Excerpt from Crushing by Elena Dillon

Crushing Book Excerpt

I’m not totally sure how I get myself into these situations. Normal people don’t end up stuck in a storm drain…in the pouring rain…with a puppy…and no way out.

“All right, you—we are going to have to figure out how to get ourselves out of this mess.” I looked down at the puppy. She snuggled into my arms and closed her eyes. So no help there.

At first it hadn’t seemed like a big deal. The rain came down in sheets as I got out of my car. Right away I could hear barking coming from a storm drain across the street from my house. I looked into the drain and there she was. An adorable chocolate lab puppy—wet, shivering, and miserable.

As soon as she saw me she became frantic. I worried she would hurt herself, so I thought, No problem—climb in, save the puppy, climb out, good to go. Yeah, not so much. I didn’t really account for the fact that I am height challenged. I’m only five foot two. The storm drain was a lot deeper than it looked. Deeper than I am tall, and concrete with no footholds to speak of. On top of that, I left my purse with my cell phone on the front seat of my car. Sigh.

The water in here rose higher as it rained harder. It was up to my knees now, and it had only been to my ankles when I first got in. I needed to get us out soon before it got serious. I jumped a few times but quickly realized that I couldn’t pull myself and the puppy out. The wall was slick with rain and muck.

These things happen to regular people. I mean, I try to do the right thing, but somehow it just never ends up the way I plan. Definitely one of those moments. The rain was really coming down now, and the water rushed into one side of the drain faster and faster. I couldn’t hear anything outside with the loud roar of water crashing my ears. At this point, the puppy and I were stuck but good.

To make matters worse, there were “things” in here with us. I did not want to investigate this particular part of the problem any further. We were soaking wet and getting more miserable by the minute. Not to mention Wynter Island is considered low country. It’s an island near Charleston, South Carolina—a community that sits at sea level or lower. Flooding here is a common occurrence and no laughing matter. People were injured and drowned here every year because of rushing floodwaters.

Unfortunately, due to the rain no one was out on the street. I lived in a community on a golf course next to the beach. There were only a few houses on each street, and the few people that had driven by had probably not even looked in the direction of my little waving hand coming out of the drain. Not that I could see if they did.

“Do you think if I start screaming my head off, someone will come?” The puppy licked my chin and looked at me with those soulful brown eyes like I was her only friend in the world. I definitely needed to figure out how to get us out of here. That’s when I heard the rumbling.
Thunder? Nope. A car. A loud car if I could hear it over the water. Wheels pulled directly in front of the drain. The car rolled forward and the engine shut off. My luck was changing.

“Help! Hey! Over here!” I shouted.

The puppy did her part by barking her head off. She was no dummy—except for the whole getting-stuck-in-a-storm-drain thing. But honestly, I’d done some pretty dumb stuff in my time. I shouldn’t judge.

A guy popped his head in at the mouth of the drain.

“Ah. Of course.” He grinned.

And then the face disappeared.

All I had seen before he disappeared was a head of light-brown hair and ice-blue eyes. His features were shadowed in the darkness of the drain. Did I know this person? I knew just about everybody around here. Especially the ones close to my age, which he definitely was. I didn’t think I’d seen him before and yet…

And what did he mean by “of course”?

Elena Dillon’s blog /Twitter /Facebook /Google+ /Goodreads / Literary Addicts

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  1. Thank you so much for having me on your blog!
    I appreciate it.

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