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Excerpt from Highwayman Book One in the Highwayman Series

By M.J. Preston

A close up of a sign
         Description automatically generatedShe hadn’t known what woke her. Dream or premonition, but she had come up out of the sleep into a sitting position even before her senses were roused. Her mind pricked, pins and needles, her eyesight still unfocused. She had heard her name. Not urgent, but calling in a whisper.

“Wendy, wake up. Wendy, wake up.”

Slowly, she pulled focus adjusting to the dark of the room. She saw a naked silhouette standing in the bedroom doorway. It was him. Devon.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“Are you awake now?”

“Come back to bed.”

He said nothing, stepping through the doorway, moving closer. He was holding something in his right hand. She couldn’t quite see.

He took another step.

It didn’t register at first. Or wouldn’t register.

Something in his hand, something in his right hand. What was it?

He took yet another step.


“What are you holding?”

He took another step.

Then it began to register.

No. Oh dear God, no. No! Oh my...

“It’s okay. He never felt a thing.”

Never felt a thing? No!

She felt the scream building, expanding inside her, a hard, jagged ball in her throat, cutting her oxygen. It wanted to escape, but she couldn’t find her voice.

Or wouldn’t.

To do so was to acknowledge the unthinkable.

He took another step.

The small, round object hung from his right hand. Like the head of a doll.

No, not a doll: bigger.

It was...

She knew then.

Oh my god!

“Patrick,” she moaned and then the scream began to rise like a whistling tea kettle.


He closed in then, his pace quick and deliberate. His other hand rising—moonlight gleaming off steel—before she could scream, he severed her windpipe. She felt an initial sting, and then there was a pop, but no actual pain. He hovered, watching intently as the darkness turned the black to blue, light to gray. Her life was spilling out, like a river running into the sea, swallowed by the abyss.

Her eyes closed.


It was better this way. At least she would be with him.

Then nothing.


End Excerpt…

© Copyright M.J. Preston 2020

A close up of a sign
         Description automatically generated

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Copyright © 2020. MJ Preston