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Timothy Zahn’s Soulminder – Excerpt 6 (Sponsored)

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Sommer wasn’t in the mood to argue. Outside, he could hear the rain beginning; the thunder wouldn’t be far behind. If he got a sleeping pill down him fast enough, he could possibly be out before the worst of it hit. “Okay,” he told her, getting to his feet. “See you tomorrow.”

For a moment he paused, his eyes shifting one last time to the TV monitor. The family had left the room now, and the doctor was tiredly turning off the various monitors. Sommer focused on the figure beneath the sheet, and as it always did, David’s old bedtime prayer whispered through his mind:

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

Blinking back tears, he turned away. Fumbling for the doorknob, he left the room.

He’d hoped to beat the thunderstorm home. The thunderstorm, unfortunately, won the race.

It was an especially violent one, too. The lightning flashed across the sky like a stuttering strobe light, blazing across the night and burning bizarre afterimage shadows into Sommer’s retinas. The thunder stabbed at his eardrums and shook his car, while the wind turned the trees lining the road into crazed dancers.

And as he fought the wheel and winced every time a particularly deep puddle threw a blinding wash of water across his windshield, he thought about David.

It had been exactly this sort of night, with exactly this sort of terrible visibility, when the SUV had run a stop sign and slammed into the passenger side of their car. David had taken the full brunt of the impact, his little body half crushed, half torn by the wall of twisted metal as he was thrown sideways against his restraints.

Check back tomorrow for more Soulminder

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