Deadfall Sample Chapter

Enjoy the prologue from Greyson Gray: Deadfall, Book #3 in the series. If you want to join the adventure from the beginning, click HERE!


Prologue

The abandoned cruise ship lurched to the side. The ship was reeling on the rolling waves, cracking under pressure, weakened by the fires that burned at its core.

Gripping Sydney’s hand tighter, Greyson pulled her up the tilting flight of stairs as the staircase churned beneath them. Suddenly their next stair snapped apart. Tripping on the gap, Greyson stumbled to his knees, pulling Sydney down with him.

Nick and Jarryd were right there, bleeding from their wounds and yanking them onward. “Get up or we die!” Nick scolded.

Suddenly splinters blasted over their bodies as a giant chasm ripped a path across the wall mural of an underwater castle. They covered their faces but didn’t stop their frantic staggering up the shifting stairs. The plumes of dust and debris seemed to cave in around them, but amidst the chaos, the tiny, yellow emergency lights flickered, revealing the only path to safety.

“Keep going!” Greyson commanded.

Greyson led the group, coughing at the smoke and stumbling with the floor tilting at nearly impossible angles. Navigating with only the fuzzy yellow rectangles glowing at his feet, his head swam, numb from pain and dizzy from blows to his head. Reaching another landing, Greyson glanced at the sign dangling from a screw somehow keeping a grip in the plaster.

The Empress Deck.

“Two more!” Sydney rasped, red welts vivid on her neck.

No reply was needed. They saved their energy for the last two flights, ignoring the wave of heat and the crackling of fire coming from the landing. Greyson gritted his teeth, feeling the spasms of pain coming from his ribs, face, and legs. He wanted to shed his soggy shoes, but there was no time to stop. Looking back, he saw the lobby of the Empress Deck crack in two, devoured by the level below with a plume of flame and smoke rising from beneath.

Suddenly another lurch sent them sprawling into a wall.

“Come on!”

Greyson tugged on their arms until they were back on their way.

“Through here!” Sydney pushed the door against the storm that raged with lashing wind and stinging rain; but it was friendlier than what was behind. They stepped into it, onto the sloping main deck, trailing single file as the wind whipped at their clothes.

As the kids stumbled against the railing, they were suddenly very aware of the fact that the sinking was almost complete. The waves, once twelve floors down, were now splashing over balconies of the rooms beneath, only a few floors down.

Greyson searched for an escape route, but the lifeboats were already gone.

“Watch out!”

A deck chair came sliding toward them, but Greyson grabbed it just in time, pushing it away.

More chairs came careening toward them with a rush of water overflowing from the deck’s pool.

“Hold on!”

They grasped the railing, rocking with the waves as if standing up on a roller coaster. Nick and Greyson battled with the deck chairs, but the others saw something. Their eyes went wide, their fists clenched white to the railing. They shared a look as another blast of lightning bathed the storm clouds with a blanket of light. But there was something else illuminated. Massive. Powerful.

“Greyson!”

The ship tipped back the other direction, sending the chairs back toward the pool. Greyson managed to stagger over one last chair to join the others at the railing.

“We have to…” he trailed off, catching a glimpse of the massive battleship, its guns gleaming with rainwater, its steel hull piercing the hurricane’s waves like they were nothing. The orange lifeboats had gathered near it, bobbing in the storm swells.

Greyson’s mouth hung open and fear stole his breath. The realization cut at him, slicing an icy blade along his spine.

It can’t be. All of it. All of it for this.

Greyson gulped, letting the rainwater wash over his trembling lips as the words formed and reformed.

“It’s…it’s a deadfall.”

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