Monday Bites: Excerpt from Parched (Book 1, The Parched Novel Series) by Zuleika Arkadie

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Advertising Executive, Clarity Parker thought she would never see Baron Ford again. Five years ago, she fell in love with him on their magical first date and then poof–he literally vanished into thin air. That’s why she’s stunned to hear his name again. After all, five years have passed since that night, and now, to add intrigue to insult, he’s requested that she be exclusively assigned to his multi-million dollar account.

Clarity makes every effort to avoid Baron Ford but when he finally catches up to her he issues a warning; things are not safe for her in the city anymore, especially since the strange fog has settled over Manhattan.

Before the foggy day is over Clarity’s entire world will come crashing down. Everything about her life that she thought was true is a lie! And there’s no time to question her soap opera star mother or business mogul father about it because Baron was right, her life is in danger, and so is his!

One thing’s for sure, from this point on, the world as Clarity Parker knows it will never be the same.


Before I know it, I’m asleep and I am only awakened when the car comes to a grinding halt. I bang into the back of the driver’s seat, even with my seatbelt on.

“What in the world?” I mutter, shaking off the confusion while looking around.

A white pick-up truck has stopped in front of us and then I look to the right of me and there’s a red Toyota Tercel that’s stopped and to the left there’s a big gray SUV.

“They’re boxing us in,” Lario shouts.

Not only have the three drivers gotten out of their cars but more drivers have stopped, exited their vehicles on both sides of the highway and are now all heading our way.
In this moment, I’m too curious to be afraid. Maybe I’m still asleep and this isn’t happening. Not just asleep during the car ride but still asleep after returning from the Red Yard event. However, when the first tire iron smashes the back window and I duck to protect myself from the spattering glass that rains down on me, I know I’m wide awake.
Before the guy with the tire iron can take a second swing he’s flying across the highway. Fawn’s face is tormented.

“I don’t want to hurt them,” she cries out.

“Well-it’s either them or us, and the choice is obvious,” Lario shouts, ducking from an assault on the driver side window with what looks to be a cardboard coffee cup. The person has already beaten the contents out of it and the brown liquid is all over the window. This is insane!

All four tires are slashed and the car lowers. The guy in the SUV has what looks like a shotgun and he’s cocking it. Without hesitation, I encase him and make him unload the rifle and throw it. When I’m back inside of me, I try to feel for the protection, but it’s gone.

We’re unprotected and I wonder how I missed that. Now all of our windows are being smashed out, pounded or things like cans, even a sandwich, more cups and anything else that can be picked up and thrown is hitting the car.

“Fawn,” Lario shouts, “do it before we end up dead!”

I can see how conflicted she is. Her power is so forceful and mine is intrusive in less aggressive way. So I close my eyes to try something. I push myself out into space rather than into a vessel. It’s heavier and takes way more concentration as I have to repeat what I want to fill this space up with over and over again. The only word I can come up with at the moment is peace.

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About Zuleika Arkadie

I’m just a writer born and raised in Southern California, who grew up loving to daydream. I also have a BA in Broadcast Journalism and an MA in Communications Studies from California State University, Los Angeles. I’ve read scripts, providing coverage for production companies and screenwriting contests but have been writing fiction steadily and honing my craft for over 13 years.

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