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Read an Excerpt from “Betrayed”

Betrayed

Jeremi came to with a start. His hand went to his head immediately, coming away sticky with partially dried blood…his blood. It felt as though a hammer were pounding mercilessly inside his head. What happened? Where I am? Yet there was no time to ponder on it. Jeremi had been awakened by the sound of running feet, and in the foggy recesses of his mind, he knew he had to flee. He didn’t know why — just that he had to. Instinct took over. Quickly he got to his feet, but it was too late. It was as though he were watching a movie in slow motion. A man was running toward him, his gun raised and pointing directly at him. Jeremi did what came naturally to him. He reached into his jacket for his gun — but it wasn’t there!

The bullet entered Jeremi’s right shoulder hitting a main artery. He felt as though his head was going to explode and his right shoulder was numb. He turned to run but his body wasn’t cooperating. His assailant dove at him, knocking him to the ground. Jeremi felt a knee jabbing into the small of his back and a gun pressed firmly against his temple.

“Don’t move,” his attacker commanded.

Jeremi didn’t.

“You have the right to remain silent…,” the man was saying as he yanked Jeremi’s arms behind his back. Jeremi never heard the rest as his mind groped wildly for answers. What is happening? Where am I? — Who am I?

His mind cleared for a moment as he felt cold handcuffs being snapped onto his wrists, the truth of who his attacker was becoming clear, and the implications frightening. This is a police officer? I just tried to shoot a police officer? What am I saying? Was I really going for a gun?

The cop was forcing him to his feet now, roughly propelling him in the direction of a police car at the end of the alley. Jeremi couldn’t think any longer. He could only feel his life’s blood pumping steadily from his body, being soaked up by his heavy wool sweater. A weakness was overcoming him. Sleep. If only they’d let me sleep, he thought before crumpling to a heap on the cement sidewalk.

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