Miss Mannequin Excerpt

A string of murders. An unraveling company. A mysterious dollmaker. Will Echelon and the Utopian lifestyle survive the socially engineered environment?

a. l. merriman

“Waking abruptly, sweat slicked Slay’s skin. She opened her eyes when a presence hovered, and instantly came face to face with the oModel, eyes resembling luxurious diamonds, lips like red wine. Slay cried out. The stitches were gone but a familiar image had returned. It was the beautiful woman from Scarlet Noir that Koah had questioned. It was also Dulcie’s assailant, and the mannequin that had brutally chased Slay through Tower Two. How was it possible?

Screaming from the bottom of her lungs, Slay silently whimpered when the oModel brushed her fingers along her lips, jawline, and collarbone, and when the oModel’s eyes slithered along Slay’s body, fear constricted Slay’s throat. She couldn’t get Mint’s attention. The mannequin had her pinned against the bed.

As the pink moonlight slipped through the tinted window, the mannequin stretched as if the light hurt. That’s when Slay saw the truth. The beauty and the mannequin were the same individual. Stitches covered her body. And those eyes that had looked so elegant, so pure, now resembled hollow windows to the soul. Slay thought about the frame on the dresser. When the light shifted and darkness loomed, the beautiful woman stared back at her. When her sharp nails strummed Slay’s bare abdomen as if playing a nighttime lullaby, Slay winced in pain. Blood warmed her skin.

“What do you want!” Slay cried, tears dampening her eyes.

The mannequin looked straight through the windows of Slay’s soul and smiled wickedly. “Your soul,” she sang smoothly. She pressed her hands against Slay’s chest.

Slay resisted but the mannequin’s strength overpowered her. She closed her eyes and fought for her life while in a state of shock. She couldn’t believe her eyes, her ears, or everything that she had witnessed, but as she emotionally gagged, she heard a subtle knock on the door.

A hurtling scream pierced the night.”

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