We Investigate Zebras Excerpt

we investigate zebras cover 2

My first chick lit, psychic mystery, a short story from my SDF series, is up!!!

We Investigate Zebras

When psychics hear hoof beats, they think zebras…

When a body burned in a fire hotter than a crematorium’s is dumped in Nashville, there’s only one section of the FBI to call in, the supernatural investigators of the Special Division Force. With no leads and something obviously supernatural, they need psychic rookie FBI Agent Ariana Ryder to solve the case.

But not everything is as it seems and sometimes a girl’s gotta go back to the basics to see the horses through the zebras.

Excerpt:

I must’ve forgotten to unlock the bottom. The door is one of those dumb ones that let you out without unlocking. I still can’t figure out the point of those.

I ran, well, ran as well as I could in heels over grass, around the back. I’d left the kitchen window open so Pyro could get back in after flying last night. All I’d have to do was hop up and wiggle through it.

I just had to scale my back fence first.

I’m in good shape. I’m an FBI agent, I have to be. But I’m five two and have curves that are only kept under control because I work out every day. So, kitchen window low enough for me to grab the sides of and pull myself up, pretty easy. Sanded smooth, seven foot wooden fence with no hand or foot holds except the tops of the boards, not so much.

I looked around for somethin’ I could step on. A leftover box, a toy truck, even a bike to lean against the fence.

Nada.

The swathe of grass between the two rows of fences was as spotless as it was meticulously cut.

Darn HOA regulations.

I took off my heels, the morning dew soaking through my nylons in two seconds. I hitched my skirt up to my thighs and backed up. I hadn’t done this since Quantico, and I swear there was some divine intervention going on then.

I sprinted, running up the side of the fence and barely catching the top with the flats of my arms.

“Umph!” I grunted, flopping against the wood, holding on for dear life as I folded my arms over the top and held myself up, feet scramblin’ against the boards.

Splinters dug into my arms as I pushed myself up. Couldn’t worry about that now. I’d get ‘em out once I was inside. I looped one leg over so I was straddling the fence and held on as I hauled over the other one.

Anyone looking out their window probably got a good gander at my panties.

I looked down and my insides twisted. I’m not scared of heights, as long as I’m not jumping from them. It was only seven feet. I could do this.

“Oh man,” I said. “One. Two. Thr…

A bright purple leg with too many joints and spiky little hairs inched into sight over the neighbor’s fence.

I froze like a pond in December, staring at the thing as it crawled onto the top of the fence.

It was a bright purple tarantula the size of a cocker spaniel. It half hung off the narrow fence, walkin’ in that creepy spider way with one set of legs on the top and the other on the side.

My heart pounded so fast I thought it’d explode and my brain drifted about ten feet above me, struggling back through clouds of molasses.

I was too scared to move and too shocked to scream.

So I stared.

The thing turned around like it smelled my fear (do spiders have a sense of smell?) and looked at me with eight round, dark green eyes.

It paused for a second, like it was just as surprised to see me as I was to see it.

Then it started towards me.

I screamed and threw myself backwards.

I pitched down head and shoulders first and jerked to a stop about two feet away from the ground. It took me a second to realize I’d somehow went down at the exact wrong angle so my heel pushed between the tops of two boards.

It was a miracle my ankle didn’t snap.

I pin-wheeled, fingertips brushing grass as I flexed my stomach muscles and curled up.

The spider crawled over the top of my fence, staring at me a few feet away from my trapped foot and I slammed right back down.

It could launch itself at my face. It could wrap me in webbing and slowly drain me alive. It could…

“What are you?”

…talk!

Its voice was a sweet soprano with an Irish lilt and the jointed mouthpieces kind of moved and clicked when it spoke.

“You can see me? And you smell like strawberries and freshly shed snake skin,” it (she?) continued.

Huh?

“What, you don’t speak, human-thing?”

She creepy-crawled towards me.

I screamed again.

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