Locked Inside by Annette Mori

Hear a reading from Locked Inside by Annette Mori @annettemori0859 on this episode of Book Clips, the mini podcast where authors and narrators give you a taste of a book with a short snippet. 

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How much does the power of love matter to someone who has overcome obstacles greater than most people face in a lifetime? Carly, a beautiful and vivacious young woman, sees something in the semi-comatose Belinda and they form an unusual bond.

Can Carly help Belinda break free from her emotional prison?

Will Belinda’s fears allow their relationship to evolve into something deeper?

Find out in this wonderfully evocative romance that is sure to touch your heart.

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please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect

you are listening to book clips a mini podcast in which authors and erasers do readings from novels check out the show notes for the synopsis and by links for this book this is Annette More and I’m going to be doing a reading from my book locked inside which I was honored to receive a gold before so I’m gonna start with the first chapter and see how much time that takes and then I might skip to the third chapter I won’t set anything up I’ll just start reading and hopefully you’ll understand fall of 2008 awareness came slowly to me as the blanket of fog smothering intelligence rolled back I imagined an intricate spiderweb in my head tangled with fine silk strands Wonder Woman was slicing through them like an adventurer hacking through a jungle I was still confused about where I was when I heard giggling at first I thought my sisters were invading my sacred space Shh come in here and tell me every little detail a girl’s voice said I don’t think we should be in here Tammy we’re supposed to be doing our volunteer hours not screwing around in a residence room a different voice huffed I opened my eyes and a fuzzy picture began to emerge – strange teenage girls were huddled in the corner of a foreign room with sterile white walls I wasn’t in my bedroom at home and I began to panic it’s probably hard for people to truly appreciate the terror that I experienced at this particular moment in my life I had no idea where I was who these strangers were or what had happened to me I would later discover that I’d lost six years of my life while hovering in a semi cameto state they never did figure out the origin of the illness or why I went into a coma and by the time I showed any awareness six years had passed and my family had accepted the original prognosis that I would never recover the tall skinny one with red hair shrugged don’t be such a tight-ass Carly she pointed in my direction and she’ll never tell that’s just mean what she’s a vegetable but right now she’s kind of creeping me out look her eyes are open it’s almost like she’s listening to every word we say the red had blurted out the other one looked at me and frowned I think we’re upsetting her she’s breathing really heavy now and I think she can hear us something is wrong she looks terrified I was trying to move my head my arms my legs anything but none of my body parts would cooperate with me I felt my breathing quicken and I desperately wanted to communicate with them I wanted to know where I was and why I couldn’t talk or move she does look kind of agitated Carly maybe we should get your mom they left the room and I tried to move my head I managed to move in a couple of inches as I took in my surroundings I was able to shift my eyes from side to side as I noticed a TV mountain high in the wall in the center of the room and a single bed with a simple nightstand on my right it looked like a typical hospital room but I wasn’t positive in my mind I was still 10 years old and my parents were nowhere to be found I wanted my mom I wanted reassurance that everything would be okay I heard the click click click of heels on the linoleum floor and watched as an attractive dark-haired woman entered the room she had a stethoscope draped around her neck and one of the teenagers followed her into the room they had similar features and I wondered if she was the mom the redhead referred to earlier I’m sorry mom Tammy dragged me in here I didn’t mean to upset the patient but she looked like she was trying to say something her breathing got kind of fast like she was having a panic attack or something the young woman confessed well that answered that mystery for me the beautiful girl must have been the one the redhead Tammy called Carly each minute passed I was becoming more aware of my surroundings and I was working to remember little details like the names of the young girls Carly it’s not like you to get sucked into Tammy’s brained ideas I taught you better than that Belinda is a very special case but I don’t think she actually heard you or that you upset her in any way she’s been completely unresponsive for nearly six years unfortunately her illness caused severe brain damage I know she reacted to something Carly insisted okay let me check her out the woman grabbed her stethoscope and I felt her hands push aside my clothing as she placed the silver end on my chest her hands were gentle but the stethoscope was cold and I must have had some small reaction although it didn’t feel like any part of my body would obey I’m sorry Belinda did you feel that she asked Carly stepped up to the bedside and I could feel her touch my hand I looked down at my curled up hand which resembled some kind of deformed claw my mom’s a doctor she won’t hurt you Carly sooth since I wasn’t able to move any part of my body about my eyes in my head in incremental movements I concentrated all of my energy on letting them know there was someone locked inside this useless body I wasn’t a vegetable hmm in all the years I looked in on Belinda she’s never reacted like this she does respond to certain stimuli we’ve always been able to feed her as long as someone touches her lips first this is new though her heart rate does appear to be elevated and there is definite movement in her eyes hmm perhaps she’s reacting to your voice yes it was a start I had to find a way to communicate and let them know I was aware and present my instinct for survival and Carly’s soothing presence was enough to tamp down the initial terror I felt everything was still too new for me to truly appreciate the first stage in the grief process that would come later and didn’t last long I’d always been a practical child it didn’t serve a useful purpose to deny my limitations so I didn’t remain in denial for very long Elisabeth kubler-ross has five stages of brief don’t just occur when someone experiences the death of a loved one a significant loss in one’s life can certainly trigger that grief process as well I’d lost my childhood in during the next several years I spent various amounts of time in almost every stage denial anger bargaining depression and acceptance can I read to her or something instead of the other duties the volunteers do please mom you just said that maybe she reacts to my voice I want to help Karly begged hmm I will see I need to make sure that would be okay with everyone but it may be beneficial to Belinda I don’t want Tammy in this room though she doesn’t have the same altruistic motives that you have ah Tammy’s okay she just wanted to get the scoop on my date last night she was way more excited about it than I was and I still don’t see what the big flippin deal is I’m not even sure I want to go out with him again why not isn’t he the heart drop of your school or something you know captain of the football team good-looking teenager by teenagers standards he seemed like a nice boy anyone who could put up with your father’s 20 questions can’t be all bad he is nice but I just don’t get that excited feeling that I’m supposed to when I’m around him it feels more like I went out with my brother maybe there’s something wrong with me Tammy says the same thing that I’m the luckiest girl in the school since he picked me you have plenty of time to find the right one I thought your dad was the biggest dork the first time I went out with him I only went on a second date because I felt sorry for him and then he you know he kind of grew on me as mother and daughter had their little heart-to-heart conversation I felt like an inanimate object something in the background then no one noticed unless someone pointed it out as if they were giving a tour of their house I wanted Carly to stay and talk to me her read to me but she left with her mother and I remained alone in an empty room void of any stimulation I closed my eyes and tried to conjure up a mental picture of my family I wondered where they were the woman said I’d been unresponsive for six years I wondered what happened in those years was it only six years or was that merely the amount of time she worked here even if it was only six years I was now 16 years old I’d already missed more than a third of my life I had to find a way to break free of this prison because that’s what it felt like a prison you just listen to a net Morrie with a clip of locked inside thanks for listening you have been listening to book clips check out the show notes for the synopsis and by links for this book if you are interested in showcasing your novel then check out the show notes for more information [Music] you