Extract from Portraits in Flesh

Below is an extract from my first novel – Portraits in Flesh – a paranormal thriller.


Annabelle opened her eyes just as the severed hand landed on her windscreen: a gold band around the ring finger, a cheap watch around the wrist, no arm. For a moment, she thought the hand was made of rubber, a Halloween joke. How had it got there?

Pain exploded in her head and tore all the way down her side.

In agony, she remembered swerving to avoid the lorry. A huge jolt had slammed her body against the car door, followed by a thunderous sound as sheets of metal had rained down on her car. The hand was real; a small trail of blood dribbled down the cracked glass.

An eerie silence descended on the scene– except for the pain. The pain shrieked in her head and screamed in her shoulder. She wanted to tear at her skin, pound her forehead with his fists and stab her legs with the shard of glass that straddled the steering wheel and dashboard. She wanted to do something, anything to stop the pain. She wanted to die. Annabelle wanted to die.

Please let it be over, she begged.

Her mind fought back, and an image of her daughter popped into her head. If she gave up on life now, she would never see Sarah’s face again. She would never see her on her first day at work or see her walk down the aisle on her wedding day. It was as if a fist punched a hole in her stomach, grabbed her guts and squeezed until loops of intestine ballooned out between the fingers. Annabelle had to fight the pain.

A terrible acrid smell wafted into her nose. Something was burning. Was she going to be roasted alive, staring at the gruesome hand waving a final farewell to her?

The watch slipped from the bloody wrist and slid down the windscreen.

It was 2:15.

Annabelle screamed.