Author: George A. Bernstein
Genre: Romantic Suspense
The darkness is still, silent. Jackee Maren’s heart pounds reverberating through her body as fear sears her veins. Someone’s coming. No way out. This time they will kill me. Her breath is short, her chest burns. Must run. Faster. Faster! Her eyes fly open, her heart still racing with blinding fear. Jackee breathes deeply with relief and stares at the ceiling desperately trying to calm herself. The same dream. Something, someone is watching… and waiting.
A tragic car accident leaves beautiful, vibrant Jackee Maren completely paralyzed, mentally alert but trapped in “Locked-in Syndrome,” able to move only her eyes. Jackee’s husband, Phil, is devastated and her two young boys left with nothing but a shell for a mother, but still, Jackee senses the foreboding of an evil presence and knows time is short.
Slowly, Jackee learns to communicate with her physical therapist, Kevin, by blinking her eyes. As evidence comes to light that her car accident was no accident, Jackee knows she must expose the person who wants her dead before they get a second chance.
While Jackee works her mind to put all the clues together, she discovers she has the ability to sense the thoughts of others, but she hides this talent from everyone but her sons, not knowing whom she can trust. By actively exercising her new psychic ability, Jackee finally learns who masterminded the accident but seems helpless to stop them from trying to kill her again.
Slowly a psychic plan forms to not only ensure her boys are safe forever, but to exact revenge on her would-be murderer. Jackee vows not to rest until this would-be-killer understands what it is to be TRAPPED! But she must hurry, with only a year to live.
“Her Eyes! Her eyes! They’re open.”
The three men rush to the two little windows, the sports jacket of the tallest flapping in his haste.
My eyes? What about my eyes? Why is he so damned excited?
The taller of the two surgeons pushes in front, very close to the glass, his head seeming to fill both openings. She winces, blinking, from a bright light shined into her eyes.
“Mrs. Maren, can you hear me? Are you all right?”
“Of course I hear you! You’re standing right there, aren’t you?” He squints, bushy dark brow creased, lips pursing, but doesn’t respond.
Is he deaf?
“Mrs. Maren, if you hear me, please signal somehow.” A furtive glance at the other men, then back to her, his brown eyes boring into her. “Can you move anything?”
OhmyGod! She shivers, the truth crashing over her, sending her heart on a rumba rampage inside her breast.
I wasn’t talking! Were they… oh, God… they were only thoughts inside my head!
I didn’t… Oh, Jesus. I can talk, can’t I? Stomach roiling, she gags back rising gorge, acid burning her gullet. Another reality stabs her, freezing her mind. She gasps… or did she?
Did I actually swallow? Despite the bitter taste, she senses no connection to her throat, her tongue, her lips. She feels nothing! The sour taste of bile fills her head, not her mouth, as if everything is disjointed. She can sense, but can she feel?
No! There’s only this ethereal aura of weightless floating.
What’s happened to me? Why can’t I talk? Why can’t I feel anything?
“Mrs. Maren?” His voice breaks through the jumbled panic surging through her head. “I’m sure you hear me. I see your eyes moving. Can you do anything else? Please, try.”
Struggling to clear her mind, she focuses on his face, so close to the two little windows.
Move? Yes, I must be able to wiggle something!
Oh, God! Oh, God! Why can’t I… Something! I gotta do something! Twitch, finger. Nothing. Move arm… move. It refuses.
Wag a foot! Make a fist! Nothing cooperates. She grunts silently, straining at the effort.
Scrunch, toes. No luck there, either. No need to see them to know the results.
Nothing! She tries to shake her head. Stupid! Can’t do that either.
Oh, God! Can’t move! Can’t talk! Can’t do anything! Nothing at all! Her mind spins dizzily, whirling down… down… down, into a black, chaotic whirlpool of terror.
“No physical activity,” the other man in blue scrubs says, glancing at an electronic monitor, “but her heart rate’s way up. She’s agitated.”
“I’m not surprised.” The taller man studies his patient. Shrugging, he reaches for her hand. It’s beyond her vision, and she feels nothing.
“Can’t you signal us somehow? Maybe blink your eyes?”
Jesus! What have they done to me? What have they done?
Only she hears the screams of terror echoing through her head.
George Bernstein is a youthful seventy-seven-year-old, with a B.A. from Northwestern University, now living in south Florida with Dolores, his wife of 54 years. He is the retired president of a publicly held Chicago company. His main interest now is as a serious novelist. He has attended numerous writers’ conferences and seminars, including that of famous fiction agent, Donald Maass, and he has worked with independent editor, Dave King, all with the goal of improving his craft.
George’s first novel, Trapped, is published by TAG Publishers, after being a finalist in their Next Great American Novel contest. Dee Burks and her staff really love the story, and have put a lot of effort into comprehensive editing and revision suggestions, making Trapped the best it can be. Trapped was also a finalist at the 2012 Florida Writers Association RPLA fiction contest, and has since acquired over seventy 4 & 5-Star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.
George has also recently released his 2nd novel, A 3rd Time to Die, which has been received with several 4 & 5-Star reviews. The most common comment for both novels is: “I couldn’t put it down.”