Friday, 28 July 2017

The Brightest SUNSET by Aly Martinez

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After sucking in a lung full of air, I went under water. The river was murky and I could only make out shapes rather than details, but I managed to find the front door of that sinking car. Hooking my fingers over the top of the glass, I pulled as hard as I possibly could, using my feet to add leverage. It shattered in my hands, the bite of the glass not even registering amongst the adrenaline.
After climbing inside, I headed straight up to the air pocket.
“Get out of here!” I yelled at Catherine, shoving her and Travis toward the window.
Panic ricocheted through my system when I saw Hannah’s car seat completely submerged. Frantic, I went straight to her and began the tedious task of getting her out with shaking fingers. Each strap and buckle becoming a victory all of its own.
When I got back to the pocket, I pushed Hannah into the air. She wasn’t conscious, but I prayed that air would miraculously fill her lungs. My stomach dropped when Catherine was still there, Travis kicking and flailing in her arms, his face almost completely under water.
“Come on!” I ordered, grabbing the front of her shirt and pulling her with me as I swam out as fast as I could with my unmoving daughter tucked in the crook of my arm.
When I breached the surface, I lifted Hannah’s tiny body high, treading water while I spun in a circle, waiting to see the tops of Catherine’s and Travis’s heads emerge.
For those seconds, everything stopped.
Nothing around me mattered.
Not the freezing water.
Not the sirens blaring in the distance.
Not the bile clawing up the back of my throat.
Nothing but those two dark heads I so desperately needed to pop up.
“Come on, come on, come on,” I prayed as I swam to the bank with what I feared was my baby girl’s lifeless body.
I didn’t even look at the person I handed her off to before I started swimming back toward that car, my heart in my throat, the weight of a thousand ships on my chest.
Only the bumper was sticking out of the water, and it felt as though my life were slipping away with that car.
Where the fuck were they?
Diving back down, I swam back into the car.
And then, all at once, every single question I never wanted answered became clear when I once again found them inside that car.
I couldn’t make out much, but I saw her arms wrapped around his shoulders, his arms floating at his sides. I grabbed him first, shoving hard off the seat of the car, but he was suddenly snatched from my grip. My lungs were on fire, but getting them out wasn’t an option. I was going to die in that car before I gave up on them.
And as I struggled against her hold on him, I feared that was exactly what was going to happen.
There was no more air pocket, just a sinking car trying to take my wife and son to a watery grave.
It took a second for me to realize what was happening. At first, I thought she had to have been disoriented, maybe injured from the wreck.
But, with every passing second, the truth became unmistakable.
Her hands clawing at mine.
Her feet kicking me in the stomach.
Her hold on him fierce and visceral.
It wasn’t an accident; every move she made was strategic to keep him with her—and to keep them both in that car. The final straw was when I felt the seat belt wrapped around the two of them anchoring them in place. She hadn’t been in that seat belt the first time I’d pulled them out. There was no possible way that could be mistaken as anything except a deliberate and calculated move.
I froze. The day I met her at the local farmers market flashed on the backs of my eyelids. I’d gone to buy tomatoes and come home with a family.
 My vision tunneled, darkness surrounding me, my body screaming for oxygen. But what had once been an attempt to save them both became a brawl of epic proportions.
My hands were no longer shaking, and my fears morphed into anger. I cursed and screamed that I hated her, nothing but a few bubbles carrying the message. But I didn’t stop until I was able to pry my son from her arms.
I didn’t look back as I headed for oxygen, leaving her there to die.
Only she wasn’t alone. Porter Reese, the man who’d vowed to love her in sickness and health, the man who’d held her when she’d cried and smiled at her when she’d laughed, the man who had promised her forever, died in that river beside her.
And it took three dark, twisted, and hate-filled years before he was ever found.

☆☆☆☆☆☆

MORE ABOUT THE BRIGHTEST SUNSET 

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
Lies.
Words destroyed me.
“I’m sorry. She didn’t make it.”
“Daddy, he can’t breathe!”
“There’s nothing more we can do for your son.”
Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
More lies.
Those syllables and letters became my executioner. I told myself that, if I didn’t acknowledge the pain and the fear, they would have no power over me. But, as the years passed, the hate and the anger left behind began to control me.
Two words—that was all it took to plunge my life into darkness.
“He’s gone.”
In the end, it was four soft, silky words that gave me hope of another sunrise.
“Hi. I’m Charlotte Mills.”

NOW AVAILABLE!!! 

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☆☆☆☆☆☆


Haven't read this series yet?

The Darkest SUNRISE (Book One) is AVAILABLE
​for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!
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​Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
Whoever coined that phrase is a bald-faced liar. Words are often the sharpest weapon of all, triggering some of the most powerful emotions a human can experience.
“You’re pregnant.”
“It’s a boy.”
“Your son needs a heart transplant.”
Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
Lies.
Syllables and letters may not be tangible, but they can still destroy your entire life faster than a bullet from a gun.
Two words—that was all it took to extinguish the sun from my sky.
“He’s gone.”
For ten years, the darkness consumed me.
In the end, it was four deep, gravelly words that gave me hope of another sunrise.
“Hi. I’m Porter Reese.”

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☆☆☆☆☆☆

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Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.

After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. Five books later, she shows no signs of slowing. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life..

 Stalk Aly Martinez on her Rock Star Author Page I Facebook I Twitter I Instagram I Website