Friday, February 1, 2013

Excerpt from Midas Touched by Megan Paasch

"You do know you can take it all back?" The doctor peered at Kat over the rims of his glasses.

"Take what back?"

"The talents you’ve enhanced, of course."

She laughed. "I can't do that." Ridiculous. If she could, she’d know, wouldn’t she?

“Certainly you can. Have you never tried?”

No, she hadn’t. How would it even work? Giving talent was involuntary. But taking it away?

"How do you know this?"

"You're not the first Midas I've had the privilege to m--."

He was cut off when the door closed abruptly. Unnoticed by either, Freidman had joined them in the makeshift medical bay. He raised his arm, a matte black pistol with a suppressor an extension of his hand. There was a snap, a spurt of red, and the doctor crumpled to the floor.

Kat sucked in her breath, too surprised to scream - even to move. Freidman then turned the gun on her.

Her mouth moved involuntarily. Over the thrumming of her pulse, she heard herself say: "You need me. You still need me for what I can do."

"No, not really" he said. "It’s going to be a setback, having to find and train up another. But you're too dangerous now."

"I'm not. I don't know what he was talking about. I'll cooperate. Please don't."

He stared at her hard, but relaxed his arm. "I prefer not to elicit cooperation through fear. But you should know, if you cross me…if you run...we can and will find you."

Kat reached out in supplication, but he took a quick leap backwards as if avoiding the jaws of a viper. She withdrew, remembering too late what the doctor had told her - what Freidman now feared.

“Too dangerous.”

His arm steadied. Time slowed. His finger muscles flexed and drew in on the trigger. She should close her eyes. She shouldn’t watch this. Yes she should. Here it comes.

But it didn’t.  

Something – no someone – knocked into Freidman just as the hammer fell. The bullet whizzed past the top of her head, her scalp tingling as the hairs rose in its path.

Her rescuer, intended or no, was Bartlett, who now had Freidman pressed up against the sink basin, his shirt collar bunched tightly in his fists. Freidman swung at him, but Bartlett caught his arm. There was a sickening snap as he wrenched it to the side and Freidman yelped, the blow he’d prepared with his other fist landing soft. Bartlett flipped Freidman around so that he faced the basin, and twisted both his arms behind him, rendering him immobile. Freidman was a negotiator, not a fighter. Bartlett hadn’t even worked up a sweat.

“Who do you work for?” Bartlett’s tone was calm, but deadly.

“You already know.”

Bartlett pulled Freidman back only to slam him into the sink again. “And who else?”

Freidman grunted.

“I said who else?” Bartlett was losing patience now, his voice growing rougher. He shoved Freidman forward one more time.

Kat slowly, and as quietly as she could, slid a leg off the edge of the cot until her toe touched the floor. If she could just get to the door – find a way off the ship. Her other leg slid down, and instead of the floor, she put her weight on something…wobbly. And slick.

A strangled half gasp, half shriek escaped her throat as her foot slid off the dead doctor’s scalp into the blood pooling around him. Both Bartlett and Freidman, whipped their heads around to face her, which startled Kat even more and she slipped in the dark red gore, falling forward into an IV stand, clutching wildly at it for support.

She tipped it.

Bartlett shifted out of the way just in time, but Freidman, still wedged between his interrogator and the sink, could not. The stand fell hard into his face, pushed forcefully by Kat’s weight against it.

Bartlett hopped backwards and watched, dumbstruck, as Freidman and IV stand collapsed to the floor and lay still, a saline hook jammed deep into his eye.

           They both froze. Kat, horrified. Bartlett, furious.


For more of Megan Paasch:

Website: Rhymes With Smash -


  1. So, this has gotten me ridiculously intrigued and desperate for the rest of the story. I shall now hound you like I do Helen to produce the book already so I can read it.

    In other words, this is total awesomeness!

  2. Oh my goodness, I'm so glad you like it! I guess I'd better get writing!

    1. I love it! I am dying to know what led up to this incident, what a Midas is, who these people are, and does Kat regularly find herself stepping in icky substances and causing the loss of eyes?

      In other words, I have questions that demand answers. I intend to fuss until I get them via your book, LOL.

  3. So glad you submitted this, Megan! You've really made the action pop with your descriptions and the breaks, and everything just unfolds beautifully... in a shocking way. Love how you drop in just enough details to make it TOTALLY INTRIGUING. Definitely a grabber. Well done!
    (And I love the icky eyeball part, but of course you knew that already)

    1. Thanks for putting on the pressure to do so! I'm glad I didn't chicken out. :)

  4. Intriguing. I'm rather curious what a "Midas" is and what these "talents" are that she can give... and take away? Rings a bit similar in theme to something from my own novel. Great minds think alike.

    1. Oh no, really? That's funny. Great minds indeed! :)

    2. Well, assuming it's anything like what I'm guessing it means. Though in my story it's all accidental, very dangerous, and contagious.

    3. Interesting! It does sound similarish, but not the same. And from what you were saying about it just now on Twitter, I HAVE to read yours, so finish revising, ok? ;)

  5. I can't say anything that anyone else hasn't already said. I really, really liked this story. I, too, have to know what comes next! Well done Megan. WELL DONE INDEED! I hope you do expand this! Oh please do, please do!! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Hey Megan (and Elise)

    Thanks for sharing this excellent little teaser! Great action...and a wee bit of intrigue. Loved the ending. So where's the rest? *drums fingers impatiently* Let's go!

    Great stuff Megan. Now I must go and try to raise my game a bit.

  7. I'm loving the ideas! I want to know more about these guys and why they are so afraid of Kat! Awesome Megan, pure awesome.