Psychological thrillers are always fun to read, but I particularly crave them at this time of year. Check out an excerpt from The Trapped Daughter by Jay Kerk. Get even more as you follow the tour, leaving your questions and comments along the way. And then be sure to enter the giveaway!
Have you ever been trapped somewhere? I have.
Have you ever found that the world does not believe you? I did.
I have been betrayed by the people I trusted the most. They coil around me like snakes, lulling me with whispers about protection and safety and for your own good.
They offer up pills like sweets, promising me relief. Just take the meds and everything will be fine, Belle – the meds, Belle, the meds.
Everything will not be fine, and it never will be again. Justice is gone from the world. I have been wronged by Gabe, the man I loved most, and when I turned to others for backup, they sided with him because he’s a star. When I ran to my father for safety, he locked me up in his great big mansion and threw away the key. Now I drift like the ghost Gabe pretended I was, my bare feet tasting the coldness of rich tiles, my breath turning to ice.
Gabe isn’t real, they tell me. They insult me, they spit at me, then smile and pretend that they wish to help. Meanwhile, Gabe is out there, luxuriating in all that I won for him, and I suffer and burn.
Yup and okay are the only words I have muttered since he returned home. We eat dinner in silence, and watch him as he slowly chews every bite, enjoying and wowing at the flavors. I hate how much I hate him.
A few bites into dinner and I find myself without any appetite. I turn my eyes away from my father because if I don’t, I will either become mad enough to do something nasty to annoy him, or I will burst into tears. I stare up at the glittering chandelier hanging over the dining table. I wish its warm lights could dispel the gloom that has filled my soul.
I can feel my palms sweating, my forehead prickling.
“You haven’t spoken a word all night,” my father says.
I reply with a smile, but I can’t hide the disappointment behind it. Captivity breaks your spirits. Captivity makes you cherish small things that you were not aware you valued. Finally, after everything else, captivity crushes you.
If my mother was still alive, he would not even dare speak to me like that.
My mother never had the patience for helping me with schoolwork, or setting up pink balloons for my birthday. My father was the one who sat me down for French spelling, bedtime stories, and even talked me through my trouble with boys. He was the rock. She never made much effort, but she would not have harmed me like he is doing.
They weren’t different people because of how they were brought up – they were different because of his approach to life. Any greedy businessman learns new millennial skills if they bring in more money. He controls the environment he operates in to ensure he achieves his goals. Discipline in hierarchy is a term he created to describe how an employee should have a soldier’s obedience with regards to company objectives. Without, he says there is no way to run any large company – and he had more than a thousand staff.
My mother was an artist who believed in autonomy and individual expression at any cost. Side by side, they were wolf and sheep, predator and gentle, peaceful grazer. I regret not spending more time with her before she passed. She could have warned me about the monster.
The power to converse with him about anything eludes me, and I struggle through the couple of hours that I have to endure in his presence until he retires to his room. The moment I return to mine, I lie on my bed, close my eyes, and think of Gabe.
About the author:
As a physician, I used my clinical background to keep the readers on their toes. All options are on the table. Is Gabe real? Did Gabe ever love her? What was their relationship? Was he her husband, and did she kill him? Is Gabe her brother?
My name is Jay Kerk, and I am a 33 year old. I am a medical doctor, and I use my background to illustrate unlikely but realistic situations revolving around the alterations of the mind. My first book A Predator and A Psychopath, self-published in July 2019, received five stars from Readers Favorite and 4 and a half stars from Self-Publishing Review.
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