Perception Excerpt #3

Perception Excerpt #3

The final Perception excerpt!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the previews, and if this is the first one you’ve stumbled across, be sure to go back and read Excerpt #1 and Excerpt #2. You can get the whole story when Perception launches on August 23.

What do you think Helaine will do with this new discovery? Leave your theories in the comments below.

Her room door swung open, and Helaine marched straight to Nadja’s wardrobe, pulse pounding. She yanked open the cedar panel before she had a chance to talk herself out of it. The hinges shrieked in surprise.

Stepping back, she surveyed the contents.

Nadja’s clothing barely filled a third of the space. She shifted through garments, ignoring the little voice that scolded her for rifling through her roommate’s belongings. She’d already crossed that line when she opened the wardrobe. There was nothing else to do now but finish what she started.

I wonder why she never wears these anymore. The cotton fabric of the long skirts slid through her fingers as she passed them by.

Blouses, skirts, pants. All of them, what few there were when compared to her own collection, she had seen Nadja wear time and time again. In fact, she was as familiar with her roommate’s clothing as she was with her own. And all with empty pockets. Nothing new. Nothing to tell her more than she already knew.

Something bumped against the back of the wardrobe as she pushed aside the last skirt. Curious, she stuck her hand through the fabrics and felt something propped in the corner.

Helaine’s eyebrows drew together as she removed the wooden pole. A small leather pouch was fastened to its middle. It stood almost as tall as her shoulder and was hollow from end to end. Some kind of instrument, perhaps?

One end had what looked like a mouthpiece. She lifted it to her lips and blew. The only resulting sound was the whisper of moving air. Maybe it needed something like a reed.

It must be in that bag.

She removed the pouch and propped the pipe against the wardrobe. The worn leather flap opened to reveal a collection of cone-topped darts.

Definitely not reeds.

Helaine removed one of them and slipped it into the mouthpiece. It fit perfectly. She blew through the pipe again, gently this time, and the dart glided through the pipe and out the other end.

Definitely not an instrument.

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