Sampler: Strength from Within by C.J. Peterson

By fighting back, can the Spencers help free this town from its bonds? Will it ignite a spark of hope or an all-out war?

Pine Crest is a quiet little Ohio town just outside Cleveland. To the outside world, it seems to function as any other small town.

However, upon closer inspection, Stacey and her father, Sam Spencer, discover the dangerous secret that is this town’s reality.

Corruption has such a massive stronghold; survival seems to be the way of life.

Asserting her normal independent attitude in this new environment as the new kid in town could find Stacey in trouble.

However, the strength inside her forces her not back down.

Once Sam figures out what is going on, he cannot turn a blind eye to it either.

By fighting back, can the Spencers help free this town from its bonds?

Will it ignite a spark of hope or an all-out war?

What would you do if your town was held captive?

Would you comply or would you fight back?

Isaiah 40:31: But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

C.J. Peterson

Sampler: Strength from Within

SHANE AND KYLE CARRIED STACEY, with her going in and out of consciousness. It took them over forty-five minutes to make their way through the backwoods to the other side of town. They took her to one of the warehouse buildings, which the Slater house group already targeted as one of their hideouts.

“Tie her up,” Kyle said, nonchalantly, as he dropped Stacey’s feet. “I’ll be over there in a minute,” he said. Then Kyle went over to talk to his dad.

When he dropped Stacey’s feet, Shane grabbed under her shoulders to stop her from dropping to the ground. Stacey groaned, but he continued to drag her across the warehouse to the other side, where there was a chair and a mattress.

“Come on! Work with me here, Stacey!” Shane snapped, dropping her onto a chair. Then he swore when she fell forward a bit. “Trying to tie you when you’re like a ragdoll isn’t easy.”

“Sorry…maybe I’ll…go easier on you next time. I…” Stacey said and then felt her head drop as she closed her eyes.

“Hey, Chandler? Can’t we tie her to a bed?” Shane yelled across the room to him. “She’s passing out on me.”

“No. Leave her there.”

“Fine,” Shane said on a sigh. Then he swore under his breath again before he said, “Sure, he gets to sit back and relax while I have to tie you up.” He shook his head, as he wrapped her arms behind her, securing her hands with zip ties. Then he tied Stacey’s ankles to the chair with zip ties, before he got up and went over to the others.

Her head swimming, Stacey periodically opened and closed her eyes, trying to look around. Shaking and dizzy at the same time, she finally raised her head, and asked, “Um…Kyle?”

“She speaks!” Kyle smiled as he walked over to her. “Shane must have forgotten the tape.”

“Kyle, I need food.”

“Not until you talk to me.”

“I’m hypoglycemic. If you don’t give me food, I’ll die…and you won’t get the answers you want,” she said, and then dropped her head. “I need food.”

He walked over and crouched in front of her. “Well, this is an interesting situation,” he said as he reached up with his hand and moved her hair out of her face. “Want to talk to me first?”



Stacey sighed as she rolled her eyes. “What do you want? I don’t have time for games.”

“You’re pretty demanding considering the position you’re in.”

“Kyle,” Stacey said, and then felt her head spin even worse. She moaned. “I need to lay down.”

“Nope. Just relax. If I get the urge, I might feed you something.”

“I can only go so long, and then it won’t matter,” Stacey said. Then she looked up, trying to refocus. “Please?”

“You’re begging me? Oooo! I like that!” He grinned. “But you see, now that we’ve lost, not only one of our inside people, but also Brad…well, we need to know what you guys know. Not that Marissa wasn’t just chockfull of information, mind you, but her main concern was with you and Adam. And golly gee, since he’s not here…” his voice faded.

“Adam’s your cousin.”

“What?” he said, his hand near his ear as if he could not hear her. “You need to speak up.”

“He’s your cousin,” Stacey said. “You shouldn’t hate him this much.”

“Oh, it’s not him. It’s what he stands for.”


“Yep. It’s kind of like this, we’re on opposite sides in that particular war. He’s all nicey-nice, and I’m more on the…hmmm, how can I word it? Well,” he said, resting his elbow on his knee, “I’m on the side that enjoys our power.” Then he got louder, and more in Stacey’s face with each syllable, as he said, “and-don’t-like-it-when-people-take-it-away!”

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