Mistaken identity

She knows she is a woman having the worst headache of her life. Everything else is blurs and shadows.

A man looks down at her. His head is a bulbous pink balloon. “Are you OK?”

“Yeah,” she says. He offers his hand, but she cringes and scoots away. His fingers look too much like sausage casings. She quickly finds her feet and moves towards the other end of the platform.

“You should go to a hospital!” he yells. “Get that looked at!”

Reflexively, she touches her temple. She traces the outline of a lump the size of an apricot. Her fingers come away wet with blood.

Maybe she needs help, after all. There’s a bag hanging from her shoulder by a delicate, golden chain. She opens it and finds a phone, a wallet, and a key chain. The phone displays an endless series of texts inquiring if she is OK. “NO!” she tells herself. “I am absolutely NOT OK.”

She’s going to text exactly that to the first contact she sees. But she can’t remember her pass code, no matter how many times she ties.

So she opens the wallet and looks at her driver’s license. Her name is Raven Marie Lockwood, and she lives on Eighty First Street, just a few stops away. She doesn’t feel like a Raven, but she’s going to roll with it.

When she arrives at the tidy brownstone that is apparently her apartment building, the keys work. As she climbs the stairs, she feels a small measure of relief. She doesn’t know who she is or what happened to her, but at least she has shelter.

She opens the door to what should be her home. At the end of a narrow hallway, she finds herself facing a tall, powerful woman with hair as dark and glossy as a raven’s wing and three broken fingernails on her right hand.

“You must be the bitch who stole my purse.”

Thank you so much for reading. Recommend, or not. Looking for a few brave souls to receive pre-launch copies of my upcoming novel Death Chase.