BOOM! The explosion ripped the three-man team off the ground and tossed them into the air. Eric slammed face first in the sand. He
pushed up on his knees, pressed the detached flap of flesh back down on his forehead, wiped the blood from his eye, and fought the pain
hammering inside his skull. He turned toward his friend, but Mac was gone, only a hole remained where he had been seconds before. He
saw Duke lying in the sand ...
The sound of the vehicle pulling into the driveway brought him out of the dream and back to the kitchen in his small house. Eric stood up from the
table, walked over to the window above the sink, and stared at the two figures in the black car. The glow from the streetlight was insufficient to see
their faces, but he knew, there in the passenger seat, it was her. The head of the passenger disappeared below the edge of the car window. When
the head of the driver leaned back, Eric gripped the sides of his coffee mug. He watched for a moment to confirm his suspicions, and then he closed
his eyes and lowered his head. He fought the impulse to end it all, to rush outside and set things straight.
Perhaps she’s right. Maybe if I had been here, things would have turned out different.
He took a deep breath, started to glance out the window one last time, but instead returned to his seat at the table, and waited.
Eric tapped his knuckles on the table as he sat alone in the dark. His eyes bored into the kitchen door until he heard the key turn in the lock. He
listened to the door close and the light footsteps as they echoed through the small two-story house and advanced on his position. When the entry to
the kitchen opened, the woman flipped the light switch and was startled.
“Damn, you scared the hell out of me. I didn’t know you were home from your trip. Where’s your car?”
“In the garage.”
“Why are you sitting in the dark?”
Eric surveyed his wife’s attire: the three-inch heels, the opal earrings he gave her on their first anniversary, and the strapless black dress. The same
outfit she used to wear only when they went out, the one that made him proud she was his and no one else’s.
“It’s a bit late to be coming in, isn’t it? Where have you been?”
Karen paused for moment, tossed her keys on the counter, and responded without looking at her husband. “I was out with friends.”
“Do I know these friends?”
“It’s really getting old, to come home to an empty house every night, and find out you’ve been with your…friends.”
“Then stop traveling everywhere for that damn job. Besides, why the hell should you care what I do when you’re gone? I’m aware you’re not alone
on those trips. I know you take one of your sluts with you, like that red headed major.”
Eric stood up. He scanned the hard expression on his wife’s beautiful face, the glistening black hair he longed to stroke. He glanced at the tight lips
that once smiled whenever he was near, the soft lips he needed to touch, to taste. “No matter how many times you accuse me of infidelity, it doesn’t
make it true. I swear I have not been with any other women during our entire marriage. Can you say the same for yourself?”
With an expression barren of emotion, Karen ignored the comment and turned toward the doorway to leave, but not without making one final
cutting remark. “I don’t believe you. You haven’t been with me for a long time, so you must be screwing someone else. As always, this conversation
has given me a headache. Don’t wake me when you come to bed, or when you go jogging in the morning.”
Eric remained alone in the kitchen with only the light beneath the doorsill stretching across the floor. While he stared past the door into the next
room, he whispered to the only woman in his life, “Where did it go, Karen? You loved me once. Is it so easy to forget what we used to have,
together? I still remember. I’ve tried hard not to let it go, but it becomes more difficult each day.”
Eric listened to the clock on his nightstand, and resisted the need for sleep. He knew it waited in the shadows of his nightmare. After two hours, he
lost the battle. While he slept, the vision that hounded his dreams for so long returned: the fawn grazed toward the edge of the woodland,
unaware of what lurked just inside the trees. In an instant, the beast lunged onto his prey. While it consumed her innocence, Eric was
helpless. Chained to an oak tree, he was forced to observe while the demon mocked him. He could only watch from the hill as he lost her
forever to that ruthless bastard. He ripped at the chains as they cut deep into his skin. He struggled against the bonds until the shackles
that had imprisoned him all these years were covered with his blood. He ignored the gnawing pain, pushed against the tree with his feet,
until the steel tore deep into his flesh and exposed the bone, but the chains remained, stopped him from saving her. Eric looked away and
closed his eyes, but the tears continued to pour down his cheeks. The beast grunted with pleasure as it wrested the life from her small
slender body. Eric screamed in agony, but no one was there on the lonely hill to listen. While he watched her die alone, he wept.
Eric sat up in his bed. The nightmare left him soaked in sweat. He gazed at his wife lying next to him, and started to reach for her. He needed to feel
her soft skin, touch the taut ridge that flowed down her back. He yearned to be absolved of his guilt, or to achieve some semblance of comfort, but
he pulled back, afraid of being rejected, again.
He felt alone, as always, all alone. He got up, walked into the spare bedroom, and curled up on the bed. Eric lay motionless, staring out the window
at the stars in the night sky, until the tremors from the nightmare disappeared. After thirty minutes he fell asleep again, by himself, in the dark room.
The single poker light hanging above the table cast dancing shadows across each wall of the smoke saturated room. The tell tale glow of joints being
drawn every few seconds signaled the location of each occupant.
The man with the ponytail hesitated for a moment until the glowing joint at the center of the table turned. Then he whispered something and the pitted
face man replied, "Dead? I thought they were locked up somewhere. How could they be dead?"
