Welcome! Indie Author Excerpts is a feature allowing indie authors the chance to showcase one of their books and allows readers to find their next favorite story. Each week, an indie author gets to promote a 1-2 page excerpt of their book here at The Bawdy Book Blog. This is a win-win for everyone! This feature was inspired in part by Indie Author Spotlight, a meme hosted by Beckie @ Bittersweet Enchantment and CYP @ A Bookalicious Story.
This Week’s Excerpt: J2 by Phoebe Wray!
Genre: Science-fiction/Dystopian Publish Date: October 2012 Like this excerpt? Buy it: Kindle US | Nook
“Hello, Mother.” It was the last thing the notorious rebel Jemma7729 ever expected to hear, especially at her trial, in the middle of a courtroom brawl against the oppressive government. But there she was: her mirror image, the illegal clone J2. Younger, totally inexperienced but smart, ready to follow in Jemma’s footsteps-wherever they would lead. The Administrative Government of North America thought they could finally breathe a sight of relief. Jemma was arrested. The “Trial of the Century” would see her swinging from a gallows. They didn’t expect her clone to show up! But she did. A younger, brilliant, lab rat. No one, not even the shadow government rebels, the Movers, could guess what J2 would do, could do. Now the Fedguards were back on alert, hunting the clone, determined to kill her and wipe her memory from the face of the planet. J2 had other ideas that would send her, and anyone she touched, on a dizzying high-speed adventure of loyalty, love, revenge, and danger.
The audience first gasped and then went wild with applause. J2 took her place but could see Jemma in her peripheral vision. Jemma looked dumb founded, and then she clapped as hard as anyone. The scene went as it had been rehearsed, with the terse melodramatic lines, then J2 shot Teddy.
He screamed and fell over backwards and lay with his eyes open. J2 was surprised. He hadn’t done that before. Maybe Lana had given him some last minute instructions. It was convincing, though, and J2 was proud of him. The audience cheered.
J2 went to the offstage space. Some alters came in and cleaned up the mess. The audience settled down, but the excitement in the court- room was like static electricity. J2 could almost smell it.
Jemma turned to the Chief Justice. “Yes, I killed Teddy. He had handed me over to your goons and I was tortured and raped by the Fedguards.”
The Chief Justice picked up a small tronic wand, pointed it at Jemma and she staggered in her cage, holding her chest. But she didn’t stop talking. “But this was not right. I shot him with my dead lover’s gun when the Movers rescued me. And you left out the part where I couldn’t walk after the beating the Fedguards gave me.”
J2 mumbled to herself. “Her lover? I’ll bet that would be that tall guy in the vid. The one who put his arm around her—Nathan.” Her heart was pounding. She took a deep breath. The soldier was peering out into the courtroom. Something was happening.
Slowly, a soft chant began in the audience: “Jem-ma, Jem-ma, Jem-ma.” It got louder and the Justice repeatedly banged his gavel, which only seemed to encourage the people calling Jemma’s name.
J2 turned to the soldier. “What’s going on?”
“I dunno.” He broke the rules and actually popped out of their space to look into the courtroom. He came back to her. “The Guards are pulling people out of their seats and tossing them out. They’re chanting and yelling. That’s weird. It’s a hand-picked crowd.”
Finally, a kind of order was restored, but J2 could feel the tension mounting again. More music, the cue for the Elane and Roger to enter, which helped to quiet the courtroom. J2 smiled at her fellow actors in encouragement and turned again to the props table. The soldier handed her a machete.
The couple walked onstage to additional applause and J2 followed them. She carried the machete loosely in her hand, but only got a few feet onstage when Jemma started yelling. “No! Not the L. A. Terror! THAT WAS NOT MY WORK!”
The gavel banged again and again. Then Jemma had figured it out. “They’re clones! This is all a lie! They’re clones and one of them was killed in front of us! It’s murder. It’s Unconstitutional! Mistrial! Mistrial!”
J2 caught her breath. Murdered? Then she figured it out, too. That’s why they hadn’t given her the gun earlier. This was real and she had just murdered Teddy. He wasn’t acting; she had shot him dead. She thought her knees weren’t going to hold her up. She thought she was going to vomit. “The whole thing is a lie!” She jerked her mike off and threw it on the floor. Tears spilled on her cheeks.
The audience erupted in shouting “Mistrial! Mistrial! We want justice!.” People were fighting with the guards that came to subdue them. They were yelling other things, too, “Let us see the stars!” and “The Countryside is free! It’s safe!”
J2 wanted to run. She wanted to scream. She was frozen in the middle of the courtroom. People were throwing things at her and the Justices. The audience spilled into the playing space, wrestling guns away from the guards. A fire broke out in a corner of the room. The trial had turned into a full-fledged riot. Shots ricocheted off the walls.
Two of the Justices bolted for the door on the far side of the court- room. The Chief Justice continued to bang his gravel like a crazy man and then he yowled, grabbing at his chest and falling forward.
About the Author
Phoebe Wray is a long-time nonfiction writer now writing in the specific field. Her two novels, JEMMA7729 and J2, are in print and ebook. A thriller novel, IN ADAM’S FALL, is forth-coming from WolfSinger Productions. She has stories in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Mag, Farthing, Fables.org, chizine, The Garden, and in the anthologies “No Man’s Land” (2011), “All About Eve” (2010) and “Backless, Strapless and Slit to the Throat” (2009). She’s the past president of Broad Universe, lives in a small town outside of Boston, and teaches in the Theatre Division of The Boston Conservatory.
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