Excerpt: Automaton by @AlanaEWoods

Title: Automaton

By Alana Woods
Website: Click HERE.
Twitter: @AlanaEWoods
Amazon Author Page: Click HERE.

Synopsis: Rivetting' said the first review—a 5 star review.

What's so rivetting? I hear you ask.

Well, Russell Montgomery is the automaton; a 19 year old on trial for a murder he says he can't remember committing. Elisabeth Sharman is his defence counsel; a topnotch lawyer who has unaccountably lost the plot with this one. And then there's Robert Murphy, Elisabeth's instructing solicitor, who thinks she's using sex to keep him from checking out why she's derailing so badly.

'Rivetting' pretty well covers it.


As the car settled shock prevented her from registering more than the violent shaking of eucalypt leaves inches from her nose before the lights flickered and died. Then there was nothing except the dwindling noises and the car followed the lights’ example while the complaining flora adapted to the strange pressures. The noises, too, died.

Adrenalin exploded into her veins, her heart pumped fit to burst, making breathing a chancy erratic procedure, head a balloon and arms leaden, whole body shaking, skin crawling. Hands up to brush her face she encountered impediments in spaces that should be empty. Felt her way, succeeded in getting hands to face. Touched, winced. Scrubbed at the crawling around her neck, on her arms. Succeeded only in accelerating its spread. Remembered something coming through the windscreen. Extended her fingers. Rough. Bark. A tree. Came back to her face and winced again. The crawling threatening sanity, gingerly exploring where it hurt. Cheek, temple, ear, eye. Blind! Reasoned panic away. It was dark.

Rational thought gradually took ascendancy. Trying for even breathing her body slowly quietened. The crawling continued but she clamped her mouth against it. Her sight adjusted with the summer’s moonlight finding here and there a rent in the canopy, allowing her the sketchiest of ideas of the extent of her predicament.

Breathing—that was the first thing to check. She was breathing. Bleeding. More difficult. Except for limited arm movement she was cocooned tighter than a baby in swaddling. The steering wheel sat against her chest, the seat belt taking her weight.