"I don’t know, Jefe. I talked to our source at the cops. He said they were at the county morgue. I went down to get our gang mark, you know, the
gold ring in their ear, but the rings were gone. Their bodies were all twisted and mangled like pretzels. Maybe you should let this one go."
Without a word, the gang leader grabbed the man’s long ponytail and jerked his head down till it crashed onto the table. Then he yanked on the
gold ring in the man’s ear until it ripped through the ear lobe.
"No one disses me, understand, no one. You see this," he pointed to his broken tooth, "He did it, and he’s going to suffer."
Pit-face looked at the other three men at the table, and waited for a response, but none was offered.
The man with the ponytail picked himself up and used his hands to stop the bleeding from his nose and torn ear. He stepped back and tried a
second time. "We raped and killed his wife. Isn’t that enough?"
"When his nuts hang from this lamp, then that’ll be enough." Pit face and the three others at the table laughed.
A dog outside the abandoned building howled. After a moment, it stopped, and after several seconds, the dog started barking again. Pit-face
squawked to the man at his left, "Juan, if you don’t shut up that damn dog, I’ll shoot you first, and then him."
As if on cue, the dog went silent. The gang leader looked at the other members seated at the table, and then changed his mind. "Juan, go see why
that mutt stopped barking."
After several minutes of waiting for Juan’s return, something scratched at the door. "I swear I’m going to slit that dog’s throat."
Pit-face directed one of the guards. "I’ve had it with that dog. Take him out behind the dumpsters and beat him to death with the bat in the corner."
The guard opened the door, but nothing was there. He glanced toward the pit-faced man for guidance. "Go find him, now."
Pit-face looked back at the two men at the table. "I told Juan to keep that hound out of my face. Now I’ll going to turn him into maggot food."
The men at the table continued their card game. After several minutes, there was a muffled noise outside the window, as if someone tried to yell, but
there was no air in his throat to make the sound. The dim room instantly darkened, like a sponge had consumed every ray of light. Only the red ash
from the joints being smoked by the four men who remained flickered as their breath became erratic.
In the void, the distinctive snarl of pit face demanded, "Must be a hit by the Diablo Soldado gang. Give me the shotgun!"
Before anyone could respond, the sound of a door swinging open could be heard.
Pit-face felt something edge by his left leg. "Tomas, is that you?"
From the far corner of the room, the remaining guard reached for a black metal bat, but it was gone. The heavy breathing was interrupted by a loud
thump, as if a pumpkin had been cracked open. The room stilled. Then a muffed sound struggled in the dark, someone gargling in their own blood.
An agonizing scream reverberated around the walls, accompanied by several shots, and then a thump on the floor.
More shots rang out. The crash of boxes, barrels, and furniture could be heard as something angry moved through the void. A low guttural growl,
like a predator preparing to pounce on its victim, greeted the sole survivor.
A single plea into the darkness could be heard, as the prey stumbled and searched for the exit, desperately trying to flee. "El Dios me ahorra."
Another torso collapsed onto the floor, followed by repeated raps of someone kicking their feet against the floor, struggling to escape. Lungs
gasped for air. A final kick of the door signaled the end.
Something was dragged back into the room. The door closed, and the room filled with silence.
My Book Cravings
|Sometimes good people do bad things
Publisher Best Seller
Long and Short of It
|As a decorated officer, Eric Emerson is honor bound to defend the helpless, and trained to survive against a ruthless
enemy, yet these skills were useless to protect his family from a faulty legal system. Riddled with guilt, he’s torn
between his combat experience and the rules governing society. The conflict shatters his marriage, his job, and his
sanity, until she saves him from his demons. Together, they stumble upon the Osiris study, a secretive government
report that predicts a dire future unless there are draconian sacrifices. The attempt to unravel the mysterious nature
of the study targets them for assassination until, once again, Eric embraces his dark side. The revelation about Osiris
demands a horrific choice: ignore what they’ve found or become the seed to mankind’s survival, but at a terrible cost.
|"This book was fantastic...It grabbed me quickly and had me focused on it exclusive
of everything else. Read this book even thought at the end you might wonder about
the state of the world. If I could give this more than a five I would." 5 stars
|It is so well-written that I just got lost in each page. This is an absolutely
wonderful tale with secrets galore, a bit of deception and a smidgen of romance
that keeps the pages turning." 5 stars
|" it is great seeing a male romance writer. I think that Davis has a real talent
for writing romance. He has a way of looking at romance that only a man can. It
is truly a unique book and Davis is a unique writer to the genre." 5 stars
|"The tension builds to a stunning conclusion. Most likely, the reader will
rethink his or her own notion of right and wrong. This book is a winner",, 5 stars
|"In this haunting & powerful novel we see things through the eyes of our hero
and it's a most refreshing change. With a clear and succinct voice we experience
that first feeling of love from the perspective of the male, making it a unique
novel in it's own right." 5 stars
|"one hell of a book! My highest recommendation! I give it 5 Stars! This gripping
story is fast paced and thoroughly enjoyable. Davis' characters are as captivating
as the story is interesting and exciting. I especially loved the huge dark twist, and
love it when an author is sharp enough to keep me guessing till the end."
Copyright 2010 by Michael W. Davis