A Preview of Montgomery Lake High #3: The Aftermath

It sounded like a train coming toward him, but there was not a train in sight. A flash of light shot through the room—the capsule. Was this a time warp? Or, perhaps, a flashback?  Running—more running without getting anywhere. “No, Chantal! Stop!” he screamed. His words froze in the air.

She could not hear him. Time was running out. She was running toward the staircase with her long auburn hair flowing into Jason’s face. Watching, he knew that she was not going to make it before the trembling began. She fell over before he could reach her. Once again, he had let her down.

The light flickered, and he struggled to remain standing. He reached the stairs, but did not stop by Chantal’s side. The door ahead looked like a castle wall—a barricade. The other side held the destruction. The other side possessed the danger. This door—his enemy—was keeping them safe.

“Jason, don’t!” Cathy’s voice cried out. She did not sound like his fifteen year old girlfriend; she sounded like a hissing demon.

He latched onto the doorknob as it transformed into a vault. It looked like his locker. His mind was blank. I can make this right, he thought. He pressed his hand to the door. It was a glacier. Water began trickling through his fingertips. He felt completely alone. A crackling sound above caught his attention. Wake up, Jason! He screamed at himself. Wake up before you see him. Not again. In an instant, Andy’s pale face appeared through the water. Jason’s heart pounded. “Trade places with me!” Jason pleaded as he reached out toward Andy. There was a crash, and then Andy was gone.

Breathing heavily, with sweat dripping down his forehead, Jason shot his large blue eyes wide open. “Again? Really?” he said aloud in the stillness of his dark bedroom. He brought his hand to his chest and breathed in deeply. He turned toward his alarm clock. Three thirty-three a.m. It had been three weeks since the storm had struck Montgomery, since Andy had slipped into a coma, and since Jason had realized that he was living in a cloud of darkness.

Published by Author Stacy A. Padula

Stacy Padula has spent the last 14 years working daily with teenagers as a college counselor, mentor, and life coach. She was named "Top Inspirational Author of the Year" for 2022 by the International Association of Top Professionals (New York, NY). In 2021, she was broadcast on the famous Reuters Building in Times Square as "Empowered Woman of the Year." Her Gripped book series is currently being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman. She is the founder and CEO of Briley & Baxter Publications: a publishing company that donates a portion of its proceeds to animal rescues each month. She has edited and published a variety of titles, including Boston Bruins Anthem Singer Todd Angilly and Rachel Goguen's The Adventures of Owen & the Anthem Singer, LaTonya Pinkard of Netflix's Last Chance U's Nate & His Magic Lion, and former NHL player Norm Beaudin's memoir The Original: Living Life Through Hockey. Stacy resides in Plymouth, Massachusetts with her husband Tim and two miniature dachshunds, Briley and Baxter.

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