I apologize for the long hiatus once more, but I have many irons in the fire which have consumed me, not to mention my day job. But I wanted to update you on a few things, and give you a taste of things to come. The Unkindness is still moving along quite nicely, and I expect it to go on pre-order sometime this fall. However, as I write the novel, I realized that there are some other back stories I’d like to impart in the Waking Dream Universe before unleashing my unkindness on the world.
So, I plan on introducing a new set of short stories centered around the first Waking Dream “super-hero” — super-hero a subjective term in this instance. There are no planned number of stories. I will continue to write them as long as people stay interested in them. But for now, I call them “The Nietzsche Files”.
These are the stories of an unusual character who solves crimes using his Weirdness, but not for the sake of humanity. He has his own reasons which will be revealed as the tales are released. And, to make matters worse, he has decided that he will work alone and try to show the local police department a thing or two about investigation and deductive reasoning. All the stories will be fast paced mysteries which I hope will keep you guessing until the end.
As an apology for my absence, here is the first part of the first story in the collection…
Beyond Good and Evil
Richmond, Virginia, November 2010
“911, what’s your emergency?” a tired and seemingly disinterested dispatcher answered the call.
“Well,” the caller began in a smooth, calm voice. “It’s not actually MY emergency, per se. You see, if you go to Hollywood Cemetery, there is a large sycamore tree just inside the gates. There you’ll find one Harold Pearson tied to a tree.”
“Sir,” the dispatcher interrupted. “Is Mr. Pearson alive or dead?”
“Oh, he’s quite alive, I assure you. A little worse for the wear, but he’ll most likely survive. But, please don’t interrupt me again, because I have other, critical information to impart to you. So be a good girl and don’t speak until I tell you. Yes?”
“I…yes…” the dispatcher replied.
“Very good. Now then,” the mysterious caller continued. “I’ve been hunting monsters, you see. Ones that you and your incompetent department failed to slay on your own. I’ve been rather bored as of late, and as such, I’ve decided to start fixing the problems in this little town that you fancy a city. Now, you’ll also want to send an officer to the seemingly abandoned home at 9202 Oak Street. There you will find one Melody Allen, the child that went missing nearly four months ago. She is quite alright, so you needn’t worry. She will be waiting just inside Mr. Pearson’s home as she was instructed to do. But please, do hurry, she’s had quite the ordeal and we want to ensure that she gets proper attention. I’ve not bothered to call her parents, I’ll try to save some dignity for the detectives at Richmond PD despite the abysmal incompetency they have perpetrated on this city. ”
The caller paused for a moment then continued, “Is there anything else your feeble little mind can think of, or do you think your people can handle unwrapping the little gifts I’ve given them?”
“Sir, can I please have your name?” the dispatcher asked.
“What a banal waste of your only question,” the caller responded coldly. “Good evening to you.”
“Sir?” the dispatcher said, but the line was dead. “Sir?”
She quickly ran a trace on the call, and found that cell phone was, of course, a disposable phone and the point of origin was at 9202 Oak Street.
“All units. All units,” she said urgently. “I need a unit to Hollywood Cemetery to investigate a possible homicide and another unit to 9202 Oak Street. Someone found Melody Allen, the nine-year-old Caucasian female reported missing four months ago…”
The masked stranger looked down on the frightened, yet relieved child sitting quietly on the filthy couch just inside the front door of the dilapidated Oak Street row home. An opaque, black, nylon mask covered his face and head, making it impossible to discern his facial features. He crouched down in front of the child and handed her the phone, along with an envelope.
“It is over now, my dear,” he said in a cold, yet soothing voice. “The monster won’t harm you anymore.”
“Will I see my momma and daddy now?” she asked.
“Yes, of course,” he responded. “That is the only reason I am here. Men like Harold Pearson are like a cavity. Do you know what that means?”
She nodded slowly with big green eyes glistening in the moonlight, her face and hair covered in filth.
“And what happens when we get a cavity?”
“A dentist takes a drill and gets it out before it hurts?”
“Precisely,” he said. “And now, the world can smile just a little more, knowing that it has been fixed.”
She nodded with the first smile to curl her lips since the day Harold plucked her off the street and whisked her away to his lecherous abode.
“When the policemen come, make sure you give them the phone and my letter,” he said as he stood and pulled his long black trench coat around him. “I must leave because there are other monsters to find. But if you sit quietly, you can already hear them coming, can’t you?”
Melody listened then nodded with a small sigh of relief.
He patted her on the head, much the way an owner would any diligent pet. “Just wait, and soon you’ll be with your parents again.”
“Thank you,” she leaned forward as if to hug him, but he walked away.
“It will be okay,” he said as he strode to the back of the house, “Be careful out there, young lady. There are many more like Harold. I hope that I do not have to see you again.”
The dark stranger vanished out the back door and slipped through the shadows to Shedd Street down a narrow road passed an abandoned lot. He quickly pulled off the mask to reveal his chiseled, pale features and platinum blonde hair. He tucked the mask and his leather gloves into the inner pockets of his jacket, and steeled himself against the brisk November chill. A tiny smirk curled his lips as he started to hum “It’s All Forgotten Now” by Al Bowlly, and vanished into the night just as a police cruiser pulled up to take responsibility for his work.
Expect to see the rest of this story available on Kindle in September.
As always, I thank you for your continued readership and following of my mad ravings.