for her.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13,” Sarah quoted under her breath. Even though she was far from getting out of this mess, she knew that God was watching out for her.

The later that night Sarah and Jordan left camp and started out again. They were only six miles from their destination. By the end of the night, Sarah and Jordan reached Elberton.

“Now to find the underground railroad station,” Jordan muttered.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

An excerpt from one of Sarah and Brooke’s first novels, ‘Napped at Night.

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3 Responses to “Sneak Peek! Book Preview from ‘Napped at Night”

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    • Sarah Spradlin July 26, 2013 at 7:29 PM #

      Thanks! This is actually one of our earliest novels, so if you want some more up-to-date examples of our work you can look at the previews for Masquerades and Musketeers or Kingsblade. Keep on the King’s Road!

      ~Sarah

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