Saturday Snippet: Killer Instinct

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How about an excerpt from my latest release?

You can find Killer Instinct here.

Meet Joanna Mitchell

© Barbara Winkes 2018

Joanna remembered.

In the present, she was hardly a heroine who had slain a monster, and she didn’t feel like one. She was out. Her motivation didn’t go much further than working a job that paid enough for rent and booze, and keeping appointments with the parole officer. She had started smoking again as soon as she left the prison gates. On occasion, she hooked up with women who didn’t ask too many questions, and didn’t expect a call the next day.

She didn’t have company the previous night when she came home, just collapsed on the sinking sofa bed in the living room and slept until sunlight woke her. It wasn’t a pretty picture—the bottle on the table, the ashtray, and the gun she wasn’t supposed to have, next to it. There was a time when she’d passionately opposed guns in the home of depressed, potentially volatile individuals. The subject had caused bitter arguments between her and her father before he wrote her out of the will, though that had been because of her sinful lifestyle. Joanna hadn’t asked what he meant by that—her being a lesbian, or sleeping around too much (or going to prison?). It didn’t matter. She accepted her reality for what it was, but that didn’t mean she had to like it, or herself.

Joanna sat up, raking a hand through her disheveled hair. She should probably get something resembling breakfast before getting ready for work, though what she really craved was a coffee black as the night, and a cigarette. There wasn’t much time for anything else, and her fridge was empty anyway. She wasn’t hungry either. She could grab a coffee on the way if she hurried up, and talk one of her co-workers into sharing a smoke if she was lucky.

It was getting colder, she realized a few minutes later on the way to her car. Last night’s forecast had called for a snow storm later today. A gust of wind swirled leaves around her feet, making her shiver in her leather jacket. In some places, the Halloween decoration was still up while others were ready for Christmas. This time of year, with its many holidays and cheerfulness, made her even more short-tempered and thus reclusive. Even before the incidents that sent her life on a downward spiral, she hadn’t enjoyed them much—now she wished she could just take time off and head south for a couple of weeks, but she needed to pay the bills.

 

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